The Festival That Changed my Life: a(n) (Almost) Year in Review

Well, It’s nearing from wen I decided to make some key (read: HUGE!) changes in my life that I knew would eventually lead me in the right direction. I knew that once I made those changes, I could finally see things a little clearer and work towards what I really wanted, but I never knew that they would lead me down all the right paths. Last year, I had some sort of awakening at Prairie Love (see post about it here). It was surreal being surrounded by nature and just feeling like everything was about to change. It was the beginning of September, the cusp of fall, and the symbolism of old things dying off and new things beginning was not lost one. I often ignore motivational posts from people who seem SO HAPPY in their lives that they can BARELY contain it! OPEN YOUR EYES AND HEART AND EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE! No, thank-you. That isn’t quite me. But, it seemed that as soon as I decided to get rid of the toxic, the stress, of all of the things that were holding me back from success and my life goals, everything did click into place. Of course, that’s not EXACTLY how it happened (and if you read further into those motivational posts, you’ll see it didn’t happen that way for them, either). There were tons of ups and downs and roadblocks (honestly, enough with the roadblocks this year!) along the way. My friend can attest to my many mini breakdowns in the last few months. But, when I look back over the last 11 months, and not at each issue and reward, I see a deliciously refreshingly life starting to form before me.

 

After my awakening, I started making changes right away and things started changing for the better. I stopped over-thinking absolutely everything (and now only over-think most things) and just followed my gut. It has never steered me wrong, and I’m often the first one to point out a bitch in a crowd, seeing through their ‘friendly’ exterior. Too often we end up ignoring our gut feeling and, instead, analyze every moment, assuming that we are smarter than something that has evolved over thousands of years. While it’s okay to sit back and think for a second about any big decision, I firmly believe that if I didn’t follow my gut, didn’t have my ‘epiphany’, I would still be miserable and severely physically ill, not going anywhere. Life will give you signs that something isn’t right for you, your body may actually reject what’s going on around you (like when I had a nightmare about an apartment I was thinking about renting, and then the building caught on fire a few months later. Or, when I had a huge anxiety attack moving into TWO different houses and promptly moved out for various sketch reasons…you see how long it took me to listen to my gut?).
Like all successes, failures, and anything in between, there were many little things I did (like writing more and doing more yoga and meditation) that changed my way of life, and then there were three huge things that felt like everything was exactly how it should be.
First, I quit my job and I felt AMAZING. It was the biggest challenge that was holding me back, causing me literal pain (migraines come harder from stress) and it was time to let it go. Although frustrated and beyond stressed (heading to the hospital from work with a killer migraine didn’t get me to change my mind yet), I really loved my job and it was a hard decision that I had been wrestling with for some time. To do something I enjoyed, but be so stressed out that I could barely function or live a healthier life? That was my question. I decided to take two weeks off before starting on a new venture and I focused on everything I had wanted to, and even though it didn’t feel like enough time, it helped me de-compress and re-evaluate.
And then, I got engaged! Yay! Granted, the engagement had already been in the works well before I decided to quit my job, but it happened after, so it feels like a gift for leaving and making a huge scary decision.
Second, I got let go from the new venture. Yes, this is actually a happy sentence. I absolutely detested the job, the people weren’t the most organized and the tasks were mundane, making me feel listless and stupid. I had already been looking for some new projects and jobs for over a week, so when I got let go I wasn’t worried about the future; I felt strangely calm. Another example of life telling you something isn’t right for you? My truck got towed while I was in my interview for this job, costing me over $200.

Third, I didn’t work for a whole month. I really and truly didn’t and it felt amazing. It was December, so there was no anxiety about why I wasn’t gaining tons of interviews or why there weren’t many jobs to pick from on the market; it just felt right. December ended up being one of my best months to look back on. I focused on my writing, my goals, and started putting together my second blog – Luxuriously Thrifty – which you are now reading this post on. Later, I would find that Done Right Traveling wasn’t the right outlet for me and I combined both blogs into one big lifestyle blog.

I decided that I was going to write a book (actually write it, and not worry about whether or not it would be a bestseller or anything at all, I would just go for it for fun – a practice book if you will. Okay, clearly I’m not completely over it having to be successful, and it’s still definitely holding me back, but I’m trying, alright?) and got to work immediately. It’s not done, due to the next exciting thing to happen, but it’s on track to be published (self, by me) in the New Year. Whew. Putting it out there like that means it has to become real! Don’t worry, I’ll remind you guys to buy it 😉
And then, that other exciting thing happened: I landed a job. Randomly. I ended up landing a great job right after New Years and joined the workforce, again, putting my fiance’s monetary worries to bed and quickly realized that you can actually work in an office where you’re appreciated and people are….*gasp*…happy! Surprisingly, this last bit is the hardest for me to comprehend. I’ve had horrible bosses, mean bosses, ones who think they rule the world. I’ve had coworkers who have constantly been petty or jealous or just plain mean. But, I’ve never held a job where people LIKED what they did, supported one another, and gave the gossip a rest. It was refreshing, and even though it’s been over half a year, I still am not quite used to it.
While great things were aplenty, terrible things happened in this ‘year’ (my year start from Prairie Love). Some real terrible things. But, because this is a post about my hopes, dreams, and goals, I won’t get into it. If you feel like reading about how I handled my stress during trying times, click here. If not, ignore and move on. I’m disappointed that I won’t be making Prairie Love this year (our wedding planning, honeymooning, and other people’s weddings got in the way, but I’m completely okay with those scheduling conflicts) because I feel like it would be so amazing to re-evaluate everything and learn more about what paths I should take next. Although, I’m sure my gut will tell me where to go.
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