My imagination runs so wild
that my heart will forever
have trouble finding its way back
to this thing we call reality.
I am 26 years old. I remember being little thinking those my age really had their shit together. “I’m going to have a nice car to drive around in and a beautiful house with a white picket fence for my gorgeous family to live in.” – just some of the thoughts I had when I was younger. I also thought I’d be married by now, maybe even have a kid.
Man, what little I knew back then.
Now, I realize how much work is needed to achieve those things. You can’t just get married for the hell of it, which a lot seem to do now-a-days. Hey, you’ll get a ton of likes on Facebook and Instagram though, right? The sacred bond of marriage seems to have slowly dwindled away the past few years. Some couples jump right into it just to change their Facebook relationship status to “engaged.” And don’t even get me started on the cost of a wedding! Sheesh! If only I put money aside with those cut outs of wedding dresses when I was younger…
And the kid thing, everyone around me is having children. And don’t get me wrong, I am at that age now where this is supposed to happen. And it’s absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to have my own little bundle of joy one day. But… just like marriage, it’s the cool thing to do. So many kids having kids and people expecting you to have them by a certain age!
Me? I want to be 150% okay with myself before bringing a child into this world. Why? Because they deserve me at my very best. And my twenties have been… well, a learning experience. I’ve changed and grown into someone who I’m in awe of at times. And others times I’m angry with myself, but it’s all a part of the growing process.
I am 26 years old and things did not pan out quite the way I thought they would. And that is okay. It’s okay! Things don’t always go as planned and that only means there is something else in store for you that you were not able to “plan” for.
Keep going and moving forward… no matter how slow you may think you’re moving, you’re still going forward, and forward is the right direction.
“The kind of life that makes one feel empty and shallow and superficial, that makes one dread to read and dread to think, can’t be good for one, can it?” asked literary legend Willa Cather when pondering the trade aspiring creatives must so often make between pursuing their creative passions and working to pay the … Continue reading One letter from Charles Bukowski will make you want to quit your job and become a writer
My pain has shaped me
so divinely, a way my
happiness never could.
I speak to my wounds
as though they’re the devil
on my shoulders…
“No, you aren’t getting into
my head today.”
Or “Fine! I’ll let you have it,
but tomorrow you’re gone.”
These times of confusion
are my keepsake,
my reminder one day
that things won’t always
go as planned.
My reminder one day that
if I’ve dealt with these cards before,
I’m sure to be handed them again,
only getting better and better
at playing them.
Working from home isn’t for everyone, just like working in an office all day isn’t for everyone either. Don’t get me wrong, some days I wished I was getting up, showering, getting ready and heading out of the house to my job that I probably didn’t like. But then, later on in the day, I would realize just how lucky I am. I’m able to work whatever hours I like, while still being able to enjoy the little things that somehow get ignored while working the 40-hour work week. The hustle and bustle seems to distract us from the things that matter most.
I’ve worked since I was 16, different jobs here and there, and then one steady job for almost seven years… with other jobs in between, since of course, that seven year job didn’t pay enough. There were two different times in my life where I worked three jobs at once, yes, one was “from home” but it still took up my time after working the other two jobs. I also went to school for five of those years, two different colleges, and no degree to show for it. I can’t really blame anyone else though, I missed the deadline for my financial aid and I had no money to go back. Some days I wish I could sit in a classroom again and take in all the knowledge that I seemed to ignore back then, worrying more about going out with friends, drinking and boys. I never realized that I was actually paying for my own schooling, that one day I would have to pay back all that I had “borrowed” from the banks. But like I said, just some days. Other days I’m okay with not having my degree, because I still feel like I’m being active enough to build myself a career without having one. Maybe I would just owe even more money if I were able to go back. And there are a ton of people out there who have degrees, and no job to show for it. So I wonder sometimes, which is worse?
So now I sit here, on a Monday afternoon, at my kitchen table, writing this. While others are at work, counting down the hours to 5:00 PM. This is alright with a lot of people, and this is the way “things are supposed to be.” You’re supposed to go to college, get a job and work 5 days a week to make ends meet. Move out, buy or lease your first car (on your own) and spend most of your paycheck paying for these things, among other “important” necessities. I always ponder about this… who decided this is what we humans were supposed to do with our lives? Who started this life of ridged routine? They are probably dead now. So, why do we still need to follow these “rules of life?”
We live in a world where it is okay to give your all to your boss, your company, your family, your friends, your significant other… slowly forgetting to give to ourselves. We fill our days up with the things we are “supposed to do” while all it is doing is emptying us, hollowing us from the inside out. I am writing this to make others understand that it is okay to do what is not expected, to go off on a limb, and try something. Life is oh so short, and we will forever think we have the time to do everything we want. “One day” we always say. But to be honest, we all don’t have “one day.”
There are times I don’t feel like telling others that I work from home. Feeling as though they’ll look at me funny and judge me for probably not making enough money and being a lazy bum. This also could just be my anxiety thinking for me. But, I believe that people use harshness to conceal their envy, wishing they could remove themselves from the routine life. Just because I am not driving to work each day and sharing an office with others, does not mean I am not working. Working does not have to mean you are making money off of something, either. I work towards other things, other things that are no one else’s business but my own. My days are still fulfilled and productive, but with other things. They are filled with writing, relaxing, my dog, nature, understanding, wonder and of course, working and cleaning! I work on myself every day, because I have to. My anxious mind continuously tries to work against me and I have to fight it all day, every day. I couldn’t starve my anxiety while working in an office every day, kissing the asses of others while I was only getting worse myself. I knew that if I continued, for the money because we “need it,” that I would completely lose myself.
I turn 26 tomorrow and I have been working fully from home since July. So, a little over 2 months now. Yes, I have gotten bored and wanted to work somewhere again, but knowing myself, I knew that my indecisive mind should finally for once, not jump into something so soon. I have my entire life to make money, or do I? That’s that “one day” stuff again. But I rather miss out on the money now, and have an actual life, than miss out on my life but have a ton of money to bury myself with.
So, what have I learned?
I’ve learned to slow down time a little, since I’m always in a rush. I’ve learned that some days it is okay to do nothing… there is absolute beauty in doing nothing. They explain this in the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love” where Julia Roberts is speaking to an Italian man in Italy who stresses to her that America is filled with people who are all about money, that they never just take the time to do nothing and enjoy it.
Although I may not be where I thought I would be as I turned 26, I am trying my very best to understand that I am exactly where I need to be. I may not have a ton of savings in the bank yet and I may not have my career set up yet, but I am content knowing that I finally had the chance to write a children’s book, something I always wanted to do. Maybe I would have never had the time if I devoted myself to some empty job.
I’ve also learned that although it is extremely harder, there are natural ways to deal and cope with the things you are handed. If our minds are a bit different than others, we are quickly given something to assure they start working like everyone else’s. This is what is wrong with the world, always looking for the quick and easy way to fix something. Teach people to stop and live a little, and then maybe their anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. will slowly fade away or maybe they will have the actual strength to keep it at bay. Teach them to make more time for themselves and to ignore the opinion of others, because surely, you are the only one who knows what is best for you. The world wants people to turn into zombies who make them money, even though it could kill you. Step outside, smell the flowers, look up at the blue sky and take it all in. No matter what you decide to do, be sure it is what’s best for you – not what others tell you is best.
I’ve never been one to forgive people about things, I’m the type to dwell for days, weeks, months. But as I get older I start to put myself in the others person’s shoes and try to understand their behavior. I recently reached out to an old friend to squash some issues we have. Haven’t talked to her in years but decided it was the “right thing to do” to be the better person and break the silence. Haven’t heard back from her… and SHE was the one who hurt our friendship way more than I ever could. Isn’t it funny how that works? The one who actually did more wrong, kept silent. I’m okay with that though, I have my closure now, whether she answers or doesn’t. I said what I had to say and now the weight has been removed. Something I can check off my list to get rid of and keep in the past. So, thank you.
Point is – you’re only hurting yourself if you refuse to forgive someone.
What do you write down? For most of us, writing consists of emails, task lists, and perhaps the odd work project. However, making time to write down certain things, such as our daily experiences, our goals, and our mental clutter can change the way we live our lives.
Here are six different ways that writing things down can change your life, and what you can do to get the most out of each.
1. It clears your mind for higher-level thinking.
You can clear your mind by writing things down in two different ways.
David Allen, productivity speaker and author of Getting Things Done, recommends doing what he calls a “core dump”. This involves writing down every task, activity, and project you need to address. This could range from picking up milk on the way home, to a multi-person project at work. Writing down every “to-do” item you can think of clears space in your head for more important topics.
You can also use a technique called “morning pages”, which was pioneered by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. Morning pages involves completing three pages (around 750 words) of stream-of-consciousness writing. Through doing this first thing each morning, you clear your head in preparation for the day’s most important thinking.
2. It helps you process your emotions.
Writing down what’s on our mind is a great way to work through inner conflict or process your feelings around a particular situation. It’s similar to talking a situation through with a friend, except it’s a useful way of strengthening your self-soothing abilities and enhancing your self-knowledge.
3. It gives you a record of the past.
If you keep a journal and regularly write down your thoughts and feelings, you’ll soon have a record of your experiences that you might otherwise have forgotten.
Reading back through this record is not just fascinating—it also provides a valuable insight into your thought process and emotional life. You can savor moments that you could have potentially forgotten and increase your levels of gratitude.
Keeping a journal can also enhance your levels of self-trust. When you can look back and see how successfully you’ve traversed and dealt with important decisions and tricky situations in the past, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to do so in the future.
4. You gain a sense of achievement.
Writing things down can foster a sense of achievement and progress, expanding our possibilities and increasing our productivity.
If we journal, it’s incredibly satisfying to fill up one or more journals with our thoughts and feelings. Many people harbor dreams of writing a book, but balk at the reality of how long it takes. When you finish a journal, you’ll realize that you have written a book. This opens up a new sense of possibilities, not just in writing but in other areas of our lives, too.
Equally, if we write down everything we need to do in a particular day or week, we gain an additional sense of satisfaction when, having completed the task, we can cross the item off our list. Feeling productive enhances our productivity, creating a virtuous cycle.
5. It helps you think big.
Writing things down gives you space to think big and aim high. No matter what’s going on in our outside world, when we write things down, we enter a world of possibility.
Doing this helps us stay motivated, and it reduces the chance that we fall prey to self-limiting beliefs. (Even if we do, we can keep writing things down to process our feelings!)
When we write things down, we have a chance to explore dreams and ambitions that we might not feel safe revealing to anyone else yet. We also have a space to keep track of all our ideas and desires so we can return to them later.
6. It makes you more committed.
As well as offering a space for exploring possibilities, writing our goals and ambitions down makes it more likely that we’ll achieve them.
As with any goals, they are most effective if they are SMART: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timed. These are all variables we can work out and commit to through writing.
Writing down our goals is the first step towards making them a reality. It can also help us stay accountable. When you’ve outlined your SMART goal in writing, display it somewhere you can see for an extra shot of motivation.