From Danielle: There's More to Life Than This

I'm what you'd call a hustler.

From the moment I wake up, I make coffee and head to the couch to begin writing. I crack open a window, let the sunshine in, light a candle, and let the words flow.

I make time for Struck Inside Out in the early morning hours because dawn births the most creativity for me. I need to begin my day doing things that I love, and writing has been my most devoted companion lately. When I spend a few hours releasing the inspiration within me, I usually go for a run or work out in my apartment, because when I'm in the zone and writing, hours can pass of just sitting on the couch and I forget to move my body.

After exercising, I begin work for the school that I'm a director of. In between the hours of working at the school, I'm publishing blog posts, sharing ideas on social media, sending query letters to agents, hosting live events on Insight Timer, freelance writing, doing 1:1 coaching sessions, and creating podcast episodes. I try to do as much as I can, whenever I can, to land me closer to my dreams.

Oh, and I bartend too. I've been in the restaurant industry for ten years and as much as I have days where I tell myself that I'm over it, I've come to love the relaxed nature of the bar scene. Compared to everything else that I do, it's mindless work, and it helps my writing. I socialize with new people, make the regulars laugh, listen to customers' most intimate secrets, offer advice, and don't think too much about what I'm doing.

Somehow, I've managed to squeeze all of this into my Monday through Saturday schedule.

I work a lot not only because I love what I do and have a positive relationship with money, but because it's become second nature to me. The moment I open my eyes from sleep, my mind is already kicked into gear of what I can get done in a new day.

Buttt...

I have to admit that recently this rat race mentality has got me feeling like a robot. My heart tenses as I grab my laptop to begin crossing off my To-Do list. My chest tightens when I look at the clock to see the hours swiftly passing by. My soul longs for freedom from this cage I've housed it in, where its world is only work, work, work.

I ask myself, Is this it? There has to be more to life than this.

I know that I essentially love what I do, and it brings me great joy and fulfillment, but I also know that life isn't all about the hustle, even when you're trying to make your dreams come true.

Yet, I also find it really hard to relax. When did I become this person who can't ease into a moment of nothingness? When did I forget how to simply be?

It's funny how I know the importance of rest and play, especially for creativity, yet I always think I need to do more in order to "get ahead."

What does "getting ahead" even mean, anyway? Why do we always need to be further down the road than where we currently are? How do we escape this social norm that's become the very backbone of our beings?

The interesting thing about this is as I'm writing this Sunday Session, I'm hastily typing away so that I can complete this task on today's agenda and head onto a freelance writing job, then get outdoors for fresh air. Ah, the madness of it all!

So, as I try to share personal anecdotes to shed light on the essential need for rest, I'll take my own advice (finally and hopefully!) and take a deep breath, relax, trust, ease, and know that everything will get done in its right time. I'm not a mass producing machine that's only purpose is to meet deadlines. I wasn't born to create lists and cross items off like I'm in the business of dishing out check marks.

I'm a writer.

I'm a director.

I'm a teacher.

I'm a podcaster.

I'm a bartender.

I'm a daughter.

I'm a sister.

I'm a friend.

I'm a student.

I'm a lover.

I'm human. I'm flawed. I'm messy. I'm perfectly imperfect.

I'm growing. I'm stretching. I'm learning.

And I get to try, again and again.

I can mess up, again and again.

I have endless chances of doing this right, again and again.

I will wake up tomorrow to a new day, a new me, and simply choose again.

Today and tomorrow, I choose peace.

Today, tomorrow and every day, I will try my best to choose myself.



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