Looking back, I remember being a child who lived life as though it were a story. I remember writing the pages in my thoughts, exploring each new adventure internally, while maneuvering the typical day-to-day mundane tasks on the outside. My soul longed for depth, emotion and a creative narrative. A few months back, as Nick and I were cleaning out our garage, I explored my highschool and college art pieces and journals, and I noticed a theme – I was searching for me. And as I come to the end of my thirty-third year of life, I can say that I’m officially finding her. Me, a creative storyteller and dreamer who longs for the pages of her story, her truth, to come alive to be felt and explored.
As I closed the year of 2020, I knew a change needed to happen. The vision became so clear on an anniversary trip to Arizona. “I’ve never felt more like myself than I did on that trip,” I told my husband. During our explorations, I gained a new outlook of myself. It was there that I truly saw my own strength as though I was looking from the outside in. There’s nothing more exhilarating than climbing a mountain. My heart pounded as each finger grabbed hold of the next rock above me. My mind kept telling me to quit but my heart kept me in the venture. As I pulled my body over the top of the cliff soaring 2,700 feet above the ground, I looked over the city and felt more alive than ever. That feeling, that rush, that confidence – I longed for more.
For so long, I lived a narrative that wasn’t my own. A true people pleaser, if you will. Somewhere within my story I lost my self-confidence, and I was on the hunt to build that again. While confidence became my word of the year for 2021, looking back, it was the undoing that brought me to where I am today. The search for confidence led me on a journey to dig deep into the inner work that could only prevail by the undoing of borrowed beliefs, fears and all the “should’s” we place upon one another.
2021: The Undoing
2021 became the year of stepping out of my comfort zone by saying ‘no’ to the way I’ve always been told I should live and ‘yes’ to a new way of living. I took risks that still make me queasy just thinking of all the unknowns, and I challenged myself to keep the full picture in mind to navigate my next steps. Between books and podcasts, wellness and friendships, I learned who I desire to be is who I already am, the girl that once wrote her story within her imagination who is now a woman and ready to live it.
That’s the thing, in today’s world, we’re told to always look at ourselves as not quite finished, not yet accomplished, and ‘there’ is always better than ‘here.’ I bought into that same lie until I heard a podcast interview about the “Be, Do, Have Model,” and began my journey of shedding old beliefs in order to live fully and happily in the now and regain the confidence I was originally searching for.
For so long, I believed the lie, “If I have XYZ, I’ll be who I long to be and do the things that bring me joy.” But 2021 taught me that I needed to be my truest self and do the very things I love the most in order to have it all. 2021 became the year of the mindset that set me up for the pursuit of 2022, the year that I shout, “Here we go!”
2022: Here We Go
“Feel the blood
Rushing through my veins
Got some brand new wings
No, we won’t go back.
What does it take to make our dreams collide?
The smallest change can make you feel alive.
What does it take to feel this alive?
Everyday we’re gonna try.”
I’m a dreamer and storyteller at heart. I have visualized different scenarios of how my life is going to turn out and through that dreaming, I’ve realized it’s time to start doing. Do the living. Live NOW. Not tomorrow, not 40 years from now, not when my children are grown and out of the house. Now. Recently I heard a quote that said, “There are no right or wrong decisions, you just have to make the decision you choose right.”
So what does it take to make my dreams collide? What do I need to let go of this year to create space for living – to feel alive? To feel the blood rushing through my veins again? Those very things are exactly what I’m going to do this year. It’ll be the year of decluttering, reading, creating, downsizing, taking more risks, and acting on the dreams I’ve had for so long. It’ll be the year I place nutrition, wellness and mental health at the top of my priority list and remove the overcrowded calendar, materialism and self-doubt. It’ll be the year I let go of the expectations I place on myself and others. It’ll be the year that I go, do and live the best version of myself.
It’ll be the year…. Here we go.
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