Sometimes you have a realization half way through the week so you jot down a quick note and come back to it. This week for me was just insane and on Wednesday I realized my digital diet (life without Facebook) was allowing me to be more present in my life. I wasn’t “multi-tasking” during a meal with my family. I wasn’t spending hours in front of the TV or computer only half paying attention because my nose was buried in my phone. Nope, I was actually PRESENT in my life. Woah! So I have this epiphany then I forget all about blogging it over the weekend and then my pal Jess posts this #presence2013 and I laughed out loud. Talk about reading my mind!
I’ve mentioned a dozen times or more how bad I am at living in the moment and not letting my mind wander. I am perpetually replaying past mistakes (and wishing I could change the outcome) or fantasizing about my future (and worrying I won’t live up to my own expectations). It’s exhausting and it robs me of my present joy. I don’t appreciate the moment I’m in because I’m thinking 10 frames ahead or behind. This last week I have been focusing more on conversations (and realizing how much of what people are saying isn’t registering in my brain because of all the other junk clogging my brain!). It’s such a waste to meet a friend for coffee or call someone to say hi and then spend the entire time together looking at your cell phone. If someone said “Hey, wanna go sit at Starbucks and ignore each other?” you’d laugh right? Exactly. So why are you doing it on a daily basis? (food for thought friends).
Giving up Facebook made me realize how much of my life is spent “snipping” moments to fit into my online life. Have you ever done that? Have you ever stopped and thought how you would phrase something on Facebook? Gag. What has social media done to our society when we think in status updates!? This morning in barre method with Erica I was focused on my movements (and pushing past points when I would normally stop – like during triceps!). I was focusing on the music and syncing my movements to it. I was focused on her counting (because she does this cool thing during reps where she counts “8…7……………4…3….2…1″ and you have to really FOCUS to make sure you’re in sync with her). It’s a great brain switch! I left really sore and really proud of myself for being in the moment and ya what the first thing I thought was? Oh man I should post this on FB and tag her! BAH! My brain is literally conditioned to thinking about sharing things. I have 5 more weeks to retrain my brain. I hope I succeed!
There have been quite a few deaths in the last week that have touched folks in my life. It makes you realize how short life is and how much the little things truly do not matter. Like Facebook. Or Twitter. Or reality TV. Enjoy life. Be present with the people around you and cherish the moments you have with them – even the little ones.
This was such a good exercise last time, I think I need to do it again.
I’m going to write one for myself a year ago and to myself in a year from now. Just about to turn 29 ~ and just about to turn 31. I feel like I’m at this pinnacle point….I see the whole world unfolding around me. Oh and I’ll include one to present self!
Dear *Samantha Approaching 29,
This is going to be an interesting year ~ in ways you hadn’t imagined. You’ll go out on a limb, and try something new. It will take you places you never imagined, and show you parts of yourself you didn’t know existed. You’re stronger and smarter than you think! But with the good, comes the bad. You’ll walk away from a friendship that doesn’t benefit you. Just because someone has been in your life a long time doesn’t mean they deserve to be in your future. Don’t compromise your integrity ~ in the end your character is all you’ve got! Open yourself up to change and don’t be so afraid that things aren’t working out on your timeline. The Universe isn’t concerned with your timeline, cupcake!
This quote will sum up being 29:
Stay true to yourself, even when it seems impossible. You’ll get through it!
Almost 30-year old Samantha
Dear Self 13 days shy of the big 3-0,
What an interesting ride eh?! I hope the next year continues showing you how to be accomplished without going crazy. I hope you find balance, and keep it. I hope you find a nice guy and keep him too! Remember, “You can move in, I won’t ask where you’ve been ~ ’cause everybody has a past.”. Yours isn’t spotless, you’re not perfect so you can’t expect perfection in another person either! Try new things, stop feeling bad about relationships that ended. People come in and out of your life for a reason ~ even if you can’t see that reason at the time! Chin up, move forward. Trust the universe, forget the noise.
P.S. – your quote of the year:
Dear Almost 31-year Old Self:
Eff yeah! You made a plan and stuck to it. You rocked 30 girl, I’m so impressed! You threw caution to the wind, and allowed life to take its course. I hope you can look back on your year and say it was worth the risk ~ worth the effort you put in. Continue pursuing life, love and sparkles. Don’t forget where you came from ~ and don’t allow your past to limit where you can go. Rock the thirties (while still looking radiantly 25!).
P.S. - Quote for your year:
I’m excited for my next year. I feel like you can approach a milestone birthday 2 ways: freak out or embrace. I’ve done the freak-out, now it’s time to embrace! I’m not 21 anymore (thank god!) ~ I don’t have the innocence I had as a child. But, I have life experiences (good and bad!) and a firm idea of where I want my life to go. I might not be where I expected at 30, but who is?! Can anyone honestly say life unfolded as expected with no surprised? Boring!
I’ll be heading to LA to unwind and visit some of my favorite people for my b-day on Jan 25th (thanks to Tyler and Heather for letting me crash!). I plan to watch the sunset on the west coast, drink fruity drinks, indulge in barre workouts and birthday cupcakes and blog! See ya on the flip-side!
I was inspired when reading Pamela’s entry on this subject: future self and by the 360 reviews due at work. Somehow when you look back at your year, you keep going and realize how much you’ve accomplished in 5 yrs /10 yrs etc. It’s a pretty wonderful exercise! Of course, you have to look at the places where you stumbled, or downright fell. I’m never good at accepting my faults – but this helped!
So, I’m writing my letters and decided to add a picture that sums up my year.
Here I am right after I got bangs for the first time in years. I felt so pretty that day – I think I need a haircut to celebrate my next birthday!
Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the years ahead?
In 5 years I will 33. That used to seem SO OLD….now it seems so young! Only 33?!
Dear 33 yr-old *Samantha*:
I’m so proud of you! You met your goal weight – you look amazing! Aww – you even met a wonderful guy and didn’t sabotage it?! Awesome! Have you kept the friends you loved and trusted (because you know they are few and far between!)? Did you work hard to elevate your standards of self and others? Have you stayed true to you? Are you still sparkly? (The answer better be yes!). Is your book done yet? Have you kept dedicating yourself to dance? How many things can you cross off your “Bucket List”? Did you finally realize that the secret to success was being happy with YOU?
I’m so impressed by your commitment to self improvement. Keep going and spread that important message to your kids!
Did you ever think this is where you’d be at 33? Nope – but like you learned at 27 – “Life isn’t about finding yourself…it’s about creating yourself”.
P.S. – It’s funny how all the things that used to stress you out seem inconsequential now eh? Told you so!
BONUS ROUND:: Bonus:: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?
Dear 18-year old *S:
Girl! It’s gonna be a wild ride. I won’t spoil it – but you will be a completely different person in 10 years than you are now!
You’ll take up a new hobby that will at times take over your life ~ but will bring you amazing people and take you places you’d never go otherwise!
You don’t end up in the music bizness – and that’s OK. You do end up with a great job that pays the bills and surrounds you with funny, thought-provoking artsy people. Don’t change how you get there – it makes for the best stories!
You’re going to fall in love….and fall out. It’s going to hurt like hell. But, you do survive. In fact, you should learn your lesson the first go ’round – but you’ll let him back in your life a few more times. Musicians are STILL your weakness!
You shouldn’t be so quick to judge. You’re not perfect – you can’t expect someone else to be!
You should take more chances – and worry less.
You should spend more time with the people who matter – because sometimes they’ll be taken too soon.
You should write more, and spend less time online.
Don’t hold grudges with yourself. You’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll cost you emotionally or financially….sometimes both. In the end, you’ll come out a better person. I promise.
When the one person you still miss to the day walks out of your life to pursue his dreams – let him…but don’t shut him out completely. Years later, you’ll still regret it and miss him.
You’re beautiful (pity it takes you until 27 to realize it) and smart and funny. You’re sweet and thoughtful – and even when it’s not reciprocated….don’t change those parts of yourself!!
P.S. – You can’t control everything. Accept it and stop trying!
That was crazy. Thinking about your life in rewind is strange. Thinking about the things you miss (the best friend who walked away to pursue his life with a new GF) and the things you don’t (those friends I nicknamed the Drama Mafia).Thinking about the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met….it’s awesome and somewhat surreal!
I feel more open, more ready to take on what’s next.
I’ve spent years making excuses and playing it safe – I’m ready to rock and roll! Bring on 2011!!