Hi friends. I have missed you. I have so much to share. So much. I’m going to break it up into a few different topics, below:
Living in Oakland is better than I hoped it would be and, trust me, I had really high hopes. The mixture of the physical beauty, the perfect weather, the progressive spirit, the close proximity to the boys and the feeling of being in alignment with my life hopes and dreams is something I just can’t describe. My soul has found its home. It’s not without its stresses…we can barely pay the bills living here and sometimes the grind of that brings me down. I’m also still commuting, which is its own beast. Still, it’s so worth it and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here.
As I mentioned above, it’s stressing me out. I think I’m going to stop telling myself this story about being bad with money and find a financial planner that can help me sort things out. I hope to own a house someday in this beautiful town and I am just not on that path right now. What’s worse, I don’t even know how to get there. Time to call in the professionals!
Over the past several months, I’ve been feeling my heart pulled toward veganism. I’ve finally gotten the hang of vegetarianism and this is the next step. For me, it’s hard to love my dogs and other animals so much and rationalize eating other animals that are sentient. It doesn’t add up. I still totally believe in intuitive eating and am working to integrate this personal belief into my intuitive eating practice. It’s not super easy, because sometimes I do feel deprived even when eating vegetarian. I eat fried chicken and hamburgers sometimes and I’m trying to give myself grace through it. I know that I’m causing way less suffering through my imperfect attempts at veganism and vegetarianism that if I hadn’t even tried at all. Last week, I started a 30 day vegan challenge, which I am documenting on my instagram stories. Follow along if you’d like. I’ll be sure to post some updates here as I go along, but overall, I’m learning that it’s really not as difficult as I thought it would be. It basically comes down to good planning. If you know me, I’m not the best planner, but I am trying to learn.
Living here in what I hope to be my permanent home, I feel so compelled to contribute to this community. I’ve started volunteering by meeting with an English learner at Cal who needs a bit of help with conversational English. I’ve only had one session so far, but it has been a total pleasure. I haven’t volunteered much in the past few years and it’s time to change that. I don’t have a ton of time in my schedule, but this is one small step I can take for an hour a week.
On paper, my happiness should be higher than it ever has been. I’m living in Oakland!! A lifelong dream. I have a wonderful boyfriend and his two beautiful, sweet kids in my life every day. I am eating vegan and I am volunteering and I have great friends and family in my life. It’s all SO good, but I have noticed myself feeling really down and negative. Instead of focusing on the good in my life, I notice myself attracted to the less-than-perfect parts. My commute bums me out, our money problems stress me out and I am fixated on my career and whether or not I am pursuing my life’s purpose in my work. Overall, I’m diagnosing this as a lack of contentment. I thought that living in Modesto was the source of my unhappiness, but now I’m realizing that it’s my own brain. I’m on a mission to fix it. Of course, I don’t expect to be 100% happy all the time, but I can cultivate a practice of contentment that I don’t have now. I’m going to start reading the book, The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything tonight. I heard about it on a podcast last week and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ll report back.
Seriously, what is going on? We are in crisis right now in America and it is scary and sad and demoralizing. There is so much wrong with what is going on in our world and it feels overwhelming to know how to speak out and act out effectively. Do you have links to resources you’d recommend? I need to learn more and do more.
I’ll close with this. I was listening to the Dear Sugars podcast on my way home last week and it really changed my perspective on writing. I get so caught up on this writing thing and whether or not anyone reads and whether or not I’ll have any success that I don’t do it right or consistently. If there’s one thing I know for sure, I am a better, happier person when I’m writing and it’s the one thing that I know without any doubt that it lights me up inside in a way that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. I’m done chasing the success of it. I just want to write my truth, document my life and my thoughts, and forget about success or patrons. It’s not the measure of worth I’m going after. Can you keep me accountable to this, friends?