This week alone I feel has been an adventure and a half! It hasn’t been bad, but I have a good number of stories from this week. In my bullet journal, I have a page dedicated to things I want to remember this month, and it already has a few things on it. I may not tell you all the stories, but I really want to stress the title of this week’s post: “love the life you live and live the life you love”.
I haven’t always lived by this philosophy. There have been times that I wasn’t loving the life I was living. I would get so focused on the progress I wanted to make or the place I wanted to be that I wasn’t focusing on the present. It took a long time for me to learn to enjoy where I was rather than focus on where I’m going.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m definitely still working towards my goals and progress in general, but I’m not as focused on getting there. One way I see this is in my body. I have been working on getting healthier and more in shape for a while now. While I can see and feel the progress I have made, I don’t have a set day of when I want to be in shape. I’ve learned over time to be proud of my body every single day. I run into my bad days, where it feels like I haven’t made any progress, but on those days, I remind myself even more of the journey I have been through and how far I have come. A lot of things that people are “supposed to be” or “supposed to look like” are unattainable for most. I’m all for improvement and bettering yourself, but don’t get so caught up that you miss who you are because of who you want to be.
One big thing I have discovered when it comes to loving your life is to do/buy things for the entertainment. For example, as most of you know, I got my ears re-pierced in late December. Since then, I have been building up my earring collection. I went into Claire’s a few weeks ago because I was at the mall anyway. The entire store was buy 3, get 3 free. I was looking through just because when I came upon the earring racks. Before I would either ignore these or look through and be like “oh these are cute.” But now that I have my ears pierced, I would actually wear the jewelry. One pair that I found were these sharks. They’re made to look like they are biting your ear lobes. I love them! Will I wear them for a job interview or formal event? Absolutely not. Do they provide entertainment to myself and whenever someone asks about them, I say “THEY CHOMP!” very emphatically? 100%. I love them for the entertainment value they provide.
Along with loving the life you’re living, there’s also living the life you love. Last Thursday was National Burrito Day. I freaking love burritos, so I was all about that. However, I also make my food in batch for the week, so I had a meal portioned out for Thursday. Well, I decided burritos were worth it, so I asked a friend to join me to go get $5 burritos at Moe’s. Honestly, it was a bit of a disastrous experience. They were out of a lot (cilantro lime rice, lemonade, monthly salsa), and my burrito ended up not being $5 because this one was only honoring with the app. I honestly would have been a lot more upset had my friend not been there with me. But instead of being frustrated or even angry, I had good conversations with her and have a fun story to tell. Rather than eat the food I was eating all week, I got burritos with a friend because I could.
All the time when I was younger, I wanted to have the kind of freedom to go anywhere or do whatever I want. Now that I’m older, I have that kind of freedom. I can go to the store and put jelly beans in my cart just because, alongside the 2.5 lb. of meat I am going to cook. I can buy shark earrings and wear them to class. I mentioned earlier this year that I lost myself a little bit last year, and have had to rediscover myself. And I’m doing that! And part of that entails doing things I either stopped doing or haven’t gotten to do. It’s awesome!
Another thing just demonstrating this fact is selfies. If you look through the pictures on my phone (please don’t. There are so many pictures I don’t want to have to explain) you won’t find a large number of selfies from me in high school. You might get one occasionally when I was feeling cute. But there aren’t a lot of individual ones of just me. I was so focused on my destination that I wasn’t enjoying the journey. Honestly, this weekend alone I took over 30 selfies that are on my phone because I looked cute (you’ve already seen some of them on social media if you’re on any of my accounts). I don’t tell you this so you think I’m conceited. Honestly, most days I feel like I look like trash, but that’s partly because I work a lot and don’t need/want to dress up for work. But most of the time, I like to look nice if I can. That or stay in my pajamas all day. But I enjoy both of those. Being in my pajamas or a full face of makeup makes no difference to me loving the life I’m living and living the life I’m loving.
That’s my advice to you. Love the life you live, and live the life you love. Find joy and peace in where you are in this exact moment because there’s a reason for you being there. But also work to change and find things you enjoy. I read a story of some people in a recovery type program who were finding it hard to be around their friends because it would be easy to fall back into the bad habits. So the person telling the story was like “Now you have time to do all the stuff your parents told you no.” At first they were confused, but then the person says the toys they weren’t allowed to have or the things they weren’t allowed to do as kids. That’s when the recovering people got it. One of them was going to look for an EasyBake Oven and maybe take some cooking or cake decorating classes. The other wanted to go ride horses because they always wanted to be a cowboy.
That’s what I mean. Appreciate where you are, and do stuff that makes you happy. But don’t be so complacent. I am constantly working on things I can do to improve myself. Some of them may be minor, like a new cooking skill each month. But they may also be major, like working on worrying less and letting life run its course. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. You don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is an unattainable standard that doesn’t allow for any more growth. But be better. Focus on you without focusing on yourself. Do what you love and what makes you happy, but be kind, caring, compassionate, and generous. In other words, love the life you live, and live the life you love.