Day 38: Reveling and assessing

Still in a very good mood, I actually find myself listening to Christmas music at work. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not flailing in self doubt or hatred and it really is a wonderful thing. I would like to use some of my time wisely to make the life I want become the life I have. Whether it be money or just enjoyment I really don’t care anymore. I’m opening up the doors of my own mindset to further explore the possibilities.

I read some articles about being bored at your job and the differences between it being you and it being the job. That is the first thing that needs to change for me – whether its me or not sometimes things just aren’t a good fit. I need to be challenged. I need to feel like I have a purpose for being here and this job doesn’t give me either of those.

The last two years have been hard for me because I lost both challenges, purpose and enjoyment as I knew them in my work and in my personal life at the same time. I’m starting to realize where the crazy stemmed from. I’m starting to realize where the insanity took over. I still want the freedom I wanted at the beginning of this challenge but I feel completely different about it. There lies the progress. I’m really not the girl that I was when I started this challenge. Nor am I the girl that I was 2 years ago when I got here. It’s been a journey and I’m grateful that things are starting to go well but I know I’m not quite there yet.

I keep writing to try to sift through my thoughts and even on days I haven’t published I wrote in my own personal journal if that’s what you want to call it. I’ve accomplished something I never thought I would in that on it’s own; I wrote a post a day for almost 30 days. I’ve never done that before. Especially not with substance in this way. I wrote about myself and my feelings. I wrote about what I wanted and while I may have said a lot I probably used more words than needed, but I digress that’s me being me. Always a critic. Always trying to be – better. Or a better word – enough. I am enough. I am not perfect but I am enough. I finally feel the truth in that statement as well.

This time I don’t want to be better I just want to be. Be happy. Be content. Be playful. Be in love. Be loving. Be free. Let it be – damn it – let it be.

With this unexpected twist I want to use it to its potential. I want to shake things up but now without the anger driven crazy, I almost don’t know what to do. They say to use emotion as a gauge of what to do. While I know I want to jump, the length I’m willing to go is slightly different. I’d love to travel for 6 months, but I’m not financially there. I’d love to have a different kind of freedom with life. Yet for the first time in almost a year, the urgency of starting my own company really isn’t in the forefront of my mind. Right now I want to write, and tell stories and draw and photograph. I woke up the creator I always thought and believed myself to be. Since I was 5, I always was drawing or crafting things. That’s what I do. I’ve become the adult that stifled their inner kid and she’s starting to burst into the world in full force. She finally stopped throwing a tantrum because she was acknowledged and now it’s time to move forward.

Taking the leap I’d love to quit this job, but I need another one. What am I missing and where do I need help? I need challenges. I need to feel useful. I need to feel like there’s a point of me even being there. I’ve had jobs that made me feel useful. I’ve had jobs that made me feel like there was a point of being there. I’ve had jobs with challenges. But never all at once. The closest that I got to that was teaching. Which ironically parallels my business idea. Maybe that is my priority. Maybe the angle needs to be different and that’s what is going to come from me. I need to seek some people out and see if I can make some shifts.

Until next time- thanks for tuning in.

Day 38: let the good times roll, and hoping for challenges and purpose on the horizon. 23915527_10154993927246752_1329328608212625187_n.jpg

Advertisements

Day 37: I’m all shook up, riding the waves of life

Blindsided by a twist of fate, my world has been shaken hard and in the best possible way. I wrote multiple posts about gratitude last week that I didn’t publish. With the events of one quick but everlasting night, I can honestly say grateful is a word I never expected to say, feel or mean in this way. But – I’m there. I’m grateful for this one singular night of my life. Yeah one night – because it changed everything. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but that’s how it feels.

With the entering of one person >stage right< my scene has been altered. You really never know the effect one person, one night, one moment in time can change everything you ever thought about yourself and then some. Whether this be a fantasy or not, I’m taking it as something that has made me feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before. I’m taking this as the new beginning of a dawn I’d never thought would be that beautiful or powerful. Or even on a long shot come into view in my world.

I’m still thinking of what comes next. But I’m so much more at ease with myself. With my life. With the way that things are going. Calmed down is an understatement of the utmost variety. I showed myself to someone in almost every way possible and they not only accepted me, they treated me like a queen. All the experiences and thoughts I once had about my own worth and value – gone. All the doubt I felt, all the self hatred I was harboring – gone. Blindsided is seriously an understatement and I almost can’t express enough of my love for this moment, but it’s there. I’m sitting at my desk at work trying not to jump out of my skin in happiness and excitement for the sheer existence of this day. I’ve been like this for the last week because honestly this just keeps getting better. Whether the fantasy is all in my head or the shift has begun I’m honestly stupidly incandescently happy and I can’t wipe this shit eating grin off my face.

I wrote last week that I wasn’t grateful for things like having a job, or just being able to get by. I fell into the void of the internet in search of articles and direction and I realized that forcing it makes me freak out even more. Faking it makes me angry and annoyed. I wrote a post about it but did not yet have a conclusion. After annoying myself to no end I tried the opposite. I wrote a post on trying to do things differently in general.

I wrote of being more real with myself and letting things happen as they may. Taking one step at a time and seeing where I get. I didn’t publish either because neither of them felt entirely right. Sick of complaining because I didn’t have it that bad but I was not grateful nor thankful for where my life had ended up in any way shape or form. I’ve been in a hating on everything mode because I’ve been pushing so hard to just keep afloat I drowned in the ocean because I was thrashing against the waves. The same day I failed to publish those posts. The same day I just said screw it – paradigm shift.

Either the stars aligned or the universe is fucking with me, but I can honestly say I’m exactly where I need to be right now. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in life. I’m more alive than I’ve ever felt. I haven’t felt like myself in so long, but this is it. I look in the mirror and I see me. I see a happy me. A lighter me. One who isn’t carrying the weight of the world. One who has no idea what comes next but is excited to find out. One who isn’t so hellbent on having, being and doing right now, because I finally got something I’ve needed my entire life. I found value. Someone had to point it out to me and reinforce it for the last week but within the first day, the shift occurred. Whether this person stays in my life or not doesn’t matter. They woke me up. They gave me something I never had and I never knew existed. They showed me what a man actually is and we connected on a level so real I’m not afraid of letting myself be anything anymore and it’s wonderful. I haven’t had this mental freedom or stability when it comes to good, ever. I’ve never felt like that with another human ever, but this was it.

For those thinking I’m allowing someone else to dictate my feelings, think again. When you show someone yourself in their rawest most crazy and ridiculous form (in your own opinion) and they show love in a way you never could for yourself, it proves to you that everything really is possible. Everything is doable. Only you stand in your own way and the world either conspires with you or against you based on your position in it. It makes you re-evaluate yourself and your own tendencies. When someone shows you love when you don’t believe yourself to be lovable – world shaken.

It makes me think back to the beginning of this challenge trying to figure out another way to run. Another way to exist because the hatred and the struggle had reigned. The struggle is still happening but the weight of it isn’t as hard to bear anymore. The strength within is not only there, but it’s ignited. I’m ignited. The things I’ve been looking for for as long as I can remember are now present in my world. I’m not letting them go. This time is different because I’m different. This time is going to continue to be different because it has no other choice. There’s no going back and for once I really have no desire to. This is the progress I’ve been talking about this whole time. Except now I actually feel like I’ve made progress. Now is the time I actually feel like I’ve gotten somewhere. I had to catch up to myself, but I needed a little help. I got it in spades. It hit me like a macktruck and I’m absolutely glad it did. Bring on the next wave I’m not going anywhere.

Day 32-37: I can legitimately say I’m grateful for being exactly where I am right now and it feels amazing.

 

220171125_133608.jpg

Day 32: Making Some More Changes

I took the weekend to focus on me and some of the things going on in general. I’ve realized I fall in love with the fantasy of things. The world behind the world. The world within my mind. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can be isolating. Trying to make things happen and plan for future goals as well as get through your days, you see things change and what you want is limitless. You stop living in the present. You stop enjoying the moment or realizing that fun and life happens when you aren’t paying attention. Still trying to slow down to live in the now, here I am.

I’ve been told to stop acting like a kid throwing a tantrum…And as much as I’d love to stop throwing a tantrum… I don’t want to stop acting like a kid. At least not in the way I was asked. When someone tells you to stop dreaming, stop living within fantasy and let go of all your shit that “isn’t possible” … uh. Do you not realize who I am? I ended up 3,000 miles away from “home” because I chased a dream across the country. You’re telling me at the base of who I am – not to be me. Not happening, I like being the dreamer. But let me ask you, why?! All the people that act like adults, that have to be told to have fun and have to allow themselves to do something outside the status quo or the norm… they’re miserable. I do not strive to be them. I want to be a better me.

They go through the motions because fear or stability keeps them there. I’m afraid, but not as much as you’d think. I’m more afraid to go back to my hometown and deal with what everyone else thinks of me (because face it we all have a past), than I am to stay here driving myself insane and wondering what if. The difference – the facade of it all. The fantasy of living in a place like LA whether the reality is different or not, is the ability to hide in the dream.

We all watch TV. We all have some idea of what certain cities look like. But no one knows the reality of any city unless they live there and everyone’s reality is different. I’m no closer to figuring out exactly what I want to do than I was at the beginning of this challenge. I do however feel like I’ve made progress. I do feel like I look at things a little differently. I also realize how much I have to switch my mindset when everything starts to weigh on me.

The last two days I’ve been in a good mood. I’ve been trying to have fun. I’ve gone back and forth about this job. I’ve already gotten used to dicking around at work, which sounds terrible but I asked for more work 4 times and didn’t get it. I’m done asking. These people don’t make sense to me and it surprises me how much they don’t, but I digress. I’m here, they sign my paycheck. I can and will survive. I’ll figure out my next move and make it when I have to.

I want to travel the world, but I’m not financially there yet. I know I have another 5 months from my goal date of leaving but pulling in extra is becoming exhausting. I’m trying to have fun and live and figure out where I can make my happiness, without losing too much time in the process. The first side gig I got, the plug was pulled on. Now everything is one off little projects here and there. None consistent. It’s hard to track new ones down. I’m still trying, yet I doubt myself.

The person who told me to stop living in fantasy said a few other things and I think they’re worth mentioning… They said we all want things but we don’t want to work for them. Yet in the same breath she told me I look at people around me and all I think is I want to build/ destroy “this” with you. Two contradicting statements don’t ya think? I never put the two together until now but this doesn’t make any sense. I do take this person’s statements as something worth listening to, to an extent because of who they are (not who they are to me but who they are in this world). Yet all of this, isn’t adding up for me anymore. Nothing about this city is. I keep worrying about leaving it yet, I really don’t know if staying is the right thing to do.

I started this post in a decent mood and now I’m stressed and worried about what the hell is going on. Time to breathe. This is where the fantasy both saves my ass and hurts me in the process. This is where I wish something would give and I’m trying to make it, but I really just don’t know what to do anymore. I think I’ll make a list.

Day 32: I need a drink. And a vacation.

Day 29: I can while away the hours

I swear I need to put my brain on a leash. If thoughts and brainwaves burned calories or got you in shape I’d be a marathon runner…that being said, I’m still reeling in excitement about my latest idea. Sitting at work waiting for the time to pass; I find Google to be my best friend and my worst enemy. The answers are out there in every capacity. Every side has proof. These are things I’ve said far too many times, yet it doesn’t stop me from diving into the void.

I’m trying to not freak out about any of this and clearly that isn’t possible. But to say I’m afraid of making any kind of major move is an understatement. I do however think something has to be done. I keep thinking about timing and was thinking about leaving when my lease is up in April… but I’m not going to be able to last that long in this position. Not with the daily boredom and crazy that is my inner conscious mind. I need something to change and I need it do so quickly. I almost want to see if I can make something happen by Christmas, when I’m supposed to be in NY anyway. Hustle I guess? Idk. 6 months of making the money I’m making now and not paying $1000 in rent, gives me $12,000 saved. Halfway to a down payment on a house. That’s a huge deal. To me at least.

I’m starting to see the things I want from a different perspective and see how I can potentially get them all. Trade offs. Vacations instead of living somewhere like LA. Having a house vs renting an apartment forever. Not spending time in traffic or driving myself up the wall with boredom at work vs, snow, seasons and busy-ness in any job because NY. I never thought I belonged in my hometown but using it as a hub is completely different than just being there forever. I’ve moved to other places, but this is the longest I’ve stayed away. I never get a vacation because I only ever get to go back there. I never have enough money either. I had that issue before, but I’ve made progress in my career that will give me substantially more money in NY than it would here. Remote work is entirely possible as well. It just blows my mind the cost and lack of hope here. Everyone is a dreamer chasing something and everyone is alone and stuck. I just can’t play this game anymore.

I want to have fun. I want distractions. I want a stable place I can call mine that doesn’t involve sharing. I think the next step is to leave LA regardless of traveling the world or not. I think that the next few years need to be spent with me traveling the world and seeing what happens. Building a business. Buying a building and a house for less than the cost of a house here. Trying to grants and fundraising to open my company. Not worrying about being the skinny, pretty, girl to get noticed. Just being me and knowing that’s enough. Wanting another dreamer to share life and time with but in a different way than I’ve thought.

I still need to slow down. I need a different pace in life, one I can actually enjoy. One I can even attempt to pull off. I know people say believing is half the battle, but I’ve never really wanted millions until I got here because that’s what it takes to succeed here. I have a similar heading but one quite different than I once thought it would be.

I’m thinking of switching my world vacation for another cross country road trip, but one I do on purpose with time at my will. To end up back in NY with a few months free of rent and monetary struggle and an exit strategy for getting out within a year.

This makes the most sense to me right now. It really does. I’m going to take the next few days and plan it all out. One step at a time and see where things go. Timeline and all. Plan of attack and strategy to move forward.

Day 29: hitting the part where I do what I do best, reel, plan and organize. Bring it on. BrainOnLeash.jpg

 

 

 

Day 28: Slow Down…wait for it.

I think we all need to take a step back at some point in our lives and realize that we need to stop. Stop abusing ourselves. Stop and smell the roses. Stop “all systems go.” Stop rushing through time. I can name a dozen more, but you get the point.

We’re all in a hurry to live. But life happens when you aren’t paying attention. We’re so hellbent on scheduling our time and forcing ourselves to go to work and earn money… only so we can trade it for things or experiences we want. Trading time for money is only beneficial if it ends in an abundance of both; time well spent and money left over. Working in today’s world is a constant power struggle at best.

So how do you slow down? How do you just stop and breathe in that moment? Well catching yourself is half the battle. Finding something you love to do is another. Finding out you can have both money and love in life, for life, around life… priceless.

Maybe I spend too much time in my head. Maybe we all do. Maybe I need to let my heart reign come hell or high water. I had started today like any other. My mind reeled, I chased an idea and here I am, excited and happy for a chance at it and at the same time, freaking out because that’s what I do. I’m always worried because going anywhere means being “stuck” and that’s my issue. But it isn’t about being stuck. It’s about creating something you love regardless of geography. I might hate the weather somewhere, but I can always leave and go somewhere else. Change is always upon us, stop fighting against it and fight for yourself.

I’m at the point in my life where I’ve been flailing around with why I’m still in LA. I’ve been freaking out because of the struggle, but I’m afraid of leaving because it means letting go again. And I’m not good at letting go. I don’t have what I want in life and I never have but I’ve been pushing the pause button on my own life, more than I’m willing to admit. Having somewhere to call home and some financial stability would be an amazing accomplishment for me in my current situation. Eventually being able to have a place to call home in more than one place would be an amazing situation. It’s the creation of my own freedom that I want. I love exploring and having options is even better.

I’m still trying to change my status quo but I can’t seem to do it here and I seem to be making myself crazier. I’m still set on the remote job, but I’m going to try to switch things up. I think I’m going to leave LA when my lease is up no matter what. Slow down some things and turn up some others.

If I land a remote job, I can work from anywhere, travel, live and thrive in any way I choose. If I try to build my desired company I’m going to want more stability, but where I’m from in NY is 10x more affordable than LA. The risk is there as with everything, but the financial risk is less than a third of the cost. Which is really just smart planning. I could have a house and a business in my hometown for less than $500,000. The average cost of a house built in the 1950s in the city of Los Angeles, is $600,000 and that’s not in a good neighborhood. I’m not even getting into renting or buying space in LA on the commercial side…it’s scary.

Once I get my company off the ground, I can travel and take vacations. If I thrive I can buy another house or condo in Southern California, if that’s what I want. I need to start somewhere. And somewhere with a $300,000 (the cost of a building all to myself) price tag vs a $600,000 (average house cost) price tag is the difference between being able to start a business and not.

I was never happy where I was in my hometown, but I was trying to be a part of everyone else’s rat race. I wasn’t running my own race. This is something different. This would buy me freedom with a smaller risk and still involve a reward. I’m happier here in general but I’m unhappier in other ways. There has to be a medium level in ther somewhere.  A lot of it starts with money but some of it is how I spend my time. If I don’t have $1,000 a month going toward rent alone I’ll be able to save and spend and do more than survive. I’ll be able to live.

It’s that moment you realized you’ve been doing this all wrong. But it had to take doing it to figure it out. I don’t want to stay in NY. I already know that going in. But I can test this out there. If it becomes a hit, expand and make it somewhere else. At that point I have a track record and a network to run it. Or I can sell it and move to Bali and live like a Goddess – joke, sort of. I know I started this post about slowing down and I kind of went in the opposite direction, but this goes back to doing what you love and letting yourself be excited about the possibilities in life. The possibilities for yourself. All we have is time and I want to enjoy the time I have and live the life I want.

Day 28: Possibilities are out there. I slowed down for about five seconds to gas it – my life is a 6 lane freeway. My mind is a crazy place.

lat-melfreeway-la0047445993-20170210.jpg

Day 26 & 27: 3 weeks in

Three weeks already? I think I’m gonna give myself a few days to breathe. I feel like I’m making progress but I still feel like I’m too in my head. I actually forgot yesterday and as I went to sleep last night I remembered I never posted anything. Whoops.

I’m trying to figure out ways to launch and grow a company. I think that is my best bet to buy back my freedom. I’m talking to people and making contacts, getting ideas and exploring options. When I apply for jobs I feel like I’m not qualified to do anything, yet when I think of running my own company those thoughts don’t even enter my head. Maybe because I’m not trying to prove it to anyone but myself in that situation. Maybe it’s just me falling into old habits. Idk.

I had the best night sleep I’ve had in a long time last night, yet here we are at 3:15pm… I’m exhausted and want a nap. I really wonder what being able to live in the outside world would be like in this city. I know I’ve only recently started working again so I had the time, but I didn’t have the money. Can’t play without funds; not when it costs $10 to park anywhere. I want to know what it’s like to live here with the opportunity to live like a tourist here. If that doesn’t make sense, think about how you are and how you spend on vacation, i.e. usually without restraints. It makes an experience completely different than it would otherwise. Food for thought.

I keep coming back to I’m not sure I want to do this when it comes to traveling. Yet, I know I do. I’m not sure if I’m just scared and am trying to talk myself out of it. Or if it’s literally because money. I’d say money causes 99% of my stress. I need to become an active part of my own life here. But it isn’t always that simple. Creating a new normal and redefining what it is you actually want in life are very different things from going along for the ride.

I need to find my heart and my happy in all of this. I need to find the love I once had when I wandered this city. I need to let myself. Maybe I’m left with my thoughts too much. Maybe I need to just tune out, but I’m an over achieving work horse what can I say. I need to learn to slow down, but the only time I do that is outside this country or on Sundays when I don’t get out of bed and bingewatch any series I can find. I’m sure you can relate.

I really don’t know anymore. I feel more lost than ever, yet I have moments of feeling like I’m going in the right direction and I’m exactly where I should be. It doesn’t make any sense but it doesn’t have to – it’s feelings.

Day 27: relearning dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

Day 25: Learning to Redefine

In the last year I’ve been really re-thinking what it means to live. The expectations I once had of a house, a savings, a specific place to call home, a significant other, a potential family… the list goes on… Isn’t what I find myself wanting, at least not in the same way I once did.

My versions of home, and a potential family have changed to say the least. I’ve grown up a lot and I’ve grown a lot. What I want or thought I would have by this point in my life is not even close to what I have. What I want is not even close to what I have either. I do want a house and a place to call home, but even the idea of being “stuck” anywhere drives me insane. The thought of building a life I have to vacate to enjoy is not something I want and I never really looked at it that way until this last leap of faith.

Even the version of love I once had in my head…. not even close. You never love anyone the same way as someone else. You can’t. It doesn’t work that way. You don’t even have the same relationship with yourself now as you did years ago. Things are meant to change. They’re meant to progress however you’re willing to take that, take it as you see fit. What I want from my house now isn’t what I ever wanted from a house previously. I want a place to call my own. I want financial stability and the ability to do what I want when. I used to attach finances to freedom. While they play a large role, they are not the only variable. Why do we become so attached to things and yet not realize that it’s the way we feel in regards to those things that make us attached?

When you make an impulse buy, happiness, thrill. When you fall in love, butterflies, thrills. When you do something you’re afraid of, anxiety, thrill. We’re constantly acting to do things that make us feel alive. That make us feel in a specific way whether we realize it or not. I’ve spent the majority of my life suppressing emotion and not knowing what it means to feel. I’ve done it to the point where people now think I’m too emotional because it’s 20 years of repression bursting out at once. In my reality, it’s me trying to find a life I actually want to live. One that I don’t have to pay off $80,000 in loans from degrees that really wont ever pay off. Or $6,000 in credit card debt because you had to eat and pay bills for 6 months without a job.

The thing about any decision or any emotion, you can and have the right to change your mind. You have the ability to become attached or not. Why don’t we look at it that way?

I was talking to a friend earlier today about the differences between strength and weakness. Emotion is often seen as feminine and weak… but being able to express yourself, cry, let the hurt go, love, etc, is the opposite of weakness. It is strength. Showing empathy is strength. Saying no, quitting a job that is sucking out your soul, seeking help for depression, anxiety or anything else that you need that you can’t solve yourself, is strength. Knowing yourself well enough to realize you need help and can’t get out of this by yourself is not in any way shape or form a weakness. Being pushed too far and not being happy anymore and thus deciding to change, is not a weakness. So why do we treat them as such?

Typically we treat things or people that are different than we are as something they’re not because we don’t understand. But emotions are something we all feel. Emotions are something we all base our lives and decisions on. So why do we set such rigid standards? Emotions aren’t logic. They do not have to make sense. In fact it is in their nature not to. They’re matters of the heart. They’re gut reactions. They’re intuition. Whatever you want to call it.

When you define yourself, and set expectations for yourself and you don’t end up where you want to be or who you want to be, you could call it failure. Or you could re-assess and re-define what those things actually mean to you. What is love to me? What is home? What does family mean? Friendship? Self worth? Happiness? Success? How do you know if you’ve achieved those things if you don’t first know what they feel like or know what you’d like them to feel like?

I thought that California was going to be a new chapter for me. I lost a lot of bad that had come into my life and I’m more than grateful for it. The downside, I haven’t replaced it with anything. I lost the bad, but I didn’t just gain the good because the bad was no longer there. I have emptiness in my life, to the point of clinging to a version of the past I wasn’t okay with but wasn’t at war with either. That’s not okay with me. My status quo is in question because I the things I wanted in the insanity are still things I want whether defined the same or not. And I still don’t have any of them.

I’m starting to realize that the way of life I thought existed no longer does. That the way I thought I would experience doesn’t stand a chance. And those aren’t bad things. They just – are. I need to create the good. I need to create the fun. I need to create the love and the money and anything else I might want. How is always the question. Why is always a question that can be answered with because I want to. And the ones that don’t understand can be thwarted with the fact that they don’t have to.

If your life doesn’t make sense the way it is, if it doesn’t make you happy, if you don’t have what you want, reassess; redefine. What does being alive mean to you? What does feeling alive mean to you? If today was your last day to live, what would you want to do? How would you spent your time?

Day 25: time is like money, but it can only be spent and not earned. Are you spending it wisely?

ShadowOfLove