“People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.”
To achieve happiness, you must not seek happiness directly, you must strangely motivate yourself towards things unrelated to happiness, like the collection of stamps.
This is another quote I’ve kept close over the years. In fact I look at it every day, sometimes more than once. I don’t want to lessen the impact with too many words of my own, but I will say that I believe this to be the best possible way to love. Love others through admiration and through appreciation. Love others as parallels to yourself and do not feel the need to claim them as your own. If you can learn to love in this fashion the ugliness of jealousy and anger seems to surface much less in your relationships.
It is astonishing how quickly time goes by. It’s been almost two years now since I lost two friends in a matter of weeks. The winter of 2012 was a tough one, laced with constant reminders of how short life can truly be. Life doesn’t come with any warnings and it definitely doesn’t come with any guarantees. The value of living in the moment became clearer than ever that winter.
The friends I lost were two of the most vivacious people I have ever met, they truly understood what it meant to live. Bob lived life to the absolute fullest. He took risks and was happy doing what he loved. Kayla was a beautiful girl, inside and out, and was such a force of good in the world. The two of them have taught me more about myself and the world around me than I ever would have thought possible.
Some of the most basic lessons tend to be the ones that are the most difficult to embrace. I try to live by these few simple rules so that one day when it is my time to go, people will be proud to have known me and called me their daughter, friend, girlfriend, coworker, etc.
1. Do the things that make you happy and don’t waste precious time on things that don’t.
2. Always give back to your world, in any way you can. Nothing is too small or too insignificant.
3. Be with the people who you love and who love you back.
4. Don’t dwell on the negative. Life is all about attitude and perspective.
5. Tomorrow is not a guarantee, it is a gift, and what you choose to do with it is up to you.
What I find so beautiful about the start of a new year is that so many people believe that it has the power to bring with it the start of something good. These people have the undying desire to constantly become better versions of themselves and with the new year comes an opportunity to begin again, to start fresh. Although many people end up with unfulfilled resolutions by the end of the year, the belief that next year will be better still lives inside most of our minds.
We are all learning, growing and changing every minute of every day. Nothing in life is static. Change is inevitable and such a beautiful thing. Those who don’t learn to embrace this constant change will be left living in the past. Why fill today with yesterday’s worries? Living in the moment means accepting things for what they are and learning to see the beauty in all of it.
The amazing thing about living in a constant state of change is that good things have the ability to become great things and bad things will eventually disappear.
Comfort leads to complacency, which is something I believe we should all strive to avoid. When you become too comfortable where you are or with what you are doing, things slowly begin to fail. There is always more for you to do, for you to achieve or for you to be. In the same vein, we should not live our lives unsatisfied or unhappy with who we are, but instead we should not become so blind to new opportunities and experiences that we avoid them altogether.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all- in which case, you fail by default.”
Failure generates fear. Fear of trying again, fear of embarrassment, fear of disappointment. But when failure results in fear, it can impact how we live so much so that we end up not living at all. We must embrace both the fear of failing and failure itself in order to embrace new challenges and opportunities that come our way.
Failure is such a strong word with such a negative connotation, but is failure really so bad? How would we ever learn if we were never faced with failure? The most important life experiences involve failing at one time or another, learning from that failure and growing because of it.
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” -Imaginary Foundation
I’m sitting in the airport, it’s a little after 5am. Much too early for a Saturday morning, but I’m too excited to care. The air outside is cool and crisp. The drive to the airport was relaxing; leaves changing colors lined the roads, none of the usual beltway traffic, a warm mug of apple cider and my iTunes library to keep me company for the hour long drive. I really love airports and flying. It’s amazing to me that such a heavy chunk of metal filled with hundreds of pounds of people and luggage can fly so high above the world.
My favorite thing about flying is the anonymity. Where is everyone going? Why is the family of four in front of me in the security line in such a rush? Are they late for a tropical family vacation or maybe a loved one is sick and they can’t help but be upset and scared?
There are lots of people in the armed forces here this morning. Are they heading home to see loved ones? Are they headed off to their first tour, or maybe their 5th? Will they be home in time for the holidays?
Is everyone looking at me, a 20-something-year-old girl with one small carry-on typing furiously on her iPhone, and wondering what I am doing and where I am going too?
I’ll probably never know the answer to most, if not all, of these questions. Neither will anyone else. You can be whoever you want to be when you fly somewhere new, to a place that isn’t home.