Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Art of Living

"Although time seems to fly by, it never travels faster than one day at a time.  Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest." - Dr. Steve Maraboli

I absolutely love this quote.  Each time I read it I am reminded that we are given one life to live.  However, another quote reminds me that in that one life we live

"You only live once?  False.  You live everyday.  You only die once." - (author unknown)

I will be the first to tell you that I have conformed in my life, I have settled, I have pretended to be content and I have literally placed my own two feet into the quicksand of life.  But, in that slow sinking I learned to dig deep and pull myself out and in that moment I began to learn who I was all over again and I learned how to fill my life with so many different yummies that I feel I never slow down enough to truly enjoy them all ... and yet I do.  I enjoy them all!

The most important thing that I have taught myself is that there is an art to living.  Each of us are different so that art is going to vary from person to person.  Each of us find this art through different sources and situations.  Mine was found through a living hell.  As subjective as that may be because humans want to judge, mine was real to me.  So real that I literally clawed myself out of it and into the beautiful daylight that I have been living in ever since.

Now, lesson #2.  You are never to young to start something new or finish what you started in the first place.  Total excuse.  You hear me?  EXCUSE!

"At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets."  - Dr. Steven Maraboli

For me this lesson developed my decision to go back to school.  To finish what I started.  I do not look at it as I quit years ago.  I look at it through the ideal that the road divides and the road less traveled, well it took me on a fourteen year detour to get back to it.  When I found that divided road, with the weeds grown back up all around it and it obviously needing repairs because it was cracked and obviously never used ... I also found a flower popping up through one of those cracks facing the sunrise and that flower was the belief and the hope that the road was not a dead end, it had so much life hiding in it that I just had to see beyond the cracks.  That first step was hard.  REALLY hard.  I was terrified if I want to be honest.  But I took it.  And once I started walking I soon felt my feet begin to run.

Fast-forward three years later and I have a degree in children's literature.  I have finished my Associates of Arts in Psychology and I am nine weeks shy of my Bachelor's of Science in Behavioral Psychology.  Overachiever?  Yes.  I am a self-proclaimed overachiever.  Nerd?  Absolutely.  I love my nerdness.  Exhausted?  Abso-freaking-lutely.  I am so utterly exhausted.  But ... the important question is:  Worth it?  YES AND YES AND YES!!!  So much of a YES that I am not finished.  NO where near finished.

I am switching schools in May.  Another scary divide in the road that is no longer cracked and unkept.  I am taking that exit onto a new road that is just as roughed up.  My Masters in Forensic Psychology is just around the corner and the art of living for me continues.

You see, I had a dream as a 14 year old girl to one day work in the field of forensic and criminal psychology.  That dream never went away.  It simply got hidden and I found a way to dig it out and the art of living for me lies in a few simple things:

1) Be the best me I can be.
2) Finish what I always wanted to do because I have one life, to live EVERY day before I die one time.
3) Embrace opportunities that lie in front of me and the drive that lies within me.
4) Teach my children these simple life forces I have learned and let them find their own art of living.

"Today I choose to live by choice and not by chance; To make changes not excuses.  To be motivated not manipulated; To be useful not used.  To excel, not compete; I choose self-esteem, not self pity.  I choose to listen to the inner voice, Not the random opinion of others." - (author unknown)

What is your art of living?