I was looking back through my Instagram accounts, reflecting on the past year, and I realized that, despite becoming a new mom, I’ve been more active and motivated over the last twelve and a half months than I have in the past several years. And the reason is simple – I finally gave myself permission to be happy.
Isn’t that the most absurd concept? Happiness is our right. And yet I find it so hard sometimes to be ok with that, following years of conditioned guilt and the belief that life and work has to be hard in order to pay off – which I can only assume was the reality at some point, when my grandparents came to the this country, leaving theirs behind and struggling to make a life here. But, thanks to them, that’s not the case for me. Sure, there has to be effort and there will be struggles at times. But after seeing other people doing the things I’ve always wanted to do and living the kind of life I’ve always wanted to live, I know that following your passion and doing more of what you love can only result in – at the very least – a healthier state of mind.
I’ve had this blog for four years now. I’ve tinkered with it, enjoyed it whenever possible, and tried to work on it regularly. But the truth is, a part of me always pushed it aside because it seemed like too much fun to be taken seriously. Some part of my brain couldn’t grasp the concept of doing something for the joy of it. Not to gain followers. Not to make a living. Not to work with advertisers. But simply because it was fun. And then it clicked as soon as Lucy was born – time is precious. Time is important. And time should be honored. So why wouldn’t it be ok to do more of the things I love?
Things changed after that. They changed quite drastically, actually. I started giving my interests and passions a little more respect. I stopped writing them off as silly and actually allowed myself to enjoy them. And then opportunities started to present themselves – and when they did, I started saying yes instead of making excuses as to why I shouldn’t take them on or telling myself about all the other things I should be doing. I stopped listening to what people said I should spend my time on, despite their best interests. Instead, I focused on what I love, because, truthfully, I decided that any time spent away from my daughter better be damn well worth it.
And it has been. I’m not saying I have a million followers now or that I’m making a fortune. But I am saying that I’ve been able to turn this blog into an opportunity to work on things I never thought I could make a living off of. Projects that make me excited, even if they’re not the safest bet. But I’m happy. I’m fulfilled. And I’m excited for the future of my career, for the first time in a long time. I’ve found some sort of direction. And even if this isn’t the end-all, be-all, exact clear path, I know it’s the right one. And I know that when my daughter is at an age when she can start thinking of what she wants to be when she grows up, I’ll be able to tell her, it’s ok to dream about all of it.
If you’ve been reading along, thank you so much for all your support. And if you’re here for the first time, I hope I can provide some sort of inspiration for you to stick around. And, lastly, for everyone, I hope I can encourage you to give your passions a little thought – life is too damn short to settle.
This post comes at the end of a series of classes I had the privilege of taking under Personal Development Expert and Writer, Nikki Novo. Nikki, I can’t tell you what a difference you’ve made in my perspective over the last five months. Thank you for what you do and for having the courage and vision to do it; you are truly gifted. And to the ladies I had the honor of learning from, my classmates at CLS, I can’t wait to see what you all do next. You’re all incredibly talented and motivating. Go do what you do best. xo
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, you can find me as either @apalma419 or @bubblesandink.