11 May I’m Baaaaack!!!
You’re gonna notice that I took an uber protracted hiatus from writing. I have to be completely transparent with you, dear reader, but I went through a drastic change in my marital status last year. It was a complete upheaval and I was truly unable to write (nor did I have the motivation to write). Not only did I have to say goodbye to someone I loved, but I had to say goodbye to who I thought I was as a person.
Put it this way, when I got married at 21, that marriage was so intrinsically attached to my identity that I really felt quite lost there for quite awhile. I didn’t know what I wanted, who I was, or who I wanted to be. About 90% of who I thought I was no longer existed and I had no idea who or how to be.
I immediately started dating not long after this change, and I met some really sweet, kind, intelligent, and eligible men out there that made me really enjoy dating again. Dating is a lot of fun. Meeting new people is a lot of fun. It feels good to receive male attention and validation. It feels good to connect with someone new.
But after awhile, I realized that all of this was a way for me to ignore my healing and growth. My ex was the only serious relationship I ever had, and at 40, I was faced by the paucity of my dating and romantic experience. There was so much I need to learn about relationships, men, but most especially, myself. I did not know how to effectively communicate in a relationship, be vulnerable, feel and express my feelings, as well as how to establish boundaries. And I saw that it was impossible for me to accomplish this while I’m dating.
Shortly after I came to this realization, COVID-19 came into our lives, compelling billions of people all over the world into a lockdown. The world, as we knew it, no longer existed. At first, I thought it was just another manageable virus, like SARS in 2003, the H1N1, or MERS. But when I saw how widespread, uncontrollable, and virulent it was, I started to feel scared and anxious. How was I to weather this life-changing ordeal all by myself? I was so used to a jam-packed schedule, surrounded by a lot of people, and now, I just have…ME.
This seemingly intimidating prospect turned out to be a gift. It became the perfect time for me to slow down, go inward, and learn how to genuinely listen to myself. I was able to do the following on a regular basis:
- wake up early in the morning and do 3 hour meditations
- practice mindfulness and be present
- witness and savor beautiful sunrises and sunsets
- get the courage to go on a bike again after my accident
- rediscover my love for reading (fell in love with Norwegian Wood, The Institute, Educated, and 11/22/63)
- take the Science of Well-Being course from Yale
- laugh/talk/cry with my friends for hours on the phone
- dip my toes into writing my first novel courtesy of David Wheeler via Michigan State University
- restart learning Espanol via DuoLingo
- learn new dance choreography courtesy of the fabulous Mylee Dance
- play my guitar and sing
- create video content for social media
- and most importantly, focus on self-improvement
I feel that I am just beginning my journey of self-discovery and healing. It really does take a village. The following resources have been so instrumental and influential during this time and have really helped me improve my well-being:
- Insight Timer-the best meditation app there is
- Brene Brown-researcher, social scientist who is a huge advocate for vulnerability
- Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations-spirituality, wellness, interviews with thought-leaders and experts
- Mark Groves-free 7 day Relationship 101 course covering love, boundaries, self-love/worth, etc.
- Terri Cole-love, relationships, boundaries
- The Happiness Lab-scientific research on well-being and happiness with Dr. Laurie Santos (same instructor as the Science of Well-Being)
- Landmark-personal development courses
- Samantha Skelly-Pause Breathwork
- Sadhguru-spirituality, mysticism
- Deepak Chopra-meditation, healing, well-being
- DailyOM-radical boundaries course
- Carol Pulido-talk therapy and counseling
- GetLifted-personal coaching from an amazing #bossbabe Sarah Raw
- Haute Spark-inspirational talks from the beautiful Adela Guerra
Slowly, I started notice subtle changes in me. I am learning how to create boundaries. I am prioritizing ME TIME in my calendar (easier to do this at this time when everything is closed—LOL). I started caring less about what people think and more about how I want to express myself authentically. To be honest, I was having second thoughts about being so open and vulnerable in this post. But I thought, F*ck it, only a few people will really read this anyway so it doesn’t matter.
All well and good, right? However, I still need to work on the following:
- getting the required 7+ hours of sleep (the clock says 0212 hours as I type this…)
- portion control (AKA not eat for 4 people in one meal. I am getting better at this but still…I love eating)
- not procrastinating on things I do not want to do
- still working on putting the brakes on the AUTO-YES
- consistently not posting on my blog
Ok. I am done. This is a long post, but I guess I made up for lost time. Thank you for reading all the way through the end.
Lots of love,