21. same old same new?

How many times do you utter the words, “You know…same old same old. Nothing new with me,” when someone asks you how you are doing or what has been going on in your life.

I do this every time I’m asked after I’ve quickly taken a mentally inventory. Yep, same teaching job, still chronically single, doing CrossFit, spending my time with the same friends and family.

On the surface, it feels as if nothing’s changed. I think sometimes I convince myself that my life is no different.

But today, as my family and I were moving my stuff exactly a year later to my new place I’m living, I realized that my life now differs greatly than the one I led just one short year ago.

So often we celebrate the big things in life, especially with the popularity of social media. Snapshots of big life events and achievements are filtered, posted, and perfectly worded for the whole world to see. We feel proud of every new job, fitness-related personal record, change in relationship status, and large party we attend.

But what about those small victories? The internal battles, the obstacles we overcome on a daily basis that shape us into who we are this very moment.

As I continue to sit here and reflect upon the past year in my brand new room with my belongings everywhere, I’m overtaken by emotion. The stark contrast between who I am today and who I was a year ago is astounding.

I’ve loved, I’ve lost, I experienced the deepest form of heartbreak, I’ve been jaded and cynical, I’ve healed, the important pieces of me have been put back together, I’ve rediscovered my love for Crossfit, my passion for teaching has finally been renewed and restored, new friends have become best friends, my anxiety is somewhat under control, Fearlessly Frosted was created (I didn’t even know I could bake cupcakes!), i’m stronger both physically and mentally, i’ve added another year of recovery from anorexia (5 years!), and I’m back to having my natural color hair.

I’m beginning to realize it’s a lot harder to celebrate the events in life that are impossible to be photographed. How do you capture in a social media post that you bravely conquered the most challenging year of your life and came out alive and well?

I think the answer is…you don’t. These huge victories and internal battles won need to be inventoried regularly. Self-reflection is essential.

So next time someone asks, “How’s it going? What’s new?” My answer will not be “Same old, same old.”

I’m still Rachel. I’m still a 3rd grade teacher. I still do Crossfit. But I’ve overcome a variety of different challenges that have proved I’m strong. I’m tenacious. I’m resilient.

My life may look the same. But it’s different. And you know, I’m liking where I’m going. For that, I will celebrate.