Friday, June 17, 2011

Fallen in Love with...Friday

This edition of Fallen in Love with...Friday is brought to you by a week of public holidays, impromptu picnics with co-workers and planning for my upcoming trip to Melbourne with Mum and Jess.
Monday's public holiday was a fabulous winter recharge and I had a wonderful run in the morning which filled me with the hope that maybe I am going to survive the Gold Coast half marathon that is a little over a fortnight away. I am feeling good about the amount of training that I have done lately so there is a glimmer of promise for the morning of Sunday, July 3rd.
Due to a large conference this week my office is almost emptied as the great minds converge in Melbourne to discuss the latest findings before coming back and sharing what they have learned with those of us left behind. The staff members who remained in sunny Brisbane decided that we should celebrate the return of one of our lovely ladies from a recent holiday and also mark the last day of another of our members as she goes off to have a baby, and so it was decided that we would take advantage of the crystal blue midwinter skies and warming sun and venture outside for a picnic. Yesterday was perfect al fresco dining weather and although we did sit at a table (making an 8 month pregnant lady sit on the ground to eat would have just been cruel), we did have all the classic picnic ingredients; there was sunshine, beautiful savoury eats and a delicious maple and walnut cheesecake to finish. A long lunch that should be repeated soon.
Last night I took the opportunity to sit down with Mum and Jess and talk some more about our trip to Melbourne (so excited - we leave the day after the half marathon so I will be able to refuel on yummy hot chocolate from my favourite place), as I really want to enjoy my time together with them and there are lots of exciting things to see in the beautiful southern city.
So without further ado here is what has made my heart pitter-patter this chilly June week:
  • My wonderful new runners from Brooks! I bought them three weeks out from the race and I am hoping that they will be worn in enough by the day. They are super comfy already and bright green!
  • Quinoa salad that I contributed to yesterday's picnic lunch. This delicious recipe will be shared tonight.
  • Memories of Topanga Beach and gorgeous California mornings spent here with my beloved.
  • Friday gym dates with the gorgeous Samantha. Just what I need to keep motivated to get up and go when the morning is cold and my bed is so toasty warm. Thanks Sam!
And now for a longer Fallen in Love with... item that seemed too long to warrant a bullet point entry.

This morning when I opened up my Google Reader one of the first posts to cross my screen was Clean Eating Chelsey's entry entitled 'What are you happy for today?'. This beautifully written post really got me thinking about my own life.
There have been times (well, there was a period of a few years actually) where I have not been happy. No matter how wonderfully my life appeared to be going or all the fantastic things happening around me I was not happy at all. I couldn't change it, no one else could change it, and I felt like it would never end.
Thankfully this time did pass, I graduated from university, I had a fabulous mentor who was unafraid of asking big questions and making me cry so that I could learn from my tears, and I took control of myself and what I wanted.
Over the past two years or so I have worked at being happy; I have asked myself the hard questions about what I wanted to do with my life, I have cried on the (much stronger) shoulders of those around me, and spent time reflecting on who Amy is inside and what it takes to live as authentically myself as I possibly can; I have tried to reduce this simmering pot down to the essence of what the most important ingredients are in my life that make me happy. 
I know that I can't define myself in black and white and pull out a list of what Amy is, and what Amy isn't but for so long I felt like I was undefined, as though I was a watercolour creature rushing from line drawing to line drawing and never fitting in. My unhappiness lay in the fact that I couldn't identify who I was; where I drew the line around the woman I was becoming and the world I was living in, the multitude of different experiences I was having and tasks that I needed to complete.
When I graduated and got my job I had a moment to breathe. I could take a beat and pull together all the parts of myself that I was discovering. As I pieced together parts of myself that had been left by the wayside for so long, and peeled back layers of my unhappiness I unearthed a happier, lighter creature; a woman more possessed of herself and open to learning more about her own life, and curious about those around her.
As Chelsey mentioned in her post you may have to go through hell to find out who you are, but you won't regret it. She is absolutely right.
There are times when I have cried myself to sleep when I realised that some of the dreams that I have held onto so long are not going to happen and there has been pain from the answers I found to questions I asked myself about who I really am. But my pain wasn't pain without reason; it was learning pain, birthing pain, when I came to the conclusion that some of my dreams don't actually fit with the authentic definition of who I am as a person and the life that I want.
Happiness for me comes when I truly accept the organic, authentic version of myself (warts and all) and the wonderful opportunities that are open to me, when I realise the freshness in each new experience and just let go of the potential for unhappiness in my future, don't forcast rain in the bluest sky, when I live in the moment and enjoy each day as it comes, when I am present in the now.
Yes, I know that a certain level of unhappiness in life is to be expected but I see this unhappiness now as a passing parade that will leave me with some learning about myself and an expanded vision of who I am as a happy person.
So right now I choose to be happy.
I choose to look into my future and see happiness.
Right now I am happy.

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