I’ve spent the past 10 days with my sister Laurel, climbing Banyan trees’s and getting lost in Key West, Florida. Located a mere 90 miles from Cuba, Key West is home to Ernest Hemingway, the 3rd largest Coral Reef in the world and an elite group of rum-drinking, cigar-smoking, leather-tanned fisherman. My sister has made this marvel of the world her home and I experienced my first “Keasy” vacation just before departing for Sydney, so was very happy to return to this hidden treasure and American paradise, two years later. I arrived to the tropical oasis, via Key West Express ferry and was greeted by my beautiful sister, a great deal of sweat and a celebratory, tearful embrace.
Although we’ve lived practically as far as two people can for the majority of our lives…(Laurel in Miami while I was in Prague, in Scotland while I was in Iowa and in Key West while in Sydney,) she is truly my best friend, better half and role model. She’s the most beautiful creature that I’ve ever known and treats everyone that she meets with kindness, an open heart and has taught me more about self-betterment than a four year degree or life coach ever could have.
Since arriving home from Sydney, I’ve been so desperately seeking to answer the question, ‘what next?’ through the stressors of job applications and life decisions that I haven’t really taken the time to stop and breathe. And I’ll be honest…I’ve spent a lot of time comparing myself to other successful women my age and criticizing the areas in which I feel as though I fall short. But spending time with Laurel in Key West was a good reminder for me of the here and the now that I so often neglect. Throughout Laurel’s apartment is the most beautiful quote from Christian D. Larson that I would read in the morning and will continue to do so as it is a symbol of mental wellness and mental health that I aspire to live by. I’ve placed the quote below in hopes of reiterating the importance of waking up each day to better oneself and love oneself that I’m currently in the process of attempting to teach to myself. Its in my hopes that by sharing this quote, someone else will be able to learn about what this past week and time with my sister in Key West taught me.
Promise Yourself, To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds. To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you. Christian D. Larson