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Monday, March 31, 2014

Celebrating Me :)

The last few days have been full of so many fun things.  On Thursday I turned 34 (which doesn't seem possible) and I was lucky enough to spend the entire day with people I love and care about.  I pampered myself a little with a mani/pedi (and now I have pretty flowers painted on my toes), had lunch with my entire family, went shopping with my mama and got some great new clothes and then had dinner with two good friends that I don't get to see very often.  I don't think I could have asked for a better day to just enjoy the person I've found inside me over the last year.  The whole weekend was filled with fun things, time with family and enjoying the start of spring break. 

I remember last year on my birthday, I was definitely happier than I had been a couple of months prior.  I had lost some weight, was really getting into the whole exercising thing and I was finally starting to climb out of the dark hole I had been in for so long.  The day after my birthday last year, Renee' and I went for a long walk and, although I already knew we were friends, this is where I finally realized that everything she was helping me find, do, accomplish, etc was fun for her as well.  That was such a foreign concept to me.  Why would anyone find happiness in helping me?  Well, because that's just the kind of person she is.  Even with my memory, I can't remember everything we talked about that day.  I just know I left feeling like I was finally on the right path to finding some kind of happiness.  And that I had a great new friend in my life who was going to enjoy the ride with me.  

Fast forward a year (and a few days) and we have such a fun friendship.  I still ask stupid questions and she still answers them (probably while laughing, but it's okay).  I still send random questions and thoughts that I am pretty sure keep her entertained throughout the day.  And she takes it all in stride.  And, I have still avoided stepping foot in that Whole Foods place.  I have a feeling I am going to have to give in eventually but, for now, driving by it and waving to it works for me :)  

So, as I was looking at quotes today, I saw this one and thought it was perfect for what I felt like writing about today - 

Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.

How true is this?  It took me so long to figure this out and I had A LOT of help along the way.  I had to face all the things that were making me unhappy in my life in order to find happiness and enjoy celebrating things like my birthday.  For so long, my birthday wasn't always a happy day for me because nothing seemed to make me happy.  Now, it is a super fun day but it's not the only day that I smile.  In fact, I just smile more than I might on a typical day.  Which might be a lot of smiling...

I now know that for so long, all the negative things I saw and felt about others was a reflection of how I felt on the inside.  Because I couldn't find happiness in me, I couldn't see or find happiness anywhere else.   Now that I am happy on the inside, I love seeing and meeting other people and finding all of the positive qualities they have to offer the world.  

The outside world for me has literally done a 180 in the last 14 months.  And that's because of all the changes I've made on the inside and for myself.  I have gone from seeing nothing but darkness and sadness to finding laughter and fun in the smallest of things.  I laugh at myself (a lot), love to learn and am willing to try new things.  While I am still hesitant to put myself out there or be the center of attention, I also don't mind when people laugh at me or with me.  That's a huge step for me.  And it's because I am finally allowing the world outside of me to be a reflection of how I feel on the inside.  

It's hard to completely describe how that feels.  For many, it's something they've always had but, for those of us who have struggled or currently struggle with being happy, I can tell you that it is worth all the trying times.  A year ago I may not have said that but I can honestly say that I wouldn't have had things happen any other way than they did.  I wouldn't be the person I am, have met the people I've run into over the past year and developed some amazing lifelong friendships that I will cherish forever.  I can't wait to continue seeing the outside world in a whole new way.  It really is a gift.  One that I don't intend to waste for a second.