Coming back, my plans dwindled and I felt more trapped, stuck and stagnant. A few weeks ago, I finally realized I had to change. I've been on the up and up, lately. It's a slow movement upward, but it's UP for once. You can only lay at rock bottom for so long before you realize, "man, I need start making plans toward the life I want, rather than letting it all pass me by."
Those plans do not include a move anytime soon, but rather that I get moving in this city. Here are 10 things I am doing to reclaim my throne as Queen Ashley, Trier of New Things (my official title).
1. Therapy: This is a big one. I'm only going once every two or three weeks, but it's major. It's all about changing your thinking.
2. Reading: The therapist recommended a book: There's Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate by Cheri Huber. Basically, a book to help evaluate the negative thoughts in your head, and how you just gotta push those suckers out!
3. African Dance Class: I've been signing up for more random crap I haven't tried before. On the agenda tonight? An African dance class, because I think it will be a freeing experience!
4. Capping the Amount of TV I Watch: This one is HUGE for me. As much as I like Mad Men, I don't want to be stuck inside, watching episode after episode (of sometimes depressing material). This is not the time or place for that.
5. Getting Outside: I now force myself to get outside at least 3 times during the work week. Even if I'm feeling lazy or in a Netflix mood (see # 4), I force myself to take a walk instead.
6. Finding and Talking with other European-Minded Folks: Meaning, people who have left the bubble and like talking about it. There's a world out there, and it goes beyond this office/town/country! And when I find these people, it makes a HUGE difference in my day.
7. Saying Yes to Invitations: When I moved to London, a very wise friend told me, "Don't turn down an invitation to go out, unless you're deathly ill or you have 3 cents in your bank account." I'm going to utilize this theory in San Diego as well.
8. Stopping the Comparisons: London is not San Diego, and vice versa. I'm notorious for comparing, which is fun when having a debate, but it's unhelpful when trying to adjust. When I feel myself comparing, I stop that thought process and think about what I do like about my surroundings.
9. Taking Linda's Advice. Follow the link!
10. Bringing My Mind to the Present When it Wanders: I can see myself on a train, sipping a coffee, heading to a different time and place than here. The problem with that is I end up losing now in the process. I don't want to lose the very minutes before me. It is those minutes that hold precious plan-making opportunities, or very real connections I could be making with those around me.
These are small plans; however, they are all plans that will slowly reorient me toward a life I want to live. I'm getting on track to once again living a life that's actually full of life, not just surviving from day to day. I've felt the difference, and I'm making the plans to get back to living. Because I can't and won't wait for life to make plans for me.