All of this, everything I had and taken the opportunity to do this year, has a meaning. Somewhere in the inner workings of it all I believe is something I was meant to learn this year. Without any complex analysis or fancy metaphors I believe that it was my sign that it was time to grow up.

I will admit that for the last couple years my life has been about me, whats made me happy, encouraged my career, given me opportunities. Me, Me, Me. I don’t think this odd, I don’t know anyone that hasn’t gone through a “selfish period”, a time when you need to do things for yourself, usually so you don’t end up with a long “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” list and I think that’s okay as long as it doesn’t last forever. I knew that at some point I’d have to grow out of it and I feel like I’m on that path. Over this last year as life has changed and thrown me a few curveballs. It has also settled down with the advent of new jobs, new locations, and a new rhythm and the more it settles into something wonderfully comfortable the more I see what I want for myself changing. I want a little more of this, but little less of that. I have whole list of things that I ready now to do and to welcome into my life that I just would not have been ready for a few years ago and I think this year is preparing me for that.

It got called to my attention a rather harsh way, by someone who for lack of a better phrase should have handled it better, that there were those, despite my attempts who weren’t seeing me the way I wanted to. I still don’t know if this because of how I actually was or just how they were choosing to perceive me, but I decided that from then on I would never give them a real reason to say such things again. If those same issues ever get brought up again, if my integrity or abilities as a daughter, niece, granddaughter or friend ever get called into question again I will have the evidence to disprove them on the spot. I will be able to say that, even if that’s what you choose to think of me I know, without a doubt, that it is not true.

I also have a list of what I always wanted to be, not career wise or achievement wise (though I have those lists too), but as person. I strayed from that list for awhile, trying on other peoples lives or persona’s. As shallow as it sounds, I was just trying to fit in. I need some time in a new environment to realize who I wanted to be and that it was okay to be that, even if it wasn’t that exciting on the surface. A good life filled with love and integrity trumps an exciting life that is devoid of any of that. Now I’d rather be a good person than an exciting person any day.

I needed to learn to put others before myself more, even down to the littlest things like taking out the trash when I really would rather not. Practice a little bit more of what I preach and set a better example. To have a thicker skin. To live life for myself, but in a better way; to live a better life because those around me are well and taken care of.

When I read more about the virtue of Charity it all came into focus. Charity is not just giving to others, but instead is a balance of love and respect for others combined with a love and respect for yourself.

I think I’ve learned my lesson and am ready to start on that list.