Simple Pleasures

The best things in life are free.

The older I get, the more I enjoy time to myself, strolling the streets, and taking in all the beauty around me.

As a city dweller, it’s easy to become conditioned to more- more action, more material things, and more excitement. However, with so much to see and so many beautiful things to take in, it doesn’t take any money or resources to have a wonderful day- just simple awareness.

I’m grateful to be able to stop and smell the roses- with a little mindfulness and gratitude, you’ll see that the simple pleasures in life truly are the best.

Twists and Turns: Opening To A Fresh Page

I’ve never been a fan of routine.

In an effort to add some excitement to my morning walk to work, I took an unusual turn.  Instead of walking down the same street, looking at the same storefronts and sights, a little voice in my head told me to do something different today.

As I strolled down the tree lined street, I noticed something shiny on the ground.  I walked toward it, noticed it was a notebook, and picked it up- wet and all.  Wiping off the morning dew, I opened it, expecting it to be filled out; left on the sidewalk as trash.

It was brand new.

Not only were the pages blank, but it matched my aesthetic: blank and rose gold, complete with a heart.

I thought about the feminine design, symbolizing my own willingness to open my heart- and to open to a new page.

We may hold onto the past or regret decisions we have made, but every twist, turn, and detour has a deeper purpose.  These turns may have an unexpected outcome or a beautiful surprise, but when we live in the present moment, we will discover an important lesson:

Our true purpose is to live in the joy of our everyday journey.

Sometimes we just have to start our day off a little differently and be open to what comes our way.

Encouraging Young People To Be Authentic and Mentally Strong

Mental strength is not something we are taught in school. We’re advised to get good grades, earn accolades, attend a good college, and find a suitable career upon graduation. Most graduates don’t even have the opportunity to work in the field they studied, let alone pursue a degree in a subject they’re passionate about.

Students listen to their parents, societal expectations, and those who came before them. “Go into finance,” “work your way to the top,” and “lean in” are the messages we hear as we try our best to make a living for ourselves. Our best doesn’t seem good enough, leaving many anxious, depressed, and doubtful.

Who is actually encouraged to be authentic? At what point in our lives are we advised to be mentally strong?

Success comes in many forms, but to me, true success is learning to embody being true to ourselves, not what society tells us we “should” be.

We’re given hearts, souls, and dreams for a reason; why would we sell them to corporate America?

I’m currently 33 years old and have lived in Metro Detroit, San Francisco, Austin, New York City, and Boston as a young professional. I searched near and far to find happiness and success, yet I kept running from myself because I could never seem to find my place.

I didn’t stop to explore the big question of “what is fulfillment?” until I left New York in July of 2016. I purged my fashion blogger / PR girl wardrobe, abandoned my Astoria apartment, and sent boxes home to Michigan. I spent that summer living simply at a family lake house, finally learning the real meaning of “mindfulness.”

Instead of racing to the top, I began to dig deep.

Although each profession has a purpose, it’s the ego and greed attached to certain people or positions that irks me. Earning a big paycheck doesn’t make a person strong; what would they do without it? What type of person are they without the title attached to their name?

It’s easy to hide behind a career, wealth, or a facade; but the true accomplishment is knowing who you are on the inside. It takes mental strength to believe in one’s self; yet when you realize you are already enough, the world becomes much brighter, and much more hopeful.