March 18, 2015
Filed Under: Style
The past few weeks have been a lesson in prioritizing. I grew up in a family where the expectation was to work hard now, enjoy life later. My family practically never ate out, took vacations just once a year, and kept holidays and birthdays to a minimum, even though we had the means to do otherwise. This example served me well. I grew up understanding that work is necessary and saving is important, even though it totally sucks sometimes. Despite growing up with a shortage in pizza, parties, and lavish trips, I’m thankful that I was raised in that environment. On the other hand, following my intuition and pursuing happiness, rather than choosing stability, often comes with a sense of irresponsibility and guilt.I recently had to make a decision on if I wanted security, or if I wanted freedom, inspiration, and a whole lot of scary uncertainty. I chose the later.
I’m back in the freelance world; I’m motivated, stressed, tired, challenged, and feel way more in control of my own success (and also failures). Aside from being fully in charge of when I say “yes” and when I say “no” in my work life, I can arrange my days in a way that is most conducive for productivity, my peace of mind, and personal health. I’ve taken up a new ritual of hiking a couple times a week. There are trails just down the street from my apartment and getting outside where I can soak in mountain and city views (at the same time) is the perfect way to spend my morning. Whether the rest of that day leads to exciting prospects or extreme disappointment, I am able to remind myself that I had the opportunity to begin my day in a way that made me happy, and for that I am grateful. It won’t pay the bills, but it still counts for something.
No matter what your schedule is like, I believe there is so much value in creating a routine with at least one activity you truly love and can look forward to. It helps eliminate the constant “I have to” attitude that is so easy to slip into. So whether it be a weekly visit to the farmer’s market, a regular art class, consistent dinner parties, or an hour every evening to read, make engaging in an activity that gives you joy an important part of your schedule, even if it means giving up an obligation in order to do so. Maybe this one thing will be enough to enrich your life in a way you never expected, or maybe it will be a start to even bigger, more fulfilling goals. Either way, you will thank yourself later.
These photos were taken at the highest peak of my normal hiking route. Disclaimer: I normally do not hike in these clothes, and for good reason. These’s shoes were not made for steep inclines.
Photos by Bryan.
“No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts