I’ve been trying to soak up my time on the west coast, and using my days here to get back to myself. Sometimes situations happen, albeit unexpectedly, that can help remind you to reflect and remember who you are. YOU. Because sometimes we forget, you know?
This past weekend, I headed to Los Angeles to see my closest girlfriends from college. Many of them still live around where we went to school.
Being near the beach and around these people who’ve known me since 2004 and seen me through all seasons reminded me of who I really am deep down, and that I’m stronger than I think. It was nice to get down to my roots.
Last time I was back there was literally three years ago, i.e. exactly when Penpal and I had just started our relationship and he’d first deployed to Iraq. To say it was bittersweet to come full circle would be an understatement.
I spent time talking and laughing endlessly with my friends, eating delicious meals (including pancakes, obviously), having too much wine, and taking lots of walks along the beach. Yesterday morning I ran along the strand beside the beach, and I think that combined with the rest of the weekend finally gave me the mental clarity I needed.
After reading Jenna’s post today, it made me want to jot down some of the nuggets I’ve learned in the last couple of weeks.
Just my two cents, but I thought I’d share.
1. Life happens. As someone told me, it can be good, it can be bad, and it can be weird… but regardless, it will continue to be.
2. Laugh. It helps everything.
3. Everyone comes into your life for a reason, regardless of how long they stay.
4. The best friends are always there and appreciate your goofiest or most raw self, whether you realize it or not. They’ll be there when you really need them, even if you haven’t talked in years.
5. You (yes, YOU) are wonderful just the way you are, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation about it.
6. Love is real, and it’s always enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
7. Your parents (and grandparents – I’m looking at YOU, Grandpa) know best.
8. Never settle.
9. No matter what you are, be honest. With yourself, with others, with God, and with the world.
10. If something is meant to be, it will. You can’t force it, so don’t worry about trying.
11. People deserve the benefit of the doubt. (But the cliche is right – fool me twice, and shame on me.)
12. There’s nothing wrong with being picky.
13. No matter what happened, you WILL be okay; you’re stronger than you think.
14. Sometimes all you need a glass of red wine (or a bottle) on the beach with girlfriends to remember what’s important in life.
15. Like my mom used to always say, no matter what you’re going through, someone is always going through something more difficult. It’s all about perspective.
16. You can choose how you feel.
17. That reminds me – crying while riding the subway makes people think you’re crazy. BUCK UP.
18. Have faith.
19. Little kids and animals will both put a smile on your face like nothing else.
20. Time heals all, but pancakes help in a BIG way.
Any life lessons you’d like to add??