This post is inspired in two different ways- one by a few blogs/blog posts I’ve come across (like this one and this one), and by my personal life/experience. I have a few close friends who have impacted my life in terms of encouraging and inspiring me to turn an eye on how I’m living my life (Cai, Amy, and Talisa- this one is for you!).
I have had a few conversations with all three of these incredible women about how our values and our wants and passions line up with how we live our lives, and I found myself realizing, after many of these conversations, that my values and my passions aren’t what’s pushing my everyday life.
This prompted me to look for what it was in my life that was pushing my daily life forward, and if it wasn’t my values or passions, what the hell was it? I realized that habit and convenience were pushing my life forward, two things that I resent more than I should. I pride myself on being mindful and thoughtful and I came to a point where I realized I wasn’t implementing either in terms of how I live my life on a day to day basis. I was doing the same thing every single day and I came to realize I'd been living the same day over and over again for close to a year, if not more. I really hated coming to that realization, because it made me deeply uncomfortable with being and doing the same old, same old. I live in the biggest, brightest city (or one of them), and I'm young and have my whole life ahead of me, and I'm sitting here, on my butt, doing the same thing day in and day out. Coming to this realization was like a ton of bricks to the face.
That’s where Intentional Living comes in. This is something that my friends and I had discussed at length, but basically the way I've learned to define it, intentional living is asking why you do things the way that you do them, and the end goal is to be happy with your answers. I realized that I wasn’t happy with my answers (in that I was doing things because it was easy, convenient and the way I'd been doing them) and I needed to take more than a couple big steps back to figure out a) what wasn’t aligned, and b) how to align my values and my daily schedule.
Intentional living is not a answer to your questions, by any means- it’s not saying that you know the best answer to the question of why you do things, or giving a “perfect" answer, even. It’s about recognizing that you need to shift your thought process to reach your goals- that you need to put intention into what you do instead of drifting through life aimlessly (I know y'all, I'm getting deeeeep).
My favorite quote from the Simply Fiercely post is “Know that you can choose to be intentional about your direction without knowing your final destination… Your core values are how you choose your direction.” It’s less about figuring everything out and more about figuring the foundation out and moving up from there. For me, it meant making hard decisions, putting in a lot of work to myself (including painful work like restarting therapy frequently), and shifting my priorities. For others, it could look very different. At its core, intentional living is putting intention and thought behind the decisions you make each day to refocus your life to reach goals that you want to attain.
It's a really hard realization to come to- that you have no clue what you're doing or why you're doing it. It feels like you've been asleep at the wheel. Coming to that hard realization really put me in an awful funk, and I wanted to get out of that funk more than I had wanted to do anything in a long time- that's what prompted me to start talking to friends about their passions and figure out where the hell I need to look towards to figure out mine. I'm still super lost, but I'm at least trying a little bit every day to find where I want to end up.
Hope y'all enjoyed this more... honest side of me. I've been trying to figure out how to write this, but I hope you liked it!