How have you changed in the past two years?
This is a loaded question when you consider it takes us back to 2020. Haha!
The past two years have been a window of clarity and setting much-needed boundaries. Having my second child has actually brought more into sharp focus than the pandemic. Though I can’t deny that the distance the pandemic forced upon us gave me much needed insight into the values of those I was associated with. Before you get all defensive about how I let the “pandemic influence me”, it’s really important to note that issues existed in these relationships or areas of my life long before the events of the past two years. They were just now unavoidably at the surface and it was either time to find a long-term solution that fit what I want for the rest of my life or commit to ignoring (or enabling) them for the rest of my life. In all instances, I chose myself and my family over someone else.
Here’s a brief rundown of what has changed of the past two years:
- After much reflecting and experimenting, I’ve gotten super clear on what I want my business to look like, who I want to work with, and the services I want to provide. While the clarity is there, the transition is taking a little longer than I’d like because I am continually battling some level of fear. After 20 years, I’m stepping into a more elevated version of what I know so well and what I have been so deeply valued for. With that comes the worry that people won’t pay for what it’s turning into and also that I’ll revert back to my old ways because it’s easy and comfortable. It’s a lot of work to be constantly pushing through that fear.
- I know it’s cheesy to say, but my marriage is stronger than ever. Having two small boys close in age during a tumultuous time can really take a partnership in two vastly different directions and I’m fortunate that my husband and I were able to be true partners during that time. We’re so much better for it now too. As we shift out of survival mode, we’re finding new ways to support and help each other that we didn’t before.
- I don’t think I need to describe in great detail how being a mother of two toddlers over the past two years has changed me, but I will say I have developed a remarkable amount of patience, understanding, compassion, self-management, and ability to share my personal space that I definitely didn’t have before. There is still so much for me to learn and work on in these areas but I’m super proud of how far I’ve come.
- Probably the most significant change has come from what I’m willing to tolerate in the behavior of others. Setting boundaries has always been difficult for me in that I don’t do so kindly. Once someone upsets me, they basically get written off and I simply don’t deal with them. However, over the past two years, I’ve taken a different approach, attempting to have productive conversations with others to improve our relationship – and the results have been staggering. On the one hand, I’ve had some truly phenomenal conversations that have deepened relationships and my understanding of friends and family as whole people. On the other, I was met with resistance and hostility – being told I was “difficult,” “irritating,” and “manipulative.” What became clear to me is that I prefer and thrive in relationships with others who consider and are willing to grow as people. Who have hard conversations because they understand that what comes out on the other side is a better relationship and life experience. And who challenge me in a way that is presented with love and respect. That has been a life changing revelation, because with this clarity, I’m able to identify what exactly isn’t working about a relationship in my life and take action accordingly.
As it was for most people, the past two years were difficult, but I honestly believe it made me a better person and laid the foundation for the life I really want to have.
How have you changed over the past few years? Any startling revelations?