Thankfulness Thursday: Who do you choose to be?

Part of whatever it is that is happening right now is that I’m learning to be me. We live in an age of extended adolescence. In my case, adulthood is starting at age 29. And, I don’t mean this in a time to buy a minivan kind of way, (no offense to the lovely twenty-something minivan drivers in my life). Instead, I mean this as I’m finally starting to figure out who the heck I am.

I’m a teacher, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a writer, an occasional traveler. I’m each of these things because I choose to be, not because I think I should or always will be, (although I hope to be most of these things all my life). I am incredibly grateful to be in the exact place I am right now, even though it is hard and even though I want some things to change. I think that’s the big difference. I used to fight life, to fight all the parts that were hard or not perfect.

Now I see it as part of a general movement in the right direction. I look back five years, things are better despite the bumps along the way. I am optimistic the same trend will continue with faith and a lot of hard work. I’ve got the hard work part down, so really it’s just a matter of maintaining a positive outlook and enjoying the journey, bumps and all.

So, what does it mean to be me today?

It means I write what vibrates in my bones, popular or not. It means mermaids for NaNoWriMo, even if practically every agent on the planet currently claims to hate mermaids. It means yoga in my living room and a make-shift altar on my coffee table. It means Sunday night dinners with my family, coffee dates in sundresses with my best friends, Wednesday nights in my pajamas watching TV with my husband. It means teaching in a way that leaves my heart aching.

I am part hippie, part hipster, part bohemian, part yuppie, part vegetarian-in-training.

As silly as it sounds, today I’m grateful to be me because it took me a very long time to get what that means, even if who I am is still an evolving mess of ideals and dreams. Maybe I’ll always be this way, but that’s alright, I’m starting to get that the labels and the knowing and the destinations aren’t the point.

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14 thoughts on “Thankfulness Thursday: Who do you choose to be?

  1. kingmidget says:

    “It means teaching in a way that leaves my heart aching.”
    This may very well be why you’re an incredible teacher. Assuming, of course, that you are. 😉
    I think the thing I figured out (at least today) is that life is a constant evolution. When I was 29, I thought I was a father, reader, golfer, and attorney. I was about to become a father. Nineteen years later, I’m a writer, father, husband. I’m still an attorney, but it is only to pay the bills. It doesn’t define me. I’ve become a master pizza-maker and many other things. I no longer golf. I’m into yoga. I think that 15 years from now I’m going to be doing many of the things I do now and then I realize that, well, go back to the first thought — my life has been about change. The things that motivated me 20 years ago no longer do. Who is to say the things that motivate me now will still do so 15 or 20 years from now.
    I think, based on reading your blog, you may be in for the same ride. It’s incredible that you’ve found a good space now. That’s the ultimate objective, isn’t it? And, you seem motivated to continue looking for that next positive step. If you keep doing that, happiness and a good life will always be there for you.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      It’s interesting to hear your journey. I think you’re right, I’ll also always be changing, which I’m starting to be more comfortable with… I just hope I can maintain the good space. It seems easy to slip. Amazing what 19 years brings! It sounds like you’ve learned a lot about what’s important.

  2. A Connoisseur of Life says:

    Lovely post. The part that resonated with me most:

    “…even if who I am is still an evolving mess of ideals and dreams. Maybe I’ll always be this way, but that’s alright, I’m starting to get that the labels and the knowing and the destinations aren’t the point.”

    I feel as though my labels are always evolving when I try new things, because a part of me feels like I don’t want to miss out on anything. But over time some of those roles change (life kingmidget mentions above), but I always come back to the core group of roles/labels that define me (mother, sister, daughter, photographer, DIY’r, traveller, photo editor…) which tells me, I have discovered who I am and I’m more at peace as a result.

    It’s taken me years to realize this, so I’m glad your own your way. And I think that’s just a part of living and enjoying the adventure we call life. And I think most would agree, its if you don’t evolve, you’re not living.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I’m glad it resonated! A lot of times I question sharing these kinds of thoughts– so it makes it worthwhile to hear I connected. I like that– if you don’t evolve, you’re not living. Do you have a blog link I could check out? I tried clicking on your pic but couldn’t find your blog!

  3. You are exactly where you need to be at the moment and you are exactly who you wish to be. What’s incredible is that you actually know this. It takes people far longer and some never, to understand that your life is what you make it. As cliche as it still may be… it’s not what happens to you but what you do with it that matters. You are allowing the process of self-discovery to unfold according to plan. How awesome is that? Peace.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, I get nervous that somehow this knowledge will slip away and I’ll forget for awhile. Life is such an amazing journey and I’m just beginning to really appreciate it… Hoping I can find the space to keep this perspective! Any secrets? 😉

      • Just know that failing is a part of it all. You will forget, as I have many times and sometimes for really long and stupid periods of time, but, like tides, this self-knowing returns. You know how some people have that Ah-Ha moment? I happen to have Duh moments and plenty of them, but if I’m still here in this moment, smiling, well, then I have to believe I’m still on the right path. Trust yourself to know exactly what it is you seek and you will always find it. Peace.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        I like that symbolism of the knowing being like tides– the reassurance it will return is comforting. Thanks for the words of wisdom 🙂

  4. Lovely post again Olivia! I completely agree. Every year older and a better grasp at being myself who no longer tries to be like everyone else. You seem amazing just the way you are! And I love your writing girl! xo

  5. Glad to have found you – or that you found me! 🙂

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