What Not Writing For Over A Month Taught Me

What Not Writing For Over A Month Taught Me

It’s been over a month since I have sat down to write something. Beyond your basic email or paragraph, I have not written anything down.

That time and space I’ve taken from writing have allowed me to understand my relationship with writing in a way I had never considered it before. For one thing, I had never truly appreciated writing until I took this impromptu break from it. Writing has not only become a way for me to express myself, but also a way for me to process information, think through new ideas and connect old ones.

You might be thinking that I sound a tad bit dramatic at this point, after all, plenty of people stop writing altogether after high school, aside from the basics. But when writing becomes such an intricate part of how you cope with life, not doing that activity can have a lot of negative impacts on you. Not having writing in my life dramatically impacted my mental health in ways I still don’t quite understand.

My time spent away from writing taught me to not only appreciate writing but use it as a resource and a tool to guide me through life. Without writing, I felt like I was floating and never truly grounded at the moment. A moment would pass, and it was as if it floated away too quickly, I would never get the chance to hold onto it. Writing allows me to process those moments, cherish them and above all, remember them.

There is something so relieving about putting pen to paper or typing your thoughts away on a keyboard that unless you cope with life this way, you may not understand.

This mini-break also made me realize how harsh and critical I was of my writing. I liked my voice and the tone that I used, but if someone didn’t then for some reason their perception of me became my reality. I learned that I put a lot of pressure on myself when I did write and that if I was simply writing a blog post it had to contain all the wisdom of the ages in it – spoiler alert, it doesn’t need to. The posts that I wrote from the heart, that detailed my experiences or even small snippets of lessons I had learned along the way were always the ones that resonated more with people.

I wish I had kept writing since the last time I posted here, but I haven’t. But it still taught me that writing is a part of me. That is not to say I am branding myself as a writer, but I am someone who writes. I am someone who writes to learn, to process, to understand, to think and to connect. Writing is so instrumental in my every day-to-day life, that it baffles my mind how little I used to appreciate it.

So to anyone who has stepped away from something they love for a while, here is your reminder to get back to it. It will make a world of a difference, I promise.

How to Stop Living a Passive Life

How to Stop Living a Passive Life

Have you been living passively for the last year? For the past year or so, I have been watching the days, weeks and months, fly by without even realizing it. Time has flown by so quickly, and I genuinely cannot tell you where the time went or what even happened. Which got me thinking, what was doing in the past year? Why was I living such a passive existence? What happened to my life? The pandemic presented a strange set of circumstances that were different for each person, and the way we all responded to those circumstances differed as well. Today I want to share how I slowly climbed out of this habit of living life passively to one where I am actively living my life.

For an entire year, I stopped myself from feeling any sort of joy because I thought it was going to be taken away from me. For a year, I held in my grief because it hurt too much to feel anything. For an entire year, I let things happen to me and didn’t even bother reacting. I let life pass me by. Even though it was a horrible year in so many ways, it was still a year of my life. I still passively lived a year of this precious life that I have. Quite honestly, I have reached a point where I do not want that to be who I am or the type of life I live.

So, what changed? A few weeks ago, I reached a point where I was getting sick and tired of my daily routine. It was chaotic, boring, and quite frankly not helping me live my day-to-day life. So, I decided to challenge myself. For three days, I would try hard to create a daily schedule that was balanced, healthy and made me excited to wake up in the morning. For those three days, I made sure to carve out time in my days to do things I know benefit my mental and physical health, but that also allowed me to balance work with hobbies on the side. Was it easy? No. A part of me wanted badly to revert to old ways, and the next week I did. But I also realized how awful I felt living passively after I experienced three days of actually enjoying my life.

Now the question remains, what can you do about it? For one day, try to create a day that makes you truly happy. I am not saying you must ignore work and responsibilities but create a day that makes you feel balanced and happy. Think carefully about how you want this day to look. Think about how you want to feel. I would recommend writing it all done on a list because trust me there is nothing more satisfying than checking things off a list.

Once you have your list of all the little things that you can do in a day that would make you feel full, happy and balanced, it’s time to do it. I don’t have any secret how-to for this part because it’s up to you at this point to decide that you want to try. You wake every single morning and give it all you got, so why not try doing something you like? Take the list and go through it throughout the day and check things off.

I hope that at the end of the day, you feel happy and full. I hope you realize that little things throughout the day can make us feel just as satisfied and happy as the big moments in our lives can.

The secret to actively living your life and not passively going through it is that you must choose to live your life. You must actively choose small tasks or moments throughout your day and fill them with something you love. Living doesn’t have to be going on crazy adventures it can just mean living intentionally and fully.

I hope you take a few months to realize that if you have been on autopilot for the past year or just not happy or disconnected, that it doesn’t have to stay that way. You do not have to watch the rest of the world go on without you. You can be a part of it.

The only way you can create the life you want or the life you dream of is by deciding to live your life.

Show Up For Yourself

Show Up For Yourself

Last week, I was on a blissful high – I was happy, motivated, energized and springing out of bed in the morning. This week however, I can barely get myself to crawl out of bed in the morning. I feel unmotivated, tired, sad, and spaced out. What changed between last week and this week? I spent a few hours this morning racking my brain trying to understand what had changed. Then it dawned on me, I wasn’t showing up for myself.

I wasn’t doing the things I know I need to do to be the best and happiest version of myself.

I wasn’t moving my body, even though I knew it benefitted my mental and physical health in a lot of ways.

I wasn’t creating a balance in my schedule between work things and things that brought me joy.

I wasn’t eating food that fueled my body.

In short, I wasn’t showing up for myself like I had the week before. I knew very well how I would feel if I decided to do what was good for me, but I still didn’t do it. Why? Because I decided that not doing those things was the easier option. Maybe it was in the short-term, but in the long-term it just made me feel worse.

 Showing up for yourself is a decision you have to make every single morning. You have to decide to take care of yourself, to do what you love when you can, to eat whatever makes you feel best. You have to choose to be the best version of yourself – it doesn’t just happen to you.

When you want something, you have to actively go after it. You need to get the ball rolling if you will, or else nothing will happen. If you want to be happier, live a more authentic life or just be more present in the one you have, then you need practice every single day. You have to make choices that will lead you to that lifestyle that you want.

I challenge you to try and show up for yourself, because when you do, I can guarantee you that you will feel a whole lot better.

Start by analyzing the habits and routines that make you feel best and choose to stick to them.  A big part of this is you choosing to prioritize what makes you happy over everything else. Obviously, this is not always possible, but you have to choose to find even 5 minutes in your week to show up for yourself. 

The Concept of a ‘Happy Life’

Why do we create this idea that living life to the fullest is synonymous with always being happy? That idea could not be farther from the truth and it’s unrealistic to expect our lives to always be happy.

What I have come to learn, is that living life to the fullest does not always mean you will be happy.

Life needs to include feeling all the sad, hurtful, and painful things that come our way.

Living life to the fullest means dealing with the messy and complicated situations we find ourselves in.

Living life to the fullest is not living each day as if it were a movie or an Instagram story.

You are meant to experience a multitude of situations, emotions, and circumstances.

I used to think that to live a happy life, everything around me had to be perfect. But as you will eventually come to understand, that is not what it means to live a happy life. Living a happy life is one where you feel and experience struggle, hardships, and difficult situations and yet, you have the ability to try and find moments of joy in those hardships.  

Don’t think that your life is terrible because you haven’t lived every day perfectly, or you don’t feel happy every day. It is completely normal to feel tired, exhausted, sleepy, anxious, agitated, irritated, etc., and at the same time experience moments of joy. But living your best life means feeling those things and learning how to deal with them. It means addressing issues that are hard to face but also finding the lessons and joys that will come out of it.

No matter how hard things get, there will always be a joy. Sometimes you might just have to look for it a little harder than usual, but that is life. Life is not just one or the other, it is a complex combination of every emotion you could think of. It’s exhausting but loving; It’s tiring but inspiring; It’s difficult but also full of joy.

You do not have to feel amazing every day; you do not have to feel horrible every day. But the key to living your best life is to understand that those two feelings can co-exist and that doesn’t make your life bad, it just makes it real and authentic.

The Changing Meaning of Life

The initial idea behind The Life We Dream Of was to encourage people to accomplish their life goals and live the life they have always dreamed of living. It sounded simple, easy and was a bit niche in my opinion. But it never took off, mostly because I didn’t want it to. I would stop myself from posting or creating any new content because I wanted it to be perfect, and I wanted to have all the answers for those who would come to visit my blog seeking those very same answers. But over time, what I have come to learn is that the reason I wasn’t willing to return to posting on my blog is that too much had changed. More specifically, I had experienced a shift in mindset so drastic that the life we dream of lost its very essence for a while.

The other day I was watching Soul on Disney Plus and it was a truly phenomenal movie. It somehow brought me back to a time a year and a half ago where I was in a dark place and my mental health was not great. During that time, I was working at a job I found mundane, unfulfilling, and altogether made me feel useless. But why was I feeling this way? I was finally working an ‘adult job’, I was getting paid a decent salary and I loved my colleagues. Somehow, that wasn’t enough. A year and a half ago, I thought that the dream life that I wanted was one where I would climb the career ladder, live in a beautiful condo or apartment and be able to buy anything I want without hesitation. Although that is a rather simplistic view of life, I had envisioned for myself it is truly what I wanted. There is nothing wrong with that – if anything it’s a very normal life that many people want. But once I was one step closer to that life, I felt more and more unfulfilled and sad.

It wasn’t until I was unemployed during the pandemic and able to take a step back from being overly busy that I realized why I was so unhappy and unfulfilled. Yes, I was working in the job I worked so hard to get, and I was making money, but I had turned this unhappy and unfulfilling job into the center of my life. I poured all my attention into it, and the unhappiness surrounding it all consumed my life.

Why did I do that? Because that is all I ever knew how to do. All society had taught me up until that point is that I need to get a job, but not just any job, a job that I was passionate about and would want to dedicate my entire life to. I genuinely thought that I was going to live my dream life by taking this job. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted and did not in any way make me happy.

 Life is so much more than how productive I am compared to those around me. Life is about the small moments of joy, happiness, and peace. It is not all supposed to be about finding the dream career and climbing the ladder. Is it an important part of our lives? Absolutely – but how productive I am in society is not the be all end all of who I am.

Watching this movie reminded me that if I had just taken a few moments each day to find those small moments of joy or happiness, maybe I would have been a lot happier. Maybe I would enjoy what I was doing more if I had put less focus on it and stopped it from consuming my entire life. The life we dream of should be one where we seek joy and happiness, where we create it within ourselves and with others. The life we dream of is simple and not very demanding at its root core.  All I want from life is to be healthy, happy, financially comfortable and be surrounded by friends and family. At the end of the day that is all I want, and if a career can help me achieve some of those things then that is fantastic, but it will not be the only thing I focus on.