This is my final carpe diem post of the year, and I’m writing it with a little less enthusiasm than what this series started out with. The last part of 2015 was full of stress and unpleasant situations. I learned a lot of new lessons, though, albeit tough ones. When I haven’t been consumed with putting out fires and treading water, I’ve been maneuvering through the ruts of life. The mundane routine that comes from working a 9-5 day in and day out, and living in a city where your spare time is dictated by traffic flow and rush hour. I haven’t gone cliff jumping, or surfing, or shooting with fellow IGers lately. I haven’t even seen any sunsets over the ocean as of late.
Someone asked me what I would do differently about my move out west and I had to answer honestly. If I had asked for advice, listened to my intuition and avoided certain circumstances, I would have certainly avoided some rough, expensive lessons. These weren’t even lessons I thought I needed to learn. For as much turmoil as these situations have brought to my life, the lessons haven’t been relative. But, I guess they were important. I learned that not only is it okay to put myself first, but that I need to put myself first. I’d been working on this lesson for quite awhile. It’s why I moved out here in the first place – to make myself happy before anyone else. I’ve finally learned that no matter what, at the end of the day, I’m all I’ve got. Yes, I have a wonderful support system, but it’s up to me to ask for help, and it’s up to me to make any final decisions that affect my life. I now understand that it’s me against the world. Don’t assume people are nice, that they’ll look out for you, that they’ll treat you the way you would treat them. Don’t trust your well being in the hands of someone else. Essentially, watch your back.
The main thing I wish I could do differently is just adjust my expectations. I’ve learned that most of what weighs us down, what adds disappointment to our world, is the idea of how it’s supposed to be, how it’s going to turn out. I had visions that everything would just fall into place like it always has. I had visions that this life would be full of adventure and feeling more how I want to feel. I did not anticipate the struggle or the loneliness. I didn’t think the highs would be so short lived. I didn’t think the adjustment would take so long. I didn’t think the weight put on me by others would be so heavy. Those things are all a bit unpleasant to experience in general. But, at least if I hadn’t been prepared for something much better, I could just deal with it all. Instead, I have to first overcome my disappointment and discouragement.
I hate that this final post of the new year is so negative in tone. It really isn’t me. I’m happy, optimistic, inspired, hopeful and tenacious by nature. But I need to be honest about what my life has felt like as of late. And, there’s a positive spin, I promise. I thought each “carpe diem” post would be so exemplary of my wild and free spirit. But somewhere there was a shift. And just because it isn’t what I expected, it is something new, and it’s something important. These new tides of my life are awakening me to my brave, warrior soul. Who knew? Didn’t think that was a thing I needed to realize. But if I hadn’t moved out here, if I hadn’t made poor decisions about where to live, I never would have realized the strength of my spirit. I wanted to grow emotionally, I wanted to sit in the discomfort and let it mold and shape me into a deeper person. I wanted to do the work. And the universe definitely delivered, as she always does. I am clinging to the hopeful knowledge that these growing pains will be rewarded.
I’m grateful for the personal development work I’ve done over the past 2 years. It has surely helped me navigate this past year with a certain grace and dedication I would never have come close to before. I’m also grateful for the fact that my development is constant and ever flowing. I trust that every adversity will give me the opportunity to hone my understanding of the process. There’s something to be said about the lessons learned by sitting in the discomfort, accepting the struggle, facing the fear, and conquering a challenge. But there’s a fine line. I can’t let it turn me into a victim, or become disheartened, or bitter. I don’t want to be stagnant and defeated. There comes a time when you outgrow the situation. You become so uncomfortable that you have to make a move. That’s where I’m setting my expectations for 2016. To use the highs and lows of 2015 as motivation and inspiration to make positive changes where I can and, where I can’t, to just keep moving forward.