Spring has sprung and my world is filled with color.
Everywhere I look seems new, refreshed and bursting with opportunity.
Life right now is golden.
There’s a saying that goes, “Bloom where you are planted.”
And this Spring, that’s all I seek to do.
I’m working on growing something new in my life.
I’m working on being intentional with things I really haven’t been intentional with in the last few years.
Free time being at the top of the list.
And cooking. And hobbies. And being silly. And finding a favorite TV show. And making it a point to read for pleasure.
For the last decade, I’ve ran a race. The finish line of the race was a dream career. I wanted a job I loved.
A couple months ago, something hit me: The race is over. I can slow down.
Career wise, I’m exactly where I want to be. There’s nothing else that I’d rather be doing in a job.
And so, that got me thinking.
Where do I need to bloom next?
For me, the answer is obvious: My personal life.
I’m lucky that I have so many friends who are so driven, so talented and so successful.
When I look at many of us, though, I see people who don’t know how to slow down. People who don’t know how to accept what they have. People who don’t know how to move on to the next thing. People who are stuck chasing things that truth be told, they don’t have to run after anymore. If there is a leader of this pack of people, it’d likely be me.
I don’t know what changed in me. Something did, though. For so long, there has been this fire burning inside of me that echoed in my ear, “You need more.” The fire would tell me to chase this opportunity or go after that one. It would never tell me to sit still. It was always leading me into a race.
The fire has faded, though. In its place, life is blooming.
It’s a life built on intentionality.
On slowing down. On letting people in. On being vulnerable.
I was driving home last night and in the time span of five minutes, two of my best friends let me know that they were engaged. I was over the moon for them. They both truly found their soul mates and are both so, so deserving of good love. My heart is so happy when I even think of the futures awaiting them. They’re so good.
This morning, though, I became vulnerable. I was texting with one of my best friends, Brit, who’s living in Germany. In the midst of catching her up on life, I wrote, “I’m just really scared that I’ve missed the boat when it comes to getting married.”
Old me would’ve never let this vulnerability card show. Old me never let her guard down. Old me had everything under control.
Or so she thought.
And I’m so glad it did.
Something changed, because I realized that if I didn’t slow down, the boat might really sail away.
And when I thought about it, more than anything, it’s a boat I didn’t want to let sail away.
These days, life isn’t about building a following on social media.
These days, life isn’t about chasing the next opportunity.
These days, life isn’t about pushing the limits.
These days, life is about blooming.
It sounds crazy, but in the last year I’ve gotten to know myself better than I had in the 29 that preceded it. I’m more intimate with my feelings, more careful with my words and more thoughtful with my gestures.
I tell people how I feel. I let people know I love them. I share when people hurt me. I tell people when they make me happy.
I’m no longer afraid of being hurt. I’m ok with letting go. I’m open to new things. I’m grateful for my past. All of it.
I listen to a couple of podcasts every week where I try to soak up new knowledge. I have favorite shows that I catch on Netflix. I return phone calls within the same day. I send handwritten notes. I am slowly learning a new language. I cook a new recipe each week. I found a church that I can call my own. I keep a journal that’s secret from the world. I make it a point to meet one new person each week. I try hard to smile at everyone. I unplug at least one day each week.
I go for runs. I download new music and let it play in my ears. I focus on my breathing. I try to lengthen my stride. I look at the colors that pass by.
And as I go, I realize this: Everything that’s blooming is beautiful.
Where I am planted is more than alright.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I notice this. Other people notice this. Even strangers notice this.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been, because for the first time in my life, the only thing I’m chasing is me.
These days, I’m not running after the girl I think my family expects me to be. Nor am I chasing the girl I think my friends would like to be around the most. I’m not exhausting myself trying to become the girl I think he’d want to be with. I’m not chasing the girl I think a boss would like to hire.
These days, I’m running as fast as I can after the woman who is finally ready to bloom into what she was meant to become.
This is a new season. And truth be told, it’s a welcome one.
The beauty of seasons, is we don’t know how long they’ll last. Nor do we know when they’ll begin again. All we can do in them, then, is bloom. Right where we’re planted.
And so for now, that’s what I’ll do.