Categories
authenticity empowerment self discovery

Do Unmarried Women Really Live Longer?

Valentine’s Day has come and gone- the day full of Hallmark cards, chocolates, flowers, and sweet nothings.

If you’re unattached like I am, it’s another day to love yourself, eat candy, and remind your friends you care. I sent cards to far-away gal pals, bought a stuffed animal for my cat, and made myself scallops and fries on Valentine’s Day; sounds pretty perfect, right?

Lately it seems my friends are more concerned about me finding a date than I am. It’s usually the married ones. I just smile and say I’m not looking- however, I am open. I won’t rule anything out. Nevertheless, going on dating apps and searching for a partner isn’t of interest to me.

I like my life how it is, and I don’t want anyone to change that.

The truth is, I am not looking for a relationship. When I meet someone who matches my energy, however, I may reconsider.

Dating at 35 is much different than in your 20’s. Since being in my 20’s, I’ve seen friends marry, have kids, and get divorced. I’ve watched them have affairs and stay in unhappy marriages. I’ve had friends vent to me about their sexless love life and tell me they’re envious how I’ve been able to do what I want.

Well, it’s because I choose to live this way.

In your 20’s and even your 30’s, many people look for a partner because they think that’s what “you’re supposed” to do. But when you realize partnership may not be all it’s cracked up to be, you chose to love yourself first.

~

An article popped up in my feed this morning that I couldn’t help but share. I’m sure many of my Facebook friends would disagree, but I couldn’t help but wonder- are single women wasting their energy looking for a partner when their happiness has nothing to do with whether or not they’re coupled up?

Are they just searching to compromise, to have their identity shattered, and to settle for less than what they dreamed of?

You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner,” (Paul Dolan) reasoned during the panel.

Many celebrities and public figures agree, especially Gloria Steinem. “The two happiest groups are married men and unmarried women,” the famous feminist once stated.

Maggie Parker, Parade Magazine

Maybe unmarried women really do live longer. Maybe they don’t. Whatever the case, I can say the key to living a fulfilling life is to do what makes your soul happy- so if that’s going home to your cat or to a house full of people, do that. Everyone is different.

Listen to yourself.

Categories
self discovery

Some of the Best Things About Turning 35

On December 22nd I turn 35.

Unlike most people, I enjoy getting older.  Just look at Jane Fonda!  While some women obsess over looking 21 again, spending thousands of dollars on Botox and anti-aging products, I wouldn’t trade anything to be in my 20s.  Sure, it’s important to moisturize, but why does society glamorize being young?

I’d rather have a few wrinkles than that 20-something soul of mine.

No, I wouldn’t trade years of experience, wisdom, and lessons to go back in time.  That girl was so lost and confused.  She had yet to discover her worth, her values, or how important it was to be herself.  She didn’t realize it was okay to just stay in on the weekend, or that being in a relationship wouldn’t complete her.  She didn’t know it was okay to simply be her.

~

As years go by, I feel I better embody the person I was always meant to be: an old soul.

No longer infatuated with nights out, chaos, and what other people are doing with their lives, 35 is a nice age to settle into who you are- and what your life will be.

Since moving back to Michigan, my external life is finally reflecting how I have felt for so long on the inside.  It’s peaceful, quiet, and full of love.  It’s authentic, and it’s meaningful. Although society wraps up the “American Dream” in a mortgage with two kids and a pet dog, mine looks a whole lot like this:

At 35, you realize the joys of simplicity.

One of the best things about turning 35 is people stop consistently saying things like, “don’t worry, you’ll meet him someday,” or “you’ll change your mind and decide you want kids!”  Yes, these statements are completely stereotypical and old fashioned, but until I hit my early 30s, I still listened.

I thought, maybe I’ll change my mind. Maybe I’ll be happier if I had a boyfriend.  Society says so, right?  Wrong.

These are simply toxic messages that are illusions into thinking a milestone or another person will make you complete.

First, you have to feel complete on your own.

Another great thing about turning 35 is being confident about the choices I have made.  After 12 years of post-grad experiences, living in many big cities, and having endless dating stories, I’m certain about what I want- and what I don’t.

At 35, I live by myself with my cat, have an extra bedroom, spend my time writing, and take public transportation, Uber, or walk instead of driving.  By New York City standards, this would be considered luxury.  By Michigan standards, I am probably considered unfortunate.  Nevertheless, this is me living my best life- and it’s the life I chose.  

At 23 I may have had the house, the fiance, and the two car garage in the suburbs, but I knew that life wasn’t for me.  Each night I felt empty inside, drinking wine until I fell asleep to “According to Jim.”  Today I no longer have to explain to anyone why I left and moved to San Francisco, why I bounced from New York to Boston, or what made me decide to get sober.  It was my journey to live.  Although I’m happy to write about these experiences, it’s not up for discussion or debate with anyone else- and today, I finally know that.

At 35, I know my life is meant for me to live- and no one else.

Categories
mental health mindfulness self care

Enjoying a Quiet Life

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As I sipped my morning coffee and watched the rain fall, an article from Elephant Journal appeared in my news feed:

It’s Okay to Want to Live a Slow & Quiet Life.

How often do you question if the life you are currently living is the life that feels most authentic to you?

One of the biggest questions I’ve mulled over the last eight months is, “What kind of life do I really want?”

As I pick through the versions of the lives I’ve lived over the last 15 years, what I keep coming back to is a life founded on simplicity. The life that resonates the most with me was a time I lived on a 50-acre vineyard and farm. My days felt like molasses—a slow, steady, and sweet flow.

It was a life of less in many ways but full of so much more richness because I was away from the busyness of life that is easy to get caught up in. I had time to experience the slow beauty of what was around me, the warm, summer breeze weaving between the apple trees, the distance cries from my flock of sheep, and green grass as it tickled my feet when I walked in it.

Amanda Whitworth

As I read the author’s own experiences and journey to enjoying a life of simplicity, I resonated with each word.  Being present is a beautiful thing, and could never be beat by bright lights or fast-paced glamour.

The reaction I get when people hear I moved back to Michigan from big cities is usually “wow, what a change” or “you must be bored!”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

To be honest, even in a big city I spent a lot of time to myself and in quiet reflection.  I spent days in the park writing and walked thousands of miles, just snapping photos and listening to music.  My life didn’t have any of the luxuries I was taught would make me feel “complete.”

I embraced what was right in front of me.

Although I used to spend my time going out, dating, and finding chaos, I couldn’t imagine living my life that way anymore.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than going home to a quiet apartment, reading a good book, or finding solace in nature.

Simplicity has become a big part of my life, and taking on the “less is more” mentality has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

It doesn’t take much to be happy when you’re happy within.  That’s the best gift of all.

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Categories
empowerment mental health mindfulness self care

Five Ways To Live A High Vibe Life

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I’m a big believer that life is what you make it.

Circumstances may not always seem to get better on the outside, but we do– we have the choice to change within, and to grow stronger from the challenges life throws our way.

There have been a variety of things that have helped my life improve over the past couple of years.  Happiness is cumulative; we don’t magically become content overnight, but each and every day we have the opportunity to add positive things that will build over time.

Start Your Day With An Intention

Having a mental map of what you want to accomplish each morning is important to start the day on the right foot.  Do you intend to be kinder?  Are you hoping to be more grateful?  Would you like to remain mindful?

Maybe your intention is small, but it’s important to remember it throughout the day.  It could make all the difference in turning a frustrating day into a beautiful one!

Eat Clean

Giving up meat and most processed foods has been a slow-go; although I have dabbled with going meatless for the last few of years, it wasn’t until recently that I took it seriously.  Boy, does clean eating change things.

My energy has sky rocketed, workouts are more enjoyable, and I’m doing my part to help the environment.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

I’m proud to say I’m a happily sober person.  I used to begrudgingly tell people “I don’t drink,” but today I own my sobriety.  It makes me who I am.

Being substance-free has empowered my life in so many ways.  My intuition is keen, my health has improved, my mind is clear, and I make better decisions.  I no longer wake up in strange places, or do I say things I later forget.

Many of my role models, such as Brené Brown and Wayne Dyer, have written about the benefits of living alcohol-free, and how being sober has enriched their lives.  Why would I want to fit in with the drinking crowd when I could be helping someone who may be struggling by sharing my own story?  That’s badass, if you ask me.

Stay In Your Lane

This was the best advice anyone has ever given me.  When you get into the middle of someone else’s drama (especially when it doesn’t pertain you), you’re immediately sucked into their low vibes.

Sometimes we try and be “fixers,” and that’s totally okay- but know your limits.  It’s great to want to help people, but understand when it’s time to step back.

Gossip in general is low vibe energy, and remember- when you point the finger, there’s three pointing back at yourself.  Many use gossip as a bonding tool (haven’t we all?), but it’s some of the most harmful and hurtful types of bonding there can be.  Be mindful of the company you keep- are they benefiting and enriching your life, or causing you chaos?

Make Time For Joy

As you go about your daily commute, stop and smell the flowers.  Take the time to go in for that latte.  Play in the sprinklers.  Enjoy the sunset.

The most simple pleasures are sometimes to most beneficial- remember not to take them for granted.

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Categories
mindfulness self discovery

Living Authentically

According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, authenticity is derived from the natural self, while inauthenticity is a result of external influences.  You know- the ego, societal expectations, and materialism.

So, what is your natural self?

When you stop holding onto the fear of what others think of you, the magic starts to happen:

Authenticity begins.

When you live your life authentically, things start to fall into place.  The right people and opportunities effortlessly find their way to you.  The weight of the world seems to fall away.

For years I tried to water down the person I was due to fear of what people had to say about me.  I would tone down my message, hold back my truth, or justify simple things simply because of what others may think.

Often times, I had no real evidence of what they were actually thinking.

As I began to accept the person I am, I stopped considering the opinions of others.  Sure, it is important for me to be kind and considerate, but I also know when I need to set personal boundaries.  I stopped trying to fit in and embraced what fits for me.

I wrote this back in 2017, when I began my journey of giving less F’s about everything else and caring more about me:

When you’re in alignment with the person you are meant to be, you won’t fit in like you did before.  You will see the world much clearer, more serene, and with a sense of purpose.  The noise from the outside world will no longer affect you so much and you will begin to find ways to improve the world around you, not complain about it.  As you continue to discover your true self, remember that the positives far outweigh the negatives.  Although it can be uncomfortable at first, keep doing you- you’ll thank yourself later. 

If you’ve spent years trying to please everyone around you, here’s the sign you need to break the habit and start remembering the most important person of all: yourself.