Dear Universe, Thank you.

Every day I feel so blessed with the life that I have. I have a happy, healthy relationship with the love of my life, we have our beautiful home together with our cats, and we both have jobs that we don’t hate that allow us to live the lives we do. If you asked me ten years ago what I wanted in life, I would have said “To still be living happily with my boyfriend and be financially stable;” seventeen-year-old me would be so proud!

As I grow older I am learning more and more about myself. I am working on prioritizing what makes me happy and focusing on what I want and need in my life. I am blessed to have genuine friendships and still have good relationships with family members, and I am also lucky to be developing this healthier relationship with myself. I have definitely come a long way from where I used to be, but sometimes I feel like I struggle with trusting myself and my intuition.

In my house growing up, there were many times where I felt as if I was being accused of things that I had never done, and I also was often told that I had no voice because I was the child. I had a lot of rage and confusion building inside me throughout my younger years, but I also feel like in a way I did always have some sense of clarity: I knew what I didn’t want in my future relationships, and I knew that I would raise my children differently.

I know my parents did the best they could with what they knew, but at the time I didn’t think of it that way. I just knew that I didn’t want to be like them. In a way, I guess maybe I have been able to trust myself and intuition, but I often cloud my own judgment with overthinking and anxiety. When I think about why I am that way, I assume it would be because I grew up in a chaotic, unpredictable environment, therefore I try to prepare for all worst-case scenarios (which actually just makes my anxiety worse)! In reality, what I need to do is let go of what I cannot control.

I have seen my improvement throughout the years, and I am so proud of how far I’ve come. I find it easier to recognize when I’m worried about something beyond my control, and I remind myself of what I can control… my mindset! Worrying never helps the situation, it truly only worsens it, so why would I continue to do that? Instead I can recognize it and remind myself that everything happens for a reason, and I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

It’s easy to go into the horrific “what-ifs” about failure and chaos, but how about we switch that and ask “what if it all works out?” Instead of limiting ourselves with the belief that everything will be scary and horrible, what if we think about how we can learn and grow from any difficult situation? I know that there are so many things beyond my control, so what if I decided to just let it all go? I was so tired of stressing over everything in my life and feeling like the weight of the world was on top of me, so I decided to put it down!

I’m not going to lie, I still have rough days (I mean, I am human), but I find it easier to let go of my anxiety. I will be working on that re-wiring in my brain forever, and in addition to that I am currently working on listening to my gut instincts and learning to trust myself fully. I think my first big step in this journey was starting to say “no” to things that I didn’t want to do. I try to make it a habit to give myself time before I commit to any events, such as saying “Let me get back to you,” rather than blurting out “yes” as the seasoned people-pleaser I was. I’d say “yes” in an attempt to make others happy/not disappoint others, but sometimes it was at my own expense.

After realizing that the stress from those situations was hurting my physical health, I decided that my time is my time, and I knew I had to set that boundary. I want to spend my life doing the things that I love and that I feel aligned with. Your life isn’t truly yours if you are living it for everyone else. I think it’s important to check in with ourselves and reflect on what it is we truly need in life to be happy. I don’t think there are many (if any) people who would say they didn’t want to live a happy life, and I truly believe we all deserve happiness!