What if…

Imagine if you used all the time you spent making excuses explaining why you are where you are, or who you are… and invested it in making your goals and dreams a reality?

Chuck is a Siberian husky, but he wanted to be a Cowpup. He now spends his days wrangling squirrels in North Carolina.

Chuck is a Siberian husky, but he wanted to be a Cowpup. He now spends his days wrangling squirrels in North Carolina.

I hear it all the time. My voice used to be one of them. I know frustration, anger, and the threat of hopelessness like my best friends because they were, until one day I stood up and said, “Enough.”

We have a thousand reasons to say life isn’t just. Let’s face it, life never unfolds the way we plan. However, how you tackle the sudden turns and pitfalls in life is life changing. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

“Why did I go to college only to end up with a wealth of debt?”

I hear this every day, and have been guilty of it myself. You do everything right: made the honor roll in high school, took AP classes, scored a 4.1 or plus GPA and joined clubs that landed you in an honorable college or university. There you studied, aced the classes, scored the internships… only to work for $11.00/hour at a retail gig that barely covers rent.

When you’re stuck in that rut, it’s hard not to ask yourself, “Why?” It doesn’t add up. In today’s economy, not many things do. Instead of sitting back and wallowing in things unfair, change your thinking.

Start with this: What did you take from those years in college?

Chances are you learned something whether they were professional skills, life skills, or just a better grasp of who you are. When I entered college, I had no idea who I was. For the first eighteen years of my life, I’d focused on taking care of everyone but myself. College became a place where I had to break everything down and start from scratch. I made mistakes, but also many friendships… some of which will never end.

I'll never forget those late night walks to the clock in the middle of campus. Conversations, friendships that molded who I became in the future.

I’ll never forget those late night walks to the clock in the middle of campus. Conversations, friendships that molded who I became in the future.

Remember life is more about the journey than anything. College is one chapter in a much larger story. Don’t let it overshadow the rest.

Debt’s a scary monster, but it’s defeatable. Consider your income, budget and shave off excess spending, and create both short and long term plans to eliminate the debt so it no longer becomes a ball and chain. There are countless articles and coaches that can help you achieve the results you seek.

Remember, dwelling will do nothing for you. You can’t change the past, but the future is malleable.

Another excuse I hear all too often: “It’s not my fault. I am this way because of x, y, and z.”
Today, everything has a label. Depression, anxiety, abusive parents/spouses/significant others, et cetera. These labels aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They provide a name for what’s going on inside of us and help explain why. However, many people stop there and assume they are simply a part of who they are… forever.

Realize, many mental illnesses are hurdles, not sentences. They don’t have to be the end result to progress.

I will never forget several years ago when my dad sent me an e-mail for an online A.C.O.A. test. He said he wanted me to take it so that I could see how my experiences had impacted my life. I scored an eye opening 98% that felt both relieving and damning all at once.

Those next few weeks, I reread my father’s words often. “The earlier you know how and why you are the way you are, the easier it is to take the steps to change them.”

My friends, you are what you allow yourself to be. The moment you settle on being a label is the moment you commit yourself to it. You’re capable of healing, of growing, and becoming more than you are today. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and the things that limit you.

You’ll be surprised just how many of your scars heal. Things like depression, anxiety, and such are often times our body’s way of telling us that there’s things in our soul we have to face and deal with. It’s the unresolved raising it’s ugly head until we pay attention, and make peace with the demons that haunt us.

Not everything may go away completely, but you can have better days. Don’t settle. Resolve to be free. When it’s all said and done, you’ll thank yourself.

Lastly: “I can’t do it. I work full-time. I don’t have time to do anything else.”
I’ll be brutally honest. This excuse has become a personal pet peeve. I work 60 hour weeks and still manage to write 400 page novels while making time for Charming, my family, and my friends. The reality, friends, is if you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen. It may include early mornings, late nights, and weeks fueled by coffee alone, but if you want it… well.

The best things in life aren’t free, darlings. If they were, you wouldn’t cherish them so much.




14 thoughts on “What if…

  1. Elli, this is such an inspirational post and exactly what I needed to read today. I was just on the verge of making excuses to. You’re absolutely right on all points. Also, Chuck is adorable. I want to follow my dreams the way he did

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