Sunday, November 16, 2014

Falling in Love With Beautiful Little Nothings

I never wanted to be one of those kids who took things for granted. My mom, dad, Nanny and pop pop have always reminded me to be grateful for the small things in life. I’ve grown to appreciate that those beautiful little nothings mean everything in the long run. Those are the things you’ll remember ten years from now. Those little nothings are the basis of all your future stories. Open your eyes wider to those nothings and learn to love them now, rather than ten years from now.

I say that I’m grateful all of the time, but when asked on the spot to pinpoint those very things, I’m dumbfounded. The truth is, there are far too many things that I am grateful for to simply put in a single list. I am grateful everyday that I wake up, thankful for another day. It wasn’t always this way. Anyone who knows me probably knows by now that I suffer from depression. It comes and goes as it pleases and more often than not overstays its welcome each and every time. When these demons are with me, I fold. You remember when as a kid you used to see how many times you can fold a piece of paper, before it wouldn’t go anymore? That’s kind of like life with depression is like. Each day, another thing becomes a little less enjoyable to you. All of the things that used to excite you become “eh,” until you fold into nothing. You can’t bend anymore. Numb.

Each time I come out of a bout of depression, I have a new found appreciation for life, and I fall in love with it all over again. I appreciate each day I have where my brain is clear of these demons and I take advantage of feeling alive and well. I used to love to tell my nanny that I was bored. Each time she would tell me, “you’re too young to be bored.” I never understood what she meant. I didn’t know boredom had an age limit. What I think she meant was that there is so much in this life that I haven’t seen or experienced yet, how can I possibly be bored? As usual, she was right. I am never bored. I am always exploring. That’s what we all came to do.

The more I thought about it, the more I was at a loss. There’s so many, but when someone is looking for an immediate response, all I could seem to mutter was, “uhhh... Family.” The more I thought on it, the more I realized I am grateful for so many small things that make up the bigger picture of my life:

-Although my circle is small, it is tight. I have a strong bond with every one of my friends and family members. Although we are often far apart, we find ways to manage to talk every day.

-My mom doesn’t get mad when I call her eight times in a day, to tell her every thought that popped into my head for the day. Distance makes the heart grow patient, I guess?

-I can always count on my dad to answer the phone mid-day, when I just need someone to listen to me rant about my day.

-My sister is patient with me when I ask her a thousand silly questions about the way life works. It’s a mutual understanding that older sisters are supposed to show the younger ones the ropes.

-Having friends who feel comfortable enough to walk in my room without knocking.

-Having friends who refer to your mother as “mom.”

-Having friends who come to your house and walk to the refrigerator, before saying anything else.

-Being a “human sponge,” I soak up every lesson that people have experienced around me, learning from their mistakes, and growing by observation.

-Every bad person who has waltzed through my life. I hold no grudges, however I am thankful for all that you taught me about patience, forgiveness, and life. Only few, but you have all helped me grow tremendously.

-The feeling you get on rainy days, where you feel like it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in your pajamas all day and have a movie marathon with your dog.

-No matter how long I am away at school, my dog is always excited to see me when I come back home.

-Being a writer and being able to sympathize and connect with all different kinds of people on a deeper level.

-As a writer, feeling every emotion ten times stronger than anyone else. -All of the opportunities I have gotten through my school. Including: interning with CollegeFashionista, USA TODAY College, and Tampa Tribune, meeting my friends, and getting to travel to Memphis for a leadership program.

-The ability to see/ hear. As a writer, this is so essential for me, and something I think many people take for granted.

-Good health so I can bike, hike, run and box as I please.

-All of my english teachers who have helped me better my craft throughout the year.

-Support. When someone tells me that they read something I’ve written whether it be a blog, poem, or an article- it means the world to me, because I bleed into everything I write.

-Being free. I have a wandering soul. I am lucky to have the freedom to study whatever I want, wherever I want. After school, I have the freedom to pursue any career I want and settle down in any state that I’d like, with whomever I choose. This is perhaps what I’m most grateful for.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Love more, not less. Love fully, not conditionally.

I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately. Although I may appear to have a tough exterior, I am a total sucker for love. I think it’s a beautiful thing that the world seems to be lacking right now, and I am fascinated by the concept. What do I mean by “concept?” Love is one of those terms that there is no set definition, you can define it however you please. What is considered love to you, may not feel like love at all to the person next to you. Each person has their own set definition, each relationship has its own definition, and each person has their own philosophy when it comes to love.

Anyone who knows me knows that I swim in the beautiful words of Tyler Knott Greggson. Never before have I read anything quite like his poems. He has an incredible knack for making big things out of little nothings, and finding hope in what may seem to some like the darkest places. While he does receive criticism for always writing on love, he stands true to his belief: this world needs more love. Love more, not less. Love fully, not conditionally. I am always interested to see how love changes over generations, over years, and witnessing its different forms within different people.

After writing about the love between my Nanny and Pop Pop for Creative Writing, and a bad experience I had when love went awry for my Feature Writing class, I got to thinking about my own philosophy on love. I thought, if i’m still single, it must not be very good. But, after giving it some thought, I reconsidered. It just means that I’m not willing to settle for a love, just because I may be lonely. I’m abundant with love, it’s all around me.

It was the wise words of Marco from Starting Over Again that solidified my philosophy on love: “I can never unlove you. I’ll just love you in a different way now.” I think this is beautiful and so absolutely true. So many people when a relationship ends, tries to convince themselves that they hate the other person. When in reality, if you’ve felt love for them once, you will always feel love for them, it will just take different form.

For me, I have felt what I consider real love for a man twice in my life. Although they may not be in my life now as much as they used to be and things didn’t work out like we had planned, that doesn’t change how I feel about them. I fell in love, because they were great people, who I enjoyed being around. Just because things did not go to plan, doesn’t mean they’re not still great people. Just because things didn’t work out doesn’t mean I hate them. I will always wish them the best and I will always hope they have happiness in their lives and do great things. My love has just taken a different form.

When I fall in love, I fall in love wholeheartedly and purely. My love is pure, I want nothing in return from you. I don’t ask that you give me gifts, you give me surprises or anything of that manner. I don’t even ask that you love me in the same way that I love you. My love doesn’t come with terms and conditions. You can’t help who you fall in love with.

What is your philosophy?