A mid-twenty something girl who was once lost but is now slowly finding myself through my hobbies and interests, and the power of my voice.
When I found myself on my own at the tender (and in my case somewhat rebellious age of eighteen) to say I felt alone and lost would be an understatement. I had no idea how to go about life, and I couldn’t even begin to envision chasing my dreams when I didn’t know if I was going to make rent the following month.
I struggled, severely, for a while. Mentally, emotionally, and financially- which ultimately began to manifest itself into physical struggles. I wasn’t happy with myself or my life; and I was making decisions that looking back now, were obvious to see I had little to no concern or care for my body and overall health. I became incredibly overwhelmed with my responsibilities, my insecurities, and the ever-looming feeling of being lonely.
Finding happiness isn’t easy nor is it an overnight task. Furthermore, happiness shouldn’t be looked at as something that as once it has been achieved it no longer requires the dedication or work that it took you to get there. No different than a bodybuilder who took months or years to get their body to their desired outcome- should they stop putting in the same amount of work and dedication, their results would then begin to reflect this. Some days will be harder than others, but the end result will always be worth it.
Again, I stress this awakening process of “I need to out and make my own happiness” did not occur overnight. In early 2016 I slowly began to make the big change of investing in myself, but I still didn’t know how to exactly go about it. If you asked 18-year-old me, investing in myself meant dishing over a grand on a frivolous designer bag. I did know however, I wanted to start making fewer excuses, and more changes.
I was unhappy with my living situation due to a string of bad roommates, but constantly told myself I couldn’t afford my apartment on my own. I decided I wasn’t going to think like that anymore, I was going to change my part-time gig from hostessing to serving, in hopes of bringing in more cash. Despite years of saying I would never become a waitress because of my severe social anxiety and clumsy ways, I did. And now, I absolutely love it.
I was unhappy with my body due to various reasons, but also missing my younger days in which I was fairly active (baseball, hockey, swimming, you name it). I found a deal on Groupon for two months at a Bikram (ugh, I hate even mentioning his name due to his awful reputation, however, it is what started my journey) yoga studio. I hated the first day, tolerated the second, and loved the third. I continued to push myself out of my comfort zone, and to not quit. Before I knew it, I was a Bikram yoga junkie.
I was unhappy that I had begun eating meat again. My body took a negative toll from not properly taking care of myself over the years, my young and immature self’s idea of being a vegetarian was cutting out meat… without the necessary replacements. I also was mainly surrounded by friends and family whom for the most part, unfortunately, seemed to be unsupportive of my decision. Eventually, I caved into the “you’re never going to make a difference” naysayers and began to eat meat again. It wasn’t long before I began to regret my decision and wanted to go back to what made me feel best, and that was being a vegetarian.
Most importantly, and yet scarily, I was unhappy in my job for a long time. Although I was lucky to have been working from home for almost 5 years, I felt as though my job was stunting me. There was no room to grow, and the work responsibilities kept piling on but there was never any appreciation for my efforts. I wanted a job where I could put my talents to use and would be appreciated for doing so. Early 2017, I made the scary decision of leaving my permanent, full-time, benefit giving, at home chilling, job. Since then, I’ve gone through two different jobs before finally finding my home at a job I enjoy, with people I love. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s how crucial it is to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to try new things. I no longer want to live my life saying, “I can’t” and putting myself into an imaginary box, withholding me from so many great things. One of the most powerful things a person can do is to not only discover the power of their voice but their confidence in it.