Personal Growth Journey

In recent years, “self-care” has been a buzzword or phrase that is plastered just about everywhere! Literally, every other Facebook article, blog post, and self-help video is about the importance of self-care. These articles tell us the hows, whys, and whats of self-care that are supposed to help us to lead happier, less stressful lives. I totally get it; do a couple face masks, get a massage, take a weekend getaway, polish your nails, curl up with a glass of wine and a good book whilst taking a night off from your usual work.

Administrators always love to remind stressed, overworked, overwhelmed, teachers to “do something you enjoy” or “spend time with family” during the tough times throughout the school year. I mean after all, bosses have to say encouraging things to keep their employees and acknowledge their pain, right? However, what I’m not quite buying is the whole “self-care yourself through the toxic situation” mindset especially when the to-do list feels absolutely never-ending.

I don’t have a problem with the actual act of being kind to yourself. We should be gentle with ourselves, love ourselves, and most importantly treat ourselves well. We only get one mind and one vessel. It is soooo important to heal ourselves from our every day emotional labor and physical work. There is space for this kind of self-care. Self-care is important and that means something different to everyone. I can’t deny any of that. In fact, I believe all of that.

Here is where the issue lies. The issue lies in settling for a life you don’t want and coping with your choices by practicing “self-care”. If you continue to stay in toxic situations and forcing yourself to be content by going to a weekly yoga class or treating yourself to a massage, you are making a huge mistake. I don’t hate self-care by itself. But, it is absolutely gut-wrenching that people use self care to cope with their lives.

Self-care is not a band-aid for your toxic flesh wound of a relationship, job, or family issue. Self-care is not a remedy for having the life sucked out of you at a job you hate, being unhappy with someone who you have settled for, or continuing to have a relationship with a family member who turns your life upside down every time you speak. Self-care is not any of those things and self-care doesn’t

1. solve issues that exist in your life or

2. breathe life into dead situations that make your life less enjoyable.

Sometimes, self-care isn’t a facial, manicure, or binge watching a show on Netflix. Sometimes self-care actually presents an inconvenience to others and sometimes it makes others uncomfortable. Sometimes, it makes you unavailable for a while. Sometimes self-care is ceasing to feed dead situations. Sometimes self-care is travel.

Sometimes, self-care is walking away.

Diary of a 20 Something: Chit Chat about Vlogging, Relocating, and Re-Branding

Diary of a 20 something

I haven’t blogged in so long and that is partly because I’ve been thinking about the re-branding of the blog. I want to be real with people and show readers that so many 20-somethings go through some of the same things and that none of us is alone. Teaching people how to become a slightly better version of themselves is so helpful and necessary, but there also needs to be a space where young women’s concerns, stresses, and just life experiences can be shared and acknowledged. There needs to be a space where young women, especially of color can be like “hey, other people go through this” and “wow, I’m not just living in the twilight zone”, considering the weird things that happen in your 20’s and maybe even 30’s (I’m not there yet so I wouldn’t know).

I still haven’t figured out what that looks like for the blog,  although I do feel like vlogging fits into that space. So, that is something I am exploring at the moment.  However, this week I needed to just write SOMETHING because as content creators, we don’t always have to wait for the perfect post or the perfect time to create and release new content. I also haven’t written anything in a while because I have been fully immersed in teaching 4th grade which has been an interesting and welcome change for me.

Anyways, vlogging is something I’m very interested in. Many people who read and love the blog have asked me to create a YouTube channel because some people just don’t enjoy reading. I totally get it.  However, I am a perfectionist and don’t want to start making videos that aren’t quality as far as aesthetics, content, and just garnering people’s interest. It is the fear of failure sometimes that stops me from going full steam ahead with something. However, I’m taking my time to make an informed decision about whether vlogging is something I want to do and something I have time for realistically.

Where I’m at right now…

Next, I wanted to talk about relocating. I have relocated numerous times, depending on what you consider relocating. I went to college in Pennsylvania, close to Buffalo, NY. Then I moved to Washington, DC after I graduated to experience big city life and be closer to my hometown, Baltimore. I loved DC but it was a bit pretentious and expensive for my taste. However, I find myself missing DC now along with my dc friends and considering it a second home. After 2 years in DC, I decided to move south to Houston, TX for the warmer weather and the lower cost of living. I LOVED Houston and started to meet people and establish a life. Then, I fell in love with a guy who I am currently with (shout out to him and to love and all that stuff) and found myself in San Marcos, TX between Austin and San Antonio.

I must say I have managed to form a love affair with every place I have lived EXCEPT this one. I’m not sure what it is about the Austin area that just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it is the fact that I haven’t made any friends here or I don’t get out much or that I live in a small college town and the big city is 30 miles away. Not sure, but I know that I am ready to move to a location that is ideal for buying a home and living long term. I have lived many places because I have chosen for my life to be that way, being a single 20 something. Now, I am growing and longing for stability and I think one more relocation is in my near future. Not sure where that will be, but closer to family on the east coast or in the southeast would be ideal. Any suggestions? I totally also want to write a post about my relocations and my experiences living in each of these areas. I believe that the place you live can have a major effect on your overall happiness and your life and plan to discuss that more in detail in a later post. Relocations are something that most 20 somethings either go through with or think about at some point.

My next post will be more structured perhaps, or maybe not but the Diary of a 20 Something will be a series of posts you can find under categories where I will chit chat about life, struggles, thoughts, ideas, plans, and the things that we face every day as we are in the words of SZA, stuck in those 20 somethings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Career Update: What I’m Doing Now & My Lack of Inspiration

My Journey

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a lack of inspiration in my work. I want to be open about the fact that SURPRISE: I’ve returned to teaching for now. Also, I’m currently working on shopping for inventory for my online vintage boutique, which I am so excited about launching this year. I’m developing my blog and my brand in my off time. I’m so excited about journeying through personal growth and in that same space, exploring entrepreneurship and developing my own passions!

With all that going on, I’m facing some roadblocks in my creativity. Have you ever just felt uninspired and in a creativity rut? Ever felt like you were so bogged down by everyday struggles that you lost the fire that you had for your passions? I have felt just that lately. Feeling stuck and longing for guidance from intuition for next steps is a common thing. You are NOT alone and those feelings are valid. However, I believe so deeply in the work I’m doing. I have so much more to accomplish.

There are so many blog posts and articles on a lack of inspiration. I think that this is common among content creators, but there are so many things that you can do to get out of the rut and get back to work. The key is re-centering yourself, reflecting on your thoughts, and meditating to clear your head space. These are all things I’ve been working on to clear my own head space and create some amazing content for the site.

In the coming weeks, I will be talking about why I went back to teaching, minimalism,  and how to seek calm in the everyday.  Please comment with what you might be interested in seeing on the blog about personal growth and living a meaningful and intentional life.

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Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

 

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I Took the Road Less Traveled Part 2 – What’s Next??!

Personal Growth Journey

Yesterday for the first time in the two months since I quit my job as a teacher, I broke down and asked myself “What the h*ll are you doing?”. “Why would you quit your salaried job for the unknown?”, “Why would you give up everything (money, being able to pay all your bills, being able to shop often) to travel?”, “Whats the next big move and how will you top all your previous accomplishments?”.

When you decide to make some major changes and regain control of your life, these are questions you ask yourself. If you have anxiety, its extremely hard not to let the worry take over and literally convince you that you may be making bad decisions or that you are ruining your life. I’ve gone through so many phases on this journey that have included literally anticipating the absolute worst about pursuing a career doing something I’ve literally always loved doing.  Anyways with all that being said, I am so excited because there are like a million things I want to do and I wanted to write this post to share those things with people and maybe motivate someone who is thinking of taking a major leap of faith.

So here are the reasons I decided to leave my career as an educator and explore other avenues of work.

  • I wanted more time to explore my interests, passions, ideas. Teaching sucked up so much of my time because it is work that you constantly take home.
  • I wanted a job that would allow me to travel more regularly. (As a teacher breaks were great, but burnout and exhaustion that needed to be handled over the breaks were not.)
  • I wanted to put more time into some business ideas that I had and a blog which I have been able to start.
  • I literally wanted more freedom and control over my time and head space.
  • I need to eventually be working for myself, therefore I need a job that allows me free time to develop my business ideas and work toward self-employment.

For me, leaving my job was a great decision and was right for me. Don’t all go quitting your jobs at once!  Just evaluate the things in your life that you want to change and simply change them. I can’t stress this enough. My biggest takeaway from all of this is that I am in control and so are you. If you don’t like something, change it. If you hate your job, change it. If you dislike your partner, change it. If you are unhappy for any reason, do your best to change it and don’t be afraid to make some sacrifices in the process.

So, a lot of people want to know what’s next for me. I love to travel, I love to write, and so of course after lots of interviewing, thinking, making sacrifices, my next stop on this journey is…….

 

FLIGHT ATTENDANT TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See you in the friendly skies!

I Took the Road Less Traveled Part 1

Personal Growth Journey

This post is the first part of my journey to becoming a flight attendant…how and why I quit teaching . If interested, please read on……

     If you know me, you know that I accidentally fell into teaching early grades after college.  I did not study education in college and I had no interest in being a teacher but it happened and it was good. I found myself developing the determination to get better at teaching, to be the best I could be, to be recognized, and to change outcomes for kids in low-income neighborhoods. So, I set out to do that and somehow found myself working in my classroom 6 – 7 days a week, sometimes 12, 14, 16 hours a day.  My perfectionism,  passion, determination turned into obsession and complete insanity. I found myself never feeling “done” at school. I found myself always striving for better student outcomes on weekly assessments, better /more efficient workstations for students to use each day, better systems and procedures for students. There is nothing wrong with being a great educator and there’s nothing wrong with caring and investing yourself. However, my personal investment became all of my waking hours, anxiety, and mental energy.

 

Graduation

Meanwhile, I had moved across the country from Washington, DC to Houston, TX to work for a charter school organization that I had admired for years and grew to believe could launch my career in a new direction.  As my only school year working at this organization continued, I completely lost myself, everything I loved, everything I believed in, I had completely sacrificed. I had pressure from admin to have great scores, pressure from parents to be the perfect caregiver, and pressure from myself to be the perfect everything.

Spring came and I got to the point where I would daydream during school days about being free and being just about anywhere else. I would dream about all the things I would rather be doing and missed having time for. So many things happened that I can’t share here but a day came when I had my first panic attack and that was the moment that changed things for me. The stakes became higher because I was now sacrificing my mental health, stability, and peace for an  organization of which I had no real ownership.

Late spring came and I had begun seeing a therapist for anxiety that was completely out of control. I was also completely mentally checked out of teaching and although all of my students had made their learning goals for the year and 90 percent of my parents were satisfied at the end of the year, I thought that it wasn’t fair to families that I wasn’t at my best anymore. Summer vacation was approaching and as promising as that seemed, I knew that 2 months wouldn’t fix me. Two months wouldn’t prepare me for another year of this, another year of my life investing everything I have into something that requires sacrificing everything I love. I loved my kids to death and I was a good teacher but if there is one thing I have learned, it is that we should never continue to do things we are good at if we are so moved to do something else. I took the road less traveled and I resigned from my teaching position. No, I don’t regret it and yes I feel freaking amazing. This is where my journey has begun but certainly not where it ends…

 

 

 

Classroom

I still love all my kiddos =)