Rainbows and Butterflies

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Pictured: me after failing at making chicken… again.

When you’re working through things, when you’re putting yourself first and working on things you should have been working on, truly, for years – it’s hard.

It’s really fucking hard.

But, if you’re putting in the work, even if it sucks sometimes – you’ll also realize it’s the happiest you’ve been.

Why?

Because you’re doing it. You’re working on it. You’re growing. You’re trying again.

You’re better than you were when you weren’t trying, failing, trying again.

I’m going to give you a quick sob story / background on what I’m doing and struggling with – so that I can tell you why it’s hard, why it sucks sometimes, and why it’s totally, absolutely, positively – worth it.

If you’re a consistent reader, you know that I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, an eating disorder – the works. You also know that I seem to come to realizations often, only to come up short when I need write again – learning the same lessons over and over and over again. You know that for awhile I’m good, and then I’m not again. You know that I’m pretty open about it all, because I’m pretty much to the point of not giving a fuck anymore – at least about what people think about it all – and also because I’m pretty much to the point of needing to see a reason why all of this happened, and for me, I think it’s so I can potentially help others – or at least that’s what I hope to be true.

Do you know the whole story – my whole story? Not even close. Do you know a lot? If you’ve been religious in reading all of the crazy stuff I post – I’d say so.

So, all of this is to say, I’m now working on it. And I mean, really, truly working on it. Like, working with a specialist, not focusing on other goals (I mean… not much anyway – hi career goals – I AM WHO I AM), and really putting it first.

Rainbows and butterflies and GO ME, right?

Wrong.

What do I mean?

I mean it’s still really hard sometimes. I mean just because I decided to put this first doesn’t mean it works every day – doesn’t mean I’m “better” yet.

It means much more than that.

It means I fail all the time. It means I try to cook, and end up eating a frozen dinner instead because I literally don’t know how to make simple dishes from years of restriction. It means I think negative thoughts about myself and my body even though I know I’m not supposed to anymore. It means I try to not obsess over my planner but most days, I can’t not. It means I try to relax about my weight and my future and my finances and where I should live and if I’m in the right place and it means I fail at that all the time (generally at 3AM hollaaaa).

It means I’m exhausted. It means some days I’m terrified that I’ll never be “fixed” – that I’ll never be better.

The root of all of my original habits and not-so-beneficial mental models is my innate need to be perfect – my perceived need to be perfect. It’s from comparison and wanting to be the best at everything and anything and to be everything to everyone. It’s from loneliness and striving for greater and it’s from from feeling that where I am, right now, will never be enough.

This need for perfection being the problem, makes it difficult to fail and to accept when I do in my journey to working through.

Why can’t I just get it? Why do I have to make things so simple, so hard? Why can I give advice, but not take it for myself? Why am I so aware of these things yet unable to change them?

Why do I continue to fail?

It’s tiring, exhausting, maddening, weakening, defeating – impossible.

I get down about it, and wonder why I can’t be better. But sometimes, I realize something.

I realize that maybe right in those instances of failure – it does feel like all of those things – it feels tiring, exhausting, maddening, weakening, defeating – impossible. But what it really is, is so much more.

Because each time I fall, I get back up again. Each time I “ruin my progress,” I try again the next day. Each time I fail, I learn something more.

So while it feels shitty, it hurts, it’s lonely – it’s hard – I know deep down that it’s so much more.

It’s persevering, it’s having faith, it’s loving hard, it’s working hard, it’s being selfless, it’s believing in myself, it’s strengthening – it’s worth it.

Because failing, is really, actually – succeeding.

Because for all of the failed attempts at cooking, all of the money wasted on the next diet plan, all the days failing at following my schedule and all the days where I spend too much time obsessing – there are other days – other instances.

And for once, I’m going to give myself credit where credit’s due.

Because, as weird and effed up as this all may sound, I know the following to be true:

I know I’ve shopped for items other than chicken, vegetables, and brown rice more in the past few months than I have in the past six years. I know I’ve turned the volume down on my anxiety at least half way on the notch. I know I’ve said “yes” to social things when a year ago I would have said “no” and hid in my apartment. I know I’ve gotten insanely better with my money and thinking before I spend – with really truly appreciating a dollar. I know I’ve learned and decided with every bone in my body that I will never be going on a diet again – even if it feels insanely uncomfortable – even if some days, I really fucking want to. I know I’ve stopped dreading trips because of how I could be perceived. I know I’ve lowered the amount of times I make disclaimers for myself and the way I am (hi, still working on it). I know I’m not as scared of certain foods anymore. I know I’ve better learned to be there for my friends and loved ones because I’m learning to be there for myself. I know I’ve decreased the amount of time I spend on my calendar, in my lists – freaking out about being perfect in every way. I know that the amount of days I try to set insane goals for myself and try to be someone else has lowered to less and less. I know I’ve moved across the country, been promoted at work, and made new friends while I fail at this every day (which, I guess, now that I think about it, is kinda cool). I know I’m grateful to be able to even have the chance to work on this – the resources to try.

I know I’ve learned how to pick myself up again quicker than I ever have before – how not to give in – how to try, the fuck, again.

I know that my time spent on the floor is getting shorter, briefer – that standing tall is slowly becoming the new norm.

And that’s all I can ask for – at least right now.

Because if I’ve made those strides, already – where will I be tomorrow? Next week? Next year?

In ten?

I don’t know – but I’m excited to find out.

And, it’s hard to share this, because – you don’t know how to normally grocery shop? You don’t know how to cook? You’re that insecure? You’re that obsessive? (#YIKES #wifemeup #jkdontobviously).

Idk, maybe I am all those things.

But maybe I’m working on it.

And maybe I find no shame in that.

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Your Answers

When big life choices come up as you are working on lots of other things in your life…

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Finding your answers can be tough.

Your big answers — the ones that resolve your big questions.

It can be tough because of exactly that. These are big questions — big answers.

And while you try to figure them out, you’re confronted by even more questions.

Am I in the right state of mind to make this call? Am I ready? What if I’m not? What if it isn’t what I want? What if I don’t know? What if this opportunity never comes around again?

What if, what if, what if?

Should I be farther along? Should I be focusing on buying a house or enjoying my twenties in the city? Should I be focusing on my career or focusing on living out my youth?

Am I doing it right?

Am I doing it wrong?

I don’t know, and the truth is, no one does.

What you can do, is focus on what you need to focus on right now — today.

Because deep down, I think you know that answer.

I think you know where you need to focus first — which area of your life needs the most love and attention right here and right now.

So you start there, and have the faith that the rest of your life will fall into place along with it. Have the faith that by changing one thing, other things will follow suit. Have the faith that more opportunities will come around and that you aren’t making a mistake because you are putting what you need to put first, first. Have the faith that your other answers will come when you need them — when you’re ready for them.

You’re balancing your focus, but you’re putting what your intuition is telling you to go for in the front seat.

And your trusting that where you are right now is enough. Even if it’s not where your friends are or where you think you should be — you’re trusting it to be enough and that to be true.

And then you’re making your choice — you’re finding your answer. You’re accepting that you don’t have them all yet — that some remain unwritten and you’re finding the beauty in the possibilities of what that could mean — of what your answers could look like down the road.

Because beautiful things can happen when you stop trying so hard to find them.

You’re committing to what you choose to focus on in the immediate future and what answer you have found — to what you choose to let steer your life — at least right now, today.

You’re not looking back and wondering what if.

Because all you have is what’s in front of you. All you have is this second. Not the last, not tomorrow’s.

This second, today.

And wherever you are in this second — that’s entirely okay.

 

 

One Year What Up

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I haven’t written in awhile. I guess because I’ve been doing shit. When I don’t write, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it doesn’t mean anything and sometimes it means everything.

And tonight I have no idea what I’m going to write about, but I have officially lived in Boston for a year, so I thought I’d sit down and try. Sit down to see what would come out if I put my fingers to the keyboard for the first time in a long time.

What a year it has been.

It’s been so many things and it hasn’t been at all. It’s been nothing that I thought it would be and everything I needed it to be. It hasn’t always been what I wanted, because it has always been so much more than that.

I’ve been through it all. The days of feeling so homesick (hi, Reno) I felt physically ill — like I could actually vomit if I didn’t get on a plane right then. The days of wondering what the f*** I was doing and why I found it necessary to move away from all my loved ones and the life I had built. The days of remembering that I had accomplished my dream and the days of feeling insanely small. The days of knowing I could now accomplish anything and the days of feeling like I was an imposter in an undeserving life. The days of taking it all in and getting butterflies for just being. The days of realizing that moving away from my problems didn’t make me different — that I had to make me different. The days of getting it and the days of not.

The days of just being, in Boston, right now.

I thought I was going to do so many things upon my move. Meet a boy, get fit, figure out my ultimate dream— find my mental freedom.

None of those really happened, because so much more did. I learned that while life is great at home, or in your dream city, or wherever it is you’re seeing right now, on your Instagram — life is really great anywhere. Life is great when you are great — when your mindset is great. Life is great when you let go of what you can’t control and love everything you’ve done and will possibly do.

Life is great when you work so hard your head hurts. When you have days of doing absolutely nothing. Life is great when you realize that all that matters is how you feel about you.

I’ve learned so many things the past year. That life isn’t perfect, that you canaccomplish your dreams, that you can’t run from your problems, that home iswhere the heart is, and that you must give yourself the time and love you deserve before you can do much of anything else.

And, perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned what’s the most important to me.

People.

Friends, family, acquaintances — memories.

People.

And I realize now that if I want to live my purpose of connecting with and inspiring others to live their best lives — that I must be too living mine. That I must be free of my own demons in order to help others rid of theirs.

That working on yourself is not selfish, but actually, selfless when done for the right reasons.

So, no matter where I go in life, I care about the people. About you. About your friends, your sisters, your brothers — you. And about me— about all of us. I care that we’re doing the best we can and laughing when we just simply can’t.

That’s what I care about.

It’s not about the perfectly crafted picture of my dream relationship, city, career, mindset, or anything else.

So for now, I’m good. I’m working on me, so I can help others work on them. I’m being there for my friends while I remain insanely grateful that they’re there for me. I’m doing my best and finding grace when I don’t. I’m breathing, working, living, experiencing — feeling.

I’m working on letting go of what I can’t control and having the faith that little decisions each day to practice humility and faith will get me to where I need to be.

And I have so much further to go.

But the cool thing right now is that I don’t even know where that is yet.

And for once in my life, I’m totally okay with that.

Let’s Get Real

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When I knew it was time to get real…

Let’s get fucking real.

Yes, that was aggressive. Because yes, sometimes it has to be.

I’ve spent a long time dealing with shit. Pure shit. So much shit that I wish I had another word for it other than shit, but that’s all it is.

It’s shit.

I’ve been walking through the entirety of my “adult” life with a cloud over my head, showing up as one person on the outside, and living a completely different life on the inside.

What the fuck is that?

I know.

I ask myself that question on the reg. Especially considering I preach authenticity to anyone that will listen while hiding my own truth like it’s a fucking Easter Egg Hunt.

I want to start this journey of a post by saying that the past five years of my life have not been miserable every second. They haven’t been miserable every day. They haven’t even been miserable every week or every month. I’ve had amazing, incredible, life-changing experiences within these years. I’ve met amazing people, learned one million things from many awesome people in my career, and grown, travelled, laughed, and loved with all of the wonderful people in my life — both old and new.

So, I want to make that clear. This is not a pity party, this is not a “I’m miserable and am still miserable and will always be miserable” situation.

This is fucking real.

That’s all.

Because the truth is, I’m tired. I’m tired of writing posts and thinking I’ve reached an answer and then falling back down again. I’m tired of being on a high for two days and then letting the demons come take over again.

I’m tired of hating myself — of not allowing myself to go on dates, to go to the beach, to EAT THE FUCKING DONUT BECAUSE I WANT THE FUCKING DONUT AND NOT BECAUSE I HATE THE FUCKING DONUT.

I’m just really tired.

I turn 27 in 7 months. Now, people preach that age doesn’t matter, to take your time in life, that everyone is on their own path — and I get it. Okay? I get it.

And I believe it. And I live it.

But here’s where I’m not okay with it. Here’s where I have decided it does matter.

I refuse to wake up when I’m 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 45, 53 — any age I have left on the earth — in the same spot I am today.

I just. fucking. refuse.

So let me back up, because some of you, right now, are thinking this:

What is she talking about? She moved to her dream city. She got promoted. She is a successful career woman and has a ton of amazing friends and family.

And you aren’t wrong. And I’m insanely grateful for all of it.

And, in fact, I wouldn’t change a thing.

But here’s what you don’t know (well, some of you do — if you’ve read anything here before).

You don’t know that I, at minimum once a week, have an intense binging episode that leaves me feeling empty, ashamed, depressed, anxious — dead. You don’t know that I write insane strategic life plans with goals for myself at least once a week only to fail at them over and over again. You don’t know that I’ve tried every single diet you could try. You don’t know that I loathe myself on the regular, that, a few times in my life, I haven’t even recognized myself in the mirror. You don’t that I have gotten so low that I have considered not being alive. You don’t know that I went through a phase where I wouldn’t leave the house because I thought I was just. that. gross. You don’t know that I live in a world where all I think about is food, money, career, goals, how much I suck compared to you — scarcity in all things. You don’t know that I did a body building competition in the hopes of gaining my perfect self only to relapse into a year of depression as a result. You don’t know that I fail daily to live balanced and free. You don’t know that I have gone on a total of no more than five dates in the past six years because I simply don’t let myself. Because I’m simply scared. You don’t know that I, no matter how vulnerable you may find me here, no matter how much I share and no matter how many friends I have, am often, deeply lonely and absolutely fucking terrified to let someone actually, truly, in.

I’m high performing.

My resume is legit, social media on point, and I have my shit together.

But that’s the thing about the human condition. We all pretend everything is fine, when sometimes, we’re hurting. Sometimes we’re hurting so bad that we don’t know what else to do except pretend we’re okay because what if we’re actually not okay and what if this is real and what if I’m a terrible, judgy person and what if what if what if?

So here’s the thing.

I’m really tired of being fine. I’m really tired of the stupid fucking brand I set up for myself as being this badass/wears black/drinks black coffee because she has no soul/never needs a man because she’s on a mission girl. I’m really tired of being miss independent “who has no emotions and never cries.”

Because… you want to know why I never cry? It’s because I EAT MY FEELINGS INSTEAD (you’re allowed to laugh here, like actually please do).

I also buy my feelings, strategize my feelings, and social media/dopamine hit my feelings but we can talk about that another day (omg hi I’m super stable, date me?).

So I’m tired.

Because today, like any other day, I sat down and started writing out my goals. “Get back into dance,” I wrote. “Keep up workout plan,” I penned. “Save X amount,” I jotted down.

And then I realized that this was probably the 1,645,987th time I had done this in the past six years.

And then I realized that that was fucking bullshit and that that made no fucking sense.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Why I continuously think my same ways of doing things to “get better” will work I don’t know. I’m the literal walking version of insanity if you really think about it. And all of us are, in some way or another.

We bitch about not having money, yet we go out for another dinner with wine. We bitch about losing weight yet we refuse to go move our bodies. We bitch about XYZ and continue to feed XYZ rather than change it.

I guess I just don’t get it. And I guess, I finally am completely and one hundred percent OVER doing this to myself time and time again.

Because I refuse to wake up in my mid thirties or forties or late twenties or any time ever and wonder where my years went. I refuse to wake up saying, “man, I’ll buy those jeans once I hit my goal size” one more god damn day of my life. I refuse to wake up in twenty years being the fun aunt and wondering, “why am I single?” when the reason I’m fucking single is BECAUSE I FUCKING SAID NO TO EVERY DATE EVER (but really though like I may have already shut down my soulmate — the world will never know).

I refuse to wake up wondering who I am or what my identity is or anything else because the truth is that none of it even matters.

It doesn’t matter what your business card says or what you’re an expert in or what pant size you are.

 

It matters that you take control, today, of yourself and your life so that you can finally, maybe, sort of, be happy just the way you are.

It matters that you let go of whatever is holding you back and you listen to the little voice inside of your head that is telling you that you need to fix what’s going on — that there is a better way for you to live.

Because the voice is right. There is a better way. And it’s not going to happen today, tomorrow, or even next week. You’ll fail and you’ll do stupid shit and you’ll regret and you’ll cry and you’ll bleed and you’ll GET BACK UP AGAIN.

That’s what matters.

Things happen to us and we don’t know why. We spiral out of control and don’t wake up until we’re down the slide. We do things we never thought we would and we wonder if we’ll ever get out of the state we’re in — if we’ll ever come back from the person we’ve become.

And I don’t know why. I don’t know why this happens and I don’t know why it continues.

But I do know this.

I know the universe will teach you the lesson you need to learn over and over and over again until you get it. It will come at you with harder lessons each and every time you forget to listen.

And I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want to be punished anymore.

I just want to live.

So I’m done with this shit. I’m cleaning up this shit. I’m sending this shit back to where it came from.

And yeah yeah yeah, I’m grateful I went through all of this because I can now relate/help/talk to others and one day I’ll realize how strong I am and all of that good shit that comes from overcoming this kind of bad shit. But just because I am grateful, doesn’t mean it deserves a spot at my table.

It’s time for it to fucking. go.

Because I am worth it. You are worth it. We’re all fucking worth it.

I don’t intend to continue living my life like this. I don’t intend to waste everything I could give, of wasting my chance of showing up in the world fully because I couldn’t get off my high horse and ask for help or take this seriously and etc etc etc.

I’ve received lot of wake up calls, but this time, I’m picking up the phone.

This time, I’m saying, “hello” and this time, I’m listening to what the universe has to say.

Because this time, god dammit I fucking hope that this time, I step into the ring, and this time, I hope I win.

Afraid to Fall

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When I failed in my recovery…

I was scared.

I was so scared. Scared that it wouldn’t fix me. Scared that I was unfixable.

Scared that I would fall.

I did it anyway.

I recently took a big step. A step toward facing my problems, healing my heart and soul — changing my deeply rooted habits. And taking the step felt like change. It felt like “better.”

A lot of days, it still does.

In fact, upon starting, I went longer than I had in five years without reverting to old habits — self-destructive tendencies.

I was on cloud nine. This was it.

I was better.

But I wasn’t.

Because then I did it.

For a multitude of reasons that I won’t discuss here, I fell back. Back into old habits, old thought patterns — old destructions.

And that’s when it hit me.

My biggest fear — what I had been most scared of — it had come true.

That my work toward getting “better” wouldn’t save me. That I’d still have bad days.

For a minute, I was more afraid and terrified than I had been in my entire life.

This wasn’t going to work. This was what life was going to be like.

But then I realized something.

I was still here. The lights were still on. Work still started tomorrow.

A new day, minute — second was still in front of me.

I was still here.

And life was going to go on.

I realized that life isn’t a straight path of perfectly placed steps. It’s windy, there are hills, sometimes you stray so far you can’t find your way back — yet somehow, you always do.

I realized that you fall. I realized that you fall, but all that matters is that you get back up. I realized that sometimes you fall more than others, sometimes you stay down longer, and then, sometimes, you find yourself falling less and less.

Until one day, you find your balance.

Until one day, you stop being so afraid and you start to see your path.

I’ve been falling less and less lately, and at this point, I think that’s all I can ask for.

At this point, I know to not beat myself up when I fall, because I know that I’d rather help myself back up.

At this point, I’m going to focus not on not falling — but on maybe, just maybe, falling less and less.

Because falling isn’t scary.

Falling is scraping your knee after falling off your bike but getting back on anyway. Falling is striking out on a business deal you took a chance on but continuing to become a successful career person anyway. Falling is getting rejected from a dream school but applying to more anyway. Falling is getting ghosted from a job but continuing to build your resume anyway.

Falling is perseverance. Falling is building a life. Falling is experiencing.

Falling is living.

So maybe I’m not scared to fall anymore. Maybe it doesn’t make me less than or a mistake.

Maybe it makes me human.

Maybe it means I have amazing places to go.

Because each time you get back up you get stronger. Each time you get back up you say “no” to your demons until they can’t push you down anymore.

Each time you get back up you see a new side of life you had never seen before.

So get back up.

Fall less and less.

Don’t get discouraged.

Keep on striving for better and taking chances on the unknown — chances on what could be on the other side of the hill if you just, get, back, up.

And, the most important thing I can say to you, is don’t be afraid to fall.

The Reason

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The reason I’m pushing through recovery…

 

 

I opened my notebook. The first page was an attempted journal session in which I was going to try to realize my life’s purpose. The second, an eight week diet plan. The third, a detailed meal plan outlining the only meals I presumably was allowed to eat from that day on.

That was two months ago. I have recently entered myself into a program based on intuitive eating and mental health. Something that, I hope will bring me at least one more step closer to freedom. Something that, I hope will stop allowing those diet and life plans to fill up any more pages of my journal and life.

I’ll give you the details later, but know that it is a big commitment — in more ways than one.

It took me five years to finally realize I needed this — to take this step.

And I want to tell you why.

Why I finally said “yes” to myself.

When I first started the program, I was asked “why?”

Why is this so important to you? What will it cost you to not do it?

Everything.

It will cost me everything.

Upon being asked this question, the truth spilled out of me.

I have to do it for you.

For me.

For people.

The most important thing in my life, is and always will be — people.

My family, friends — people I get the chance to meet. My life’s goal, truly, is to create cool stuff to make the world better and to help others on their paths.

But, how can I truly, authentically help others if I don’t first help myself?

I can’t.

At least not at the level I want to.

The level of walking your talk and speaking through a voice a commitment, perseverance, and total truth.

I want to do it for my readers, for any future readers, for my little sister and brother who deserve an even better role model than what I’ve been able to give them, for my mom and dad so that they can rest easy knowing that I am OK — I am happy. For my friends that I want to lift up more each day. For the people that have been there for me at my worst, who truly, truly deserve me at my best. For the people I have yet to meet.

For my future family, friends, acquaintances, or loves.

For me.

Because, even though my life is great, I know there’s better. And this time, I don’t mean a city, job, car, or calling — I mean a better way of thinking, feeling — experiencing life. Of stopping negative mindsets and flourishing in the light. Of loving myself instead of shaming myself. Of realizing I have enough instead of constantly thinking my time is up.

I know there’s a better way.

And I know I deserve it.

The day after I came to this realization, I was asked to be a bridesmaid in one of my best childhood (and adulthood) friend’s weddings. In her note, she told me that my support for her and those around me is what she cherishes the most.

All I could think about, aside from being extremely  humbled, blessed, and happy for my friend — was how much more I could give should I free myself from my own constraints.

Should I step out of my own way.

Because for the entirety of my twenties, I have put up construction on my path.

I have, for reasons unbeknownst to me (though fear of failing to be perfect rings a bell), been dead set on not letting myself reach my full potential and happiness.

I’ve put up roadblock after roadblock, orange cone after orange cone, all to delay myself from arriving. Arriving to a place of contentment and peace.

Of loving myself and those around me. Of removing vanity from my life. Of taking control of what is rightfully mine.

A good life.

A happy life.

A life I deserve to live.

So I’m working, slowly but surely, on removing the cones from my path. Of finishing up my construction and, eventually, arriving to a place I don’t know yet.

Dream

The past few months, I lost a piece of myself.

Not in a huge way. Not in a life-stopping way. Not in a “I’m a shell of a human way.”

In a way I thought was actually positive. In a way that, in some ways, was.

Before moving to Boston I was a dreamer. I dreamed of my own businesses and books and podcasts and speaking engagements and events and insert any other thing you can think of here.

NYC was it. Boston was it. Fame was it. My dreams were it.

Moving taught me something different.

Moving taught me that sometimes the greatest dreams were the ones you had already achieved. It taught me that the grass isn’t always greener and that sometimes what you always had was what you had always needed.

It taught me that big dreams are great — important — but big dreams need to be rooted in the right reasons.

Why do you want something?

Sometimes the answer to this question isn’t what they say it should be. Sometimes it is about money, fame, looks, “likes,” or recognition — and sometimes that’s okay.

But sometimes these reasons won’t bring you the real thing you’re searching for, which, I’m assuming, is something along the lines of meaning, fulfillment, love, and belonging.

Having come to learn the lesson of reasoning behind dreams and gratitude upon my move, I found out some pretty tough stuff about myself.

I had wanted my dreams to come to fruition for the following (and I do not exaggerate): an Instagram bio, a pant size, a photo with a cute-ass caption, an interview at a conference where everyone knew my name.

I didn’t want it for the east coast shoreline, the adrenaline of working in a fast-paced environment, the lesson that it doesn’t matter what you look like in order to make it — I didn’t want it to give back to my friends, my family — people I had yet to meet.

And this was tough to face.

I didn’t like myself for this. I tried to change this. I thought long and hard about this.

And along this journey, I decided that none of it was for me.

I decided that I didn’t care where I lived, what my title was, if I ever wrote again. I decided that the entrepreneurial lifestyle wasn’t for me — that it was too hard, brought up too many sources of temptation for the life I needed to live.

Because I couldn’t be around it if it brought out the worst motives in me.

But that’s not true.

Because you see when I said goodbye to the need for good looks and good fortune, I also turned my back on a large part of what makes me, me.

My dreams.

My creativity. My ability to be inspired. My love for encouraging others.

Me.

I’m a dreamer.

And I always will be.

Being a dreamer yet still being grateful can be the same thing.

I lost some of myself for awhile. I lost my ability to write — my ability to think big. I forgot what dreaming was. And I see now that I needed to lose it in order to find it again. I needed to realize that the power of my own entrepreneurial (insane) spirit could become a negative thing for me if I didn’t learn the importance of staying grounded.

I forgot what dreaming was, so that I could learn it all over again.

So that it could live in my life, without becoming my life.

So what is it?

It’s not suffocating myself as I push my creativity to the background. It’s not needing to change the world. It’s not needing the perfect apartment or clothes. It’s not needing the Instagram following.

It’s being creative. It’s acting on inspiration. It’s wanting to change or help just one person. It’s letting it go if you have a day, week — month with no progress or no desire to create. It’s quitting a project and starting back up again.

It’s being alive.

It’s balance between dreaming and living. Between looking ahead, in the now, and, only with gratitude, back.

It’s living life how you want to live it, simply because you can.

Simply because that’s the way it was meant to be lived.