It’s hard to see how far along the path you’ve come while you’re so focused on taking each step – so to say. You’ve probably had the experience of a third party commenting on how much you’ve changed but barely being able to realize only because you’re with yourself each day. This is normal, but is also the product of focusing on how what’s left to do rather than what you’ve already accomplished – which is why it’s often hard to give yourself the credit you really deserve.
1. You have something in your life that you would have previously considered impossible, or at least, a dream come true. Sobriety, a degree, a partner, a dream job…
2. You forget how much you’ve gone through, simply because it doesn’t cross your mind anymore. Your past seems like it happened “in a different life.”
3. Your criteria for a romantic “type” are personality traits, not physical characteristics. Your idea of “love” has expanded beyond just the feeling that sexual attraction gives you.
4. You have more than just your problems to tal
bout with friends. More interests you than just gossip – as you’ve learned that those conversations have very little to do with other people, and absolutely everything to do with you.
5. The worst happened, and then it passed. You lost the person you thought you couldn’t live without and then you kept living. You lost your job then found another one. You began to realize that “safety” isn’t in certainty – but in faith that you can simply keep going.
6. You’ve created your own belief system, if not entirely and thoroughly questioned your existing one. You no longer subscribe to anything that doesn’t resonate or make sense to you.
8. You’re more discerning of who you spend your time with. You value your closest friends more than you do the idea of a “group.”
9. You don’t change any part of yourself – your personality, your opinions, even your clothes – based on who you’re going to be around that day.
10. You don’t blame other people for your problems anymore. You don’t choose to suffer because you assume if you complain loudly enough, the Universe will have to fix it.
11. You don’t relate to a lot of your old friends anymore, but you can still keep in touch and appreciate the role they had in your life.
12. You’re not worried about fitting in anymore, you sincerely don’t want to be “normal,” and you sincerely do not care about being “cool,” as you now see that the “cool kids” usually don’t get very far past high school.
13. You can talk about the problems in your life that you thought you’d absolutely never get over and you can also talk about exactly how you got over them.
14. You stop and enjoy life more often, rather than just sprinting from goal to goal.
15. You’re highly skeptical of anything that’s fed to you as being “just the way things are.” You’re always open to the idea that there could be a different, better, kinder, more enlightened way to live, and you’re always willing to at least try for it.
16. If you were to tell your younger self about the life you have now, they sincerely wouldn’t believe you.