Every morning when the sun comes up I like to give myself a little a pep talk (am I the only one?) I recite what I’m thankful for, reflect on yesterday’s lessons and determine how I will utilize them today. (Seems somewhat detailed but it really only takes me two minutes and sets such a positive mood for the remainder of my day.)
Once I have a clear conscious I scan through my phone to see what’s going on in the outside world. I look forward to reading about new music, artists, foreign places to travel to and delicious restaurants popping up around the city. Unfortunately, I’ve been distracted by nothing but negative criticism regarding politics; who’s right, who’s wrong, who hates who, it’s actually quite freighting to see how divided our country has become. Where’s all the encouraging quotes at, the children’s birthday parties, the adventurous getaway weekends, heck even the selfies that usually flood my news feed?
Ironically, right before I think society has failed me, Facebook goes and reminds me what I posted three years ago today and suddenly I am transported to an earlier version of myself, simultaneously unburdened by the current climate and unaware of the blessings yet to come.
Then I get to thinking (which leads to writing) how time has the greatest ability to change everything. This day last year I was single, this day two years ago I moved across country, shit on this day three years ago my whole life was different! I glimpse at that girl on those days I’m reminded by good ol’ Facebook and I can barely recognize her. Who is she and where did she go? Then I think to myself; “that’s still you, just an earlier, less polished version. A version who once danced with the devil himself.”
Uniquely, I don’t let this get me down. Instead, I rise above it because without darkness I’d never see the stars. I wouldn’t be the warrior I am today, I wouldn’t have thick skin and a mind of my own, I wouldn’t have a clear vision on how the real world works or be able to look in the mirror with confidence and love the woman staring back.
I’m thankful for those reminders of that young girl and realize she has now blossomed into a beautiful, passionate woman. A woman who doesn’t judge others by their race, sexual preference or social status. A woman who doesn’t shun away the good men and hide behind fear and insecurities. A woman who doesn’t keep her feelings bottled up inside but instead writes them down and shares them with the world because being judged is worse than being silent. The better I become the better the world around me becomes and that’s what I have total control over.
I encourage you to do the same. Accept change – it is the only constant in life. Be proud of the battles you conquered and the scars acquired while fighting them. Don’t let the evils of the world turn you into a zombie who believes everything they see or hear in the media. Contribute kindness and nobility back into this earth because there’s no greater investment in life than in being a people builder. Relationships are more important than our accomplishments. Especially the relationship we have with ourselves.
– Ash Xoxo