Making Unintentional Progress

Life has been pretty hectic, wouldn’t you say? Especially in a time like this, where everyone is in a frenzy over this pandemic. Sometimes in stressful times we look down on what has yet to be done, but haven’t taken the time to see all the progress we’ve made. I’m guilty of this, sometimes I see everything I need to do, or where I thought I would be, and haven’t noticed where I am, and how amazing it is that I have reached this place of solitude and a better well-being.

I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks and I was feeling down at all the things I have yet to accomplish and looking more on what I don’t have, than what I do. I’m not sure if it’s the age that I will be that has anything to do with the sudden urgency of trying to get my life together or if it’s just the overthinking of being inside all the time. Whatever the reason is, it’s not healthy to dwell on what we don’t have; rather focus on what we do.

With that being said, I may not be where I thought I would be when I turn 25, but I am definitely doing a lot better than where I was before. I may not have the ideal life, but I am happy and being happy is what most people spend their lives trying to obtain. I have a clean bill of health, I have a loving family and beautiful, amazing, considerate friends, I have a job that pays my bills, I’ve survived obstacles that could have killed me, but because of the good Lord above, I am able to tell my story and in hopes to inspire others. In spite of everything I’ve endured, I’ve chose to look at the positive and continuously choose to grow.

As I am well aware, growing comes in different forms. There are always new seasons of growth, and what I have experienced recently is the emotional and physical aspects. For a few months now, I have felt like I was at a standstill of growth, or lack of. I felt like I wasn’t growing as much as I was in the beginning of this year. It’s been said, “don’t look behind you because you are no longer going that way”, but to be honest, it’s okay, because it shows how far you’ve come. For a few weeks I’ve felt like I was looking in the past, but I couldn’t understand why my mind was going back to years before. It wasn’t so much the relationship I was looking at, but rather myself. I couldn’t see why I was subconsciously doing this until a few days ago, and now I am blown away by the realization.

I went hiking earlier this week and a photo of me was taken holding one of my pups, and I kept starring at the photo, as if I didn’t recognize myself. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was different. I scrolled through old photos within my Instagram and thought if maybe I could see old photos, maybe I could spot the difference. Holy shit ya’ll, it hit me like a freight train, the whirlwind of growth I was seeing between the two photos. Massive physical differences, that was the difference I was initially seeing, but as I studied the two photos side by side within the last few days, I saw the emotional growth between the photos as well.

The first photo on the left was taken in 2018, two years ago, when I was in the unhealthy relationship with my ex. I was a ginormous stress ball in that relationship. It was not the type of relationship that put me at ease, but quite the opposite. I was constantly walking on egg-shells, constantly feeling worthless, always stressed out from the whole relationship. Something I am learning is I actually don’t handle stress that well, so imagine how I was two years ago, not coming to this realization and feeling like I had no where to go. Fast forward to the second photo on the right, taken a few days ago in 2020, in a healthy relationship with myself. I was actually stressed in this photo, but I am learning how to control my emotions and handle myself better. I am worthy in both photos, but in the second photo I actually feel like I am. I am happy with being by myself. I am SO much more happy in general. The physical differences are unparalleled, I feel like I look like a completely different person. My face shape as changed entirely. My smiles are extreme opposites. My smile on the left is fake, something I mastered years ago. Flashing a pretty smile, but never meant it. Where as now, when I smile, I radiate the happiness I feel. When I see the photos, and compare the two, is when I notice the emotional differences. My mental well-being in both photos are drastically different, and I don’t know about you, but I can see it within the photos.

Looking at this comparison makes me love where I am at and how far I’ve come, even if its not as far as I would have initially expected. Even when I didn’t think I was growing this season, I realized I have come a long way and looking back, I can truly see how much growth has happened within me. I am so happy with how far I have come, and when I feel like I am at a standstill, I will look at these photos are realize how far I’ve come.

Remember to look on the positive side of life, and be consistent with your personal growth. Growth comes in many forms throughout the seasons, and sometimes it’s okay to look back and see how far you’ve come.

Stay healthy out there, and continue to spread love and kindness,
– Allie

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