Today I want to talk about something that has been very real in my life in the last few years and something that I think a lot of people work through each and every day…Loving what life gives you!
(This will circle back to my artistic and entrepreneurial ventures, I promise)
Now, I’m talking about working hard, planning, and dreaming, but not reaching those goals in a way or on the timeline you WANT…and learning to love where you are anyway, despite disappointments in your career, financial struggles, relationship issues, personal set-backs, and the like. I will be very honest with you this is easier said than done.
Learning to love what life has given you, what the universe and your God(s) have ordained, when you so desperately want it to look differently is a tough task. Learning to love your life, without letting your deepest desires and wishes hold you back, is a daily choice and an intentional mindset. It doesn’t mean you stop hoping, planning, or working toward that dream, it means embracing what you have NOW and truly loving it.
Now here is what this looks like for me…
Did you know that I didn’t always want to be a professional artist? Probably not…maybe that surprises you, maybe it doesn’t. It sure surprised me when I finally realized what path my life was headed down a few years ago. Long story short, this career found me and with some nudging and support, I jumped headfirst into small business ownership. I’m a year and a half into this crazy new venture and it challenges me every day. It’s scary and anxiety-inducing, but fun, exciting, and freeing all at the same time (more on this in a later post!). I really love that I get to create every day, but also have an opportunity to use my other skills to run the business.
Did you know that I didn’t start hiking until I was in college and didn’t start backpacking until two years ago? Both hiking and backpacking have weaseled their way into my life in profound ways. They connect me to nature, the inspiration for my work, and challenge me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have personal hiking goals now that I could never have imagined ten years ago, and one so big and beautiful, that it’s even a little scary…but if I’ve learned only one thing from starting a business, it’s that scary can be very good (also more on that goal coming in a future post).
Did you know that aside from my family (friends who are like family included), my work and my hiking hobby are the most important and time-dedicated parts of my life. Neither of which were part of my ‘plan’ ten years ago. Going into college, I had a very specific idea of what my life would look like coming out of it and guess what…very few of those ‘plans’ happened, despite how much work I put toward them.
For a long time, I let my ‘idea’ of what life should look like distract from the beautiful life that I had. I let my dreams overshadow my present. I am by no means saying that one should not dream...I believe just the opposite actually. I think it’s great to work hard to achieve. But…as JK Rowling, via Dumbledore, might say…”it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” I’m learning to wholeheartedly embrace my beautiful NOW, while I continue to work to create my beautiful future.
Find your joy. -Melissa