10 Easy Tips for Creating a Vision Board That Actually Works!

manifestation, Spirituality

Hello! And welcome back, friend! If you’re new here, I’m Heather Ione, a Manifestation Guide who helps women create their dream life through manifestation techniques and self-growth: addressing self-sabotage, getting rid of limiting beliefs, healing past trauma – all of that!

I’ve had my own incredible experience with the Law of Attraction and used it to manifest money, a move, vacations, my partner, my dream car, and so much more! If you want to learn about my manifestation story, check it out in my blog post, “How I Transformed My Life with the Law of Attraction.” Now, I’ve made it my mission to help other women create that transformation too! 

Today, I want to talk about one of the most popular manifestation topics: VISION BOARDS! I would say that by far, the vision board is the most talked about and utilized manifestation tool. I know countless women who create vision boards. But sadly, in my conversations, I always come across women who LOVE vision boarding and attend all of the “vision board events,” but don’t see any results from it.

I regularly teach that manifestation, vision boarding, and visualizing DO work, BUT you have to know how to do it to make it potent and powerful. Otherwise, you’re left with a pretty collage but nothing in your life that came from it.

So to help you FINALLY manifest some real results with your vision board this year, I’m sharing 10 Easy Tips for Creating a Vision Board That Actually Works! Read these tips below, let them soak in, and use them the next time you go to create your vision board. If you do, I swear you will be flooded by the results!

1. Create a board that works for YOU

If there’s one thing that I really want to hit on, it’s that your own vision board can be whatever you want it to be! There are countless influencers and content creators that share their own vision board process and portray it as the “correct” way to vision board. Maybe you’ve even heard before that, “Vision boards have to be physical for them to work.” I’ve been told that!

But here’s the thing: There is no “right” way to vision board. Your vision board can be whatever it is you want it to be. Just because Sally says that a vision board has to be physical, or has to be hung up on the fridge, or has to be digital, or has to be on Pinterest, does not mean that you have to do it too!

Some people THRIVE when their vision board is made as a digital collage and they save it as their wallpaper on their phone. Some people swear it only works if they put it in their bedroom or on the refrigerator door. Some people adore using Pinterest to make a vision board. And some people choose to get even more creative and make a “Mind Movie” (A manifestation tool suggested by author Dr. Joe Dispenza). A Mind Movie is a little slideshow or movie that people make with the images and pictures that represent their dream life which they add music too. 

I want you to know right now that in order for your vision board to be “successful” it doesn’t matter what platform you create it in and whether it’s physical or digital. What matters is that the method you choose works for your lifestyle. When I was able to manifest all of those crazy things in my life, I was exclusively using private Pinterest boards. But now, at this point in my life, a physical vision board makes sense for me. 

2. Stop being critical 

The second thing that you should know is to not be critical of yourself. A vision board is NOT an art contest. And it’s not an art class either where all of your peers are going to see it. It’s supposed to represent the things in your life that you want. I would say that it should be somewhat aesthetically pleasing to your eye, but it does not have to be a work of art! That’s not the purpose of it. Remind yourself ahead of time to leave the perfectionism behind and mentally prepare yourself that this is going to be a vision board, not art. The more you remind yourself of that ahead of time, the easier it will be!

3. Reflect on your dream lifestyle

The third thing that you should do before you get to creating it is to sit down with a notebook and reflect on what your dream lifestyle would be. I say lifestyle because your vision board should represent what your dream LIFE would look like, not just the material possessions.

If you have a vision board with only cars, diamonds, and money on it, it probably won’t work. My very first vision boards used to be like that and it got me nowhere. Here’s why: You have to have an emotional connection to your vision board and see how those items would be ingrained in your life. If you’re including pictures that represent your dream relationship that’s going to connect with you more than a picture of a diamond ring. See what I mean? Including photos that represent your dream CAREER will connect with you in a way that a number on a bank balance won’t.

So before you get crafty, sit down and think about your dream lifestyle: your career, health, relationships, social life, hobbies, spirituality, mindset, and accomplishments. If you create the vision board around your dream lifestyle rather than what item you want, it’s going to work better. Take some time to really figure out what your perfect life would look like before you choose the images. 

4. Pick images that light you up

Once you’re ready to begin, start looking for photos. These photos should be ones that create a spark and excitement in you. If they don’t symbolize your dream perfectly and make you feel the emotions of already having it, then the photo isn’t going to work for you.

Another thing that I will say is don’t give up and settle for a photo just to be done with the vision board. If you want it to work you have to choose the perfect, symbolic photos. Sometimes, I will even spend an hour searching for the right photo because I know that I have to get it right otherwise the photo is pointless. For that reason, it may even be to your benefit to spend a few days just collecting all the photos that you need. I like to do it this way because then it doesn’t feel rushed to find the photos that speak to me and when I put it all together it can just be fun and relaxing. 

5. Create your own images

When all else fails, sometimes it’s just better to create your own images for some of the items on your vision board. But that’s actually a good thing! I highly suggest that everyone take the time to create a few images on their board because it brings the item to life more and makes it more real. You’re also able to connect with it more deeply because the image is literally perfect and designed to reflect your exact desire. 

For example, the last time I made a vision board, I took the time to go on Canva, use a photo of checks and put my name on them with the desired amount of money I wanted to manifest. In less than one month, I manifested it in the most unexpected way! I also did this with my bank balance. Instead of finding an image of someone else’s bank balance, I decided to screenshot mine, and use the exact font and coloring to reflect the amount I wanted to see in the bank instead.

This makes your vision board so much more powerful because then you’re able to really see those details like your own name and your own account so that you can connect with the photos on a deeper level. It also creates a greater sense of faith that way you want will come true because you are seeing the exact outcome right in front of you!

6. Incorporate your Universal Signs

If you’ve read my blog post, “How to Recognize Universal Signs,” you know that I’m a big believer in the universe sending us little signs and nudges that we’re on the right path. I also believe that we have our very own, personal universal signs.

After I became more spiritual, started praying regularly, started raising my vibration, and manifesting more, I started to notice that I saw the same few things appearing over and over. Whenever I was in a high vibe, spiritual state, I would see yellow butterflies, hawks, shooting stars, and pink skies. After noticing that happening to me for years, I finally realized that those are my own universal signs. And we all have them! If you know some of your own universal signs (little animals, messages, or numbers that appear) incorporate those in your vision board!

By incorporating images that are symbolic of the universe having your back and guiding you, you’re going to be able to couple THAT feeling with the images of what you’re trying to manifest. You’re including an aspect of faith in your vision board which energetically makes you surrender your desires over to the universe. Rather than staring at the items and feeling like you have to control them or make them happen.

7. Add movement and texture

Another thing that you can do to make your vision board more powerful is by adding movement and texture to it. When I say add movement, I mean that you should try to place some things up and down the page (or digital vision board) or place pictures at an angle. Do things like this to add subtle movement so that the images are not rigid and all placed in a straight line. Creating that movement allows your eyes to “play” and wander around the board with more ease. Again, it’s a subtle, energetic thing that you can do to make the experience of the vision board more powerful so it works better.

As far as texture, do things that add some physical sensation or texture to the board so it feels like more of a full sensory experience. What I mean by this is maybe don’t cut some photos in a straight line, but tear them so it appears that there’s some physical sensation on the board.

What I like to do is use tape to make my physical vision boards and I put each piece of tape over the edges of the pictures instead of underneath them. Yes, I know that some people might think it’s not as “artistic” but I do that to create texture. This way, if I choose to move my hand over the vision board, I can have a sensation under my fingertips to bring the board to life. 

8. Make it a full sensory experience!

When you are creating a vision board, one thing that you can do that’s going to amplify the power of the vision board (like crazy) is making the process a full-sensory experience. 

What I mean by this, is making the process of putting together your new vision board feel lovely for all five of your senses. Put on music, sit with a cozy blanket, diffuse your essential oils, light a candle, and drink something yummy like Golden Milk or sweet tea. (Check out my blog post all about Golden Milk for my very own recipe!) By making the experience pleasurable for all five senses, you’re raising your vibration and connecting with the vision board on a deeper level.

It also just makes the creation of it more fun and exciting. AND if you really love the experience and connect all five senses to the vision board, you’re most likely going to want to use it more rather than throw it in the back of your closet.

9. Finish it in one sitting

Answer me this: Have you ever sat down, worked on half of your vision board and then told yourself… “I’ll come back to it tomorrow!”

Mhmmm. Let me guess, you didn’t get back to your vision board. And it ended up sitting in the corner of your bedroom for months collecting dust, didn’t it? Trust me, I’m not judging you! I’ve done it too!! If you’re going to give yourself one “rule” when it comes to creating a vision board, let it be this one: You have to finish it in one sitting.

We both know that your vision board isn’t going to work if it’s never finished, right? So if you want, maybe take some time to collect your photos. (I know that I need more than one day to find the right photos.) However, always do the cutting, pasting, designing, and gluing in one sitting! No one likes to come back in the middle of a half-finished project. It’s just not as satisfying. And more times than not, it will stay incomplete. 

10. Make it a ritual 

The people who I’ve met that are the most successful with vision boarding, are the people who make it a ritual. They choose a particular day like New Year’s, or their birthday, or maybe an astrological event that they feel very connected to, and they create their vision board at that time every year. It works because you’re adding discipline to your manifestation practice, BUT you’re also reminded to go back to your old board to notice all of the things that came true for you!! That alone gives you faith in the Law of Attraction and strengthens your ability to manifest whatever it is that you want.

Thank you for coming to my blog!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post all about how to create a vision board that actually works! 

If you do use this advice, tag me in your pictures or stories of your creation process and final vision board on Instagram @heather.ione! I would absolutely love to see your creations!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

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My Entire Rhinoplasty Recovery: Graphic Photos, Daily Notes, Post-Op Visits, Warnings, Advice, & More

Beauty

Warning: This article is meant for people who are very curious about getting a rhinoplasty done and want to know about all of the uncomfortable details of the recovery process. This post is not sugar coated in any way. I’m NOT going to be holding back any information. I’m going to be sharing intimate details about my recovery. You should also know that all of the photos I’m about to share were taken two days after my surgery. If you do not think you can handle viewing images of the recovery from a surgical procedure, please click away. This is the honest truth about what it’s like getting a rhinoplasty.

Hello again, and welcome back to the second blog post in my series all about me getting a rhinoplasty.

In my first blog post about my procedure, I shared with you all of the reasons why I was going under the knife and getting my nose done. If you haven’t read that one yet, check out “Announcement: I’m Getting a Nose Job + Why I’m Getting It Done & What’s to Come.”

This blog post is going to be all about what you’re most curious about: RECOVERY! In this post I’m going to share what it was like throughout each stage of my recovery including: 

  • Immediately after my surgery
  • What supplements and pills I had to take
  • How I had to clean my nose
  • Daily updates for the initial 2 weeks
  • Details about Post-Op visits with my surgeon
  • Updates throughout each week of recovery up to 6 weeks
  • What products helped me through my recovery
  • Update about my nose 3 months and 4 months Post-Op
  • My takeaways from the recovery process

The third post in this series will be all about my results, whether or not I’m happy with my new nose, and a review of my plastic surgeon – Dr. Dean Davis of Davis Facial Plastic Surgery. This post will be coming about approximately 6 months after getting my surgery done on September 9th.

Lastly, I would LOVE to do a rhinoplasty Q&A just like I did with your Microblading questions to cover anything that I might have missed in this post. So send me your questions through email or Instagram and I will answer all of them!

It’s Happening! Preparing for Surgery

It’s finally freaking happening. The week has been creeping up closer and closer to when I would get my surgery done, and it crept up on me way faster than I thought it would. When I first booked my surgery for Sept. 9, 2019, it seemed like a lifetime away. But each week when I would look at my calendar last August, I was shocked at how close the date had been sneaking up on me. Matt and I had been so preoccupied with house hunting, that I had forgotten that this day was just around the corner!

At this point, it’s less than a week away from my surgery and it’s time to get ready! It’s time to start taking the supplements the surgeon gave me, pick up my prescriptions, run errands to get everything the surgeon recommended, and stock up on a whole bunch of soft foods and protein shakes. Matt made sure to get the week off during my surgery, and we’re repeatedly going over the times we have to leave for the surgery, what pills I have to take (and when), what time my surgery ends, and what times my post-op appointments are. It’s as if we’re doing some sort of emergency evacuation drill, preparing for a hurricane, or trying to escape prison. Every day we frantically go over the dates, times, and plans with each other as if our lives depended on it.

We must have read the list of instructions that the surgeon gave me a dozen times. Recovery instructions include things like: 

  • “Discontinue any vitamins, herbal, or dietary supplements”
  • “Discontinue use of aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, ibuprofen…If you need something for discomfort, you may take Tylenol”
  • “Do not remove dressing over your nose after surgery” 
  • “Do not wear glasses for 6 weeks following surgery”
  • “You are restricted from all exercising or any activity that elevates your heart rate for 6 weeks”
  • “Brush your teeth with a small child-size toothbrush to minimize mouth movement”

Most Important Post-Op Care Instructions

  1. To prevent crusting or discomfort, apply saline nasal spray and polysporin to your nostrils 4-5 times a day to keep the area moist and comfortable. First, use 2-3 squirts of saline spray in each nostril. Then, apply the polysporin around the inside of your nostrils and across any external nasal incision lines using a Q-tip. Continue this process until advised otherwise. 
  2. If you see any crusting or dried blood along the incision line, roll a Q-tip saturated with hydrogen peroxide over the incision line until clean, then roll a dry Q-tip over the incision line until dry. Apply polysporin after. You do not want a scab to form on the incision line which could widen the incision or scar line. You will probably only need to do this for a few days after surgery. (Dr. Davis instructed me to use the polysporin for as long as I can to prevent the scarring).
  3. Use an eye pack for the first 48 hours following surgery for 15-20 minutes every waking hour (Dr. Davis said I should be doing this as much as I can, even after the initial 48 hours).
  4. When sleeping keep at a 45-degree angle on at least 2-3 pillows for 6 weeks following the procedure.
  5. Do absolutely nothing but rest and recover during the first 2 weeks.
  6. No exercising, walking, or elevating heart rate for 6 weeks after surgery.
  7. Take your medications and supplements as directed on the bottle until finished unless otherwise instructed.
  8. Do not sneeze through your nose or blow your nose.

Pre-Op Shopping List

  • VitaMedica Recovery Support purchased from surgeon’s office includes Morning and Evening Formula, Bromaline, Arnica, and Probiotic
  • Prescription Medications: Valium, Hydrocodone, Antibiotic, Steroid
  • Gel eye mask
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Polysporin
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Q-tips & Tissue
  • Child sized toothbrush
  • Soft foods & protein shakes
  • Neck pillow
  • Gauze
  • Straws

Supplement & Medication Instructions

  • Steroid pack – lasts 6 days and it has the instructions on it
  • Hydrocodone and Valium – Take as needed
  • Antibiotic – Morning, Noon, Night
  • Bromelain – 2 pills 3 times a day
  • Morning Formula Supplement – 3 pills once a day
  • Evening Formula Supplement -3 pills once a day
  • Arnica – 3 tablets 3 times a day, let dissolve under your tongue

Other than all of the errands I have to do to prepare for this surgery, one thing that I also have to do to prepare is go to Davis Facial Plastic Surgery to get a dermal infusion facial done. Apparently I’m also not able to get my face wet for 2 weeks after surgery! The facial is meant to make my skin super clean and cleared out before the surgery and also to limit the breakouts and blackheads the are going to appear during the recovery process with tape on my face for those 2 weeks. The thought of not washing my face for that long is giving me anxiety.

As you could probably imagine, I’m super nervous and terrified about recovery. One of the main reasons I’m so nervous is that I’m scared about getting botched! Which I know is an incredibly irrational fear because my surgeon has done so many thousands and thousands of nose jobs in his life he could do my nose in his sleep. But still, I can’t help but wonder, “What if I’m the one person whose face gets messed up? What if it turns out worse than it was before?”

I’m also nervous about how no one yet knows that I’m getting this procedure, including my family. If you read my blog post, “Put it in the Suggestion Box: I Need an Advice Detox,” I’m sure you understand why. I’ve only told a select few people who are very supportive of me and my decisions. I knew that if I told anyone who is against plastic surgery, I was going to be harassed with fantasies about all of the ways I’m going to die or get botched during the surgery. So I was very selective about who I share this decision with.

All week my mind has been wandering thinking about all of these crazy situations that could happen where my face gets screwed up, or I end up in the hospital from a complication, or I get disowned from my family. It’s been rather unpleasant. Matt has to keep reminding me every day that it’s going to be ok…

The Day Of

The morning of my surgery was scary and nerve-wracking to say the least. We spent about an hour in the waiting room until I was finally called back for pre-op. As you can imagine I had to get undressed, change into hospital gowns, put on an IV, fill out a bunch of forms, etc. I sat there the whole time filled with anxiety.

One of the nurses asked how I was doing and I shared how I felt with her and my fears of making the wrong decision and getting “botched.” 

“Don’t be,” she said to me. “Dr. Davis is amazing at what he does. I’m getting my nose done by him next week.” And just like that I started to relax a bit.

Matt was finally allowed to see me before I went under the knife. He spent the time staring at me, smiling (mostly out of nerves) and holding my hand. Dr. Davis eventually got to the surgery center and came to see me. He told me how confident he felt about the procedure and that everything was going to be fantastic. I also remember feeling so happy that Matt got to meet him beforehand, because at this point I had already seen Dr. Davis several different times, but wanted them to meet. I remember that it seemed weird that I was getting surgery from a doctor Matt hadn’t yet met, so their meeting helped ease my mind too.

The anesthesiologist then came over and talked to me for a while and told me stories about his life, before it was eventually time into the surgery room. I said goodbye to Matt and laid on the hospital bed as they rolled me back to the room. The next several minutes they spent some time getting me ready for the surgery by putting warm blankets on me and moving me onto another bed/table where I would get the surgery would be performed.

When it was time to begin, I hadn’t even seen Dr. Davis again. The anesthesiologist stood by me and said, “You know what happened to the last guy I did this too?” “What,” I said. “He fell asleep,” he said back to me. I faked a laugh and right as I did I turned my head to the side of the room where I saw a bunch of photos of my face taped to the wall. On one side were my before pictures, and on the other were the photos of what I would look like post recovery. In those 2.5 seconds I was out. 

The Beginning of Recovery

I woke up from surgery in what felt exactly like one second later. The first thing I saw was Matt’s face. I hadn’t even realized that I had the surgery. I looked at him and muttered something along the lines of “How the hell did you get back here? You’re not supposed to be back here.” I then proceeded to only call him by his last name and kept telling the nurse that they had to watch out for him because he was “sneaky.” That’s what I remember, but apparently that’s not all that happened.

Apparently I had been awake for AWHILE. I was cranky, super mean and acting drunk as I normally am after waking up from surgery. (From now on I should start warning people about that.) Matt told me how I cursed a lot, was super angry, cranky and impatient, and apparently had a whole conversation with Dr. Davis that I don’t remember. Dr. Davis told me at most post-op appointments that he eventually just left because I was “being fussy.”

Also after waking up from surgery, I only wanted to touch the area that was operated on which meant the nurses and whoever I was with had to hold my arms down to stop me from accidentally hurting myself. That happened too. A lot happened that I don’t remember and I think that’s probably a good thing…

What I do remember is that afterward I was a giant pain for everyone there. The nurse taught Matt how to apply gauze to my face which I was supposed to use for about a week after surgery. The gauze should be applied under the nose because after surgery it’s normal for blood and snot to come out. 

Eventually Matt had to help me get dressed and take me to the bathroom, and it was time to drive home.

Day 1 Notes: 

  • I took a Valium and passed out for an hour or two after we got home which is what the nurses and doctor told me to do. They said it was best that I just relax and fall asleep.
  • I experienced no pain or discomfort until around 3 p.m. I started with having an awareness of the area for several hours before the discomfit started.
  • I’m starting to notice bruising starting around eyes. 
  • My upper teeth are kind of aching.
  • I’m experiencing lots of blood running out of my nose. (Dr. Davis told me before the surgery that he makes it so that any gunk or blood comes OUT the nostrils as opposed to going down your throat and into your stomach. That way the nose looks during recovery will then look better and you’ll feel better.)
  • It’s like I’m experiencing a slight drip of blood all day long from my nose.
  • I’m extremely nervous about my stitch and potential scarring.
  • Matt has been cleaning it with peroxide and ointment each time to it to keep it clean and moist. We’re doing the peroxide, saline, and ointment at the same time to make it easy.
  • Dr. Davis called at 4 p.m. to check on me – He shared with me that the same nerve from inside of nose also runs to the bridge of the mouth and near the teeth. It’s normal or have pain there. He said it’s similar to people who have a heart attack and continue to feel pain in the left arm. There’s nothing causing pain in that area, but the nerve is still there.
  • At night time I didn’t sleep well at all. You have to breathe through the mouth so your mouth dries out very quickly and it would constantly wake me up every 20-30 minutes.
  • I went through tons of water at night.
  • I accidentally stabbed myself in the stitch with the metal straws I’m using to drink water. I can only drink through a straw.
  • It constantly feels like my nose is running, even if nothing is coming out.

Day 2 Notes:

  • Eye bruising is much worse than yesterday. It’s very purple.
  • Starting steroid as directed.
  • I’ve been taking pain meds before I absolutely need them to prevent the pain. I’m afraid if I wait until the pain starts I won’t be able to get out of it.
  • I’m very nervous about Day 2. The nurse and surgeon warned me that days 2 & 3 would not be as easy as Day 1.
  • Nose looks more swollen underneath bandages.
  • Afternoon: Nose swelling has gone down a bit.
  • Eyes are very swollen and can only open up slightly. I’ve been icing eyes constantly since I got home from surgery.
  • The skin around my eyes is extremely red, especially in the areas I’ve been tearing up which has also caused it to get crusty.
  • Matt has been super on top of cleaning my nose, even when I’m not in the mood to do it at all.
  • My nose is throbbing a little bit.
  • I took pain pills slightly early when I started to feel pain coming on.
  • Nose is still dripping blood, so I started to keep Q-tips right next to bed so I can gently remove blood drips when I feel it.
  • Evening: went to sleep and woke up with discomfort and nose throbbing. Slight pain, but not unbearable.

Day 3 Notes:

  • This morning I’m especially nervous. I was told that day 3 could be the worst day of recovery.
  • I have a slight throbbing in my nose once it gets closer to the time when I can take more medication.
  • I spend most of the day napping ever since I came home from surgery.
  • Ray came over to take pictures of me during recovery. It was super nice seeing him and being able to talk to someone in between this. Matt and Ray talk about how impressed they are by how well I’m doing.
  • I don’t really need to have the gauze under nose anymore but I do prefer it just in case. I still have some drops of blood coming out of nose and I always have Q-tips nearby to gently get the drops off.
  • My eyes are more open than they were yesterday.
  • The tickle sensation in my nose is the worst part. It happened 3 times today where I had such an intense tickle in my nose and I felt like I had to sneeze but I couldn’t. You’re allowed to sneeze through mouth but I was so nervous to sneeze wrong that it prevented me from sneezing through my mouth and the tickle sensation kept happening. 
  • I’m eating much more today than other days which is good because I have to get as much food in my stomach as possible for all the pills I need to take.
  • Eating is very hard without being able to breathe through your nose! Thank goodness for Ripple protein shakes. They taste absolutely amazing and I’ve been practically living off of them.
  • I spoke with Dr. Davis again today and had a conversation about the pain medication. I was so terrified that it would feel like my face was run over by a car that I was taking my hydrocodone preventatively (which is apparently NOT what you’re supposed to do)!
  • My bruising is going down around my eyes but my eyelids are still very red and sensitive.
  • My eyes can now open all the way, but my eyelids are still very swollen. Icing my eyes is the only thing that makes them feel better.
  • I decided to go to sleep without gauze under nose tonight to feel a little bit more normal.
  • The past three days I keep saying that I can’t believe I got a nose job. Being in recovery feels surreal and I’m oddly proud of myself for making it through the first few days and having gotten the procedure I’ve been telling myself I wanted for years. 

Day 4 Notes:

  • This morning I woke up with a lot of discomfort and I’m trying to not take as many pain medications after talking with Dr. Davis. I didn’t sleep well at all because it’s very hard to feel comfortable with all of this going on.
  • Luckily, I did wake up with less bruising around my eyes. 
  • I keep icing my eyes and resting in bed, but still felt horrible. I finally took a hydrocodone and Valium and feel better.
  • There’s lots of dripping out of my nose, so much that I’m constantly reaching for a Q-tip. I mean constantly. It never lets up.
  • I’m looking slightly more like myself today and less like I’ve been beat up.
  • This is the first day that Matt is at work since the surgery which means I’m all alone! But luckily I mostly rest and can handle cleaning my nose or getting up to grab some food or a gel eye mask. I am a bit nervous about being home alone though.
  • My eyelids are very sensitive today, so much that even if I gently itch my eyelid it hurts a lot.
  • I switched to extra strength Tylenol today instead of my prescription and was fine.
  • I’m dying to see what my nose like but the only part of my nose that I can sort of tell what it looks like are my nostrils which look much smaller than before. 
  • I spend basically all of my time sleeping or eating so that I could take all these supplements and pills.
  • I’ve been extremely constipated from the pain killer I was talking and started to use Miralax which has finally helped today. I was extremely stopped up and bloated and of course started entertaining how I was going to end up dying or in the hospital because of it. 
  • I slept so poorly over the last several days because of how uncomfortable I’ve been that I keep yawning which stretches out my nostrils and hurts my nose, especially around the stitch.
  • I’m starting to have more blood dripping and getting even more snotty than I was before. I had to put gauze under nose again.
  • The bruises under eyes are turning yellow, but eyelids are still red.
  • I keep having that strong tickling feeling happening in my nose and ended up having sneezing fits which luckily didn’t hurt. 

If there is one thing that I would tell anyone who’s going to get a rhinoplasty or is thinking about it, it’s to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when reaching for your face. It’s day four and I’ve accidentally tapped or bumped my nose at least 12 times already (very lightly, and not hard enough to mess up my nose, but still… that’s sh*t hurts) during recovering from a nose job it’s as if you have no spacial awareness of your face. You’ll scratch your lip and accidentally bump the tip of your nose. You’ll put a straw to your nose and stab your nose with it. You’ll wipe a tear from your eye and hit your nose. I have no idea why it’s happening or what’s going on, but it’s as if I’ve lost all sense of where my nose is located on my face. Part of me thinks it’s because most of my face is numb, especially after taking Valium and hydrocodone, but it happens even when I’m not taking those things.

If there’s one thing I have to remember it’s to move extremely slowly and carefully around my face to make sure that I go to whatever it is I’m … aiming for. 

Day 5 Notes:

  • I have been very restless and uncomfortable at night. I couldn’t sleep at all and when I did, I had bizarre dreams about saving six kittens and also going to my appointment the next day to find out that my surgeon made my nose BIGGER!
  • The stitches inside the nose have been hurting. When they do hurt it feels like a sharp pain, not horribly painful but it definitely doesn’t feel good! 

Post-Op Appointment Notes: I went to Davis Facial Plastic Surgery for my post-op appointment today so the doctor can check up on how I was doing, remove my bandage, and clean my nose. Dr. Davis was very happy with how I was recovering and how each part of my nose was healing.

He said it’s normal to have more swelling and sensitivity at the tip right after surgery, which is why a lot of people think they’re nose looks bigger than before, but he assured me that it will go down.

From what I can tell after he removed my bandages, my nose is finally smooth and straight and I don’t have those odd shadows casting on the cartilage in my nose. It’s straighter for sure!

Dr. Davis also cleaned out the inside of my nose with a machine that suctions out the snot and blood, trimmed the stitches that were sticking out, and removed the nasal stents (which I didn’t get to see because I was in pain). Apparently they were super big and gnarly. According to Matt they were several inches long, completely covered in snot and blood, and look like they were also filled with liquid. I will literally never forget the look of horror that I saw on his face when I opened my eyes. I wish I had a picture of him!

The only thing the doctor was kind of bummed about was the amount of bruising that I have. Apparently I have more bruising than most of his patients which he said is a point of pride for him that his patients have very minimal bruising. But look at me… I’m as white as a ghost, so I don’t think he should beat himself up about that.

After that, Dr. Davis cleaned the top of my nose, showed it to me in a mirror and then covered it with a neutral colored tape very strategically. The way he applies tape is meant to prevent swelling in the upper parts of the nose and instead direct any swelling to the tissue at the tip of the nose.

  • My deviated septum has been corrected and is healing nicely. 
  • He let us know that we were doing everything right and Matt was doing a FABULOUS job cleaning my stitches for me (he has to do it because I couldn’t get up in there).
  • I should come back in 6 days for another post-op appointment where the doctor will clean my nose out again.
  • Now that I have the stents out and bandages removed, I will probably be getting extra snotty.

Day 5 Notes Continued: 

  • Recovery hasn’t been super comfortable up until now but I’m very surprised at how well it’s going. I’ve been able to get up and do more today. It’s nice to not be on bed rest anymore.
  • Experiencing an extremely stuffy and runny nose, which sucks because I learned that I won’t be able to blow my nose for 3-4 weeks! Blowing my nose could mess up the cartilage and undo all of the work from surgery and cause asymmetry. This part is driving me crazy and feels super gross, especially because there’s usually blood mixed in with it. It’s such a gross feeling to have all of that going on and not be able to blow your nose and get rid of that uncomfortable feeling. 
  • Stitches are uncomfortable probably because Dr. Davis was pretty rough with them.
  • Recovery is starting to feel more rough than previous days because I’m not spending all day sleeping.
  • Experiencing constipation from pain pills.
  • The stitches hurt and my face aches a bit.
  • I really want to do to sleep but I’m having a hard time.

Day 6 Notes:

  • Today, I woke up extremely early and haven’t been able to fall back asleep, just like all the other mornings since the surgery.
  • I’m extremely stuffy and blood is still coming out. Finally I had to stuff pieces of tissues up my nostrils so I didn’t have to constantly wipe my nose.
  • Still constipated from the pain pills.
  • The redness around my eyes has started fading but underneath it, my eyes are still very yellow from the bruising. 
  • The bandges are gone and I only have tape on my nose. It’s very hard to tell what my nose will look like so that’s been frustrating me. 
  • Finally went to the bathroom, cue the confetti.
  • My nose is running CONSTANTLY. It’s also super stuffy that I can’t breathe. It’s a really crappy feeling because it’s like having a sinus infection but being forbidden to blow your nose. Make it stop!!!
  • Lucky for me even though I still feel gross and have tape on my face, I’m feeling more like myself again and had the energy to write all day.
  • I took Tylenol in the morning but then never had to take it again. But at 3:30 pm, Matt made me laugh hard three separate times (which he knows he shouldn’t be  doing). Whenever I smile or laugh I have to sort of hold my nostrils closer together to limit stretching of the stitches and it hurts pretty bad.
  • I finally called Dr. Davis to ask about facial expressions. I’m a HUGE worrier and was afraid that having laughed and smiled I would somehow offset my nose and screw up my recovery. He assured me that I wouldn’t. Dr. Davis also told me that the tip of the nose where the stitches are will be sensitive for a while so it’s normal for it to be painful right now. He also told me that the tip of the nose will be harder for 3-4 months after the surgery while it’s still healing. Because of this, many patients say that smiling feels weird to them even months afterwards, and say that it feels like there’s something different going on with their upper lip.
  • As far as my nose being crazy stuffy and runny, Dr. Davis told me that in surgery he makes it so that everything comes OUT of your nose as opposed to going down your throat. Unfortunately, it feels like I’m drowning in snot. I’ve been using Q-tips to wipe away whatever is coming out of my nostrils and clean inside a little bit (which I’m not actually supposed to do). I shouldn’t be putting anything up my nose, but I’m being careful to be super gentle. It’s the only thing I can do to make it feel somewhat clean and less gross.

Day 7 Notes:

  • Last night, I woke up at least 6 times with an extremely dry throat from breathing through my mouth. In the morning, I accidentally woke up on my right side even though I was still elevated. I should be laying completely flat on my back so that one side doesn’t swell up more than the other and offset the cartilage and cause me to have a crooked nose. It’s extremely hard to do when I only sleep on my side or on my stomach. 
  • The stitches are hurting.
  • I tried to clean the snot out of my nose which only made my nose hurt even worse, so I’m taking Tylenol today.
  • The bruising around eyes is getting better, especially the parts that were super red.
  • I can’t get any air through my right nostril which is causing me to have constant  unrealistic fears I won’t ever be able to breathe through it.
  • I’m also having fears my nose is still big, which Dr. Davis warned me I would worry about because the swelling makes the nose look so much bigger. Right now, I’m mostly concerned about profile, and whether that’s still too big. I constantly find myself going to the bathroom to examine my nose and try to make out the size under the tape.
  • I much prefer the day right after the surgery when I was just drugged up and sleeping to this stage of the recovery when I’m up and about, feeling gross all day, and panicking about the outcome.
  • There’s been less dripping and grossness compared to yesterday and the stitches don’t hurt AS bad.
  • The biggest problem right now to me is how much I just want to move my freaking body. I’ve been on bed rest all week and it’s getting SO old. There’s really nothing I can do but stay home and rest. I wish so badly to just stretch or go for a walk. But stretching would cause blood to rush to my face (which could ruin my results) and walking would raise my heart rate (which could also ruin the results).
  • I also can’t breathe through my nose when I’m eating so I always have to catch my breath after swallowing something. Whenever I eat I feel like Mac on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” when he’s wheezing and eating at the same time.
  • The dissolvable stitches on the tip of my nose seem to be sticking out more. 

I also wanted to share that this week I’ve been having lots of feelings of being so ugly and so hideous from recovery that I spent all week thinking of every possible way I could make myself feel pretty after surgery. Looking like a zombie has me thinking that I need to shop for clothes, get botox injections, get a personal trainer, get fillers, do a boudoir shoot, etc.. This recovery has escalated all of my insecurities this week and made them so much worse. I’m finding that I’m more critical of my body than I ever have been and hyper focused on how to look better.

This is something that my friend who had a rhinoplasty also warned me about. Unfortunately, at the time of the recovery, I completely forgot about what she told me. But I think this is something that’s so important to share, because if you’re thinking about getting plastic surgery, then you’re probably more critical of your body too and have insecurities that you’re struggling with. Please know that right after surgery, it’s going to feel worse than before. You won’t feel like yourself and you’ll look like a zombie on “The Walking Dead.” It’s just part of the recovery and it’s not permanent!

Day 8 Notes:

  • Today I woke up super uncomfortable and my nose was hurting, but once I took Tylenol it was fine. The left side still felt sore and achy though even after I took Tylenol. Once it wears off, the left side of nose hurts much more and I’ll occasionally feel pain in one specific spot.
  • The tape on my face is getting grosser each day. It’s getting sticky and is disintegrating from the oil on my face.
  • The bruising is still yellow and I still have some red spots around eyes. The stitches on the tip of my nose also seem to be sticking out more now that the little wound is healing.
  • Something interesting that happened was that today is the first time since post-op that the Face ID on my phone worked.
  • My nose isn’t as stuffy anymore today and I don’t need to constantly keep tissue or Q-tips right next to me like I was before.
  • I’m feeling better too. This is actually the first day that I felt well enough to sit at the kitchen counter and write all day and not have to lay in bed or on the couch! I can also laugh a little bit more without being in pain.
  • I generally feel better, but I still look gross and I can’t help but be bothered that the tape is peeling and getting much worse all day long. It doesn’t help that it’s so itchy underneath the tape too. I actually have to use a bobby pin to itch under the tape at the spot where it’s bothering me and have had to keep it next to me all day so I can keep scratching that’s driving me crazy.
  • At the end of the day, Matt helped with washing my hair in the shower this time instead of the sink, works out MUCH BETTER. My face and tape might be gross, but thank goodness for the clean hair.
  • I’ve experienced horrible heartburn every night for the last 3 nights probably because of all the pills and the limited, salty diet. It’s keeping me up and making me even more restless. It ended up keeping me up again tonight too.

Day 9 Notes:

  • Today I had to put extra tape over the tape that Dr. Davis put on at the post-op appointment. It was sort of disintegrating and getting really sticky from the oil on my face because I can’t wash it, which caused it to peel significantly around my cheeks closer to my mouth whenever I smiled.
  • It’s still itching under the tape on the right side of my face a lot, so that bobby pin stays by my side all day long. The itching has actually gotten worse since yesterday.
  • Some of the stitches look like they’re sticking out a little bit more than yesterday. I don’t know if they’re coming apart or starting to deteriorate or something as I’m healing more. Maybe my body and skin are pushing them out as I’m healing? I don’t know, is that a thing?
  • I can tell that the swelling has gone down significantly since the previous week. My nose looks smaller than it did yesterday and it’s starting to look cuter.
  • The bruises (especially the yellow ones) are still there but they’re getting closer to fading away. There’s no signs of any black or blue bruising left, just a few red spots around my eyes. My pores are starting to get clogged and lots of blackheads are popping up.
  • The tip of my nose feels almost entirely numb. I haven’t really touched the tip of my nose and really felt it until today and I was surprised by what little feeling I have in that spot. I can hardly feel any sensations there at all.
  • The left side still hurts a bit more, but only if I tap on it or touch it (even lightly) but it’s getting better. You might be thinking, “Why the fuck are you touching your nose when you’re still healing, Heather?” I can’t help it! I’m just so curious! 

Today is the first day where I actually can say I feel good and feel normal, which means that this is the part that my doctor and nurses kept warning me about. I feel pretty normal now, BUT that doesn’t mean I’m ok do things as normal. I’m still technically on Dr. Davis’s “Princess Time,” where I’m not supposed to be doing ANYTHING for two weeks. It’s just difficult to remember things like don’t bend down or don’t lean forward. But, I’m not really in pain or anything, so that’s what’s important. At this point, the recovery feels more inconvenient and annoying, so I would say to anyone wanting a rhinoplasty you can handle it.

I am still of course staying home and mostly sitting down and resting, but I do get things for myself now without struggling. I’m still just taking it as easy as possible by not cleaning the apartment, for example. But I am sitting up and working on my laptop during the day. I’m feeling well enough to where Matt and I were able to invite one of our best friends over tonight to hang out. Even though I still have tape on my nose, we knew he didn’t care and wouldn’t judge me. I didn’t care either, it felt so nice to talk and have human interaction again!! I’ve been trapped inside all alone for days now!

So far, only a handful of people have seen me (Matt, Pat, Ray, Dr. Davis, and the nurses) they all have said how blown away they are by how normal I look and that I look “great.” I personally think great is a strong word, BUT I see their point. They all said that they were expecting me to look more bruised and bandaged and basically like a zombie for weeks so it’s impressive how quickly I’m recovering. 

In other good news, I was able to give Matt a kiss for the first time in nine days! AND, I’m now able to laugh, smile, and yawn without the stitches hurting and needing to take Tylenol.

Day 10 Notes:

  • The yellow bruises faded significantly and I only have two very small red spots still on my face from bruising.
  • My nose is much more cleared up, although I still am breathing through my mouth. I haven’t had to keep Q-tips by me at all, just one tissue that I use occasionally.
  • A few spots are still a bit tender, but so much better than before. Now if I feel uncomfortable at all, I only have to take one Tylenol.
  • The tape is now super gross and I can’t freaking wait to get it off tomorrow. The oil on my face is causing the top of the tape to disintegrate leaving only the underneath, sticky part of it. I tried to put more tape over it several times so it would look less gross and be less sticky, but it’s not working. I seriously cannot wait to get this tape of and to wash my face!!!!
  • I’m pretty much feeling normal today and was able to do work at the kitchen counter all day. If it weren’t for having to breathe through my mouth and the numbness at the tip of my nose, I probably would feel the same as I always do.
  • I did forget to mention that whenever I lean forward or start to bend over even a little bit, there’s a very odd sensation in the tip of my nose. It’s similar to like a pounding feeling where I can feel my heartbeat, but also like I can feel the blood rush to the area. Even just a slight leaning forward makes it happen. But I think it’s a good thing because it reminds me to be careful and not bend over.
  • By the end of the day my nose is feeling incredibly weird. As if there’s this pressure. It’s like a combination of tingling, numbness, and pressure. I have no idea how to describe it other than that. It doesn’t hurt, but I’m very aware of my nose and feel it constantly. I also accidentally bumped my nose at night, which didn’t feel great or help at all! 
  • Little milestone of the day: I’m now finally able to drink things without using a straw!

Day 11 Notes:

I had crippling anxiety since last night at 7:30 and laid awake in a horrible state of panic until 7:30 a.m.! I was literally wide awake all night. Finally I fell sleep at 7:30 a.m., but then woke up at noon with the same anxiety! That has never happened to me in my life. I think it’s from not being able to do things, being stuck inside, and major life changes that are causing anxiety. Plus I’m trying to land an opportunity which is causing me additional stress. Normally when I feel like this though I run, but I can’t exercise for 6 weeks after surgery!

  • Because I have to breathe through my mouth even while I’m eating, I’ve been constantly burping from air in my stomach. As of today, I’m officially sick of it.

Post- Op Appointment Notes:

At the beginning of my appointment, I opened up to them about the anxiety which they said is incredibly normal and is experienced by most cosmetic surgery patients, ESPECIALLY those who get a nose job. Apparently, it’s from the steroids.

What happens is the steroids have you feeling really good at first when you just got the surgery done so you’re excited about this change. You get to take care of the nose and have a little routine. All of this means that you feel normal and pretty good. Then around day 11 or 12, you come down from the steroids and have a crash which causes a major mood change. On top of that you’re stuck inside and unable to do anything or move AND unable to see the final result so it’s a lot to go through. All of those factors cause you to have a very high highs and then a very strong crash and mood swings.

My nurse tells me that they hear this same complaint from everyone. She also shares with me that they had my “nose brother” in that day (which is what they call the people who get the same surgery as you on the same day as you) and he was going through ALL of the same things I was.

  • Today is my next appointment where I get the tape off – thank goodness. It’s all I can think about. Once the tape came off, Dr. Davis said that everything was absolutely 100% perfect.
  • This means that I’m officially seeing my new nose for the first time! It looks SO good and for the first time I can see that all of the flaws that I talked about in my first rhinoplasty blog are all corrected (including the cartilage that used to stick out when I smiled) bumps, and the width. The only problem is that the tip is very round at the moment. It’s such a relief to finally see it and know that all of those worries I had about getting botched or it turned out bad are gone for good!
  • I was also told that I can finally wash my face and hair again normally and most importantly, get out of the house!
  • I also admitted that I had woken up on my side, used Q-tips when I was told to not attempt to clean the inside of my own nose, and accidentally bumped it. I thought Dr. Davis would be shocked or upset with me but he was not surprised by this at all. Apparently I’m not the first patient he’s had who wasn’t PERFECT. Who knew? And here I was beating myself up about it.

Dr. Davis once again explained why I should absolutely NOT exercise or elevate my heart rate at all. Apparently it could completely damage the results by off-setting the nose, causing swelling that would screw up results, and even deviate the septum again. I keep saying that I completely understand that I can’t work out, but it seems he and the nurse are the most worried about patients exercising during recovery. Even if I just go for a walk it could entirely screw up the work they did. However, after 6 weeks, everything is settled so even if it swells from exercise, it will go back to normal and not cause any long term damage. Swelling and bloating in my face and nose will still happen when I exercise after the 6 week mark, but it will go away rather quickly and not cause any long term damage because the nose is already set then.

  • Dr. Davis also talked to me about how it’s important that I avoid sun and absolutely stay elevated while sleeping.
  • He shared that my nose will continue to get smaller in the next 3 months and after that it will “refine” for up to a year.
  • Lastly, Dr. Davis said to come back for another appointment in 10-12 days. 

Day 11 Notes Continued: 

  • It’s cool because Matt’s work is directly across from Davis Facial Plastic Surgery so as I’m writing notes from today I’m waiting for him to come out and check out the nose for the first time! Update: He likes it!
  • Surprisingly, I have no acne even though I just had my face covered for over 10 days. I also only have two small blue bruises on the tops of cheeks when the tape came off which I was able to cover up with 2 dots of concealer. So lucky for me, I’m finally able to get out of the house and run an errand today!
  • My nose still has that odd tingling and numbing sensation all the time that makes it feel like I have a Frankenstein nose. It doesn’t hurt, but it just feels bizarre. 
  • I’m finally getting close to the end of taking the countless pills I have to take everyday. It’s crazy having to take a handful of pills every 6 hours for 11 days. I’m looking forward to not having to remember it and seeing that I’m getting closer to the end of the bottles. 
  • In the evening I feel similar to when I have a cold – like I’m stuffy, low on energy, and like my nose is swollen and big as if I’ve been blowing my nose all day.
  • One thing I’m really happy about is that I was able to wash my face and my nose for the first time! It feels so good to have a clean nose again! I did have to be super gentle around my nose though and barely touch my skin. When I did, the skin on nose felt super rough. 
  • Physically, my entire body is not feeling good. I even have this horrible knot that’s been growing in my calf from laying down and not doing anything for the last 11 days. I had to spend the rest of the night using a hot compress on my calves to try to loosen it up. 

Day 12 Notes:

  • I took Z-quil last night and was able to actually go to sleep AND wake up at 8 a.m., so I finally am feeling like I’m more normal and on schedule again. 
  • Brusises are still lingering, but definitely fading.
  • Nose still very much swollen and probably will be for many weeks/months.
  • Experiencing hot flashes throughout the day.
  • I’m a little congested but I was finally about to move the tissue boxes to their normal places in the apartment and not need them by me at all times. I was able to move our bathroom trashcan back into the bathroom and not have it next to the bed. Until now I constantly had a tissue box and a trash can with me at all times because my nose was constantly dripping. I’m finally at the point where my day isn’t consumed with caring for my nose. I was even able to clean up the apartment and go about my day the way I normally would.

This morning I woke up with anxiety, just as I did yesterday, but it was much more subtle. It wasn’t as crippling and I could push through and go about my day. But then I noticed something odd happening – the anxiety slowly built up until it eventually turned into an anxiety attack that literally made me feel like I was dying. The only way I could break the anxiety attack was by taking the medication that was prescribed to me. Even that only helped a little bit. I can only hope that this anxiety will pass in the next few days. 

I do want to mention that having anxiety to this extent makes you feel for people with anxiety disorders. Because this anxiety is a side effect of taking steroids, it’s something internal that I can’t control. No amount of deep breathing or meditation can overcome the anxiety throughout my body. I can imagine this is exactly how people with anxiety disorders feel and I’m sure it’s incredibly frustrating when people would say things like, “Oh, you should just meditate!” There’s no way that something like that could make this consuming anxiety in every cell of my body go away. This anxiety isn’t fed by my thoughts or fears, it’s just there. It just comes out of nowhere and fills my entire body with a feeling so terrible that I can’t even put it into words. There’s nothing I can do to stop it from coming or getting worse. I just have to let it run its course.

  • Toward the end of the day Matt and I decided to start cleaning out our closest which is overflowing with things we never wear. I put everything on the bed Marie Kondo style and started purging, putting on clothes to see if they even fit, and organizing them into sell/donate/keep. Eventually I realized that I was moving a lot and my heart rate was up and I was getting warm. I could tell I was doing too much and over extending myself. If Dr. Davis saw me he would be telling me to sit the f*ck down because I’m still on “princess time.” I had Matt move the rest of my massive pile into the living room to work on tomorrow. I was so happy that we did that though, it felt good to clean and organize because decluttering is something I love to do whenever I’m having a bunch of anxiety (also because I watched all of “Tiny House Nation,” “How to Live Mortgage Free,” and the “Minimalism” documentary during my recovery time).
  • Thank goodness for Z-quil, because without it I would have been up all night again.

Day 13 Notes:

  • It’s my last day of antibiotics!
  • I feel basically back to normal, so I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not normal yet.
  • Mother Nature decided to give me a little surprise this morning on top of everything else, which I’m not happy about.
  • I also was able to put a full face of make-up on! So I look much better, however it’s odd because putting my makeup on actually accented my nose and made me notice how much bigger it looks. I think it was because I thought putting my make-up on had me expecting that I look “normal” and like myself again, but when your nose is swollen and big, it doesn’t quite work. 
  • What is left of the bruises on my face are very, very, very stubborn. I keep going to sleep thinking, “Ok, tomorrow they’ll be gone.” And then they aren’t! Today, I noticed that they’re turning darker and more blue and are showing through my makeup. It probably doesn’t help that I have super light skin.
  • I spent the whole morning out and about doing things like light walking or standing around, but I was still worried that I shouldn’t be doing “anything at all.” Even if I walk a little bit, I get paranoid that I’m going to screw up my nose and cause damage that could only be fixed by MORE surgery. It’s so stressful.

Luckily for me, the anxiety hasn’t hit me today. It probably helps because Matt’s home today and we’re staying busy by doing things we’ve been meaning to do like cleaning and errands. We ended up being busy from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

As I’m writing these notes, we have A LOT going on in our lives right now. I can finally mention it now that my announcement was posted, but we closed on our first house, three days after my surgery! So we ended up spending the entire day running errands, cleaning up, and doing little odd projects because immediately when my 6 week recovery is finished, our lease ends on our apartment and we have to be moved into our home. In the meantime we need TONS of things for the house AND we’re in the process of getting the bathroom remodeled. So we’re constantly making trips to home improvement stores and picking out every little detail we want in our bathroom. If it’s not done by the day we move in, I don’t know what we’ll do!

Anyways, I noticed that this morning when we were doings things like getting breakfast and doing some errands, I felt very normal. But slowly, by the time evening came around I was beginning to feel crappy. My entire body started to ache more and more and I was becoming more exhausted by the hour.

What I’m experiencing now with my recovery is basically the same feeling you would experience when you’re catching a cold. Plus, I’m still congested and my nose feels big and swollen. I don’t believe I’m coming down with anything, because if I was I would have tons of sinus issues and a cough already. I bet I was just not a recovered as I felt today when I woke up and started over extending myself. Even though I didn’t do tons of physical activity, I was still up and about, going from store to store, and getting a bunch of things done at home, without getting to rest at all. Even if I’m not doing a lot of physical activity, spending all day on my feet is a bad idea. It just goes to show that surgery is a big deal and takes a toll on your body, even if it’s a quick, easy, and low risk surgery. I probably shouldn’t have kept as busy as I did all day. But, it’s hard to not do anything when you’re in the process of moving!

  • Today I found myself constantly bending over to grab something or doing something I probably shouldn’t have, thinking to myself, “Oh, it’ll be fine.” Which in reality I know is 100% not fine.
  • Another thing that I have to remind myself is to not touch my face or nose. Whenever I feel really crappy, my body naturally wants to massage the top of my nose between my eyes with my finger tips, or put my head into my hands, or press on my sinuses if I feel sick or exhausted, but I can’t do any of those things. The things that I normally do to comfort myself only makes me feel worse right now.
  • I still have to just barely touch my nose with my fingertips when I wash my face. So much that it just feels like I’m just tickling my skin. Any pressure on my nose AT ALL would feel terrible.
  • By the end of today at 9 p.m. I ended up taking one of my extra strength Tylenol again because my nose was a bit uncomfortable, especially if I yawned.
  • The main takeaway from today is that I’m at the point where I’m very much on the verge of being normal and I’m getting annoyed with having to baby myself. Knowing that I’m not physically able to go for a long walk, or clean up, or lift things is hard to wrap my head around. The good news is that tomorrow I’ll have finally reached the first two weeks and will start feeling better and better. 

Day 14 Notes:

  • Woke up feeling very good and normal.
  • I ended up spending the whole day out with Matt again. As the day went on I kept feeling worse and worse, just like yesterday. My nose kept feeling more stuffy, my nose was running constantly, I kept sniffing, and I felt dripping in the back of my throat. Finally we realized that Matt and I might actually be coming down with a cold!! It’s the absolute WORST time to get sick, since I can’t blow my nose another one or TWO weeks! I’m so bummed out that I’m starting to get sick right as I was getting better from the surgery. Also because I get chronic sinus infections, which sometimes end up lasting up to 2 or 3 months at a time (not kidding).
  • Still experiencing anxiety. I’ll occasionally end up on the verge of an anxiety attack that happens without any warning or trigger. Although the anxiety is slowly getting better, it still happens. The anxiety is so strong and overwhelming that I started carrying Alazropam in case it happens while I’m in public or gets so bad that I can’t get control of it. 
  • Physically my nose hasn’t hurt or bothered me once today.
  • Tip of nose appears to be less swollen today.
  • Bruising is still hanging on for dear life.

Day 15 Notes:

I was only planning on doing daily notes until the two week mark, but since I had to call the office today and talk to the nurse, I thought I should pass on information that they shared…

  • I explained to the nurse that I caught a cold, and since I was a child my colds turn into chronic sinus infections that can last up to two or three months at a time. I was worried about what to do if I had to blow my nose and I was afraid that this would impact my results if I ended up sneezing or needing to blow my nose. She said that I should try to hold out as long as possible because Dr. Davis gives people the go ahead to blow their nose around 3.5 weeks. BUT if I absolutely need too, I should only blow my nose in the shower and without manipulating the outside of my nose. I have to let the stream loosen up the mucus naturally and make the inside of my nose moist so I won’t need to use a lot of pressure to blow my nose. She said I also should make sure that I’m using my saline 24/7 to keep the inside of my nose from drying out and to help the mucus come out .
  • Another thing that she also warned me about is that in the next week I might have scabbing on the inside of my nose start to come out. It could either fall out of the front of my nose along with the ends of the stitches or down the back of my throat along with mucus. She warned me that it’s absolutely disgusting, but she didn’t want me to be surprised when it happened. 
  • Other than that I still have bruises.
  • Now that it’s no longer the weekend I don’t have to be out running errands with Matt today, I plan on spending the day in bed working on the blog and getting some rest.

Week 3 Notes:

  • Some yellow bruises STILL hanging around.
  • I’m getting really, really tired of sleeping elevated and find myself cheating a bit by slightly turning over on my side to get comfortable.

Post- Op Appointment Notes: The nurse and Dr. Davis both said everything looked like it was healing perfectly, which is wonderful news! Dr. Davis describes a rhinoplasty as a moving target. You have to constantly check in on it to make sure that the recovery is moving in the right direction. 

My nose is leaning left today though. This could happen because the nose could heal slightly differently on each side or because a certain side could be more swollen for various reasons like if I slept on one side more. That’s why some days my nose looks perfectly straight, some days it leans to the left, and some days it leans to the right. Dr. Davis also told me that in the future (around week 4 or 5)  I might have to do nose “exercises” which he calls them. This is just when I gently hold the tip of my nose over to the opposite side it’s leaning and hold it there (with no pressure) for 30 seconds to one minute. This helps train the nose so that it heals perfectly straight.

Dr. Davis also said that he could tell I was being good by not exercising or elevating my heart rate. If I had, my nose would have been much more swollen today. But my swelling has gone down a good amount since my surgery. The other good news that I got is that I can FINALLY blow my nose (in the shower) as long as I don’t move or manipulate the outside of my nose. There’s not as much of a risk now of me displacing the cartilage as long as I’m super gentle about it and do it the way the nurse described. He also reminded me that although the tip of my nose is very hard and stiff, it will shrink and relax over time.

Then at the end of my appointment, Dr. Davis did something crazy where he put on glasses with a flashlight on them, got out some medical tools, and went up into my nose to remove the boogers. I can’t even tell you how horrifying and bizarre that was to see what’s really hiding up inside your nose! But he had to do that because your nose gets so congested from a rhinoplasty, and otherwise, what’s stuck up there wouldn’t come out for weeks!

Week 4 Notes: 

  • My bruises are gone !!!!!! FINALLY!
  • I’m still super congested.
  • I’m now beyond annoyed with having to sleep at a 45 degree angle still. I haven’t slept normally and comfortably in so long.
  • It’s still very difficult to remind myself that I’m not healed and still in recovery. Things that I could normally do without a problem I have to be very cautious to not go overboard. 
  • I’m having tons of sneezing and allergies! And this fun thing keeps happening all day, where whenever I sneeze (even though it’s through my mouth) it loosens everything up and there goes the next 10 minutes that I have to spend blowing my nose and attempting to clean it out. 
  • My stitches are still hanging around on the inside of the nose.
  • I feel basically normal again, so much that this week I got to go to Cincinnati for a long weekend and be a tourist! That problem is no longer happening where I slowly feel worse throughout the day. I was able to walk around a bit, see different stores and museums, and go to the Blink Festival without feeling bad at the end of the day. 

Week 5 Notes:

  • It’s the end of week 5 and I’m an OVER sleeping elevated. At this point I cheat constantly. For as long as I can remember, I have only ever been able to sleep on my sides or on my stomach, so 5+ weeks of not sleeping well has really caught up to me and affected my mood.
  • Another development in the recovery is that the inside of my nose is extremely itchy all the time.

Post-Op Appointment Notes: I’m not exactly at week 6 right now, because I’m at the end of week five, but today is my 6-week post op appointment to check in with my recovery again. 

Dr. Davis was mostly checking to see how the bones feel and how the light trail looked on my nose. He said everything is perfect. I’m especially excited about noticing my “light trail” on my nose today since I can see that it’s perfectly straight! Because I used to model so much, I was familiar with how my light trail was screwed up before. It would always look crooked and there were bumps and imperfections in my bones and cartilage that would cause the light trail to be choppy and have a bunch of shadows. It’s the little things like that which make a huge difference in people’s appearance. Also because my nose is so straight today, he told me that I didn’t have to do the exercises that we talked about during our last appointment.

Dr. Davis also informed me that I can now go back to being normal again and working out again. He just wanted me to understand that it is still not entirely healed. According to him, my nose is 80% healed so if he punched me and broke my nose it would require 20% less pressure. 

He also shared that it’s normal for my nose to feel very itchy and have symptoms like allergies. My nose will still be extremely stiff for up to 6 months and maybe even a year or a year and a half. Dr. Davis says that the length of recovery is the worst part of a rhinoplasty because the healing process is so dragged out. It takes a VERY long time for the tip of the nose to relax.

The one thing that is a bit concerning about my healing is that my nose is much more shallow in the center while the top of my nose closer to my brows is wider. It’s more shallow than normal so Dr. Davis said he’s going to keep an eye on that. He shared with me that during the surgery he did cartilage grafting on that part of my nose. To do this, he basically took little broken pieces of cartilage and placed them along that part of my nose so it would blend together. However this shouldn’t be a problem with the healing and can actually be a good thing.

Dr. Davis informed me that when the tip of the nose starts to relax, some of the volume is pushed back up the nose along the cartilage and creates a more even look. (This always happens, it’s just the way it heals). For that reason, if my cartilage was thicker in the center of my nose and matched the bridge of my nose now, it could actually become a problem later because that will only get bigger when the tip of the nose relaxes.

Moving forward, he informed me that there’s tons of “tricks” they can do to correct any issues in healing like mine to ensure the nose recovers with the look we’re going for. For example, he could do a steroid injection on the tip of my nose at 6 months if it’s super tight and still not relaxing or shrinking. This will speed that process up. Then if the center is still shallow, he can do an injection that he described to me as a “bone paste.” It’s essentially a permanent filler that will harden along the cartilage to even it out so it’s perfectly smooth. 

When I asked him about why I still had stitches inside of my nose that weren’t disintegrating, he said that he uses 2 types of stitches – one of them dissolves like what he used on my septum and those are gone. The other kind he uses are semi-permanent and will stay in my nose for close to a year to keep it in place so it heels properly. However, many other surgeons use permanent stitches inside the nose that never come out. For that reason, when he does revision rhinoplastys he tends to come across small pieces of blue and purple stitches. 

Two rules that he gave me were to avoid the sun and NOT wear glasses unless they are completely pushed up to the top of my nose and not sliding down. If I wore glasses any lower if could mess up the cartilage or create indents in my skin because my face and nose still are slightly swollen.

Dr. Davis also said I could work out again now because I work out “like a normal person.” The only problems he has with people working out past the 6-week mark is when it comes to athletes. It’s ok to go back to the gym at 6 weeks, however an athlete’s idea of “going back to the gym” is problematic and can still ruin the results. The key is exercise in MODERATION. Training for triathlons, running marathons or half marathons, double or triple exercises a day, or doing obstacle courses is not considered to be a moderate exercise. The average workout with some weights, jogging, and conditioning is ok. 

When it comes to working out, he also warned me that it may make my nose appear swollen and bigger again. Even more interesting than that, so could my diet and lifestyle! He said that if I went out one night ate a bunch of greasy and salty fast food and drank more, then I would see swelling too. I thought that was odd, but I guess it makes sense. 

During this appointment, I asked him LOTS of questions repeatedly like, “Is it ok if I work out?” It was like I was afraid the answer would change and I had to be absolutely sure. Over and over he told me I was completely able to go back to my normal life after week six. But I’m not the only patient that gets paranoid like this during their post-op appointments. Dr. Davis told me, “the problem is that I create sort of emotionally handicapped people when it comes to their nose.” He wants people to take recovery seriously so he overwhelms them with guidelines and rules of what to do and what not to do because he knows that people will be relaxed, and cheat, and get sloppy or slack off here and there. He has to create a bit of a panic so people are careful and he can protect his work. Unfortunately, by the end of the six weeks people are so scared about ruining their results that it takes them a few weeks to calm down and relax again.

Week 6 Notes:

  • I finally made it through week 6 and thank goodness! It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time either because we’re moving and the next 48 hours is going to be chaotic.
  • The itching went away for the most part.
  • I finally feel like I’m more normal now.
  • The only time my nose hurts is if I touch the tip of it, it’s tender and I can feel the stitches a bit. The tip of the nose is still very hard, but the swelling has gone down a ton.
  • I’m now sleeping on my side again which feels so amazing, I can’t even tell you. I still avoid sleeping on my stomach though, because it would hurt anyways and I really don’t want to push it. 
  • I’m so happy to get back to normal life, my blog has lost a lot of steam during my recovery and I haven’t been in the mindset to create during the last 6 weeks. I felt terrible, I wasn’t sleeping well, and I had tons of bruises that make me not want to leave the house. It feels so good to be out and just be a normal human being again, not a patient.

3 Months Post Surgery Notes:

  • The tip of my nose is still very hard but it has shrunk.
  • My nose doesn’t hurt at all anymore, but the inside of my nostrils is still incredibly itchy.
  • The semi-permanent stitches are still in and are just as thick and pointing as they were 3 months ago and I’m worried that they will never go away.
  • I’m still avoiding wearing regular glasses or sunglasses so there aren’t indents on my nose but I don’t care all that much because it feels uncomfortable and hurts when I wear glasses anyways.

3 Month Post-Op Appointment Notes: My nose is healing just fine, but today it is turning left a little bit. Dr. Davis wants me to be hyper aware of my nose and whether it’s straight or leaning each day. If it is leaning, I should do the exercise he taught me to help stretch out the side that’s shortened. He also told me that at the 6 month appointment, he may do a few things to it like injections if he finds that my nose needs it. For now we just have to let the tip loosen up and wait for some of the volume to disperse around my cartilage.

4 Months Post Surgery Notes:

  • The tip of my nose feels much more normal again. It seemed to happen all at once. One day I just touched my nose and it didn’t feel hard and stiff anymore. I’m also able to move my nose back and forth if I have tickle or anything like that.
  • My stitches inside my nose have been disintegrating more and more in the last month which makes me really happy to see. As these little things correct themselves, it’s nice to have my nose slowly take up less energy and space in my mind. For years (and especially during the recovery) my nose and how I felt about it was always at the front of my mind.
  • My nose is still slightly swollen and round at the tip which you mostly see from the profile now, but not straight on. 
  • I am now finally exercising regularly now that I’m not scared of ruining my nose and now that life has finally calmed now. It feels SO good!
  • The one thing that still irritates me is how itchy the inside of my nostrils are. That part still never went away!

Takeaways From My Rhinoplasty Recovery

There you have it. That was my full recovery experience. And trust me, I know that was a lot. But I wrote this post specifically for the women that I’ve talked to who also want to get a rhinoplasty done. It’s written so you can understand exactly how my day to day went, how I felt mentally and physically throughout the entire experience, and what I learned along the way. The whole point was to create this post to help people understand what they can expect from this procedure ahead of time. That way, if you’re about to go under the knife, it would be less scary because you’ll be mentally prepared for the next 6 weeks.

That being said, I know that was a lot of information, so I want to leave you with a few takeaways that I feel are the most important lessons from my recovery. 

Takeaway 1: The physical part of recovery is easy. 

It may surprise you when I say this, but recovery went much better than I thought it would in many ways, BUT it also was much worse than I thought it would be at the same time. When I went into this I was expecting so much physical pain and thought that I would even experience regret for putting myself through this. But it turns out that the recovery was MUCH harder mentally and emotionally than it was physically.

For 6 weeks, I felt like a zombie and wasn’t myself. I felt extremeley emotional and depressed during recovery and started to get upset with myself because I wasn’t getting a lot done professionally. I was cooped up and not doing much of anything because I couldn’t risk ruining my results. During that time I took notes on mainly physical things because that’s what I set out to capture, but I was shocked that the hardest part of this all was my mentality. Going through 6 weeks of recovery, seeing yourself bruised and swollen, not being able to go outside, not being able to move or behave normally, or even sleep normally made those 6 weeks feel like 12. To anyone interested in getting a rhinoplasty, be very aware that this process is challenging mentally and emotionally too. Make sure that you have TONS of support and are in a good headspace going into this procedure. 

Takeaway 2: You’ll need someone’s help! 

I can honestly say that I would have never ever ever been able to do this surgery alone. Matt took care of me every moment of every day for virtually 2 weeks straight. He washed my hair, he gave me my pills, he fed me, he helped me get comfortable, he cleaned my stitches, and he ran errands for me. If it wasn’t for Matt, I would have been screwed. I wouldn’t have been able to take care of myself if I had lived alone.

I know that many women are very adamant that they don’t need help after cosmetic surgery and even make the decision to be alone all week after a rhinoplasty. I have no idea how they would do that, and I don’t recommend that to anyone. But I will say that one of the best things that came out of this experience is that it brought Matt and I even closer together. We both felt that it helped us grow as a couple since one of us had to take care of the other. I remember that Matt seemed oddly happy at random times when he would be cleaning my stitches or helping me get comfortable and would express to me that he liked how intimate the experience was. It reminded me of what it was like moving in together for the first time and us being brought even closer together and knowing each other on a deeper level. 

Takeaway 3: The hardest part is not doing anything

The next takeaway that I want to stress is when recovering from this type of surgery, you have to be very committed to your healing by being super low-key. Which means you can’t do anything that could risk causing damage like putting a tight shirt over your head, going for a walk, leaning down to pick something out – but the biggest one… you can’t work out!

NEVER has my body ever felt more stiff and terrible in my life. I had knots so big that my calves would sometimes have a spasm. It was amazing just how quickly your body can go downhill in a few weeks of being bedridden. So to any ATHLETES out there wanting to get a nose job, listen up! There will be no CrossFit, no marathons, no races, no triathlons, no obstacle course, no bike rides, no hiking, not even walking. And even then, once you get through the initial 6 weeks, you still have to take it easy and not work out the way that you’re used to. I’ll admit, I’m a pretty lazy person and a natural home body, and I struggled with this the most. This part of the recovery is not something that you can slack on unless you want to have to get a revision rhinoplasty. 

Takeaway 4: Don’t close on a house 3 days after your surgery

In fact, don’t make any other big life changes that could distract you from your healing. Moving and getting surgery are stressful enough on their own, but to do them at the same time is a whole other beast. I wasn’t able to help out in lifting, moving, house projects, etc. Yet, all of that still had to get done, which meant that the things I could do I had to do very slowly and very carefully. The rest of it Matt had to take care of with the help of his dad and his best friend.

We also had an instance where someone (who shall remain nameless) took photos of him closing on the house without me being in them. I had so much anger and rage inside of me that I can’t even describe it to you. There also was the matter of dealing with a bathroom renovation and having to go pick out every detail in the store while still healing. That’s why I had so many days with Matt where I came home feeling sick and exhausted. I still had to be out on my feet all day making difficult decisions and going from store to store so that out bathroom could be completed on the weekend my recovery was coming to an end and we were moving into our new home.

I personally think that any additional stress you put on yourself at this time makes the recovery so much more difficult. So if you’re also getting a rhinoplasty, don’t schedule it before a big trip, before a big move or any other deadline. Avoid anything that will make you feel tense and anxious, including certain people or activities. Give yourself the freedom to heal in peace. You will be so happy that you did.

Thank you for coming to Lost Online!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and took something away from it that will either help you going into surgery or help you understand what people go through when recovering from a cosmetic procedure like this one. I want to talk about this experience as openly and honestly as possible so that cosmetic procedures don’t have to feel so taboo or secretive any more.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the next blogs in this series including my RESULTS and a Q&A from all of my readers, followers, and friends. If you have any questions yourself please reach out to me over email or Instagram @heather.ione and I will respond to you as fast as I can!

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that “+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

ANNOUNCEMENT: We got a dog!

Announcements

*Currently writing this blog post with one hand because a puppy is nibbling on the other!*

Yes, it finally happened! Matt and I are officially dog parents and I’m so happy to introduce our furbaby, Nova, to you!

It’s so crazy being here now. Back when Matt and I were dating in college, we used to always dream about our future together. We’d talk about how amazing it would be to have our own home, how we would decorate, how we would spend our weekends, and the trips we would take. But above all, we talked about how much we wanted a dog.

There was nothing in the world we wanted more than a four-legged fur baby that we could snuggle up with together. For as long as we’ve known each other we’ve been saving photos of different dog breeds and brainstorming names. Were we a bit obsessed? Maybe. But who cares. We’re DOG PEOPLE.

Anyways, we talked about this FOREVER and tried our best to ignore all the haters who tried to ruin our dream by sharing all of the reasons why we “shouldn’t get a dog.” (Side note: no one ever tells you that you shouldn’t have a baby. Why do we do this to each other when someone says they want a puppy?)

BUT, we knew that whenever the day came when we had our own yard, a puppy would be in our very near future. And here she is, our ferocious little puppy, Nova Rutski who is currently having what I call “the zoomies” and running back and forth across the living room as fast as she possibly can. Welcome to the family, Nova.

Puppy Motherhood

We got Nova when she was just 6 weeks old and weighed just 4.9 pounds! Annnddd, now I have to go pull her away from the molding she’s chewing on. 

Today, Nova is 12 weeks old and having her for just 6 weeks has already been such an experience. The first 2 weeks were the toughest. Matt and I were both pretty nervous. For the first time in our lives, we had another life to be responsible for! I mean I used to be a pet sitter and a nanny for a few years, but I would say goodbye at the end of the night or the end of the week when the parents and owners would come home. Instead, we are now responsible for another life for over a decade! And now I have to take Nova outside because I can tell she’s about to have an accident, brb.

So to be honest, as excited as we were, we were also very on edge. On top of that, Matt had to leave on a week-long work trip the day after we got her! Let me tell you, I got zero sleep that week.

But I didn’t care. Instantly, I loved her so much. I loved her puppy breath, her spots, how her eyes are different from each other. And most of all, I loved the… and I left her alone for one minute and she destroyed the zipper on her crate.

Whelp, I was going in a certain direction with this blog post today, but I guess it’s time to scratch that. I am writing this blog post in real-time while Nova is bouncing back and forth between being the sweetest and most cuddly puppy in the world, to being a literal monster. Nova is what Matt described as a real-life Sour Patch Kid – first she’s sour and then she’s sweet.

So I guess that’s the point that I’m trying to make with this blog post today. I love this little puppy more than anything, but she drives me insane. She makes me feel so loved and yet sometimes I think she’s intentionally destroying the things that I care about on purpose. I just want to sleep in, yet I’m thankful for getting to wake up early and take care of her.

Thank goodness, now she’s napping. 

There are holes from her teeth in my favorite $110 Lululemon yoga pants, but so much love in my heart. My favorite rugs are chewed up in the corners and we have to move them into the garage, but I have a smile on my face whenever I look at her. I can’t leave the house and go anywhere, yet I also don’t want to. 

THIS is puppy motherhood.

Despite the constant biting, and gnawing, and chewing, and holes in every piece of clothing or sock she can find, I’ve never been so relaxed, happy, and anxiety-free. Matt and I noticed that after just 3 weeks of having her, our stress and anxiety level dropped so much. We weren’t constantly in our own heads and worrying about something. It was like having this new little life to take care of brought us more clarity, focus, and peace of mind. The routine and responsibility that comes with taking care of someone else along with that feeling of unconditional love when your puppy is so excited that you just came home are amazing.

Oh crap, she wasn’t actually sleeping. Oh well, it’s her lunchtime anyways.

Back to writing… nope, I have to take her out again.

Ok, now back to writing. Awwww, she’s being so cute playing with her ball right now. The ball just went under the couch and she went after it. All you can see are her little paws sticking out. It kind of looks like when the witch from the Wizard of Oz got a house dropped on her.

Now she’s out from under the couch and chewing on the Christmas tree. I give up. Welcome to the family Nova, I love you. 

Thanks for coming to Lost Online

I hope you enjoyed this chaotic blog post about the newest member of our little family! You’ll be seeing SO much more of our little sour patch puppy in the future. Please send us a prayer that we survive Nova’s puppyhood and leave some of your puppy training knowledge in the comments below! We could use it!

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that “+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

Health is a Vehicle, NOT a Destination

Health & Wellness

Through my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I came across a quote from the school’s founder, Joshua Rosenthal, that has stuck with me ever since.

“Health is a vehicle, not a destination.”

I think this idea that Joshua has is so important to spread because today we live in a time where everyone is a know-it-all when it comes to health. You see articles and blogs every day that say things like “10 Steps to Better Health,” “45 Ways to Make Your Home Healthier,” “7 Superfoods to Add to Your Grocery List,” “5 Supplements to Take to Improve Your Health.” In reality, these people aren’t experts. Everyone is really just recommending their own specific formula of food, exercise, and supplementation that works for them. 

In all this confusion, new nutrition knowledge appears every year, new health products come onto the market, and new health advice is thrown into the mix. And here we are, just trying to make some sense out of it!

Plus with the thousands of content sources that show photoshopped images of fitness models, influencers, and bloggers out there it’s easy to get obsessed about what you need to do to be healthy. When you combine the crazy popularity of “lifestyle” articles and content in recent years, all of the nutrition confusion, and the constant barrage of ultra-toned models, there’s so much pressure to be “healthy.” Perfectly healthy, I might add.

But perfect health should not be the end goal. 

If you have any plans for the future – having kids, getting a new job, starting a business, getting married, traveling – you will need your health to get you there. But happiness and life fulfillment don’t fall into your lap once you walk through magical golden gates to the land of perfect health.

Health is very important, but we shouldn’t just stop there. Health is what allows us to be active in the world. However, the problem is that most people don’t think of health in this way. They don’t view their physical health as a vehicle to greater things in life. Instead, people tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to how they approach their health and wellness.

Group One: Those who KNOW they need to make health a priority and don’t.

The first group of people that I’m going to talk about are the people who constantly say things like: 

  • “I should workout”
  • “I should eat better”
  • “I should take vitamins”
  • “I should go to the doctor”
  • “I should go to the dentist”
  • “I should drink more water”
  • “I should drink less alcohol”
  • “I should stop eating so much junk food”
  • “I should eat more fruits and veggies”

SHOULD is the keyword here.

These people aren’t completely happy with their bodies and constantly think about how they need to improve and what they “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing. Maybe they even feel guilty for it and it affects their self-confidence. 

This happens because while people understand what they have to do to improve their health, it’s another thing to actually do it. They get stuck in habits or stuck in a rut and can’t seem to pull themselves out of it. It can feel impossible to undo years worth of habits that were slowly created. So getting healthy again, losing weight, and changing nutrition feels as difficult as climbing Mount Everest.

This is not because some of these people are any weaker, but because they lack the motivation, accountability, and support that they need to make these changes. More importantly, they often lack the understanding of how to create small steps each week that will bring about the big results.

That’s why you can see people going all out for one week with healthy habits, and then dropping them as quickly as they started and falling back into old behaviors: fried chicken, excess alcohol, Netflix binging, smoking, junk food, etc. 

Group Two: Those who are constantly trying to be healthier and healthier.

Now group two is on the other side of the spectrum. These people are on a quest for perfect health! These people try to eat healthier, and healthier, and healthier, and healthier, and healthier!

I’m sure you know some of these people too:

  • The give up dairy, gluten, and soy
  • They might not drink
  • They swore off sugar and caffeine
  • They make smoothies and juices every morning
  • The go vegan
  • They take supplements
  • They constantly know random food facts
  • They buy organic
  • They only drink alternative milk

These people are going to die in perfect health if it’s the last thing they do. (Do you see the issue there?)

While these people are ultra health-conscious, this behavior isn’t much better. There’s a point where people can get too strict about being healthy to the point where it ruins the fun. Our food is incorporated so much into our primary foods like relationships, home environment, and joy, that it often holds people back by making their life less satisfying when they’re overly strict and concerned about diet.

This is why in recent years there’s been an entirely new eating disorder that came to light called orthorexia nervosa, which is characterized by an excessive preoccupation with eating healthy food.

Now, not everyone from group two is orthorexic! But, the point is that some people eat very healthy and are miserable. This way of thinking completely ignores the entire reason for being healthy in the first place. To think that there’s a correlation between perfect health and being happy is missing the entire point of why we take care of our physical body.

The goal isn’t to get perfectly healthy. You’re not suddenly going to be greeted by the Gods of Health as you’re making your smoothie in the morning to tell you that you’ve done everything right and you’re now part of a group of the elite, ultra-healthy people on the planet. Nor is life going to get better because you decided to be stricter with yourself by giving up sugar or gluten.

The Truth About Health

Not everyone falls into two specific groups like this, but many people do exist in these two groups – one of them ignoring their health and the other one being overly concerned about it. Neither one of these lifestyles is good for us. You can’t boycott healthy behavior because it seems difficult as much as you can’t swing the other way and let leading a “healthy” life control you. Both behaviors are UN-healthy.

Even if you’re at the 86th percentile of health, that’s wonderful! Work out several days a week and eat well 80% of the time, and you’re doing fantastic. Pat yourself on the back, because you’re doing a great job.

Health is extremely important but it’s not the end goal. Health a vehicle to everything else in life that you want: better relationships, financial freedom, happy memories, plenty of travel, a fulfilling career, and more. Health is what helps you get to all of those other places, it’s NOT the destination.

If you’re extremely sick and unhealthy if affects every single aspect of your life and puts a strain on you. If you’re overly strict about your diet, then it takes fun, joy, and spontaneity out of other areas of your life. However, if you’re in good health, it affects all of the other aspects of your life for the better!

You feel better, you look better, you can be more productive, you can have a fulfilling life, and you can feel well enough to work on your bucket list.

Think about it like this: Every day you get in your car and you drive to work, to the store, to coffee dates, to your chiropractor, etc. You’re in and out of your car all day long getting to your destination. And while you’re in your car, you don’t even think about your car! You’re thinking about other things, or where you’re going, or the rest of your day. Your mind is completely freed up while your vehicle effortlessly takes you to your destination.

Now, what if instead of your car effortlessly getting you to your destination, your tire popped or your engine wouldn’t start? What then?

You would be stuck! You wouldn’t be able to do anything that you set out to do that day, and all of your energy would be put toward dealing with your car so that you can get back to your intentions. 

Our health is just like that. Everything we do in life we do because our physical body is healthy, allowing us the freedom to do what we want. Once our health is taken away, we can’t do anything. We need our health for strength to get us to our true destinations.

By viewing our health as a vehicle to greater things in life, these two groups of people that millions of us exist in, can finally thrive and find a happy medium. They can learn to take care of their health–mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually–to achieve their goals and find their happiness.

Creating a Grassroots Movement 

However, this type of mentality is going to take a while to change, because as we all know, it’s going to come from doctors, or our government, or the food industry. It has to come from all of us, working together to better ourselves and supporting each other to do so.

No one is going to come to save us and force us to engage in healthy behavior. On top of that, we have companies making billions of dollars off of us being sick. One of my favorite quotes is by Wendell Berry and it illustrates this point perfectly:

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.”

SO, we have to work together to make sure that we are taking the steps needed to live a happy and healthy life. Whether that’s by finally paying attention to our health OR by relaxing and not being overly strict with ourselves. 

How do we do this? By creating support, accountability, and motivation for each other.

Because not only do we have all of these additional challenges as I mentioned before, BUT health is often something that people have to deal with all on their own. Have you noticed that when you have a health concern, no one talks to you about it? No one monitors you or asks you how your health is, or if you’re ok, or if you need help. No one calls you up and asks you what your wellness goals are and supports you in that transition. No one checks in with you after making a new year’s resolution to see how you’re doing getting back to the gym or cutting out junk food.

That’s the problem! Health is such a private issue that we don’t talk about it and don’t receive any help with it. Yet we ALL struggle with it one way or another!

This needs to be changed above anything. We all need to find someone to talk to about our health concerns and keep us accountable to engage in healthy behavior. We shouldn’t be working at it completely alone. We’ve been doing that for years, and it hasn’t helped!

By doing this (one relationship at a time), it will create a grassroots movement around the world and slowly change the way we look at health and our entire food industry and health care system. It has the potential to change the world and put a stop to this global health crisis that we’re in. But only if enough of us do it.

How do we create a grassroots movement?

We can create this grassroots movement together, simply by connecting and making our health a priority together. Here’s how:

1. Health and Accountability Coaching

The first thing that I recommend is working with a holistic health and accountability coach like me.

It’s incredible how having one person there as your cheerleader and accountability buddy gives you the push to finally make the changes you’ve been talking about for so long. Because while many people know what they should be doing for their health and wellbeing, they are often overwhelmed by the amount of change they need to create in their lives and need assistance and accountability in implementing small lifestyle changes (one at a time) – that’s where I come in.

As a holistic health coach, I take a full-body approach to health and wellness. I understand that every single aspect of our lives nurtures us, from the food on our plates, to our finances and relationships, to the amount of joy we have in our lives. If even one aspect of our lives is out of whack, we’re off balance and unable to be our best selves. 

I provide that one-on-one connection, support, and encouragement that you need in meeting your personal wellness goals. I also guide you on how to gradually implement new habits so that they are sustainable. 

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION WITH ME.

2. Accountability buddies 

The second way we can create a grassroots movement and improve health globally by working with an accountability buddy. As I mentioned above, one of the major flaws in the way we look at health is that it’s viewed as a private issue and that people are left to struggle with their health goals and alignments without any help. Eventually, they have no choice but to turn to doctors who only prescribe pills, ignore the root cause of the health concern, and look at the human body as separate parts.

A holistic health coach does help with this tremendously. Honestly, having a coach in any aspect of your life is highly beneficial. However, it’s important to have other people in your life act as your cheerleaders, support system and accountability buddies too. Because we shouldn’t always have to always pay for support, right? We want to create several personal relationships that fulfill us and push us to be better.

The more you can expand your network with health-minded people who want to help each other, the better you will feel and the faster you will see improvements in your life. For example, I have my own health coach, but I also have an accountability buddy for my nutrition school homework who is also an herbalist and DoTerra advocate. We help each other with school and she’s helping me heal my leaky gut. 

But this doesn’t just go for health too, it’s the same for every single aspect of our lives. For example, I have a business coach who has helped me in so many ways. On top of that, I’m also in a business-centered book club and support group with other young, female entrepreneurs. I also have a friend who is my business accountability buddy! We now call each other every morning, Monday-Friday at 9 a.m. to share what our intentions and affirmations are for the day. Additionally, I now attend networking events around my area.

If we really want to improve ourselves and our communities, we can’t do it alone. Period. We must expand our network as much as possible and find people that we trust to provide us that one-on-one support and accountability. Talking with several people about your health is going to be much more helpful.

3. Support groups 

The next way we can change our mindset about health and create this grassroots movement is by setting up or attending support groups as I mentioned in the last point. It doesn’t matter what your health goals or concerns are, there’s a support group for that! If you’re struggling with a health concern, there’s a conference about it, a Facebook page about it, or a support group for it! And if you’re looking to improve your health in any way, there are tons of groups for it. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to lose weight, train for a marathon, quit drinking, practice yoga, etc. – There is a group for that!

A half an hour spent searching through all the Facebook groups in St. Petersburg, Fla., and I found several group dinners that people hold, vegan potlucks, running groups, and yoga meetups. Another half an hour scan on Eventbrite and I found tons of spiritual events, special interest and hobby groups, health and wellness-based workshops and more.

This is where you will find that support that you’re looking for, and by the way, they won’t always be labeled as “support groups.” The support group I’m in is called a “book club,” and honestly we hardly ever bring up the book! We spend the entire time venting, brainstorming, and helping each other.

Get out of your comfort zone and attend groups like this in your area, because that’s where you’re going to connect with people who have similar interests as you and form those strong bonds with each other. And if you can’t find one, make one.

Recently, I found myself being bummed out that I didn’t have people to talk about the Law of Attraction with and it’s such a big part of my life. I wished I could sit down and talk about it in-depth, but where the hell do you find a group that meets up and spends hours talking about manifestation? So, I made one. I made an event that’s being held in January called the Manifestation Meetup, and I plan on holding it once a month in the new year to bring people together who are interested in this topic. 

4. Wellness events 

The last piece of advice that I believe we can use to change our mindset about health and improve this global health crisis is by putting on and attending wellness events. This one is similar to the support groups, but not as intimate. This is on a larger scale.

By creating and attending large wellness events we can raise consciousness and spread the message of holistic health and balanced living on a larger scale. And possibly, spread this message with people wouldn’t typically hear about it.

What better way to create a grassroots movement than by getting thousands of people together to talk about holistic health and wellness, share stories, share products, and exchange information? 

Thanks for Coming to Lost Online!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post about how health is a vehicle, not a destination and how we can create a grassroots movement to change our individual health, and understanding of health and wellness on a larger scale. 

These steps I shared with you will help all of us to vocalize our health concerns, our stumbling blocks, and wellness goals. And that freedom to finally talk to people openly about our health is what’s going to create that accountability and support needed to make lifestyle changes for real

I encourage you to get out of your bubble (starting right now, in this new year and new decade) and understand that you do not have to be alone when it comes to your health and wellness journey. 

DON’T stay stuck in those two groups I talked about! Set up a free health history consultation with me to talk about your goals and concerns, seek out accountability buddies, and attend local groups or wellness events to expand your network and find people who will push to be better.

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION WITH ME.

As always, let me know what you think in the comments! Do you fall into group one or group two when it comes to your lifestyle behaviors? Why do you think that is? Have you viewed health as a destination up until this point? Do you agree that health is a vehicle? How else can we create a grassroots movement to change our behavior and misunderstandings about health?

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that “+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

Fear is a Compass: Everything You Want is on the Other Side of Fear

Self-Help

Fear. I know it all too well. And I’m willing to bet that you do too because every single one of us is terrified of something.

And it SUCKS, right? Don’t you just hate feeling scared? In my opinion, there’s nothing more unpleasant than the feeling of fear. Because when you’re afraid of something, your mind decides to play this little game where it comes up with a million possible outcomes of all of the different ways you’re going to fail, or suck, or disappoint, or even die! You get caught up in the perpetual loop of all the worst possible outcomes, and before you know it, there’s no possible outcome in your mind otherthan the worst-case scenario. 

The thought, “I want to quit my job to start a business,” turns into, “Oh my gosh, I’ll end up running out of money, I’ll be broke, I’ll end up homeless, my friends and family will disown me, I’ll have no one, I’ll be filled with regret for the rest of my life, I’ll get sick and die alone, no one will even remember that I was here, etc.”

Before you know it, a simple thought of quitting your job has turned into this loop that you’ve been stuck in with all of the possible, horrible outcomes that could end up happening to you.

In this blog post, I’m going to change your mind about fear for good. I’m going to convince you why fear is actually your best friend and why you should follow it as if it were a compass! Most importantly, I’m going to teach you how you can let go of fear’s hold on you so you can move forward and do the things that make you happy – without getting trapped in that fearful loop in your head.

Disclaimer: I just want to let you know that I’m not talking about rational fears. I’m not telling you to walk down an alley alone at night because the thought of doing so scares you. I’m not telling you to drive fast and furiously down the highway weaving through cars because it sounds scary. I don’t want anyone being reckless because of my blog posts.

Today, I’m talking about those icky, unpleasant fears that cause you anxiety as you’re going about your everyday life and hold you back from pursuing the things that make you happy. Things like starting a business or traveling the world. 

You know what I’m talking about, right? These fears:

  • “What will people think of me if I ___(insert your dream here)___?” 
  • “What if I fail?”
  • “What if I disappoint my parents?”
  • “What if I can’t get a job because I took a sabbatical and no one will ever want to hire me again?”
  • “What if I lose all my money?”
  • “What if this is a huge mistake?”
  • “What if I die alone?”
  • “What if I regret this decision?”
  • “What if they think I’m a fraud?”
  • “What if I don’t amount to anything?”

I’m talking about the fears that center around failure, rejection, and loneliness because those fears often require us to follow our hearts and go against what society or family tells us we’re “supposed to” do. I’m talking about the fears that we allow to control our day and the direction of our lives.

But first, Fear is Fabulous.

Now, because we ALLOW fear to control us and prevent us from moving forward, fear gets a bad rap. I hate it, you hate it, and it makes us feel terrible. BUT, fear is actually a fabulous thing for two reasons.

Reason Number One: It’s how our brain and biology keeps us safe from real danger.

When we are scared, everything that happens in our body occurs to keep us from getting hurt and keep us alive. The adrenal glands flood the body with adrenaline; the pupils dilate so we can take in more light and see more of our surroundings; our heart rate increases so that more blood gets to our muscles; we breathe faster to take in more oxygen; the blood flow decreases in our frontal lobe as adrenaline in the amygdala allows us to react purely on INSTINCT rather than through planning and logic.

It’s amazing when you break it down and think about how many things happen in the body in such a short moment to keep us from getting hurt when there’s a very real danger present. So really, fear is an incredible thing! We’re so lucky to have it! Fear serves a purpose and isn’t evil or bad in any way. If we didn’t have it, humans wouldn’t have made it this far in history. I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post to you and you wouldn’t be reading it. So stop and take a moment to feel thankful that we even have this ability to feel fear.

Now, the reason why we tend to hate fear so much is that fewer PHYSICAL threats are happening to humans today. As we’ve evolved so many of the “threats” we encounter became more personal. That fear is still there, working in the exact same way, but now it comes up in times when we’re really not in danger. Like when we’re about to have a difficult conversation, when we’re able to speak in public, when our boss starts sending us passive-aggressive emails, or when we’re thinking of an approaching deadline.

That alone could be an entirely different blog post topic, but the reason why we’re here today is that fear also shows up to put the brakes on when it comes to pursuing our dreams… which brings me to my second reason.

Reason Number Two: Fear is like a compass pointing us in the direction of what we most want to (and have to) do in this lifetime.

The second reason why fear is fabulous is that it works like a compass, only instead of pointing north, it points you in the direction of what you want the most. Think about it for a moment – What terrifies you the most? I’m not asking what your worst nightmare is, here. I’m asking, what would scare you the most TO DO right now?

Many people think of things like starting their own business, writing a book, moving abroad, taking time off to travel, starting a project or hobby. It’s funny how the thing that we’re absolutely terrified of doing is actually the one thing that we want to do the most.

When I ask myself what I’m most terrified of, it’s pursuing my life-long dreams and everything that I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I could remember. Things like writing a book, starting a podcast, and starting my business. The things that I most want to do that would bring me the most joy, are simultaneously the things that scare the crap out of me and make me want to numb myself with a Netflix binge.

But this is again a GOOD thing. By noticing what scares you the most and causes you to get stuck in the fearful loop in your head, you’re able to clearly see what you want to do most and what you should be doing with your life. Once we learn to embrace that fear and use it as fuel, it allows us to move forward through uncertainty where we can truly grow. 

Everything You Want is on the Other Side of Fear

Moral of the story – fear isn’t a bad thing; allowing ourselves to be controlled by it is. But luckily for us, we have complete control over that. We can acknowledge the fear and move forward regardless of if it makes us uncomfortable. As difficult as that may be, it helps to remember all of the times when you stepped forward into fear throughout your life and did what you wanted to do anyway.

Haven’t you had some of those times? The times when you’ve taken a risk when you lost everything, where you pursued what you wanted to do over what felt comfortable? Think of some of them right now. Maybe it was the time back in high school where you pushed yourself to join the drama club even though it scared you. Maybe it was a time at your work where you asked to lead a project even though you were scared and doubted your capability. And aren’t you so freaking thankful that you did those things? They were pivotal moments in your life when you came into your own and took what you wanted in life. Your life changed for the better because of it.

You can do it again.

I believe that one of the reasons why people have so much stress and anxiety is because we’re not doing the things we want to do the most. We get trapped by our fear and bottle up our dreams year after year because we’re afraid they’ll lead us to rejection and failure if we pursued them. 

From my experience, stepping forward into fear to do what you love and pursue a dream is the best antidepressant in the world. Yes, there’s going to be uncertainty and there’s going to be confusion. But isn’t dealing with a little uncertainty worth it if you can be happy and have mental health?

If you allow fear to be a cage for you, rather than a compass, I promise you that your life is not going to be nearly as beautiful, enriching, and satisfying. And eventually, you’re going to look back filled with regret. 

So let me ask you a question from Mastin Kipp, the man who’s “Fear Fallacy” lecture inspired this blog post today…

“What if the quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with?”

-Mastin Kipp

I think this question sums everything up perfectly because the quality of our lives is directly related to how much uncertainty we have in it. It’s not about that ONE time that we choose to step out of our comfort zone, the real breakthrough happens when we learn to do this every day. When we learn to embrace uncertainty and risk and do the things that we want to anyways. It has to become a habit.

Think about this way: none of us really have CONTROL over anything. We can follow society’s and parents’ rules flawlessly, but what does that really do for us? Even if I did everything that I was “supposed to” do, I could still find out tomorrow that I have cancer and only have three months to live. The idea that we can control everything is make-believe. It doesn’t matter if you count your calories every day, wake up at 7 a.m. on the dot every morning, work out for exactly 40 minutes, spend your life slowly working up the corporate ladder, and always remember to send thank you notes after your birthday. Those things might make us FEEL in control, but in reality, we’re not.

So let’s embrace uncertainty anyways, and let go of this idea that if we stay inside our comfort zone life will be PERFECT. We’ll all be so much happier if we chose to embrace the uncertainty and step forward into fear because everything that we want is on the other side of it – a better relationship, a more fulfilling career, the vacation of our dreams, friends that are in alignment with us, and above all true HAPPINESS.

As I said on my “20 Facts About Me,” I’m a firm believer that the more you throw yourself outside of your comfort zone, the happier you will be.

Let go of fear’s hold on you

Now, you and I both know that me saying, “follow fear like a compass” or “throw yourself outside of your comfort zone,” is easier said than done. So, I’m going to share six tips with you that will help you to break the hold fear has over you.

Before we begin, you just have to get clear on what you’re most afraid of. Think about that thing that you really want to do, but you feel like if you do it people will be disappointed, or you’ll be unlovable, or you’ll be lost and confused. I know you have that one thing. Most of us have about five things. I’m sure you’ll have no difficulty in recalling what it is, but just in case this is something that you often fantasize about at work and stay up at night thinking about. 

Now, get out a notebook and write them down. Write down a bullet-pointed list of those 1-5 different things you’re scared to do. Then use the next six exercises to help you step forward into fear.

1. Ask yourself, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen?

One exercise that often helps is to imagine the absolute worst-case scenario and let it play out. But this time, instead of letting it play out in your head, say it OUT LOUD. I love this trick because when you let a terrible fantasy play out to completion and you actually SPEAK it out loud you realize just how far- fetched it is and just how unrealistic that worst-case scenario actually is.

It’s an exercise that my therapist had me do, and once I did it, I realized how ridiculous it was that me starting a blog and health coaching business would play out in my head until I would end up having to take a horrible job that I hated OR end up homeless. I literally felt as if me pursuing this dream was going to cause me to become homeless, and I believed it. UNTIL I shared all of this out loud. It suddenly occurred to me, the mind is SO DRAMATIC.

Because our mind tends to build things up. Every day, every week, and every year, we think about this thing until our minds turn it into a catastrophe. Eventually, we can’t even see just how distorted our perspective really is. We don’t even notice just how large we let this scenario become in our minds. Speaking the words brings it back into perspective. 

2. Ask yourself, is that really going to happen? 

Now ask yourself, “Ok, is that really going to happen?” No. Most of the things we spend our time worrying about NEVER happens.

I can confidently say that EVERY and ALL of the worst-case scenarios I’ve played out in my mind has never happened to me. Not once. 

Which reminds me, I was in a book club meeting one day at the yoga studio when one of the women told me that she calls worrying “borrowing trouble.” How true is that? Every day we let our minds go absolutely crazy with horrible things that could happen and all we’re doing is just borrowing trouble or borrowing anxiety from a future that’s not even going to play out.

Again, make sure to speak these words aloud to ground yourself in reality and get yourself out of that fearful loop in your mind. Tell yourself “No, ___(fill in the blank with worst-case scenario)___ is not actually going to happen.

“No, I’m not actually going to end up homeless.”

“No, the plane is not actually going to go down.”

“No, all of my friends and family won’t disown me.”

“No, I’m not going to lose all my money.”

3. Ask yourself, what will most likely happen if it doesn’t work out?

Now that you’ve made it clear that the worst-case scenario isn’t actually going to happen to you, ask yourself this question: “If things don’t go according to plan or don’t work out, what will most likely happen?”

When I asked myself this question, I realized that the answer was really simple. I was terrified that in starting a business, I would end up homeless, but what would most likely happen is that I would need extra money so I would get a part-time job. That’s not that bad! It’s simple. Life wouldn’t go according to plan, so I would simply come up with an easy fix to help me get through that early stage of having to find clients!

When you ask yourself this question, you’ll find that the real answer isn’t this dramatic, catastrophic event that’s going to turn your life upside down. It’s manageable. It’s not ideal, but it’s going to be ok.

4. When you find yourself reverting to the worst-case scenario, ask yourself this…

I know it’s really hard to break the habit of thinking about the worst-case scenario, so when you find yourself slipping, go through the first three exercises again OR ask yourself this hypothetical question:

Let’s just pretend that the terrible catastrophe actually DOES happen. What would be worse, the bad thing happening or dying with regret?

What would be worse for you? What would you rather happen? Personally, I would rather have something bad happen to me than not even try to live my life how I want to live it. When I first did this exercise with my therapist, I said that the worst-case scenario for me would be getting stuck in a job I’m miserable with because I failed as a business owner. But I would still take that outcome over having not even tried. 

5. Reflect on all of the times when you stepped forward into fear

For this exercise, I want you to do some more self-reflection. Get out that journal again or open up a document on your computer. Now, jot down all of the moments in your life when you were scared to do something, but you did it anyway because you knew it would help you grow and make you happy. 

Examples could be moving away to college, going on a retreat, traveling abroad, taking on a project you felt under-qualified for, asking the person you’re currently dating to go on a date, reaching out to your role model, starting a new hobby like skydiving, beekeeping, dancing, or pottery, getting out of a bad relationship, etc. 

When you’re done with the list, write a few sentences or bullet points about WHY you’re happy that you did each one of those things. Share about all of the personal growth that you made because you took the leap. Reflecting on similar instances will help you to put this new fear of yours into perspective.

Some of my own examples include taking a month-long trip through Europe with a group of strangers, asking for the account executive position on the Flagler College Smoke and Tobacco-Free campaign, and quitting my job to become a blogger and health coach. These things all scared the hell out of me at the time but have been some of the moments of my life that brought me the most personal growth and happiness.

Don’t rush this exercise. Reflect on it for as long as you need to take in just how beneficial those moments were for you. Remember, the quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.

6. Try Mel Robbins Five Second Rule

So now you’ve reflected on what you’re most afraid to do and learned how and why to not let fear put you in a cage, but rather act as a COMPASS. But still, it’s hard to remember these things in your daily life, right? You can read every popular self-help book and journal every night but still find yourself holding back when you wake up in the morning and go about your day. What do you do then?

The answer is Mel Robbins, and her five-second rule. First of all, if you haven’t heard of Mel Robbins, you have to look her up. She’s an international best-selling author, motivational speaker with one of the top Ted Talks of all time, co-founder and CEO of 143 Studios, and now has her own talk show. She sets an incredible example for everyone on how you can step into fear, turn your life around, and become a success. And she did it all with a simple life hack, which she calls “The Five-Second Rule.”

The Five Second Rule works like this – “if you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill it.” The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal you have to commit and react immediately.

Whenever you feel yourself hesitating before doing something, whether it be applying for a job, booking your trip, going to the gym, waking up in the morning, count backward from five and them react immediately. Say to yourself, “5-4-3-2-1” and then GO.

Move toward action.

Why? Because as Mel Robbins describes it on her website, there is a window of time that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. That window is only about five seconds. 

If you don’t take action on your instinct to change within those five seconds you will stay stagnant, you won’t change, and your life will not transform in the way that you want it to. Because of that little fearful loop we talked about in the beginning. If you allow yourself time to hesitate, your brain will start to play that game where it comes up with all the terrible things that are going to happen to you and all of the worst-case scenarios. Because the brain wants to PROTECT you, and if you want something new that is foreign to your brain, it perceives it as a risk and immediately tries to stop you.

Like I said before, this instinct is amazing, it has kept us alive for thousands of years and we’re lucky to have it. However, we don’t need that fear holding us back when we’re applying for jobs, going on a trip, or starting a business – it’s not life or death here. 

But if you do that one simple trick by reacting immediately and not allowing that nightmare to begin playing out in your mind, you can prevent your mind from working against you and your personal goals. You can start the momentum before the mind starts to craft excuses.

This also helps because you’re NEVER going to feel like it. You’re never going to suddenly feel like doing all these things that are good for you or the things that terrify you. You have to make yourself do it, and make yourself do it QUICKLY. Otherwise, you won’t move forward. You’ll remain stuck in the cage of fear instead of allowing it to point you towards the next chapter of your life.

Takeaways

Before I head out and wrap up this post today, I wanted to leave you with a few takeaways to keep in mind.

1. Fear is normal, it’s OK to be afraid. It’s MORE than ok to be afraid. Don’t shame yourself for being scared of something. Being scared is the brain’s way of keeping you safe, and it’s a survival instinct that exists inside of ALL of us. It’s not unique to you and you’re not weak for having it.

2. However… don’t let fear CONTROL your life. Don’t let fear be the reason why you never __(fill in the blank)__. Because everything you want is one the other side of fear: better health, better relationships, a fulfilling career, happiness, life experience, memories you will cherish, personal growth, and more. 

3. Fear is a compass showing you where to go. The thing you are most terrified of is the thing that you want more than anything in the world. UNLESS you’re in mortal danger. You still need common sense! I’m not saying that if you’re walking around alone at night and the thought of walking down a dark, secluded alley scares you that you should do it. But the thing you’re most scared to do is the exact path that you need to take in your life.

4. The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with. The more you remain in your comfort zone, the less happy you will be. The more you throw yourself outside of your comfort zone, the more you are slowly becoming the version of yourself you always dreamed you could be.

5. Do the written and verbal exercises I’ve outlined above to get rid of the hold that fear has over you. By realizing that your worst-case scenario is NOT going to happen you’ll be able to relinquish the hold it has over you. You’ll realize it was all in your mind. Do it every day if you have to. You must regularly remind yourself of how dramatic your mind can be while you’re trying to pursue your dreams.

6. Use the five-second rule. Use it to get up in the morning, to go to the gym, to start your website, to write a blog, to make a call, to put together a media kit, to write a book, to cook dinner. Use it all the time, but especially when it comes to the things you’re scared of. It’s a simple trick that will help you to bypass that fearful loop in your head altogether.

7. When all is said and done, when you learn to step forward into fear, you’ll wonder why you waited so long. You’ll find yourself thinking, “Huh, that wasn’t that bad,” or “that wasn’t that scary.” It will give you the confidence to pursue more of what you want in the future and become the highest version of yourself. 

Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

As always, thanks for coming to Lost Online. I hope that this post helped you to break the hold that fear has on you and FINALLY decide to live your life on your own terms. Without being held back by a barrage of negative thoughts, fears, and worst-case scenarios.

Remember to let me know your thoughts on the way out! What takeaways did you get from this post? Did you agree that fear is a compass? Is fear a compass for you, or is it currently a cage? Did you try these exercises I suggested? Which ones helped you get rid of the hold fear has on you and step FORWARD into fear? Are there any other suggestions that you would give to others to stop fear from controlling their lives? Let me know in the comments!

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that “+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online! 

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

Announcement: I’m Getting A Nose Job! + Why I’m Getting it Done & What’s To Come

Announcements, Beauty

I have to say, never have I ever had such a difficult time figuring out how to intro one of my blog posts before! So I guess I’ll just say this: Yep. I’m doing it! You read that title correctly. I am getting a rhinoplasty, better known as “a nose job.” Trust me, I’m well aware of how shocking and difficult this news is going to be to some of you! Deep breaths, we will get through this!

As you probably know at this point, I usually share big life announcements on the blog from time to time, and today I’m here to announce the biggest (and probably most controversial) news of all, that I’m getting my nose done.

For starters, you’re probably reading this right now wondering… Why? Why are you getting a nose job? And why the heck are you publishing this on your blog, Heather?! For attention??

So before I lose a few of you in a white-hot rage due to preconceived ideas about plastic surgery and how “wrong” it is, here’s why:

  1. I’m sharing this news with you today because as a self-help and wellness blogger who preaches self-love on the daily, I’m aware that some of you will view this decision as being highly hypocritical and I want to address that.
  2. I understand that many people have a hard stance against plastic surgery and view people who get it done as terrible, superficial people. I would like to address that too. 
  3. This topic shouldn’t be taboo or kept a secret out of fear and judgment.
  4. I want to use my experience to inform other women that I know who are also interested in rhinoplasty.
  5. If it wasn’t for a friend of mine getting her nose done and sharing her experience, I NEVER would have done it. It seemed too foreign and scary to ever ACTUALLY do it. So I’m here to be that friend for you.
  6. I want to explain to you WHY I feel the need to go through with the procedure.
  7. And lastly, I have a confession to make. 

I will explain all of those things in detail in this post. I would really love for you to hear it from me rather than to find out some other way and try to fill in the blanks in yourself. 

This blog post is one of three (possibly four with a Q & A) that will be published sharing my experience. This one is to announce that I’m getting it done and why and to thoroughly explain why I’m sharing this decision so publically.

The next post in this series will be all about my recovery. And I’m warning you right now, that one will be a doozy. So if you’re super against plastic surgery, then maybe you’ll want to skip that one. But if you’re someone who is very curious about this procedure and are thinking about getting it done yourself, then keep your eyes peeled. In that blog post, I will share every single aspect of my recovery, one day at a time. I will share the photos of what I look like as I’m recovering, how the post-op appointments are going, how uncomfortable the recovery is, what items helped me heal and ease the pain, and a hell of a lot more.

That post will be similar to what I did for my microblading and permanent makeup experience, except MUCH more in detail. It’s written to be substantial, honest, and unvarnished. Nothing about that post will be sugar-coated.

The third and final post in this little series will be about the results. I’ll show photos of what my nose looks like now, how I feel about getting it done, and whether or not it turned out like I hoped it would! I’ll also include a review of my plastic surgeon, Dr. Dean Davis of Davis Facial Plastic Surgery, and any messages once I’m finally healed up and on the other side!

So, now let’s get into it! Here are the SEVEN reasons why I’ve chosen to share this experience with you and why I’m going through with this surgery:

1. The Elephant in the Room (Not My Nose)

The very first issue that I wanted to address with this post is what I view as the elephant in the room – and I’m not talking about my nose.

I wanted to share this news with my readers because I’m someone who preaches self-love and self-help on the daily, so I know that this decision of mine could be taken as being hypocritical – especially if I had kept it a secret.

First of all, you can still love yourself and want to look your best. You can still care for yourself and love yourself but have that one thing that really bothers you and that you would like to fix. Just because someone has one part of their body that makes them self-conscious does not mean that they don’t love themselves and aren’t self-respecting bad*ss women. In fact, two of the most confident and self-loving women I’ve ever met have told me that they would like a boob job. (One of them already got it done and they look fabulous).

If anything I think that getting plastic surgery on that one part of your body that you’ve stared at, criticized, and hated fiercely for a decade so that you can finally have peace with yourself and your body is an act of self-love! I mean, really! Wouldn’t that be such a relief? Wouldn’t that save you so much mental energy and spare you from another 10 years of those self-deprecating thoughts? Wouldn’t it feel like a weight was lifted?

Now, I’m not saying YOU need plastic surgery or that all plastic surgery is an act of self-love. I don’t want you clicking away from this post telling people, “Heather Ione Clark claims plastic surgery is an act of self-love.” But what I am saying is that if you’ve had A cup boobs your entire life and every single time you look at yourself you wish you could change it, then do it. It doesn’t make you any less of a beautiful, caring, self-respecting, wonderful woman. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you have no self-esteem or self-worth. We tend to stamp people who get plastic surgery done as superficial and depthless, which is not only untrue but also enormously disrespectful.

Which is why I’m going to be over here with my new nose, that makes me feel more confident than I have been in years, and still be writing to you each week that you should love and care for yourself the same way you would for a newborn baby.

Side Note: Unfortunately, this is the internet and I know how critical people are behind a screen, and how willing they are to point out any “flaws” in my logic. Which is why I know that I have to briefly mention the people who go to extremes with plastic surgery. Like the guy who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery to look like Justin Bieber or the girl who turned herself into a real-life Barbie doll. I’m not talking about those people. That’s an entirely separate issue that has nothing to do with my one cosmetic procedure. Of course, anything can be taken to unhealthy extremes. Enough said on that issue, right?

2. It’s Not Your Nose

I completely understand that people have very opposing opinions about plastic surgery which is why I wanted to explain why I decided to get this done to hopefully ease the minds of people who will be furious with me for making this decision.

Plastic surgery is a very personal decision that ultimately only affects the person who is getting it.

If you’re someone who is judgemental about others getting plastic surgery, I urge you to do some self-reflection and figure out the real reason why it bothers you. And why would it matter when there are SO many problems in this world? There are child predators, there’s human trafficking, there’s gun violence at schools, there’s climate change! Get angry about those things. A young woman getting plastic surgery so she can finally see herself in a mirror and feel confident is NOT going to affect you, and is the least of your worries.

People get WAY too wrapped up and offended by other people’s life decisions. For whatever reason people get as heated about the topic of plastic surgery as I do watching Mr. “Grab Em By The Pussy” as president. I’ve seen people get extremely angry over their family members choosing to get plastic surgery. I’ve even seen people get extremely, blood-boiling, furiously, turn-into-the-Hulk, angry over random celebrities getting plastic surgery! For what?

When it comes to someone’s decision to get plastic surgery, it needs to be respected. What someone else chooses to do with their body – whether it be getting tattoos, or coloring their hair, or getting cosmetic procedures, it’s entirely up to them. No one is strapping you to a hospital bed and making YOU go under the knife. 

3. It’s a Surgery, Not a Scandal

I remember when I went on my tour of Europe, I felt like I had really connected with the girls on the trip and for whatever reason, I felt comfortable telling them this decision that I had kept a secret until then.

About six or seven of us were standing in a circle in whatever random city we were in at the time when I shared with them that I wanted to get a nose job. To my complete shock, every single one of the girls standing with me all said the same thing: “ME TOO!” “I want a nose job too!” “I’ve been wanting to get my nose done for years!”

We stood there together and each one of us shared how self-conscious we were about our noses and why, what we didn’t like about them, and how we knew that this one procedure could finally allow us to look in the mirror without focusing on it. What was even more shocking was that several of them had actually been saving photos of noses they liked for when they decided to finally get the surgery done!

For years I talked about how I hated my nose, but I never opened up about how I wanted to get a nose job. It seemed taboo and wrong. I grew up around people who would scoff and look down on women for getting cosmetic surgery, so it felt like something that you had to do in private and kept a secret until the day you died. Kind of like how women hundreds of years ago used to go “visit a cousin” for nine months if they were unfortunate enough to get pregnant out of wedlock.

I really thought that this was something that I should have kept secret or been embarrassed about, until that day when I finally realized just how many other women my age struggled with this same insecurity! Since then I’ve openly talked about how I wanted to get a nose job with friends and I’ve met dozens of other women who shared with me that they have either had a rhinoplasty or would like to get one.

I can’t tell you what a relief it was to realize that this is not something that only I struggle with, and not something that I should be ashamed to talk about. So by announcing my own nose job is a very public and vulnerable way, I hope that it will help other people to not feel ashamed of getting something like this done. Maybe for you, it’s not a rhinoplasty. But whatever it is, it’s just a procedure. It’s not a scandal, or a crime, or wrongdoing in any way.

4. I Got You, Honey

Since realizing just how many women I know who want to get their noses done and are curious about the procedure, I’ve decided to share my entire experience with you. I’m using my experience to inform other women who also want to get a rhinoplasty. Because I know exactly what you’re thinking!

Getting to the point of finally getting cosmetic surgery takes years and is a decision that continuously weighs heavy on your mind. There’s usually at least a few years (or maybe a decade) of heavy criticism of a body part, followed by another several years of entertaining the idea of cosmetic surgery, followed by several years of saying that you’re going to do it, followed by another year of “planning” on doing it but not taking action because you’re scared as f*ck about what might happen.

I know how tough it is to finally get to that place where you finally feel ready to go under the knife. I know exactly what you’re curious about and I know what you’re worried about! Because it’s me RIGHT NOW. You’re worried about the cost, how to choose the right doctor, if the result is going to turn out how you want it to, and the potential of getting botched! What if after everything the nose turns out WORSE than it was before??

So I guess you can view me as your guinea pig. I’m getting my rhinoplasty and I’ll be sharing every single detail. I’ll share the big things, the little things, the good things, the bad things, uncomfortable things, and the gross things. So that by the end of this series of posts, you’ll feel as if you lived the nose job WITH ME. And if you’re someone who wants to get one done as well, you’ll know what to expect.

5. “My friend Heather got a nose job.”

I have a friend of mine (who I’m not going to mention the name of because I don’t know if she would like that) who got a nose job a little over a year ago. Much like me, she was ALWAYS self-conscious about her nose. Every time she saw it in the mirror or took a photo she felt upset with what she saw looking back at her. To make it worse, she had been teased ruthlessly in school for having a bigger nose. For several years the boys in her school would call her a “surfboard” because she had a bigger nose and smaller boobs. So apparently, to those *ssholes, she resembled a surfboard. What followed was over a decade of feeling ugly in her skin and an absolute certainty that she would someday get a nose job.

She opened up to me about this on the phone one day and shared all of her insecurities about her nose and how she was starting to go to consultations for surgery. I talked with her throughout every stage of going through with the rhinoplasty and then, after months of speaking with her on the phone, I finally saw her in person. And her nose looked BEAUTIFUL. Most of the time I was with her I kept thinking how jealous I was that she had already gotten it done and how I couldn’t wait until the day I FINALLY could get my nose done too. 

You see, when you’re in your early 20’s, you don’t know tons of other people your age who have had plastic surgery – unless maybe you live in Beverly Hills. Or maybe you do know people who have had it, but they don’t ever talk about it. So it seems incredibly scary because you have nothing to compare it to. And maybe you’re like me and watched so many episodes of “Botched” that you thought plastic surgery could virtually only turn out a disaster.

Seeing a friend of mine actually go through the same surgery I wanted, share her experience with me, and tell me the icky details of recovery is what finally made me start looking for my surgeon. From what I saw, she was very brave throughout the entire process and never doubted that it was going to turn out great. Until I saw someone else go through it, I was way too scared to take the first step. 

Knowing that a friend of mine had rhinoplasty that turned out gorgeous and didn’t cause a horrendous recovery is what finally made me feel comfortable about getting it done FOR REAL. 

I want to be that friend for you! So that all of you other women who are reading this can relax and tell yourself,

“If Heather can do it, I can do it.”

6. The WHY of it All

At this point, if you’re still reading, you’re probably still wondering, WHY?! Why am I getting my nose done in the first place? I’m sure none of you have noticed anything offensive about my nose, so you want to know what the point is of even going through this in the first place.

Well, it all started back in high school (as it usually does). When you’re a teenager, you’re already super aware and self-conscious of how you look. On top of that, when I was in high school and college, that’s when the whole “contouring” trend started. So I naturally decided to do it. But funnily enough, it just didn’t work on my nose. All those cute little contouring tricks were useless. My nose still looked big no matter what I did. 

Fast forward to four years ago, when I moved to Florida, I started modeling – something that I’ve always wanted to. I was so excited about this new hobby of mine and loved doing collabs. I was finally capturing those gorgeous Instagram pictures that I always dreamed of. That part of the whole thing made me feel confident, but it was only two photoshoots into my modeling when I noticed something about myself that I hadn’t seen before.

For the first time in my life, I was seeing photos captured of my nose from every single angle, and I DID NOT like what I saw. Four years later and about 100 photoshoots later, I’ve become extremely familiar with my nose and its angles. I can now tell you EVERYTHING that I hate about it. Let’s dig in…

My biggest issue with my nose is that looks big from the profile view. Whenever I turn to my side, it’s obvious that my nose sticks out more than it should. What’s even less attractive to me than that, is the way that it looks whenever I turn my face slightly to the side. Whenever my face is turned 45 degrees there are three obvious bumps which the light always catches and casts shadows on, further accentuating the flaws. Next is the top of my nose closer to my eyebrows, where the cartilage is a bit wider than it should be. My nostrils are also too big and not symmetrical.

Up next on the list of things I dislike about my nose, is the tip of my nose. The tip of my nose is bigger than I would have liked and far too round to me. Of course, it looks even bigger whenever I smile, which then makes me self-conscious about how I look when I smile! But the final thing that really irritates me about my nose, is that my cartilage came out too far at the tip. This means that whenever I smile, my skin on my nose would sort of pull down and the cartilage would stick out. Every single time this happens it casts a shadow on the tip of my nose, which also means that every time I’m photographed, so is this little shadow. I could still go on and on about things that I hate about my nose, but I won’t bore you with all of it.

With each passing year, I have become more and more self-conscious about my nose. It’s just one of those things where every single time I have looked in the mirror since I was 18, I would always think about how I hated it. Not one single time that I’ve looked in the mirror in the last 6 years have I felt beautiful and NOT thought about my nose. It’s been on my mind every single day.

Eventually, once the day came when I finally started to share with people that I wanted a nose job, I was surprised by the responses I received. I thought more people would say something along the lines of:  “NO!” “You don’t need it!” “You’re beautiful!” “Don’t get plastic surgery!” 

But actually the responses I heard were:

“Well… your nose isn’t THAT bad.”

“You don’t NEED plastic surgery. That’s dumb.”

“It’s not bad ENOUGH for you to need to get plastic surgery.”

“I mean, yeah. It’s big, but like I wouldn’t actually get plastic surgery though…”

“It’s big, but it’s not like HUGE. You really only notice it from the profile.”

UMMMMM OK. Let’s take a minute to reflect on those lovely, comforting quotes I heard from friends over the last year. I’m a young woman. I don’t want to hear people say to me that I’m “not that bad.” News flash: being “not that bad” is NOT a compliment. It’s actually an insult. I don’t want to be “not that bad.” I would like to be “beautiful.” I don’t want my nose to be “big,” but not “huge.” I want it to be normal. I don’t want to hear that it’s “not bad ENOUGH.”

Once I realized that it wasn’t just me who noticed that I had a big nose, I had officially made up my mind that I was going to get a nose job in 2019 or 2020.

7. Coming Clean

I remember when I told a few of my friends over the phone that I had decided to get my nose done, I noticed that they would immediately go to my Instagram account and look at photos of me to try to understand what I was talking about. Whenever that happened, they didn’t understand why on earth I would want a nose job. My nose looks great in all of my photos! And if you’re reading this post, maybe you’ve gone back to examine my face in my photos too. 

Or, maybe you haven’t met me in person and you’re a reader or follower of mine online, looking at photos of me. You’re probably thinking that my nose looks fine! There’s nothing wrong with it. Maybe you don’t think it’s big at all. The truth is, my nose is a perfect example of “Instagram vs. Reality.”

Just to warn you, I’m about to get deep with you for a minute…

I created this website, Lost Online because I was sick of trying to pretend to be something that I wasn’t. I was sick of pretending to be perfect. And sick of living for my online persona. I was sick of the bullshit, the filters, the smiling happy faces and picture-perfect moments when I know that behind what people post on Instagram there were heartbreaks, very real traumas, insecurities, sadness, loneliness – all of that. Even though I know that we do all have wonderful moments in our lives that are beautiful and cherished, most of what my generation has shared online since we first started posting, publishing, and tweeting, has been in an effort to look cool and to impress other people.

So that’s why I made this little online space of my own – to get away from all of that. And I made a promise to myself that I would always be disgustingly transparent with you. That even though I might do photoshoots, and wear makeup, and create beautiful Instagram photos for the sheer fun of it – I will always be transparent about the nitty-gritty details that happen between those moments we deem worthy enough to post.

And that is why I’m sharing with you one detail that I thought I would take to my grave. One detail that I was horrendously embarrassed to admit for years. But I know I would never forgive myself and never be 100% honest with you if I didn’t share this:

For the last several years, every single photo that I’ve shared of me … I’ve photoshopped my nose. I made it smaller, I smoothed out the bumps on the top of it, and I edited out the cartilage that would cast an unattractive shadow on the tip of my nose whenever I smiled. I was so self-conscious, so embarrassed, so uncomfortable with how it looked that I would always make an effort to make my nose look different before I shared anything online.

Even now as I’m scrolling through all my old photos looking for examples of unattractive and unflattering angles of my nose to show you, I can’t find any to show you. I instantly deleted all of them the moment I noticed how “ugly” they were.

So this is me, coming clean about my biggest secret. I feel embarrassed for finally owning up to it, but I was one of the many young women who was deeply affected by what I saw online and took to heart what I “should” look like as a woman in order to be worthy of love and affection. I know that there are many people out there who struggle with MUCH worse things in life than feeling insecure about their nose, but my goodness, I can’t wait to finally be able to see myself in the mirror or a photo and not have my mind flooded with such negative thoughts about a part of my body.

I’m sharing this with you not only because I feel like it’s the right thing to do, but also to serve as a reminder that we all have our sh*t. We all have our insecurities. We all go through things that other people don’t know about. So if your story is like mine, don’t be afraid to get plastic surgery. It’s incredibly unhealthy to hate a part of yourself this much. Do what you have to do to feel comfortable and confident in your skin. And also, if you’re someone who’s adimitaly against plastic surgery, please have some compassion. If a simple one-and-a-half hour procedure is enough to give someone the confidence to look at themselves in the mirror and finally feel beautiful, then let them have that!

There you have it

That is why I’m getting rhinoplasty and why I’ve decided to share this with virtually everyone I know! Yikes. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so vulnerable and nervous about a post as I am about this one today! But I know that it will all be worth it. Just like my microblading posts, I know that there are a few people who will find the upcoming posts very helpful and informative. 

It should be an interesting few weeks! Keep your eyes peeled for the next posts, they’re about to get real.

As always, let me know what you think in the comments! POSITIVE VIBES ONLY PLEASE. Have you gotten plastic surgery before? Did you get rhinoplasty? Do you want one? What are your thoughts about taking the leap and doing it? Did you relate to anything that I shared above? What are you looking forward to learning or seeing in the next posts?

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that “+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online! 

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

Announcement: We’re Homeowners!

Announcements, Lifestyle

I’ll Drink to That

Pop the freaking champagne because after 9 months of house hunting, it finally freaking happened!

On September 12, 2019 Matt and I officially closed on the most perfect house that we could have asked for. With this new change, a heavy weight has finally been lifted off our shoulders, because it’s been a LONG time getting to this point. 

Matt was adamant about us becoming homeowners since the moment we moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., and since then it’s been a huge area of stress that I was not anticipating immediately following graduation, leaving my parents house, looking for a job, and moving in with a significant other for the first time. Because of that, the whole house hunting endeavor was a constant hot button issue.

Now we’re finally settled into our new home and best of all, we can finally breathe. No more house hunting, no more discussions about it, no more stress in our home environment! I’m sure you know what I mean! If you’ve ever gone house hunting before it can feel like the ground is shaking underneath you. You don’t feel stable and at peace in your current home and you’re always going through this exhausting inner battle about whether you should or shouldn’t put an offer in, whether you should even buy a house, how much money you want to spend, and how much work you want to put in. It starts to consume you!

Sitting here now, in our home, I can finally celebrate the fact that we now have our FIRST HOME. (Which I guess makes us grown-ups or something??) On top of that, I can look back at the entire house buying experience and appreciate that it got us to where we are today: in our perfect little home, that checked every box on our list and more. 

From Headaches to Happiness

Now I hate to say this because I feel like I should have known this, but looking at houses and putting offers in is far more stressful than I would have expected! If you’re not familiar with St. Pete, all of the houses here were built between 1900 and 1950 which means “historic charm” surrounds us everywhere we look. BUT that historic charm comes with a huge price: termites, asbestos, odd floor plans, and costly renovations.

On top of that, St. Pete is a city that has completely turned around in the last 10-15 years. The line that I’ve heard more than anything else since moving here is: “Ten years ago, you wouldn’t ever stop in St. Pete.” What went from a city that was run down and plagued with crime has turned into one of the most popular and expensive areas to live around the greater Tampa Bay area. Today it’s filled with street art, kava bars, crystal shops, breweries, restaurants, bars, boutiques, cafes, and boho plant shops.

As you can imagine, it’s wonderful. BUT to be close to an area this popular, a two-bedroom/one-bath in DIRE need of renovations with ZERO closet or storage space, a dated floor plan, termites, and asbestos goes for around $300,000! Even then, most of the homes here go for ABOVE asking price!

On this rather unpleasant journey, Matt and I fell in love with “the one” FOUR SEPARATE TIMES! Four times we found the perfect, charming house that had everything we wanted only to discover heartbreaking news in the inspection. OR, we would end up having our offer (that MATCHED the asking price) denied! This area is so popular, that even with all of those problems in a house, sellers know they will be able to get above asking.

I’m not kidding when I say that I had completely given up hope of finding a home. But just like what always happens whenever you relax, let go of expectations and trust in the universe – it magically worked out.

After 9 months, 4 offers, and about 100 arguments, IT HAPPENED. We’re now the very happy homeowners of a gorgeous home in the city that we love so much. And the best part is, it’s termite- and asbestos-free!

Honey, We’re Home

Now all of the stress and all of the headaches have finally been replaced with excitement! Excitement over renovations, painting, decorating, landscaping, and best of all: getting a pup.

We can finally appreciate the fact that we have our first home and that all of the home rejection was really just REDIRECTION to bring us here.

To bring us the perfect starter house that meets all of our needs and fills us up. A home where I can write this post to you right now and concentrate because I don’t have to hear “Seinfield” playing in the background! A home where we can step outside, be in the sun, and hear the birds throughout the day. A home that’s surrounded by other young couples walking their dogs in the evening. A home that has a huge walk-in closet so Matt no longer has to fight for space. And a home we feel happy in.

Our Must-Haves

You know what’s interesting about house hunting? It’s so difficult and it takes so much time that you actually start to believe that your ideal home doesn’t even exist. That you will NEVER find what you’re looking for and that it’s impossible for you to find a home that’s perfect for you. Even though you’re surrounded by thousands and thousands of homes in your area, the entire house hunting process is enough to make even the most faithful and positive people become closed-minded. That’s exactly what happened to me.

Here were my absolutely must-haves for a home that I convinced myself was impossible to find…

  • A fenced-in yard for our future pup
  • A floor plan that makes sense and doesn’t have long, rectangular rooms
  • A completely renovated kitchen (I was so NOT about to do that myself)
  • A home office for me so that my kitchen counter doesn’t have to be my desk anymore
  • A front porch
  • A block house so we don’t have to worry about asbestos siding or termites
  • Laundry space (some houses we saw did not have a washer and dryer or any room to put them in)
  • Storage space (since most of the houses here were built in the 1910s, most of them don’t have the room and storage space for our lifestyle now)
  • A big enough closet for the both of us
  • And a safe neighborhood – I didn’t care to live in a neighborhood that is referred to as “up-and-coming.” I wanted to be in a neighborhood that I felt very safe comfortable in while walking a dog around by myself. Since many of the areas in St. Pete are still turning around, you’ll find beautiful, safe, charming streets, followed by a specific street that you have to be conscious to avoid.

You’ll notice that my list of “must-haves” was very reasonable. Sure there were still things that I wanted to have, but these were my absolutes and I wasn’t asking for a lot. I think most people would say they want to be in a safe neighborhood and have a floor plan that makes sense, but I was honestly starting to believe that it was impossible to find. That all those houses were snatched up leaving us with only one option: buy a run-down house and remodel the entire thing ourselves.

Added Bonuses:

Of course, the home DID exist and I’m writing to you from inside it right now. I realize how crazy it was thinking that there’s no way a home like this could be possible for us to find in St. Pete. Not only did we get every one of our must-haves, but we also got so much more!

  • A large walk-in closet with plenty of room for both of us. No more fighting over space!
  • A garage where we can store holiday decorations, our suitcases, and tools so that they’re not eating up our living space and indoor storage.
  • A wine fridge, which will be FULLY stocked with J. Lohr Chardonnay for whenever my mom comes to visit.
  • Lots of natural light that floods into the house in the morning.
  • A bar cart that the previous owner let us have which is now stocked and makes us feel super fancy. AND a narrow table in the kitchen she also gave to us that we use a coffee bar! Which means we have a designated space for coffee and drinks! Could there be anything more perfect than that?
  • A sliding barn door on the closet which looks super cool and sounds like a dungeon door every time we close and open it.
  • Dozens of blue jays that fly around our house and make me smile every time I look out the window. 
  • And a corner lot with lots of yard space!

What’s to Come?!

So, what’s to come now that we’re finally in our first home? Well, for starters, several house projects which we’re really looking forward to working on AND a lot of decorating! Since this is my first home, I’m so excited to make it my own and create space that makes me feel energized and happy. Here’s what’s to come!

  • A yard filled to capacity with greenery, wildflowers, and star jasmine
  • Full-on bohemian decorations and plants! I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life to turn a home into my own little boho paradise – carefully re-modeled after my Pinterest Boards.
  • A back patio with strobe lights hanging above the seating area and a fire pit to roast marshmallows.
  • Outdoor games since Matt and his best friend Pat have been very vocal that they need to be able to play backyard games.
  • An updated, completely remodeled bathroom that lucky for us, was miraculously completed by our contractor the day before we moved in! 
  • A dressing room style master closet with a large shoe rack, full-length mirror, and bench to sit down on.
  • A beautiful home office where I can have a designated spot to work on my blog and YouTube and have my future health coaching clients over!! I’m also planning on creating a small altar and meditation space so that I can have a spiritual practice without hearing “Seinfeld” or “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” playing in the background. (Sorry Matt, I love you.)
  • A custom garage door and new driveway (because for some reason one of the previous owners had sealed the garage door shut so you can’t get it open and an oak tree at the front of the property has done a tremendous job ripping up half the driveway!)
  • French doors that open out onto the patio so you don’t have to walk through the garage.

But of course, there’s so much more to come, now that we finally have a home and more than 600 square feet of space. The number one thing that we’re looking forward to is a puppy! I’m hoping that our puppy is just around the corner because I’m so beyond excited to be a dog mom. I’ve been waiting to be a dog mom my entire life! The breeds I’m the most in love with are Keeshonds, Pomskys, and Samoyeds. I’m obsessed with the fluff (:

And BEES! For those of you who don’t know, Matt has been wanting to become a beekeeper for years! I’m sure you can fully expect to hear more about our process of buying bees and learning how to make honey in the next year. I have a feeling it’s going to be a struggle but will be EXTREMELY entertaining. I’m picturing us walking around with smoke in our beekeeper outfits right now. Matt and I have even thought up the name for our future honey business that Matt blurted out to our friend Ray as a joke once, but we LOVE it. I’m not telling you what it is just yet!

Last but not least, getting married (: To all of our friends and family, I just want to say that YES we will get married someday and we will do that when we are ready! We’re already picking up on the not-so-subtle hints that people think we should get married since we have a house now. When we are ready to take that next step, it will happen!

I remember six months into dating Matt, I looked at him as we were leaving a Christmas concert one night and said, “I’m going to marry the sh*t out of you someday.” That has become one of the most memorable quotes and milestones in our relationship. We pretty much knew when we started dating that we were very committed to each other. 

For now, we would just really love to enjoy THIS milestone before jumping to the next one simply because people think that’s what we’re “supposed” to do. Moving and buying a house is already a big project and undertaking, you can bet that I’m not going to throw wedding planning into the mix just yet!

I’m Incredibly Grateful

I’m so incredibly grateful that we’re in this home right now. This is just another example of the Law of Attraction in my life. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent dreaming and doing visitation mediations years ago about having a home in Florida. I can’t tell you how many times I scanned Pinterest staring at houses and decorations. And I can’t tell you how much time I spent thinking about the freedom and happiness it would bring me to have a HOME that I could share with someone. This is just another example of how powerful and real manifestation is.

It also goes to show that when you stop forcing something to happen that you want and finally RELAX and trust in the universe, it will happen! The only thing that you have to do is focus on what you want and it will come to you. But the HOW is the domain of the universe. Trying to force something is not going to work.

The second reason why I feel grateful is that we don’t have to pour ungodly amounts of money into renting anymore. Now we have a home that we can invest in instead of throwing money away. That only is worth celebrating!

Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

As always thank you for coming to Lost Online! I hope you enjoyed this peak into our first home! Once our home has come together a bit more, I’ll be sharing how we’re decorating our beautiful bohemian home, where the ideas came from, and where we found our favorite pieces! For now, we’ll be busy getting it all together!

A special shout out to that adorable fur baby, Luka June for deciding she wanted in on our celebration and photoshoot too! Luka is Ray’s dog and another member of a little “Beer Brigade,” as we call it. Ray, Matt, Luka and I spend weekends shooting for the blog, coming up with photo concepts and drinking craft beer! (Well, Luka doesn’t drink the beer). Together, the four of us make up the Beer Brigade!

Lastly, I just want to share that if you’re a Lost Online reader than you’re aware that I often make announcements on the blog like, “The Start of a New Chapter: Why I’m Studying to Become a Certified Health Coach” or “I’m Seeing a Therapist + How I Discovered I Had Depression & Why I’m Thankful For It.” I created this blog post because making announcements is something that I do regularly and because this is a HUGE milestone in my life. I want to enjoy this, I want to share it with my tribe, and I want to sit here and reflect on this milestone in my favorite way – through writing. 

It would make me so sad if there was someone reading who took this post thinking that I created it with the intention of bragging. I’m just over here doing what us bloggers do – writing about our experiences. I’m also sharing this with you because part of my purpose with my blog and coaching practice is to show people that the Law of Attraction is real and to inspire them to incorporate it into their own lives! It’s mind-blowing what manifestation can bring to you. I would LOVE it if my story could inspire you and help you transform your own life.

Before you head out, let me know what you think in the comments! Can you relate to my experience with house hunting? Did this blog post leave you with any thoughts or takeaways? Do you already have a house or are you still daydreaming about your future home someday? What do you want in your future home? Can you think of your own advice for first time home buyers? OR do you have a similar manifestation experience you’d like to share!

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that “+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

15 Reasons To Travel While You’re Young + Thoughts on Traveling & Social Media

Travel

I got the travel bug from my grandmother, who has been to so many countries that she probably wouldn’t be able to count them if she tried. My grandma goes on at least one trip abroad a year and usually comes back with a very odd and very humorous souvenir for us. Every time I talked to my grandma when I was growing up, I was so amazed at how she would casually bring up some incredible trip she took.

I always wanted to be like her. She’s so well-traveled, cultured, and so interesting – and I’m not the only one who thinks that. She’s someone that everyone loves and is intrigued by the second they meet her. I remember after my friend Pat met her for the first time, he turned to me and said one of my favorite quotes of all time, “Heather, your grandma is dope!” She is a dope grandma indeed. 

She’s a lady who does whatever the hell she wants regardless of what other people think. One of my favorite things she’s ever said to me was, “I don’t think I want a boyfriend, that might cramp my style.” If there’s one person I want to be like when I grow up and one person I want to make proud of, it’s her. And one way I plan on doing that is by exploring as much of this miraculous planet as I can, just like her.

With no surprise, my grandma was incredibly supportive of my love for travel. Not only does she pass on her travel stories and experiences to me, but she’s funded several of my trips. She generously took me to Paris for two weeks for my Sweet Sixteen, paid for my month-long graduation trip through Europe, and took a spontaneous and impulsive trip with me to Niagara Falls this summer. 

Today, my grandma’s writing is tattooed on the side of my body. It reads, “A life full of travel and wonders of our planet.” It will remind me for the rest of my life to get out of my bubble and explore the world as much as I can.

Just like my grandma, I want to encourage others to explore too. To put their money towards a plane ticket instead of products. So here are the top reasons why I believe it’s important to travel while you’re young in hopes that I will inspire at least one person to buy a ticket!

1. Travel expands your mind

I know this is the very first thing that people usually say about travel, but you don’t realize how true it is until you’re sitting in some random spot on the other side of the planet having your mind blown. I remember watching an opera in Rome and seeing flamenco dancing in Spain. Those are two experiences that I will never forget because I was utterly amazed seeing this in person. All I could think of was, “WHAT?! This is a thing?! People actually do this?!” It’s incredible seeing someone who’s spent a lifetime perfecting some dance that you would have never even heard of before.

When you travel, especially for an extended period of time or with a group of strangers, you regularly have those moments where you’re shocked by what you’re seeing or how other people interact in different cultures. You experience and learn things that you wouldn’t have otherwise known until you went there yourself.

Sometimes it expands your mind to things that are unpleasant. On my graduation trip, I learned so much about the Holocaust and World War II after visiting Germany and seeing a concentration camp that I would have never have learned unless I had visited Germany and gone on local tours. It’s best to travel while you’re young for this reason because your brain is still developing so you’re still very impressionable. Expanding your worldview during this time is crucial because you’ll be more open-minded than you would be if you started traveling after retirement. It allows you to expand your world-view and shape new opinions before settling into your ways.

2. It gets you out of your comfort zone

When you go on a trip abroad, you encounter language barriers, you get lost, and you have awkward moments when you encounter customs that you aren’t familiar with. It makes you feel out of place and puts you far out of your comfort zone, which is a great thing!

Interestingly enough, something about traveling to a foreign country also makes you more willing to take risks and try things that you wouldn’t if you were at home. I remember what it was like going zip lining in Costa Rica with Matt or going on an ATV tour underneath a volcano. The Heather that lives in Florida and spends most of her time going to the same coffee shop to write every day would NEVER do those things. But whenever I go on a trip, I take advantage of experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t try or wouldn’t want to spend the money on. Travel makes you do things that you normally would hold yourself back from, but THOSE moments are the ones that you remember for the rest of your life and tell at parties (or on your Tinder dates, lol). 

3. You meet life-long friends 

Something about dropping everything and traveling to a foreign country with strangers makes you connect with them on a much deeper level. When you travel to a new country with someone, rely on each other to get around, experience new things together, and spend entire days making memories and opening up about your lives back home, you form a very powerful bond. 

It’s a connection that you wouldn’t have had with that person if you had just met at a coffee shop or a bar back home. You create life-long memories with that person, making you much closer together and creating a relationship that you’ll look back on for the rest of your life. For that reason, I know that whenever I reach out to the girls I went on my trip with that they will always be happy to hear from me and we’ll catch up as if no time had passed.

Case in point, I just got back from visiting Cincinnati last night and while I was there I got to see my Europe travel buddy, Emily. We were attached at the hip the entire time we were abroad and now I consider her to be one of the best friends I’ve ever had. She had just landed from New York City yesterday morning and raced to come visit me for the remaining hours I was still in Cincinnati. When we reunited we ran up to each other on the sidewalk, threw our arms around each other and hugged in the most dramatic, rom-com fashion.

4. Travel helps you discover what you really want

When I left for my month-long trip abroad, I was very unsure of what I wanted, but the week I came back, I could look at my life with such clarity. I’m not exactly sure why this happens. Maybe it’s because travel allows you to step away from your life’s problems and have some space so that you can look at things with fresh eyes when you come back. Or maybe it’s because travel changes you, so you come back a slightly different person than the one who left.

Whichever it is, all I know is that my questions and dilemmas I’d been struggling with for months had been resolved when I got back: Where should I live? What career should I pursue? What do I really want in life? What projects do I want to pursue?

I was also very surprised by the number of other people on my tour who were having some kind of life crisis or question that they were seeking the answer to while we were away. I wasn’t the only one who had been hoping to solve some problem or answer an important question. For example, I remember that a handful of people were very unsure about whether or not they wanted to stay with their significant other. They were trying to figure out if they saw themselves staying with this person long term after they returned home or if it was best to go their separate ways. The trip helped them answer their questions. I remember one of my friends even bought a journal so she could do stream of consciousness journaling about her relationship and that helped her gain so much clarity. If you’d like to learn more about stream of consciousness journaling, checkout my blog post, “Stream of Consciousness Journaling: The Benefits & How to Practice It.”

5. Traveling while you’re young allows you freedom before you get tied down 

Yeah you could travel when you’re older, but you also have to consider that you’ll have a full-time job, extra bills, a mortgage payment, a dog that needs to be cared for, a significant other that doesn’t feel like traveling to the same country as you, kids, etc. I could go on and on with other reasons, but the point is that it won’t be as easy to drop everything and backpack your way through South America when you’re 35 or 40. It’s much easier to travel while you’re young because you’re not tied down to anything, and because it will be so much easier to hop back into your normal life without much of a disruption. For example, coming back from an extended holiday when you’re in your teens or early 20’s will have little to no impact on your career because it’s not already established. It’s expected that you’re still traveling, learning about what you want, and changing during this time.

You also have to consider that if you travel while you’re young, you only have to pay for yourself, not an entire family. It’ll cost far less money and you’ll be FAR more likely to actually do it. Simply put, you’ll never feel as free as you do RIGHT NOW.

6. You won’t regret it

You know that moment when you decide it’s freaking time to clean out your closet? Your clothes are overflowing, you can’t find anything, and you realize it’s that time of year to make some donations? You know how whenever this happens you inevitably find clothes in your closet that still have the tags on them and think, “Uggghhhh, why did I buy this!? That was such a waste of money!” Yeah, that doesn’t happen with travel.

I’ve never heard of anyone having buyer’s remorse over taking a trip. You won’t look back at your photos and memories of your summer abroad and think, “Ugggghhh, why did I do that?” “Why did I move to Paris for three months and work at that bakery? How stupid of me.” That just doesn’t happen. Traveling is one of the very few things in life that people spend their money on that they don’t regret. Sure, you might end up going over budget on your trip and be a little bit annoyed at yourself for spending so much. However, the feeling of regret will never enter your mind.

7. Travel makes you humble

The other reason why you should travel, especially while you’re young, is because it makes you humble. You’ll see people all around the world who are living with less than you and realize what little you need to take care of yourself and to be happy. I learned this lesson on my trip to Costa Rica. After coming back I wrote a blog post about this called “A Lesson in Pura Vida.”

I wrote about how I had noticed that the people in Costa Rica lived in what I can only describe as shacks. Their houses were made of tin and they had very few possessions and modern-day luxuries and conveniences. But they were the happiest and nicest people I have ever met in my life. Seriously! It was like they were all enlightened. They walked around with a huge smile on their face and saying hello to everyone. I could tell that they were happy and relaxed – not chronically stressed out. At the time, I went to a private college, drove an expensive car, lived in a gated community, and nannied for families who made over six figures. Yet none of the people that I was surrounded with were happy to be alive. They were stressed out, bitter, and materialistic. They were driven more by possessions and promotions than by anything else (I’m not claiming to be above this). However, these people in Costa Rica had next to nothing, and they were HAPPY. Very, very happy. That trip was humbling and made me reflect more on what’s important in life. 

The second reason why travel makes you humble is that you realize that you’re not the center of the universe. You’re dropped off at the airport in what sometimes feels like an alternate universe. You don’t understand the language or the way people are interacting with each other. Even though you know intellectually that there’s a wide world out there, you typically don’t think much about the world other than your own small existence. Then in the middle of all of this, you’re attending local tours and learning from someone about their political problems or issues that they face in the community. In these moments, it will hit you just how large the world is and how closed off you had been because these issues weren’t on your radar. For example, I didn’t know anything about the poverty rate in Costa Rica as I was going about my daily life in St. Augustine, Fla. It never occurred to me.

Lastly, if you’re traveling while you’re young you’ll most likely be staying in cheap accommodations, eating less expensive food, and finding experiences within your budget. You’re not rolling into your trip to the south of France in first-class seats, sipping champagne, eating caviar, and staying at 5-star hotels. You haven’t hit that age in life where you think, “Alright, I’m going on a trip. It must be luxurious.” No. You stay in hostels, you share bathrooms, you eat at places that are cheaper to accommodate everyone in your group, and you share cramped spaces on trains, planes, and automobiles. Having to be so accommodating with other people and share space is a humbling experience. 

I think that this is an important lesson to learn and it should be learned as SOON as possible. It’s better to become humble when you’re 20 rather than when you’re 45. It makes you a better person.

8. You’re in great shape

Some people decide that having a career and a family are the first priority to them and that travel is something that can wait until retirement, but I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. Because while you do want to make retirement fun and enjoyable, you also have to consider that you won’t be in as good of shape as you’re in when you’re a teenager or in your 20’s.

Your body can handle walking for miles to sightsee all day, hiking up mountains, getting less sleep, carrying a backpack all day, lugging your suitcase around, etc. The physicality of traveling alone just makes more sense to do while you’re young. And you never know what sort of health problems or limitations you might have in old age. 

9. Traveling empowers you

Before I left for my month-long trip to Europe, I was nervous as all hell. It also didn’t help that every person I talked to said something along the lines of, “Oh my God! Four weeks is SO long! I would never be able to do that. You’re crazy. You’re gonna want to come home by week two!”

I remember the night before I left I sat across from my boyfriend fighting off a panic attack for serval hours and drinking wine trying to calm myself down. The next day I was bawling while I was saying goodbye to Matt outside the airport! I. was. a. mess.

But when I landed in Florida after that month, I came back and thought “Oh my gosh! I freaking did it! That was awesome!” It’s a very powerful thing to see yourself doing something that you once considered to be scary. It helps you realize how much you’re capable of and gives you the confidence to take on new challenges or aspirations. Before I left for my trip, I thought a month would feel like forever and I might want to come home, but when I came home I realized that a month was nothing. I could easily take a trip for two, three, four, or even six months at a time. I realized that the fear that I had was all in my head. I set this limitation for myself that I now realize was completely ridiculous. 

10. You can handle cheap accommodations

I’ve noticed that as you get older, the accommodations that you feel you deserve continue to increase in cost. I know that I was going on a trip to a foreign country right now, I would be perfectly ok in cheaper hotels that my older family members wouldn’t even consider staying in. I don’t feel as if I’m somehow deserving of first-class tickets, 5-star hotels, and a luxurious mattress to sleep on. Those things would be fabulous and I would be appreciative of it, but I feel perfectly ok with slumming it a bit to check countries off of my bucket list.

However, it’s not just that as you get older you feel entitled to better accommodations, your body also needs them. I’m 24 now, and I know that my body can handle sleeping on crappy mattresses and taking a 10-hour plane ride in super small airplane seats. But if I was 70 years old right now, that wouldn’t work. I wouldn’t be able to bounce back as well as I can right now. That’s something you also have to keep in mind.

11. You’ll come back with TONS of stories 

The best part of spending your money on traveling is that you come back with tons of stories and memories that stay with you forever. Half the time they’re stories of something wonderful and exciting that you experienced – like when I learned how to make homemade pasta while I tasted wines in Rome (it was Amazing with a capital A). Or sometimes they’re stories of something bad or scary that happened on your trip – like when two of my friends Martha and Emily had a near-death experience during the riots in Paris after the World Cup Final. But even the “bad” memories end up turning into hilarious stories that you get to share and laugh about when you get back home.

It’s been over a year since I went on my tour and I still find myself saying, “That reminds me! When I was on my trip…” I didn’t even realize how many interesting things happened until I came back and would have conversations with people and it would remind me of some experience that I had in Amsterdam, France, or London. I still love telling the story of what it was like experiencing the World Cup Final while I was in Paris or celebrating my sixteenth birthday in Paris which coincidentally is the same day as the French Independence Day. 

12. You’ll have help

One of the added benefits of traveling while you’re young is that you’ll most likely be able to convince mom and dad or grandma and grandma to help you fund your trip. That’s one of the best parts of traveling while your young because you’re family members are eager to help you out financially so that you can make some memories and have a good time. I’m now past the point where my family is jumping up and down to help me pay for a trip, so take advantage of the help while you can!

On top of that there are tons of tours that are cheaper and cater to teens and young adults with a smaller budget but still want to see as many sights as they possibly can. I personally am in love with the tour company EF Tours. I’ve been on two of their trips so far and have loved every minute of it. They get you to all of the attractions, book your flights and hotels for you, hire a tour guide to take you from place to place, and plan fun excursions. They’re also relatively cheap because they use the same hotels, hostels, tour companies, and local business so frequently that they are able to get everything cheaper than it would be if you went on your own. 

You also have the benefits of student discounts, so remember to bring your ID with you and ask if you can use it wherever you go! These perks make traveling while you’re young much easier because the total cost of the trip will be significantly less than you would pay in the future if you decide to take the same trip. 

13. It makes you more independent 

When you’re younger, if you’re anything like me, you may a bit timid and shy. This means that having to get around for the day in a foreign country by yourself can be a bit nerve-wracking, but those moments of travel are good for you, even if they’re a bit unsettling.

I remember there was one day when I was in Paris and everyone that I was friends with on my tour decided that they wanted to spend the day at Chipotle and relaxing in the hostel. I thought this was absolutely crazy. “We’re in PARIS guys! You can have a burrito bowl when you get home!” So I had no choice but to go off by myself if I wanted to do anything interesting. At first I was completely terrified and scared of being alone. What if I got lost and couldn’t find my way back?! But I ended up walking all around Paris and seeing the entire city. I saw the major attractions and went to places like the oldest bookstore in the city to buy a book and tried the best hot chocolate in Paris. I got pictures EVERYWHERE, ate as many macaroons as I could get my hands on, and ended the night watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It ended up working out perfectly because I was able to do so much more that day than I would have done if I was with a group of 5 or 6 girls. And I realized that I’m much more independent and capable than I thought. I was so proud of myself by the end of the day and so fulfilled by getting around a foreign city all by myself that it became one of the most memorable days of the tour. 

14. Travel makes you more accepting of others

Another reason why I believe that it’s vitally important to travel while you’re young is because it makes you much more accepting of other people.

I feel that today, we need this lesson more than ever. There’s been so much hatred in America fueled by the media in recent years. Mostly because media channels learned that they can make money by pinning people against each other and because this last presidential election was “harrible.” Hugely, “biggly,” and catastrophicly “harrible.”

Because of this we’ve become accustomed to getting offended if someone has a different opinion or experience than us and rejecting them. Our country has been in a place where all people do is fight and hate people who are different. It’s especially toxic for all of the younger generations who are impressionable and mimic the behavior they see while growing up. And I’m not just talking about children. I’m talking about the teens and college students (like myself) that watched all the adult figures in their lives turn against each other for a solid year because of this last poisonous election.

My concern is that if THIS is how people feel about other American citizens than what is our perspective of the rest of the world’s population? If we can’t even learn to live in harmony with our neighbors, how do plan on having successful international relations? Today more than ever, I feel it’s important for people to get outside of their own inner circle and learn about the rest of the world. To learn about different cultures and different views, but most importantly learn that we can all be accepting and COEXIST.

I can hear my grandma in my head right now saying her famous line, “Haven’t people ever heard of the word HUMAN?! We’re all HUMAN!”

15. “Life is short and the world is wide.” – Simon Raven

Last but not least on my list of why it’s important to travel while you’re young is that there’s a HUGE world out there and life is short. Not to end on a morbid note, but a long life is not guaranteed to any of us. You have no idea what could happen in the future. I would love it if the universe would grant each and every one of us a long, healthy, and happy life, but it doesn’t work that way. People get sick and accidents happen. It’s best to fill your life with the experiences that you dream of while you can instead of putting things off for a perpetual “someday.” “Someday I’ll rent an RV and travel around the country.” “Someday I’ll see the seven wonders of the world.” “Someday I’ll go to Thailand.”

Someday is not set in stone. Someday is not promised. 

Traveling & Social Media 

Before I wrap up this post, I didn’t feel as if I could close up this week’s blog post without mentioning social media (particularly Instagram) and traveling. It felt irresponsible to share this post without addressing the problem of people traveling solely for getting attention and become famous online.

One of my favorite travel bloggers and Instagram influencers is Aggie, better known as “Travel In Her Shoes.” She’s someone who became very famous for her love of travel. She would travel for months and months at a time before she even was on Instagram and would take photos just for herself. She lived a very traditional life as most of us do for a while. She went to college, graduated, got a corporate job and was MISERABLE. So Aggie and her boyfriend at the time decided that they wanted to live a life of adventure and passion. They bought an old sailboat online, sold all of their possessions, fixed up the boat, and set sail from Mexico to Australia. Their story got picked up and since that day she’s made a career of her traveling and living the life that many of us can only dream of.

But Aggie recently opened up in a social media post this week about a topic that I believe needs to be talked about. Her Instagram post was inspired by a recent Ted Talk given by Joseph Gordon-Levitt on “paying attention” vs. “getting attention.” The talk is called “How Craving Attention Makes You Less Creative.” The Ted Talk is amazing and I HIGHLY recommend watching it as soon as you can. He talks about how (as a result of social media) most people today now view their creativity as a means to GET attention rather than paying attention, enjoying yourself, and collaborating with other creatives.

Aggie shared that traveling used to be very much about paying attention. It was a way to get out of your small little bubble, disconnect with family and friends, find yourself, and fall in love with another country. She admits that now, due to social media and influencers like herself, traveling has become a way to GET attention. “[People] sign up for a sort of their own Truman Show,” as she puts it. They get addicted to waking up each day and getting attention from their followers as they post gorgeous travel photos and share their stories. Because of that, they’re afraid to go back to their normal lives. They’re afraid that if they do, they will be forgotten and won’t receive praise from their online following. And that’s exactly what happened to her. The addiction to keep showing up, traveling, and getting attention is what caused her a falling out with the man she was in love with, getting extremely sick this year, losing her hair, and falling into a depression. Since then, she’s taken a step back and slowed down on traveling and focused on herself more.

I want to talk about this issue because the sad truth is that many people today travel just as a way to get likes and followers. People sign up for trips, buy expensive clothes for their photos, and spend their entire vacation staring at their phone. I can’t say that I’m above this myself. I will admit, my motto was “do it for the gram” for several years there, and my travels were a part of that too. But that’s NOT what travel is about. Travel should be about the reasons I listed above, not to become the next big travel blogger or YouTuber! It defeats the entire purpose of travel. So if you are going to book your next flight, remember that exploring the world is about the reasons I listed above, not about the social media posts that will come as a result. Travel is about PAYING attention, not GETTING attention.

Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

As always, thank you for coming to Lost Online! I hope that this post was entertaining and I hope that it inspired someone out there to go on an adventure. If it does, PLEASE reach out to me!

A special shout out to one of my Gram (who is somewhere in Morocco right now living her best life) for being my role model, for passing on her travel bug to me, and helping me to come up with ONE more reason for traveling while you’re young (just because I liked the sound of “15 Reasons” more than “14 Reasons).” Not only is she the source of inspiration for this week’s blog post, but she’s also my #1 supporter and reader. Hi Gram (: I love you very much.

Lastly, please send your thoughts and prayers to my incredible friend and photographer Ray Reyes and his family who lost his father, Edd Reyes, very suddenly last week. You can read Ray’s most amazing, tear jerking words about his father’s life in his Facebook post here. And thank you for your patience as there’s been a delay in getting blog posts published at this time. But as we all know, family is more important.

“Time is the most precious commodity we can share with our loved ones. With time, you can do all you need to do and say all you need to say. But you can’t wait forever, because time has already passed, the time is absolutely now and we have no idea how much time we have in our futures.” – Ray Reyes

Remember to comment your thoughts below. I love hearing from you! Can you think of any other reasons why Lost Online readers should prioritize traveling while they’re young? What are they? Did you have a favorite reason on this list? What was it? Do you have a travel bug too? Where’s your next adventure going to take you? Did this post inspire you to take a trip anytime soon? Do you have a family member that has been influential in your travels too?

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that”+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto and Allen Fajardo @alewafeni.

This Day Could Have Gone Much Differently: A School Shooting During My Therapy Session

Lifestyle

On Wednesday, Aug. 21, I had a really busy day. I was working on things from home and was jam-packed with tons of projects for my website and YouTube Channel. So much that I had hardly eaten all day and I still wanted to go to the gym that evening. My boyfriend Matt suggested, “Why don’t you go out and get a smoothie? You can walk down to RawkStar, get a smoothie, and walk back. It’ll be nice.” So I decided that was a great idea. I put on my shoes, grabbed my bag and was about to walk out the door when I realized my phone was about to die. I stopped for a second and thought about leaving it behind while I walked down the street to grab a smoothie. I would just be down the road and would only be without it for about 20 minutes. But I didn’t want to do that. I put my phone on the charger and sat back down on the couch with my computer ready to work some more.

Now, you might be thinking it’s because I’m a sad millennial that can’t stand the thought of being separated from my phone for more than 5 minutes. But that’s not why I didn’t leave. I didn’t leave without my phone because I was worried that if a shooting would happen, I would be without my phone and unable to call for help.

Later that evening I told Matt about that and laughed it off, thinking to myself I’m just paranoid. I waited until my phone was charged and then went out for my smoothie before going to the gym. Then, later that night as I was trying to fall asleep, I thought about the very real possibility that a shooting could happen. Last year there were more shootings than days in the year. I thought about how scary it is that we live in a country where we have to fear this in our everyday lives and I remembered how in my last two years of college, I was terrified to be in the library. Whenever I was in the library to work (which was almost every day) I would plan where I would run and hide if a shooter walked in. Those were some of the last thoughts I had before falling asleep.

The Next Day

The next day I woke up and went about my day as usual, not thinking about any of those grim thoughts I had the day before. I got up, had my coffee, worked from home, edited some videos, and then started getting ready for my therapy appointment. It was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and it was getting closer to that time. I got dressed and got myself ready and stood in the kitchen contemplating leaving early to go to therapy. I thought how nice and sunny and beautiful it was outside and thought about how I could pass the half hour before my appointment sitting outside on a bench or in my car in the parking lot listening to my podcast.

But I decided against it. I decided to just wait until it got closer to the appointment to leave. When I finally did make it to the building for my therapy appointment, I was surprised and extremely confused by what I saw. Cop cars had circled a building, which is actually a church, preschool, and counseling center in one. Police started to fill the parking lot and the pastor was outside talking to the police and visibly nervous. 

I got out of the car, confused, and wondering if I should just turn around and go home, but I didn’t. I turned off my car, got out and walked up to the police and the pastor to ask what happened. Right where we were standing, a man fired a shot into the windows of the preschool just minutes before I had arrived. Shock is the only way I could think to describe what I felt right at that moment. 

They assured me that the children were safe and had been evacuated into the church. I asked if they caught the shooter yet, to which they responded, “No.” I froze for a moment and looked around in circles, knowing that just minutes before I arrived, a shooter had been standing right where I was. What if he was still here now?

The pastor and the police kept talking and finally I had to interrupt because I quickly realized that they thought I was a concerned parent waiting to pick up their child. I shared with them that I had a therapy session at 3:30 and the pastor told me that he would get me through a side door. I followed him, looking around behind me to make sure we were safe and walked in. 

Two minutes later, my very happy, bubbly therapist greeted me with a big smile and asked how I was. I could tell right away she had no idea what was happening. “Do you know what’s happening right now?” I asked her. Her eyebrows furrowed and she said, “No, what’s going on?” “A shot was just fired at the preschool, the building is surrounded by police.”

Right then, a not so pleasant woman came around the corner and yelled at me to get into the room so she could talk to my therapist privately, and proceeded to tell her what I just said. She told her that we could continue with our session and they wouldn’t interrupt us, or we could leave. My therapist walked back inside and I could tell she was just as shocked as I was. 

We decided together that this was not the right day to proceed with the session and we should both just reschedule and go home. She then proceeded to tell me how she attends service in the church and was just there this past Sunday. She told me that she had been sitting in the very back row by the door, and was distracted throughout the entire service because it had occurred to her that if there was a shooting inside the church that she was in the most vulnerable position. Here we were less than a week later. 

She also told me that she doesn’t believe this was random. Apparently, the church has a sign out front that says “Dear God, please help our elected officials stand up to the NRA.”

We both rescheduled for next week and I walked outside to get into my car and go home, only to discover that the police had blocked off the parking lot and I was unable to leave. Here I was again outside in open air, standing where the shooter had stood, and not able to leave. The police huddled together in one area and were discussing how they needed someone to get the video footage of the area. Finally, I found a police officer and walked up to her telling her that I was supposed to see my therapist but we decided to leave given the circumstances. I asked her if she would be able to move, but it turns out she had to then get permission for me to leave. I waited in the parking lot, shaking, looking around me hoping that this person wouldn’t return. All I could think about was if the shooter was still in the area, they might decide to target the police and anyone else standing in the parking lot. The police officer then came back, looked at my ID, took down my information and said that I could leave.

That evening, I was in shock for several hours. I occurred to me that had I left even just a few minutes sooner this day could have gone far differently. I could have been in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time. If I had left any earlier, I would have shown up at the same time as the shooter, possibly witnessed the shooting, and possibly been killed just for being the only other person in this empty parking lot.

Once I calmed down and came out of shock I started crying because I realized that we’re no longer safe anywhere. This building is a CHURCH, a PRESCHOOL, and a place where people go to for therapy. This place, out of all places, should particularly be one where people should feel safe and comfortable. 

This problem seems harder to wrap your mind around when it’s on TV. But when you’re standing there in my position, surrounded by cops and hearing people frantically try to find video footage and make sure the little kids are safe, it doesn’t seem so complicated. 

This SHOULDN’T be a problem. 

This needs to be changed.

America has proven time and time again that we are NOT capable of having guns. How many school shootings have to happen for us to realize that?

Takeaways

Now that I’ve had some time to think and process what happened, I thought of a few takeaways: things that I really want you to come away with after reading about my experience. 

1. DO Something

Stop posting on social media and take real action. There is nothing that makes me more angry on social media than when people are posting about how “😩😭😔” they are about an issue but don’t do anything to address the problem. It seems like nothing but a cry for attention online and to show how deep they are. If people actually cared, they would stop sharing their feelings on social media and take real action to address the problem. Sure you might have reshared a post about gun violence, women’s rights, or the Fair Oaks Farm calf abuse, but did you actually do anything about the issue? Being #sad about something isn’t going to change the state of our country. 

After this happened, I didn’t want to just be another mindless person sharing their feelings and sad emojis on social media for their friends to see. I went searching for things that I can do to help with gun control. In my search, I found this article on “30 Gun Control Actions You Can Take Now.” Once I’m done writing this post for you today, I’m going to do several of these myself. 

For now, I have signed up to join the Woman Against Gun Violence. By becoming a member of WAGV, they will notify me about upcoming events, what’s happening with gun legislation, and simple things that I can do to help reduce gun violence in our country. It could be something as simple as making a phone call or writing an email or attending a rally. 

2. Trust Your Intuition

The day before this happened I thought about the possibility of being in the wrong place at the wrong time of a shooting on two different occasions. I had no reason to start thinking about this. I didn’t see a post about gun violence online recently and I no longer watch the news. Nothing was making me think about this subject, I just did. And less than 24 hours later I show up minutes after a shooting. Even my therapist was worried about a shooting before it happened and opened up about her own fears of the reality of becoming yet another victim of gun violence.

We all must learn to tune into these feelings that show up and trust our intuition. I’m sharing this with you not because I have it figured out, this is one thing that I really need to work on. I always doubt myself so much that if my gut tells me to turn right, I’ll turn left, and I end up regretting it EVERY time because my intuition has never been wrong. Unfortunately, we live in a time and culture where we’re taught to think only with our heads. Things like gut instinct, intuition, or a “hunch” are seen as being ridiculous and “wooh-y.” If you tell someone you have a bad feeling, they’ll most likely laugh and make jokes about you’re a psychic.

But your gut is like a second brain and is usually MUCH smarter than our other brain. It gives us that knot in our stomachs when something is wrong to keep us safe and point us in the right direction. Collectively and individually we need to learn to trust that again. There are some things that we might not be able to see, explain, and prove, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

3. Nothing is a Coincidence 

Just like I shared in my last couple posts, the universe has your back. Since yesterday I keep telling myself thank goodness I didn’t show up any sooner! Thank goodness my therapist was already inside the building in her office and not walking in at that time. Thank goodness I decided to stay home instead of leaving early like I sometimes do. Otherwise, I would have been right there. 

I want you to take some time to really think about this and reflect on your own experience. Most people haven’t just missed a shooting by minutes, but many of us have had some moment in our lives just like this. Where we realized we got SO lucky because we ran a few minutes late, or decided to go somewhere else, or decided to stay in one night. You must have a moment like that buried somewhere in your memory. 

Take some time and think about that today. Search your memory for a time when this happened to you and don’t brush it off as a random coincidence. Remember that we have a greater power looking out for us.

Take time to feel grateful for those moments because the sad fact is that not every single person was that lucky.

4. Gun Control

One of my all-time favorite comedians is Jim Jefferies, who created this bit for a comedy show that blew up and went viral. It became such a sensation that it was even referenced on the news several times. What started out a simple comedy sketch blew up into a sensation that helped people understand the flawed logic that many Americans have when it comes to their precious guns. 

Now you might be thinking, “Who the hell is the random comedian, and why is he talking about gun control?” But I think Jim Jefferies is the perfect person to talk about this topic. Here’s why: 

  • He talks about this subject in a way that is super funny and relatable, meaning that this message has been able to reach millions simply by the humorous way that it was delivered.
  • He’s from Australia, where he shares they had 11 massacres and finally the government decided to take away guns which put an end to gun violence.
  • Jim Jefferies had a home invasion where he was tied up and cut while the invaders threatened to rape his girlfriend. He shares that owning a gun wouldn’t have helped him in the moment. How would he have known as he was naked in his house that two guys would randomly bust in with weapons? It’s not like he was “ready” and had a holster on him. 

The reason why I absolutely love this video is because he addresses all of our flawed views of guns including, “I need it for protection,” “I’m a responsible gun owner,” “If gun control were to happen only the criminals would have guns,” and “The answer to gun violence is more guns.”

There’s one argument that I think is the most important thing that we need to take away in these conversations about gun violence. Jim Jefferies explains that every American should be able to have a gun. Yep. Everyone. Everyone and their mother who is a “responsible gun owner” should be able to have a gun. But guess what…that’s not how society works! We have to play to the 1% of people who are going to use it for bad reasons. As he says, “We have to walk as slow as our slowest person to keep society moving.” 

Sure, maybe the majority of people who have guns would be “responsible” with guns should be allowed to have them. But there are too many people who feel the need to walk into a preschool and murder a bunch of 4-year-olds with an assault rifle. There are too many kids who will pick up a gun thinking its toy and shoot their brother or sister in the stomach. And there are too many people who have the worst days of their lives who have too many drinks and remember they have a gun in the house, and how easy it would be to end it. There’s also too much domestic violence as it is. You have an abusive, drunken husband in the house who gets mad at his wife over something stupid, do you really want to know what happens when there are guns in the house?

This argument that gun lovers share over and over again is, “Why should I have my guns taken away? I’m not crazy. I’m responsible.” It just doesn’t work. Because as Jefferies says so eloquently, “That’s the thing about crazy people, they don’t know they’re crazy. That’s what makes them crazy.”

You should also be able to drive as fast as you want to all the time. But guess what. We can’t. That’s not how society works. 

We need gun control because unfortunately, we live in a country where this is not the first shooting at a PRESCHOOL. We can’t attend church, or send our 3- and 4-year-olds to preschool, or go to therapy, or go get a f*cking smoothie before a workout without living in fear of being shot. When are all of us going to get on the same page and finally come together and admit that WE NEED GUN CONTROL? How many children have to die? How many shootings have to happen?

Now, I realize that there are plenty of pro-gun people who would rather die than hear someone even mention the idea of gun control in America, but you’re reading a post from a girl who just missed a shooting by a few minutes yesterday and who knows THREE other locations that I used to go to that all had shootings. This is a very real issue that finally needs to be fixed.

I can also think back to middle school and high school and remember three separate conversations I overheard from other students where they shared that their fathers had a gun collection and gun safes. In each conversation I heard, the students shared that they knew how to use a gun, they knew the safe combination, and if they REALLY wanted to, they could bring the guns into school and murder people. This is America.

On that note, if you’d like to take a look and end this story with a much-needed laugh, you can watch it HERE: Part 1 & Part 2. I know this post is very different than what I typically write about, but this felt like something too big to not write about. And if you know me personally, then you probably understand at this point that writing about my experiences helps me to re-frame things more positively in my mind and process my experience. 

If you like what you read here, remember to go down to the bottom of the page, click that”+” symbol, and type in your email where it says “follow blog via email.” You’ll have all future blog posts sent right to you! Thanks for coming to Lost Online!

Photos by Ray Reyes @rocketsciencephoto.

The Broken Window Theory & How to Create Massive Change in Your Life

Self-Help

Can you believe that it’s already the end of summer? How freaking quickly is the year flying by? It seems like just yesterday I was writing down my New Year’s resolutions and determined to create a better me in 2019. Well, if you’re anything like me, then you’re probably nowhere near checking off those resolutions and wondering “Who the hell did I think I would be in 2019? Superwoman?”

I’m not the only one who’s made this mistake over and over, and it doesn’t just happen during the new year. We’re all interested in improving ourselves in some way, whether it’s getting in shape, learning a language, learning how to cook, deepening our yoga practice, reading more, etc. But in our good intentions and excitement from a sudden wave of inspiration, we try to do too much and we set ourselves up for failure. We want to change, but often try to create a drastic change in such a short period of time which inevitably only leaves us feeling guilty and disappointed.

This happens with both the bad habits we’re trying to break and the good ones that we want to adopt. A very popular example would be trying to quit smoking cold-turkey. We all know someone (or maybe we are that someone) who’s always “trying to quit.” Don’t worry, there’s no judgment from me!

One of my latest examples was that I wanted to start keeping my apartment cleaner so Matt would be happier to come home to a clean space and our home would look lovely all the time. I decided that each and every day I would have the dishes done, the laundry done, the counters spotless, fresh flowers in the kitchen, the floors vacuumed, the bed made, and the bathroom cleaned – 24/7. I decided this randomly one evening after a surge of inspiration to tidy up the house. Well, it’s now weeks later, and how beautiful do you think the apartment is looking right now? It’s NOT.

My clothes and piles of laundry are scattered all over the apartment, and there’s no sign of my resolution to keep the house clean. The clothes have taken over yet again. If I ever go missing, you just might find me trapped under a pile of clothes in our bedroom.