About two months ago, I moved into a tiny one bedroom apartment with my 10-year-old. My relationship of five years ended and I moved out of the place we shared. My bed is an uncomfortable futon in the living room and my daughter has the only bedroom. The first night I sat on the floor staring at the wall in disbelief. A year ago — even six months ago things were different.
I suppose this is my obligatory “starting over” post, but I want it to be more than that. This year was eye opening. Even before the break up, I sensed a transition was coming. But the abruptness of it all threw me off. I wasn’t prepared.
I am financially insecure and the expectations of my love life have drastically changed. There is a level of uncertainty that I’m not used to. After a lot of bargaining, I accept that I’m alone now. I want to feel all of it. I want to remember this. In the past when something shitty happened, I stuffed it all inside. I never gave myself permission to feel. Not this time. I’m feeling and growing on purpose. I’m experiencing the joy of a new start and the stomach drop of knowing it will never be the same.
I want to live my life with intention. It’s important with all of the changes. Slowing down and living one day at a time is all I can do. These kind of posts are about advice. I’m not sure I have any. But there are things that keep me in the present. Things that prevent me from wallowing in self pity and worrying about the future. They help on the days when I remember to apply them. I’m open to new steps too.
+Speak things into existence and create a list of affirmations.
I’m still exploring the law of attraction. Is it bullshit? Without action, I think so. When I think back to better times, it seems I accomplished a lot. My confidence was high and I truly believed in my abilities. Coincidence? I don’t know, maybe. I think that a positive frame of mind allows for good things to happen. Even if they are small. Small changes create bigger changes over time.
My mom gave me a pocket-sized book of affirmations when I was 11 years old. I still read it. I recently made a list of my own. I worded them as if they are already happening. I’m not there on most of them, though. The statements start with I am rather than I will.
+Keep things intentional and don’t make decisions out of desperation.
I’ve worked my share of miserable jobs. All of them started with a desperate search and a scarcity mindset. I just had to find something fast to make money. All of these jobs ended with me quitting and being emotionally exhausted. After I left, I would feel almost liberated and that I could do anything. I told myself that I would put more effort into my writing while looking for a new gig. I would have more time to spend with my daughter. Next time, I was going to take a position that aligned more with my values and interests.
Then the self-sabotage began. The fear and lack of money would kick-start the desperate job searching. I blindly applied to anything that I was qualified for. I took the first thing with decent pay. The dread inevitably came and I quit again. The cycle would go on for several years.
Why didn’t I just apply to jobs I would enjoy, or at least tolerate in the first place? Being intentional about the place where I’m going to spend most of my time is common sense right? Not so much. Slowing down and trusting the process would have prevented this cycle from continuing.
+Be spontaneous but not impulsive.
Being spontaneous is a good thing. The unexpected is fun. We hear things like, “live in the moment” all of the time. But sometimes I think impulsivity can be disguised as living in the moment. Almost always, for me anyway, these types of decisions are rooted in the fear that the opportunity won’t come around again. Or that if I didn’t obtain something I wanted immediately, I wasn’t good enough. Trusting that we live in abundance is difficult. Trusting that our lives are full right now is also difficult. I’m still working on this one.
+Set future goals but be grateful for today.
I have a million goals. I want this blog to be successful. I want to publish a collection of poetry. I would like to build a tiny house. I want to make a living doing what I love. I am working towards those things slowly. But I don’t want to forget to smell the flowers. I don’t want to get so wrapped up in the future that I don’t know what the sun looks like anymore. Or that I have a home and food to eat. Right now, I am okay.
I used to be the person that planned everything. Not weeks or months at a time, but years at a time. When things didn’t work out I would become more depressed and blame myself for not being focused enough. I know now that I was doing a disservice to myself.
Life can be overwhelming. I have been depressed for most of mine. Expressing gratitude every day has helped change my outlook a bit. There is a bright side. If I am having a bad day, I find something, anything to be grateful for. I immerse myself in my senses for a reminder that I am alive. I am a part of this vast universe and so are you.
Find one thing to go on for today. If you have to obsess over that one thing, go ahead. Today is plenty. Today is enough.