Just Because You're Not Where You Want To Be, Doesn't Mean You're Not Making Progress

Just Because You're Not Where You Want To Be, Doesn't Mean You're Not Making Progress

The journey is still underway.
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A few days ago, I had one of those days. You know what I mean, right?

I mean one of those days where I can’t stand how I look. One of those days where I stand in front of the mirror and pick out every little flaw that I dislike about myself. Things that I wish I could change. I’d be lying if I said that the list was short.

I stand there and compare. Well, she has a slimmer waist. She has clearer skin. She probably doesn’t go through this exact same thing.

I can’t help it. I try my hardest to combat those thoughts but they approach far more quickly and deadly this time than they did the last.

We all get this way, don’t we? We all know that there are things about ourselves that we wish we could change. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions, isn’t it?

We want to be kinder. We want to eat healthier. We want to give more. We want to get in shape. We want to drink more water.

There’s this never-ending list of characteristics that we wish we could possess. If you’re anything like me, your New Year’s resolutions are long since gone (if we’re being honest, did we ever even begin them?), and the judgmental little devil on our shoulder is speaking louder and louder and the days go on.

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Something was different when I had yet another one of “those days.” As I stood there, staring at my imperfections in the mirror, I felt this message be laid upon my heart.

“It’s possible to desire change without degrading who you are right now, in this exact moment.”

It was overwhelmingly clear to me in that moment. I was sitting there, completely tearing myself to shreds, focusing on the journey ahead rather than how far I’ve come.

If I look at where I used to be: a shattered, incomplete girl who turned to razor blades instead of God to fill the father-shaped hole in her heart, I can’t help but be proud of the young woman looking back at me in the mirror.

I was so broken. I was a mess. Homeless. Failing classes. Crying myself to sleep at night. Having panic attacks during the day. In endless counseling. Battling the demons associated with divorce and abuse. Depressed beyond measure.

But now, I am so much more. Five years can do a lot to a growing girl. I’m happy. In love with God and the life that He has given me. I’m healed. I’ve found my home.

Sure, there are things about myself that I wish to alter. Things that I WILL alter. Not because I am less than, but because I know that my journey isn’t finished yet.

There’s something so powerful in acknowledging that just because we have room for improvement doesn’t mean we are any less as people.

If we’re being honest, we have to have that drive to become a different person. If we didn’t, we’d be stuck in this endless cycle of complacency that would eventually drive us to insanity. We have to have goals. We have to want to be the absolute best version of ourselves as possible.

It’s natural to have a desire for change - for growth. We should never self assess and find ourselves content with where we are. We should always strive for better. To be better. To love better. To serve better.

If you need to glance back and realize how far you’ve come, then by all means, DO IT! It’s important to remember where you came from in order to remind you where you’re headed. It doesn’t matter what she looks like or what he is good at. Your excursion to a new you isn’t finished yet.

Just because you’re not where you want to be, doesn’t mean that you are any less. You are more. You are so. much. more.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Don't Forget About Self-Love

It's been a long winter, don't forget to put yourself first.

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For most people, spring break still isn't for another few weeks and let's be honest - it's very needed at this point. January felt like five months just by itself and it feels like winter has been going on for years. So amidst midterms, jobs, events, and everything else going on remember that sometimes you need to put yourself first.

It doesn't help anyone for you to be constantly busy and beating yourself up when one thing goes wrong. This especially doesn't help you. Everyone is feeling pressure from something, and no one is going to blame you for using some of your free time to get yourself back on track. You're much more useful when you're cup is full than when you're completely drained from trying to do everything at all times.

In college, we learn to be people-pleasers whether we want to or not. You want to impress your professor, your boss, and even your friends. You want everyone to think that you are having the most amazing time at all times. Sometimes a lot of negative feelings come up when you can't be doing something for everyone and then you feel liked you've failed.

This pressure is especially true for graduating seniors. We're all so focused on what's next and how we can maximize all our time left that we forget to take care of ourselves. We take on every project we can to prove we can do it. We try to hang out with everyone we know because we may never see them again after graduation. We constantly worry that we're just running out of time to do everything. Sometimes we forget that if we burn ourselves out now, we're not going to be able to do much later.

While the solution isn't to just give up and become a hermit, we need to realize that sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back. If you have thirty different projects going on ask for help on some of them. Collaborating is much easier than drowning in endless work. If you have free time and you've been busy all week take a night off instead of committing to seeing every friend you have. Self-breaks are sometimes the best breaks.

In the end, remember that you're not alone by any means when it comes to anything you're feeling and sometimes it just takes getting away to get better.

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