It’s Time to Slow Down

In search of some creative agency and a chance to finally slow down, I ran away to New York City this weekend. Which may seem ironic to go to THE city of all cities to find slowness but nonetheless, I found it and I held on to it with every fiber of my being.

 

 

Admits wandering the city with absolutely no reservations, incredibly long meals and being tucked away in my friend’s apartment while it poured down rain, I was present. My mental state was craving to just slow down. To be in an environment where everyone was at peace with doing nothing. No to-do lists, no alarms, no pressure, no rants about what needed to get done. Just people invested in who and what was in front of them. 

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It’s sooooooo easy to get caught up in the busyness of it all, I mean how is it already March this week? Someone, please tell me what happened in February? I feel as if I was robbed of it.

Our culture feeds off being busy. We have romanticized the idea of running out of minutes in a day. We’ve glamorized the #nosleep life. And somewhere along the way we’ve convinced ourselves that the more you have on your calendar, the more accomplished you are.

And I am here to call bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

I want to bring back the art of slowing down. Make it a trend. Put it on Pinterest. Print it on t-shirts. Turn it into a hashtag.

#timetoslowdown

#slowingdownissexy

As a 20-something of the western world and as a college student, I have become inundated with the narrative that we are supposed to be on our “grind” right now. That being consumed with something at all hours is normal if not expected. That to work as many hours as humanly possible means we’ll reach “success” faster.

But I firmly believe that that’s a major fault or oversight of my generation and of my peers. We’ve been consumed with this idea that being busy is right. And being slow and having a relaxed schedule is lazy.

But we’ve forgotten that it’s in those moments where you have nothing planned and simply invested with what is right in front of you that life’s most remarkable moments happen. That happiness is found.

It’s not romantic to respond ‘busy’ when people want to spend time with you. And it surely is not romantic to consume yourself with school/work/internship/stuff that you forget to take care of your own mental wellbeing.

No homework assignment, no internship, no extracurricular activity is worth sacrificing your mental health let alone your ability to be present.

We’ve become obsessed with going and going and going that we forgot how to just be still.

We look at time as an opportunity to squeeze in as much as possible yet forget to evaluate the quality of how we spend our time.

And even if we are “out here grinding” (as the kids say these days), it is up to us to be intentional about seeking out those moments of stillness, of being present.

I need to remember to give myself permission to say no to extracurriculars, to extra meetings, to extra responsibilities. And instead, say yes to the things and people who make me excited about life. 

My goal for myself is to intentionally seek out the,

  • Three hour long dinners over life talks and red wine
  • Drinking my morning coffee out of an actual mug on my porch instead out of a to-go cup
  • Meditating
  • A full nights sleep
  • Long day-hikes with my best friends
  • Weekend adventures and long car rides
  • Sunset and sunrise viewing parties
  • Night walks to digest the day

I want to find the small moments of joy and just be. And maybe even shed a to-do list or two. It’ll all get done in time. This life is so short and is never a guarantee, it’d be a disservice to be too busy to enjoy it.

Don’t let busy win. Let’s make slowing down go viral.

 

That’s all for now,

XOXO,

B

 

 

February Intentions – Love Yourself

January is always a hard one. I mean yes, it’s alllllllll about starting over, about starting the year fresh and that’s amazing…But with all that good stuff comes a whole lot of pressure, the pressure to start the new year just right, to start the new year perfect. It’s (let’s be honest) a little bit overwhelming.

And if you’re anything like me, you might have let that pressure win in January. The holiday celebrations lasted a little bit longer than anticipated. Sooo many dang celebrations. I moved back to Washington, DC and let the busyness of life take over all aspects. I was busy packing. Busy unpacking. Busy starting new classes. Busy reconnecting with friends. I made excuses (to myself) for not going to yoga. And maybe forgot to workout for a week or two or maybe even longer. Oops. Like I said, I was busy.

There was a lot happening that life simply got the best of me. And before I knew it I was too focused on my to-do list that I forgot about my new year intentions.

And that’s okay. Because now we have February. 28 days to make up for the past 31.

And that’s why I like February. I l-o-v-e the month of February. It’s cute. And I’m a sucker for cute. It’s an entire 28-days filled with overpriced chocolate and Hallmark love stories. It’s a month full of cliches and more importantly, it’s a month where the pressure to be perfect, where the pressure to adhere to all your unrealistic resolutions don’t exist.

My mantra for February is to love my body and love myself, intentionally, ambitious, enthusiastically and confidently.

And my intentions follow that manta because consistency is the golden ticket to this thing that we call life,

February Intentions

  • Give your body some love and eliminate food that doesn’t serve you (sorry dairy, it’s time for a break unless you’re in the form of fancy cheese because cheese plates are love for the soul)
  • Turn off electronics at 10 pm (go to sleep earlier, get your zzz’s)
  • Drink more water
  • Go to one new spot in DC once a week, even if you go alone (make a list and start crossing off places you’ve always wanted to go)
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself
  • Trust your gut but also love your gut (start taking probiotics)
  • Write. Write. Write. (post weekly on the blog)
  • Practice yoga 3x/week

Keeping it simple this month. Sometimes you just need simple reminders to get yourself back on track. So, let’s all commit to treating ourselves right this month without all the “new year, new me” pressure.

That’s all for now,

 

XOXO,

B

Single and Thriving

Over the past couple of months, I’ve noticed a trend in my life. People ask me if I’m in a relationship. I say no. And then I’m greeted with a half sympathetic, half disappointed smile. As if the fact that I’m single is a reason to feel sorry for me. Or the fact that I’m single is something negative.

Well, if you must know I’m pretty dang happy being single. Actually, I’m probably the happiest I’ve been since I started college three years ago.

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I know that must seem out of the ordinary or a rarity because our society often associates being happy with being with someone who makes you happy. But I’m happy with just being me, as I am with no one to cuddle with in my Instagram photos.

I’m single because I’m in no rush to settle down. I have a lot more living to do before I choose a person or a place or a career that feels like a permanent home. I’m only 21-years old and I’m having fun being young. 

I’m single because I need to be selfish right now. Yes, maybe that sounds narcissistic but I’m about to graduate college and after I walk across that stage on May 12th, I want the next step I make to be mine, simply and unapologetically.

I want to be able to not be held back. I want to feel guilt-free about whatever choice I make next. Whether that is to another country, to another continent, to a fellowship or to a job somewhere I’ve never been, I want to be able to make that decision on my own. I need to be able to live my life as I want to live it right now because there aren’t many seasons of life where that will be possible.

This is the first time in my 21-years around the earth that I don’t have the next step laid out for me and I love the possibility and freedom that is embedded in that. So, I’m going to put myself first right now because who knows where I will end up. 

I’m single because I want to discover who I am by myself first. I’ve been growing up a lot lately, I guess that is what your early twenties are for. They’re for figuring out who you are in this crazy, overwhelming world. They’re for experiencing growing pains and using those pains to become the person you want to become.  They’re for finding what you’re passionate about and what makes YOU happy. And I needed to do that growing up on my own so my new self, my older self, my new “women” no longer a girl self, was as true and authentic as possible.

I’m single because I needed to find love in who I was first before letting someone else love me. I needed to fall in love with myself and who I was. I also needed to be happy being alone, I think that’s super important and often overlooked. Being able to be happy alone so your happiness is not dependent on another person is SO important for me

I’m single because I needed to fix myself first. I entered college three years ago grieving a good friend and trying to navigate a heartbreak for the first time. It was not very pretty or flattering. But I knew that I didn’t need anyone to fix me and I sure didn’t need anyone to put my pieces back together for me. What I did need was to pick up the pieces in my life, as scattered as they were, and put them back together on my own to prove to myself, and no one else, that I’m capable and I’m strong enough to navigate life on my own.

I’m single because I don’t need anyone else to complete me, I just want someone to compliment me.

I’m single because I’ve been with people who make me feel awful about who I am and make me feel unworthy and I know that I don’t need or deserve that negative energy in my life.

I’m single because I have this habit of not being in the same place for too long and I don’t want to invest myself, my energy and my time in someone that I’m just going to say goodbye to in three months.

I’m single because I want MORE, I want romance, I want adventure, I want intellectual conversations, I want to travel, I want positivity, I want to go camping trips,  I want reflection, I want to spend my weekends outside, I want ambition, I want confidence and I do not want to settle for someone who doesn’t get that or share that.

I’m single because I’m not a huge fan of long distance relationships.

I’m single because I know my worth and I’m way too young to accept someone who doesn’t see that.

I’m single because I would rather wait for someone who inspires me, who empowers me and who celebrates me for just being me than someone who wants me to change into their ideal version of me.

So, there it is. That is why I’m single. Which feels weird to justify online but maybe just maybe this will show and inspire the other 20-somethings on the internet that it’s okay to dedicate time being by yourself and that you should never settle for someone when you know you deserve more.

That’s all for now,

 

XOXO,

B

An Unfinished Guide to Self-Love

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We all change, constantly and unconsciously. Sometimes we can feel ourselves changing, other times it’s subtle and change creeps up on you.

And this year I changed a lot. Not only did my hair go through about five different colors but my perspective on life changed, my aspirations changed, my hobbies, my passions, my goals and my dreams changed. It all changed.

I grew up a lot this year. It felt like growing pains as I rediscovered parts of myself and learned (still learning) how to fit my “new” more adult, more mature self into my “old” life and relationships.

It was weird. This past year was weird.

It was a year of growth and a year of discovery. I lived in three different cities on two continents each for four months, traveled to 11 countries, held three part-time jobs, rediscovered old relationships, found new relationships, strengthened friendships, said a lot of goodbyes, difficult goodbyes, found a lot of hellos, found heartbreak, found new hobbies, discovered old passions and made some pretty big realizations along the way.

Realizations

I realized that I can have pretty bad anxiety but I also realized that if I’m surrounded by positive people, if I’m outside adventuring or if I’m being creative then the anxiety isn’t so bad anymore.

I realized that it’s okay to find things you don’t like. I realized that Washington, DC ( a place I thought would be perfect for me) is not the city for me, it doesn’t refuel my soul, it actually causes me lots of stress and anxiety, and it doesn’t inspire me but that is okay. I realized that I don’t actually like working in the field of Public Relations.  I realized that life is too short to settle for a job, a city or a person.

I did, however, realize that I LOVE writing and I love introducing people to a world that is new to them. 

I realized that my soul is meant to travel and be outside experiencing new things. I realized I love being out of my comfort zone. I realized that I don’t need to put time and effort into relationships that are not being reciprocated.

I realized that it is okay to be single, no matter how many jokes, judgments or passive aggressive comments you might get. I realized that it’s okay to have standards. And I realized that it’s okay to put myself and my aspirations first sometimes even if the people that I’m closest with don’t agree.

Journey to Self-Love

For the first time in my life, I have set aside time to set intentions every month, to reflect on those intentions and explore how and if I am being intentional about achieving my best self. It’s a journey I like to call self-love.

I’ve never thought about my relationship with myself before this year. Maybe because I’m just 21-years-old and I didn’t know that self-love mattered or because I didn’t have the time or because I was always surrounded by other people that loved me that I didn’t need to worry about loving myself.

BUT here I find myself… scheduling “me time” every week where I write down intentions, concrete goals and dreams I have. Where I make an intentional effort to reflect on those things. It’s a constant and intentional effort to get to know myself more and to strengthen the relationship I have with myself. And BOY has it been a process….

My biggest and most consistent lesson from this past year of change was that right now, in this new season of life, I need to find love within myself. I need to prioritize working toward loving who I am, independent from anyone or anything. I learned that if I can prioritize my own happiness, other things will fall into place.

So why am I sharing this on the internet?

It seems like it should be kept in a diary… WELL, I figured that other people can relate to this because everyone experiences change and everyone has a relationship with themselves that needs work. Finding confidence in who you are, especially in your 20’s is not easy or natural. Navigating change, navigating self-love, navigating figuring who you are can be daunting, frustrating and hard so…..   

I wanted to share what I’ve found helpful and what I’ve learned in hopes that other people can be intentional about setting out to live a life for them, simply and unapologetically.

An Unfinished Guide to Self-Love

So, this is my unfinished guide to self-love. It’s a journey that we are all on. It’s a constant, forever unfinished relationship with yourself that will always need time, attention and lots and lots of love.

I’m no expert but here is what I’ve discovered so far,

  • Finding time to love yourself is hard. Finding time to prioritize your own happiness is hard. Finding time to figure out who you are is hard. Especially when life gets in the way. It’s not easy to find time to self-reflect, to set intentions and to intentionally set out on a journey to love yourself. It won’t come naturally, you may have never even thought about putting time and effort into your relationship with yourself until now. So know, that it will be hard and it does take time, effort and intentionality but it does have amazing rewards.
  • You have to be intentional. I love that word. Intentional. Obsessed some might even say. If you focus on being intentional with your word, your thoughts, your relationships, your actions then you will find a happiness that is authentic and true. If you realize that you are constantly being negative with your word, then be intentional about seeking out positivity. If you are surrounded with people who are speaking down to you or not respecting you or not empowering you to be better then be intentional about letting go of those relationships. If you are unhappy in a place or a job, seek out change rather than sitting in unhappiness. Things don’t just happen, happiness doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen by being intentional.
  • Physically make time. Actually give yourself an hour once a month and go to a coffee shop, on a hike or to your favorite restaurant and make time to reflect on your dreams, your goals and your progress. Don’t let life get in the way of prioritizing yourself.
  • Physically write things down. I swear by this one. Things become real when you put pen to paper. Get out a notebook and write down your goals, your intentions and your wildest dreams. It’ll make it more real when you can see it right in front of you. And you can revisit those goals and intentions when you sit down to reflect if you are moving toward those.
  • Focus on positivity. Life can suck sometimes but as my best friends Instagram bio says, “Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure – Bob Bitchin” It’s up to you to make a bad situation an okay situation. Be intentional about finding the funny part, the lesson or the good in every situation, it’s there. You just have to find it. It’s up to you and the people that you surround yourself with to seek out what is going right and celebrate that rather than sulk on what is going wrong.
  • Date yourself. I should write a whole blog post on dating your friends and yourself because I think it is SO important. Most people associate dating with someone they are romantic with but you can date anyone. Dating is scheduled time to spend quality time with people. This includes yourself. Treat yourself to time where you can decompress your life experiences and gather your thoughts. Even if it’s just dinner by yourself, put your phone aside and just be present.
  • Date your friends. We, people, human are always changing. Even if you’ve been friends with someone for 1 year or 10+ years you still need to get to know who they are in this very moment, what they are going through and what they are currently passionate about. The people who surround yourself with majorly impact who you are and those relationships take time and effort to maintain and keep healthy. Allow time to ask the real questions, not just the easy ones. We all can learn from each other and what other people are going through.
  • Don’t be afraid of goodbyes. Some people are not meant to be in your life. It sucks. It hurts. You may even cry but it’s true. Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to people who are toxic. Surround yourself with people who root for you (always), who respect who you are and what you’re doing, who celebrate your mistakes, who are nice to you (this seems obvious but you’d be surprised) and who want you to be the best possible version of yourself.
  • Letting go sucks. This one is easier said than done. It’s hard to say goodbye to people who have been with you through major ups and downs but just because you have a past with someone and they’ve seen you at your worst does not mean they are meant to be in your life right now. We change, people change and that is okay. It’s a hard reality that I struggle with personally. I’m the WORST at letting go. But I’ve found that if I make my own happiness a priority instead holding onto people who don’t make me feel confident or respected than I feel SO much better not having them in my life. I’m less stressed and less anxious because I know that I don’t have to tiptoe around them or feel bad about myself when I hangout with them.
  • Don’t stress yourself out. Setting goals and intentions and reflecting on your progress can be stressful. Sometimes the process of self-reflection can highlight failures. Don’t let failure cause you stress or anxiety. Instead be intentional about letting failure teach you what to do next time. Use failure to teach yourself patience and keep you humble.
  • You are enough. As you are right now with laundry bins overflowing, emails unread, dirty dishes in the sink, take-out boxes next to your bed and unwashed hair are enough. As messy as life may seem, it’s okay. Don’t let yourself be hard on yourself. It’s a journey and we have to love every part, not just the good parts.

That was a lot. I know. But I am SO passionate this. So passionate about setting aside time to discovering yourself and living your best life so save this, pin it, read it again and leave a comment saying what you think.

And if you have any advice on any of this, that is ALWAYS welcomed.

That’s all for today.

XOXO,

B