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June 20, 2016

It’s Okay to Stop

It's Okay to Stop | Beauty Bets | photo via Designlovefest

A few weeks ago, I had a meltdown. And then I had another one. They both caught me by surprise. One day I was fine, humming along with my to-do list, happy as a clam to be moving in with my partner in crime, and the next I was crying in the car or paralyzed with what-am-I-doing-with-my-life anxiety. This is nothing new. I am a world-class worrier about whether I’m doing enough, being enough. My expectations seem completely reasonable to me, but something tells me they’re not. Like having meltdowns in the middle of life being really good. What is that?! It’s called doing too much.

I knew I was over-extended between moving, traveling and working on a few new projects, but I had no idea it was taking a toll. How could I possibly be sad or stressed when so many of my dreams were coming true?! That’s when I began to wonder if my idea of “normal” stress is actually normal. I’m always stressed on some level but have gotten so used to it that it takes a meltdown for me to slow down. At some point in my life I decided that unless it’s stressful, I must not be doing enough. And then what? I’ll fall behind in life? I’ll never accomplish my goals? I won’t have anything exciting to talk about at dinner parties?

For as much as I enjoy my rest and leisure time, I don’t value it. Which is like saying I don’t value myself, only my outputs. And so, a few days after moving we went to the beach and I slowly started piecing myself back together. Stress can splinter the human spirit, and mine was in shreds. I hadn’t been giving myself credit for just about anything. All I saw were my shortcomings and all I felt was fear about the future not being amazing enough. In the mean time, I was missing out on my amazing present: a new home, a great career, a man who makes me make sense.

And so I decided to stop. Stop striving. Stop doing. Stop thinking. Stop asking. Stop solving. Stop trying so effing hard to figure everything out.

And life has been peaceful and full of of promise ever sense. Not perfect, of course. I still have to get out of bed and go to the gym and work and do the dishes and pay the bills. But those things are a distant second to my life, if that makes sense. That’s still a scary proposition at times, when I’m so much more comfortable with the doing than the being. But I’m excited to see where this new approach—even if it doesn’t lead anywhere at all.

{image // designlovefest}

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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