Ordinary People

The 20s are all about being grateful for those around you. There comes a time in your life where you gain this awareness of truly how blessed you are. It's the moments when you realize you're surrounded by people that you value and reciprocate those same feelings for you. It's this moment of immense clarity where you are conscious of what you built for yourself, but even more so what has been afforded to you. People will do good unto to you if you let them do so. There are no such things are ordinary people, everyone can be extraordinary.

The day I discovered that sometimes happiness was easy as deciding to be so was the day that found an immense power within myself. Instead of letting circumstances beyond my control bring me down I tapped in an inner goodness that serves as a never-ending source of positivity. Even more so is coming to the understanding that the moments that I cherished most where the ones where I let myself be happy. Too many times had I stood in the way of my own happiness. Whether that be because I didn't think I deserved happiness, was incapable of being that way in certain moments, or didn't know how - I guess I'll never know. Recognizing that I stood as the gatekeeper to my own joy could be overwhelming but also greatly empowering. Almost at any point in time, I can actively choose to be happy. I can choose to be present, engaged, and responsive. I can choose to be myself, to smile, and laugh. I can choose to cherish the moments I have been given, to see the best in others, and to let my most authentic me reign supreme. I'm no ordinary person and neither are you.

In figuring out how to control my own inner happiness I realized that of course it had to come from me but it was based on my memories of other people. Memories come from within and can never be lost. Those ordinary people I had come to know were actually beyond that. They are my power base. Being able to access my fondest memories of those I had been connected to let me tap into this renewable resource of energy within myself. All the smiles, hugs, and silly moments that made up my life can be catalogued not only to for what they are but the emotive feelings they bring about. They are uplifting, heartwarming, and profoundly moving. For me, it's the little things that people do in my life. Waving hello to me, asking me about my day, checking in with me, etc. are the ways people give me happiness. In writing that last sentence I realized that I must do the same for other people and that in and of itself is so good to know. C.S. Lewis was right in saying, "We meet no ordinary people in our lives." Everyone has an extraordinary purpose - it's up to us to let them fulfill it.
 We meet no ordinary people in our lives. Something to ponder ~ because I feel very ordinary most of the time.
There is so much in my life to be thankful for. I am alive. I am well. I am graduating college. I am well-fed, overdressed, clean, and have a place to live. All these fundamental things that I often take for granted really do matter. Beyond that are the opportunities I am afforded with education, connecting with others, and mobility in the world. Even more important still are the phenomenal people masquerading as ordinary people that I get to know. I use the word "get" because it's a privilege to know people - not everyone gets to do so. What a gift it is to be connected to certain people.
 
Their presence in my life has been immensely downplayed when in actuality their significance is beyond words. Thinking about all those who have contributed positively to the formation and sustaining of me floods me with emotion. Why me? Why am I so lucky? How did I get to be this way surrounded and supported by so many amazing people? Honestly, it doesn't make sense. One person should not be this loved. One person does not deserve this much adoration. One person should not be associated with so many selfless people. No matter what comes my way I have an army of those who would fight for me and equip me to do so as well. These ordinary people are gladiators in disguise. Thank you for being my gladiators.
 

This past weekend opened my eyes to see just how highly favored I am in so many ways. I finished my Friday with a productive substance free student group meeting before spending the night laying around, cracking jokes, and eating leftovers with some of my favorites in Willy and Kyle. It's a rarity to find people that you get to be yourself with, complete with flaws, quirks, and shortcomings in all. Saturday was a couple hours of fashion show practice which is a jovial romp of runway ripping attitude. I went back home to get ready for a night of adventure. No ordinary people.
 
Fashionably late, or me showing up late and just so happening to look good is the way I roll everyday inadvertently. I enjoyed the amazing festivities of Lunar New Year with the Asian American Student Union and my friend Isora. I learned so much and gained a renewed appreciation for multiculturalism. From there it was on to the Winter Ball with Kyle and Sam downtown at the Hilton. If I tell you that I danced my ass off it would not be a hyperbole. Four hours of pure dance magnificence dressed to the nines reached it's pique with me going all sorts of hype to "Yoncé" on top of a chair in the middle of a crowd. Senior year has meant being where I am and nothing more - that get together was the embodiment of that. I was happy and it showed (maybe a little too much). The three of us hiked up the hills of Burlington and caught the campus shuttle. I fixed up some grilled cheese and effectively passed out smiling bigger than ever before. The night couldn't have been better.
BowtieLove this style#MensFashionsFall Coat Guide 2012.
Sunday morning was a pre-noon Chipotle run with the roommate that brought my aching body back to life - too much rump shaking on my part. More fashion show practice and I passed through the newspaper office for an awesome brainstorm session before evening fell. I made my way to my fraternity chapter meeting with my friend Aaron who was taking the first vows of brotherhood in being inducted. Seeing someone you care about immensely join your eternal bond is moving to no end. He looked nervous during the ceremony and him looking to me for the support in a subtle smile hit me right in the heart. There are no ordinary people - each and everyone I connect with is there for a reason.

Finally that brings us to Monday which had my graduate school phone interview which went unbelievably well. The conversation went longer than expected and I know I was able to properly convey the essence of me. I made it class (barely) and spent my afternoon talking through life with my other little fraternity brother, Tanner. Fast forward to the night and I presented the Onein4 men's program at a local college to a room full of 150+ atheletes with amazing group members. Honestly, the guys I get tackle educating others on sexual assault with have become hands down some of my most beloved people. They're charismatic, uniquely eccentric, and above all pensively thoughtful. It's refreshing to be surrounded by people who genuinely are concerned with their impact on others. So very thankful for their boldness and their encouragement in and outside of our work. #itsonus now more man than ever! I know no ordinary people.
Compasses for table cards - wouldn't this be fun for a Steampunk wedding?
My blog post question for the day is ... what is something you take for granted? Being temporarily able-bodied is something I constantly overlook.

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