Up and down

It's been an up and down four months both literally and figuratively as I settled into my new job at Perth & Kinross Council, and a weekly six hour-round trip home every weekend. I leave for work at 5am on a Monday morning, grumpy and groggy until the sunrise hits me and I'm greeted with views like this. I could head down on a Sunday night but the early morning is totally worth it for a few more hours of Better Call Saul with Mike. 

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I don't know if it's because my 30th birthday is a-tick-tocking towards me but I've been reflecting a lot in the last few months. What do I want my life to be like? Will I ever get out of this financial black hole? Am I really sure I don't want children? 

 And most importantly: Am I a good person?

Maybe it's the (*abuse klaxon*) shitty relationship that constricted me for my 20s but when I left, I was determined I would be the PUREST, most UNAPOLOGETIC version of myself. I've always been pretty ok with who I am. But my speaking voice is too loud so people shush me all the time. I'm cynical and bitchy and judgemental and a picky eater. And I always thought there was enough good stuff there to balance that out but recently I haven't been so sure.

Everyone on my social media feeds seem dedicated to their own personal growth and I have no idea where to begin. Is my concern that I'm a terrible friend, spoilt daughter or unreliable sister based on my actual behaviour or the constant insecurities I have about myself? I don't know what part of myself I should be improving first without losing the stuff that makes me me. Because overall I like me! 

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I made a meal for Mike and I last night; steaks (veggie, of course) with red onion and balsamic vinegar gravy and mashed potato on the side. As I mixed butter into the potatoes, I realised it was the first time in a while we haven't just thrown a pizza in the oven. In a bid to claw back as much time together as possible, we've opted for convenience over meals that mean a lot of time in the kitchen, or a lot of dishes afterwards. And it's such a shame.

I started to think that, although I maybe do have to work on being a bit less judgemental sometimes (as fun as it is) and try to speak in an "indoor voice" more often, it's totally fine that I like myself. And the 'self improvement' I should be focusing on is improving the quality of my life. I should be taking the time to do things that make me happy, like cooking a meal from scratch, taking photos just for the fun of it instead of "for the 'gram" or having a break from social media without feeling like I'll fall off the planet. 

Improving my life doesn't have to include improving me...because I'm pretty great as I am.

PersonalLauren Aitchison