Tag Archives: goals

A Message From the Universe, or Why I’m Abandoning Mental Plans

9 Apr

Back in October of last year, I finally admitted to myself that I was ready to leave Manhattan. Well, that I was ready to start being ready to leave. Baby steps, you know?

I created this grand Mental Plan involving quitting my job at the four-year mark and moving out to Chicago. The timeline for this Grand Mental Plan had me staying with my job through May 2012 and peacing out sometime this summer.

But then I got laid off in December.

So I adjusted my Mental Plan. I decided the universe didn’t want me to follow through with the plan and that I was meant to stay in New York City for another year. I got a new apartment and found a new job by the end of January and committed to spending 2012 right here in NYC. I even wrote an essay about the experience – that’s how well I convinced myself I’d be satisfied with the new direction my life was heading in.

Anyway, I continued taking baby steps. The new apartment, new neighborhood, new roommate, new job and all that came with it? Those changes satiated my restlessness for, oh, about five or six weeks.

My mind kept wandering, though. I felt that itch to leave, but this time it was even stronger than before. And when I let my mind wander, it didn’t go to Chicago. It went farther than I’ve allowed it to go – all the way to Los Angeles. So I created a new Mental Plan. I’d continue at my (new) job through the end of the year, finish out my lease, and then hopefully relocate and keep my job. I vocalized this plan to a close friend on Wednesday night, on March 28.

The next morning, I posted this – alluding to a big life change that I couldn’t yet disclose.

An hour later, I got laid off. Again.

The world swam before my teary eyes; my head filled with cotton; I lost my footing once again as the floor was ripped out from under me. Panic set in as I felt myself floating through my life, again with no control over anything.

But after a few hours of deep breathing, lots of tears, and several blubbering phone calls, I forced myself to gain a little perspective. I forced myself to face the brutally honest gut feeling I’d had from the moment I knew I was losing my job:


I was relieved! I was freed from the ties keeping me here; I could do anything, go anywhere.

Messages from the universe – fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it – are nothing more than your own perception of your circumstances. Sometimes, though, your perception of the circumstances aligns perfectly with that deep-down desire you’ve been too scared to act on.

That’s what happened to me. I don’t believe I can be laid off from two different jobs in under four months and NOT create a life that is a total departure from the one I’m currently living. Mental Plans just goad the universe into challenging them; I feel like I’ve been dared to take the giant leap.

Here’s the thing about baby steps that no one tells you: They don’t get you anywhere. They’re certainly safer and far less scary than a big jump, but even babies learn to run eventually. Most recently, Doniree compared it to ripping off a band-aid; there’s a mental disconnect between picking up your foot and actually leaping.

Well, some of us learn important life lessons by pole dancing. I get laid off.

Either way, I’m ripping off the band-aid, taking a giant leap forward, abandoning any pretense of having even a clue as to what I’m doing. I’m leaning into the utter terror I feel at uprooting the life I’ve known for years – and I’m moving to Los Angeles.

Wine & Love v.1

9 Feb

Hosted by Nora

This is my first Wine & Love post, but I’m going to aim to do it every week. I love the idea of taking time to reflect on what’s going my way and what’s not – it’s such a great way to gain perspective. You can probably tell I’ve been super into balance lately, so if you want to link up with Nora and do your own Wine & Love you can!

… Wines …

  • Girl drama…Boy-roommate’s semi-girlfriend doesn’t like me. Normally I wouldn’t care – I know I’ll be around longer than she will – but she’s over quite a bit and she’s begun to make her feelings more obvious. Last night I buzzed her in and she didn’t even say hi to me when she walked in the door!
  • Winter…This is kind of trivial, but it’s bothering me: dry skin! My hands are normally baby soft (seriously, everyone comments on them!) but this winter is so dry. To make it worse, the radiator is in my room. I have a humidifier, but I’m not sure of its effectiveness for the size of my room. What are some ways you keep your skin soft in the winter? Do you use those lotion-gloves? Do they work? I’m open to suggestions.
  • This weather…It has been SO inconsistent this year. I don’t love extreme temperatures in any direction, but I’d always prefer warmer. This week has ranged from 65 degrees down to 28 and snowing – all within four days. I realize this has larger implications for the planet than just my personal satisfaction, but for right now I’d really like there to be some consistency!

… Loves …

  • My new job! I’m almost done with week 2 and it’s going so well. I’m challenged, but in a way that I feel like I’m building on my experience. Everything I’m doing is reinforcing my knowledge and understanding of the industry. And I get to make pretty powerpoints!
  • The cleanse! Today is day 3 – the last day – and I feel fantastic. I can’t wait to dedicate an entire post to how it has gone (you knew that would happen, come on). I took a spinning class last night and did yoga this morning and I’m just in such a happy place right now!
  • My clean, organized bedroom! Since I’m not eating real food – and therefore not cooking ordering in/waiting for delivery – I have had so much time (and energy!) to keep my room clean and my clothes put away. I love going to bed and waking up in a room that’s so uncluttered.
  • Future plans! I have so many plans for the next few weeks – including skyping with Amazonian tea farmers in Spanish (no, I don’t speak Spanish – it’ll be interesting), my first boxing class, applying to be a Stratejoy Season 6 blogger, tons of babysitting (extra money!), skiing, and more!

Life Goals 2012: January Recap

31 Jan

Sometimes my obsessive tendency to make everything into a giant list of a list of a list gets in the way of actually crossing anything off. I get lost in lists and forget to look around and actually do.

This year is the first year I’ve ever focused on actionable goals and instead of drowning in all my lists, I’m going to hold myself accountable at the end of each month.

Here’s what I will do in my monthly recaps:

Give myself credit for what I’ve accomplished, no matter what it is. Be proud of the progress I’ve made, however significant. Allow myself to look forward with hope and eagerness to continue growing. I will be honest and optimistic.

Here’s what I will not do in my monthly recaps:

Tell myself that whatever I did was not enough. Let myself believe I could have done better. Look ahead with a negative, discouraged attitude.

I’m determined to have every month this year be a success and so we begin with…


Creativity/Writing … I was so busy writing this month! I submitted my personal essay to the Stratejoy Essay Contest – the first contest I’ve entered in years. I began a creative writing collaboration with Peter – someone whose writing I so admire. I wanted to post at least six times in January; this post is my eighth. I wanted to comment on at least six other posts; I didn’t keep track, but I’m please with where I commented and why. I’m happy that I only contributed where I felt I had something valuable to say.

Self-Care/Diet/Fitness … I got into the habit of making my bed every morning. Now, when I get into bed at night, I feel refreshed rather than sluggish. I had some difficult conversations with close friends and stayed true to myself in what I said and how I said it. I set a weekly gym schedule. (I didn’t follow it, but the goal didn’t specify. Ha! Loophole!) I made these delicious cheese straws which really tasted like homemade spicy cheez-its. I set dates for my first juice cleanse and made sure I’d be able to stick to those dates.

Friends/Family … I chose a weekend to go visit Katie in Seattle! I surprised my mom for her birthday by going home to CT for the weekend. I have definitely plans to visit my brother in DC in March (he’s turning 25!). I also made concrete plans to join my entire family in Orlando for vacation in April.

Places … I relaxed at the Russian/Turkish Baths with a good friend, ate at three new restaurants with three different sets of people for Restaurant Week, went ice skating at Bryant Park for free, and did yoga in Brooklyn. I also signed up for #BiSC!

Finances … I got a JOB, yo! A real, salaried, super awesome, challenging, fun, exciting JOB! Also, I filed my taxes.

Looking Ahead…

Now that I have an income, I’m going to budget it. I have at least three things on my calendar that will count as Things I’ve Never Done. That doesn’t include the cleanse I’m going to complete. My brother is visiting one weekend, so I’m hosting a party. I’d like to go to bed earlier, make it to the gym a couple times each week, and continue cooking new and healthy meals. I’d like to find a craft to complete and I’d like to send my friends cards (Oh, craft?).

I’d say February has quite a lot to live up to, wouldn’t you?

Life Goals: 2012

16 Jan

I realize I have these all outlined in a tab up there for your visual enjoyment, but I’ve never really done the whole make-goals-and-follow-through-on-them thing so bear with me.

For a lot of people around me, 2011 was an awful year. In my immediate group of friends, 2011 saw a restraining order, disappointing relationships, one shocking death after another, job losses, and huge changes in family dynamics.

Given everything that’s happened in the last 12 months, it’s easy to hoist 2012 up onto that Pedestal of Awesome Years. But if I learned anything in 2011, I learned that I have to make my own Awesome Year. So I’m following in the footsteps of Nicole and what I’m sure are countless other bloggers and living this year on purpose. With specific goals. With actionable goals.


…I want to find another creative outlet, outside of writing. I want to create tangible beauty, which sounds so cliché but is so true. I used to love art classes and working tirelessly at a drawing or a mound of clay or strands of wire and then stepping back to see something so unique seem to appear out of nowhere. Out of my own hands.

…I want to be a more active blogger. I love this blog and I love sharing stories with you – I want there to be more of you. I want to connect with you more and that has to start with me. So I’m going to make a better effort to comment, to communicate, to tweet, to email. Whatever it takes.

…I also want to write more. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil – I even founded my own publishing company when I was in grade school and published family news letters and short stories to be sent to my subscribers. I even won some writing contests, one of which got me a free week-long trip to London! I’m going to enter more contests, submit more essays, write more.

…I want to have better sleeping habits. I want to visit my family more often. I want to do nice things for the friends I care about and visit the ones who are far away. I want to explore New York City and cure the restlessness that’s been wriggling within me for months.

…I want to get healthier. This means cooking more, eating less, working out more. I do want to lose 20 pounds, but I’m determined to do it right, which is something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. I want to run faster and feel better and be happy and proud when I look in the mirror. Naked.

…I want to be in complete control of my finances. I want to pay down at least 75% of my credit card debt and still enjoy life. That will take some work, I know.

My word this year is COMMIT because it terrifies me. I’m committing to these goals, to staying in New York City, to a career, to my friends, and to myself. Most of all, I’m committing to myself.

2012? Bring. It. On.

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