Archive for the ‘Growth’ Category

Different Perspectives

01 | 28 | 2017 | Saturday

A few years ago my world shook and I was forced to take a really good look at every facet of my life. Over the past 2 years I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery as marked by several different periods – depression, more depression, bargaining/trying to fix, intense anger, numbing, de-cluttering my environment, food and fitness, diving into my beliefs and feeling empty when I realize there wasn’t much left to stand on, realizing I don’t know what my values are, realizing I have no idea who I am independent of what I’ve been told to be my whole life, and slowly, very very slowly, starting from the very bottom and building up a foundation that I can once again stand on. And at every step, I doubt. I question. I think I’m wrong. I want to believe. I’m desperate to believe.

So that is the back story. And as grim as it might sound (and believe me, it gets really hard sometimes), it has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. I’m very much wading through the messy middle of all of this, but the perspective that I bring with me through this phase of my life is that of discovery, of knowing we all believe different things, and knowing that is ok, and just trying to find a little more common ground and compassion among all the craziness. One day this will be my superpower, but right now it feels like anything but. Starting over isn’t easy; I feel like I’m ten steps behind all the other people who have somehow figured it all out so much faster than I have. But that is the honest truth of where I am, and I’m content with that.

Recently I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding the concepts of what and when to believe, how/when/who to trust, and being wrong. I find myself in the middle of all these opposing ideas and conflicts, and in those moments, my thoughts float to these types of questions. I know it might all sound naive, and in many ways, I am very naive at the moment, but that is the feeling of not being able to trust yourself or anyone around you. It sucks, but I know in the end, I believe it is what is going to lead to my breakthrough.

I am constantly seeking new information, stories and perspectives to help me sort through all these topics. I love gaining a new perspective, hearing an opposing idea that moves me away from a fixed view, or gaining more knowledge around a given subject. The very best part of this whole process is finding different ideas, learning about people, trying on different views, and seeing the world through as many sides as possible.

The Power Of Doubt:

“And we hardly realize the human price we pay when we fail to question one brick, because we fear it might shake our whole foundation.” Everything about this quote resonates with me and made me want to watch immediately. I keep coming back to this one again and again.

On Being Wrong:

“Trusting too much in the feeling of being on the correct side of anything can be very dangerous.”

Every day I asked myself “What if I’m wrong? What if there is something I’m missing? What if I’m not seeing the whole picture? What if, what if, what if.”. I see the importance of constantly checking yourself. I see the value in asking the tough questions, and allowing yourself to at least sit with it as an option. Questioning biases and digging deep enough to examine your truths can be extremely challenging, but also extremely powerful.

I haven’t been able to write in a long time, and I miss it very much. So this is my less-than-perfect attempt at starting this back up. I’ve lost my voice and I’m ready to find it again, even if it isn’t perfect. I’m not ready to share the details of my whole story publicly, but I need to find a way to move through it, and writing has always been that path for me. My hope is that one day this will all make sense (and that one day maybe I’ll make sense of it all for myself).

Currently…

03 | 21 | 2016 | Monday

For the past 16 months I’ve been dealing with some situations that have tested me like never before. I’ve tried keeping it together, I’ve tried acting normal, and drafted about 50 blog posts about how I *really* feel because I couldn’t keep it in quite like I thought I could. Feelings of defeat, anger, blame blah blah blah. Those posts will seemingly never see the light of day, but they helped me realize and work through some particularly hard times.

Over the course of the past year I’ve experienced too many encounters with depression. I’m in head all the time, which is not only hard, but incredibly exhausting. Seriously. Exhausting. It is so hard for me to understand how I feel and ever harder to try to explain it to other people, especially people who have never felt this way (so most of the time I think I’m weird or crazy or that there is something seriously wrong with me). I know my triggers, but I’ve realized it isn’t as much about the situation as it is about where my mind instantly goes when the situation arises.

I have no more mental energy and/or space to do this any longer. I have had just about enough. I know I’m not “fine”. But for the first time I really feel like I know that. I’m not trying to trick myself  and just letting myself feel how I feel. Recognizing all of these real feelings (as opposed to the popular and ever-damaging approach of acting normal and sweeping all the feelings under the rug) has allowed me to come to terms with what I can’t change, and shift that focus on what I can. Me.

TAKING BREAKS:

freedom

I have found that some of my current relationships are triggers for unwanted feelings. It isn’t that I think anyone is purposely trying to harm me (or honestly that I blame any of them whatsoever), but I’ve realized I’m just not strong enough for it. I know that people are doing the best they can, or doing what they think is right, but ultimately, it is pushing me further and further down due to feeling misunderstood, therefore alone, therefore depressed (all my own feelings to control). So I’m taking breaks and taking myself out of those situations for the time being. The block feature on my phone has become my favorite thing. It sounds harsh, but I’m not just blocking people to prove a point or be childish. I just realized that while in this state, it is incredibly important that I block out any potential negativity until I’m strong enough to take that on and deal with it. It is the most incredibly freeing thing I’ve done to date.

READING:

Books

I have been using Audible for a while now but over the past 4 months I’ve been on hyper-drive. This week alone I’ve completed “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” “The Happiness Project” and “Better Than Before”. I’ve discovered the subjects I really enjoy (minimalism, de-cluttering, happiness, meditation, and my current favorite category, forming habits) and have had so much fun diving into all types of books to learn various philosophies and process a ton of different ideas. “Why We Get Fat” and a whole bunch of health-related books are next on the list. (I’m excited to clean up my health a bit. I know that will help a ton too).

These books have helped me more than I could ever express. My entire outlook changes daily as I discover and try the various methods, then adapt the pieces I like to my daily routine. It has been amazing.

CANDLES:

candlesSources: Copper Candle, Capri Candle, Print Candle

I realize this seems like the most bizarre happiness provoking item, but it is my current number one! I’ve received a bajillion candles as gifts over the years, and I never understood the appeal of them. A few weeks ago I decided to light one and let me just say, I instantly fell in love. I light my little collection of candles first thing every morning to get my day started on the right foot. It feels like such a luxury. Who knew that such a simple jar could make you feel so good.

DE-CLUTTERING:

tidying

After reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” I’ve been obsessed. I’ve always de-cluttered as a way to cope with stress, but this book took that up a notch. It also helped to occupy my time and occupy my mental energy enough to get out of a few funks (incredibly helpful during some of my darker months).

Along with the stuff, I’ve let go of those feelings and desires that my home has to be something out of a magazine with a bunch of props and baskets with throw pillows in them. I appreciate the style, don’t get my wrong, but I don’t want a house that can’t be lived in. For years I tried to create that perfect house with the right amount of styled vignettes, and this book single-handedly changed everything for me. I understand myself and the type of environment I thrive in perfectly now.

WORK:

work

For the first half of my off-season (November-January) I was burnt-out, questioning myself, and honestly went through a period of just wanting to quit all together. I didn’t hate it, I just wanted some time off. Some time to process and deal with everything after an incredibly long year. Turns out all that did was leave me alone with my thoughts long enough to become incredibly angry all the time. In February I started having to work more and had my first wedding of the season a couple weeks ago. Turns out the thing I was missing all along was work! I need to be creative, to be busy, to be working with people, to be doing something to get out of my own head. I absolutely love what I do and I was letting everything get in the way and bring it down.

One thing I did realize is that I need a bit more “balance”. For the past few years I’ve been an “all work” kind of person, and that isn’t sustainable. But giving up all together was the wrong solution to the problem. My new focus is balance. That will allow me to do more of what I love without getting so burnt out. Luckily wedding season has started back up and I’ve never been so excited to get started.

IN CONCLUSION:

I’m a couple weeks in, and I feel the change. I have no idea if anyone sees it, but I don’t care. I feel it. And I’ve waited a long time to feel this way again. I know things are fragile and I have to build up my tolerance and ability to deal with all the things I can’t change, but I’m ok. I’m doing better. And for now, that is enough.

Camping in Big Sur

10 | 8 | 2013 | Tuesday

big-sur-camping-tent

Impromptu Camping? Yes please. One Saturday morning the husband and I decided to do a little something fun, so we packed up, headed down the coast to Big Sur, and hoped would find a campsite to accomodate us.

We pitched a tent, unpacked the supplies and went exploring. Well, not quite exploring, but we did take a dip in the Big Sur River and hang out at the camp site.

We went to Nepenthe, one of his favorite dinner spots in Big Sur for dinner. We went on the weekend of Super Moon…..the largest full moon of the year, which was a happy coincidence!

big-sur-nepenthe

nepenthe-big-sur

big-sur-camping

The next morning we packed up and headed to Pfeiffer Beach. The two mile road to the beach was beautiful with tons of old houses and cool mountain scenery. big-sur-exploring-1 big-sur-exploring

The beach is fairly small tucked between mountains and huge rock formations. It makes for some great photography, but not so fun to spend hours walking around. A picnic would have been a nice addition, but we still had fun watching people climb the rock and watching the huge waves rush in. pfeiffer-beach pfieffer-beach-big-sur pfieffer-big-sur pfieffer

Definitely looking forward to more impromptu camping trips along with maybe a few planned ones where we invite a few friends. We are pretty darn lucky to live a few short hours from places like this. I should remind myself of that everytime I pay ridiculous amounts in rent each month….right?!

Photography: Ian Silber