Monday night was perfect. I've been giving myself Monday nights off for the last few weeks to workout, catch up on chores, read, and get some sleep after busy weekends. It's been amazing and this week was no exception. That carved out time has been really refreshing. Know that I don't think that 'down time' should be every night of anyone's week. I think it's important to spend time with your friends, take care of yourself, work hard, have hobbies and interests, volunteer, etc. Time is far to valuable to waste. But I do see benefit in the occasional time at home, alone even.
Tuesday morning rolled around and I was feeling refreshed and inspired after spending 2 hours of Monday night reading in bed and waking up early to spend time in the word. This is the first week I've made my wake up time even earlier because I had started to enjoy my quiet times so much, I was looking a hot mess for work. It was time to start having enough for both my reading AND wearing some makeup and doing my hair for my workday.
I was having an early morning chit chat with one of my besties as I got ready for work (maybe this is part of why I run out of time to get ready?) and we were talking about how this year is turning out. As I texted back, 'But this isn't how I pictured it' I stopped and thought about that. 2012 has been a year of experiences, adventures, learning, growing, stretching, and I admit that recently feeling a bit like a failure in a few aspects of life. It's been overwhelmingly good but as always with a pinch of challenges and trials always in the mix.
So maybe it's weird to say this but it's true, this year isn't how I pictured it. I'm healthier. I'm happier. I'm more motivated. I'm finally dreaming again. Somewhere along the way in my four years of being in the 'real world' I felt like I'd lost my nerve to dream big. Maybe it was the weight of responsibility or maybe I just got such a big dose of reality my first few years after school...but I'm finally back to having dreams and it feels good.
This year isn't how I pictured it, it's better. I thought I'd take this year off of dating, after being in a serious relationship that didn't work out last year I thought 'why not take a break' but potentially what they say about finding people when you're not looking is true. I will confess, I'm not on a dating break this year but I'm also not ready to commit to a serious relationship, yet. I thought that as I grew to love my life more and worked on myself I would be less drawn to dating but that hasn't been totally true. I may actually be reaching a point in my life where I see great value in having someone to share your life with.
I've never felt more comfortable in my own skin. I love life more than I ever have. I'm more grateful than ever to have a 'home' after a childhood spent packing and unpacking - the consistency has been a blessing. I'm actually enjoying each year that I get older, as I watch the people in my age range struggle with it, I feel grateful that I'm farther along than I dreamed of being at 26.
In realizing that I am more afraid of regretting not living than in taking chances that don't work out, I find that I am traveling more, loving harder, and reaping the benefits. I have simplified my 'stuff' and increased my experiences. More than ever I appreciate the value in spending (or not spending) my money wisely so I can spend my time the way I want.
Whether or not we tell others or write it down, we all had a picture of what our lives would look like. My 20s aren't how I pictured them but I'm grateful that they're so much bigger and better than I imagined. Many of you have been a huge part of this year and how well the first half of it has gone. I'm thankful for that. For each of the amazing people in my life and for what I learned from those that had to be left behind. This year isn't how I pictured it...it's better!