2015 The Experience – Q1 Recap

I can’t believe first quarter is over and it’s time for me to take a breath and think back on what I did the past three months. As a refresher, my focus this year is concentrated on four main areas: Writing, Traveling, Dancing, and Music. Of course I’m also trying to grow and develop in other areas of my life as well, but those are the four creative endeavors I’m pursuing. So, what have I been up to?

All in all, 2015 is off to a pretty great start. I’ve booked 4 out of my 5 planned vacations, and yes, I have a spreadsheet tab for each. (c’mon allow me this one nerdy thing!) Even though none of my trips happened in first quarter, it was a great feeling to lock flights and book rooms and know that I’m committed to them.

I took my first level 2 salsa class and loved it. It was so nice to be in a class that was challenging and hard work. I was planning on taking a second level 2 class, but didn’t and that’s ok. I feel good with completing the one class. This also reminds me that I need to get out and practice! I also broke out of my comfort zone (and dragged my BFF with me) and participated in Dance Day which introduced me to 5 new styles of dance. That was incredibly scary and awesome! Let’s talk about how much I loved tap and am considering adding that to my list of options of classes.

As far as music goes, I only saw one concert, but that’s ok. I saw Hozier with my #1 gay boy for Valentine’s Day and it was so much fun because not only was it a great show, but I was able to surprise him. He had absolutely no idea what we were doing up until the point that we got out of the cab and I handed him the ticket. I only knew a couple songs by Hozier when I bought the tickets on a whim, so I didn’t expect much, but wow, the guy can really put on a great show and his voice….my God, his voice. I also went to a songwriting workshop which was extremely interesting, even if I was one of the youngest people in attendance. I don’t know that I will ever write a song, but it was so awesome to learn about the way in which to approach songwriting, and the different genres and how different people approach it differently. It was definitely worth my $20.

As far as writing goes, I just wanted to get five pieces written, whatever those may be: blog posts, poems, whatever. And I actually exceeded that number all within the month of March pretty much. Also, as I previously mentioned, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and wrote a fiction piece which was a big deal to me, so I’m really happy with where I am. Am I the world’s best writer? Definitely not. But, I’m happy doing something that makes me feel fulfilled. And I’m happy it’s something I get to do when inspiration strikes and not because it’s something I have to do.

A couple random experiences that I’ve had is a Cirque du Soleil show and being a part of a newly formed group of misfits who recognize that making friendships and finding connections is really hard after 30.

I also completed the Whole30 which was just the best thing I could have done to jump-start my year. I feel like it really has set me up to make good decisions and learn more about myself (body, soul and mind). As I’ve gotten older and tried different eating programs and workout routines, I’ve really learned to lower my expectations. My body has changed and losing weight is definitely much more challenging. But I can’t deny that the Whole30 is a great way to not only learn about yourself, but a great way to find out what foods are really holding you back. At the completion of this, I have lost 10lbs and 12 inches. But, more important than those numbers are all of the mental strides I’ve made. I feel like for the first time, my thinking of food has been drastically changed. I’ve also learned so much about discipline (coming in another post). It’s been such a positive experience (despite my desperate love of wine and cheese).

One thing that I have definitely been posting about more is building relationships with people who I have more in common with, who relate to me easier and vice-versa. I’m happy to report that I have added two people in my life who I am really connecting with. It’s hard to explain but there’s just an instant connection. There’s a familiarity and a compatibility. These are women who aren’t afraid to jump into vulnerability with me. They’re not afraid to be raw and real. They’ve been looking for friends just like I have. I’m so thankful, and I’m so overjoyed.

Finally, I went back and forth on if I was going to post this part or not, but I have to in order to stay true to the goal of this year because this was a big part of my first quarter. It took me a very long time to get over my ex. It took years to work through everything and while that may seem dramatic, it’s the truth. I dove headfirst in love with him and was hurt so badly that the scars took forever and a day to heal. During this quarter, I woke up one morning with the very real and clear realization that I forgave him. It took nearly three years, but I was ready. I had worked through every stage of the breakup and I had managed to find myself, my emotions and my soft-heart back. That acceptance of forgiveness was world-changing for me. I felt freedom. I recognized that I can now, officially move on to someone else and know that I hold no more bitterness. It was…..surreal. it was freeing. But, I should have been prepared for the other shoe. He contacted me out of the blue a couple weeks ago and within seconds, I was a mess. I was back to being that confused girl. I wondered if he wanted me back. It was…painful. And that day was one of the biggest, most life-changing days of my life. I spent hours walking and thinking back on the last three years. I thought back to where I was then, who I was then and then I walked myself through all the things I’ve accomplished since that fateful day when he dumped me out of the blue. I walked through every accomplishment, every tear, every lesson, every emotion, every concert that resonated in my heart, every trip, every relationship, every person who held my hand. I thought back to how he carelessly threw me away and broke me. I thought back to my hard won resilience, to my determination to not let him ruin me. I thought back to my acceptance of needing help which in turn brought me to my therapist who has helped me grow so much more than I could have expected. I thought back to the anniversaries of remission that I celebrated without him. I reveled in the mental and emotional strength that I have developed, my growth and maturity in relationships and my ability to really see and know people. Then, and only then, did I respond to his out-of-the-blue text. We went back and forth a bit, and it was short but in those brief texts, I saw very clearly how much he has stayed the same, and how far I have come. I will always care about him to an extent, but no longer to I feel that he was someone who got away. No longer do I feel tied to him. No longer to I fear that he’s the last guy I will love. He was a beautiful experience for a short part of my life and I am happy to leave him there. Now that, my friends, is true freedom. And by far, the very best part of my first quarter.

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