I was having a conversation with a colleague a few weeks ago, catching up on life. I was telling her about my upcoming trip overseas and that I’d started planning a trip back to New York City this summer.
“Wow, you are just LIVING your life!” she said.
Yeah… I’ve been sort of on a mission to do that, lately.
She always has “disastrous” stories to tell me about friends treating her poorly, the workload at her job is out of control, her parents are taking over her wedding details, and her fiancé refuses to ever move out of the city despite a lack of career opportunities.
Her life was miserable because she wasn’t in control of any of it.
And that is my worst nightmare.
I know because I’ve been there. I’ve had friends that have said mean things to me, made me feel stupid. I’ve dated guys that have had me waiting around for them or stocking my fridge with crap I don’t eat. I’ve considered moving across the country for guys not willing to budge. I’ve had shitty jobs and cried at my desk.
But that hasn’t been my life for many years… and I don’t know if I can properly explain the feeling of freedom that comes with knowing I do not have to compromise my life for ANYONE.
I blocked any guy I’ve dated from my phone, stopped looking for attention from men, and can spot a red flag from miles away. I gave up friends that treated me like shit, even ones I’ve had for years. And I quit working for companies that treat their employees like dirt.
I’m the CEO of my life. Every. Single. Facet.
And I’m daring you do to the same.
Of course, I know not everyone can quit their job and toss up their middle fingers to the world, a la “Office Space”.
But there are likely parts of your life that you can take control of. Hate your job? Create a plan to find one that you actually like, or at least one that is better than your current one.
Maybe you just want to take control of your home life – whether it’s the decor in a certain room, redoing the outdoor landscape, or deciding that you’re going to get up every Saturday and walk around the neighborhood.
It can be the simplest thing, but taking control of even ONE part of your life will make you feel so much better.
Many years ago, after dating a controlling restaurant manager, I found great pleasure in going to the gym everyday at 5pm, times when he would usually want to go eat fast food. I snuggled deeper into my covers at night, knowing I wouldn’t have to wake up at 3am when he got off work. I treated myself to frozen Greek yogurt at the grocery store because of all the money I saved not buying his sodas and junk food.
There are so many simple things you can do to regain control of your life, no matter your situation. Here are some things I’m currently doing:
- Actually decorating my apartment. For 12 years, I’ve put off truly decorating my apartment because “it’s not a house”. But why? I live here. I work here! I deserve a nice space and I’m doing my best to create it, affordably.
- Planning one-stop adventures in my city. I love being a tourist in Austin, so I try to go one place new each week, even if it’s just to see a street mural or a restaurant.
- Recycling. I don’t know how much I can do about the future of our environment, but I know I can recycle most of what’s coming out of my apartment. Taking out my recycling bin every few days makes me feel like I’m doing my part to help.
- Having multiple income streams. Even before I quit my 9-5 job, having a side hustle (or two or three) made me feel like I wasn’t totally relying on ONE thing to make money, and it helped me get more in control of my finances.
- Making my own plan. This could be making a plan for a Saturday, or planning a trip that’s six months down the road. It could just be me saying, “I’m going to take a real lunch hour tomorrow!” But making a plan and not waiting for other people to chime in or approve my plan is how I RUN SHIT.
And that’s how it’s done. I’d love to know what you guys are doing to take control of your lives, no matter how big or small. After all, it’s YOUR life… right?