The adventure was over. Three years out on the east coast exploring New York City followed by one month in Bali and I’m back. Just like that, it ended. Done. Back in my home town, in my old role at work. Nothing and everything had changed.
I had gotten used to being away and my community was used to me being gone. The process of acclimating had been hard. Compounded by the fact that I love sunshine and Chicago is cold and dark from November to March. That wasn’t really much help either. The struggle was real.
I thrive on continuing to grow, experience, and explore. Personal development is one of my top values. When I got back, there wasn’t anything standing out that I wanted to pour my energy into. I was seeking something to be excited about. The next thing on my journey.
Life was seemingly mundane and uninspiring. Every day looked like this: Wake up, work out, go to work, cook dinner and go to bed. The end. Obviously, I’m oversimplifying a bit. What is important is that I never compromised or let my healthy lifestyle go in all of this. I did, however, pull back and stop sharing on social media and on my blog.
My purpose in sharing on these channels is to be authentic and to do my part to elevate others. I kept thinking “what if being authentic means sharing the hard stuff and that is in conflict with uplifting my tribe?” I questioned how I could share and be of service when I was not inspired myself. This was somewhat of a foreign feeling that I really grappled with.
I tried to seek out things that might reignite my light. Things like books, meditation, spending time with friends, surfing the internet for ideas, making a vision board. What I learned is that I needed time. I reminded myself that there was no rush. I heard myself saying, “trust the universe, the next step on my path will come. Be patient.” This has been a time for introspection. Life moves so fast and this has been a much needed pause.
I had no idea what the next thing would be that would make me feel alive and excited. I had to go through this process, sort of like mourning, if you will. I felt like I didn’t have anything valuable to share because I was having a hard time feeling inspired myself.
Then, I got an email from NBC News asking if they could interview me about my story. Beyond the response and support I’ve gotten from it, I have no idea if anything else will come of it. If nothing else, it prompted me to get back in the game, to stop sitting in it and watching life happen from the sidelines. It highlighted the fact that my story is my superpower.
Sometimes we choose to show the world only the things that are deemed instagram worthy. I am choosing to level up, to share my reality, because even in the chaos, darkness and cold there is value. It’s the only way to get the key that will unlock the door to the next chapter. So, sharing in an authentic way, that is what leveling up looks like.
How are you choosing to level up in your life?