Every Moment Counts

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2016 has been a hard year. That’s not news. Personally for me, it’s been a pretty big year of firsts and with that of growth and sometimes pain. I’ve lost my way a bunch, found it, then lost it again. I’ve cried a lot of tears and I’ve learned what it is to walk beside someone else in life and share the heavy burdens of everyday. I’ve discovered that when I suffer, he suffers too and I’ve discovered that when I feel joy- likewise so does he.

It took me a long while to understand that when I live my life with someone else, it impacts them too. I think sometimes we all somehow believe we don’t have the impact we think on one another. Random encounters with strangers can have impact on their lives good and bad and of course so does the impact sit with those we live with day-to-day. We all leave an impression on one another- a residue of our energy that stays on long after we’ve gone.

I’ve thought about this through the tragic and sudden death of a young friend this year. He was kind. He lived his life in a way that shone light on others. He smiled the biggest, hugged the tightest, laughed the loudest. He had so much joy about him that in his absence, I think it’s still here. His happiness was so big you couldn’t be in his presence and not be touched by it. Isn’t that how we should all live our lives? He only got 30 years here but I think he’d figured out the secret to a full life no matter how short the years. He was present and he felt so much joy I can’t think of him without smiling.

This year has been a tough one but if I have learned anything, it has been the importance of living in joy and in being true to me. I feel like I’ve strayed from that this year more so than ever. I’ve wandered off the trail in search of happiness for others. I’ve tried to be different so I don’t upset those around me and ultimately I think it is the thing that takes me the furthest from my writing and my ability to stay in touch with who I am. The desire to make others happy is something that weighs on my mind often. Sometimes it’s like a tidal wave that takes away every true perception I have of who I am until I have no voice. Without a voice, I have no opportunity to be great in this life and I think it is the realness of this that overwhelms me most.

It’s not about the year or the circumstances within it, it’s about being true every second, making the most of the time we have, not letting life slip away. It’s about hugging one another tight when we have the chance, taking quiet moments for ourselves, being gentle with others and with ourselves always. It’s also about knowing that each and every one of us has a purpose and it is to be great in the little moments we have everyday to shine.

My friend was not famous- he didn’t invent anything to change the world and my children won’t read about him in history books. He joked a lot, laughed a lot, hugged a lot, and loved a lot. He taught me that every moment counts. My only regret this year is that I’ve wasted too many on sadness. I’ve wasted too many moments in my own head spinning wheels that make the pain of not feeling enough more real.

I’ve convinced myself that I am small when I have every opportunity to be more.

I hesitated to write this because it’s been painful but I’m taking the moments back and turning them into something I can use to be better, stronger and more resilient because truly, every moment counts.

Here’s to the Moments

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The final contents of a cheap chardonnay tipped precariously into a glass fresh out of the dishwasher. Stainless.

Freshly popped bag of popcorn in my lap with a final dusting of B12 yeast for good measure. Dinner. Just another Wednesday night.

It’s 2014. I’m a twenty something single gal living and working in the city looking for…something…I think it’s actually a continuous (perhaps lifelong) search for passion and inspiration. I’m always looking. I’m always trying to achieve something I can’t quite reach. Maybe it’s better that way. Maybe that’s just life, I don’t know.

I have these moments where I feel like all at once things pause and make sense and are beautiful or touching or totally perfect and I try to scoop up those moments in my hands and stretch them out like dough through one of those pasta makers and sometimes memories work that way but the dough gets thinner the more you stretch it and it fades with the holes that time make in it.

We’re lucky to live in an age where technology captures moments so that they’re never really forgotten through images and film, but nothing truly captures moments like human emotion. I think there’s something magical in that. For me there’s something magical about the way those emotions can transport art into life and make it what it is. Anyone who paints, who writes, who creates knows what I mean. The emotion and the moment moves through you like a tidal wave and it just makes life into something completely else; something more.

These emotions have to come from somewhere. They come from the moments and the people you surround yourself with that make the human experience a worthwhile one. So, in honour of a departing 2013 here are my top 13 highlights.

  1. Trip to Florida with my parents: We rented an enormous villa with a pool and we lived the life in a gated community for a week- just us and the geckos.923130_10100541169634719_1016712252_n
  2. Backstreet Boy concert: I was 12 years old again and Nick Carter was my imaginary boyfriend and magically I knew every word to every song. Two of my very best friends and I sang and swayed and danced and screamed like it was 1999.
  3. Finding out about the engagement of one of my best friends and having her ask me to be a bridesmaid. Few things in life compare to being this happy for someone else. Few things compare to sharing it with them.
  4. Engagement party for above friend and her fiancé. So. Much. Fun.
  5. Facilitating a training session for the first time. I’ve always wanted to teach but have wondered for a while now if it would actually ever be in the cards for me. It seemed not, but someone took a chance on me and pushed me into the spotlight and there I was, center stage and loving it.
  6. Singing in a choir in front of 500 people and the CEO of my company. Nothing like fighting fear.
  7. Dixie Chicks live in concert with my mom. Those girls may not be ready to make nice but I think I kinda like it that way! They’re so feisty and amazing and singing along with the thousands of other screaming loyal fans was just…momentous.
  8. Running my first 5K. Earlier in the year (June was it?) I ran Color Me Rad after joining my first running clinic with the Running Room. What an incredible feeling just to know I could do it. Then, in September I ran another just to prove I could STILL do it. What a feeling.1374074_10100685027851699_1242715705_n
  9. Gentlemen of the Road Tour weekend. I was truly dirtier than I’ve ever been in my life. 4 girls and a weekend in the dirtiest, dustiest field I’ve ever experienced on a sunny weekend in August. This, combined with amazing people and the best music I’ve heard in my entire life made it just such an incredible weekend I can’t believe it.
  10. Spending Christmas day playing the funniest games with the most supportive, hilarious, awesome family a girl could ask for. HOURS of laughing until it hurt and being completely goofy and enjoying the moment with one another.
  11. Discovering food and drink festivals. How did I not even know this was a thing? Not only do you get to mill around and try THE MOST amazing food but you can also get drunk on the cheap! Win win.
  12. St Patrick’s day in my new place with a team of the finest. It started out as a pub crawl but was really just a tour of my two local spots (where they now incidentally know me) with a group of the most amazing people dressed in the most ridiculous St Pat’s wear where the live entertainment played exactly what we wanted. What’s better than that?600350_4572841413460_43511212_n
  13. A 5km run with an amazing girl in -18 degree weather on new years eve because we’re tough like that and a VERY impromptu night that ended up being so fun and relaxed and full of introductions to new people and places.

Here’s to an incredible 2013 filled with these and many more moments that have become memories, with the people that make life worth living. Here’s to a 2014 filled with even more.