On Owning It

Life is like riding a bike.

Sometimes you have to pedal with all of the might you can muster, making your way inch by terrible inch up that long hill. And other times you can coast down with no resistance beneath your tires and the wind whipping gloriously through your hair.

If I picture life as a person, I see it as a jokester. You know the type; one of those people who thinks that super inappropriate things are really funny and who laughs at funerals. Life never takes itself too seriously. It likes to present a wide variety of situations in many unexpected forms just to make sure you really are on your toes at all times. It has an affinity for showing up in ways you could have never anticipated, will pound its fists on your front door at three in the morning just for a laugh, and it loves to pitch you curve balls to test your willingness and ability to knock them out of the park. Life has a grand ole time making sure that the only thing you can expect for certain is that things will turn out differently than you planned.

Recently, I was asked a pointed question that has kept me thinking.

How do think you react to adversity?

Great question.

I like to think that I take adversity in stride. I’d like to say that I handle all things with as much grace as I can possibly mobilize on short notice. I like to think that I do the best that I can while I keep a smile on my face and my heart full of compassion. I like to think that my experiences have taught me to be a strong and resilient person, capable of triumphing over anything that comes my way. I have overcome a lot, just like each and every one of you, and I intend to keep on doing just that.

But let me tell you that when life throws everything its got at me, one curve ball after another pummeling straight at me without pause, my reaction to adversity isn’t as pretty as I would like it to be. I’ve found that I move into silence rather than speaking my truth and that I falter in my faith rather than being able to turn it all over and trust in His plan for me. My positivitiy tanks.

I doubt myself. I wonder what I am doing wrong. I struggle with feeling wrong-sized and get angry when none of it seems to be working. Am I too sensitive? Am I unapproachable?

I switch tactics. Read more books. Reach out to others for help. I milk my support system for all its worth. Believe me, keeping me strong and centered and sane takes a village.

I am consistently revamping my strategy to figure out what the best fit is. I am constantly re-energizing in order to gain momentum for the next movement, looking to level-up and press forward. This doesn’t work, so let’s change it. That didn’t work, again, so let’s try this instead. Fail. Fail. Try again.

Do you know what all of the negative, uncomfortable and challenging feelings and experiences mean?

They mean that I am human. In progress. Developing. Learning. Achieving. Reaching. Trying.

I’m dealing with people, places and things that are not on my terms and that do not conform to my comfort zone. I’m like Silly Putty in the softening process; the part where you throw it around in your hands to make it pliable enough to mold into something entirely new.

I don’t like to think that I need molding. I don’t like to admit that I have areas I should work on. Who loves to pick themselves apart and acknowledge their faults? No person I know. But the sooner I get over with the pummeling, the faster I become ready to change my form. When I am warmed up and ready for a new shape, it means I am completely willing. It means both my mind and my heart are open to new ideas and new opportunities.

Let’s face it. Sometimes life beats the crap out of us.

We can either let it shatter us, or take it as a not-so-subtle hint from the universe that things are changing. Discomfort and pain are two of the greatest motivators for change, and change is always good.

I repeat. Change is always good.

Change forces us into action. Change improves us. Change intimidates us, seems impossible and then it teaches us that everything will be okay in the end. Always. Change shows us that the unexpected can lead to glorious results. Change terrifies us and then it chides us, whispering that we should have trusted the process the entire time.

So however you react to adversity, own it. Own it in its glorious imperfection and simultaneous badassery. You’re getting your tail licked and still asking for more. You’re waking up each day and focusing on the good. You’re giving it your best shot. Embrace everything and don’t get too caught up in the details. After all, it will work out just as it’s meant to in whatever amount of time it takes.

Own your abilities, inabilities, sensitivities, strengths, shortcomings, and greatness. Own your life.

Here’s to writing your legacy. 

xoxo

Sarah

Twenty-Something

Twenties Quote

This is one of my absolute favorite quotes. I have turned to it when I need something; when life is messy, complicated, and I am not sure of my path or of my decisions. It brings me reassurance, restores my faith, and reminds me to believe that everything is happening just as it should.

Your twenties are your selfish years. They are your time to figure it all out. These are some of the best, yet most trying, years of your life. You are in progress. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. Believe it, that everything is happening just as it should, fully and without fear.

Even if it’s a mess. Even if it’s nothing like you pictured. Even if it’s coming together or falling apart, it’s perfect. It’s unique. It’s yours.

Own it. Accept it. Embrace it. Cherish it. One day, you will realize how special it all really is.

xoxo

Sarah

One Year Later

Laugh&Love

It’s a pretty well known fact that I love to get inspired. The mug on my desk at work reads cherish the journey, the wallpaper on my phone says believe you can, and you will, and I try my best to spread positivity like confetti. I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl.

There’s enough ugliness in this world, my attitude doesn’t need to contribute to it.

A year ago yesterday, I created this blog, after many moments of collective inspiration. It used to go by a different name, 26 and Stumbling, and was created at a point in my life where I was trying desperately to figure it all out. I don’t think the fact that my blog has now turned 1 is a particularly big deal, but I do think the changes that I have undergone as a person during this past year are.

I remember when I wrote my first post, I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t have a plan, or even an outline for a plan; all I knew was that I wanted to write. I had an intense desire, and need, to get my voice out there to something that wasn’t my journal. I was nervous, intimidated, and incredibly excited. I knew, deep down, that somehow blogging would help me. And I hoped that it would also help others.

One year later, if I could sum up blogging in one word, that word would be therapeutic.

Through blogging, I have been able to use writing as an outlet for my emotions, as a means to replenish my spirit, and in order to nurture my creative side. In the process I have had some lovely readers reach out to me to connect, had the opportunity to guest post on other blogs, and have become a featured writer on BlogHer- a large community of women bloggers. I have found the writing process to be incredibly healing and freeing, and I have gotten to know myself better along the way.

So, here we are, 366 days older and wiser. Still inspiration-obsessed. Still choosing joy daily. Still aiming for the stars, and still working on finding my truest, authentic self.

Thank you all for your support, your feedback, your kind words, and for your continued reading. You have helped me to embrace my vulnerabilities, to channel my voice, and to create something I am very proud to call my own.

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” – Buddha

xoxo

Sarah

When You Need a Moment

Life is busy. As twenty-somethings, we are part of a generation that is constantly connected; to our smart phones, to social media, and to each other. We thrive on communication and are constantly on the go. We are the generation that hustles.

What does busy look like? For me, it’s working full time for a biotech company, serving at a restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights, and holding a seasonal position with the San Diego Chargers. I just began taking a leadership class with 4-6 hours of coursework per week and am also making an effort to dedicate more time to my writing, with a goal of increasing my posting to twice weekly. Sprinkle in social time on top of all this, because quality time with friends brings me back to my happy place, and I’m left wondering when on earth my laundry and chores are going to get done. I worry about making time for everyone that I want to see, the things that I want to do, the exercise I’ve been slacking on, and then I worry about how little time I have in the day to get all of this done.

Sometimes, I need a moment.

What is surprising, and more than a little inspiring, is that I am not alone in this. Many of the twenty-somethings I know are also juggling multiple jobs and have shared in feeling depleted and over-exerted. I know a multitude of women who are also pushing themselves to the limit on a daily basis- working, leading, and creating. I acknowledge that this is our own doing and that we have made a choice to become involved in so many different capacities, regardless of what is motivating us to do so. But just because we are choosing to do it doesn’t make it easy.

Sometimes, I need a moment.

I need a moment to pause, a moment to remember why I am doing all of the things that I am doing, and to remind myself that everything will someday pay off. I need a moment to remind myself of what drives me, what empowers me, and what inspires me. I need a moment to remember what I am working towards, to give thanks, and to find my center. I need a moment to remember how all of the things that I am doing contribute in their own way to my core happiness, and to remember that I have never felt this fulfilled before.

So, here’s to all the twenty-somethings who are out there working their buns off in the name of personal progress; to all of my fellow women working relentlessly to achieve their dreams no matter how challenging each day is. To those with too long a work week, too few hours of rest, and not enough recognition. To all the women who carry the world on their shoulders, and never lose the smile on their face as they do. I see you. I relate to you. I understand you. What you are doing- it’s hard. Really hard. You inspire me to work harder, to be better, and to keep going when I want to give up.

Sometimes, I need a moment. Just one. 

xoxo

Sarah

*Photo via shopbando