Anniversaries and other important dates are always a great time to look back and reflect. I have done a lot of looking back over the past couple of days as I approached the one year anniversary of Positively Rolling Through Life.
I published my first blog post on July 20th, 2017. It’s almost unbelievable to think that it has already been a year since I started blogging. I still remember every detail leading up to writing and publishing that first post. The process took me about 8 hours, and I was scared to death when I finally realized that people I don’t know would be reading the things I was writing for the first time. My friends and some of my family were the only people who had read anything I had written before that night. Several weeks of convincing led to me finally deciding to give this whole blogging thing a try. I’m glad I finally decided to go for it.
I actually created this site on July 19th, but was nervous about publishing my first post, so I waited until after midnight to publish it, hoping most people wouldn’t see it right away. One of the most important life lessons I have learned over the past year is that you need to just do what you want to do, and stop worrying about what other people might think. That is a lesson that would have made my decision to start blogging much easier.
My life has changed a lot over the past year. A series of progressions in my life have led me to facing a lot of fears. I have conquered lifelong fears, not because I decided I wanted to put them behind me, but because I had no choice. In order to do the things I wanted to do in my life, and in order to take advantage of great opportunities that have become available to me, I had to dive in and conquer those fears. There was no easing into anything. I had to just make the necessary changes and do so as confidently as possible.
I am confident in telling stories to a bunch of friends or to my family. When I’m around strangers, I always hesitated a bit. Blogging has forced me to forget about those hesitations and just write whatever is on my mind. Instead of worrying about what people might think, I now hope people read it and are positively impacted by my thoughts.
Public speaking has always been one of my biggest fears. For as long as I can remember, as soon as I have become the center of attention and have had people focusing on me, I have started sweating and shaking, and have pretty much forgotten how to form intelligent sentences while speaking. While I still am learning and improving, a change in my professional life threw me directly into a situation where my only choices were to either face my fear or to quit. I’m not a quitter, so I only saw one option for myself. I now co-host a 30+ minute long golf show in front of an audience of complete strangers twice per week. I definitely need more experience before I will feel completely comfortable with the shows, but I have started to actually really enjoy them and look forward to them.
I think the biggest reason I feared public speaking in the past is because my mind was trained to think of those situations as giving speeches while someone is judging and grading me, like I did while I was in school. To me, these shows are just conversations with groups of people. I am able to share my knowledge with people. I can teach them, which is what I already do on a daily basis. The biggest difference is that I am teaching more people at the same time. Changing my mindset was all it took to conquer that fear. Really, if you think about it, any time you are speaking publicly, you are passing along information to your audience, so you are teaching them. Some people may not benefit from thinking of those situations in that way, but it definitely helps me.
As I look back at the year since I started this site, I am amazed at how much my life has changed. I have experienced a lot of things and have continued to take steps forward. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m closer to the life I want to live than I was a year ago. I think that’s all anyone can really ask of themselves. I am growing as a person and am gaining valuable professional experience. Every day, I learn something new. I have learned that some people aren’t worth your time or energy, no matter how close you once were. I have learned that things will work out if and when they’re supposed to work out. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. I have been reminded that you can never take anything for granted. If someone or something is important to you, never miss an opportunity to tell them how important they are, or to enjoy whatever it may be that is important to you. I have been reminded to not get too excited about something until it actually happens. A lot of things have been promised to me, but nothing ever came from those promises. When you take things for what they are, rather than what they could be, then you will be less disappointed when they don’t work out as you had hoped.
I could list all of my lessons learned, but it would take forever. The most important things I have realized as I have looked back on the past year are: I’m moving forward, I know who is worth my time and effort, I am in control of my own happiness, I am better and more capable than I used to give myself credit for, letting go of certain things or certain people is both difficult and necessary, great things are ahead of me, certain people should have been more of a priority in my life sooner, and just live life without worrying about what anyone thinks. People who don’t support you have no business being a part of your life. Your happiness needs to come first in your life. When you make decisions that make you genuinely happy, your life instantly gets better.
There have been several times over the past year that I came close to moving back to my hometown… not because I wanted to, but because I thought it was my only choice. While I really do believe that certain things that are missing in my life would become possible if I moved back, I can’t help but remind myself that I left for a reason. I chose to move here for a reason. Things will fall into place eventually. Distance is just a number. You can always go back home to visit or keep in touch with people from a distance. But, if you aren’t happy somewhere, then you need to leave.
Life is full of choices. It’s a journey with a destination that is determined by the choices you make along the way. Choose wisely. Pay attention to what you really want in life. I think we all know deep down inside of us what we want. We just need to find the answer from within ourselves and find a way to make it happen. Keep searching until you find the answers to the mysteries of your life. You may be surprised to find out that you have searched for a long time for something that was right in front of you all along. Every day is a new adventure, live it and enjoy it. Make this world a better place than it was before you entered it. Inspire others. Lead by example. Don’t make anyone have to guess how you feel about them. If someone is important to you, tell them. If they make you happy, tell them. If you love them, tell them. If you aren’t sure, keep searching and find out. The more people I meet, the more I realize how much we all seem to have in common. You’re not alone in this journey through life. We’re all in this together, and we can all help each other to live a better life.
We will all find different ways that work best for each of us to go through life. As much as my life has changed, and is continuing to change, I know that I’m on the right path. I am slowly starting find answers to the questions in my life. I am starting to settle down. I am gradually finding more peace in my life. As always, I wake up every morning and continue positively rolling through life.