Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let us talk about LIFE...

Through my 27 years of living - I feel I've had some choice opportunities to learn some valuable life lessons. For example I learned a little something yesterday whilst at the Dentist. SCOPE mouthwash is actually pointless and does not contain anything useful for teeth, enamel, whitening, NOTHIN! Rather, it is another money making gimmick made to sucker the unsuspecting customer into thinking they're being hygienically responsible. Thieves. Lesson: Stick with Listerine. Don't be a wuss; just endure the 30 seconds of quality mouth cleaning. I feel that's a valuable piece of consumer knowledge and one item of many I've added to my "good to know" stores. A choice opportunity if I've ever seen one!

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.

7 comments:

Craig Barlow B. said...

You are very wise, and you are an excellent writer.

Andrea Jolene said...

I learn from the best Craig my friend (pst... I mean Steinbeck... oh, and you).

jaime said...

Every time someone says "the greater good" I think of that Simon Pegg movie Hot Fuzz. The town elders were murdering riffraff and citizens that made small errors for the "greater good" of the town...so this is just a heads up to not get too extreme with the whole "greater good" thing. I don't want you to go to jail. I like you. :-)

Ps- What movie does Johnny Depp wear orange?

Nasher said...

I was enjoying this blog post until I scrolled down and saw the picture of a snake. Not cool Andrea. Not cool.

Andrea Jolene said...

Jaime - the wearing of orange and JOhnny Depp were meant to be two seperate thoughts. Love me some ambiguous sentance structures. Though let it be noted - he is likely part of the 5% that could pull of a dreadful orange. It's Johnny Depp.

Pete - SNAKES!

Totally Tarah said...

I love this post. It really is inspiring. I can tell you are about to graduate with a master's degree. I felt like I was reading a paper. Lol! Keep up the good work!

Andrea Jolene said...

Tarah - ha ha, right? I get in "paper writing mode" and even my emails sound like grad school papers 'Dear Sir, Longitudinally your request for a lunch meeting does not compute. Might I refer you to Dr. X's research on time-management and effectivness?" Snooze.