Monday, July 27, 2015

It's Time to Stop Basing Your Life on What Others Think

Lately I've been making a lot of "unconventional" decisions in my life and the direction in which my life is headed. I'm straying away from what society believes is normal and what a college educated woman should be doing nowadays. I'm ultimately making decisions with my heart, rather than with my head. And, unfortunately, many people frown upon that. But am I going to let it stop me? Absolutely not.

Every one of us may encounter a situation like this at some point in our lives, whether it's a big decision or a small one. I can already tell you that not everyone will be on board with your decision and almost everyone will have some kind of opinion on the matter. Some will voice it, others will not. It may even be your own friends and family who are your toughest critics. They may drive you up the wall. They may make you second guess yourself. They may even talk you out of something that you really, truly believed was best for you. I'm here to tell you that you cannot let that happen.

Sure, there are many cases in which your loved ones are just looking out for you and want the best for you, but you know what? You're the one who at the end of the day knows what's best. You're the one who will be living with whatever decision you end up making. It's not a bad thing at all to ask for the opinion and help from other people, especially because I do think it's important to get some outside perspective. But when it gets to the point that you're basically getting your dreams shit on (excuse my language) then it's time to start saying screw what people think, this is my life.

We live in a world where everyone's life, every single little detail, is out there for all to see (and to compare with). Unfortunately this does more damage than good. We compare ourselves too much with other people and their lives, and a lot of the time that hinders our own progress or change. I've certainly talked about this issue on my blog before, but it's that important that I feel I need to keep reiterating it (for my readers just as much as for myself). We need to stop making decisions based on what other people think and we also need to stop comparing our lives with other people. You're only ever going to get to where you're truly happy once you block out the rest of the world. This is your life, your journey - live it your way.

"The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours. It is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins." 
-Bob Moawad

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The End of an Era

Recently I have faced the end of an era, or at least what feels like the end of era to me. I'm not going to go into details because it is something very personal, but I do want to share what the experience has taught me, especially when it comes to life in general.

I always liked to imagine each individual life as a book. You fill your own book with chapters and each chapter represents different periods of your life, or maybe just certain events that were game changers. Some books are short. Some books are long. Some are boring. Some are full of adventure. Some are beautiful and heart breaking love stories. Some are filled with lessons. They all have a story to tell, though.

In my case, I imagine my life as a series of novels. Each book, even though it's filled with chapters highlighting different events and times in my life, must come to an end at some point. We are meant to move on. It doesn't mean that none of it ever happened, or that we didn't learn from it. Some stories we still have left open-ended and that is often times very exciting. Other stories...  well, we must come to terms with the fact that they have been completed. And if you're anything like me, it could be a very sad moment.
Have you ever read a book and once it was over you're filled with the strangest melancholy? Or maybe you read a series of novels (take Harry Potter, for instance) and once you're finished and you know that was the last book of the series you'll ever read, you wish you could experience it all over again. That's exactly how I've been feeling about this "end of an era" I recently faced.

However sad it may be, for reason simply being that you're filled with nostalgia of yesteryear, you eventually need to come to terms with the fact that the past is the past. I've never been good on leaving the past behind. Those who have meant so much to me, who have influenced my life at every turn—well, I have trouble letting go of that. It's always been plain and simple: I care too much. I don't necessarily view that as a bad thing. I am who I am and I like the fact that I am such a caring person (so if you ever hear me crying and cursing the universe for making me who I am, just ignore that, it usually passes).

These past twelve years (roughly) I have learned so, so, SO much. For whatever reason, I feel like I'm finally closing the door on my childhood. Up until now I saw myself as still being a girl (and really, I probably always will a little bit). However, as cheesy as it is to say, I feel that all of my experiences up until now have finally led me to become a women. I'm saying goodbye to my childhood (and I use this term to refer to teenage years, mostly) and because of that I've been feeling pretty nostalgic lately. I keep thinking back on so many memories and smiling (with some crying thrown in the mix as well, of course) but in my heart I know it's time to close that door and open a new one. I've been feeling really excited for my future and also more peaceful and worry-free of what's to come. I may still be that lost and confused post-grad millennial in some sense, but I'm no where how I used to be.

So, while this may be an end of an era, I think it's also the start of a new one. 
And that, friends, is beyond exciting.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Life Lately: Summer Break

Ah... life lately. This past month or so has sent me on quite the roller coaster ride. So much has changed, so much has happened (and yet, a lot of things are still the same, too). I've been wanting to/trying to get back into the blogging game for the longest time now and you would be shocked to see how full my notebooks are with blog post ideas. Despite my lack of being here, my mind is still whirring with ideas every single day! I know eventually I will get to them, but I've kind of been taking a vacation for myself. I left the job I had been at since January about three weeks ago, for various reasons, but I can honestly say it was the best decision I've made in awhile. I've always been a firm believer that if something is not making you happy, or if you find yourself in a toxic environment, it's time to move on as soon as possible.

I've been taking the time I have off to kind of reassess and evaluate my life currently - more or less figure out what my next move is. I have a few solid ideas for my future, but I need to get my mind sorted out first. Which is why I'm allowing myself to have a summer break, just like I used to back when I was in school. I'm not necessarily taking the entire summer off (because you know: adult life, real world, bills, blah blah blah). I do think I need this break, though, and sometimes you just need to do what is best for your own sanity.

There's so much I want to write about and so much I want to share with everyone. I'm itching to get some advice and wisdom out to the world! I know I'll get there soon, though. We live in such a world that it seems "breaks" are frowned upon, or we just don't have the time or means to do so, and I think that is so very unfortunate. I feel people would be a lot happier and more relaxed if we were able to take these mental breaks from life. So do me a favor: even if you don't necessarily have the time to take a summer break like I am, take SOME kind of break - some YOU time. Spend the weekend camping. Go to the beach (a quiet one). Go be in nature. Enjoy the season. Take a moment to take some deep breaths and just think. No pressure thinking. Just let your thoughts flow. Don't stress or worry about anything. You deserve that more than you may think.

P.S. Go do a cartwheel even if you suck at it ;)

Until next time!
xo, Val