The calm after the storm; what I’ve learned

I’ve had a rough year. I know, the year isn’t over yet; but so far it’s been probably the worst year of my life. I could also argue that it’s been the best year, in the sense that I’ve learned more this year, than I have in my previous 28 years on this planet. I won’t get into details, because honestly it’s no one’s business (a thing I’ve learned). I will however,  pass along the valuable life lessons I’ve learned.

Your business is just that, your business. The world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram do not need to know every meal you ate, every store you visited, who you’re with at every moment, every trial you’re going through, every fight you have with your husband, your family drama, or every damn thought that pops into your head throughout the day. It’s an easy habit to form, and an extremely hard habit to break. I think I’ve finally broken it; my posts now a days consist mainly of photos of my dogs, inspirational quotes, and articles, songs, or videos that I feel are worth sharing. The posts of “Getting dinner with babe at ____________, and then seeing ________ at ________. Yay for date night!” Followed by a tag and a check-in, are I would say nonexistent now. A little mystery in life is a good thing, actually catching up with people you haven’t seen in awhile, is a good thing. Beyond the world of the internet, your mom, dad, sister, brother, three best girlfriends, in-laws, and the neighbor down the street don’t need to know, nor do they even actually care, about every spat you get into with your spouse. Your business is your business, and the world is a better place if it stays that way.

I’ve learned that you should never take anyone for granted. Treat the time you have with the people you care about as if it’s about to run out. Because it can, sometimes it will, sometimes you’ll get another chance, and other times you won’t. I’ve learned that you don’t really know what you would do, until it happens to you. You may think you do, but darling, let me tell you, until it happens, you don’t. Even then, you still don’t know. I’ve learned that family is quick to judge, and while it may be delayed, friends are too. I’ve learned that everyone has an opinion about your life, and how you should live it; I’ve also learned that you should never listen to this unsolicited advice. I’ve learned that sometimes family will try to make you pick sides, and that they only side you should ever pick is your own. I’ve learned that only you can take control of your life, seeing as it is your life, and it is your right to live your life how you choose to, free from the judgement of your friends and family. I’ve learned that people will judge you anyway, and that you don’t have to put up with it. It’s okay to cut people out of your life who bring you down, make you feel stupid for feeling how you feel, or try to control your decisions in life. I’ve learned that even fewer people will recognize this, and will eventually let you live your life as you choose, without commentary, simply because they love you and they’d rather be in your life than not.

I’ve learned that it’s easy to lose yourself, and extremely hard to find yourself again. I’ve learned that loving yourself is the single hardest thing you will ever do. I’ve learned that until you do love yourself, the love you give to another isn’t all of the love that you truly have to offer that person. I’ve learned that the one person who loves you when you cannot love yourself, has their limits. I’ve learned there is a pain, so intense, that no words can describe it. I’ve learned that tears and “I’m sorry” can’t fix some things. I’ve learned that people will change their mind, and change their mind again, and again. I’ve learned that hurt, hate, time, and distance will not make you stop loving someone. I’ve learned that I have one person, who I will always be connected to.

I’ve learned that depression is a very real, crippling illness, and it’s not something that can be ignored. I’ve had days when I couldn’t stop the tears, days when I couldn’t get out of bed, days when I couldn’t bring myself to eat, to shower, or to do more than hit next episode on Netflix. I’ve learned that the wine and whiskey diet is a sure fire way to drop 20 pounds fast. I’ve learned that it is entirely possible to lay in bed all night, and not get a moment’s sleep.

I’ve learned that patience isn’t a virtue, it’s a life choice. I’ve learned that loving someone isn’t enough, that love is a choice that you make each day, something that you have to work for, something that you have to continually give to if you want to keep it alive. I’ve learned that marriage is hard; really hard. I’ve learned it’s better to bite your tongue, and swallow your pride, rather than starting a fight. I’ve learned that you need to be aware how your spouse reacts to certain things, make a mental note, and learn from it; they will appreciate that you’ve noticed and are making an effort to compromise, rather than just ignoring it. I’ve learned it’s important to communicate with your spouse, that you should never hold anything back that you really feel is important, and that you should learn to let go of the things that aren’t. I’ve learned that you should always focus on the qualities you love about your spouse, not on the things that annoy you. I’ve learned that cell phones can be a death sentence for relationships, and that being “unplugged” at home is pure bliss.

I’ve learned that you can’t be perfect, you shouldn’t be perfect, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that life can’t always be planned, and that there is beauty in the unknown. I’ve learned that sometimes the best way to take control of your life, is to lose all control first. I’ve learned to “never say never”, and that nothing is ever set in stone. But most of all, I’ve learned that there is a calm after the storm, true love never really dies, and to have one person whom you are willing to do anything for, is a gift that should never be taken for granted.

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