Thursday, November 21, 2013

25 years of life and 4 years of hooping: self reflection

Turning 25 a few weeks ago has prompted me to do some reflecting in my life so far. This is the quarter century mark. Things have shifted. I have changed. I ponder questions like, "What makes an adult?" "Do my socks have to match?" "Am I too old for blue nail polish?" "Do I need one of those mature hairstyles?" "Will my car insurance rate go down?" ...Jokes aside, hitting the quarter century mark was definitely something to celebrate.

I feel like I'm at a place in life where I have finally caught a little bit of footing. Although I still fight my battles and have ups as well as downs, I feel like things are starting to level out. I'm not just a wandering, hula hooping, Subaru driving, college graduate with no purpose. I'm coming into my own. Living a life that is mine.

I've also been prompted to consider everything that I have learned at this point. I thought it would be fun to reflect on 4 years of hooping, 25 years of life and what the hoop has taught me...

* Stay committed *
I would never have learned the tricks that I know, or landed some of the gigs that I've had if I wasn't committed to the hoop on some level. There have been things that I have backed down from, and I definitely missed out. Wasting opportunity is something that I will always regret!

* Practice, network and revisit *
My Dad always says, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Networking in the hula hoop community has been essential for my growth. I have reached out, been reached out too, and felt lots of love and compassion within this group of spinners. I always say, practice makes progress! There is no such thing as perfect. Personal growth is so beautiful to recognize. Revisit. Every now and then I just hoop around my waist. I revisit the very first and most basic movement with the hoop. I have learned to decompress from the pressure I put on myself to learn more tricks and to be better...and to try and really appreciate each moment for what it is: completely mine!

* It's okay to put yourself first *
This journey is mine. This's mine! It is a mistake to live your life according to how we were told to live it.

* Put yourself out there! *
When I got my first hoop was the last day of a music festival. I forked over the last $12 bucks in my pocket for my very own hoop. I refused to give it a spin until I got home to my apartment. It was there that I practiced for hours until I finally had the connection down and could get it spinning around me with ease. Hooping in public is now almost second nature to me. I still get shy, but It has really helped me to open myself up to a new kind of appreciation for my own body -- flaws and all!

* Say yes! *
Saying yes leads you to opportunities and experiences. This year I got to hula hoop on channel seven news, perform, and teach my own class for 5 straight months. Saying yes is difficult. It means commitment. It means you need to prepare yourself. It means stepping up to the plate!

* Say No! *
Just as saying yes is hard, saying no can sometimes be even harder. I am a chronic people pleaser. I want to make everybody happy...which I have learned is impossible. One of the most important things I have learned is to be honest. Don't commit to things that you know you won't follow through with. Don't make promises you can't keep. It hurts you and other people.

* Patience *
I try to remind myself it is more about enjoying the journey than getting there.

* Keep Learning *
In the last year or two I have hit several hooping plateaus. I feel like I can't learn anything new. I'm bored with my flow. Taking workshops and classes have been huge in helping me to break free from the constraints of my own mind. I try to put myself in situations that inspire me.

And now, I overload you with a bunch of pictures through the years of my life....

One of the biggest joys in my life: Hippy Go Lucky Hoops!

My 21st: A surprise party planned by my best friends, my brother and my sister. I felt so incredibly loved and special on this day.

My first brand new car. I bought it the summer of 2010 and immediately drove it to a music festival. And then a few years later I drove it all the way around the country and back to Maine. I still have about a year and a half left of car payments until it's all MINE!

One of the first days of college.

My 18th birthday in Canada.

My 20th birthday - in my first apartment

Graduation photo

Paris senior year of high school

My siblings in our glory days!

The day my little sister and best friend was born.

Visiting northern Maine

Me and almost all my cousins.

6th grade

Anah's workshop

2013 - The year I learned to ride a motorcycle!

Spreading love through hula hoops!

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