Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the day that turned my world upside down and the starting point of this little writing adventure. On this anniversary, I had no time to cry as my friends kept me occupied and laughing for nearly 24 hours straight. It was truly something incredible.
At the end of the day as my best friend lied in bed beside me (no, they wouldn’t even let me sleep alone), my thoughts kept traveling in circles as I tried to grasp where this year has gone. As I’ve written before, it strangely shocked me every time I noticed time was carrying on, when I thought it should have stopped one year ago. “The world spins madly on.” And on it spun as I cried, laughed, grew, changed, stretched, wrote, thought and lived. Life is for the living, but it is up to the living to keep the spirits of those we have lost alive. Today, I am here to write about the lessons this year has taught me.
First of all, I quickly learned how much humans need other humans. A year later, and the people who have gotten me through all of it know exactly who they are. They’ve been doing it for 365 days and I’d probably be in a hole somewhere without them. We can’t be afraid to ask for help, and we can’t be afraid to let go of the people who aren’t helping. I learned how important it is to take care of myself. I’ve watched other people react to life’s moments and I’ve seen them plummet because they’ve forgotten the true ways to keep themselves happy. There is a tasteful way to be selfish, and it is the key to being your own savior when no one else can get the job done.
I have learned that the pain will never go away. While the pain never leaves, it is truly remarkable how much our feelings change from day to day. There are days when it seems like the weight on my heart has been lifted and there is hope that it won’t return…then the next day it is back and heavier than ever. While I can’t take credit for teaching myself this lesson, my friends forced me to accept the fact that I would have bad days. When the days are bad, they scold me when I apologize or seem embarrassed. They have taught me that it is okay to express whatever it is that I feel. I’m still working on accepting moments of weakness. Those moments are human, and they are okay.
Most importantly and most generically, I have learned to enjoy my life. As I’ve said before, the most simplest concepts sometimes seem the hardest to follow. The world is a beautiful place and I don’t think enough of us take the time to notice it. My mother used to stop in her tracks as we walked just to admire a tree. She would often times cry at the sight of a natural wonder because she couldn’t believe something so perfect could exist naturally. It is something I’ve found myself doing every day for the past year, and it something that has enriched my soul in a way I would never have imagined.
There is a lot of ugly in the world, but between what we see on the news, social media and our own pessimistic outlooks, we pay way more attention to what is wrong as opposed to what is right. If we exposed ourselves to more of the goodness, I think there would be a result of greatness. I challenge you to stop every day and find something beautiful, happy or just plain good about something. Anything. Eventually, it won’t be a challenge. You’ll start to see the good things surrounding you before you have time to think about the bad. When you see something bad, instead of dwelling on it, think about what could make it better. Nothing is hopeless.
Find your happiness and do everything you can to keep it. And when in doubt, be like a sunflower. Even on your darkest days, stand tall and face the sun.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has shared their love, words, thoughts and kindness with me this past year. Your goodness has turned some of my worst days into greatness.
Sending much love from my soul to yours,
The Sunflower Child