Over three years ago I made a one of the most difficult decisions of my life: to move to the Bay Area rather than back east, where my roots had been calling to me for some time. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. I am doing noticeably better, and I often ask myself—try to pin point—what is it that’s changed, what is it about my life here and now that is so nourishing. While it all boils down to the age-old cliché of honoring and prioritizing your needs, I think many of us don’t stop to listen to and identify our personal needs and values. Here are the aspects that I’ve found greatly improve my quality of life; most are small changes and details.
I think most importantly, I allow myself 8 hours of sleep a night—I haven’t set an alarm clock for myself in literally over a year. I stop to appreciate small details. I am not in want—if I want something, I start working toward it; if I want something I can’t have, I ask myself why and get to the root of it. I am very self-aware, asking myself questions about my emotions/reactions. I speak my mind with: I love you, I hear you, thank you, my two cents, how I see it, this hurt me, I’m sorry, No. I challenge myself to always be and do my best. Instead of taking good times for granted, I use them to build a foundation for the inevitable bad times. I have no social obligations, no regular house parties or shows I’m expected to support. It’s not all perfect, I should spend more time on fitness, I should be more proactive about making a Bay Area living wage, I should probably be more interested in cultivating friendships and bonds. I am working on these things. But in the meantime, life can be so incredible by simply taking care of you.
This is a photo of the apartment of someone who taught me the power of self-care, @the_sandy_blonde
Moving and uprooting is always such a scary, beautiful transformation.