Monday, December 29, 2014

Ask Yourself, Are You Ready?

"Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you any closer to where you want to be tomorrow."

I am a New Year's resolution girl. I don't necessarily stay up at midnight on New Year's Eve and right them down on a sticky note, and I don't tend to pick silly things that I will immediately break come the middle of the month in January. But I am a goal setter. I am a list maker and a reflector. I  spend the last couple weeks of December looking back at the year, from what goals I set for the current year, to where I was then compared to where I am now. And then I set some new, healthy, smart goals for the next year. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I do really well, but no matter what, I find a lot of comfort in the reflection and goal setting process.

At this time last year, I was about six months into writing this blog and had about ten regular readers. I was making an effort to find ways to get it out there, to share my posts on other sites, like Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus and Twitter. My audience has now grown immensely and I just hit 32,000 page views - 32 THOUSAND. One of my posts has been published - published for real, like, in a book. My blog has an average of 2,000 page views per month; that's over 50 times a day that someone is opening my blog! At this time last year, I was sitting in my office at Cascade Woods Apartments in Aloha, where the only part of my job I didn't hate was having dinner at the end of every day with Stacey and Blake. I hated it so much I was considering leaving the company (amazing how things work out and I was only a few weeks from another promotion that would progress my career and make me much happier than leaving would have) and was actively seeking employment.

2014 started with family drama (doesn't it always) when my cousin tried to get me fired for writing this very blog. Because he's crazy. The family drama has continued through the year, and will likely carry on for many more years, but what has come out of this year for me, is the realization that I can pick my battles. I spent hours making my family tree with my therapist and finding all of the ways in which my family is completely fucked up - and learned that all of those things are out of my control. I cannot control that my family fell apart, and I cannot make them piece it back together. The only thing I can control is the way I react and the way I respond. And for me, that has meant retreating, not attending family parties. What I have learned is that making a choice to create that physical boundary between myself and the people who have hurt me is the healthiest choice, one I needed to make for myself. So, despite that the drama continues, I have finally been able to move on from it and let it go. I can't change it, so there is not use in continuing to be upset about it.

My goal for 2015 where it involves my family is to continue to feel my feelings and speak my truth, and to continue to make guilt-free choices involving who I speak to, what I attend (and don't), and what relationships I maintain (and which ones I sever). But I would like to talk about it less. I talked about it a lot this year, both in therapy and in public on this blog forum, I am ready for it to take less of my time. I've healed enough to stop being stressed about it, and I've let it go enough to talk less about it. I have finally been validated in my feelings and my decisions, and that validation was all I ever needed, when it came down to it.

In 2014, I transferred properties three times, and I moved three times. I'd like to believe that moving as frequently as I do is the nature of my business, but I think mostly it's because I am out of my damn mind. I started the year working in Aloha, then transferred back to Vancouver in January; I just transferred buildings up here again in October. In January I was living alone in a two bedroom apartment near my job site, where I had signed a 13 month lease with no intention of moving. Unfortunately my upstairs neighbor flooded my apartment and I had to move in April; I moved to a one bedroom on site at the building I was working at. Then in August, I transferred on the same property into a two bedroom and got a roommate. The roommate was a big step for me in my need for control. But it's been going really well. I am saving a ton of money every month, which has eliminated a lot of my life stress, and she's never home so we're not too much in each other's way.

My goal for 2015, regarding work and moving, is to stay in one damn place through the summer. I know, it is most likely wishful thinking, but I did commit to 12 months at the building I am at now, which puts me into September - and as long as I work here, I should be able to continue living where I am living...and I don't believe my roommate intends to rush out any time soon, so fingers are crossed that I can just stay put for the next nine or ten months. At which point, I have set a big goal: I want to move out of Washington and go somewhere new. I just wrote about this last week, but I do believe that now is an ideal time for me to pack my things, take Juno, and hit the road for another state. My company has properties everywhere and my options are not limited, so why not? Now is as good a time as ever to take a leap! I want to plan to visit both Boise and Denver, which are both high on my list of possibilities, in the spring and really make a good decision for myself.

In 2014, I did much better at communicating my feelings, being open, being honest with myself and other people, and I was definitely rewarded for it. I developed stronger friendships, better relationships, and treated myself better. I was finally able to find validation of some past feelings, and I finally learned to say "this is what I want, so this is what I am going to do," and to keep my own best interest in the forefront. My goal for 2015, regarding speaking my truth, is really just to continue to do so. It takes practice and commitment to stand up for what you want, and it takes energy to stand firm in your choices. I need to keep practicing, to keep working, and to keep committing to the choices I make for myself.

In 2014, I started (and ended) a great relationship with someone I was friends with first. I don't normally do that, the friends thing. Usually my emotion (and sex drive) complicates a friendship from the beginning. I tried something new. It didn't work out, but I think we have a salvageable friendship at this point, and if nothing else, I learned a lot about what I want and what's important to me. Next year, I am challenging myself to take more risks, to think less and act more, and to remember that what I want is valid, no matter how crazy it may seem.

2015 is going to be a good year; I'm determined to make it that. It will be one of successes and failures, change and stability, growth and learning. I intend to push myself out of my comfort zone and tackle new challenges, because I'm bored with things the way they are. In 2015, I intend to put myself first and to never underestimate my own abilities.

Because after all, in 2014, I accomplished my lifelong dream: something I wrote was published, in a book. Which must mean I am ready to take on a new life dream.