I've been gone off the blog for a while now. A combination of moving to a new state and starting grad school has left me busy, and with no good place for taking outfit pictures! (Any creative solutions to that issue are welcome) Hence, the minimalism project part 2 never took off as promised.
But, during this month away, the universe has blessed me with so many opportunities to practice just the things I need most practice on. I'm becoming a fuller, better version of myself out here on the east coast, and though it hasn't been completely smooth sailing, I can feel the transformation happening.
Here's what I've been learning:
How to love
Being long-distance from my boyfriend has been hard. There are days where our only communication is a "good morning" text. But I am happier than ever, and it's because I'm finally figuring out how to be in a healthy relationship. I'm communicating my feelings and emotions. I'm listening to his. We laugh a lot, and we are content with sitting next to each other on the couch in silence (when I am lucky enough for him to visit). Distance is teaching me how to love. Thank you, universe.
How to be helpful
I generally consider myself a helpful person. In fact, I think often times I tend to help people TOO much. This is often called codependency. I have this desire to control other people's lives before the bad thing even happens to them, so that they won't get hurt.
As it turns out, this is not actually possible. And when my efforts fail, because I'm trying to control something I can't, I get upset with myself for not trying hard enough. It's not a fun way to live.
My grad school program is with 20 other women, and over the last month, I've had to make new friends - something I haven't really had to do since my freshman year of college. And guess what? In a subconscious effort to make the people around me like me, I found myself wanting to be helpful. Overly helpful. Helpful before my new friends even asked for it.
I noticed this behavior more clearly, before it got out of hand, and with every new day I've been working really hard to only be as helpful as is asked for.
And so far, it's working. I've made friends without having to convince them that I'm worthy of their friendship by being their savior in all things. I'm learning that Greta, just as she is, is likable too.
How to be imperfect
At the beginning of the school year, I had some people who I respect tell me that my behavior on social media (mostly on my blog, my Instagram, and Facebook I think) is inappropriate and cause for concern. I wasn't provided with specifics about my "concerning behavior" so I had to do some guess work, and what I realized was that my authenticity was making these people uncomfortable. My honesty was concerning. Because it's true, I write about my struggles here on this blog. I post pictures of my not-a-size-zero body on Instagram. I speak out about failed relationships, and my own sexual assault. Because all of these things are me. Why should I put on a false front of being 100% happy and perfect all the time on social media, when in real life that's simply not true?
Being confronted in this way was really difficult for me. It hurt. A lot. But now that I'm on the other side of it, I can say now that I am more proud than ever of who I am. I have not changed my "inappropriate" behavior. Because honesty is never inappropriate. And I will not change because some people are uncomfortable with my imperfections. That's their problem. Not mine.
As as you can see, I've been hard at work, learning and growing and becoming more of myself than ever before. I really want to make blogging a regular thing, both here and on my fashion page, but if last month is any indication of how this year is going to go, I really can't make any promises.
What I can tell you is this: the universe works in beautiful ways. You just have to open your heart to the lessons that are being offered to you. Miraculous transformations happen when you do.