Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Life Experiences

Life has a wide range.  We can feel remarkable ecstacy and painful grief.  There are often stretches of crushing boredom, sometimes punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

I've lived a long time.  Probably longer than you.  I've had many experiences, both good and bad.  Here are some experiences I've had that I wouldn't want to have missed:

- Fallen hopelessly in love with a soulmate

- Dug a grave, in tears, for someone I loved

- Eaten bad food, healthy food and meals I cooked myself

- Been transported by music to a place of heavenly enchantment

- Struggled with something that makes me different from everyone else

- Accepted and learned to celebrate what makes me different from others

- Felt searing physical pain that was worse than I imagined possible

- Laid on a cold highway, unable to breathe, believing I was going to die

- Been enlightened by learning the cultural girders of social organization

- Made friends with people of all kinds

- Appreciated the intelligence and wisdom of others

- Fulfilled my parents' immigrant dream and made them proud

- Separated from my parents in search of my own destiny

- Found a path to my authentic self

- Cried at the funerals of loved ones who died too young

- Helped people in a variety of ways

- Savored the joys of being generous

- Been startled by unexpected surprises

- Flown through the air, suspended by two wheels

- Faced major challenges and overcome them

- Ridden a motorcycle at 140 mph

- Pulled out of a certain crash on a racetrack by sheer willpower

- Worked a dangerous job in a toxic factory with ex-cons

- Appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

- Learned how people from other backgrounds think and behave

- Felt the pinch of shapewear and the physical sensation of high heels

- Studied and started to understand the culture of femininity

- Acquired serious respect for women and increased it over time

- Worn a glamorous gown with matching long gloves

- Witnessed horrible acts by damaged people

- Learned the falsity of many common cultural beliefs

- Contemplated the fact of my own mortality

- Nurtured the ability to laugh at the absurdity of human behavior

- On a dare, ridden my motorcycle in a pink tutu and white high heels

- Committed myself to my true beliefs, regardless of where that takes me

Are there any life-experiences you are grateful to have had?


  1. This is a great post Ally, you certainly have had some amazing experiences, some tough ones and even sad ones, but it seems to have made you into the person we know and love today. So far I think the best experiences I've had have been falling in love and marrying my best friend and giving birth and raising a beautiful child. I've definitely experienced my share of heartache and difficulty as well, but I learned from those moments and just don't dwell on them. Thank you for sharing all of the things you've lived!

    1. One of the experiences I realized after writing this that I've not had -- and many of you have -- is birthing and raising children. That ranks right at the top of anyone's list.

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing this amazing list. You have certainly lived a full and exciting and wonderful and heartbreaking life so far! I have had many life experiences that I am grateful for and have shaped me into the person I am today. Falling in love, marrying my best friend (am I copying Beth???), growing and carrying and giving birth to two children and raising them are some of my favorites.

  3. I love that shoe shot! Very arty, and says it all.
    I also love the orange and purple outfit in a previous post.
    Your tutu wearing post is awesome, including biking in those heels! Wow!
    I'm grateful for growing up in PNG, having loving parents, learning singing and singing solo before a large choir, living in five different countries, and choosing to stay married at a difficult time against much advice. Xo JJ

    1. I almost killed myself riding in high heels. Seriously, I came very close to veering off into a ditch.

  4. What a brilliant photo and post! That photo is especially well thought out.

    Seems like you have had a life filled with experience...good and bad...which is what it is to live.

    I'm grateful to still be here...even though you will often catch me whining about the aging process. When I was in the hospital it really changed my perspective though. And although there have been experiences that truly hurt and I would never want to experience again I know that they have shaped the person I am today.


    1. That's my point -- we are defined not only by good experiences but bad ones as well. They all weave a tapestry of our lives.

  5. Great post Ally. I can't remember when or how I came about your blog but I'm so glad I did. One thing that strikes me about your blog is the number of genuine followers you have, it says a lot about you as a person.

    1. Thanks, Lotte. I simply put myself out there and was surprised myself at how many people responded. I wasn't sure anyone would.

  6. What a wonderful post! I love that last picture. Our experiences deepen us and in the best of us, continue to open our minds.

  7. Great post and absolutely love the photo :)

  8. Ally, you are a pro at writing thought-provoking posts! I always like to scroll through and read the comments your posts generate, too. :)
    Some life experiences I am grateful for include: moving from Hawaii to the Mainland (yup, we capitalize it!) at the age of 21 to pursue my first career. This is an experience many folks here have never had ... I have friends older than me who are still living with their parents. Multi-generational households are the norm here, so staying home is not a bad thing. However, I believe that I developed so much as a person by living on my own.
    I like that your list includes highlights/pleasurable experiences as well as difficult times. I think some people try to cast off difficult experiences but those experiences contribute so much to who we are.

    1. Absolutely. We're formed by both the good and the bad. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree that living on one's own is great for personal growth.

  9. Definitely a great post, it really makes you think. I am quick to say I too have so many life-experiences that have made such an impact but I also am one to want to list every little thing in fear of diminishing somethings importance by not mentioning it...ughh I think too much!

  10. I LOVE this post!!!! So true to who you are and how you motivate all of us to think about important things in life.

    My top 2 are the same as most of the girls ... marrying the most amazing guy on earth and giving birth to my son.

  11. Beautiful post, and lovely pic that says a lot :)
    One of my top experiences - marrying my husband and also all the times I moved to another town and had to start again from scratch when I was a teen. Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies

  12. your experience is unique. I don't think I'd ever want to lie on the highway thinking I'm going to die or want to work in toxic place.. everything is else is important to know yourself. but no matter good or bad this is important to get to know who you are. My worst yet very important experience was a mix of a huge pain, understanding of fallen future you worked so hard to get and hope. It was when fall down the stairs breaking my backbone. This year I realized that experience was only halfway true, now my dream came true a little differently but still. this is an experience very important to me as well - getting to a point when your long lost dream came true. I wish each person could have a chance to experience that.

  13. This was an awesome post! It is good to sit down and reminisce about things, it helps us realize what we have experienced. Have you read any books by David Sedaris? The majority of what he writes is about his life experiences. Little short stories that go into great detail, and most of them are hilarious, even when the story itself is sad.

  14. Now this is an amazing post of del fulfilment ! I am not sure many can top of that list :)
    I love that last picture, its you in a sexy image.
    I am grateful for all the opportunities I have to travel and see unimaginable places…

  15. were you wearing the pink tutu and white heels while riding at 140 mph?! lol. wow, how exhilarating! thank you for sharing your life experiences with us...loved reading them.

  16. This is such a powerful, excellent, inspiring post and snapshot of a wonderful person's immensely interesting life. If you ever feel pulled in such a direction, I believe you would write one absolute heck of a stellar autobiography, filled with these sorts of truly engaging facts that I'm sure any reader who greatly enjoy knowing even more about.

    ♥ Jessica

  17. Ally, your experiences and your way of reflecting/introspecting on them is so beautiful. Somewhat younger, but I also have taken mental 'snapshots' of things I would like to never forget, and of course have things seared into my memory that I wish I could. Thanks for the thoughtful end of my weekend. (:

  18. Great post.
    Your photo speaks to me very strongly in that my life, like yours, is a blending of experiences and expressions. I am at all times both the tough as nails, hard driving male and the gentle, thoughtful, sensitive and stylish female.

    1. Yup, we share a lot, Pat, in both nature and experience. Rare to find that.