“When you think you know, but you still don’t know.”

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First I was dying to finish high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry and have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now I am dying… And suddenly I realize I forgot to live.
-Anonymous

My two dominant personality traits: perfectionist and goal oriented (to a fault). I never would have admitted this a couple of months ago but a few things have changed since then. My personality traits may seem positive and at times they definitely are and have no doubt been pivotal in getting me where I wanted to go in life. However, at times I find them to be my biggest weakness.

If you were to listen to my thoughts for the last few years they might sound something like this:

HIGH SCHOOL

  1. Stay focused on soccer – go to college of choice
  2. Straighten my hair everyday before bed
  3. Must eat healthy
  4. Boyfriend = no, must stay focused on #goalzzz
  5. Check make-up at lunch before class
  6. Strategic fake tan before bed to even out tan lines (soccer girls will understand that the permanent t-shirt, shorts, and socks look is a constant issue)

– can you say obsessive…….

PRE COLLEGE

  1. Workout (must impress new teammates)
  2. Practice for soccer
  3. Need all toiletries & cleaning products for dorm
  4. Go out like once a month because #focussss
  5. Healthy eating always

– my super fun & wild summer before college went something like this

COLLEGE

  1. Weights, class, practice, study hall, shower, bed
  2. Repeat #1 everyday
  3. Free time spent researching internships or interning
  4. Healthy eats obvs
  5. Boys? still a distraction, nothing serious
  6. Apply for jobs post college
  7. Partying – rare appearances

Basically I was living my life like a robot. I wanted things to go EXACTLY as planned and I wanted to control what could/would happen next. I look back and realize what I snooze I was. I think why didn’t I go to that party, why didn’t I date that guy that was totally wrong for me, why didn’t I stay out past my bedtime (yes, I was/am a grandma that goes to bed at around 10/10:30…still working on that one), why didn’t I open up and let people see more of the real me – the goofy and awkward side that only those closest to me get to see. I realized I wasn’t living and enjoying life. My life was calculated and limited. With that all in mind I told myself that I needed to get away, travel, try something new and find a balanced life. Naturally, I choose London as my next life stop. Is moving across the country alone a bit extreme? Absolutely. Has everything gone as planned? Not at all. If anything, nothing has gone to plan. I get lost all of the time, I couldn’t find a job for two months, and I still don’t get why Brits eat Christmas food every Sunday. There are times when I think I made the wrong decision. Days when I miss home. When all I want is to see my family and hangout with my friends. Yet, some days I can’t imagine moving back to the states and London feels like my home. Times when I find myself with a silly smile on my face thinking ‘this is really my life.’ I’ll admit that I’ve fallen down the stairs getting off the bus more than I care to admit (they stop very suddenly at times, okay), I’ve looked like a clueless American and I’ve bombed a few interviews. I can actually say that I’ve never been happier. Sure things aren’t perfect and usually what I plan for doesn’t happen. I still have my goals in mind but they aren’t the end all be all in my life. I don’t try to come off as perfect and for the most part the friends I’ve made have seen the real me straight off the bat. I strive to live in balance and enjoy the simple things. I might have a croissant for breakfast, a glass or three of red wine, and a beautiful French meal all in one day without an ounce of guilt that it wasn’t gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. I take time to go for walks, meditate, and meet new people. Recently, I’ve made it a priority to go out, unwind, and enjoy spending time with friends (sometimes more that once in a weekend – gasp). At the end of the day I still want to make sure I live the life I’ve imagined but I don’t want to do so at the expense of every other part of my life.

Amanda x

@goherefor

@amanda_dudley

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