Disclaimer: This title was contemplated extensively.

The other morning I woke up feeling a way I hadn’t felt in quite some time.

I woke up with a little fire in my belly.

Now that I have found myself full-time employed the last couple of months and doing all those adult things – like figuring out what the heck a performance review is and what budgeting actually means (we’ll see how long my excel spreadsheet lasts) – I woke up and realized I was ready to reconnect with myself.

Lauren, what kind of hippie -soul-seeking shenanigans are you about to lay on me?

Well, since you asked…during that awkward and stressful time between earning a degree and figuring out how I was now going take care of myself/ earn money/ start the next chapter of my life, I lost prioritizing the things that I love… I lost designating pieces of my day and my brain to the things that have always been my little niches in life.

I stopped writing, reading for fun, staying current with the advocacy efforts I’m passionate about, laying in bed a little extra on Saturday mornings with coffee and my computer, I’ve been losing touch with people, and little projects I had begun to write out in my journals had come to a screeching halt.

If there is something I have learned so far in this adult working world, it’s that it is very common for people to lose focus on their well-being. We get caught up on the formalities and to-do lists of life that seem to stack up by the work day, the responsibilities that blind us from remembering we should sit down every once in awhile to reflect and center yourself. Especially with the past few weeks as the news and political climate have made it increasingly difficult to be optimistic and find the sunlight every once in awhile.

So, what did I do with this fire in my belly?

Every morning I wake up, I think about someone I love and I make it a point to reach out to them during that day.

I also take out my journal and write down 3 tasks I will complete that day. However, these tasks aren’t “do my taxes,” “go to jiffy lube,” or “schedule meeting with my supervisor.” These tasks are SOOO not about being a responsible adult…”find new pancake recipe” (if you don’t know my obsession with pancakes, let’s be better friends), “book plane ticket to Chicago like you have been wanting to for 5 months”, or “buy yourself some pretty flowers because damnit you deserve them.”

Designate time to exercise every day.

I spend at least 45 minutes a day educating myself up on what is going on in the world of international development and human rights.

Challenged myself: Currently, learning to cook.

Unapologetically lay in bed a little extra on Saturday mornings.

Created an emergency procedure for every time I start to overthink life, which is far too often: Leslie Knope memes.

The journals are back to being filled with words.

Projects I’ve wanted to take on for years are becoming reality with the help of beautifully intelligent and creative  friends.

And finally, I’ve begun creating my own vision board. Something I can look at every day to keep my inspired to be the person I’ve always wanted to be, the person I hope to be, and remind myself of how far I’ve come.

The world is marked by people who remembered to focus on what makes them tick – enough to run with an idea, a passion, or an authentic piece of themselves.

Remembering to step-back and take control of life will not be met without challenge for as long as we live -let’s be serious- but the most we can do is to not be afraid to try.


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