So, it’s been a year since I left the corporate world and entered whatever world I am in now (which is weird and strange, but mostly awesome). In the past 365 days (give or take), I’ve accomplished quite a bit, but not without some frustrations and realizations along the way.
So, here, in no particular order, are some of the lessons I’ve learned:
- Be open to new friendships. With leaving a traditional office environment (and the various friends that came with it), other than Elena, I didn’t really have someone who was in the same ‘space’ that I was. Fortunately, in early April, I connected with Zoe, and haven’t looked back. We both tell each other (constantly) how different our lives would have been had our paths not crossed. It’s funny the impact one person can make in your life. (Of course, I’m still super bummed that potential friends Lindsey and Nate left before we could really spend time with them). There are plenty of other new pals, of course, and I never know where the next relationship is going to start.
- Keep up with old friends! Fortunately for me, covering new restaurants has allowed me a great excuse to take friends out to eat in Abu Dhabi. Not only that, the trip home last summer allowed me to catch up with some old friends. In today’s uncertain times, I value seeing others in my life who have many of the same values that I do, and are willing to stand up for them.
- Value time off. Honestly, it could be my inner introvert, but (usually) my most favorite days of the week are the ones where I don’t have any reason to leave the house, set the alarm, or put on makeup. It’s days like these when I get the most work done and I feel a bit stressed if I don’t include at least one ‘at home’ day during the week to keep up, catch up, and look ahead.
- There are going to be down times. I’ve gone through periods where I was in a reading slump, or an exercise slump (aka, not doing any), as well as a ‘why is everyone doing things and getting invited places but me’ slump. For the most part they didn’t last long, or I was able to just power through them. However, I recognize I can’t be firing on all cylinders all the time. Some days require a bit of mental health or self-care and that’s totes okay.
- Routines can be a good thing. For the most part, my week starts by doing food prep over the weekends with Hubs (so there’s at least some healthy food in the house), on Sundays, I’m off volunteering at K9 Friends. Mondays are usually my at home day and then I filter in reviews and appointments accordingly.
- Achievements are great, but not the only thing. While I have completed a book, I’m still not ready for it to be out in the world. Late in 2016, this fact was super bumming me out. I felt like I had let my past self down — the one who had all these ideas and thought she was going to be a bestseller by now — the one who hasn’t published a book since the summer of 2015. While it’s still a work in progress, every day I make peace with the fact that I’m at least moving forward on projects and that is enough for now.
- Always be hustling. While I had times where it felt like nothing was moving, I’ve been trying to get in the habit of researching and pitching restaurants and other venues I want to visit. Sometimes they pay off, and some never get a response. I’m hoping to translate some of this energy back to the Queen, once she comes along.
- Always drink water before going to bed (I really need to get on that train, especially when coming home in the 2AM hour).
Anyway, I’m looking forward to what lessons the next year will yield. I also need to figure out how to get paid more regularly…