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Things I learned at 29 | Finding balance and embracing flexibility


Me and my work wife in Split airport
2017 Croatia

Bet this is surprising. Although I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD, I’m often restless and completely distracted by the idea of doing. If I wasn’t productive, I was falling behind. This is what I thought the fair compensation was for striving for a life of freedom. As everyone, especially every millennial, seems to desire so fervently. Once I started leading a program on Remote Year it was a true wrap; being surrounded by so many entrepreneurs and location independent people, I felt that I too, should seek freedom. Freedom from bosses and vacation limitation and desks and back pain and all that we seem to think freedom encompasses.


LoL


I worked with an excellent life coach and we sorted through a mentally therapeutic quagmire before even getting within grasp-distance to my plethora of business ideas. Which I’ve never had any shortage of, yet seemingly always dropped after creating an exhausting business plan. The zest would just, vanish. To my chagrin, I saw myself as a quitter. I was so enveloped in the mindset of DOING that the idea of completing seemed elusive, or dare I admit, unimportant. Don’t get me started on what is completion or else we might find ourselves in need of a drink and a few hours overlooking a forest.


But let me get back to the point [which I’ve certainly been getting better at in 2019!]


Starting a corporation in late 2018 for the web series that it housed, was a whirlwind. Praise in public chastise in private, setting precedents, dealing with budgets, discerning tax documents, handling disappointments that cost money, separating friendship from business, this software over that software, hiring, having hard conversations, pursuing a dream that is and will always remain only yours, not making a ROI, etc. Lots learned.


Biggest lesson? Albeit I can rely on myself and I CAN start a business and stick with it to completion (fundraising an amount, being a finalist for two festivals, managing a team, uploading two seasons with enough episodes for a third), I don’t want to. At least, in the way that I tried my hand at.


My DP and I doing a pre interview for our web series, anderson street
We didn’t always match @coltonsoref

I prefer the idea of, finding balance and embracing flexibility. I’ve no problem attaching myself to someone else’s dream business if they’re as zesty and passionate about it as I have experienced through the moments of Anderson Street. Working for someone else, with some semblance of professional and vocational alignment, is about as ideal for me as it can get at this time in my life. I quite like it, actually. I just had to find the right fit, and boy when it fits, it’s glorious.


Identity Morphage

Extreme travel Viki to Sit down Viki. Sheesh. Once I graduated college in late 2011, I immediately found myself planning a month-long road trip with my recently culinary-school-graduate Mom. The minute I had academic liberation, I was on the road for longer bouts of time than ever before (6–12mos every year with long term substitute teaching in betwixt). Soon enough, people that knew me equated Viki with Travel (if they hadn’t already). If ever I was home, it was never permanent (what is?) and I always had an imminent flight sitting in my inbox, awaiting my sweet sweet airport arrival to get my veins flowing once again.


Me with my backpacking gear at an early hour in an elevator
Early flights


Then something interesting happened.

I got really tired. My long standing injuries started to pain me at a higher level and a bit more frequently than memory served. My skin, hair, and digestive system started to severely disappoint. Suddenly, or was it? I was deciphering what it meant to sit tf down. Who would I be if I wasn’t Travel Viki, if I wasn’t #adventuresofv?

So I grappled with 2019; a year that was supposed to be dedicated to my mental and physical health, instead I burned out a few times due to doing the true mostess and finally succumbed to two anxiety attacks followed closely by a rare cold sore and a dicey af yeast infection. By November, my body was truly DONE with me vacillating with my identity metamorphosis. Pick one and chill. Finding balance.


Of course, I note this in December with a clear head and 20/20 retrospect vision. Lest we forget.


Sit down Viki doesn’t have to be such a sucker punch to the Viki that’s always been. She remains, with some added gilded parts and some parts that have been left to the dust as they no longer serve. Sitting down doesn’t have to equate with settling down, moreover, what even is settling down if not completely individually based? Sitting down means, assessing what does and doesn’t work for me, engaging with intention, seeking balance, and heeding the warnings of my body the first time it nudges me.

Still…adventuresOfV…but in these United States for a minute


Me on a photoshoot in Palm Springs
Still…adventuresOfV…but in these United States for a minute

EnoughNess

Deconstructing perfection. A lifelong pursuit that I’m finding to be more worthwhile than expected. As an only child Capricorn, there are a few things about me that are default: doing the most, martyrdom, hustle, work work work until burnout, there are no excuses, thou shalt not be perceived as lazy, deep relationships; you get it. I have always expected perfection from myself and in the times that didn’t occur (IE. Peace Corps rejection or no job in government industry after graduating early), I held on to my grief for entirely too long and entirely too privately. No one should know, least myself, that I’d failed.


All those it’s not failure but a lesson type of quotes weren’t anywhere near my atmosphere.


But man, 2019 pierced the skin and exited the back so swiftly that I wonder where tf it’s gone. Unable to put my finger on it, my mindset has simply shifted over the latter half of the year toward the word enough. I, preferred that over perfection. What a 180!


Friend of mine created this funny grid of the many faces of me throughout a day
© Mel Randall

Now, my saviors:

  • DND so that I feel no pressure to be the best friend to everyone that messages me.

  • Saying no to things that I’m not at least 90% truly interested in (guten nocht #guilt and #shame).

  • As much as I love bingeing good tv, I’m working on balancing with equal time spent in a book or on a vocation (tarot, crystals, writing, possibly indoor gardening!)

  • Friends and a partner that completely respect the boundary shifts

The list probably goes on, but I think you get the point. Resolutions are dope, but I like reflections a smidgen more. What are yours?


My friends and I having the time of our lives in Portugal
2020 Mood | portugal

*originally written in 2019

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