c'est moi.

c'est moi.
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inspiration

Come sit down beside me with a dollar and a dime, we'll drink away our fortunes, here's to the meantime. -Grace Potter
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3.11.2012

quotes to live by.

13 comments
"Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition."

3.06.2012

expanding your horizons.

3 comments
Have you ever wanted to try something new but never got the courage to actually do it? Like taking a new class at the gym, trying out a new running route, traveling somewhere new, trying out a different church or religion, going skydiving, going out to dinner alone, giving a presentation at work about a new idea, eating a new cuisine, auditioning for a talent show, or submitting a piece to your local newspaper?

Every day we are given opportunities to break free of our comfort zone to do something different. We too often chicken out. We can't stand the idea of failure or embarrassment. In turn, those thoughts encourage us to live only within the familiar, rather than taking a risk. And it's only human to feel that way.

Let's step back for a moment and consider times we have been more or less forced to partake in something new. The first day at a job. The start of a semester at school. Moving to a new living situation. A trip to visit family in a location previously unvisited. An essential business trip to visit a client across the country.

For these types of adventures, we aren't really given a choice. We may feel uneasy, ill, shaky, flustered, or scared, but typically once we've actually jumped into it, that fearful feeling will subside. We adjust and become comfortable to a certain extent. Other times, we never quite reach that point. We fulfill expectations and then may choose to take another path instead. That new path may mean retreating back to the familiar, or it may require being back at square one; standing face to face with a different something new. We embrace routine so much as a society, that we give anything to get back to "normalcy" as quickly as possible once we've been forced [or fallen] off track.

I bring these forced efforts to step outside of our comfort zone to the forefront because these are things we've all had to do in our lives. We've had to make major transitions, whether between schools, jobs, relationships, or lifestyles. And guess what? We all made it to the other side. As previously mentioned, the process may have felt uneasy and downright scary at the time, but we did it. But, why is it that once we're given the individual choice to try something new do we hesitate so much? If we know it will all be okay in the end, what continues to stop us dead in our tracks?

Fear.

It's something we should strive to conquer.

Beyond anything else, we need to remember one thing. Every single one of us was the newbie, the rookie, and the beginner once. Each one of those people you see doing something you may be a little scared to try, was in your shoes once. They walked into something on day one with that same feeling of fear and discomfort. They too didn't do things perfectly the first time around. They too experienced a period of "unroutine," and lived outside of their comfort zone. But look at those people now- comfortable at the once new job, in the once new workout class, in the once new neighborhood, with the once new coworkers, in the once new classes, in the once new relationship, and in any other once new experience. Now those once new things are familiar and mundane. Even if these once new things don't permanently become established in our lives, they serve as great learning experiences and provide potential for individual growth.

Stop limiting yourself to things that are familiar and routine. You are losing too many opportunities to find a new hobby, establish a new relationship, land a new job, push yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually, and otherwise find new passions. Life is too short not to seek fortunes outside of your comfort zone. You won't know what you're missing out on until you try. Go try.

3.04.2012

it's ok to be selfish.

1 comments
Why do so many people struggle to put themselves first? Why does making a personal choice sometime result in a sense of guilt? Well, because social cues everywhere suggest that selfishness is ugly. And it can be. But there is a vast separation between making a choice that is best for you, and being selfish.

Life gets busy. Our commitments seem to grow at the speed of light. Schedules begin to overflow and we find ourselves having to make sacrifices. When it comes to having to make a trade-off, too many of us find it easiest to cut out our personal time. Or even worse, we end up swapping sleep for getting everything done. We have to slow down and remember that we can only be as good for everyone else, as we are for ourselves. In other words, if we are stressed and exhausted, it will absolutely affect how we are able to perform our daily tasks. Our work may suffer. Our energy levels will suffer. Our parenting may suffer. Our friendships may suffer. Our romantic relationships may suffer. Our health may suffer. If we don't practice a certain level of selfishness, it is easy to find ourselves drowning.

No person should feel guilty for scheduling in personal time. A gym session 3 times a week. A cooking class. Time to indulge in a good book. Whatever your medicine may be, make it a priority to drink it down.  And better yet, make sure the people around you (husbands, wives, friends, significant others, brothers, sisters, children, etc.) also have time for themselves. It may mean giving your significant other one night a week to have the house to herself. It may mean your husband agreeing to take care of the kids solo one night a week. It may mean telling your boss that you need to renegotiate your hours. It may mean having to trade in an excess commitment for some precious down time. And most of all, it may mean being honest with yourself; you aren't some sort of superhero that can function on little sleep and a diet of fast food between activities. Be reasonable.

Whatever you do, don't feel guilty for having to say no or admitting you are burnt out. The reason we strive so hard to maintain great relationships with our friends, lovers, and family members is so we can rely on them. We rely on them to pick up the extra slack, and be understanding of our wants and needs. Just like they rely on us to do the same. It's a give-and-take. Above all else, remember that life is too short to spend your time doing the things you don't want to be doing (within reason). Living your life to someone else's standards or expectations is just as ridiculous. At the end of the day, your priorities should include making sure you are living and happiest and healthiest life you can; and no, that's not selfish.