Then & Now.

Sometimes I feel like I don't allow myself enough time to stop, disconnect and simply think. Meditation seems like an awesome relaxation/self-reflection tool for some, but I've never quite gotten the hang of it...I probably fidget too much. Last week I found myself on a three hour flight sans-reading material (my own fault) en route to warmer weather. After settling into my seat and downing a Diet Coke, my thought process became strangely nostalgic. This was less of a longing for the past as it was an eye-opening comparison of how drastically one’s perspective and opinions can shift over time. Naturally, many of the thoughts I’m sharing today are based on my personal experience and the changes in perspective that I’ve become aware of in recent years - and this is only the tip of the iceberg. I’d like to think that many of these are universal parts of growing as an individual, and that most people can relate on one level or another. Either way, hope you enjoy and have a great week!

THEN - We valued quantity over quality. We wanted to be liked by everyone, even if it meant we weren't really valued (or truly known) by any. Best friends were made and lost in a day’s time. We often let selfishness and jealousy stand between us and our friendships.

NOW - We fight for the friendships we value...regardless of quantity. A best friend has earned their place in your BFF repertoire, and you in theirs. Our physical time together is sporadic and often much too short, but we've learned to make the most of it. Our successes and failures are one in the same. We laugh, celebrate and cry alongside each other, and take comfort in knowing we always will.

THEN - They were the only obstacle between you and freedom, a good time, a chance to let loose. You questioned their reasoning more times than you remember, rolling your eyes and promising to be “different” when/if you had kids of your own. It seemed impossible that you’d ever see their perspective when it came to most issues. 

NOW - They've been and continue to be the force propelling you forward every time you veer onto the wrong the path. They're the ones laying the groundwork for the life you eventually realize you want, but rebel against indefinitely. They're the ones dedicated to one unwavering goal over the past twenty-something years: your happiness. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me. 

THEN - In high school, college and immediately post-grad, your job was strictly a source of income. Sometimes you hated it, sometimes it was a monotonous nine-to-five that you simply tolerated. If you were lucky, it actually utilized some of the skills you spent four years earning a degree towards, but that was more of the exception than the rule. 

NOW - Earning money for something we’re passionate about? That was a foreign concept...until recently. Our peers are creating their own jobs, starting their own companies and proving that we don’t have to settle for a career that doesn’t fuel something deeper within us.

THEN - You’ve cycled through a laundry list of middle/high school significant others, most of which lasted a few weeks/months (if it was long term). You probably had a semi-serious relationship in college, which you eventually realized wasn’t the same as a relationship in the real world. You experienced love, loss and heartbreak at some point…sometimes more than once.

NOW - Some of us have been lucky enough to find the person they want to start a life with. Many others (like this girl) continue down the never predictable, often exasperating - yet still worthwhile - path towards a love that lasts. Often times, we’ve learned what we want through experiencing what we don’t. The lessons from these experiences, and the greater choice to never settle for less than we seek, has become an invaluable reminder in moving forward.

Here's to moving onward, upward, forward.

xx, J