Creating the Life You Want
Is the life you have the life you want?
Most mornings as I open my eyes I can't help but feel an extreme sense of gratitude. I look around my room and see varying items I've collected from around the world, each reminding me of a story I've lived. I see photos of the people I love and think how lucky I am to have crossed their path. I admire my personal decor that reflects my essence and makes me feel comfortable and creative. I know the day ahead will bring encounters with people who inspire, encourage, and celebrate not only my life, but theirs as well. Ultimately, I wake up each day and realize this life I've created is also the life I've always wanted. But things were not always this way - a lot of self reflection (aka pulling my head out of my ass) and sacrifice accompany my on going journey.
For me, it all started with some solo travel
There was a time I lived for anyone and anything but myself. I surrounded myself with people who drained my energy and encouraged a stagnant lifestyle. We drank ourselves into oblivion and repeated every day as if we were stuck on a loop. These friends were not bad people, nor was I, we just didn't have or share a passion for our lives - or life in general. After all, it's hard to find the things you love about life if you're constantly masking everything with a substance or unhealthy relationship's. If you aren't working towards happiness you will not attract people or experiences that will bring it. I'm here to tell you that the only person responsible for your happiness is you, and you're the only person who must truly care about creating it.
At the age of 26 I was exhausted of my life, I wanted deeper experiences with new people and places. Traveling abroad was floating at the back of my brain for a few years at this point, but it became evident that I would have to go alone. So I said, "why not?" I loosely planned a two month solo backpacking trip across Europe. I received a lot of backlash at first, mostly out of concern, as to why I would travel alone and without a guide. I didn't have any other reason other then there come moments in life where you know you have to do something - this was that moment. Little did I know how drastically my life would change.
Valuable lessons learned
After taking my first solo trip abroad I learned a few very important lessons that had not been relevant before.
1. Relationships will not and cannot last with every person you have considered a best friend, soul mate, or lover. Sometimes people enter our lives to teach a lesson, unveil a new layer of ourselves, or destroy every ideal you thought to be true. These people, good or bad, are all equally apart of the bigger picture.
2. You are much braver than you give yourself credit for. Fake it until you make it is true, better yet as Amy Cuddy said in her book Presence, "fake it until you become it" should be a life mantra for anyone wanting to evolve. Maybe you don't know you're a world traveler, an author, or super woman - try it!
3. Being scared is good. In fact, try to do something scary everyday! You want to consistently be doing something that scares you in order to find out what you're truly capable of. Situations that make us feel uncomfortable allow us to grow and learn new things about ourselves.
4. There will be moments where you question everything you're doing - not knowing if you've made the right choices. Was it right to let go of that person? Was it right to leave that job? Was it right to move away and never look back? I obvi can't say yes for you, but if you're feeling even the slightest bit more confident, the tiniest bit more alive, then I'd say yes, you're doing exactly what you need to be doing! Saying goodbye to your past and the person you once were isn't easy, but no one said it would be. Always believe in the power inside of you, keep expanding your knowledge of love and life, and always be kind to yourself and others.
Moving forward with your new life!
Now that you're well on your way to creating the life you want, brace yourself to get exactly what you've been asking for. After stepping outside of your comfort zone you'll be reaching goals left and right - remember that you have to continue to do this. That's how the life you've created can keep evolving for the better. Happiness takes work, but not hard work. Be open and receptive to what's going on around you. Listen for your queue's to leave and to stay, keep an open heart and mind, and travel as far as possible!
Be sure to read my blog "My First Solo Trip to Europe" to learn more about my story and catching the travel bug!