Day 2673 – Why You Should Look Back On Your Life More

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I hate that it keeps me connected. I love how it keeps me connected, how it helped grow my business and even helped me to get new business. I do love the On This Day feature. It’s an interesting exercise to look back on things I said over the years. Seeing how I’ve changed – for better or for worse – and how I’ve stayed the same. Fun fact, yesterday was my 12 year Facebook anniversary. Wow, I mean, that’s a long time to be tied to a website.

On November 3, 2010, I wrote this – Jennilyn Gaitan “is grateful for another day to walk, talk, breathe, smell, hear, see and appreciate life. It’s not the greatest day and certainly not the worst, but it’s another day. I’m reminded of how short it is. I have been blessed with a “cup runneth over” life. Even if I’m not photographing full time (yet), even if I have a debt (for now), even though I don’t have a house or a puppy (yet), I will relish the joy of the now.”

Six years ago, I wasn’t a full time freelancer, I was still in debt, I didn’t have a house or a puppy. Little did I know, I would start my freelancer journey less than a year later. We would pay off our debt in 2013. I don’t have a house or a puppy….BUT working for a pet photographer, I have gotten SO opportunities to pet many dogs, get licks and cuddles. Just a few weeks ago, I got to play with 3 mastiffs! I like big dogs and I cannot lie!

I also recently had a bit of an epiphany – I need to constantly push myself to grow. I had been in a bit of a funk. Probably since about July after returning from our road trip. A part of myself came alive during that trip. I LOVE to travel. I love exploring new places and seeing new things. I absolutely adore this country. The varied landscapes and people. I think if more people traveled the country, long distance on the road, we would have a more unified and strong country. I recently watched a segment on Ellen where Michelle Obama made a comment that she would miss going around the country and meeting people. She said, roughly, if you travel the country, you realize how great of a country we have. I sat at my desk, almost yelling, “YES!” Ok…. ::steps down from soapbox::…

So, back to the funk. I hung out with a friend and in our conversation, I made a true admission of where I was with a few things. Finally saying out loud “I am not happy” instead of keeping it inside, felt like a weight lifting. That night, I had a hard time sleeping because my brain was going a mile a minute with ideas and new plans. The next day was one of the best I’ve had in a really long time. I spent a lot of the day watching videos on a new project I’m working on, educational videos on various topics and reading what promises to be a life changing book, Designing Your Life – How To Build A Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans. The theme throughout the day was this – you have to continue to grow, you have to stretch yourself, you have to be ok with failures.

It made me realize just how important personal development is. To truly embrace the journey of life. To not become stagnant. I think this quote from Designing Your Life sums it up best:

“The biggest reframe is that your life can’t be perfectly planned, that there isn’t just one solution to your life, and that’s a good thing. Your life is not a thing, it’s an experience; the fun coming from designing and enjoying the experience.”

I can’t wait to discover all the many solutions to my life. I can’t wait to experience all the experiences.

What will you experience today?

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