Your life is a gift. Live it wisely.

A few weeks ago, I made a personal decision to quit my full-time job to pursue a career shift into something more creative. Since then, my head’s been in a total whirlwind, filled with excitement (met with uncertainty) and a little bit of self-doubt.

This is the first time I’ve ever made such a huge life change without a clear next step in place, but I see this as a pivotal moment in my life where I finally need to put my happiness first and actually begin designing my life around what I choose for myself rather than living based on how others think I should live. My life thus far has been me simply settling for what’s in front me, rather than creating the life I actually want.

Despite my initial fear and anxiety over making such a major change, I think it’s important I make the time to get clear about what I really want in life and turning my passions into a creative career. There will never be a better time than now, and your life is for LIVING. You just get the one.

Don’t defer your dreams and happiness for the future, because every day that goes by where you’re unhappy is time that you’ll never get back. And life is short. Really short.

I recently returned from a weeklong trip in Oregon, where I was reminded of the simple, spontaneous joys in life (which I will document in a later post of my recent travels, but the photo above was a beautiful lavender field we just happened upon while exploring the Columbia River Gorge). It made me feel alive again. And reminded me that there’s still so much of the world I have yet to explore–and there are so many beautiful things to experience that cost nothing at all. Life really is a crazy adventure, so long as you are open to it.

There’s not really a point to this post, besides me just feeling all sorts of emotions and wanting to capture it into words. And out of all the emotions I am feeling, I’d say that I’m mostly just incredibly fucking grateful right now.

Life is a beautiful journey and I’m excited for my future of struggles, growth, and soul-searching. And I hope to be able to capture & share my excitement and gratitude for life’s adventures right here, in my little corner of the interwebs.

So guys, remember:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it;

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

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I am the master of my fate.

kauai

2014. What a year.

Each January I like to sit down and reflect on the past year and think about how I’ve grown, the lessons I’ve learned, the goals I’ve met and everything that took place in the last twelve months.  Life has a way of just passing before your eyes, and as weeks cycle by and you wonder how it’s already September (and you swear you it was just April…?), I think it’s important to have a moment to evaluate where you are, think about where you want to be and prepare for another year of self growth, discovery and new experiences.

In the past, I used to feel anxiety at the close of every year.  For the last several years I wasn’t really sure what my path would be or what I wanted out of life — I only knew what I was supposed to do and knowing that didn’t make me feel excited about my future…and that left me feeling incomplete, unfulfilled and without a sense of purpose.

2014 was the year I decided to change that; change the way I thought about my life, re-prioritize my time and efforts to do only what is important to me and seek to live a more inspired life, driven by my passions and what makes me truly happy.

My purpose in 2014 was to find myself and get excited for all the different ways I am going to grow into who I am and fulfill this vision I had for myself.  I am a firm believer that your life should and CAN BE absolutely what you want it to be.  We only have one life to live so stop allowing fear to dictate and control the path of your life.  Muster the courage to live your life the way you envision in your mind.

Last November, I had the opportunity to attend Oprah’s workshop and it was an amazing experience that I needed to breathe life back into my days and to get motivated.  I left with a sense of excitement and veritable confidence that my life and everything I want out of it is mine for the taking.  2014 was more about forging a new life approach – one that will help me with staying inspired, being more creative, and focusing on giving myself as many new experiences as possible.

Working full time for the first time in my life pulled me into a seemingly unbreakable rut, where I felt unmotivated, unhappy and bored. And for a while, I didn’t feel like myself and lost my hunger for learning and personal growth.  And that’s not who I am at all.

Create the highest, grandest vision for your life. Then let every step move you in that direction // Oprah

There’s a real disconnect and heartbreak that is felt when you aren’t who YOU KNOW YOU CAN BE, and I’ve struggled with that for a long time, simply because I was always too tired, too busy, too scared or “not good enough”.

“Not good enough.” STOP THAT. Stop doubting yourself and stop worrying about whether or not you’re good at something. JUST START. I am firm believer that hard work and real passion accomplishes amazing things, and if you let your fear steer the direction of your life, you will soon realize that you’re living everyone else’s life based on that collective fear.  Excuses are really just fear disguised.

2014 was a great year for me, I’ve grown more than I ever have and for the first time in my life, I didn’t dread the end of the year.  I was excited for all the new possibilities of 2015 and my life ahead.  That, in and of itself, was a real testament that I had achieved what I set out to do for 2014.  To forge a new way of thinking about my life, to be in control of it and to begin living the way I wanted.

This has been a really emotional January for me so far, and has been a beautiful mix of happy and sad, with feelings of excitement but also a gnawing sense of nostalgia.

With the start of the new year, I closed a huge chapter of my life and am moving on to a new job with new coworkers.  Though I am really excited by the new possibilities and learning this new opportunity will bring, I am sad to be leaving everyone I have been working with in the last few years.  Though we didn’t talk everyday, just working alongside them and seeing them more than I see my family has, in a strange way, made me see them as family.  Change is a requisite for personal growth but it’s always been something that has made me anxious and afraid.  But, in the true spirit of me, I take a deep breath, smile and focus on the positive.  I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned so far, the people I have met and the connections I’ve shared.  Here’s to new beginnings and major life changes :)!

So, what was the purpose of this (I am realizing now….the longest post ever)?

2015 is a year to stay inspired, to learn as much as possible, to share and be open as much as possible and to stay faithful to your life’s vision and doing everything you can to meet and create that vision.

And with that, there’s a parting quote I wish for everyone to keep in mind this year:

Seek not to find who you are, but to determine who you want to be.  Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here.

Create it.

Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.

Get excited, feel hopeful, be grateful for all experiences and emotions, and stay creative.

Last sunset I took of 2014.
Last sunset I took of 2014.

New Things

Like, my blog!

For the last few months I’ve been pondering the thought of starting a blog to keep track of my weekend eats, recent hobbies and occasional travels.  I was initially reluctant because, like many things in my life, I’m zealous when first starting but after a few weeks in I end up falling off the wagon.  Shrugs. I’m human!

Well, despite that, here we are.  My weeks were just flying by and now we’re in October and just two and a half months shy of 2014.  Lately, I’ve been feeling uneasy about the months just disappearing since I’ve started working full time (for a year and a half now! I’m proud. SEE ALSO: surprised).  I think documenting my life (boring or not), thoughts and inspirations will be a good way for me to strike a better balance between work and everything else.

Here’s to life and celebrating your own!  This particular image is a recent one I just took during my weekend in Big Sur.  Sierra Mar at the beautiful Post Ranch Inn is one of the most unique restaurants I’ve ever been to, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that every table has a view that makes you forget you’re even there to eat. Can’t wait to go back.

The setting sun from our dinner table.
The setting sun above the Pacific Ocean – from our dinner table.