You know what’s amazing? How one little change can affect your way of thinking. I’ve had books move me in a more positive direction several times. At the moment though, I am thinking of things that happened recently.
You may or may not know that in the middle of August I took a week to go stay with a friend in Iowa. During the summer I had been feeling the need to escape, so I finally did. I wanted time to clear my head and figure some things out.
At first, I struggled. I felt anxious and sad, and I wondered if this week was going to be a depressing bust. Luckily, I kept pushing myself to get out and do something each day. The fact that my friend was also SO supportive and encouraging really helped me push through the fog.
Things got better. I went on little adventures by myself – in a totally new and different city – and it felt so freeing. What surprised me is how relaxed I felt. My anxiety had practically vanished. Near the end of my trip I took a day to go hiking. I was out there for over three hours and it felt fantastic! I felt like I was reconnecting with myself. I journaled so many different thoughts. I felt lighter. I could’ve stayed out in the woods forever on that day, but I sadly had to return to society sometime.
That week helped me feel reconnected with myself and my energy. I felt more invigorated and joyful. I found clarity in what I wanted with my life and which direction I wanted to go. I felt ready to do things my way without worrying what others thought.
I came back home to a busy week, but also to frustrations of going back to an “old normal.” I didn’t like how it felt. I had done things differently in Iowa and I wanted to incorporate some of that at home. So, I tried to change things up. I found myself wanting to get out of the house more and I constantly wanted to hang out with my friends. Even now, I keep myself busy with errands, jobs, crafts, and random little adventures. I try to make a plan to do something every day and so far it’s working.
In two weeks I felt such an enormous shift in myself, it was amazing. But, I don’t just credit my Iowa escape for the change. About a week or so prior to leaving for Iowa, I started a habit called: The Morning Pages. Every morning, soon after I wake up, I write three full pages of whatever is on my mind. A lot of negativity, anger, annoyance, and complaining comes out. Which is good. The morning pages are meant to clear my mind of anything that would clog it up. I got the habit from a book called “The Artist’s Way,” which is about getting back your creativity. And honestly, I think it work! I’ve felt more compelled to make things and experiment. I’ve been more motivated about projects. I feel better about what I’ve made. It’s even affected my mentality too, which I think played a role in my Iowa revelations.
The month of August helped make me feel excited about things. One night, I journaled about everything good I was feeling and doing and I ended it by saying that I was excited for the future. I was a bit shocked when that thought popped into my head because, as sad as it is, I had never been excited for my future in my life. I always dreaded it and never wanted to think about it for very long. Even as a kid I feared growing up. But, the fact that I thought about how excited I was for the future made me stop and see just how far I’d come. Hell, a month before I was struggling to see any progress I had made in bettering myself and my life and I honestly never thought I would get to where I am today. Of course I still have a long way to go, but the fact that I’m here proves that things do get better.
My plan now is to keep doing stuff. To make plans for myself instead of waiting for something to fall into my lap. Am I worried about the upcoming winter? Absolutely. Winter is a very difficult time for me. But, I will try my hardest to continue this motion I’m in. I’ve managed to do it for a little over a month already! No one can stop me from moving forward except me.