*This is a really long-winded post, just a warning! ;)
I had such a wonderful vacation last week! It was SO good to see my family, decompress and step back from the demands of life for a bit. Priorities really became clear to me while I was home and had the time to think. I realized how lonely I am on the West coast, even though I’ve got my amazing boyfriend and our dog, it’s tough to have so much distance between me and my family. That said, I wouldn’t trade all the opportunities and experiences I’ve gotten out here for anything.
I celebrated my 26th birthday on May 27th; while it feels weird to be out of my mid-twenties, in so many ways, I feel old beyond my years. Losing my dad as a teenager really forced me to grow up quickly, and then holding down anywhere from 2-3 jobs while going to school full-time has been exhausting (although worth it!), and while I’m out of school now, I’ve still been juggling a full-time job, freelance clients and the duties as Editorial Assistant for Rue. Whew!
Around last Spring, my back and neck became so swollen and painful from years of spending 16 hour days at the computer. I started having chest pains, because the knots in my back were radiating through to my rib cage, and my left arm would go completely numb – scary. Then I began having panic attacks again (I used to have them in my teen years) – the pain gave me anxiety, I felt overwhelmed by my workload, finances…I was nervous, sad…lonely. I had everything checked out, and after some x-rays were done, I found out that I have scoliosis, as well as pinched nerves all along my spine. I don’t have to wear a brace, but I did need to seriously reevaluate my ergonomic situation at home and work. Along with regular stretching and adjustments, I hope I’ll be able to get that straightened out soon (excuse the pun).
Anyway, I’m really laying it all out there right now (and it feels pretty good!) Coming back around to the priority changes, I decided it’s time to start taking care of myself. I am getting older, and being in so much pain consistently has really dampened my spirits – not to mention, it’s made it almost impossible to get my work done most of the time. At the beginning of May, I decided to give up my position at Rue. It was a tough choice; I made good connections there and learned a lot, but I felt like I needed to really start focusing on my own work. I’ve been saying that for so long now, and it has really bummed me out that I haven’t been doing it (hence, my motto: less talk, more action).
As I mentioned in previous posts, I don’t feel that this blog reflects who I’ve become anymore, and it has held me back to a degree. When I look at it, I don’t feel inspired…which makes me want to blog less and less. So, a re-brand/launch is definitely still underway. I think for the time being, things will be really quiet around here as I work on the new design… I just need time to recharge and redirect my efforts.
Also, I’m really trying to bring more self-care into my life. Getting a regular workout routine into place, healthier eating habits, etc. Three years ago, I was training for a marathon and practicing yoga every day. Now, I just walk my ass out to my car in the mornings, and call it good. It’s NOT working, guys. I feel yucky, tired, grumpy…and sad. And people can tell, which makes me even more sad. I don’t want to project a depressed aura into the world, so it’s a huge bummer to me when friends pick up on my negativity.
This week, I’ve already started making changes. I have been working out every night…starting slow guys, that’s the key. Thirty minutes on the elliptical doesn’t even feel that bad, and my mood is so much better when I’m done. Before, I was convinced that I didn’t have time to do it! Well, I didn’t have as much, but now that I have a little less on my plate, I feel like working out is manageable. My back is getting happier too. I’m trying not to ingest garbage every second of the day (now THAT is the tough part!) But, I feel way better when I’m getting fresh veggies and fruits (I loved this recipe for artichokes from Megan).
So, things are looking up! I’m finally DOING it. Strataflora is going to be on the back-burner as I focus my energy on the new blog and fresh start. I’m really learning that it’s so much more healthy to cut the cord from things/habits/projects/people who don’t make you feel alive and good, rather than wasting time and effort to resuscitate them. A massive THANK YOU to everyone for being a part of this blog – every single comment has brought a smile to my face, and to have loyal readers like you has truly been an honor. I can only hope you’ll continue the journey with me on my new blog! Cheers to new beginnings and healthy habits!