Earlier this week I reached one of my goals. Can I get a whoop-whoop?!
I was honestly pumped. It was raining and I wasn’t really sure how it was going to go, but it felt so good to be out and moving I decided I would go for 4 miles that day. Why not? It was raining, I was feeling good, might as well go big or go home, right? Well, as I hit my first mile the running app goes off in my ear “one mile complete 9 minutes and 46 sec” …say what??? I gave a victory jump and shout and kept truckin. By the end of my 4 miles I ran 4 sub-10 minute miles in a row!
Back in August, I jumped back on my exercise train after taking a little hiatus over the summer. I don’t like weight loss or inches goals. I’ve known and watched too many people struggle with eating disorders, and could see myself heading that direction, so I’d rather not risk it. Plus, I like my squishy. But goals, I’m learning, are extremely important. So I picked something I enjoy – running and set a goal to help me become a better runner. I wanted my comfortable easy-long-run pace to be a 10 minute mile. At the time I was averaging probably 12:45. Mind you, a mile is a mile no matter how fast you go, but this was a goal that worked for me and you have to pick goals that work for you. Anyway – needless to say, at the end of my run I was on cloud 9. Ah it hadn’t felt so good to run in so long. And I was soaked to the bone too – thanks to our lovely rain this week.
Most of the night on Wednesday I was dancing (at least in my head) and relishing in my accomplishment. There was a boost of confidence, a bounce in my step, a light in my eyes and an enormous sense of pride. It felt almost as good as finishing nursing school.
But then Thursday night I was soaking in my bath scrolling some facebook and instagram before settling into Harry Potter for the night and a friend of mine posted a picture with her husband about how he makes her laugh until she can’t breathe (or something to that effect). And the first thing that went through my head was #goals – as in a I want that someday kinda thought that was actually super negative. But I stopped myself, and that’s kinda what I really wanted to share about tonight.
It’s so easy to scroll through all facets of social media and see people’s highlight roll of their lives and to fall into the trap of comparison. And that’s exactly what I was starting to do. But, maybe for the first time ever, I stopped myself.
It’s so easy as a single 23 year old who’s 4 closest friends are married and who’s many other friends are engaged or dating someone, to get caught in the mindset of when is it going to happen to me? I often fall into the trap of wanting someone to help me come alive. In so many of the relationships I’ve watched unfold what I noticed most about my sisters is how they came alive through their relationship. The way they discovered themselves and who God was calling them to be.
For some I saw a playful side come out I didn’t know existed and for others I saw a deeper, serious side I didn’t know existed. I watched them and helped them work through the fears of being vulnerable with someone…with a man… running the risk of getting hurt. And it’s so easy to want that. To feel jealous and envious of that. I want my happy ending. I want someone to share life with. I want someone to cook with and to play games with and cuddle on the couch with on Sunday mornings. I do want that. And I know dating and marriage have their own challenges different from the challenges of being single. Oh, and I know I’ll have that someday and the time isn’t now.
But when I caught myself, and stopped myself. What I realized with that simple thought of #goals looking at the highlight reel of someone’s life is a part of me was wishing for someone else’s life. But the thing is I don’t actually want someone else’s life. I want to live my own life, pursue my own dreams, find my own passions and do those things.
And what I realized was that I don’t need to be dating someone to discover myself. I don’t need to be dating someone to do the things I want to do (I know, I know this realization has been a long time coming…). I need to set goals so I have something I’m striving for, a path I’m headed down. But what I’m realizing is that when we have our own goals we’re working towards it’s easier to share in the joys and accomplishments of others.
Though it may be 2 weeks into 2017, I finally settled on what I want this year to focus on. In the past I think I picked hope and I know last year I picked joy. But this year, this year looks a little different because my life as a whole looks a little different(for the first time ever I’m not a student!). This year will focus on adventure, curiosity and discovery (of self and the world around me). This year is a year of letting go of perfectionism and a year of figuring out the kind of woman I want to be, the kind of life I want to live. A year of doing hard things and pushing myself to go outside my comfort zone. Whether that’s running a full marathon, traveling out west, going kayaking just because I want to, going hiking just because I want to or something else the wind blows my way.