Hello! I hope everyone had a fun and safe Independence weekend. For those of you wondering, no I did not abandon the blog. I have just been slacking on what to write. Inspiration isn’t something you can just conjure up at will and with my lack of mountain views and museum visits I haven’t had anything to say in awhile. But as I tried to fall asleep last night I realized that my time away from writing has given me, dramatic pause, a different perspective.
We’ll start off with the fact that I spent the 4th of July (after work) alone, in bed, listening to the fireworks go off. Again. I was hoping to be with Ian camping by the 4th this year but due to both of our untimely work schedules that didn’t happen. Years before were also met with poor planning or being too single to be the 7th or 9th wheel. (I have a lot of non-single friends). You must think I sound pathetic and whiny. Well that’s because I am being whiny and pathetic sounding, but it’s all for dramatic effect, I promise. Sort of. I will tell you that this year though, I did not spend it crying myself to sleep. I was actually cuddled up, very content, with a kitty. What caused this weird, un-American response to not watching fireworks in a wife-beater holding a warm PBR? Why, perspective of course!
The only way to correctly watch the fireworks in my opinion, Disney!
My life is full of planning induced worrying. What do I go to school for? Where should I live? Where could I work? The month of July has been especially full of these lovely questions. With Ian coming home for a month and a half and my job only giving me 2 days to work, the 3rd and 4th, I had a big decision to make. Do I get a fulltime job in Minnesota now or wait until August? Or do I find a job in Colorado for a month? Or do I go to Colorado and say screw the job? So you can see where I was feeling a tiny bit overwhelmed.
On top of this I also turn 25 in 1 month and 2 days. Now besides this upcoming milestone being the source of my ‘quarter-life crisis’ anxiety, I have been freaking out about what to do. I mean, this is an important event right? I should have people knocking down my door wondering about the big bash to come. I had this great idea to thrown an epic murder mystery dinner, where everyone shows up in character and we Clue the night away. After telling both my mother and boyfriend about this, I was met with the faces and tone of a parent explaining to a young child why they can’t have their party at Disney world because none of their friends would be able to come.
At first I was really hurt. Why don’t I deserve to have a party? Why did no one want to be apart of it? Why couldn’t they see that this is a big deal? That I’m allowed to make it a big deal, I mean I survived 25 years of life. Doesn’t that qualify for those awesome gold numbered balloons that I want so desperately?
I guess they did have reason to believe that I may be slightly disappointed, considering most birthday parties I have planned never really pan out. Being torn between Colorado and Minnesota my attendee pool isn’t quite Big Bash material either.
Birthdays and holiday are a BIG deal to me; probably because most of them end up being depressingly awful to say the least. One similarity is that I’ve always blamed it on other people. Either no one shows up, people are fighting, or I realize that everyone has plans but myself. But before you tell me to shut up and stop feeling sorry for myself let me tell you that I see how I had it all wrong. Sure I tried to plan, I would gather idea months in advanced before anyone had even thought about where they were going to be that season, let alone that day. I made sure to give people a heads up so at least they knew to keep that day open. But no matter what I did it was never enough.
I felt like I was being punished. After 25 years of life what did I really have to show for it. Unstable friendships and a pointless Associates Degree? I have no direction and no one to truly blame but myself. Ian said something to me after that conversation that, normally, I would have brushed off and ignored. No way was I being that ignorant or naïve, but I was.
He said, “You need to stop letting other people control your happiness.”
Whoa. Hang on a second. You mean to tell me that I have been that blind all along? I really, truly thought this was something that I had been hyper-aware of. Making sure to never blame others when I clearly had a choice was something my mom had drilled into our heads since infancy. Sure I can be sad and disappointed about someone flaking or forgetting it’s my birthday, but ultimately I have the choice to decide whether or not I’m going to let it ruin my day.
Last year I had a confirmed 19 attendants, not including Ian, to my birthday dinner. 3, actually showed up. I tried, or at the time thought I did, to not let it get me down. In the end though I was crushed and wouldn’t even let Ian try to make me feel better. I was a brat. I should have been even more grateful to those who had come instead of focusing on the others who didn’t. And to those of you who did THANK YOU and I am so sorry for not being a more gracious guest of honor.
After all the fuss about this years celebrations, my lack of solid work, and the 4th being a bust I decided to take what Ian said to heart and look a little deeper. And what do you know? He was right. So I swallowed my pride and decided to make the best of things. I enjoyed my day at work, figured out my plans for the month, and stopped obsessive over my birthday.
These new truths had lay in wait for me every single day but I was too stubborn to notice. You see, every morning, during my bible study I ask God to show me the next step. The only thing I need to worry about for that present moment because I know if I look too far ahead I’ll become overwhelmed, suffocating in the unknown. He tells us that all we need to really do is trust in him, give it ALL to him, and he will take care of the rest.
I’m still not really sure how it works. Personally, letting it go wasn’t fought out of me, it was more like a last resort. I was fed up with not having any answers, not knowing the decisions to make and wasting time, getting no where. Little did I know that by reaching the “I give up. I can’t deal with any of this anymore” point, I had in fact, fully let go. I still had no clue where I would be this month or if I would even move from my place of defeat. But what I did know was that it was no longer my problem. It was God’s, and it wasn’t even his problem, it was his solution.
About 20 minutes after I had finished pouring my frustrations out into my journal my mom came down and confessed that she thought I should take advantage of the time off that I had. Solution #1. So here I am, in Georgia, hanging out with my dad. In a week I will be headed to Colorado to see Ian and I couldn’t be happier. No lingering feelings of regret or missing out. Solution #2. By letting go of the ‘control’ I though I had, I had gained an entirely new perspective.
I didn’t need to wait for other people to make my decisions for me. All I had to do was stop looking for all the answers on my own and fighting God for control. Whether or not my plans work out is no longer enough to send me into a downward spiral. I do place too much weight onto events and it has caused me to always be looking to others for my happiness. My mother and Ian see this. They weren’t being mean or heartless with their responses to my dilemmas, they saw the real issue and cared enough to be honest with me.
I hope that everyone finds that part of their faith (in what or whomever it may be) that allows them to let go and gain a new perspective. Life is far too short to be waiting on anyone else but yourself. There are things in your heart that have been put there for a reason. And if you spend your time like I did, waiting for someone else to make that choice for you, you may miss your chance to enjoy what is already right there.
You don’t have to do a full reevaluation of your life choices but maybe take a second glance at something that is clearly starting you in the face. Gain some new perspectives on it and see how it can apply to anything else that you do. You might find yourself looking at life from a whole new angle.
Hugs & Kittens,
*Side note: I do enjoy celebrating with just family. This was not meant as a disregard to those who are kind enough to partake in those events. And now the only thing I want for my birthday are those gold number balloons because honestly, how cute are they?!