So, elephant in the room: it’s been awhile…
I’ve noticed I do this thing where if my life isn’t going well, I shut down. I’ve heard of fitness bloggers or people who are dieting that do something similar when they have a bad week. They fall off the wagon, don’t workout for a week, splurge on pizza, and feel like giving up on their diet altogether. I take that to an extreme. If everything in my life isn’t going well, the voice in my head decides, “Screw it. Why bother chasing any dreams at all? Oh, you don’t have your dream job yet? Forget your diet or travel plans. You feel behind in life? What’s the point of finishing this book you’ve been wanting to read for months? Don’t write in your journal. Don’t blog. You have nothing worth writing about anyway.” It snowballs. The longer I wait to workout or write in my journal, the longer it goes on.
Negative thoughts and actions are contagious. But so are positive ones.
Whenever I get in a funk like this, the hardest part is the first step toward happiness. A couple months ago, I made a small first step by getting serious about feeling good about my body again. I’ve lost 22 pounds since May, but more importantly, I’ve done it in my own time, no pressure, just lots of self-love and a commitment to make better choices. I’ve stayed pretty quiet about it unless someone asks, because this hasn’t been for anyone else’s benefit. I’m doing it for me this time, and it’s the first thing I’ve done for myself in a long time.
I’m not kidding when I tell you I have a stack of unread books by my bed, a question-a-day journal full of blank entries, Pinterest boards full of travel plans left unfulfilled, and a blog I haven’t touched in a year. So this blog entry is one of several first steps I plan to make to take my life back. I thought if I didn’t have my life together, I couldn’t write in a blog and 1) tell people how to get their own shit together or 2) show vulnerability by admitting I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with my life right now. I kept telling myself I’d write again when I had a well-researched, curated blog post. Well obviously, that’s not happening. So to get myself started, here I am.
Since it is the last day of Suicide Prevention Week, maybe I’ll tie this all together by talking about how important it is to take care of yourself. This last week, for example, I found myself putting all my energy into work, making sure I had dinner cooked for Dallas, that the animals were taken care of, that bills were paid, and food and gas were budgeted. It was one of those weeks where I don’t really have anything to complain about, except that I didn’t feel like I was actually living, just existing. While work and my home are taken care of, here I am breaking out from stress, feeling exhausted when I wake up, exhausted when I get home, and apathetic about everything. I wasn’t taking the time to soak in a bath with a face mask on, take a long walk after dinner, drink coffee at dawn on my back porch, listen to my favorite vinyl, or read something other than trashy Facebook articles about celebrity feuds. I haven’t been feeding my soul or talking about my feelings.
So let’s talk. I want to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way, but more importantly I want you to know you’re not alone. I want you to know it’s okay if you have a bad day or week or YEAR like I did and feel like you don’t deserve to do the things that make you happy anymore. What’s not okay is letting that feeling win. It always amazing to me how good it feels to say to someone, “You know, I have NO idea what I’m doing with my life.” Because (if that person is a decent human being) usually they’ll point out all the things you are doing well in life, but haven’t noticed.
Even as I write this, I’m being inspired by so many more topics for future blog posts. Even if I never post this, even if I do and no one reads it or likes it, at least I’ve taken a step. At least I wrote some thoughts down that have been bouncing around my head for months.
I tried to start writing again a couple months ago. I’d started running again and felt inspired in the middle of my run, so I stopped to put a note in my phone:
It’s one of those things that I wouldn’t post somewhere without editing, or reading five times and deciding it’s stupid and not worth sharing. I’m posting it today, because I think it applies here. It’s raw, unedited, and I felt like I needed to get it out of my head. It could mean nothing to everyone else, but when I go back and read it I’m taken back to that moment, feeling high off of the idea of letting go.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I promise my future posts will be more organized and thought out. I also promise there will be more blog posts. And as always, I appreciate any feedback. Take care (really, TAKE CARE), and I’ll see you next week.