The Gift of Perception

Plain black shoes stare back at me as I sit at my desk. They are waiting to be painted into something unique and spectacular. An empty notebook is next to them, and I swear I can hear it crying because it is neglected along with my second book. Blank, ordinary, mundane. I feel exhausted and overwhelmed because I am about to emotionally, mentally, and physically drain myself to transform them into something beautiful. I also know I am being dramatic. Life is 100% founded on perspective. If you choose to see life without wonder, then it will not be wonder-full.

In the past months, I wanted to talk about the love of self, and the belief in building a foundation you can stand on. Now, I think it is time to take those ideas and send them out into the world around you. I have been pushing for years to move into my own house, in a place that was perfect for me. My fiance and I refused to settle for anything less. The road to get there was not beautiful or easy. We argued a lot, grew frustrated with our decision to live with his parents to save money, felt confined and mostly as if it was never going to happen. How do you get through that? How do you not give up? If you had asked me last year I would not have had an answer. But as I sit writing this in my home up in the mountains, staring out at the pines and gray skies this morning, I have a few ideas.

First, and maybe most importantly, is letting go of the expectation that everything has to happen now. Letting go of the idea that I needed to be further along because everyone else seemed to be allowed the excitement and beauty I found in every day things to be rejuvenated. Being angry that life had not turned out how I had expected had stolen the magic of what was happening now. If you find yourself feeling this way, take a moment to close your eyes and breath deeply. Quiet your mind and list three things you are thankful for having today. Then open your eyes, and find the first three things you see. Find a reason to be happy to see them. Maybe you’ll remember how hard you worked to get it, or you will realize that though it is simple, most people don’t have what you have. If you still have a hard time refreshing the way you see things, there is no trouble in doing something related to your disillusioned expectation. When I was really frustrated about not having my own homestead, I used to go on Amazon and buy little things like mason jar salt and pepper shakers. I was making a promise to myself that one day I’d have somewhere of my own to put them instead of focusing on the fact that I didn’t have that place in the moment.

Like I said, it’s all about perspective. I can look at a blank notebook and see hours of work and time I don’t always have, or I can see the opportunity to lose myself in a remarkable adventure. I can look at unpainted shoes and stress out about creating something perfect, or I can see a way to make someone smile. And I could have looked at all the hardship that brought me to such a beautiful home, or I can realize that my hard work and my passion for creating was the very thing that made this all possible.

Take the love you’ve learned to give yourself and shine it onto your surroundings. The good, bad, and ugly all shape you and contribute a stone in your path. Be proud of where you’ve been, and where you are. Be excited about where you’re going. Most importantly, be grateful for all the wonder that surrounds you right now.

My notebook is now full of love and literature. My once boring paper has been filled with magic and vision to share with you. A blank piece of paper started what will cross countries. Now, how does this not amaze me?

Rebecca Wright

Bec Dixon is a Writers Digest award winner. Her novel, Dream Wakers, is set to publish early 2016.

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