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Are any of you avid journalers?
You’d think I would be, what with my 587 different notebooks and journals littering my study. For a long time, I wanted to be better at keeping a journal. I think they can be quite beneficial mentally and spiritually. To have a special place that keeps your thoughts, struggles, and feelings safe and private.
In my quest for betterment leading up to my 30th birthday, I’ve actually done pretty well keeping a journal these last few months. I actually have two. One I check in with every Monday. It’s the 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal. I also journal every few days about whatever I need to get out and onto paper. Sometimes I even look for prompts online.
Believe me, my thoughts are not always safest stuck in my head. In fact, that’s usually pretty dangerous.
This week, I came across two similar prompts. One from the 52 Lists Project and another from this delightful website I came across called Marc and Angel Hack Life. Marc and Angel are life coaches that write a personal development blog. I recommend checking them out, they have a lot of great advice and generally good things to say about leading a happy life.
Anywho, the two prompts basically asked: “How have the heartbreaks in your life shaped you into a better person?”
Well. What an interesting question to think about! Because if you’re anything like me, you trudge through the awful times, and when you’re in the midst of the suck, all you can focus on is how it is truly breaking you. How you’re not as strong as you hoped you'd be.
But, we all usually make it out the other side. How did we do it? We’re tougher than we thought.
Pain and heartache are an unfortunate part of life. And it’s taken me a long time to realize and understand that everyone’s pain is different. Just because what you’re experiencing doesn’t seem like the biggest deal in the world to others, it might be to you. And that’s okay. It’s okay to own your pain and admit you’re struggling.
I think heartbreak can teach you a lot. For me, I’ve learned just how strong I am. I’ve also learned a lot about self-care and how important it is to my mental health. I’ve learned it’s okay to break as long as I keep going. I’ve learned it’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to admit I’m struggling. It doesn’t make me weak or less than, it makes me honest.
I’ve also discovered what is essential to my life.
Our worlds are bombarded by So. Much. Shit. Almost every commercial on TV is trying to sell us something. And I think it’s tremendously easy to fall into the pit of “keeping up with the Jones’.” To believe that possessions will make us happy.
But, I’m figuring out that our essentials lie much closer to home. They even lie within ourselves.
Here’s a list of what I truly believe is essential to my life (minus the necessities like food, air, and shelter, because, duh).
-Family. Mine is nuts. Our family text chat is ridiculously inappropriate, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. They make me laugh. They make me scream. And I love them.
-Jimmy and Gus Gus. Jimmy is my rock. He holds me together when I threaten to split. He makes me laugh. He drives me crazy (and vice-versa). He’s my lover butt. I know my sweet Gussy won’t be around forever. He’s getting older, but while I have him in my life I will cherish him forever (even when he’s barking at dogs on the TV. WHY IS THERE A DOG IN EVERYTHING?!)
-Friendship. I have a great group of girlfriends. Ones that make me laugh until I can’t breathe. Ones that listen to my pain just because they know I need them. Ones that critique my writing and cheer me on. Friendships are difficult to cultivate (and I’m not always the best at this—I can be quite the hermit), but they’re important.
-Notebooks & pens. This seems silly and trivial, but how else would I write down all of the ideas my imagination drums up? I’d like to include my laptop in this because I can’t imagine handwriting a book. But, I’d do it if I had to.
-Laughter. I couldn’t make it through life without laughing. Sometimes I can slip into my silent, serious, curmudgeon phase for a few hours, and I need something to pull me out. Laughter always does it.
-A soft, fluffy blanket. Again, maybe crazy, but I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t find myself tucked into a blanket by evening time. It’s comforting and feels like home.
-Travel. While traveling can sometimes be stressful, it’s also full of wonders. It’s eye-opening and exciting. It broadens your horizons to different cultures and ways of life. It rips us from our safe bubble and shoves us into exploration. If I could travel for a living, I would (but seriously, how do I get that job?)
There you have it. The list of essentials I came up with. I’m wondering if this list will shift and change as the years go by. I guess I’ll have to see!
What things would you consider essential to your life? What have you discovered from heartbreak?
Let me know!
Until next time,