So I’m my late twenties… now what?

Halfway through 2019, and here I am: blogging/e-journalling with a creeping migraine. Some days I feel great about where I’m headed, the progress I’ve made. Other days I feel like I’m so far behind everyone else, why even bother trying?

I’m 27, turning 28 in a few months. Eek. Did I think I’d be here when I was eighteen? Definitely not.

When I was teenager, I thought I’d have everything together by 28. Maybe engaged, or married. Career thriving. Travelling the world. Making and saving comfortably. I thought I’d be the fittest I’d ever be, and basically just have all my shit together.

Now that I’m sitting here, reflecting on the past 10 years, one thing I know to be true is no matter what age you are, it never really feels or looks the way you think it’s going to. I have a pretty unoriginal theory that our physical bodies age at a much faster rate than our minds and souls, leaving us feeling like time has flown by before we’ve had the chance to really live.

I mean, yes, I have a lot more experience and am a completely different person than who I was ten years ago. At the same time, it feels like high school graduation was just yesterday.

Needless to say, 2019/Year 27 has been a year of renewal and realignment. It’s been a year of questioning old beliefs, digging up and healing old wounds, rediscovering who I am NOW today (not who I wanted to be 5-6 years ago), and updating my list of goals and dreams accordingly.

It’s been a year of learning how to set boundaries (still learning), and stepping into my flow whilst relinquishing control at the same time… I know, it hurts my brain too.

Where I think these next 10 years are headed is focusing on becoming the most raw, authentic version of myself possible. The most raw, authentic, creative, go-getting, stock-investing, TFSA/RRSP-maxing, take-no-bullshit, happy, conscious version of myself.

Yayyyyyy. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda scared. But then I remember life is extremely, extremely short. All of this life is just going to pass me in the blink of an eye, and none of this small stuff (overthinking, over-worrying, being scared) will really matter.

Then I just breathe, take it all in, and enjoy this beautiful fragile human life for what it is: a tiny blip in the grand history of time. So important and consequential, yet so meaningless and inconsequential. Everything we do matters, and nothing we do matters. Ultimately, therefore, life is what you make it.

What I wish for in my life is to have made a difference in the world for the better, to have loved and been loved, to tell great stories, to create, to laugh, to cry, to give generously; to stand up for what I believe in; to not waste a single second of my precious time and attention; to appreciate every moment, even the bad; to pass on, free of burden and regret.

What do you wish to accomplish in your lifetime?

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
IG: @WhereHappinessBegins_

Featured Image by Wolf Zimmermann on Unsplash

Choose longterm happiness over short-term gratification

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Fondation Beyeler Artwork - Cumulo by Tacita Dean

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There is no light without the dark. I don’t believe in the idea of false positivity. Or that the point of life is to always be happy, laughing, and dancing. Every emotion on the human spectrum has its place, cause, and purpose – even the ones we deem as “negative”.
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I don’t believe in burying negative/unwanted emotions with positivity quotes and meaningless feel-good advice that miss the point entirely.
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I believe in self-awareness and going deep to locate the ROOT of our unwanted emotions. If you’re going to distract yourself because you aren’t ready to deal with an emotion yet, at least be aware that’s what you’re doing.
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Choose longterm growth and happiness over temporary emotional bandaids, and lean into the entire spectrum of your thoughts and feelings. Because what you resist persists!
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An ignored thought/feeling will only keep getting louder and louder and louder until it is addressed. It WILL demand to be seen and heard, and likely in ways you do not want.
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Don’t be an ostrich by sticking your head in the sand 😝 Learn to pull back the curtain on the shadowy parts of your mind so that the light and warmth can come through.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Artwork: Cúmulo by Tacita Dean
Location: Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

Becoming the local traveller – bringing wonderment and curiosity to your hometown

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Location: Basel, Switzerland
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I love to travel. Don’t we all? All the new sights, smells, places to explore, foods to try, cultures to observe. Every city/town with its unique hums and beats.
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Even more-so, is this profound sense of PRESENCE many of us experience whilst travelling. Because so many things are NEW and different from our usual routine, everything grabs our attention.
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🤔 We NOTICE more. We are more aware of our surroundings, how others act and behave, and in turn, how we act and behave. In other words, for many of us, we become much more mindful.
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😍 We find inspiration in the shops, and the architecture of the city. We find an electric aliveness in its hustle and bustle, and bask in the peaceful and quiet tranquility of a small town. We are more willing to try new things.
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🙌🏼 In this new place, we are away and free from all the expectations, and the “us” – the version of ourselves we’ve become accustomed to – that only exists at our lives back home.
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🙋🏻‍♀️ In this new environment, we are freed up to move and speak and choose a little differently. We are not so confined and constrained to the “we” we think we ought to be, or the “us” our friends and family have gotten to know.
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What if we could be our curious, open-minded, free, adaptable, and happy traveller selves back home too?
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And I get that there are many people who travel and are just as stressed out, rude, and uptight as they are at home. But in my experience, even the grouchiest of Ebenezer Scrooges are more willing to try something new.
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What if we took this long Easter weekend to really look and SEE our lives, the places we live, and our friends and family through the eyes of a curious and wandering tourist?
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What would it be like to approach everything and everyone – including ourselves – with a sense of renewal everyday?
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A clean slate, every day.
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The wonderment and joy of exploration and discovery, every day.
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I think life would look pretty awe-some, wherever we are in the world.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
#CraveGoodTravel
@WhereHappinessBegins_

Healthy Boundaries: Saying YES or NO to Making Plans This Weekend

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As an introvert, this could very well be my motto. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out and doing things. My social calendar was especially jam-packed from age thirteen to my early twenties. These days, not so much.

When I turned 22 or 23, I went from being a busy bee social butterfly – from always needing to be in the social “loop” – to pretty much being a hermit homebody. Maybe it was all those years of non-stop social stimulation catching up to me. Maybe my true introvert self had finally had enough.

Whatever the reason, I have a tendency to operate in extremes.

So when I initially stumbled across this graphic (via @thehavenly) earlier this week, I thought, “YES! Exactly! Say no to plans this weekend! Self-care! Woohoo!”

NATURALLY as a result, I now have four separate plans this weekend, and at least three confirmed plans for next week. Say what?!

My inner introvert is quaking.

While I will likely need to decompress with a good amount of downtime afterward, one thing that really surprised me this week was the realization that I’ve actually missed having regular and authentic human connection. Yes. What a shock.

The key to regular and authentic human connection means saying yes to the things that genuinely bring me fulfillment and joy. That begins with knowing what I value, my boundaries, the kind of person I want to be, and the kind of life I want to live.

A few years ago, a trending message in the self-help world was saying “yes”! Saying yes to new opportunities, invitations, experiences, etc. These days, a lot of the conversation I see and hear is focused on saying “no”. In a society that seems to go back and forth on the subject, YOUR ability to discern when to say “yes” or “no” will be your key to happiness.

Depending on the day and context, it may serve your happiness and wellbeing to say yes to some things; other days, it may be prudent to your wellbeing and self-care to say no. This includes learning how to assert boundaries with “yes, and/but” or “no, and/but”.

When you accept an invitation, remember you get to say when, where and for how long. Only you know what it is you truly need, others may have different needs and can’t read your mind, so don’t be afraid to express those needs.

For example, on Monday, I will be going to a rock show with a new friend. The show goes from 7pm to midnight at a popular venue downtown. With my growing hours of unpaid sleep debt, and an already jam-packed weekend, my inner introvert doth protest. But here’s the thing:

  1. I want to get to know my new friend better
  2. I love music and haven’t been out to a show in a long time
  3. I have the opportunity to go to this show for free
  4. I want to let my hair loose and have some fun!

I weighed the pros and cons, and the rewards I would receive (social connection, inspiration, enjoying great music) were well worth the cost (a few extra hours of sleep and downtime). AND I know the cost is not something to be taken lightly. How I’m taking responsibility for this is by:

  • Getting clear on what I need to feel healthy, happy and well next week
  • Asserting my “Yes, and/but” boundaries
  • Scheduling in time for very intentional downtime and regeneration between plans over the weekend, prior to going out on Monday, AND on Tuesday

My “Yes, and/but” to my friend was this… Yes! I will come, AND/BUT I will probably leave around 9 or 930 because I need to catch up on sleep. Does that work for you?

Admittedly, the response I got surprised even me. Not only was my friend okay with the boundary I was setting, he was so relaxed and nice about it! Needless to say, I think our friendship is going to develop just fine.

Are you grounded in what your mind and body needs? What are you saying yes or no to this weekend?

#WhereHappinessBegins
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Letting go of the old, embracing the new

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Midnight Thoughts:

Dreams change. Priorities change. Weight, size, hair, skin change. Friends change. Jobs and career paths change. Favourite foods, books, drinks, hangout spots may change. PREFERENCES change. Values change. Who we want to invest time into changes – WHAT we invest time into changes. How we view money and finances changes. Where we’d like to live, who we’d like to be, and what we want out of life changes. What lights our soul and spark changes.

These kinds of changes to our “fundamental” selves can be scary. We spend so many years knowing ourselves as everything we’ve stuffed into this box of “Who I Am”, that sometimes we don’t even realize or WANT to accept that things may have changed – for the better, or for the worse (hopefully always better).

I’m personally going through one of those major shifts right now. I grow and change every day. Who I am now sometimes feels like a completely different person from who I was last month. Yet only very recently did I realize just how FUNDAMENTALLY different I am today in my mid-late twenties, from who I was just 4-5 years ago. Everything has completely changed, what I want has changed, yet I am/was still living like I was the same person. No wonder I’ve felt so unfulfilled, lost, and unhappy!

It’s so important to stop and acknowledge when a change or shift has happened, embrace it, reflect on our “old” self, then let go and bravely leap into the next chapter with abandon. No good is had holding onto our past selves and the things we USED to want.

The truth is, real happiness does not live in the past. It does not live in the future. It lives in the here and now where the real magic happens.

#WhereHappinessBegins
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_

Image by @AliceKassLingerie

Finding Where Happiness Begins

You’re – We’re – I’m it, babe.

I’m a firm believer in the notion that you are the only one responsible for your happiness, and making sure your “cup” is filled.

Others can contribute to your having LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, SUPPORT, LAUGHTER, ADVENTURE, AFFIRMATION, even SUCCESS—and if you’re not happy, confident, or fulfilled on the inside, none of it matters. Others can contribute to momentary happiness.

Ultimately, if you’re not happy with you, there’s nothing anyone else can do, say, give, or buy that will truly fill that void.

I won’t lie. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some days, shit gets real messy. And you know what? Here’s to finding self-love, KINDNESS, gratitude, laughter, adventure, and kicking ass in spite of it ALL.

#WhereHappinessBegins #HappyThoughts
Instagram @WhereHappinessBegins_