The quote, “Be who you needed when you were younger,” has been driving so much of my story and how I live out my life. I continually want to write, to lead, and to love like the role-models and women I did not have when I was younger, but wanted and needed so desperately. My hope is that this post will be a source of encouragement you may want and need in this season of life.
My first, and even second year, of college felt so exciting because I was coming into a fresh year so full of new opportunities, classes, experiences and friendships. But I was also full of uncertainty. I wondered who my friends would be, how I would spend my time and what events I’d go to, but the biggest fear of all, who would I go with. You may be feeling or wondering the same thing, even if you are not in college.
Although surrounding myself in community is my favorite part of life right now, it hasn’t always been. It was hard to find the people who lifted me up with encouragement, felt like personal cheerleaders, and brought so much natural joy into my life. But college, and essentially, life, is so much about the journey, the transformation, the discovery of who you are, of what lights you up, and fills you with an undeniable joy. When you can be your best self and confidently go forward in authenticity, you attract some of the best people into your life.
But in order to discover your authenticity, it sometimes takes doing things on your own, trying new things, and being uncomfortable. Through it all though, I’ve found my greatest joy and my personal cheerleaders.
Here are a few steps in my (continual) journey to fill my life with joy and let my best self shine through:
1. Get really content with going out on a limb and being/doing totally different than anyone else. For me, that looks like investing in long distance friendships and spending my time, energy, and resources to grow the relationship and travel for visits.
2. Spend time doing your favorite activities or hobbies when you were a kid. For example, riding your bike, going to the park, going on picnics, or creating without limitations.
3. Stop doing things out of habit or boredom that really don’t bring any joy to your life. You’ll naturally be able to fill your time with the things that do bring joy and contentment.
4. Find things that you really enjoy doing on your own. This may take trial and error, but it will be totally worth it.
5. Invest in yourself.
I challenge you to go into today, and each day, pursuing what sets your heart on fire to make time for what makes you feel free. You deserve the greatest joy. Your best self will begin to shine through. Your community will come.
What are ways that you can bring more joy into your life?
Author: Karly Prichard
Author Bio: Karly is a freelance designer and photographer from Northeast Indiana. Her heart was crafted for using creativity to share stories and build connections around the world. Her passion is rooted in the stories she hears, the places she travels, and the communities she’s immersed in. You can catch her whipping up smoothie bowls layered with peanut butter or sitting by the lake with a journal in hand.
Link to website: https://karlyprichard.com/home