But I Will Just Keep Breathing In.

1017036_557906650924910_661870854_n Watch the way you fall in love,

‘Cause if you’re smart, you’ll take it slow.
And don’t ask me about it, cause I don’t know,
’cause I don’t know, know, know,
But I’m gonna learn, learn, learn.
I’ll take my turn, turn, turn.
If I get sick on the way,
By the things that people say,
It’ll break my heart against the wind.
But I will just keep breathing in.
– “In Front of the World” Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

A year in review. I’m doing this a little early – mostly because I’m already in full-blown Christmas mode and Thanksgiving is coming up, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the things and people that have been blessings to me this year.

I’ve been thinking about how I’d describe this year for the past month or so – it’s been a pendulum of sorts, swinging back and forth from, “Wow, what a shitty year,” to “Man, what a blessing!”

I think I finally settled somewhere in between. I’m not sure what this is going to turn into – I may ramble for awhile. I may keep the details out of this particular post. I haven’t decided quite yet.

If I were to pick a phrase to describe what I’ve learned this year, it would probably be that the single most important thing is to never second guess myself. I’m really really good at that. I spend a lot of time in my head, so I have ample time to think about my choices over and over and over and over again. As one would expect, that typically leads to uncertainty and doubt, and in most cases, saying things I don’t mean. Whether an apology that wasn’t really deserved or something said in anger – it almost always leads to a place that would’ve been better left alone. So the second half of 2013 was spent without much thought. I’m thankful for that – for the situations that led me to the place where I decided that was okay. Because it’s amazing, freeing and wonderful to just do, and be. And laugh. And not think so much. Life is way too short to spend all of my time thinking about it.

If I were to pick one word to describe this year, it would be hope. Through the course of the year, I’ve probably lost sight of it a little bit – whether through the loss of a job, a friend or a boyfriend. But it was still a constant in one way or another – whether I was conscious of the fact I had lost it and tried desperately to find it again or it was what kept me getting out of bed. It was always there in some form, though. And as the year draws to a close, I’m filled with hope – with the expectation that things will be better. Whatever better may be. I’m thankful for that – for hope.

I guess I’d say I cried more than I wish I had this year. But I guess the good comes with the bad. I feel better now as the year ends. A good cry – or two or twelve – is good for the soul. And I feel refreshed. Like it’s out of my system and I’m ready for next year. The opposite of that is, of course, that I feel like I laughed more than I deserved to this year. Especially this second half. I am so incredibly, incredibly blessed  to have the people in my life that I do. My parents are wonderful – they listen when I ramble and laugh at me when I do things that remind them of themselves. My friends are exceptional. They let me ramble and love me when I harp on the same subject for way too long. Even when it’s something that never mattered much in the first place. My dog is adorable. I get it, my dog isn’t a person, but I love her anyway. Back to what I was saying – I laughed a lot. Hysterically laughed. Laughed ’til I cried. Cried ’til I laughed. The emotions really ran the gamut this year. And it was fucking fantastic. I don’t like mediocrity much. That said, I could do with fewer tears next year.

I visited both coasts. I saw the ocean. I felt peace. I saw the harbor. I saw the Red Sox win the ALCS from a bar in the old Fenway batting cages. My heart was filled with so much joy. Joy for just being here and having the ability to see wonderful places and wonderful people – the ones I knew before and the ones I met – and go home with my heart a little more in tact. It’s back together now. I’m thankful for that, and excited for what’s in store.

I can’t think of much else that really needs to be covered. I cried. I laughed. I fell down. I grew up. I loved. I fought. I won. I lost. I smiled.

And I’m looking forward to next year. I feel like God has some good plans in store – now that I stopped trying to plan it all myself and let him have the reigns. Of course, that’s last but not least. I’m thankful for that relationship. For the one I don’t deserve and forget about way too often. For someone who loves me unconditionally. When I do things out of character or even the things in character. When I mess up. When I forget. I feel blessed.

So, here’s to 2014. And 2013. I hope yours was wonderful. And full of joy in some capacity. I know it was – there’s joy all around. I hope the next year is full of hope and peace and so much laughter. And love. The good kind. The kind from strangers and friends and family all alike. The real kind that makes your heart full. The kind that gives you butterflies. The kind that makes you happy to be here, ’cause I sure am.

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Friday.

I read this blog post today. I don’t always read her blog – it’s great, I’m just not a mom so I sometimes have trouble relating.

But this? This hit home for me. I mean, I felt like she was talking about me.

At first- these thoughts stressed me out this morning because I am passionate and I am kind and sometimes I’m ecstatic and I can usually find gratitude but I’m not “happy.” I’m intense and up and down and I get depressed and anxious and my anxiety makes me hard to be around sometimes. Because I’m impatient and snappy. I snap at people I love all the time and that makes me feel bad about myself. I want to be zen. I am so not zen. Whatever zen is- I’m the opposite of it.

I struggle with this specific set of emotions daily. I’m not a happy person. Occasionally bubbly, often awkward, usually nice and sometimes high strung. I read a quote once – I think by Steve Earle – he said something about not being a fan of mediocrity in life, and probably in music, too. I’ve adopted that phrase as my life’s philosophy. I laugh about it often. The thing is, as humans, we’re pretty neat in that I can be all of these things, and still be carefree in the same moment. I just think about it a little too much while doing so.

I’m lucky that I have a best friend who is the complete opposite of me. She is laid back. She is patient. She has self control, except when I’m involved. We talk each other into and out of things with great ease. She often responds to my text messages with, “Is this really a big deal, or are you just being Sarah right now?” Everyone needs a friend like that. For me, I need someone to reel me back in. Not to say that I love drama. I don’t. I’m dramatic, but only in regards to my feelings about a situation. I don’t make grand gestures and I try hard not to say mean things when I’m upset. But I do spiral a bit when drawing conclusions. I’ve probably thought everyone – in my immediate circle and outer circle too – hated me at one point or another.

All of this to say, I sometimes get upset about my personality. I don’t understand why I’m not always great at talking to strangers. Or why other days I enjoy talking to everyone I meet. Or why I can’t let people go, or more specifically, their feelings toward me – and other days think I could pack my car up, never look back and not give them or their opinions one more thought. It frustrates me – why I’m not one way or the other.

I’ve been discovering this recently, and the post I read today was a great reminder – sometimes it’s okay to be still and just be. Be whoever I am in that moment. Because this is me. All of this is me. And that’s okay – even if my personality does contradict itself daily.

It ain’t kind

I’m stubborn. It’s easily my most and least desirable personality trait. It’s both.

It serves me well when I’m working toward something I need, but lends itself to disaster when I’m desiring something I want.

It’s helpful in a lot of ways. I don’t give up once I’ve set my mind to achieve a goal. When i decide to better myself. When I work on a project.

It also ruins me when I want something I don’t need. I obsess. I overthink. I hang on. I give more of myself than I should because I decided previously I wanted to win, to reach that end game, to have the result I pictured.

I don’t want to fix myself. I’m pretty messed up in a lot of ways that I’ve come to love – it’s also all my joke material. But I do wish I could refocus that energy sometimes. Repoint it toward healthy goals rather than ones I want. Because realizing I gave all of myself – or even just a little – when it wasn’t deserved is pretty defeating.

Find the Light

Because people say things better than I do most of the time. Here’s what’s on repeat today.

David Ramirez – Find the Light

I wish upon you peace
I wish upon you grace
I wish for less of what you want
And more of what you need
I wish upon you an old life
With a heart that stays young
But most of all I wish upon you love
I wish upon you truth
When all you feel is doubt
I hope you know that an open mind
Still knows when to shut things out
I wish upon you a brave heart
That will always rise above
But most of all I wish upon you love
As the sun sets the moon begins to rise
So even in the darkness you’ll find the light
You’ll find the light
You’ll find the light
Yes, even in the darkness you’ll find the light
I wish upon you an easy life
I wish upon you hard times
I hope you know that both joy and pain
Each need their moment to shine
I wish you ears that are quick to listen
That you’re slow to use that tongue
But most of all I wish upon you love
As the sun sets the moon begins to rise
So even in the darkness you’ll find the light
You’ll find the light
You’ll find the light
You’ll find the light
Yes, even in the darkness you’ll find the light

Getting older.

As I get older, I’m learning the concept of lonely is fluid – it changes. It’s not a static, sad definition of being by myself and hating every minute. It takes many different shapes. Sometimes it is a bit sad, yes. Sometimes it makes me sad. Sometimes it shows up because I am alone, but it often also shows up when I’m not. Sometimes it means I talk to no one – on other occasions, it means I talk to everyone.

But most of the time? Most of the time it isn’t sad. It’s hopeful. That I’ll find something that fits. That something. Not someone. That makes everything make more sense; makes life seem a bit clearer. Not because it’s convoluted currently, but because when there’s better it makes everything before that seem less than perfect – a personal version of perfect, of course. Imperfect as it may be.

And that? I think that’s lonely for now. Hopeful. Sometimes sad, but mostly hopeful.

Life

Excuse my lack of class with this next statement, it’s a bit of a lack of restraint for me. It’s been weighing on me for awhile lately, and my mom taught me if you can’t say anything nice – keep your mouth shut. But why are people so fucking rude?

Just in general. What gave people that sense of entitlement that they think it’s appropriate to be impolite to other people? You’re not better. You’re not more important. You’re certainly not nicer. They have the same right to walk this earth doing whatever the hell they want that you do. So, why do you get to sit on your pedestal and look down on them because they dress differently, talk differently or live life a little more freely?

You don’t.

Shouldn’t our ultimate goal as the other people existing on this little planet be building one another up? Smiling when you walk by someone. Saying a simple hello to a random person. Holding the fucking door open for someone else every once in awhile, instead of being in such a hurry to get wherever the hell your next destination is, even though it probably doesn’t matter much anyway. Doing one thing per day that’s not for you, but helps someone else out. Whatever it is – something that makes someone a little happier about having today. 

But mean isn’t pretty. It never will be. So fucking stop, already. You don’t have to like everyone you encounter. But figure out how to love everyone. It makes life a lot easier. 

Sense

Life is confusing most of the time, and I guess that’s the point. That’s what makes some things make sense – the fact so many other things don’t. That I can cry myself to sleep one night and laugh til I cry the next night. That I can spend a week in a hermit- like state then go out til three a.m. that weekend. That my heart can be so sad for no apparent reason, but so full of joy for even having this moment I’m existing in right now.

None of it makes sense.

I tend to overanalyze everything. Well, I actually tend to make decisions without thinking about them and then have a whirlwind moment where suddenly I realize I haven’t thought anything through. But I’m trying to stop. To just do and not think so much. Because it’s never going to make sense. I’m never going to understand. Because that’s the point. Because maybe in some of these moments – when I’m trying to figure out a little bit of why I did something or why another thing happened – I can feel something. I can feel joy and pain and sadness and happiness and love and heartbreak. Because those feelings – those are the point, I think.