“A queen is wise. She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passer her tests. She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it. She has proved she can hold her kingdom together. She has become its vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself. She rules with authentic power.” ― Marianne Williamson
It was a cold, late night in early January of 2016, and I was sitting on my yoga mat in the middle of my new apartment bedroom floor in North Hollywood, California. I had just moved in the night before, and I was still getting used to my new surroundings. I was staring down at my mat, not quite sure if I was about to start laughing or crying hysterically. When you’ve caught yourself in the middle of drastic events, one feels exactly like the other. The past few months had been a blur of abrupt changes. Just the night before, I had moved out of my glamorous apartment in the Hollywood Hills.
Just days before, my boyfriend and I had broken up after two years, and it was my most serious relationship by far. One of my guy friends helped me move all out of my belongings out of my old place while my ex stayed in his bedroom. I didn’t know how to say goodbye to him on my way out the door; I walked up to him and said, “Okay, I’m leaving now, so see ya later.” We hugged, and I left. That was it.
We’d been dating since the end of college, and we were best friends before that. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy getting over him, but it had to be done; we hit our expiration date, and we both knew it.
My love life wasn’t the only situation pulling on my heartstrings. I was also working at an emergency animal hospital at the time, which was incredibly stressful – I was underpaid, overworked, and dealing with clientele whose animals were either being euthanized (humanely, fortunately) or the pets were on the verge of dying. That doesn’t help when you develop an emotional attachment to every dog and cat you ever come across on the internet or especially in real life.
I was so stressed from that animal hospital job that I’d stop at Whole Foods on my way home from work to eat my feelings in macaroni and cheese, then head home to collapse straight onto my air mattress, then wake up and do it all over again.
It was the breakup with the former love of my mid-twenties, moving into a new apartment with two roommates I barely knew, and a job I despised that would end up being the catalyst for change. Something had to give.
I had to take responsibility for having created these changes myself with no person, place, or thing forcing me out.
This was all stemming from my intuition that it was time to move along and forward with my life. I’ve never been the type to stay comfortable or settled.
If we’re feeling lost and we wanna get back to our happy place again, we have to face the reality of what was happening and accept it – then remember that there is one powerful army to turn it all around: you and yourself.
Fast forward to the night I sat on my yoga mat in the middle of my bedroom floor. I stared at it like it was supposed to shout a solution out to cure my misery. I sat there. Silence. Then by the grace of the ethers, I’m sure, a sweet, soft little voice, popped into my head:
“Dani.You need to put your happiness first – especially now. What is it that you want to do? Why haven’t you just asked yourself that?”
It was the simplest of questions – yet I hadn’t asked myself that in two years after living with my ex and losing time to get to know myself. Right then and there, I decided I’d bring my happiness back by moving forward. No guy, crazy job, or anything else to distract me. What did I have to lose, anyway? I hurried to find the nearest notebook and pen, then I scribbled as quickly as I could a huge list of things I could do with myself and no one else – including things that would scare the hell out of me (‘cause what’s growth if you aren’t a little afraid to try something new….am I right?).
After making that list, I took action immediately. By that, I mean after work I went home to color in my adult coloring book, obviously. I also put in my two weeks’ notice at my animal hospital job and ended up getting myself a much better job with a wonderful company. I got myself back into ballet classes. I started reading books that discussed happiness and changing perceptions from fear to love. I started socializing more and learned to become confident in getting dressed up and taking myself out to dine alone in my favorite restaurants.
I was finally relearning to enjoy the solidarity in being alone and in my own skin.
I gained some solid wisdom: the only direction we can go from rock bottom is up, moving forward. It’s going to take one-hundred-ten percent of your effort, and yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable – but you’re going to come out of the other side much stronger, braver, confident, happier.
Life’s a journey. Whatever challenges you’re facing head on can be used with your power to move into a much better place. What if we start using these life detours as our guide to get to an even better place? Sometimes we need these phases to guide us into the direction understanding ourselves on a deeper level. We’re human, after all.
And I can promise you that one day, there will be some morning where you’re going to wake up where the first thought you’ll have is, “Everything’s different. Things are changing. I am different, and I am changing. It’s all happening.” And that, my friend, is your intro into a beautiful new beginning of life. Happiness will come from taking the time to get to know yourself again. And then, choose to make a consistent effort to participate in creating your own blessings.1