You may be wondering why I haven't been here for several weeks, well sometimes, life happens.
2011 was probably the most difficult and most challenging year of my life. The saddest year of my life remains to be 2004, the year that I lost my grandmother; she was the most important and most influential person in my life. I see so much of her in me, in the way I live my life, in the way I continue to be outspoken and opinionated about my beliefs. My grandmother believed in me more than anyone else in my life ever has; she felt the sky was the limit for me and there was nothing that I couldn't accomplish in life. Therefore, I have learned to live my life that way, believing that no matter how big the dream, it is within my grasp.
2011 was filled with life lesson after life lesson for me. Here are just a few pearls of wisdom I picked up last year:
You can't trust everyone, know who your friends really are! Acquaintances come and go; friends are forever. True friends should be countable on one or two hands, and they are the people who there for you when you're at your best or at you're worst. They are there to talk when you're upset, they're beside you when you're jobless, and you think of them as more than just friends. They are the special ones, and you think of them the same way you think of family. In fact, they're even more special in a way because you chose one another.
Stay positive no matter how hard things seem or really are. Positive energy has this way of spreading, it's infectious, it's like a snowball rolling downhill. The positivity builds and picks up speed once it starts rolling. In the days that seem the darkest, maintaining positivity may be what gets you to the next day.
Believe that good things eventually do happen to good people. A very wise person told you me that when you pray to God to help you, he grants your wish, but you may not have an easy road to get to where you ultimately want to be. God tests us in life, but he never gives us something that he doesn't believe we can handle, which leads me to my next lesson.....everything happens for a reason. You have to take the good and bad in life, not everything can be wonderful all the time. Pick your battles and realize that being stressed out is not always the healthiest option.
A few years ago, I believed that I could "save" people. I believed that when they had problems or issues I could "fix" them. And then I figured out that people have to want to change themselves, they have to want to better themselves. They have to recognize problems or issues in their lives and label them as such in order to begin fixing them. All the wishing, hoping, saving, and fixing in the world cannot make someone who they aren't. My mother always used to say to me, a tiger never changes its stripes. I don't believe that though. I believe anyone is capable of change, but they must want to. Who or what initiates that change within said person can vary, certain experiences can change a person forever. I know people who have changed as a result of specific events they've been through. I will even cite myself as an example of that; I have been through certain things this past year. The experiences have made me more grateful. I appreciate simple things more than I ever used to. The people I care about are more important to me than ever. I have learned not to take anything for granted.
Sometimes being rich has nothing to do with money and everything to do with your spirit because who you are as a person can make you richer than any person with tons of money. Measure your good fortune in how you live your life.
The most relevant lesson I learned this past year is to never ever stop believing in yourself and those who love you. Always be strong, and do your best to live and cherish each day as best you can.