It's amazing the amount of times I can count being absolutely terrified about not having my life 'together'. For years, I'd try to fit myself into this mold of what I thought I needed to do, and in turn, I just became less passionate, less healthy and less myself....
It all started after college ended; I struggled right from the get-go. While people I knew were getting jobs, moving to large cities, meeting the loves of their life, I moved back home, got drunk frequently, ate too much and filled my days with relationships that no longer satisfied me. I was applying for jobs, mindlessly, with no larger goal than to find a job that could allow me to make money, move into my own place, and "be happy".
I accepted my first "big girl job", in Minneapolis, about six months after graduating. "This is it," I thought, as I began to brag about how I was going to be an Event Planner, living it up in The Cities. I signed a lease, moved up during the bitter cold of winter, and started working. Fast-forward about two months into my job, where I was stuck on i35, at 6am one morning, during a blizzard, trying to make it to Downtown Minneapolis to set-up for an event. I had been severely stressed for those two months; eating like crap, drowning my stress in gluten free cookies and booze. This was NOT "living it up"; this wasn't even living, but surviving. "I'm not happy," I told myself. Long story short, I quit. I told myself that no job was worth getting ill over, and that I'd never choose a job just for the money.
Fast-forward three months later, when my U-Haul pulled up in front of my new townhome, in Des Moines... IOWA. Yep. I had accepted a job as a Project Manager for a sweet company, and better yet, the pay was incredibly awesome. "This is it," I thought, as I began to brag about how I was now living in DSM, helping non-profits. Two months later? Yep, you guessed it. I was stressed to the max, drowning my stress in bottles of champagne, and homemade gluten free pizza (which FYI: isn't ALWAYS a bad thing)! Another long story short, I quit. Again. And told myself, again, that no job was worth getting ill over, and that I'd never choose a job just for the money.
Notice a pattern here? Well, this pattern continued for the next year. One random job after the other, resulting in another blubbering phone call to my mom, where she would say, "I love you. It's your decision, and I can't help you make it, no matter how much I wish I could." -- I was devastated. Defeated. Depressed. For so long, I had been "looking for happiness", and instead, seemed to dig myself deeper in despair.
The break in this chain occurred when my dad sent me an email he had received from a friend, who had a friend "whose child was going through the same thing as me", blah, blah, blah. You know how those scenarios go. However, after my parents, so graciously, agreed to pay for me to see this life coach, who helped so many, I hesitantly agreed. Isn't it strange how when you're depressed, you're even more hesitant to make changes, or try something else?
In one of my first meetings with my life coach, I was asked to make a list of all of the words that described me, and what I prioritized. After doing this, I had to narrow that list down to just three - my top three priorities. The thought was that after I defined these three priorities, I would then focus on how to make my life fit those priorities, rather than fitting my priorities into my crazy life. This is what unlocked the hugely-secured door that had been blocking my life for so long! Why hadn't I thought of this before?! Jumping from one thing to the other, especially when it was against my priorities, wasn't going to help me in the slightest.
My Three Priorities for a Satisfying Life: Health, Happiness and Relationships (family/friends)
1. Health: Something I had COMPLETELY lost since running around, jumping from job to job. Something I realized I NEEDED to have, in order to have a satisfying, lasting life.
2. Happiness: Something that's directly connected to health. Something I had been avidly looking to find for so long.
3. Relationships: Family and friends have always been, and will always be so important to me. Putting them first, always, is a priority.
After defining these, and setting personal goals for myself, I was on an upward trend. I realized that allowing myself to stay stuck in these 'time-sucking, life-sucking, depressing situations' wasn't healthy, and after that realization, things continued to improve.
After much thought, I moved back home, AGAIN. However, this time, I had a plan. I enrolled in a Health & Wellness Coaching Program, with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I started to put the focus back on what I NEEDED to do in order to life a life I was proud of; a life where I was living based on my priorities, instead of the other way around.
What did this look like? Well to some, it appeared as if I 'needed help'. LOL I, finally, ended a 10-year toxic relationship, I started to fuel my body with what it needed, I began to meditate, sweat, laugh and spend time with the people I loved and cared for, so passionately. I began to take risks, and above anything else, I started to love myself. Defining those three priorities was pretty amazing, wasn't it?!
So, WHY does this matter to you? WHY am I telling you this? Because I've literally been there. And I know how difficult it is to be stuck doing something you hate, health deteriorating and happiness drowning. Is my life completely together now? Hell no! But see, that's the beauty of it, I've learned! Life's about figuring ourselves out, and enjoying the journey along the way. It's about taking small steps to make some fantastic changes! Would I take back any of the experiences I had? Absolutely not! They're what helped get me here. Helped me get to a place of being able to help others who are struggling as well.
Each week, we'll dig a little deeper on a subject that's helpful in getting us closer to the life we are happy to live. Have something you'd like me to talk about?! Please let me know! Also, as with all good life-work, each week's post will end with some homework. It's up to you to try it out, and report back!
This week, your goal is to make a list of the words/priorities that describe you, and then, find your top three!
My hope is that this space will turn into a safe haven for you - allowing you to dig deep into yourself, and find a life you're passionate about. So, pop open that bottle of champagne (or kombucha), kick your feet up, relax and enjoy the ride we're about to embark on! xoxo