These past few weeks have been filled with activities. Weddings, galas, bridal showers, night out w/friends, finals, finishing up my second semester of Law School and celebrating Easter.
All in the past TWO weeks!
I get to catch my breath for about a week or so, and I intend to get a physical, meet up with friends, sneak in a hike, register for my next semester of classes, catch up on emails, make some important phone calls, and read.
All in ONE week!
As I reflect on the past few weeks and the encounters I’ve had, they were gut-wrenching and rewarding.
“I apologize for that,” ” I wish you knew,” “I wish someone would have told you,” “you look like you are living your best life,” “are you a Republican?”, “that’s okay,” “thank you, thank you, thank you,” “I feel beyond blessed and honored I get to be a part of your life,” “teach me your ways,” “you are brave.”
These were some of the highlights of several conversations I had in those past weeks. Some moments took my breath away in both a revealing and humbling way. If I am going to be perfectly honest, I am emotionally drained. These are words spoken to me and of me. As I read them back, I thought, wow so much has been seen, tasted, felt, and given by my engagement in life.
When we decide to show up and be engaged, we set ourselves up to be vulnerable to people’s opinions and comments. We allow ourselves to be accepted and rejected. We give others permission to draw from our experiences and make conclusions of their own.
So as this next week comes around for me to catch my breath and disengage for a moment, I want to leave you with a few words of advice.
Don’t beg to be loved, just love yourself.
Don’t expect others to do what you are supposed to do for yourself.
Don’t give what you cannot afford to live without.
Don’t lose your dignity to fit into someone else’s narrative.
Don’t forget to rise up and be thankful for each and every experience, it has shaped the strong person you are.
Don’t forget to love unconditionally, but be prepared that your heart may break often.
Life is an unpredictable…smile while you are living it!
-Annette Ortiz Mata