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Grabbing Life By the Horns

Whatever you want to call it–grabbing life by the horns, carpe diem, seize the day, YOLO–I have decided to actively live my life in such a manner.

I mean, what the hell is stopping me or anyone else for that matter?

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I have had more and more friends trying to complete the #100happydays challenge, and as I looked into it I realized that it was incredibly sad that it takes that much effort for people to be happy 100 days in a row and that the reality is that many people give up the effort to think about being happy long before that.

What is it about our society that doesn’t value and encourage this kind of daily happiness and life-seizing despite the phrases like carpe diem and YOLO that we throw about willy nilly? Why do people talk about having a “bucket list” and talk about the things they will do in the future or the things they wished they did differently?

Start today.

Like, actually though.

I don’t mean that people should give up on the important things in their life such as school and family and work to travel the world or anything, but I think it is ridiculous that more people don’t decide that today–whenever that is–is the day to take the next step toward those goals and hopes and dreams.

Is it about courage? Are people afraid that they will fail or disappoint themselves or the people around them?

Is it about embarrassment? Are people embarrassed to show interest in a particular topic, or that they will have to start from the beginning and it has been a long time since they have had to be in such a position?

If there was one thing I could do for the people around me is teach them how to learn to appreciate their lives, to legitimately seize each day and start new things even if you are unsure.

Perhaps nobody will read this post–its not about baking or about traveling and has nothing to do with the original intentions of this blog–and perhaps I am only writing about this because I don’t have a therapist or my mom to vent to and my friends don’t need to listen to me endlessly discuss these topics. But somehow get this idea out of my head and onto paper…if only I was Dumbledore and had a pensieve…. >_<

So not to be redundant, but I had a really shitty childhood. This is nothing on my parents or my family, my school or my home or anything like that. It was because I was sick from age 5 and because of that I had my freedom taken away from me by force. I didn’t have the ability to seize the day or make stupid decisions by YOLO-ing. Of course that is not detrimental to a 5 year old, or even to an 8 year old, but by the time I hit 12 and had to start giving up parts of me without the ability to start anything new, or by the time I was 16 and was so sick that the best I could do was wake up in the morning…that is nothing short of a shitty life.

For a long time I was so sick that I didn’t care about trying new things, because it was all I could do just to make it through the day, and a successful day was measured by being able to complete all my assignments and being able to leave the house and if I could fall asleep at night without fear I would never wake up again.

And then when I finally turned the corner into good health and started to get my life back, it was such a challenge to complete daily tasks that I still couldn’t truly focus on being an independent and successful person who lives for the day and takes strides toward the future.

But now things are different.

Here I sit, an intern in an office in Yoyogi in Tokyo, Japan. I chose everything about what I am doing now, and I am actively searching for and preparing for the future–whether that be 5 minutes from now or 5 years from now.

I did my best to live for myself and for my future goals by going in for an interview at Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo a few weeks ago, and the other day I decided to seize the moment even more and signed up for French classes when I return to Minnesota. Because why not? I have been thinking for awhile now that if I were to learn a European language I would want to start with French, and more and more recently I have been encountering cooking terminology that has an origin in French. And then the other day it hit me. What is stopping me from learning French? Every potential road block was purely imagined on my part. At first I thought that I was “too busy” or that it would be bad to learn “so many” languages at the same time. But when it comes down to it, you decide those terms and rules for yourself.

And how will I know if it is impossible if I don’t try it out? Sure maybe I will start taking French classes and realize that yes, I am too busy, or that yes, it is stupid to avidly learn three languages at the same time while going to school and working. But at the same time, if that is the “worst case scenario” and I end up dropping the lessons…there is no harm in that right? And if I didn’t take this chance now, when would I take the chance in the future? Who knows when I might have the chance or take the chance again? And what if I don’t take the chance and because of that pass up on another potential chance? Or what if I don’t take the chance and look back in a few months or few years and wish I would have?

The moral of this post is that you have to actively seek out some opportunities. Sure some opportunities will seek you out without you needing to go and look for them, but that doesn’t mean you can stay at home and complain that your life isn’t the way you want it. Choose to be happy and then actively practice being happy until it is a habit.

And I am going to try my hardest to followthrough and do this too.

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