Begendings-my life as a senior in high school

imagesMy life now is comprised of beginnings all tangled up in endings. I don’t know exactly where one begins and the other ends. And to be perfectly honest, I am not sure anyone else actually knows what is the beginning and what is the ending either.

I am asked to lead by example for my school, my team, my younger sibling while at the same time I am asked to define and refine my “reach” and my “safety”. Future… a place I have lived in comfortably for many years now has suddenly changed from an exclamation point to a question mark. I was always happily running to the next step. Can’t wait until I am 5 years old, so I can ride the big yellow bus. Can’t wait until I lose my first tooth. Can’t wait until I ride a two-wheeler by myself. Can’t wait until I am 13, then I will be a teenager. Can’t wait until I am 16, so I can drive whenever and wherever I want. Can’t wait to be a senior, so I can rule the school. So many days that I crossed off the calendar with exclamation points!

Ask me anything about where I am now and I have all of the answers. Things I did not know four years ago are like second nature to me. I navigate my school hallways with ease. Ask me questions about where I am going and I give stock answers. I am unsure and the truth is, I really don’t know. Now, I find I am in the middle place, kind of stuck between winning the race but being held at the start line because it is not yet my turn.

Instead of asking me questions about where I am going to college or my senior quote, senior picture, senior field trip, senior lunch, senior shampoo, please be patient with me while I try and figure it out. Smile at me and don’t forget to tell me when I have done a good job today, because today really matters in my world. Today is where I live. Today is where I love. Today is where I meet up with my friends and laugh. Today is where I look over to you to see if you saw what I just did out there. Today is where I smile and share and stress and try and cry. Today, for me, is all I’ve got. Tomorrow is coming. I know it is there. Please do not feel like you need to be constantly reminding me to plan for tomorrow. Believe me, it is like the big bad wolf and the best birthday present at the same time,  all wrapped up in one! My future waits for me but my present is who I am. It becomes who I become. While I am running to my next place, please help me enjoy the moments in between. The wake ups at home, the homecoming weeks, the victories with my teams, staying up late with my sister solving the world’s problems, the tests, the trials, the silly laughter, the A’s and the F’s, the smell of your cooking, my dog’s excitement when I walk in the room, seeing you in my mirror saying “be safe” as I leave the driveway. These are the things that are making me “me”. The me I have come to be is not only so special to you, but I am special to me because of all of those small, but important things wrapped up in my present. I am excited for where I am going next. Until then, let’s love and live in the little in between times because honestly, when the date on my calendar comes and I pack my bags and set off on my own journey pursuing whatever future is knocking at my door, it is those tiny moments that I am making now that make the future me.

In Your Honesty Is Your Beauty

b6b2956fee1c75c4095c325fc7a3aeea Do you ever have those moments where life gives you something that you weren’t expecting and you walk around saying “I’m sorry that I am being _____, it’s just that….”. What is it we are doing when we apologize for what the great teacher of experience is trying to show us? Are we comparing ourselves to someone else? Are we comparing ourselves to a different version of us?  Maybe the version we think we should be, or the version that we want others to see? I find myself doing this often when I am mad, tired, or frustrated with something, even sometimes apologizing if I am happy about something great that happened … It prompted me to realize that in our honesty is where we will find our beauty. At times when honesty in life is the most difficult, you have the power to be at your most beautiful. We all will go through trials, and we all will have triumphs. Don’t make any of these events smaller than they really are by taking the true emotion out of the experience. You do not owe yourself or anyone else an excuse or explanation because there is purpose in your experience and sharing it honestly is important! Haven’t you had that moment where a friend is sharing a story and you realize that you completely understand what they are talking about and shout,  “Me too!” or ” I feel the same way!” or “The same thing happened to me!”? By being honest about your life, you actually create a fuller life. We may not  always say them out loud but we share common experiences. On the day that your perfect life that you have worked so hard on shows cracks, scrapes, bumps and bruises– be real, be sad, be strong, be frustrated. These are the moments that will build your foundation one brick at a time, until one day you have a mighty palace. On the day that your journey lands you on that big, white, fluffy cloud number nine, and everything is not just what you had dreamed it would be, but so very much more– be joyful, be loud, be grateful, be jubilant! These are the moments that will keep you a dreamer when other things or people fail you. Beauty comes from living each experience with authenticity. Beauty comes from feeling your feelings honestly. Beauty comes from not making excuses of why you are happy or why you are sad. Beauty comes from living out loud. Beauty comes from admitting your weakness and from admitting your strength! Each experience in life is put before us to bring us closer to the fullness of all we can become. This life we lead, it is more than one in a million… Heck, it is the ONLY one! Live it, feel it, respect it. There is only one version of you, one version of  your life, one version of your hopes and dreams… and none of these versions will look like some one else’s. Don’t compare your life – Share your life! In God’s expert hands our lives are finely crafted objects of art. In all of our experiences, be true, be real, be YOU! Wherever your “here” is today, it is exactly where you are supposed to be! In your honesty, your beauty shines. Let the world in and let it be a mirror to your unique and wonderful life, because yours is the fairest of them all!