Majestic. Fierce. Courageous. Brave. Mighty. Beautiful. Intimidating. Leader. Loyal.
These are words I think about when I think about a lion.
These are not words I think about when I think about myself.
I should preface this by saying how much I love my little cat. He often acts big and tough- all 14.5 pounds of him. There is a picture on the internet of a cat looking in the mirror and seeing a lion, and I can't help but wonder if my kitty feels that big sometimes. He is very smart, very intuitive, but he doesn't have to deal with the pressures of this world. He just roams my apartment, fearlessly hunting bugs and stuffed animals and meowing at the birds that fly by the window.
In his mind, he is majestic, fierce, courageous, brave, mighty. He's beautiful, intimidating, a leader, and loyal. He is as ferocious as a lion, in the body of a tabby cat.
I can learn a lot from my furry friend. Sometimes I watch him on one of his "hunts" around the apartment. In that moment, when the world stops spinning for just a split second before the pounce, he is as mighty as ever. He holds the confidence of the universe in his little paws, and he sets forth on his mission. Sometimes he succeeds, but sometimes the bug or the light escapes him. No matter the outcome, he never gives up. He never thinks less of himself because he doesn't know how to do so. He just tries again.
Why can't we live this way? I have so many dreams of where I want my path to take me. But the fear of failure keeps me from crossing that starting line, time and time again. When I look in the mirror, I don't see a lion. I don't see the potential waiting to be discovered, or the spark ready to explode. I simply see myself as I am, and not what I could be.
And I could be so much. I already am so much. We all, in this very moment, are exactly where we are supposed to be.
It's funny, looking back through this post. I started writing it over six months ago, and I just let it rest along with the other drafts that wait to one day be given life. When I reread it, I felt myself get emotional thinking of the girl behind the screen exploring these thoughts and putting them into words.
I'm not sure where that girl thought she'd be six months later. I know she was stuck in this routine that was robbing her of joy, and she was avoiding picking up the tools that she has been given over the last four years to better herself. She was so full of fear of the unknown that she never took a risk or a leap of faith.
I thought I'd be finished with the first draft of my book. I thought I'd be close to graduating. I thought I'd have lost the 15 (okay, now 20) pounds I had put on since I stopped being vegan. I thought I'd be this, and that, and there, and everywhere but here.
But HERE is all that I have. NOW is all I'm promised. And reading this, writing this, I now see exactly what I need to do.
I heard someone telling their story last week, and for the first time in a long time, my eyes were opened. She explained that she was always waiting to better herself until she "got there." Married, graduated, family, career -- she'd change her ways when she achieved one of these things.
The problem with that mentality, she explained, was that we'd never get there. We will always just be waiting for the next thing to come and before we know it, the time is gone.
I don't think the worst thing when reflecting back on my life would be saying that I failed trying to achieve my dreams. I think the worst thing when looking back would be saying I didn't try at all.
So I write this and say (to myself): the time is now. I've got to take on the fearless, courageous nature of a lion, even when I feel like a tiny tabby cat. I've got to go after my goals and what I believe in, in order to accomplish those dreams. I've got to stop waiting to get there and simply just be here. Because here is a beautiful thing if I just stop for a moment to appreciate it.