The best part about life is that we are always learning, always growing. Am I right?
How boring would the days be if we never saw another thing that peaked our interests or made us say, "Well hot damn! Who knew?" That's not to say we always learn and experience good things, but in order to keep moving, I believe we must take the good with the bad. If we didn't know hardship, if we didn't know pain, we'd never recognize the truly beautiful aspects of life.
I've called my journey of stepping away from nursing my "year of exploration." Living for me and taking a big leap of faith has been, well, eye opening. I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that six months of 2017 is already behind us. Seriously time, feck off already and slow down! But the days keep passing and with each one, I'm still trying to find my place in this world.
In doing so, I'm letting it all soak in. The good, the bad, the ugly.
So what have I learned? Let's check it out.
1. I'm a bit of a perfectionist (who knew) and that is both a good and bad thing.
In my younger, more immature years, I used to fly by the seat of my pants on just about everything. I was messy, disorganized, but hey, I was having fun. The older I've gotten, I seem to have contracted an annoying bout of perfectionism. Now, in some aspects, it's great. I'm much more tidy and organized, I hate clutter, and I can keep a somewhat well-rounded household. On the other side of the coin, perfectionism comes with it's own annoying traits. I've become ridiculously hard on myself and hold myself to extreme standards. I feel I'm behind on finding my passion in life, and therefore need to give myself an ulcer excelling at it. I love to write. My book, short stories, this blog. I just need to remember that breathing is a necessity, and I'm not always going to get it right.
2. I still haven't figured out what the hell is going on with my body. Somedays this makes me want to scream.
My body is a confusing, ridiculous mess. No really, it drives me up the frigging wall. I know I have PCOS. I know I struggle with weight loss, self-esteem, anxiety, and GI issues. I found this amazing book on PCOS, and it has helped tremendously (I highly recommend it for anyone with PCOS). It's taken me a long time to realize that doctors don't know everything. They'll let you down, they'll make you feel like shit. And sometimes, you have to take your health into your own hands. That's what I've been doing. Wading through the self-doubt and the "there's not much we can do for PCOS" and trying to find some answers. It's not perfect, and it's an on-going struggle, but I'm determined to love my body.
3. I like to cook, I don't like to plan
Working from home has given me a lot more freedom to cook and try new recipes and even come up with some of my own. Problem is, I hate meal prepping and grocery shopping. I don't know why, but it is so hard for me to come up with new and exciting things to eat every day. This is one area of life where I need to be better organized. Jimmy and I started using Amazon Fresh a couple of months ago and it's a game changer. Some may see it as lazy, but I love being able to sit down with my list, order my groceries, and see my running total on the side. It's helped us save money and time. Does anyone have any meal-prepping secrets or services that they use? Recipe books? I'd love some help in this area!
4. Writing is a beautiful butterfly and also an exercise in banging your head repeatedly against the wall
I can't tell you how fantastic it feels to get lost in the creation of characters, settings, and stories. I think I've said this before, but when I picked up the first draft of my novel at FedEx, I couldn't stop staring at it. A smile stayed plastered on my face for the rest of the day. I had done it. I wrote a book. But if I'm being honest, behind that smile was the intense and immediate urge to go spread out starfish style on top of the bed, stare at the ceiling, and whisper "what the fuck now?" over and over again until starvation forced me back up right. For every fabulously written paragraph, there's one following it drenched in horrible writing. With every victory comes rejection. It's exhilirating and maddening. And I'm going to soldier on because I love it.
5. Is there such a thing as reading too much?
We have a kind of running joke in my writing group that we all really like to "research" for our books. It's a well known fact that to be a writer, you must first be a reader. And in order to be successful in your chosen genre, you better know what's selling. The way to do that? Read! When any of us gets frustrated or stumped in our personal projects, we dive into the "research" of the writing world. Sometimes I might research too much. But I looooooveeeee books. I love to read. Books in print, books on my kindle, whichever! It also doesn't help that I have Kindle Unlimited (a subscription service through Amazon where you essentially rent books... It's the bees knees). So, I ask again. Can one ever read too much? I'm going to go with nahhh.
6. We (I) all need to be told when we're doing a good job
I think recognition and praise are necessary in life. Even for the little things. That dinner you sweat over for hours? It tastes really good! You've been busting your ass at the gym? Damn girl, work it! Sometimes when I get into little ruts of doubt, nothing helps more than one of my friends and/or beta readers letting me know how much they are enjoying my book. It gives me the strength and purpose to keep pushing and keep reaching for these goals of mine. Encourage someone you know today. Tell them they're doing a great job.
7. My biggest flaw right now is low self-esteem
I've got many flaws. I know this. The one that bugs me the most right now, the one I'd really like to change is my lack of confidence and my self-esteem. It's hard feeling like a stranger in your own skin. It's hard being exhausted, frustrated, scared. It's hard going to events and wanting to feel pretty and also wanting to hide. I know its wrong when I put myself down. When I talk negatively about my body. But sometimes I get so damn irritated. It needs to stop. I need to change.
8. All I truly want out of life is to be happy
Geez, that seems so easy right? Slap a smile on and call it a day, Kelly! But I don't know, sometimes it isn't that simple. What scares me, though, is what if I waste my life chasing this elusive feeling of happiness and it was right there all along? So, I guess the real question is: What will make me happy? It feels like I have an invisible list with check boxes. Some are already checked, some are a work in progress. I think for me, the goal is to wake up and make each day happy. Do the things that make me smile. Be with the people who lift me up. Drink wine, eat chocolate. How do you focus on happiness?
How has the first half of 2017 been for you?
Until next time,