My best friend had a birthday today. And while she’ll kill me for telling you this, she turned 35. I only share that because I’ll reach the same milestone later this year. Life is a gift. Every moment is sacred and we should gather those bits and collect them, scattering the best parts like ashes on all who’ll accept them. I was looking at old pictures today courtesy of my sister and I looked at myself as a 21 year old. Life was different. Everything was a crisis. I looked like the prospect of life, living and getting older scared the hell out of me. In retrospect it kind of did. But I saw a reflection of myself today in the mirror. I am not plagued with the same fears I had 14 years ago. My only wish for the girl staring at me in the mirror, is that she could tell the girl in the picture to enjoy every memory, every heartache, every wound. And while I get older with each passing year, I am still so blessed to have seen and done all that I have and I wish the girl in the mirror could tell the girl in the picture to smile, because she blossomed into someone incredibly beautiful and filled with purpose. She became me.
I made a huge mistake today. Or maybe I’m overreacting unnecessarily. Either way, I feel sad. I always face a hard decision when I feel I’ve royally screwed up: ignore the embarrassment or look deep into what is causing me so much pain. When I’ve done the latter I’ll let you know. In the meantime, what I’ve learned and have decided to pass along to you is to accept that not every step you take will be the right one, but still acknowledge that one failure isn’t fatal. Feel sad. Be embarrassed, but don’t drop anchor where you feel as though you could give up. You’ll survive. You’ll live to fight another day. Mistakes are lessons we learn ourselves. Look into it and know you can’t control everything. But learn from them, grow from them and keep pressing forward in life toward your dreams.
I’ve begun to get annoyed with snow selfies where people are completely frowning and unhappy. In just a few brief moments, the season will shift and these same unhappy winter haters will be complaining about the heat. There’s beauty in every stage of life. Even the unhappy ones. I got an inadvertent vacation this week. I thought I’d catch up on different things but instead I lay around mostly. I felt guilty until I started scrolling through Instagram and saw people unhappy to be alive. I’ve learned this: there is beauty everywhere. When it snows, take a moment and listen to the silence in the air. The earth herself takes a breath when snow falls. When it rains watch how the trees almost reach up to embrace every raindrop. When it’s hot out I imagine the sun leaning in a little closer so our days are warmer and our conversations longer. Learn to appreciate every single beautiful minute of your life. Regardless of the season: winter, summer, fall, poverty, wealth, joy or even sadness. They only last a moment and don’t appreciate being wasted.