Life, it's been good to me. I've been fortunate to be raised in a home filled with love, respect, laughs, and memories. I never went hungry, or lacked opportunites. I didn't get everyhting handed to me, and learned the value of hard work and an earned dollar. I grew up, moved out of that home and got an education where I met many of my greatest friends, while still mainting my hometown faves. I graduated from college and got a job that I loved. I met a guy, one that exceeded any of my visions of what a "good guy" would be like, and now we're getting married.
Life... it's been great to me.
For that, I am so very thankful. If I'm having trouble at night falling asleep and feeling tense, rather than counting sheep, I count my blessings and that knocks me right out.
Through this wonderful life I've been so lucky to have in my brief 29 years here on earth, there's also been some hard times. These recent hard times have been the hardest yet.
Today I'm not here to throw a pity party, to ask for sympathy, or for a shoulder to cry on. Today, I'm here to talk about perspective. Life will throw you some pretty nasty lemons, but in catching those lemons, if you can pause and squeeze them for a minute you just might come out with some pretty decent lemonade.
While life has been so good to me, I can still say that the lemons of life have taught me quite a bit. I (not so happily) switched schools when I was young. I went through some body-image issues growing up, yo-yo-ing from being overweight, to far too skinny for my own good, to more overweight that I was before. I was let go from my first grown-up job. I moved across the country to a place where I knew no one expect PJ, and didn't even have a job. I took a hefty cut in pay and learned what it felt like to truly "just get by." I lost my Dad suddenly and unexpectadly.
A thought that has crossed my mind lately, "What would I be thinking about right now if _____ hadn't happened?" I look at the lemons that life has handed over as a way to look at life through a different lens. Oh how one's persepctive can change when things go from perfect to challenging or tough.
Had I not changed schools at a young age and gone from the shyest kid on the playground to the one that won't shut up, I may have never had the courage to move across the country on a leap of faith. Had I not fought that infamous body image battle, I may not be writing this blog post today... I may not have found my purpose to help others know that they are more beautiful than the make-up they wear, the brands they buy, or the number on the scale. Had I not lost my job, I wouldn't have the deep down belief that it really, truly all works out if you just have a little faith, work hard, be nice, don't burn bridges, and have an open mind.
And had I not lost my Dad, well shoot... who knows what I would be thinking about right now. Would I jump at the chance to spend an afternoon with my mom & aunt tomorrow, or think about the things I have to get done at work? Would I look up in the sky for pretty eagles, or keep my vision close and narrow to what's straight ahead? Would I let the silly things that seemed so important consume my mind, or would I just let them go? Would I even be sharing my vulnerable thoughts and feelings right now, or would I have a fear of what others might think or say?
As odd of a question as it may seem, I think it truly is important to ask yourself "what would I be thinking about right now if _____ didn't happen?" Life can be beautiful, wonderful, and happy, but it can be challenging and tough at times too. It's in appreciating our tough times that the compassion comes through, our new paths are created, our pesective is shifted and the true beauty of life shines through.
You are strong, awesome and powerful. Appreciate the things you have been through in ife.... some things might be the sugar, while others are the lemon. It's all about how you combine them to make your own version of the best lemonade... YOUR lemonade.