A year ago today I was on the same train going to the same place. Except it’s not really the same place, because everything is different now.
Sometimes you (and I’m mostly speaking for myself but hopefully someone out there relates) get into a mood where you feel like you’re stagnant, not doing enough, not seeing results fast enough, and you think you’re stuck in this weird in-between of your imagination and your dreams.
Yet, as I look out at the window out into the world, I realize we also tend to not give ourselves enough credit for the changes we make and steps we take.
My first (albeit annoying) thought was “ugh, still single and still traveling alone” as I watched all of the couples take their seats together. My second thought was “okay, this isn’t so bad” when I got to spread out on the seat next to me on a sold-out train. Perspective, right?
So, what else? Well, everything else.
Since I was last on this train I’ve gotten a new job, moved to a new neighborhood, made new friends, cut my hair off, got a stable and paid writing gig, traveled to new places, taken chances, made mistakes, gotten my heart broken (twice), met new family, got a new hobby, and so many more things I tend to breeze through when I do an audit of how my life is going.
Sure, some things are still the same. I’m drinking my coffee the same way, listening to the same Spotify playlist, letting some silly boy get to me, and writing my to-do list instead of letting myself relax for a mere three hours.
But just like this train, I continue to move forward.
And that’s the thing, you see. We’re always moving forward even if we think we’re going backward. We’re always learning new things that we can only see in hindsight. We’re always growing and changing and shaking things up. We’re making things happen.
Yet — still — when someone tells me “you’re living your best life” I respond with “oh gosh I’m so glad it looks that way.” WHY? Why do I do that myself? Why does anyone? What is this voluntary self-sabotage? Why does it take this day, this train, this view, for me to stop for long enough to notice who I am and what I’ve been able to accomplish?
We should all be a little nicer, kinder, and compassionate towards ourselves. What if we tried to impress ourselves as much as we try to impress a date or a hiring manager? What if instead of trying to be somebody to someone, we tried being somebody to ourselves?
What if we gave ourselves a little bit of credit a little more often, would that be so hard?
Imagine the life we could be living if we were all more mindful of how amazing we are. Seriously. So if no one has told you lately, you’re amazing. Look at all you’ve done. Look at all the potential swirling in your capable heart. Look at the impossible things you made possible. And listen to the laugh you’re still able to feel in your soul because nothing is really all that bad.
You are not who you once were. I am not who I once was.
I am stronger, wiser, and probably more naïve. I still believe in love so much that it blinds me, but now I consider my vulnerability a superpower instead of a weakness. I am more open and confident, and probably more of a critic than I ever was before, but now I see the world and know that I can take it. I can change it.
Don’t wait until a year goes by and you’re on a train going places to realize… You’re going places.
Be somebody to yourself. Be your own hero. Take moments, here and there, to pat yourself on the back. Look in the mirror and literally say to yourself, “you are fucking awesome” — because you are. Look at your surroundings and take a second to think about what it took to get here, right here. It’s incredible, right?
We’re only stuck if we choose to ignore our progress. We’re only stagnant if we sulk. We’re only not seeing results if we forget about the milestones in between. The world is different now. You are different now. Check out the difference you’ve made.
A year ago I was on this train going to the same place but I am not in the same place anymore… and I can’t wait to see where I go.