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“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” –Susan J. Bissonette

 

What a sigh of relief starting over can bring! I liken it to the feeling of waking up on the first day of spring after a long, dreary winter. Suddenly things feel fresh, light and hopeful. Like springtime, new beginnings can be therapeutic.

I went through a few years in autopilot. Working the corporate job, sitting through traffic every day, rushing from Starbucks to work to the gym to home, just to get up and do it all over again. I had a hard time stopping to smell the roses until I had built up enough anxiety and stress that called for a self-appointed hiatus.

That’s when the beauty of starting over kicked in. I’ll never forget the precious year and a half I spent recharging and getting to know myself. I discovered how happy a sunny sidewalk café could make me, especially more so if they also served pistachio macaroons. Blogging and joining an online community of fellow bloggers made my big world feel a little more connected. Regaining independence and feeling so satisfied in a simple lunch or movie date for one. No shame, just content to be with me. 

Maybe that’s why this particular spring feels so springy. So fresh, so full of optimism and so ready for whatever is blossoming into my life. I’ve recently just moved to a new state, started a new job and don’t feel anything but excitement for the opportunity to start anew. The freedom to choose my career path and where I want to live feels like such a luxury, after so many years of living like a zombie. Turns out I had the choice to make these changes all along, I just had to wake up to make it happen.

The chance to start over gives you a new set of much more appreciative eyes. The little things that used to be overlooked are now the things that keep a smile on my face for the rest of the day. The welcoming smile of a stranger when you’re clearly new to a place full of regulars. A hidden neighborhood bakery with lemon bars so good you feel compelled to break out into song. A blooming pot of spring flowers basking in a patch of glorious sun.

For me, new beginnings and springtime are beyond price. 

Janah is an eternal optimist who loves blogging, smiling and setting up Christmas decorations the week before Thanksgiving (roll your eyes, go ahead). She shares her optimistic views on her blog http://quarterlifecomeback.tumblr.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter: @janlo3 . 


Linking up this week for *It’s OKAY THURSDAYS* with this Gal!

It’s okay to be so into your current book that when you are reading the whole world around you does not exist.

It’s okay to obsess and mourn over the fictional characters you love on TV and in books.

It’s okay to be fully enthralled with Mad Men and not be able to go to sleep because you want to catch “one more episode” before bed.

It’s okay to start quoting everything from Mad Men after watching 8 episodes back to back.

It’s okay to stay in and watch depressing movies on netflix, while your friends go out to get sissy drunk.

It’s okay to have Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die album on repeat for the third week in a row.

It’s okay to listen to Marilyn Manson pumped up while rocking your work outs.

It’s okay to think most hip hop songs suck and have no substance unless the rapper is Jay-z or Kanye.

It’s also okay to hate Lil Wayne, except when he said this line- “real G’s move in silence like lasagna.”

It’s okay to count down the days you get to see Foster the People perform in concert at Central Park.

It’s okay to think that this song lyric by Ellie Goulding means everything, “I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words how wonderful life is now that you’re in the world.” 

It’s okay to really look forward to skype dates with a particular Londoner more than going out for a drink or a movie.

It’s okay to find English accents surprisingly infatuating.

It’s okay to still stare at all the pictures from your last vacation.

It’s okay to dream about visiting Australia more than the car you are planning on buying.

It’s okay to take pictures of New York City like you’re a tourist. It is after all, one of the most breathtaking pieces of Earth. 

It’s okay to drink a glass of wine a day.

It’s okay to do more of what makes you happy. 

It’s okay to fantasize about all of the things that could go right instead of all the things that could go wrong.

It’s definitely okay to believe that if he is willing to do anything to place a smile on your face, he is worth keeping.

It’s okay to believe that if you are positive you will attract positive. 

It’s okay to consider laughing a calorie burner.  

It’s okay to believe that happy people are the prettiest people.

Beyond Price: Being OKAY also laughter 

I’m really good at writing about people, not so much about things. Things don’t impress me.  What people do is what incites, not what you have or have gained. People inspire me in ways that transforms my soul. The madness in people’s hard work is …encouraging.  People who build a future out of anything, a scrap, a note, a rock. Their desire to go forward, one inch at a time. People who build airy-fairies out of ruins. People who form a life from broken things, from a broken family, from living in darkness, from nothing. People who help others.

People who see a guy fainted on the beach, dirty, and helpless,  and buy him water even if the guy faints on the beach with his hoody every single day, trashed. People who don’t overlook the fact that, yea he might be wasted and have no life to begin with, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a little help. People who realize that we all need help from each other at some point or another. People who take notice. People who care to ask if you are alright. 

People who react to unpredictable situations unafraid. Life is that way. We try to set routines and schedules to make it easier but from time to time you will get ran over with the unforeseeable, with the speed of the uncertainties. So I applaud and look up to those who embrace their fear, who embrace the things unknown and instead adapt to it. People who have experienced mistakes and readjust their road to move forward.

People who achieve the impossible. People who change one small thing, one trivial moment, one breath.

People like the Beatles.

People like Rebecca Adlington, the 19-year-old swimmer who won two gold medals at the Beijing Games, who has put in an estimated 8,840 hours of training since the age of 12. 

People like J.K Rowling who dedicated 17+ years of her life to writing and creating the magical world of Harry Potter.

People like Ryan Gosling who rescued a stranger from getting hit by a cab.

People like @nicoleisbetter and @jamievaron who succeeded at creating their own apple app called paper’d by breaking all of the personal branding rules

People like my dear friend Shom who is making all if not most of his dreams comes true by producing his own film and excessively writing tv scripts that are actually good. He has also written a post here and here.

People like the bartender I use to work with that worked for five years nonstop, planning and determined to open up his own wine bar someday, then actually making it happen. If in New York, go there NOW- It is called (YN on Mott Street)! 

People like my favorite NYC DJ @DJLEXPERIENCE  who is really the most passionate person I have ever met. I mean this guy just really loves what he does and is always always working to get better.

People like @Aminazena who isn’t afraid to voice her opinion at any time, and is working ferociously towards being self-employed and branding her own business. Who has also written a post here.

People like Bethany Hamilton, who make comebacks and continues doing what she loves, who refused to make her story become a tragedy after losing her arm.

And so so  so many more to name, but hope your hard work and passion for goodness is appreciated.

Random people. People I know. People I never met, but heard of. Famous People. Some not so famous. 

YOU ARE EVERYTHING!

 

@ohmylaskmy

One of the best weeks of my life is over. I really mean that, I felt unbelievably great. I have to remember that the next time I’m having an awful week. I am deliberately storing up as many great details as I can, so that maybe during the next terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I can look back to those details and I’ll feel great again.

I want to remember

the beach just as it was, temperamental and beautiful. The sun blazing on my skin, the warm sand beneath my toes, the boundless water to dive into, the outrageously blue sky, riding the waves of good feelings, the reflections in the water, the vastness, the freedom, the space.

I want to remember

us, alive, underneath all the magic, and above our heads, the thousands and thousands of stars that flare and glitter and flash in the ink-black night sky. I want to remember the evening breeze and the sounds of the waves as we laid out wrapped in beach towels. Listening to each other breathe, smile, joke, laugh our pants off when Hannah couldn’t figure out who Duck Sauce was. (what a night)

I want to remember

the endless jokes, the innumerable amounts of laughter we all shared, all of us roaring with joy from head to toe.

I want to remember

my old friends and the new ones. I want to remember their smiles. How it was all so deliciously, wonderfully normal to be surrounded by people you just met and yet feel dizzy from the happiness. (note to self: it might of also been all the liquid encouragements).

I want to remember

being treated like a queen in the middle of a time when I felt like a paper cup. The insidious fascination I had over this intoxicatingly funny person. I want to remember his impish smile, the way he monopolizes conversations, his unpredictable remarks. I want to remember his hypnotic accent, and how it reminds me of a song. I want to remember his hugs, and how I seem to fit so precisely under his arms. Most of all, I want to remember feeling surprisingly comfortable around him.

I want to remember

the noisy parties. The fun. The dancing. The loud music. The DJ yelling. The hot gogo dancers. The bottles sparkling. The Champagne glasses. The bubbles tickling. The countless of men demanding numbers, some charming, others much less charming. The attention. My pretty girlfriends and their catch-phrases. The laughing out loud all the time. The silliness.

I want to remember

the kiss. How everything in my entire body went still and hot, then how I opened my eyes and felt a silent starburst.

It was all beyond price!

When Laskmy approached me about writing a guest post for her blog, I was completely on board from the beginning. With the hustle and bustle of our lives, it can be so easy to get caught up in the world of money. To worry about paying our bills, to yearn for things we can’t afford, to buy things we think will make us live happier, fuller lives.

But what are the things that we already have in our lives that we can’t put a price tag on? What are the items or people among us that fill our lives up so much, they are beyond price?
The first time my nephew said my name. Kisses from my dachshund. A hug from my mother. The feeling of completing a great workout. Reading a great novel. Acknowledgment of hard work. The sun beating down your back. Crawling into bed at the end of a long day. Weekends.  Hearing a song that speaks deep in your soul. Belly laughs. Your team winning a game. Photographs that bring you back to a special moment in your life. Positive test results. Innocence. Experience.

I can easily pinpoint moments or things of mine that are beyond price. I named a variety above. My grandma being declared cancer-free? Not a dollar could touch that moment. A giggle from my nephew from something I said or did? Better than the best vacation. Finishing a workout that took everything out of me? Beyond price.
It can be so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery. So easy to think more on those things we don’t have than counting all of the blessings sitting right in front of our face. And even in times of abundance and happiness, it still can be hard for us to remember that this life isn’t about the vacations or the designer handbags or all the stuff. It’s about the memories. The celebrations. The little things. 
It is about those things we carry that are beyond price.

Stephany @stephanywrites , is a twenty-something young professional living in Florida. On her blog, you will find stories about her life, details about her health and faith struggles, book reviews, and ponderings of the future. She loves dachshunds, football, carbs, cruises, and stepping out of her comfort zone. You can find her blog over at www.stephanywrites.com