I hate the saying ‘The universe only ever gives you what you can handle.’ Like, hate. it. If someone ever says those words to me in my time of need or sorrow, I will have to refrain from punching that person in the throat (not really, but AHHHH!). I think that quote is absolute crap and makes no sense at all. The universe dishes out whatever the hell it wants, to whoever the hell it wants, and when it does, each of us is responsible for how we respond to it.
Category: stuff that makes me happy
There is nothing more Meryl Streep needs to do to cement her legacy as one of the greatest actresses of her generation, or any for that matter – she is a goddess. But last night she catapulted herself into the stratosphere and will be immortalized not only as the brightest star ever to shine but as a hero. Standing in front of her peers, and millions of people watching at home, with conviction, grace, and courage gave a speech for the ages about inclusion and protection of freedoms. The strength she must have had to muster, I can only imagine.
Well, that’s a wrap…2016 came, and in the blink of an eye, went. But unlike so many years before, I am looking back on this one with a big smile on my face. Usually, on New Year’s Eve, I promise myself, that this year I will do something, I won’t sit around, I WILL MAKE SOMETHING OF MYSELF AND MY LIFE – annnd, then I totally don’t, and before I know it, another wasted year is over. 2016, though, was entirely different. It wasn’t at all like the previous ones. This one was full of magic, growth, happiness and a steadfast commitment to fulfilling my dreams. I began chasing the absolute hell out of my dreams, and for the first time in my life believe they are going to come true.
Recently I found out that someone let me down, like big time. It was a bit of a shocker. But the revelation didn’t make me question why that person made the choice they did; it made me question myself. How could I have gotten it so wrong? Is anything I believe real? Are my instincts that out of whack? Should I just go fishing with that guy I see every morning at Starbucks, instead of continually declining invitations to board his boat? I mean, he seems nice – surely he isn’t going to slice open my brain with a fish hook, right? Well, what the fuck do I know anymore?
Because I never make anything easy for myself, I, of course, started questioning everything. What is the point trusting people, if they are kind, give you a reason to believe in them, invite you fishing, only to turn around and gouge your unsuspecting eyes out? What in the actual hell is the point? AHHHHHH. My brain is such a bastard sometimes.
What was evident to me was that I was in need of some clarity.
So, I did what I so often do – I locked in my headphones and opened my mind to my music. Lyrics raced through my head, and I just listened, patiently waiting, song after song, for one word, one thought that would bring it all back into focus.
And then…JOSH GROBAN HAPPENED!
‘BELIEVE’ – simple as that. Just fucking believe. YES, JOSH!!! Once again it all made perfect sense.
I am chasing a dream, one that for years I didn’t think or believe was possible. But, when belief finally started to creep into my mindset, that is when everything began to change, when my goals suddenly seemed attainable. I now know that they are within my reach. I would still be sitting on the couch moaning and longing for something more while making no attempt to get the words out or the led out of my ass if I hadn’t started to believe.
My belief, though, didn’t just appear like the slip of a fart, ‘poof there it is’…NO, it came from people – people I opened myself to because I loved them, believed in them and trusted them. It came from the friend who knew the moment she met me that I wanted to be a writer, and who ever since has provided constant encouragement. Her belief in me helped establish the belief I now have in myself. She puts me in my place when I dare to speak negatively about myself and when my confidence waivers her encouragement reminds me that, I can. It came from the friend who looked at me and said, ‘you seem like the kind of person who will do exactly what you say you will.’ Her words have played a key role in pushing me and encouraging me to keep going because when doubt controls my thoughts, I remember that someone believes I can, and will. It comes from the friend who when I get frustrated says, ‘remember, progress, is still progress, even if it is slow.’ These words remind me that I need to be proud of even the smallest accomplishments because any amount of effort keeps me moving in the direction I want to go, forward.
These are the types of people I am blessed to have in my life – my family and friends – and with whom I want to share laughter, love, and the very worst and best parts of life. We wholeheartedly believe in one another, have each other’s ears anytime of the day or night and love the absolute shit out of each other. Even when distance separates us, love fills the space between us and keeps us close.
So, I ask myself once again – why take a chance, open your heart and put your faith in people and risk feeling disappointment or pain? The answer is a simple one.
Because when the universe is a nasty son of a bitch and rains down death, despair, and one fireball after another filled with pain – it is the people we hold in our hearts who lift us, who keep us moving forward when our legs become too heavy. And, who help us see that there is light, there is hope.
And, when that son of a bitch blesses us with a reprieve, it is these same people we celebrate and enjoy the beautiful moments with – the moments we treasure deep in our hearts. The ones that cause us to smile big and feel so incredibly blessed to be alive, and a part of this beautiful fucking crazy world.
That is the point. That is the reason.
Josh Groban pieced it back together for me. I understand that when one person lets me down, inside my heart is love for so many others and that I am so much more than just one. He says that when the magic has slipped away, believe in what your heart is saying and believe in what you feel inside. What I feel inside is love, unrelenting love. And to me, that is the magic.
So, when I lose my way, all I have to do is listen. I know exactly what my heart is saying.
Just keep believing because it is so very worth it.
I am a fiercely independent person, and my freedom is essential to my well-being. So, the thought of being in a relationship makes me want to stab myself repeatedly in the face with a dull knife. For real. At this point in my life, the only way I would relinquish my status of ‘single and happy as hell about it’ is if the fate of the human race depended on it, like, if I don’t accept the mission and immediately ‘couple up’ we will all perish. Well, fuck, of course, I would sacrifice myself to prevent that, and take one for the team. But, after grudgingly accepting my fate and unwanted title of ‘Hero’ the countdown would be on until the day I could make a run for the hills screaming ‘CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, ASSHOLES’ never once looking back. I need and want to be alone.
Admittedly, for the past couple of weeks, I have been lost in a fog of ‘WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?’. I have been going through the motions of life, completing my daily goals and tasks, but something has been missing. I have been disconnected. Instead, consumed with fear and uncertainty. I am, however, going to give myself a bit of a pass on this one. I care deeply about the world (which is now in peril or fucked, you pick) and my response to something this catastrophic was a natural one, but still, enough already (and, I trust Jill Stein has this covered), I need to keep living. The world hasn’t ended, yet. Right? I also know that if the characters in my book came to life, they would slap me upside the head and tell me to get my shit together then take turns screaming ‘YOU CAN DO BETTER – WE DESERVE BETTER!’ And, ‘I KNOW, I KNOW’ is what I would scream back, because I can do better, and they do deserve better. Ahh, I KNOW!
I already knew something was up, but when I ate a bag of cheezies for breakfast on Tuesday morning and chased it with a Mr. Big, it was an indication something was seriously wrong with me. At the time I asked myself, “why the HELL did you eat that?’, but I just shrugged my shoulders, said “whatever” at the impulsiveness of my breakfast choice and carried on with my life.There were more signs throughout the week, though, that I wasn’t quite right.
I don’t go out much anymore. It’s not that I am opposed to fun, or going out; it’s just that I am tired and it is so much easier to nestle into my pyjamas than it is to try and pull myself together for socializing, especially in public. My early mornings are feeding the bags below my eyes, and the age I feel in my bones is now visible on my face – most days I look in the mirror and shudder at the person looking back at me. So, when Friday night rolls around, I prefer to plant myself on my couch, watch Netflix and eat anything I damn well please, rather than make any effort to be social.
But this past Friday night, that is not at all how my night began or ended.
My friend and I see each other often, but rarely venture out. We decided that we needed to hang out in public and experience the pulse of a bustling Friday night crowd. After a grueling week at work we just wanted to feel alive and step out into the world.
Both of us are now of the same opinion – it was a fantastic fucking idea and our decision to leave our comfort zone made for a very memorable night!
If we hadn’t gone out, we wouldn’t have met Captain Morgan (not the drink, the man – for real!). I wouldn’t have temporarily lost my mind and fallen for his charm and good looks (that’s real too – friends, I share your confusion!!). We wouldn’t have laughed at the ridiculousness of my crush or his missing pirate hat. We would have missed the toddler who sauntered her way through the bar like she belonged, completely unaware of her surroundings or the adoring stares she was garnering (don’t worry, we think she was a part owner). We wouldn’t have met the woman on the street who was so passionate about her ramen she pretended to make love to it. SOLD! We wouldn’t have had ramen.
Had we succumbed to our fatigue and chosen comfort instead of each other, we would have missed all those things, but also so much more.
Throughout the evening, we talked about life, our dreams and how blessed we both are for our friendship, and for this night. And we laughed, oh man, did we laugh. We connected, we were present. It was just us, no phones, no TV, and it was beautiful.
As I walked home, I couldn’t help but smile, thankful for the reminder the night gave to me – that no matter how busy I am or how tired, there is magic outside my door and the effort is more than worth it.
It began with a best friend, and it ended with one hell of a memory!