THE EDGE

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Greetings.

A pleasant weekend to feel alive. I’ve been obsessed with trying to figure out how to get my writing going. It feels so good to wake up this side of me again – it’s been such a long time that I’ve actually written consistently.

I used to write ALL the time…long before my career and life milestones took over my life. I used to write stories about my life, things in the world and stories about other people that I would meet. This is what I loved about journalism when I wanted to pursue it in college. The ability to tell other people’s stories when they couldn’t tell their own. It was an awesome feeling to be a voice for someone else when they couldn’t tell their own story.

I think this sometimes applies to work life too – I find myself constantly in situations where people share their life stories with me unexpectedly. Whether they are new people I’ve just met or people that I’ve only known as acquaintances, I tend to receive some unexpected yet personal stories about them that I didn’t expect. Whether I am the first person at work that they’ve told they were pregnant to knowing their whole life history, I’ve learned a lot of wonderful, amazing and talented things about people I work with. I also love being able to share their awesomeness with others. Getting to know others, their background, their stories and their life is so amazing. It helps you put your own life into perspective and inspires you to do several things:

1. Empathize – You learn of their triumphs and trials and appreciate them more for who they are, what they’ve done and where they want to go. When you come across someone who doesn’t understand this particular individual you’ve come to know, you have a rare and opportune moment to enlighten and bring empathy into the situation.

2. Get Inspired – Everyone has a story. Everyone has a mission, a purpose or a calling that they may or may not be aware of. I’m starting to learn that for every person I meet, there must be a reason for why I met them. Whether they are there to teach me in the moment or to be a permanent fixture in my life, I’m starting to believe that people show up in our lives for a reason.

3. Gain Perspective – I’ve met several amazing people in the past month. Whether I’ve met them at work, at church, on travels or in my favorite coffee shop, I’m learning that they bring a perspective to my life that I could learn from and hopefully, I could give a perspective that could benefit them as well. Never in my life have I ever felt SO COMFORTABLE talking to strangers. I’ve always been open to small chit chat or casual chat with strangers in the presence of others but now, more than ever, I’m not afraid to embrace their words and get to know them. More importantly, my good friends have also shared some interesting perspectives with me that have been so thoughtful, it’s like I’m rediscovering who they are again. Here are some of the amazing things I’ve learned from friends or strangers in the past month:

“How much money you make doesn’t define the human being you are.” 

“If you pursue your passion instead of your paycheck, things should work out.” 

“Listen to your heart as a compass….(kinda like Pocahontas :))”

These three individuals (of the many individuals I’ve learned from) have said things that have really stuck with me lately and helped me gain a new perspective and lens of how to look at my life. To date, there has been a lot of PLANNING, UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS, SELF-DOUBT, SELF-PRESSURE, PRESSURE ON OTHERS and SELF-IMPOSED STRESS in life. Don’t get me wrong, my ways haven’t fully steered me the wrong way. There has also been a lot of LOVE, NURTURING, TENDERNESS, JOY, BLISS and and INSPIRATION. However, somewhere along the way the balance of the scales has been thrown off to give one side of the scale 51% of the power and when that side takes the majority hold of your mindset, you subconsciously start feeding the negative perspective of your life vs. feeding the side that nurtures you, your relationships and the real priorities in life.

I wish I was a less stubborn individual – I sometimes get stuck in my ways and stick to a position (and don’t always know why I do so). I am so stuck on winning my ways sometimes that I don’t even know why I was holding onto my POV in the first place. This tunnel vision comes from a place of self-doubt and the pressure I put on myself to prove myself as “right” or  “strong.” I don’t think I realized how stubborn I was until it came back to bite me and when I wake up in the morning, my stubbornness seems to stare right back at me in the face as I look at myself in the mirror. I wish I was aware of this earlier (perhaps the mindfulness gained from morning meditations is making this more clear for me) but my stubbornness has been a tough pill to swallow. Between being questioned by a stranger on how to trust to being asked “what is the real reason why you chose to behave that way?” I’m realizing that a lot of stubbornness is motivated by ego. This ego is not conducive to EMPATHY, INSPIRATION or GAINING PERSPECTIVE so I’m going to learn to put it aside for the greater good myself, my friends, family and my relationships.

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We went for a jaunt in nature today in the foothills. We came across an old abandoned mill that had remnants of 40 ft walls erected while the rest of the mill was destroyed. From the safety of ground and railing you could see torn down walls, somewhat stagnant river water and what “once was.” From this perspective, you could see what these walls once represented in the PAST – what we could see from the safety of the ground was historic, nostalgic and somewhat sad.

I decided to walk out onto the two-foot wide wall towards the edge to look out. Once I made it to the edge, I heard my sister’s boyfriend yell:

“Wow! What have you done with old Joyce? Her stubborn and fearful self would have told us to get down by now so that we don’t fall over and hurt ourselves. You would have had Emergency on speed dial.” 

Since my spontaneous trip to Hawaii my fear of fear has fallen by the wayside.

“I’m going to sit on the edge. I want to see what it looks like from here.”

I sit on the edge of the two foot wide wall and look down 40 ft. From this perspective I see a river percolating quietly. From this perspective I see trees and leaves in the distance lit up by the golden hour of sunlight. I feel the kiss of the wind lapping against my blouse, chest, legs and face. I twist my head to the side and pull away the curtains of my hair to see the sunlight illuminate the mountains and hills to my right. On that two foot wide edge of concrete I could see the beauty of the world around me that I could not see from the safety of actual ground and dirt.

On the edge you could see a world full of beauty.

I smile and laugh at the golden sunlight. The perspective looks good from the edge. I’m glad I made it out here.

Excel.

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