Happy 26th Birthday to me! Ahh getting older is so weird, don’t you agree? I am so thankful for another year of life! Another year of growth and to be honest I feel like I have never grown more than while being 25. This past year has been one for the books for me. Since my birthday is close to the end of the year, I love that I get to reflect on the calendar year as well as on the past year of life.
We traveled to Europe in May and that was such a bucket list moment for both Raymond and I. I have made really close friends this year and feel that I have gotten so much closer to my old ones. Raymond and I took a 16 week intense marriage course during the summer that took our relationship to the next level. I feel like we’ve never been closer or more understood than after taking that class.
The number one goal I had for myself this past year was fitness related. I wanted to get fit and I am still getting there but have advanced so much. I ran my first half marathon this year and it only motivated me to keep going. I feel proud of the highlights of this past year and believe it or not I also feel proud of the failures. Trust me when I tell you, there have been some failures where I’ve had to learn lessons the hard way. In the past, those failures would have felt like a total defeat, but today I can say that they have only fired me up! I have matured so much in the sense that the things that I used to see as failures or setbacks have become launching pads for my future. Here are the top 5 lessons I have learned this past year.
1. Instant gratification vs long term joy – This one feels like I should have learned it a long time ago, but nope. I guess I didn’t really really understand it and how it actually affects everything in life. One decision leads to another and another and another and before you know it you’re off course. I’ve learned that every decision you make today affects tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how big or small. I’ve learned that instant gratification is not a shortcut but actually the long way to get somewhere.
2. If I work really hard, I can do anything – This one works…sometimes. I have proven that if I work really hard at the gym and train my body to endure long runs, eventually I will be able to run a half marathon. With other things that I have been working hard on, I have not been able to accomplish just yet. Honestly, I actually like working hard. I’m the type or person that is internally motivated and always has to have a goal, something to strive for or else I feel like I’m just wandering around. No one wants to work hard and get nowhere, I get that so I am definitely learning to work smarter not harder.
3. I never give myself enough credit – My personality is the definition of the first child and oldest sibling. I am the perfect example of it. I am pragmatic, dominant, self-disciplined, confident, and not very compassionate or understanding. I always have somewhere I am going and if anything or anyone gets in my way I will move it. These are my greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses. My downfalls yet my victories. I think that my friends would tell you that I am compassionate and that I am understanding and that is because I have adopted those traits. They did not come naturally lol. I have become incredibly self aware about these traits. I always try to play them down a bit because of how strong they can come across. I always think, “I did so good, but man I could have done better”. Basically nothing is ever good enough because I think “good” sucks. I am learning to give myself credit where credit is due and leave it at that.
4. Food is first for nourishment and then for enjoyment – Gosh this one was a hard one! If you know me you know I love food so much. Every type of food is my favorite. While training for my half marathon I learned that food is first to nourish my body. I want to nourish my body so that it can produce good results. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that food should be good but I don’t think that just because something is good it is also beneficial. Hang in there with me since I’m still processing this one.
5. Running your own race is better than trying to keep up with other runners – This could not have become more real in my life this past year. I have worked so hard this year, sometimes giving myself grace and sometimes beating myself up. I have finally, and I thank God for showing me this, understood that running my own race (living my own life) is so much better han keeping up with other runners (other people). It has brought me so much freedom! I think that I am at a place where I am confident in who the Lord has called me to be. He showed me this through a show on Netflix about bugs. Yes, bugs. Every bug, no matter how big or small, pretty or ugly, has its own purpose. Not all are visible characteristics but nonetheless they are there and without them something or some other animal would not be able to function in it’s purpose fully without them. That’s how we are.
I am so excited for what this next year has in store. We have some big travel plans, and I have some personal goals that I am too shy to share just yet but its going to be good. Its comforting to know that this year I have made huge strides in personal development and I truly believe that the best is yet to come and I am only getting better.
Thank you for following along this past year! It means a lot to me to count you as friends. Thank you for all of the support, encouragement and inspiration you have given me. I hope that I may return it.