I have a few natural, strengths that I’m pretty proud of (mostly my perfection of the margarita, but we’ll share on that later). But you know what ISN’T one of them?
Taking time off and planning a vacation. Or travel. Or really anything outside of the day to day work routine. BLAH.
Actually lifting my eyes to take a look around me, rather than focusing on the miniscule details, is something I have to continually remind myself is IMPORTANT. You know the saying…missing the forest for the trees type of situation.
Well, a last minute trip was presented me to this month and you know what – I jumped at the opportunity.
One of my main girls here in Nashville, Tara – a friendship we’ve both been investing into for the last yearish – asked if I wanted to join her for a trip to Austin, TX.
Ironically, the thought of visiting Texas had been making my heart flutter for awhile (as in, for over 2 years), so I decided this was the final nudge I needed to shake things up for just a couple of days, not overthink, and just go for it.
But here’s the thing: Tara already had plans for the 2 of the 4 days we were there – so I had two days to myself. In a city I didn’t know anything about, that I didn’t really know anyone in, and no car for those days.
Crazy? Maybe. Adventurous? Absolutely.
>> As I type this scenario out, I’m curious to know if that sounds like a DREAM or SCARY SITUATION for you? I’ve had mixed responses so far on that.
Back on track here: There were a few things I learned about myself and life (yes, that sounds lofty, but it’s true) in these short, four days in Austin.
Let me tell you why this trip felt last minute, but I realized it was moreso a result of consistent life decisions:.
FRIENDSHIP. This trip was a result of intentional and consistent pouring into of a friendship. Planning and taking a trip with a friend doesn’t just magically happen. It takes time to build trust and ease with someone. As someone who typically lives life with a ‘lone wolf’ mentality – deep, lasting, solid connections and friendships don’t come often or easily (thank you Counselor Laura for helping this Enneagram 5). Tara and I have laughed, cried, vulnerably shared life stories, and had many a wine night to become the type of friends that have fun together and also share hard life stuff transparently, too. If you’re anything like me with a lone wolf mentality or transparency (which is different to me than vulnerability, more on that later) feels scary, let me be here to remind you: You need your people. I know you know that, but I’m here make sure you KNOW it. My friendship with Tara is one of freedom and safety and I couldn’t be more grateful — and my hope is you are able to find that, too.
So while this trip felt last minute, it was a result of consistent investment into an important friendship in my life. (and plus, you’ll learn a lot about the other person when traveling too – like: are they an early or late airport arriver? Ha.)
BUSINESS. This trip was a result of intentional and consistent pouring into my business. I’ve worked really, insanely hard on my agency the last handful of years. Creating and building a sustainable business is no small feat, but it does provide freedom and flexibility of schedule. I’ve intentionally worked on workflows and systems within my business so that things still run seamlessly even when I’m not in my inbox 24/7. When someone comes to me thinking they want to start a business for ‘freedom’ – I tell them that it’s DEFINITELY attainable, but it’s not as immediate as the world makes you think it is. Creating a consistent client base and establishing workflows to maintain quality content creation is key. If you’re a business owner in the first years of growth, that’s always my biggest piece of advice: Work hard now, drink (perfect) margaritas later. Wait, what I meant to say was: Start documenting now so you’ll have refined workflows later. 🙂
So while this trip felt last minute, it was a result of consistent investment into my business.
SELF WORTH. This trip was a result of intentional and consistent pouring into mySELF. This one may seem a little funky, but if you’ve ever tripped up in finding your self-worth tied into how much or how hard you’re working, setting aside time for a vacation doesn’t come naturally. Realizing that I’m not a machine, I’m a human, and humans have a need to slow down and have fun (this probably doesn’t resonate with my Enneagram 7’s too much, but I definitely needed it) 🙂 – was a lesson that I didn’t even know I needed to learn. You’re valuable outside of what you do, how you perform, or how competent you want to be. Taking on action that doesn’t necessarily have a direct ‘ROI’ is important 🙂
So while this trip felt last minute, it was a result of consistent investment into my self worth.
SELF CONFIDENCE. This trip was a result of intentional and consistent pouring into my self CONFIDENCE. Now, you might be thinking – ‘Elizabeth, we covered this with the self worth thing, remember?’ Yes, yes – you’re right. But I would suggest that self worth and self confidence are actually DIFFERENT. Self worth is an internal experience while self confidence is an external experience. Esteem, or worth, is the way we feel about ourselves. Confidence is how we experience ourselves in the outside world. In my opinion, it took confidence to spend two days in an unfamiliar city and create my own agenda! I went to places on my own, I shopped by myself, and I stumbled on some really cute coffee shops. Was it scary? Actually, yeah. It was a little scarier than I expected it to be. But was so worth it. To the girl thinking about doing something by herself? I say GO FOR IT. You’ll learn so much about yourself — and ultimately, you’ll trust yourself so much more, too.
So while this trip felt last minute, it was a result of consistent investment into my self confidence.
It’s so fun to share these types of experiences on social media. And I think we all know by now social is a highlight reel. But sometimes – maybe that’s not a bad thing? I love to highlight this trip because it showed me how much I had grown and how the things I had been investing into created a new opportunity for me.
And maybe this just might remind you to do the same? Which leads me to the next thought…
Sometimes we are so consistently working on ourselves, it’s hard to look up and actually see the growth we’ve achieved. The new ‘state’ of being you grow into will at some point become your default, and less of a mindset you are ‘trying’ to get to. And THIS is a good thing. But can also be hard to identify. And sometimes it takes a new experience to provide us the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come.
Because, when we miss the forest for the trees, it can be hard to celebrate our growth.
So while this trip may have been ‘last minute’ it could only be that way because it was a result of intentional investments I had been making for a long time.
More trees. More forests. More awareness. You got this.
ps- Tara is a late to arriver at the airport and I’m more of a ‘let’s get there early and have a glass of wine’ type of gal. ha! And still, there is no one else on the planet I would have rather taken this trip with. Which category do you fall into!
SOME THINGS FOR YOU TO PONDER ON:
What is something that you’ve invested into recently that you’re really proud of (this could be your business, a friendship, a relationship, etc.)?
What is an area of growth in your life that needs acknowledging and celebrating? Write it down! Maybe even share with a close friend. Celebrating small wins – especially ones that aren’t as tangible – are important in the journey to keep going.
What is a decision you’ve been putting off because you haven’t felt ready? This may seem a little outside the rest of this story, but I bet after you acknowledge an area of growth in your life, you’ll realize you ARE ready to make that decision 🙂 No more delayed decisions here.
AUSTIN, TX RUN DOWN.
Planning your own Austin adventure? Here are all the deets of what we did: