Latest Posts

My thoughts on sadness, hardships, & grief

From a very young age, I’ve been emotional and sensitive. Being around arguments made me beyond uncomfortable and I always felt like I absorbed the emotional state of everyone around me. I grew up around a lot of alcoholism and fighting, and often felt like I couldn’t talk about it to anyone because they wouldn’t understand. Aside from not understanding, I didn’t want to complain and be a negative person; so I kept it all to myself. We each have things like that.

For me, as I got older, I realized I had a really difficult time letting things go. Break ups, losing touch with friends, being misunderstood/ not liked – these were all things that were unusually hard. I felt like I was always the person who cared more, and I often didn’t feel seen or heard.

At 29, I can say that my 20’s were absolutely transformational. Although I’m the same person, the last decade of life experience has rendered much introspection and wisdom overall. I see the ways in which I have done a disservice to myself, have been toxic toward myself or others, and have choicefully held myself back when all I needed to do was make the choice not to.

I say this with love and grace for myself, as I believe that each action ultimately leads us to the people we need to meet, the experience we need to have, and the lessons we need to learn.

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships”
HELEN keller

How I view things today: There have been a few life experiences this year that have really shaken my world. Over the last few months, I find myself reverting back to old ways. Feeling sorry for myself, isolating, losing patience with people who don’t understand, feeling sad (a lot), and just feeling bad in general.

But then I think to myself – there is always always that choice. I can choose to listen to the sad songs, let the memories play like a slideshow in the background of my day, complain, become inundated with anxiety, and let myself sit in that headspace for weeks/ months; or I can simply choose differently.

And I acknowledge that there is some privilege in this way of thinking, and I’m lucky that it’s doable for me and my life. I acknowledge that in some instances, this may not be the case; but under most circumstances, we can make this choice.

What’s most important to call out, especially if you resonate with being sensitive/ emotional, is that it’s not like you’re born this way and that’s it & it’s who you are forever. That is a fixed mindset, and it’s imperative to switch to a growth mindset. Yes, we’re born with certain personality traits and I’m not saying anything is inherently wrong with being emotional and sensitive (these are often poorly perceived in society, but there are so many benefits to being both sensitive and emotional). But what I’m saying is sometimes, even our greatest strengths can have toxic impacts – especially when it comes to ourselves and the overuse of these characteristics.

For emotional and sensitive people, we can analyze and overthink ad nauseam. For me, when I start to recognize those old patterns, I put on a song that makes me happy. I call a friend and have an uplifting and positive conversation. I meditate, work out, or go on a walk. I do something I enjoy – maybe cook a meal, watch a funny movie, take a bath, read a book, play with my pet. There are so many things you can do to lift yourself out of that headspace in a healthy way.

Lastly, I’m not advocating that we bury our feelings or sweep them under the rug. There’s just a balance. A sweet spot. A time for honoring what we feel and letting it flow in, through, and out; and also a time to parent ourselves and find strength to go on. Often this can come in learning, finding purpose, and ultimately finding peace and happiness within yourself. Having faith is also another important one for me.

So that’s it. We’re all going to have hard times at one point or another. Building resilience and strength is paramount, I’m finding. Positivity is something I’m always aiming for; because the opposite just isn’t the life I want. So today, I choose happiness, and even in the hardest of times, I’m going to try to leverage what I know and choose happiness then, too.

How do you feel about this topic? Are you similar? Different? Let me know.

Xo

My Journey With Minimalism and becoming debt free

I think minimalism can mean something different to everyone. There’s no set number of items within each category that you *should* have. To me, it’s about finding out what makes you happy, or as Maria Kondo would say “what sparks joy”. Some of the questions I ask myself when I’m decluttering is “do I love this?” “do I regularly use this?” “does this represent who I currently am, or does it represent someone I used to be?” “is this item taking valuable space and attention away from what I do use and love?”, just to name a few.

I’ve never had trouble getting rid of things. To be honest, I overdo decluttering at times and over the years I’ve gotten rid of a few things I wish I still had (mostly little things from memory boxes and such). I just don’t like holding onto a ton of things. I’ve also moved so much and I think that has a lot to do with it.

It’s now been a year since my last post and my journey has definitely continued to develop. My relationship with minimalism and simplifying my life feels so personal. It’s been a mental journey as much as a physical one. To be completely transparent, I still buy so much stuff. I have the money, I pay all of my cards off every month, but I still feel so much guilt. And you know what? Everything that I buy gives me that quick shot of dopamine for about 3 seconds and then it’s no longer exciting and my mind is off to the next thing that I need. I’m really proud of myself for making $1,000 debt payments every month when my minimum payment is $230 (student loans) but can you imagine if I also put the money I’m spending on online shopping and unnecessary purchases towards my debt as well? Not only would it be paid off even quicker, but I’d be able to get back to my 401k contributions and building a positive net worth.

One thing that stuck with me from a podcast that I listed to awhile back was a woman in her 80’s taking about advice she would give to her younger self. Her biggest piece of advice was to stop buying all of the clothes, make up, skin care, and all of the things you think you need, and to instead start saving early. I know what you’re thinking, “duh”, but the way she said it really hit home for me. She said we only have so many years at our maximum earning potential, and that we need to make sure that when we’re older and we’re not able to work like we used to, we need to make sure we’re prepared for that and that we have a comfortable life. It really scares me how many people aren’t worried about saving for retirement. Living off of social security checks shouldn’t be the game plan. If I can make the sacrifices now, I know that it will pay off in the future – and that’s my motivation.

When it comes to minimalism, that’s something different. So many things bring me back to minimalism. It’s less about stuff, and more about my mental health. I don’t want STUFF and THINGS to rule my life. I want more experiences and I want more gratitude for what I already have. I think so much of my life has been comparing myself to others, trying to keep up with others, being influenced, buying things thinking that they’d make me happier – but none of that has done anything for me (although I certainly needed to go through it to understand it). Life isn’t about these things and happiness will never be a destination you can reach this way. I lost a good friend this year and it was really hard. It made me think about all of the things that have gotten in the way over the years. It also made me think about what’s important to me. I want to make sure that I’m not letting time slip by and I want to live my life in a way that’s meaningful to me. I want to live with purpose and intentionality, and I want to appreciate the little things and each and every moment, never taking anything for granted.

I’m taking time this and next month to really think about what I value. Being home more often has afforded me the time to really consider these things and physically go through my possessions one by one. However, I think that mental decluttering is just as important. I’ve been doing a ton of inner-work and asking myself a lot of deep questions to understand what kind of life I want to live moving forward – it’s really been a fun process and beautiful journey. More to come, but I think this is enough for now. Thanks for reading 🙂

Where are your thoughts on these things? Let me know.

Minimization

The purpose of this blog is to document my journey, learn from those around me in this space, and hopefully share some of my lessons as well. The year is half way through, but what I’m hoping to get started with is living a more simple debt-free life.

In a world where we’re constantly seeking more, not happy with where we are, filling void after void – sound familiar? If I could count the number of times I’ve said “I’ll be happy when” this year, I’d be able to pay off my school loans.

We don’t need more stuff to be happy. We need more presence, focus on what we want/ what we need in order to grow and be better, and more introspection.

I’m $40,000 in debt (student loans + a car loan). Although I make my payments religiously, I find myself regularly finding other things that I NEED. $40 face masks, that dress that was “on sale” that I never wear… I see my own patterns of behavior and I’m working to better them.

This journey is all about eliminating the unnecessary in my life – and that doesn’t necessarily just mean stuff. It means eliminating the relationships in my life that aren’t serving me, the not-so-healthy choices/ habits, the negative thought patterns, the ‘morning coffee at starbucks’ routine. I’m ready to get out of debt and limit the choices that I need to make daily in order to live a beautiful life where I’m able to fully focus on my goals and interests. Who’s with me?

Are You Positive?

I’m all about positivity. I love manifestation techniques, silver linings, and faking it until you make it. I feel like having a positive outlook is ultimately the best thing for myself and my optimism and rose-colored glasses end up attracting a lot of good things my way.

BUT my biggest struggle with writing or sharing is that so much of the good… has come from the not so good. We all have struggles, secrets, stories – the parts of us we’d rather keep to ourselves while projecting whatever makes us look best on social media outlets. I can kind of understand why we do this, because, why focus on the bad, right? Hm – I think society could benefit from our ‘bad’.

We all go through similar things, but I’ve always felt like the more “connected” we become, the more we lose common touch. Depression, anxiety, “taboo” thoughts/ feelings, + so much more can be so shameful for us as human beings. But what I don’t think that we realize is that each of us has been there in some way or another. Why not be a pillar of support for those around you. Why not help others who have been somewhere that you were once yourself? Did you know that each human being goes through an average of 7 seasons of depression throughout their lifetime?

My answer to this question? Yes, when I can be. And when I can’t be, I feel my feelings, take time to process them, honor them, and move forward when I’m ready and able. Life isn’t all about being positive – sometimes it’s about being real and learning from each situation, person, and event in our lives. Ultimately, everything that makes its way into our world is here to serve us, even if it’s a lesson we don’t necessarily want at the time.