If there is one thing I’ve learned from studying English literature, it’s that we should not construct our own identity through other people. We run the risk of hurtfully putting down others. This is, of course, cruel and dehumanizing for them, buy also unfair to ourselves. It makes our own opinions of ourselves fragile and weak. We run the risk of losing track of who we even are because all of our constructs are based on societal norms and what we and the rest of society think of others and their actions.

We should define ourselves by what we accomplish, what we believe, and what we enjoy. This helps us love ourselves and appreciate the struggles and situations of others.

The Unique Experience in Everyday Life

I’m not sure when at first I started noticing my complete love and happiness in the simplest experiences in life. To be honest I’ve always been an anxious person. It is because of this that I have learned to focus on my breathing or counting colors to calm down in the worst of situations. Maybe this caused my love of basic life or maybe not. It’s just a theory I have.

I remember spinning around the living room of our newly built house when I was only two years old. Every chance I had I was spinning until I was dizzy and had to fly to the floor. I wore my sister’s old purple dress our mother had sewn. I really loved that bright violet ray that seemed to seep into my very soul.

I remember staring at my hand as I moved my wrist around in circles. This practice was a daily activity when I was around five years old. I would stare in amazement at the way my fingers could move, while my wrist did something completely opposite. This incredible limb was mine. My mind was controlling this extension on its own ideas. How completely absurd this seemed to me then. Even now I will move my hand in what I hope is a very sensual movement but may possibly just look like a flailing root in the lake water disturbed by a boat. Something so ordinary is the most beautiful to me.

It’s important to love the ordinary. We live in this world where nothing but the extraordinary is wanted. No one wants okay, somewhat, or maybe. We want amazing, yes, lovely, something more than ourselves. We never have enough and we probably never will. Of course even I fall into this trap. Maybe if we just watch the willow sway in the wind, we might just be happier. If that’s what brought us peace, we would not work ourselves to death to milk more and more from our sweat and tears.

Take a breath, sip some tea or coffee, and love what you have. Better yet, love yourself as you are.

Old Soul New Generation

There are so many names for it: introvert, empath, old soul, down-to-earth, etc. All of these words have slight variations of meaning. They all have a large common notion: deep-thinking, moral-focused, and different.

It’s easy to feel lost in this world where so many people are focused on the surface meaning of this globe. You feel as if there is no one like you. Like you are alone. I’m not so sure we aren’t.

I go to work. It nearly kills my soul. So many fake smiles, cavity inducing sweetness, and fake understandings for the rudeness from customers. I feel like I’m wearing a mask that covers who I really am. There are so few people who I can be myself in front of. It’s like water covering your face, knowing you are drowning, but knowing that you can’t swim. You have to pay for your college tuition, your car, or your mortgage. So you suffer through this life that doesn’t seem to help you grow spiritually.

None of this makes you feel at peace. None of this helps you evolve as a person and you know it. You are happiest listening to all that music no one else knows about, stepping into that record store downtown, meditating, writing, reading, and communing with nature. God made you this way, but you don’t know why. You spend hours trying to decipher the meaning of life.

You feel what everyone around you is feeling to the point it is almost suffocating. You can read any situation as if it was a book that you had read till the binding fell apart. You feel lonely when there is no one around you. So you congregate with those few people who understand you. Yet, other times you need nothing but your own space. So you can breathe and think.

Life is simultaneously beautiful and tragic. Just the way you understand it.

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