I think we can all learn a little bit from this quote, as it’s something all of us can work on from time to time. I know I try not to take myself too seriously, because it takes all the fun away. Sometimes it’s best to just go for the ride and see what happens. Don’t overanalyze your relationship, try not to over-think your “life’s purpose,” and laugh at embarrassing moments…
So a few years ago, I was roaming through some old books in my grandma’s church “Rummage Sale” and came across a book that caught my attention: The Secret. “The Secret. The Secret to what?” I thought to myself as I read the inside cover. The book quickly intrigued me, so I bought it. Heck, I’ll buy anything at a bargained price, but there was something about this book that got me.
I must say, to this day, I’ve never read a book quite like The Secret. To sum it up, it basically tells you that you can have anything you want in life (yes, anything) as long as you believe it’s yours…and I mean,really believe it. That’s the “secret” after all to changing every aspect in your life to lead to ultimate happiness.
At first, I thought the book was kind of a whole bunch of bologna. HA. I can just want something so bad and I’ll have it? Yeah right. If that’s the case I’d be in a relationship with a bangin’ body and a phenomenal job. [negative, doubtful talk]
But when I let myself open up to the idea that this philosophy may actually work, I started tobelieve…and boy did I start seeing some changes. After I read the book from front to back in one sitting, I decided to make a “visionary board,” something they talk about in the book. Basically, it’s a drawing of everything you want in your life: a new house, a new job, a new boyfriend, etc. etc. So I made a list. Mind you, this was a few years ago, but I drew everything I wanted at the time. I started off with a stick figure of myself in running shoes (I used to hate running) and wrote “lose 5 pounds.” I then drew a picture of a book and wrote “Healthy Chicks.” Mind you, at this time I didn’t even have a health blog [I actually had a relationships blog], never mind the visions of ever writing a book in the near future. I also drew a picture of myself at a desk and wrote “job,” among some other minor things that I don’t even recall.
Anywho, within a couple of months, everything I had written down had become reality. I got a job (no, it wasn’t my dream job but I got a job and could finally move out of the house to Boston), I got an apartment with my best friend, I started my own blog “Healthy Chicks,” and eventually wrote my own cookbook “Healthy Chicks in the Kitchen.” Oh, and I now run at least 3 times a week (I started slowly) and the weight easily came off, I think mostly due to me being happy and content with myself.
You see, the book isn’t magic in any way. It just teaches you to change your thought process so you think in a more positive, optimistic, “I can do anything I want” sort of way. Be a little cocky at times. Dream bigger than you ever thought you could dream. And go out and get what you want, girl!
A couple of weeks ago, I made another visionary board for 2011. I won’t share what’s on it yet…that’s a secret (hehe). But I will tell you, some things are already starting to come true. Funny how life works sometimes, huh?
Did you read the book “The Secret?” If so, what did you think of it? Did you ever make a visionary board?
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of people (including myself) getting stuck in what is life: demands of work, too many plans, too little plans, endless errands, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. But mostly what it comes down to is not taking a second to breathe, wake up and smell the coffee , do what you love. Sometimes it may seem like you are walking through life like a zombie. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Work. Go home. Sleep. Repeat. And when you think like that, everything builds up in your head and you naturally become a miserable, unsure-of-yourself, complaining lady (which we know you are really not).
Just the other day I found myself wondering, “What am I doing with my life?” which naturally got me wondering, Where is this all going? What am I going to be when I grow up? Will I ever fall in love? Am I doing the right thing? (among many more questions). Then I realized, I don’t need to know the answer right now. But I do need to start filling my life up with little things I find pleasure in, in the meantime.
So if you are like me (and many other women) wondering What if? try to think in the present and fill your day with happy thoughts instead. Live in the now. Some ideas:
1. Take a mini vacation. Sure, you might not be able to get work off for an entire week to vacay to the Bahamas, but who’s to say you can’t go away for a weekend getaway. Plan a trip with a few friends to go hiking while the weather still isn’t frigid, or book a weekend away to visit a friend in another state. I knew I needed to get away, so I recently booked a 5 day trip (Thursday-Monday) to see my sister in Baltimore. While there, I’m going to visit a few old friends and also take a detour to DC to stay with one of my best friends from college. I. Can. Not. Wait.
Can’t wait to be reunited with my #1 Southern belle!
2. Look at Old Photographs: This is so much fun to do when you’re feeling a little on edge about life. Going through old photos brings back so many memories-the good and the bad. I recently stumbled upon some really silly family photos including this hilarious pic of my sister when she was younger. Poor little thing was so chubby, she was bursting out of her buttons (too darn cute).
3. Write a letter (or a thoughtful email) to a good friend: The other day when I was feeling bummed out, I wrote a long email to a good friend, telling her what was on my mind. It was so much more productive than complaining to my roommates (no one likes a complainer) or keeping it bottled up inside (worst thing you can do for yourself). The letter doesn’t have to be a “I’m bummed out letter” but I urge you to write a letter (preferably old school with pen and paper) to someone you love, even if it is just to catch up on life.
4. Plan a fabulous ladies’ night out: Tonight I’m going out to dinner with a good friend for sushi in China Town. It’s only 10:30 a.m. and it’s already all that I can think about. I’m going to dress up. Maybe put on some heels. Oh, and eat my little heart out. Nothing is better than a girls’ night out for sushi! Yes, life can get pretty hectic at times, but you need to remember to do things with your friends once in a while…fun things involving food + wine + laughter. Life’s too short to always be concerned about work/ relationships/family issues.
Nights out with Meggie are the best <3
5. Read a Book: There’s nothing like escaping into the world of a great novel to get away from it all. Currently I’m reading Water For Elephants. Pick up a great book next time you’re at a used bookstore or library…and simply let it take you away!
6. Get a New Wardrobe (or Hairdo): One of my roomates has been extra-stressed with work lately, and decided it was time to…buy new clothes! “I realized I’m not doing enough for me, which probably has a lot to do with how I’m feeling.” So what did she do? She didn’t sulk. Instead she decided she’s going on a personal shopping spree, and also booked an appointment with her hair salon. I’m so proud of her! We don’t do “me” things nearly enough in life, and that’s something all of us can work on. No, it doesn’t have to be spending loads of money on new makeup. It could be little things like taking 10 minutes to yourself each day, re-connecting with an old hobby (like painting or writing), going for a long walk, or even painting your nails!
Do you ever find yourself confused/stressed/overwhelmed with life? What do you do to get away from it all?
Why hello my lovely readers! First and foremost, I am sincerely sorry I have been absent for two days. However, the reason was valid (and worth it). I was out of town since Friday morning on a trip to Hoboken, NJ to visit my college friends. Some of them I haven’t seen in A YEAR, so you can image my excitement and reasoning for lack of blogging (I swear I tried to on the bus but the WiFi wasn’t working-boo!).
Anyway, I’m back and at it so welcome back to all my loyal readers! So, I’ve realized lately that as I grow older I learn more about life and most importantly myself. Seriously, the learning never stops. And being the observant, nosy, free-spirit kind of girl that I am, I experience and learn a heck of a lot each and every second, minute and hour of every day.
So since I’ve been missing since Thursday’s blog post on realizing there is more to life than weight and calories, I decided I’ll fill ya in on what I’ve learned this weekend while I was away. I know, I know, it’s only been a few days but I swear I’m picking up new things all of the time.
1. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard: I realized this Friday morning when I thought I could handle a 3 mile run even though I was still sore from last Sunday’s 10 K. Usually I’m pretty good about listening to my body, but what can I say: I missed running and wanted to give it a shot. Boy oh boy was that a huge mistake. Not only was I still getting over a cold, but my legs were achy and cramped up like no other. After a mile or so, I decided to run-walk the rest of the distance, which helped a little. Looking back, it’s definitely one of those mornings I should have gone for a long, easy walk or done some soothing yoga. Not a running morning, and now I know not to push my body to run when it’s not ready! Really, it’s so not worth it.
2. Sit By the Aisle on Long Trips: If you have the option, just sit on the aisle seat on long trips, even if it means you have to sit neck and neck with a stranger. But no, Friday afternoon when I was boarding the bus, I did not do this. I had tons of options to snag a seat by the aisle next to friendly, normal-looking people but I got selfish and thought I could snag a row to myself so I sat by the window and put my luggage next to me. Man was that a mistake. A minute later a big, loud, smoke-scented man snagged the seat next to me. Even worse: he fell asleep on me mid-trip and starting snoring…loudly. There I sat, crammed into the window with nothing but my iPod to drown him out. When my iPod died after an hour, I knew this was going to be a long trip. Never again!
3. Coffee+Water+ Big Breakfast = Hangover Cure: I know some people who don’t eat the entire day after drinking, which is a huge mistake. Really, your body needs food and water STAT. My friends, however, like to lounge so I didn’t get any food in my system Saturday morning until noon. For a girl who eats breakfast religiously every morning within the first hour of waking, noon was pushing it (especially considering we woke up at 7 a.m.) Thank goodness for a Dunkin Donuts next door because I was able to snag myself a medium black iced coffee and large bottle of water first thing upon waking. Without the coffee or water, I don’t know if I would have made it. Next time: packing a few healthy snacks on trips away from home. Because of my awkward eating schedule, I felt shitty, cranky and sick all day long.
4. Make an Effort to Stay in Touch With Old Friends: It was soooo wonderful to see my best friends from college this weekend! While it was lovely catching up, many of them I felt like it hadn’t been as long as it’s really been because we are experts in communication. We actually have a “Newsletter” through Google Groups where we write to each other daily. Every time someone gets a new job/boyfriend/life update/idea they send an email to the group so we can all stay up-to-date with one another’s lives. I for one hate losing touch with people who mean so much to me, so making an effort to stay close is the magic answer. I know many people who complain about losing touch with old friends, but it’s a two way street and if both people are making an effort then things will seem live they’ve never changed. I love you girls!
5. Men are weird…in every state: Seriously men really are from Mars. I thought traveling to NYC/Jersey for the weekend I’d run into some interesting, different men along the way. But no, men just seem not to get it every where I go. Maybe that’s because it’s enforcing my point that bars aren’t the best place to meet men. Anyway, I had the strangest encounter with this one guy on Friday night at the bar. He was tall, blonde and handsome (I guess). Not really my type at all but he was a pretty decent looking guy. Well, his “pick up line” was, “So what do you rate me 1 to 10?” “Um, looks wise or drunk wise?” I asked him. “Just an entire package…what am I?” “Er…an 8 I guess?” (even though he was definitely more like a 6 in my books). “NO! I’m a 7. I’m a solid 7. I always have been,” he retaliated back to me. He then told me that I was a “10″ (of course he did) and tried to get me to make out with him to make some girl jealous. Apparently a girl he asked out told him she had the flu and then showed up at the bar we were at. Ouch. While that does suck, I am in no way being used to make another girl jealous. Goodbye, 7!
6. I Get Home Sick (Even at 23): Ha, it’s embarrassing to admit, but while I did have a wonderful time with my friends this weekend, I can’t deny the fact that I missed Boston…and my apartment…and my own shower…and my own kitchen…and my Mac…and writing. OK, you get the point. I’ve realized that as much as I love mini getaways, I always enjoy going back to my home, which is a good thing I suppose because it shows I really love where I am in life right now.
I suppose I’ve always been one to make bold, spontaneous moves. When I was a sophomore in college and wanted to hop on a plane to visit a guy I’d been “seeing,” my dad told me I needed to stop following my hormones, and follow my heart. Then when I moved to Boston three months after graduation (without a job) because I was bored , many people thought I was absolutely crazy. But you know what, I didn’t care a bit about what others thought of my decision. After all, it’s my life after all, and I knew I’d figure it out. I always have. When I want something, I waaaantttt something, and go and get it.
That’s why I’ve decided to make the boldest decision of all, a decision that at first shocked/stunned/surprised and maybe even frightened many (especially my mother). I’ve decided to leave my full time job (yes, even in this terrible economy) to pursue my dreams of publishing a book and becoming a writer. I guess I finally took my dad’s advice of following my heart; it definitely isn’t my hormones speaking this time.
As I sit in a cafe writing and eating a fresh, delectable salad from Espresso Royale Cafe in Boston, I couldn’t be more happy about my life and the decision I’ve made. I’ve realized many people have these passions/desires/wants/needs/ideas but never have the guts to actually go with them. I’ll admit, it was scary. Leaving a job that pays for my rent, coffee addiction and social life was not easy. In fact, it was frightening as hell to go through with it. However, deep down I knew where my heart was at, and knew what I needed to do. I will write my butt off. I will do everything I can to get published and make a name for myself. Everything is in my control now, and the same goes for you. The future is in our hands and there’s no better time than now to start really living your life.