What’s On My Mind: Habits

I’m keeping this post short and sweet. You’ll see why when you read it. 😊

A LOT is happening in my life right now. I found my own apartment, my responsibilities at work are increasing, and I’m slowly finding my place in the world. To say the least, it’s all very overwhelming. Good but total chaos. And… I’m the type of person who doesn’t handle overwhelm very well. When things are difficult, I withdraw. I get tired. I reject myself and I think a lot. Instead of getting up and doing the stuff, I try to think my way around it and it’s exhausting.

For someone who doesn’t handle overwhelm very well, I certainly create a lot of it for myself. Not only do I have trouble quieting the incessant thoughts in my head, I let things get out of hand because I don’t have the habits to support my lifestyle. And when things go wrong (like when I wake up late for the fourth time in one week), I put myself down instead of picking myself back up and starting over.

Let’s face it. Life only gets busier the more connected we become and it’s difficult to slow down long enough to not only forgive ourselves for making mistakes, but also to create new habits to avoid burnout in the future.

Life-making is hard (did I make that word up?) but I’m slowly understanding that positive habits make it easy. Habits are the day-to-day “hacks” we build into our schedule that make us feel like we can accomplish what we set out to do. As I’m moving into 2019 (😂), here’s the foundation I’ll be building my habits on so I can reach my goals this year.

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Modern Problems: Reflecting on How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

Wow… I confess. It’s been quite a while since I paid this blog any attention. Although I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to live up to the expectations I have for this blog, I’m happy and grateful for the clarity I gained on how technology is impacting my life during my unintentional break. Over the past two months, I started a challenging new job, learned how to better cope with problems in my personal life, made new friends, laughed longer and louder than I have in LONG time, and established more financial freedom for myself. To say the least, it’s been a great month. Easy in some ways, difficult in others. I’ve learned a lot and feel pretty confident heading into the new year. 

However, I keep coming back to this idea that some of the challenges I am facing now are new to us. I often look at my life and marvel at how drastically the way we live and communicate has changed due to the introduction of technology. When something challenges me, I find myself saying “wow, this wouldn’t have been a problem 30 some years ago.”

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Love in the Digital World: How to Make it Through a Rough Patch in Your Relationship in 2018

One thing technology has definitely changed is romance and dating. We no longer wait days or weeks to talk to someone. With cell phones, everyone is always available. Portable phone technology has changed how we communicate with each other and has drastically altered our expectations for our relationships. Because everyone is “always” on and available to talk, we expect our relationships to move quickly and satisfy us around the clock. Texting has become one of the most widely used forms of communication and technology is only making people more and more accessible to each other. We crave immediate communication and use it to measure our level of fulfillment because that’s what’s normal.

If you grew up with technology like I did, it’s sometimes difficult to put how we communicate with each other into perspective. Flirting via text message is commonplace for us; communicating often and daily with your significant other is expected. We know of no other way. However, I think it’s important to remain self-aware of how our behavior is changing due to technology and how it can deteriorate our relationships. It’s not enough to mindlessly use our devices and let our new expectations run/ruin our lives.

When we go through difficulties in our relationships, these strange new expectations become glaringly obvious. Every moment staring at the phone feels like a lifetime. We expect change, forgiveness, and love immediately because that’s how we communicate. As we adapt to the new world, we have to see technology for the tool that it is and use it mindfully to support and nourish our relationships. So on that note, here’s a few things to consider as you navigate a rough patch with your significant other in the digital world. Read More

Starting a New Job? 5 Tips to Follow to Maximize Personal Success

This week, I started a new job in a line of work I know very little about. To say I wasn’t nervous would be a gross misrepresentation of how I was feeling and a big discredit to the reality of the human experience. I think we all come across nervousness or anxiety when making a big change in our lives. However, not all of us know how to prepare for it. Although we take comfort in knowing that others have many of the same emotions when starting a new career, we are seldom given the tips we need to navigate uncertainty. Here are five tips I put together after reflecting on my first week to help you put your new role into perspective and find personal success. Knowing these tips heading in could save you from abandoning a perfectly good opportunity or fearing change so much you don’t learn or grow from your new job.

1. Seize the Opportunity to Learn

Getting a new job, especially one in a different field, is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and develop a more diversified network. If you approach the experience as one of learning rather than stress and uncertainty, the world becomes your oyster. In some cases, we are pushed to take and stay in positions out of necessity and fear for the wellbeing of our families. This fear can make it difficult to see how blessed we are to have these learning experiences. So if you can put these fears aside, focus on the work, and seize the opportunity to learn something new, you will be better equipped to find great success regardless of where life takes you next. Read More

NO EXCUSES

So much of this year has been about getting back on track with taking care of myself and fostering my interests. Although college can be a time of great growth, it can also become totally overwhelming and pull one’s attention away from other important areas in life. Looking back on my experience in college, I can see how I neglected to build a solid foundation of self-love and care I could return to in times of stress. I put taking care of and appreciating myself last so I could get ahead, giving into the demands of constant worry and fear. The result is something I am still cleaning up to this day.

When I graduated in May, I thought it would be easy to get on top of these things. I would have more time for myself and I could finally pursue what’s truly important to me. However, life quickly challenged that notion, introducing me to the reality of the working world and adulthood. Although I half expected this to happen, I was still surprised and annoyed when it did. I guess I figured wishful thinking and denial could postpone adulthood while I got my sh*t together. But life continued to get busier and I kept making excuses to justify why I was waiting until after the stress ended to be happy and healthy. Read More

Peace

I have a habit of getting ahead of myself. I think of it as a coping mechanism for feeling behind. When I see the success of other people, I don’t normally feel jealously. Instead, I feel rushed. For a brief moment, I believe that if I rush the doing, it will lead to quicker achieving and I, too could be like my successful counterparts. Although I know this is hardly ever the case, I get wrapped up in it and create anxiety for myself. It isn’t until I step back far enough, do I realize how ineffective this is. To see the haphazard efforts, to feel the anxiety pouring through the doing, and to know that it created nothing but stress is profoundly eyeopening.

I guess we are all just trying to find purpose in the world, some harder than others, and when we don’t see that happening, we feel we have failed ourselves. We see life as this finite entity that needs to be manipulated and forced into something worthwhile to put us in a “better,” more successful place. We take for granted the focused process of achieving a goal, the stepping stones that line up perfectly in time, and the enjoyment of just being alive here and now.

Every time I go through a major transition in my life or suffer some sort of loss of identity, I come back to this. I come back to the realization that this, right now, is all we will ever have. Tomorrow is an idea, the past is a memory. Everything that is important is happening right now and is as it is. Accepting this is incredibly liberating. It forges a path for true creativity, strength, and gratitude. It opens a gate through which only the brave walk through. Read More

Scratch the Itch

One of the biggest difficulties I have with finding success in my personal interests is staying in one lane for long enough to see any results. I have interests all over the place so when I go about pursing my dreams, I often picture a small, very excitable child running wild in the yard and I get scared. I’m literally excited by everything and not everybody appreciates that. Instead of embracing this, I normally minimize it to fit in. The challenge has been learning to accept this as a strength and an invitation to enjoy life rather than a reason to beat myself up over not being “dedicated enough” to a specific hobby or craft. Call it instability, but I’m slowly starting to see it as a unique opportunity to experience life at its fullest potential. WATCH OUT: The world is my candy store.

For me, writing has always been the unifying factor holding together all of these wild interests, from fashion to travel to music and everything else in between. It only makes sense that I’d want to be a blogger but about what has often eluded me. I mean seriously, how could you choose? Life is too cool to put into boxes. Read More

Forcing It

It’s quiet. A subtle presence has returned and everything that seemed unclear before now makes perfect sense. It’s Fall. Trees self destruct, shedding their leaves without worry just like I shed the disappointments of my past. I love this time of year.

I can never quite explain why I love Fall so much but how I feel emotionally during this season has a lot to do with it. Despite the fact that everything outside is dying, I feel new. It’s like a fresh start where what is truly important in my life is made obviously clear. This is all on top of the fact that it’s the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season, the coziest time of year, and the perfect time to buy new clothes.

This season has been interesting thus far. It’s my first Fall out of school and the lack of structured guidance has left me unstable. This is the first time in my life where the next step is not laid out for me and it’s… weird. Sometimes I look back on my time in school and wish I still had the same confidence and sense of direction without all the headaches that come along with getting a degree. Read More

Full Circle

In November of 2016, I returned home from 5 months abroad in South Africa. This Thanksgiving, it will be two full years of giving thanks to such an incredible and transformational experience. It’s funny how two years had to pass for this to happen but I think it’s all finally come full circle. Let me explain what I mean…

South Africa was an experience that truly challenged who I was. I learned real empathy, discovered the true value of gratitude, and developed compassion for others. I finally realized my own worth, put myself first, and celebrated with new friends. I lived more, worried less, and loved everyone I met. After spending years previous stuck in negativity and immaturity, I finally found true happiness. The meaning of life (as crazy as that seems) was clear to me. It was a great party, an incredible celebration of life, and a true test of presence. I strived for nothing but gained everything. I loved every minute of it (Click here to read more and see pictures: WORTH IT). Read More

Self-Care

A huge focus of mine right now is self-care. I try to spend as much time as I can after work caring for myself and making life a little easier on me. It has been such a relief to have at least a little more free time again, after 4+ years of go, go go in college. Although the demands and frustrations of everyday life still overwhelm me, I finally feel like I have the time and energy to take care of myself and focus on what’s truly important to me (hint, hint: music 😊).

This month, I found out that I have celiac disease which, for those of you who don’t know, is an autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the intestines and digestive system. When a person with celiac ingests gluten, their body signals an immune response that damages the small intestine leading to a menagerie of digestive complications and other reactions. After almost two years of struggling silently with, what I thought at the time were perplexing symptoms, I finally found the answers and relief I was looking for. For several months, I was hiding pain that I continued fueling unknowingly with the food I ate. I was pretty shocked to find out that celiac was the problem, as I never had problems with gluten in my childhood. But by the end of it, I was more relieved to come out with a game plan to resolve the issue and hope in the forecast. Needless to say, self-care has taken on a whole new meaning for me, casting great emphasis on my diet and eating pain free food as my life progresses. Read More