By Sara Orellana
Late in the summer of 2022, I realized I had allowed life to take over. I was boring. I was living in black and white. Realizing this, I understood why people weren’t returning my calls or texts. I was bored with myself! At the moment of realization, I looked at my daughter and asked her when I had allowed the stressful strains of life take over.
Life is hard. Life will always be hard. There will never be moments with true peace. Rather, moments will happen when we choose to allow them to happen, meaning, when we choose to be happy and interesting we are. I had chosen to be boring, stressed, tired, and never happy.
For years I have preached that life is what we make it; no home, city, or job will ever be perfect. In fact, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we will admit there are more negatives than positives in every situation because it is easier to be negative, to see the glass as half empty. But let me ask you something, do you want to be around Negative Nellies?
The past two years were beyond difficult for me. But in the moment I chose to live in high definition and become an interesting person, I chose to leave my pain and struggles behind.
The first step was to decide what and who I wanted to be. Then I needed to set goals, find some hobbies, and make the choice every day to be a happy person. And so I took the first step.
I started to read books again. I dove into history documentaries. I rediscovered hobbies I loved, spent more time outside, and chose to relax. I took a few extra naps. Set a bedtime for myself, started to get up early, spent my morning working out, and looked for the simple, small pleasures in life. I enjoyed afternoons outside with Selina my fur baby. I remembered how to play. I took naps with my other fur baby Raffy, and told him I loved his gray hair, and I made memories with my daughter.
Slowly, the parts of me that had died from the pain and trauma, came back to life. I remembered how to laugh, and spent one walk with B laughing so hard, I was doubled over for most of the walk. I started doing art again. And I was kind to myself. I went to bed early, cut toxic people out of my life, said no to dates, and found a new interest.
Looking back, I saw how much I had allowed life to wear me down, and how much I had allowed the hurt and pain to show on my face. That wasn’t who I was, nor is it who I am now. I have a young soul. I love to laugh, get into mischief, and find trouble. I am the friend you call in the middle of the night because you are bored, lost, or hurting. I am the friend who makes your exes cry when they break your heart. But more than anything, I am the person who loves to live. I love life.
For 43 years, I allowed others to tell me what I wanted, and who I was. I missed so much, but I learned even more. From this moment forward, I am going to live my life. I am going to be me. And in the process, I am going to teach my daughter to shine bright, be amazing and unique, but most importantly, to be herself and live her life.
Sara Orellana is a community volunteer, entrepreneur, author, amateur chef, and advocate for rescued animals. She may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.