I spent a lot of time with these cuties - I might be biased but I think they should all be baby models :)
And had some great sister time too:
And linked up with some hometown friends for girls night!
I love big gatherings - friends or family. It's always interesting to see what everyone has been up to and where everyone is in their lives at the moment. It kind of gives you perspective. I've read a few blog posts recently that touch on the subject of being the 'odd one out' and some of those posts really struck a chord with me. At my age, most of my sisters, cousins and friends are all married with kids, so for a few years I have definitely felt like a fish out of water amongst many of them. But I've done a lot of self reflection over the past 2 1/2 years and I've come to some important realizations that I try to cling to in moments of self doubt.
I think it's most important to not compare myself to others. Comparisons in any aspect of your life will only leave you feeling inadequate. I mean, there will always be someone out there who is prettier/richer/stronger/faster, etc etc etc than you, but what exactly does that prove? On that same vain, if you look at the flip side, there will always be someone who has less money/beauty/strength, etc than you and that person may very well be happy with exactly where they are because they are not comparing themselves to you! I think the key is gratitude and comparing you only to yourself - to measure your own progress, however slow it may be. Yes, there are certainly times I wish it was me who has settled down and found the love of my life, and was having babies like everyone else, but it's just not my time. There must be something else I am meant to be doing right now instead of that, and it is my job to keep moving and figure that out! It's also important to note that everyone has problems. I wish that I had someone to love right now, and then I see a friend going through heartache and realize she's wishing for peace. I wish that it was my turn to have a baby and then see my sister with the baby who refuses to sleep and realize she's just wishing for rest. There will always be things that others have, that I wish to have, but we all have our crosses to bear. Turning those hints of envy into gratitude for what I already have is admittedly hard to do at times, but is so much better for my spirit. I've come to believe over the past few years that positivity does indeed breed positivity.
That brings me to the other aspect of 'escaping the city'. When I was still working in finance, I stumbled upon this fantastic movement called Escape the City. It's a truly inspirational start-up formed by 3 ex-corporate guys in London. I began following them back then and their message really coincided with how I was feeling at the time. They decided the conventional route, the standard 9 to 5, wasn't for them, and set out to chart their own path, and help others do the same. I'd urge you to check out their website for inspiration if you have any of the same inklings. There are some pretty amazing and inspiring stories of people who have quit their high power jobs to pursue their passions, and have been successful. Its pretty amazing what people can do when they are inspired by what's inside them and not by external factors (like money/prestige/etc).
(Quote by Randy Komsar, Photo by Stephanie Sievers via www.escapethecity.org)
I have followed a pretty standard path thus far - go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a reputable, stable job - but that path has not led to happiness nor a feeling of being fulfilled. I really believe that each of us is put on this Earth for a purpose, and that purpose is to realize the full potential of who we are. To do the most with the unique talents and abilities we are given. And for me, sitting at a desk behind a computer crunching numbers every day for the next 30 years would be doing a great disservice to the Universe!
In the words of Oprah: "The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams."
So my questions for you are:
Have you ever felt like the odd one out?
What are your dreams for your life? What would you do, if you knew you couldn't fail?