Goodbye 2019, & Hello 2020.
While everyone is talking about new goals & resolutions, I’m over here like “for the first time ever, I don’t know what I want.”
A new decade. A new year. A new day. A new start. Everyone is talking about it. You can’t scroll through Instagram this morning without seeing post after post dedicated to saying goodbye & hello. & while a growth mindset is where I typically maintain, I’m struggling this morning with seeing my bigger picture.
What are my resolutions for 2020? What goals am I setting for myself this year? Where am I going & what am I working towards? Who am I today, & who do I want to be tomorrow? One thing I’m sure we can all say this morning: This last decade was one for the books.
As I sit & reflect on who I am, how far I’ve come & struggling to determine where it is that I’m going, I’m asking myself some big questions.
What does it mean to be “successful”?
I finished my bachelor’s degree in the last 10 years. (I was on the 8-year plan, so this seems noteworthy.) I began the decade working retail, went to work for a tech start-up & began my entrepreneurial journey with my first attempt at business ownership. (I failed miserably, but it’s one of the most defining experiences of my life, to date.)
Opening, operating, closing & then recovering from closing this first biz… some of the best & hardest decisions I’ve made. After, I struggled through what would be next, what I wanted, who I chose to surround myself with, & who I wanted to be. But it was through this heart-wrenching process that I learned who I really was. & this made it all worth it.
I learned through this process what “success” means to me. I discovered I’m not motivated by money… but instead, the impact I make. It’s not lost on me that this could be impacted by the fact that I’m blessed with a husband who makes it my reality that I have no need to stress over my financial contribution. & measuring success this way is much more difficult than tracking the dollar amount in a bank account. I am competitive & will chase down a monetary goal, if there is one to hit… but the sense of fulfillment I feel when I know I’ve made a positive impact on another feels so much… MORE.
What is “love”?
What does it mean to love someone? What does it mean to be loved? & how does one know when they have it?
My answers to these questions 10 years ago look very different than they do today. & they will continue to change & evolve over the next 10 years, I’m sure. The “love” I was searching for during those dating years of my twenties doesn’t resemble the love that I have found today… in both my self, my husband & those I consider to be my family.
What love is not:
selfish. & this has been one heckuva jagged little pill to swallow, as I’ve learned to let go of pieces of myself to give to others & to let others in.
convenient. Choosing love is not easy. I have learned that it goes against every natural fight or flight reflex in my body. & that’s exactly what love is: a choice. Sometimes the easiest choice I’ve ever made, but more regularly it is the most difficult.
all-consuming. God help me, if I ever love myself or someone else so much that it cancels the other out. Love is not the end-all. Love is not everything. Much of life exists outside of love, but love is (or the lack thereof) a driving force in everything.
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What love is.
unexpected. I’ve always felt as though I love myself; I’ve never felt as though I struggled with low self-confidence. However, looking back on many years of my life, I didn’t treat myself like I loved myself. I see years of just going through the motions of what those I was surrounding myself with at that time expected of me. I didn’t live life for myself, I lived life for the approval of others… & when I stepped into my own & started showing myself the kind of love I expected someone else to show me is when I feel as though I really began living.
If someone would have told me that I’d say “yes” to spending the rest of my life with a divorced man 21 years older than me with four kids (closer in age to me than he), I never would have believed it.
The friends whom I love & consider to be my family today do not resemble the friends I kept once upon a time. The relationships I have with my sisters now resemble friendships I have happily chosen, versus relationships forced on me because we were born into them.
worth it. I don’t always feel this way. Sometimes it’s hard to love myself. Sometimes my husband is hard to love. Family can be hard to love. But what is life without self love, a cherished love & the love of family & friends?
life with Him. I grew up believing in God, but the God I was raised with didn’t resemble the God I aspire to walk hand-in-hand with today. The God I grew up with was one of judgement & condemnation, with rules that must be followed & never broken. The God I know today is one of love: pure, unbridled & unconditional l-o-v-e.
Who am I, & Who do I want to be?
Have you ever sat down & honestly asked yourself these questions? I found it to be a bit uncomfortable & even more difficult to answer. I challenge you to give it a shot. Sit in that discomfort & be honest with yourself. & if it’s hard to get started, as someone close to you to answer this question about you, & see what they say?
Who am I?
I am a self-confident, capable, strong woman.
I am protective, resourceful, straight-talking, & decisive.
I am ego-centric & domineering, controlling & sometimes confrontational. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told I’m “intimidating.”
I am hot-headed. & I struggle immensely with being vulnerable, even with those I love & trust most.
I am conscientious & ethical, with a strong sense of right & wrong.
I am always striving to improve things, & making mistakes is something I’m learning to learn from.
I am at peace when sell-organized, orderly, & fastidious.
I am constantly trying to maintain high standards.
I am critical & most definitely a perfectionistic.
I am highly competitive, & most with myself.
I am a woman who struggles with resentment & impatience.
I am a book-lover, more than a tv-watcher.
I am a fitness fanatic.
I am in love with fashion.
I am goal-oriented.
I am anxious & am often struggling.
I am obsessed with self-discovery & improvement.
I am passionate about many, many things.
I am a wife. A sister. A daughter. A friend.
I am a Christian, & one who sometimes struggles with what that really means.
I am still learning who I am.
Who do I want to be?
I want to be self-reliant & self-made.
I want to be extraordinary.
I want to be impactful.
I want to be memorable.
I want to be a mom. (those might be some of the scariest, but most honest, words I’ve ever written.)
I want to be firmly grounded by my faith.
I want to be an amazing wife.
I want to set a good example for others.
I want to be the best daughter, sister & friend.
I want to be unafraid.
I want to be healthy, healed & whole.
I want to be honest.
I want to be well-read & well-traveled.
I want to be open-hearted, non-judgmental & kind to everyone.
I want to be heard.
I want to be respected.
I want to be wanted.
I want to be loved.
I want to be inspirational & influential.
I want to be blissfully unaware of other people’s opinions of me.
I want to be respected.
Where do I want to be, & what do I want to accomplish in the next 10 years?
I’ve always been more of a goal-oriented girl, than a resolution-driven one. & I’m seriously struggling with setting specific, measurable, attainable goals this year.
Here’s what I know I want to accomplish & achieve:
My healthiest state yet… mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, & even sexually.
A dramatically lessened carbon footprint.
Become ridiculously good at apologizing & forgiving.
Perpetually experiencing life via trial & error, capable of embracing the lessons learned through the errors. Full of big ideas & open to exciting opportunities.
To be more cultured, more exposed, more aware, more grounded & more accepting.
What does this mean for my businesses? I don’t honestly don’t know. I’ve spent the last few years so completely consumed with creating The Dostal House, that I’ve never stopped to dream about what the end-game looks like. I’ve had so much fun creating CreatHer Collabs this year, but I haven’t taken the time to stop & consider what I want to accomplish with it. & SignedM. has been such a valued way to express myself & learn & grow, personally, that I can’t imagine life without it… but I’m feeling a strong pull to consider what this therapeutic hobby could look like as a business.
What will the next 10 years bring, & who do I want to become throughout it? I honestly don’t know. & sitting in that space, not knowing, is really hard for me. But I’m working to embrace this discomfort. & I can’t wait to see where I’ll go.