Then there's other things like any movie with Johnny Depp is a win because it stars Johnny Depp and bright orange is a dreadful color on 95% of the population (so don't kid yourself). These are examples of personal experience through watching a lot of movies, particularly ones starring Johnny Depp, and the gagging sensation I get when I see anyone walking around in rainbow orange articles of clothing. These are things learned from longitudinal experiences - i.e. experiences over time. I've also learned how to utilize longitudinal in everyday jargon. What a great lesson! Many of these things can be learned the easy way... and some are learned the hard way (like using longitudinal in my everyday jargon took getting a Master's degree... just so you know what you're in for).
That brings me to more serious and dare I say legitimate life lessons as; picking your battles, finding patience among frustrating situations, cultivating faith and hope in otherwise hopeless situations, the strength of mind over matter, that breaking your heart is the surest way to appreciating the real thing, turning the other cheek, going with them twain, and that a loyal trustworthy friend is probably one of the greatest gifts you could ever receive. Clearly these lessons pack a little more significance than mouthwash brands and Johnny Depp (but only just ;)), and they also require a little more sacrifice and self-reflection. Thus, just as significant as the lessons learned is the experiences it takes to internalize these lessons. And most of those lessons are definitely (and necessarily) learned the hard way.
And I've learned A LOT of lessons the hard way.
However, this gives me hope they won't be "unlearned" anytime soon. It's the harder things that tend to stick the longest.
Thus, I've taken some time to self-reflect and recognize those "poisonous" situations, people, thoughts, actions and reactions, in my life that I could practice doing without or, practice handling just a little bit better. Just like life-lessons, the poisons in my life range from reducing my sugar intake thus not entering a Sugar Coma at 3:00pm every single day, to recognizing what battles are worth fighting... and which ones just aren't. Almost an acknowledgment of the greater good - letting sometimes trite, personal things go for the betterment of your overall environment It could ALWAYS be worse. And I don't want to be the reason they're worse. It's gauging the outcomes - and strategically selecting the one you have the most control over - which ultimately tends to be yourself. I think learning how to navigate hard situations with patience and pro-activity, making the internal, individual adjustments rather than rashly and reactively attempting to control external variables, is one of those lessons I'm truly cultivating this year. To truly pick the battles that are worth addressing and letting others lie - generally because they're petty and insignificant in the long run anyway. And maybe, that ability to reflect and navigate comes with maturity and "hard" experiences as well. Hello world! I'm growing up! I'm attempting to either remove the poison from my life or prevent it through my own choices. The rub is not everything is black and white... there's a lot of gray... there's a lot of "the lesser of two evils" type scenarios. But you do what you can with what you can. If it wasn't that way then it wouldn't be entirely worth it, I guess. No one appreciates things that come easy.
I hope I don't ever stop "growing up" and learning and cultivating and progressing. Stagnation is the first sign of character decline in my opinion, and I for one want to maintain enough of a grasp on my environment, the people I'm choosing to surround myself with, the situations I've created and more particularly those I can prevent through my ability to act or react, to notice when I've stopped progressing and refining and instead, am stagnating. It's a long road... bumpy and arduous at times... not entirely free of poison... but it's one we all must take. Might as well try and learn something useful along the way.