I “wrote” this blog post while taking a shower. Which is to say: creativity struck me at a very inconvenient time. If I’ve learned anything in my past few years working as a “creative” it is to crank content out when inspiration hits.
So, instead of reading a book to gain continuing education credits for my yoga certification, providing feedback to the students in the college course I’m teaching this fall, or dusting my embarrassingly dusty furniture, I’m typing these thoughts out to make an unnecessary post for a personal blog that I’ve been woefully avoiding for the past six months.
I started this blog to practice writing after receiving some excellent career advice that possessing strong writing capabilities is invaluable and highly sought after by employers.
“It doesn’t matter what you write,” I was told. “Just write.”
*In full transparency: I just took a quick pause to complete my daily French lesson. I’m on a 1108-day streak and today was not going to be the day that I missed un leçon. On that note, only by using my phone calculator just now did I realize that 1108 days is more than three years. Among other revelations, I’ve recently discovered that I have almost zero capacity for mental math. Cheers à trois années! But I digress.
My goal for this blog was to write at least once a month for consistency and to build a portfolio of writing samples. I did a great job the first year of strategically developing writing habits, which not only kept me purposefully busy during a season of self-discovery (also known as unemployment), but also flexed my syntax and lexicon muscles.
Then a flurry of busyness ensued in which I made zero blog posts, but was gainfully part-time employed by three companies simultaneously. Following another season of self-assessment (also known as understanding what meaningful work and personal-professional life balance look like), I recommitted to writing again and maintained the habit for more than 1108 days.
Now, to address the fact that my last post was March of this year. To be fair, the past six months have been a whirlwind. While I haven’t posted here for a while, I have written 30 articles for work and 5 blog posts for Philo Collective; wrote content for three 64-page magazines; devoted almost every weekday evening to baking and the entirety of every Saturday morning to working at the Farmers’ Market; taught 38 yoga flows and 45 dance classes. Those bonus activities all in addition to my regular job that happened to expand this past year because a pandemic is a never-ending communication crisis and my title is communication manager.
I’m choosing to spell this all out solely for personal reference. I haven’t posted on this site because it simply wasn’t a priority—nor could it be.
Tonight I wondered aloud to myself whether anyone lives a life that isn’t in a perpetually stressful season. Are there humans just living in non-stressed bliss? That don’t have to remind themselves, their kids, spouses or friends that this is “just a season” of chaos? That don’t go to bed completely exhausted on a cellular level? That can do simple mental math?
One of my oldest, dearest friends recently asked me why I seem to always fill every spare moment of time with activities. My first instinct was to be offended (because aren’t we always hurt when the people who know us best call us out on things that we already know about ourselves?). But the more I sat with her question, the more curious I became.
Among other factors, I think one telling reason I fill my life to the brim is a desire to experience life to the fullest. And right now, as I stay up irresponsibly too late for such a trivial project, I’ve probably never felt more aware of myself.
Your conscience is a powerful tool of awareness. Sometimes it takes you down a rabbit hole or two, but most often, it connects you to your consciousness by helping you assess how your motivations and actions affect your quality of life.
The point of all of this is:
- It is important to reflect and ask yourself tough questions about why you’re making current life choices and what you might want to change in the future.
- It is necessary to find healthy coping mechanisms to manage the inevitable stress of a life well-lived. Lately, mine has been to lay on my cork yoga blocks while listening to podcasts. It literally opens my heart while figuratively opening my mind. And the best part: it requires no actual effort.
- It is critical to breathe. Seems like a no-brainer, especially given the fact that I’m a yoga instructor and get paid to cue inhales and exhales. But, I need this reminder today and every day. And sometimes I have to say the words or write them out to make that metaphysical connection.
The past six months have been 60-100-hour work weeks of chasing dreams, setting and accomplishing goals, and experiencing challenges and lots of “make it work” moments. I am so exhausted. But even more than that—I am so aware of the blessings that make my life full.
“When it rains, it pours,” is a phrase that typically has a negative connotation. However, the older I get, the more I realize there’s so much positivity in abundance. Right now, I’m swimming in an abundance of significant moments of life lessons.
So, I’ll keep seeking the significant, regardless of whether I can regularly find time to document those moments here.
If you made it to the end, thanks for reading! And, if this was helpful in any way OR if you have other healthy de-stressing techniques to share, let me know in a comment!