0047. just do it

Hello and happy Monday! I’m so happy to be back from an unplanned hiatus!

Fall always energizes me. Not sure whether to thank the cooler temps, the breathtaking foliage or another year around the sun, but the ideas flow and it’s really hard to keep up with my thoughts, lists and plans. (Still haven't checked off a few of these.)

This year has been no different, but my body had other ideas. Four weeks ago and horribly timed, I received a hard to ignore and painful message … Slow down, take care, stop eating things you’re allergic to every day, make doctor appointments, work smarter - you know the drill.

Of course it was right before a wedding/our last summer trip and the stress of seeing a bunch of people made it worse - I felt like a monster. My face was red, oozy and flaking; worst of all - it was extremely uncomfortable. Everything I ate aggravated my skin so even a beloved activity (and trusty comfort device) was a gamble.

As with many things, it was a monster of my own doing. I have eczema and while I can say no to a lot, food is hard. I’ve already given up eggs and dairy (pizza exceptions are common), but have started noticing (and ignoring) itchiness after new things - tomatoes, zuchs, paprika, chips - normal food hurting me way worse than it ever has. Turning 30 is a bodily (not scary, just noticeable) experience!

Despite this and now that I’m on the other side (thank you, marigolds), I’m so very excited to have turned 31 this month. Corporeal changes aside I’m fully feeling the '30, flirty, and thriving’ feels - flirting with possibility, career options and opportunity, thriving at making a life full of love, joy, and growth; being fully myself while still evolving in ways that feel true to me (more on this here).

I feel like it’s a common theme in women’s lit, or at least I remember reading it in my youth: turning 30 is the best; you feel more comfortable in your skin and confident, you know what you like and don’t. These things are true but they needn't be confined to your thirties. I started to feel this way in my late 20s when growing old all of the sudden didn't seem so bad.

Is there a secret? Do things magically change as you age? I don’t think so. Without challenge nothing changes. Change and growth are processes that require effort and zeal and for me this vitality comes from lots of trail and error and a mindset I have finally fully adopted:

Just do it.

Nike really nailed it with that slogan. I stenciled these words into one of my notebooks a couple of years ago because as a person who loves planning, it’s a necessary reminder - it’s so easy to get stuck in a planning phase and never do the dang thing. It’s even more easy to think of a big goal, feel intimidated and end up frozen with inertia. It’s easy to feel content and comfortable where you are and not want to leave that.

I say this because leaving my job was hard and scary - I asked myself so many hypotheticals: what if I never find a job I love as much? Or a job at all and my savings get depleted? The fear was real but it's worked out - I put myself out there and it propelled me into action. It made me do stuff because I no longer had an excuse; if it wasn't happening the only person to be frustrated at was myself.

This sabbatical was for years just an idea in my mind. But as the time passed (truly, a whole decade) I acknowledged that my lists and grand plans would never happen unless I made them a reality with my decisions and actions.

Likewise, a year ago I started this blog because after literal years of wanting to I finally sat down, took the scary goal, broke it down into doable pieces and did the work - dreams don’t work unless you do and done is better than perfect.

And if you keep procrastinating the work? The days will turn into years, which will turn into decades ... your whole life may pass you by with your dreams never leaving your head and what a tragedy that would be.

To this end, I'll leave you with words that never fail to propel me past my fear:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” -Martha Graham

And from a writer I wish I could've befriended:

"Though we do not wholly believe it yet, the interior life is a real life, and the intangible dreams of people have a tangible effect on the world."

"And it was up to me, therefore, to make of my brief opportunity the most that could be made." - James Baldwin

I'd love to know - what quote or mindset has propelled you towards your goals and into growth? 

PS. A year ago with similar feels, except a much cloudier day of birth.


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