2013 was a hard year. When I was talking to my mom about one of the discussions she had had on New Year’s Eve with one of her clients, the woman said, “Yeah, I can’t wait to close the door on that bitch.” Well ditto sister. That’s exactly how I feel as well. It was a year of significant transition for me. The first time I moved out of my parents house – I’m about 88% on the way to financially independent. The first time I lived with a boy. A boy I said I would marry. And the first time I started to plan a wedding. It was the first time I had a “big kid job.” And then found out I hated that job, and tried again. And again. And again. Luckily I was able to keep landing jobs, but a job for each season lends its challenges too. And certainly makes my resume look, well, diversified. It was the first time I had to watch someone I love die, and watch my mom struggle too, as she said goodbye to her dad. It was the first time I postponed a wedding – financial uncertainty and emotional stress do not a happy wedding planning bring. Postponed…. not called off. This is an important distinction. Do not ask me if we have picked a date yet. It was the first time I was a maid of honor, saying good luck to my best friend as she began her new married adventure and the first time I opened the door to realizing that “life long friendship” takes a heck of a lot more work than I anticipated. To wrap up the year my fiancé also got laid off. God has been testing my patience and my trust in all that the universe has to offer me, and I will be the first to let you know that I am NOT patient.
Have you seen that book called “F*** I’m in my 20s!” by Emma Koenig? Well, you should check it out, because that, my friend, is quite often how I felt last year (and if I’m honest with myself how I still feel). For some reason, people gloss right over this weird, difficult, exciting time called “finding yourself.” No one really tells you how unsettling it is to be off in this great big world on your own left with a college degree, some debt, a car payment and the opportunity to pursue anything you want. Well anything you want certainly lends you quite a lot of options, and I’d say I’m still trying to figure out exactly what that means.
And so, for 2014, I wanted to start the year off with a bit more of an optimistic outlook. People say that gratitude increases happiness. Happiness is something I certainly want to cultivate in my life, and so, in an effort to practice gratitude and find the good in the every day, or rather the every week, I have challenged myself to find one beautiful thing to think about, to reflect on, or to discover each week. Help keep me on track, and I would love to share my journey with you!
This week is the beauty of imperfection and acceptance of yourself in the process of new beginnings – because maybe you have noticed it is the last week of January. So I admit it, I’m already behind. But there is something great about that too. My new year’s resolution was to lower my standards for myself. Now don’t go getting all judgy on that statement – I just have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself. Success-aholic. What does that even mean? And so, here, with kindness, in the LAST week of January, I’m going to start looking for beautiful things. Maybe there will be more, maybe less, but I hope I can practice keeping my eyes open to the beauty that the world presents to me this year.
And we are off…