Sounds crazy and kinda scary and perhaps unrealistic and like something you’ll consider doing tomorrow or next year or in five years or your next lifetime?
Yep. Know the feeling.
Believe it or not, even though I am super spontaneous in many ways and I have made some huge, life-altering decisions that have lead me to writing The Balanced Blonde full-time and building a business & brand out of the bloggy; I am also the queen of ROUTINE. Not routine in the sense that I like to follow a specific schedule, because anyone who knows me knows that that is absolutely false, but routine in the sense that any form of huge change terrifies the living daylights out of me.
When I was young and one of my parents would get a new car, or god forbid they would redo our kitchen and then our entire house (happened so many times!!!), I would get extreme anxiety and wish endlessly for everything to go back to how it had once been.
Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I went to the same school with the same people for fourteen years straight, but the thought of big changes in any way, shape or form totally terrified me. If they even got rid of a painting in our house I demanded to sit and talk to it and let it know that it wasn’t ugly… it was just moving on to its next adventure. (Okay, maybe I was a little crazy.)
This penchant for sameness followed me into college when I missed home desperately and always felt a lot more comfortable in the comfort of my hometown than I did at my university. Don’t get me wrong, I loved college, made tons of friends and thrived in the social and academic atmosphere, but if I had the luxury of picking and choosing I would have chosen home over school any day of the year.
In the years since then, I have learned so much about myself. So much in fact that sometimes I look back and think what the hecckkk, I can’t believe I used to do so many things I didn’t like and hang out with so many people who didn’t 100% fulfill me or lift me up. But that’s what growing up is for (excuse the cliché there, but it’s true)… it’s for learning what works for you and what doesn’t work for you, what you love and what you don’t love, what makes you ridiculously happy and what makes you feel kind of “eh.”
And now here I am, looking back on the last year of my life and realizing I have made some HUGE changes in favor of living my happiest life and being as comfortable and content in my own skin (and career) as I can possibly be. I left grad school, I transitioned out of my vegan diet, I moved from NYC back to LA, I distanced myself from a few people I needed to distance from, got closer to others, enrolled in a health coaching program, and even started turning down certain opportunities in favor of having more time to pursue what I DO love. And those are just a few big things… I have done plenty on a smaller scale too.
As far as small scale goes, the biggest change I have made in the past few years is how much time I spend alone. When I was in college, I spent about zero minutes of the day being alone. If I was alone for a full hour at a time I freaked out and immediately made up for it by filling the rest of my week with back-to-back plans and commitments. Now I spend a TON of time alone (or at least try to whenever I can swing it!) and I absolutely adore it.
I take time out of my day to meditate, exercise alone (usually), listen to music, read, go on walks, breathe, take baths, write for pleasure vs. for work, stretch, relax and most of all to THINK. And usually what I find myself thinking about is how freaking happy I am with the way things have been going.
Sometimes making changes in your life requires doing things that other people in your life simply don’t understand. For instance, I drove home to Sacramento this weekend (6 hours from where I live in LA) because I felt like it and because I felt like it would be a smart choice so I could work on the book all week. Virtually no one completely understood why I would do that so impulsively, but I knew how right it felt so I was able to feel super good about it.
If you feel like you want to make a change in your life…. From something as serious as starting to get over an eating disorder or change your career path, or something as small as spending five minutes each day alone with your own thoughts or adding a new workout class into your routine, DO IT.
You have the power to make a change in your life. You are in control, and you deserve to be ridiculously and utterly happy every single day. I know it’s scary and it might require some extra work in other areas (picking up a side job, doing the dirty work of ending a relationship that is no longer serving you, making the plans to make a big move happen) but it is SO worth it.
Basically I started eliminating the time that I spent dreading doing things that felt like either social or work obligations… and started filling that time with things that totally served me. And this morning, even though I was a little stressed about the amount of work I have ahead of me this week and a little annoyed at myself for leaving a bunch of things I need in LA, it hit me that those things are tiny and trivial and when I stop and think about my life and my week overall… I am freakishly happy.
Everyone deserves that happiness. All the time. Let’s do it.
Also…. This is what my book, Breaking Vegan, is all about. It is coming out next October and I am so excited it’s almost ridiculous. I will be working on it all week… wish me luck, and feel free to send encouraging emails. They help more than you know!
SO much love to all of you!