Monday, April 7, 2014

I Believe in a Beautiful Life

Writing Prompt: Ten things that I believe...

1. I believe in working to live, not living to work. I have a job. I have a job that I enjoy, and a job that I am good at. I make a decent living wage, that would be better than decent had I not made financial mistakes in my early twenties. I have growth opportunities, and a boss who is supportive. That said, I do not focus my life around my job. It's a job. It might even be a career. But I look forward to my weekends, my time off, my vacations. I know that I have to have a job, and I am an independent woman; I will never want to not work and support myself financially. I am not looking for money in a partner so I can quit working. More power to ya if that's what you want, but I believe that working is a necessary part of my life.

2. I believe that family is not forever. I was raised in a big family. Lots of grandparents and a million aunts and uncles and cousins. Huge family holidays full of noise and games and love. I don't believe in that any more; it is no longer my reality. I believe in the family I do have, those ones who are forever, those ones who love me no matter what I think or feel or write. Growing up, I spent my days in the honey tree on Kelvin, or in the "jungle" on Monroe. My memories are vivid and powerful, and I still feel a deep rooted love between all 4 of my grandparents and the child I was. I will forever be grateful and will always miss those loud, crazy, hectic holidays; chaos as a large, loving family was what I knew and loved, and I'll always treasure those first 19 years of my life. My anger towards those who are no longer supportive or loving has faded into a hollow sadness, and with some, a true absence of emotion. And yet in this lesson, I have learned to be even more grateful for the family relationships I do have, because while I may have taken my family for granted in the past just thinking they'd be there no matter what, I now know that those are bonds I have to fight for, because family isn't always a lifetime commitment.

3. I believe that life is better when someone is next to me, making me laugh. I learned this from Zach, who despite his shortcomings as a boyfriend, excelled in being the one person in the room you could always be silly with. Zach was amazing. He made me smile. He made me laugh until I cried. He would stay the night at my apartment and we would lay in bed laughing and laughing, for hours. Nothing better than that. Life is truly too short to not find something to laugh at every day. My life was better in the short time Zach was a part of it, and I will never stop being grateful for everything he taught me about letting go of my pride and just being a goofball.

4. I believe that being "Auntie V" makes me a better person. I don't have babies of my own, and I can't picture having full time kids in my apartment. It's so clean and quiet here, and I know what kids do to that serenity. That said, I am deeply grateful for my relationship with my cousins' kids. I love these babies. I love to spoil them, have them over to my house to make messes and eat candy, watch movies with them, and read them books. I love when Blake calls me on the phone to tell me something he learned or something he did, like when he pooped in his potty. I love that I can curl up on the sofa holding Camille and just listening to her little snore. I love how afraid of me Oskar is and the way that Archer yells and runs. I love getting letters in the mail from Madelyn, and watching Lily and Eloise chase my cat around the house. The kids in my life are amazing. They are smart and awesome, and they have such distinct personalities; it's great. They make my life better. I want them to always call me and look up to me, and find safety with me when they run into trouble. Whether or not I ever have babies of my own, the little people in my life make me want to be better so they want to be like their Auntie V one day.

5. I believe that everyone would benefit from a little therapy. No need to elaborate too much here. I need it, you need it...we should all just give it a go!

6. I believe that Juno saved my life. You've all read the story. I don't need to retell it. If you missed it, HERE is where I give all the credit to a fluffy, little black kitten who saved me from the worst black hole I have ever fallen into. The next time you think I am spoiling the cat or seeming a bit crazy cat lady, remember that I don't love Juno because she's a cat; I love her because she rescued me from my really unhappy existence. And that's why I let her bite you when you come over.

7. I believe in my ability to write, and to write well. This blog has given me so much more confidence in the past year! I love that so many of my friends read it, and that so many strangers on the internet read it - it's such a compliment to me that people actually tune in daily to read what I have to say. The day I find out how to make a living wage on a blog, I will be a happy woman! I am so much more confident, and also so much more practiced, as a writer since starting this blog - I am less worried about what people think, more confident in my opinions and my ability to express them, and more excited about growing as a writer. So thank you for reading!!

8. I believe in my best friends, their hearts and their souls, and that they are amazing people. I have the best friends I've ever had. I have learned from them the meaning of a true friend. It's not about how many friends you have or how often you get to see them. Some of my best friends, I very rarely actually see. Some of the people I see the most often or talk to fairly often, I know are not the ones who will be here for me long term. My best friends - Rachel, Kattie, Heather, Adelle - have taught me that whether you talk to someone once a day or once a month, friends are friends, and they're the ones you can always count on. I am lucky to have them, as coworkers, roommates, and especially as friends.

9. I believe that being at the beach reminds me to slow down and by happy. How can it not? How can the sun and the wind and the waves not just make you stop and think about how amazing life is? The beach is my happy place. Always has been. My grandparents lived there, and I was always running down to visit them on my days off work or on spring break or winter break. I do the same now; pack a book, a 6 pack, and Juno, and run down to curl up in the rocking chair for two days. It makes me happier than anything or anywhere else. When I publish my first best-seller, I'm gonna buy myself an oceanfront condo where I can spend the weekends whenever I want.

10. I believe in living in the moment. Be happy. Do whatever makes you happy. If you want to take a trip or stay in your jammies all weekend or go out dancing, it doesn't matter. Do it. Make it count. You never know when you might be living your last moment, or when someone close to you may be living theirs. Embrace that. Don't let it bog you down, but really cherish those moments with everyone who matters to you. Say good morning and kiss goodnight. Snuggle for 5 more minutes. Play toys, read books. Go somewhere. Try something new. See something different. And for the love, LAUGH about it! Just be happy with every passing moment; no regrets.