A new journey begins

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It’s been two years since my last move, and after two years spent in my hometown I decided to start a new journey. My new goal for the rest of the year is to make this year the best year.

June and July were super busy as I looked for apartments in a city close to my parents’ house. I didn’t intentionally choose this city because it was close to my parents’ house, but because I always had a hard time moving and getting out my comfort zone, so the solution I could think of was to make a change that wouldn’t feel so big.

As an introvert, I always loved my comfort zone and I was resistant to change (I still am, but it is work in progress). Whenever I made changes or when something changed, I had a hard time accepting and adapting. I remember that I cried so hard while working when I was announced that my manager will go to another department and that I will have a new manager. (I really liked my manager, but I like my current manager too, so nothing bad happened). Since that moment, I started to work on my mindset.

I wanted so much to change my perspective on change, to become more flexible and to accept change as an opportunity to grow, as a new start and a way to get to know myself better. I read books and articles on accepting and embracing change, on getting out of my comfort zone. I started to involve more in projects at work and I decided to give myself opportunities to fail, thus to learn.

I decided to change my environment. I felt the need to experience something new, and this time I felt scared, but also very excited. I decided to let my fear come along, as this is a natural behavior and a reaction to something unknown. I was always scared by the unknown, by what I couldn’t control. This time, I decided to embrace my fear, but go ahead anyway.

I found an apartment in a nice area and I started moving my belongings. At first, everything felt unfamiliar and strange. My sister who will live with me felt depressed too. But soon, when we finished moving our belongings and started to give this place our personal touch, it got better. We told ourselves it will be the best year and that we will make it so.

I have never stayed alone in a place for more than a day or two, but I got to experience that too for a longer period of time because my sister had to go to another town for personal reasons. I was afraid that my social anxiety would stop me from going outside and enjoy the summer or simply run my errands, but with a lot of patience and nice words said to myself, I could enjoy living alone more than I could ever imagined.

Sometimes, the things that we are scared of are opportunities in disguise. The way we look at things becomes our reality. I learned so much about myself in the last two years, and even more in the last two months. Even if it was difficult and I still feel tired after all the things that happened so quickly, I am proud and happy with my decision and I am excited about what comes next.

I hope you are doing what’s best for you, even if it scares you at first. And remember, sometimes small changes take you to the highest places.

2021: One year of challenges and growth

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It comes natural for me to make lists, to observe the process and the progress. Therefore, making analysis of what I achieved, of the steps I took to get where I am now, of the challenges I encountered and the lessons I learnt is always an opportunity to learn more and to understand myself better, and also to think of better ways to fly even higher.

By making lists and observing the activities and the results, I am also trying to win over laziness and procrastination. Living in the countryside was the perfect chance to slow down in many areas, but I was afraid that I would become inactive or lazy. Thus I need to see results and to motivate myself to grow.

Looking back, 2021 was full of challenges and difficult times, but it was also a great year full of gratitude, nice projects, achievements, great people to work and to connect with, lessons, creativity and happy moments. What more could I wish for?

At the beginning of the year, I chose 4 random mantras that would guide me and help me become better in certain areas: Self-care, Change, Lessons and Power. All the things that I did were more or less related to these areas that I wanted to improve. I learnt a lot of things and I allowed myself to fall, to feel embarrassed, to not be right all the time, to make mistakes, and this is how I have learnt so many things about myself and other people. I accepted new challenges and got involved into new projects that made me more confident and more aware of my super-powers.

I stepped outside my comfort zone as much as possible and I did some things that made me fearful and insecure about myself. I learnt that I can do better than I thought and it made me feel proud and stronger. I became more determined to be the one who decides what it is best for me and listen less of the things people say to me. I decided to take better care of myself and see myself for who I am, not for what I should be or for what I could be.

Maybe what happened less this year is change. I was afraid many times and took my time to do so many things. I could not say that I made dramatic changes or that I did some wow-things. However, I tried to improve myself and my life as much as possible in the actual context. It is enough and I did even better than I had expected.

At the beginning of this year I made a list with the things I wanted to try doing or improving, but what I loved most about it is that I took the freedom to adapt and to do what I felt at that moment. I improvised and I did even more because I learnt that life doesn’t happen according to our plans. However, we can leave our mark and our will in every thing that we do. While not everything depends on us and our will, there are some things that we can control, especially how we look at things and how we think about all the changes. Even when I think of how I thought this article would be, I can see that I couldn’t predict even this small thing. I write exactly what comes to my mind and what I feel, without respecting the list I made or the ideas I prepared in advance.

I don’t know how next year will be and I am not even trying to find out. If you think too much about the future, you lose the beauty of now and the now becomes the past that you can’t live or change anymore. Thus staying present and living the best way you can everyday and every moment is the secret to have a great year. This is what I have learnt after so many fails and mistakes. This is how it works for me and this is where my focus goes: live everyday the way you promised or wished to live.

For me, staying healthy, in peace with myself and the others, eating good food, looking at nice things and writing about them, learning and being creative is the best way of having great days and great years, After all, life is also formed of these trivial little moments of peace and happiness, not only of massive changes and great opportunities.

Thank you for being with me and for reading my stories this year as well. I wish you peace, health and enjoy the little moments.

Small challenges, big steps

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I didn’t want to admit, but I know so well that growth consists in change. Small changes, big changes, they all lead to growth if you think that way. Life is like that. Life is unpredictable and always changing. Us people, the only way of making things work is to adjust to change. But this is not always easy to do. It might be easier for some us, but for others, me included, adapting to change could be a lot more difficult. It takes a lot of effort and discipline to become more acceptant to change. So I started training myself.

Living with my parents in the countryside is living a life that has not so many challenges. It’s simpler than it would be if I lived alone. You split the responsibilities and life is sometimes simpler. Not necessarily easier, but simpler. I like that, but I started to feel afraid. What if I won’t be able to get out of my comfort zone? What if I fail to grow because I become complacent? There were so many what ifs that sometimes it felt like there were so many people inside my head each trying to make his opinion be heard.

It is said that the best way of getting accustomed to something is to expose yourself to that specific something. I didn’t want to admit because it was so scary. I remember when I first did this exposure thing consciously. It was when I was searching for my first job. I was still a student so I had not experience with jobs. I was offered to work in a call center, and even if I become anxious every time I have to make a phone call, I thought that maybe if I exposed myself to something I was afraid of, I would become accustomed and get over my anxiety. But it wasn’t like that. I resigned in less than 3 months because talking on the phone with clients was extremely stressful. The exposure strategy didn’t work. However my desire to grow is so big that I decided to become accustomed to change. In order to do that, I realized that I needed to create my own rules, and that I should start with small changes that will make my brain believe that change is good.

First you need to convince yourself that change is good and that you don’t have to by afraid of change. So wisely choose your first challenges. As I am the type of person who does important things with small, but consistent steps, I decided to start with small challenges/changes. This is how I came up with a new project for my self-development: one new challenge per week. At first I tried to do it daily, but I started to get super tired and stressed because of it in less than 2 weeks and this was not my intention. So I reduced it at one challenge per week. But I admit that this is not always successful. I don’t consider it a failure, but an adaptation to each week’s circumstances. I don’t want another to do thing on my list, but rather the opportunity to enjoy the process of growing. Thus I might have weeks where I don’t really have any idea of what I should challenge myself with. These are rare, but I am aware that I am still not comfortable with change. It is ok, I try not to stress myself by overthinking it. All the good things and projects I did until now were formed in time and finalized in many steps and with continuous efforts. You might not realize, but small steps can still lead you to your dreams. So keep doing what you think it is important to you, keep doing what makes you happy, keep doing what makes you learn and grow.

The challenge I had for last week and that I decided to extend for this week as well is no spending week challenge. My intention was for me to stop spending money on whatever might be for a week, and then I decided to extend it until my pay day. It was not very easy, even when living in the countryside. Now, having what you need or want at your door is simpler and faster than ever before. In my efforts of becoming a minimalist, I try to become aware that wanting something and needing it are two different things. And because happiness doesn’t come with possessing things, I try to buy the things that I need more than the things that I want. I also question whether my needs are really needs or maybe subconscious ideas of wanting something. I do this in order to keep a balance and to use my money wisely, and I don’t feel this process of analysis as burdening or stressful. Deciding to have a break from spending was great. I pat my head and I enjoy the result. I feel I got to know one more thing about me. I could take a break from this system because I wanted. I realized that spending money can become a new addiction. I realized that there were things that I didn’t really want and I didn’t even need them, so this 2 weeks period was also some sort of purification. I didn’t mention another very important aspect, but I think you might have guessed. This challenge is perfect for my finances.

This is it for today. Thank you for joining me and for reading my story and I hope to see you around next time as well.

Stay safe and no matter the small steps you take, keep walking.