A Tangled Path to Acceptance

Let me ask you this on this Friday morning: how often have you looked back on your life, no matter how positive or not so positive it has been and regretted a choice, thought, or decision you’ve made? To that end, how many times have you thought, if only? If only I had made a different decision or choice – if only I had taken a chance, or maybe, if only I hadn’t taken that chance? It is often easier and even, sadly, a widely-accepted social norm to berate or chastise oneself for the decisions one made or didn’t make.

Instead of focusing on the reasons WHY we made that particular decision or choice, we focus on where it has lead us to, what we have lost, or the ramifications of it. Instead of focusing on what actually drove these past choices, we may ruminate, analyze, or play out scenarios in our head of what our lives might have been like if we’d made different choices or taken different paths. Often times, this only leads us to sadness or regret and as a result, we spend much of our time dwelling in the past, envisioning a life we don’t have instead of relishing in what we DO have and the time we have been given to live it.

On the flip side, there can in fact be positives to reflecting on the past. It can keep us from making future poor decisions or provide us with insight into difficult choices, decisions and other situations within our lives. Self-acceptance has often been something I’ve struggled with in particular through the years and acknowledging where I am at the present time. Being kinder to myself is something I hope and wish to employ at I begin my 28th year on Tuesday, May 3rd.

Begin Again quote

As I said last year on my 27th birthday, for those of you who may recall, birthdays for me are often a chance to set a new goal, a new dream, or maybe the decision to choose to pursue a goal I neglected, but always harbored within me. With that being said, my goal for my 28th year, is to acknowledge I may not have or be living the life I believed I would, but then again, when I envisioned my life, I was a very young, impressionable adolescent or child, unaware of what life could bring or what I could encounter. I didn’t realize that the plans we make for ourselves can and will change as we grow and develop as a person and see more of what life has to offer. Some of these changes will be positive, some of them will be negative, but just because the path I thought I would take is vastly different, does not mean it is the one I will always lead. To get what we aspire to have out of life, we have to start somewhere. This year will be the year I decide to acknowledge what I’ve lost and the choices I made, but instead of ruminating and wallowing in self-pity, will choose to start again and adjust my sails.

After all, there truly is no time limit on when we can achieve our dreams or set new goals; why not start now?

Starting Over quote

A Call for Inspiration

It’s been several weeks since I last posted and to be honest, my inspiration has been lacking. With a lot going on personally and emotionally, it’s been challenging to sit down and compose a blog post that not only makes sense, but is readable. That being said, I thought I would share something that recently happened to me the other night as I settled into my bed. It wasn’t anything shocking or strange, but still something I would at least consider poignant (if to no one else, for me, personally).

On Wednesday night, shortly after about 10pm or so, I made my way upstairs to my room to prepare for bed. It was as typical as it usually is, with my nighttime routine of washing my face, applying face medicine, and plugging in my cell phone to charge for the night and then settling into bed. Often, if I can, I will read the current library book I have for a short time before I feel sleep on the horizon. However, on Wednesday night, my mind felt cluttered and a need for release. Looking around my room for paper, there was nothing to be found and feeling lazy, I crept outside my room, and grabbed a small piece of printer paper, needing something to release the thoughts circulating through my mind. You might be wondering why I simply didn’t reach for my laptop (and other than it was downstairs at the time), on occasion when I become inspired to write about something truly personal to me, handwriting on a traditional, plain sheet of paper is often my best bet. Sometimes, when handwriting, I feel like I suddenly become more in control and able to designate everything I write. There is no need for backspace, spell check, or the tempting allure of the internet. It is solely the paper, pen or other writing utensil and my thoughts. It is freeing to me, in a sense.

Second Chance Quote

So with the blank sheet of printer paper on top of my comforter on my lap and my pen at hand, I began to write. Unreservedly, the words began to flow from my mind and heart. Before I knew it, the words began to form that of a poem, something that really hasn’t resulted in several years, as I felt devoid of inspiration and a muse. This particular night though, for some reason, the words released like a river from my mind, quickly filling the paper. I was suddenly filled with emotions that had been building inside of me for weeks, or even months, needing a release. It was a reminder to me of the importance of keeping sheets of paper, or a notebook by my bedside, as I previously used to do, so I could easily write whenever the inspiration happened to spark.

The next several weeks is slated to bring a host of changes and challenges to my life, which has remained fairly stagnant this past year. These changes are scary and daunting and lead me into the unknown. I suppose in a way it is comforting to know that I am in control of these choices and the choices I make are ones which can be changed, no matter if they are difficult or not. Nowadays, I try to operate under the belief and quote, “Success isn’t final and failure is not fatal.” I really do believe this to be true. In other words, the way I interpret this quote is, no matter what we have successfully achieved, there is no guarantee it will last, or if it will happen again, though at the same time, when we do not meet our expectations or do something in the way it should have been done, there is still a chance to get it right and experience triumph.

Success quote

I also spotted a quote while browsing around a store called The Fresh Market, which I took a photo of and shared it on Twitter: “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” I love those words and find them to be true. When life gets hard, I try to remind myself of this and realize that the self-defeating thoughts and feelings in my head do not have overtake my goals and dreams.

Peace Quote

I can choose bravery and courage and so can you.

Make a Wish

Today is my 27th birthday. For some reason, my own birthday always seems to make me a bit nostalgic and melancholy. Of course, I appreciate any happy birthday wish, card, gift, or sentiment provided to me, but I can’t help but feel undeserving. I suppose that this year is a bit different than other years. My 27th year marks exactly 10 years since my life dramatically changed. As a result of the choices I made at age 17, my life took a different path/route, losing friends (or at least people who I thought were my friends), and experiencing a tumultuous senior year of high school and four years of college, thereafter.

That aside, these past ten years have been nothing short of eventful, some positive, some not so much. In spite of it all, I will be forever thankful for my family, my sister and mom, who have always stuck by me, believing me when I failed to believe in myself, providing me with the strength, momentum and encouragement to continue forging my way through life. No matter what I might look like, no matter the choices I made or failed to make, they still make me feel as though I am deserving of the many opportunities life can provide. They inspire me each day and teach me what resilience and perseverance is. Though today might be my birthday, the two people who really deserve to be recognized today are my sister and mom, it is because of their love, strength and support that I will blow out those candles today and look towards another year of life.

To me, birthdays are a chance for new beginnings.

Birthday Cake