Running Away

There are many days in our lives that feel like the worst day ever. And it seems as if those worst days seem to happen all at once. I won’t lie; there are a lot of times when those worst days really get to me, almost enough that I want to just run away. There are some days that I just feel as if there is so much more out there than there is here, and I want to be out there. In my mind running away seems like the best answer.

Of course I take a step back and realize that is probably not the case. But that doesn’t stop the urge from being there. Why do we feel like running away is the only way out? Is it really because we have found no other answer, or is because we just don’t want to accept those other answers? Is it human nature to run away, or is it a learned instinct?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have my experiences. I have never been the type of person to give up, and that is something I pride myself on. I didn’t believe that I would ever feel the need to abandon everything I have here because I didn’t want to deal with it. And now that’s all I want to do sometimes. Am I just coming to “that age?” Maybe, or maybe I’m just realizing all the possibilities that lie ahead of me.

Either way, I have to focus on here and now. No matter how much I long to run away from everything that’s holding me back, I have to remember what I already have. Through all the drama and fights and tests and mistakes, I have to remember why I’ve put up with it so long because I know there’s a reason. I may not know what that reason is yet, but I have faith it’s there.

Even when the day has seemed like the worst day ever and we feel like running away, that’s what we have to remember: all the reason why we should stay, rather than the reasons we should leave. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but then again, neither is running away.

Volunteering

There is a big difference between volunteering on your own and being told to volunteer. Yes, in the end a needed job is accomplished, but the work that’s put into it is quite different. When you volunteer from the bottom of your heart it means a lot more to be doing something.

I just started volunteering at our local dog pound. I live in a small town so it’s not like there are a lot of dogs there at the same time, but there is still a need for people to help clean, feed, water, and just show them some love. I absolutely love going and looking after the dogs in my spare time. It means a lot to me to know that I am doing something good.

If I was told that I had to go and clean up poop everyday and not get paid, I might not be quite as willing to do it. I would feel as if I had no choice in the situation. As human beings we love to know that we have the ability to say no to something. There would be a part of me that might resent the fact that I have to watch these dogs.

Luckily, the choice to work at the pound is all mine, and I love doing it. What I’m trying to say is that volunteering shouldn’t be something you do just because you have to. It should be something that makes you feel good in side. It should be something that, when you get done, you always have a smile on your face because you know that you are making a difference. Even if it’s a small difference, it’s a difference none the less.

Finding the Innocent Things in Life

When we look at the world we tend to see the bad things like war and crime, death and sadness. What we forget to do is look at the good and innocent things in life. They happen all around us, we just never take the time to look.

Yesterday, when I was at a church service, I saw just that. I saw the pure innocence that is still in the world. There is a little girl who goes to our church every once in a while. She is the sweetest little thing ever. She always tries to be super quiet during the sermon even though you know she is dying to say something. Well, when that pastor was pouring the ‘wine,’ really grape juice, she said how it was the blood of Christ. Anna looked over at her mom with the most astonished look on her face and asked, “Is that really blood!”

It was the cutest thing ever. Her mom laughed and said no. At that very moment, it didn’t seem like a big deal to me, but when I came home I saw some significance in that one question. She was willing to drink that ‘blood’ just because she wanted to be closer to Jesus. Yes, she questioned it, but she was that willing to be cleansed. I’m not the most religious person. I don’t really know what I believe at this point in my life, but what I do know is that it makes me very happy to know there is still some innocence in this world. It is definitely a trait I thought had vanished.

It makes me remember that I need to take time out of my day and look for the good things in life. I need to be informed on the bad things around me, but always see the good in the world. I’m afraid that, if I don’t, it will cause me to totally forget the reason why I’m here. That is something we should never forget. So next time you’re in church or  walk down the street, take time to look around at all of the good and innocent things in life. You might be surprised at what you find.

Trying the Impossible

Trying something new can be one of the scariest things in the world. When you try something new, you are stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing something that has the potential to fall apart in front of you. For all you know, you could attempt to do something and the consequences could be mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially traumatizing. For all you know, you could end up losing a lot. But if we all were to dwell on the ‘what if’s’ in life we would get absolutely nowhere.

Even though trying those impossible things seem scary sometimes, it’s truly amazing to see what good can come out of it. One of my favorite things in the world is to see the look on a toddler’s face when the stand for the first time or feed themselves or do something completely and totally on their own. They are starting to see all the amazing things they can do and that look of enlightenment is clearly evident on their face.

I believe that, as we get older, we begin to realize that not every attempt at doing something new has a successful ending. That realization is what makes us second guess our decision to try new things. We forget to remember the happiness we once felt, and fear that we may never feel it again. In the grand scheme of things, even if we fail to succeed, at least we can be proud of ourselves and say that we tried even when it seems impossible.

Just Listen

Have you ever stopped and just listened? No, not listen to music. No, not listen to your friend tell you a story. No, not even listen to your parents talk to you. I mean, have you ever stopped and just listened to yourself?

Many people are afraid of silence, and sometimes for good reason. Sometimes it is very scary to really listen to what our mind and body have to tell us. It can be hard to sit in silence. A lot of people want to fill that silence with music or speech. I will admit that I would rather fill that silence with anything. Although it can be hard and scary, it can also be refreshing and enlightening. You never really know what you might have to say unless you try.

Girls Night Out

Sometimes the best thing after a long day is a nice cup of hot chocolate, your favorite book, and a warm blanket. That being said, I have often found that the best thing is not isolation from the world around me, but being able to embrace the world around me. Going out with your best girlfriends could do just that.

It doesn’t have to be a party on the town or anything, just going out for dinner or going to a movie might suffice. You never know what will happen unless you try. There is a possibility that you could start the night feeling sad and lonely because your boyfriend seems to be disconnecting from you, and end the night totally confident in your relationship. If you’re with the right friend, she will know just what to say. And if she doesn’t that’s ok because you will know she is really trying.

Maybe we do need nice calm nights to ourselves, but when you are out with friends you have a chance to vent and get those little things that bother you off your chest. And if you really want, you can come home and have that cup of hot chocolate. The point is that you shouldn’t isolate yourself from the world. It is a big and scary place out there, but when you’re able to feel the security your friends show you it wont seem so bad. It may even seem manageable, even if it is the only manageable thing in your life.