We have a knack, as a society, to focus on the bad. I even catch myself doing it from time to time. I tend to focus on the things I don’t have, the things I’m not good at, the parts I don’t love about my body and what I haven’t accomplished yet. Why am I so obsessed with negativity? When did happiness become such a narcissistic thing to have? So I may not be living in the Taj Majal like I had hoped. I’m also not living on a sidewalk and have running water and a roof…and a neighbor who tries to steal my internet. There is reason to it all and I have to trust that I’ve always been where I’m meant to be. We get old and become jaded from the adventure that is life, but what kind of adventure would it be if we weren’t left a little changed, a little scarred and a whole lot wiser?
For instance, the majority of the money I use to pay bills is earned living that pre-prince Cinderella life while wearing a very Handsmaid’s Tale polyester blue dress. Someone asked how my shift was going the other day and I replied, “You know, I haven’t thought about murdering anyone once!” Which means that’s a GREAT day because I have to deal with things like Vegans who order chicken soup and tell me it’s ok, idiots who think I can move the SUN, people who flag me down so I can then watch them read a menu, “There’s no photography upstairs, sir” to which I get “But I’m taking a picture of the view” and then remind them “Which is photography”, allergy con-artists and the top tier of the most impatient humans breathing in this hemisphere. I’m basically a bounty-hunter in a dress. I can’t. Truth be told, while it’s easy to believe we live in a shit-storm kind of world, there’s actually a lot of good out there and it’s not all bad. And while this job makes me want to Ophelia myself in the garden pond from time to time, I am trying to make a better effort at appreciating the GREAT that I live.
I do what I can to constantly live my best life. I think we con all attest to that. While I may not be working my dream job right now, this job allows me to work on my dreams. I’ve met and come across some of the most amazing people in my life because of this job. It’s not what I had hoped for at this age as a young precocious child but it’s where I’m at and I am constantly reminding myself that it’s just a part of the journey, as most things are. I always imagine my life as a trilogy and I can’t get upset or be dismayed by the goals I’ve yet to execute or the timeline I’ve created in my mind because I’m not there yet. There’s more to come. Hopefully not like, TOO much more though. I don’t want to live till I’m 100 – that seems like a lot. I’m hoping for a solid 80. Fingers crossed.
My dad would have been 70 years old this week. It’s crazy to even think that. I woke up on his birthday to a message from one of my mom’s friends, who recently lost his wife. He wanted to know what my dad’s favorite kind of cake was. I didn’t think much of it and told him. My mom told us later that night that her friend had come over with a chocolate marshmallow cake – my dad’s favorite. He took his grief and turned it into something beautiful for someone else. If that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you get out there and find your heart, you Tinman of a person. And to my mom’s friend, you know who you are, THANK YOU. That is the kind of thing that makes my heart smile and beat along in optimistic bliss.
It was also 9/11 this week. I was 17 years ago that I sat in class at Indiana University oblivious to what was happening. We all were. I walked into my second class to see CNN being projected onto the screen, my professor’s head down as he stood at the podium with tears coming down his face. Class was cancelled. I headed back to my dorm room. I remember walking down the hall and not missing a beat with the news because everyone was watching the same channel and everyone had their doors open. And then the second plane hit. I couldn’t believe it. I stared at the TV in horror. While that day was one of the biggest tragedies in U.S. history, there were also acts of valor, true ordinary heroes and those who overcame their fear for the sake of others.
The good isn’t gone, I promise you. Coming from the girl who had tears on standby, you gotta believe me when I tell you there’s a whole lot of happy out there for your enjoyment. And if you think from my social media I’m living some golden life, I assure you I get by just like everyone else. Day by day, sometime minute by minute. Truth be told, I woke up the day after my 35th birthday with zero dollars in my bank account. ZERO! #fact Calm down, I’m fine. For anyone who is worried about me, don’t be. My maintenance man asked me if I wanted to have a baby. I told him to slow down and take me on a date first. EVERYTHING IS FINE. #thisis35 Oh, life is fun she is.
I just want to point out that the struggle is real and we don’t always have it together the way we think we should and that it’s OKAY. It’s more than okay. There will always be people who let us down, situations that put us down and obstacles that continually tell us it can’t be done. Those are the things we tend to focus on because we are made to feel like being content is settling. We are made to feel like we are never enough. Remember that you will always find whatever it is you’re looking for. So if you’re looking for flaws, you’ll find them…but if you seek the good in life, you’ll find that too. So be the underdog who rises up, defy the odds, work so hard the impossible becomes your life, be invincible, stay in the ring, give it every single little thing you’ve got, fight till it hurts, prevail till you win, prove everyone wrong – even that little voice of doubt in the far echoes of your mind and don’t quit until you get what you came for. And the next time someone wins fair and square, you stand and you applaud and you give her the credit she deserves because you better believe she was told it couldn’t be done…but she did and it was.