Thursday, December 17, 2015

Perspective

It's been nearly a year since I've written a blog post. In that time, my life has been on a rollercoaster of ups and downs, pain and happiness, loss and gain. I've cried, I've laughed, I've doubled over in pain, and I've jumped for joy.

This year ... I lived. I truly lived. Authentically and wholeheartedly.

Last year at this time, I was in a 6-year relationship, sharing a house with him, a dog, and two cats. This year, I'm in a different relationship, living in an apartment with one cat.

Last year I was unhappy, unsettled, and didn't know why. I felt like there should've been so much more to my life, but I was constricted, restrained, held back. There was so much I wanted to do and see, but felt like I couldn't for so many reasons. No one told me I couldn't do anything; it was more of a feeling deep down inside.

I was living half a life.

Pain
From the outside, it looked like everything was perfect. My boyfriend's business was taking off and it allowed us to travel frequently and to meet people we'd always admired. Doors that had previously been closed were now opened, and it was exhilarating. But it was all for him. I always felt like I was just tagging along. The girlfriend. The camera operator.

I thought something was wrong with ME. Why couldn't I be happier with my life?

Turns out, I was unhappy because I'd lost myself.

Who was I? What did I want? Why wasn't I doing the things I wanted to do? Except for work, I had made my life revolve around someone else. It had happened so gradually, I wasn't even aware of it ... until suddenly, it was like I woke up, looked around, and couldn't find Kari anywhere.

Finding myself again has taken some time. The first few months were difficult, as they are with most breakups. To add to it, my little Ginger cat was very sick with cancer, and I was bringing her to the vet twice a week to get fluid drained from her lungs. Two days after my birthday, I said goodbye to my little girlcat. Seven months later, I still get choked up thinking about her and force cuddle my other kitty, Ed, a little closer.

My sweet little Ginger cat
If I focus on all of the pain and sadness I experienced this year, I could think the year has been awful. One of the worst I've had in many years. But with loss, grief, sadness, and pain also comes growth and silver linings in dark clouds. If I focus on all of the pain, I lose sight of all of the good, wonderful, and joy I also experienced this year.

Joy
I met someone who is absolutely perfect for me. Our relationship is easy. Stress-free and drama-free. We get along so well and love exploring DC, creating memories and adventures together. With C, I feel like I can be myself and that's more than enough for him.

I love baseball, and last year I didn't go to any baseball games. This year I went to three: two Nationals and one Orioles game. I discovered that when I go to baseball games, the home team loses but I still have a blast!

Star Wars Day at Nationals Park
I love the beach and have wanted to spend a long weekend in Ocean City, Maryland for the past five years. Last year I went for the first time for only a day and a half. This year, I went for four and a half days ... and it was one of the highlights of my summer! C and I spent a day on Assateague Island and were able to get close to the wild horses. After reading and re-reading Misty of Chincoteague as a little girl, getting up close and personal with the horses was like fulfilling a childhood dream.

Chillin' with wild horses. Childhood dream come true!
I live 900 miles from my family, yet I got to see them five times this year! My brother and I ran a 10K race together at the end of April - I discovered I love to run. Whoda thunk?! My parents came out to visit twice - once specifically to go to a Nora Roberts book signing. My heart feels so full when I get to spend time with my family.

My brother and I at the finish line of the 10K race
C and I explored DC and Baltimore, making several trips to the Inner Harbor, National Harbor, and National Mall. I loved playing tourist, getting to know the area better.

C and me with my parents - playing tourists in DC
Memories
This year was all about making memories. There are some sad and painful memories and there are some happy and beautiful memories. They interweave to form a quilt of a year of personal growth. If I focus on all of the joy and happiness I experienced this year, I discover that in many ways, this was one of the best years of my life. It all comes down to perspective.

Usually, I focus on the positive in a situation - the silver lining. This year, I often struggled to find the sunshine through the clouds. I found myself saying, "I can't wait for this year to be over." But by saying that, I'm not acknowledging all of the good things that have happened - all of the joy and wonderful experiences I've had. Even in the darkest and most painful of days, I always had the knowledge that I was going to be ok. That I was going to be stronger because of my experiences. And I am.

In the past few months, I've had several people tell me how happy and peaceful I look. I smile and thank them, while wondering how they can really see that. What do they see that I didn't realize was there? The truth is, I'm happier now than I have been in a long time, and apparently it shows.

I found myself again. I found ME.

Our Happy Faces
And that's the best thing about this year. I'm looking forward to 2016. Not in an escaping-from-2015 way, but in a making-more-memories way. I'm focusing on the positive, choosing to view 2015 as the year I re-found myself and my happiness.

I'm looking forward to writing again, and sharing more memories and experiences with you.

4 comments:

  1. its so good to see you in blogland again!!!!!!!!!
    It seems you have had quite the year of ups and downs but it is amazing that you were able to find yourself again and find some inner peace of mind. you are able to see the glass as half full as opposed to half empty which is always a good thing!
    again, good to "see" you again and KEEP UP WITH RUNNING! its not as evil as most in the bodybuilding world claim it to be
    ;)
    *hugs*

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  2. This was a wonderful post to read, and I'm so glad that you will be posting again.
    I look forward to reading your experiences. I am so happy that you have found you too!

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  3. Super excited for you, Kari. I'm glad you're able to dust yourself off and try again. I will certainly be looking forward to reading more from you. And by the way, C is such a stud. Score!

    Kisses.

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