In the first week I moved back to LA I learned 10 really valuable lessons. This is the last of them.
I did something crazy. I quit my corporate career. I moved out of my house. I left my beloved dog in Northern California. I donated or sold 75% of my belongings. And I moved back in with my parents. Because for once in my life, I decided to put myself 100% first. I decided to chase my own bliss, disregarding what anyone else might think is best for me.
In order to do this I knew that I needed to love myself first. And I knew that my friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances would understand why I was making this crazy change. And if they didn’t, if they didn’t support me, then “Bye, Felicia.” Good riddance to that negative energy. I am doing this for me.
Here is the thing though: You can’t just go rogue and then sit on your ass. I knew that if I was willing to take on criticism or judgment for what I think is right for my life, then I have better give it 100%. I would need to own it to the fullest and show up for myself everyday of this journey.
Show up for yourself? What does that even mean? Well, it means put yourself first. It means do what makes you happy. It means do it for you.
Here are some ways I show up for myself:
- Put my best face forward. Now that I don’t have a job to report to each day, it is really easy to spend all day in PJs, watching Grey’s Anatomy, and neglecting to interact with other humans. So to combat this, I promised myself I would put my best face forward each day. Showered and dressed for whatever opportunities might come. If I get a last-minute offer to go on an adventure (the “Hey, be ready in 15 minutes” text that we all dread), I don’t want dirty hair or unshaved legs keep me from saying “yes.” I get ready to be ready.
- Have a goal. I made this crazy life change for a reason. I was unhappy and unfulfilled at 23. I promised myself that I would travel, say ‘yes’ to new experiences, and apply to graduate schools. So that is exactly what I am doing. Have a goal for the day, the week, the month or the year and work toward it! If you say you want to build up more muscle mass, then hit the gym. Want to learn a new language? Then sign up for classes.
- Stick to your commitments. I have a lot of free time, but my friends do not, so I am lucky if I make a single plan for the entire day with another human. I really look forward to these plans and I have learned to stick with them, even if I am super cozy in my bed. So don’t be a flake, on your friends or on yourself. If you have plans to see a movie and your friend bails, treat yourself to the movie solo! Just because your friend can no longer make it doesn’t mean that you have to miss the movie you have really been looking forward to. It is called masterdating, it’s a thing.
- Find a way to better yourself. You don’t have to go from zero to Gandhi in 60 seconds, just find a simple way you can improve who you are as a person. For me, this was taking time to read. I decided to read one book a month as a way to destress, become more worldly, and sharpen my brain (instead of letting it turn to mush watching Netflix. Although, I will say, I am basically a doctor after 6 seasons of Grey’s). Since starting this, I am reading about 3 books a month instead of my goal of one!
- Do it because you love it. There are a lot of things that I realize I miss doing now that it isn’t mandated or expected of me. For instance, putting on makeup for work. I don’t need a corporate office to justify dolling myself up. So if you too love getting fancy-fied, then put on some makeup and curl your hair, even if you are the only person who sees it all day. Even better, snap a pic (or three…) to your bestie! After trying out a new lipstick, Jessie was the first to know!
- Keeping moving forward. I am finding that it is easy to feel frustrated with myself. It is easy to say, “Tess, it has been two months already! Why don’t you have it all figured out?” It is easy to feel like I don’t have my feet on the ground, like I am just floating in this limbo. But I do have my feet on the ground. I have years of managerial work experience, a college degree, and the drive to be more than just the unemployed twenty-something living with M+D. I have my feet on the ground, I am just figuring out which step to take first. What type of graduate school program do I want to apply to? Should I get an unpaid internship and live at home while waiting for applications to come back, get a big girl job that can pay the bills while I wait, or move to another state for a few months while I wait? So many options and I don’t want to make the wrong move. But ultimately, I know that I don’t have to have it all figured out. I just have to keep moving forward. I just have to take a step toward my happiness.
It is time to take the plunge and do what is best for you. It is time to show up for yourself.
How will you show up for yourself this week? Let me know below.