I would be lying to you if I told you this second part of my trip was planned. Originally I was scheduled to fly back to NYC last Thursday back to New York but some lemons arose and I decided to enjoy make my lemonade in sunny Southern California with my family and friends.
I grew up in a suburb and there's a group of about a dozen of us who got to grow up together and I still consider them my best friends. Our group has been through a hell of a lot together from deaths, addictions, mental conditions, divorces, relationship ups and downs and just dealing with growing up. This has been one of those trips where I had to tell the story of what's been going on to all my people over and over and over again at least a dozen separate times. I love getting their different opinions on what I'm going through because they all bring different insights that I wouldn't think of myself. They know me probably better than I know myself and aren't afraid to tell me what's on their minds which is helpful when all you want to see is the best case scenarios. It's sort of like a bandaid approach, ripping it off and moving forward is always better than slowly suffering.
I invest 100% of myself into everything I do because I hate regretting anything. From my work life to my love life, everything I do I try to remain open, transparent and 100% vulnerable. But hearing everyone's different opinions and viewpoints re-affirmed why it's so important not to play by some made up set of rules. By leaving everything on the table, even if things didn't work out the way I had hoped, it's infinitely easier to cope when you aren't left with would of, could of, should of's.
But even after giving everything, I often find myself asking what now? Life is such a mystery. It's this huge, precious gift that I still find myself taking for granted despite my best efforts to live every single moment like it's my last. I look at what has happened to me in my life, both the wonderful and the tragic, and I don't think I would have made it if I didn't receive this gift:
What do I want?
How do I feel about it?
How do I get it?
When I was in college, my mentor Alexandra Billings gave me a strategy to employ whenever my life derails. First I ask myself what do I want. This is the feeling you get in your gut. It's that visceral pull that is associated with your intuitive self. Then I move on to how do I feel about it. This lives in your heart. It's where both your most painful heartbreaks and greatest joys live. Next I ask myself how do I get it? This lives in your brain and it's how you use logic to establish a plan of attack. When you put the three together, you end up with your objectives.
From feeling thirsty and going to get a glass of water to trying to conquer your happy ending, everything we do is motivated by our objectives. Marrying the three helps me take a step out of logical land, where I love to live, and into balance land. I often let my head dominate everything I do and forget to check in with my gut and heart. Life's absolutely terrifying and when I find myself overwhelmed, it's the only way I can convince myself to start putting one foot in front of the other. There are no promises in life but if you give 100% of yourself to everything you do, at least you'll never find yourself looking back and wishing you could have given more.
I'm headed back to NYC today, but for now I am sitting in a bikini, eating In n Out and enjoying my last few hours with my best friend Raven and her puppies. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.