A few weeks ago I was perusing Instagram when I noticed a sign in a post that I haven’t stopped thinking about. “Live a life of I get to, not I have to.” It’s simple in a complicated way. I remember it throughout the day. It also makes me feel different things each time I think about it. It’s shockingly easy to feel selfish and entitled without ever recognizing it. Or perhaps it’s easier not to admit to in the first place. Garrett and I talk a lot about wanting to live an intentional life. I love unpacking what this means. I also really like that it means different things in different seasons.
Lately I have thought a lot about how people change, or sometimes how they don’t. I always want to be willing to change because I want to grow. When you stop growing you stop living. When I’m around people who boast as if they know more than everyone else, it just points out to me how little they actually know of what matters. Probably the best lessons we learn from arrogant people are from their mistakes. The people I admire the most are the ones who are willing to be genuine and honest about themselves and life. The smartest people I know are the ones who are always asking questions, willing to learn, and most importantly willing to listen. That last one gets me, I often interrupt with different thoughts spilling over. I have to remind myself to listen. It’s so painful sometimes. I swear I must have learned it as a kid but forgotten it somewhere in my twenties.
Yesterday I found myself having a great conversation with a new friend. One of those you could never plan it to happen chats but even in the midst of it I couldn’t help thinking, “This is SO good! THIS is what life is about!” People are beautiful and captivating and complex and there’s so much to each one of our stories. More and more I realize what a privilege it is to have friendships. I have often taken it for granted because so many of my friends I have been lucky enough to have known most of my life. It’s such a beautiful gift to have always known someone, but it’s just as wonderful to get to know someone. It feels different, maybe even more of a risk starting from the present because telling your story is a whole different level compared to someone having been part of your story. It feels a lot like watching someone make a decision whether or not to get to know more or to say no thanks. Those moments when you realize you are more alike than different, those “me too” moments are pure gold.
A lot of this new season has looked like learning how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a city thing, but New Orleans feels like it’s own little world down here. The culture is different and sometimes surprising at how much I like it. I have said this before and probably will again. This place reminds me of a modern day Wuthering Heights. There is a harshness and an honesty about this city, but there is also so much beauty that jumps out in unexpected ways. I love finding these pops of color and soaking them in so I become a part of this place as well. Texas will always be home, but NOLA has my heart.