So let’s talk for a few minutes here. This one is a ramble entry. Each year, I tend to go back and reflect on things I’ve learned, things I want to accomplish and whatnot for the new year. So let’s reflect. 2011 was a year of ups and downs. A LOT of ups, but still it had its share of downs. Just like any year, you have to learn to balance the good with the bad and keep your perspective positive. Every day is a new learning experience. You will learn from your mistakes, from your fights, from your happiness and from your sadness. You will learn something every day of your life, and if you keep your mind, ears and eyes open, you will draw something positive from each one. In 2011, I learned a lot.
I learned that no matter how much you close off your heart, love can still get in. Love from friends, family…or love of another human who you’re destined to spend your life with. It may show up when you’re least expecting it, and it may show up at an awkward time…causing you to shift priorities and disconnect some friendships, but if the love is worth it, the choice is easy. Love is the most amazing feeling you will ever experience, if you’re lucky enough to allow it to find you.
I’ve learned that trust is earned, not given. Putting your trust in someone is a great way of being positive and looking for the best in everyone, but some people just don’t deserve it. I’ve learned to be more careful with what information I give to which people, and I’ve learned to withhold certain things from people who don’t deserve to know it. No one needs to know everything about me, especially those who aren’t close to me. If I trust you enough to tell you certain things, you know you are loved, you are respected, and you have been accepted as a vital part of my life.
I’ve learned that no friendship is forever in the capacity it is today. They will come and go; disconnect, reconnect and disconnect again. It’s not worth being bitter over or fighting about, because that is how things happen. The person you spend the most time with right now may not be the person you see even once a year in the next two months. But that doesn’t mean that their friendship is not as valuable as it once was. It just means that your bond now is strong enough to stand up to distance or time…or just the opposite. It was never strong enough in the first place, and therefore needed to be severed. Friendships change…they get stronger, they become weaker, but appreciate them for what they are, and the changes will be easier to accept.
Expanding further on that, I’ve learned that you can know someone for your entire life, and you could be best friends since the 3rd grade, but at the end of the day, if they’re not going to show you respect, love and support, they aren’t worth your time. You will have your disagreements, but when disagreements cross the line into blatant disrespect and slander, a friendship should end. Friendship is important to me. Each year, it’s sad that some people have to show me who they truly are and, in turn, be completely dismissed from my life. But the good side of that is that their disappearance makes room for some of the most amazing friendships I’ve ever had to take their place.
I have learned that when I put my mind to it, I can do ANYTHING. All it takes is a little bit of support, a little bit of encouragement and a whole lot of drive. I am smart, I am capable, and I have the ability to truly take over the world if I really put forth the effort.
I have learned that every person has courage inside of them. My courage to face each day is something that my great friends have given back to me in the past few years. I have tried new things, talked to new people, had new experiences that a few years ago…I would have never dreamed possible. I have not only let in new things, but I have pushed away old, toxic things on all levels of life. And though I fail at some things, I succeed at so many more. You have to take chances, or else the most glorious moments in life will pass you by and you will have no idea.
I’ve learned that reconnecting with people you haven’t seen in years can either be a blessing or a curse. Sometimes it’s the greatest feeling on earth because you have reconnected a long-lost friendship, but sometimes it makes you realize why that person was pushed out of your life in the first place.
I’ve learned that being happy is more than just money or possessions. Sure, it helps, and having enough money to survive is important, but there are more important things to life than going to every Hawks home game, buying the coolest clothes or having a Range Rover. If you surround yourself with enough love, the happiness will come.
I have discovered that my resolution for 2012 is not only to lose that last stubborn 20-25 lbs that I’ve been trying to shed for years, but also to be more positive, driven, and motivated to reach every goal that I can possibly set forth. I have discovered that all it will take for me to truly succeed is will power, support, and my own positive thinking…realizing that I CAN do it, and I should let NO ONE stop me. If one person says no, I have to move on to the next. I can’t let one person’s negativity or bad words crush my spirit or determination. After all, there are two ways to have the tallest building in the land…you can build a new, sturdy, beautiful building…or you can use tools to viciously tear down all the ones around you with more height. Which path would you rather choose?
I have discovered that no matter how I feel about myself, I am beautiful, inside and out. It doesn’t matter what people think or say if they are not a piece of my daily life. The people around me think highly of me, and I think highly of myself. I love me, I love who I have turned out to be, and I love who I am becoming every day. I love the path that my life has led me to follow, and I love the people who it has brought into my life. I love the people who have been eliminated, whether they believe it or not. Okay, maybe love is the wrong word, but I respect them. Even if you have hurt me in the past, I forgive you and respect you. Always forgive, but I never forget. I am a good person who deserves nothing short of the best. I’ve learned that I should only surround myself with positive influences and good times. I’ve learned that I have to take the bad times and look for that silver lining. It’s always there somewhere. I’ve learned that I have to LEARN. Each mistake I make and every heartbreak that comes my way is a learning experience. Every heart I break or every friendship I may ruin, though a big mistake, will teach me a lesson. I’ve learned that I cannot live with regret. Regret only eats away at you, day by day. It’s senseless to dwell on the past. I’ve learned to look for love in the least obvious of places when you’re down. Look for love in all of life’s disappointments. Never go a day without love. Love for yourself, love for others, love for your life, love for everything around you.
Love with all of your heart. Take chances. Make mistakes. Make friends. Say what you feel. Don’t hold back. Appreciate yourself. Appreciate your true friends. Don’t underestimate the power of the love of your friends and family. Don’t underestimate the power of a good song lyric. (You may end up getting it tattooed on your body.) Give your all to everything you do. Live like there is no tomorrow. Love your life, and always remember to stay positive!