I was waiting for the coffee to brew this morning and I thought about when I was in college. I was trying to prove that I wasn’t a screw up to my parents, so I decided to graduate in three years instead of four. Overtime classes that had to be approved by the dean, round-the-clock days involving my classes, homework, and 2-3 jobs, but I did it.
In retrospect, it was a good time for me. I spent what free-time I had with my sister and friends, smoking on the patio with wine coolers, kidding, with beer. It was hard though, I was an art major and wasn’t doing well in my field. Some critiques were so hard that I would leave the building when it was over and sit in my car crying. I stopped being able to eat from the stress, I developed ulcers, and on more than one occasion broke down crying in the cafeteria, on the quad, or in general, where ever I was standing. I was in a mindset though, succeed or fail trying. I wasn’t going to give up and I just kept pushing my limits.
I wish my stories of hard-work, grit, and success were glamorous and sexy but they’re not. In reality, I was a tall, bony, sleep-deprived girl with an art bag bigger than myself and everywhere I walked there was a cloud of cigarette smoke around me. For the last few years, I wanted to reinvent myself as better than what I was even before the traumas, but today I’m comfortable with who I used to be.
To relate effectively with a wife, husband, children, friends, or working associates, we must learn to listen. And this requires emotional strength. Listening involves patience, openness, and the desire to understand – highly developed qualities of character. It’s so much easier to operate from a low emotional level and to give high-level advise.”
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
I’ve been operating from a low emotional level. I was talking to my twinsie sister yesterday and she mentioned needing to talk to adults to break up some of her day since she is surrounding by her troops of babies. I, on the other hand, spend most of my day alone, without talking to anyone, adults or babies and I used to prefer it that way. We could blame it on the fact that I’m an artist or I could just admit that I preferred running on a low emotional level, but no more.
I’m starting to put myself out there during the day with family, friends, and strangers – not creepy strangers, but Starbucks-barista style strangers. In the last three days, I’ve found it exhilarating to step out of my comfort zone and to be confident with myself because I am legitimate.
I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. – Laura Ingalls Wilder
I’ve been sitting here for two minutes wondering what the sweet, simple things are in my life and it’s hard to narrow down my list. These aren’t things that have come to be because of anything that I’ve done, it’s all thanks to those that care about me. Like morning coffee with my husband, spending time with my mom, ::added bonus, shopping with her:: seeing my sister and getting to hug her, my nephews laughter, when my nephews raise their arms up to be held, hearing them say “gramma”. One day there was a photo album open and a picture of my Dad in it, my sweet baby nephew points to him and says “papa, papa”. Some of the sweet, simple things right now are just memories of my dad. I worked at a newspaper once and he would stop by during the day and bring me a cup of coffee to shoot the breeze. I can still see him walking back to his truck, cowboy hat on his head and smiling at people as his went. These are the real things in my life and they are beautiful.
Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish” – Michelangelo
When dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. – Langston Hughes
When you’re through changing, you’re through. – Bruce Barton