In the short time I've been alive, it seems like I've always been on such a schedule, falling into new ruts. For example, from a young age I was a dancer. I danced 4 to 5 days a week at different academies. Between dance, school, growing up, there was always something to do.
Then high school....more schedules. I entered the modeling/acting world... MORE schedules, less free time.
And now....at 24 I'm an adult. Spending more time at work than at home. Spending more time with my boss than my friends. Too tired to enjoy my weekends (if I'm not working) I didn't realize how fast passed my life had become.
Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful. I know how hard it is for people my age or at any age really to find a job, and I've been blessed with a great one. But.... we're all so busy making a living, we're forgetting to actually live.
Traveling was never a big part of my life. Yeah we had family vacations growing up, ya know, Florida, Mexico, Wisconsin Dells, all that. But as I got older, my priorities shifted to work work work, money, money, money, repeat, repeat, repeat. That is until my family took our first true vacation in 7 years.
Memorial Day weekend, we spent a few days in Sarasota, FL staying with family. For once, I did not feel a single daily worry I would usually feel back home. Anyone who lives in the Midwest knows what I mean. In Chicago, everything is fast: talk fast, drive fast, move fast, do fast, think fast. Get to work, get home, make dinner, go to bed, do it all again. I for once, even at 24, felt like I had peace of mind waking up to pool water and sunshine for just a few days!
The air seemed clearer, the people were nicer, my days seemed longer, my family was happier, I PUT DOWN MY PHONE. The biggest lesson of all? I learned it from my Aunt, who we were staying with. I learned this subconsciously.
My aunt is very wise. The whole time we were there, I heard her say: "don't sweat the small stuff." Whether it was when we forgot something at the house, she'd say "don't sweat the small stuff." Whether the gps stopped working on our way to somewhere we've never been, aunt L says "don't sweat the small stuff." If I started worrying about something, her famous words came out. And you know what? I'm taking that with me back to Chicago.
Not to knock Chicago, or the mid west. I love where I'm from and I'm proud, and I do love my life. But, this trip taught me so much in so little time. In Sarasota, I was a different me. My dad even noticed and was vocal about it. He mentioned once we got back home, that my whole disposition was different out there versus here. I was carefree, calmer and smiled more. Yes, you go on vacation for a break and to have fun, but this vacation was more than that for me. It taught me about myself and my life.
I'm sharing this because I know I'm not the only one going through this or something similar. There's nothing wrong with working hard and putting certain things first. But, I'm realizing that I'm too young to be this stressed, this fast passed and this time-limited. On the plane back to chi-town, I promised myself to incorporate a little bit of my temporary Florida lifestyle into my everyday life. In other words, I'm not gunna "sweat the small stuff."