Hahaha! Needed to see this on a Monday morning.
Last night I had a dream that I was living in a beautiful apartment with Mike. I don’t know where it was located, but I do know that for some reason, we were only occupying the main living area. One day, I decided to venture into the additional bedroom. It was massive, and full of promise. We started talking about all the possibilities - we could move our bed into one corner, have a large dining table in another.. it seemed everywhere we turned, we thought of a new way we could live differently. It was exciting to talk about, but deep down, I just felt myself fearing this unknown. I wanted to keep my life contained in the main room. I didn’t want to acquire new things, or have responsibility for a second room. I felt like I really had enough where I was…. but at the same time, I didn’t want to stand still.
Standing still and fearing the unknown. Those two things plague me on a daily basis. I want to grow, and I want to keep moving… But fear holds me back. Fear of over-thinking my next step. It’s one of the reasons why I fantasize about giving up material “things” in life. Owning things - furniture, appliances, cars, houses - all of those “things” feel like they weigh me down. They anchor me and make me feel somewhat trapped. In life, I’ve always thrown caution to the wind. I’ve followed my heart and forged on until something slapped me back and forced me to change my direction. I’m proactively reactive. I know this isn’t sustainable, but I can’t seem to change my approach. Not yet, anyway.
Ironically, I do a lot of project management and planning in my work… and yet I wouldn’t consider myself a great planner in life. I prefer to do things last minute while under pressure. I always figured picking up and leaving would be a fairly quick decision process - I’d decide, book my tickets, and work backwards with my job, apartment, friends and family.
I see all the value in settling down in a place, having lots of daily distractions to keep you going day to day, but I can’t shake the feeling that I need something more. I need to do something more with my life and figure out why I am here and what I need to be spending my time on. This life I’ve been given is fleeting, and I want to make the best of it without hurting everyone around me in the process.
But where do I begin to search? Where do I begin to figure out what good I can contribute to this world when I can barely get perspective on my own?
I know nothing makes me happier than making other people happy. Sometimes that leads to being a doormat and being trampled on. But other times, it leads to amazing feelings of connection, compassion, empathy, and love. Whatever I do in my life, I want to be interacting with people and somehow making their lives a little bit better. Because in doing so, I inevitably feel better myself. I thought I could do it through my baking, but the wholesale angle just shut me off from human contact and I became a mass muffin producing machine (except being human, I broke down). I lost the human connection with my customers, and my friends as well because I was too busy baking to spend time with them. I like meeting with people and getting to know their stories. I like helping them sort through theirs, because it always helps me navigate my own as well. I’ve considered careers in counselling and social work, but friends have warned me that I would get too emotionally invested and would take too much on.
And so… the thinking continues. Sometimes I like that I think so much.. and other times, I feel like it holds me back and keeps me from moving forward.
I totally got this!
This is me errday
This ab challenge thing is hard. I might need to add this to it just to balance out. ;)
I LOVE this!!
I read this article recently that talks about the difference between Must and Should. It’s a fantastic read, but in case you don’t have time (medium estimates it’s a 20 min read), here’s my favourite part:
"Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.
Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.
Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us. Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our calling from within, from some luminous, mysterious place.”
I spent 27 years of my life doing everything that I Should. I listened to my
parents, worked hard in school, got a degree, met someone who I expected to marry, got a job and waited to feel fulfilled. Happy.
Happiness never came.
My boyfriend of 5.5 years broke up with me. I was miserable at my first job. My thesis advisor was pressuring me to go back to school, but I felt like I had nothing left to give in academia. Every day, I felt more detached from everyone and everything around me until I was numb. And then I’d cry about the fact that I was numb and wonder why I felt this way.When I tried to explain my feelings to some of my closest friends, the would respond by telling me that I was selfish and needed to wake up and realize how lucky I really had it.They were right. I am very lucky. I try to keep perspective every day and realize that by growing up in Canada, I’m extremely priviledged.
I’ve read the same inspirational story over and over again. They read like this: I knew I was meant for something greater, so I took a risk and went for it. It was hard, but look at me now! I am a millionaire because I followed my dream and it led me to money.
Well? I sure as hell don’t have a similar story to tell. I’m pretty sure nothing I have done in the last two years could be considered inspiring. I didn’t do it for that reason. I didn’t choose my path because I was expecting a great reward. I did it because trying to excel at all the things I Should be doing was eating away at my core and I was screaming for change. Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, unable to be happy with the life you’ve built for yourself is incredibly exhausting and depressing. How I wish I could be content with the things I have built for myself. How I wish I didn’t feel incapable of following the path I SHOULD be following. I looked everywhere for answers - my parents, my friends, even religion. I just couldn’t shake the fact that I was miserable and needed a change.
Why did I quit my well-paying job to pursue a business that is known for insane hours and very little return? Because I needed to. I needed to see what would happen if I went down that path and followed my heart. So, in the end, it didn’t work out. At least not in a long-lasting kind of way. I baked until my heart wasn’t in it anymore. When that happened, I had to pull the plug.
I wish I was in a place where I could write a happy ending. I’m not. But, not every story needs to be told when it’s all over. Not every story has a happy ending. For whatever reason, I feel the need to write. I have to continue doing the things that I Need to be doing. Some day, this old heart of mine will lead me to wherever I’m supposed to go. I have to believe that to keep going.
So this is my story. And every day, I’m learning to be grateful that it is mine to tell. Heart, don’t fail me now.
My whole purpose of running is to race. I started to expand on this, but it was getting too long so I extracted it out into another blog post. Another time.
But yes, in short, racing is primarily what motivates me to run. I love it!
This year I’ve tried something different. I’ve controlled my…
I kind of have a crush on my husband. His ability to race based on his current fitness level (and whip out an awesome race after months of injury and mostly steady “comeback” runs) inspires me. I can’t wait to see how this year goes for him! <3
I’ve been quiet lately.
I suppose it’s because I felt a little sheepish after I had to talk about shutting down my wholesale business. After starting this blog and claiming that I was “following my dream” to become my own boss and start a baking business, I had to backtrack and admit defeat.
No, I’m not going to go into all the details as to why I did this. Everything I needed to say, I already said.
But ever since I dropped that side of my business, I’ve felt lost. Part of me is itching to travel and live abroad …. again. It’s been on my to-do list for years, and the older I get, the more I start to fear that I will never have my chance to do it.
So, I’ve been waiting. Waiting for my next inspiration to hit. Working hard at my consulting job so that they’ll continue renewing my contract. I’ve been baking for one cafe, the one who gave me my first break, and I’ve been talking with a few people about side projects that could go somewhere (or nowhere).
Aside from the fear that I am turning 30 this year and still haven’t figured out what to do with my life, I’ve realized recently that I’m okay with that. The best opportunities in my life have always come when I least expected them to, and as cliched as that sounds, it was my curiousity to see where that path led, that eventually brought me more clarity.
So, instead of beating myself up over having failed at my baking business, I’m looking at the positives. I got to give it a try. I got to see what it was like to bake on a daily business, watch it slowly grow and pick up momentum, and although I will say that all gains were relatively small, they happened. This thing really happened. And if part of my dream was to become my own boss, then I succeeded. Yes, the job I chose didn’t work out, but not every one does.
I’m not giving up. And now that I’m still working in market research, I’m realizing that I still have that spark. I’ve been lucky enough to shape my working environment in a way that suits me (for now). It won’t work forever; I get that life continually changes… but today? Today, it works. And, I’m going to keep focusing on things that make me happy.
It takes up way too much energy to be unhappy. Seriously. My life is far from perfect, but whose is?
I’ve always been afraid of tying myself down. It’s the reason why I still rent, I don’t own a car, or really anything aside from a few government bonds and some material things that I use on a daily basis at home (clothes, etc).
Throughout my whole life, I’ve always felt free. It’s one of the many blessings we get to enjoy from being born and raised in Canada.
Yet lately, I’m finding it increasingly harder to untie myself from things. Many dreams that once felt attainable and within reach feel like they’re slipping through my fingers and I’m constantly having to stay afloat. It’s hard. Reality, growing up.. all of those things unlock many doors and bring amazing opportunities. But there is one thing I’ll always miss about being young, and that’s the innocence of thinking that you can be completely selfish and do whatever makes you happy, without worrying about how your actions will affect everyone linked to you. Knowing that you still have your whole life ahead of you to explore. I know I’m still young and I do still have a choice. It just feels riddled with responsibility and sometimes doing what I want to do… would only make me happy. And somehow, that feels wrong.
Being content with what I have has been a constant struggle. It’s time to try harder.
Food that magically regrows itself - how ingenious!
I wish I had the space to grow my own food!
When I was young, I used to tell everyone that I was going to be a creative writer. Too shy to make friends, I often spent the majority of my time at the library, pawing through the books and hoping to find as many books as possible by whichever author I was currently fixated on at the time. I used to plan out future plots that I’d write in my head and wonder how many children my age would be doing the same thing - only they would be reading my book (it’s my dream, afterall).
My dream faded once I hit high school and I eventually ended up in market research.
Fast forward to a few years into my MR career and I decided that I needed to exercise, what James Altucher refers to as a “writing muscle”. Only, the landscape is a vastly different place than it was when I was a little girl.
I don’t think people visit libraries and walk up and down the bookshelves, trying to spot a book to read (or, did they ever?). I don’t necessarily think there is as much hype around trilogies, series, and up and coming authors. Now, I divide my reading list between fiction and non-fiction. When I was younger, I only read fiction novels. I liked getting lost in their stories. You could argue that I tell stories for a living when I present research. But it’s based on fact, and it’s certainly not supposed to be verbose and rich with content. It’s straight, to the point, and must be actionable to clients. But hey, if I could make a living as a writer, I’d be pretty ecstatic.
The problem is, my idea of what being a published author means, is stuck in the past. I still think along the lines of finding an agent, a publisher, getting an advance and taking a year or two to write my novel. Are you laughing at me?
Good thing James set me straight. I like that he talks about the landscape as it is. I had to agree with him, even though I wished it were the opposite.
Every online journal or blog that I’ve started in my life has always been so that I could have an outlet online. But somewhere along the way, I realized that people could actually make money off their blogs. Huh. Something Altucher talks about here is the evolution of blogs these days - that it’s meant to help you build an audience for you. He also goes on to say that “there’s no money in ads” anymore. I have to say that I’m glad. While I’m sure there are many bloggers who have worked hard to make a decent living off their multiple posts each day (with shiny ads on the side for income), my biggest problem with this trend is the lack of authenticity that comes through in these posts. These days, I can hardly keep my blogs straight - they all post the same pictures, discuss the same topics (whatever will get them clicks and comments), make lists of animated GIFs and recipe roundups. Basically, they are void of meaningful unique content. Of course, I’m generalizing. There are always outliers. But I wonder… when these bloggers realize that they can’t monetize their blogs anymore, will the ones who are in it just for the money eventually exit the space, leaving the good ones behind? I hope it doesn’t continue become an attention-seeking gain.
About a month ago my wife blogged a post on running with your partner:
I have anxiety when it comes to running with people who are faster than me.
When Mike and I started dating, I casually brushed off his invites to go running with him. It was exhausting coming up with different excuses…