February 6, 2014

a bit of self-reflection...

it's all been done | yourwishcake.com
If there's one thing I can't deny, it's that my twenties have been quite fantastic. Although I'm not anticipating any huge shift once I turn thirty later this year, I can't help but indulge myself with a bit of the usual self-reflection that comes with a milestone like this.

So many things have changed in the past ten years. Looking back on the girl I was in my early twenties, I can see how much I've grown. All those little challenges and obstacles and worries and sleepless nights have somehow managed to both soften my rough edges (yes, I have them) and sharpen my resolve in many ways.

I've experienced 8 years of marriage, 3 different jobs, a rediscovery of my creative side, pregnancy, motherhood. That changes a person. In good ways, I think. But most of all, I have this much more settled sense of self—which is probably what I would consider the greatest accomplishment. That is the one thing I always hoped for, as I looked at other women in their 30s who seemed to have this calm sort of self-confidence that I envied so much. It's not as though I have it all figured out, or know all the answers, or am the perfect wife, mother, daughter, or sister. But I'm much more self-assured when it comes to the big picture things. I know who I am and what I stand for. I know what matters most to me, and where my priorities lie. I know that when things are dreadful, that there will be a day it turns around and things become quite awesome again.

I also know that in many ways I will never fit in perfectly with the world around me. And I'll never please everybody. But that isn't even the goal, is it? Once I fully realized and accepted that fact, it became much easier to embrace.

The quote on the above photo is something that has been swirling around in my mind since I saw it here. I think a lot about the next ten years of my life, and what I will fill those years with. It can't be just about accomplishments or big purchases or having the perfect number of children or staying in the same size jeans.

Sometimes it's overwhelming to look around and see how there are already so many other people doing big things, doing great things, doing impressive things. Even when it comes to marriage and motherhood, being a Christian, creativity and expression, decorating, personal style, or the ability to wear bright red lipstick on a daily basis.

But I'm starting to look around me and feel less and less of the weight of comparison. Sure, there's someone out there doing something well (possibly better than I am, in many ways). But maybe there is someone looking at me and thinking the same thing I am. Who really knows? In any case, someone else's successful or beautiful life shouldn't be my excuse for not doing something with my own.

This post probably doesn't even clearly express half of what it is that is going on in my head, but I suppose it's just one of those days when it feels good to write. Even if it ends up a bit muddled.

I think that when it comes down to it, I'm just so grateful for where I am. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've received, and the family I've been blessed with, and having enough struggles to not become spoiled—but always more blessings than I deserve.

(I definitely used to roll my eyes a bit at people who talked like that. Interesting how that happens, eh?)

I think that there are a lot of things I dream of doing with my life, and I'll definitely allow myself to work towards them. But I feel like there are many things I always need to remember: It is okay to want to do it all, and only end up doing a little. It's okay to not be everything to everybody. It's okay when the only thing you can do is love someone, not rescue them. It's okay to mess up. It's okay to not be perfect or look perfect—because when I stop to think about it, my favorite people in the world are neither of those things, and it makes me love them even more. It's okay to think about things you've said or done in the past and cringe just a little bit, because it's all a part of the journey, right?

Sometimes I wonder what I'll think about all these things I've written when I look back on them when I'm a decade or two older. I hope I'll feel the same way I do now, when I look back at my journals from my teens and early twenties and I think, Aw, she's sweet. I'd like to be friends with her.

4 comments :

  1. Beautifully written and hooray for reaching another milestone in this life! It's a blessing.

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  2. I think this attitude comes with being 30. It's like a switch flips and your brain goes, "Self, you are this and this, and it's fine. You are not that or that, and THAT is fine!" I've loved shedding the things I thought I should be/do because it has left space for me to be and do what I am and love.

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  3. Great post! Beautifully written! I really enjoyed reading this :)

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  4. I LOVE this post, and the quote you began with. It's so true, and I hope that as my twenties come to a close I feel the same way and develop a quiet sense of self-confidence.
    xx Abby | a geek tragedy

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