The difference a year makes

by Kim on October 28, 2011 · 10 comments

 Photo by DafneCholet, Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve noticed a change in myself over the past year.

It started small.  For years I’ve been an obsessive checkbook balancer.  I carried a ledger in a little blue bank-issued sleeve and any time I spent anything, even a nickle, I wrote it down.

I never missed sending a birthday card.  My house was always clean, the laundry always done, everything in its place.

I went to the gym in the mornings and ran in the afternoons.  I played on four soccer teams. I ate a restricted diet and allowed myself to eat out and drink alcohol only once a week, on the weekends.

I wasn’t always like this, in my past, but in recent years my life was run like a military school.  I was free to live however I wanted but I didn’t feel free.

Since Brian and I have decided to follow this dream, one of the many things that has changed is the way I operate my own life.  For one thing, I don’t look at it as something that needs to be operated anymore.

Today, I don’t carry my checkbook with me because I know that I know how much money I have available to spend.  I let our clothes pile up on the bathroom sink and I don’t freak out about it, not even a little.  I run regularly but if my body needs a rest, I put on my pajamas and hang out on the couch.  My four soccer teams are down to just one, and playing doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.  If I miss sending a birthday card, I don’t worry that the birthday boy or girl won’t think I care about them, I just call and say I love you, I’m glad you were born and it leaves me smiling.  

I’ve been trying, for months now, to figure out why these things have changed because I did not make a conscious decision to run my day to day life differently.

Here is what has changed: Trust.

Trust in myself.

Before, I didn’t consciously realize that I didn’t trust myself, but I didn’t.  Somewhere deep down I believed that if I took a day off of running that I might never run again or that if I ate crappy food I would keep eating it until I gained a hundred pounds.  I believed that if I didn’t keep my house in order every day I would lose control and never clean again.  If I didn’t balance each penny of my checkbook I would spiral down into debt and poverty.

I didn’t trust myself and the reason I didn’t trust myself was because I wasn’t listening to the voice inside of me.  I wasn’t allowing myself to be who I am because I didn’t believe that the person I really am could thrive in this world.  I didn’t trust myself enough to believe in myself.

But now I do.

And it’s because I decided to live my dream.  Making that decision changed my outlook on what life can be, what it should be.  Since then, each little step I take towards my dream gives me confidence to take a bigger step.  Finally, I am standing on the brink.

I know I have been writing a lot lately about following my dreams and how it has changed my life and you’re probably thinking Yeah, yeah, yeah but Kim, isn’t this a travel blog?  Aren’t you ever going to Write.About.Traveling?!?!

I will, I swear I will, but I’m just in this weird holding period where most of what we need to do to leave has been done but we can’t leave quite yet (read: money) and every day I still find myself in disbelief about how different my life looks now compared to a year ago.

I’m still awed over how powerful and life altering it has been to acknowledge my dream. My hope is that, if you haven’t already, it will encourage you to acknowledge yours.

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