Take The Inventory Challenge (Inspired by JCP).

I am a dreamer.

If you are anything like me, you may have had what your life should look like by now in your mind. You probably spent hours upon hours daydreaming about, sharing, and planning out your future as a younger version of yourself. I had big dreams for myself and by 25 (my age now) I was supposed to have it “all together”.

If you’re anything like me, your version of your life right now is nothing compared to the dream version of your life.

I dreamed of having 2 books published by now. I would live in NW Washington, DC or Chicago or… anywhere that I can call my own. I would have my Bachelors and Masters in something I love. I would be a full time photographer and writer and a part time interpreter.

None of these things have come to pass, yet.

So, I break out my Self Pity Party Package.

It’s so easy to throw a Self Pity Party, especially when you look at all of the things you have not done or “accomplished”. I am the Queen of throwing pity parties. I invite all of my friends; Pity (as mentioned before), Judgement, Failure, Pride, and even Envy. All of us will sit in my room and reflect on all of the things I have lost and have not accomplished. We will revisit failure after failure and cringe at each downfall that plays on the movie reel. We will hold each other and cry about “all of the time we have wasted” on not being productive.

These parties are so… easy to throw, but the aftermath– the clean up and hang over are too much to handle. Pity, Pride– all of them will take and eat and drink and make a mess of things and leave me lonely and hopeless every time. I call them over because they’re always available and it doesn’t take much to entertain them. However, when you ask them to leave, they fuss and fight. They cling onto me and zap me of all my energy and resources. They eat up everything and by the time I look up at the clock, I’ve spent more time and energy on them than I had initially planned.

This isn’t to say that the pain and frustration aren’t real to me or that I shouldn’t feel them. This isn’t saying that I have to pretend to be happy when I’m not. That’s lying to myself and others. I am allowed to recognize and mourn as I please. I own my hurt. I own my pain and sorrow. I recognize my being mistreated and I can recognize my sorrow. That’s the healthy thing to do. However, at some point I have to get up from here. I have to focus my eyes on something other l than my sadness if I want to have any kind of hope for the future or even the present. If I don’t, I’ll be stuck in a very dark, lonely and hopeless place.

I was recently challenged by someone today to take the time and look at what I do have as opposed to what I don’t. Without all expectations and dreams and goals aside, I was challenged to look at what I have that I can be thankful for. While driving, I started making a mental list in my mind:

(Though I don’t have a place to call my own…)

I have a mother who allows me to live in her house and lets me eat her food.

(Though I have had a lot of friends leave me and stab me in the back, recently…)

I have amazing friends who love me for me.

(Though I have had my heart broken more times than I would like to count…)

I have a loving and caring boyfriend, and for once I’m in a healthy relationship.

(Though some of my dreams have yet to come into fruition…)

I am alive and as long as I have breath in this body and a dream in my heart, I have the gift called “OPPORTUNITY”.

I started taking inventory of my life and as I started to write, I started to notice all of the things I had to be grateful for. I started to realize that I’m not doing as bad as I thought I was. I could feel my anxiety lessening and my joy begin to rise in my chest. I’m not using a scale to mark and map my blessings, I am using this moment void of potential and expectation (whether the expectation is from myself, family or society).

I challenge you to do the same. Take a moment each day in a quiet place with little to no distractions and write down all of the things you have right now– in this moment of life. Don’t make any comparisons with any other person or even with an ideal version or even a past version of yourself. You are not the same person as before. You’re not better. You’re not worse. You’re only different. And we can’t predict the future. There is no need in getting worked up and stressed out over something that doesn’t even exist yet. Take time to appreciate all that you are and all that you have right now.

I can guarantee that if you take this opportunity to note the good things in your life without comparison or expectation, you will begin to feel better about who you are and what you have.

You are living a beautiful life.

Know that Full Well.

Take pleasure in it.

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