Getting Back to Basics

Well, hello again blog world! It's been almost 4 months since I last posted here and it's safe to say a lot has happened in that relatively short amount of time. I turned 24, got a dog, parted ways with my long term boyfriend, moved into a new apartment, started a new job, traveled to Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, had a reunion with my college best friends (after 2 years apart), started freelancing for a magazine, etc, etc, etc. I'll spare you the rest but suffice it to say, it's been a crazy time. Fun and new, but crazy and unsettled at the same time.

In all this change and upheaval there's been certainly been goodness and growth, but also a lot of confusion and (what feels like) backsliding. I'm really grateful for the way my life is playing out and everything new I'm getting to experience and how much fun I've been having, but my ability to put rose colored glasses on the past can be a challenge. This isn't saying I want to go back to how things used to be in a former season of my life, but honestly (and it's hard to admit this) I feel like I've been a better person previously than I am right now.

Moving into a new season of life and trying to figure out how to navigate it "successfully" isn't an easy task, and I'm afraid it's lead to me putting blinders on and focusing way too much on myself. Back when things felt more normal and settled I had the time and space to look around me and be more mindful. I prided myself on helping others to feel better and encouraging my friends/family to look on the positive side of life. I would much rather be the one putting joy into others lives than being someone who stays in her lane and doesn't give her energy and love to the people and world around her.

I've even found it harder to find as much joy in the little things that used to make me happy, like a quiet, beautiful morning or good book. I've felt distracted, caught up in my own head- constantly thinking about my life and how things are going- the next plans I have or who I'm going to hang out with. Not that being busy and having a full social life is a bad thing (I've had more fun and adventures this summer than I have in a long time) but I worry I've placed too much importance on external stimulation rather than internal contentment.

For most of my life I've definitely considered myself an introvert. I felt most relaxed and content just hanging by myself- reading or writing or taking a long walk. I'm not sure why I've felt so pulled to be around other people, but for the past few months I've found that I'm mainly just bored and lonely when I'm by myself/not out doing something. I'm not sure how or why this shifted, but I know that I don't want to lose that part of myself. I love my independence and ability to be content on my own without relying on others- it's one of the main things that makes me me. 

I'm honestly not even sure where this blog post is going, but it's just something I felt I had to write/process/get out of my head. I suppose the point is this- regardless of the season of life I'm in I don't want to lose myself, the core things that make me who I am, in the shuffle. But I also don't want to cling to the past and resist change. How do you stay grounded when everything else is in your life has been turned upside down (in both good and bad ways) while still being open and accepting newness/change? I'm trying to figure this out, but like everything else I've experienced in this world of "adulthood", I don't think there's a right or wrong answer.

What I do know is this: moving forward I want to get back to basics, to the less-self centered version of myself. I want to lift my head up and notice/appreciate the people and world around me. I want to read and learn and write and challenge myself personally on a regular basis. I want to be a positive light to people in my life. I want to be okay with being alone and still. I want to grow in a meaningful way and get back to my faith on a deeper level. My life has been revolving around the wrong things and I'm grateful that I've been able to realize this and actively make a point to change it for the better. The joke of the summer is that I'm the "new Lanie", but I don't want to completely lose the "old Lanie" in the meantime. Trying to figure out how to blend the good parts of both the new and old me isn't easy, but I'm going to be mindful about it and give it my best shot.

I'm so grateful for my life- the people, where I live, my pup, the health of my friends and family, my passions, etc. Things may not be perfect (and let's be real, they never will be) but I'm figuring it out as I go and am thankful to have this space to explore and share my thoughts as I do. If you've read this far, I'm impressed and thank you! I'd love to hear any similar struggles you've had or advice on how to reconcile staying true to yourself in the midst of change. xoxoxo

-Lanie W.