Live and Love Without Regret

Mary Oliver, Elaina Avalos, Live Well Be Well, Wild and precious life

The great thing about getting older is that you start to hone in on what really matters. If you’re seeking answers and determine to live authentically, that is. Because you could definitely chase poop that doesn’t matter, right on until your last days. But if you are truly seeking to live out your best life, I think you find with time, that some things just don’t matter anymore. And sometimes that means you’re okay looking like a fool to everyone else – while doing, saying, and living as you feel compelled to.

The older I get, the more certain I become about what I do & don’t want to give my time to anymore. I also know that I can’t stomach regret. Through therapy and some tough knocks the last couple of years, that is becoming even more clear. I’ve promised myself to live a life without regrets.

Recently, I went down a rabbit hole of regret when I was second guessing sharing my heart openly, with someone I cared about. I shared my heart with him and there was no response, (which is a response). It sucked. That’s the thing though, I don’t want to make space in my heart or mind for regret. I told him because I promised myself I wouldn’t live with regrets. I didn’t want to figure out what came next for me, without telling him how I felt. And while that didn’t really work out for me, what’s worse is always wondering. I have my answer through his silence.

We can trick ourselves, when things don’t work out the way we’d hoped, that maybe we’ve made the wrong call. But the truth is, sometimes the gift is in the practice of trying, stepping out onto the limb, or trying something we’re terribly afraid to try. The more we exercise this muscle, the stronger it becomes, and the easier it is – when those moments of self-doubt pop up – to squash them. We only have this one life to live. I can’t fill it with regret. You can’t fill it with regret. None of us should.

At 45, I’ve spent the better part of 20 years around a young crowd. I haven’t had kids of my own. And something about those two things, has kept me feeling pretty young in many ways. But where I am happily feeling my age is in figuring out what matters and where to focus my energy and time. Now more than ever, that means to live and love without regret.

So – as I look toward my future, there is freedom in choosing each day to live my one, wild and precious life. If I’m focused on living fully – no matter where it takes me (even if it’s in the city I least want to be in), I’m able to see the beauty in each day. Life is not some far out thing that happens “someday.” It’s now. I refuse to look back someday with the realization that life was happening all around me and I missed it. I just won’t do it. The older I get the more certain I am that our opportunities for the life we want are in the every day choices we make now.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
—Mary Oliver

Follow Your Passion

event planner, event management, wedding planner, coastal carolina events, elaina avalos, oprah winfrey, passion and purpose, passion

In April, I wrote this post about dreaming about what comes next. In the months since – I started thinking about the future, dreaming, and applying for jobs. But, without any job offers and only one interview, I grew a little discouraged. At every turn I felt like I missed opportunities to move out of the area and into my next career. Beyond what I hope it means for my career – I also hope this change opens the door to meet someone. As in – someone to build a life with. The pickins’ are slim up in this joint (haha).

Now that I’m nearing the end of a work “project,” I truly have the full freedom to pursue a move out of state – or even the country – I’m nervous about taking the first steps. But I’m ready for something new. Have you ever felt that? Maybe I’d describe it as being certain that you need something new, but the path you’re taking to where you want to go, isn’t quite certain.

What I know for certain is that I no longer have a passion for what I’m doing. I once did. I probably still would. But with changes beyond my control, to the program I’ve given much of my adult life to, it’s not the same. But I’ve felt the pull to move on to something different, for some time. I found the dream in 2019. It was the right job, but the wrong place. That is what I dream of now – getting back to that place. I’m going to follow my passion. And while I don’t know exactly how all of this will come together, I do know the pieces will fall into place soon.

What has helped you gain clarity, when you’ve been on the precipice of major change? What advice have you been given or used, for planning major life change?

I listen to Being Well, a podcast by Dr. Rick Hanson and his son Forrest, often. Recently, they aired an episode that is helping form the foundation for how I will make decisions in the near future. I’ll be listening again this week. The title is, “How to Make a Big Decision.” If you are interested, you can find it here.

Author * Dream Chaser

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That’s me. I’m an author. I’m a dream chaser. There are some nay-sayers out there that wonder about all this “dream” talk. I get it.

I really do.

But let’s look at this another way. What if your dream was better defined as that thing that makes you, you? What if your dreams are perfect visions of what you were made to do and be?

I believe our “dreams” are part of our calling, or that mark we’re meant to leave on our world. Maybe our world is within the walls of our own home? Maybe it’s something we have to contribute that could literally change our world or make a positive impact on society in a major way? Maybe it’s the way we are called to support others, from behind the scenes?

I don’t know what your dream is or what that calling is. But I do know that you are here for a reason and have something that only you can bring to the world.

So what is it for you? What dream should you be chasing? What dream have you let lie dormant for far too long?

I’ve been chasing dreams for a long time. In fact, I recently realized that my dream chasing goes much further back than the most obvious things I think of {foster care & writing} when I think about chasing dreams.

One thing I’ve learned, as I’ve chased hard, is that the your reasons to quit can sometimes be greater than your reasons to keep pushing. This is a fact. But you’ve got to keep pushing & fighting your way through. Opposition to the dream doesn’t indicate a darn thing.

People of faith are often uncomfortable with this, believing that “closed doors” indicate that it’s time to end the pursuit of . . . whatever it is.

But this is faulty thinking. Maybe it’s our “first-world” issues in America that make us give up so easily – as if everything should be handed to us on a golden platter.

What I know? Sometimes the most beautiful gifts in my life have come after the toughest climb. Sometimes opposition actually means you’re in exactly the right place. Some of you are there right now.

In a way, I’m kind of there too. There’s a lot of reasons I can’t or shouldn’t. But I’m going for it anyway.

I don’t know what your dream is, but I’m here cheering you on. I’m cheering you on, while I chase mine.

Tell me about your dreams {if you feel a need to “speak” this dream aloud}.