Ocean

Someone once asked me, to describe a peaceful scene, where calm existed, my happy place.

I said the ocean.

“But why? The ocean is so uncertain, the tides are unpredictable, storms come and create huge waves.  It is anything but calm.”

I disagreed.

It may take hours or days, but it will always go back to a peaceful state.

It is the ocean that creates the raging waves, the strong undercurrent.  The storm is just an outside source, and the waves are the oceans way of being, since the beginning of time.

That is the most calming thing about it. How the ocean rages and storms, and how it both hurts and heals.  While it is stormy in one place, it is calm in another. And in the midst of all that, it is still the same.  There will always be calm, there will always be glistening from the sun, and there will always be the same calming, lapping waves.

What Do You Value?

A friend told me the other day, that they wished they had the approval of a parent.

They wished that the parent validated who they are, and said “ I am proud of you”

I asked them to look at it from another perspective.

What are the parents’ values?

What is something that they would be proud of?

Are they someone that you would want to be like?

Is that who you want to be?

When you are little, you only have the scope of your direct environment. Your parents, parents friends, the village that raises the child.

As you get older your village expands, everything does. It’s grows and shifts and changes.

Your value, your opinions, who you want to be.

It all shifts.

You learn to emulate the traits you admire, and stay away from the undesirable.

When seeking approval, it’s important to also see what they would be approving of.

Do they approve of generosity, honesty, and kindness?

Or do they approve of selfishness, being misleading or indifference?

What traits are they proud of?

If you do not admire their values, you may want to be cautious if you hear the words “I am proud of you.”

What traits are they proud of?

You may be becoming less of who you are, and more of what you are trying so hard to stay away from.

Redefining Growth

It’s my 26th birthday today.

So much can change in a year. I never believed people when they said that, but I do now more than ever.

Last year I was in a completely different headspace. I was constantly thinking about where I was supposed to be, and often spent so much time racing towards the future that I would forgot to stop and enjoy where I was.

25 was an extremely transformative year for me, in the best way possible. I decided to stop racing, and just enjoy life for a moment. And I couldn’t be happier that I did so.

Without the racing, you really begin to fine tune what is around you. You are able to really see what friendships and relationships are good for you, and which ones are not.

I learned how to say no, and truly create boundaries that have kept me from engaging in toxic environments.

I stopped thinking about where I should be, and became really grateful for the roses that were blossoming before me.

I took risks that people thought were foolish.

I knew they were right for me, and I couldn’t be happier in my decisions. I am now surrounded by amazing people, that continue to help me grow in the most amazing way.

I can’t wait to see what next year will bring ❤️

Two Bins

Like a snake shedding its skin.

Going through all of my clothes, my old college papers, down to my diary entries from 6th grade.

I even came across a written rant that stated ” I am 15 and perfectly capable.”

Lets all laugh together.

It was something I have put off for years, and after finally doing it, I understand why.

Going through everything, causes you to relive memories of a time before, a different version of you. The different clothes you used to wear, the different things you used to like, and a different way of thinking.

And surprisingly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It was relieving.

I was able to take a storage unit full of memories, and fit what was most important into two plastics bins.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Money Makes The World Go Round

Money equated happiness.

Growing up, that seemed to be the theme.

“If only I had{insert amount here}, it will make me happy”.

“If your father pays me {insert amount here}, everything will be better”

“When you make {insert amount here}, everything will be better”

“When I have {insert amount here}, then I will be able to retire and live the life of my dreams.”

I thought I rejected this, as I had seen money cause so much unhappiness in the people around me.  It seemed to be pain point rather than a happiness button.

However, when I was thinking about my goals, it had to do with {insert amount here}.

If this really was true, that money got you a ticket on the happiness train, then why did Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, along with so many countless others, choose to jump off?

Money is just a tool.  The real thing that is important is how you feel about yourself, and how you are feeling in your surroundings.  Money can be used to change that which is important, but there is so much more work you have to do to fulfill yourself, rather than just your bank account.

Carousel Horses

“Two path diverged in the wood and I-I took the path less chosen by and that has made all the difference.”

~ The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

This is from one of my favorite poems. I apply it to many things in life and sometimes I think so deeply about it, it’s almost like I’ve stopped in my tracks.

I currently feel at a crossroads in my life, in many different sectors. When it comes to my career, or my path, I know that I will have to shut the door on one opportunity to open another.

However, this is paralyzing for me. Am I making the right decision? Will I regret it later on? How do you REALLY know if you are making a good choice. And really the fact is you don’t.

In an interview, Seth Godin explained that he thought “finding your purpose” is not accurate or true. He compared choices like these to carousal horses on a merry go round. The carousel will kept spinning, and showing you different kinds until you choose to get on the horse.

So, I’m currently trying to make a choice of which horse I want to ride.

I think one of my fears now, is that I will be so consumed with analyzing each and every one, that I won’t ever ride the carousel at all, that I will just sit and there and watch all of the pretty opportunities pass by, and not realize what my potential is.

I guess, one of the great things about the carousel, if it keeps spinning, and if I decide I want to ride one horse, I can always get off and get on another one.

Your Dreams Are Too Big.

“Your dreams are too big.”

You may be thinking, how could anyone say that to another person? It’s like an insult.

However, people hear it all the time.

When we are small, we are told that “You can be anything you want.” So, we choose the astronaut, the firefighter, leader of the free world, a superhero that flies, etc.  There’s even posters  in every classroom; saying “Reach for the Stars!” “Be Yourself!”.Change the World!”

It’s ironic though, how the kid that wants to do things a little differently, they may want to color outside the lines, or notice that you can gather the basketballs outside easier using a hula hoop, gets scolded.  “That’s not how you do it!”

Or the kid that wants to be a writer, gets told that there is no money in writing, while reading Harry Potter, written by an author worth more than a billion dollars.

Or the eccentric child that wants to be a movie star, so they act dramatic and sing loudly.  However, they are told to be quiet, sit still, and PAY ATTENTION. Which is another way of saying, “Dim your light please.”

As we grow into adults, “Dim your light please” shows up in all kinds of ways.

“You will never make any money doing that.”

“That will never work out, just cut your losses”

“That’s a crazy idea! Why don’t you just get a real job.”

“Please, just stick to the script.”

Check all boxes.

Dim. Your. Light.

However, our light is what makes us special, and ultimately guides us to what we really want to do in life.  It shines on ideas and people that make us happy. And, the best part is that no two are the same.

The people that tell you to dim your light, are the same people that don’t understand how bright theirs can shine too. They may be fearful that the light that shines on your dreams will cast a shadow on theirs.  So, they tell you to dream smaller.  So they can be more comfortable. However, they have it all wrong.

Never be afraid that your light is too bright or your dreams are too big.  And next time you hear a version of “You dream too big”, ask them to share the biggest dream they ever had for themselves.

You may catch a glimmer of their light too.