Life Lessons at 23


Life lessons (1)

In honor of reaching my twenty third year of life yesterday, I’ve reflected on what this past year has taught me, showed me, affirmed for me, and given to me:

  • Time is a circle, not a line. It moves out from a center, radiating in a wider and wider circle, and this center is with you at all times because it is the present moment. Do you know how blessed we are to be in the present moment, that is to be aware of the center of the universe, to be a manifestation of the universe’s own consciousness, and aware of it in this present moment?
  • Achieving your goals is not necessarily a series of calculated steps and more of a projectile vomiting yourself/work/ideas all  over everyone until something sticks.
  • Manifestation through thoughts is powerful. You can spend as much time manifesting your fears as your dreams, so being positive is part of a powerful algorithm of manifestation.
  • “Behind-the-scenes” is really the main stage, this is where the magic of your life happens, what it looks like is what happens after.
  • What feels right is what should dictate your life, tell you where to go, and what to focus on, not what looks right. What feels right comes from within the self, the quiet space of the heart, not the critical, conscious, judging eye.
  • Love yourself. Love yourself first, last, forever, now, tomorrow, then, after, before, yesterday, when, until, during, still, always , even if, even when, just because, over it, for it, in spite of it, despite, because, right now, on time, slowly, quickly, really, seriously, deeply, righteously, and always, always fearlessly.



“What’s your favorite color?” When I was a kid people always asked me that. What is your favorite anything is an inquiry that made me stop and think. If it’s your favorite is it something you have/see/choose all the time or is it your favorite because it’s so special you only have it every once in awhile? It instigated some deep thought about my favorite thing of that category of things and why I had to choose. Maybe I was a bit existential as a kid. Maybe I was also onto something.  This question was somehow meant to provide me with a blueprint of sorts for my personality, and I wasn’t ready to decide that just yet.

I didn’t like the idea of relying on the everything all the time of the “rainbow color!” kids. But I couldn’t decide with single-handed determination like the “pink is my favoritest color forever” kids either. If a light blue was my favorite one day because it was the color of a flower I had seen, the purple of a woman’s purse was my newfound favorite the next day.  Knowing I could experience a new color at any moment excited me and the anticipation left me indecisive.

“What’s your favorite season?” This one is a tricky one because it always seemed I could like any season if I really chose to. I decided I liked summer. The endless sense of adventure brought on by the seemingly endless daylight hours excited me. Anything could and did happen in the summer.

“What’s your favorite fruit?” As a kid, this meant I had to come up with the most exotic fruit I could think of. Something you eat once a year when you are in the only part of the country where they are grown on a summer trip with your family. Something like cactus fruit or pineapple. Not watermelon, peaches, or oranges. Those were things you could eat everyday. Especially oranges. In the winter, Baba brought them home by the bushel and we tossed em back like skittles, piles of orange peels turning up everywhere around the house. When the stock dwindled it wouldn’t be a whole day before another bushel would be brought home.  Like you wouldn’t even notice they were gone.

Why would it be my favorite if I could have it everyday? Encountering the tiny oranges every winter season after a long summer and short fall was delightful, but then they would easily blend into the color of everyday life. I didn’t experience orange. I didn’t notice the oranges. They weren’t special. I wanted special. It’s a recipe for unhappiness: you either get special or you get everyday. And you’ll definitely be disappointed if you expect special everyday. I spent a lot of time disappointed until I realized that maybe I was defining favorite wrong.

What if favorite means the thing you are most grateful for. Suddenly my life turns inside out and the oranges come into relief, the air, the trees, the tea, each season has its own favorite part. I am grateful for all the things I rely on everyday for happiness, stability, comfort, and peace of mind. Then the novel and new does not qualify anymore. If you ask me what my favorite fruit is, it is the orange. Oranges are reliable, they are simple and sweet with enough sour to feel cleansing. They have always made me so happy and healthy. Choosing a favorite, or reminding myself of a favorite becomes an act of healing and self-care. I am dedicated to appreciating the oranges in my life. Most of the time, that’s all I need. This is a dedication to that appreciation. Welcome. This place is softer and more quiet. It needs a certain amount of stillness to appreciate.