Someone left a pint of chocolate ice cream at my house and normally this would throw me into a borderline existential conflict. I would struggle with the decision to either throw the pint out without eating it (because of my never ceasing ‘diet’) … or binge eat it all in one sitting, only to feel great shame and berate myself afterwards, vowing to never eat that crap again.
That morning, after an early workout, I decided to take a different approach. I added a little protein powder and ate a proper serving size. Then threw the rest away. This, for me, was an experiment.
Typically I would feel great remorse even having something sweet AT ALL, let alone for breakfast. I mean I’m still trying to lose 10 pounds which my mind never lets me forget. So how did I feel after? I felt ok. I hadn’t binged, I’d had a proper serving size. I felt … happy.
I’ve written about how my 2017 was a particularly difficult season.I feel like with the turn of the new year, however, that the clouds have finally lifted and are allowing some perspective to shine through. Along with a very positive, very energetic desire for change. (*Cue angels singing in harmony*)
Though last year was rough, I’m a naturally positive, happy person and I feel like I’m finally shaking off the ashes of the years before and getting super motivated to learn and to conquer the whole wide world. Or at least my own.
First step? I’m starting a year-long Happiness Project.
I was racing with my taxi driver, Wyan, to see the sunset at the Uluwatu Temple. This temple is built at the edge of a 70 meter high cliff jutting into the sea and the views of the sunset were said to be spectacular. Not to be missed.
This was the third day of my solo trip to Bali and I most definitely did NOT want to miss this view, nor did I want to spend another day fighting traffic to try and reach the temple a second time. We were stuck in a massive traffic jam up a windy two lane road. We weren’t going to make it by car, that much was becoming clear … so we made a split second decision. A guy on a motorbike passed us (he was the motorbike equivalent of a taxi), we flagged him down, I hopped out of my taxi and onto the back of the bike, put on my helmet and he raced me to the temple, weaving in and out of cars with mere inches to spare.
He was a pro. I had nothing to worry about and yet I clung to him like a spider monkey. In short, I was TERRIFIED.
The motorbikes were the fastest way to travel in Bali as the roads are narrow and windy and there are very few street lights or stop signs … which mean traffic jams galore. A motorbike allows you the freedom to get around an major blockages quickly, but I was too afraid to drive one and had been (up till then) too afraid to hop on the back of one.
But I wasn’t gonna miss the temple. And now we were racing up up up up the cliff and the sun was just starting to set. It was absurdly breathtaking even on the back of his bike. I had a moment. Another one of those beautiful moments of supreme gratitude. And supreme pride. And supreme wonder.
I made it.
And I did make it. Not just to the top of the cliff to watch the gorgeous sunset but also to this glorious time in my life where I was taking risks and saying yes and living the adventurous life I’d always wanted, but never believed I was capable of.
One of my NY resolutions was to write a blog post every week.
Sigh. I have already failed at this.
It’s not for lack of trying. I’ve been trying to write a New Years resolution/goals post for the past couple of weeks now. Had a few thoughts .. but kept getting sidetracked and distracted and then I’d go back to what I’d written and think, ugh, I don’t wanna finish this.
I’ve always struggled with this part. The discipline part of any personal project. And I recently learned why. And (hopefully) a few tricks for overcoming it.
My best friend has been reading a book called The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. Basically it breaks down the driving forces behind why we act … and why we DON’T act. We all have a natural way of responding to expectations and we all are motivated to work in different ways. Some are motivated by external forces only (Obligers), some by both external and internal forces (Upholders), some are motivated if they understand the WHY behind a course of action (Questioners) … and some (like me) aren’t motivated by anything.
(And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.)
For me, this year was particularly brutal. And littered with other B words as well. Breakups. Bar bannings. Bed-Bugs. Black eyes. Bail bonds.
Like I said …. brutal.
I follow numerology (lightly) and 2017 was a 9 year for me.It’s the final year of a 9 year cycle and it’s theme is about endings and closings and ridding yourself of anything that might hinder the next 9 year cycle.It can be easy, if you’re willing to let things go and accept the lessons you’ve been given over the past 9 years.
Or it can be difficult, if you’re like me and stubborn AF.
I stupidly chose the latter, refusing to let go and fighting these lessons and this year with a vengeance. And the 9 year fought back. Hard.
I heard these words recently when listening to Tracee Ellis Ross’ speech for Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit. In that speech she discusses how being an incredibly successful woman in her mid-40s seems to be forever overshadowed by the fact that she is still single and childless.
“Oh, you just haven’t found the right guy yet.”
“What are you going to DO?”
“Oh, you poor thing… WHY is someone like you still single?,”
people ask her (and all single women), thinking it’s a compliment. When in fact it often undermines our entire existence. As if being single and manless/childless is our burden and our one defining factor.
Tracee went on to describe how during a particular season in her life, after breaking up with a guy she loved to date other people, she was journaling about this. About what I’m sure felt like guilt over wanting to date other people and not being in a relationship with a man she still loved (just (I’m assuming) not in the right way). She wrote down the words ‘My life is mine.’ And it stopped her in her tracks.
It stopped me in my tracks the other day while listening to that speech. My life is MINE.
What does that even mean? What does that look like when I really embrace it?