Photo: Author Jeff Emmerson in Calgary, Alberta, walking behind his apartment building in December of 2013.
I’m Becoming More Reflective Than Ever As I Age
Hi everyone…welcome to a new heartfelt blog post! I know it’s been a number of weeks since my last entry, but I was busy living life and working hard on building our business. That said, I can’t ever go too long without taking some time to stop and reflect on life. I’ve always had my soul “fed” by looking back and being sentimental. Now then…
I’ve got this song on repeat in my headphones as I write this post, and I’ve got a confession to make:
The older I get, the more I feel my mortality. Not in an “Oh crap, I’m going to die” way, but in a way where I feel life slipping through my hands more every day, like a beautiful, stirring song that you don’t want to end. I look back and watch videos of myself after moving to Calgary, Alberta with my wife in the autumn of 2013 and it hits me even deeper:
“My God I’ve already lived a full life. I’m not sure how much else I want to do, I’ve experienced so many things and feelings. I already feel incredibly full with this journey at the age of 42.”
It’s wild how we get caught up in the day to day work ethic of doing what we must to pay bills and get ahead – this hit me when I played some old videos from my time living in Calgary…I had forgotten what it was like to live there at the time with what was happening in my life. Man, oh man…I’ve lived more than I often realize, I said to myself this morning. ‘Funny how life hits us out of nowhere like that at times.
I really feel myself moving into a new season of life, a new chapter of experience and reflection (while living in the moment, of course – that’s how new memories are made). I realize that I’m a sensitive, reflective person (more than the average person, perhaps), and I’m grateful for that gift. I would never, ever take it back or trade it in if given the chance.
I guess my message to you is this: Please don’t ever give up on yourself. Give life a chance, even when you screw up or something heartbreaking happens around you. There will always be the simple pleasures of life to keep you and I company, even as we go through hard times that might throw us into sadness, despair and/or depression.
Taking time to look back can make a huge difference to our mood and perspective like it has for me this morning. I was reminded that I’ve gone through a lot, been very fortunate and have never given up on myself, as bleak as things looked at times. Our mental health can be greatly improved by taking some time to look back and recognize the lessons we’ve learned along the way, and doing so without judgment, knowing that at any time, we did the best we could with who we were at the time.
Isn’t life all about reminders? I’m beginning to realize that part of being human is constantly having to remind myself to be gentle on myself, embrace who I am and stay open to new experiences while savoring the simple things.
Thank you for the memories, Calgary. It was a hard time for me there as I tried to find my way career-wise (and mental health-wise), but I fell in love with you as a city all the while, and look very forward to returning now that I’ve found my way on a new path. You’re always in my heart, if a city ever could be. While the hard times were happening, magical moments were all around me, I realize.
If I do write a memoir (something I’ve been threatening to do for a few years now), Calgary will be a part of it. Love and light to you. Thank you for reading, and until next time,