Just like your favorite pair of jeans from high school, sometimes what once fit perfectly in your life needs to be tossed out. Things like hobbies, jobs, boyfriends — they just don’t fit like they used to. Some are tangible, like that pair of jeans, while others are more abstract, like that personal tendency to say yes to every new work project. It’s harder to pinpoint the more abstract parts of our lives, and even easier to accept them into the realm of passive habits. But this collection of lifestyle decisions makes up our everyday experience and determine our identity. I’d say that’s worth looking a little more closely at.
The Conversation I Could No Longer Avoid
With a little self reflection, I found myself holding onto things, people and habits that used to be fun or fulfilling but don’t seem to serve me any longer. I discovered it was time to break up with myself. Well, parts of myself anyway. Almost immediately after realizing what I needed to do, I also realized it’s hard to break up with parts of yourself. For me, it was crucial that I write down all the people, places, activities and products I experience on a daily basis.
I discovered being busy—but more importantly, being needed—makes up the core of my self-worth.
While that’s not altogether a negative trait, because of it I’ve told myself over and over that certain activities and tasks are essential to my identity. Like using healthy elements of a relationship to justify an otherwise toxic situation. I’m discovering I’m not convinced these “priorities” are so essential anymore.
This all stems from one Empress of all Time-Sucks: I take on way too much.
And the task-gathering mentality has culminated into a directionless life, leaving me to lie in bed each night thinking, “I didn’t stop moving or doing or thinking all day, so why do I feel like I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing?” This thought is recurring, haunting—but after an epic journaling session (highly recommended) I’ve pinpointed this sensation of overwhelm and internal displacement to a web personal qualms I’m ready to breaking up with.
My relationship with time is complicated at best.
It’s hard to let go of things that don’t serve you when you aren’t paying attention to how you are spending your time. Each and every one of us is equipped with the same number of hours in the day, as far as we know. It’s really a lot more about how we use them. And, more importantly, how we view and value them.
My half-realized goals.
We have short term goals, we have long term goals, and we have some goals that are just floating around–remnants of high school dreams or even visions of a person you used to be. Sit with yourself, figure out what really matters to you, and write that sh*t down. Little goals should feed into big goals. Plain and simple. They are ingredients to your badass future self.
I’ve been confusing “values” with “priorities”.
Values are what we root our actions in, while priorities are how we choose to execute those values. For example, I value personal growth, so I prioritize reading and regular workouts.
My confusion of productivity with stimulation.
I’m learning to keep my phone away unless I need it, otherwise I waste my precious thoughts and energy on blinking between screens and scrolling through mindless junk. A lot of that mindless junk ends up lowering my self esteem too. That’s not productive.
My inner “YES” woman.
That girl needs to be hushed from time to time. She’s a fan of people pleasing, which is an exhausting waste of time and resources. I’ve begun to regularly ask myself, “Are you doing something for yourself, or are you doing something because you feel like you’re supposed to (due to money, past interests or a perceived reputation)?”
My frustration with the un-budgeables.
We’ve all got’em: the 8-our workday, the online class you committed to during your personal growth period, whatever it is, there’s something you can’t skip during the day. Understanding what can’t move around in your schedule will help you find flexibility and inspire you to get strategic with the rest of your time. I have to go to work. And I will be there for 8 hours. I just gotta. So how can I optimize that time? I make use of the breaks, aiming to feed my goals rather than scroll Instagram.
Being far worse than my worst critic.
This break up is a long, complicated one, and that’s OK. I’ve accepted the road to a healthier self is long, difficult and full of surprises. I hope you are able to accept the difficulty and embrace the process too.