Twenty Six

Life has been more than a little busy lately. I’ve been too busy living & not busy enough blogging. So what have I been up to?
Well, last month I celebrated my 26th birthday. As I was reminiscing over the last year of my life, I began to realize at what a different place I’m at, coming into 26 than I was coming into 25.
 For some reason, I thought at 25 I thought that I should have it all together. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I had reached that monumental “quarter of a century” age & felt the pressure to have life figured out. Needless to say, I was at a loss. And that loss prompted me to to do some digging. A lot of digging actually.

(Celebrating my birthday w/friends.)

A sweet friend of mine from college (and now Junior League) had told me about her therapist. He was blunt, in your face & to the point. He had helped her work through a tough situation that she was going through at the time. So I decided to give him a try.
And he freaked me out. He pissed me off. He made me cry (and admit that I don’t like to cry in public -weird?). And he helped me get past family hurdles that I had never dug up & examined in my entire life. Lots of old, old stuff was turned up in our sessions & some new stuff too.
For the first time in my 25 years, I was able to forgive & accept certain people who hurt me in the past. I was even able to accept myself.
Instead of having everything perfectly together the moment I turned 25, I began tearing everything down. And that’s truly the best birthday present I could have given myself.
I am so thankful for every challenge I’ve faced & overcome, which have lead me to where I am at 26:
1. I’m more comfortable in my own skin.
Listen, I’ve never been a large lady. But I slimed down for my wedding & would have liked to stay that way, when instead, I went back to old, bad habits, including emotional eating & therefore, packed on the lbs.
I’m slowly, but surely getting them off and through this experience I’ve learned to appreciate my body. Have I looked better in a bikini than I will this summer? Sure. But I feel happy and thankful to have the beautiful body that I do, even if I’m not at my best.

(Feeling happy & confident in a body hugging pencil skirt w/my husband at the Boys & Girls Club Gala in March. Good news – you don’t have to have a perfectly flat six-pack to rock a pencil skirt!)

And having a healthy attitude about my not-so-perfect body (which it will never be), makes me MORE motivated to treat it right with exercise & healthy foods. Okay, and some not-so-healthy, but delicious indulges.

(Pre-5k run w/friends at the beginning of this month.)

(And three days later I completed the Warrior Dash w/friends.)

(And then went out to celebrate w/tapas & sangria!)

I will also say that it matters SO MUCH, who you surround yourself with. It brings you down when you spend a lot of time with ladies who obsess over every calorie & regularly body hate on themselves. Instead, if you hang out with women who are more realistic & appreciate who they are & what they’ve got going on – it begins to rub off on you & make you so much less body-obsessed.

2. I’m more comfortable with my decisions.

I know that everyone may not understand why I do what I do or say what I say or feel what I feel. I don’t need them to. And it’s truly as simple as thing.

Pretty easy thing, right? Not for many woman, especially those of us who are people pleasers (and I know very few non-people pleasers, honestly – almost all of us have it in us).

It’s taken 25+ years to get to a place where I don’t LET myself worry about what others think of me. I don’t think about “them” and what “they” are thinking when I make my decisions. And “they” can be anyone: co-workers, friends, strangers, acquatainces, family. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what people think of you, but it is so freeing NOT TO CARE!

I try to make every decision based on what is true to myself. And of course there are times when I make the wrong decision, but then I only have myself to blame & can learn from my mistake. I no longer have to get frustrated because I let someone else lead me down that path – I make my own paths now.

3. I’m more comfortable in my relationships.

I have this need to control things, including relationships. It’s like, when my relationships were going my way, I received the validation that I needed. At 26, I have done enough work on myself that I no longer need or seek validation from relationships, aside from the ones I have with God & myself.

And that has made all of the difference for me. I’m able to accept that people come & go from your life & that you don’t have to label them, because life doesn’t operate in black & white.

(At the Winefest Walkabout w/some long-term friends who have never left my side. I’m lucky to have these ladies in my life!)

At 26 I feel like I’m growing into the person I’m meant to become. And I don’t know about you, but so far life has only gotten better w/age & I’m that it will continue along that road. : )


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