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It’s my birthday next week which means it’s time for some reflection. I’m the type that gets a lot more introspective and goal oriented around my birthday verses New Years. In the past I seemed to measure how successful my year was by the changes that occurred or the life events that happened but this year I dug a little deeper and changed my perspective on what accomplishments really mattered this past year and what I want to continue to work on in the future.

What did I accomplish this year?

Well, I started this blog for one, I’m proud of that, proud I stuck with it and that I am finally doing something for my creative side, just as last year I took photography classes to get me ready for this.

I planned a wedding, huge, huge, hugely time consuming but so worth it, our day was perfect.

Oh yeah and I GOT MARRIED this year. Okay, pretty big deal as far as life events go, I’ll give it that.  I also frecking love being married, it’s not like things have changed that much but we definitely feel like more of a family than ever before (Bella is included in this).

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I changed jobs, within the same company, but I finally decided I was ready to not just do what I was comfortable doing. I wanted to learn, grown, experience new things, and use my brain in a different way.

BUT- here is the thing that was never on my list before, how did I change as a person? Did I grow? Am I wiser?

Actually, I think I am. Not because I took some amazing class and learned something new but because I found a peace inside myself that I hadn’t had before, something I think could have only come with age. I grew up. I actually started to like myself. Hugh, who knew? It was something that was subtle but I realized more and more this year.

I used to be kind of a basket case filled with anxiety about everything. I was fixated on my body, my weight, the things that weren’t working, the kinds of food I ate, self loathing for my occasional indulgences and skipped workouts. I never took the time to look at all the great stuff I was fueling myself with, or how many times I did fit in that workout. I also doubted myself constantly. Thoughts like…

Was I too loud? Too annoying? Did I look okay? Did this outfit make me look fat? Was it cool enough? Did I say the wrong thing? Was I really smart enough to do this task? Would I ever figure out what I wanted to do with my life? Who would listen to me?

It was this constant nagging loop, and sometime this year, it stopped. I actually think it started to diminish before that but one day I realized those thoughts weren’t there anymore. Not that I don’t still have occasional negative thoughts but I’m too focused on other things to dwell.

What really made me notice the shift? I stopped giving a shit what other people thought. I didn’t stop caring about others, I just stopped letting others effect the way I cared out me. I realized, hey, I’m pretty great, if this person doesn’t like me, that’s okay, there are plenty of people that do, and it’s probably their own issues or preferances and not so much anything I said or did. I started being comfortable with my quirky personality, stopped making excuses for the things that I liked, and really just started owning my words and actions. I thought a lot about friendships and started focusing on the ones that didn’t take quite so much work.

I also realized something about my body, I am never, ever, ever going to be a size 2. And, well, that’s okay. The only thing that could get me there would be starving myself and I speak from teenage experience, that is not fun, at all. I’m not really sure I ever even wanted to be a size 2, but I thought I should since I’m short and that is what society tells me I should aspire to. Meh, I like to eat. I like to cook and entertain. I like to drink some wine. I am curvy. My husband, fucking loves my curves, he thinks they are sexy, he doesn’t want my ass to go away. For the first time ever, I get it, I like my curves too. I am still aspiring to be the healthiest, fittest version of me, but I no longer want to change my shape or dwell on my “problem” areas.

My birthday wish for all of you is that you also embrace these changes that come with age, and strive to love yourself just a little more than you did before.