Archive for the ‘ Life Lessons ’ Category

Goodbye

The past month has been an emotional one. There was shock, anger, anxiety, stress, hatred, reflection. Now there is just a constant feeling of sadness that lingers over every day. It’s draining. It dulls the rest of my senses. I don’t know how to deal with it. I wish I could just turn it off and make it disappear. I’ve always done it that way. Running and hiding from things so you don’t have to deal with them. Because, eventually, everything takes care of itself, right? This chapter of life will wrap itself up for me and I can just sit back and watch, right?

But, I’m starting to wonder if this time the only solution is to face it head-on. Fight through. Ask the difficult questions, find the even more difficult answers. Learn things about life, deal with them, learn about yourself. After all, isn’t this what life’s all about–experiencing things and learning from them? Taking the bad and reworking it until there’s only good left? Actually putting an effort?

Through all this pain I have learned a lot. I have learned a lot about certain people in my life, that they are more than I ever conceived they could be. I have learned the true value of friendship, family, and love. I have learned about sacrifice, time, and influence. And I have had to adjust some of my own personal views on these things based on what I have seen. I have learned that some of the clichés in life really are true, that “life’s too short” and “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”. I have been broken down, but I’m trying to allow myself to be rebuilt. And that rebuilding will be reinforced with the love of my family, the realisation of how much people mean to me, and the choice to live my life differently so that I can be everything he didn’t get the chance to be and so I can maybe help prevent something similar from happening in the future.

We are forever changed. And it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. For now, I don’t know when it’ll get easier. But it has to. Eventually. Don’t run from this. Embrace it. Learn. Grow. Remain together; because at the end of the day the two constants that always remain are family and love.

Hugs and strength. I miss him so much.

Jez

This post is dedicated to a beautiful life. My cousin, Jez.
February 25, 1990 ~ June 13, 2013

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We run, faces to the wind,
It’ll get easier when you breathe it in.
Fall, gently give in,
Swallowin’ the air and rain on skin.

Hurts will come undone,
All that we’ll become –
Rise and fall behind,
Weightless in rewind.

Happy Failing: How to Turn Your Failures into Successes

My boyfriend Jonathan, who is the brain behind In The Limelight, recently posted an interesting article called Learning From Success Versus Learning From Failure and it got me to thinking. He states that learning from failure is an ineffective way to learn and that often times people don’t even learn anything when they fail because they are too discouraged by their shortcoming to even try to see the positive side.

I agree that failure is an ineffective way to learn something. However, it is at the very least an opportunity to learn something. One can take a failure and just stare at it and think “I’m such a stupid person, all I can do is fail, fail, fail. I can never do anything right. This must be a sign that I just suck at life.” And then from there, they choose to lead a very unfulfilling life because they have “learned” from failure that they are incapable of becoming anything great, achieving anything of significance, or meaning anything at all to another human being. And so they invest everything in this way of thinking and begin a downward spiral of not allowing themselves to try anything at all because there is even a risk of failure. They allow the failure to take them over and stagnate their lives. This way of thinking is, in a sense, failure.

On the flip side, if one experiences failure and confronts it head on and decides that, yes, they can learn something from this, then I think they are allowing themselves to become more as a person. They have recognized the failure, realized that they did something wrong and chosen to move beyond it instead of letting it be a permanent obstacle. It is through admitting that you were wrong and acknowledging the fact that sometimes you don’t necessarily do everything right the first time that you are not allowing failure to get the better of you, thus allowing yourself to live a more free life. This all takes a lot of humility because who wants to admit they were wrong? However, if you step back and have that humility, in the end, it is so worth it compared to the alternative.

I know this is true because I have experienced some pretty big and significant failures in my life. And at first I allowed them to consume me. I turned into a depressed, unmotivated person. I didn’t want to try again because I was afraid that I would only continue to fail and I didn’t want to experience the feeling of letting yourself or those around you down again. Luckily I slowly began to realize that this way of thinking would never allow me to even go back to where I was in life before I failed, let alone ever go beyond that. That was when I took hold of my failures, saw them for what they were, admitted I had failed (which by the way is very hard, if you are not a humble person by nature, like me) learned all the intricacies of each one (the whys and the hows), and made peace with myself through recognizing that I had failed and not allowing myself to continue in the downward thinking of never being able to succeed. Through that process I turned those failures from obstacles into opportunities. And the feeling of making peace with yourself and your mistakes is such a huge relief.

Of course, you’re probably thinking, it would be nice to have never had to deal with those failures in the first place. But then, those things wouldn’t be a part of our lives, and I honestly believe that everything we experience shapes us into who we are at this very moment. You can go through life with an “avoidist” kind of attitude, keeping yourself away from any chance of failure, but I think that kind of lifestyle only makes boring people who don’t take risks. I believe the better option is to can go through life taking those risks and when failure does come to learn from the mistake. Or better yet, take the risk and reap the joys of the great successes that came as a result, because without those risks, there would never even be a possibility of success.

Sure learning from failure is an inefficient way of learning, and I most certainly wouldn’t suggest going out and trying all the options you have knowing you’ll fail in the off-chance that you might learn something. No. But it’s all in how you look at it. Approaching all things in life with an open mind and trying to pick yourself up each time you do something wrong. Taking risks and hoping for the best. Putting value in the lessons you have learned from failure and rejoicing in all of your successes. I guess it’s easier said than done, but then again, I am an eternal optimist. In any case, I wish you, with the greatest sincerity “happy failing”.

Inspiration, Finally

I am a different person.

Let me be more specific: I am a different person than I was two months ago.

Two months ago I was searching, meandering through life. Doing everything and anything with the hope of finding some form of meaning or self-worth. I had lost many pieces of myself, pieces which made me into who I am. Things I valued, things I loved, things I wanted, things I didn’t. I was pursuing valueless things with disregard for any moral implications or social consequences. I was living for myself, not in a good way, but in a haphazardly selfish way.

Then something happened.

I cannot describe exactly what it was, because it was truly an experience that could not have happened had not each piece of the puzzle been placed exactly where it was. Somehow, I stumbled upon something so supremely unique and wonderful. I don’t know how I was privileged enough to have had this happen to me, but it did.

I met someone. Someone who, over the span of the past few weeks, has quickly become my world. Someone who means everything to me.

Now you may be thinking, ‘hah, this is typical. Girl meets boy. Girl falls for boy. But it’s just lustful infatuation. They’ll be together for a while but it won’t last.’ I can say wholeheartedly that this is not the case.

How do I know? Many reasons.

No one has ever inspired me on so many different levels. Since I have gotten to know this person, I have rediscovered things I used to value, chosen new paths to follow, closed doors that should never have been opened in the first place, found reason to seek after things that used to drive me, and reevaluated what truly matters to me.

To give this a bit more meaning:

  • I have rediscovered my love for food and cooking, two things that used to be very important to me
  • I have learned that meaningless relationships with no future are pointless and demeaning, and that meaningful relationships with commitment and care are the only kind of relationships that truly satisfy in all spheres of life
  • I have decided to make certain lifestyle choices to make me a better, healthier person
  • I have found new inspiration with which to express myself through the art of music
  • I have chosen once and for all to become drug-free and remain so for the rest of my life (this decision helped me really search myself and find that I never really liked drugs. Somehow it got buried along the way with all my other values when I stopped caring and went on my whole selfish eff-the-world-attitude spree)

Along with all of the above, I have also begun living my life without just myself in mind. I have fallen so deeply for this person that I am beginning to care so much about them that I want to do everything I can to make their life happier. I evaluate my decisions less from a selfish point of view and more from a point of view that takes others into consideration as well.

I cannot describe how much this person means to me. I cannot try to describe how much I care for this person. In such a short period of time, they have turned my world upside down and turned me inside out. And guess what? I like it. My life has never been in a more positive place.

———————————————————————————————————————-

I have made a choice
today and always
to be a better person

You have given me reason
to become,
something new and beautiful

And yet, it isn’t really new
it is something that was
there all along

You have helped me
rediscover who I am,
what really matters most.

That which I had lost,
you helped me find
and I found even more than I originally had

I am inspired,
I am renewed,
I am finally, truly, me.

Carbonated Emotions

There are two parts to moving on: mentally and emotionally, the first of which is easier. You can consciously choose to move on in your head and therefore be mentally past whatever it is you are moving on from. However, you cannot necessarily control the emotional aspect of moving on. Sometimes you can think that you’re past something, really believe you are. You might say things like “I’ve chosen to deal with such and such and have moved above and beyond this…I am no longer allowing this to rule my life”. You can even live your life as if such a thing is true. And it may be true. But if you are [unexpectedly] put back into the situation or introduced to an evolved form of the situation even though you’ve made that decision mentally your emotions might not follow suit.

Life’s experiences can so deeply affect us that it is difficult to move on emotionally. Especially if you are the type of person to bottle up your emotions. They come out in unpredictable ways. Kind of like something under pressure–calm when not disturbed, volatile when shaken up. All of this time they, the emotions, have been held in, enclosed without escape, suddenly there is a small moment of vulnerability and everything spews out from within.

How do you fully move on from something? Because the feeling of moving on is a freeing feeling, I know, I’ve experienced it. I’ve experienced mentally moving on from something. And I’ve experienced the feeling of release and freedom from your bondage to that situation through mentally moving on. However, at the time I felt that I had fully moved on. Recently I realized, while I may have moved on mentally, I hadn’t completely moved on emotionally. That realization was a scary thought. I was forced back into a situation I thought I had freed myself from, forced to experience it again. It was painful, and I’m still trying to deal with my emotions and learn how to move on in that sense.

The only solution that I can come up with to help in the process of moving on from something fully is this: continued character growth, continued self-discovery, continued progress on the journey ahead. Finding out the “whys” and “hows” of the past. Choosing to embrace the things that have happened in your life as key experiences that have helped mould you into the person you are today. Choosing to deal with things instead of burying them underneath all the other baggage that is a part of your life. Not allowing yourself to focus on the past with of all its “what if this had happened” and “I wish I had done that better”. Instead, realizing the mistakes you made and taking those lessons away from the situation and bringing them along with you as you pursue your future.

I’m trying to figure this one out here because I’ve been without a solution for some time. I believe that the feeling of freedom is within my grasp, I just have to have the courage to move through everything to get there. It is a tough choice to make, one that will require a lot of strength, strength that I don’t necessarily have.

Philosophical Ponderings I

I used to think that you had to know everything about something before you undertook it. That you had to know where you were going to end up before you started down any path. That lack of direction meant that you had no direction at all. That indecision was a decision in and of itself and that in it you were only choosing incorrectly. That everything was black and white and there was no in between.

I was wrong.

I have learned that it is better to be tossed about by the wind and the waves than to simply float along, that it is better to allow yourself to experience something unfamiliar than to sit back and let it wash over you as if it never happened.

Because life is meant for experiencing. To fully experience something is to allow that experience to take a part of you away and shape it into something new before giving it back. When we consciously make this choice, the choice to allow something new and unfamiliar into our lives, to not be afraid, then our lives are truly shaped. We become more than we used to be. We exist. Through every facet of our journey we become who we are, moulded by each moment and each memory. Without this we are nothing. Choosing the comfort of safety and familiarity makes our lives mundane; we don’t allow ourselves to grow, we stifle ourselves.

Life can be what you make of it, but it is also what you allow it to make of you.