I’m about to burst from the starting block.
I think about the place I was a few months ago, and I think about the place I will be a few months from now when my journey writing with Stratejoy ends.
It’s a whole year that I will have challenged myself to change, to discover, to investigate who I want to be and what I want my best life to look like.
That’s a whole year of focused attention on building a foundation of bliss as a launching pad for all of my big, fat, fan-freakin-tastic goals. It will be the most well-spent year of my life.
To an outsider, I’m sure the two versions of me will look much the same. I’ll still be living in my bright blue apartment in a quirky, quiet midwestern town, surrounded by a lot of the same friends, doing mostly the same things day in and day out. I’ll still be a student, working towards my degrees and I’ll still be the same height, with the same weird freckle on my nose that makes people ask if I’ve had my nose pierced (no) (not yet). I’ll still have my beagle, my rocking red hair, and a deep-felt adoration of wine, God willing.
I’ll still be a vibrant young woman with a constant hunger for more, for juicy and bold.
But, when I think more about those two versions, they look vastly different; the former- the me when I first decided to dive head first into self-discovery- lived in a windy, rainy, stormy landscape of confusion and overflowing emotions, where it poured with too many ideas, thunder-stormed with feelings of doubt and lacked sunny days of realistic methods for achievement.
The version of myself in the future? Oh, she’s still wearing her raincoat and gets stuck in a storm now and again, but the forecast calls for warm days of progress, the clouds are gone and the sky is bursting with focus.
What’s different is that now I have a specific list of big dreams and when this short leg of the journey is over, I’ll have learned to shift my focus from thinking to doing.
So far, as I’ve navigated through my Quarter-Life Challenge, I’ve been afraid to define exactly what I want life to look like right now. I’ve always seen a blurry version of myself. She’s always running in the other direction, like she doesn’t want me to catch her for fear that I’ll see her clearly. She knows what she’s doing though, that sneaky gal, because, if I catch her and see her clearly, I’ll have to come face to face with pressure, heightened chances of failure, and the likelihood that I’ll have to put myself in uncomfortable situations and keep promises to myself.
Whoa. Big, whoa stuff. Big, whoa stuff that has always kept me standing still, watching her run away.
Working through the Joy Equation (ah-may-zing) has centered my racing mind and brought me to a place that has forced me to identify the core values that I’m looking for, the values of the lovely lady I’m chasing, and in turn, real goals that I can become excited about achieving. I’m no longer standing still, squinting into the future. I am moving forward with my 8 Core Values as a map.
Creativity. I’m a mad woman with a racing mind and I need an outlet. Like, now.
Laughter. Life is so silly, right? Like this ring I’m wearing that is bringing me crazy-good luck. Like all the funnies my college friends and I have. Like dancing to a terrible karaoke version of anything by Chicago. Like running with children. Like how everything always works out. Like allowing the universe to manifest everything I need. Like when all I want to do is cry or kick someone in the shin, forcing a laugh. Joy. Bliss. Fun. Smiles.
Spirituality. I want a depth of reflection, certainty in my path, and hope for all that is to come.
Connection. I know who they are, they know who they are, and I’m looking for more like them. One of the best things I’ve learned to give my attention to is developing deep relationships with those who ignite my fire. This has meant eliminating toxic relationships. It’s meant recognizing that sometimes friends outgrow each other and that sometimes relationships have seasons. That is totally okay. But, this season of my life is the season for cultivating relationships that make me grow and bloom.
Pleasure. It’s about good everything. It’s about quality. Quality consumption. Quality sex. Yes. Please. Quality conversation. Quality wine. Quality television, quality reading, quality hugs. It’s also about awareness in the moment. It’s recognizing how my senses make me feel.
Discovery. This world is too big to sit around and do what I’ve always done. Give me more! Give me new! Give me wow! Every. Single. Day.
Health. Universe, grant me the strength to introduce exercise into my life. Amen. And, also, the strength to pay attention to what I’m putting inside this proverbial temple known as my body that I usually treat more like a dumpster. It’s mental, spiritual, physical, emotional. It’s finding the love for myself to make my well-being and longevity a priority.
Balance. Making it all come together. Day after day. Walking this tightrope with grace and certainty.
And, getting clear with what I truly value has lead me to identify a whole slew of very specific goals that I’ll be deliberately working towards crossing off my list by the end of my time with Stratejoy.
The big, right-now ones?
- Eliminating my pointless, draining credit card debt
- Finally getting that awesome, huge tattoo that I’ve been drawing for-like-ever
- Picking up a new instrument
- Finding a fulfilling, social, interesting part-time gig
- Joining the local craft studio
- Finishing my graduation plan, once and for all
- Training for a 5K (baby steps, people, because right now I can barely run from this chair to my door)
- Incorporating a daily meditation routine
- Applying for that sweet internship that I’ve had my eye on
You heard it here, friends. And fine, I’ll post pictures when it all actually happens.
Spitting out my specific vision for the next few months gives me such satisfaction because for the longest time I’ve allowed that negative voice inside me to tell me that it’s just going to be impossible, that there’s too much I wanted, too much I’m asking, that my appetite was too big. Now, though, with a totally rockin’ and doable set of unique-to-me plans, I know, for sure, that it is absolutely possible.
Best part? These goals are only the beginning of all the abundant living I’m after, but they have my Core Values written all over them and that makes me so sure that I’m moving in the right direction.
What has always seemed impossible now seems so, so within reach.
Truthfully, I can hardly stand the anticipation of the moment when these immediate goals are met, when I can finally begin to get to know her; the woman I am confident can do it, the woman who has learned to channel her dreams and begin to execute.
Instead of squinting to see that version of myself miles and miles away, I’m running towards her, grabbing her, hugging her, and sincerely saying, “It’s so nice to finally, actually meet you!”