November 3, 2008

on my story, my ambition...

Yesterday, someone described me as ambitious.

I sat there thinking, "You've got to be kidding me. Ambitious? Me? Neurotic, maybe. Indecisive, definitely. Passionate, usually. But ambitious? Really?"

It's interesting when someone points out something about yourself that you've never actually associated with your personality. But, you know? It made me think a lot about myself. It made me think about how others see me, and how I see myself, and if either views are completely accurate.

Growing up, I was always the sweet, shy girl. Quiet, reserved. Wouldn't hurt a fly. Eager to please, and usually the teacher's favorite due to this. Incredibly sensitive. Classic middle child, thoughtful and easygoing. Creative and a complete dreamer. I thought, Maybe I'll be a nurse, an artist, an astronaut.

I've certainly grown into myself in the last several years. I'm no longer the shy girl. I've learned when to raise my voice, when to stand up for myself and those I love. And I've done a lot in these last several years. Most notably, I moved states away from my friends and family and familiarity. I threw myself into a new adventure and found a new, brave side to my personality. I made a decision to leave a guy I admired and cared for and who was, truly, my first love - and instead, followed the feeling that was drawing me somewhere else completely. Somewhere far away from him. For the first time, I decided not to worry as much about what people would say about this. Sure, I was hurt by what certain people back home said about me and thought of me, but I decided to focus on what life held for me here. Because I knew there was some reason I needed to be at exactly that place, at that exact point in my life.

At the time, I didn't even know what it was, but I knew it was something worth staying for.

I waited it out, working either too many or not enough hours at my job. I sometimes loved it, sometimes hated it. I learned to budget, grocery shop and navigate the Southern California freeways. I made friends, lost friends, and discovered just how much I cherish days completely by myself. I had days where I wondered when I'd have more than $13 in my savings account, and when I'd get insurance in order to afford a yearly check-up at the doctor's office. More and more, I came out of my shell. I went out dancing for the first time, went to a real party for the first time. I learned the difference between infatuation and real attraction. I had a few irrational crushes along the way. I thought, Maybe I'll be an actress, a writer, a princess in a Disneyland parade.

And then? I fell in love.

Swept of my feet, I knew he was the one. I began planning my future with him, starting with the thorn in my side that was wedding planning. Somewhere along the way I decided to leave the comfort of the job I'd been at for the last year, and found myself hired into a new job with a great company. I was proud. I had a great job, a brand new car, a 401K. And soon, I became a wife. I had a new role in life, a shoddy little apartment to decorate and began missing the nearness of my family more than ever. I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner by myself. I was completely excited as my husband surprised me with the promise of a cat - something that I regretted once I discovered the nightmare of cat litter, cat hair and midnight yowling in a one-bedroom apartment. I strengthened friendships, and learned what it feels like to be betrayed by one. Still, I was in love and was a newlywed; nothing keep me down. I thought, Maybe I'll go back to college, open a store online to sell my crafts, become a runner.

And here I am now.

Married for two years, eight months, to the man who still makes me smile and laugh and, although we have our ups and downs, I know his arms are the only ones I can imagine wrapped around me for the rest of my life. And my life is comfortable. Happily situated in our cozy little duplex. Working at the same place, but filled with dreams for something more. My etsy shop has been up and running for just over a year, and I certainly have dreams of doing even more with it. I've been up and running, quite literally, for quite some time now. I finally found the motivation to take that one last class in order to, hopefully, transfer somewhere and finish my last two years of college. More and more I realize that I'm certainly someone who could be happy simply being a wife and a crafter and doing whatever it is that brings me joy. I realize that wanting these things doesn't make me less ambitious than someone with a masters degree. How is success measured, anyway? I think, Maybe I'll be a mom, a photographer, move back to the Northwest.

I guess that I can look at myself and see some sort of ambition. And although it is a bit surprising, it feels good. Who would've thought? Maybe the quiet, shy, thoughtful little girl has finally found her place.

41 comments :

  1. Aww I love this post. I don't think I've found my place yet... I think I've found ME, for the most part, but there are a lot of pieces of my life that are missing. I wait for the day when I'll be able to say I've found my place.

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  2. I'm happy that this is the post I started reading your blog at. What a great intro to you :-)

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  3. You know how some of the time you find something that you really need to read at that time? This is definitely what this post is for me, thank you for putting it out there.

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  4. So sweet. This really was a great post and I'm so glad I read it right now at this moment in time. You really are a sweet girl and I'm so glad we are bloggy friends. You really are ambitious, even if you didn't notice it until now.

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  5. So well written. You are such a neat, neat person.

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  6. This is an awesome post! Seriously, I love it...so honest and true to yourself. Thanks for sharing it.

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  7. ah! i love this post! good for you- for not only being brave enough to reflect on who you were/ are and the decisions you've made, but also for accepting yourself, and for liking yourself.
    yay for that.

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  8. I've been reading your blog for a couple weeks now. I stumbled across it somehow. I've never commented but I couldn't read this post and not leave you a comment.

    Thank you for this post. It was refreshing after a very intense day of nursing school. I admire you for being satisfied and happy with life. I wish I could do that more often... be happy in the moment and who I am... I'm still trying to figure that out I think...

    so thank you...

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  9. you, my dear, are like a breath of fresh air.

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  10. Funny thing is, is that you probably knew your way all along. You just had to take time and purge yourself of "everyone elses idea of who I should be and what I want".

    You are a good person and quite mature for your years.

    Peace - Rene

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  11. this is such an uplifting post and i love it. it's great to be so ambitious even if you didn't see it in yourself before :)

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  12. You never dissapoint. I wish my blog was more self-reflective. Maybe one day...

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  13. To follow my bliss, even if it has nothing to do with a power suit. To be okay when people look at me funny because I don't want some flashy career and would be perfectly happy creating all day.
    Few people would consider that ambition but I guess it is. Thank you for showing us that :)

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  14. i loved this post. you are absolutely ambitious.

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  15. I love this. You are so adorable!

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  16. Wow, this post was very uplifting for me. Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing.

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  17. I love when that happens because you find out another part of you that you didn't know existed. Isn't it a lovely feeling?

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  18. I think it's so true what you said about ambition. It can be very different for different people. As long as you have some goal you are striving to reach, then I think you are ambitious. With that said, I think you are a very ambitious person. :)

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  19. what a great, uplifting post. sometimes others see in us what we need to see in ourselves. glad you were opened up to the ambitious you!

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  20. I would have to say yes, whole heartedly.

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  21. LOVELY post, LOVELY you. :) I adore your writing, and your perspective!!

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  22. I absolutely am in love with your blog. I check it at every chance I get. Your writing is so inspiring and is a lot like me. I'm sure if we met in person we would the bestest of friends.

    This post was so great and so wonderful. I too have come into my own in the last several years and I can honestly say I'm in such a good place.

    So glad that I found your blog. You are inspiring! :)

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  23. This is such a great post. Thoughtful, well-written. Nice job!

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  24. You are totally ambitious! Like you said there are different ways to be ambitious. You have created this rockin blog that so many people love, that's a lot of effort even if it's fun for you. That's just the icing on the cake.

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  25. What an adorable, insightful piece.

    Defining who we are is tough work, but it is the blessed work of a 20something.

    And how lucky are we to have a chance to do this?

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  26. What a lovely post, Keri! It's so neat to be able to step back and examine our lives, see where we've come, where we are and where we hope to be in the future.

    It really is interesting to think about what success means. I wonder where I'll be in 5, 10, 15,20 years... I can't imagine it!

    Can't wait to hear more about where your journey takes you!

    And again, I really love that self portrait. So beautiful!

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  27. this is so beautifully written!

    i loved the part about falling in love with your husband. so romantic. ♥

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  28. Yes! Some of your best writing ever, you are fantastic and beautiful!

    I know what you mean with a lot of this, it made me think a lot. Yeah, you're awesome.

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  29. I absolutely LOVE the way you write!! I think you should add 'write a book' to that little list of ambitions. =)

    P.S. I just noticed the Verse you have at the bottom of your blog page and the lil' birdie w/ his saying...adorable!

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  30. This is a great post. So much of it rings true over on this side of the screen, though I'm still a ways behind. But it's okay, I'm enjoying the "getting there" part just fine.

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  31. I just came across your blog. As this may sound super cheesy and weird. Your blog made my whole day. Thank you for sharing. Take care.

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  32. I absolutely love your blog. I came across it on a friend of mine's list and have been reading it ever since. Not to sound creepy but we are very much alike. I am 25, happily married, crafty (or at least try to be), have much younger siblings (the youngest is 10) and have always been the one that people question if i'm not smiling... thanks for all your great posts!

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  33. Ah, this post makes me smile :)
    So glad I found your blog thru apricot tea. I feel I am quite similar. 24, although not married I have been with my love for 7 years now. We have a lovely house, I have a really good job that I enjoy, and although I am a dreamer just like you, I now accept that just because I'm not as ambitious as I used to be, doesn't make me any less.

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  34. This is a wonderful post! I'm excited to spend the next hour or so NOT working and reading through your blog instead.

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  35. Hey there, I just joined twentysomething bloggers, which is how I discovered your post. And I must say, this "about me" blog pretty much sums up exactly where I am in life (minus the falling in love, but a girl can dream, right?) I just moved to SoCal, leaving all my friends and family 3000 miles behind! It's scary! I will defintely keep up with your blog, you take such pretty photos!

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  36. I think you are quietly ambitious.. that's the way I am. I don't talk a lot to my friends about what I want to achieve but I try my hardest and don't always stick to the normal way through life.
    Perhaps people see you as ambitious because you didn't just stay in one place and wait for something to happen. You made a move, you followed your heart. That's important.

    I love your creations by the way. I just had a look at your online store. Beautiful.

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  37. What an amazing, amazing post. And the cooler thing is that this post is your life, so that's even more amazing. The 20s are the most amazing time of our lives! Congrats on finding your own version of happiness and success.

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  38. I don't know why I'm the only one who hasn't found herself yet =(

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  39. I am so happy I found your blog! I am falling in love with it and all your amazing stories.

    Are we neighbors?
    I live in Westlake Village, CA...and its so rare I find another So.Cal blogger.

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