Fresh and New

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Sunrise in Jamaica.

On the last day of a much-needed, ridiculously fun Jamaican vacation, I woke up around 4:45 to watch the sun rise on the beach. I was tired, but as I strolled down the tranquil shore, I felt peace. I breathed deeply.

No playful entertainers or tourists crowded the beach. While fishermen’s boats bobbed on the crystal-clear water–which slid toward my feet like thin mercury under the burgeoning daylight–I soaked up the newness, the stillness of the morning. As the clouds drifted across the sky, I reveled in the sun’s breathtaking premiere. I witnessed this quiet rebirth of energy in awe.

How wonderful it is that we are gifted with a new day! How powerful and humbling it is to know that no matter what has happened the day before, the sun will continue to rise. The dawn will break, the waves will crash, the light will burst through the darkness. The new will come, and it’s up to us to embrace it.

As I enter my 26th year on this planet today, I feel incredibly grateful to see new moments. I feel happy that any intense pain I’ve ever felt no longer drains me–pain doesn’t last. I’ve even begun an internship for a cause I’m passionate about–humanism–and growing every minute with self-knowledge. The old is not forgotten, but the new deserves its honor.

Although I don’t know how much time I have under this sun, I know that the moment I’m living in is mine, and it’s worthwhile. And I also know that every single second of my life is an opportunity for newness: a new attitude, a new goal, a new smile. The past doesn’t have to confine me. Just as the sun rises with glorious newness, so can I. So can we all.

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The Courage to be OK

We must have the courage to fall–and the courage to be OK.

“It takes courage to love again when you’ve been hurt.
It takes pain and strength again …
to pack it all away.
Somewhere in all the pain somebody has to have the courage …
to be OK…”

Madea’s Family Reunion

April’s painful, unexpected events have blurred my vision. I feel confused and angry, pessimistic and heartbroken.

But I have trained myself so diligently to think positively yet flexibly. After more than a year of introspection, therapy, and growth, my brain yearns to feel joy in spite of pain. I want to be brave. My lips want to smile even when I’m frowning. Although though I am sad, I long to be happy.

Then guilt sweeps over me. How can I continue to laugh and smile when someone I loved can no longer do so? But reason must prevail: I know my loved one would want me to be alright. He wanted me to succeed when he was alive, and I doubt he would have changed his mind about that.

I’ve practiced the art of positive thinking because life is going to feel unbearable at times. This is exactly what I’ve been preparing myself for–the heartache, the loss, the sadness, the inevitable difficulties of life that fortify us, if we allow them to.

Slowly, the little pieces of glitter dancing in the snow globe of my life are falling back down. Soon they will settle, leaving my house in precious peace for a time. I am determined to keep my head on tight as the chaos dissipates.

In any hardship, I want to have the courage to be OK–and I know that strength is inside of me.