Some Personal Thoughts and Reflections
I posted this on my Facebook but thought it'd be an interesting discussion here too. The past year and a half or so has been a time of major self-discovery and reflection for me. Here are just some of my thoughts that I felt like sharing:
*Life is a journey, not a destination. I have spent much my time back in NY angry and confused. The total time is 172 days, or almost exactly six months. However, my journey of awakening and self-realization began on November 7, 2013, or 621 days ago. In that time, I have learned more about myself and the world I live in than the previous 21+ years combined.
I wanted to share a few of the lessons I have learned, because I want to. If you want to skip past this post, that's fine. But if not, please keep reading...
Own every decision you make. Regardless of the end result or the thinking that led you to make the decision, own it. There was a reason you made that decision. Realize that a piece of you has impacted the world forever in this way.
Don't ever hate those who raised you. Parents are funny creatures, and I am not one yet. However, I think that deep down, all parents want their children to succeed, even if they don't know it. If you continue the same path as your family, that's fine. However, don't be afraid to venture out and try something new. To deny yourself this is to deny yourself the chance to know who you really are, and therefore deny yourself contentment.
Surround yourself with good friends, but be eclectic. Do not keep just one kind of friend, or a group of friends all of like mind, ESPECIALLY if they already think like you. Make sure you have a plethora of people around you who challenge you to think differently. However, never accept what is said simply because of the person saying it. Challenge them back and then decide for yourself what you want to believe.
Love freely, and be hurt plenty. Too many times I see people do this once and then retreat within. You cannot find true love without the chance of immense pain. Bob Marley said it best when he said “the truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” This could not be truer. So share yourself with others. Get hurt, and then take that pain and turn it into empathy, a quality sorely lacking in the world today.
Don't judge others. Whether it's a belief, a fetish, or just a thought, everyone has their reasons for what they believe, feel and desire. If it brings them happiness, and does not hurt anyone else, who are you to judge?
You can't control who you love. I have many friends that I've lost, friends whom I'd gladly take many bullets for but will probably never speak to me again. I still love them. If one human being loves another, why should anything else matter? Gender, age, race, background, income or anything else is irrelevant. Love is the most powerful force in the world.
Enjoy the silence. I used to not be able to stand silence for any length of time. In this way, I finally understand my father. Music is wonderful, conversation stimulating, but take time to meditate on your life, your goals, your past decisions, and your future ones.
Stop trying to plan to the enth degree. I used to not want to make a move until I had my next twenty steps all laid out with contingency plans at every step. Something my grandmother used to tell my father one day rang true with me: "you're a smart person, figure it out". Have confidence in yourself and trust others when you need help. Set a goal and just start working towards it. You will likely have to re-adjust your course untold numbers of times, but in the end, as long as your heading is clear in mind, even if it changes, you will reach your destination.
Last, family does not mean blood. I see people talk about putting family above all else. However, as I've seen first-hand these past six months, family is not who you share genetic material with. Family is the people who stick by you no matter what, accept you for who you are AND who you want to be, tell you you're being an idiot when you deserve it, and also when you're being smart, laugh at you when you fall down and then help you up, and never reject you because you act in a way different than they would. When you find these kinds of people, hold on to them tighter than anything else in the world. Because at the end of it all, that is your legacy. Not what you built, how much money you made, or what kind of name you built for yourself, but what kind of name you built with others and how you touched the lives of others.
Thank you for reading, and if you read this whole thing, please leave me a comment with any thoughts you have.
Yeah.... no comments on that at all.. I pretty much whole heartedly agree. Life is too short to waste it on petty things that ultimately don't matter.
The day you quit learning about yourself is the day you truly start dying.