To my fellow Mad Ones who are living each day like they’ve got a reason to be here, this is a bit more of a letter from me to you. I try to be as real and as true to myself as I can be in my life. I’m happy to be on this ride with you wild, crazy people.

If you look into the archives of The Mad To Live you’ll see that I haven’t written a column in some time, and if I have it’s been quite sporadic. For the past three months things have been off for me. But today I’ve decided that I’m done having off days.  So, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about it.

Getting derailed in life can be really hard. Have you ever been there? You’re moving along with such momentum – things finally are starting to feel right and good – and then something comes your way and knocks you right out from under your feet. You’re left sitting on the ground staring at the world around you and somehow between when you fell and when you landed everything changed. Where do you go from here? You stand up, but now you’re in uncharted territory and you’re not sure which way to go. Everything around you is dark and hazy, and suddenly your light has dimmed and your vision is clouded.  You’re banged up and scarped up. You’re a little weak and a little tired. You’re not feeling like the strong, amazing, growing person you were the last time you stood on your two feet.

And at that point you have a choice: You can sit back down where you fell, or you can heal your wounds and walk forward into the unknown.

To be honest with you guys, I sat back down for a little while. I didn’t practice the very thing I preach on this blog, which is to stay true to ourselves and every little thing we’re passionate about and care about in this world be it our business, our hobbies, our people, our dreams. I got stuck in my head. I set up shop in limbo. I decided the world revolved around me, when all along you and I both know that we revolve around the world.

But let me tell you something I’ve learned over the past 3 months before I realized that I had a choice to sit or stand.

It hit me that that one day there is going to be a moment when I’m 85 years old where my life is going to flash before my eyes. Maybe it’s going to happen when I tell my future granddaughter the most important piece of wisdom I’ve gained in those 85 years. Maybe it’s going to happen when I’m doing some routine, mundane task I’ve done every single day for the past 85 years like brushing my teeth. Maybe it’s going to happen when I’m reminiscing with a fellow 85 year old soul about the thousands of days we lived during our lives.

Whenever that flash happens though, I will have lived for those 85 years and everything before that present moment will have been the past that’s created that life and those memories. The heartbreaks, the family feuds, the night swims in the ocean, the train rides through South East Asia, the people I loved, the people I lost, my 1st grade classroom, the dreams I chased, my first kiss when I counted to three, the day I went skydiving, the countless paragraphs I’ve written, the phone calls that lasted hours, the tears I cried, the laughs I shared… they’ll all be the past.

And there I will sit, in the present, remembering my past as the future begins to mean something different than it meant to me during those moments years ago.

There I will sit, moments after my life has just flashed before my eyes, and you know what? In that very moment, I am okay. I am content. I have survived because I really LIVED.  I will look back on many periods where I had been knocked to my knees as well as many periods where I’m standing tall with my head held high.  There I sit, an 85 year old woman with the most beautiful smile lines and a lifetime of memories that bring both tears to my eyes and smiles to my face, and I’m okay with each and every one of them. I appreciate each one of them for all that they meant to me and all that they helped to make me, me. I wouldn’t do without any of them. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

And here your and I sit today, several decades away from that flash. The gap between today and that moment is open for us to fill with whatever we please. We can’t expect every moment of that gap to be without scrapes and falls, for if we’re really living our lives we’ll surely make a few choices and decisions and changes that will knock us to our knees.

We can’t expect not to be let down. We can’t expect to not have our heart broken. We can’t expect to not be hurt by those we love. We can’t expect ourselves to always get it right. We can’t expect ourselves to know everything. We can’t expect ourselves to predict the future. We can’t expect ourselves to have a great day every single day. We can’t expect ourselves to never do wrong to others.

So what do you do? What do I do? We move forward. We get up and we remember that this very moment as I type this or you read this, and the moment that occurred before this, and the moments that will occur after this are all part of the bigger picture of not just the life itself we wish to create for ourselves, but also our way of life and being.

I guess it comes down to how you want that big picture to look when your 85… all of your present moments of today will lead up to that present moment decades away…. you’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. Get up, carry on, be strong.

We live to be ALIVE. We are alive so we can LIVE. We will get hurt and we will hurt others. But we will also change this world, ourselves, and those around us in inspiring ways we’ll only ever imagine unless we try.

You can’t do that if you let yourself remain on the ground after you’ve fallen. We have to get up. And that’s just that.

As for me… well, I’m a twenty something woman with a passion for life who plans to look back at 85 and say, “Damn… between the worst days and the best days…I truly lived it.” I’m excited to share what’s to come with you guys. I’ve been knocked down for awhile now, and I’m finally up again.

Let’s enjoy the ride together, shall we?

Life Reflections Welcome in the Comments 🙂

About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

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