It’s amazing what happens when you accept change.
In 2010, I decided to cut my straight, shoulder length hair all off. Friends and family were both surprised and shocked. I’ve grown it out since my initial “big chop” but I essentially wear it in the same curly fro all the time. So when I recently decided to straighten it because it badly needed a trim, I received praise for the new look. My change in appearance feels almost like the last bastion of change for what last year meant.
Because my 2014 was a pretty remarkable year.
I embarked on a writing journey filled with fear, doubt, hope and determination. I’ve always been a writer and I’ve always kept a journal, but I never wanted anyone to see what I wrote about. I was too scared for anyone to know that place where the confidence facade fades and where my true self lives. That place where I sometimes wish I was a teenager then realize the awful time I had in high school. That place where people now look to me for advice and I feel like i’m not good enough or smart enough for whatever they are looking for. That place where I look in the mirror and can feel pretty and unpretty in the same breath. I often hide behind those thoughts because I often care more about what other people will think of me versus what I truly want to say.
So in 2014 I decided to let my thoughts live in print. I’m a very private person. I like people, I like being around people, I even like meeting new people, but I usually don’t tell my life story to everyone I know or meet. In fact, it might take a probe or two or three to get me to even open up. So for me to talk about feelings and thoughts and all the mushy stuff I would expect to talk about with a therapist? Kill me now.
I’m glad I did though.
Because it made me look at a lot of things in my life that needed to change. It made me open up about those thoughts that hide in the back of my mind. It made me live in a way that I haven’t in a long time. Did I make mistakes? Of course. I’ll continue to do so. I ruffled a lot of feathers in the process as well. But I began to look at myself as a person who had a voice that other people wanted to hear. All because I opened up about life.
It also smoothed a lot of bumps in my life.
If my life journey could have been displayed in a chart, it was definitely on a downturn last year. People talk about having work life balance. Mine was completely out of whack. I felt like I had no time all of the time. It wasn’t true, but whenever I feel like my life is in constant motion I stress. Last year was a year of constant motion. The stress was high and the ball was moving too fast for me. I honestly don’t even know how I kept this blog going.
I was also scared of change.
Some of my greatest life events happened because I decided to step out of myself and take a chance. So I’ve been perplexed at my general reluctance to dramatically change my life in these recent years. I’ve often wondered why I felt like I needed extreme stability. I have taken risks in the past knowing that they produce the greatest rewards, so why was I unwilling to take risks now? Were my motherly instincts craving stability? Did I need to feel like things needed to stay the same in order to feel like my life made sense amidst the chaos? Whatever the reason, I learned that the only thing that is constant is change and I need to accept and embrace it.
Now that things have settled down in my personal and professional life, I can’t wait for what’s in store for 2015. It’s just begun and already I feel like this year is on an upturn. I’ve removed a lot of the stressors and I feel free. So here’s to a new year filled with constant change.