When I was a wee little lass, I never liked to be alone. I know, I know…those that know me would tell you otherwise. I thrive on solo adventures, I prefer being alone, and I’ve become an expert on isolation.
Younger Brittany felt anxious being in public without a friend by her side. Heaven forbid someone see’s her alone, and thinks she has no friends. Heaven forbid someone tries to talk to her without the buffer of another human being to act as a deterrent. Younger Brittany wouldn’t dare to go on adventures by her self.
If others couldn’t go, neither would she.
Then one day, a little over four years ago this all changed. Gone was the girl that needed a friend to go to the movies, gone was the girl that needed a guy to feel complete, gone was the girl that did anything and everything “with someone else.” Most importantly – gone was the girl that put her life desires on hold because no one else wanted to do the same things she did.
Taking time to learn how to do things alone is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, until that gift has the opposite affect and you get uncomfortable being around other people. Human beings are social, and we were meant to be with others.
As with anything in life having a healthy balance of isolation and connections is key.
It occurred to me a few weeks ago while I was on the above photographed solo hike, that I no longer thrive off of hiking alone all the time. I no longer prefer going on every adventure alone, and I am craving human connections like never before. I am constantly in awe of the human body, and when one aspect of our constantly working internal makeup is out of whack, the rest crumbles with it.
I’m also in awe of the fact that when we do not follow our hearts true desires, life starts to get difficult. Two years ago I made a transition with my job that I felt was “the right thing to do.” I hated what I was doing and almost instantly my health started to crumble. A year later I made another transition that I felt I should do, but didn’t really want to do and my health not only didn’t get better, it worsened.
It was in these moments that I started isolating more, and more, and more.
Last week I left my job in corporate America and transitioned back to working in a cafe for Starbucks. I took two steps backwards while most people strive to take one step forward in any job transition. I knew in my heart this job was not right for me, nor was any other position within those walls. So I stuffed the voices from society, and went back to stage one.
The key factor in this transition is that making coffee and connecting with people makes me happy. I won’t be a barista forever, but while I finish my last 9 months of school this is the right fit. More importantly this is what my heart was telling me to do.
This is what my heart was telling me to do for two years, but I ignored it.
So here I am, 28 years old, still in college, and working as a barista at Starbucks. And you know what? It feels right. I feel calm, and I feel happy. My lifestyle needs a job with flexibility, my lifestyle needs a job that allows for last minute travel, my lifestyle needs a job that has me moving non stop.
Life is not a template created by society that has a one size fits all tag, so why is it that so many of us care about how we are perceived if we are doing things we’ve labeled as not good enough? I isolated myself because I felt like I wasn’t good enough, and cared too much what others thought for far too long. I’m here to tell you that shit is exhausting, and in the end the only person you’re going to effect is yourself.
I’m actively spending time with others again, but in all honesty it was hard to surround myself with people when physically I never felt well. It’s also hard to find quality friends as you get older, but no excuses. With a stronger grasp on dietary tweaks, and relief of job related stress I’m confident I’m on the right path.
I still very much enjoy being alone, but I’m finding the balance between solo time and time with others. Working in a cafe is not about making money for me right now (plus, I get paid more as a caregiver through WA state) it’s about making connections, meeting people, and allowing myself to thrive as a human being.
The point of all this is to challenge and inspire those that read this to take an inward look at your life. Are you happy? I mean truly happy. Is there something that you could be doing that would make you happier, but you feel like you shouldn’t do it because you fear what others would think? Are you also experiencing health problems?
The mind body connection is strong my friends, and when your mind is toxic with fear and unhappiness your body will suffer the consequences. Stop living your life for other people, be selfish. You only get one, might as well enjoy the ride!
Oh, and we only get one planet so throw away your damn trash!
Q: Did you know that those with a strong circle of healthy relationships live longer than those who don’t? Are you living an authentic life?