November and December of 2016 may have been some of the most trying months of my life. I was tested in so many different ways and there were days I truly thought that one person simply couldn’t handle everything that was happening. From personal relationships deteriorating, to health issues, to business complications, to deaths, I felt that I had simply lost control of everything. It’s difficult to write this in retrospect because it is so soon but I think it is important to personally reflect while you can still comprehend and be true to your immediate feelings. While I can’t go into detail, I do think it is important that we are honest and true to you guys so you know that at the end of the day, it’s not all smiles and laughs. That Instagram and social media are highlight reels of our lives even if we try and make it as real and honest as possible.
The New Year couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I took about a week and half off of work (blog + full-time marketing job) and let my body catch up to my mind. I took naps, spent really important time with my friends I grew up with and had many reflective conversations with my mom (sorry mom). I put myself back at my equilibrium and reflected on the things that make me happy and tried to determine what I need to pursue to maintain a positive, healthy and normal life. I know we all go through times when life simply escapes your grasps and you feel like you have lost authority over your own fate, so I wanted to share the list of things (not in order) I determined were important for rerouting my direction and putting things back on track.
1 – Do things that make you happy – I know this might seem superfluous, but in a city like New York you can get caught up in a rhythm of doing things that are just apart of the “New York scene” as opposed to doing the activities that make you happy.
2 – Go out because it’s fun, not because you are networking – I call myself an official “Networker.” I love to network, I love meeting new people and making connections that could impact our professional careers. But sometimes it’s important to go out, get drunk with your friends and give up a night of events just because.
3 – Build a relationship with God – Don’t want to freak anybody out and get all preachy on you, but I have always held a lot of importance and my happiness with my investment in faith. I attend Church every Sunday (well…most Sundays), talk to God and study different religions. It brings me a sense of calmness and forces me to step outside of my life and look at the larger picture.
4 – Work hard but balance yourself – Courtney and I work basically non-stop. Balancing two careers may seem easy from the outside but it’s not. If you overwork yourself, you will begin to resent it and wont cherish the moments you once did in your career.
5 – Figure out your routine and stick with it – I am the type of person who has to have a set schedule and routine or else I get completely out of whack. Your routine can vary anywhere from a daily routine, to a nightly skincare routine, to a gym routine. Find out what patterns in your life that make you feel healthy and proud of yourself and keep it going. When my body finds its’ rhythm, it’s a pretty amazing thing what it can accomplish.
6 – Love and trust the people who love and trust you – It takes me a while to trust someone and even longer to love someone. But it’s important to surround yourself with people who love you and have your best interest at heart. In a world where there’s usually a insincerity behind a smile and purpose behind a favor, it’s important to keep those close to you very close and to make them feel loved and appreciated.
7 – Stay true to your values – Growing up in Virginia, it was apart of my nature to smile at a stranger, hold the door for someone and strike up a conversation just because. In New York, the world goes by so fast and people are so caught up with looking out for themselves, they forget about how interacting with others can have a huge impact on their day. Being kind to everyone (even if I am crammed into a tiny subway car) makes me happy and in turn makes me feel good about myself. Giving back to others is also something that is important to me. Aside from getting to share the awesome perks of blogging with friends and family, it is important to give back to my community. I recently started working with New York cares and have carved out one day of the week every week to work at the food bank, retirement community and various Autism non-profits.
I know this was a pretty wordy post and congratulations if you got to the end but just wanted to put it all out there in case anyone else was kinda going through the same stuff!