Monday, July 28, 2014

Some time at home

So the time has rolled around for my yearly summer pilgrimage to New Jersey.  While I have been living in Washington for 6 years, New Jersey remains, and probably always will, my home.  Besides the usually gluttony on Dunkin' Donuts coffee and taylor ham, two delicacies unavailable to me in Washington State, it has been lovely to just spend some much needed time with family, whom I haven't seen in a year.
I had coffee with my friend Christine last night, and she said something that got me thinking.  During our conversation she said, "I love my twenties.  I am really proud of what I have accomplished in them."  Her positivity made me look at my own twenties with a critical eye.  I still have two years left in my twenties, but what got me thinking was that Christine wasn't measuring herself by other people or their standards, but by her own ideas of what is important.
So here is my non-comparison based list of what I am proud of accomplishing in my twenties:

1. Getting healthy:  At age 20, I hit a personal low.  I weighed 98 pounds and was struggling with depression.  By working with several good therapists and spiritual directors, I was able to put on some weight and began running- something I love.  While it is still a battle to love my body, I am a healthy 130 now and have run 6 half-marathons, something I wouldn't have dreamed I could do at 20.

2. Becoming (and staying) a teacher:  This is my vocation.  To make it happen, I took the risk of moving to Washington, and everything has worked for the good.  I love my job, my students, my coworkers.  I know this is the profession I will continue to grow in and love.

3. Meeting and marrying the right person:  Willie is the yin to my yang.  We met at a trivia game at Bert's pub in 2009 and got married in 2013.  We have a wonderful life together and it is just starting for us.  The world is our oyster.

4. Finding my inner leader: I used to be a pushover.  I had perfected my role of "side-kick friend" and always felt vaguely unhappy in that.  I think my biggest obstacle to overcome in this regard was the fact that I constantly compare myself to other people.  This is still something that I am working on, but I know it's gotten a lot better.

5. Taking a leap of faith: At 21, I packed two suitcases and moved to the West Coast.  I didn't know I had it in me, but I did.  I have now lived there for six years, and while I would love to move closer to my family, the idea of being in a new place and learning new things no longer scares me.

If you are reading this, and want to take the time to comment, what are five things you are proud of accomplishing in any decade of your life?


Anne Appert said...

Great post!
Let's see, I am only half way through my twenties but here are my 5 things that I am proud of accomplishing within the last decade:

1. Stepping outside my comfort zone more than once. As you know, Em, I am super shy and didn't think I would ever get over it. I am still super shy, but I have been able to push myself to do things I never would have been able to accomplish if I hadn't pushed myself. (Like go to conferences by myself!). I still struggle with this, but now that I KNOW I can do it, I am pretty happy with that.

2. Going to FIT. This is related to the first point, but this was really a turning point in my life. I met so many great people, learned so many things, and really pushed myself. And I got a job from it. :)

3. Not giving up on my dream to do art for a living. Yes, I am nowhere near supporting myself this way, but every year I do something that takes me a step closer to my goals and I am happy I didn't give up.

4.Making and keeping some really great friends. Everyone knows that high school friendships can come and go, but I have been able to meet some really great friends and forge some really strong relationships with friends and family in the last couple of years.

5. Being able to stand up for myself. This is still a struggle too, but I have learned more and more not to let people walk all over me. I guess having a sense of who you are and who you really want to be helps you stand up for yourself in a way that you can't when you feel lost in who you are.

Ha this is probably the longest comment ever, but I felt it necessary for the question. I also like questions like this that really get readers involved. Looking forward to the next post! (Also, I already miss you :( )

Emily said...

Thanks Anne! This is a great list for halfway through the twenties. :)

Elizabeth said...

I just saw that you started blogging again. Woohoo!!!!

This post really got me thinking. Right now I can only think of two things that I am really proud of accomplishing. The first would be my last year of DM. It's still kind of amazing to me that I was able to plan/organize 32 hours of entertainment for approximately 700 students. Of course, I had help but I was the one who had to make sure it happened.

My second would be that I got my master of science degree. :)

Emily said...

Yay for science and dm! You rock socks Elizabeth!