The past 3 months have definitely been a journey. Not only have they had me question everything about myself, they’ve thrown me so many obstacles that I believed I wasn’t ready for.
I was ready, though. I was there and present and had the underlying intention of learning, of moving forward, even if I failed to recognize it at the time.
This massive shift, however, hasn’t been a simple bridge to the other side. If anything, it was the exact opposite. I felt myself becoming a shell of myself. I felt myself moving on autopilot, out of control and without direction. I fell into old, less-than-great habits and unhealthy patterns.
But isn’t that how it works?
it has to get worse before it gets better.
And I would beat myself up for even getting there in the first place.
But the thing is– we’re human. Shit happens. We fall down. It’s how we choose to proceed that makes all the difference.
Amidst some of the bad habits, however, I re-discovered some good ones.
Writing here, getting out more, reconnecting with people, getting outside, and reading more– all things I see as steps in the right direction.
I don’t think I’ll go as far to say as I’ve hit the 1/4 life crises mark, but there was definitely a point in time where I just needed to STOP.
For some reason, reading about people who have their lives together and who offer meaningful advice appeals to me. In fact, I’d almost go so far as to say that 2018 has been the year of self-help books. Whoops. *shrug*
But so much of what he has to say [in an intentionally passionate, witty, and meaningful way] is *so* on par with the changes I’m trying to get my ass up and accomplish this year.
Part of what I love, though, about his book is that he has pauses for action. There are activities that provoke thought and really force you to get your ideas, your obstacles, your fears, and your heart onto a piece of paper that you can control, that you can hold, that you can revise, that you can own.
One of the questions the reader is asked to consider is “what deep rooted vales are associated with your productivity goals?” Or more simply, “what are the deep dirty reasons you want to be more productive?”
“what is it all for?”
And for a minute, I stopped, because this essentially begs the question:
“What are you going to make room for in your life?”
Well that’s easy, I thought. More important things!
But what even *are* those more important things? Are they even *things* at all?
And then it was there, the question poking the back of my prefrontal cortex:
What is the goal of life? What is the *reason*?
I’ve spent the past 12 some-odd years in school, told that I’d have a better chance of getting a job, so I could have a place to live, and make money to support myself and then live life.
But… what comes next?
And I completely understand having to pay my dues along the way. The fact of life is that life costs money. School is expensive. I should probably eat food and have a place to live. I understand that more now than ever before, as I’m currently the sole contributor to my school and housing.
But I realized that there’s so much besides financial stability/freedom I want to focus on along the way. Things like:
freedom to have time to do meaningful things
These are the things that I want to be working on as I do my best to be productive in the more *required* sectors of adulthood, school, and ultimately my career as myself.
I definitely didn’t mean for this post to be gushing about Chris Bailey but *shrug*
I just had to share because I think so much of my original plans and goals have been just those–
And that by moving into the new year, with the right mindset and right people surrounding me, I hope to find some peace, discipline, and the best relationships to grow into, and grow from.
This is *SO* flipping cliche but it feels, truly, as if 2018 were a blur. But you know what’s also stupidly cliche [and stupidly true]?– time flies when you’re having fun. I feel funny typing that, because it seems as if the past 2-3 months have been anything *but* fun.
…But that’s only 2-3 months out of a whopping, pretty exciting and joyful 12. Gotta give myself a break. (-:
I’m here, I’m alive, I’m functioning, I’m showing up, I’m getting shit done. What more can I ask for?
So here we go (:
read/reading // I just had to do one of these posts today PARTLY because I was blessed–straight up BLESSED!!– with new reading in the mail today from a dear friend who lives a coast away from me:
Gmorning, Gnight! Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin Manuel Miranda, illustrated by Jonny Sun
I haven’t had the time to read much else, but I will say I’m jumping right back into what I think is probably my fave book ever:
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey.
It’s awesome because all of his writing is converging SO HARD with my life right now and the path I’m trying to choose.
Annnnnnnd I’m trying to get my hands on this beauty, because I was only able to read snippets from it on a fall retreat this year:
writing // here! And writing letters. Much needed, much overdue letters.
learning // to be alone with myself, and to practice self care. There was a point in time where I realized I just was not taking any breaks for just myself– even things I found I was doing because I enjoyed them felt tied to other people, and I’ve struggled a lot with simply being. It’s something that’s just going to take time and I have to be willing to work the wait.
doing / working on // Things! Projects! Life changes! In this respect, my heart is full. I’m so thankful.
self-care, god dammit.
re-aligning, reducing, ans re-designing my life [more on this when I can gather myself back at school… I’m excited!!]
a hunger initiative at my university’s campus ministry
a print/digital campaign for the aforementioned item
eating // still poorly! But I’m also in transition between being home and being at school so… whatcha gonna do ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’ve basically got my shopping list set up for me when I do return, however. It’s gonna include less processed stuff, and more healthy ingredients! watch this space.
drinking// coffee, trying to drink more water, milk, and the uh, occasional pomegranate martini ^_^
listening // …to lots! I think I’m obsessed….
being inspired// by some stuff. Particularly these words from Cleo Wade’s book, Heart Talk:
laughing // at the fact that in the past 3 weeks, 3 different people have asked me if I’ve looked into going to seminary/joining the priesthood. I don’t quite know whether I should be flattered or concerned. LOL. I personally think that I don’t have the patience, nor do I have the true calling, but my priest at school pointed out that she didn’t think she had those things either…. and that God kept putting the thought in front of her… hmm ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Also laughing just thinking about the evening I spent on the floor of my living room with my roommates, as we re-watched a series of videos I recorded on my camera on the infamous Night We Found Out We Had Bedbugs. Man, I love my roomies so much.
thinking // about my financial responsibility. I hate that it keeps creeping into every facet of my life, but I am in a hard spot right now and I’ve never been more concerned about my financial life up until this moment. I’m trying to do what I can, and I realize *so hard* that it is essential to improve things and alter habits and fix my mindset and stay motivated to do so… I’ve also always had trouble asking for help, and even accepting, in some cases. I don’t like being indebted to people, and I certainly don’t like drawing more attention to myself than necessary. So it’s kind of an awkward time right now. But if this year has taught me anything about love, gratitude, strength, and resilience, it’s that anything can happen, there is faith to be had, and with determination, hard work, a bit of luck and lots of prayer, things have the potential to unfold in a way that I will most certainly grow from.
trying // to remain self-assured in a world that passes so much judgement on the external, the material, the facade, and the feed.
I’m also just trying to stay positive, learn to forgive myself, look past things, try to separate people from behaviors, and learn from all of the above.
hoping // that I’ll be able to make enough for school this semester. Time to get creative, and probably hunker down and get them private loans!
loving // my people!! They really are my support systems.
And my work. It gave me light and a renewed understanding and reminder of why I love what I love. It’s slow right now because I’m on break, but I can’t wait to get back into it.
Annnnd I guess I’ll begrudgingly say I am loving the time off [sorry I’m a person who has trouble sitting still and having peace but I’ve gotten to kind of chill a lot and it’s nice.] ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
….And this weather!! Omg today it was 64 degrees outside in DECEMBER and I spent it on a series of introspective walks. So lovely.
praying // for 2019 to be a thoughtful, mindful adventure in which I gracefully grow into the change I am faced with.
Thank you for blessing me with everything up to now. Every rough patch, every hardship, every time something hasn’t turned out to my design.
Thank you for the people you have strategically sprinkled into my life, they are gifts and treasures and have shown me so many things about the world and about myself.
Please grant me patience, understanding, focus, motivation, and the discipline to move forward with the changes I wish to install within my lifestyle.
Please grant me forgiveness, so that I may ultimately find healing.
Please also grant me peace this Christmas, the ability to slow down for these next few days and truly take everything in.
I pray also for the strength to keep barreling onward, for resilience, for clarity, and lastly, for kindness.