I Don’t Know

“I don’t know.”

The three words we all think, say, and feel. The three words that everyone feels at some point in their lives. The three words that we don’t like to admit we need to say.

We all get a little lost sometimes. We all are a little confused about what we want. We all don’t really know anything at all.

All of us.

We often get lost in the comparison of others.

“She has it so together. I wish I knew what I wanted like you. You are so determined and confident, I want to be like that.”

What we forget, is that everyone is confused.

Everyone has gone through phases in their life where they simply don’t know what’s next, what they’re doing, or where they’re going.

We all have exteriors that tell the world one thing, but we also all have interiors that most of the world will never see. We’re all human. We all fail, we all make mistakes, we all get lost.

And that’s a good thing, because it is when we come out of being lost that we learn the most important lessons of life, it is when we find what we are looking for that we begin to understand who we are to the deepest extent.

It’s easy to look at others talents and accomplishments and lose sight of our own. We forget everything we have done, everything we have the potential to do. We forget that everything we bring to the world matters just as much as the next person.

Sometimes, we think that we need to go find ourselves. And sometimes, we do. Traveling is one way to do this, letting go of everything you once knew, of your image and how you portray yourself to the world. Stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new place with new people and new experiences.

While this way is commendable, while I hope to be able to do this one day, I also want to point out another way – one that I have recently tried, one that I have recently seen do wonders.

That is the practice of perseverance and patience. Of, rather than making a drastic change in your life to find what you are looking for, waiting it out and getting through the hard times. By continuing your life as it is, by forcing yourself to believe that it will all work out, and by practicing gratitude for where you are now – you are shaping yourself into the person you are meant to become.

Because once the hard times are over, when you wake up one morning and realize that everything in your life has happened for a reason, that is when you will find what you’re looking for.

There’s something to be said for persevering through the rough patches and coming out on the other side. It doesn’t always require a big change or event. Sometimes it requires a new mindset, an ability to look back on the hard times and say, “I got through that on my own. I realized my problems on my own. I fixed them on my own.”

Your Talent

There are so many things going on in the world. Problems that need solutions, questions that need answers, equations that need solving, people that need help.

There are so many important issues, growing more and more apparent today.

Often, it feels overwhelming.

Often, we feel helpless.

That’s normal.

How can we help? How can we change the world?

We get bogged down by the every day, unable to see why what we’re doing matters at all.

We might not have the means to get on a plane and physically help. We might not have the time in between paying the bills to do what we feel is our part to help.

We might not know what to do.

While I fully support and advocate getting involved in different issues and helping wherever possible, while I greatly admire those that dedicate so much of their life and time to helping others on a global scale, I am here to propose something else..

Something, maybe, for you.

We all have talents. We all have something to bring to the world. Whether it’s a beautiful voice, an ability to put pen to paper to inform, a loving smile, an ability to lift up others, or an ability to understand and practice medicine — we all have things that matter.

Never forget that.

It matters. You matter.

No, my blog doesn’t directly help people less fortunate than I. No, dancing doesn’t directly end world hunger. No, the fact that I said hello and smiled at the barista this morning didn’t signify the beginning of world peace.

But my writing reaches some people. My dancing touches some people. My kindness helps some people.

And that matters.

Your talents matter.

So use them. Show them. Don’t worry about what other people think of them.

The world deserves to see your talent. The world needs more raw talent. The world needs more people practicing their passions, following their dreams, and exuding a happy life.

The world needs more contagious happiness. The world needs the positive to combat the negative.

The world deserves to see what you can do. You deserve to see what you can do. Don’t rob yourself of that. Don’t rob yourself of your potential. Fill your potential, live up to your potential, push past your potential.

Don’t rob the world of your talent, because right now, the world might need it even more than you do.

 

2016

Although hungover days generally lack clarity and often cause me to postpone my to-do lists, they are also some of my favorite.

Why?

Because I typically spend them re-evaluating my life. You know — what I want, what I don’t want, how I can be better (than my decisions the night before).

So, here we are.

And, with the new year coming up, it seems like the perfect time (my inner nerd is happy, actually I guess it’s not really inner but whatever).

So let’s talk about new years resolutions and 2016.

Here are my tips for your goals, and mostly my advice for myself.

Balance.

That is what life is about. And that is what I plan on making 2016 about. I have a tendency to make extreme goals that generally end in self-sabotage and a massive backfire (for example, “wasn’t going to drink alcohol or go out all of December,” goes out last night and loses phone).

The lesson here is to set yourself up for success.

Don’t make goals that go against things you enjoy, your way of life, or that you know are going to be too much.

Make realistic goals, and give yourself leeway if you fail a couple of times. This is so important.

Next, incorporate gratitude.

If you don’t already, you need to make going through the things you are grateful for a daily thing.

Not only does practicing gratitude make you happier, healthier, and a better person all around — it is also the foundation needed to attain what you want. And I believe that whole-heartedly.

Think about it.

Want to eat healthier? Realize how amazing food is. Realize how lucky you are to have the resources needed to make healthy choices. Realize how awesome the vegetables are that THE EARTH IS ABLE TO GROW. Guys, this is cool.

Want to read more? Realize how grateful you are to even have that option… like you’re reading a code that people use to communicate that was invented hundreds of years ago that is typed up with a machine and printed on paper from a tree, do you understand how cool that is? And THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH THERE IS TO LEARN. It’s awesome.

I guess my main points are balance and gratitude. Set yourself up for success and be grateful that you are here to be able to do that. This is the formula for success and this is what will make 2016 not just another year, but THE year you actually did what you wanted.

My goals? Eat healthy, practice fitness, read/dance/write more, snowboard more, practice my passions, be grateful, and create a balanced life. Oh, and save money. After I get a new phone of course…

 

 

*Oh, also tell people you love them. That never gets old.

The wow moment


The wow moment.

The moment when you realize why everything in your life has gone the way that it has.

The moment when you realize that every step you took meant something. The moment when you realize that everything you had been questioning, was actually the answer. The moment when you realize that your regrets were actually your biggest allies.

The moment when you realize that the hardship and the constant internal struggle was exactly what you had needed all along. That persevering through it all was the exact thing that would eventually make your dreams come true.

The moment when you realize that the nights full of tears were what led you to the days full of butterflies for nothing but that moment, nothing but the possibility of that day.

The wow moment.

We all have an ideal life. We can all picture our dreams coming true.

Whether it’s money, your own business, traveling the world – we all have an image of the “perfect” life. Of the one we wished we were already living – of the one we hope is somewhere out there waiting for us.

Often, we feel rushed to get there.

“I want to live that life now. I want an apartment in the city now. I want to fall in love now. I want to be my own boss now. I want to experience other cultures now.”

This sense of urgency is, to an extent, okay.

We realize that we only live once. We realize that every day could be our last. We realize that we don’t want to live a life of regret.

And that is a good thing.

Yet, the problem many of us face, is that this sense of urgency often turns into our entire lives.

We plan, we dream, we yearn for something else.

We forget that what we are doing today, matters, too. Even, matters more.

We forget that our dreams don’t need to happen today or tomorrow. We forget that they will come in time. We forget that if all we do is dream of the future, we will miss out on the beauty of today.

We simply forget.

We go through the motions. Work, clean, cook. We wonder when our lives will turn into what we know they can be. We become monotonous, stuck inside a world we feel we don’t belong.

We are confused about how we got there.

And so, we review it in our heads. We think of what we could have done differently. We think of everything we could be doing instead.

We fall into a routine. A routine of confusion, self-pity, and repetition.

But then one day, we take a step back. And instead of thinking about what we could have done, instead of thinking of what we could be doing today – we think about what we have done, we think about what we are doing.

We switch our perspective.

And with this switch of perspective, we realize, we are exactly where we need to be. We realize that where we are and what we’re doing, is exactly what we need for our dreams to eventually come true.

We realize that through every learning experience, every confusing event, every decision we ever made – we have become who we are today. We have set ourselves up for the life we dream of.

And when we switch our perspective, we see that often, the life we dream of is not even that far away.

Time.

We need to remember that while we could be gone tomorrow, we must only focus on today. We must only focus on our small progress, our daily accomplishments, our goals.

We must remember that good things come in time, and that even if we cannot see it right now, the future will mend itself.

That we are where we are for a reason. That patience, perseverance, and hard work are the three ingredients to attaining our dreams.

That being grateful in every moment is what will launch us forward into the life we were always meant to live.

The wow moment.

The moment when we realize that life has a plan for us. The moment when we realize that with a little faith and a lot of gratitude, we will soon be living the life of our dreams – that if we just switch are perspective, we can see that we already are.

Dreams take time. And by realizing that having the privilege to work toward them is a dream within itself, you are realizing that every single period in your life is just as amazing as the one when you’ll be sitting on your boat in the middle of a lake, drinking champagne, and reading your published novel (just my dream?).

Switch your perspective – breathe in the wow moment, and keep working toward what you desire – if you do this, the future will always take care of itself.

Image

Image.

We all have one.

How we’re seen by others. How we’d like to be seen by others. How we think we’re seen by others.

We all have an image.

And it’s important.

It’s important to be well-liked, it’s important to maintain a good reputation, it’s important that other people see you relatively close to how you would like to be seen.

But what’s more important, is forgetting it all.

What’s more important, is remembering that how you see others might not be in line with who they actually are as a person.

We get placed into categories by others – the fun girl, the obsessive planner, the cliché blog post writer (hey).

And sometimes, that is all others are able to see.

What’s important, is to remember what it feels like when you are categorized, and therefore catch yourself when you start to categorize others.

What’s important, is to remember that you are not the image everyone sees you as.

Because you are so much more than that.

And regardless of your image to other people, you can be anyone you want to be.

And the only person you should want to be, is yourself.

You can say you drink your coffee black and then go order a latte. You can post twenty photos on Instagram of your apartment and then change it the next day. You can say you want to stay in and then go out until 7am.

You can do whatever you want.

You can be whoever you want.

Don’t let the image people see you as conform you into something you’re not, into something you don’t want to be.

And on that note, be proud of who you are. You like red wine? Great. You like white? That’s great, too. You like the Rolling Stones more than The Beatles? Same here, rock on.

Never be ashamed of who you are, what you’ve done, and where you would like to go.

Create your own image, and don’t worry if it gets construed in the eyes of others.

Because they’re all worried about their image, too.

Forget it all sometimes, and remember that most people don’t know the whole you. And most importantly, remember that the ones that do and the ones that want to – they’re the ones that matter most.

The thing you love

I haven’t been writing much lately, and I think there are some different reasons for that. Life is hard. It changes rapidly, and sometimes it’s just not the way you pictured it.

Sometimes you go through phases even when you know that everything should be fine. Even when you know it’s stupid, self-inflicted, and so small in the scheme of life.

Sometimes, you can’t help it.

Sometimes, you constantly affirm that everything is great. You tell yourself how grateful you are and you look in the mirror only to not recognize yourself. You tell yourself how incredibly amazing life is, yet you feel nothing.

Nothing.

It is one of the weirdest phenomenon’s I have yet to experience. And not one I hope to get too used to.

I haven’t been writing much lately, and I think there are some different reasons for that. But tonight, I decided to force myself to sit down at the keyboard. I decided to force myself back to the one thing that makes me feel the most alive.

And so, two minutes and 8 paragraphs later, I feel the best I have felt in awhile.

The most alive, the most myself.

Sometimes you need to force yourself to do the things you know you love, even if you don’t “feel” like it. Even if you think you don’t want to.

Even if you’re lacking inspiration, the thing you love will save you—it will save you every time.

 

I Don’t Know Anything

I won’t sit here and claim that I know the ins and outs of what’s going on in the world right now.

I won’t sit here and claim that I even have a clear understanding.

I won’t sit here behind my computer and claim that I know anything.

Because I don’t.

What I will claim, is what I have observed.

I have observed tragedy. I have observed hate. I have observed a scary, terrifying time.

And in the wake of this, I have observed people coming together in support of those affected. I have observed people from different walks of life joining for the greater good.

In the midst of the most inhumane acts I have seen in some time, I have also witnessed a brave humanity.

And that is moving.

Unfortunately, I have seen something else, something that, frankly, upsets me.

What upsets me, is how we’re handling it—mainly on social media. The uninformed tweets. The sharing of far from credible content. The close-minded opinions and stereotypes. The attempts to fight over a Facebook status about the truth in the matter, about who is to blame.

The reactions I see to other people’s reactions. “Why you shouldn’t change your profile picture, why you should only pray for (insert group here).”

The attempts to create another, new issue from one that is already so horrific, one that doesn’t need anything else in addition.

Because, none of us know, to the core of the matter, what is truly going on. None of us can fathom the inhumane acts and the tragedy.

What I don’t understand, is while we see the world being torn apart with every headline, we too sit here and tear each other apart with how we “should” be reacting.

The last thing we should be doing is arguing about where to point our fingers, the first thing we should be doing is figuring out how to help the good.

We are all people. We are all in this together. We are not to be grouped into one stereotype, we are not to be blamed for things out of our control.

I can’t wrap my head around current events. I can’t believe the ignorance I see. I can’t believe the cruelty I hear.

What I can do, is read. What I can do, is educate myself on the matter as much as I possibly can. What I can do, is share informing content as I see fit. What I can do, is pray. What I can do, is get involved in relief efforts. What I can do, is practice gratitude. What I can do, is send my heart to those in need.

What I can do, is notice the brave humanity of those joining together in support amidst these inhumane events—notice the good.

What I can do, is pray for humanity. Pray for a better time. Pray for the greater good.

For now, that is what I can do. For now, that is what we all should do.

 

 

 

 

The easier option

There will always be an easier option.

There will always be a way out.

It would be much easier to stay home as per usual and not go out on that potentially awkward date. It would be much easier to go home after work again rather than stay and attend your workout. It would be much easier to not put in the effort needed to make your different goals come to light. It would be much easier to press snooze.

It would be much easier to make an excuse.

There will always be an easier option, a way out – an excuse.

Excuses are plentiful, you just have to pick one. And often, we talk ourselves into them – well I really was tired. Well I really did need sleep. Well I really deserve to spend money on myself.

But were you? Did you? Do you?

I can tell you, that as painful as some obligations and steps toward your goals may be – there is nothing more painful than waking up one day and realizing that you let them slip away.

No excuse is worth that feeling. No minute of convenience is worth that feeling.

I refuse to live like that.

I refuse to wake up one day realizing that each little excuse led me into a life unrecognizable by me. A life I didn’t want, a life I could have avoided.

Changing habits is hard. No surprise there.

It’s hard sometimes. But what’s harder, is letting your dreams die away in your perceived need for immediate convenience.

Because the truth is, you don’t need it.

Goals are hard to reach. Dreams take years to attain.

But that’s what makes them worth it.

And it’s hard sometimes. It’s really hard sometimes.

But that’s okay, because each day, you can go to bed prouder than the day before, because even if you aren’t there yet – you’re honoring yourself, you’re making strides.

And on the days and the split seconds that you don’t feel like it, that you’re tired, and that you feel like taking a break, those are the days that you must stick to what you believe in. Those are the days you must remember why you started.

If you really want something, you have to make sacrifices in your day-to-day convenience. And if you really want something, you will.

There will always be an easier option in the short-term – choose not to take it.

Why?

What do you want to do?

How many times have you heard that question?

A lot. The answer is a lot.

I have answered this so many times, and I have given so many different answers.

Ballerina, ice cream shop owner (no idea), sea otter rescuer, marine biologist, writer, author, blogger, teacher, professor, account executive, CEO, choreographer, fashion designer, business consultant.

You get it.

While I think this question is important, while I believe it helps show us the possibility in the world and teaches us to dream, I also wish that we were asked another question just as often—if not more.

Why do you want to do it?

So often we get caught up in titles, choosing a major, searching for our “dream job” that often doesn’t exist.

I am someone that struggles with this often.

What am I here to do? What am I meant to do?

Maybe, I’m not meant to do anything.

In a technical sense.

I don’t believe that there is one occupation for me. I don’t believe that there is one accomplishment or one title I need to find and attain in order to live a fulfilling life.

Why do you want to do it?

I wish I had been asked this more often.

Do you want to help the environment? Animals? People? Do you want to be active? Outside?

Why do you want to do it?

I recently took some time to figure out my “why” in life. And for someone that constantly wants to accomplish more, this has made all the difference.

It has given me peace.

Peace within myself that I might not attain every title or milestone in my career, peace that there might not be one dream job out there for me.

Peace that no matter what I do, I’ll be living my “why” each day. That I’ll do what I was brought here to do.

And my “why,” well it was what I had been doing all along. It was what brought me harmony and happiness each day.

When I stepped away from the question of what I do I want to do, I was able to see what I was already doing—what I was already living.

I was able to realize that if I lived my “why” each day, it didn’t really matter exactly what was printed on my business card.

It gave me peace that my life won’t be wasted. That it matters.

And yours does too.

I encourage you to do this. To not worry so much about the perfect job or the perfect setting, because if you find your “why” and you honor it—it will probably come to you.

So why do you want to do it?

Someone will always be better

Awards, degrees, titles, accomplishments.

I had someone reach out to me today about their own.

Do I have enough? Am I doing enough?

Am I enough?

These questions spoke to something all too familiar to me, something that I experienced pretty heavily for the second half of my collegiate career, and something that I still experience every once and awhile today.

Competition is fierce.

People are out there working hard, making moves, winning awards. People are gunning for your dream job and accomplishing great things.

That is true.

But what’s important to remember, is that although competition should be a motivator, it should not be a stressor – a deciding factor.

Why?

Because someone will always be better.

I will never be the best runner in the world but I still run. I will never be the best writer in the world but I still write. I will never be the best marketer in the world but I’m still a marketer.

I will never be a Harvard graduate, I will never be a neuroscientist.

Don’t let the accomplishments of others discourage you from the possibility of yours.

Yes, someone has more awards than me, but maybe they don’t have as much of a social life. Yes, someone has read more books than me, but maybe they don’t hit the gym every day.

The point is, all aspects of your life deserve attention.

And that requires sacrifice.

Sacrificing aspects of your career, your social life, your health – whatever it is, sacrifice comes into play as you try to be the best at something. And you can’t be the best at everything – and you shouldn’t be.

You are enough.

The reality is that you don’t have an infinite amount of time – none of us do. Decide who you want to be – decide what is important to you, what deserves your time.

Realize that you are enough.

Realize that competition is out there, but that doesn’t discredit everything you have done and everything you will do.

Just because someone got a 97 on their test doesn’t mean your 93 is any less of an accomplishment.

Strive to beat yourself. Be your own competition, but be motivated – inspired by others.

You have to believe that by working hard, being grateful and being a genuinely good person – everything will work out, because somehow, it always does.