Your Legacy

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If you were to leave this earth tomorrow, what would you hope people would say about you and the life you lived? How would they describe you?

Would they say you were a wonderful person, who gave unselfishly and loved everyone or would there be an awkward silence while they try to pick their brain to think of something nice to say about you?

I hope it’s the first. And I hope you earned those words honestly.

People say you shouldn’t care what others think; and yes, this is true to an extent. However, I know that I want people to think I am a good person who they can rely on in a time of need. I want them to know that I care about our relationship and that they mean a lot to me.

Show people you care while you have time. Give them your undivided attention; put your cell phone down, get off Facebook, and look at the person who is speaking to you. Show them that their thoughts matter to you. Be the person who they can turn to when they are having a bad day or just want to talk to someone.

I hope I have been this type of person thus far. I hope the people in my life know how much they mean to me. I hope, when I’m gone, people talk about how loving I was and that I would have done anything for them… and I hope they really mean it.

Be sincere in your relationships throughout your life. They are more important than you may realize.

Strive to show people you care about them and that you are present in your relationships. Don’t be that person who is pretending to listen while you text under the table.

More than anything else, love unconditionally. Do not put limits on your love and gratitude. Give more than you take and be the person who people can always rely on. Be the type of person you would want to be friends with.

Don’t hold grudges. There is not enough time in your life to hold grudges. Even if you can’t forget something completely, forgive the person. Life is too short to be miserable. You will feel better in the end if you just let it go. Of course, sometimes there are things that you can’t let go, and that’s okay too. Sometimes it’s best to let negative people go and move on with your life.

Ask yourself these questions:

Am I the type of friend I would want to have?
How will people remember me once I’m gone?

If you can answer these in a positive manner, keep up the good work. You are on your way to leaving a great legacy.
If you can’t answer these in the best way, work on becoming the type of person you know you should be. Be a person who conveys love, gratitude, loyalty, and happiness every day. You can do it; don’t give up until you get to where you know you should be.

 

April

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Growing Up is Totally Overrated…

When I was younger, I always wished I was older. Actually, for the last, let’s say 10-15 years, I constantly wished I could be a “grown-up”, be out of high school, be out of college, be married, have a big-girl job–you get the point. I’m pretty sure I thought the minute I hit that adult status, I would have an awesome life and that everything about life would make sense. I have literally spent so much time wishing I was in a different place in my life. Even now I find myself wishing I had it all together. I’m sure this is relatively normal for a post-college 20-something, but it’s still really frustrating.

I am really trying to focus on where I am right now, not on my ideal of where I should be.

It’s really tough though. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could just fast forward to that perfect time in our life? Oh wait, that doesn’t exist. Things will never be “picture perfect” like all of the Disney movies’ happily ever after endings. It’s life. It’s super-wonderful at times and it sucks at other times. You have to just learn to be happy with where you are in life.

Be grateful for the time you have on this earth. Show the people who you love that you love them. Laugh as loud as you possibly can. Do not dwell on the negative aspects of your life. I have been called negative one too many times (I always prefer to think of myself as a “realist”, but I’m beginning to think that’s just a toned-down version of “party pooper”). I sometimes struggle with finding the good in a lot of situations. I should feel blessed for all of the people I have in my life and all of the many great ridiculously amazing opportunities I have been given. I am giving myself a challenge to look for the best in every situation. This is going to be tough, but it will be so worth it. If you are reading this, I also encourage you to challenge yourself with this. When you get home, before you begin telling your significant other, parent, friend, etc. the bad parts of your day, say something positive that happened during the day. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge that the entire day wasn’t bad, and think about a time that made you laugh, smile, or just be happy to be alive.

I think every situation can be affected by the way you percieve it. You might be having the worst day you could possibly imagine, but if you focus on something positive (even if it’s the super-fantastic food you ate for lunch), you will feel better. Don’t focus on the bad; life if going to go on–regardless if you are miserable or if you are happy. You might as well smile and make the best of whatever situation you are in.

I think this whole “growing up” thing has its advantages. I mean, sure, I might have bills and responsibilities, but there are also some pretty cool things. I just bought my first brand new car (on my own!), I have my own apartment (that I pay for by myself), and I have a family that would bail me out of any crappy situation I got in if at all possible (within reason). Find your happiness in this crazy, non-perfect world!

It is pouring down rain in Alabama right now, which reminds me of a cliche, yet very appropriate, quote…

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”