Letting Go

It has been almost one year since Danger v. Danger was born. I’m one year past the decision to force change in my life after passively hoping for change for a year before that. I haven’t regretted my choices ever. At all. But I have committed a change-seeker’s sin. Without realizing it, I have been measuring myself against the past me and wondering when I’ll get back to the same place. I know that I am not the same person on the surface, but I keep trying to get back to where I was.

“I’ll get my own place downtown, soon…”

“I’ll find a job like my old one, but not the old one. Better than the old one…”

“I’ll be able to walk to work like I used to”

“I’ll get back into the same swing of things with my social schedule and my friendships will be just like they were before.”

“I’ll wear the same work clothes, because I will weigh what I did when I walked 3 miles daily, ran regularly and didn’t understand how good/fun beer can be.”

and the list continues in my head. I have been kind of killing myself in trying to get back to where I was and I didn’t even realize what I was doing. December has brought some changes that are helping me let go of the old me, something I wanted to do, but have taken a long time to ACTUALLY do.

I’ve started a new job. It’s not my old job. Thank God. People keep asking me about the job, and I understand this. I do it too. However, I’m not going to explain my new job here. I am not my job, I am moving on from identifying myself as my work. So know that I have my job, I like my coworkers and I’m not going to die of poverty this year. It is a good fit and I am grateful for my job. I am suddenly not the young one in the office and that’s a harsh reality to face in a lot ways, but that’s good too.

I moved* and it’s great. And when I say “I moved” I mean that I moved my 4 shirts and 3 pairs of pants/skirts to a different spot. My entire apartment is still in my Grandparents’ house and that is something that makes me a little sad. I left some items in the sunlight of the window in my storage house and found that they have faded during my year of wandering. I allow myself to go get more clothes/items about once a month and it feels like Christmas every. single. time. I love some of my things. I also know, after a year without my things, that I don’t NEED most of them. I simply ENJOY having my own things. I am trying not to count down to the time when I have all of my things and trying to wrap my mind around the fact that some of my things have dropped in quality after a year in storage. Some of my things will never have a place in my new life. Some of my things (popcorn maker, for example) are stupid things that never should have been in my life in the first place. Those things were weighing me down. The job I had was clouding my vision of myself. My routine was non-existent. These are the lessons I’m striving to learn. 2013 was a huge year for me. I’m interested to see how 2014 compares. I have roommates now, I thought that living alone was the goal, but while they are away in England I find myself hating the empty house.

I have a confession and you judgmental, resolution-haters make this hard to say, but I’m a big freaking fan of New Years and the potential that switching out calendars offers. I’m a goal person, just not a traditional goal person. While most goal people might set a financial goal of having 10 billion dollars in a retirement plan by age 50 (that’s how much it costs to retire these days, right?) they might set a goal of owning a house by the age of 30, having their first child by 31 and so on. I admire those people who are so sure of their lives in that way. I just can’t do it myself. My goals are just as fuzzy as my life’s purpose. In my life, I want to have enough money that I never go to someone else’s house empty handed. I want to help people as much as I have been helped, which is actually a very tall order. I want to hate elevators for my entire life. I want to refuse to waste time searching for parking. I have a very complex system of goals, broken down by time, category and importance. They are put in place to keep me focused on the things that are the most important to me. I had huge expectations for the year 2013 and it didn’t disappoint. I have different expectations for 2014. I expect for it to be a year that will lay a path for the next ten years of my life. That I will build new relationships, some from the old ones that I knew and some from the new friends that I have in my life. I expect that I will work on myself at home as much as I did while I stepped away from reality. I expect that my car will break down and hilarity will ensue…I expect to blog less and write more. I expect to create a life that reflects the experiences that I have had, but is not a cheap knockoff of the me that I was one, five or ten years ago. I expect, and I think it’s fair to assume, that 2014 will be the best year yet. I also don’t think I’ll get tired of Miley Cirus this year. Maybe next year, but that’s not likely in 2014.

If 2014 is your year to induce change, heed this warning: you cannot look back. I support all efforts of drastic reinvention and nothing makes me happier than hearing other people planning to change their lives, but do realize that everything, EVERYTHING will change and be ready for what that entails. Know that you will be ok, you will, in fact, be great. You can do it, you probably should do it if you’re thinking about it and you will be fine. Different. Older. Fine.

Explorers used to label the edges of maps “there be dragons” to label the unknown. Despite “knowing” that there be dragons in the unknown part of the world, they still went there. And that is why I’m a ginger that can’t stand sun-exposure in one of the sunniest places on earth. Thanks to my brave, probably asshole-vikings, ancestors.

Happy New Year, friends. May there be dragons in your future.

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