Day 51: a fine line

There’s a fine line between the best and worst pieces of your life. There’s a fine line between love and hate in regards to yourself. There’s a fine line between failure and success. And that line only exists where your definition draws the line.

With time and patience and a little mix of crazy I keep moving forward. Knowing I’ve been in far worse places mentally, emotionally, and physically, this year has still probably been my hardest to deal with yet. I had to toe the line of staying in a place I’ve dreamt about living since the age of 10 and going back to NY to stay. The fact that I say back doesn’t fit, there is no going back. There is only forward. But geographically back probably would have killed me. And I’m not being dramatic.

I spent a very long time being stuck. The best thing I’ve learned this year wasn’t getting unstuck, it was knowing when to say enough. It was learning and practicing when to back off or move forward when I needed to, regardless of anyone else’s opinions. I’m about there now with this current position. Knowing that everything is temporary and that things can always get worse I’m not going to jump until I know I have something else in the wings… but I haven’t had this job 90 days and I spend almost everyday doing something to keep my brain occupied and my heart at ease that has nothing to do with the job.

Here’s where the line gets drawn… This morning was a real struggle. I didn’t want to get out of bed. In fact I laid in bed an extra 15 minutes because I felt like it. I fought myself to brush my teeth. I fought myself to put pants on. I sat on my bed half dressed asking myself do I really have to do this. Eventually I got up and did it. I went to work. I landed an $8500 a month contract for the next six months, which is more than they pay me in a year and the struggle continued. Throughout my day in a complete haze I found a middle ground. I talked to a few friends of mine and that helped. And then I lightened up a bit and it was like the damn sun came out. Days like these used to wreck me. The days of shadow ever loomed overhead. They’d go on in a never ending cycle and I wouldn’t ever be aware of the next sunny day until it slapped me with a sunburn.

Whether its because I now live in the land of perpetual summer or the fact that I’m probably more consistently happy now than I’ve ever been in my life, my sunny days seem to negate the shadow’s reach. And this time I have sunscreen. I’m not choosing happiness anymore than I ever chose depression, but I’m choosing to breathe and let out what I need and express myself to myself. I’m allowing myself to feel the value and worth within based on me and a few people that have surprised the shit out of me in the last few weeks. I keep finding more and more people to add to the circle and I love it. I’m not only getting attention from myself in a way I never have, I’m getting attention from people in a way I never have. These aren’t the people nor are they the relationships I once knew. They’re not the ones where you’re always at arm’s length despite owning the title of best friend and then blamed when their life goes up in flames.

I am so fucking stupidly happy I am not in that place of my life anymore. I am so fucking stupidly happy that I am not that girl anymore. Not quite at the point of self love, still dealing with weeding out some masochistic tendencies… And the whole play on the word deserve seems to ring in my ears… but that’s a story for another day.

Today I crossed my line multiple times. But I’m okay. Tomorrow is another day. I won’t be doing this job for much longer. I’m going to continue to learn where the lines truly lie. And when they don’t fit anymore I’ll move them accordingly. You’re the one that draws the lines. You’re the one with the power and control to move them. Be kind to yourself and find which ones can help and which ones will hurt when crossed.

Failure is not the opposite of success. It takes failures to reach success. It takes loss to find gain. It takes pain to find happiness. It takes heartbreak to find love. The line is almost non-existent because life doesn’t exist only in black and white. Sometimes the grey area kills me. Sometimes it is where I thrive most. Find your balance. See where you end up.

Day 51: whether the line is drawn in sand or stone it will somehow, someway be crossed.

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Day 47: The City’s on Fire but Life Continues

Been in a handful of crazy the last few days. The city is in a state of emergency, I’m surrounded by fires on all sides. My boss still expects everyone to be at work, yet we’re in an evacuation zone. The fires broke out Monday night and are still taking thousands of firefighters’ and other responders’ time through a predicted date of tomorrow…and here I am.

As I ventured out into the mess that is LA, all I can think is holy shit, life goes on. People are just going about their lives like nothing is happening. Torn between half the people I know saying eh whatever, and the other half sending me apocalyptic messages I’m not quite sure what to do. The city is in fact on fire… welcome to hell.

When things like this happen it tends to change peoples’ perspectives. It’s been playing with mine for sure. I’m starting to see where my real values lie when it comes to work and play. I’ve had to live with the looming thought of, “if forced to evacuate right now what would I take.” The list is definitely shorter than you’d think. Gotta grab the cat. Maybe because it’s an apartment and not a house that I care a little less, but other than the cat, my external harddrives, laptop, DSLR camera and some clothes I could care less what goes up in smoke. Seriously though. As Christmas approaches and we’re sitting here thinking about all the new stuff we want to acquire, I’m surrounded by those who have literally lost everything but each other. How’s that for perspective.

Still riding the waves of a good mood, cutting myself slack on things I know I don’t want to do and allowing myself some fun with the things I do want to do, this timing tends to be humbling to say the least. Amidst looking for a different job, one that I can actually leverage and use to my advantage, one that pays me adequately and one that doesn’t make me feel useless, I’ve noticed that I really don’t have the same attachment to things I once did.

And I don’t really mean material things I mean things in general. Have I finally learned to let go? Or am I finally balanced enough to figure out that ya know what life does go on. Whether you’re up in flames and fleeing for your life or it’s just another day, life goes on. How do you shift and change your world to be what you want it to be? There is the difference. I’m going to take that and run with it while I’m at work and see what I come up with. Time to get creative.

Day 47: Looking forward to new and humble beginnings.

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Day 45: Whoa, I’m halfway there…

Ah the power of music. Keeping the good times going. Breaking free of the monotony slightly. I’m shaking things up again. No surprises there as I’m typically all over the place. I want to dance again and I’m sick of “waiting until I’m in shape.” I know it’s going to hurt physically, but bring it on! It’s time to have some fun and explore this city more.

I’m still floating on air. It’s a wonderful thing. I’m in a very let it be state these days and I’m going to take it as long as it lasts.

I’ve noticed a huge shift for myself in the last few weeks. It was brought out by another person, but it was one of those moments that slaps you awake at the best possible time. The moment that proves to you that you’re exactly where you need to be. As much as I’m always wondering what’s next and almost failing to revel in the accomplishments of the moment, I’m going with it. I’ve seen this person again, but I still have no idea where any of it stops and starts.

I’m just taking things in and taking them all for what they are and I’m going from there. Being a person who’s dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, this happiness thing really is almost too good to be true. But I love it. It’s crazy to think that people typically feel this good everyday and I just hadn’t for so long that I didn’t know what I was missing. Now I do. Now I don’t want to let it go. Maybe it’s that much sweeter because it’s new, but it is very sweet.

I’m ready to take a road trip to San Diego because I really like a few stores in Old Town and I want to go back there, just because I can. I’m ready to take a dance class because I’m not worried about being in pain or giving a shit about what others think. I’m ready to buy a plane ticket to Italy for a month again. I’m just ready for what comes next. I have no idea what it is. I’m not really trying to figure it out in a typical for me way – I like this new person I’m being. I think I’m going to keep being her for a while.

Honestly, using my time wisely, stopping to enjoy and be in the moment and trying to make some extra cash flow are now my top three goals. I want to plan my Italy Trip. I still want to go and it is going to happen. This is my promise to myself. I want to have a savings. And I just want to enjoy myself full force. Instead of falling full force into the world of crazy that typically exists in my head, I want to revel in the world around me like I’ve started to. I’m going to try to keep it that way and that’s all I can ask.

Day 45: I wanna dance.

 

 

Day 44: Life is a balancing act

I’ve somehow been able to keep my good mood in check, yet the more I “live” the more I want to break free of everything I know life to be. I know I’ve written about working remotely, traveling the world, leaving California and even potentially going back to NY and with each 2 week period I tend to switch gears… but I’m still working on figuring this out. And I’ve definitely made progress. I feel like I’m getting closer to the answers of what comes next and what I’m supposed to do next and it’s a wonderful thing.

After having a few conversations with friends from very different places in my life, I’ve realized how similar we all are despite how different I’ve felt and been in each stage. I’ve realized how much we all have in common and how different we are as people, but how we’ve all landed in similar states mentally and emotionally despite being in very different worlds in every other way. It was that realization and that commonality that made me realize something about myself.

I’ve had to black out and block off different facets of myself in my heart and head to survive and to become the person I am now. Whether it was in self preservation or trying to let go of someone/something, you don’t realize how much people really do affect you and your world. From parents to partners to people in general, we absorb everything around us whether we realize it or not. We do things that aren’t inherently in our nature because of a reaction from the outside world. We change ourselves and go against our core beliefs because we’re told to do so, or we simply don’t know another way.

Since starting this challenge, I’ve become a different person and I’m more than happy about it. I’m learning to be thankful and grateful for it. I’m slowly picking up the things I feel like I lost and I’m changing into someone that I actually want to be. I’ve been smacked awake by a few things in my world and it really is wonderful. Trying to learn as I go and not feel stuck or stagnant in my day to day life, I’m just trying to enjoy the things I do. Take pleasure in the little things and realize there is no right or wrong way to do anything.

At this point, if it feels good I’m doing it. If it feels bad, but I want to do it, I’m doing that too. Example, I’m finishing this 6 week bootcamp despite it being more work than it was worth (in my opinion) and I could have lost more weight if I just stuck to cardio… I put myself through hell with the diet and exercise and didn’t see the results. But at the same time, I am going to finish it. I’m not reaching the goal but I didn’t really lose anything (other than money). I tried something new. It didn’t work. Moving on.

I feel like I’m making decisions more and more quickly whether I like something or not. I’m learning to let go quicker. I’m also learning to take things for what they are. I’m leveling out. I’m starting to regain balance in a life that has been very off kilter. I’m learning to open my heart again. I’m taking down the walls that have been built and rewriting my own history. I’m no longer allowing that which what once defined me to myself exist.

When I get angry, or annoyed or sad, I’m shaking it off quicker. When I’m happy or content, I’m learning how to hold on to that instead. Truly shifting my own perspective and expectations of what life really can be, I’m ever the dreamer. I want to be the dreamer. I want to live within a fantasy. Knowing I can create it if I work at it hard enough or I can create something completely different but either way it becomes a part of me.

I’ve always said to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been. I still believe this, but now in a very different way. It wasn’t ever about letting your past define you, it was about not repeating the same mistakes. I know where I came from, but I don’t have to stay there and I assure you I plan not to.

Day 44: feeling at ease with the world around me.

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Day 39: Floating on Air

Still sitting at my desk about to jump out of my skin, I have to play classical music to calm down, but I don’t want to. My heart is on fire. It’s alive and it wants to play.

I want to hit the beach, learn to surf, soak up the sun. I want to paint and draw and photograph. I’m finally at a point where I want to be the creative person I know is there. This time, the creativity is flowing from a place of happiness. That’s never happened before. At least not in my adult life. And it’s a wonderful thing.

I still don’t know how to express myself without feeling way out of my comfort zone here… How happiness became something out of my comfort zone… well I do know, but my world is seriously shaken. I want to be free and venture out. I want to explore and have fun. I want to do other things I really haven’t had any motivation to do because I was so stuck in the cycle of shit.

Starting to breathe the free air again, I’m not even skeptical because I don’t care if this is all in my head or not. This is still so foreign to me and I’m so ecstatically happy for it to be here now, that I don’t even think about not trusting it. I don’t care if the person who woke me up never shows up again, they have no clue what they gave me. Maybe I give them too much credit, but fuck man. Little things matter. Twists of fate, the universe screwing with you… sometimes it’s there, but it’s in the best way this time. I’ve needed all of this for a long time. I finally got it. I’m opening my head, heart and my eyes to something new and it’s a wonderful thing.

Writing about this makes me want to dance around the room. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I was myself with someone and they didn’t tell me I wasn’t enough because I was too much. Typically people say you’re too >insert thing here< and they don’t mean it as a compliment. It sounds contradictory but it makes perfect sense to me. The difference – this person didn’t see any of the things I see in myself or that have been reinforced by almost everyone I know in life thus far because of experience. They saw the opposite. They said it, they acted on it. It is still blowing my mind and it’s a week later. It’s crazy how one thing can shift your spectrum in such a way. I really can’t get over it.

I don’t want to get over it. I want to live in it. This is an a-ha moment if there ever was one. I want to be the free and happy person. I want to feel alive. I want to be nice and not flailing. I want to have fun. I want to pursue my dreams and not care if I fail because I’m risking it to try. So many things I see on a daily basis have changed. Perception has changed. Things aren’t so urgent or dire. I’ll get there when I get there. I’m not so heavy on have to anymore. I finally embraced my inner kid who has been so hurt and upset and she’s finally comforted and full of life.

I’ve said for a long time to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been, but I’m also someone who likes to get lost on purpose. Who knew I’d lose it in happiness this time around.

Day 39: two words; fuck yeah. 13873229_10153734897086752_8262670495394760920_n.jpg

 

 

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

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.

 

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