Stumbling Into 2018:
6 Things That
Keep Me Going

I can't tell you how good it feels to be typing in this white box again. These past four weeks have been the most challenging ones I've endured in a longggg time. Since my last post, I've moved in with a friend, helped my twin sister Lisa move to London, Ontario, to do her graduate degree (in -40 celsius weather fyi), and have spent a week straight in bed sick with a really bad cold. Despite the long days and tough labour that goes into moving, the hardest part has been living so far away from Lisa (7 hr drive). We've never not lived together and we have the best relationship. She's more than a sister to me and I can't explain the bond we have. We both didn't know what to expect but we knew it would be hard. And it has been. 

How have I been surviving? In a nutshell: Facetime, incredible support from friends and family, time off social media, and allowing myself to rest, cry, and talk if I need to, which included taking a mini blogging break. 

I'm slowly crawling out of my hole and have learned that although my world stopped for some time, the actual world keeps on spinning. And each day brings it's own beauty and challenges. 

I know I'm not the only one stumbling into 2018 in the fetal position. Here's what helps keep me going.  

Hat: Gap, $22. Sweater: The Bay Outlet, $6. Dress: Value Village, $8. Boots: Torrid, $70. (Shop similar).

Spending time with people who remind me of who I am. 

If this rough patch has taught me anything it's that I have a lot of people in my life who care about me and want to see me succeed. Our environment and the people in it can have such a big influence on how we feel and perceive ourselves. When I spend time with people who know the real me, it reminds me of who I am, why I'm here, and why I should keep going. 

Tapping into my inner creator.

Making things makes me happy. We are all creators by nature and our creativity is unlimited. More makes more. For me, creating can be writing, graphic design, taking pictures or cooking. It takes my mind off my stress and allows me to put my energy into something beautiful. 

Surrendering to pain. 

This time in my life has taught me a lot about healing and how it takes place. In order for me to move from a space of exhaustion and emotional stress, I had to surrender to the pain. I had to stop trying to control everything and just allow it to pass. I had to recognize my capacity and potential to heal. And I had to respect that potential by allowing myself to feel it all. 

Comparing myself to others my former self. 

During my lowest point, I found that social media was having a really negative impact on me and was making everything worse. I had to delete most of the apps off my phone for a little and I felt so much better. It's almost impossible not to compare ourselves to other people's highlight reels when we go on social media. When we remove the news feed from the equation, all we can do is compare ourselves to our former selves. It helps me to think about how far I've come despite hitting a low point, to realize my inner strength, and find strength to carry on. Day to day, we may not notice how much we've changed. But if you reflect on the past year, you'll see how your persistence has paid off. And, speaking of persistence...

Practicing the art of persistence. 

We don't change by night. When we change our daily habits, everything can change. The highest energy points in creating goals are at the beginning and end. The middle is where the challenge comes. The middle is where persistence, self-discipline, and daily actions are most important. They will bridge the gap between having a dream and living that dream. I'm often reminding myself to stay focused, keep trying, and do something daily that helps me be better.

Being grateful.  

Don't say I want, say I have. Be the thing that you want. It might feel silly at first but trust me, this works. It works in a visualization kind of way but also in a gratitude way. It helps you visualize where you want to be but it also makes you feel grateful for where you already are in your life. For example, instead of focusing too much on how sad I am to be so far from Lisa, I focus on how grateful I am to have her in my life. I realize that I am lucky to have someone who makes it so hard to be apart. Or when I was sick in bed, I tried really hard not to dwell too much on sickness and rather visualize wellness. 

What keeps you going?

Photos by Lisa Kidd circa early Dec.


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