Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That: The 2013 Wrap Up



I haven't been here in quite some time.  Well, not completely true.  I do lurk in the shadows, wondering if I am the only one who comes here still to read the words.  It appears that a few people still stop by, and I do appreciate that, and at the same time, I apologize for not being more engaged.  My words seemed forced for quite some time, and I needed to remove myself from this place.

I was talking to a friend about that fact...the fact that my words on this blog weren't flowing like they once did.  I told her that I was sad about that fact, but that I couldn't force any words that were worth reading, so I stepped away.  And my dear friend, she said the most profound thing to me: "Maybe you don't have the words anymore because you are in a much better place than you had been.  Maybe the blog served its purpose as your outlet during a very dramatic, very traumatic time in your life, and now that the waters have calmed, so has your need for an outlet."  Holy flippin cow.  AMAZING!  I hadn't thought about it like that.   Not at all.

But it's true.

My life, this past year, it has been calm.  It has been drama free.  It has been peaceful.  And I have loved every second of it.

And that's what I wanted to focus on today: where I've been this past year, what I've learned, and what I plan to take into 2014 (Holy my goodness, it's 2014 already?!??!).

Money
During the fall, I went through a money crisis, and then a transformation.  I have debt.  I was blowing money like it grew on trees (I was having a great time with my friends, but it was not a sustainable way to live).   I was tired of being strapped for cash all of the time. So I made changes.  I created a budget (I've never adhered to, or even had, a written-on-paper budget).  I continued to pay all of my bills on time as I always have (seriously, my credit is obnoxiously beautiful), but with the "left over money,"  I made choices that are going to advance me, not continue to hold me down.  In the month of December, I will admit that I've fallen off the wagon (Christmas, Christmas togethernesses with friends, love and joy and happiness...how could I say no?!).  But beginning this week, I'm back on the wagon.  No more going out.  No more spending on non-necessities.  No more blowing the food budget out of the water "just this once."  Time to buckle down and pay shyte off.  So excited!

Acquaintances
I am the Sunshine Giver.  I firmly believe that I was put on this Earth to share my sunshine with others and to be a positive note in a sometimes cloudy world.  My personality attracts all sorts of people.  I discovered this year that, unfortunately, I was letting in, and holding on to, too many negatives.  I realized that I was allowing myself to be used by people that didn't necessarily need my sunshine, but rather, were trying to steal it.  In the spring, I realized that I had several of these people latching on all at once.  And it was exhausting.  And so I exited stage right (or left, whichever).  I got out.  I withdrew from certain people.  I distanced myself.  And my own spirits lifted.  I was beginning to suffocate from carrying these people around, and by taking a step back, I saved myself from darkness.  I felt bad for doing this, but the most important thing I learned: it's OK to step away.  It's OK to let go of negative people.  It's OK to NOT put up with the crap.  I've accepted that fact, and life is so much more awesomerester!

Drama
By nature, I'm a pretty low key/go with the flow sort of person.  Don't get me wrong; I can get spun up with the best of them.  But generally, I like a calm, chaos-free life.  Again, I think this leads back to friends vs. acquaintances and who you allow to be close to you.  I spent the first five months of this year healing a broken heart and spirit.  Stepping back from the remaining bit of drama that I was allowing in my life allowed me to heal, and to become myself again.

Love
Yep, that one word.  That one place that is so scary to visit when you've been hurt so many times.  Love found me, and I took a chance, and I haven't regretted it yet.  It hasn't been easy, for so many reasons.  It wasn't been easy because I needed to learn to trust again, and so did he.  It hasn't been easy because it's long distance.  It hasn't been easy because I'm a girl and he's a guy and that's just difficult sometimes.  But, at the end of the day, I wouldn't change any part of the last eight months (eight months already!).  We are trusting, we are healing, we are learning and growing...together.  And it feels pretty dang amazing!

Family
My family...man oh man.  I love these people so very much.  I have made an effort to be in closer contact with them.  I try to talk to my momma once a week, and my sister just as often (although it doesn't always work out that way).  I text and facetime my nephew and niece (it's CRAZY that they're old enough to text me!).  And I realize that I can do better.  I can get to Portland more frequently to see them (although see above Money segment...gas is expensive!).  But I think I'm doing a better job at keeping in contact with them, because I know for quite some time, I had lost that connection...using distance and a busy life as an excuse.  That won't happen again.  Nope. It won't.

Me, Myself and I
All of this stuff...it all comes together and creates the person that I am today:
The person who has been broken close to the point of no repair, but has found new hope in love.
The person who struggles financially, but is beyond committed to becoming debt free.
The person who has allowed other people's drama to dictate this life, but will no longer accept such craziness.
The person who had let her family become less important than her own life, but now realizes that family is the rock she will always lean on.
The person who deeply appreciates the calm, consistent life that hers has become.

Thanks for stopping by, friends!  I'm not sure what 2014 holds for this here blog.  I may stop by occasionally to say hello.  But there are a lot of other goals and changes coming up in 2014, and this blog has been moved down on the list of "must do." I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being in my life.  Cheers to you and your new year.  BRING ON 2014!!

Have an awesome day!
Ang


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