*puts on top hat and monocle*
Now, back to the blog at hand:
Posts are being...errr...posted (it sounded so much better in my head), statuses are being updated, tweets are being tweeted, emails are being sent, parties are being organized and I am smirking. Yes, I said smirking.
People the world over are preparing for New Years and I'm sitting back in my chair and shaking my head. Unlike other people, I don't dedicate one specific day for self reflection. I do mini-reflections all year round. The reason for this is, if I left it all to one day, say December 31st, I'd collapse under the sheer weight of all I did, didn't do, meant to do and screwed up.
This is mainly due to the fact that I don't drink. Most people need a rum and coke after watching their year-in-review reels. I am not afforded that luxury, which is why I spread my self mulling over 365 days. It makes the punch a bit softer when December dons its cap and leaves.
I've never been a fan of New Years. While the idea of a clean slate is appealing, a new year doesn't really mean we have a fresh start. Things carry over. Like bills. Stupid bills. But I suppose it's nice, in those final moments, as people count down the end of one year and leap head first into the next, to imagine you get a second chance at pulling yourself together and tackling your to do list.
The reality is, you always have that second chance. Every morning you wake up you get one. Change doesn't need to come at the end of the year. I figured this out ages ago, but it seems like other people seemed to have missed the memo. I've noticed an unhealthy trend with humans. We tend to wait until the 'right' time to do something. It's part of our nature. The fact of the matter is, sometimes there simply isn't a right time, so why not do it now?
I can't imagine anything worse than waking up one day and realizing I've waited my life away.
We've all done it. We've waited for the right time to quit a job, to travel, move and end a relationship. We wait for the right time to tell someone we love them, to reach out to a friend in need, or to tell someone something we've been meaning to tell them. And sometimes the right time never shows up. So, we stay in a job we don't like, a house we hate and a relationship that's unhealthy, all because we are waiting.
Waiting for what? The right opportunity? The right time? When it will hurt the least? Not be as tedious?
Change is hard. It's why we only dedicate one day of the year to thinking about it. It's why it takes us so long to put the ball in motion. It's why we waste so much time waiting. It's why we toss and turn at night thinking about all the things we wish were different and worrying over how we're going to make it so.
But you know what's more difficult than change? Living a life you aren't happy with, in a body you aren't happy about, with a heart that's weighted down like a stone.
This year wasn't exactly easy for me, and I know it wasn't exactly easy for a lot of people. Even as I towed my line, I knew my road could be rougher, with more potholes and flooding. Everyday I told myself, it could be worse. And then one day, I woke up, and I thought, maybe it could be better. Interestingly enough, better wouldn't come for a few months after this revelation. Better wouldn't come until things got a whole lot worse, but as I went about completely deconstructing my life, I told myself things would, one day, get better.
I'm thankful I held onto that hope. Without it, I don't know where I would be right now.We all need hope.
You see, when I finally woke up, I was so far off from centre. I was orbiting around the person I used to be, and ultimately the girl I'd become, and I felt confused and disjointed, displaced and alone. I didn't know how I'd evolved into the negative ball of energy who was spreading cynicism and clinging to doubt, worry and fear. In truth, it wasn't evolving at all. I devolved into that person by ignoring my heart and smothering my common sense.
Earlier this year, I told a friend I'd lost sight of who I was. He told me I'd lost less than I realized. In many ways, he was right. I hadn't let go of my core values. My dreams and aspirations hadn't changed. And yet, at one point, when I looked in the mirror, I didn't recognize myself anymore. No one would ever describe me as a happy-go-lucky person, but I've never spread as much anger and sadness as I did last year or the beginning of this one.
Sure, I could blame others and point fingers, but that's not taking responsibility for my own actions. I let people get to me. And that's simply not who I am.
Facebook updates, tweets, emails, blogs and interactions with people on forums, I passed my unhappiness around to people I liked, some I even loved, and then there were those I disliked. But not even they deserved to be weighted down by my misery.
So, I changed.
(And you thought this wasn't going to tie in. Please. You should know me better than that.)
I changed not only where I lived, but who I spent my time with and, most importantly, how I looked at the world. I changed my clothes, my routine, and my attitude. I axed the negativity. Not only my own, but the bad vibes others sent my way. As soon as I did this, the world looked different. I saw things I missed before like spiderwebs reflecting sunlight, the heart someone drew on my window in dusty grime, and how good it feels to exist.
There is a lot of beauty existing all around us. Sometimes it is dwarfed by the hate and ugliness, sometimes it's hard to see, but it's there. All we need to do is take notice. It's in the chick-a-dees giving themselves a dust bath and the raindrops falling from the Evergreens. It's in my dogs paws.
The decision I made was a conscious one. I chose to move with love in my heart. Don't get me wrong. Some days it's hard. I have bad moods, bad moments, bad weeks, but I still love. I love the smell of the forest, finding a new song, remembering an old one, the sound of mud squishing under my shoes, getting a lovely email and seeing the beauty in something people walk past every day and don't take notice of.
In the end, I'm hugely grateful I didn't wait. In my gut, I knew there would never be a right time for what needed to be done. And so, without a ball dropping or a count down to a new year, I cleaned my own slate. I didn't make a resolution to do so. I just did it. And I stopped wallowing and feeling sorry for myself.
I honestly can't image what life would have been like if I waited another eleven months or six months or six weeks or a day to change. Part of me wonders if I wouldn't have stayed where I was forever, which scares me. Time is one thing we can't waste. We need to live in the now. Tomorrow has no guarantee and the past is said and done. Today counts, more so than the future, because we are living it as we breathe and blink. It is passing us by.
The beginning of a year is not our only time to self reflect and make goals. I think we should be doing it year round. Every day, in fact. We need to work on our own happiness. If we can't make ourselves happy, then how can we make others? If we don't love ourselves we can't love others. Everything starts in our own hearts and the rest will fall in line.
Oh, dear. I sound like a freakin' hippy!