Change comes whether you’re ready for it or not.
I feel like life has been repeatedly giving me lessons in change and flexibility. Both recently and just throughout my life in general. For some reason life wants me to get comfortable with the idea that I don’t have ownership or control over everything despite my desire to.
It’s telling me:
“Loss of something old and replacement with something new isn’t bad. It’s a shift – an adjustment. It’s the virtue of flexibility. Bend without breaking. Shift with the tides and quickly regain your footing. Bend like a branch in the middle of a fierce gust of wind. Then stand tall, strong in your roots, once it’s passed.”
I entered my 24th year of life 3 days ago. It’s amazing and strange to say that I’m now 24. (In my heart I’m still a teenager though when I see ACTUAL teenagers I’m quickly reminded that no, indeed I am not that). The notion that years feel shorter and shorter as you age is certainly true. Time just flies with no warning.
I have always loved having an autumn birthday and this year it’s pretty symbolic. Autumn is a time of change and transition. The leaves change to stunning yellows, oranges, reds, and browns and prepare to die away once winter comes. I have never been a fan of change but for 24, I’m finally starting to embrace it and learn the virtues of letting go and letting it flow.
When I think back on the past year – a time that I optimistically referred to as the year of exploration though, when being honest, I really thought of it more as the year of limbo/purgatory as I was often frustrated and battling impatience – it’s amazing to compare where I was this time last year to where I am now.
I have always considered myself an optimistic and hopeful person (I actually just took the 16 personalities test and found out that I’m a Campaigner ENFP if you guys have heard of it. What it claims is true, the personality profile is creepy accurate). Though I have always believed this to be true, I was in a very dark place during the end of 22 and beginning of 23.
I experienced a series of unfortunate events at the time: quitting my unfulfilling NYC job, moving back home to MD, being unemployed, getting in a minor car accident, fighting for the deepest romantic relationship of my life so far – and losing, coming up short on the friend-front of a support system, and generally feeling like my life sucked. I tried my best to stay positive but couldn’t muster the strength to be as bright and happy as I normally would be. I lacked hope and excitement. I was emotionally drained. I was lost and confused and all I could do was pray for clarity and guidance.
I feel like life kicks you when you’re down so that you get to such a hopeless place that you have no choice but to start fighting for yourself and your happiness. Have you seen the scene in Bridesmaids (above) where Annie gets to her lowest point and Megan comes over to snap her out of it? That’s EXACTLY what life does.
We often think that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that we can buy it or earn it by getting praise, envy, or love from other people – but I’ve learned firsthand that it truly does lie in ourselves. Things happen to us but we ultimately choose to pick ourselves up and be happy or stay miserable.
Outer turmoil is a result and reflection of inner turmoil.
Yoga, prayer, meditation, church, and working out saved me along with the emotional support of my family and virtual mentors of numerous inspirational books and podcasts. I learned to start trusting myself this past year – something that I didn’t even realize I wasn’t already doing. I got in touch with my limitations and fears – the subconscious things that were stopping me from achieving what I really wanted.
I revisited dreams that I had previously denied myself. I tried new things that had always interested me. I attended an improv workshop, took an acting class, and went to a hip hop dance class. I went to meet-up events, I got back into writing and re-started this blog, I began working at my old contract job that I had previously enjoyed. I took action instead of just wallowing in despair as my teenage self would have. I didn’t wait around for life to happen to me.
I did things that made me happy, I went to concerts by myself, I visited LA to see the place where I could pursue my screenwriting dreams. I truly regained my hope and excitement for life. I started to see my goals as possible and began seeking out ways to make them a reality.
Gabby Bernstein has this beautiful sentiment about other people’s happiness and the fact that while we can be emotionally supportive, it’s important not to deprive them of their bottom. I can now say that I’m so grateful for experiencing my personal bottom as it has bred so much beautiful positive change in my life as a result.
I used to always fear change. I would cling to the way that things were because I never trusted that life would give me anything better. I would constantly settle for less than the best because I didn’t believe that I deserved more. Only now that I’m entering 24 am I finally welcoming change into my life. I now see all of the beauty in life.
It’s like my eyes have just been opened and I finally believe that I can have good things too.
I deserve good things just like everyone else. I’m not perfect and I’m not supposed to be. I don’t have to wait around until I deserve joy and happiness. I just have to go out and get it. Now that I finally believe this, good things are happening and I’m excited to welcome in this positive change.
I have really loved the power of affirmations this past year and two of my favorite leading up to 24 are:
I trust the process of life to bring me my highest possible good.
Good change is on the way.
I swear they have worked like a charm.
Pretty much every motivational book I’ve picked up has said that the work you do on yourself is the most difficult but most important work you’ll ever do and I have to agree. It is so important and rewarding.
I like what I’m seeing so far and I’m excited to see what else you’ve got for me, 24.
Bring it on.