I’m not even going to act like it hasn’t been quite a while since we’ve chatted, friends. Nope. I’m going to recognize it, accept it and keep it all the way real with you. In the blogging world, “they” will tell you to blog consistently. That’s how you get high traffic numbers, build a following and become a trusted blogger. “They” say to create high-quality, engaging & meaningful content. Do these things and you’re sure to be popular, well liked & more!
Well. What “they” don’t recognize is that life happens. And sometimes you can’t form high-quality, engaging & meaningful words to put on a page to read because pushing the “brew” button on the coffee pot is the hardest part of your day. Or, the consistent content you’re supposed to be creating, in my case, gluten-free & dairy-free meals, look a lot like gluten-filled & dairy-filled meals. Because that’s what feel comforting during these moments and for no other reasons than that.
Going through tough times in life that make your heart tender are hard. It’s hard to be inspiring, uplifting, motivating when you, yourself, need those same things. How do you write about an awesome meal that you can’t even muster up the energy to make? So I didn’t. I stuck to what I needed to feel better, dry my eyes and move on – whatever "move on" meant for me. I can’t tell you how to heal during sad times because it's such a personal experience for each person. We all heal differently. But, I can tell you what I did for me. And what I’m still doing as I navigate these murky waters.
1| Recognize that you’re doing the best you can with what you have
I’ve been hard on myself for making the decisions I’ve needed to make. Feelings of abandonment, selfishness & more have come way up to the surface. I’m not good at letting people down even when I know deep down that I’m making the right decision. I didn’t understand why things like this had to happen and why I had to be the one to go through it. Again. And why can’t I stop crying, sending messages, longing for it to be the way it was. But time & time again I had to remember that I’m doing the best I can with what I have. And that’s all I can ask of myself right now.
"I realized that I didn’t have to be strong right now. There was no rule that said I wasn’t allowed to be sad and upset."
2| Let go of perfection
See above. I have not been sticking to a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free lifestyle. Straight up. I also haven’t been working out more than teaching a spin class 1 time a week. It’s been a lot of PJs, wine glasses & binge watching The Pioneer Woman. I swear I’ve watched each episode at LEAST 5 times. Probably more. Sisters, if you’re reading this…shut up. :)
3| Don’t go chasing waterfalls
There was a time when I recognized that I was longing for external attention. For someone to show me attention and say that I was cool and interesting and that they thought about me. Having that consistently for a few years and then it stopping suddenly, hits hard. But filling that space up with something else before you’re truly ready isn’t the answer. It’s just not. I needed to go do something else. Turn my phone on airplane mode (even for 20 minutes until the urge passed), go to yoga, message a friend instead, go take a shower, go to sleep.
4| Don’t completely throw caution to the wind
I wasn’t making my chocolate protein balls, overnight oats, spaghetti squash marinara, green smoothies for my meal prep. Or, like, at all at first. I was definitely just running through the Panera drive through and getting my favorite bacon, egg & cheese on an everything bagel and keeping it moving. This happened a few times. Or grabbing a burger from a local hole-in-the-wall spot in my hometown and going straight to bed. But then I realized how much work I’d done on healing my gut through nutrition. I’ve come really fucking far. Too fucking far to go all the way back to square one. So I decided to not jump completely off the deep end and find some healthy things I could do right now. Like, putting my burger on lettuce. Having a side salad instead of fries dipped in mayo (I know, I know) and stopping after 2 glasses of wine and switching to sparkling grapefruit water.
"I’m not good at letting people down even when I know deep down that I’m making the right decision."
5| Don’t hold back the tears
I realized that I didn’t have to be strong right now. There was no rule that said I wasn’t allowed to be sad and upset. I WAS allowed to be sad and upset. The movies that show the girl being like “boy bye" and going to happy hour with her girls later that night -yeah…that wasn’t me and it didn’t have to be. Letting myself cry was the best decision for me regardless of how many people said “stay strong, you’ll be fine.”
I’m sure there are more ways that I’m navigating through these times but the above are the staples. These are the things I’ve been constantly telling myself or that the people around me have been consistently saying to me. I’m taking everything day by day and not having too many expectations for myself. I can feel that I’m ready to tap back into my creative side again. I don’t know exactly how that will flush out. But, that’s why I’m writing this blog post. It’s the first time in a really long time that I felt excited about writing and sharing something with all of you. I’ve been in the space of wanting to create some goals for myself and thought I’d share some of those with you as well.
1| Get back to cooking more consistently
As I’m in between places right now, cooking for myself hasn’t been top of mind. And as I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t been too motivated to do so. But I know that I miss it. I currently have a few recipe ideas stirring in my brain that I’d love to share. Stay tuned!
2| Expand “Laura’s Eats” in some way
If you’ve been a reader for a while you know I used to have a blog/podcast called Lo Down Living. It was more lifestyle focused including food, relationships, self-care & more. I feel as though I have more to say than just cooking & recipes. So I’ve considered may bring LDL back to life?! What do you think?
"But, how do you make new friends in your 30s?"
3| Write more
I love to write, I always have. I’ve writing for a few online publications in the past and would love to do more of that moving forward. Whether it’s creating an e-book or submitting my work to other online publications, I definitely want to write more.
4| Create more friendships &/or invest more in current ones
I don’t think you realize how much you need shoulders to lean on until you actually need to begin leaning on them. I give my all in romantic relationships which sometimes causes my friendships to fall off. I don’t mean to but, I tend to get into intense relationships that take up a lot of time & space and leave little room for anything else. This is something I’ve recognized in my reflections lately. And it’s something I want to change. But, how do you make new friends in your 30s?
These are the waters I’m currently navigating through. It’s not always easy. Digging through the mud never is but you usually come out of it with a better mentality and self-understanding. At least I have been so far. As you all know from my gut diagnosis, I stress easily. And while the first few moments of this phase were very stressful, I’m learning how to take things as they come my way. My sister said something really great to me the other day. She said, instead of saying “I’ll figure it out” actually sit down and dig through it and figure it out. Get to the root of the situation or problem, find out why it’s happening and figure out your very next step in solving it. I loved this advice. It rings so true to me. I say I’ll figure something out and let it stir in my brain for hours, days, weeks, months, years until I actually do something about it.
So here’s to actually figuring all of this shit out.
Are you going through a tough time right now or recently have? I would love to know how you’re currently healing through your journey in the comments below.