Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe—and I’m not asthmatic or anxious. I just mean that, often, life seems to take my breath away. Reflections of moments in my past resurface and make me feel like I’m gasping for air. Overwhelming moments in my present make me feel like I’m holding my breath. Visions of my goals, plans, and future leave me panting with a rapid pulse that make me feel impulsive and impactful, filled with ambition and destiny waiting to be fulfilled… and then I stop, and I breathe a deep breath. This is living.
Life is a tragically beautiful, perpetual death and dance of irony—the ying and yang. We experience pain and discomfort, and even though we may often feel hurt or afraid, we always have a definitive choice to rise above with redefined strength and realization. Long ago, I made my choice.
I always knew that no matter what situation impacted my life, someone somewhere always had it much worse. From a young age, I always felt incredible amounts of empathy and humility for others. I’m far from perfect and feel deeply, and maybe that’s why I always wear my true emotions on my sleeve. Maybe that’s why writing has been my passion from the moment I could spell.
Long ago, I felt like I was sinking… so I chose to relax and float, so vulnerably, until I could rediscover my breath. I chose to breathe. I chose to soar. I chose to be positive and to see the glass always as half-full, and so I never wavered. You see, every experience in life never defines you, it shapes the person you are meant to become.
I was often told during my youth, “Don’t be too good or people will take advantage.” That wasn’t me at all. I chose to be good because it fed my soul, and I was hungry for seeing the impact of my effort on others and learn through them. I learned to turn my pain into power, my worry into humility, and my compassion into empathy. People don’t intimidate me, I just crave to understand that unique canvas that they are painting through experience. I am always learning. I am always changing. I am always growing.
Every conscious effort we make throughout each day that we are gifted is another opportunity to recreate ourselves, rediscover who we choose to be, and live with complete and sincere gratitude.
Once I became a mother, the world shifted into this introspective, self-critical, all-encompassing, life-altering, constant self-evaluation of the past, present, and future. It’s truly incredible. There’s no way to prepare for it or deny it; you just live it and let it live through you simultaneously.
Long ago, I made a simple choice—live my life filled with regret or pride, simply, sad or happy. I made my choice, and I continue to choose every day. I choose happiness. I choose positivity. I choose humility. I choose perseverance. I choose forgiveness and growth. I choose truth.
And even if moments may take my breath away and leave me utterly speechless, gasping for air,
I know that I am truly living, even more prepared to propel forward, and… fly.