Spring is Here & so are Some Thoughts

Spring is just the best. Spring and Fall are tied for my favorite seasons of the year. There is something so happy and uplifting about spring though. Colors are changing, flowers are blooming, and people just seem a bit happier. 

This past winter was rough. Avista shared how this was the worst & coldest winter in 30 years...(thanks Avista for sharing that lovely fact while you also doubled everyone's bill. humbug.) Anyway, as cold and seemingly terrible as winter was, I am thankful to live somewhere I get to experience and look forward to the seasons changing. As seasons change, our minds and hearts tend to shift with it. I love that. I believe there is something powerful able to happen if we just lean into the change. If I look at my life over the past say, 6 years, (being a senior in high school, to now, almost ending my first year post-grad) SO much has happened! My kids (I teach high school art part time) tell me how excited they are to be 18 and start college in the fall. I have to say, I can easily remember those feelings! Sometimes it is easier to fall into friend mode versus teacher mode (I guess that is my downfall sometimes- I am too relational!). But, I remember  I have a good five years on them, and truly truly, what has played out the last six years has been massively important to my personal growth and who I am becoming today.

In the last six years:

  • I moved back to Gig Harbor from Glen Ellyn, IL and finished high school with my best friends (thank you mom + dad!!!)
  • I started my freshman year of college at Whitworth University
  • Left Whitworth my sophomore year and did community college. Also started dating my high school sweetheart again (enter: Nick)
  • Transferred back to Whitworth my junior year to eventually graduate with a B.A. in Art Education (somehow managed to finish in four years & pass the ridiculous EdTPA)
  • I have lied to my parents a lot- something I am not proud of. A few years ago I started to build a wall where being honest became so hard because I was filled with fear and doubt. 
  • I lost a best girlfriend- something I never saw happening with that friendship, and I am still not sure what exactly ended it. Boo. 
  • I went to Hawaii for almost a month and discovered a beautiful place that filled my heart and soul with peace and gratitude in a time I desperately needed it. 
  • I struggled with body image and hating how I felt in my own skin. I have experienced my lowest points due to not having any love for myself, and really letting comparison be the thief of my joy.   
  • I have gotten a few spontaneous tattoos- something small, but in the big picture my little tats remind me to not take life too seriously, and enjoy being a spontaneous & care-free person. 
  • I'm learning how to be 100% honest and handle confrontations
  • I gained a sister-in-law, Katie, who has become one of my best friends. I am so thankful for her friendship.
  • I keep getting closer and having more fun with my siblings and parents. I just love them. Maybe the fun drinks helps ;)
  • I went on a road trip with my sister from Nashville back to Spokane, and now she lives just two minutes away from me!
  • Dating Nick: through my four years of college Nick and I  have experienced SO many ups and downs. Break ups, emotional & spiritual growth, battling with my family over trust and support, gaining that family support, a year and half of long distance...you get the picture- lots has gone down. Last Christmas we hit our rock bottom when I unexpectedly broke it all off. It was awful, emotional, and felt really devastating knowing I was the cause of someone else's pain & sadness. I hated it. About six months later we started dating again and things are going so good. I regret how much I hurt him, but I guess I don't regret the action or bad times because with out them I don't think either of us would have grown so much, or be in this positive place now. I guess that saying was true for us- we hit our rock bottom so the only place to go was up! Nicky has contributed a huge part to my personal growth over the years. He has helped me be a more confident, honest and spontaneous person. He is constantly inspiring me to chase my dreams and just make them happen. He is my rock and forever source of laughter. Nick is someone I always wanted, I just didn't know if we would actually end up together. But now, I can say with full confidence I am so grateful we have each other and want to spend forever together!

I can't tell you exactly why, but when I started this post I didn't know it would turn into a big reflection, but I decided to roll with it and be honest. And to be honest I am still navigating through a lot of the things mentioned above. I still struggle with body image and what it actually means to love myself. I am beginning to understand a bit better, but let's be real- what woman, on some level, doesn't struggle with body image or self-esteem? It is an on-going battle for me I will admit, but I'm moving forward :) One of my best friends, Shayla, often reminds me to give myself grace in this area and know/believe I am cherished, accepted and enough in God's eyes. And so are YOU. 

As random as these reflections felt to me, it has been cool to take time thinking about them and realizing there really has been a lot of growth. I am in a place now where I experience feelings of love, contentment and mental clarity everyday. My mindset has shifted a lot and am much more interested in a simple life. A life that isn't filled with material things, but one that is filled with love and community, good health and habits that bring me joy and excitement. I am so grateful for where I'm at nowadays. I always want to remain grateful; starting and ending each day with recognizing the good happening in my life. I encourage you to do the same! Maybe start a gratitude journal, where each day just jot down something you are grateful for. I believe a grateful heart leads to true contentment. All in all, I am so ready for Spring and am looking forward to what God will do during this new season.

Thanks for stopping by as always. Maybe this post will lead you to take time to reflect on your own personal growth! xoxo