2017: What I’ve learned. 

Well, there’s about an hour left to go before 2017 ends and 2018 begins.
I love moments like these – when you find yourself standing right at the moment of transition. To me, it’s like standing on the beach, my toes inches away from the waterline, where you’re at the edge of all you know at your back, and before you lies a horizon that is open and full of unknown possibilities.

It’s an exhilarating moment.

I started 2017 off, in pain, still reeling, still healing from the loss of my father, my breakup with my ex-girlfriend. I still had hope that we could get back together one day, but as the year progressed, I saw that she and I were in very different places. 

At work, I was dealing with the petty betrayal of my first teacher mentee, who basically turned her back on me and insulted me because I made the horrible offense of talking openly about my depression. Come to find out from many coworkers, she was just manipulated by her insecure boyfriend, who’s eight years older and has kids.

Then summer came and I searched for wisdom. I searched for enlightenment. 

Here are some of the things that I’ve learned:

Forgive Yourself.

Everyone has made a mistake. Nobody is perfect. You will make mistakes. You will also be unable to complete tasks the way you pictured them or achieve goals by the time you’ve set for yourself. That’s okay. 

We suffer so much from this ideal of perfection – the perfect student, the perfect worker, the perfect friend. But what does “perfect” mean, exactly. Life will always have other plans for you. Oftentimes, we must settle for “done” and not focus on “perfect.” Following that train of thought will lead to unhappiness. 


Live Your Life for You.

You have one life. How do wish to spend it? Take a moment. Get away from the phone, find a quiet, isolated place, take a breath, and listen. What does your heart want? What are naturally drawn to? That is where your path should lead. You should never tread a path that has been laid out by others. One day you will stop and look back and realize that it was a mistake. And then it will be too late. Follow your own path.


Breathe.
Something so simple that we take for granted, but also something so powerful. Breathing is the lifeflow connection we share with the living world. We breathe in the energy of plants and trees so that we may live. We breathe out our energy so that plants may live. In that breath, decisions may be made, clarity might be achieved, enlightenment attained.


Let Go.

You may want things – material objects.

You may want people – friends, a new love, the return of an old lover.

But life gives us all only two guarantees:

That we will live.

And that someday we will die.

You cannot live your life waiting. Forward motion puts everything into place. Live your life, put all you have into it.

Two things will happen:

You’ll acquire the material goods you want through hard work, or, you’ll have moved past that and on to something else. 

Same thing with people. Live your life. Be you.

Two things will happen:

Those people you want to attract, just may come to.

If they don’t, you’ll be so satisfied with your life, you will not even care.


Communicate.

One word can make a difference and nobody’s a mind reader. Explain yourself. Say what you need to say. Say what you want. Tell people how you feel about them.

But think before you speak. Words are important, and just like a scar, they can leave a mark.


Take the Time to Take Care of Yourself. 

No one is more important than you. And yes, in case nobody has told you – you are important. Somebody looks forward to seeing you. Somebody looks forward to you telling them hello. Somebody looks forward to the joke you tell them, the face you make. Somebody looks forward to simply being in your presence. 

Then there are those that depend on you: family, friends, coworkers. They need you, they depend on you, they count on you. 

Don’t be motivated by obligation. Don’t wear it about you like Christ carrying the cross. Many of us are raised thinking that to be a good person means saying yes to everyone’s request, giving it your all, all the while your health, your spirit, and your soul slowly deteriorates. 

You need take an hour, half a day – a whole day – out of the week focusing on your wants and your needs. That serves as a reset button and a recharge.

Done in the spirit of positivity, all things will work out for you.


Get Off Your Phone.

And stay off it, as long as you humanly can.

Not every moment needs to be pictured, not every moment needs to be put on video.

Be in the moment.


Connect.

With family, friends – with the world around you. 

Let’s hope I’ll learn more as I continue my journey, and I’ll hope the same for you in this New Year. 

Author: marcwritesmoorewords

Wordsmith, Poet, Drummer, Foodie. Fantasy geek. Movie lover. Theater fan. Lover of good drink, great conversation and women who enjoy both. Striving for balance and clarity and humor as I manage my 5th grade students, my ADHD, my Major Depression, and my recently-widowed mother.

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