May 22, 2010

Hello, hello

As I'm writing this, fireworks are going off up at my old high school. I'm sitting in the den by the big windows and the booms and pops are echoing down the hill to my house. Tonight was this year's senior dinner dance... the last big hurrah before the actual party of graduation begins. It feels like just yesterday I was at an old hotel downtown with everyone I grew up with, dancing and laughing and having the time of our lives at our senior dinner dance. None of us knew what was waiting for us on the other side of our little protective bubble we were so eager to pop. And for that one night, we didn't worry about the future. We just soaked in the last few moments we all had together. My last memory of that night was when the DJ turned off the music and announced it was time to go home. Everyone flooded the dance floor one last time and sang "Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey hey, goodbye..." And that was the moment it hit me that the rest of my life was waiting for me, like a freshly poured slab of concrete and a bucket full of sidewalk chalk.

Since that time almost exactly a year ago, I've learned that nothing goes as planned. I remember the night of graduation, I pictured what my life would be like a year from that day. I won't go into detail about what type of person I envisioned myself as, but I can tell you that the future self I pictured is nothing like the person writing this right now. I have learned some important lessons since that night...

1. Life is much more enjoyable when you take risks. Of course, some risks take a bit more thought than others, but once you make that decision just go out there and do it! Whoever said "nothing ventured, nothing gained" was a wise, wise person. Never leave any room for what-if's. That is the one phrase you will never want to utter when you look back on your life someday.

2. When things are going great, enjoy every moment of them. When they're not, just remember that they won't stay that way for long. A lot of the time those hard times teach you valuable lessons and also make for great stories you can laugh about later. Basically, always acknowledge that every situation has a bright side, and find it.

3. Accept changes. They are coming your way if you wished for them, or not. You might as well try to enjoy them.

4. Don't pay any attention to what others think about you. It seems to me that there are three types of people: 1) Those who try to fit in, 2) those who don't care, and 3) those who reject all things "popular" in order to be different. Be a #2 person. If you like that Ke$ha song, you dance and sing your little heart out. If you like to wear bright pink Croc shoes, you go ahead and do that. If you find watching C-SPAN to be highly invigorating, you watch it! Just do what makes you happy. There is no need to try and act like everyone else, and there is no need to set yourself apart from everyone else. Just be yourself and do what makes you happy.


Leave me a comment and I will give you an imaginary penny for your thoughts :]