"I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape." - Charles Dickens
In 2017, I learned certain truths that have set me free in 2018. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Staying on the rim of the grocery store, and only buying food on the edge will not only save your wallet, but save your waistline. I was quite worried that it was some kind of Japanese miracle that was keeping me healthy, so when I moved back to the United States I expected to put weight back on. However, I haven't gained weight back. I continue to stay away from the middle aisles, except for the peanut butter aisle. That will be my life long vice along with coffee. I no longer crave the sweets I did before, and the thought of buying a frozen meal, even in a rush just doesn't appeal to me. The results of staying on the outside are I rarely if ever get sick and like I said, but weight has remained low and healthy.
2. Time is a man made construct that you can use to your benefit, or use it as an excuse. I spent most of my life like many do, complaining that there isn't enough time. Well, the truth (for me) is that there may not be enough time to do EVERYTHING I want to do, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. If I only have a day off, I used to think oh that isn't enough time to do anything. Now I know it is enough for an amazing adventure. I can go to a national park, take a hike, explore, and be back cozy in my bed (if need be) all within 24 hours. All I need to do is get my butt up in the morning and go. I don't even need 24 hours, sometimes 2 or 4 hours is enough to try something new, go somewhere different and just see things from a different perspective.
3. Bad things happen. It doesn't make you a bad person and it shouldn't ruin your day. Recently I have had a series of unfortunate events happen. But honestly, I feel like I was long overdue for such things. Yes, it would have been great if they hadn't happened, but I know it is part of life to take the good with the bad. It also serves as a wake up call to know what I truly care about, what truly matters to me.
4. I am enough. This was a tough one to get through my skull. And I think I have to thank the bad things for helping me finally get it through my head. I realized I don't want or need for anything else. Of course I have desires to improve, but everything I am and have is enough. I have never been able to say that before. And as much as I wanted to feel that and say that to someone I loved, I failed before I could do that. Even though I really think he wanted to show me that.
5. Unconditional love exists. I was on the fence about this one before 2017. Maybe because I hadn't loved someone enough never to hate them or be angry with them, no matter what. Loving unconditionally should really be the only way to love. It feels much better than all the other kinds. Even when things end, that love is still there and you smile when you think of them. And maybe just maybe, that is what the forever love I have always believed in is all about.
6. Solitude is healing. Yes, I am bit of a loner. I can be a social person when put in a group, but I prefer my own company as of late. I have taken most of my adventures alone. With just the occasional trip to visit friends in Colorado. I prefer to roam the west alone. I have found it healing for my troubled heart. I have no trouble eating alone, talking to strangers, or even camping with only the stars for company. I finally can let all the crazy go. The actions that weren't me, the fears that caged me, the jealousy that was a cue that I needed space, they all disappear when I am by myself.
7. Indulgence is key. As I try to stay centered and balanced in all forms, I have acknowledged that indulgence is key. Sometimes that means treating myself to a massage, but more often that not that means I treat myself to breakfast at McDonald's. Yes, you can judge and say I am gross or a hypocrite. But the fact of the matter is, I love egg and cheese biscuits from Mickey D's. When I head out for an adventure, my ritual usually involves stopping at the golden arches for one on my way to wherever I am going. It helps keep me sane.
8. Age is just a number. Most days I have no idea how old I am. I really do have to think about being 33. Most days I feel like I am in my early twenties with the occasional day of feeling like a 70 year old thrown in there. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life, mind, body, and even soul. I think that has a lot to do with the fact I really don't pay attention to age. I socialize with whoever is interesting and I just keep moving. Moving is essential!
9. There is no greater beauty than the great outdoors. I really took this one for granted for far too long. I have made it my mission to hike at least once a week. I have to get outside, there is just too much beauty to behold on this great big earth. I have never in my life known what I want to do or be. When I was little, those thoughts never came like they did for many others. I was never the kind of child that had a career in mind. What I said instead was, "I want to go..." I have always wanted to travel. I have been fortunate enough to have been given the luck to travel. I don't take that for granted, and will continue to witness the beauty that this world has to show, as long as it allows me to.
10. I don't have to share everything...or anything for that matter. This one had me thinking about this blog among other things. Why do I write this blog? At first it was to have a connection with my yoga students, friends, and family while I was in Japan. Then it morphed into a type of journal, and then finally it was a way for me to say the things I wasn't able to say in my real life. Well, now I find myself really not needing any of that. I don't find myself wanting to tell my day to day life on social media. I have found peace in living my life for me. So, with that being said. This very well might be my last blog. I do enjoy writing, but I think I will choose a different outlet for it, another way to tell my story if you may. I have enjoyed every bit of feedback I have gotten from my friends, family, and any other readers. I hope that 2018 sets you free. Free to be you.