Hope on the Horizon

Positive conversations nowadays are forth coming. It seems as though that just this time last year people were panicking, also in disbelief, about our surroundings. It's amazing to see the growth in just one year—how we've moved so much, but yet at the same time, it feels like we were just trying to figure everything out and are still figuring things out. 

Just my mental state alone has been challenged so much this year, but I think that's just the truth of life—we're hit with curveballs left and right. There's no set path, there's no need for approximations or expectations. All we have is the here and now. I think I've come to terms with it. At least, there's so much more to look forward to. Rather than sulking in the unknown, here is why I am hopeful this month... 

Beginning a New Chapter... 
The timing couldn't be better. A year that was spent focusing on myself was time that I will be grateful for. Not only was I able to reassess my goals, but also recognize the faults along the way and how I've internalized my own struggles. I have been able to adapt to extreme change, and I think I've grown to be a calmer, more collected person because of it. As I try to enjoy the last ten weeks of my senior year year of college, I don't think I would have wanted this learning and growth process to have happened any differently. 

I was able to learn how to stay true to myself, even when the world was falling to pieces left and right. I let myself breathe for a change. I was also able to realize the importance of upholding your autonomy, getting comfortable with the unknown, and realizing that I'm going to be with myself for the rest of my life so I better shape up my attitude! For lack of a better comparison, I'm blooming into the person I want to become—no matter the setback. So, I'm ready. For whatever life brings: graduating from my backyard, conducting a lengthy job search, working more hours than I'm used to, living at home for a couple more months if it means banking on my future, who knows! What's ready for me will come and I'm just one with the process, as you should be too. 
Creating Boundaries for Myself
There's no doubt that I was stuck in limbo for quite some time trying to balance school, work, and personal life all from the four walls of my bedroom. I didn't quite understand the power of separation and making the time to detach from everything that ranks #1 on my priority meter. The truth? Nothing is more important than time for yourself. Yes, life would be so easy if we could just get through all of the hard sh*t and enjoy everything we love at once, but proactively realizing the need for slotting time off your calendar to improve your wellbeing is something I will never take for granted. 

Whether it be joining a gym again, cutting out milk, reading before bed, or buying that really expensive face mask you've been dying to try but have been juggling whether or not it's worth rewarding yourself with it for no good reason. News flash—you deserve it. You could mope and stress about all of the things you need to get done OR you could pour yourself a glass of wine and get through it one sip at a time. 

Reflecting the Good on Others
I think the saying is true that we reflect our emotions on others. You send out the positive vibes and they'll come right back to you. I get it, not every day is sunny and I can fully confess that I've been a negative Nancy—Natalie—here and there (and we have every right to be), but I've realized just how much this negativity has impacted the people around me. Whether it be a simple annoyance (taking out the dog...again) or something that has been brewing inside of me. Lashing out does me no good and it does no one in my family any good, either. We can wallow, we can dwell, or we could find the brighter side to things, move on, have a laugh, and know that we'll get through it if we just fix our attitude. Your reaction to your current circumstances are the make or break of living a happier and all around more positive life. Hey, maybe I should become a self-help book author. In retrospect, what goes around comes around (and I hope it's just positivity this time). 

I'm no buddha or therapist, but in a way, I've become my own mental trainer. Some days are kick-butt mental trainings and others are full, unapologetic cheat days. Reaching for perfection is never the goal, but progress is. Taking the necessary steps for you to live a better life moving forward is all we really need. Now, where's that glass of wine I was talking about? 

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