What’s Your Vision?

What’s your vision for 2015 and beyond? A friend of mine purchased a book for another friend, entitled, “One Word That Will Change Your Life”, and, while I haven’t read it (I plan to!), the idea is a novel one. What better way to keep yourself and your goals in sight than to give yourself a theme for your year, and every year going forward? I know that for me personally, my last year was one wrought with many changes. It was a year of heartbreak, shattered dreams, and destroyed goals. But it was also one of self-actualization, acceptance, and perseverance. If I could sum up the last year in one word, it would have to be transition.

Pile of Junk

It’s New Year’s Eve, so of course, many people have created a laundry list of resolutions. For some, that may work, but for me, I’d probably lose the list by the second week of the year! I eliminated my desire to create resolutions long ago and instead resolved to be a better me every day of my life. Sometimes, I move two steps forward, and other times, I take six steps back. However, as long as that backward movement taught me something valuable for my growth, then the regression was inherently worth it.

Sterile Room

For the coming year, I’ve been trying to come up with my one word. I know that I’ll be focused on exploring all of the elements that make me so unique, becoming even more comfortable in my skin, embracing my talents and quirks alike. I want my days to be purposeful, meaningful, and filled with growth and love. For too long, I have allowed my spirit to be stifled. I’ve cared too much in the past about following some generic blueprint for life, being flexible to those who don’t deserve such accommodations. This year will be about me breaking through my oft self-inflicted barriers, about me becoming more organic and authentic, being more free. Hence, my focus for the year will be spent freeing myself of any thing that constrained me in the past. My word for 2015 will be freedom.


Freedom

Back Scrubs and Doggie Bags

Yeah, yeah, another post about being single. But this is a serious one. Soooo serious. You never realize how many things you take for granted when you’re a part of a couple, especially when it’s all you’ve known for ten or more years. Obviously, when you get that far, you just assume that it’s going to be that way forever. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way, and you end up dealing with some big adjustments when you transition to single life. For me, there are five pressing things that I’m just now understanding are super serious – that make my ousting from coupledom that much more evident.

1. There’s no one to wash my back in the shower. 

Have you ever realized, like, really realized, the necessity of having someone wash your back in a shared shower? The joy of not having to be extremely and unnaturally flexible, a contortionist of sorts, just to have a nice, clean back? Imagine my sadness, my utter despair, when, after months of near-death experiences and injuries in the shower, I discovered that they actually sell things to help you with that. You know, those long-handled brush thingamajigs, back scrubbers, I think they’re called? I’m convinced they were invented by a single person who was just over the stretching and sliding to get to that one spot in the middle of their back. Sad. Very, very sad.

Back Scrubber

2. You can’t race yourself to the bed so you don’t have to turn out the lights. 

What a friggin pain in the ass this was before I bought my home a few months ago. Back during the “Relationship Age”, I tried to always be the first one in the bed (so yes, former SO, I was taking that game seriously, and really did NOT want to turn off the lights), nice and comfy, so I wouldn’t have to get up, half-asleep, and flick the switch. Sure, that seems small, but it is oh so important when you find that snuggly spot in the bed, and you don’t want to get up again. My new place has a remote control for my bedroom lights (Bougie? Maybe. But an ingenious invention, really). Also, that praying mantis has nothing to do with this section at all. But I was desperate to use him. 

Praying Mantis

3. Who will eat all of my restaurant doggie-bag leftovers? 

I typically eat small portions of food (this is mostly due to the fact that I just want to get to the dessert, and like a good girl, I have to eat some of my dinner first to look as if I’m following the rules). Because of me eating two bites and feigning fullness, I just about always have something to bring home with me at the end of dinner. This wouldn’t be so bad if I actually ate the leftovers, but no. Like the wasteful American I am, I almost always forget that it’s even in the fridge, and by the time I remember, it’s too late. That cedar-plank salmon looks more like some sort of algae concoction. The irony of all of this? I despise wasting food, so I also give myself a guilt trip for a few days after the offense. Do you see the dilemma here??

Doggie

4. There’s no one to ditch parties and events with. 

You get invited somewhere, the day comes, and you’re kind of like, meh. And when you’re in a couple, that “meh” feeling is okay, because guess what? They’re going to agree with you! And if your former SO was a man, that statement becomes even more true! Especially when it comes to those situations where you feel it necessary to show up as a couple. But now? I get invited to places and events, and if I don’t feel like going, I stay home. Alone. And there’s no one to make me feel okay with the fact that I just ditched someone’s kids bar mitzvah/holiday party/movie night/whatever whatever or something. I am alone in my shame and guilt (okay, there probably isn’t much shame or guilt. I was tired. Get off my back!).

Loner

5. Running out of toilet paper is now just your fault. 

Before, you could get upset, cast the blame on your innocent SO, but now? You have no one to blame but yourself. It was your responsibility. You knew you used the last of it the night before, so don’t act so surprised when you wake up the next morning to the little unusable bit that’s stuck to the paper roll. You kept reminding yourself that you needed to get more, and you didn’t. This is YOUR FAILURE. In the grand scheme of things, it seems miniscule, but at 3:30 in the morning? It’s crucial.

Toilet Paper

All this to say, every event in your life brings you the chance to learn new things about yourself, good or bad. I’ve learned that, especially after listing out these five things, I’m apparently wasteful, lazy, forgetful, and a hermit. But on the bright side, I’ve learned resourcefulness. It’s that much more important to stock up on toilet paper before you need it.

 

Turn Pipe Dreams Into Reality

Every once in a while, we find ourselves lost, confused…feeling out of place. We look in the mirror, and all we feel is disdain and displeasure with the image reflected back at us. We feel insecure, unloved, depressed – every negative emotion and feeling available. And some days, it’s seemingly impossible. We’ll never find true love (for the first time or again), we won’t get that promotion, our dreams won’t ever come to fruition – or so it all seems. In short, we feel trapped and despondent, slaves to stagnancy.

Bunny Suit

It’s so easy to stay stuck in that place, believing that happiness and joy is just a pipe dream being sold by some shady dealer. Those feelings of despair lead to quiet discontent and complacency, making us almost immobile to change and progress. The key to moving past this is understanding that nothing is permanent, and realizing that the only thing keeping your situation the same is you.

Hockey Players

Have you ever gone into a restaurant, retail store, government agency – anywhere – and, instead of receiving a smile and good service, you were met with a negative attitude and annoyance? And, if you’re like me, the first thing you thought was, “Well, if you don’t like your job, why don’t you find a new one!”. Like, how could anyone be THAT unhappy, yet still hold on to something they hate? When you give in to the negative side of being at a standstill, you might as well be that disgruntled employee.

Pug

I know it’s not easy to just magically change a situation, and this is definitely not a “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” soliloquy. And maybe you can’t change your current situation immediately, or even the next week. However, what you can control is how you view it and handle it. You can give in to the “woe is me” mentality, or, you can start making a concerted effort to focus on the positive, and making those plans to propel yourself forward. Maybe that means loving yourself more; maybe it means getting more education, or putting yourself in a place outside of your comfort zone. Whatever it is though, you need to start it now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not for the new year, but NOW. Everyone deserves joy and purpose – start claiming yours.

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