Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals and live a life that makes you truly happy. This post is my entry for Jessica Lawlor’s Get Gutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details and download a free copy of the inspiring Get Gutsy ebook.
Earlier tonight, I had a massive flashback to college. Rushing home from dance in the freezing cold, a million thoughts rushing through my mind. Most of them center around the constant to-do list that is running in my head. Out of clean underwear? Whoops, guess tonight just became laundry night. That paper due tomorrow? Nope, haven’t started it. Sigh. Cue the coffee.
For someone who loves planning as much as I do, it’s odd that procrastination is such a terrible habit that I just can’t seem to break. Three years post-grad, and here I am faced with the same issues. The clock ticking down to deadline and I am just booting up my MacBook to start clicking away at the keys.
It’s risky, but it’s how I work best.
Believe me, I had a million other plans for what I was going to be writing here. It’s no secret that I draw inspiration (a lot of it) from Jess, and I knew I wanted to be a part of the Get Gutsy essay collection this year. I’ve spent the last month with ideas bouncing around in my brain, trying to think up an exciting, and equally inspiring, story that I could submit.
But do you know what I’ve realized? That’s not what I am. I’m not jumping out of airplanes or runnings marathons. That kind of thrill is just not in me.
I’ve spent the last few years trying to find what I want to be, who I really am. I know, I know. Here we go with another ‘twenty-something finds herself in a sea of chaos’ story. I promise, that’s not where I’m heading.
2014 wasn’t an easy year for me. It was filled with ups and downs. Personally, professionally, emotionally. You name it, I dealt with it. Through it all, I tried to build myself up to all of these ideals that I saw other people achieving. The job promotion. The engagement. Even something as trivial as the beautiful meal posted up on Instagram.
I spent my year comparing myself to others and trust me, it was not pretty.
Near the end of the year, I started to realize that maybe the things I thought I wanted aren’t actually what I want. I don’t need to be making strides at the same pace, or even in the same pattern, as my peers. I need to just be me.
In my quest for perfection, I became a very toxic person. Even I didn’t like to be around me. My anxiety was at an all-time high, I snapped at people over stupid little things. The roughest part? I didn’t even realize it along the way. It hit me all at once like a ton of bricks.
I was unhappy with the way my life was going. I was unhappy with the path that I was on.
For someone who always likes to have the right answers, that’s not an easy thing to admit. It’s taken a lot of me-time to sit and process all of my thoughts and what steps I need to take to remedy the things that cause me so many struggles.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned so far, it’s that it is okay to not hit every check-in point along the way. It’s okay to change your mind, or even start a new journey all together.
2015 is the year of me concentrating on me.
Selfishness in the best (and most necessary) kind of way.
I’ve finally realized that in order for me to start accomplishing big goals in my life, I need to take care of myself first. It’s not going to be an easy path; I’m not very good at accepting failure. But even a tiny win is still win, and all the little changes add up to big progress.
I’m getting gutsy and challenging myself to reevaluate the priorities and patterns in my life. To make more intentional decisions. To keep the big picture in mind as much as possible. And most importantly, to roll with the punches and not sweat the small stuff.
Now that we’re all the way down here (sorry that this became a sort of a tangent), you might be thinking “so what? What’s the big deal with all of this?” And honestly, I can’t tell you right now. I don’t have the answers. It’s as new to me as it is to you, but that’s half the fun of it.
Stick around and you’ll see where we end up!