Flawlessly and forever turning, the world seems perfect—solid, secure, and wholesome with no questions concerning this seemingly secure reality. No such thought even dares exist. The glass is sturdy, transparent, and timeless; unbroken.
Suddenly, shards scatter with a sound so deafening, making time stand still; yet, pass away more quickly than light. Thoughts then pour through the creases with suffocating questions, scrambling to fit the pieces back together.
When glass breaks, it shatters; leaving odd numbers of insecurity, and two attempting to hold the edges together—both bleeding with grief. The world has not broken—it has shattered. Now, where to begin the mending?
Still, none can be forgotten—not the peace nor the sound. Because, when the glass breaks, it shatters—changing time forever…
Several weeks ago, I was nominated for a challenge: the “5 Things I Like About Myself” challenge. For this nomination, I would like to thank Cherylene, from living vs. existing, wherein she provides incredible, thought-provoking, and enlightening posts. Cherylene radiates joy, empowerment, and elegance in her writing—be that in her posts or comments—that continue to engage and encourage whomever stumbles across her path. Her site can be found here, and as her personal responses to this challenge can be found here.
The rules are as follows:
- Thank the nominator
- Display the picture on your post
- List 5 things you like about yourself
- 1 thing must be a physical attribute
- Tag 3 or more people
Before I begin, I’d like to make note of the first thoughts that came to mind upon receiving this challenge: (1) immediate flattery to have been asked to participate and share my answers and (2) instant fear about delivering an honest and well-articulated answer. I feel many may not find themselves circulating this latter thought; however, I also feel that it is a relatively common and difficult one to pave through in order to find personal truth in such a heavy challenge. These days, it is either more simple or more difficult to outline the attributes that make you who you are—that mold and define you—that you also cherish—like, or love—about yourself, without doubt. Personally, I go in and out of life’s peaks and valleys, wherein one day I exhibit passion about one characteristic I possess, and another day I begin to question, doubt, and feel a need to rework my Being. Nonetheless, as with life, I believe that liking “things” about yourself—for the purpose of appreciating and bettering yourself—is a never-ending, perpetual activity which must be practiced repeatedly in order to grow, develop, and truly find joy in your Being; in yourself.
- My curly hair: I feel truly blessed for the bouncy, fluffy mess atop my head. Never (to my recollection that is) have I wished for straight hair, or any other hair style. Also, I will disclose something that is not so secretive: I consider myself quite “lazy” when it comes to beautifying and hairstyling, so being able to wake up and give my head a bit of a shake works perfectly for my lifestyle. It is a defining feature that I love, wholeheartedly.
- My willingness and ability to listen: Given the situation in which I find myself, I have learned to appreciate the value of listening. We all have stories, daily events, hardships, accomplishments, and thoughts that reside so subjectively in our minds; waiting to shared, and heard. I find so much fulfilment in being able to converse, relate to, and listen to those I get the chance to spend time with. I am amazed how much one will share with you when given the opportunity—when you listen. I have recognized my need to share and be listened to, and continually strive to be present, inquire, and listen. I find it is the best way to learn.
- My mind: Although paradoxical with my MS diagnosis (due to the fact that my mind contains lesions), I am in awe at my mind—how it continues (despite my lesions) to rewire itself, attain new information and retain knowledge, host my innermost thoughts, maneuver me throughout the environment, adjust to the ever-changing environment, and communicate with the rest of the world. The list is endless. I am so grateful for my mind and its complexity; for its openness to the world; and its willingness to be enlightened or hold strong to its values.
- My perseverance: I believe we find strength during our struggles. When we find ourselves in hardship, and in need, we (more often than not) develop the strength required to persevere and overcome. This perseverance can be either short-lived or a lifetime’s worth of effort. Nonetheless, I am intrigued by the perseverance that I have demonstrated (and continue to build) since my MS diagnosis; to name one challenge I openly struggle with. Regardless of the situation anyone finds themselves in, it is truly fascinating to see the transformation we undergo, to find strength and persevere. I am in wonderment.
- My humility and sense of humour: Oftentimes, when I find myself in awkward situations, I have noticed my habit to lighten the situation and add some element of humour to the rye dish. Be that with my MS (more in the initial stages of my diagnosis and acceptance) or a casual conversation. To me, laughter is essential, as is the ability to act humbly during times of tension. I certainly know that I do not always exude this to my best ability, however, it is a practice I hope to strengthen in my daily life—to lighten the burdens of society’s stresses and life’s illnesses we all, to some degree, face. Humility and humour are invaluable tools to live well.
My nominees are:
Anyone who wishes to participate!
This is the first time I have been asked to participate in something of this nature–a challenge. I will forever be developing my love for these attributes, as well as the many others that distinguish me from my past self; accepting my self and bettering my Being.
There is something that has never settled well with me. Something—a conversation—I keep finding myself having; and it leaves me disheartened.
We have these amazing and near-perfect notions of what we want; what our life will be and how it will play out. These notions are, unfortunately, not as incredible as we imagine. Not even close; because they are figurative and exist entirely in our imagination. In reality, with which many of us have lost touch, events are much more…well…real and often disappointing. They are not disappointing relative to the entire definition of the term; no, they are disappointing because reality has proven itself once again that we do not live alone in an imaginative world where everything runs according to our rules, wants, and wishes. These realities are the laws of life and of our relationships within life.
When we consider commitment, we conceptualize fantastical ever afters of bliss and belonging. We also obsess over the strain, stress, and caged-in effect that commitment poses; from which we are repulsed and often decide to reject proposed promises made by ourselves or another. And that is disheartening. This is a continued conversation of life, living, and finding someone with whom we truly belong.
Nothing ever occurs as expected. If it does, it is a rare occurrence that should not be expected following any decision. And this is an issue we must grapple with because expectation is formed unconsciously; or in our suppressed consciousness. We are intelligent, so I also believe that we play the ignorance card by adopting negligent patterns while living. It is rather astounding and quite unimaginative—ignorance—that leaves us in a state of stagnation, wherein growth does not occur nor does companionship. I find it so unfortunate that we continuously decide against a proposal—a decision—because we fear what may be expected thereafter. That we would rather be in a constant state of conflict, destruction (of ourselves and of those around us), and dejection—a state of nil commitment and eternal loneliness.
I am confounded by such tenets—these unhealthy realities.
Words keep spilling over paper.
The words are loud,
producing sopping wet pellets of ice
that ricochet towards the readers’ eyes;
burning holes in their minds
and eroding into larger spaces
where nothing settles—
everything just spills.
The loud pellets of wet ice burn
endlessly in the hollowed readers’ minds;
never settling. And still
words keep spilling over paper.
Photo by Jamie Nix
I feel the countless burdens and pressures that life’s queries and realities present to a person in his or her mid-twenties. Is not this age for security to begin; in at least one of life’s areas? Is it not at this age that change happens and, although many unknowns persist that are both challenging and motivating, some form of “home” is formed or found? Perhaps my perceptions are wrong. Perhaps my desire for security—my expectation for it—is, in fact, why I feel I have not attained it in its entirety.
Seeking control, irrespective of the control that is already had, may be that final ingredient of perceived unhappiness and lack of control. Maybe not. Maybe seeking control is exactly what must occur to actualize oneself. I believe in both. Life is a circular road: queries-realities-control-happiness-queries-realities-control-happiness…
MS has taught me that it is good—healthy—to be quizzical and (with realism) to search for understanding and a control that, also, is healthy. Some things we must accept. Some things we can change. But, we hold the wheel that dictates direction; therefore, that is our responsibility. Isn’t that powerful?