Bringing 2016 to a Close

Another year of our lives comes to an end tonight and as I reminisce about 2016 I feel nothing but thankful. 

For me this was a major growing year. I moved back to California with so much appreciation for the place that I’m from and the people I left behind only 9 months prior. I had the wonderful opportunity to move back in with my mom temporarily. After those 9 months of drastic change it was nice to come back to what I had been used to and get one more chance to feel like less of an adult. It was also when I realized that it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life since all of my friends were busy working towards their futures and we could no longer spend time together whenever we felt like it. Even though I knew that it was time for another big change, I almost had a harder time moving only two hours away just because I knew that this was much more permanent. 

Blake and I have celebrated our first wedding anniversary, bought our first home and to finish off the year we even bought a new car. To say that I’m grateful would be an understatement. 

However, this year has also brought many struggles. I had personal feelings of overwhelming anger towards someone I  care about which caused major anxiety and discomfort in my life. At the time I didn’t think that my feelings could ever change but time has a funny way of fixing things. I’m at peace because I was able to overcome those feelings. It’s never worth it to hold a grudge against someone you care about because ultimately you’re only hurting yourself. That’s one of many valuable lessons I’ve learned this year. 

Another difficult occurrence of this year happened just last week when my papa passed away on Christmas Day. It was early in the morning and we rushed over to the hospital because we had heard that he might not make it through the day. I took a moment to appreciate the beauty of such a sad place on what was supposed to be a happy day. I felt so thankful for the nurses and doctors who gave up their Christmas to help those who needed it. I felt humbled when I saw patients battling for their health. Most of all I felt like there was no place I would rather be than in that hospital room by my papas side. 

Death is never a happy thing, even when someone is in pain it’s difficult to be happy that their pain is gone when a person you love no longer exists in the world. But this was a special day. Even though I had to say goodbye to Papa this Christmas I know that it happened exactly as it was supposed to. The people who loved him were all there and he went from being non responsive to telling us all that he loved us. After a long morning in the hospital I left, but not before I could give him a kiss on the forehead and tell him I loved him three more times. 

He wanted to be alone and so we went on with our Christmas plans. About 30 minutes into our celebration at my aunt and uncles house, my uncle got the call. Papa left the body that was causing him so much pain and his beautiful soul went to heaven. I’m sure he was watching over us as we cried and hugged and comforted one another and carried on with our night with tears in our eyes. I was so happy to be with everyone and not back in San Diego and I truly feel that papa wanted it that way for all of our sakes. Because that just who he was, always looking after us. 

He’s the third grandparent I’ve lost and it never gets easier but I know that he is up there with my nana and poppy watching over me. And now death seems a little less scary since I know that whenever my time is up, I’ll have another person waiting for me on the other side. 

My hope for 2017 is that I can be more like him in all of the ways that made him so admirable to everyone he knew. I want to be able to push forward and make each year better than the last. 

So cheers to new beginnings, happiness, health and family. I hope everyone has a very fun and safe night bringing in the new year. Let’s make it a great one!

Motivation Monday #21

Oh No! I almost forgot that it was Monday! I know the day is almost over now, but I still want to send some motivation your way.

It’s Memorial day, so let us be motivated by those who have sacrificed their lives so that we may have the opportunity to live the “American Dream”. No matter what kind of day you’re having, it can’t be worse than the days that our young men and women soldiers have spent fighting for our freedom.

My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones who served.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful memorial weekend.

Dear Diary…

I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately. How strange it is that we, as humans, are living out these lives never knowing when our time in the bodies we inhabit will be over.

I can recall two conversations, one with each of my best friends at separate times, one more recent and one from years ago.

The one about the bigger things.

I’d say it was about 8 years ago, my best friend Alyse and I were preparing to go on a family camping trip, one that (we now know) we would never forget. The night before our long drive to Shaver Lake, one of the many boys who lusted after Alyse decided to TP her house. Probably because we had previously TP-ed his house but we were enraged nonetheless. We plotted to stay up through the night incase the boys were to come back (to scare them of course). We sat in the darkness right next to her front door, porch lights off, screen door closed, stars painted across the night sky and a perfect summer breeze flowing in. The time passed and the boys never came back, but we got to talking and things got deep.

There we were, two 16 year old girls, friends since we were just little kids. Alyse is like my sister and in many ways she really is the sister I never had. Growing up we were so similar, we liked the same things, our dad’s both loved to fish, we were both horrible at math and we could even pass as sisters when we met new people. I had two brothers and she was an only child, therefore we both needed each other. I became the sibling she never had and she became the sister I always wanted.

On that night when we were 16, we expressed to each other the kind of things that we would think about but never say out loud. I like to think of it as opening our souls to one another. We were relieved to find out that we had both wondered similar things, that we weren’t the only ones who thought about the world beyond what we know. Beyond Earth, space, and even that big galaxy of stars that we were staring right into. We also talked about the mystery of life after death, whether we go on to lead new lives in heaven or even as new souls on earth or if the end of our lives is just nothingness and our existence is permanently erased.

The darkness.

It’s what I see when I’m laying in bed at night, struggling to fall asleep and for whatever reason my mind gets to thinking about death. Not every night, only once in a while. I play out my whole life in my head, it seems to be going faster as time goes on and there is nothing I can do to slow it down and then boom. The unknown. Darkness. Death. The end of my story. My body feels numb, and my heart sinks into my stomach.

This has happened to me ever since I was a little girl. Back then it was even more terrifying to think about. I remember trying to fall asleep one night and these thoughts consumed me. I left my room to find my mom who was folding clothes on the couch. I explained what I was feeling and she comforted me with a hug, told me to pray whenever my mind wandered that way and tucked me back in.

Prayer really does help. Whether you pray or meditate or whatever it is that you do, it’s beneficial to take a moment to remind yourself that there is something bigger than what you know, than this life and this world.

It doesn’t happen to me very often especially as I’ve gotten older but when it does, it’s almost always when I’m in bed trying to sleep. For the first time in a long time, these thoughts consumed me again just the other night.

Unlike when I was a child, I’m no longer so scared about the thought. I’ve come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason and this life is a part of something much larger.

The one about LIFE.

That second conversation I mentioned at the start of my entry occurred just last night. I was on the phone with my other best friend Alina.

Anyone who knows either of us is aware that we’re as close as two girls can be. We like to say that were soul mates but in a friendship sort of way. We just get each other and we always have. I honestly think that I would be a very different person if she hadn’t come into my life 12 years ago, kind of like there would just be a hole in my life that was never filled. But like I said, everything happens for a reason.

Coincidentally, it came up in conversation while we were on the phone last night. Death, Life, what have you. We both admitted that thoughts of our time on earth, in these bodies and what is to come once we leave them had recently crossed our minds.

I thought about how peculiar it was that we had both been thinking the same deep thoughts around the same time as each other. And then I realized. It’s not peculiar at all, there are probably millions of other people thinking the same thing. After all, we are all human. We are all living out our lives, day to day, knowing that at some point they will be over. The end. Done. But still, we keep going.

Why wouldn’t we occasionally stop to think about our unescapable deaths?

Because it’s scary is why. But does it have to be?

As I get older, these thought’s seem more like a privilege than a curse. A reason to remind myself of what I want my life to be. A reminder that I need to do what I love and not allow  anyone to make me feel differently about how I should be living. There is no ‘forever’ in this life… This life is temporary and it should be enjoyed.

You see, normally this is the type of thing I would keep to myself. Maybe I’d write it in my personal diary. But come to think of it, I have this one lifetime to express myself though writing, so why not put it all out there?

Hopefully, if anything, others will relate and find comfort in knowing that they aren’t the only one who wonders.

There’s a great big ocean out there and we are all in the same boat.

 

 

 

How to live a life with less regrets

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life was perfect? Well unfortunately it isn’t. Bad things happen, people can be cruel and sometimes we make bad decisions. Sometimes we lose loved ones and sometimes we feel helpless. Sometimes addiction takes over, or depression, or even greed. Life isn’t all butterflies and rainbows. Sometimes we let our anger get the best of us and we make decisions that we wish we could take back, but we can’t because that’s just not how life works.

I know it’s impossible to live a life without a few regrets but I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the ways that I believe could help you to live a life with less regrets:

Believe in yourself

If you have dreams or goals for your future you have to believe that you can achieve them. Attitude is everything. Blake, for example, has never been much of a scholar but he set a goal to do something that he knew would be a challenge for him and has maintained a positive attitude about it from the start. And guess what? He is doing an amazing job. He’s smarter than he knows, and his positive attitude and determination are what will get him through this insanely tough medical program. Do things that scare you, travel to the places you want to see, push yourself to be better than you were yesterday and always be your own biggest fan.

Believe in others

You never know what other people are dealing with, whether it’s a personal issue at home or a problem with mental health, there are so many things that could be going on beneath the surface, of which you are unaware. My mantra in life is to just be nice. A smile or a small compliment could save a life. The world needs more NICE. Always encourage your loved ones to follow their dreams and passions no matter what. You never know who’s life will change just because you were the only one who believed that they could accomplish their goals.

Say “I Love you”

You never know when you will be hugging someone for the last time. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Life takes unexpected turns all of the time and you never want to live with the regret of forgetting to tell someone that you love them while you still have the chance. P.S. To my friends and family who are reading this.. I LOVE YOU ALL! 🙂

Don’t hold grudges

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned” -Buddah

When you’re holding grudges, ultimately you’re only hurting yourself. Allowing yourself to dwell on negative thoughts about someone is not good for your own mental health. Learning to forgive and forget is the biggest blessing of all. Sometimes we get so angry about things that won’t even matter to us a few years down the road. Always choose to be the bigger person and mend your relationships. Even if you don’t want to maintain a close relationship with the person anymore, it’s still important to stay cordial.

Love people beyond their flaws

It’s never okay to make fun of someone because of their appearance. Whether it is someone who’s struggling with acne or weight gain or someone who looks different because they were born with something that made them that way. All humans are God’s beautiful creations and what defines them is how big their heart is, not what they look like. Some people struggle with addiction and that makes them hard to love at times, but it’s important to be supportive of people and encourage them to do better. Always PRAY for people when they are having a hard time in life, even if they are hurting you, prayer is power and sometimes it’s all you can do to help.

When you’re having a bad day, don’t take it out on other people

We’ve all been there. It’s 2:00 and we haven’t had lunch yet, all of a sudden we are hungry and angry, AKA HANGRY. Working in a restaurant as a hostess made me realize how angry people can get when they need to fill their bellies with food. I have had multiple people get upset with me and throw fits because their table wasn’t going to be ready when they wanted it to be. Grown adults wearing suits would act like children, one woman even threw a paper menu at me when she learned that it would be 20 minutes before a table was ready. As a kid I would get cranky and throw fits, I had no idea why I was so mad but my mom always knew that it was either because I was hungry or tired. Not much changes with age. We still get mad when we are tired and hungry but most of us know how to control our emotions much better than when we were children. I knew that people were only mad because they needed to reenergize and fuel their bodies with food so I didn’t take it personally. But there are tons of other circumstances which may cause you to have a bad attitude. No matter what kind of horrible day you’re having, try not to take it out on other people. You could potentially ruin someones day or diminish their self-esteem with your mean comments and that’s not okay.

Have fun!

Do the things that make you smile. Go to disneyland, take a vacation, spend time with family and friends and go on adventures. Don’t think about the money you’ll be spending, think about the memories you’ll be making. You can always make more money but you can never re-live the same happy moments. Turn mundane tasks into fun games. Go out with your friends every chance you get and don’t miss out on the precious time you have with your family during the holidays.

Be the change you wish to see in the world and you will live a life with less regrets. Always be nice and work hard so that you can do the things that make you happy! Follow your dreams and live a life that you love.

I would like to dedicate this post to my late friend Kirk Allen Mirkamali. An ambitious, light-hearted, solider who knew how to accomplish goals and live a life full of adventure. Kirk, you were taken too soon, but I have no doubts that you’re looking down on your friends and family with a smile on your face…. because now you know how many hearts you’ve touched with your kindness. Prayers for your family and your girlfriends family as well. Rest peacefully sweet friend.

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