Photo Friday isn't a fine science. Heck, I missed "week two" of my commitment to posting more. So I'm trying to get back on track this week.
There were a lot of good photos from Easter but I must admit, this little series steals my heart. I asked my mom to take our picture and once she did she said, "Got it! But your heads might be cut off..."
I admire people who own their personalities and empower those around them by their sheer presence. They are truly advocates of self and they are the minority. There is a silent devastation in not liking self. I consider it an epidemic in our society which presents itself as a constant competition of consumption and unaccountability for social ineptitude.
I've always been an introvert. Nothing rings more true to me than the reality that the only constant is my thoughts. Thoughts that, for a long time, stifled who I was because they either were not positive and open or were not weighted with self respect. I'm the first to admit these thoughts are not always consistent but they are what I am constantly surrounded by. Sure I can be alone for days, but to truly feel comfortable with my own thoughts has been a lesson in acceptance as well as retraining. I liken it to being in shape; not eating the “junkfood” of negative thoughts - my own or other's.
It is easy for me to default to focusing on my weaknesses; on why I’m never “enough”. It took me a long time to get into a head space where I respected myself enough to act like it. It's a hard line to take because it forces me to identify how I am feeling and muster some integrity, rather than skirt the issue, when conflict arises.
Conflict has always made me nervous. I’m forever worried about the outcome, the explosion, the aftermath, and perhaps the fatality of, dare I say, being known as a $%#*. That's the bitch about asserting self, you have to embrace the person you truly are to do it. It might take a minute for the taste of the reality of "you" to settle on your tongue and even if you are okay with it, not everyone will be a fan.
Then again, nothing in life is perfect. Our relationships are constant challenges and even the close ones come with an ebb that sometimes leaves us feeling lonely. It's from that vein I've decided to let myself be "enough"; to hold true to my desires and not bend to someone else’s comfort zone.
Wouldn't it be surreal if we could all be our own biggest advocates? I wonder how it would affect our interactions with others or our notions of success in life?
I always remember something my bestie told me once, “happiness is a choice;” it certainly is. A few weeks ago I went to see a friend perform at The Improv. She is taking classes at the Yes Lab, where (as far as I understand it) they teach people how to say “yes” in the moment. I thought it was an interesting philosophy not only for humor but life in general. I had a conversation with her mother on the way over to the show. She was talking about how she lives in the moment. The woman is literally fighting to live and positivity seems to come easily for her. It’s so intrinsic to her personality. I wish it came easy to me but I fight tooth and nail for a good outlook.
Since loosing my dad and having Miss M, I have never been more aware of the sheer importance of this moment. For me, it is a constant lesson that life is too short and we should try to say "yes" as often as we can. I thought the concept was pounded in to my head last October but I'm finding it will be a lesson I learn it over and over again (every time I welcome it in like an old friend... who needs a drink).
For some reason, I can't bring myself to lament over death anymore, it just is what it is. If there is anything I am grateful for it's my new ability to catch myself during life moments and think about how I can enjoy whatever it is I'm participating in or if I can't enjoy it, how I can be constructive about growing from it.
Just the other day, I was thinking about how to teach Miss M that death is part of this whole gig. Without being overly morbid, I consider it an important lesson that might help her embrace the moments of her constantly evolving life and relationships (at least more than I was able to my first 34 years). Why does our society try to sweep death under the rug? We will all come to the end of our ride - that is the surest piece of this whole puzzle. Always it is too soon. Always there is one last story we want to hear, one last memory to be made; and then there are the millions that make the last ones so bittersweet. Truth be told: that is what makes life beautiful and bastardly (yes I'm making that up) at the same time; if it never changed, we would never evolve or think of it quite as fondly.