Breaking the Bubble

I am generally the type who prefers to keep to myself.  Although I am palpably outgoing and bubbly, deep down inside, the introverted self that hovers always feels most comfortable in its own company.  Even as a child, I remember being painfully shy.  Throughout my youth and into adulthood, I pretty much kept enough close friends to count on one hand, though I usually entertained about two handfuls of noteworthy acquaintances.  A lot of these characteristics are innate – my mom’s side of the genes – though I also believe that a measurable amount of it is simply habit-forming.  If you start doing/knowing one way of experiencing life, these ingrained notions form a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The more you get stuck in the box, the more it’s hard to break free.

(I’m the lucky lil’ rascal holding the sign)

Life in-the-bubble really isn’t that bad since, overall, I am pretty content with myself and the close few that fill my pint-sized world.  I tend to be a particular person when it comes to finding and embracing those I care about; it’s truly about quality over quantity.  Nevertheless, with this whole starting anew sentiment that the lively Chicago air has sprung upon me, it turns out that I’ve really been making strides to disentangle myself from this typical staying-in-the bubble cycle.  And oddly enough, it’s kind of come naturally.

I guess that’s a funny thing about getting older—your personality and priorities are constantly shifting, developing a new and improved you in a gradual and comfortable way, every single day.  I am so grateful to have opened up my barriers enough to begin forming some amazing friendships out here, bonds that I can envision growing to be invaluable and everlasting.  And for a self-proclaimed hermit, that certainly speaks volumes.

*Smile Tip #4:* When meeting someone for the very first time, it is really incredible how a warm smile goes a long way.  Upon initial encounter with some of the girls I make reference to above, their approachable nature is very much what drew me to them—the first trait that stood out was an authentically earnest smile, and from there, I knew we’d become fast friends 🙂

Embrace change

Change can be scary.  Yes, I know, I am stating the obvious, but for someone who thrives off of order and stability, this scariness is maximized to the nth degree (depending on my frame of mind on the chosen day and what subcategory the particular change falls under).

I will consciously admit that sometimes (okay, often times) my meticulousness can be overkill, but it provides a certain comfort, a safety, that nothing else can guarantee.  Any sort of diversion from the confines of the “known” creeps into the realm of the “unknown,” and that is where things begin to get nebulous.  If I had to choose between the clearest of clear-blue skies and a hazy, mysterious twilight, I’d pick the former any day.

Now don’t get me wrong, a little mystery can be fun, even exciting; though I prefer my fun and excitement in small quantities (boring much?).  Despite this obsession with certainty, I have recently been guilty of overdosing on the not-so-certain—but only because it just happens to be unavoidable.

I’m a graduate.  I have officially moved onto the next stage in life.  My life; my choice…but how do I choose?

On 43 Things a community-based site dedicated to making lists of goals and getting inspiration from others to find the best way to achieve them, 225 people want to “change” and only 2 people want to “stay the same.”  I know that going through change is very different than changing who we are, but the question is: doesn’t being in a state of flux eventually lead to this anyway?

That proposition is probably the scariest part of all.  I know myself to be who I am right now, this second.  Of course, over the years the Jen in me has gradually metamorphosed into more of a Jenny, and the girl behind the name will always continue to do so.  But being at this current juncture on the journey in this thing called life, I feel like I’m at my last bout of the cocoon stage, and soon enough, I’m going to be this colorful creature with wings, except I have nowhere in particular to fly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
      
Then I think to myself: embrace it—no expectations necessary, and suddenly, all (alright, maybe 75%) of the worries melt away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Smile Tip #2:* “Change is the elixir of life.  Stating a simple truth, happiness is ours when we respond and adapt with enthusiasm to change when they appear.”