Month: October 2018

Deja Vu

 

I will say that 5 years from now after hopefully being married and forgetting what a first date feels like, I will look back on my single years with glittering fondness because of the kaleidoscope of experiences it’s brought me. It truly has been a period to experience “life”As for now though, I’m in the same boat as millions of other single 30 somethings, where you are more than ready to leave the party. At this point the dating pool feels like being forced to drink really warm champagne, only it’s not champagne, it’s Andre sparkling wine. I think the challenge in life is always that gap in between knowing you are completely ready to move forward and finally finding yourself in that next chapter of your life. Sometimes it could be as simple as timing and other times it could be that a new door has opened but you haven’t sat still for long enough to notice. Either way the journey can be daunting and downright depressing for both guys and girls alike.  

 

Living in Southern California it is really easy to adopt the Work Hard, Play Hard, mentality and forgo or neglect commitment for as long as you can, if not altogether. The dating app world makes non committal tendencies even easier because we basically have created a virtual reality where meeting people in person isn’t even important anymore. At any given time you can open your dating app, talk to 15 single people you are attracted to, get your loneliness fix, and then go about your day. We as a culture have made the act of dating so diluted that no one wants to put in the effort to truly get to know someone anymore.

 

But it can’t all be the dating apps fault, right?

 

Over the past few months I have had a few aha moments in my dating life. After a few instances, I really had to sit back and think about what all of these men had in common? They all looked different and had different backgrounds, but the guys I dated always seemed to have what I would refer to as A Great First Act. They were all successful, outgoing and engaging, but just below the surface all of them had something much deeper in common. In my case they were either emotionally unavailable or physically unavailable, which always prevented our relationship from moving past The First Act. How is it that we can be with someone that does and says everything right and then one day realize we have found ourselves right back in the same situation, yet again? Subconsciously, there are things in all of us that can attract exactly what we don’t want. Past experiences, fears, imagined worries… All of these things are usually completely concealed in our subconscious until they are brought to our attention by repetitive lessons disguised as new experiences.

 

Life lesson #4 – Repetitive lessons will usually show up in our lives disguised as new experiences. It is then up to us to fully recognize the patterns and read between the lines.

 

For me, growing up with a father who was emotionally unavailable and lived 3,000 miles away, it would make sense that I would subconsciously attract that back into my life. It’s almost like our mind goes back to a past experience and replays it in our everyday lives to try and make sense of things. The funny thing is, I actually spent a lot of my 20’s being emotionally unavailable and would always be the one to end things before it got to a certain point. After working hard at correcting my own behavior it’s seems that I subconsciously attracted that same energy back, only this time on the receiving end. After a few back-to-back examples of dating guys with the same patterns, I am now able to really see below the surface of a conversation and trust my gut when something feels off. It’s easy for people to tell you exactly what you want to hear but when you truly pay attention and read between the lines, the truth will always seep through.

 

What are some areas in your life where you keep finding yourself in the same situation?

What are some things your subconscious could actually be holding you back from?

XOXO

ET

 

Being A Yes Person

 

I think there are so many times in life that we find ourselves saying yes to things we don’t really want. We say yes to what society thinks we should look like, pick careers based on what our family thinks we should do, date people our friends think we should date, and take on responsibilities that we don’t necessarily want to take. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times when saying yes to something could lead to a pleasant surprise, but if we constantly say yes to things out of fear of disappointing people, then we will always be working our way out of situations that we didn’t want from the start.

 

It’s taken me a really long time to realize that sometimes it’s ok to say no to the beliefs that others place on me. For so long I have said yes to everything in fear of missing out on an opportunity or thinking that someone might know me more than I know myself. Even when my gut would tell me otherwise, I would still do it. I would completely overcommit myself, take on roles that I didn’t want to take, and allow others to tell me what they “could see” for my life because I was scared to say no. Sometimes it’s the things we are saying yes to that are actually keeping us from moving forward. For example, a relationship you know isn’t right but keep circling back to, a job that makes you miserable every day but don’t have the confidence to make a change, or a persona that you have built up for so long that you feel like you have no other choice but to maintain it. Whether you realize it or not, you are choosing to say yes to those things by not making a conscious change.

Did saying yes help me realize what I truly want?

Of Course.

Did continuing to say yes hold me back in situations much longer than I wanted?

Absolutely.

Self confidence is about knowing who you are, what you want with your life, and ultimately what you deserve. This isn’t about being selfish or doing things for selfish reasons, this is about what truly sets you apart – your individuality. It’s about fulfilling the promise to yourself of who you were born to be. When you are a good person, with good intentions, that will ultimately be the part that shines through. If you continue to live your life saying yes to who others think you should be or keeping up appearances because you are afraid to rock the boat, you will always be unhappy.

 

Life Lesson #3 – The longer we stay distracted by things we don’t want in life, the longer we keep ourselves from finding the things we actually do. It’s okay to have the courage to say this isn’t who I am or this isn’t what I want for my life. Inevitably there will always be the chance that someone won’t agree but the alternative is leading a life where you are unhappy because you’re scared to disrupt someone else’s idea of you. Be brave and create the life that you deserve not because you feel obligated, not because you feel comfortable, but because it is your life and you deserve to tell people who YOU are and not the other way around.  

Q: What things are you saying yes to in life that are holding you back because you are afraid to say no?

XOXO

ET

Failure

 

This past year has been one of the most challenging years I have ever had, if not the most challenging, and I’ve been through a lot. When I started this journey to own my own business I had made the choice if not now, then when? At the time I wasn’t in a relationship, didn’t have any children, and seemingly didn’t have anything holding me back, so I decided to go for it. From the time I chose the name of my store to the time I opened, took just under 6 months. 

I worked out my lease agreement with the help of a close friend, I found my own contractor for my tenant improvements, got all my permits and city licenses, and started gathering everything I needed to set up shop. In hindsight my absolute favorite part of owning a business was seeing the vision in my head materializing before my very eyes. After all, I did have something to be proud of, because I was doing it all by myself. Once I got through my lease negotiations (which were a nightmare) and started breaking down walls, we quickly realized there were structural issues that had been falsely disclosed in the lease agreement. I also started to have reservations about my location because it was in a development that was still under construction and my location was located down the “Secret Alley.” What ultimately sold me on the location though was the potential and some of the big-name restaurants like Nobu, that would anchor the center. I decided this was where I was meant to be and fear was not going to hold me back!

Life Lesson #1 – Nothing about your business should be “secret” no matter how cool and trendy it is to be exclusive. Unless this is not your first go-around or you have unlimited capital, beware.

The first few months that I was open were surreal, it was almost like I had been an overnight success. I had friends coming in almost every day, made friends with all the other tenants in the village, and I finally felt like I could breathe a sigh of relief. This was going to work out for me! Right after the New Year hit, four businesses around me closed their doors and I experienced what seemed like an endless season of little to no foot traffic. It was almost like a little ghost town where I would see maybe two customers a day. All of the store owners in the village were very supportive of each other and would always encourage one another so I knew things were going to turn around soon. What I thought of as a slow season, was followed by another slow season, and things were not picking up down the Secret Alley like we had all hoped. I was trying every marketing idea I could think of to bring in more foot traffic with social media, e commerce, paid advertising, pop up shops and in-store events, but nothing seemed to make up for the slow weeks and months in between. Every penny I made went straight back into the store but I was quickly running out of working capital with my rather large overhead. I remember someone telling me that more is lost in indecision than decision, and after a year I felt like the writing was on the wall. I can remember getting on my hands and knees every night praying with tears streaming down my face for things to turn around. I didn’t want to fail. I was terrified to fail.

By some miracle, I was able to completely walk away from my lease unscathed, but as I sat on the floor of my empty store I couldn’t help but feel like I had lost my purpose. I had lost my mom and best friend, been through a few failed relationships, and now I had lost my livelihood & passion to wake up for every day. There are so many times in life where we are told to hold onto our highest expectations and everything will work out. When it doesn’t work out though, there is no way not to take it personal. It’s hard to believe that a situation you’ve worked so hard for could ultimately be out of your control.

Life lesson #2 – Failure is our greatest teacher and without it we wouldn’t grow. If everything went right in life and everything you did turned out perfect, think of how different you would be. Unfortunately, it’s the really hard, gut wrenching times that build character. It also taught me that sometimes everything falls together so it can fall apart. As odd as that statement may sound, sometimes we are meant to fail, and fail fast. Sometimes we are meant to learn brutal lessons in a short period of time… almost like an expressway to enlightenment. The sooner you fail and learn the lesson, the sooner you are able to advance and move forward in a new direction. When you look back in hindsight though, nothing can be considered a failure where there was a valuable lesson learned.

 

Question: Which areas of your life have you had to fail in to learn a (in)valuable lesson?

 

XOXO,
ET
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