I’ve been wanting to start a new ‘series‘ of some sort here on my blog for deep(er) conversations. These conversations or more so ‘random ramblings‘ will dive deeper into topics that show all the realms of my corner of life, not just the highs but the lows and a little bit of everything in between, too.
For starters, I want to talk more about making big changes and why I feel like they’re so important for moving life in the forward direction.
This past year (or a little more than that at this point) has been one for the ages. One that I know none of us will ever forget.
It’s like 2020 was a tattoo that none of us agreed to get and now we’re all stuck with it.
It’s been a year filled with anything and everything most of us could’ve never even imagined happening. Whether it was fear of the unknown, anger, loneliness, change, newfound peace, newness, hard loss, adjustments to ‘new normals’, sadness, and so – many – other emotions. I feel like we’ve all been through the wringer in one way or another. Honestly, to label it as a “hard” year really just feels like a massive understatement.
Here’s what my past year (and some change) has looked like in a snapshot view:
-Family health scares (on the parental front) – which who’s ever ready for that? No one that I can think of.
-Job loss/changes/inconsistencies- leaving more than a fair share of sleepless nights up for grab…and I do love my sleep.
-Crippling anxiety to the point of feeling like the world was closing in, quick, fast, and in a hurry.
-Loss of interest in the things I enjoyed most, including but not limited to things like running, blogging, grocery shopping (weird, I know), spending time outside. This led to way more time sleeping, re-watching comfort shows more times than I can count, comfort eating all the sweet things, plenty of crying and waking up with red puffy eyes, and general heartache because I just didn’t recognize who I was looking at in the mirror most days. I felt lost and like all my days started looking the same, over and over again.
-The significant loss of our sweet pup, Joey at the age of 18. This one really did rock me, just as I expected it would but…even harder. Cue the tears as I type it out here, even still. August 2nd, 2021 was one of the hardest of days I can remember from my 32 years of life so far. But, never the less his life was well lived and well loved and more than cherished every second we got to have with him. This experience taught me SO MUCH about how quickly life can can come and go and how to find joy in the little things, just as sweet Joey always, always, always did. Cone and all.
Do any of these look or sound familiar in your own reality? While I certainly hope not, I do know that I’m not the only one who clearly STRUGGLED this past year. I have been lucky enough in realizing through it all though that BIG things needed to change and that there has been SOME good to come from it all.
Here are some of the highs that really stick out:
-Bouncing back from said job loss(es) to a more consistent level than I’ve ever been at so far in my adulthood.
-Moving to a place I’d dreamt of moving to for a good long while and feeling proud for taking the leap. Happy places in fact do exist!
-Gaining confidence in my own strength and ability to make things happen in both work and in life.
-I still managed to run a few races, which really made a big difference because at the end of the day running brings me a lot of joy in ways I can’t even put into words.
-I finished a handful of happy books which were much needed escapes.
-Successfully getting rid of a lot of things when we moved that had been taking up serious space in garages, storage units, and closets that didn’t serve me anymore.
-Seeing recovery and improvement for family members on a lot of fronts. This is a huge blessing we couldn’t be more thankful for.
-Embracing life in my 30’s and realizing that just because my life maybe doesn’t look a lot like others does at this point, it’s still more than okay.
It’s been a pretty good while where we’ve all had a little more time on our hands to dig deeper and really feel more of our feelings, hasn’t it? While maybe some of those feelings haven’t been the most enjoyable to feel, it seems like we’ve had no other choice — given the circumstances. But, it also feels like it was a necessary evil we had to face.
One of the biggest things that’s come to light for me is that being aware of the feelings as you feel them couldn’t be more critical to surviving one moment to the next. It’s like as I was facing each of the challenges that had come up, I did all that I could do to remind myself that ‘this too shall pass‘. And, I’ve always known that no matter what curve ball life throws, God has and will always have bigger plans and wasn’t (and won’t ever be) surprised one bit by these life ‘hiccups’.
After all, it’s a really good thing to truly FEEL the feelings and experience the experiences all the way because it means we’re human and we’re still here. And, just because life doesn’t ‘look’ like what we thought it would for any given reason, that can actually be the best thing we never knew we needed.
The way I see it is that we all have it in our life tasks or responsibilities to actually listen to our hearts and to follow where we feel led to go. That means taking ACTION in every sense of the word. I’ve never been one to shy away from taking a leap whether that’s up and quitting a job that just doesn’t serve me anymore and bring me happiness, (whatever consequences that serves me) or signing up for 26.2 miles to see if I can do it, or even packing it all up and starting fresh somewhere new because I know we only have one life and a short time to live it. I’m not afraid to live life because that’s what we’re here for anyways for the time being, right?
No matter what happens, I want more out of this life and whatever punches that means get thrown at me, I’m willing to take them. Because, when it’s the end, I want to know that I trusted myself (and without question, God) enough to take the risk and see what’s on the other side. I don’t see making big (or small) changes as falling victim to mistakes or failures either. I see it as just hopping from one stepping stone to the next and I want to know where they all lead. I want to see where this crazy adventure of twists & turns and mountains & valleys takes me.
I say ALL of that to say that if this past year (or longer) has left you feeling like you’re the only one experiencing these feelings, or maybe just that you’re in desperate need of a scream room to let it all out –you and I are in the same boat, friend. I get it because I know. And, more likely than not, we ALL know how it feels in one way or another because we’ve all been dealt quite the deck of cards of utter life change this past year.
Life is a work in progress and as long as we actively choose to participate in said progress, I’d say we’re doing alright.
My hope is that we’ll take what we’ve learned from these hardships and use them to bloom into our best selves. I hope that we can see how strong we’ve been and know that each day we’re given is another fresh start to experience a life we want to live. I want that for you and I want that for me too because just like John Mayer said “the heart of life is good”.
Hopefully, one day when we’re 96 years old sitting in our slow moving rocking chairs, I like to think we’ll all look back at these years of big change and see amazing resilience and grit where we took life by the horns and said we were still in the game and to not count us out. We took the punches and bounced right back with a left hook, even if we missed, we stayed on our two feet once more.
Until then, I’m sending you the biggest virtual hug (even though I’m not a hugger type gal! ;)) and hoping that this deep dive into making changes sparks just a little flare of inspiration into your day. Because, I believe in you and I believe in me. And, I hope you do too! We deserve to live life to the fullest, no matter what direction we go in, as long as we’re filled with joy in our hearts and happiness in our souls.
Here’s to taking the risk, making the necessary changes today and forevermore and seeing what happens next around the bend for both you and for me too!
Bring on the next adventure! Meet you there! 😉