Living and Learning

rainbow

As you know, Maya Angelou passed this week.  It’s a sad event, but she left behind an amazing legacy, and she will live on forever and ever.   Like most people, I’ve been reading through her poems, quotes, listening to her songs and interviews.  She was an incredible woman and human being.  I aspire to be half as amazing—or double as amazing… she wouldn’t have settled for half of anything ;)

That being said, I decided to write a post—not about food—but about love and hope.  My life has recently changed quite a bit.  I moved 1200 miles away from my home, my family, my friends.  I quit my job and began a new one in a totally different area of dietetics.  For over a month, I left behind my husband, my cats, all of my furniture and most of my possessions, living with nothing but the bare essentials.  I opened my heart to faith and put my trust in the unknown of my life’s future.

I’ve only been living in Orlando for about 2 months now.  It’s certainly different from Connecticut, but I’m doing my best to trust this new life.  I love my new job and co-workers.  I feel very blessed to have an opportunity to work with some truly awesome individuals.  I found a welcoming church oozing with love and acceptance.  In fact, the minister spent last week’s sermon speaking of how wonderful this church family is—how caring, warming, welcoming, and powerfully forgiving they are.  I have personally experienced their love already.  But surely, I am still lonely much of the time.  I miss my family and friends.  I feel lost some days.  I feel sad much of the time.  But there is an endless ocean of hope within my heart that’s doing its best to pour its waters into my soul, brightening my spirit with waves of positivity.

I got into an “argument” with my husband this week.  It began over something about Magic Johnson—not even sure how the whole conversation came about, truthfully.  But it lead me to telling my husband that I think perhaps he hasn’t experienced making true mistakes in life—the kind of mistakes that shake you and your soul, force you to look deeper into yourself and your life.  People who have been through earth-shattering experiences (within themselves and their families) learn to forgive, to love, to heal.  I suppose I can only speak for myself here.  I am 29 years old and my life’s experiences have taught me the lessons that have molded my spirit into the person I am today.  I am compassionate, forgiving, caring, and most certainly headstrong.

I have always loved Ayn Rand—her novels, her musings, her philosophies.  When I was in high school [and college,] I believed that I needed to hold true to her philosophies 100% or else…what was the point?  What would be the point in being half virtuous?  Half of an independent woman with hardcore values?  I believed that I would have to hold strong to a belief system in order to be a strong woman.  That’s one reason why I left behind my faith and spirituality for many years.  If I didn’t believe in all of the words of the bible, all of the beliefs of the church…what was the point?  That’s also why I fell into a pit of despair and illness.  If I couldn’t be something 100%, what would the point be?  Black or white.  Yes or no.  This or that.  I thought, felt, that life was a series of choices—a journey, indeed, that you must walk based on the path you chose.  If there is a fork in front of you, you must chose a path and stick with it until you find your destination.

Needless to say, I have grown to realize that life is not much like a path at all.  I’ve learned that if you walk one way, you have the freedom to turn around, to walk another path, to create another path, to close your eyes and run forward with no direction at all.  I have learned that you will find many others who will walk with you, as they have no strict path, either.  And I have learned that this is all okay.

I still love Ayn Rand’s philosophies, but I certainly don’t agree with all of them.  I still love God and my faith, but I have come to realize that it is my own, and I don’t have to believe every or any word in the bible.  I don’t have believe what someone else preaches.  I have learned that I can forgive myself, and even when I can’t, someone else can until I feel safe enough to begin healing.  I have learned that friends rarely live up to your expectations.  Instead of losing friends, do your best to lose your expectations.  I have learned that I will never live up to my own expectations.  I do my best to except where I am today.  I have learned that parents are people, too.  You can really grow a lot when you make the effort to look at your family as human beings rather than just your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, etc.

This post is not about anything in particular.  It’s a journal entry about loving and learning and growing.  It’s a reminder to myself and to you to love yourself and others.  You have one life to live.  Do you want to be the person known for judgment and anger or the one known for passion and compassion?  Do you want to feel bound by anxiety and fear or relaxed within the comfort of understanding and faith?

I choose the latter.  To the best of my ability.  With love in my heart, I send you faith.

Until next time, hold healing hope :)

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