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 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 41: Taking it all in

Still riding the wave of happiness, I’m trying to breathe and take it all in. After taking a much needed day off yesterday, I’m actually having fun and doing a little more of what I want in life. I’m starting to realize that what I’ve been missing has been something I’ve been missing for a lot longer than I thought. I like being the artsy girl. I like being the crafty one. I miss dance and theatre and being a part of a group of crazy, silly, characters and artists.

I’m going through and re-reading my previous posts again because as I’ve gone through each week I’ve wanted to see the progression and consistency of crazy I’ve been putting out. Biggest difference is, right now if I left here tomorrow I’d be sad. I don’t want to run with the thought of never coming back. I don’t particularly have the things I want, but I’m getting closer to them. I feel differently about them. I’ve brought out the dreamer again. I’ve become alive again. Things don’t seem as urgent or crazy as they once did.

I’ve realized that outside of me is always going to be an influx situation. It’s how I deal with it internally that makes the biggest difference. That the majority of people only get life from their own perspective and I’ve almost had enough of saying anything to anyone about it in general that I  know just won’t understand. Variations of this have been said and read for ages but when the inside is wrecked and wreaking havoc the outside world burns it to the ground. It’s hard to tune it out when you’re looking for an escape from yourself.

Right now my within isn’t raging or influencing my outside in the same way it once was. I’ve tuned out a lot of crap for my own self defense and I’ve been being myself in more ways than not with people again and it’s an amazing thing. I’ve realized that love is what’s been really missing in my life. I’ve had adventure. I’ve lived more than one life in my 28 years. I’ve been more than one person. Done more than I’ve ever thought I could. Time keeps going so I keep doing. Love, romance, attachment, attraction, over the top infatuation. Those are the things I’ve been missing.

I once had them as a teenager. I had them a little as an adult but all in bits and pieces. Never in the same person and never within myself. If that makes any sense. Now is different. The people I’ve been hanging out with are weird. They accept me for who I am. I accept them. They’re similar to the friends I had in high school but we’re adults. I’ve gotten attention, attraction, a little romance, and over the top infatuation with one person in the last two weeks. That’s huge for me. I still can’t get over it and I don’t want to. Relationships of any variety make a huge difference in your life and I’ve needed the personal attachment here since I got here. I let go of the shit but left a gaping void in its place. I’m finally starting to fill that void and it is an amazing thing.

Happiness and searching for it has been a trend in my writing for as long as I can remember. Boredom and annoyance used to reign, but in the last two weeks things have shifted. I am happy. I’m staying that way. I’m trying to keep the happiness train rolling but it’s so much easier since that one night of fun and freedom. That night has happened a few times over since but that’s only helping. I’ve stopped living like I used to mentally. I switched that station. In the last two weeks I’m not wondering what if. I’m focusing on right now. It’s made all the difference in the world.

6 weeks in and I’ve had three majorly different ideas coming in and out of my world. So two week cycle it is. But that cycle changes day by day. The last two weeks have been the biggest change in almost 2 years that I’ve made for the better. It’s about damn time.

Day 41: Almost halfway through my own challenge and I’m doing surprisingly better than I thought. I’ll take it.

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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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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.