Since joining the “real world,” I’ve found myself saying “one day” more than I’d like to admit. I tell myself I’ll have the life I want “one day” or I’ll take that trip “one day.” Yet year after year, everything remains the same.
When I was in high school and college, it was easy to say one day because I knew I what I had to accomplish to get to the next step. I just had to make good grades, work hard and focus on my future.
However, when you’re done with school, there’s no definitive next step unless you create it. Sure, there’s a job promotion or marriage and kids, but at what point does it start and stop? And there’s definitely not a syllabus outlining how to get there.
I found myself working in a job that I enjoyed, but it wasn’t my dream job. I was doing the same thing everyday––during and after work––telling myself that one day my life would be how I wanted. You can see how four years flew by and my life looked the exact same.
While my daily life looked the safe, I became someone different. I was no longer the girl with goals and aspirations who succeeded and was determined to do something awesome with her life. Instead, in my four-year rut, I had become the fun, single hot mess who stopped going after her goals and working toward a successful future.
Having fun and being single became something that I excelled at. I had begun to think all I was good at was having fun. I was celebrating every day there was: #MargaritaMonday, #TacoTuesday, #WastedWednesday, #ThirstyThursday, #Friday, #Saturday and #SundayFunday.
I stopped thinking about my goals and started only thinking about where I’d spend Friday night or where I’d brunch on Sunday. My whole life became about where I would have “fun” next.
I’m not a therapist, but I would say I was probably using the fun as a way to escape from the fact that I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life.
Then two months ago I started a new job at a digital marketing agency, and I was reminded why I love writing, social media and the whole damn digital world, but I was faced with an identity crisis.
I had taken a big step in my career, yet my personal life was still in shambles.
There I was, just a girl with blonde extensions, jumping on the couch in the VIP section of the nightclub (that I didn’t have to wait in line to get into because I went there so much the bouncers knew me) with my fifth glass of champagne in my hand, singing along to the song at the top of my lungs, smiling. It all looked like everything was a blast, but inside my head, I remembered all of the things I was supposed to have done by now, yet I’m here again.
Even though I would go to work every day at my new job feeling like a responsible adult working toward her goals and succeeding at something, I would leave work and question who I was.
I was torn between the person I wanted to be and the image I had created. It was time for a change and even if it wouldn’t be easy, it had to be done.
I didn’t want to stop having fun, but I did want to change the way I had fun. I didn’t want to stop being single, but I didn’t want it to define me. I didn’t want to stop drinking forever, but I didn’t want it to be my crutch. I didn’t want to be boring, but I did want people to take me seriously.
It’s been a process and I still work at it every day, but I already feel so much better and I owe it all to these steps. If you’re going through the same thing, here’s how I recommend starting to transform your life.
Remind yourself of your goals
Take the time to stop and write down your goals. Think about what you truly want in life, write it down and post them somewhere you can look at them every day.
My goals are to be successful, have a kick-ass career, be someone my sisters can look up to, travel the world, write a book, own a puppy and buy a Chanel purse with my own money. Now every time I go to spend money I don’t need to, I remind myself of that trip I want to take or the Chanel purse I want to buy.
Create a routine
When you feel like you have no control over your life, remind yourself that you have complete control. Set a daily routine. It doesn’t mean you have to live the rest of your life doing this same routine, but you might end up loving it and even if you don’t, it’s still a nice reset. I now go to sleep at the same time every night, wake up the same time every morning (yes, including weekends), read the same amount each morning and night, watch the news every morning, get ready at the same time and leave the same amount of free time every day for myself. I have complete control.
Find your hobby
Find something you enjoy doing and do it. Commit to doing it at least three times a week, if not every day. I make sure to write every day to help me stay in tune with my feelings and remind myself how much I enjoy writing.
Remove toxic habits
If you have a bad habit, get rid of it. Mine was drinking. I was drinking to ignore my feelings and I knew I had to stop drinking if I was really going to dig down deep and figure out what was going on with myself. I don’t know when or if I’ll drink again, but it’s not a priority of mine anymore. If I find myself in a position where it won’t affect me, then I will but as of now, I am not.
Talk to people
Talk to family and friends that you trust. Be open with them about what’s going on. You can’t shut yourself off, so you need to surround yourself with people who will support you and understand what you’re doing. Never rule out therapy. I swear by therapy; it has saved my life.
It’s time to take control of your life and make sh*t happen!