What I’ve learned about life? That’s a loaded question. There are so many things I could say and just might before I’m finished. I mean where do I begin? Life has taught me a million and one lessons. But if I’m truly going to be forthright, I’ll start with this one as it sums things up quite nicely. “I tried to be normal once; they were the worst two minutes of my life” (Unknown). True story but now that we’ve gotten that out of the way maybe you’ll understand my thought process just a little better. Let’s just say I’ve never been nor will I ever be “normal”. As Joshua has always said, "Normal is overrated." I'm awkward and shy, loud and sassy all put together in one package. I’m a seeker, a dreamer, a thinker, an “imagineer”, a nerd, a geek, a realist and yes an optimist stitched together into one very unique tapestry. When I look back, I don’t regret how I was raised and brought up at all. I found my voice early on growing up to becoming the woman I am today. What I’ve learned about life in general is never to feel guilty or to apologize for your life. In fact, I have learned a lot, as I'm sure most of us have, about living in a world full of angry, blame-seeking and jealous people. The problem is so many times; people walk in on your life, on page 999 and think they know your story. But they don’t. The truth be told sometimes we don’t even know our own stories at this point of the book ourselves. Many times we’re still figuring out where the story is taking us. This leads me to the lesson following the first one, learn to be comfortable in the skin you’re in. You have this one life don’t waste it wishing for someone else’s. The Laws of Modern Man #254 say this, “You’re going to be in your own skin until you die. That’s a while. You might as well get comfortable in it.” So, whatever you’ve been given, be it blond hair, brown hair, red hair or purple hair, own it. If you’re an only child, middle child, oldest child of six, wear it like a badge. If you’re serious or witty, sign the deed. It’s your life, your footprint and signature why fight it?
Personally I’m a goofball. It’s who I am. Laughter has gotten me through most if not all of the rough times in my life. All the diagnoses and I mean every last one have been overcome by humor. From breast cancer to a stroke, the losses, and the grief laughter has been the key. ‘I love to laugh’ as the famous Mary Poppins song bellows. Maybe that’s why I gravitate towards humor as a way of healing. Laughing, chuckling, giggling and yuking it up has always made me happy. I actually make a snorting sound when I laugh hard. It can be rather ridiculous at times. My kids like to get me going with it, and then as they tell me, laugh with me rather than at me. My friends call it ‘snauhling’, “laughing so hard you snort, and then laugh because you snorted, then snort because you laughed.” It’s just part of my skin, who I am. Growing up as this crazy, silly, rosy cheeked ball of fire, full of shenanigans girl I am, I learned to laugh at myself quickly.
Life Lesson # 68: What I’ve learned about life can be summed up in one word, laughter. Learn to laugh at yourself and not to take everything so seriously. Milton Berle once said, “Laugher is an instant vacation.” I do believe he was right. A life without pure, unfiltered laughter is nothing short of dire. I love how Proverbs 31:25 simply says, “She laughs.” God gets it, laughter, is important. “Laughter is the fireworks of the soul.” Laughter cures a million hurts, eases the pain and heals the spirit. I would be nothing without laughter, without ‘snauhling’. It is what makes me who I am, flaws, faults and all. See I’ve learned to be comfortable in the skin I’m in. It took time, errors along the way, trails and yes wonderful, exciting possibilities too. What I really found in all these moments was to live the life I have been given, fully and wholly without regrets. Does this mean I can’t change? No, I should be willing to grow and flourish and change as I adapt to life’s curveballs. Self-acceptance is probably the biggest key to our happiness. Being angry because we didn’t have the life we thought we should is a waste of precious time.
We can’t change our past, it’s already written but we can however be the victors of our lives instead of the victims. We don’t need to be ashamed of our past or afraid of our future. What I’m learning now, in these moments is my Father loves me just as I am. It doesn’t matter if we’re goofy, comfortable or uncomfortable, emotional, happy, angry, hurt or simply fed up with our life choices. He loves us just as we are. Romans 8:37-39, tells us,” The one who loves us gives us an overwhelming victory in all these difficulties. I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us. We can’t be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.” So again, what I have I learned about this life? Simply put, old ways won’t open new doors. The reality is, harsh or not, you can’t keep slamming a door shut expecting it to be open the next time you pass through. Life just doesn’t work like that. Pema Choldron is right, “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” For me, that life lesson has been to understand my struggles (every single one of them) have not ever been to define me, but rather to refine me into the woman God has called me to be, giggle queen and all.
So here we are, and I ask one more time. What have I learned about life? A lot to be honest, more than a few words could ever begin to explain or explore. I am a nerd, a wishful thinking mermaid, a geek with red hair and blue eyes, making me a very happy mutant by the way. Laughter is my superpower. I am simply me, snauhler and all. I've found laughter is contagious and a beautiful window into our souls. And yes, you should really let it out more often. As for me, yes, I certainly do have an awfully long way to go yet but that’s quite fine by me. Epic novels are kinda my thing so no, 999 pages simply won’t do.
And by the way I really do think I’m finally ready for the second half of my life to begin. Are you?