Beautiful Things

Recently, I read a book set during WWI. Historical Fiction has always been interesting to me, but what I found most intriguing in this story was a detail that one of the characters discussed a couple times. In the middle of a war this particular character attempts find beautiful things throughout the land.

I thought about this concept and other novels I’ve read set during times of war, occupation, disasters, hardships and realized there’s usually always some form of beauty within those pages. Whether it comes in the form of a character, a sunrise or any number of things, there’s some type of positive light that shines in the darkness.

Stepping out of the literary world, I believe we can see this type of positive light in our own world. Think about it.

It’s a pretty simple idea — the idea that even among the darkest situations there’s beauty.

And the world has so much beauty to offer.

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Twenty Seconds

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
— Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo

I’m well aware most people consider this to be a children’s movie, but I think there’s some solid lessons we can all take away from it. For instance, the above quote is a lesson in itself.

With a show of hands, lets answer a couple questions. How many of you have wanted to do something and haven’t? How many of you have wanted to talk to someone and shied away? I’m sure there’s a lot of hands in the air right now. My hand is up too. The thing is…we’ve all been there.

Lately I’ve been giving this some thought and I’ve come to the conclusion that there might be something to this whole twenty second thing. Maybe it’s like jumping into a cold pool. We can’t just dip our toes in and climb in inch by inch as each part of our body gets use to the temperature. No, it leaves too much time for us to chance our minds. So maybe we have to jump in wholeheartedly. Maybe we just have to take the plunge.

I’ve thought about the last three months in relation to the above quote and realized how I’ve surprised myself. I’ve looked back on some other aspects of my life and noticed some great things came out of taking a chance, a twenty second chance. Sometimes those seconds are used to encourage ourselves to go for it (whatever “it” might be) while other times those precious seconds are used for the beginning of a conversation (whatever that conversation might be). I think those twenty seconds act like a jump-start — afterward our words and actions seem to come somewhat easily.

Of course we might fell anxious or nervous, but that’s natural. Taking a chance on something we want (like our dreams) or talking to someone (a boss for a raise, an employer at a job interview, a friend about problem or a person we find attractive, just to name a few) is better than hiding in a metaphorical hole with regrets, wondering, ‘what if.’

Some wonderful lessons can come from the simplest places, such as a children’s movie, and I think there’s truth in the above quote. All it takes is twenty seconds. “And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

Follow Your Dreams

We all have dreams.

But…

There’s going to be days where people tell you you’re not good enough. There’s going to be days where you are your worse critic. There’s going to be days where you feel like giving up and quitting.

And those are the days you must fight through.

There’s going to be days where people lift you up. There’s going to be days where you fill yourself with positivity. There’s going to be days where you feel like you’re on top of the world.

And those are the days to remember (as much as the bad ones).

No one ever said there wouldn’t be bad days (or good ones). No one ever said it would happen quickly. No one ever said chasing down your dreams would be easy.

Like anything in life, there’s a balance. We can learn as much from the bad days as the good ones. We can learn from the people around us. We can learn from ourselves. It’s a process of learning and growing, failures and victories, but when you reach your goal you’ll value it that much more because of all the work, time, effort, you put in.

So don’t give up on your dreams. Continue to grow and learn and chase down your dreams. Keep pushing toward them because the things is — you’re capable of anything you set your mind to.

Let Go

I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful 2018 so far. This year I didn’t do my regular New Year Day post, as I’ve been working on something new for this blog (and it’s coming soon), but I wish you all the best for 2018.

Entering into the new year, I had a thought — let go. Let go of negative people, they only seem to drag you down. Let go of negative things, they only seem to pull you in deeper. Simply let go of negativity.

I think, maybe, as humans we like holding on. Whatever the reason might be, we seem to cling to the past. I’m not saying to forget. Memories are wonderful, for many reasons, and they will always be ours. No one can take our memories away, good and bad, but we have to know when to let go and move on. And, sometimes, we don’t like change. We become comfortable with how thing are and fear change, but sometimes it can be good. With change comes new opportunities. As letting go of an old year and embrace a new one, it’s the perfect time to also let got of negativity and take hold of a positive outlook.

So let it go and be free. I know it probably sounds easier then it is to do, but it’s possible. Life is to short to hold onto negativity. Begin the new year with good vibes and let positivity into your life.

What’s In A Year?

A year is more than calendar pages flying by. It’s made up of more than 365 days. It’s more than 52 weeks, 12 months. A year is made up of memories.

With 2018 fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about all the adventures I’ve been on, all the memories I’ve made and the people I’ve made them with this year. It hasn’t been all good, but it hasn’t been all bad either. I think life is give and take. We take the good with the bad and the bad with the good. It’s been a year of tears and sorrow, disappointments and frustrations, loss and heartache. But it’s also been a year of joy and laughter, triumphs and satisfaction, discovery and love.

Everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to teach, if only we’re willing to open our eyes and listen. Everyone on this earth has a purpose and everyone who enters our lives, no matter the length of time, has a purpose. I’ve learned about the world, life, myself and so much more. There are some people who have thought me all they can, some who are still teaching, some who have taught me more then they may ever know and those I have yet to meet who will also teach me something. And for each one of these people, I’m thankful.

Traveling is something that I’ve grown to love. It’s a big, beautiful world out there and I want to see as much of it as I can. This year has taken me to places I’ve never been. Part of being in new places is the thrill of the unknown. I’ll admit, it can be scary as much as thrilling. But you never know what you’ll find around the corner, down a particular street or walking along the sands of an unexplored beach. I’ve traveled with family and friends. I’ve traveled near and far. Sometimes, I don’t think it matters where we travel, but who we’re with. And I love the people who travel with me.

All in all I would say it’s been a good year. And as 2017 is quickly coming to an end maybe we should all take a look back because a year is made up of much more than 365 days. It’s made up of memories.

Three Years

Traditionally, year three is leather. If you choose to go modern the gift is crystal or glass. No matter what, a three year anniversary is a milestone. Every anniversary is a milestone, whether it’s less than three years or every year proceeding.

I’m happy to announce that this month marks the three year anniversary of my blog. And I’m not looking for gifts of leather or crystal or glass. The strength lays in my posts, in the stories about life and how we’re all human. It’s in the poetry, the history, the photography and everything I chose to write. I believe beauty is also in those same stories. It’s a big, beautiful world out there. We simply have to remember to stop and take a look around.

I’d like to thank all of my followers and those who have supported me over the years. You are all a big part of this blog and it wouldn’t be possible without you. I look forward to another three years of blogging and beyond.

Thank you!