I recovered this post from the Google Docs folder I have of bloggity draft ideas. I still feel this way, in a sense, and just wanted to share because hindsight is 20/20 and I don’t know what prevented me from posting it in the first place.
“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” -Benjamin Button
Why, at the end of a long day, did this quote stand out to me more than any other? Because it gave me hope. The idea of starting over gave me hope. Is it really that simple – just find the strength and you can live a life you’re proud of? I hadn’t seen it in that particular light, but that’s exactly what I’ve spent the last few months attempting: a clean start.
Cheesy song lyrics come to mind, but really, they’re all true. That’s the fine line we walk during pivotal moments of our lives – the line between maudlin and calm, between cheesy and meaningful. I feel fortunate to be able to recognize this moment in my life for what it is – an opportunity to start over and become the person I always wanted to be. It certainly hasn’t been easy and it definitely isn’t over, but in a short time I can already see some baby steps that resemble progress.
2011 has been a year that proved the worth of social media to many who had previously been doubtful of its utility. Why? It’s been instrumental in the orchestration of several people’s revolutions across the world, starting with Tunisia and more recently occupying our minds and Wall Street. These protests have made me thankful for a gift those of us who are fortunate enough to be born US citizens are entitled to from birth – democracy. Just the fact that we have the right to publicly criticize and protest our government is a privilege compared to the risk many have taken in other countries to express the same sentiments. Today, particularly, democracy rings true for me as I remember how exactly three years ago we elected someone president of this country who arguably would not have been considered a candidate a few decades ago. There is still more progress to be made – there always will be – but I am proud to see living proof of democracy leading our country today.
How do you feel about democracy in the US? Have you witnessed a different political climate elsewhere that made you more aware of our situation in the US?
Isn’t it funny when certain situations are unexpectedly disarming? I find myself much less nervous to reveal inner musings to someone new when the likelihood we’ll cross paths again is slim to none.
Example: I had a refreshing conversation with my cab driver last night. He was from Palestine, wise in the ways of the world and very far from his native way of life; I am from Wisconsin, educated but naive and immersed in the same lifestyle I’ve nearly always had. Yet we connected over a core belief it turns out our families happened to share: Money, it comes and it goes – what matters is health and love. If you’re fortunate enough to have both, you’ve got all you need for happiness. I had chalked up the day to being average at best, then this short, chance encounter provided me with some much-needed perspective on what it takes to be happy.
Do you ever find yourself revealing little known facts about yourself in the company of strangers? Tell me I’m not alone here!
Can you imagine where you’d be right now without literacy? I take my ability to read for granted far too often, but one thing that makes me grateful for it time and time again is when I am transported to another time, mindset or world thanks to a well-written book. There is nothing else like it. Right now I’m reading this and this, both of which are great reads. Recently I’ve read several books by male authors, which is new for me, and I’m enjoying the slight tilt from the portrayals and descriptions I’m accustomed to. And of course, with gratitude for good books comes gratitude for talented authors. Thank you to the authors for putting your work out there to be both criticized and appreciated by the world at large.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately? If you’re into sharing reading lists, friend me on GoodReads.
Since my blogging consistency is about as predictable as the Midwestern weather, I figured, why the hell not? I recently realized why Thanksgiving is quite possibly my favorite holiday – amazing food, great company, not nearly as much pressure or superficiality that encroaches on other holidays. It’s all around awesome.
So, to celebrate this awesome holiday, I’ll be posting every day this month with a little ditty on something I’m thankful for. Not in any particular order, and doing my best to keep it short and sweet. Without further ado…
These three women
I am thankful many if not most days for these three women. We all decided to study abroad in Peru for various reasons, and it was there that we came together. Since then we’ve shared joy in beautiful moments, and divided the burdens of hardship between us. They have helped me to grow into a better person and friend, and I am constantly in awe of their abilities and determination that I know will help them change the world. We have found something truly special, and I consider myself fortunate to call them some of my closest friends.
What are you thankful for today?
I hate that word, I really do. It’s a dirty word, a buzz word, a word I try not to use.
But that’s exactly the word I would use to describe this past weekend.
I’ve always been interested in blogging, and even stuck with it a while back. My tastes have changed in the last few months, along with many parts of myself I used to hold dear. I didn’t stick with blogging long-term because I felt like no one would care whether I posted.
But after this weekend, I see it differently. Seeing so many beautiful, intelligent, funny people rally around each other in support and happiness was amazing, and I realized that the community that has the potential to form is irreplaceable.
People who aren’t into it smirk or roll their eyes, but if they could witness the camaraderie and friendship forming before their very eyes this weekend, I believe they would think otherwise.
So here I am, admitting that I am back and I am working on finding a niche here, building a community for myself. I know this is a good thing for me, especially once I’ve put some work into and struck a balance.
Hold me accountable, please. And see you soon with a real recap of the summit.
Some confessions and questions I wanted to put out into the world:
- I love blogging and I’m afraid I’ll never be good enough to make it something real because I don’t want to miss out on life by spending tons of time on the computer.
How do you balance your life and the people who surround you with your online tribe and commitments?
- I hate my writing voice. Okay, hate might be a strong word. But I like to think I’m a pretty friendly, conversational person when you know me – and yet my writing voice could not sound more stilted or stuffy.
How do you change something about yourself when you don’t know where to begin or how to proceed?
- I struggle every day to balance my social life with the fact that I am an introvert at heart. It’s a big step for me to admit it anywhere, because I feel like introverts get a bad rap, but it’s true. I am exhausted by overstimulation in social situations and function best when I have more one-on-one conversations and time to process.
How do you balance what is deemed socially acceptable with what you think is best for yourself?
- I’m attending the 20 Something Bloggers Summit next weekend and I’m very excited but also very nervous. I won’t know anyone there personally, and don’t devote as much time or energy to blogging as I’m assuming many people there will. The reason I bought a ticket and the reason I’m excited is because I’ve always been interested in blogging and I want to hear some of my favorite bloggers speak. If you’re going, let me know!
What do you do in a situation where you won’t know anyone and feel like you might be the odd one out?