Life Lately: Evening Checkin + Mini Fall Wish List

August 30, 2020

Photo by Libby Penner 

Well, my favorite season is right around the corner. Fall brings a sense of new beginnings. New possibilities, new opportunities for happiness. To be honest, it feels like I've been pursuing happiness for the past five years and have encountered a whole lot of painful lessons on my journey to learning how to embrace the here and now or as I like to call it the "it is what it is" lol. 

With each year I'm blessed with on this earth, the more I start to realize that dedicating most of my time to my career is not what will help me feel fulfilled. Yes, money is significant (we gotta pay rent and feed ourselves), but working all the time is the exact opposite of what I define as success... no matter what the paychecks look like. I used to idolize all the women who are busy busy busy, but covid-19 has really helped me value the sweetness of slowing down and shown me how valuable free-time is. 

The things that bring me joy are spending time with my loved ones, laughing until I cry with a friend over a bottle of wine, dancing to intoxicating music, writing, getting dressed up to feel giddy, traveling, having a warm cup of tea while I read a juicy book, traveling with people who have a special place in my heart, cuddling up with a puppy... now those are moments that genuinely bring me joy (but they also require money lol). And we are all in an intense season where financial survival or emotional survival kind of outranks our pursuit of happiness. Something I just have to accept. 

I also realize that a HUGE part of my mental struggle (ok depression, like let me stop beating around the fucking bush) stems from the fact that I work in social media/PR and literally cannot take a break from social media. 7 days a week I am looking at the lives, brands and businesses of other people and constantly comparing myself, constantly feeling inadequate, and constantly telling myself that I'm not living up to my fullest potential... yeah. It's a hard pill to swallow. But like I said, this is a temporary stage in my life, and in 5 years, when I am living life more on my own terms, I'll look back and thank myself for making this sacrifice now instead of later. 

Luckily, these types of seasons are temporary and we will certainly come out stronger once these seasons of hustle and grind are over. But until then, I'm going to find little ways to add joy into my life. So if that means I turn my phone on airplane mode and watch buffy for an entire evening or treat myself to a cute new fall trench coat (only while it's on sale and I can pay cash for it - no credit cards) then that might very well be what I need to encourage myself to push through this interesting chapter of life. Being too disciplined tends to drive me straight into depression and depression tends to leave me in a dark place where I feel like everything is pointless... I don't like living in that mental space. That's why I have to schedule in things that bring me joy each week. As long as I have one thing to look forward to, I have a little motivation to get out of bed each day. I know, this piece is not the biggest mood booster, but it's honest. It's what I've been battling, and it's what I'm working on overcoming. 😊

So here's a shortlist of things I'm looking forward to this fall. I hope it inspires you to create your own list so you have a few things to look forward to as well. If we keep looking for the light, we are sure to find it sooner rather than later. 

  • Read poetry at least once a week while drinking tea - I need this to process my emotions because i have not been in a good place lately. I know a lot of people would probably tell me to be grateful, and gratitude is something I will always prioritize, but when you know something is wrong, you know something is wrong. But I have my eyes on the prize and can see the finish line. This season of loneliness and depression will end soon, and I will have grown from the pain
  • Treat myself to a few fall staple pieces. I LOVE fall, and I LOVE fall fashion. Plaid trench coats, chocolatey toned cashmere, comfy yet chic booties, soft scarves. Ah!! I can barely control my excitement. P.S. Everything at Talbots is 25% off right now plus an extra $50 off if you spend $200+ aka, I'mma get that trench coat!! Yassss!!!

  • Go on really long podcast walks on the weekend. I wish I still had time to do this on the weekday (I mean I could if I woke up an hour earlier, but we all know that ain't happening lol). I just have to make "me time" a priority. I always feel a billion times better when I actually take time out for myself instead of letting work dictate my day or spend time stressing out about work. I'm over it. Because at the end of the day, if we died tomorrow, our jobs would replace us in a heartbeat and not even blink to mourn us... so we might as well prioritize our wellbeing so we have the mental capacity to even show up in the world. 
  • Write in the park. Writing is sooooo therapeutic for me, and being surrounded by nature is also therapeutic. Therefore, I should combine these two things. The crisp fall air creates the perfect atmosphere to write outside - not too hot and not too cold. 
  • Cook more at home! Food is fun, but saving money is even more fun. I want to dive into a few fall cookbooks - or get ideas off the internet because free lol. 
  • Decorating for fall and creating a cozy home!! I mean, who doesn't love a fall home. 
  • Putting together my fall festivities bucket list. I really don't have the energy to plan my fall adventures at the moment, but I am excited to plan them soon. It's crazy how taking a day trip to visit a pumpkin patch or see fall foliage really just makes you appreciate the beauty in life. I'm excited to see the beauty of this crazy world soon. 

Thanks for taking a moment to read this post! I hope your week is filled with laughter, joy and hope.

Weekend Reset: Finding My Way Back Through Wanderlust

August 8, 2020 New York, NY, USA

Photo by Adele Payman 

I know I am not alone when I say it has been really hard to find happiness lately. Now that my life has gotten very busy, I hate to admit that I am finding it very hard to locate the energy to do the things that I know will bring me joy and restore me. I'm also finding it hard to follow through on some of my responsibilities, and for me, that's a sign that my mental health is not being prioritized (oops - time to fix that). 

We are also only a week away from when I should have been flying to Greece to spend an incredible week with some of my favorite people. Granted, the heath of myself, my loved ones and my community is my main concern at the moment, but that doesn't make the loss of such an iconic experience any easier. There's a lot going on in the world and a lot going on in our lives, so giving ourselves grace is much needed right now. 

That being said, I am allowing myself to check out and mentally escape this weekend. Although I pretty much have to work 7 days a week right now, I really REALLY need to prioritize my wellbeing. Paying off my student loans and consumer debt won't matter if I'm in the hospital due to my mental and physical health crumbling. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have multiple sources of income again, but it's my job to learn how to navigate this new lifestyle in a healthy way that works for me.  And let me tell yall, it's a STRUGGLE right now, but I'm 1000% confident that I will figure it out... thanks to the amazing resources that can be found on the internet.  

So now, how do I plan to feel like myself in a short amount of time... without spending any money? 

Visual/art therapy my friends! Getting lost in a beautiful magazine and looking at dreamy photos on Pinterest usually fills my soul with hope and inspiration, and I'm sure you are the same way. Right now, I need an exciting vision to hold onto. Life has to be more than just working or stressing out about finding work and paying bills. To me, working 24/7 is not a way of life, it is a form of prison. And idk about you, but the past few seasons of life have been brutal enough - its time to let the sunshine in and chase joy. I hope these photos help you mentally escape and inspire your future adventures!

What's your favorite way to quickly refresh when life starts to feel drab? I'd love to hear below! Thanks so much for taking a moment to read this post. Your support means the world to me, and I wish you and your loved ones a safe and joyful weekend. 

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