To think that it’s been a year since I made my last “Vlog with a Jog,” I cannot believe how fast this year has passed us by!
I was just a fresh graduate who recently moved back home and was beginning to feel the “itch” to get going with her career. I was hopeful, insanely ambitious (plagued by my hustle from college) and probably a little obsessed with doing something for work. I crossed coffee shop barista off my bucket list and got a freelance position as a writer for a local radio station (only then to realize it was difficult to find motivation in a place that doesn’t inspire me).
It’s been a crazy year, and much of it has been spent in a coffee shop surrounded by some of the humblest, most down-to-earth coworkers I have ever met.
At the top of the year, I quickly went from working 20 hours a week to up to almost 40 a week, basically on the verge of being a full-time employee in a shop that was enjoyable but very, very draining (waking up at 3am on the daily and never having a weekend, holiday or two consecutive days off is rough). The more time I spent in the shop, the harder I realized it was for me to give my full self and attention towards my real goals — figuring my place out in the world of music and writing.
I began my work with the initial mindset of making money to save for my “move out fund” (#gigstogetmeby).The first thing I told myself when I moved back home a year ago was that I was only going to stay here temporarily until I could move back down to Southern California — the place I had made a home for myself for the past four years (and continually find reasons, people and opportunities to return to).
A year in a coffee shop has been a wonderful “break” from everything my busy life used to be. When I used to run on days of events and club meetings, organizations and social events happening every single night and every single day, my life has quietly dwindled down to caffeinating people up for work and spending my days either writing, playing guitar, taking a nap or losing sleep at a concert.
But, I spent less time with friends, found it harder to approach my writing and music consistently, and put in more energy than I ought to at the coffee shop (because let’s face it, I care about my work and the time I put myself into things, and the storyteller in me loves interacting with people).
To put it simply: I knew I had to leave, and it took me a little over a year to finally do it. In the latter half of the year, I received continuous signs and messages from people and the universe encouraging me to follow my dreams, do what I love and foster my budding talent (much of that is explained in my post “Signs from the Universe” from a few months back).
One of the biggest things I’ve learned however, is that taking active and conscious care of yourself — in mind, body and soul — can go a long way. I’ve often preached about self-love and care in years past, but I never really needed it until now.
- Mind: I can feel myself having a deeper understanding of my long-term career goals and dreams now — how my dreams of releasing my own songs and material have never gone away, nor have playing in a band, monetizing my writing and blog, or dabbling back into live music coverage, interviews and event production. My love of writing and expression — being an artist — has never gone away. And this year of being a real adult, outside of school or college or other distractions, has allowed me to really recognize that.
- Body: I can feel myself feeling much more vibrant, alive and awake through my consistent jogs and runs — something I used to never do as I used to always find it hard to get off my butt.
- Soul: I can feel myself opening up to the people around me. I value my time and conversations with people, but am also aware of how precious my time is. Being an adult means getting rid of the un-necessities/”toxic” things in your life that do you no good. When you surround yourself with the things and people you love, your soul emerges. Be generous with your time. Answer to what your soul needs. Your natural beauty will come out.
This is all I will say for now, but I cannot wait to see what’s in store for the next year. This past year has been one of playing with/dabbling in/teasing with these loves in my life… Now I’ve no excuse to not put my heart fully into whatever endeavors I take part in next.
Also: thank you for joining me on my journey. Whoever you are and wherever I have met you in my life, thank you. I am not sure what you find appealing in my posts, but it means a lot to have you here.
With love and honesty,