August 20, 2015

Thursday Ramblings and Turning 31


Today is one of those days where I just need to ramble.  The past few weeks have been challenging as I come to the realization that summer is coming to an end.  I have been having a lot of highs and lows coping with the change in routine.  While I look forward to the cooler weather and a predictable schedule, I am having a hard time going into it knowing what summer Ashley is like.

I have dealt with these feelings before - with the change of seasons, an end or beginning to a new commitment, and when we come home from vacation.  But this time around it is has been a lot harder and surprisingly very emotional.  I crave less and feel discontent until I can find it.

I purged my house this summer after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I didn't even know what the book was about when I started reading it.  It in fact was life changing.  I plan to blog about it but if my Paris posts are any inclination of how quickly I am busting out posts these days, it might be awhile!

But I believe that I as I have less stuff consume me each day, I am being hit with the reality of the nature of my heart and all the deep issues that come with it.  I used to be distracted by the day to day tidying that I did not have the time to be reflective or quiet.  So as I finally grasp that time that I desired away from taking care of things, I am doing some deep soul searching.  It is wonderful but hard.  Draining most definitely. 


***

I am turning 31 on Saturday and it has left me feeling out of the ordinary.  I am not sad about turning another year older.  Maybe just reflective. 

I had to go into the DMV to renew my driver's license this week which included getting a new picture taken.  I was pretty sad and surprisingly anxious about this.  My last photo was taken at age 25.  I had just gotten back from our honeymoon in Cancun and needed to change my last name.  I was super tan, in the best shape of my life, and floating on a cloud of being a newlywed.  Having to go back into the DMV felt like I was competing with my 25 year old self. 

I went in with full makeup and hair, something I rarely do.  It was a weird insecurity that I have never experienced before of comparing to my younger self.  Again, not sad or mad about it, just a season of accepting the aging process. 


***

I am thinking of quitting something because it has gotten to a point of weariness.  It is one of those things that I don't want to let go of but I am starting to feel like I should.  It is not quite what I thought it would be and as the years go on it just seems to get harder. 

Unrelated but related, I recently decided to stop seeking after paid blog opportunities.  The blogosphere is growing fast and it is hard to compete.  I believe I also hit my peak with blogging last summer as it pertains to making money.  I grew tired of applying for campaigns that I never got chosen for.  So I have just stopped applying. 

It has been good for me to step back a little and reevaluate this space.  I desire to continue to blog but letting go of any pressure to make money from it has been a freeing process.  It is definitely a humbling experience to work harder but make less money.  But it is something I believe needed to happen for me to let go.  It is kind of like with the tidying of my home.  I am craving less in my life so that I can be more and this is one area that needs to be cut back.

My hope is that I will be more brave and thoughtful with what I post here.  That I can let go of reaching the masses and instead focus on the few.  I believe I can be more influential and it will give me a greater sense of purpose.  I hope that this will be a good change all around that will even challenge me to spend less money.  


***

So that is all I have to say on these last days of my 30th year.  I still have so much to learn and see my life continuing to be shaped each day.  Nothing is ever really for sure and so I go into this upcoming year knowing that.  

I am not quite out of whatever growing pains I am going through.  But as I endure the hard I know that the fruit from it is just around the corner.  I look forward to seeing how life pans out in the coming months from the pruning I currently am enduring.

It's going to be good and I am excited.  25 was pretty great but I think 31 is going to pleasantly surprise me.





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