Life is what you make it, seriously! I hated always hearing that as it frustrated me deeply to hear something put so simply, yet so complicated. I see this phrase best when describing it with a sunglass metaphor. How you see the world depends on how you process the world, like a filter on your Instagram photo, can change one photo can look over and over again. Similarly, sunglasses will change how you see your surroundings. So, I ask you, what sunglasses do you put on when you head out into the world? How do they allow you to view life that is right before you? Do they distort your reality? Or do they make life more clear, more beautiful? Do you get the polarized lens for more protection? What lens you are looking the world at will dictate how you perceive the world. Luckily, you aren’t stuck with seeing life in one filter and you can decide which filter to use and when!
Before I moved away from the Lone Star state, I had my work team in Houston thoughtfully write out five nice things about their co-workers and then placed them anonymously in an envelope, decorated with each person’s name on it. I still haven’t read all of it as I save them for moments where I humanly need the positive and uplifting words. Having already had one of those times, I opened one of the folded small pieces of papers inside and it said:
Contradicting that beautifully written poetry that somehow someone used to describe myself, I thought of how I wouldn’t describe myself with those words. I know my demons and what I struggle with internally, and I felt a small win feeling like I was putting out into the world the image I wanted to portray. However, I still craved to truly believe those words to my core. I am quite an open-book and a very honest person and I will throw myself under the bus if it meant helping someone out or make someone’s failure feel less isolating and defeating. This is why I continue to write to share my thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams and hopefully, along the way I discover a deeper understanding of myself.
Sometimes, out of fear, I completely close myself off to anything new and potentially exciting. Wanting to stay “as is” in the steady safe state I can find myself in my sometimes very dark and quiet apartment. I am the most introverted extrovert/extroverted introvert that may exist. When I can be so introverted, I can get stuck in that dark, quiet, and (at first) peaceful place I find myself wanting to stay in. It’s safe, no one usually has the power to hurt me in any way there. In this safe place, I usually have my food and my dogs and the sky is bright fucking blue, so I think. The problem with this ignorant stagnation is I am missing out on SO MUCH LIFE. I am selling myself short and settling- and this thought absolutely disturbs me. Time is the one thing you can not get back in life, so we all must be careful with how we spend our time. When I find myself alone in my elected isoltation, crazy, unhealthy questions haunt my thoughts and influence my mind:
If I go out…
What if something bad happens?
What if I get robbed?
What if I get into an accident?
What if I run out of money?
If I stay here inside…
Will I ever meet anyone? Friends? Lovers?
What if I never fall in love?
What if I just waste my time not doing anything new?
But, WHAT IF you run out of time in the limited game called “life?” That is when you realize you lived a safer life to live a longer life but without actually having actually lived. That is not a way to live, not for me. Like I said, time is the only thing that is lost in life and that you can not get more of. So, DO NOT TAKE TIME FOR GRANTED.
For me, I choose to live the fullest life I am capable of living, even if it means I take risks that may result in me experiencing the final human experience: death. Now don’t get me wrong, I surely will be an want to be smart about my decisions that I make, but I don’t want fear to hold me back from honoring what I truly want in life. My happiness is at stake if I stay in that mentally limiting box. Yours may be too. That is the one “what if” I CAN NOT LIVE WITH. Can you? Giving myself such melodramatic ultimatums triggers swift change within me. There are reminders everywhere as to how fragile life is and how fleeting it can be.
Most recently for me, it was losing my Grandpa on my 28th birthday. Here I am celebrating life, and my Grandpa is losing his. Quite ironic, and very heavy to hear after a night of partying with your new friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My family was oddly quiet though texting and social media when my birthday came in. In the morning, my mom made sure that I hear the news from her. It struck me like daggers. I haven’t even considered losing my Grandpa, I planned on seeing him again in the future and that was no longer an option for me. My heart ached, and I felt guilty for not seeing him more. I had let time swallow me whole and grab control of my life. I had lost sight of what was important in life. I cried and thought about what I should do with these emotions. I am great at ‘losing it’ and wanted to make this hurt into something positive, and as I was reflecting on this moment I realized this was yet another clue reinforcing my mission on Finding and Creating my Neverland. I have one life. It is not guaranteed, and so with the moments I do have, I will not sit idle anymore, and I will live fearlessly and do what makes me happy.
Today, I felt compelled to go out and walk around the beautiful city of Atlanta with my two loyal pups: Teddy & Jackson, just as Peter & I did when we first met. The weather was beautiful and commanded us three to go out and play!
My pups have been my greatest emotional support and givers of unconditional love! I don’t deserve them, but I do try to earn there love every day! They are the absolute best and they are the keepers of my heart! #doglover
We went down North Avenue and took a quick right onto Central Park. That is when we saw it, the setting up of the two upcoming music Festivals: Shaky Beats and Shaky Knees. Personally, I am going to Shaky Beats and was so excited to see this process early on. The dogs and I walked down the street attempting to capture some snap chats to share our excitement for having this party in our backyard. I definitely feel a rooftop pre-game party before each day and a future blog post about that exciting adventure!
We crossed the street to get closer and walk through the center of Atlanta’s Central Park. This older man walked towards us. He was white-haired and balding. He wore a white shirt with a tan sweater and khakis. He introduced himself while admiring my two trusty sidekicks. He seemed like a happy ol’ fella; his name was Larry Kennedy. Teddy and Jackson could barely contain their love for some more attention and then quickly began staring down all the neighboring squirrels and birds while Larry and enjoyed some conversation.
Larry asked if I knew what was being set up. I tried to explain EDM (electric-dance-music) to him, and started sharing with him Zedd, The Middle and Marshmellow’s Friends. I was pleasantly surprised, he knew the songs that I was sharing. He then shared some of his music with me. Of course, he definitely had better taste in music, so I was very happy to be so enlightened with some new sounds.
Sufjan Stevens is the artist’s music he shared with me. I fell instantly in love with his sound and I hope you enjoy him too!
Larry was such a delight to meet and speak with. I instantly was so glad that I decided to leave my apartment and go venture out for a walk. I shared with him how I am planning to go to Paris and a handful of other European destinations this summer. He asked if I read the New York Times from this past Sunday, I had not. Apparently, there was an article about tourists and Paris and he said I would probably “find it to my liking.
Larry and I finished our walk through the park. I said goodbye to my new friend he said he would see me later. I walked away hoping that I would, in fact, have the chance to see him again. He was a nice guy and I loved that life brought him into mine. Conversations with people are a lost treasure with how plugged in we all are to our phones. Being reminded of the goodness in the world was always so refreshing and absolutely priceless in a world that puts the negative under the most powerful microscopes.
So yes, I do believe, life is truly what you make it and it is not crazy to share this not always so obvious truth. It all starts with your thoughts and how you view the world. If you want to change your life, change your thoughts and start there. It can be as simple as choosing 3 daily affirmations to say to yourself -or- listing three things you are grateful for every day.
It is something that is to be mastered over time and not overnight. Remember, you are in control of what pair of sunglasses you put on to view the world- and you can change the pair at any time. You create your life, and in turn, you create your happiness; you are just required to take charge and lead the life you want to live.
What is it that you have been putting off until the perfect time? What is it that you literally have been waiting for the stars to align to do Are you waiting for you to be debt free to finally do something? Don’t wait for all of that shit to be perfect. Remember, all of our time is limited and we have to start enjoying the seconds we have. Make space in your life for it now.
I ask myself, what is it that I would regret NOT DOING if I died tomorrow? I answer this question honestly and try to make that day my very best day! If you use this method before you know it, you will have 7 days in a row that are perfect and full of life and that equals a week. It is also okay to allow yourself a quiet day to go out and wander and enjoy mother nature- or stay inside and nap. Whatever it is, honor who you are and do it. You deserve it!
How do you give yourself the willpower to realize you have the wrong pair of sunglasses on? How do you get yourself to change the damn pair? That can be ever challenging in overcoming our human behavior and thought processes! Building the courage and willpower to make bold and risky choices is the activation energy required to make such a change!
Comment below to share how you personally have achieved such a paradigm mental shift!