^ Ignoring grammatical errors, misspellings and missing punctuation marks, someone on the internet nailed it again. I couldn't describe my current situation with any more precision than the above.
Semi-annually, I start to feel uncertain and ungrounded. It's those days leading up to and following a birthday, and those final few days before another year is officially in the books.
What do I have to show for the past 365 days? What am I doing with my life? Why am I still single? Why did I ever move away from the mountains? What am I going to have for dinner?
Oh, 2017. It was nowhere near as bad as the year I got braces, or as exciting as the year I got them off. And it doesn't compare to the year I spent living out in Aspen, but looking back it sure as hell tops the year my parents got divorced (it's only awkward if you make it). It definitely wasn't the best, most exciting, or wild and crazy year of my life, but it also wasn't the absolute fucking worst - which I can really, truly appreciate.
Originally I let myself slip into a place where I used previous years and other people's lives as a way to measure how "successful" my year was or wasn't, and I came up short. The comparison game is the pits, man. The pits!
Here's my original list:
I didn't get engaged (sorry Mom and Dad, you're going to be waiting awhile for that one) as that requires being in a relationship in the first place. I also did not purchase a house. I didn't move across the country. I didn't travel around the world. I didn't make any major career changes. I did not lose the 10 pounds I've been planning on for quite some time now. I didn't volunteer.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I mean, come on now. Could that list be any more fucking depressing? Clearly, it's a list of things that I didn't do. Most of these things aren't even what I want for myself at this point in my life or ever.
During the years after graduating college, I went through one big life-changing event after the other. Like really, I couldn't keep up with myself most of the time. But this year, in terms of big, monumental shifts, there weren't many. And so that's when the comparison kicked in and I started to look through the lens of less than and not enough, rather than being grateful or allowing myself to be content with what I chose for myself this year.
After I came to that realization, I turned the page and started a new list. It looked a went like this:
Although I did manage to kill all of my house plants (they're succulents...I'll let that one sink in for a moment...), my dog is still alive, so I'll still consider that a W. I had so much fun, seriously so much, teaching yoga. I traveled out west a handful of times. I assisted my mentor at a Wanderlust Yoga Festival. I started to build and grow my photography business. I played with my adorable, smart, spunky little nephew a whole lot and celebrated his second birthday. I spent time with family. I met people who forever changed my life and the way I see the world. I took on a dream (part-time) role with the badass brand Folk Rebellion. I was happy.
Okay, so, it really was an incredible year. I can see that now.
I am constantly having to remind myself that it's not only the big, holy-shit moments that make up a happy life. No. Most of what makes up a life well-lived are all the small, seemingly simple moments and every day pleasures. Dinner with the family. Snail mail from friends across the country. Getting to know someone. Like really, really getting to know them. Random acts of kindness from someone unexpected. Hitting the jackpot on Bejeweled Blitz and winning a million coins. (That actually happened and I was ecstatic.)
It's all about the attitude of gratitude, baby. That and calling myself out when I'm using comparison as a way to measure my worth and my accomplishments. F that.
With all that said, cheers to yet another year in the books.
2018, let's do the damn thang.