When did it all change for you?

Sometimes it’s as if streetart is speaking to me.

Take this photo for example. I took it while wandering the streets of the Arts District in Los Angeles (when I was there in April). I found it interesting at the time but I didn’t think too much of it until I came back to NY from LA. As I slowly phased out of vacation mode…. everything seemed to make sense.

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spotted in the arts district, Los Angeles

When did it all change for you?

It changed when I came back and I realized how uptight I was. Not because I wanted to be but because I couldn’t help it. I no longer wanted to be that person. The hectic energy, the constant motion and hustle and bustle, the aggressive crowds… just wasn’t for me anymore.

When I realized how much the sun made me happier. That positivity and good vibes, however intangible, are very real. It’s best to maintain a healthy level to thrive.

I knew it changed when something that I used to marvel at no longer had an effect on me. I craved something different.

It changed when I saw someone living the life that I wanted and I knew I wanted that for myself no matter how difficult  it was, or how long it took.

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Spotted in san francisco right before I got lost. April 2015.

  When they said something profound and I realized they weren’t on the same page. I didn’t try to convince myself otherwise, as tempting as it was. I realized this person was no longer good for me. It didn’t matter how long I knew them. We didn’t have anything in common anymore. We weren’t good for each other. It was time to move on.

It changed when I met people I’m typically not drawn to and their personality won me over.  Physical attraction is no longer enough. A genuine connection is necessary.  Looks are just packaging.

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Spotted in Clarion Alley, SF

It all changed…..

When I shared my thoughts and feelings, and there were people listening. Furthermore, the people listening…. understood. Suddenly we spoke the same language of dreams. of struggle. of hurt. of hope. And it’s true: at the end of the day, we’re all human.

When I realized I spent all this time at a job, doing something I didn’t really love. I wasn’t being my true self. I wasn’t getting closer to the person I was meant to be. I wasn’t learning what I wanted. 

When I realized all the sitting and computer staring was no good for me. My health and happiness was fading with every click, and frankly my health and happiness comes first. 

It changed when I learned that it doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t have to feel stuck. Where I am now doesn’t have to be where I stay.

It changed when I realized you are not the school you went to. You are not your job. there will be people who are committed to misunderstanding you and insist on defining you that way. Do you anyway.

It changed when I realized sometimes, all it takes is the first step.  Trying. Asking. Doing without expectation.

When I did or said something I was scared to say, and it worked out. The 20 seconds of absolute terror and consequent courageous action paid off.

What a difference it makes when you do things with love not out of fear.

When I made something myself and it was better than buying it.

It changed when I saw that something better exists. That job. That significant other. That roommate. That _____.

When I saw myself doing that, and I did, despite what I or it sounded like on paper.

When what I thought I wanted wasn’t what I wanted at all. Or that it came in a completely different form than I had expected. 

That moment when I failed and realized that was something I don’t want to return to. So I tried again, tried better.

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Spotted in Clarion Alley, SF

When I met new amazing people, want to new places and did new interesting things and I didn’t want to go back to how it was before. I just couldn’t. Things looked different. I kept my standards and goals, strived to be a better person myself, and despite being called idealistic/unrealistic… it only got better.

When i learned a new word or felt that new feeling and suddenly I was able to describe and gauge things like never before.

When I got as far as I thought I could. and I wanted to go further.

When I met people who made me realize why it was a good idea to let go of everything else I came from.

It changed when I realized I alone have the power to start. to do. to make. to change. Other people can give me advice, they can offer to help, but only I can control myself and what I do. No one can do it for me.

When I did the harder thing and even though it sucked during, it felt good afterwards. Going for a run is more energizing than a nap. Being kind feels better than being an jerk.

When I did it without the person I thought I needed and with the person I least expected.

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Spotted in Clarion Alley

When I realized that Time is the most precious commodity. Everyone will try to take it from you.  Bosses will ask you to stay late.  Friends will ask you to come out.  Parents will tell you to call more. Significant Others will want you to spend a little more time. Trolling on facebook/instagram does nothing for you. Time is all you have, and your time is going to go fast.  So spend your time wisely—even if that means getting greedy with it.

When I realized it’s not what they think. It’s what you think of yourself. Don’t give other people- strangers- the power to determine your own self worth.

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from the book: Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines

When did it all change for you?

It changed last month. last week. yesterday. today.

So what are you going to do about it?

If this post makes sense to you, I’d love to see you on instagram. If it didn’t, thanks for reading anyway. 🙂

-AndreaM

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

AndreaM Signature

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