I sometimes worry about my future.
Often I liken myself to a moth rather than a butterfly: my life is less of a metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly and is more of a hapless, fluttering mothy creature looking for the light, landing awhile, and continuing on in search of better light.
I wonder if I’ll ever be satisfied with the light I find.
It’s in those moments I remind myself that the lie of “one life fits all” is just that — a fucking lie.
I’ve lived life by my standards and desires (some would say to a fault), and I have learned so, so much along the way: I have gone to the absolute depths of despair, so waterlogged with grief I wondered if I would ever surface.
There were many days — many years — where I questioned if I would even make it. Not because I would take my life, but because depression would take my will to live. I may have a heartbeat, sure, but I feared that by this age I would be a shell of a human, haunted by the vibrant person I once was
I’ve learned that success isn’t measured by the amount of money you make or the jobs you have, but how you make people feel.
Social media doesn’t tell me if you visit your grandparents, if you call your mom, if you acknowledge people who appear to live without a proper home, or how you treat people who can do absolutely nothing for you.
Some of the kindest people I know are the people whose names will never be listed in a history book, or in Forbes 30 under 30.
My mom had an uncanny ability to make people, even strangers, feel as though they mattered and were worthy of love.
I can only hope I’ve carried on an ounce of that.
I’ve learned you can profess a lot of thoughts and ideas on how one should live, but those thoughts are fruitless if you don’t actually live by them.
I’ve tried to honor the light and struggles in other people, to see them for who they are and where they’re at.
I’ve learned that kindness is fluid — I want to share it with others because others have shared it with me, even when I felt so undeserving of it.
I’ve learned that opportunities to give and receive kindness are everywhere and those moments leave you feeling more connected to each other than any amount of social media ever could.
These are all of the things I’ve learned in my years, and I’m painfully aware that, oftentimes, I fall short of my own teachings.
But I try. And maybe that’s the secret to life? To try. Whether it’s simply getting out of bed, working on a relationship, or going after your dreams, I’d like to approach everyone with the assumption that they, too, are trying.
Above all else, if there is one thing I’ve learned it is this: no time is guaranteed.
All we have is now.