Aloha is...never giving up, even after 10 years.
Lately, everyone has gotten on the band wagon to post this "10-Year Challenge," where you create and share a collage of pictures from over the past decade, naturally. As I poured over the pictures, I, of course, had to stop and reflect on the journey.
Ten years ago I was getting on a plane to return home after a "working vacation" in San Diego, where I explored the possibility of living permanently. While the sunny environment was right, the timing wasn't. The economy was tanking, I was laid off and my grandfather was injured. So home I went, all the while telling myself I'd be back - just how and when I had no clue. I even gave up on the idea after a while.
But dreams don't die if you don't let them.
I know this because I spent some time today sitting next to my Cali boy husband in my San Diego home, reflecting on the past decade while reviewing some past New Year's posts on Facebook. In many of them, I mentioned how tough the year before had been.
But I also sat dumbfounded and triumphant, realizing how much I overcame and achieved just by not giving up. In the photo highlights below, none of these people - nor pets - even existed in my life 10 years ago. Each being is an extension and manifestation of my thoughts and dreams that I tucked deep into the pockets of my mind, heart and soul.
I kept my promises to welcome new opportunities, expand my family, learn new skills, transform myself and create a new life I could be proud of.
It isn't perfect and it will never be easy, but I am now living that life.
I found my forever love, my passions and my life purpose. This wouldn't have happened if I didn't find ways to accept, love and forgive my past and to move forward with faith, hope and positivity. In so doing, I repurposed my pain and past disappointments.
IF I CAN DO THIS, SO CAN YOU.
You do not have to be smarter, prettier, faster, richer, skinnier, younger, older or better than anyone else.
You just have to be yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself, but, most of all, don't give up on yourself.
If you can't do all of that yet, promise yourself that you find a way to work on it because you deserve to live out your dreams, too.
I hope this reflection inspired you. In the meantime, here's my favorite quote that inspired and motivated me. It's even used in the film, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button:"
"For what it’s worth: it’s never too late ...to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Happy Aloha New Year, my Pineapples!
Live, Love and Lead with Aloha!