The other night, a friend and I didn’t feel like going out so we stayed in for some R & R. After an hour or so of snacking and lounging on the couch watching crappy television shows, my friend looked over to me and said, “I can’t believe the weekend is over already and nothing happened yet again. I’m just getting so fed up.” I thought quickly about her statement and agreed that she was indeed right: another weekend passed, we did our laundry, relaxed, and went out hoping for a good time and nothing really monumental or of any relevance happened. Overall, our weekend was pretty blah. In fact, so was the last weekend.
Suddenly we were both 100% bummed out. I quickly clicked off the television because this called for a real life chat, without the distractions of Jersey Shore, Say Yes to the Dress, and Sex and the City re-runs. No, this called for undivided attention.
“What do you think it is that we’re lacking? What do you think it is that’s making you so upset? Men (or lack there of), jobs, stress, friends, money?” I asked my friend, trying to solve half the puzzle of why we were feeling so low. And then she gave the most honest answer of all. “No, it’s not really just one thing I can point my finger on. It’s just the feeling that my life is so routine and nothing is really changing. I feel kind of stuck.”
And this feeling of being stuck is something we all go through some time or another, some of us more frequently than others. In fact, I knew exactly what she was talking about and couldn’t relate to it more. As I sat there stretched out on the couch, I realized is wasn’t just one thing in my life putting me in a blah mood either. In fact, I too couldn’t put a finger on what was getting to me. My career path is finally going in the right direction, as I am pursuing my dream and following my passions. I’ve been keeping myself busy with writing, cooking, running, at-home yoga and dates in the city with friends. My social life has been pretty normal, and I couldn’t complain too much about my “love” life. Usually when I’m down, it has something to do with work, men or body image woes. But no, that wasn’t it this time.
Then it hit me. The reason my friend and I were feeling so blue is that we were missing a little something in life: a little pizzazz, a little extra oomph. While our careers, relationships and social lives were going just OK, we were missing that feeling of excitement and zest for life. You know, that feeling you get when you have a reunion with your college friends you haven’t seen in years, or it’s the morning of the marathon you’ve been training for all year. While we’d been concentrating so hard on making our lives ideal (money, relationships, friendships, jobs, etc.) we’d let a little of that extra pizzazz go. It seems we got so caught in the trap of living week by week and getting our daily “tasks” done that life started to seem a bit routine. And what’s fun about that?
No, we are definitely not routine, follow-the-rules kind of girls. We are spontaneous girls, who of course like to have a plan but also enjoy trying out new things and having things to look forward to in the future. That’s when I came up with the brilliant idea of trying a few new things per week in the city. Of course, we’ll do our usuals: eat breakfast, go to work, exercise, errands BUT (and it’s a huge BUT) we’ll also mix in new, fun things throughout the week to add a little diversity. Today I hiked a mile to try a cafe I’d never been to before (because it was “too far”), but have always wanted to try. What was I waiting for? Today was the day! Tomorrow I’m going out for sushi with a friend I haven’t seen in months, and Thursday we’re going to try Trivia Night at a local pub in the area. Sure, Trivia is a little out of our comfort zones, but it’s something new to try, and hopefully we can have a great time and meet a few new people along the way.
While these things may seem ordinary, it’s all about doing things that are new for you. Go to that exotic restaurant you’ve been dying to try, and get the most outrageous thing on the menu. Grab some friends together and go to a museum you’ve never been to before. Start a new book, in a genre you’re not familiar with. Always been a “good girl?” Do something sassy, even if it just means wearing sexy underwear underneath your sophisticated outfit. Take a left when you usually take a right, and get “lost” in the city being sure to take lots of creative pictures along the way. Go up and talk to someone you find intriguing in the cafe next time you’re sitting there alone with your coffee. The thing is: life is full of so many interesting, new and invigorating things. So next time I find myself feeling blah about being stuck, I’m going to remember that there’s so much out there to explore. I challenge you to throw all structure to the wind, put on your creative caps and start exploring. Then I promise you that blah-ness with fade away…
Do you ever feel stuck? What makes you feel “blah”? What are some new things you’ve been meaning to try but have never gotten around to? What is it exactly that’s holding you back in life?
A few months ago, one of my friends came to me in distress. “Rach, I’m just so jealous of you that you have a passion. I feel like I’m not passionate about anything,” she said in distress. “Sure you are. You are one of the most loving people I know, and there are tons of things you enjoy!” “I guess. But I just don’t get excited about anything. I don’t have any true passions.”
This made me sad at the time, as I wanted her to open her eyes and see how much this world has to offer, and more importantly how much she has to offer the world. It was especially hard for me to understand, because she was right: I am passionate about lots and lots of things; some would maybe even say I’m TOO passionate. So how could my friend not find one little thing to get excited for, to make her feel good about herself? I wanted deeply for her to figure that out.
Fast forward a few months to this email I received from that same friend: “I’m sure you all know that I’ve ALWAYS bitched about not having a ‘passion’…and I think I know something that will make me excited and that is learning how to sail! I’ve always loved the lake/ocean/water/boats/etc so I think this will be fun and there are some somewhat cheap sailing lessons right here on the potomac!” she wrote. She also mentioned how she started a book club with some work friends (and hosted the first meeting), began taking hot yoga classes, and had been taking a lot of trips with friends. You could hear her excitement (and passion) in her email; it was THAT loud and vibrant. Honestly, I couldn’t be more happy for this particular friend (you know who you are) because she finally saw something she had all along, and was brave enough to dig deeper in order to seek it out. Bravo!
As for me, I get silly, obnoxiously excited for almost everything. Sometimes I feel like I still have some (or most) of my 10-year-old self locked up in my 23-year-old body. Take today for instance. I’m sitting here like a little kid on Christmas because I get to go grocery shopping in an hour with my roommate…to TRADER JOE’S (my favorite place on earth.) Not only do I love buying fresh, healthy eats for the week, but the free snack counter is one of my favorite parts of the trip. I anticipate what it’ll be every time…it’s like a secret goodie bag. Seriously, it’s my favorite. thing. ever.
Lately, I’m also super excited about my new love for running (I ran another 5-miler today-yay!), crafting up innovative recipes, my new ‘n’ improved blog look and mostly MY RECIPE BOOK that I can’t wait to get published. As you can see, I have a lot to be happy and passionate about, and so should YOU!
What are some things you’re particularly passionate about, or simply little things that make you extra-excited?