Earlier today I met up an old uni friend from a distant paradise island in a particularly memorable period for a reunion. Jason was visiting the country and naturally we planned to meet up. We hang out and talked over food and drinks catching up on life, old memories, new beginnings, heart break, life changes, societal pressures and the things that should matter. Interestingly the first thing he pointed out was that I had changed. Admittedly he had too, in a good way.
See the thing is that back in the day my persona reflected shy behavioral tendencies despite my being ‘out there’. Which I was not surprised to hear about as I was for a good period – a quiet child who kept to herself. But he was referring to when I was a fully grown 20 year old lady. A period I personally thought I was socially out there but lezzz be honest. While It was a step of growth in my eyes into a more ‘social being’, I was still reserved in his and a lot of my friends eyes. I still kept to myself as I remember telling them I always needed ‘me time’ pre-interacting and after interacting with some of the best people (but also insane ones) I ever met in life. It was nice to hear that I had grown more social and out there now as I once challenged myself to such growth and chickened out. After that I never really thought much about it; That I could, or had undergone that kind of growth. (Patting myself on the back). It sparked some pride in me and reminded me change was good. Sometimes.
Besides, who really wants to forever remain the same person in life without looking into new experiences and trying out those things that have always been at the back of your mind.
Perhaps part of the reason I wasn’t very aware of this change was because I had grown less present. Over the last 2 years since graduating and moving home I had ‘gone after’ less things I would have typically pursued in life. While in law school and right after Graduating, I was always very involved in social projects and hands on whenever it came to human rights. The thirst and desire to be involved in any and every cause that I was passionate about was real and clear in just about everything I did. So much so that a stranger who just met me would be aware of what drives me. I wondered when I lost this kind of excitement for life and if that is exactly what happened or if I simply ‘grew up’ to embrace what adulthood had to offer. Rather than write my own story
The catchy thing I picked up from Jasons growth was how aware he was of his worth. I admired that he valued himself and was very intentional about giving himself the exact experiences in life he desired. And by exact I literally mean it. (will share some of his travel goal pictures below to show just how intentional he was about getting to particular places). He had been in the country 2 weeks prior and we had not met earlier because he was all over the place. And that is just how he wanted it. While I would have loved to show him all over like any other friend, I greatly respected his independence and also loved that we dint feel the need to be clingy because of a past connection. We joked about how close to the end of his trip we met over lunch. I was so proud of how free and adventurous he had been in his journey. Something about how honest and excited he was inspired me and made me wonder when I had become so ingrained to a nearly typical work life lately. I’d Become less independent and a little more of a robot. Do not get me wrong I still hit the beach and go hiking out of the city every other weekend or randomly catch that flight out of the country. But recently my plans have revolved around my friends not my top interests. The changes I have made in travel plans to be around them and the trips I cancelled to show up for that one last experience together. And while I absolutely loved most of them and know the importance of showing up proactively in friendships I realized that I had forgotten to put myself first. Socially, career-wise and in life’s big picture. The truth is I have taken time off only to experience some disastrous trips and situations that I should have known better than to be in or I probably would have easily changed had I been more in touch with myself. Yes you can’t win it all in life. And while I realize and accept this I know things could have been much better had I made changes favoring me. Had I remembered that we always have freedom to do as we wish no matter how far the situation seems to have gone. Facing real life after graduating is a leap we may not all intentionally prepare for that we probably should. While you can’t entirely prepare for what life throws your way I am grateful that for a brief period in 2016 when I took up meditation my heart was more at peace, my decision making easier and I loved how I treated myself. While I can’t be certain if meditation is for me, I do know mindfulness and being in the moment has always helped reignite the fire in my soul.
I am left wondering whether I am doing the right thing
But. Also inspired to unapologetically put myself first.
As they say,…..
Heres a bunch of kick ass pics I said Id share from Jasons adventure.
Currently trying to convince him to join Instagram cause these look thoughtful and instaworthy!