Monday, March 23, 2015
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!