Year of the Bull

I got out of my morning writing routine after the #31days series was over. I got sucked back into sleeping in late, skipping workouts and rolling into work just in time. I stopped caring if I hit snooze 10 times and just slept. I got out of other routines too- eating healthy and treating my body right falling to the wayside. 
Then I had a weekend that was bittersweet. 
Saturday was shining and beautiful- a perfect, unseasonably warm day in November. I got in a long run by the lake and spent most of the time fantasizing about how perfect my wedding pictures would have been. That afternoon I picked up the dress I won’t be wearing. I tried it on just to see how it would have looked. Its hanging in the back of my closet now- preserved in plastic for some other time perhaps. We spent great time with family that we don’t get to see often. Celebrating kid birthdays and catching up on each other’s lives. I had a great weekend. Then? I had a not so great couple of days.  I let the ‘maybes’ and ‘could bes’ of the past and future overwhelm me. I got caught up in feeling crappy and not fighting it- just letting the world win.

That following Tuesday night T talked me out of it. He said, “Some days I feel like that too- like I just want to stay in my bed all day. But then I just MAKE myself get in the shower, go to work or go to the gym."

So I did that. I got up and went to the gym. Met my girls for coffee. Started checking things off my to-do list. And the next day? I felt like a whole new person.

Turning 30 this year was a milestone to me.  Mostly because when I was younger I could never envision myself at 30. I didn’t know what that looked like or what I would be doing. When I turned 30 this year, I felt like I had a vision of what my future would be. I was happily engaged, plans were in motion, and life was great. Then things changed. 
I don’t want this to sound like getting un-engaged ruined my vision, but it certainly changed. I feel like everything sort of shifted. But I have a new vision- one of a future that is true and bright and faithful. I’m writing my future in pencil (thanks Shauna Neiquist), I’m planning loosely. You know why? Because I can have the best intentioned, most perfect plans and they can change. 

Life is lot less disappointing and a lot more wonderful if you don’t bet your future on a single plan.

I spent a couple days a week ago mourning the plan I had that didn’t work out. And then I thought about how wasting another second being sad about something that is already past is just sort of dumb.
In the past month, I have been handed some incredible opportunities:
-          I got a new position at work that challenges me and gives me more experience to learn and grow.
-          I started a new business that I LOVE. I’ve found a vehicle to make my dreams come true.
-          I’ve started my very first Purpose Project and I’ve taken steps to go on my first mission trip.
-          I’ve been approached with opportunities that have led me to realize that my dreams of being a coffee shop owner are not as far out of reach as I once thought.

As for T and I? We’ve made some amazing strides. Our conversations are more honest and open then any I’ve had with anyone ever. This thing we went through has bound us together closer than either one of us realized or expected. I don’t want to call it a ‘blessing in disguise’ but it certainly has been a seemingly negative experience that has produced some wonderful results.

That Saturday, before I went to pick up the dress- I made a tattoo appointment. I had been contemplating something for my 30th birthday but just hadn’t gotten around to it. Instead of thinking about it anymore, I walked right into the shop and made the appointment.
I already knew what I was going to get.

This bull represents me. 
The me that was – stubborn and angry, wild and untamed, and the me that is – steadfast and strong. Also? I thought of the biblical meaning- how bulls were often sacrificed in the Old Testament. I like the idea of being reminded of how the old me was sacrificed to become something better- something unyielding and brave. I like the idea that these first 30 years of my life were just preparation for the next phase.

Here’s to the year of the bull.