Fantastic, wonderful weekend.
Was invited to my first-ever Ugly Christmas Sweater party. It was held last night in a gorgeous condo overlooking the water. I had so much fun. I am learning more and more that the less I stress out about things--feeling fat, meeting new people, accidentally putting on too much mascara and looking like a whore, just to draw some examples from last night--the better I feel.
Yes, I stepped on the scale yesterday and literally gasped. Then I started applying my makeup, overdid the mascara, and really did look like Santa's Slutty Helper, circa 1982 (see sweater photos). But then I picked up my girlfriends, and they told me to calm the f down, and that was it. I was just CALM. And I knew, without hesitation, it was going to be a good, good night. And it was. I don't know where it came from or how it happened, but I have learned to walk into a room full of people and be COMPLETELY myself. And it works. Who would have thought? I had such a good time, met some great people. After an ill-advised yet totally worth it stop at Taco Bell, my girlfriends and I sat around in sweats watching The Notebook until we fell asleep. Despite being full of crap fast food and a little tipsy, I could with a clear head thank God for putting these people in my life. For putting this new perspective into my life.
This morning I overslept (of course) but made it to church with Nichole. Seeing Ella's smiling face made my day as usual, and I am so grateful that Nichole and I are getting to spend that time together. During service, the speaker spoke of conflict. I thought about the past year--how tormented and anguished I was. How completely STRESSED out conflict had made me. The speaker said that conflict is inevitable, but misery is optional. And that in conflict, we can choose peace. Peace that comes with forgiveness, some humility, and to be quite honest--hope. And I realized somewhat miraculously that I AM at peace. I am no longer just telling myself that I have forgiven, I HAVE.
Last week, I read through the past FIVE years of my blogs. They detailed every single misstep, every hurt. Mistakes made over and over again, all for my reading pleasure. I wanted to reach out and hold the hand of my 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23-year-old self. I still wish I could give her a hug (or maybe a slap in the face) and tell her that someday she'll be fine. That someday, at Christmastime, she would be contendedly single, in a room full of people, feeling less alone and more hopeful than ever. But she had to go through it. My 24-year-old self forgave her, and all of the ones that hurt her. Life, truly, is too short. And when there is so much more in front of us than behind, why not? Why not, as often as possible, CHOOSE PEACE?
And now, on a lighter note, I will close with some photos...a taste of the Ugly Sweater Ridiculousness.
Myself and some of my new favorite people!
Josh and his ever-charming $2.99 ensemble!
And finally, one of our fearless hosts. Love it.
7 hours ago