My friend Jen posted a beautiful reply to the Facebook status game that’s floating around where your friend gives you an age and you write about where you were then, and follow up with where you are now. I asked to play and she gave me the number 26. I didn’t realize how much thought and reflection it would take to summarize these two concepts. And so..here I was/am:
At 26, I was just a year into my new job, almost 2 years into my relationship with Colin and just moved to Dallas. I was at that interesting transition period where all your friends from your first stage of life past college have gotten married and/or moved away. In my 1 br apartment in Oak Cliff, I remember being lonely for good girl friends as I had yet to make many. And so to fill the space I poured myself out into exploring my new city, meeting new people, trying new restaurants. I shuttled my overnight bag back and forth between my place & Colin’s in Fort Worth and we took turns hosting the launch spot for evening adventures to drink too much and dance til dawn. Friendships were formed on dark dance floors and late night meals where we talked of nothing and the possibility of everything. I was in love and building my career and living very much in the moment. I divorced my past and thought nothing of the future. Now was everything and I breathed it in. I was drunk on the possibility of my youth. I was invincible.
Today, 6 years later, I see how some things have not changed. I’m still in a flurry of activity at most times, I still love dancing til dawn if maybe not every weekend, my foodie experiences have grown more sophisticated and varied.
But what has changed is a shifting of focus from just being in the moment to picking the moments that are most meaningful and giving them everything. I have learned what it takes to have long lasting friendships that weather violent storms. I have learned the relief of forgiveness, the value of kindness over rightness. I am still learning to listen better.
It is a constant battle between my arrogant self-determination to make my life what I want….and the humbled realization that I must gracefully and graciously let go of my own designs in order to let life unfold with all its unexpected surprises. I am learning every day and will strive to continue learning with an open heart.
Today I am nearing 9 years with Colin and how truly lucky I feel to be with him. He has grown from being my fun-loving partner in crime to being my rock, my safe place to put it all down when I (finally) grow weary of holding it all up. He makes it safe for me to be my imperfect self when I am often my own toughest critic. His love makes me bigger than I am.
Today, I am so thankful for all the wonderful people with whom I’ve crossed paths. You’ve each touched me or built me up in some way. I am continually amazed by how many good people there really are in this world. The love you have shown me has kept my heart wide open. This is a blessing I do not underestimate.
Today, I am grounded in a way I was not at 26. I am building a home (physically & emotionally) that I want to make a safe haven for anyone coming my way. It is the joy of knowing you can provide a soft place to land, some healing time, and some soul food for a friend when they are in need, so they might be able to find their own joy. I have been blessed to do this over and over again and grateful for the trust I have been given.
Today, I appreciate being present to the beauty in each moment, respecting, but being free from, the past, and leaving myself open for all possibility in the future.
I am optimistic, I am powerful, I am grateful, I am learning.