In today’s world, it’s sometimes hard to forget that we’re all one thing: human (Unless you’re not, and you’re some other type of being---but hey---this is the track I’m on right now). Human. It’s so weird to think about, because humans in their nature are extremely complex. Think of it this way, when you picture a shark, you mostly know what a shark does. Sharks, in their very nature are of course, well, sharks. They troll the ocean, will pretty much eat anything, and if given the opportunity, will do so. I’m not the kind of person that desires to swim with sharks, or any other sea creature really. Nevertheless, if an animal, reptile, fish, etc. is in the wild, we mostly likely have a good idea of what that creature is capable of.
Humans are not this way. We are all inhabiting this Earth together, but each of our stories are different. Like an intricately woven textile in a Victorian era home. The textiles of our lives are all original, one-of-a-kind works of art. I like to think of each and every person in my life as a walking novel. Each piece of their story combining with mine to create an anthology of sorts, I suppose.
You’re probably wondering why I’m rambling about sharks and humans and textiles and novels. I suppose, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about myself as a human, and who I am in this very state today. As per the usual, with my 29th birthday rapidly approaching---I like to stop and reflect upon my own human nature.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been attempting to take a life poll. I ask the same question to various people: “If you had to explain or describe me to someone, what would you say?”
Here are some of the answers I’ve gotten. Some very honest, which I appreciate. Some quite comical (since I also polled a 7 year old):
· Fiercely loyal
· Cold at times
· Don’t be mean to Alex, or she’ll punch you in the face (...laughing as I type this)
I’m sure there’s more—but I am drawing a blank. Some of this is raw. When you hear something negative about yourself, your first inclination is to vehemently deny it. That’s what I did. It’s hard to hear that you’re judgmental and uptight. BUT—when I really reflected…when I really took all of these comments into consideration, I realized that I am all of these things. For sure. As with any person, there are things about me that I don’t like. That I would prefer to change. But our flaws help to make us who we are. Each person in this world possesses both good and bad traits. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that neither these good or bad traits define us. I’d like to think they bring us balance and make us whole. As long as you don’t let one shine more than the other…..
So here’s the question that’s been running through my mind over and over for the past month or so:
What are you going to do to end your 20’s in a positive and meaningful way?
And so…I’ve decided to make 29 affirmations, for my 29th year of life. I guess, also, some of these are words of wisdom for my brain. More so than affirmations. Nevertheless, I write these thoughts down, with the promise that I will try to embrace and remember all of them in one way or another…..
1. I will try to live my life in the sunshine---rather than the cloudiness. Life is all about balance. After all, it’s so much easier to appreciate the beautiful days after the not-so-nice days.
2. A very important, very wise person in my life always tells me ‘You create with your thoughts’ (or at least…I think that’s the jest of it). Either way, I’m starting to believe that this is very much the truth. I guess, I better start creating.
3. Dreaming isn’t meaningless, nor does it waste time. Sometimes our dreams a really big—and that’s okay. It’s okay to dream---even when you’re very much a realist.
4. Ignoring problems does not make them go away. Ignoring feelings, doesn’t make them any less apparent. When you do this, those feelings or problems come back in full force, and those situations are magnified.
5. Be diligent in working towards what you want. There’s always tomorrow, yes. However, how many times can a person say ‘Tomorrow’? If you want something, you are the only person that can make that happen.
6. To build off of that, be willing to make sacrifices in order for those things to happen. The Titanic wasn’t built in a day---and it wasn’t easy to build. After all that hard work, it turned out to be more beautiful than anyone could ever imagine. There’s always, always beauty in the hard work that’s been put in to building something.
7. Embrace your sacrifices, and don’t let them make you bitter. Everyone has to make them once in a while.
8. You are where you are for a reason. No matter how much you try to plan your life, there’s always an unexpected factor there. That mystery, the unknown really scares some—and I know I am scared to death of it. Mostly because I love control. But I have to let go…because sometimes letting go allows some of the most amazing things to happen in your life.
9. Relax. Not even in a like, sit in a hammock and read a book way. Like, in a ‘relax, all of this anxiety you create over stupid things can’t be good for your health, way’. So just let the chips fall where they may.
10. Things are never as bad as you think they might be---and if they are, then deal with them accordingly.
11. People say there is such a thing as being ‘too nice’. I tend to agree, sometimes. However, I truly believe that paying it forward creates good karma. I just have to learn, also, that saying ‘no’ isn’t a bad thing.
12. It’s okay to say ‘no’ when you don’t want to do something. Even if someone gets upset, why cause yourself the anxiety of doing something you don’t want to do?
13. Stop overthinking. There are consequences for all actions, yes. However, you act a certain way, and say certain things at certain times because in that moment, you thought it was right. It doesn’t necessarily make that behavior right. This life is all about learning, and so, you can regret things---but the more you overthink them—the more pain you cause yourself. Do what is right in your heart. If there’s an aftermath, use it as an opportunity to learn.
14. Open your heart. In more ways than one.
15. Give people a chance.
16. Courage is everything. Get some this year, okay? ;)
17. Embrace those closest to you when you’re not feeling ‘yourself’. The more you push them away, the worse off you are.
18. Work towards the things you want to accomplish. Yeah, something always ‘comes up’ but stick to your plan.
19. Stop procrastinating all of the damn time.
20. When someone says something you don’t like, tell them. It doesn’t mean you have to be confrontational about it---just be comfortable speaking your mind.
21. Slow down every once in a while. Sometimes, it’s okay to just sit and be home.
22. Even though you need to speak your mind, try to be thoughtful when doing so.
23. Embrace the ups and downs of life—they make for one hell of a story.
24. Find a way to surprise yourself at least once a week.
25. Keep in touch with the ones you love—and make more of an effort to do so.
26. You can always be more thankful. Always.
27. Focus on the things you want, but never, ever take what you have for granted.
28. Be more patient.
29. Stop worrying about 10, 20, 30 years from now. You’re so worried about the future, you’re missing the ‘right now’. Let go of your fear---and just live.
While this all might be common sense, and most of it is---some of these affirmations, life words of wisdom, etc. are a lot easier said than done. Nevertheless, I truly believe if you write things down, you have more of a tendency to digest them. So that’s what I’ve done. I know that this is going to be a huge year of reflection for me. Since I’m going into my 9 year. It might drive me insane, but it also might be good. I think I’m ready for it though.
What's life anyway, without a little insanity?