After a great semester and grades I’m more than pleased with, I have a month of relaxation to look forward to. Two nights ago, my husband and I stayed up until almost 5 am. Just the two of us, watching a movie, chatting, and doing other late night couple activities. Yesterday, I exchanged Christmas presents with the fifteen year old I mentor, and my heart swelled when she gave me some cute earings I believe she originally bought for herself. Last night, I went out with a best girlfriend to a local bar. Our drinks were paid for by different people throughout the night, and I was obsessively and creepily hit on by an Austrian for the first time. He wouldn’t stop praising and visually molesting my legs. I told my friend I am wearing sweats to this bar next time. He also gave me the gift of the most interesting pick-up line I’ve ever received; He told me he had even been to the ‘titty bar’ in Texas, and still had not found a girl as amazing as me. Thank-you? This encounter made me even more thankful for my husband, who just so happened to show up at the same bar with a couple of friends. Austrian guy quickly disappeared. We ended the night at Ihop, listening to Christmas tunes, eating french toast, and laughing late into the night. I’m happy to be alive. I hope you are too.
I don’t know very much. I don’t think I even pretend to know that much, really. But if there was one piece of advice I was to ever give to all of you,–It would be to never forget that you are alive. I know, this sounds cliché, but really. You could be dead right now. Or you could be blind and deaf. You could be homeless. You could be without any friends or family or toes and thumbs. For all I know, Godzilla could fly in from another planet and stomp all of us into little round people pancakes tomorrow. This may sound like a longshot, but no one really knows. We are not knowing. There’s, of course, this system. This likelihood that tomorrow we will still be here. I guess statistics would prove that giant, green dinosaurs don’t come sqaunching random passerby all too often. Still. One day I will be gone. One day you will be gone. One day I will not have the chance to kiss my husband anymore, or to listen to songs that make me cry, or to laugh so hard I pee my pants. God-willing, Someday I will be old and gray and wise; And I’ll look back and remember being carefree and naive and twenty-one. I’ll wish for things that are so easy to forget I even have right now; All of my teeth, A good metabolism, A body that doesn’t hurt to move,The glow on my face, The wide-eyed wonder for the world, Friends that are all healthy and alive, Love-making every other night without the need for my dude to take Viagra.
Well. You get it then. So. For 2011, I beg of you, to breathe a little deeper. Look harder. Watch kids playing football with their daddies in the park, and realize, “Wow. That’s really something.” Play football in the park. Don’t be greedy with your kisses and hugs. Find the beauty in everything you do. Look for the romance in life; The thrill and the rush of every single moment. Eat fried things. Take notice of the leaves when they’re changing colors. Hold one in your hand. Feel the satisfaction of the sound they make when you crunch them under your feet. Hold hands. Make smores. Talk to strangers. Write a good friend a long note. Don’t always put business over pleasure, This is sure to make you bitter soon. Over-celebrate every holiday. Make up your own holiday. Have a day where you do absolutely nothing but what you want to do, even if this be reading Dr. Seuss in bed all day. Let yourself linger on the smell of coffee and bonfires and the feel of cold winter winds and cuddling. Fall asleep on someone who loves you and who will wake you up gently. Stay up too late doing absolutely nothing. Stay out too late with a friend;Drink a little too much and talk to everyone you see. Stay in too late with a friend; Make brownies and watch Christmas movies even if it’s the middle of July. Go out to eat at 3 in the morning. Have at least one regret–This proves you have at least learned one important thing. Be cliché. Say things that make others roll their eyes. Because sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine and love really is blind. Give those who seem too good to be true a chance; I have a few of those in my life who actually are that good. Bake a pie and be proud of that pie. Underline favorite quotations in books you read; If you’re feeling especially wise that day, apply these quotes to your life. Dance publicly. Dance on top of things. Make videos and write things down to remember who you were. Try your best to like who you are. Acquire a taste for wine; This took me years and a lot of funny faces. Jump off of things that could possibly really hurt you; both symbolically and in real life. Don’t overlook ‘ordinary’ everyday things; The sun shining, flowers blooming, happy faces, small-talk, long-talks, loved ones you see on a daily basis, singing, fireplaces, taste-buds, cuddling, having two feet. I feel these are some of the things I’d miss the most, and if taken away from me I’d realize they were never ordinary, but just used without appreciation or realization of their beauty.
A few more things and I’ll shutup. In the winter, don’t wish it was hot. In the summer, don’t wish for it to be cold. When jealous of someone,because let’s face it we all feel this emotion, use this as a reason to strive to be a better version of yourself. Realize what you have and who you have it with. Look at the person you love the most in the world a little longer today, and remember what made you feel this way about them in the first place. Call a friend up you haven’t spoken to in a while. Realize conversations with children are sometimes much more intelligent than conversations you will have with adults. Choose to be understanding over self-righteous. Snuggle with babies and puppies on a regular basis. Look around, wherever you are right at this moment, and find five things and/or people that you are grateful for. Realize why you’re grateful for them. Try to sincerely understand where your enemy is coming from. Empathy is one of the most underrated emotions, and enemies would be a lot more scarce if we could master using it.
Let yourself feel to the greatest amount possible. When broken, let yourself feel every piece of that grief. Cry with sad songs on, overeat or don’t eat at all, lay in bed all day, call a friend sobbing, throw things, write depressing journal entries that if anyone else got a hold of would probably call a suicide hotline for you. Let it all out. You’re sure to be happy again soon. When at your best, dance in your living room, jump on the bed, laugh until you can’t breathe, sing annoying pop music at the top of your lungs,buy a lottery ticket, call a friend over to share your joy, take a million pictures, both in your mind and for the camera. Treasure these moments. You’re sure to be sad again soon.
Live. You hear this all the time, but say it until you actually get it. Live. Live despite what you have or haven’t done, who you’ve lost, and though there is always going to be someone like Austrian creeper in this world. Live like you are going to be squanched by Godzilla. Live as if you are about to randomly spontaneously combust. Take it all in. In chance that flaming meteors started hitting the earth right at this moment, call somebody up just to say that you love them. Smile simply because you are alive and this moment is not the Apocalypse. Hold everybody you have a little closer today in case of zombie attacks or nuclear explosions. Laugh,breathe,feel,forgive,smell,Live as if you will be turned into a people pancake tomorrow.