I’m a big believer in karma, and there are three main tenants of karma:
1. In order to get good out of the world, you have to put good into it.
2. What goes around comes around.
3. Karma’s a bitch.
2014 has not been the best year for me. I began the year with a slew of health issues, including three broken metatarsals and immobility for 3 months. Shit really hit the fan in my personal life in March, and I began to feel like a rain cloud was following me around. Why was this year going so poorly? At this rate, how worse would it continue to get? And then, of course, I dabbled in the “ooooh why meee?!” self-pity party. But, alas, that wasn’t getting me anywhere, and I knew it.
So I did the only thing I could do: put my big girl panties on, slapped on some warpaint (because you can’t cry if you’re wearing mascara, right?), tried my best to carry myself with a smile, and went out into the world on a mission to do better, to be better- better to others, to myself, for myself. If the world was going to rain bad karma on my life, I would whip out my umbrella, jump into my Hunter rain boots, and smile up at the sky to say “come at me, brah.” If it rains on my face, I’ll turn the other cheek. I’ll put as much good karma into the world as I can, and maybe I’ll get some back. Negativity and pessimism are a vicious cycle that I easily fall prey to, but actively putting positivity back into my life was such a liberating and powerful experience. And what do you know? Things got better, and good things started to come my way again.
I’ve slipped off this path a bit recently… old habits die hard, huh? Sometimes you easily slip back into old patterns, old habits, old situations, without realizing why they became “old” in the first place. But that’s not where the story ends. It can’t end there; you can’t try once, fail, and scribble la fin on your forehead and “accept” that “that’s just the way things are.” Because, really, life isn’t about all the successes, the A+s on physics exams, the 4.0 GPAs, the job promotions, the new cars, the 10 pounds lost, or the true love you find with your significant other, it’s about all the shit you had to go through to get there: the late nights, the chronic elevated cortisol, the restless nights, the there-aren’t-enough-hours-in-the-day days, the tears shed, the days you eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting, and the frogs you had to kiss to reach your prince.
As much as we like to try to portray on our Facebook pages, life isn’t about all the times you ended up on top; it’s about all the times you tumbled down the ladder, all the times you shook your fist at the universe, all those times you stood up, brushed yourself off, put your big girl (or boy) panties on, and started climbing again. Because life isn’t always pretty- it’s failures, slip ups, and mistakes; it’s bad decisions, bad boys, broken hearts, and ones that got away. But pretty is as pretty does, and we can’t see the beauty in the world, in people, and in our lives without some struggle. How can you know happiness without experiencing pain? How can you recognize true love without knowing heart break? How can you savor the exhilaration of success without knowing the dark pits of failure? We’re humans, imperfectly perfect, battle-scarred, bruised. Our brows are wrinkled by worry, our hands and feet calloused by work, the sulci and gyri of our brains mapping all the times we learned, forgot, and learned again, and our hearts trace all the love and all the loss. But, damn, aren’t there moments in life that make all that worth it? Success that makes you forget all struggle, happiness that makes you forget all pain, and love that makes you forget all heartbreak? That’s where the beauty is. That’s why we wade through the ugliness of the world and still try to put pretty into the world. Pretty is as pretty does.