On Change & Challenges:
April 2017: The last few months have been full of change for me. I came to the realization that human instinct wants to deflect and resist change. Movement brings the unknown, the unknown can be scary. We're taught that a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush... but how is that true?! The only way we can catch on to something beautiful is to have open hands and a free mind. A free mind is a beautiful mind, we were born free.
Three months ago I knew I needed change. I loved the life I lived so much that I stoped questioning it. Instead of curiosity leading my creativity, routine and will power took over. I loved working so much that every night I’d log all of the intricate details of my day into an excel document and rate myself on discipline and achievement. I knew my dreams could come true if I had the work ethic, drive, and didn't let anyone stop me. I was my own drill sergeant and I somehow thought I loved that.
Then one day clarity seemed to knock on my door. I wasn’t using my creativity, I was trying to calculate it. I wasn’t pushing myself to succeed, I was judging myself. How happy I’d be at night depended on how much I thought I accomplished that day. How excited I was in the morning depended on how much I knew I had planned for that day. I knew I was moving forward but the days seemed to blur together with numbers and computer screens. I was isolating myself out of dedication to the dream, not realizing that every day is it’s own dream if you choose to awaken it. I wanted to be a machine. My life revolved around work, but isn’t creativity a result of a life filled with adventure and diversity? Chaos, romance, risk - all of the meaningful things in life take courage. Before I could be courageous I had to give myself grace, trust, and freedom to mess up.
So I jumped. I moved out of LA. I told myself I’d make the decision about whether or not I wanted to move back in 6 months and not change my mind before then. I started prioritizing my health, my friendships, my message. I started trusting myself more, taking more risks. I let myself breathe again. I ran and frolicked around the beaches with my headphones on because I wanted to, not because I needed to check off my daily running quotas. I took SoulCycle & boxing classes, dove in deep with a mental and physical detoxification. I learned the difference between being mindful & being mind-full. I learned to let go of expectation while remaining fully committed to discovery. My health flourished, my stamina increased, my friendships deepened, my creativity reawakened, and my work blossomed. (Health Journey Blog Coming Soon).
I dove in deep with my friends, went across town to hang out with them and would stay up all night catching up on memories. I shared time freely and that somehow seemed to give me more of it. I prioritized people over work and convenience. I tossed my phone away as much as possible and stopped sorting my day into 1 & 2 hour windows. I stopped looking at the clock.
I felt like I was watching my own evolution. It was beautiful. I realized for the first time that if I allowed change to direct me instead of pushing back against it I could live in a constant state of peace and curiosity. I learned that curiosity brings delight and adventure. Time is ever fleeting but when we share it, it becomes a memory that lasts and stays with us as we go.
I stopped grudging how exhausting and difficult life can be. I stopped resisting the struggle. We came here to fight for what we love - that’s how we know how much we want it. Thats how we know how much we’re capable of. Thats what turns our potential into our possible and our possibilities into our present. I started asking myself questions: questions about what i deeply longed for, what I sincerely believed, what I hoped to become.
The one thing we can count on is change. So what if we went on a journey with it? What if that’s the point? Change is freedom. Challenge is an opportunity. They keep us alive and give us purpose. They are our freedom.
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
…And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” - Albert Camus
It’s a beautiful hot summer Friday in Los Angeles and I am sitting here alone in an office reflecting on the mere week left between my birthday and I. I love birthdays the same way I love New Years Eve - they are both excellent excuses to celebrate and even better excuses to pause and reflect on the woman I want to become this next year.
The words that come to mind and challenge me are “Even If” - even if life hands me lemons, I will still make lemonade. Even if I fail, I will still rise up and try again. Or perhaps learn from it, adjust, and try as daringly and passionately as I did the first time.
This is not simply an idea, it’s a necessity. Because what if you fall in love and end up empty-handed? What if you do everything you can to invest in those around you but still feel lonely? What if you sacrifice 365 parties a year to work at your dream but still feel a million miles away from it at times? What if you feel on top of the world and then get unexpected news that knocks the wind out of you? You can drown in what ifs. You can get lost in the black hole of asking why everything happens the way it does.
We have to truly embrace the inescapable aspects of life in order to thrive. When we ask “what if?” and “why?” we become powerless and afraid to step fearlessly towards our future. On the other hand, if we determine who we are first we can create an unshakeable foundation that informs how we handle the world around us. Only then can we gain control over who we are. If we don’t let who we are inform our circumstances we let our circumstances change who we become.
We keep spinning on about how bad things happen to good people and never stop to wonder if sometimes good people happen to bad things. Same circumstances, different perspective. I want to be one of those people. I don’t want my character, grace, or optimism to be determined by my circumstances. I want to influence my environment instead of being influenced by it.
I think the truth is if we don’t live our lives with a standard of resilience we will lose ourselves along the way. Life is unpredictable so if who we are depends on the challenges we face we will we succumb to the chaos. We have to carry on and be strong and not forget to laugh and love along the way. C’est la vie.