Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Laying It All on the Line: What I've Learned During my 6 Month Hiatus from Blogging (Life Update)

Hi Everyone!

I want to jump right back into blogging, but felt that it might be a bit strange without a brief explanation. I have some pretty fun posts lined up in my cue this week, and thought I should preface them with something more insightful. I struggled with writing this post, because I wasn't sure if I really needed to justify why I took a break from blogging. I know that I don't need to justify my reasons, but since you (yes you!) have been such loyal readers, I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop as much as possible. 

I have changed so much during these past 6 months where I have been absent from the blogosphere. I am super grateful for the experiences I've had, the challenges I've been presented with, and my successes during this time. I've been on a journey of self-awareness and self-reflection this year. On the first day of 2016, I decided that this was my year. I made promises to myself, and scribbled down quite a few major goals to accomplish. I am so proud to say that I have achieved a few of them! And with that, I thought I would provide a bit of a life update.

Here's what you missed: 

1) I moved. 
I am now living on my own, in a pretty rad apartment (in the same city). My roommate and I decided to part ways and move a bit closer to our jobs, respectively. It's been a massive adjustment as I have literally never lived on my own before. For someone that is challenged by finding motivation in every day life, this just seemed to exacerbate everything. I'm still finding my groove. I'm not perfect, and I will never be. However, it's been such a fun adventure to live on my own, and I can't wait to give you all a virtual tour of my new pad when I'm finished decorating. Did I mention that I love to decorate?!

2) I am still struggling with chronic pain (and acute flare-ups).
 I have had to take a bit of time off from work for this, and am attending physiotherapy weekly. I am exhausted 95% of the time. However, I am having more "good" days than "bad" lately, which is a plus, because there was a time (not long ago), where the opposite was true. I have gained so much perspective from having chronic pain, even though it's mostly annoying to have so many physical limitations.
3) I lost my passion. 
Thankfully, I seemed to have rediscovered it. I realized that I was writing a whole lot about stuff I frankly don't care about. I have decided to be more honest with myself, and only feature content that I have interest in. I have always been very vocal, but it's time to be more reflective of the information and topics that I choose to talk about. I have also been toying with the idea of starting to Vlog, so stay tuned for that! 

The reason I started this blog was to give myself the space and create a dialogue about issues that matter to me. My blog is called “Erica Exposed” because I want to expose my thoughts. I’m very introspective, but I’m also an open book. I don’t tend to hide information, my thoughts, or beliefs. I want to use this to my benefit more, to attract more media attention to the issues that really matter. 

4) I started a new job (with totally different hours).
 I'm no longer a 9-5'er, which should mean that I have more time to blog, but honestly, working nights (and opposite hours of my friends) is pretty challenging. I have probably mentioned this before, but I am a Registered Social Worker by trade, and work full-time at a hospital. Social Work has one of the highest "burnout" rates of all careers. That can be said because of our inherent ability to empathize, and our constant drive to help others. I for one often find myself, "dishing out" the advice that I don't take myself. That's the hardest part about it. Knowing what is right, but for some reason having difficulty engaging in self-care, or making positive changes. One thing I do know, is that you can't pour out of an empty glass. 

What I have learned from the most eventful year (2016) of my life:
Image result for positive vibes 
1) I am worthy. I am worthy of love, kindness, help, success... I am worthy of living a positive & happy life. 
2) I love myself for who I am, not who I (or others) think I should be. 
3) I am a kind-hearted, inherently empathetic soul. I will always put others well-being before myself. It is up to me to find a nice balance in as many situations as possible. 
4) Life is so much better having a positive attitude. I used to be the most NEGATIVE NANCY. Ever. That is, until I flipped the switch, started believing in the power of positivity, and have never looked back (ProTip: Try listening to a guided medication on YouTube - key words "power of positivity" or "law of attraction"). 
5) I am a warrior. I have fought chronic pain and mental health challenges as gracefully as possible. 
6) Stop blaming others for your misfortune. Life is what you make it! There will always be "good" and "bad" days - take advantage of the good ones! 
7) I can make it on my own. I used to be so reliant on others, but now look for opportunities to take initiative and propel my life. 
8) It's okay to ask for help, and/or accept help when it is offered to you. 
9) I am very bad at budgeting and managing my finances (but I'm working on it).
10) Those who are worth your time, will always be around. Those who leave, or are only drawn to you during times of success, aren't worth your time. 

* This has been a PSA: Take time for yourself. Engage in activities that you are passionate about and enjoy doing. Do not feel obligated to do anything that you don't want to.


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