The birds are chirping; the temperature is rising (for New Yorkers, slowly but surely), and the flowers are beginning to bloom.
Ah, the boundless beauty of spring.
We're well aware life operates on a cyclical pattern, and the four seasons that comprise our year are no exception.
Of course, we all have our favorites.
Summer offers endless days, road trips and a vast empty space for making memories.
Fall brings back football and sweatshirt season, the undying craze of pumpkin spice and, hey, we can't neglect that foliage.
With winter comes the holidays, fresh powder and the perfect excuse to get closer to the people we love.
Spring, however, offers something entirely unique: a complete revitalization of the world as we know it.
And, in swapping out our winter boots for our flip-flops, we are once again enlightened by a few essential insights we may have forgotten during our darkest season:
1. Every ending is simply a new opportunity to grow.
It's clichéd, but that doesn't make it any less true. We so often dwell on the past and get caught up in the "what ifs" of life.
It's hard to forget the amazing job that would have set you up for life, the love interest who slipped through your fingers or the graduate program you had your heart set on.
We must constantly remind ourselves, especially in the face of rejection or the sting of missed opportunity, that sometimes in life, there is no greater blessing than not getting what we want.
With every undesirable circumstance comes the promise of growth, appreciation and a more beautiful path on which to walk.
2. Hope is for the wise and practical, not the naïve or idealistic.
Some say only fools hope for a better day. In the case of seasons, however, only a fool would reason to think otherwise.
While we cannot allow our fixation on the future to override our ability to be fully present, we must always keep in mind every aspect of life carries both a cause and a sequential effect.
Being realistic should never supersede being optimistic. True optimism is in embracing struggle and complexity while allowing our inevitable strength to push us forward.
3. Patience is key.
Today's society is so fast-paced and over-stimulating, we find ourselves racing to keep up with everyone and everything around us -- from our peers to technology to the latest and greatest momentary trends -- and it seems we are constantly running against the clock.
We only pause ever so slightly (typically to squeeze in a selfie), and so, we are prone to lose sight of the forest beyond the trees.
We must embrace nature's most visceral virtue: the transformative power of time.
4. Finding a connection to nature is life's ultimate antidote.
If beauty, serenity and an innate sense of belonging is what we seek, we need look no further than our own backyards.
Developing an affinity for nature is one of the simplest and most resourceful methods to finding a spiritual connection with ourselves.
As creatures of this planet, we are inextricably bound to its overwhelming grandeur.
Long story short, time spent outdoors is never wasted and supports many aspects of health, mindfulness and overall quality of life.
5. Adversity breeds prosperity.
Life, while beautiful, was never meant to be easy. It is this truth that makes it such a gift to experience.
You don't gain strength by staying sedentary and you sure as hell won't grow by consistently withdrawing back into your comfort zone.
Fearing failure, hardship and imperfection is, in more ways than one, merely an indirect indication of being too chicken sh*t to actually live.
Someday, we'll be as gray and withered as January in New England, and risking stupidity and/or disappointment will no longer seem so troubling.
Winston Churchill once said, “If you're going through hell, keep going.”
Everything in life that's worth a damn is worth putting your all into, even if there is a chance you may not succeed.
For, when we really try, there is no such thing as failure.