Show up to life everyday

It’s Wednesday, the middle of the work week and you just don’t care anymore. Or it’s Monday – the rest of the world is groaning so why bother putting in an effort. Maybe you just worked 13 days straight on your feet and finally, it’s a random Thursday you have off and you’re going to do nothing.

All of us have a blah day now and then, call it a “lazy day”. It’s a day to recharge your batteries. But are you really getting the most of it from lying around? When I’m working for days on end with no sleep all I long for on my next day off is sleep, relaxation, and recovery.. until next time. But when I get there and I do just that (nothing), I find myself even more depressed by the time I have to go back to the ol’ grind. Maybe it’s that I didn’t get enough rest. But week after week of this cycle of nothing but work/rest/work/rest I find myself more exhausted and admittedly more depressed than ever.

It’s important to take advantage of the free time you have and if you don’t like your job, do the things that make you happy during this time. Remember when you used to love painting? Buy some paints and start back at it! But what about the money, you say? It’s money well spent. If you can’t spend at least some of your earnings on something you love to do without remorse, then why bother working so hard? Get out and hike, read a good book. Do the things that inspire you. Do the things that nurture your soul and inspire the growth of your spirit.

Another point I want to make is to get up EVERY DAY. Every. single. day. Okay, take a break and sleep in now and again, but for the most part make a routine. Sleeping in everyday, bumming around the house in pjs everyday was the epitome of a school holiday for me in high school. And that’s all fine and dandy. But now, days spent like that feel like such a waste. As I grow older time seems to fly by faster and faster everyday, and I’m only 24! Waking up at noon is so depressing. Half the day is gone!

Make a routine for yourself to follow (at least loosely) everyday. Say you wake up at 6am, on average everyday for work. On your days off decide to be getting out of bed by 8am. make a nice breakfast, go for a run, read, or do whatever will wake your mind up with ease and minimal stress. Take a shower, and get dressed. Always get dressed. Do what you have to do to be you every single day. Be ready for anything the day may throw at you. You may even be more inspired to take another step towards a goal, or finish another piece of that project.

If you’re anything like me and an ever-changing, inconsistent work schedule seems to control your life, don’t let it. I feel like this is one of the hardest obstacles in my life to work around to curb anxiety and stress and take back control in my life. We all have to work to live, but not the other way around. I try to wake up by 9am everyday and get to bed around 11pm. Finding a consistent sleep schedule is the key to finding your energy.

And even if it is just another work day and the monotony has set in, still show up. When you wake up all you may see through your blinders is the light at the end of the tunnel; that next day off. Perhaps try a different approach. It’s always hard, especially if you’re waking up before the sun, but try thinking about it differently. Put in the effort to look your best and have the confidence that maybe something good will happen today, despite your impending doom.

So don’t forget to wake up everyday. Get dressed. Look good and feel good. Life will be brighter and motivation will follow. I promise.

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Catching-up and finding balance

Well, it’s been a few months since this domain has seen a blog post, and today I felt like clearing some of the cobwebs..

It’s been a busy past few months, and writing here has honestly just been pushed to the back burner. The whole month of November was spent studying for the LSAT and completing applications for school. December was consumed by my trip to Italy and with the holidays, and all the while in-between I’ve been working non-stop as a barista.

Though I’m trying to get away from scrolling and sitting in front of screens, I managed to keep up on some social media some – earlier this month I finished bringing my Instagram followers and Facebook friends on a day-by-day photo adventure of my Italy trip. It truly was an amazing experience that I never thought I’d have. So much oldness, coldness, and awe inspiring sights.

But lately, and not just for the new year, I have been working on making some changes in my life to become, healthier, happier, stronger, and all around a better version of myself. I suppose you could say I started all of this on my new year, on my birthday early November. The stress of work, applying to school/LSAT, travel, and the holidays made it hard for me to find balance. Keeping up with anything extra just seemed to make more stress. I’m learning and working on how to balance my life and still have time for the things I enjoy. For a while I’ve been someone that puts too much on my plate – there are so many things I enjoy, or feel I need to do but in reality I find myself more stressed than ever once I pile on the list of activities.

One thing that took up more of my plate than I would have liked was work. As a barista work is stressful, and in any job there is such a thing as too much work. I have always worked my scheduled time a week and covered any and all shifts of others. Sometimes I feel like all I do anymore is work and sleep and have no social life. Now I’m going to work on backing off a bit, working as scheduled, so that I can focus on my goals – trying to find that work/life balance. Commitment to work is good, and we all need that money, but it’s important to check in with the other areas of your life and make sure work isn’t consuming too much time.

I’m also working on leading an all-around healthier lifestyle. I’ve realized that my diet all along has been basically vegetarian/pescatarian (with some meat on occasion). So, I’m going to eat like a true pescatarian and make better choices keeping in mind the nutrients am getting/ not getting and making changes to my diet as needed. I also want to try to eat as few simple sugars as possible – just eliminating a lot of that processed, addictive junk-food. As far as fitness is concerned, I’ve done yoga and pilates in the past but now I’m getting back into the practice; and more so than ever before! I’m doing yoga almost everyday now and I’ve never felt better (it helps with stress management so much too). When spring rolls around the corner I plan to get my running shoes on!

Stay positive friends! And check in with yourself from time to time and make sure you’re living a balanced and positive life.

 

Decluttering your closet: When not enough clothes is actually too much

We all have those mornings now and then where we look into our closet or dresser drawers and we think ‘I have nothing to wear!’. On the night before an interview, a special event, or while packing for a trip we just don’t seem to have enough to create the perfect outfits. But maybe the real problem is that we have too much to choose from.

Articles of clothing are things that have sucked the money out of my wallet for years. Every season, retailers drop the ‘latest fashions’ and we feel the need and the pressure to buy the clothes as soon as they hit the market. It’s important to be up to date with style right?! Well, unfortunately we’ve all been suckered into the deception that is the fashion industry. Essentially, the styles are the same year to year. Just check out some magazines. Compare and contrast a certain month over the span of a couple decades and it’s easy to see. The only difference is the featuring of an element of fashion that hasn’t been used in a while. i.e. hey – remember the renaissance? Those bell/gypsy sleeves were trendy. Let’s put them on all our tops this season. This isn’t the only example, and it happens cyclically.

The fashion industry’s clever tactics are simply a tool to keep clothing retailers in business. If we only bought clothes when we needed them, these companies wouldn’t be making the billions of dollars they do. They have tricked us into constantly thinking we need new clothes to be happy. But really, we’re wasting money when it could be better spent on life’s great experiences. It’s also messing with our psyche. All this pressure to look awesome all the time, and everything has to be brand new.

When I worked in fashion retail, I had the mindset that I had to always have the latest styles. Always in the fashion environment, I was always buying clothes I didn’t really need. Seeing all the clothes come in everyday I just had to have them. But after a while, it always felt like it was the same thing. The spending died down after a few months, but there was still that constant voice asking me if I was going to buy x or y or z each season – because I had to have it to be in style. All those trendy pieces add up, by the way.

NEWS FLASH: You can still look awesome all the time, without buying a new wardrobe or even those trendy pieces every season!

I looked into my own closet one day and had this realization. I was so frustrated with the fact that I had absolutely nothing to wear. Standing there for a couple minutes, I looked beyond the ‘nothing’ I saw. My clothes were jam packed into my closet. I couldn’t even move my hangers, there were three plastic-drawer bins full of clothes, there was another pile stacked on top, and yet I still had a dresser stuffed with clothing in the middle of my bedroom. I don’t know how I came up with the realization that if I got rid of some stuff it would be easier to decide, but I did. And I couldn’t be happier now. Then, I had way too much to choose from.

I got rid of all the old crop tops from college, those shortie shorts, the things I’ve had for years. How many hoodies and sweatpants does one need? I reduced to just a couple pairs. I tossed my favorite but now faded shirts and the things I onced loved but realistically no longer fit (as a side note, grandma was right – your body takes a different shape and form from teenager to a young woman, and beyond. You might not see it right away, but it’s true). I deleted nearly half of my wardrobe and I never felt better. When I go into my closet now, I can actually breathe.

For some people fashion is a hobby, and buying clothes and mixing outfits is just what they do. It’s a good thing to buy a few things you really like here and there every now and then.  It’s also important to have enough clothes to make it to the next time you do laundry, but if you have a closet the size of a bathroom stuffed to the ceiling, that might be a bit much. And it’s okay to buy clothes when you really need them. If you’ve got a hole in your leggings or a stain on your shirt, go ahead and buy another. Just toss the old stuff away!

If opening your closet and deciding on outfits is something you dread or have anxiety about, maybe it’s time for a purge. I tried everything on before I tossed it. I looked in the mirror and asked myself questions like: “okay, realistically when are you going to ever wear this again?”and “Does this really fit and flatter my body?”. I thanked every article for it’s service and moved on. It’s a process, but there was such a relief once I was done.

Clutter is a sucker of energy.

Aloha

Aloha isn’t just a word; it’s a way of life – the ‘aloha spirit’ as I’ve heard it called before. People find peace, escape, balance and much more through the word. I’ve discovered this myself through a fascination with the Hawaiian/Polynesian culture that I’ve had much of my life. Although I’ve never been to the islands, the culture has still touched my spirit. We always hear about Hawaii as being the happiest US state. Perhaps this is because of the long held cultural beliefs still existent on the island. Maybe this culture and the aloha spirit contribute to a life that is full of love, compassion, and happiness.

The word is used for hellos, goodbyes, and simply to say “I love you”. This is so powerful – that one word can hold the meaning of the most emotional and from-the-heart feelings we express through language. Just a thought.

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Graffiti: urban tales

Graffiti – art or vandalism? A little bit of both? Graffiti is a commonly known form of street art that covers the Earth’s urban jungles. See it on the streets of New York to Los Angeles in the US; Europe, Asia – it’s literally everywhere. It is at first sometimes despised, as it seemingly defaces the structure for which it sits. Looking beyond this, graffiti is fascinating in its appeal to the culture of the area to which it resides.

Graffiti is scattered across the world in various forms: murals, along busy highways, and interrupting words on signs for example. To those with an open mind graffiti is a public form of expression. Admitting, the street art is sometimes obscene, this shows the rebellious nature within humanity in an unsettled society. The frenzied, awry placement is what makes graffiti beautiful. It decorates the otherwise plain Jane structures. The colors included (or not included) create a sense of the vibrancy within their neighborhood’s culture. Graffiti can define a community.

It’s a person’s personal mark on society. It’s a freedom of speech. It leaves a message behind to others who come across it. Sometimes it’s angst and other times it’s an explosion of hope, euphoria or sadness. The cave paintings of prehistory may be considered graffiti. The paintings and etchings on our own walls give hints at our own story that someone years from now will come to discover. Next time you look upon graffiti ask yourself: what do you see?

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Take a moment

A few days ago, swamped with a billion things to do, I looked out the window and took notice at how beautiful it was outside. I realized that there wouldn’t be many more sunny days like this for a long time soon. For, winter is on its way, and this nice weather will cease until spring.

I decided to go outside and enjoy the day while it was here. I had so much to get done, but it could wait, I was overwhelmed with stress anyway and needed a break. All winter long we wait for the hot summer days filled with sunshine. Then the whisper of autumn comes along and all we want is to be cozy. We forget those summer days and nights that we live for.

I stepped outside and took a breath of fresh air. I let the breath out with a sigh of gratitude and closed my eyes as the light breeze carried me away. I took off my socks and wiggled my does in the soft, green grass and clover leaves. Have you ever taken notice to how lovely a feeling that is – to feel free and yet connected with the earth? I find absolute peace in nature. It’s an escape from the chaotic man-made world we have created and a return to our roots. The feeling of the warm sun on my back made me smile as I looked up to the sky. It’s absolutely beautiful – with the ever-changing colors and swirls of clouds; I could be lost for days staring into the vast space.

Take notice of the little things. The things we take for granted. The nature from which we were born and which keeps us alive. Before the stresses of your life reach their limit, step outside and take a second to breakaway. Take the time to breathe the world in. Notice the colors, the sounds, and the feelings. Be thankful these moments, for each one is unique as the world is constantly changing.

A little bit about me

I’m from Upstate New York, however I’ve previously lived in Colorado, and also just a hop-skip away from the Canadian border for a time. Although I sometimes find it terrifying, I love visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. I love our planet and believe in learning to coexist harmoniously with the nature around us. The ocean is my happy place, and I especially love visiting Cape Cod with my family every year. I like to write, dance, and a good slice of pizza from time to time is always nice.

I’m all about the good vibes. I’m an artsy gal, and I believe that we should always be creating, and always dancing. Celebrating our cultures is so important – it’s what brings us together. All of this constitutes my being as I strive for positive community development.

This jumble of thoughts is a little bit about me.