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.


If snow and rain isn’t your thing, then check yourself into Gold Coast accommodation in sunny Queensland, Australia. Blue skies, sandy beaches and clear water make for the ultimate getaway to relax and take in the breeze.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy October 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Way to go! I can totally relate – I am not quite where you are yet I have backed off but still fret. I will get there!!!


Kim October 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I still fret too, trust me!!! But I’ve really loosened up on myself and it is BETTER, for me at least, to be this way. Though I’m not gonna lie I do sometimes miss being in the kind of shape I was in when I was working out twice a day. Oh well.


Sarah Chamberlain October 29, 2011 at 4:29 am

Hi Kim I have loved reading about your journey, and believe me when I say that your message has been so powerful, and you havent even left the country yet! So often we hear about people living their authentic lives, following their hearts, and pursuing their dreams, but we rarely hear about the struggles, sacrifices and changes in attitudes required to get there. Your blog is so unique in that you are eloquently open about your fears and misgivings, yet still heed to your inner calling. Man I admire you! And I am so glad about the positive changes you have noticed in yourself! I heard once that perfectionism is compensating for a lack of self acceptance, feeling that we must get everything right to make up for feeling ‘less than’ inside. Go girl! Got a muffin top yet? Another Aussie word for you to look up! X


Kim October 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Haha. Sarah, unfortunately I am already more than familiar with the term “muffin top”!!! Thanks for your kind words, as always.


Amy C November 2, 2011 at 11:05 am

What a beautiful and vulnerable (and powerful) post! Congratulations. 🙂

I think a lot of what happens internally and mentally (growth, insights, TRUST) prior to the big, tangible actions we make for our dreams are a lot like traveling in many ways. We travel into our hearts and discover new spaces for being, explore new ideas and ways of approaching our world.

Keep writing and traveling and discovering… great post. 🙂


Kim November 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thanks Amy 🙂 I definitely feel as though I have been doing a lot of traveling internally this past year! More than I have ever done, and I’m happy about it.


Bama November 5, 2011 at 5:59 am

Months ago I was this kind of guy who worked out at the gym really hard to get a six-packed abs and I also put myself on a very strict protein-rich diet. Then one day I decided to leave them all. Not that I want to be unhealthy or obese. No, not at all. But life is meant to be enjoyed. The key is do everything just at the right ‘dosage’. Anything excessive is never a good thing.
Probably now I have gained the same trust that you’re talking here.


Kim November 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Glad to hear it Bama. It is an art balancing everything just right!


Hannah November 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hi Kim, I have recently discovered your blog and have truly loved reading it. I am slowly making my way through all your posts in my Google Reader and this one just rang so true with me. I find myself in exactly the same “weird holding period”, and refer to my travel dream countless times a day! I have a postcard stuck beside my bed that reads “Dreams become things”, and I love starting my day with that in mind. I wish you all the luck in the world with your dreams, and can’t wait to read more about them xxx


Kim November 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Hi Hannah. I love the sentiment that “dreams become things.” I absolutely believe that as well, just as thoughts become things (I guess thoughts are the same as dreams, or can be if you are like me and think about your dream a million times a day). Anyway! I wish you all the best with your dreams as well.


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