I've been thinking a big about the fact that this is now 2013. Life has moved on so quickly. I feel as though I have not written in a long, long time. Written as in really written exactly what I wanted to and in such a way that I could feel good about it afterwards. Funny how that goes, it is like I"ve been lost the past little while, a hollow shell of what I have been. Emotion just were not as strong, I was the epitome of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb". I was just happy to sit there in a static and forever gray state. It was not depression, I do not want you to think that. I just wasn't there. I wasn't anywhere. My chest was empty along with my heart, mind, and imagination. Creativity was impossible. I am good at covering things like that, and I doubt anyone really noticed. I just seemed like an absent minded professor.
Thank goodness that I can tell someone this. I can't describe how good it feels to get this down and figure out just what happened. This blog always listens to me and regardless of whether someone chooses to read this or not, I know that someone has already listened. For that I am grateful.
Now I am inviting you to come into my world. I will try to describe things as well as I can so that you may be able to forget that it is me writing it. In my philosophy writing class, we discussed good prose. My professor said that the best prose is the kind that acts as a window through which the reader can gaze through it and see, unobscured, the object on the other side. Good prose does not have faults in the window because you do not want to attract attention to the writing, if what people remember the most from something you wrote is the way that you wrote it, then you did it wrong. I think that is one of the main things that brought me here. I want to write again and I've been so worried about writing it well instead of just putting on paper the thoughts as they come. I never know what I'm going to finish the sentence with until I reach that point. That is how I find myself and that is how I channel that. If I can somehow, even though I am extremely inadequate, allow you to feel what I am and see things how I do then I would know I am doing something in this world. Making some mark.
The thought crossed my mind the other day regarding how I want to be thought of, this was sparked by a comment from a friend. I realized that I didn't know how I wanted people to think of me because it had never occurred to me that people think of me at all. As far as I am concerned, I come into someone's life and then I am out again without having made any lasting mark. The concept of people remembering me is ridiculous and I think that is why I started this blog. So I could remember myself. This is not a sad thing, it is merely something that I've always thought. The first time my mom told me that my brother had said in his prayer that he was glad I'd be home soon from school for Christmas made me cry. The idea that someone actually cared that I would be with them soon was foreign and I couldn't believe it. In my mind I have never been worth it, not in the sense that other people are. I have always felt in the background. I move, I change, I do the behind-the-scenes work that is hardly ever given credit. And I have liked it that way, with that I can pass through people's lives and I can experience what they are and then I can move on when they do. No attachment because everything changes, and the only attachment is in the moment. At one point that person and I were friends and we are not now, but that moment was perfect. That kind of thing. Finding out that people cared really made me think about my life. I still do not think that anyone thinks of me unless I am there with them, but I thought about the way I act and if that reflects my mindset. And it does, completely. I've never been able to understand why I act the way I do, not really, until now. I don't know why I bring that I up, but there it is, maybe I'll need it later.
The best way I can think of to organize my thoughts is by putting up on here my favorite pictures from the past year, many of these have honestly changed my life or have at least had an impact on the way I view the world, myself, and others.
This picture sums up the entire year for me. 2012 has been a year of incredible risks of every kind and I am intensely grateful for all of them that I took and I regret those that I did not because I can see how those that I have changed my life for the better. The universe said to me, "it's time to take a risk, sweetheart. " because it knew that I had never really done that before. I've been enjoying standing on the edge of the cliff with my parachute, feeling the exhilaration of the possibility before me. This year was the time for me to step off that cliff and stop talking.
This is me. Not many people know that, and honestly more people know it than I am aware of. There is no place that I feel more like me than when I am standing there alone looking at something like that. I stand there and I wonder what could be more perfect. Of course, having someone there to experience it with me would be great but the thing is I don't know anyone who experiences things like I do. I soak them in and allow them to fill me up. Breathing, thinking, and not wanting to talk. Darling, let's be adventurers. I think of that song that I linked to the top whenever I look at this picture.
How beautiful would that be? This goes along with what I was saying before about not wanting to be thought of. There is nothing that I do that is worthy of being thought about because there are so many great things that could inhabit your mind. I am not important. But when there is someone that I care about, I want to be able to exist like this even if only for a small amount of time. This was a theme of learning for this year.
This has changed my life. I quote this all the time and I constantly think of it. Whenever I have a hard day, or I feel alone in a class or something, I look around and I notice the art that is around me. Everyone is beautiful and everyone deserved to be thought of in this way. Regardless of your station, ethnicity, history, or any other category. Everyone creates art that should be loved. That is what I have been trying to do this year. I look at the way someone holds their cup of tea and that is beautiful, etc. There is a poem by Derrick Brown that I've posted on here a couple of times, but there is a section where God shows him a screen with his life on it and over every image flashes the word 'Holy'. Every aspect of life is holy. Everyone does things that are beautiful and holy. If you take the time to see the sensitive and quiet moments to find that, you will know what I mean. It is the breath before the kiss. It is the way someone does their hair. The way someone eats their Subway sandwich. Holy.
Remembering to take things one at a time and appreciate the small things is what has kept me sane. This list helps me put things in perspective. While it is a little silly, okay it is hugely silly, it actually helped. I could look at it and realize the things that I actually want out of life. A yoga guru that I've been watching says that "If you sweat and laugh once a day, then that is the healthy life." And I believe that, in addition to "Anything can be cured with saltwater: tears, sweat, or the sea." I am still hopelessly romantic about the sea, but regardless I am able to think less on where I am now and instead where and who I want to be.
I needed to do that a huge amount this year. More than ever before. Initially, I could find peace and joy though my interactions with others. That is what energized me and that is how I kept myself from going crazy. However, this year it has been filled with much more introspection. Being with myself is when I have felt the most peace. Experiencing things on my own through a lens that is marred only by my own perceptions of the world has been freeing to the highest possible degree. Freeing myself and freeing my spirit. Another yoga instructor says that in everyday life, if you are stressed or lost just find your pose. find your breath. and there you will find yourself.
In keeping with this theme, I have had to figure out what it means to truly be alive. To experience things. To somehow figure out how to open my heart to the world, to pain. It goes right along with this other picture. I am afraid to say things, to love people, and afraid to go some places. I didn't realize it was because they would hurt until I read this. And I knew that was why. Those things matter and up till now I have been living somewhat of a half life. Now I am doing things that matter and can actually make a difference in my life. Up until now I have been the only one who knows these things. I hope you can do something useful with them.
What matters are these things. In the end, no one cares how you did in college. No one asks you how many books you read or how much music you wrote. Quantity does not matter. Nothing with quantity matters. How many people have you loved? That is not the question that is important. The real question is how have you loved? how deeply? how truly? how completely? Did you learn what true love is? Did you learn who you are? Did you find beauty in the world around you? Did you try things that scared you and did you learn from them? Did you make mistakes? How did you use that knowledge?
Those are the things that matter. I haven't figured anything out. Not really. But I am further along in my confusion than I was at the beginning of the year. I've listened to music that moved me, I found out some previously unknown aspects of myself, I found beauty, there was sweat and tears and laughter and the ocean, I made friends who have changed my life for the better, and I know my Savior more at the end of this year than I ever could have last January. Is there any other way to measure success?
Thanks 2012, you mattered to me.