Updated: Dec 10, 2019
I tend to write about this topic a lot but it seems to be the most prominent recurring theme of my life at the moment. This constant going back and forth between optimism and doubt, between seeing the beauty or seeking out the roughness, and the perpetual flip flop of feeling grateful for life or just flat out unappreciative.
I realized it this morning when I rose out of bed, walked over to my desk to write, and as I always do, look out the window to the left of me. I took in the blue sky, I felt the warm breeze graze my cheeks, I listened to the families of birds rummaging the grass for early morning treats, and I hoped that with the smell of July’s heat, inspiration would come soaring through the window, in with the wind, and land directly on top of my head.
All I seemed to focus on though was the lack of trees in the neighbors’ backyards and mine. I am a tree lover; I love big, old, canopying trees that house all different types of animals and insects and offer fresh shade on a hot afternoon. I love laying on blankets underneath a mantle of branches blooming with green and peaking through swaying arms to see a flicker of starlight. I am a real lover of grass beneath bare feet and the endless majestic wonder that nature has to offer.
After Hurricane Sandy, most of the trees around my house and all of the neighbors’ houses had died and as a result were cut down. Since then, I always find myself seeing blank spaces that should be brimming with new life. In between the trees that are still standing, all my eyes seem to focus on is absence and scarcity. I found this to be a fitting metaphor for my life sometimes. One that albeit is cliché, is still relative to most people on most days.
How many days have I looked out the window to the left of me to see a lack of something? How long have I ignored the beauty that was already standing in front of me, begging to be seen?
There are numerous days where I tell myself I am going to appreciate the little things more often. I affirm that I will start cultivating the gratitude I need in the smaller moments of life so that I can shift my perception to one of positivity altogether.
I say… I will value my parent’s presence more often, listening to them doing the crossword puzzle in the mornings, laughing at one another for getting a word wrong. I will sit in that moment for a while realizing how lucky I am to have such honest and sincere people as my parents.
I will not get annoyed so easily at trivial matters that only serve to make me complain and spread negativity into the world.
I will choose to be happy at my means to an end job that offers me sustenance for monthly bills, road trips, nights out with friends, and the every day necessities of life.
I will be contended with my bills because they represent the circulation of energy; money is a form of energy and bills remind us that we have the resources to pay for the things we want and need.
I will feel the warmth of a genuine circle of friends and family who support, nourish and grow with me.
I will respect the fondness and allegiance of an ever growing love that surprises me every day with how significant and rare I can feel.
I will honor my own, individual journey, knowing that I don’t need to be where everyone else is and everyone else doesn’t need to be where I am. We are all exactly where we need to be.
I will adjust my vision to see what is there rather than what is not.
I will pursue the beauty in between the blank spaces.
I will look for the trees that are already standing.