2013 has brought with it more lessons than I could ever possibly recall to put down in words. Like so many people this year I have experienced ups, down, twists, turns, and loopty loops. In all of our own ways we have experienced to some degree pain and joy. Failure and triumph. Disappointment and hope. So for my last post of the year I decided I would share what I have learned about life, love, and happiness.
Life is too short…
…to spend it being anyone other than you. You were created specifically and with purpose. There is a reason you like what you like. A reason you dress the way you dress. A reason you think the way you think. You were born to be original and unique. Spending your life trying to be anyone else is as insane as a rose trying to convince the world it’s a weed. The greatest gift you can give yourself and the people around you is a genuine you.
…to spend it living in the past. Yesterday is gone forever. No matter how hard you hope and pray it is never coming back. Every second that you either loved or hated has gone for good. I spent so much of my life trying to resurrect the past. I let myself think that if I could somehow find a way to save the good parts then I could make the present better. But, like all things, time has an order and is constructed in such a way that preserves what lies ahead by lying to rest what has passed. Everyday you spend trying to fix the past is a day you lose from a better future.
…to give up on the people you love. I waited my whole life to be able to say that my father is sober. That day is finally here. If I have learned anything this year it’s that you never give up believing on the people most important to you. I learned from a dear friend that the trick is to believe more than you hope. Hope leaves room for defeat. Belief elicits certainty. No matter the circumstance. No matter the time lost. You never stop believing for more for the people you love.
Love has taught me…
…that it’s worth being waited for. As long as I can remember, I wanted love in my life. I was in such a hurry to find the one, that I put no effort into being the one. It takes a strong grasp to hold something as beautifully chaotic as love. It requires delicate patience for love to unfold itself in the palms of human hands. We are conditioned to find the perfect one as quickly as we can. A generation motivated by romantic idealism has fallen under the influence that love needs to be grabbed, when the truth is love only need be invited. It waits patiently for every person to prepare its table and welcome it to stay. There is a person in this world for you. Someone who’s eyes you can look into and find stillness. Someone’s voice that is sharp enough to cut through the white noise in life, and at the same time tender enough to caress even the most delicate parts of your heart. That is what is worth waiting for.
…to know the difference between epic and convenient. Technology has spoiled all of us. It has lulled us into believing that everything must come painlessly. But, if I have learned anything from this life I know that epic loves are anything but convenient. Our lives are like calm bodies of water, and there are some loves that fall from the branches of an overcasting tree hitting the surface of our existence and for a time cause that water to ripple. Their presence, with no sense of permanence, fades away over time. Then, there are loves that come crashing into us like boulders. As they plummet into who we are, everything else is elevated raising our previous plane to a higher one, creating in us a new depth. They become a part of us. They add new beautiful intricacy to our already complex days. Epic loves are hardly ever subtle or discreet. They outlast harsh seasons, while convenient ones succumb to them. Epic loves are heroic in nature and rescue us from the mediocrity we are doomed to face, should we ever close the door on them.
…is not a destination. I, like everyone else, used to believe that happiness was the finish line to a difficult, life-long race. When in actuality it is a practice. It is a choice made every day. Happiness doesn’t just appear when we get the job we’ve been waiting for, or the new car we convinced ourselves we needed. It comes every day when we look into the mirror and see that the person looking back at us is the best version of who we want to be. It comes when we see that the influence our life has in the people around us is positive. It comes when we learn to grab and appreciate moments of beauty that we might once have overlooked. It is materialized inwardly and carried out. Happiness comes from finding comfort in our life in spite of circumstance. It comes from resting in the peace that all we are is fully invested in the betterment of not only our life, but also this world.
These are my parting words for 2013. There was so much more I wish I could have written. So many more lessons I had to share, but for now this will have to do, and you will have to keep reading throughout 2014 to see what they were.