Today’s guest post comes from Heather Locklin, a delightful, happy-go-lucky lady, with whom I had the pleasure of living for a while in university. I asked her to write about her outlook on life, for that is one thing I have always admired about her; her creativity is in her rose-coloured glasses.
I have this idea. It is a simplistic way of looking at the world and my place within it. It’s an outlook I carry with me every day. Sometimes I wonder if I have made things (life) altogether too simplistic, because to me, this is so easy to do. Get ready, because here it comes—I simply live each day for itself, and look for the positive and the beauty in everything. This includes appreciating the beauty of a place, a moment, a person or a situation, however fleeting any one of those things happen to be. It means that if I am having a bad day, I find a way to make it better. They may be the littlest, most insignificant things, but to me those are the most uplifting. You want an example, you say? Well, it could involve going for a Starbucks drink, or having my favourite sushi roll at my favourite sushi place (if you are ever in Kingston, ON, go to Sima—it’s amazing!), or listening to a favourite song (currently “Sprawl II” by Arcade Fire), or even just phoning a bestie.
When I was younger (we’re talking high school days, 10+ years ago), I was a very shy, very self-conscious teenager. I didn’t know how to act, or what to say to people. So for the most part I didn’t say much. I was really trying to figure out where I was supposed to fit in the high school population. I somehow ended up with a straggly group of misfit boys who were negative, cynical and sad. On the flip side, I also played competitive sports. I enjoyed that, but teenage girls were a wonder to me, and I just couldn’t really see eye to eye with them. I never could wrap my head around what the problem was for these boys. Maybe they saw some sort of bigger picture that I didn’t see, and still do not see, because for me, it was and continues to be that simple. Sometimes I wonder if maybe they had a hand in shaping this outlook, because when I looked some of the people I considered as friends, I thought they were simply wasting time, energy, life.
As years have passed, people have come into and out of my life, and some sad things have happened. Love lost, people moving on (without me)… I have a tendency to end up with people who are continually withdrawn, negative and unimpressed with things. I want to align myself with people in the world who have a similar outlook on life to my own. I spent years trying to pull someone I cared for out of that mindset, only to realize that he wanted to stay there. When the relationship ended I was relieved. I was exhausted while we were together because of the energy I spent attempting to improve his life, only to realize afterward that he was satisfied with a his life, one that I would never be fulfilled in.
I want to be engaged in life and in the world. If the simple things make me the happiest, I will continue enjoying them, seeking them out. I will keep having adventures, ending up in places I didn’t plan on going with people I only just met. I will fly kites, build boats out of cardboard (and sail them down a river), send a message in a bottle out to sea, blow bubbles, dance (even though I’m terrible) and sing (worse still), I will take road trips (and stop at roadside attractions). I will take the road less traveled. I think that living the life you want is easier and more simplistic than people make it out to be. Certainly circumstances that are less than ideal will pop up, and they will have to be addressed. I’m not trying to say that I live an idyllic little life, ignoring the reality of the world. It’s actually the complete opposite. I get it. I just think it is important to maintain this outlook and find beauty and positivity in everything, because one can easily become overwhelmed by the bigger stuff. I don’t want to look around when I’m older, look back on my life, and have the sense that I was drowning. I want to look back at my life and know that I lived in each moment and that I didn’t let the weight of the world break me down. It may be simple, but I feel genuinely happy right now. And things are coming together.