advice, Self Growth

What Truly Makes You Happy?

A sequential glide of a pen. The musical sound of fingers tapping one key after the other. Thoughts racing as the words spill out on the page. To me, this is paradise.

I have a book recommendation for you all. The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. I stumbled upon this book a few years ago & it changed my perspective on life. We humans feel almost guilty when feeling lost or not knowing which path is the correct one to take. You’ll get recommendations from all sides & although advice can be helpful, I find the best way to really find your way is to soul search & dive deep into what makes you, you.

Take ownership of your strengths, your short comings, what you’ve loved in the past & what you love now. Truly ask yourself, “What Makes Me Happy?”

You know what makes me happy?

Writing.

Looking back, my whole life I’ve loved the craft. I would keep journals of my thoughts, hopes & dreams for so many years.

I wrote short stories at 7 years old. I made children’s books out of construction paper & sold them to my neighbors. My one neighbor still has one of my “books” to this day.

As a little girl, I wanted to be like Harriet from Harriet the Spy & write down everything. As I got older, I dreamed of becoming a journalist & tv reporter. I was nosy, loved drama & always wanted to find out the scoop on everything. Every chance I took whether it was for fun or my high school newspaper, I was always writing. But unfortunately, like many of us do, I listened too hard to other people.

They would tell me newspapers were a dying bread & you can’t make lots of money doing that. Or they would tell me journalists were too saturated & I wouldn’t be unique enough. I became hard on myself, not thinking I would be good enough. So I changed my path.

And the path I chose isn’t terrible. I’m still proud of my accomplishments. It’s just funny how writing always seems to come back to my life in some form. My Nana used to call me the future Barbara Walters. 😊

Since I listened to others more than myself, I spent my college years learning about the human mind & personalities. Although I found it interesting, I always felt like something was off. One semester I decided to take one writing course, & ended up being referred to the college newspaper the following semester.

And guess what? I loved it!

Clearly, I’ve been oblivious to my calling. I brush it off as something I can do well, I guess? But always went with plans b, c & d.

It wasn’t until I read this passage in Oprah’s book that everything just clicked. It was in that moment I was like “yes, this is me.”

When it comes to your life, you have to find what makes you light up. Sure, I’m not saying you won’t find a career that pays bills well. Or maybe you like doing something as merely a hobby. I believe people can have multiple paths.

It’s so very important to not lose your passions. Passions are what make us stand out from the crowd. And although people might not see the vision, as long as you do, that’s all that should matter.

Take yourself back to when you were really young & people would ask you, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Before society tainted your outlook on the world, what was it?

Yes I dreamed of being a journalist. But I also wanted to be an artist, a teacher for a while & an actress.

Clearly, I have a very creative soul. And I try to engage those traits through other ways. No, I may not have an abundance of acrylic paint & paint brushes, but I do have makeup brushes & I find my makeup routine to be an art in itself. I also love decorating the house & design in general.

These are the attributes that make me who I am. And I wouldn’t give that up for anything. As long as you enrich yourself in activities that feed the soul, happiness can be just around the corner.

My path led me to writing once again this year through blogging. The combination of sheer boredom [especially during stay at home order] & having the time, I decided why not write? I remember laying awake at night & wondering what I would do to fill my time. And the idea came to me like a freight train. I’ve considered it in the past but my insecurities always seemed to bite me in the ass. “What would people think?” “I’ll be made fun of.”

I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I just don’t care what people think of me anymore. If it makes me happy, I’m going to do it.

And so, I shall write. I shall write until my hands are sore, because it’s one of the things I love.

And sure, I may not be the next Barbara Walters. But I’m B, & I think she’s pretty cool.

– B 🌿💕

🥰
blogtober, blogtober, Self Growth

Why You Should Own a Gratitude Journal

Having a sense of gratitude for life is truly transformable. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I kept a gratitude journal for an entire year & wrote in it almost daily. And not to be dramatic, but it seriously changed my life. If you are currently in a place in your life where you’re feeling kind of stuck or constantly seeing the worst in most situations, maybe you need to head to the store & pick up a journal & pen & start writing down what you are grateful for.

You May Also Like: I Wrote In a Gratitude Journal For Entire Year

Here’s why you should own a gratitude journal…

Reflection Helps You Grow As An Individual

I personally love spending time with myself & my thoughts & just reflect on where I’ve been, where I’m going & where I want to be. But sometimes when you are keeping those thoughts floating in your mind, your thoughts can become blurred & jumbled together. I find when I take the time to write my thoughts & feelings down on paper, those ideas become more clarified. Have you ever had those moments where you are so overwhelmed that you can’t get your mind off said situation? Maybe if you sat & wrote them down on paper, you’ll release them from your prisoned mind & perhaps your vision or goals will become more clear.

When You Focus on The Good The Good Gets Better

Like magic almost, if you focus on the positives more so than the negative, you will find yourself more at bliss. The reason I started a gratitude journal in the first place is because I was tangled up with negative situations too much, I was becoming a Debbie Downer & I wanted to get back to the person I was before I was jaded by life. Believe me, I know life’s obstacles & tribulations can change even the most bubbly of people, but I was adamant NOT to give in. And writing down even the most smallest forms of gratitude helped me get through those ruts.

Your Mental Health Benefits As Well

Not only will your mindset shift, but your mental health will benefit as well. When you become more thankful, you release the tensions & frustrations & in turn, lower stress levels, anxiety, improve your sleep & even your interpersonal relationships. No longer will you be tossing & turning about the what ifs of life. You will sleep soundly knowing you have much to be grateful for. I think when you become more aware of your emotions & what goes on in your mind, you can better articulate situations & relationships. They say communication is key & you must not forget to communicate with yourself most of all.

You Become Happier

When you show gratitude, this means you are acknowledging the good things happening in your life. By focusing on the good, you become less cynical & start having faith in your life again. Having that sheer optimism, strong relationships & connections as well as an urge for more experiences results in a much happier existence.

You Gain Self Worth

When you start taking control of your mind, your perspectives & mood…you are no longer accepting or needing validation from other people. You know yourself better than anyone else. Quit holding those judgements, falsehoods, or even critical statements that may have some truth to them. How are we supposed to better ourselves & learn from mistakes when we are bombarded by those situations forever? By writing your blessings, you automatically down the road to success & improvement. No longer see yourself as a lost cause.

Would you consider keeping a gratitude journal after reading this list of benefits?

have you read yesterday’s blogtober post? my current fall obsessions

-B

Self Growth

How I Boosted My Confidence During A Pandemic Year

I think we all can relate that this past year has been quite the mood. I went from having some what of a fashion sense to primarily sporting comfy joggers & athleisure wear & being bare faced / no makeup even when I left the house. Old me could never! And honestly, even though I miss some things, I’ve actually gained more confidence in myself than any other year combined. So, really was it all that bad? Ok, some parts were pretty bad ( & still are) but I’m here to take the positive spin on things & let you in on how this pandemic year lead to a more confident me.

I BECAME MORE COMFORTABLE WITH MY NATURAL APPEARANCE

I love the artistry around makeup & find the routine to be very therapeutic at times. Same goes for my hair routine as well. There’s just something about taking your time in the mornings to get fully ready that really puts you on the right track for a productive day. But when you are barely leaving the house, it started to seem pointless. I quickly started just waking up, throwing my hair in a messy bun & going along with my day. And I realized as much as I found my makeup routine to be soothing, I also relied on it to feel more pretty. In the past, I couldn’t image leaving the house even to just run a few errands without makeup on. And I could have never felt comfortable enough to let my dark under eyes show around my boyfriend. Now, I think I wear makeup maybe 2 days a week (if that) & I don’t feel self conscious about it anymore. I just have my skin breath & let the occasional breakout have their moment. Crazy enough, the less makeup I wore the better my skin became anyway.

I DIDN’T HAVE THE NEED TO DRESS TO THE NINES EVERYDAY

Before the pandemic, my appearance meant everything to me. It’s a way to show off your personality without having to say a single word. But there was a sense of lack of contentment. I thought I couldn’t feel pretty in a baggy t-shirt & jeans. Now, I have the same confidence regardless of what I’m wearing & it’s rather empowering. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss dressing up. Believe me, I can’t wait to go to more events & vacations in the future & have an excuse to experiment with fashion. But until then, I’m proud to have gained a type of confidence that revolves more around my personality & what I bring to the table over how I look. Honestly, trying to keep up with trends & what society deems as attractive can be rather exhausting.

MY STORY IS MINE TO TELL & NO ONE ELSE HAS TO UNDERSTAND

Having to basically start my life entirely over after losing my day care job from COVID could have put me in a dark bubble. But I decided to see it as a fresh start & reflect on what I truly wanted in life – like writing. Whatever path you take, there will always be people questioning your every move. I say, do what works for you & f*ck everyone else. Sorry if that sounded harsh, but it’s true. If you listened too hard at every opinion & comment, you probably would immediately halt in your tracks & stop living. So, keep doing what you are doing & write your story how you see fit.

I LEARNED TO LET GO OF THE PAST & ACCEPT IT

During such reflections, I couldn’t help but go down memory lane sometimes. Not to mention, I spent a lot of time decluttering my belongings which drudged up all kinds of memories. I really learned how to accept the ideas of letting go – whether it was physical belongings, people & even thoughts. By having extra time on my hands, I didn’t have an excuse to get out of the process. It was the perfect time to set some things straight for a better future. As much as you wish you could, you can’t change the past. All there is to do is learn from it & move forward. And now, I feel so much lighter with a wave of possibilities.

SIMPLE PLEASURES ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE BIG MOMENTS

With following the minimalism lifestyle, I’ve always been trying to appreciate the small moments in life more. But during the pandemic, it was a must. I think one of the main reasons I stayed so positive during such tough times was having gratitude for even the most simplest of moments. I made sure to look forward to the nights we binged watched television shows or had movie nights. Quality time cooking dinner, putting together puzzles or even bonfires in the backyard with smores became such highlights. And looking back we now have so many fond memories in our first home. We didn’t need any fancy vacations or events to maintain our relationship. It made me realize, to be happy in life you really don’t need much.

What are some things that made you more confident during the pandemic? What fun memories did you make?

-B