Guest post from Michelle Lin, at ChelleSummer.com (Thanks!)
This is a continuing series of posts about singular words that inspire us. (ed.)
I sometimes forget what a challenge it is for people to live an authentic life. And when I say that, I mean to live the life they believe they are supposed to live. It’s something I strive for daily and I think that because I’ve worked so hard to make it happen– while not completely as I do have a full-time job and I’m not yet devoting my entire days to my writing and Chelle Summer– that I forget how much work it’s taken to get where I am. And I believe that in my future I will be working full-time for myself; it’s what I strive for daily.
I also had forgotten about this photo– one of a series that Lois Bloom had taken for me, I believe not long after I’d gotten my surfboard. We were talking not long ago and I don’t remember the rest of the conversation but I did say to her, “You know you were the reason that I realized I could own a surfboard and make it part of my life.”
It was all because after she and Sam picked me up from LAX when I flew in from Chicago (where I was living at the time) to speak at a conference, I told them that a friend had asked if I was going to surf on the trip. I said no, that I didn’t have a board, nor had I brought a swimsuit.
“Why not?” Lois asked, turning her head to the backseat where I was sitting in the car. “You can rent a board. You can buy a swimsuit.”
She was right– I did all of the above, spending the next few days on a rented board after taking (yet another) surfing lesson. And from there I bought my own board.
While my shoulder has kept me off my board for about a year now, surfing is part of my life. I worked to carve it in just as I started to carve in time to write early in the morning. And I’ve carved in time to working on my sewing projects and building my Chelle Summer brand.
I watch less television, I go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier, but I’ve made time for what makes me happy. It’s the first step to living an authentic life: just like being taught to brush your teeth means that eventually (hopefully!) it become part of your daily routine, so is making time for what makes me happy. I long incorporated running into my life and I often say it’s as much as part of my routine as brushing my teeth. But teaching myself that also has helped me figure out how to add in writing and creating to my daily routine, too.
I know that none of us are promised anything. We have this moment now and we don’t know what’s ahead. And while we can’t always control some of the responsibilities we have, we still have the opportunity find some time for ourselves because by doing that, we’re creating our own authentic life.
• What is your word for your authentic, embraced life? Red Dog would like to share it.