here's what i looked like today, my last day of being twenty-six, while i was writing this post
Tomorrow is my twenty-seventh birthday, so I thought today I would share with you a few - admittedly heavy - things I've learned in my twenty-sixth year, that I consider important.
+ We live in a scary world. And sometimes, the events that happen in this world will make you want to fold in on yourself, never leave your house, & become a hermit. BUT this is not the answer. Rather than locking yourself indoors like you'd like to, go out & live your life each day. Worrying about things that are out of your control is futile. I've decided the best thing for me to do is pray to God for the safety of myself & my loved ones. Hand over your problems & worries to God, as they say. This affords extreme comfort in the face of these scary situations.
+ We also live in a beautiful world. People are out there helping others each day. Some are researchers, slaving away in laboratories to discover elusive cures to diseases; some are social workers, delivering aid to those who need it the most; some are doctors, tending to the sick; some are simply people, loving others unconditionally & outwardly. And then, there's artistic expression, which will overwhelm you with its awesomeness, if you will let it. Focus on these things, not the bad, & your life will improve exponentially.
+ One of the most groundbreaking things [personally speaking] that I have discovered this year is, I guess, something that I didn't really discover, but rather learned how to recognize in myself. For years, I have had episodes of random restlessness, anxiety, & pit-in-my-stomach worry. And I've learned to recognize it as.... anxiety. That may sound silly, but if you don't know that what you're experiencing is anxiety, it can make it an even scarier, even more anxiety-producing thing. When I start feeling that feeling, I can now identify it, & tell myself that it will pass, & that makes all the difference in the world.
+ The smallest things are what matter the most. This sounds like a cliche', & it pretty much is, but I'll give you an example to make it a little less cliche'-y. The night before my wedding day, I was very stressed out. Not because I was nervous - I knew better than I knew anything ever before that Justin was the person I was supposed to be marrying. The stress was more related to the details of the wedding, & I think anyone who has gotten married can relate. But after the rehearsal dinner, & after Justin & I had exchanged gifts, my bridesmaids & house party gave me a lingerie shower in our cottage. We sipped champagne, I opened pink boxes, & we all laughed & had a great time. But here is where the little thing comes in: One of the girls gifted me with the movie Bridesmaids that night, & one of the other girls had their husband come into the cottage & hook a laptop up to the TV so we could all lie in bed & watch it. I cannot express to you the comfort & ease this very small act provided me. Aside from the obvious - marrying my best friend, Justin - this is my favorite memory of my wedding.
+ Your life is going to progress, whether you like it or not. The ONLY thing you can do is make the most of it. Live your life the way you want to, be friends with those that you want to be friends with, & love on those in your life that you couldn't imagine being without. It is extremely morbid to think of the terminal quality of life, but it is a fact that I was confronted with when I took my Developmental Psychology course this summer. Rather than getting depressed over the indisputable fact that life as we know it on this planet will one day end, I have decided to celebrate my pants off. Celebrate the fact that I've woken to another glorious day of life. Celebrate the fact that I've finally become a morning person. Celebrate the fact that I like my handwriting. Celebrate the fact that I've got a husband, family, & friends who love me, despite my obvious flaws. Celebrate the fact that I am blessed enough to be in school again.
C E L E B R A T E. Everything. Nothing is too small to celebrate. I repeat, nothing.
So, there you have it. The things I've learned this year. The things that have changed my life.
Have you discovered anything lately that's changed your perspective? Please, do share.