Categories
self discovery

You Don’t Need to Have Everything Figured Out at 25

The one thing they don’t teach in school is that you aren’t supposed to know where your life is going when you graduate at, say, 22.

Sure, it’s important to have some sort of direction, but how do you know after two decades of life what you really want?

Ten years ago, I was living in San Francisco, working as an office manager at a tech company. I had a boyfriend who worked in finance and usually hung out with his group of college friends from UC Berkeley more than him (they were more fun). I lived with two roommates down the street from said boyfriend in Russian Hill. My life was one big routine, the day in and the day out, so I found other ways to entertain myself.

So, I began writing.

Whether it was a Yelp review or blog post about an event I went to (I did a lot of events and promo work in my 20’s), I was happiest when I was sharing with the world.

Nevertheless, underneath the surface I thought my relationship had to “go somewhere.” I thought my job defined me and my success. I worried my Central Michigan University degree wasn’t good enough compared to everyone in the Bay Area with more impressive degrees than me. I constantly compared myself to other people and their success.

My boyfriend and I broke up that summer of 2010 and I quit my job in the fall. Back to square one, I continued to write, struggled with finances, and drank too much, but I knew I was closer to what I was supposed to be doing than sitting at an office desk five days a week (minus the drinking).

Through a lot of experiences, trial and error, and life lessons, 10 years later I still don’t know what direction my life will take. That’s the beauty of life- the unexpected surprises.

~

I’ve spent the past month spending a lot of time working on my coaching business, starting a new job at a wellness center, and writing, of course. Unlike my decisions to quickly find a job that looked good but wasn’t fulfilling, I waited to find something aligned with my overall goals and vision for the future.

My own experiences and lessons have lead me on a path of helping other people live a healthy, balanced life of purpose and joy, especially young women. However, whether you’re 20 or 70, it’s never too late to make a positive change in your life.

I’ve talked with and interviewed various women these past few months, learning what fuels their own passions. One woman left her corporate job at 55 to open a bakery. A friend of mine from Connecticut lost her stomach at age 17 and later channeled her energy through art, writing, and theatre- and even created her own one-woman show off Broadway (which I got to see back in 2014).

The common denominator between all of the people I have talked to is how their own experiences shaped their decisions- and because of these experiences, they were able to contribute something to the world. Something they couldn’t have contributed had they not experienced what they went through.

So, you really can’t tell me that you’re supposed to know where your life is going at 25.

Why would you want to?

Categories
self discovery

Living With Grace and Grit

I’m still coming down from all of the creative and inspirational energy I took in from my last trip back to NYC. Wow! From the moment I saw the skyline to the feeling I had while driving out of the city, the weekend was nothing but magic.

It felt like home again.

One of my favorite moments from my trip back to New York was when I arrived at Queensboro Plaza and noticed all the synchronicity around me.

From the number “7” (which had been following me around all weekend) to the purple color of the train line, it seemed like everything was a sign.

A sign I’m on the right path. A sign for my next steps. A sign telling me I am fine as I am.

After my trip, my perception changed; not just about the city, but about my own life. It occurred to me that I wasn’t living up to my own potential because outside voices have been holding me back. As a result, my dreamer (and sometimes grandiose) nature has second guessed herself, creating her own negative voices inside her head.

So, I stopped listening.

My path has been anything but traditional, and although I’ve attempted to go the “traditional route,” something has always blocked me from fitting in. It used to be my own self sabotage and issues with self esteem, alcohol, and emotions- however, as of the past year, it’s been because I have been standing up for what I believe in.

I came to Boston to fearlessly look in the mirror and step into the person I am meant to be- without distractions- so the last thing I will allow in my life is someone or an institution to cause me to step backwards.

Most recently, my passion for helping people and inspiring others to see life through a new lens has caused quite a bit of discontentment with the “3D world.” Our society as a whole isn’t quite ready to see life through a new light, but I know there is a place and purpose for me to share my story and strength.

Some people just want to sit in their own misery, though.

This brings me to the whole theory of the “imposter syndrome.” It makes me wonder how many people wake up in the morning, put on their suit or shiny heels, and honestly can go in thinking they’re a “professional.” As if putting on a show and acting for the sake of a paycheck is any way to live. To think living for the weekend or retirement is the only way to live.

Sorry to say, boys and girls, but that’s how our society is programmed. It’s pathetic.

Personally, I would rather live a short life that is full of, well, life. A life of purpose, not routine.

How many of those people feel restricted? How many of those people know they have better ways to spend their day? How many have talents to give but never will, all because society is telling them their dreams are silly?

I have no idea, but I’m done pretending.

I wasn’t given the gift of a grit-filled past with a touch of grace to simply keep quiet.

My story is meant to be shared.

What’s my next step? I’m not sure. However, I am confident my work will be of use to many people- so I am done holding back.

I am ready for my answer, and my next big adventure.

Categories
conscious living empowerment

Purpose Over Popularity

We can’t please everyone, can we?

While running errands over the weekend I passed one of best things about Central Square- Graffiti Alley.  Although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s some of my favorite street art in the city.  Every time I walk through the magical rainbow covered walls, I notice something new.  What did this mean to the artist?  What were they thinking?

Then, as I reflected on purpose and meaning, I stumbled on this message today:

Purpose Over Popularity

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose.  To me, purpose doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant, but it has to be meaningful.

Purpose is what fills your soul and makes your day worthwhile.  Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning.

Graffiti Alley made me think about my own purpose- speaking to others through my own writing and art.  It’s only natural for any writer or artist to fear rejection, criticism, or naysayers- however, the purpose of my work is to connect with those who understand. 

Art tells a story, whether it’s a mural or a song.  Although not everyone will understand the work an artist shares with the world, the art can have immense meaning; meaning that is unique to each individual.

Each time I receive an email from a person who relates to my struggles, has walked in my shoes, or needs someone to vent to, I am both overjoyed and humbled.  Connecting with others on a deeper level means everything to me.  From being a young girl who was bullied in school to someone who can be the voice to stand up for others, I wouldn’t want to be liked by everyone.

I would rather connect with one person on a meaningful level than 100 people for something shallow.

So, the next time I walk through Graffiti Alley, I’ll ponder the thought that went into each splatter of paint, brush stroke, and word.  We may not understand the meaning that went into the art, but remember: it could mean the world to someone.

Categories
mindfulness

Congratulations, Hoda!

I used to be a part of AOL’s Style Network (once called StyleList) of bloggers while living in New York.  One of the perks was attending exclusive events, including the Build Series.  Two years ago this week, I had the pleasure of attending Hoda’s talk, who was at the AOL Headquarters promoting her book Where We Belong (I got to see Sam Waterston that day, too!).  The book came at the perfect time, as I had accidentally deleted my fashion blog six days before (a happy mistake), wondering “what now?”  My fashion-focused self had been much of my identity for years, but I knew it was time for something more meaningful and authentic. Little did I know, January 2016 would be the beginning of my actual writing career… or at least the foundation of it.

I took Hoda’s talk to heart that day; her stories of strength, failures, and divine timing hit close to home.  Sometimes opportunities fall away or push you out, all because they weren’t in alignment with your soul’s passion.  I identified as a fashion marketer and blogger for so long, that I didn’t even realize that is was okay to chose a new representative.

On to the good news!  This morning it was announced that Hoda will be replacing Matt Lauer on the Today show!  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Hoda will bring amazing energy to the show; even in just the short hour I was in the room with her, she had the ability to make everyone feel like her friend.  That’s exactly what Today needs after Lauer’s departure… and is further proof that the future is definitely female.

Congratulations again, Hoda! From a small town girl in Virginia to a news reporter in Mississippi, she is a true inspiration to anyone following their dreams.  You never know where the path will take you… but keep following your heart.

Categories
mindfulness

Ask For What You Want


I’ve sometimes wondered why my path has been so up and down, back and forth.  From the cities I’ve lived in to the variety of jobs on my resume, people have never been able to quite figure me out.  I don’t care.  However, as I reflect on the past ten years or so, my passions and values have been exactly the same; I just didn’t know what to do to manifest them into a stable life.

I’ve done all kinds of things to seek stability, but in the end, they just weren’t in alignment with my creative nature or the purpose lined up for me.  I’ve had an incredible need to experience all life has to offer, yet when my heart is full and I’m doing what I love, I see no need for anything more.

This past year was a time of “cleaning house,” letting go, and laying the foundation for the future.  Before now I never asked for what I wanted… because I didn’t quite know yet.

First, I had to get into alignment with my heart to figure it out.

I’ll be ringing in 2018 the same way I did last year– going to The Nest for Brenda’s New Year’s Eve party and making vision boards.  I had a great time last year, just shy of one month into my life in Massachusetts.  Back then I had no idea what my future would look like; I just wanted to heal and be happy.

and I did.

My vision board for 2017 was spot-on aside from a trip to Paris and a money tree.  It wasn’t a very ambitious vision board… it looks like I set out to spend the year lounging in bed (partially true).  Jokes aside, I’m no longer spinning my wheels like I used to.  There was a lot of self-discovery, self-care, and self-compassion.  I gave myself a break of trying to be “perfect” and used the year to document the lessons I learned along the way.

I used to dip my toes into situations only to pull back out and try something new.  No; not any longer.  I’ll be turning 33 this Friday (12/22!) and I’m no longer concerned about checking off “life boxes” like I was in my 20’s.  I’ve had many opportunities to check them all more than once, but I turned my nose and chose freedom.

I’ll always choose freedom.  The right person won’t restrict me from living out my purpose, because I’ll be in alignment with my soul.

It’s extremely exciting and uplifting to know that our thoughts create our reality.  We have the freedom to build whatever we want in this life.  In 2018, I will no longer sell myself short- I’ll continue writing, keep a budget, find that publisher, finish my book, travel more, and connect with even more amazing people who inspire me to be the best I can be.  Thanks to finally doing work I love, living in a place that feels like home, and surrounding myself with people who encourage me, I have a newfound faith in the future.

Most importantly, I have a newfound faith in myself.

kf