Just Give Me A Reason

May 13th, 2013 § 10 comments

Today, can I be very honest with you?

The last year, and in particular the last half year, has been insane for me.  If you had told me that within a year of graduating university I would live in three time zones, change jobs three times, live in no less than seven different apartments, sit front row at a New York fashion show, sign a lease on an apartment in New York City, and watch some of my most important relationships crumble and new ones grow, I would never have believed you.

Because when I walked across the stage to pick up my diploma last June, bright-eyed and full of purpose, I had a plan.  I had a vision for how my life would work out for the foreseeable future.  I sold, gave away or packed all my possessions, and I flew 6,000 miles from my hometown to settle down in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I had a darling man there.  A wonderful job.  Beautiful, sweet friends.

Guess how all that worked out.

I’ll spare you the details, but the moral of the story is: you can’t plan your life. You can alter it’s course, you can edge it in this or that direction, and the choices you make do have enormous influence – but you just cannot count on things working out a certain way.

And here’s the thing: if life did work out the way we planned it, then just imagine all the things we would miss!  The people I’ve met, the opportunities I’ve had, and the adventures I’ve taken in the last year were completely unexpected and wholly incredible.  I wouldn’t have missed them for the world – or, more specifically, for the life that I had planned for myself.

Everything happens for a reason.  I believe this wholeheartedly.  Even when things are awful, when you can’t believe that life is throwing so much horror at you all at once, I’ve found it’s important to remember perspective.  If things weren’t absolute shit sometimes… would I really notice when things were absolutely incredible?  Would I appreciate it as much?

Last week, I went to hear Christine Hassler speak about relationships at the Levo League office.  An amazing life coach and brilliant speaker, Christine coined the phrase “Expectation Hangover” to describe the awful feeling we get when things don’t work out the way that we expected.  That’s exactly what I’ve had the last six months.  An enormous hangover.  Like, a curled-up-around-the-toilet-and-sobbing kind of hangover.

But I’m going to get better.  I’m going to focus on living in the present.  I’m not going to put so much pressure on the future, nor will I dwell endlessly on the past.  I will not look at my mistakes and my heartaches as failures – I will hold on to only the good.  Each person, each place, each memory has shaped me and brought me to where I am now.

And where I am now is pretty darn lovely.

I’ve just signed a lease on an amazing Hell’s Kitchen apartment, where I will live the rest of this year with one of my dearest friends on the planet. I’m working in a new-to-me industry, but loving the journey and the knowledge I’ve gained as a hotel concierge.  I have met amazing people in New York City who have welcomed me as family, and who are each living their own lives to the fullest, which inspires me every day.

So while I will not dwell on the past and apologize for my lack of dedication to She is Red in the last year, I will make you a promise for the future.

I’m back baby. 

Summer ’13 – I’m ready.  Let’s do this.

xoxo

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§ 10 Responses to Just Give Me A Reason"

  • karen says:

    Hugs and congratulations to my darling daughter…. I am so very proud of you!
    karen recently posted..Mexico, our Friends, and a PieMy Profile

  • Roni says:

    You nailed it with everything happens for a reason. Case in point: I was just having a conversation with my sister about this last night and your post was very timely. I’m in a similar spot and have recently made it my focus to be present and not let the future and past hold me back/bring me down. MUCH easier said than done, but always helps to hear that others are facing the same struggle. Please share any helpful readings, meditations, etc you come across.

    Thanks for being so candid, you aren’t alone in the struggle xo
    Roni

  • simone says:

    If anyone can handle life’s hurdles with grace and pizzazz, it’s you! Can’t wait to see what you do to rule the world next.

  • Shey says:

    Alex,

    Thank you for that beautiful post. The honesty and vulnerability you convey are striking: lending unexpected depth and making your blog so much more powerful. I have checked your blog regularly since I learned about it and always been blown away by your enthusiasm, style, excitement, and ability to create beauty and purpose in everything that you do. Please don’t stop. But also, please know that your process is just as important as the end you seek.

    I identified strongly with your post because I experienced something similar when I went to Africa. Fresh and alive, I embarked with my head and heart full of hope, purpose, plans, creativity, commitment, energy. I thought that the strength of my will and the openness of my heart would be enough to carry me through any situation. I learned that it was not that easy, that I could not do it all on my own, and that I could not depend solely on my own abilities to provide me with the emotional fortitude needed to survive and flourish in that environment.

    This is all to say three simple things: 1) You are Not alone, 2) this too shall pass, and 3) Keep writing about it. It will hep you and provide clear insights to the rest of us who don’t have the courage to say “this is hard!”

    Love and hugs,
    Shey
    Shey recently posted..remembering to singMy Profile

  • Patty Winner says:

    You go girl! You have soo much to be proud of.

  • Helene Rosa says:

    Thank you for a wonderful post. One of my friends recommended that I read it. And that was a good recommendation, as I am now suffering from an extremely awful expectation hangover, after my boyfriend who I had been with for almost four years, left me. I thought we were going to have children and grow old together. I had all these great expectations to how our life would be. It’s just great to read that somewhere, someone else feels the same way. And that it is possible to regain the positive view on life. (p.s. I so would have liked to meet you by coincidence while you were in Copenhagen (where I live, in Amager), I just love your blog and you seem like a wonderful person.)

    Good luck with all the new things and experiences! I’m sure that it’ll be great.

  • Theresa says:

    What an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing with us. I know it’s sometimes tricky when it comes to how much or little we want to share on our blogs and I commend you for letting us in. I too believe that things happen for a reason and each life lesson definitely does shape us in a way. It sounds like you’re definitely putting all your efforts into embracing the present instead of dwelling on the past, and I’m wishing you all the best as you embark on new directions in your life. You’re such an incredibly sweet person, and although I haven’t met you in person, your inner beauty definitely does shine as bright as your outer. Looking forward to see all that’s in store for you sweetheart!

    xoxo
    Theresa
    Theresa recently posted..AfterhoursMy Profile

  • Chennill says:

    I’m glad you have decided to not dwell on the past. I personally feel like it just hinders your present and future. You end up spending time and energy thinking about things that could have been, instead of savoring what is. I’m so happy for you!:)

  • D. says:

    Today, I wrote in my diary and ended with the exact same sentence like you in this post. The most important thing to realize is that you can get back on the track you made yourself.

  • Style Maniac says:

    Sounds like a pretty amazing journey. And I have a feeling some pretty amazing adventures await. Enjoy the ride.
    Style Maniac recently posted..A Visit to Harper’s BazaarMy Profile

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