Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What March Has Taught Me

Yesterday someone asked me for the date and after answering them, I doubled back and thought, wow it really is March 26th.
Where did this month go?

2013 didn't joke around about being the year of change for me. And often throughout these first three months of the year, I've felt like I was navigating a rather rocky terrain—blindfolded. But those are the greatest life lessons, I've found. Because during it all, I've been led by a presence bigger than me towards something, though I'm not sure what that is, that is exactly where I'm supposed to be going. I'm absolutely confident in that.

March has been one big lesson. About who I am, gratitude, letting go, faith, and perseverance. Lessons have been abundant. Some frustrating, some exhilarating, some freeing—but all working towards making me a better me. And, in true Ainsley fashion, I wanted to document those lessons. Because I know I'm not the only one on the way somewhere great but with skepticism lurking in the wings.

I've found logic doesn't always win. As a planner, I rely on logic. 1 + 1 = 2. The obvious choice. Priorities lined up as they should be. But this year, I've found a lot of that to be untrue. Sometimes the heart leads and logic goes out the window. Sometimes passions distribute priorities rather than logic. And occasionally, 1 + 1 = 2... +1. And then you get something totally different. Deal with it.

Because there is not a formula to becoming who you want to be. And sometimes who you thought you wanted to be isn't really who you're meant to be at all. Sometimes, the heart defines that as well—a creative soul isn't comfortable in a cubicle, you discover an entrepreneurial spirit during your climb to the top of the corporate ladder, or a free spirit discovers they're better governed by rules and regulations. Your road to success isn't always straight and occasionally there are parts that are rocky and you have to hike, or it rains and you have to sprint, or, as my favorite Kid President reminds us, there are thorns and broken glass and though it's not cool (Robert Frost), you just gotta keep going until you find your beat to dance in the end.

And that's because plans change. And you only figure out your path by trying different ones. You really can do whatever you want to do. You just have to explore your options, and figure out a way to make it happen. Because all those people that told you it wouldn't be easy—well, they were right. It's not. Figuring out what you want is even hard. But your focus really does determine your direction—so stay focused on figuring it out, then how you're going to get there.

And that network of family and friends that's been around forever? The ones that you occasionally forget to call or become accustom to being there. Well, they're the most important thing. Because they're the ones who will surprise you. They'll support you—morally, directionally, financially—as you find your way. They'll understand what it is that you're doing, even if you really aren't so sure. And sure, sometimes your dad will play the devil's advocate intentionally or your mom won't understand your plans the first time, but they won't go anywhere. They'll qualm those fears that you'll never find your way. And your friends will send you encouraging messages and pray for you and tell you 19301 that you're special and will end up where you are supposed to be. Because you are and you will. When that defeating feeling knocks on the door of your heart, turn to these people.

Don't stop praying, though. In the car. In the shower. When you get scared. When you feel confident. Up, down, and sideways. Pray for direction but most importantly pray with gratitude. Because when you're focusing on the things you have, your blessings become abundant and it's easier to keep on keeping on.

Big changes are scary. But making a point to live the littlest moments with intention, and one day at a time, make change a little less threatening and far more exciting. Because even when the future seems a little fuzzy, you'll still have the opportunities to dance at a wedding with your best friends, to laugh at your brother, call your mom with an exciting update, and find the simple inspiration in everyday moments that add up to equal a well-lived life.

This is a long post, but it's a turning point post. Because what I learned in March is that, sure, I'm a public relations professional and a writer. But I'm also a blogger (or trying to be one), a friend, sister, daughter, stylist, art enthusiast, everyday moment enjoyer, thinker, doer, and the list goes on—I hope indefinitely. And for that I am thankful this month.

Daily gratitude: turning points and growth spurts.
{Photo creds here}


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