Three years ago I planned a weekend trip to San Diego for my birthday. For a few days, I was able to escape my life in LA and bask in the company of good friends who reminded me how fun life could be and how connected I could feel. We spent the weekend hanging by the pool, biking along the beach, eating lots of Mexican food, and laughing until we cried.
It was a bright spot during an otherwise challenging time in my life when I felt unhappy and unfulfilled. In San Diego, I felt the longing, the vision, the sense of what was possible. My body relaxed and my energy levels got a reboot.
Then, once I was back in LA, I experienced the torment of feeling so far away from that joy. It was a huge wake up call. I realized that I really missed my friends, and I'd been putting significant time and energy into a romantic connection that I knew in my core wasn't meant to be. I'd also been doing a lot of career exploration, and between these two outputs of energy, my other relationships had fallen lower on my priority list.
I decided it was time to change that. I still wanted to figure out my career stuff, but I needed to create space for the people who were a joy to be around. And, let me tell you: as soon as I did, the quality of my life skyrocketed.
Because even when everything else feels uncertain, having the support of positive, understanding, encouraging people makes all the difference.
I still slip up sometimes and let other things (like work) take center stage. When there's a lot going on, it can seem like the easiest route is sticking to your to-do list and calling a friend back once you're done with everything (but are you ever, truly done?).
Nowadays I catch this pattern more quickly, because I know that all the to-do's won't fulfill me in the same way a catch up phone call will.
That's my experience, at least. And maybe you can relate too? At the end of the day, are the times you treasure most the ones with the people you adore? If so, just know that you don't have to wait for weekend trips or vacations to experience a strong level of connection. You can start feeling more connected to your people right now.
If there's any part of you that wants that, I challenge you to create it! Here are some ideas:
- Send a quick text to someone you care about letting them know how awesome and appreciated they are
- Set up a phone call or FaceTime to catch up with a friend you've been missing
- Schedule some in-person, phone-free time with your roommate or partner. It can be easy to coexist with someone without stopping to be fully present with one another
I guarantee you, any of the above will feel better than checking a task off of your to-do list. I know from experience, and I see it with clients all the time! The smallest efforts to reconnect can reap huge rewards.
Now, when I look at this photo below from 3 years ago, my heart swells. How I felt that weekend — connected, giddy, playful — has become more of my reality, in large part due to the people I love being a top priority in my life.
Today, on this birthday, I’m super grateful for the supportive, kind, uplifting, and positive people who have been there for me no matter what, especially when I was feeling super vulnerable and in the midst of transitions and making big life changes. They make everyday life more memorable and meaningful — and I couldn't think of a better birthday gift than that.
Overflowing with love,