This last May, I woke up and decided out of the blue that I was going to turn my life around. No one pushed me, no one coached me, no one dragged me out of bed kicking and screaming and staged any sort of intervention.
I made the decision that I didn’t like the direction in which I was headed. Or, more correctly, the lack of direction that my life seemed to have.
So I decided to change. And ironically, the steps I decided to take, and the actions I took on in the following days, weeks, months, have started me along a road that proved not to be changing me into a new person altogether, but helping me along the path to becoming the person I once was, before my proverbial train derailed and went careening down into a ravine.
Taking control over your life and deciding to take better care of yourself can start out seeming hopeless, as you find yourself facing opposition from the people in your life who’ve grown accustomed to the person you’ve become. Some of them might have become comfortable with the fact of knowing that they have you under their thumb, precisely where they want you, and they may not want you to pick yourself up and to decide that your life is yours to live all the time, instead of whenever and however the people in your life will allow you to live it.
I’ve been a caring and a giving person all my life, which unfortunately has led to me being used throughout the course of my life by people who saw my giving and caring nature as a reason to use and abuse me in whatever ways they saw fit, and trust me, learning to say no and to make myself unavailable to those who would use and abuse me has not been an easy task—I’ve come to care for some of those people a great deal over the years. The idea of saying goodbye to some of them breaks my heart, but at the same time, those in your life who only remember you’re alive whenever they need or want something, and who ignore you the rest of the time, are not good people to have in your life. They’re physically and mentally exhausting, physically and psychologically draining people, and if you don’t stand up for yourself every once in a while and realize that you deserve to be treated better than that, you will find yourself being treated as a doormat by these people. And if you truly meant something to them, they would not treat you that way.
Taking control of your life takes time, and as I said, you’re facing opposition—not just from other people and outside influences, but from yourself.
I used to run every day, a couple of hours a day (I took days off every week, don’t worry. I was driven, focused, not pathological). When my train derailed I spent years trying to figure out who I was, and I fell into a much more sedentary lifestyle.
Trying to get back into that rigorous training schedule was a nightmare at first—between finding the time, and the sore and aching muscles (Oh my God I thought my legs were going to fall the hell off, and part of me lay there on the tile beside the treadmill and wished they would have on more than one occasion), and your mind telling yourself you’re fighting a losing battle, there were times I wanted to quit, but I didn’t.
Throughout my life, whenever I saw something I truly wanted, I went for it, and I’ve been called things in my life, but a quitter has never been one of them. When I have a goal in mind, I go for it, and I’m all in.
Now, I’m three months into this new, unmapped phase in my life, and 13 lbs. lighter than I started, down a couple of pants sizes, and my blog and my youtube are humming along at a comfortable pace. My husband’s thrilled to death to see me working with a goal in mind, and I couldn’t even begin to describe how good it feels for me to know that I’m working towards something again.
With the people watching my videos, reading my blogs, the people that are beginning to interact with me and who are starting to recognize me as a writer—as a new youtuber and a supportive friend– I find myself waking up each and every day with new ideas for directions in which I can take my blogs, my youtube channel, my writing, my life! And I’m loving every single minute of it.
I’m writing with renewed enthusiasm and vigor, and as my writing and my running and my home and family life are falling back into place, each and every aspect of my life is falling into place, and I have to admit, I’m feeling more and more proud and more and more confident as a writer, as a wife, a stepmom, as a woman, and a person as the days pass.
And I’m loving the hell out of it. I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner. And it’s been far longer than I’m ashamed to remember since I last felt that way about the direction in which my life was going.
If your life has gone off the rails, as mine did, if you find yourself playing the doormat, the way I have, and you’ve wished someone would come along and get you to change, if you’ve wanted to change yourself, do it. Don’t waste another damned day waiting for outside help. You are all the reason and the inspiration you need, because every day spent as a doormat for those who don’t give a damn, every day spent not achieving your goals, your dreams, is a day wasted.
And it’s a day you will never get back.
So let this be the last day you wish you could change your life.
Then tomorrow, get out there and do it.