Light It Up
another gem from EDP Contributing writer Marissa
Sometimes I find that when the end of the month approaches, a feeling of dread washes over me. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that many people share this sentiment. When I think about adulthood, it dawns on me that bills are now permanent and time is not. Every time I level up in adulting, I end up calling my dad and asking where the benefits are. Between yearly doctors appointments, taxes, chores, weekly meal prep, and daily self care, it’s easy to get caught up in the hamster wheel that is life. The antidote to this is to find what lights you up. When you find it, do it often.
Listen, I know I’m not the first one to write to you to tell you that we only have one life to live, but hear me out. Whether you believe we have one life, or many, it’s up to you to fill your time with meaningful moments. Once we pass the age of 18, we essentially are on a fast track. I liken it to when you drive over those speed belts in Mario Kart - we spend our whole teenage lives wishing to be where we are now, only to wish we could take it back.
You are in charge of your time and energy. Treat it the same way you do money, because after all, time is money. I spent most of my life following trends and going out on Friday nights when all I wanted to do was eat a pint of ice cream in my pajamas on the couch. When I stopped doing things that I didn’t want to do, I was left with so much time to fill. Next to immersing myself in the lives of television characters, I had no idea what I wanted to do with this time. I started to pay attention to where my mind would wander, or what would naturally come up in conversation with friends. What I found changed my outlook on adulting, and while the chores don’t magically disappear, I sure do look forward to the in between moments.
Your Real Friends Will Still Love You When You Say No
I have two day hangovers. I’ve had these after 2 beers and after 7. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I drink, my body hates me when I do. I happen to love tequila — it tastes great in margaritas and never seems to disappoint when it’s my drink of the evening. That being said, alcohol has a time and a place in my life. After one particularly bad hangover, I had a come to moment where I realized that the negatives of a late night out far outweighed the positives.. which I suffered through only to resist FOMO. I cashed in on many overdue declined invites and started treating my Saturday mornings like they were a Monday. Spending the early hours of the day with a hot cup of coffee and a book in bed is my jam (let’s add in a Fall scented candle for good measure). No amount of begging could get me out of the house because these mornings filled me with so much joy.
Sure, some friendship dynamics changed. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea (coffee) to spend their Saturday this way, and that’s okay. The friends who love you and cherish time spent with you will find a different way to hang out with you. What’s even better is that you’ll find that a lot of your friends may prefer a coffee date over a drink date anyways.
Find A Way To Fall In Love With Taking Care Of Yourself
It’s a bleak moment when you realize that the delicate balance of taking care of yourself and treatin’ yoself is a lifelong dance. I remember when I first realized that portion control was one way I could save myself from being unbutton-your-pants-full and thought to myself, ‘No way it’s this easy.’ Spoiler alert: it’s not. One week I’m eating celery and hummus and the next I’m sampling donuts because I can. I’m a mood dependent eater and if I happen to coerce myself into eating the salad when I’m in a cheeseburger mood, my appetite will come back with a vengeance. It is downright depressing for me to think about being on a diet 80% of the time. Food is one of my great loves. I love to cook food and try new restaurants. More often than not, my days are mapped out by the food I’m going to eat. With this in mind, I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to make the healthy decision and started to focus on making the right one. No, the right choice isn’t always healthy. Once you make the mind body connection with food, it’s easier to say no to a plate of fries when you know how they’ll make you feel. I’ve learned the difference between feeding my body the vitamins and nutrients it needs and feeding my mind the smile inducing, drool worthy, devoid-of-health-benefits meal. The funny thing that happened when I did this was I found the balance act to be a lot more manageable. Now that I don’t pressure myself, the guilt no longer creeps in, leaving many of these food focused moments to be filled with pleasure.
On that note, stop running if you hate it. Stop doing things you hate in general. I started walking 3 miles instead of suffering through running 1 and my body has changed for the better.
Smile and Laugh As Much As Humanly Possible
For the first half of 2019, I had the wonderful pleasure of living with my brother and his dog, Thor. As the resident dog walker, Thor and I spent a lot of time together. Taking him on a walk was often the highlight of my day, and for good reason. I’d stand over him in silence and he’d stand still, eyes locked on mine.. waiting. As soon as the word ‘walk’ came out of my mouth, he’d sprint through the house following my every move until we walked out the door. Don’t even get me started on his reaction to the snow. You see, these are the bare minimum pleasures in life, walks and snow, but this dog acted as if it was the greatest day of his LIFE. I couldn’t help but smile whenever he’d hurl himself into the air to catch a snowball straight to the dome. Find the walks and snow in your life, put your head down and do it. If it’s knitting, hell yeah. If it’s running marathons, I don’t understand you, but you go Glen Coco.
Doing what you love, and doing it often, will ultimately inspire the people around you to do more of what they love. More people doing what they love makes the world a better place. There’s no longer any need to feel selfish when you focus on the things that light you up. In the end, you’re adding more joy to your life, which in turn makes you a happier, more fun person to be around.
These days, travel, food/coffee and writing are what lights me up. Since giving myself permission to do these things without fear of disappointing or receiving judgement from others, I’ve booked a trip to London, eaten to my hearts desire and lost weight and am now writing almost every day. Adulting can be monotonous and sometimes discouraging, but it’s the in between moments that make up the tone of your life. Make it good.