I sat in a sea of tables, wedged between my date and one of many co-workers circled around our table. Our table sat next to another table surrounded by more co-workers, including my boss and his boss.
I wore a strappy periwinkle dress that fell below my knees. Cute and fun, but appropriate for the occasion. I was thinking about steak (there was one in front of me), when I heard my name. In a panic, I glanced at my date. He just smiled and gestured for me to stand up.
To say the last month has been a bit crazy would be an understatement. I accepted an incredible new job opportunity, turned 24 and booked a move to the Midwest within five days.
In the two weeks that followed, I celebrated in Dallas with my girlfriends, won my first awards for my reporting, said goodbye to the sweet southern faces and places I've called home for the past nearly three years, surrounded myself with more girlfriends for drinks and laughs in New Orleans then officially moved to the wonderful city of St. Louis.
It's been a lot. The best kind of a lot.
So, like everyone else, I've always been a little in love with setting resolutions for the new year. In the most recent years, I've narrowed my resolutions down to a word. I'd write a post at the start of the year about that word and all the reasons and ways I'd try to spend the next 365 days embodying it as best I can. Then, at the end of the year, I'd write another post about what I'd learned from chasing that word. All the lessons and craters and hills and hurts and laughs that came with it and why it was all worth it
If I could choose a word to describe how I feel right now it would be “weary”. I wish I could say I feel inspired, or stimulated or something that deserves a fist pump or a pat on the back. But no. I’m tired.
It’s also raining, and I think I have a small, mild cold. Those things don’t help, but I was tired before the drops started falling and my nose got stuffy.
I recently had a birthday. I turned 23. I wouldn't dream of ever making it seem as if 23 is old or any indication of wisdom or accomplishment. However, I did turn 23, and I was raised by people who have a special talent for celebrating even the smallest of life's victories, so I find no shame in saying I am pretty jazzed to be 23.
I am going to start this post with the least shocking thing you've heard all day.
Here it is: I love to shop. Like, a lot.
It's been a thing for as long as I can remember. The feeling of coming home with new dresses, jumpsuits and high waisted denim, each accompanied by a made-up scenario in my head about chic Happy Hours and whimsical museum trips literally gives me butterflies. Butterflies like the ones I got over my 7th grade crush, but bigger. Much bigger.
I've mentioned this before, but in 2016 I decided to trade in my laundry lists of New Year’s resolutions for a word. Just one. One I could write down, pray over and learn to walk in.
I should be able to handle one word, right?
In 2016, my word was Full.
That was the year I graduated from college, moved to a state where I knew no one and started navigating this whole adulthood thing.
In 2016 I learned that to live Full, you have to make a concerted effort to remain Thankful.
Last year’s word was Confident.
So, here's the thing. I have a tendency to be really bothered and concerned about things, people and circumstances I cannot change. I have wasted so much time beating myself up for my own mistakes, holding on to the bitterness from others' mistakes and drowning in anxiety when I don't feel I'm in control. Yah, all of that.
Talking to a lot of you guys and spending time in God's word showed me two things: that my struggle with being "bothered" isn't uncommon AND that through faith, I absolutely have the power to change it.