One of my first blog posts on Sookton’s Space was entitled “There’s Too Many Sunsets That I Haven’t Seen.” It was a post about life, change, acceptance, love, friendship and trying to make sense of it all.
This year has had its extreme ups and downs. At times I felt like I was the happiest person alive and at other times I sunk down into the deepest, darkest corners of this world. But like I said in my Too Many Sunsets post, life is about those moments: the ones that make you feel on top of the world, and the ones that bring you crashing back down into it.
So I have decided to share here, in no particular order, the things I learned this year that have made me a stronger person. Also, since pictures tell a thousand words, I have included pictures from this year with thanks to my trusty iPhone.
“Happy is the heart that still feels pain. Darkness drains and light will come again.” – Ingrid Michaelson
Sometimes when you are going through some terrible times, you might find yourself asking, “Why God, why me?” But as dark as it may seem, there is a purpose. For without hot there is no cold, without hate there is not love, without ends there can’t be beginnings. And so like Ingrid (love her) says, “Darkness drains and light will come again.”
“When the wheels come down, when the wheels touch ground. And you feel like it’s all over, there’s another round for you.” – Foo Fighters
As some of you may know I have been working on my children’s book for over a year now. Writing is something that comes naturally to me, and yet, this book has really been difficult for me. I have had to face myself in the mirror, had to write and re-write, kill characters off, bring new ones to life, remove my ego, eat, sleep and breathe this book. And every time I felt I really couldn’t go on, just wanted to throw the towel in, some inspiration would flicker and then burn bright and I would start seeing the story come back to me. The funny thing is all stories lie within us, they have been there all along, and they are just waiting for us to tap into them. So never stop telling your stories, and never give up on yourself, because your story is just as important as anyone else’s story.
This year I made my first shepherd’s pie. I remember my mother used to make shepherd’s pie when I was a kid, and I would just gobble it up. The way the pie would smell in the kitchen and how the whole house would smell warmer, delicious and alive. This year I started to fall in love with cooking. I started learning how to experiment with flavors, herbs and spices. You might have been able to tell by my waistline but, needless to say, I was successful~! It’s so great to cook a meal and enjoy it with friends, loved ones and family. More importantly, it’s important to slowly enjoy your meal, and to remember that we are nourishing our bodies.I think the Europeans understand meals the best. Unlike Americans who are rushing around grabbing fast food and trying to find a way to make a burger that induces heart attacks (I’m looking at you Baconator), the Europeans take lavish three hour meals with seven or eight courses. Now to some that might seem gluttonous, but if you are eating small portions, enjoying each bite slowly, talking and laughing with friend, suddenly you realize that is is not just about stuffing yourself, it is about the company, the moments we share together. And so I say my friends, next time you cook a meal, sit at the table, slowly unveil the meal peice by peice and most importantly, as Julia Childs would always say, “Bon Appetit!”
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life.”- Eat, Pray, Love.
Meditation. It’s a scary word I know. Many people in their entire lives will never understand it. This year I have realized the importance of being alone. Alone = All one. Sit with your loneliness. Why do you give yourself the creeps? If you cannot understand yourself, no one will. Through meditation and clearing the mind, you will find your true self. Look at yourself in the mirror, accept yourself, love yourself. This is the path to true enlightenment.
“At the end, all that’s left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that’s why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.”- The History of Love
I own a lot of things. To this day it has been hard for me to let go of things. This year I have learned that these possessions do not define me. I am not defined by my new shoes or my Victoria’s Secret bra, or my pencil skirt, or my new 42 inch television. At the end of the day you can have a mountain of things and no happiness. When Rob and I had to give up our rented house and move in with his family we had to get rid of a lot of junk. And that was when I realized how much junk we actually had! When we finally condensed it all into one room and a storage unit, I was surprised how much you can accumulate over a quarter century. When we moved into the storage unit the lady who worked there showed us our unit. “Some people have been renting from us for over 25 years,” said the lady. “25 years??” I asked, “do they come back for any of their stuff?” “Nope,” she said, “they just leave it here.”
Now tell me- what is the purpose of that? That was when I realized what Rob had been telling me all along. We must live minimalistic, get rid of things because unless you are King Tut, your possessions are not coming with you when you die.
“I’ve got love and assurance, I’ve got new health insurance, And I’ve got strength and endurance, So I count my blessings.
And give thanks to the master, That through all the disaster, We’re still here together after. Better count your blessings.” – Damian Marley and Nas.
Through my ups and downs Rob has been by my side. He understands me when words fail, and if I love him for ten years, or til my dying day, I will cherish every moment we spend together.
“I love sunsets.”
There is something about each sunset and sunrise that is so unique and beautiful. I love watching them because they make me realize that there is always another day. Here are some of the many sunsets I watched this year:
HAPPY 2011 EVERYONE!! Wishing you a happy, healthy, rewarding year.