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  • Writer's pictureLaura Skinner

Learning to Live my Best Life (The Good, Bad & Ugly)

Recently, I've had an obsession with the phrase "live your best life," because it's such a simple goal. Actually implementing it has been a much more difficult feat though, so I wanted to share some of the things I've learned along the way.

The Bad

A year ago, if you would have asked me if I was addicted to soda, I would have just laughed and told you of course not, I just probably drank more than I should. In college, bottled drinks were easy to access with my meal plan, and most days I would grab a Sprite to take on the go. After graduation when I had to start doing my own food shopping, it was still easy enough to buy soda at the grocery store. I knew it wasn't a very healthy choice, but honestly I just enjoyed drinking it enough that it didn't bother me. My fridge was always stocked, and I was consuming multiple cans of soda everyday. My family, who almost never had soda at home growing up, would have Sprite for me when I visited because they knew that's all I drank. It wasn't until our annual family camping trip this past summer that things started clicking for me:

1. For a week of hiking and outdoor activities, I packed soda to drink.

2. (With the best of intentions) My family also brought me a case of soda.

3. Even though I did drink more water because I was hiking, I would start to feel bad and crave a soda. And then feel better after I had one.

Basically, I realized I was addicted to soda.

Basically, I realized I was addicted to soda. There were a lot of reasons to stop drinking it, but the one that drove me the most crazy is that I knew soda was bad for me. I was disgusted that I had consumed so much for so long, and that it didn't even bother me. That I was making a choice to not live my best life. So the day after I got back from vacation, I stopped drinking soda.

The Ugly

I've always made stuff. In grade school, there were always posters to make or paper maché structures to build. I always enjoyed drawing out diagrams and keeping tidy notes. I jumped into art in college and was constantly working on projects for all of my courses. I loved being busy with creating. What I didn't realize until I finished school and stepped into the next chapter of life was that I needed to make stuff. I didn't just get a kick out of painting or pottery, it was vital to my well being. Which sounds dramatic, but in a very strange way things got dramatic when I didn't consistently create.

One week last spring, I had a full schedule, and opted to spend some evenings out doing things after work. I was genuinely excited about what I was doing, but I as the week went on, mentally I felt worse and worse. I was getting plenty of rest, but I was more stressed and feeling discouraged. That weekend, I had a chance to pump out some new work in my studio. I felt so much better afterwards and realized that I need to consistently create to really thrive (and live my best life).

I need to consistently create to really thrive (and live my best life).

The Good

Had to end on a positive note. :) There are things that I'm super proud of, like starting this blog even though I've never liked writing, and all the painting and sewing projects I share with you guys on Instagram. Honestly just doing this whole 'art thing' in general, and connecting with so many amazing people because of it has really made me feel like I'm living my best life.

So even though I haven't had soda for a few months now, and I've been scheduling in my regular studio time, there are still plenty of days when I don't make the best choices. And that's what I'm still working on (and always will be). There's never gong to be a perfect day or way of doing things, but I can always do my best with what I'm presented.

So let's live our best lives, friends. Thanks for reading, as always.

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