We drove to Lake Moultrie on Sunday for a little fishing and walked out to the edge, past the swamp and the sunning alligator (Lake Moultrie is also known as Gator Country, after all) and all around there was blue sky and water, expanding far off into the distance. But standing in the middle of this lake was this tree. This mossy, solitary, firmly rooted against the choppy waves, tree. And I kinda fell in love with the thing.
All of the other trees were hanging on the bank, all together, all sunny and mostly dry and then there's this one that is just like, yeah I'm in the water and I'm alone but fuck you, because I'm still awesome and this view is everything.
I woke to an early alarm this morning and spent the requisite 40 minutes in commuter traffic to my doc's office for a CT scan only to be told that my appointment is in fact tomorrow. And I had to laugh, because this is the theme of my life lately. I am the tree. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The weekend before last, I took the family to visit Angel Oak Park. This is one of the oldest trees in the country. Its branches are so thick, so gnarly and intertwined and hopelessly tangled, that it requires crutches and support strings to keep some of its gargantuan limbs from snapping off entirely.
Some of the branches have grown back into the ground and come out of the other side of the dirt and then continued stretching. The park itself is ridiculously underwhelming. You have to take a dirt road and park just outside a tall wired fence. A small gift shop stands off to the side and there are a few picnic tables beyond the tree, but that's it. And yet, this place is packed every day, every week, almost all year round. People flock from all over the world to see this tree.
And in case, you haven't gotten it yet, I am also this tree. ;)
This phase of my life has been particularly difficult to navigate over the last few months. I've made no secret about that. I'm in the middle of a growth spurt; stretching and learning and gathering more insight about my needs and passions and goals. And if you're there too, I want you to know, there is no shame in the struggle. It's a very necessary, however uncomfortable, part of life. It's how we become better people, both on the inside and out.
Everyone constantly asks me how I stay so positive even in the middle of a metaphorical lake. The truth is that some of it is just apart of my general nature. I've seen a lot of hardship, especially during childhood. The best way I found of coping and ascending the chaos, was in focusing on my own attitude and view of the world. It would've been easy to fall prey to negative thinking and believe the world was a horrible place and nothing would ever get better for me. I chose instead to take the harder route. To believe that I was better than my circumstances, that I could work hard and one day make it to the other side. Life isn't without its perpetual challenges, but how you choose to view it matters so much.
The other part comes from filling my life with kind, funny, incredibly supportive people. And the last part, the most important, is giving good to others. When I'm having a bad day, when I'm feeling stuck; the best way to get out of the funk for me is by doing something nice for someone else. Seeing happiness in others makes me happy.
Keep your eyes open. You'll find good everywhere.
Like Landon losing his first tooth and finding a sweet letter the next morning from the "tooth fairy."
Pulling an Izzy (shout out to all the grey's fans) and spending three hours in the kitchen making perfection. (The pumpkin spice with cream cheese filling on the left was my fave)
Lazy Sunday fishing
And watching Landon get his first belt in Taekwondo. He grinned from ear to ear for the rest of the evening.
And of course, plentiful beach days, the return of warmer weather, flowers blooming, the excitement of seeing the foundation filled on our new home...the list goes on.
Your homework> Find the good and report back. Maybe I'll even compile the best of the best for a follow-up post. We could all use more good, yeah?