Recently, a woman started a lecture holding a glass. Many thought she’d ask whether it was half empty or half full. Instead, she spoke about how heavy the glass would become the longer she held it out with a straight arm. She then equated the glass’ weight to stress levels. Her advice was to empty the “glass of stress” each day or it would weigh us down.
I slumped in my chair thinking what a luxury it would be to rid myself of stress at the end of each day. How could one do this when major life events smack you in the face at lightning speed and all one can do is be glad to make it to the end of the day?
I began to reflect on my past and how the big and small stuff shaped me. I was both devastated over losing who I could have become and proud of the life I created instead. Actions and words matter. Everyone’s actions and words matter. And so does perspective. Remember The Life of Pi?
I thought I’d thank those of you who have influenced my life and helped me make some tough, life altering decisions.
Thank you to the high school teacher who would not let me run the yearbook my senior year. While you could have asked why I was so anxious and stressed, you instead gave up on me. Because of you, I learned to stand on my own two feet. In fact, I’m known in my industry as “the woman who makes things happen.”
Thank you to the faculty member on the school paper who wondered why I chose not to be a writer for their newspaper. I guess I was too scared to start living my dream then, but I’m doing it now!
Thank you to the high school club that refused to let me partake. I proudly created a unique life path because I learned being cool and doing what was in simply was not me. I may never have thought to explore, travel the world, and really learn what I’m all about.
Thank you to the girl who told me I was only pretty because of my hair. While admittedly, I refused to wear my hair in a ponytail for years to hide my “ugly face,” I now look at pictures and see for myself that my massive hair only hides my bright shining eyes and beautiful smile.
Thank you to all the jobs I interviewed for who turned me down. While it has been a winding path to today, I have skills that can’t be matched and work for a business whose priority is its patients. My job is simply to make them an even better company.
Thank you to my parents for escaping Hungary and sharing with me how it all happened. I live my life assuming there are no walls in my way, only ones I create (but can also tear down).
Thank you Mother Nature for making us work so hard to have our son. You made us question if and why we wanted a family, making us even more grateful for our gift and making us awesome parents.
Thank you to those family members I’ve had to let go of – and who allowed me to do so – because their “being lost” and choosing to remain that way made it impossible to let me build any sort of life. You showed me that love can be defined in many different ways and is not just based on societal definitions.
Thank you to those who have become my uniquely defined family and inner circle. On the days I forget all of the above, you are there to set me straight.
Through my experiences, and especially in observing my infant son, I’ve realized that at the end of the day we are born with a blank canvas of life in front of us. We can paint anything we want and interpret all of life’s influences any way we choose.
Some days are awesome. Some days are not. However, the glass I once held out straight for days on end, ultimately adding up to years, now gets put down more and more often. By putting it down for this article, I realized all the above.
May you put your glass down right now.