No Longer Vital

Being surrounded by water was essential to our survival when we were in the womb. From the second that we were born, we needed air to live. Life changes so much and what is vital to us in one moment may no longer be in another.

It is important to remember that sometimes we create habits as we go along in life. At one point they served us, but they may not always. Now and then I find it to be a good idea to evaluate the many areas of your life and see what is working for you and what is no longer vital.

How Life Changes

As we go through life, we have different wants and needs. Sometimes these needs change and sometimes not, or the degree to which we need them changes.

Maybe you went through a phase where you wanted to be surrounded by people, but now you need to enjoy your own company and take some time for self-reflection. Maybe at one point working two jobs was vital to your well-being and finances, but now you are more financially comfortable, and resting from all of your hard work is the most important.

I am currently doing some spring cleaning of my life. I am shedding parts of me that no longer serve me, I am making changes to things that bother me, or make me unhappy. It feels great, even though some of the changes are very small. Any progress towards a goal is a huge motivator.

The Importance

Evaluating and reflecting on life is very important, especially if you feel like there is an area or more that you are not happy with. We are constantly changing and growing as individuals, and we should try to align our lives as closely to our sense of ideal as possible.

By ridding parts of your life or habits that no longer have a positive effect on you, there is room for the most important things. We are ever evolving and any changes that we can make to our lives no matter how small can help us live a little easier and happier!

I invite you to examine your life and take a look at the areas that you feel could be improved. How can you make a difference in these areas? What can you do to live a fuller life? Are there parts of you that you can shed to allow for more growth? Feel free to share if you would like!

Something Else to Chase

Growing up, I was always the kind of girl that loved to make others laugh and smile. I wanted to see everyone happy, and I would do almost anything to make that happen. Ironically, fast-forward to my teenage years and I was relying on others to make me happy.

As I got older, especially as a teenage girl, I started to lack self-esteem, a reality that a lot of teenagers face. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me, but I knew that I didn’t like the feeling and I was determined to make it disappear.

I started trying to make friends with other people hoping that would help me with my self-esteem. I started looking for ways that other people could bring me happiness because I couldn’t seem to find it myself.

At one point, I almost felt reliant on other people to feel any sort of peace. I felt like I needed constant contact from my friends. I would start feeling anxious and sad when I was away from my loved ones. I truly felt at that point in my life that my happiness depended on the people around me.

I felt like a chaser. Sometimes people were there and sometimes not.
My mood would fluctuate according to this, and I was tired of relying on this unpredictable way of feeling peace.

When I became older, I was wiser and able to realize that happiness and self-worth need to come from within. While other people do bring lots of joy, it needs to start from the inside. True happiness cannot be obtained if you aren’t happy when you look in the mirror.

With this new knowledge, I started doing everything that I could to promote my happiness and sense of well-being. I started a gratitude journal, I started painting and writing, and I found other ways that made me happy like nature walks. I looked at myself in the mirror every morning and said one thing that I liked about myself. I watched my self-esteem and happiness soar.

It is natural to look to others for happiness and a boost of confidence but finding that within yourself is the greatest gift and will help you see the world around you in a different light. You will feel more in control of your well-being. I used to chase people and now I chase my dreams and goals!

Right in Front of You

I was watching my cousin’s children playing one morning. They went from playing ball to reading books, to wanting to color. I sat them down with some paper and crayons and sat observing them draw whatever their imagination was telling them to.

The crayons were a large variety of beautiful colors. They lay spread out on the table. One of the children, who we will call Zachary, had an orange crayon that he was coloring with, the other child, who we will call Joseph, had picked up a blue crayon, but when he saw the orange one, he of course wanted that one instead.

Next, I noticed something interesting. Joseph put down his blue crayon and sat there with his paper in front of him. I asked him what he needed and why he stopped coloring, and he then replied that it was “because he was waiting for the orange crayon.”

Zachary was coloring away with his orange crayon and Joseph was left staring and waiting for his turn. All of these beautiful colors surrounded him, but he was focused on just one and because of that, he missed out on enjoying all of the other colors that were sitting right in front of him.

We spend so much time looking towards the future, or waiting around for things that we want, that we end up missing what is right in front of us. Joseph could have been having an amazing time coloring with the many vivid crayons that lay on the table. Instead of having fun and enjoying the moment, he chose to sit back and wait for Zachary’s orange crayon. In the meantime, he was missing out on a lot of fun.

Instead of sitting and waiting for that orange crayon as little Joseph did, use all of the beautiful crayons around you to have fun and find joy all the while waiting for the orange crayon to come along. Don’t let the appeal of one thing make you miss something special, something right before your very eyes.

We can apply this situation to our everyday lives. We so often look ahead for what we want instead of seeing what is right there in front of us. We are missing joy, opportunities, and life unfolding right before us!

What Now?

You have reached a moment that you have been waiting for months, years, possibly your entire life for. So many feelings rush over you as you cannot believe that what you have been longing for is finally here. You sit in a state of shock, surprise, relief, happiness, and awe. Slowly over time, another feeling creeps in.

There can be many emotions that we feel while waiting for something that we truly desire with all of our hearts. We may feel sad, angry, hopeful, scared, or anxious, we may even feel that it will never happen. We sit anxiously awaiting to be in a relationship, to have kids, to be married, to land our dream job, to get a college degree, and sometimes our biggest goal is just to live comfortably.

Whatever we have deeply desired in our life and eventually ended up getting, our initial response is probably elation and relief. We cannot believe that we have finally obtained and received all that we have longed for. Much of the time, our hearts will stay content with what we have now added to our lives, however sometimes another emotion sets in shortly after the excitement wears off. We might start to feel regret and guilt, something we never expected, which can make it all very confusing.

Regret and guilt can accompany our newfound excitement. Sometimes after we finally receive what we have been desiring, it loses its appeal, and sometimes regret starts to sink in after our initial happiness because we feel that we should be more excited, or that it didn’t feel as great as we expected. Maybe we expected the outcome to change our lives and it didn’t change much for us, we might have started to even feel as if we did not deserve this wonderful thing that happened to us.

These negative feelings can truly wreak havoc on our minds and bodies. We may start to think that we are losing our minds because we finally got what we wanted and now we don’t want it anymore. We start to question if we know what we truly want in life and if we even know ourselves as well as we thought that we did. There is a saying that “we always want what we don’t have.” I have found this to be true. We don’t know what we are getting into, we just desire something that we do not have.

The mind works in mysterious ways, we may be influenced by others, we may feel like we are expected to conform to society’s norms, or we may just truly want something for our lives. Whatever they may be, our feelings are valid, and we should take the time to sort them out and explore why we may be feeling such a way. Be easy on yourself, we are only human!

I Took a Walk Today

It was a gorgeous sunny day, not too hot with a nice breeze. I decided to take a walk, being in nature and taking walks is one of my absolute favorite things to do and something that I do very often. I love the way that nature makes me feel and I get excited not knowing what I might stumble upon during my little journey.

I choose to take a path that I haven’t taken before, I kept walking and walking, and I was passing large open fields and houses with people in their backyards enjoying this summer day. I found a little sidewalk that I decided to follow and lo and behold I found myself at a middle school.
I looked around at the school from the outside. I could see trailers and a bunch of school buses in the parking lot waiting for summer break to end in a few weeks. Farther down, I saw a basketball court and a track field. I couldn’t stop smiling. I found myself taking a trip down memory lane.

When I was in elementary school, I was very outgoing, you could call me a class clown, I loved to make people laugh and would go to great lengths to do so. Going from a smaller elementary school to a very large secondary school for my middle school years was very challenging for me. I became very shy socially, the teen years had me questioning my self-esteem as a lot of us go through, I also had my fair share of bullies. Next came high school, a few of those years were challenging as well, but senior year was an absolute blast as I came out of my shell and became the outgoing girl that I was back in elementary school.

As with most people, I had a lot of not-so-fond memories of middle and high school, but I also had some incredible memories, ones that will stick with me for a lifetime. As I walked past this middle school, I was flooded with memories. I was truly reminiscing about my school days and it left me feeling so uplifted. Despite all of the negative memories of my last few years of school, there were a lot of good memories that I carry with me.

I was amazed that the mere sight of this school that I ran into could bring back so much happiness, could bring me back to a place of much simpler times when our whole world revolved around school, unaware of what the real world had in store. The memories started flooding in and there I stood in a moment of bliss.

I started to recall the sound of the bell in-between classes, and how excited we were to hear that bell, especially when school let out for the day. I remembered the days when I used to try to keep up with everyone running the mile on the track, I had to walk half of it most of the time! The lunch tables where I sat, even if I was alone as I adjusted to a new school or was just socially distant. Carrying a larger-than-life backpack filled with books, trapper keepers, a TI-83, spiral notebooks, and Ticonderoga pencils. I found myself thinking of old friends and peers and how much they have influenced my life today.

The memories didn’t stop there, I found myself smiling as I remembered running trying to catch the bus as it drove away without me, dressing up for yearbook pictures, and getting all of my friends to sign my yearbook. The words “have a great summer!” are forever etched in my mind. Last, but not least, my locker was a little piece of comfort, a familiar corner in an unfamiliar place.

I love taking a trip down memory lane, it’s amazing how the sight of something can trigger such fond memories and emotions. Go for a walk today, get out of the house, and the office, take a break mentally and see what journey you find yourself on. Not only will this walk benefit your mind and body, but you never know what is out there waiting for you to discover! One little walk made my entire day filled with happy memories. I love anything nostalgic; I find it so good for the soul.