Staying Power

While out for drinks with my cousin last week, we discussed social media and peoples' tendency to post only the highlight reels of their lives. It can become quite difficult to relate to my favorite bloggers, instagrammers, and often even known friends and family because I am constantly seeing only the best bits of their day to day lives, resulting in somewhat of a gap between blogger and reader and a drop in confidence when I "take five" to scroll through social media links. 

This post is not a highlight reel. It's been a rough couple weeks, there's no denying that. My schedule has been full of new jobs, new schedules, new steps, and frustrations and disappointments. 

I have struggled with balancing all my jobs and reserving time for my faith and also my fitness; two activities that are highly important and valuable to me. It has been a great challenge now that I do not have the "free time" for my faith. Because of this, I have been learning how to invite Christ into every aspect of my day, especially the parts where I struggle and it has been an important reminder that God is around more than just my early waking moments and the moments before my head hits the pillow. 

Additionally, on the blogging, branding, and entrepreneurial fronts, I have felt overwhelmed and under-confident. Having begun more thorough research into, the less fun but equally important, business and analytics aspect of blogging has left me feeling like I am at the bottom of a mountain with no climbing gear to reach the summit. 

With the added "best foot forward" culture today's social media brings to the table, it can be hard for one to feel comfortable where they currently are in their life journey. I often feel the desire to be where I observe others living their best days instead of working on creating my own and being at ease in the current portion of my own journey. 

In tough times like these I could easily continue to feel low or call it quits on my goals and dreams, however doing so would teach me nothing. Christ made us capable of astounding and wonderful things, if only we keep the right mindset. When the going gets tough, wether it's during a rough workout, if we are tired and beaten down from a long and unfulfilling work week, if we feel like no matter how hard we try we just can't seem to get where we hope to be; that's when we must dig our heels in the ground and keep pushing forward in perseverance and faith instead of slowing down. We are all resilient beings but sometimes we need the extra push from ourselves, others, and Christ to remind us why we started in the first place. 

It's Not About You

Previously, I made mention to a lack of priority on my part. Taking a few steps back, I am going to briefly touch back on my time and adventures in London before jumping into the bulk of today's post. 

I adore travel. I could talk your ears off about the adventures I have planned, the people and places I dream of meeting. There is something about stepping outside of your "world" and into someone else's, even for a fleeting moment, to experience life lived through a different lens. 

Living in London for a year allowed me that opportunity tenfold. I was not only able to experience a different world, I was able to set up a new life and routine there. I will forever treasure the memories and knowledge gained during my time in England. 

However, with that opportunity to experience a new place also came the ability to, like noted above, create a new routine. Largely, my new routine was highly beneficial, fascinating, and wildly vivid. There were also crucial pieces that became lost amongst the exciting chaos. Significantly, my faith. With the freedom (and free will) to choose how I lived out that faith, I counterintuitively chose not to cultivate it. Instead, I began placing material items, cynicism, and my wants and desires over Christ's and used them to try and fill a constant emptiness in my heart. 

It wasn't until my journey Up North that Christ shook me awake and opened my eyes to the real reason behind my constant need for the unnecessary—only God can make us feel truly whole, life is not about "you" or the things (materialistic or not) we want.

Never is there an instance that occurs by happenstance. I believe there is always a greater reason and purpose for the events that come about in our lives as well as the people that are brought into them. Realizing what I have been lacking in faith, has only strengthened that faith, and my relationship with God and others, subsequently causing me to feel the most joyful I have in months. 

In a short time I have learned more about trusting God, letting go of my desire to control my circumstances, and the plan He has made for me, than I have in my lifetime. I have seen my relationships with family and friends flourish and day-to-day interactions with others become increasingly positive. 

The journey is far from over. Just as there is never a definite end or one way street to any relationship, the same goes for my relationship with Christ. It is a constant and daily excursion, one that will have just as many bumps and divots as there are smooth segments. And just like any worldly relationship it will require copious amounts of hard work, Jesus never preached "come follow me and be comfortable." However, with trust and a willingness to continually strengthen faith in Him, He can promise it will be worth the ride. 

Circling back to living and desiring the unnecessary, I am journeying to focus more on the necessities rather than the commodities we are told we need on a daily basis. It is a truly difficult task in a world that places material goods, and the amount of "things" we own high on the list of importance. Instead, I hope to focus my faith and efforts, on others. Life is truly lived when we stop living for ourselves, and subsequently, when we do so we receive greater joy experiencing the happiness of others than when we placed a priority on living solely for ourselves. 

I end with a quote I have saved on my desktop from David McCullough Jr. "Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you."