Monday, March 23, 2015

The Becoming

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I had a laugh with a girlfriend the other day because we both feel like we're going through some interesting shifts in our lives. For me, I've been enjoying the outdoors more and more. If you take me out of the equation and substitute in a middle-aged man, it would absolutely appear to be a mid-life crisis. Patagonia hat, adventure photos...who is this person?! We laughed at ourselves over a glass (or two) of wine and talked a lot about how we change as we age. Best case, you get better. In the worst case, you don't. Simple, right? But really, I am grateful to have so many years of self-reflection under my belt (thank you, blog), because it has allowed me to really see myself. And it's funny, when I thought I saw myself before I really didn't; I kind of just saw what I wanted people to see, as if that was who I was, or who I wanted to be at least. Then I started to believe that that person was me. Does that make sense? But as I get older I just want to be who I am. The bare bones, the real stuff. I want to put that out there, instead of what I think people will like, in every sense of that statement.

I think one of the most interesting things about getting older is becoming who you will be as the world spins on and you change and things change and every little thing changes. I thought I knew exactly who I was, but I still don't really know, at all. Getting closer, sure, but find me again when I'm 40 and I will probably poke fun at this naive 32-year old who thinks she's even scratched the surface. Then find me again at 65 and I'm sure I'll laugh at everyone I've been since then.

So who am I? Who are you?

I think about when I am the happiest and it's when I'm surrounded by those who really see me, and who allow me to see them. I want authentic relationships. I want to be able have real, true, deep conversations with the people I love, and see them, really see them- and allow them to see me too. I don't want surface. I want depth and emotion and to share beautiful experiences. This past year I took a look around and saw that I was holding onto people that didn't add to my life. They didn't make me feel good. So I let go.

I want to spend my time outside, exploring the world as much as possible with my family. Hank and I started hiking at least once a week a little over a year ago and as time has progressed we spend most of our days outside in some way. I can't get enough and as the year has gone on we've become so interested in the outdoors that we plan our weekends around hikes and adventures- this is how we want to live our life and raise our children.

Work is important to me. After having Henry I said (to anyone who would listen, really) that I never wanted to work again, if that was possible. Many months went by, a year, then two, we had another baby...and I realized that as satisfied as I am with being a mother and staying home with my babies, I also have another side to me that fills up with happiness when I am working. So I explored that. I love teaching but I didn't want to be away from the boys, so I was lucky enough to find a job that allows me to do both- to stay home with my children but also be a working mama with occasional travel. This has been the magic combination for me. I've never been busier, but I've also never felt more fulfilled. There's still tweaking to be done as I continue to figure out the work-from-home and life balance- but I'm getting there. It's interesting to be in Mommy mode all week than suddenly be in a meeting in the office in work mode. I know many mothers do this everyday, but after not being a part of the working world for a chunk of time, it's been a shift. A fun shift, but a huge change nonetheless.

It's a beautiful thing to be able to change. It's an even more beautiful thing to allow that change to happen, and to allow others to change. Hank and I often have conversations about how crazy it is to be with the same person for over a decade- we're so different than the people we were when we met, but at the same time we're still those same kids, young and in love. Life is wild- we're all becoming who we will be, and one of the coolest things about being a human being is that we can choose who and what we surround ourselves with, as we hopefully shift into a higher consciousness year after year.

I tell Henry everyday- "do all things with kindness," and I tell myself the same. Be kind to others, be kind to myself, be kind to this process. We're all becoming who we will be, we're all on this path that hopefully leads up, up, up and gets better and better and better the older we get. I turn 33 in two months and I am looking forward to another year on this path. I look forward to turning around and seeing where I've come from and looking ahead at where I'll be.

There's no way to say this without soundly incredibly cheesy, but I say this wholeheartedly- here's to our best selves. I love you!

19 comments:

  1. Love this <3 After just having our second baby, it's hard to imagine a day when I'll get any time to "myself". They days just seem to fly by and I just want to stop and enjoy life but after a whole day of picking up the house and preparing for the week, it's suddenly time for bed and a new week has started. This is on my AZ bucket list so I hope you do a post as to where you stayed and all the details!

    xo Erica

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    1. Oh goodness, I sooo feel this. Right there with you mama. I recently starting finding the time for more me stuff and it's been great...but it's so hard to FIND the time!

      And yes, I will absolutely do a post soon! :) Thank you for commenting!

      xoxo
      Dani

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  2. I too currently think I'd like to not HAVE to go back to work when I start a family, I think it's a big choice and lifestyle decision women face when leaving the workplace. Nice to hear your honesty about actually finding out that work was a part of you, and so wonderful you got to have both and it worked out. I wish I was an outdoors person... but hey... many more years to grow into my Adventurer Self hey ;)

    Megan || www.ohheyblog.com

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    1. Hi Megan!

      Thanks for stopping by! :) About the outdoors thing- girl, it took me like 31 years to get here! haha. So you have some time!

      I hope you have the best day!
      xo
      Dani

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  3. Fantastic post! Isn't getting older glorious?! I couldn't agree more! :)

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    1. My old friend! Thank you so much. It's such a surprise to see a comment from you and it's made my day. Thanks for reading. Love to you!

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    2. I love reading your blog! Love to you as well friend!

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  4. Such a wonderfully well-written post. I totally agree with you. Looking back I'm so different from the person I was 10 years ago, but deep down still the very same kid.

    Rita
    http://heyrita.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Rita! Sending you a big ole internet hug! xoxo

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  5. This is such a beautiful, thoughtful and heartfelt post! Thank you so much for sharing and being such an inspiration!!

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    1. Oh gosh Amanda thank YOU! Your words have totally made me smile. Thank you so much. :)

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  6. This is a beautiful post - i love your writing and I gotta say, lately I have been feeling a lot of the same things you addressed in this and it feels so  much better to feel like I am coming into my own slowly. Although, I must say i feel a little envious when it comes to the meaningful relationships/deep conversations aspect of it all,for the past few years I have been in a transitional state of friend fading and making new ones. I find it so hard these days to come by good people and real/deep conversation. So many people are caught up in the busy-ness of their own lives and showing off the "surface"; the side they want to be to everyone else, and the only person I find myself really connecting with is my partner. Which I am so grateful for, however I find myself longing for that feeling of real friendship and that familiarity of a friend that you can be comfortable and real with, that seems to be the hardest thing to find as an adult. It is so great to hear that you have been able to find those things over the years and reading posts like these gives me hope, so thank you. :)

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    1. Hey Jessica!

      Thanks so much for reading and for leaving such a thoughtful comment. You know, I totally relate to what you are saying too. Even though I have had the same group of girlfriends for some time, we all went through a phase doing exactly what you speak on up there- getting caught up, not getting too deep, etc. It's been in the past few years that all of us have made a huge effort to be present and really get to that next level, and it's been amazing getting to know all of my closest friends even better. For years we lived together, were together everyday, but then as life gets crazy you fall out of touch- adult life takes over and luckily we were able to steer back to making deep connections again. Anyway, point being, you'll find it, I'm sure. Even from your comment I can tell you would be such a joy to sit and hang with over a cup of tea, and just talk. I know you will be find your people- just keep being you. On a side but related note, yay for partners we truly connect with. You/we are so lucky. Tons of love, lady.

      xo
      Dani

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  7. This is an incredible post and so beautiful. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom here. I think kindness goes a long way and can be surprisingly hard at times... Having this little mantra will definitely keep it in the forefront.

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    1. Hey Kimiko!

      Thank you for leaving this comment- I love that we are on the same page.

      All my love,
      Dani

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  8. I too have noticed a shift in myself. An evening out of who I am slowly becoming and I like it. I have changed so much but it has all been for the good. I agree so much with this post. Thanks for sharing!

    Also, I wish I didn't live in Florida so I too could go outside more and explore. The heat can be so oppressive and I hate it. :(

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    1. I love this- "An evening out of who I am slowly becoming and I like it."

      Here's to getting older and wiser!
      Huge hugs, girlfriend!

      xoxo

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  9. This was beautiful! I love reading your posts like this where you're reflecting on your life. It inspires me to do the same with mine.

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    1. Oh Erica thank you so much! And what an honor to know that I could help to inspire you in any way. Thanks for sharing that with me! :)

      xo
      Dani

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