I used to REALLY love life.
I’ve been knocked down, worn out, and sometimes it feels like there’s someone trying to prove that I should just give up on the positivity. I’ve been told many times that I’m the most positive person people know… but I’ve also been repeatedly told that this makes me naive and foolish.
This life has not exactly been kind to me. I’ve been climbing the same mountain for years and when I start making progress, the footholds come loose again. Some days, waking up feels like a gut-punch… reality hits and my breath catches and it takes a wave of intrinsic motivation to get out of bed and choose to smile and to TRY to make a small, positive impact on the world.
I’ve learned lessons the hardest way. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve struggled and I’ve helplessly watched people I love struggle. I’ve had to accept help when I could give nothing in return. I’ve had to help others when I could barely take care of myself. I’ve felt the defeat of working SO hard for something and having absolutely nothing to show for it.
I’ve felt true loneliness. I’ve fought battles that weren’t mine to fight. I’ve lost people I loved wholeheartedly. I’ve had family turn their backs and friends disappear. I’ve had to piece together my own family, very few of which are blood. I’ve made very hard choices and sometimes I absolutely chose the wrong one. I found those who are truly there for me, in my ugliest moments crying with me and in my proudest moments standing beside me, and I learned which ones were never really there to begin with.
But, every single day I keep going and I choose positivity. I used to really love life, and I know it’s possible to get that love back. Maybe some see this as naive, but I disagree. Yes there will be pain, but there’s so much beauty out there to discover.
As much of the darkness that I’ve seen in the world, it would be easy to dwell in it and feel hatred for the life I’ve been given, but that would be a waste of precious time when instead I can try to be a light. If it’s possible to love life MORE than I ever have, than THAT is my goal. Set the bar high and work your ass off to make it happen. I don’t think that’s foolishness… I think that’s fucking wisdom.
I’m determined to continue loving life, and I hope that I can encourage someone else to choose the same path. Find the good in people, forgive those who wronged you, trust those close to you, laugh without worrying about when it will end. I don’t think that’s naivety… I think that’s fucking bravery.
Choose forgiveness, choose gratitude, choose to smile again. Allow yourself to feel happiness, to trust and to give love; those are courageous things in a world that can be so painful. It will be scary, it will be hard, but nothing worth having comes easy.
Cry the tears, feel the rage, and love openly anyway. Drop to your knees and weep for the things you can’t control, then dry your face and stand up to face the things you can. Find peace in the pain and gratitude for the opportunity to feel it. Some days, the best you can do is survive, and some days, you’ll have the chance to do amazing things. TAKE those chances, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Suck up your pride, admit your faults, apologize where it’s due, and stand up for what you’re passionate about. Yeah, it’s exhausting. But I’d rather be tired at the end of the day with a full heart, knowing that I did the best I could possibly do, than to succumb to hardship and let it harden me and make me cold.
Just because someone is young doesn’t mean they don’t know how cruel this world can be. Just because someone is smiling doesn’t mean they aren’t carrying a suitcase of pain. Just because someone is giving doesn’t mean they have everything they need. Just because someone is trusting doesn’t mean they don’t expect to be let down. It’s not the year, honey, it’s the mileage. Maybe they are choosing to be positive because of past experience; because they know how beautiful life can be through the right lens.
I used to really love life, but now I want to learn to love it even more.
Love on, fight on, and do the things that light a fire inside of you.