My friend Brenda shared this meme, a quote by author Iain S. Thomas, on The Modern Pioneer Facebook Page. It sums up how I've been feeling not only the past few years but pretty much my entire life.
After blogging prolifically for eight years to not blogging much at all the past two, I often feel there are words trapped inside my head. Sometimes I think of a blog post I could write. I even take pictures I could post. But something has been stopping me from putting pen to proverbial paper.
I now realize I'd reached a tipping point and only my full focus could keep me on the path I consciously wanted to be on, not one I ended up on as a reaction. The world has become so negative in so many ways but still there is goodness, sometimes you just have to wait longer and look harder to see it.
How to live through my own experiences and losses while all the while bearing witness to unfathomable and the seemingly endless hardships, despair, and pain suffered by others in the world (and the world itself) around me without becoming cynical is what I've been struggling with the past two years.
It took moving 2,400 miles from Silicon Valley to the woodlands of Western Michigan to begin to truly understand what I needed to do. In this beautiful place I've found a quietness and clarity I hadn't ever known. In this case introspection has led to both acceptance and a call to action.
I know what quality of life I want:
- I want to live (not exist), to love (not hate), to thrive (not survive), to be grateful (not judgmental), to be surrounded by people who inspire (not drain) me, and to always be filled with hope (not resignation).
- I want to never forget that while differences and imperfections are to be expected and accepted both in others and myself, chronic negativity, hate, and anger will no longer be tolerated and have no place in the life I am choosing. They are toxic.
- My goals are not fame, fortune, or eternal youth. My goals are tenacity, resilience, and balance.
- I want to look back at the end of each moment (not each day, year, or decade) and know I have no regrets within my grasp that I am capable of changing.
- I am willing to do the work and am choosing a life well lived full of calmness, chaos, love, loss, euphoria, despair, challenges, risks, and change.
- I will live as well as I can for as long as I can and each day I will hope the same for you too.