Reclaiming My Time

I know this year has been so inconsistent in terms of my writing. I have had a lot of ups and downs and have mostly lost my inspiration, creativity, and zest for blogging. I will write more about that in an upcoming post, but I will still apologize to the few readers I have out there for being MIA. I have had two trips since my last travel post in Chicago, but I used both trips to disconnect and just be somewhere other than home while spending quality time with my closest friends. From my last post, you could probably feel that my mood has been out of whack for a little while now. Still, I am trying to be proactive about working on that by tackling my first and most important obstacle: time.

In my short 23 years of life, I haven’t fully grasped that feeling of ‘not having enough time.’ Sure, there have been many moments that I wished could last forever or wishing I had an extra day before an event, a test, etc., but I have always been someone who is on top of things. I never adopted procrastination in any of my education levels and never desired feeling that pressure–or rush, for some–of watching the time run out and seeing if I could accomplish the bare minimum. It is honestly something I am proud of. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, I constantly have issues with time in terms of centering in on the past and the future.

Part of my overall preparedness is equally anticipating what is coming next and making sure I do not allow history to repeat itself. I love [good] surprises and the occasional bouts of spontaneity, but I am a planner in my core. So much so, I often find myself having an inner dialogue about letting go and enjoying my youth. At 23, I know I shouldn’t be so concerned with certain things, but I have never actually tried to turn my brain off. I don’t think there was a time in my middle or high school days where I ever said, “I wish I was older,” but I let my daydreams run wild with thoughts of being at certain ages in my life where I assume I will have accomplished x, y, and z, where I assume that is when I will achieve ‘true happiness.’ I am finally accepting how incredibly damaging this has been.

This has been a trying year for me personally because I have tried to face my fears upfront without the same level of preparedness as I have approached other things in life. This time last year, I was unemployed and constantly fantasizing about what I would do next once I got a job. Getting a job symbolized the first step toward independence, but somewhere along the line, I started to correlate ‘independence’ with ‘lack of inhibitions.’ I let this consume me and jump head first into pretty much everything this year because I told myself that certain milestones are getting me that much closer to happiness. And in trying to achieve said milestones, I believed decisions I knew were bad were somehow equivalent to necessary risks. I basically tried to sweep my stress under the rug in the hopes that it would teach me to let go and start living freely like everyone else around me.

These things quickly affected my professional and personal life and from there, it was a downward spiral mentally. I found myself agreeing to things I inherently disagree with simply to be agreeable and hopefully liked. I convinced myself that my ideas and concerns were not valid because of my age and lack of experience. I made the mistake of using relativity in all areas of my life, endlessly scrolling down social media feeds and randomly posting things so I could further my facade of living this amazing life. Funny enough, my idea of being outside of my comfort zone by acting without thinking was actually pushing me into a former comfort zone of pretending everything is fine when it is the complete opposite. This needed to stop.

Many things completely backfired on me which emotionally affected me in this latter half of 2017, but I figured there has to be a lesson in this. While I definitely want to stop over-analyzing every little thing in my life, I know that I am not the type to throw caution to the wind. Of course, there is something to be said about the freeing part of not thoroughly investigating every decision, but the main point is that what works for some people does not work for everyone. My life is my own and I need to be an active participant in that rather than trying to live a version of someone else’s.

I had this revelation the day I decided to revisit Deepak Chopra’s website because I felt like something important was missing in my life. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you will know that meditation greatly changed my life two years ago and I felt this sudden urge to find my center. Coincidentally, Deepak Chopra and Oprah were starting another 21-day meditation challenge the following day called: Making Every Moment Matter. I have always believed that things happen for a reason and this could not have come at a better time. It is only the second week of the challenge and while I am still learning to process my reactions to past and even future events, I am trying to actively create a happier and more fulfilling life for myself on a daily basis.

It is not always about securing things for the future or trying to do things now that you should have done differently in the past, but I have always said that I don’t want to look back on my 20’s, 30’s, or any part of my life and say, “I wish I did/said…” In order to stay on this path, I need to re-evaluate the people I allow into my life, the personal impact of the work I choose to do, and even how I treat myself. I need to give myself an emotional break to actually heal from things that have happened and finally close those doors in order to move forward. I need to accept things and people as they come, but also focus my energy on the things and people who actually add value to my daily life. Ultimately, I just need to take back control and stop limiting myself. I’m reclaiming my time.

xx, AE

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