Daily Journey Journal #5: life mantra

Daily Journal

I am not a particularly religious person and I’m really not sure about the idea of a divine plan, but I do believe that most everything in my life happens for a reason. When I need courage, when difficulties are dragging me down I remind myself that things don’t happen simply to make my life miserable. They are there for me to learn from. Believing that things happen for a purpose is a way of telling myself that everything will work out in the end, no matter how stressful, sad, difficult or horrid the situation. I believe that most bad situations have a silver lining but sometimes it takes a while to understand that silver lining. Having faith in and believing that things happen for a reason gets me to that silver lining.

In light of the recent events in California and in consideration of the daily hardships of impoverished lives, I do not know how much this belief is true for every individual. It is painful thinking of the tragedies faced by so many families and people who have fallen victim to shootings in the US in recent years. It is gut wrenching thinking of the men, women, and children around the world who starve, perish from treatable disease and are never given a chance to truly live. If I traded places with any of these individuals, I do not know if I would have this faith I have now. I do not know if I would believe that the pain and terrible situations of my life were happening for a reason. I do know that as an outsider looking in, I can learn from these situations and support causes that seek to bring them to an end so that all people have the chance to believe that the things that transpire in their lives are there to better them as human beings rather than destroy them.

Do you have a mantra for life?

See you in June!

KiwiBee

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Daily Journey Journal #4: list your top 15 fears

Daily Journal

“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational- or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t.”

― Lemony Snicket

Fears, both rational and irrational:

1. Cows~ a cow grazing is one thing, but a cow charging and chasing you up a mountain trail is another thing entirely!
2. Strange dogs~ I love dogs I am familiar with and have found that in most cases dogs are completely friendly,  but it sends my panic levels soaring for a few seconds when confronted with a dog I do not know.
3. Creepy-crawlies in general and spiders in particular~ there is just something about all those legs that makes my skin crawl.
4. Millipedes in broccoli~ this is a new fear steaming from a recent event in which dinner preparation came to a screeching halt when one such creature stuck its head out of my head of broccoli.
5. Insects swarming my living space~ bugs really just aren’t my thing and this would be the pinnacle of horrors for me.
6. Making a mistake that will ruin my whole life~ could one mistake really destroy the entirety of my future years? Probably not, yet it is a fear that rears its head every once in a while.
7. Walking alone in the dark~ the just generally makes me feel vulnerable and makes me jumpy. I try to avoid this whenever possible and if it can’t be avoided, I stick to busy streets.
8. Strangers being in my living space~ I’ve seen a few too many ads for horror movies in which creepers are inside someone’s house. How freaky would that be?! Being home alone at night usually spurs this fear into action.
9. Depressions~ it wasn’t really that fun before and I dread it ever returning. So, I’m always working now to safeguard against it returning.
10. Not being prepared for my first ‘real’ job~ After spending five years at university and working so hard for my education, I just fear realizing that I am completely unprepared for real life and real jobs.
11. Blistering sunburns~ they hurt so much! Plus, the more often I burn, the more concerned I am about skin cancer.
12. Being alone forever~ a few hours of solitude is ok, but a lifetime, not so much.
13. Loosing my mobility~ moving around, running, hiking, biking, are some of my greatest pleasures in life. Not having this luxury would be an incredibly difficult road bump to overcome.
14. Loosing my memory~ imagining this fills me with a deep sadness. No knowing my loved ones, forgetting our memories and erasing from my mind all life’s experiences is painful. Having watched several friends and family members go through this, it is not a fate I wish for anyone.
15. Loosing those I love suddenly, without warning~ the stems from the history of suicide in my life. Both my grandpa and cousin lost their lives to suicide and left me with an anxiety about everyone I know following that same path.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

― Jim Morrison

Daily Journey Journal #3: most grateful for…

Daily Journal

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Family, friends, silly students, new opportunities, good books, dark chocolate, coffee, trails, beautiful days, sunshine, adventures…the list goes on and on. There are so many things in life to be thankful for, so many things that brighten each day and bring joy to living. Each night I make a point of writing down one thing I am grateful for, even on rough, less-than-lovely days, so that I always go to sleep with the most positive part of the day in my mind. Beautiful weather, trips, nights out with friends, dates, good food, long runs on mountain trails, funny situations, students and moments of perfect solitude have all been captured in my lines of gratitude, but above and beyond all these things for me is my gratefulness for life. There was a time several years ago when I was willing to throw my life away, to end it and be done. I was pulled from that path and given a second chance at life and that changed everything. I am so grateful to be alive so that I can enjoy time with my family, laughs with my friends, the deliciousness of coffee and the wonder of embarking on a new adventure. I am grateful for a chance to really live and not simply exist. And I am grateful for all the people, all the experiences that made it possible for me to appreciate and love this life.

Grateful

Daily Journey Journal #2: how do you journal?

Daily Journal

It’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t scribbling on paper. My affinity for office supplies has kept a steady stream of notebooks and writing utensils at my finger tips since long before I could even write a proper sentence or spell half the words I drew out in big letters. My true journey in journaling however, began on my twelfth birthday when my grandpa gave me my first diary. It was a Scooby-doo flower-power affair complete with a lock and heart shaped key, which I deemed positively necessary. With a little brother around it simply wouldn’t do if he could read all my important elementary school secrets!

The first year of journaling was spotty at best and filled with the drama of sixth grade- who liked who, crushes, best friends and the hot rumors flying through the classroom that week. Those short entries were short lived, though. The petty chronicles of elementary school turned to self talk shortly after beginning junior high. I had bloomed into a perfectly awkward wall flower and couldn’t quite figure out how to float through the social groups springing up. The journals from those years, simple spiral bound notebooks, contained notes to self (i.e. reminders of the way my English teacher preferred I write certain letters, particularly F) as well as thoughts on shifting friend loyalties,  understanding my parents’ impending divorce, letters to my grandpa following his death and attempts at understanding suicide and why it was a decision made sometimes. In these writings I discovered a sense of security, the extreme pleasure in connecting with myself and the cathartic nature of doing so. This vein of journaling has carried, supported and nurtured me up to this very day and it remains a steady practice in my life, particularly when the going gets tough. Since beginning university, these tough-times thoughts have been kept in beautiful, ornate journals which, once filled, are locked away in a trunk for safe keeping. My most vulnerable self is contained in the pages of my journals while my braver, stronger self is here on this blog, ready to examine tough times through the lens of retrospection.

This public journaling journey is my first of the kind. I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts and connecting with others on their own journeys. I would love to hear from you! What is your journaling or writing journey? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Until tomorrow,

KiwiBee

 

Daily Journey Journal #1: who are you today?

Daily Journal

Today I’m a bouncy smiling weirdo with far too much energy and an endearing quality that keeps A around, despite his sigh-filled bemusement. That’s not really that different than who I was yesterday or the day before, or the week before that or… really who I’ve been becoming the last few years. Turning another year older only seems to add to my oddities, rather than lessen them, but that’s ok with me. Oddities make life more interesting, or at least far more amusing (who doesn’t need a new animal identity every few days?!). Besides, escaping them isn’t really an option. Weirdness is in the genes and there’s no changing that, thankfully.
Today marks my twenty fourth year of life. Twenty four. For some reason, that seems infinity older than twenty three, yet I don’t feel older in the slightest. If anything I feel younger, but that might be due to the promise of impending coffee and sugar filled yumminess that has me jumping up and down like I did when I was six and my grandpa promised me ice cream. Some things never change, it seems.
Some things, though, do change and the things that change perhaps do so for the best.
Today, I am happy, confident, a pile of organized chaos basking in the sunshine of life and this lovely day. I am easily excited, easily amused and easily made happy. These things that are now so much of who I am weren’t always my identifying features however. There was a time when I wasn’t actually sure I’d live to see twenty four, let along nineteen. I wallowed in self-pity for a few too many years, slide in and out of depression and found myself dallying outside suicide’s door, waiting to accept a dare that would end it all. I didn’t take that dare, I had a wake-up call, I found a new mantra for life and here we are, six years later, having this lovely conversation.
Today, I am me, an ever evolving being, complete with sporadic outbursts of nonsense sounds, overly animated gestures and mini explosions of frolic filled joy. A new year of my journey through this life begins today and in the next 365 days I aim to carry on as I have the last five years, cultivating a practice of happiness. This year, my cultivation encompasses a daily journal of thoughts gathered to further positivity and inner-connectedness. In doing so, buried aspects of my person and perhaps some new KiwiBee noises to add to my library of self-made sound effects for life may be found along the way.
Until tomorrow!
KiwiBee