Written by: Audrey Mischa Kirk
Do you ever seem to be pulled in a million different directions at the same time, yet none of these movements seem to be progressing forward. It’s a tug of war with all of the obligations you have not only to yourself, but to others as well. I tend to put others before me which has contributed to the life balance struggle. 12 hours in my day and at the end of it I find myself laying in bed thinking. I didn’t have time for yoga today. I can do that tomorrow (Like I’ve been promising myself all month long).
We tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and seem to put our priorities on the back-burner because we have obligations that take precedent. This week I decided to be a loner. I decided to take a journey inward and leave the world behind. I texted my friends and family and said Hey! I’m going to be on airplane mode this week so if I don’t respond to you please don’t be upset. I needed a big break from it all because sometimes the world and all its weight can crush you if you don’t escape. No vacation planned and holiday season meaning the busiest work month. I wanted to take a hiatus to be selfish and not have to worry about plans or obligations. I checked into a hotel and read and wrote and went on walks and caught sunsets while I worked. One of my close friends would check into a hotel a few times a month to zen out. I thought what a weird thing to do when you want to save money and rent here in Southern California is so high. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This mini escape is an investment into yourself and being off season you can find some incredible last minute deals with breathtaking oceanfront rooms. (The App Hotels Tonight has incredible last minute deals). I highly recommend the Cardiff Lodge an ocean view boutique hotel in the heart of Cardiff. I believe it’s difficult to escape our lives and take a break from our jobs, our families, our friends and push pause on everything. During this personal retreat I asked myself. What makes me happy? What are my long term and short term goals? Are the people I’m surrounding myself with healthy for my soul? Is there room for growth? If I can do anything in the world what would it be? The introspective list goes on. I am a people pleaser so this list was extremely hard for me to be honest about. Every step I take I ask how it would make others feel. I needed to create my own retreat away from everything to focus on my self growth. I highly recommend you take a break for yourself every once in a while. Check into a hotel for at least one night and do absolutely nothing for anyone but yourself. Parents this is exceptionally beneficial for you! Mommy’s specifically, It sounds incredibly selfish but I promise you won’t feel bad because the 364 days in a year you are entirely selfless.
You may think this to be a little extreme. I wanted clarity and some deep soul searching and I just wanted peace and quiet to listen to my inner voice whisper. I wanted to be able to hear what it was saying to me. I needed a place that was away from home. Away from routine. Some place I can just escape. I think that as individuals we rarely take “time outs” that are completely and entirely for ourselves.
Doing things alone can be scary. Spending time with yourself and taking yourself out on dates can truly be the most magical thing you can do for self growth. I used to feel bad for people who were sitting alone at a restaurant. Eating alone! How terrifying to be alone at dinner! Now I feel a zest of admiration for these people. I am slowly learning how to comfortably become one of these people! They are not afraid to be alone because they truly enjoy the company that they keep when no one else is around. They love their thoughts an inner dialect. They love themselves. It’s not conceded to love yourself. You must love yourself fully and entirely before you can love another. You must be complete and happy on your own before you can give to someone the type of freeing love they deserve.
I believe that these little solo journeys will help to clarify to ourselves who we are at our core. What fuels our fire. Your passions may differ from your friends and your partners and that’s okay. I really tried to enjoy golf and playing blackjack at the casino. I’ve done both so many times with a smile on my face. I even think I’ve tricked myself into believing they are fun for me. I really wanted to like golf because my husband does, but deep down it brought me zero joy. I enjoy exploring in my own backyard, traveling abroad, meeting new people from all walks of life, the beach and being outdoors amongst many other activities. It is ok to have different hobbies and spend time pursuing them separate from your friends and your significant other. There are probably one hundred different activities you LOVE but don’t even know you enjoy because you’ve never stepped out of your comfort zone or broadened your horizons.
Re inventing yourself will keep you from falling into a rut. What may have been your hobbies or passions for the last 10 years of your life may not bring you the same joy they do today. You do not have to confine yourself to your own standards. If you wake up one day and feel like you want to shake things up and do something so ridiculous even your inner voice is exclaiming, “What! That’s crazy? Who are you! I’m in!” Re evaluate what you love not because it used to bring you joy but because it still does. Re inventing yourself is the key to a passionate life. We can all be playful and have fun everyday learning about things we didn’t even know about ourselves. This was tough for me to do at first. I used to be so passionate about football. I would religiously watch it every Sunday. I was so passionate I would lose my voice screaming at my players as if they were an extension of myself. I would be devastated if my team lost (which sadly was often… Gah Chargers!!!) I was invited for a friends birthday out of town and it happened to be on a Sunday that we would be gone. I woke up early in the morning frantically looking for a bar with a television that was playing the game. I was unsuccessful in this search. We explored and found the most incredible adventures in L.A that day. Something shifted in me and I thought. Wow! Today was more fulfilling to me then watching football. Since I only have a few days off I thought it to be beneficial to start doing the things I’m passionate about. I used to be passionate about watching the games but I can re invent myself at any given moment and say that it no longer brings me the same joy. I had realized that adventuring and finding new places was more rewarding than spending my entire day every weekend watching football.
Life truly is beautiful. It is your life. You have all the power to make it full of all of the passion in the world. You can be a catalyst for creating a life you love by getting out of your comfort zone and treating each moment that you are gifted as gold. Be honest with yourself as well. If you’ve lost the passion in the things you used to love doing do not be afraid to change your course. Telling myself and my friend football just isn’t doing it for me anymore seemed so “off balance” for me. I was so passionate about the game. I just don’t care about it the way I used to anymore. Maybe I will again be interested but for now I want to spend the few days I have off doing things that elate me and fill every cell in my body with ecstasy (figuratively speaking not literally!) Do what you love, love what you do. Change directions. Confuse yourself and others when it comes to status quo.
Lots of Love,
The Landlocked Mermaid
*And there you have it. The beach in December.. San Diego you are amazing.
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Photography by: Natalia Cruz