10 things | beach house recap + focus

august13 24 august13 21 august13 17 august13 42 august13 37 august13 30 august13 39 august13 38Hi hi! & Happy Sunday!

I just got back earlier today from an extended beach house vacation. I say extended because usually I only get to go down for weekends, but this year Daniel and I worked our work sched to allow us to head down Wednesday evening and get two extra days on the beach.

I did a loooootttt of writing, brainstorming, walking on the beach and a TON of relaxing. I maybe did more relaxing than anything else – because honestly I NEEDED it. Lately there has been a ton on my mind and it’s not necessarily bad. It’s just been a lot to come to terms with.

I’m super stressed about starting school up again. Sure, I took classes last year but I only had one on campus, the others were strictly online. I am going to be doing placements in junior highs and high schools & actually TEACHING students, which is absolutely ridiculous in my mind – I still feel like a kid myself! My grandfather is getting older and has recently had another scare with cancer ( his THIRD bout of cancer; a different type each time ) which is absolutely terrifying. I don’t get to spend as much time with my fam as I used to, which is all a part of growing up and becoming an adult, but it still sucks that we aren’t all as close as we used to be.

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching; just trying to find who I am and what I want.

I know that I want to cherish every moment with my family, with my friends and boyfriend. Lately I haven’t been enjoying life as much as I know I could be and I need to make that change.

Honestly, there’s no better place to do a ton of soul-searching and to think really deeply. I could always hear the ocean crashing and I could smell the sea. Our villas were gorgeous and the grounds were lush and the flowers were vibrant. Seriously NO better place.

We go away each and every year, “down the south shore”, and each year it gets better & better. My grandparents used to own a cabin that was a 2-minute walk from the beach but when I was in grade eleven, they both got sick ( damn cancer ) at the same time, and had to sell it. So each year after that, we’ve been heading to the same beach villas and honestly, I think I like them better than the cabin.

The cabin will always be something I miss, but there’s something exciting about creating new memories in new places with the same people that I love so deeply. Plus this particular beach ( that the villas are on ) is way more perfect than the beach that my grandparent’s cabin was next to.

The first weekend that I was down at the beach house, I walked the beach a LOT, I blogged even more and I enjoyed my family’s company a ton. I felt as though I couldn’t do a whole bunch because I only had one full day there that weekend, but the second part of my stay I had 3 full days which was perfect.

Alexah came down to visit us and all of us ( even Daniel! ) jumped off of the old train trestle into the ocean! It was FREEZING cold and absolutely terrifying but it was so exhilarating. I almost backed out once I got up to the spot where you can jump from but I forced myself to do it & then I enjoyed it so much, I jumped again. I couldn’t manage to go a third because it was so cold but it was honestly the most alive that I have felt in a while.

The rest of the weekend consisted of a ton more walking, some relaxing inside in the rain, playing bocce ball and beach volleyball, eating s’mores dip and celebrating my aunt’s birthday. Daniel and I also tried to go walk through a park in town, but there’s a serious lack of rain around here lately and a lot of our provincial parks are closed due to a forest fire scare so we weren’t able to explore a park. We went to another absolutely stunning beach right down the road from the villas we were staying at and we did see a crazy river that rushes so fast it makes me dizzy, but it’s really pretty at the same time.

All in all, this vacation was JUST what I needed.

There were times where I felt incredibly anxious, super angry, peaceful and happy; times where I felt all of those emotions and more all at once, and I think that that was just what I needed to. I learned that I need to be more in tune with my emotions

I also learned during this vacation that I can conquer the scary things in life, the things that make me feel absolutely sick to my stomach to do, the things that trigger my anxiety.

And I can conquer them and do them well.

I jumped off a bridge into the ocean ( with a crazy current at that! ).I drove on the highway EVERY single day for over ten minutes to get coffee ( because coffee #duh ). I also drove two hours, some of it in the pitch dark, on the highway, without having a panic attack in order to get to the beach.

There’s something so satisfying about doing things that scare you & coming out on top. I know that it doesn’t mean that I’ll do these things in the future without being anxious again, but I know that it means I CAN do it.

Another thing I learned on vacation is that you shouldn’t take family for granted. There’s times that I get angry at my parents, annoyed with my grandfather, bothered by my cousins and aunt, cranky at my brother and grumpy with Daniel. But these are the people that I love most and need the most. So while it is okay to get mad at people or annoyed over something, you always have to let it go & remember the love you have for them.

The last thing that I learned while on vacation was that I need to focus on things that make me happy. I feel like I have these ah-ha moments ALL the dang time and every time that I have a moment like this, I promise myself that I’m going to focus on things that drive my creativity, inspire me, make me feel alive and then I get sucked back into the trap of everyday routine ( & not that there’s anything wrong with that everyday routine. I happen to LOVE routine and I think I have a pretty decent daily routine ).

But I need to remember that I can love my daily routine, I can also incorporate things into my days that I love.

Like how I have with blogging.

I realized that I really do love it and I want to work hard at it, so I’ve carved out time in my day to Instagram a picture or two ( and yes, this does take time! ), tweet, take and edit photos, WRITE posts and plan new content.

So I need to continue to do this with other things that I love, like:

01 | Growing my blog EVEN more: tonight I got a notif from WordPress that “stats on my blog were booming” and I was getting a ton of traffic. That made me SUPER happy, but I want to continue to grow it because I want to share what I love with the world.

02 | Yoga: my mind and body CRAVE balance, peace and calmness & honestly, there’s no better way to achieve all three than through yoga. Daniel even said “why don’t you look into becoming a certified yoga teacher?” and that sparked my interest INTENSELY. Now I really don’t know how one would go about this, or if I could ever actually achieve it, but why not look into it and give it a shot? At the very least, I would learn a ton and my mind & body would l o v e me.

03 | Working on a book: again, this may be as far-fetched of a dream as becoming a yoga teacher is, BUT honestly, why the hell not? I’ve always dreamt about becoming a published author… like I would write stories & stories on my old Windows 95 computer ( OMG – who remembers those?! ) so it wouldn’t hurt to try. Again, at the very least, it would be a total learning experience & super fun at that!

04 | Continuing to work on & improve my photography: I feel like this comes with experience and practice, but photography and imagery is so important with blogging and it’s also really fun! I only put out written content that I’m proud of and love, so it should be the same with my images. I’ve recently been working on my Instagram account & while I know the background to Instagram is “instant” photo-sharing, it is rewarding to have an account that flows and I’m loving editing my pictures all similarly now.

05 | Running: I’ve always wanted to run a marathon or something like that and I think it would be really rewarding to work towards being able to compete in one. Now I’m not saying that I want to be breaking world records and coming in first place, I’d just really like to be able to say that I participated in one if I’m being real here. I used to make time to run every single morning but I haven’t made that time lately and I miss it.

06 | Exploring Canada: I find so often we want to go AWAY and actually be away, like out of country away, but honestly Canada is one of the most diverse places ( both in landscape and population! ) that I really want to experience it all and this is definitely something that I can make happen.

07 | Spending more time with friends: we’re all so quick to have a quick text message conversation, that I really think the act of hanging out with people is decreasing greatly and I want that to change! I miss SEEING my friends and catching up in more than a few quick texts. One of my best friends is moving away in 3 short weeks and I haven’t seen her nearly as much as I’d like to recently, so I want to make a point to see everyone more often ( & see her a couple times before she goes! ).

08 | Meditating and journaling: there was a few months where I meditated every single day and wrote in my journal MOST nights and now I do neither, like EVER. I really miss doing both and I plan on getting back into it tonight. Meditating clears my mind completely and I love how it makes me feel afterwards. Journaling is so therapeutic & I love being able to look back at my blog and see where I was, but having actual written notes on my day or how I’m feeling in a journal is my fav.

09 | Stepping outside of my comfort zone ONCE a day: basically I was really inspired this weekend ( driving on the highway, jumping off a bridge ) and I really want to feel the way I felt in those moments again. There’s something so exhilarating about doing things that scare you, about finding comfort in the uncomfortable, and about conquering things that bring you anxiety that I LOVE. I want to aim to do this once a day, each and every day.

10 | Focusing on myself: yoga, meditation, mantras, running, working out, writing, walking, doing one thing a day that scares me, exploring, etc. etc. All of these go hand-in-hand with focusing on ME and I’m so excited to do them all. I want to be the best version of ME and I encourage you to do the same.

I’m off to catch some zzz’s and wake up in the morning, find the uncomfortable & KILL IT.

I hope you do, too.

julieann xaugust13 10 august13 16august13 45

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