352 days of writing went by, but a full year passed since I posted Day 0 a year ago. Seeking for a vent to write about my personal financial crisis, and thus creating for myself a little space on the World Wide Web to share my story, my questions, my thoughts and my progress.
Because progress, I feel, I have made.
My head is no longer stuck in a pile of rubbish, trying to avoid and neglect my inability to make amends and come to terms with my turbulent financial past. Day 0 marked the beginning of a journey towards a healthier life altogether. And there’s a lot I have learned – about others, but mostly about myself.
My life today doesn’t look like it did a year ago. Not even close. Sure, I’m still the same person – just a better version of myself, I like to believe. But my circumstances did change and I made that happen – with a little help and a little luck, but still. It feels important to acknowledge that I had the biggest hand in all of that change.
And quite frankly… if I can do it, so can you. It’s time for a manual.
- Make a Decision.
Nothing is ever going to change unless you make a decision. If you have been reading this blog from the getgo, you might remember that I’ve always been a spiritual person. But it ain’t enough to just wish upon a star and wait for miracles to happen – I tried that for you, no need to test it.
If you want change in your life, you’re gonna have to make that irrevocable commitment to change – whether it is on a financial, professional, personal or romantic level: determine what it is you want different, and then get off your ass and do something about it.
- Avoid Opinions.
Hurray! You want CHANGE, baby! Good luck with that one.
Let me be a party-pooper right here and tell you: people hate change, and the closer people are to you, the more they will hate your change. But guess what? Tough luck. Change is inevitable – grass will grow, seasons will change, day will follow night.
I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to keep your “Plan for Change” for yourself – at least for a little while, unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re dealing with a GameChanger (a person all in favor of change). People’s believes are limited, and this is the worse time to get sucked into a dozen of different points of views on your matter. Na-ah. The first steps are better to be taken alone.
- Seek Help.
However. Loneliness can be hard to bear. Here you are, ready to flip your life upside down – and nobody to share it with? Da fuck?
I know this is the new age-y step in the manual, but bear with me for a minute: you need something to believe in. You need all the help you can get to succeed. But instead of looking ‘out of yourself’ for help…. Why not turn inwards?
Meditation and yoga have helped me tremendously in staying strong – along with taking great care of myself. Sure, the ‘help’ I got in obtaining all that, came from outer sources: teachers smarter than myself: Gabrielle Bernstein, Yogi Bhajan, Marianne Williamson, Gretchen Rubin, Elizabeth Gilbert, Wayne Dyer,.. the list is endless. But they all thought me, directed me to the same person: me.
You can run out right now and read any of the authors above, but if you took step one, the right book or teacher for you, will appear. Or, as is said: “the teacher appears when the student is ready.” – and once they do appear, it will feel good, and you’ll know that there’s not a chance in hell that you could ever feel lonely on this journey.
- Have Faith.
Oh, this is a tough one, ya’ll!
If the above sounded like a picnic in Central Park on a 74 degrees day, let me crush that image right here. This isn’t going to be a smooth ride.
You’ll be all like “ok, life, I want a change! Let’s make it happen!” and life will contemplate for a bit, and then, when you least expect it, it will look you dead in the eye and be all like “How badly do you want this change, sucker?” and throw a minor catastrophe your way: it’s the job interview that went so well, but you didn’t get an offer. It’s the date that was so awesome, but he didn’t call afterwards. You get the picture.
Don’t give up, though. Know that this is just the path you chose: it is a little bumpier, but that’s how you know you’re on the right track. Keep going – and know – KNOW!! – that it will all work out in the end.
- Dance, Little Sister! (and brother, too)
Ok, I love to dance in my living room or bedroom, preferably in front of a mirror so I can check my moves – I might be alone in this.
But the bottom line of #5 is this: don’t forget to have fun. Be ridiculous, silly and irrational from time to time. Life is short and you don’t want to waste it on being all serious about your quest, either.
Binge watch a season of ‘Friends’ for some laugher, explore your own town or city with some friends, engage in activities with other people, go see a movie, purchase that deal for a massage… whatever tickles your pickle, really. As long as you enjoy it and it makes you insanely happy. Pump up the volume of your stereo and dance!
- This, or something better.
Don’t be a smartass. Sure, you know what you want, but life knows what’s best. Be grateful for the victories along the way and towards your goal, but acknowledge that the outcome might not be exactly as you envisioned. Consider D-tours and potential U-turns, but know that it will all add up in the end. Whenever you feel like restating your desired goal to the Universe (or whatever you believe in), add the “this, or something better.”- line. And trust that you will get rewarded for whatever effort you put in. Action, reaction.
Although there have been days were my relationship with Life was shaky, and I seriously considered some couples therapy for the both of us, I never stopped believing that it had my best interest at hand.
Things will get rough. Things will get better. Those ups and downs are just common to any relationship. Just try your best, every day. Stay curious and connected, be open, appreciative and respectful. Be loving and kind, truthful and honest with this partner that will actually stick around until the end…
Because 365 days pass in the blink of an eye… and you’ll be a whole other person once they pass… and then you’ll be ready for a whole new set.
So cheers. To the next 365.