Speaking My Mind
Personal blog about my life after college.
It’s been one year since I graduated from college, and what a ride this last year has been. At this point in my journey, I feel at ease and I’m enjoying the flow, but that wasn’t the case previously. A few months ago, I wasn’t feeling like myself at all. I was isolating myself, doubting myself, suffering from anxiety attacks, and dealing with other symptoms of depression.
If you don’t want to read those posts, or if you have already, I thought I’d share the highlights of what I’ve learned since graduating from college. These lessons are not a guide to land a job; they’re applicable to multiple chapters of life. If you are graduating from high school, college, or if you’re just moving on, I hope what I have learned will remind you to flow and to enjoy your own journey.
Five Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduating from College
1. Honor where you are at.
I spent many hours scrolling through Instagram first thing when I awoke and then again before I went to bed. While social media is a great way to stay connected to people, which may be particularly desirable when you graduate from college and move away from your friends, I found myself stuck in the “comparison trap” based on other people’s photos. One person would post about getting a great job, another person would share that they are beginning graduate school, and someone else would divulge the glamorous details of their gorgeous vacation.
Although these were accomplishments to be celebrated, I often found myself feeling bad for not accomplishing or doing any of those things. Fortunately, I eventually realized how negative Instagram was for me at this transitionary point in my life, so I deactivated my account. It helped me to become present and thus, I focused on myself rather than what everyone else was doing. It was then that I paid attention to the things to be grateful for, which improved my perspective and my attitude.
Social media may not be a problem for you, but I encourage you to notice if you are honoring where you are at now and finding gratitude, or if you are more focused on everyone else and/or what you lack.
2. Be positive
One of my favorite quotes is “Your perspective is your reality,” and it is incredibly accurate. If your perspective is that your life isn’t going the way you want it to, you never get what you want while everyone else seems to, and that you are a loser, then yeah, that is your reality.
On the other hand, you can perceive your life as being full of obstacles that you are capable of overcoming because everything you’ve experienced in the past has prepared you for what is ahead. You can argue that you do get what you want because you work hard for your goals. Maybe you’re not getting what you want when you want it, but you will get what you need when you are ready for it. Lastly, you can practice compassion toward yourself.
The practice of positivity was very difficult for me initially, but over time it got easier as I began to feel lighter and happier.
Another favorite quote of mine is “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Your efforts are seen and they are not futile.
4. Be patient
I never had my post-grad life planned out, but I did expect to obtain a full-time job within a few months after college. Many people graduated with full-time offers, so this didn’t seem like an unreasonable goal to me.
As months passed without receiving a single offer, I felt like a failure and a loser. It seemed like everyone around me was moving forward while I was left behind, living with my parents and without a full-time job.
In retrospect, I am grateful that everything panned out the way that it did.
If I had gotten a full-time offer that began when I graduated, I wouldn’t have been able to do yoga teacher training. If I had gotten an offer right after YTT, I may not have gotten my yoga teaching job at the community center and I may not have been able to get as involved in the center because I wouldn’t have been able to sub as many classes. I also wouldn’t have built up as strong of a reputation at the community center.
If I had gotten a job right after YTT, I wouldn’t have accepted the campaign job, which introduced me to an unsuitable leadership style for my personality. If the promised job after the campaign had come to fruition, I wouldn’t have used a staffing agency. I also wouldn’t have had as much time to study and take the GRE. If I hadn’t had the campaign experience, I wouldn’t have had as much to talk about during interviews I got through the staffing agency. If I had gotten a full-time offer during this time, I wouldn’t have been able to accept a temporary position where I learned a lot about office culture and professionalism.
If I hadn’t attended my community center’s happy hour after work on a Friday, I wouldn’t have talked about my temporary job and what I was looking for next. If I hadn’t attended that happy hour and if I hadn’t been able to talk about my work experience, I wouldn’t have been noticed by a fellow staff member whose husband was looking for employees. If I hadn’t had a major shift in my perspective and if I hadn’t continued to persist, I wouldn’t have gotten an interview through the staff member or on my own job-search. If I hadn’t adopted a positive perspective and if I hadn’t found gratitude for my current situation, I wouldn’t have been an impressive candidate. My boss at the community center wouldn’t have vouched for me as being a valuable employee. Then I wouldn’t have had two job offers in the same weekend. Thus, I wouldn’t have accepted my current position, which I love.
This “logic” can go in so many more directions, but the point is that everything happened how it needed to.
“You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.” -Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life”
Just because it didn’t happen when I wanted it to, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going to happen at all.
5. Experience joy.
Transitions are uncomfortable, scary, and stressful, but that doesn’t entail you should feel that way all of the time, or at all. When times are difficult, it’s all the more reason to experience joy. This can be as simple as reading a book, having coffee with a friend, or volunteering for a cause that is important to you. You deserve to experience joy daily.
Let me know your thoughts on these lessons, and please share anything you’ve learned along the way!
Now that it’s May (how is it May already?!), I would like to take a moment to reflect on my goals for 2019. Below is where I am at in my 2019 aspirational list.
Top 10 Goals for 2019
1. Allot weekly yoga studying time – I was doing this…then I stopped. I am going to be doing some yoga workshops though.
2. Establish a consistent meditation practice, at least weekly – Always a work in progress. However, my boss has introduced me to a local Buddhist meditation center that I now visit.
3. Plan and execute a chakra yoga class series for the spring – May not happen until the fall?
4. Research and book a yoga workshop/training for late 2019/2020 – This is happening!
5. Confidently making decisions! (Such as for grad school) – I have been actively working on trusting my inner voice.
6. Integrate cardio at least weekly into my routine – Thanks to my yoga job, I have definitely been integrating cardio via a cycling class. I love the community and I love cycling!
7. Work daily on a long-term writing project – I’ve been in a rut lately so writing has taken a back burner unfortunately.
8. Continue to maintain this blog and begin planning how to expand it – I am maintaining this space but I’m not expanding it…I don’t think expanding it is my goal. I just want to be creative more frequently.
9. Complete the rest of the half-read books that I have. – I have finished several half-read books, such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I had an affinity for older literature for a few months ago.
10. Create a ritual for my ancestors – This still needs to happen
What I’d like to focus on at least until the Summer Solstice is creative writing. I’ve been reading so many books lately and I’ve been inspired by all of them, but I haven’t been taking the next step, which is to use my inspiration! I think I just need to find a better balance between reading and writing.
I feel that way with yoga too. I spend most days practicing asanas, but I need to integrate more studying of Yoga philosophy. Initially, I thought I needed to improve my sequencing to become a better teacher, but currently I think I need to explore spirituality.
Now I invite you to take this opportunity between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice to realign and refocus. Are you on the track to achieving any goals? Have you neglected some goals? Have your desires for 2019 changed?
Let me know in the comments below!
The title of this post feels like a throwback to my obscure blog post titles circa 2014. This title is actually not obscure though…my barista really did get a new job. He’s going to be working full-time doing something related to his field and it’s great! It’s also bittersweet because he’s been my barista for a few years, and I’m going to miss chatting with him.
I’ve actually known him for over five years, before he even became a barista. We used to work together at a burger shack when I was in high school. (If you read my blog back in 2014, I’m referring to the infamous burger-shack-lesbian-romance-disaster that I wrote in great detail about during the beginnings of this blog. He’s from that era of my life).
Before my senior year of high school began, he quit to become a barista at the coffee shop local to me. He was (maybe still is) friends with my first ex, so I used to still hang out with him when the lesbian squad and I visited him after his shifts.
When my ex and I split during my first few months in college, I dreaded running into him when I was home from break and went to my local coffee shop. Obviously, as time passed, wounds healed, and dread turned into “nice.” It was nice to run into him every few months just because he was a familiar face and we would catch up a bit.
After I graduated from college, I basically moved into the local coffee shop just so I could escape my parents’ interrogations about jobs. Our conversations at the coffee shop became longer since we had more time to chat and since we saw each other more frequently. We bonded over job-hunting since he was graduating soon and about to embark on the full-time job-hunt too.
So…he’s heard bits from all different points in my life. He’s heard about college, my temporary jobs, my two full-time job offers, and my acceptance of a full-time job offer. I’ve heard about his college experience, job-hunting, and I coincidentally saw him on his last day at the shop, so he was able to tell me about his acceptance of a full-time offer.
It’s come full circle! We’ve both moved on from that coffee shop and are now professional, working adults. What a life.
I want to try to stay in touch with him, despite the fact that I won’t be seeing him somewhat regularly anymore. After I saw him on Friday, I messaged him to suggest getting drinks after work sometime. We’ve never hung out before aside from five years ago, but I think it’d be nice to try. Maybe we can become better acquaintances or even friends! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.
Have a great week everyone!
Today would have been the second-year anniversary with my ex. Although we didn’t quite make it to two years as a couple, she was part of my life for more than two years and…I didn’t realize how much of an influence she had on me until she was gone. She has seemingly tainted everything.
Parts of my wardrobe were either gifts from her or they are from activities that we did together. Places we went together, that I still frequent, remind me of her. Some items I use daily are gifts from her. She’s permeated most, if not all, aspects of my life.
I also hadn’t realized until recently that it was never possible for things to end well between us because we hadn’t been on the same wavelength for a long time. So…processing that has been devastating.
A few other things have been difficult to process as well lately.
Tomorrow my cousin would have turned twenty-eight. I wish she was still here with us.
I haven’t really talked about this much, if at all, but my mom is beginning treatment next week for her cancer. She was diagnosed the day after my cousin passed away, so it’s not exactly a new situation. She’s doing well, but what she is enduring is scary and exhausting. This will be her first time doing any type of treatment. Yoga has been helping her tremendously though. She goes to all of my yoga classes and has been practicing pranayama (breathing) and mindfulness in her everyday life, especially when she goes to the doctor. I’m really proud of her.
Then things will become a little sunnier.
A few weeks after she begins treatment, my sister will graduate from college. I’m so proud of my sister, but I can’t believe how fast time flies.
The week after my mom is finished with treatment and after my sister graduates, my family and I are going on a much-needed and well-deserved vacation to Disney to celebrate all of the endings and to welcome the new beginnings.
So…while April may be a difficult month, it’s watering the soil to support growth in May. Hopefully there will be many flowers.
One day I will have it all: A bountiful, dynamic, creative career, and a satisfying, secure, love life. That day is not today though.
Today, I feel like I’m playing whack-a-mole. For months I was stressed about my professional life and not worried about my romantic life at all. Now, my professional life is flowing, and my romantic life has been torched to the ground and then pulverized for good measure.
I’ve become a little numb to the devastation of my relationship. This is both good and bad…good because I’m able to function relatively normally at work, with my family, and with friends. It’s bad because my feelings aren’t really being addressed since I opt to distract myself, thus this numbness has been hampering my creativity.
So…below is a little check-in with myself based on my breakup-recovery checklist from a few weeks ago.
How to Bounce Back from a Breakup
- Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it. I did land a job! It’s fantastic!
- Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out. I did organize a little bit…but this is still a huge “to do.”
- Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself. I did get a haircut, but I never painted my nails.
- Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need. I’ve been doing my best to plan small outings with friends on the weekend. It’s definitely been helpful.
- Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing. Yes, but more importantly, I need to allow myself to grieve.
- When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work. I get along with my coworkers really well! We plan to go to a Thai meditation center together next week.
- Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now. I haven’t finished this book, but I’ve finished about three or four other books. This is still a work in progress.
- Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students. I haven’t done this.
- Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine. I did it for a bit but my meditation habit continues to be inconsistent.
- Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym. Yes…I’ve accomplished this.
- Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity! I have been journaling…it helps.
- Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment. Lately, I’ve been engaging with people primarily at work.
One thing I’d like to add to my list is below:
13. Allot time to grieve weekly.
Do you have any breakup recovery tips? Let me know in the comments below!
Have a splendid weekend 🙂
Good morning, everyone! Happy Friday!
I apologize for my absence last week. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold on my first day of work, so when I wasn’t working, I was sleeping. I’m grateful to report that I feel significantly better and that I’m back to my regular self!
Aside from being sick, the last few weeks have been insightful and exciting. Before I started my new job, I took advantage of being unemployed by going on small adventures.
The first two days of the week, I subbed at my previous temp job so I got some extra spending cash for my adventures. On Wednesday, I went to my alma mater and ate lunch with my sister. Then I spontaneously had dinner with my ex. On Thursday, I caught up with my friends from my Europe travels. It’s always wonderful to see them. Friday, after teaching my AM yoga class, I went to the city with my sister. Because it was so nice out, we walked a ton, it was fantastic. Then on Saturday, I visited a friend’s new apartment and neighborhood. The area had such a LGBTQ/hipster environment, it was cool to experience. On top of everything, I subbed for a yoga instructor all weekend.
I suspect all the adventures, plus subbing all the yoga classes, were taxing on my immune system, causing me to get sick. It was well worth it though.
Last Monday, I began my new job! I’ve been enjoying it a lot. My boss is kind and supportive, my coworkers are lovely and helpful, and the work has been challenging and exciting. The only thing I’m having a bit of a difficult time with at this new job is the amount of sitting I do all day.
I’ve worked in an office before, so it’s not like I’m completely unaccustomed to a desk job. However, the previous office I was at was larger, so important places like the bathroom, the printer, and the kitchen were further apart, thus I walked more. The office I’m at now is significantly smaller, so I take probably 10 steps total to either go to the makeshift kitchen, to get something from the printer, and to go to the bathroom. All the sitting causes me to feel antsy, so sometimes I stand at my desk while I work. Unfortunately, the desk is not accommodating for working while standing, so I can’t stand for very long. I may get something on Amazon to make my desk and thus my workspace more comfortable. And/or I may go on a brief walk during my lunch break. If you have suggestions or thoughts, please share in the comments!
Another new thing going on in my life: last week I taught my first yin class at the local community center/gym I regularly teach at. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to teach an additional class and to teach a different yoga discipline. I am continuing to research workshops to take to expand my knowledge so I can integrate it into my classes. I have one in particular that I most certainly want to do, it’s just a matter of finding the courage to register.
That’s about it for me. A lot of new seeds have been planted before the Spring Equinox. I’m eager to see what blooms.
You know how most of my blog posts for the past year have been about the devastating/depressing/frustrating/stressful process that is job-searching?
Well, last weekend, that process came to an abrupt halt because I got two job offers! Yes. I got two job offers in one weekend.
It was surreal! It still feels surreal! About a year of job-hunting has gone by without interest from any employer, despite the plethora of contacts that my parents have given me and despite utilizing recruiting agencies. Then, suddenly, I got two job offers in the same weekend. I felt like a hot commodity finding myself in a love triangle of job offers!
Well, I accepted one of the job offers, and I begin on Monday.
I’m genuinely excited about the job and I’m so grateful for how everything has panned out. The process has been grueling, but in hindsight, I can see that this is how it all was supposed to go. It all has flowed seamlessly, I just had to lean into the process rather than resist it. Before it felt like I was trudging through honey, but now I feel like I’m flowing with ease.
So let’s dive right in into the two contenders for my heart in this love triangle, and then the Law of Attraction journey to landing the job!
Contender 1: The Loyal and Reliable One
One of the job offers actually came from my own contact through my yoga job. I wasn’t expecting my part-time yoga job to end up connecting me to a full-time professional job, but the Universe works in mysterious ways!
Even how I got a yoga job was mysterious.
Essentially, I was skeptical I was even going to have an opportunity to teach yoga. I didn’t have any relationships with yoga studios in my hometown and in my area, it’s difficult to get a yoga teaching job. Rejections both from yoga studios and from professional jobs were beginning to weigh me down, so on the drive to my last yoga audition at a community center, I vowed that I would put a hold on yoga job-hunting if it didn’t pan out.
The last yoga audition I had was for a position not exactly at the most desirable hour (5:45am!), but my then-girlfriend insisted I go for it. I’m glad I did because I got offered the job offer right then and there!
Months later, the community center has become a second home to me and it has provided me with grounding when I’ve been entirely off-kilter.
They trained me in CPR and first-aid and they provided me with a membership as well, so I’ve been able to take yoga classes with others rather than doing yoga entirely by myself. Plus, I sub for other yoga teachers whenever I can, and I have challenged myself by trying other workouts as well, such as cycling, which I have come to love.
My boss appreciates my contribution to the community and she has provided me with the opportunity to try teaching an additional yoga class on Sunday afternoons to see how it goes! This part-time yoga job has provided so much for me just in regards to yoga, but the story doesn’t end there!
One Friday night there was a happy hour for instructors, and I attended despite my hesitation to go because I was exhausted. I’m eternally grateful I did attend because I ended up chatting with my boss and other instructors about my job-hunting woes and how my temp job was ending the following week, so I desperately needed a new job. Well, one of the instructors told her husband, who was looking for an employee, and then told my boss about it. My boss raved about me to her husband, who was looking for someone with more accounting experience than I have, but he ended up offering the job to me because of my relationship with my boss!
Contender 2: The Mysterious One
The second job offer I had was through Indeed, so the story isn’t as glamorous.
Basically, my positive attitude and perspective that I’m continuously working on helped me land a job offer with the second contender. I know this because the owner of the company, who sat in during all the interviews, told me.
The Law of Attraction Journey
Obviously, I’ve been working really hard toward getting at least one job offer, but I strongly believe that I successfully harnessed the Law of Attraction in my favor too.
During the month I was working at my temp job, I was reading a book that my wonderful then-girlfriend lent me about the Law of Attraction. One of the ideas detailed in the book was to ask the Universe directly for what you want by pretending you are placing an order. When you order something online or in a restaurant, you don’t order it again because you know you are going to get it. You don’t think about it again either, except to maybe visualize receiving it and to be excited about whatever it is you ordered.
One day, I decided to try this idea. I wrote in my journal the things that I wanted in a job and then I wrote “I have asked and now I believe that I have already received. I have placed my order and I’m experiencing it now.”
Below is my “order:”
- I want to be in a company where I can grow
- I want to have a routine and enjoy my coworkers
- I want to be challenged without being excessively stressed
- I want to be close enough to home (for now)
- I want to feel excited about my job
- I want to build a community
- I want to be able to work from home and I want generous PTO
- I want to be able to continue to pursue my passions (yoga teaching, writing, etc)
- I want to be paid fairly
- I want to have reasonable hours
- I want to have a social life outside of work
- I want to travel on my PTO and invest in a car/an apartment
- I want to save for retirement and buy stocks
- I want a benefits package
When I thought about job-hunting again, instead of regarding it as a dreadful, tiresome experience as I have been for the last year or so, I thought “I ordered a job, and I’m going to get it. It’s on its way.”
This thinking allowed me to relax a bit and not be so hard on myself. I focused instead on raising my vibration and feeling joy.
During my last week at my temp job, however, I was upset that everything in my life seemed to be ending. The temp job and my relationship with my girlfriend had come to a close, and my future felt incredibly uncertain.
That changed a few days later when my supervisor asked me about working an extra two days after I was technically done. A few days and job interviews later, and I got two job offers as well!
I spent the weekend weighing pros and cons to both jobs with my family, and then I opted for the job I got through my yoga job. I believe this position aligns with my “order” well, although both offers did. Anyway, I am so excited about this job and I’m excited to see how this opportunity will challenge me and allow me to grow.
Evidently, I’ve learned so much from this process, and I will undoubtedly continue to learn more when I start working. I can’t wait to share it all!
So, the main takeaway: grow and flow, flow and grow.
Although the relationship ended almost two weeks ago now, I haven’t processed it fully. That’s partly because my ex and I had been talking about the possibility of trying again, even though I’ve known all along that my heart doesn’t want to try anymore. On the other hand, I wanted to want to try to make things work between us. I had ended things, but I wasn’t ready to let go.
In general, I have a difficult time making decisions because of the finality of them. Even when I make a decision, I’m afraid to stand by it.
Since she knows my patterns, she suspected that I was unintentionally leading her on, so she told me about it. Then I did some meditating for a few days and reflected. I was reminded of one of the Yoga Kleshas called Abhinivesa. I tend to forget all of the other Kleshas, but this one has always resonated with me because it addresses the fear and worry of loss and change. In hindsight, the entirety of my post-grad life has been about releasing worry and fear. During my job search, I’ve been trying to secure a job offer, but after the interviews, I become mentally consumed with the fear of getting a job.
If I get the job, will I still be able to teach yoga? Will the commute be too arduous? Will I have to move? Where will I move? How am I going to get a car? Will I have to work too many hours? Will I always get home when everyone is asleep? What if I become depressed from working? How will I be able to maintain my self-care practices while working full time? How will I find balance?
A month ago, I had told my yoga teacher about this problem, and she informed me that there was no possibility of me moving forward if I am caught up in anxiety and fear. In order to move forward, I have to channel all my energy forward without clutching onto my fears.
Relationships are obviously different than personal goals, but I was trapped in the same cycle of trying to move forward while holding onto my fear of loss and change. When I realized this, my girlfriend and I talked on the phone about the finality of our breakup.
So…now I’m spending time healing from that before my life becomes busy again. I’m grateful to have some time to rest, reflect, and heal. Part of my reflecting process includes reflecting on an oracle card reading I did last week, right after the breakup. The reading continues to be relevant, so I decided to share it below.
Surrendering – An Oracle Card Reading
- The first card, which represents where I’m at now, is Divine Support. This card is associated with the sacred, cosmic sound of “Aum” that brought the world into existence. This card reveals that Ganesha wants to assist me in my divine path away from fear, distress, and anguish and towards light and love of myself. As I face all these obstacles and changes in my life, I struggle not to doubt or worry about my decisions. I’ve sought out more introspective self-care such as journaling, meditation, and yin yoga. I love chanting, particularly chanting “Aum,” which helps me feel connected to the Universe.
- The second card represents my next step, which is Acceptance. The card advises that I accept things as they are and that I release blame, anger, and sorrow so that I can continue on my spiritual adventure. When I overcome those obstacles, the ego can align with the soul. As I come to find acceptance, I must remember happiness, find contentment, recognize beauty within, and look at the world through a more spiritual perspective. Ganesha supposedly consumed the sadness of the Universe, which is comforting because I’ve been feeling lots of sadness in waves. When I worry, doubt, regret, or anguish creep up in my mind, I recall why I chose the path that I did. Then I accept it for what it is. I want to feel all the feelings so I can accept things as they are and move forward. Again, meditating and yoga play a huge roll in this process.
- My obstacle is Nurture. This card represents creating a calm and balanced life. To achieve this, I need to slow down and deal with issues as they arise. This card is associated with the heart chakra. This card advises finding female friends. I have been connecting with my friends more during this difficult time. I can’t help but wonder if sharing with my fam is the intention of the obstacle…but I’m not ready to do that yet. It took a lot to fight for the presence of this relationship and I’m reluctant to share its demise. I also don’t want to be vulnerable with them yet. I rather keep it to myself. Which may be why this is an obstacle.
- My resource to overcome my obstacle is my Inner Knowing. This means that it is a time for soul searching and to look for guidance within. This card states that I need to seek truth and to use meditation, consideration, and self-assessment to evaluate my direction. This card notes that my priorities may shift and to seek alone time. I think all my journaling has helped strengthen my inner knowing. I’m proud to have honed this and found more confidence in myself by exploring my inner knowing through writing. I plan to continue to grow because it will take me to the next experience.
- My final outcome is Surrender. Rest and recover from the challenges and lessons that I have experienced. Stabilize energy. To me, this is similar to acceptance but it’s more passive. It makes sense that this is what I need. As all these things conclude, it’s time to rest. Resting will refuel me for the next thing. Instead of regarding the break between jobs as a desperate time to obtain another job, use the time to surrender, rest, and refuel. Same thing for my relationship. It’s time to turn inward.
When I was eighteen, everything familiar and comforting in my life had been blown away by the winds of change. I had gone away to college and thus suffered from homesickness, had to create a new life in a strange place, lost touch with many of my hometown friends, and I went through a difficult breakup. I wrote all about these things using a free version of this blog.
Five years later, with a college degree and more life experience under my belt, I have found myself in a similar predicament, yet simultaneously different. I am back under my parents’ roof and thus desiring more independence, I have to create a new life in a familiar place, my friends are either working full-time or are no longer nearby, and I am going through a difficult breakup. Oh, and I seem to forever be in need of a permanent full-time job. I write about all of these things using this blog, which I now own.
How has everything in my life changed while all remaining the same?
All the heartbreaks I endured in high school led me to the discovery of an effective method to instigate change and growth to support the flourishing of myself as an individual. The method is to create a to-do list, and then tackle it! It’s simple, yet super effective and rewarding. You can see my previous breakup-recovery to-do lists here, here, and here.
How to Bounce Back from a Breakup
- Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it.
- Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out.
- Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself.
- Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need.
- Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing.
- When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work.
- Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now.
- Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students.
- Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine.
- Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym.
- Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity!
- Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment.
This list was a little harder to make now that I’m no longer on a college campus where there are more opportunities for social interactions and activities. I did the best that I can though and these challenges will help me cope. I’ll update you all on this list in a few weeks.
What is on your to-do list to enhance your life?
I wasn’t expecting to ever be single again, but here I am. Single. It’s still surreal, but that’s probably because it’s a fresh wound. We called it quits only yesterday.
So, how am I feeling? I’m both devastated and relieved, regretful yet confident, depressed but also accepting of it. Essentially, I’m feeling a mixed bag of emotions. My feelings are overwhelming and they ebb and flow, but it’s part of the breakup process, which I’ve become familiar with. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve gone through this process, but it’s hard to forget something so emotionally messy.
To help myself with my healing process, and perhaps to help anyone else that is going through a break-up, I would like to share some notable lessons I have learned from the three relationships that I’ve had. Well…one of them was a confusing friends-with-benefits situation, but it taught me a lot, so I included it.
1. My First Love
My first girlfriend introduced me to the world of dating and lesbian relationships. She was my first kiss and my first love. She supported me during my horrific experience coming out to my family. I enjoyed my time with her during my senior year of high school until we broke up during my first semester of college.
Although she wasn’t a terrible girlfriend, she left much to be desired. We seldom hung out outside of work or her house. She never wanted to do any of the activities that I proposed to her, but she would feign interest and then flake last minute. So, she also had horrible communication skills, which I somehow overlooked until she broke up with me by completely ignoring me.
From that relationship, I learned that I wanted a girlfriend that made an effort to spend time with me. I also learned that if someone hints that they aren’t interested in you anymore (AKA by completely ignoring you), take the hint. It’s not worth chasing people if their heart isn’t in it. Not everything is meant to last forever, and that’s okay.
2. The Dick, AKA the Friends-With-Benefits Dick
I hate talking about this guy, but he’s important for the purpose of these “relationship lessons.” To summarize our shitty interaction that lasted too many months: he never spent time with me outside of a bedroom, he didn’t respect me at all, and he was only my “friend” (with conditions) until he got what he wanted from me.
I learned that I needed to follow my heart. I had wanted to end the relationship for weeks, but I was afraid to end it. Thus, we only stopped being FWB after he was “done” with me, and he made that clear when he never reached out to me again. Ultimately, I had chosen to protect my fears at the expense of myself, and it took a long time to forgive myself for that and to heal from the wounds he left.
The main takeaway: DON’T TAKE SHIT!!!!!
3. My Truest Love
I was introduced to my most recent girlfriend during the darkest period of my life: I was depressed from the devastating and shocking loss of my cousin. She supported me, cared for me…she was so patient and kind to me. We became close friends. She chased me from the very beginning because she wanted me to be hers, and even when I was hers, she never stopped chasing me. By that, I mean that she continuously prioritized me and made me feel wanted. She valued me as a person. She initiated dates with me, and thus, we’ve gone on many adventures together. Being in love with her made me want to come out to my family for a second time, and she supported me through that. The relationship I had with her is the longest relationship I’ve been in, and she’s been part of significant accomplishments in my life. Our relationship was really beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Although there were so many amazing aspects of our relationship, eventually they weren’t enough to sustain a healthy relationship. In fact, things became very challenging between us as adulthood became more demanding. As young adults trying to navigate the most tumultuous time of our lives, we had been suffering as individuals and bringing that negativity into our relationship. It is impossible to sustain a healthy relationship when both people are suffering.
When I realized that we were enduring a repetitive, toxic cycle, I began to reflect on the lessons from my previous relationships. For the first time in my life, I took my own advice.
I’m proud to have been confident in myself to end things before it became more toxic or before we grew to hate each other. I followed my heart, and it was super hard…it still is hard, but I know I made the right choice. I’m also proud that I practiced bravery and patience with her so that we were able to break up in person, face-to-face. She was able to walk away feeling as respected as possible, which is really important to me. Thus, we ended things on a rather positive note for a breakup, so there’s potential for reconnecting if that’s in our future.
I’m sure there are lessons from this most recent relationship, but it’s still too soon to know. The pain is too fresh to be objectively reflective. If/when that happens, I’ll be sure to share those lessons.
Do you have any relationship lessons that you would like to share? Please tell me in the comments below!