Embrace The New: Dealing With Life's Never Ending Changes

 

Change, big or small, has always been difficult for me. Whether it was my parents buying a new couch, or moving to a new town, I probably cried over it (and demanded things stay the same). But, that’s not how life works apparently. I’ve only (in the last year) recently realized how much new changes in my life affected me on an emotional level.

This past year, I moved to NYC with admittedly no real set life plan. It was the most challenging thing I’ve done to date. But, when I set my mind to something, I find a way to make it happen. Between a new apartment, moving in with my boyfriend, getting used to NYC in general, and finding my place, it has been a whirlwind of changes for the last year and a half.

That being said, seeing as I don’t take to change very easily, there has also been an intense flow of emotions happening during this time. Happy, angry, a little depressed, confused, excited-I’ve felt it all. However, what I’ve realized through every season, every emotion, and every new thing that’s happened (good or bad), is that it’s all about how to deal with whatever change is brought your way.

Sure, initially you may feel extremely nervous, scared, angry, or excited. You may shed a few tears (or a lot in my case), but it’s what comes after those initial feelings that matters.

How do you handle the new cards you’ve been dealt?

If you shut down and choose not to accept this new phase in your life as your reality, then you’re asking for more negative shit to pile on. However, if you take it and run with it (no matter how good or bad it is), then you’re only asking for positive solutions to open up or even better opportunities to come your way. Because let’s be real, not all change is bad change.

This past summer I decided to sell my car. It was sitting in my parent’s garage, not being used at all, and having the money from it in my pocket was definitely not going to hurt. That being said, when the day finally came that a sweet college student from my town bought it on the spot, I cried like a baby. That car was more than just a white Ford Focus Wagon. It was the car that put me through the end of high school, stuck with me all through college, drove me to my new apartment and job in Boston, carted my friends to a bunch of fun trips, it was a place where I could be alone to think, where I could let my dog Buddy hop in the front seat for a quick car ride. It was a box with four wheels that held an infinite amount of memories.

So I cried, and had a ping of regret, and maybe wished that girl wouldn’t actually buy it. But then I realized that she was going to make those same memories driving to and from school every day, taking the burden off of her parents, and that I honestly did not need it (and okay so the money definitely did not hurt either).

My point is, these extreme changes are going to occur. Day after day, month after month, year after year. But it’s all about what we learn from them, the things we can take away, and the choice we make to get up every day and make our lives better.

Of course I still think about my car, or that time I felt like a failure, or the money I wished I had saved instead of spent, or how scared I felt driving with our U-Haul into the city. But, I also think about and really focus on all of the growing up I’ve done because of all of the changes that have occurred in my short 24 years. Bad or good, I’ve taken SOMETHING away from it. And as fall turns into winter, I know there will be even more life changes to come. No matter how exciting or how terrifying, everything will be okay. Remember that the next time you’re faced with a ‘holy shit I don’t know if I can handle this life altering situation’ or a ‘I’m really nervous about this amazing thing that just happened’. Because no matter who you are, you’re strong enough to handle whatever life throws at you.

30 Day Self-Love Challenge: Week One Updates

This past week I took on my own made up version of a self-love challenge. First off I would like to pat myself on the back for making some baby steps that I will get into later, but I would be lying if I said that after one week I was cured of all of my negative emotions and had an enormous amount of energy.

Before writing this out, I read an article on The EveryGirl where the writer interviewed one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert (if you haven’t read her book Big Magic it’s a must). During the interview, Gilbert was asked,

How do you strike a balance between staying authentic to your followers but also maintaining privacy and keeping some things close?”

To this, Gilbert replied:

“I rally against the word balance. You can’t open a women’s magazine without balance this or balance that, and I’m like, I don’t know anyone who has found balance. All of us are wobbly as fuck. But that’s the interesting part. It would be terribly boring to find balance all the time; you would have to be so heavily drugged. I don’t even know what that would look like. I’ve given up on finding that. Instead, I think, OK, what brings joy and the least amount of suffering? What would be the most interesting path for me to take here? Let’s go.”

After reading this simple yet profound answer, I realized that I was missing the point of taking on this challenge for myself. Will I ever really find ‘balance’? And if I did, do I even know what that is supposed to look like? All I know is that I want to feel happy, I want to stop drowning in the negativity that my job is putting me in, I want to achieve my goals with a feeling of confidence that I can get it done and be successful.

So, maybe like Gilbert says, I need to stay ‘wobbly as fuck’ and achieve everything that way.

Because honestly in the last week, I still felt stressed out. I still had moments of doubt. I still had days where I felt like sleeping and not conquering a single thing. And I think I’ve realized (maybe even just today) that I’ll probably have those days here and there. But, the goal is to have a lot less of them.

So, some positive steps I was able to take this week to get my self-love on.

  • I left work on time. This was a big one, and one that I did two out of the five days. It felt great to say I‘ve done what I need to do, and now it’s my time.
  • I gave myself an hour to just lounge and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy before bed. Something I previously felt kind of guilty about doing on weekdays.
  • I met one of my writers (in person finally) who was here from Barcelona, and it was so fun getting to talk with her (shout out to you Bianca for being amazing!)
  • I went home for the weekend and spent time with my family and dog (which was so relaxing).
  • I went for a run yesterday morning, something I enjoy but feel I never have energy for anymore.

See? Baby steps.

My goals as I jump into this week is to incorporate way more writing into my week. It’s hard, and I feel like some inspiration has been lost these last few months. But, even taking this weekend to rejuvenate, I feel it coming back.

Letting go of the idea that I need to have this perfect balance in my everyday life is also something that I want to work on. Admittedly I can be a bit of a perfectionist, but I’m learning that sometimes life is the most beautiful when it’s just a bit messy.

I hope this gives YOU some inspiration and insight as you take on this new week!