23. success

I feel like every time I write a blog post, it’s because I’ve learned a lesson. Some realization has been reached, I’ve applied a piece of wisdom to my life, or I’ve been successful in achieving a goal.

I have to be honest though.  This post is not like anything I listed above. It’s actually quite the opposite.  Before you close the page in fear of negativity, I can promise you one thing.  It will not be pessimistic.  This post will serve as almost a dialogue; a lesson I’m trying to learn in my own life.  My hope in sharing this truth and making myself vulnerable is that someone, somewhere can relate, offer words of wisdom, or just smile in knowing they aren’t alone in the struggle.

Even though I’ve written before on the dangers of comparison, that’s a slope I still slide down, a thief who STILL steals from my joy.  No matter how many inspirational quotes I hang in my classroom and bedroom, I still look to my left and right, noticing what others have and maybe feeling “less than” when I take inventory of my own lot.

I always joke that I did not sign up for this grown up business.  Money struggles, frustrations in almost every aspect of life, and being in a COMPLETELY different place than I ever imagined I would be at 27.  Seriously–this was a dotted line I did NOT sign on.

It wasn’t until this last week though, that I realized my mindset is completely wrong.  I was fortunate enough to have a few extra days off last week to binge watch my new favorite show “Call the Midwife.”  I was watching an episode before bed, starting dozing off, but woke up RIGHT before one of the characters reminded another that success is not defined by what one lacks. 

Woah. Talk about a divine message right there.

This whole time, especially when things feel overly stressful, I have been defining my success as a person by the things I lack. No boyfriend or husband? Obviously a failure. Still renting instead of buying? LOSER. My savings account is low? Oh goodness, I better admit defeat RIGHT NOW.

Why is it so easy to do that? Even writing this right now, I’m shaking my head because part of me is still feeling this way. But in order to recreate my mindset and shift it to one that is healthier, taking inventory of what I’m in abundance of is absolutely essential.

I’ve got a crazy, loving family who would move mountains for each other. My best friends will NEVER be beat.  I mean seriously, I don’t know how I became so lucky to have close friends who listen (really listen–not just hear me), understand my imperfections, and can sit and laugh with me for hours over things that don’t make sense to others. I’m working in a career that’s not just a job–it’s my true calling and passion. I’m healthy, enjoy working out at 5am, and can make a pretty mean cupcake. And as far as money goes? I’ve got enough to make sure ends are met and I can treat myself once in awhile.

I’ve stopped and read through that paragraph I just typed at least three times.  WHY IS IT SO HARD TO DEFINE SUCCESS BY THE GOOD STUFF!?

I can feel my mindset slowly start to shift.  And when I say slowly, I mean kind of like the speed glaciers move. But any change, even small change, is a great thing.

So here’s my public goal for 2015:

I WILL start defining my success by the abundance I clearly have in my life. My lot was given to me for a reason and it is absolutely essential to give thanks for it in ALL circumstances because it is unique to me.

Please, hold me accountable for this one. Challenge me. I will be forever grateful. And if you do, you just may get a hug or some cupcakes.

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