Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lessons from Some "Me Time"

In the past couple of weeks, I've really been focusing on me. For four years, my time has revolved around school, work, and Chi Alpha, and then for a year and a half I devoted the majority of my [limited] free time to a boyfriend.
Don't get me wrong - I loved it. I loved the way I spent my time, loved who I spent it with. I have no regrets.

But that season is over now, and oh my lanta - it was a rough transition. In the beginning of this new phase of my life, I did everything I did because I had to - it was a struggle to simply get to the next thing. 

But now I'm moving forward, moving on with my life, and I've been doing a lot of just-for-me things. 
Which feels good.
It feels like I'm taking a stand for something - for my independence, for my confidence, for myself.
Capitalizing on this new bit of free time I have and doing productive things with it. Enjoyable things. 

It's a weird feeling, really. I feel like a pretty independent person - I moved out when I was 17 and I was, for the most part, happily single until my junior year of college. But in this new part of my life, I don't have anyone to answer to. I never have to consider someone else's schedule when I make plans, no one is ever really wondering where I am or what I'm doing, and it's been an interesting adjustment. However, I have determined to view this new kind of individuality as freedom, as a great thing and as an opportunity to take care of myself! 
Not to say that I couldn't have done that when I was in a relationship. I never felt tied down or obligated by spending time with my boyfriend - he was my favorite and I loved it. Just keepin' it real.

But now I am by myself. A lot. Which is never something that I have enjoyed before - I have always preferred the company of other people to being alone. I've been going through a lot of adjustment, though, about what independence is to me now and what it entails- I live by myself, and that in and of itself affords me a lot of just me time. 

At first, it was rough. I didn't like it at all, and so my amazing friends welcomed me into their homes so that I never had to spend time alone if I didn't want to. [If you're one of those lovely people - you know who you are - know that I appreciate you so much!!] And I'm still quite enjoying a lot of quality time with people who are very dear to me. But I've also started to embrace my newly-defined independence. 

I've been paying more attention to my apartment - which has been sorely necessary, but something that I always put on the back burner because, for a long time, spending time with and doing fun things with my boyfriend and his family was more important to me than making sure my laundry was put away and that my dishes were always clean. Sue me. 
I've been having people over (I have found that I actually really love hosting!) and spending more time at my friends' homes as well. Which has been an immense joy, and something I'll write about soon!
This past weekend, I went to the mall - by myself - and spent a few hours shopping and spending some of my hard-earned money. And I didn't feel a shred of guilt afterwards. 
I got contacts, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time but just never did. My face feels naked, but I can see! 
I've been putting off a piercing that I wanted for a long time because my ex didn't like it, and I'm going to get it soon. There is also a new tattoo in the works, which I am very excited about!
I also started taking a dance class at a really awesome studio in town, and finally having a physical outlet for my emotions and stresses and thoughts has been one of the best things I could have possibly done for myself in this time.
And, most importantly of all, I've been spending a lot of quality time with Jesus. Just me and Him, walking through everything that's going on in my heart and in my head as I navigate this crazy, tumultuous, somehow exciting new season. 

Really, I feel like a completely different person than I was two months ago. After a breakup, a lot of girls do drastic things like some of the stuff I mentioned - they chop off their hair, dye it a different color, buy a completely new wardrobe, move away to a different state (or even a different country!). And I totally understand why.
I'm redefining myself. Not my identity - more than ever before, I feel firmly rooted in my foundation as a follower of Christ. But just my person, if you will. I'm not the same girl that I was even a few months ago - from the inside out, I feel completely different. I'm doing things that maybe I haven't done before, things I've been saying that I wanted to do, things that are making me feel really great about myself.

I'm breaking free from who I was and forging ahead into who I'm becoming. And that is a great feeling. 

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! - 2 Corinthians 5:17

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