Spinning wheels.

My mind thinks in words. I mean, I think most people’s minds think in words; however, mine thinks in writing. I’m hardly ever present – constantly thinking about how I’d write something if I were going to; what literary devices I might use and how I’d break up the sentences.

I noticed tonight during yoga – I never realized before that yoga is all about being present and being in the here and now. I always wrongly assumed it was getting outside of your body – someone getting to another plane of consciousness. That’s not it all. It’s all about being present. I was laying there, staring at the ceiling, thinking how I might describe the experience to someone else; how I’d say what I was feeling.

Here’s the big problem with thinking the way I do – I don’t think it’s all necessarily bad and there are probably some advantages – but I spend more time writing the story I’d like my life to tell than living the one I already have. Perhaps that’s why I get so disappointed when things don’t work out the way I want them to – I’ve already written that chapter and probably the next five, too.

I guess I should work on being in the moment a bit more. Being in the here and now and appreciating it for what it is, rather than what I wish it was. After all, I hear I’m capable of writing my own story, but it’s hard to write the next sentence when I’m not sure what’s happening in the current one.

You’re on the verge of something big, I feel like I’m on the verge of something more.

“When you let someone take your peace, you lose.”

I survived day two of bikram yoga this evening. Not only did I survive, I attempted 98 percent of the class, only skipping two of the second iterations of two of the poses. It is the greatest release of bad shit I have ever experienced in my life. It’s so hot and so difficult that there is no choice than to leave the rest of it behind when you walk in the door.

I cried as I was driving there. Not for any particular reason, probably just because I’ve been more apt to cry in the last several months. Life works out that way sometimes, I guess. It’s beautiful when it’s over and we get the opportunity to look back and say, “Shit, that was awful, but I survived and am therefore better.” In the midst, though, it just seems sad. But none of that matters in that little tiny hot room. It’s an opportunity to let it all go.

So when I walked out of that room, I felt like I had my peace back. And even though life is confusing and sometimes frustrating, I have peace because I know it will work out the way it’s supposed to – because good things happen when you put good things out in the world, and I try my best to do that as often as I can.

 

I turned my car on and this song was playing. This is one of my favorite memories of all time. Not just because it’s my favorite musician and a song that is dear to my heart, but because of the timing of all of it. The guy I was dating at the time broke up with a couple days after I took it. I thought life was over, of course. It wasn’t – I survived, and I know this video/memory/song helped with that. It has so many breathtaking phrases in it – the way the words are put together blows me away each and every time I listen. The way I relate to those words is even more phenomenal. It’s nice to know out there somewhere, at some point in time, someone felt exactly as I did.

The song is part of a mixtape I made several years ago – 2010 to be exact. I was attempting to move to Boston for the second time. The CD isn’t sad, really, but rather filled with songs that give me hope. The songs that remind me there is always, always something better around the corner – we just occasionally have to look for it a little. The collection also reminds me of the drive i had to make that move happen. I wanted it more than anything, and was willing to make every sacrifice I could to make it happen. I stayed of course – for that boy who broke up with me after the video was taken. It’s funny how life goes full circle, and we so often never even realize it. I listen to it on occasion when things don’t make a ton of sense – when I want to feel comforted. I also don’t regret the staying. That relationship didn’t work out, but I learned a great deal about love and life and what happens when love is absent. And sometimes I guess it’s just about finding the silver lining. 

All of that to say, things made sense for a moment. I understood, at least briefly, that God has a better plan than I could ever remotely come up with for myself. And as long as I’m walking in His will, things will work out. He’s a big fan of seeing me happy – even if I don’t always understand the road to get there.

Aside

I spent the afternoon thinking about what I’ve learned this year.

  1. Be sad – but not for too long. Sadness deserves its moment, but it shouldn’t get more than it deserves. Maybe a couple days. Maybe a week. Not any longer. Then find something else that lights the world up again.
  2. Be kind. It’s not usually readily apparent what’s happening in anyone else’s life. Be kind. Smile at someone on the street. Say hi to someone in the hallway. Start a conversation with a stranger.
  3. Sometimes happy is just about making myself smile when I don’t want to. It’s funny how eventually everything is okay again.
  4. Having a companion has saved my happiness on multiple occasions. In the past year, if I didn’t have my dog forcing me to get out of bed, I wouldn’t have. She saved my joy, if just by reminding me it’s not all about me all the time.
  5. It’s not all about me. Sometimes things don’t work out. It’s not always my fault, and I don’t always need to take the blame.
  6. Music heals, but it can also hurt. Find the kind that encourages smiles when it’s a rough day. Stick to the sad ones when it’s appropriate. Throwing a pity party is not an acceptable occasion.
  7. Be comfortable with loneliness. How we deal with it says a lot about who we are. No one enjoys loneliness. It’s not fun. But embrace it as an opportunity for introspection when it’s given.
  8. Just because they said it, doesn’t mean it’s true. People say a lot of things out of fear and for self-preservation. Know yourself and who you are – the rest of it doesn’t matter.
  9. Quit running away. Life is short. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it hurts like hell. But running away from it never solved anyone’s problems. Find the cause and fix it.
  10. A new haircut is therapeutic. It’s shedding baggage in the matter of a couple of hours.
  11.  Love comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Find it where you can, because everyone could use a little more in their lives.
  12. Be comfortable with heartbreak. Don’t go looking for it, but recognize it means something better is around the corner. There is always something better around the corner. Always.
  13. Cry hard. Be okay with that
  14. Remember we were created out of love, so that’s probably the best place to find more of it. God likes to listen to the bad things and the good things. He also always has a hug ready.
  15.  Go outside. Run, walk, drive. Enjoy the sun. Stare at the clouds. Appreciate the majesty and power we see on a daily basis. It makes everything else seem insignificant.
  16. If it feels right, go with it. Never regret something that was gut-wrenchingly obviously the right answer at one point. I’ve probably ruined a lot of relationships because I was too distant. Probably a few more because I was too needy. But I’m all of those things at various points in time, so why would I want someone in my life who can’t accept the bad parts, too?
  17. If it doesn’t feel right it doesn’t feel right – don’t confuse fear with incompatibility, though. Good things are scary because there’s always a possibility they won’t be that good ever again, or the good will abruptly end for one reason or another. It’s easy to dismiss fear as something or someone not being the right fit because it feels a lot like uncertainty. Don’t do that.
  18. Laugh as often as possible, as loudly as possible. Even the ugly laughs. Embrace them. Take a mental recording. Keep those moments with you, alway.
  19. Anger takes too much energy. Let it go.
  20. I can’t make other people’s decisions for them, and I certainly can’t change their mind. It’s hard to accept.
  21. Understand that sometimes things don’t make sense. And that is exactly why they are beautiful. Sometimes that’s why they’re hard to accept, too. There’s beauty in the chaos if you look for it, though.
  22. Never let a good friend go – realize they aren’t all good, either. I have good friends I see once a year. Even more I see less often than that. But they are all keepers of little pieces of my soul, of my happiness. Not everyone is going to fit in that category, nor should they.
  23. Love makes the world go round. Spread it around as much as possible.

Life is hard and so is love child, believe in all these things.

Clean slate

I’m not sure I can adequately express the freeing feeling attached to intentionally deleting every photo on my phone, just because I can. Starting to think this technology business is more trouble than it’s worth.

Choosing joy.

I guess one of the biggest, hardest lessons in life is to realize sometimes it’s really difficult. It doesn’t cooperate, or listen or turn out the way I want very often. I’d probably say nine times out of ten. I don’t say this complain, just as a reminder for myself. That basically nothing has ever worked out the way I thought I really wanted it to at one point in time, and I survived. And life was good. I was happy. Even after things crumbled. Because I guess that’s the way it works. Everything falls apart and is rebuilt so much better than before.

I guess that’s where joy comes in, though. In the broken places. In the holes. It fills them up and makes them whole, even when I don’t want it to. And suddenly it all makes sense, at least a little more than it did before. I don’t notice it changing things, but somehow it always sneaks in.

I’ve never been good at gratefulness when times are hard. I would even venture to say I’m pretty good at throwing pity parties. That said, this year has been nothing short of awful for my heart. Any cliche that comes to mind probably fits – bruised, crushed, torn, stomped on, kicked, shattered – they have all been accurate descriptions of how it’s felt. Truth be told? I’m over it. But I can’t change anyone else’s decisions. I can only try to make the best of what I’ve been given.

So I’ve been attempting gratefulness. And intentional joy, even when it’s the last thing I want to be doing. And it’s helped. It makes the rough patches a little less rocky.

The best part, though? The bad makes the good breathtaking. The confusing makes the perfect moments feel infinite. The tears make the laughs a little louder. All of it makes my heart a little more whole.