One thing I have come to love and appreciate about life is how beautifully unexpected it can be.
I've been looking at my life and myself a lot differently lately. There are a lot of big changes happening for me right now. I've been desperately wanting to talk about it but I had no idea where to start. I saw this article and it definitely pointed me in the right direction. I instantly realized that the anxiety I was feeling and pressure I was putting on myself wasn't about the big events happening to me, it was about my attitude towards them.
Some people love change, they thrive on it. Others hate it and avoid it at all cost. I have always loved change and mixing things up just for the sake of it. Any kind of change in my life used to fill me with this excitement and joy for the future. It was my way to really dig into what makes me happy and know deep down I was getting closer and closer to it. However, lately it is completely throwing me off my game. I have been in the same place geographically, professionally and personally for longer than usual and I didn't realize how much I had settled into that rut in my life. It was scary how comfortable I had gotten with just coasting along. I have been ecstatic about the awesome things that have happened in my life the past couple months, but even though I am happy I still find myself being fearful and restless about the future. This is new for me because I used to face life challenges fearlessly; I guess the younger you are the more invincible you feel. The truth is I think we view the world as younger people the way we are always meant to view the world - with confidence and an almost childlike innocence and optimism. Over time negative life experiences start to tear away at our superhero capes and we find ourselves feeling the way I have felt these past couple months.
Until recently I thought my learned "realism" and cautiousness about the future was good because it was protecting me. Now I realize how oppressive, hindering and negative it is. From what did I think I was protecting myself ? New experiences, fun, awesome feelings, new opportunities and learning more about myself? Yea, that sounds pretty terrible!
Thanksgiving is my absolute most favorite holiday. With it almost here....change is what I am most thankful for.
Oh - and one last little nugget of advice and challenge for the holidays. Every day until Christmas, get creative with what you are thankful for. There are so many things beyond the obvious we forget. Today I am thankful for stolen moments caused by my incredibly slow phone and computer--at least I have them. In that time they are slow, it gives me a couple more minutes to be calm and reflect on the day.
I have one last thought that poked my heart today. The lady who makes my sandwiches at the hospital I work for asked if I was ready for Thanksgiving. I said, "Yes, as much as I will be." I asked her if she was also and she said, "Yes, well my husband passed away 4 months ago so it will be the first holiday without him." Luckily she will be spending it with a close friend with whom she is now living. It was unexpected for me to hear that and it quickly reminded me of all I really have and how none of it is guaranteed forever. Please keep this quote close to you this holiday season:
Give a stranger a smile, it might be the only sunshine he sees all day.