So…it’s that jingly, kris kringly, tinselly, carolly, fucking annoying, cheerful time of year again. A time I no longer look forward to on any count at all. I used to be one of ‘those’ people. You know, the kind that never gets over the wonder of tinsel. I didn’t think anything could ever ruin that for me. I won’t bother explaining the reasons, for those who don’t know the story, but let’s just say it has lost it’s shine. All of it. In fact I almost wish it didn’t even happen at all now.
This year was hard for me. I know we all have them-hard days, hard years, hard times. I’m not complaining. It’s not a ‘poor me’ blog. I made it through. I’m still here. In fact probably more of me than before, because hard times are a test of strength, endurance and help you grow within yourself.
When things go wrong, it makes you ask ‘why?’ It inspires change, innovation and reckoning. It provokes acceptance and forgiveness of yourself and others. It urges you to choose paths, find solutions and try and make things ‘better’. It makes you figure out exactly what, and who, is important to you. Yourself included.
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”-The subtle art of not giving a fuck, Mark Manson.
You see, I think for the majority of life, we just walk along the path in front of us without question. We take what comes our way and deal with it. We stick to this path, because we feel it is ours, or perhaps we have chosen it, or committed to something on it. We wander, hand on the guide-rail, sometimes even looking over the edge, mildly inquisitive, to see what’s out there. For a very long time, we don’t consider climbing that rail, because what we are already dealing with seems enough.
We become scared to diverge, or even worse, content to walk straight on. But…what if? What if change, breaking free, was the path we were supposed to take? Or it’s better, or easier…or happier? It sounds like I’m going with the ‘grass is greener’ theory here, but that’s not it at all. What I’m saying is, what if…we have changed as we walked that original path, and we become destined for something different as we grow?
We are all hurting, struggling, missing someone, losing something, trying to make right decisions, trying to live, or just survive. Every one of us. We are all hiding things, bottling emotions, holding back, using coping mechanisms, keeping brave faces. We are all wondering if we are right, settling for less and hoping for more. Every one of us. Every. Damn. One.
“Almost universally, the kind of performance we give on social media is positive. It’s more ‘Let me tell you how well things are going. Look how great I am.’ It’s rarely the truth: ‘I’m scared. I’m struggling. I don’t know.’” -Ego is the enemy, Ryan Holiday.
“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”
Tiny beautiful things-Cheryl Strayed
When it comes down to it, the answer we need to know…is what we want. What, in life, can give us peace. What makes you feel so absorbed that you forget the world is waiting outside the front door? What makes you forget to check your phone? What makes you want to live in the moment that it should never end? Whether that’s a person, a place, a hobby, a job, a thing or a mix of many. What we are passionate about, willing to fight for, lose sleep over, hold hope for, work toward…
And, as a new year is peeking over the horizon at us like a devious cat, what better time to put thought into how we can get it? How we can change survival and contentment into living. Once this whole tinsel strewn, tumultuous affair is over, and the wrapping paper settles…
So, at the risk of sounding at all festive…what do you truly want, not just for Christmas, but for life, for yourself? I have a list. It’s very short, but it’s important. Every thing on the list would change life as I know it, and if you are reading this now, you are either part of the journey ahead, or spectators to it. Either way, I promise you, it will be filled with hope and passion and love (and perhaps just a drop of sarcasm).
Hold your someones and your dreams extra tight Kids, and don’t let go.