FOR MORE HAPPY, TRY HARDER: A lil’ Tough Lovin’

I am fabulous. Mum said so.

After five years of mindlessly repeating the “get up at 430am, go to work for 11 hours at a computer, in a cubicle, survive, go to bed at 8pm, repeat” cycle, I felt that I had lost some things. Come down a peg or two. It’s hard to have energy with a schedule like that.

Frankly, it’s hard to convince myself that I am not a zombie on most days with a schedule like that.

Needless to say, fabulous levels were at an all time low; Friendships suffered, my pool of fan-freaking-tastic ideas shriveled and dried up, but most disturbingly, I had lost myself. I didn’t even know if I could write anymore or create. It had been so long since I had even tried.

That is a mortifying to discovery to have about oneself.

One night when I was desperately searching for answers and on the verge of crying myself to sleep again, I had a shocking conversation with myself;  Why does my life revolve around this job that was only supposed to be an “in between” job? –> What the fuck happened to all of those things that I wanted for myself in life? Where did they go, exactly?–> Am I living to work..or working to live?–> Why aren’t you giving yourself to the things you are passionate about? Wait. What the hell are you passionate about?—>I have no passion–>I need to find my passion.

And then it hit me; I wasn’t even trying.

“HOW. DARE. YOU be so mean to me?” I said to myself. I couldn’t breathe.

It was true. I actually gasped aloud.

Sometimes, a little tough love with yourself works wonders because when you can identify what is wrong, you can do something about it.

“Knowing is half the battle” –G.I. Joe

Here are some things that have worked for me:

1. Cultivate your tribe. If you are looking for your passion, where better to start than giving back to your fan club? When you meet someone and you sense that they are a kindred spirit, tell them. We are all busy adults and you might only see them once a year at an annual party. So what? You need them in your wolf pack. Any mundane daily task can be an adventure with the right person, so you need to have great ones. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to cut someone loose. Anything/ anyone that makes you feel less than rad gets the chop.

It could be a real ninja chop or not, I won’t judge.

2. Do anything for them. We only have one life, who cares if you are “so tired” the next day? Who cares if you have to take a sick day? If it means doing someone a favor, do it. Go WAY out of the way for your people. How amazing do you feel when you are treated like the most important person in the world. HOW OFTEN ARE WE TREATED TO BEING TREATED LIKE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD?

3. Go all-in on a project. Go big or go home, my beautiful babies. Baby showers and weddings are perfect for this. We do Halloween to the hilt every year. Weekend trips are planned in advance, giving us time to obsess over places to eat and what to wear and get psyched up.

Growing up, we all complete a series of successes; Graduating each grade, learning to drive, it builds our confidence. But where do those markers go when we become adults? We have to set them ourselves, peeps. Start with something small. Work your way up to the big things. I am starting with a blog. Thank you for reading it.

4. Get the hell out of your comfort zone. How’s the life you’ve found yourself living treating you? Not happy? Been boxed in by “no’s?” Time to re-evaluate those. You will feel awkward and vulnerable. It’s totally normal. That is the feeling of your world expanding. This is when you find out what you are made of. For years I said that I wasn’t a runner, that I would never give up foods I love. Know what? I can run for 15 minutes straight now and I have lost weight. I was told straight out I couldn’t write and maybe I can’t. Look at me go (again, thank you for reading).

5. Get to know yourself all over again. Romance yourself. Literally, take yourself out to dinner, buy yourself nice things, whatever makes you content means that you are on the right track. Get to know what you are good and bad at and don’t be surprised to find that those things have changed. If you have tried something before and didn’t like it, try it again. Keep trying. You know how some things are an “acquired taste?” How do you think that people acquire them? Do this often. Experience breeds confidence and who couldn’t use some these days?

5.a. Take care of you. Write your manual. Do as many re-writes as it takes (several times a day for me). Say “no” to things. Say “yes” to things. Whatever you need. Communicating that is not always easy, so be diplomatic but firm. If you need a “you” day to replenish yourself, then don’t go gallivanting and then wonder why you are so exhausted. Re-arrange your life in order to slow down, if you feel like it is moving out-of-control fast (easier said than done, I realize. But absolutely do-able.)

7. Be romanced by the world around you. Cherish those perfect, quiet mornings at the dog park. When you meet a stranger and they say exactly what you need to hear, THAT. We need these things. Look for them, spot them, savor them. Know that when shit hits the fan in your day or your life, that the universe has thrown a door open for you. Anticipate this opportunity to explore something different. “Those who don’t believe in the magic, will never find it.” –Roald Dahl.

Protip; This is where the magic is.

8.When something inspires you, even if you don’t know why, keep it close. Trust your instincts. Listen to the song over and over, keep a journal and write it down, whatever it is. Explore it. That is basically a big, huge, neon traffic arrow from life saying “THIS WAY, ASSHOLE.”

9. Don’t care. I listen to meditation music while I work, I read self-help books. I listen to Jack Johnson sometimes. I listen to Motorhead sometimes. I have a Self-Love Vision board on Pinterest. I don’t care how stupid that sounds. Realize that people are too wrapped up in themselves most of the time to care what you are up to. No one likes to feel stupid and when we are learning new things…and we don’t know what we are doing, we might look silly. That is so endearing to me, when people look silly and they do it anyway.

Have you had a similar A-ha!! Moment? What got you passed it? How did you proceed?

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