Why I Didn’t Believe

For most of my life, I thought there was only one way of living. I thought we were all required to live a certain way, our partially unique journeys leading us all to the same destination. You know, the life where you are raised by your parents, graduate high school, go to college to get a degree, pursue a career within that field, meet someone, get married, and live happily ever after. I spoke briefly of this in a couple of my previous posts, but this has been something that has conflicted my life and my goals for quite some time, so I wanted to go more in depth about it.

After I graduated high school, I didn’t go to college because I had literally ZERO clue what I wanted to do. I was working full-time and had strong beliefs that experience is worth more than a piece of paper. Many of my family members hounded me with things like “How are you going to get a job?” “What do you plan on doing with your life?” “Are you just going to work at Waterway forever then?” While I still believe there is much truth to the experience thing under certain circumstances, I did end up going back to school.

So here begins my internal conflict with what I actually wanted to do. I have switched my major, I think, six times? Yes, that’s right, six times. Upon enrolling, I knew I wanted to do something that was with people. Psychology. I have been drawn to it since who knows when. You know how many people frown upon a psych major? I had no idea until I spoke about it. They automatically jump to things like “Well are you going to go to grad school to be a doctor?” “You can’t really do anything with a bachelor’s in psychology you know.” and “So you want to be a counselor?” Okay, one: I haven’t made any plans to go to grad school, no. Two: So basically you’re saying that the knowledge I obtain during undergrad as a psychology major is useless? Three: Why is psych always directly associated with counseling? Just because someone is a criminal justice major does not automatically mean they want to be a cop. THE WORLD IS INFINITE. STOP PUTTING LIMITS ON SHIT. This… This is why I switched out of psychology three times, because I let these people convince me that I wouldn’t be able to provide a future for myself with this degree. (I am back to psychology now, by the way. 100% ready.)

Next up, plans for my future. As I discussed in https://fusembition.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/i-thought/ , I always seemed to be pulled back into other peoples’ dreams instead of following my own. I think a lot of the reason for this was that I didn’t believe in mine because they don’t necessarily follow the norm or guidelines provided by today’s society. I had a recent discussion with a friend about college and degrees and jobs and such. She had just about every single aspect planned out from her graduation date, to where she was going to move after, to the exact place she would apply to start her career. Which is great. For her. For me though, things are a little different. When you mention to somebody that you’re an aspiring blogger and entrepreneur, people either a.) laugh, b.) ask “no, really, like what are you going to do like with your degree?, or c.) pretend to be supportive but secretly judge the hell out of you. Which, I suppose, is understandable. In today’s world we’re all expected to do the same thing and when someone does something that is completely out of the norm, most assume that they’re likely to fail.

I didn’t believe in me or my dreams because I depended on other people to believe in them. I would talk about them hoping that somebody would show as much excitement as I feel inside and when no one did, I pushed them aside. I would let a part of me not believe and take over, deciding that I should pick a “normal” degree so that I can have a “normal” job. This turned into a vicious cycle of me trying to be “normal” continued by me being drawn back to writing, to blogging, and learning about people the way that I want to. Normalcy has not been in my favor.

I am not going to sit here and wait for somebody else to believe in my dreams for me because the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. It’s hard to believe in things that don’t happen often. It’s hard to understand how a person could want to stray away from the easy route. I get that. I get that 100%, but there is no way in hell that I am going to let that continue to affect me and affect my pursuing of what I want.

If I can give you any advice, it is to follow your heart. I know I know I know how cliché that sounds, but the fact that I have been putting my own life and goals that I truly want just because multiple people gave me a funny look is not something I want for anybody else. It doesn’t matter how stupid or silly or crazy or far-fetched you sound. If you want to go to college to be a doctor, go be a damn doctor. If you want to start a business, do what you need to do to get started. If you want to rescue dogs, rescue the damn dogs!!! Do what you want, when you want. There will always be people with small minds that only see things one way. No matter what they say, no matter what they believe, your dreams are attainable. They are attainable. Believe.

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Right Now

As people, we are constantly yearning for more.

More money, more clothes, more opportunities, more status, more gifts.

Each of these will “fix” its respective problem in our lives.

Although we are problem-solvers, we are likely the creator of these problems.

When I get this, I will be happier.

When I buy that, I will look better.

When I lose weight, I will love myself.

When I move away, I will start over.

 

What about now?

Why is it that we do not teach our children and each other to enjoy the things we do have? The people in our lives? To love ourselves right now? The gifts and treasure we already have in our presence? Why must we always search for more without appreciating what we already have?

If you are constantly looking for a problem to solve, chances are you are the one creating the problem. Remember that if you are always searching for happiness, you will almost never find it.

Open your eyes and it is there. In front of you, next to you, behind you, around you.

Right here, right now.

How Fitness Changes Your Outlook on Life

Fitness, I’m sure, has interchangeable definitions based on who you may ask. To me, it is powerlifting and eating to fuel my body. To my best friend, it is the sport of dance. To some, it is a complete lifestyle. And to others, it may be nonexistent. When people hear terms and phrases that coincide with fitness and health, they automatically associate them with something along the lines of eating healthy and going to the gym. While, yes, those are correct associations, they are only a small, basic aspect of what fitness can actually do for your life. Fitness is and should mean exceedingly more than just daily physical activity. It has changed many outlooks of life and has the ability to build a person into so much more than just somebody that is considered “fit.”

Depth

As aforementioned, people are often quick to assume that fitness is “just” something. It’s just going to the gym and doing curls. It’s just eating chicken and broccoli for lunch. It’s just getting “toned.” Like any other niche, fitness has obtained its own set of stereotypes. Once you enter the realm of physical activity, whether that may be bodybuilding, HIIT, powerlifting, crossfit or just training in general, you quickly realize that just is not the case at all. There are hundreds of thousands of factors that go into a person’s health and progression in the fitness world. It is more than just going into the gym and doing a set of bicep curls. It is copious research about how the body reacts to a certain amount of volume. It is how to personalize macros based on body type and training volume, it is science. It is trial and error, based on how your body reacts to certain exercises. It is goal setting, listening to your body, training your mind, and so much more. Just like everything else in this world, there are depths waiting to be discovered in fitness. There is so much to learn. Once you look past the surface of it all, you realize just how much more there is to it. This is the case inside and outside of the gym and kitchen. There are people that may be categorized or stereotyped as one thing or another but you have absolutely no idea what lies beyond until you dig deep enough to truly understand. There are things you may be hesitant to try because the very little facts you do know about them may not sound appealing to you. Do not miss out on things or people or experiences just because you did not necessarily like the two things you heard about them from some biased source. Life is so much more than just waking up and going through a boring routine. When you stop putting just on things, you stop limiting yourself and open up a new world of depth and new discoveries.

Mental Health

To continue the importance of stereotype destruction, I will move on to the idea of mental health. Some believe that fitness is strictly physical, a way for someone that is fat to get skinny, bulky to become toned, etc. In my case and many others, though, physical health was/is just a premise to mental health. Taking control of your physical health through fitness teaches you so much more about your inner strength than outer. Yes, hitting PRs is gratifying. Yes, losing those last 20 lbs may have been the highlight of your year. Yes, showing off your transformation makes you feel unstoppable. All of these ring true, but they mean so much more than just a physical change. They show that you have the ability to take control of yourself and your life and keep pushing, even when you do not believe you can. Fitness teaches you strength, true mental strength. When you have the drive and ability to get up in the morning and make that decision to eat right, or to go to the gym even when you are exhausted, that is when you are building yourself. Fitness teaches you that when you focus on the present and the good, the past and negative aspects will soon be minimized, slowly dissolving from your life. Take that strength and apply it to every facet of your life. Whether it is through fitness or not, wake up in the morning with that same drive. Push through the difficult times to become stronger.

Progress and Goals

When it comes to starting new things, the idea of unfamiliarity can be terrifying. This is especially true for me. I often times find myself leaning on what is familiar, relying on routine. While I’m not necessarily hesitant to go outside my comfort zone, I do sometimes encounter fear when it comes to new beginnings. For example, I wanted nothing more than to get my writing and thoughts out into the world. I wanted to start a blog, but once I started doing research and saw how great people were at it, how much time it takes, how much I still had to learn about website editing, I ran away. This was true until I was reminded how far I’ve come in terms of my own physical health. I was never scared to begin lifting weights because I never realized how much I would fall in love with the sport and how much knowledge I would actually obtain. I wasn’t afraid because I did not realize that one little baby step would turn into a million baby steps that would build me into a completely different person than I ever expected to be. Fitness teaches you that starting small can lead to something greater than you could have ever imagined. Goal setting is a huge aspect when it comes to progression in the world of fitness. As long as you work toward each goal, both short-term and long-term, baby steps and giant steps, you will come closer each time. It all starts with one decision. One decision that turns into another one that eventually will turn into a habit if you stick to it. Progress, in anything in life, can be slow. It can be demanding. It can feel like you are moving in the wrong direction at times, but as long as you keep moving forward, your work will pay off. The progress will show.

Comparisons

In the Progress section, I talked about my fear of other, far more experienced writers in the blogging industry. My first thought was that I’m clearly not as good as them nor will I ever be as successful as them. I think the idea of comparing oneself to others is almost natural, but it should not determine what comes next. Many people stray away from fitness because they are not “thin enough” or “strong enough” or whatever the case may be. Yes, I am guilty of comparing myself. I see a woman that is leaner and stronger than I am and yes I envy her. Does that mean I am going to throw in the towel and give up my own healthy lifestyle? Absolutely not. She may have started ten years before me. She may be an exercise scientist, 110% devoted to learning and teaching fitness. But in all honesty, I have no idea. This is the exact same for life outside the fitness industry. It is not fair to yourself nor to others to make comparisons or judgments. You have no idea what people do day in and day out. You don’t know what their genetics consist of, what their lifestyle consists of, how long they have been pursuing a goal, etc. Like in the gym, what works for one person may not work for you and that is okay. There are millions of factors that go into our lives that make it completely unrealistic to even try to compare ourselves or judge others.  We are all extremely different from one another and need to focus on our own paths and how to progress individually rather than wondering how to be like somebody else.

 

Whether you have yet to begin or are actively working on your physical health, remember that there is so much knowledge that you have yet to absorb. Just start. Remember that improving yourself in one aspect of life can actually help you in other areas. Stay focused on your own definition, your unique path. Small changes can turn into tremendous successes.

Feel

It’s okay to feel.

It’s okay to feel every damn emotion in your heart.

It is more than okay

Sometimes I forget to tell myself that; we all feel things so deeply.

And sometimes that is a good thing, to love deeply, to care deeply, to feel.

What about pain? Sadness?

Rejection? Confusion?

We feel those emotions with the same depth.

We feel the pain just as we feel the love,

Sometimes for the same reason.

And it is okay to feel that.

Feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all.

It is what makes us human, it is what makes us grow

Direct the energy from the pain toward love, happiness.

Do not wish or ignore your feelings away

Let them speak to you, let them teach you.

Appreciate your depth.