Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reflections on Blessings (plus Birthday week: Instagram Style)

There are moments in life when you are reminded of how you are truly blessed.

Beyond all measure, beyond all reason, beyond all that you deserve.

Celebrating my birthday with my roommate at a gorgeous winery

Life has been stressful, that is for sure; I haven't been sleeping, anxiety my constant friend. Choices confound me, and I find myself nostalgic for things that should have been. It doesn't help that I am usually an open book with people in my life, but for the moment, there are a great number of things that I have to keep hidden.

It's easy to get lost in yourself. It's easy to forget that there is an outside world, people who have lives that will never touch yours, and lives of people that you will touch without ever knowing it. I am forever guilty of getting caught in my own mind, of feeling like there is no purpose in life, that it is all in vain.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.  ~Ecclesiastes 1: 2-4, 8-11
Formal Birthday dinner out at a fabulous Irish Pub

Those verses have always stuck out to me as some of the most profound words in the entire Bible. Particularly in a world in which we are taught to always hope for a better tomorrow; in a society where Facebook and social media expect us to present a life without flaws; a generation where we expect instant gratification and are sorely disappointed when expectations are not fulfilled. For me, it is reassuring to know that centuries ago, there was someone who felt the exact same way as me. That it is ok to sometimes have doubts, it is alright to not always portray a perfect facade, that once in a while it is perfectly acceptable to not have it all together.

That sometimes, it's even ok to doubt God.

But it still isn't time for my 'issues with God' post, or maybe I am just not ready to write it. For today, I instead want to focus on the good. To write a post that glorifies the blessings in my life without glossing over the fact that things are not perfect.

Exhausted but happy friends post- Heat game

My birthday was last Tuesday (it's ok, I'll forgive you for not sending me a card ;) ). I was nervous going into this birthday because last year was pretty spectacular, at the time. My (now ex) boyfriend came into town and spent the entire day catering to my every wish, doing everything he could to give me a day that was as 'special as I am'. Given that the majority of my birthdays have always been huge disappointments, I had learned over the years not to expect anything, just to avoid disappointment. But, despite the fact that he turned out to be a even bigger train wreck than I could, or should convey, in a blog post, it was a remarkable day. One that, unfortunately, gave me hope that all birthdays could be as remarkable.

I faced this year with trepidation; two of my closest friends, and most integral cogs in my social network, are across the world (literally. They're in India), leaving me without a built in safety net for birthday plans. I was forced to go out of my comfort zone and reach out to people with whom I have NOT built an automatic repoire.

And it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Valentine's Day party with some of the most inspiring and gracious women I have ever known\

If you ever doubt your worth as a person, look at the friends in your life. I have to tell you, if they are any reflection of who I am as a person, then given how generous, kind, and considerate my friends are, I must be a pretty spectacular person. Not only did they give me a great birthday, I had an entire birthday week. For a period of about 8 days, I had something planned almost every single day. Constant reminders, from surprising places, of how many people love and support me. There were also a few... not so nice reminders, jolts that encouraged me to realize that sometimes things happen for a reason, and it truly is best to let some things stay in the past, no matter how much you wish otherwise. Overall though, I go into this week, a week filled with its own challenges and obstacles, with confidence. Confidence that I am a person of substance and integrity, a person who can stop settling for sub-par and start expecting the best from people... because there are people who can give that.

Winning Lady Gaga tickets at a friend's baby shower (even though it has since been postponed/cancelled!)

I am blessed. Blessed to have a family that is healthy and happy. Blessed to have friends all over the world who think enough of me to go out of their way to tell me. Blessed to have a career that is
rewarding and fulfilling, even if not always easy or satisfying. Blessed, to have the support i need to move forward whereever life takes me.

Despite my misgivings, for now I choose to feel blessed, and I hope I can empower someone else to feel the same.  

Happy Birthday to me!

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