Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Five Things I Learned Last Year

I have been longing to write, but I have not been sure what I should write about.  And then it hit me!  I am too focused on what I SHOULD be writing about rather than what I WANT to write about or what my heart needs to feel and release.  

The past few weeks have revealed to me just how blessed I am.  There are several people who love and care for me.  I have a wonderful apartment.  I love living in California.  I do more of the things that I love.  I am alive.  And it is good.  

But what have I learned in the past year that I want to take with me into the new year, into this new chapter, new portion, new me?

1. Confidence of Self

I learned that I am good, whole, constantly renewed.  I learned that I am worth something, and sharing myself with others has led to good things and beautiful relationships.  I deserve to live the life of my dreams, and I am taking steps to do that!

2. Do What You Love

From my confidence, I know that taking caring of me is crucial, especially doing more of the things that I love that make my heart swell and excited for life and giving and love.

3. Relax

Relaxation and play is so important to our overall health as humans.  NEVER underestimate it or guilt yourself for partaking in it.

4. Make Good Choices

What I do today reveals who I will be tomorrow.  And today I choose to eat well, exercise, go outside, read, think, plan, meditate.

5. Community Is Crucial

Having people to support you along your journey is very important, especially as a young person.  Moving to the other end of the country where I only knew one person really revealed to me how much we as humans need one another to encourage, inspire, and uplift us.  I hope to be that for those around me every single day.

May your year be ever focused on the good, the beautiful, the best things to make you the best version of yourself.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cookies and Butterflies

My life has an extreme sense of irony, but I have come to love it.  The experiences I have had continue to teach me so much about myself and the world.

Today I was having brunch with a dear friend of mine, and the most precious things happened to the two of us.  Emily had an empty mug on a saucer upside down that was given to her by the restaurant to serve herself the nectar of the gods (a.k.a. coffee).  When she flipped up the mug to go fill it, she discovered two sugar cookies sitting there looking up at her like two little eyes.  She squealed with excitement and joy.  For two little cookies.  The joy and laughter that ensued was precious.  There are moments in life when you wish that someone was videotaping, and that was an occurrence that I will cherish for some time.

Here is my end of the tale.  We were nestled into a table outside on this windy, overcast morning, and I took my turn squealing like a child with excitement over a butterfly.  I mean I was excited!  I love butterflies, and I have loved them since childhood.  Their gracefulness, their delicate wings, their stunning colors.  Only, after a second look, it wasn't a butterfly after all.  It was a dead leaf.  I kid you not.  I got ridiculously excited over a dead leaf floating down through the air.  Yet, I was just as happy and giggly as Emily had been upon seeing her set of cookies.

I guess that's one of those funny things about life.  I may not have seen two cookies on my plate, but boy I got excited over a dead leaf that I thought was a butterfly in hopes of finding something beautiful in my day.  Maybe that is the lesson - if you want to see and feel beauty all around you, it doesn't matter what form it is in.  It just has to mean something to you!  I make the meaning in the dead leaves.  I make the meaning in a dirty white care with fingerprints all over it.  I make the meaning of my life.  And I'm determined to make it good!

Friday, January 3, 2014


I'm all about the new beginnings.  The new opportunities to leap, search, grow.  It's pretty intoxicating when you accomplish a change or notice a difference in yourself and your quality of life.  I want that for myself in this new year, 2014.

I want one main thing for myself this year, though, to learn to relax.  And enjoy relaxing.  I don't want to get caught up in guilt for sitting down and feeding my soul with a good book or that sinking feeling while I'm painting that I should be doing something else.  Those things cannot wait.  My heart and mind and soul and life cannot wait.

Each year of my life I have striven to be better, stronger, smarter, etc.  I work so hard in many areas of my life, except for relaxation.  The phrase, "Work hard, play hard" has never applied to me.  I get so worked up in being perfect as I do it all, too, that I do not even enjoy much in my life.  I am so worried and stressed and anxious about doing it all, doing it perfectly, and doing it best that I have lost that sense of awe for the world, for the beautiful people in my life, and for the little things.  I want to let it all go and relax and enjoy what I have around me.

Even as I sat down to write this blog post, I thought about writing it with letters uncapitalized and without punctuation, because I am so often concerned with those things.  But I couldn't.  All I could do was not capitalize the title of this post.  Even that is a small victory for me.  But I did it, and I'm letting it go and laughing that this is really all so hard for me.  I hope one day that I look back on this year with gratitude for what I have and a cultivated sense of relaxation.

Happy 2014 to us all!

I'm off the relax.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm a Writer

I'm a writer.  It's taken me nearly two decades to realize it, but it's the truth.  There's no avoiding it.  Writing has always been in my heart, but the thing is that it comes and goes with me.  I have filled my life with many things to pay the bills, to do what I think needs to be done for my career path, but I often forget about what I truly want - what I'm truly drawn to: writing.

It's pretty amazing how we humans will actually AVOID that which we enjoy!  We convince ourselves that we don't have time or energy for those things, when, in fact, they would actually energize us and invigorate us to think and create and thrive as individuals.  

So why don't I do more of this writing stuff?  After reflection, I noted how much writing demands of your genuine self.  During the past few years, as I have continued to discover crucial and beautiful things about myself, I had no idea what even to write.  I did not know how to write as the Anna that I was working to know and love.  That's the difference, the key to it all now is that I know me.  I know Anna, and I can write as her.

There is power in knowing me, writing as me, and living as me.  And there is power in you, too.

Happy New Year from a writer!