On Sushi, Wine, and Major Life Changes

*Sidenote: Life with Lauren is about to get a little facelift. It’s been a few years, and it’s much needed! I’ll still be posting regularly, and it’ll come back looking fresh to death*

I’m scared of a lot of things. These things include:

  • Cockroaches
  • Rollercoasters
  • Burglars
  • Spiders
  • Sharks
  • My parents’ basement
  • Other assorted, menacing things

But before my move to Charlotte, I honestly was afraid of everything. I was afraid of living boldly. I was afraid to meet new people. I was afraid to move. I was afraid to try new things. I was afraid to put myself out there. I wanted to live in my little comfy, cozy bubble and that was it. And not because my comfy bubble was necessarily so perfect, but just because it presented no challenges and was therefore manageable to me.

I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary in Charlotte and every so often I’ll have a moment where I’m like, “Wow. A lot has changed.” Take, for example, dinner this past Saturday night. I was having sushi and wine with a few friends. Not very remarkable when taken at face value. Except for the fact that when I lived in Syracuse, I was convinced I hated both sushi and wine (I know, I photoknow). I would never have tried either. Also, I was terrified to meet new people. I would never have started a Meetup group and asked strangers from that group to hang out. So basically the situation I found myself in wouldn’t have happened had I stayed in Syracuse. That one dinner represented a whole lot of change and personal growth that I’d made in a year, and that made me really proud of myself.

It’s nice every so often to stop and think about how much you’ve developed in just a year. So much can change it’s unbelievable. But remember: personal growth is just that; it’s personal. It’s easy to stop and look at what someone else has done and feel like an underachiever. But what someone else is doing or has done or will do has virtually no impact on your life. All that matters is what you’ve done and how you’ve challenged yourself.

To some people, picking up and moving is no big deal. Reaching out to new people and turning those connections into real friendships isn’t a big deal. But for me, these were huge accomplishments. I’ve come a long way and I feel great about it. I’m no longer scared of making big changes in my life. I have much more self-confidence and I trust my gut. But I’m still terrified of cockroaches, that is for DAMN sure.

What kinds of growth are you focused on now? How have you changed in the past year? 

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