I used to lay in this same spot staring out my old smudged wooden windows. I’d imagine my life differently, living in a beach house with large windows and silk curtains. The kids would have bows in their perfect hair and my husband would leave little love notes on the mirror before I woke in the morning. I’d smell the salt in the air from the ocean and listen to the waves crashing outside the cracked glass door from my bedroom. I imagined this is where and what my life needed to look like to be happy. It’s sad looking back thinking about the time I missed not appreciating what I had, time I wasted on dreaming instead of creating. I don’t remember when the mindset changed so drastically, but I do remember the first time I felt it. I remember standing in the back yard of my home, collecting the fallen branches from the trees to burn. Looking at the details of my small home and yard and thinking, this is perfect. Every inch. I was staring at my kids in the yard with their crooked bows and sweat soaked foreheads and it was perfect. I remember it all hitting me so fast, the appreciation I had for all the unique and broken pieces of my life. Seeing all these imperfections as perfections, exactly the way they are. It actually scared me. I figured oh my goodness, I’ve achieved perfection… my journey on this earth must be over, I’m going to die soon!
I never imagined I’d be laying here in this same spot, looking out my old smudged wooden window, listening to frogs, adoring the light post in my neighbors yard and thinking this is perfect.
I wonder if this is one of the joys of being in your 30s that I used to read in magazines as a teen, you know the magazines for women and their thriving lives and how they would never relive their 20s. I don’t think I’d ever want to go back and live that era of my life. It was a lesson, and lessons are hard and make you into the strong person you are. The 20s were dark for me, one big dark lesson. I don’t like the dark.
The 20s humbled me, knocked me off my petal stool, and made me envious of everyone surrounding me. That’s mainly because I didn’t have value invested in myself. I didn’t even like myself. I let other people tell me who I was and I believed them. Somewhere through all the ted talks and self empowerment books, I was able to pull my head above water. I began investing in myself, reading, exercising, starting hobbies, serving others, working, working, working… you get the picture. I saw an image of who I wanted to be and worked for it and along the way I lost that dream of having a million dollar home on the beach and began to adore the little home I already had!
Here’s a current picture my sister snapped after I had worked all the hours in the day, I love how it displays all the aspects of my life with the backpacks, swords, crafts, old wooden door frame, all while wearing my nursing scrubs haha. It’s not the perfect photo with a tidy house, makeup, or perfect hair, it’s just me in the now living my best life.
Happiness does not come from obtaining that picture perfect life you’ve imagined. It comes from appreciating the life you already have and working to love yourself. That’s my short ted talk for the morning, and letter of appreciation for all the imperfections in my life that make it perfect.