It’s hard to believe that we’re already in September 2023. Time flies by so fast, doesn’t it?
I’ve been taking time away from the blog to think about what I want and what comes next. I created this blog to challenge myself to speak up and share my thoughts and experiences, but I stopped. I lost sight of that original spark that drove me to create this space. I’ve grown so much, and I’m definitely not the same person I was almost 7 years ago.
I don’t say this enough but thank you for reading my blog and engaging with my content. Your support means everything to me.
I’m breaking out of the box…
I realized that limiting myself to only wellness content because of the blog’s name was putting me in a box. I’m now ready for the next chapter and to explore other topics. I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery and creative expression. Writing content has helped me learn a lot about myself and how to handle difficult situations in my life.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my creativity with all of you, and I’m excited to continue this journey together! This blog holds immense significance in my life as it serves as a platform to express my creative thoughts and ideas. Thank you for being here with me.
The Next Chapter…
So, what’s next for the Believe and Balance Lifestyle Blog? In short, more lifestyle content.
This next chapter will be fun for me because I’m fully embracing the “Lifestyle” aspect of the blog and want to share everything I love, from fashion, beauty, travel, music, personal development, books, and more.
As I approach my 40s, I want to live the life I want to live and enjoy every moment of it. Get ready to learn more about everything I love and want to share with you. I hope you stick with me on this journey and find daily joy in your life.
And what about you? What’s next for you, and how will you start your next chapter?
This week, I’m switching things up and sharing a post about me! I got tagged for the Be Unapologetically You challenge by the wonderful Izzy Matias, and here’s my post. It’s been a long time coming, so happy reading!
Be Unapologetically You Tag Rules:
Use the Be Unapologetically You banner in your post. It can be your featured image or not. It’s totally up to you.
Include the link to this blogging tag in your post before your answers.
Answer the 7 questions in this tag.
Nominate between 5-10 bloggers, link to their blogs, and tag them on social media to notify them.
Reminder: you don’t need to include the “Be Unapologetically You Tag” in your blog post title if you don’t want to.
Introduce yourself and your blog while sharing one random thing about you that not that many people know.
HELLO! I’m Nicole, but all my friends call me Nikki. I’m 36, I live in Massachusetts, I’m married with no children, and I have been a career administrative professional until I switched into a content writer role full time in November 2021. One random thing about me is that I’m a massive fangirl of many different boy groups, specifically: NKOTB, BTS, and Stray Kids. In 2018, I fell down the Kpop hole, and I don’t think I’m ever getting out!
What topics do you love geeking out about that you would say are topics that give you bliss?
Topics that give me bliss… there are so many; I don’t know if I can pick a few. Being multi-passionate is sometimes hard because my interests are varied, and different things make me happy. But, for this post, I’d say I love listening to music, going to concerts, shopping, geeking out about self-care, working on personal growth and development, and creating content on Pinterest. I also love reading romance novels and watching K-Dramas.
Do you blog about them? Why or why not? If not, would you like to blog about them one time?
I am trying to incorporate more things that I love into this blog, so you may start to see things shift over the coming months! This blog is mainly focused on self-care, personal growth, and wellness tips for women, so I try to stay on-brand with that type of content. My background in health care and my transformational journey have helped me gain real-world insights on identifying things in life that you need to change to make your life better. Setting boundaries is also a great topic that I’d like to continue talking about in the future.
Would you say that you are living life by being unapologetically you? Why or why not? If not, what would your life look like if you were unafraid to share more about the things that make you happy?
I believe I am living life unapologetically. For years, while working in hospitals, I was always afraid to share who I was outside of work, and as of late, I have become so comfortable with who I am that I love telling people what I do. There’s an ongoing joke that I work to pay for my concert tickets and trips to see my favorite boy bands — It’s not a joke, if it’s true, right? LOL
Permission to geek out & be unapologetically you: Share with us one thing you fangirl or fanboy over and how you became a fan of it.
We don’t need permission to dance... I am a HUGE fan of BTS and Stray Kids. They are two Kpop groups from South Korea, and I “fell down the hole” (as we say) in 2018 once I decided to give BTS’ music a solid chance. What caught me (hook, line, and sinker) was their message about loving yourself. There’s a theory in the fandom, named ARMY, that you don’t discover BTS on your own, they find you when you need them the most, and I couldn’t agree more. They have made me so conscious of self-love and how important it is to put yourself first.
What do you love the most about being a fan?
I honestly feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself. It feels like I’m a part of a vast extended family. Being an ARMY (BTS), STAY (Stray Kids), and a Blockhead (New Kids On The Block) are three reasons why my mental health is much better today than it was years ago.
Almost all of my friends are ARMY, and I met them through group chats created on Twitter. We all have mutual respect and love for a group, and we share that every day.
Share a fun or unforgettable fan experience.
Every concert I attend becomes an unforgettable fan experience, but if I had to choose one, I would say my first NKOTB cruise. I got selfies with Donnie and Joey, I enjoyed partying on the lido deck until the sun came up, and I got to meet other people I met on Twitter! That trip was the first step in my transformational journey because I decided to choose myself and put my mental health first over things I didn’t enjoy anymore.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little more. If you want to be tagged, leave your name in the comments, and I’ll send you a social shout-out on Twitter!
I’ve had a little too much time to myself over the past couple of months. So, I decided to dive deeper into the meaning behind my blog and my overall why. I ultimately concluded that I wasn’t focusing on what I truly loved, and I needed to change that. During the process, I came to a significant realization; Balance is exactly what you make it, and it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) fit into one specific box.
I’ve honestly been going back and forth in my head to decide if I was even going to post this, but you know what, it does need to be said. I feel called to share this with you. This post is the culmination of my thoughts written down on paper, and I hope it resonates with you somehow.
What Is Balance To You?
I know life can get too chaotic to find the balance that everyone and their mother are talking about. I get it. But don’t take the definition of balance too literally. That’s what held me back for years.
Let me explain. You know when you were on the seesaw when you were a kid, and your sibling didn’t want you to touch the ground, so they put all their weight on the seat so it would stay on the ground? Think about how that relates to your life for a second.
When you’re up in the air, and you’re yelling at your sibling to let you down, it may feel like you’re going to be stuck up there for what feels like forever. Think of this moment as the external circumstances trying to pull you in a different direction than what you want to go in.
Yes, the situation may prevent you from getting down off the seesaw for a few minutes, but then once you’re off, you can decide to go on it with your sibling again. This is because you’re in control of your life and whatever comes next. Whatever that looks like for you is the same thing that helps you create balance within your own life. It’s your choice.
The Formal Definition of Balance
I took the liberty to find the definition on the Merriam-Webster website. They say the essential meaning of balance is “The state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall, the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling, and a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.”
I took balance in the literal form for years, and it completely screwed with my head. During my time of introspection, I was thinking to myself, “how the hell can I tell my audience about balance when I feel like my life is chaotic AF?”
It turns out that everyone that I’ve talked to told me that we’re all seeking some “balance” to shift things into something else that works for us. And that balance is different for every one of us at our core.
This Is What Made Me Start Questioning Everything.
I was on a zoom call for work a couple of months ago, and one of the people on the call said something on the lines of, “balance doesn’t exist if you’re doing what you love.” It shocked me so much that I legit had to stop and think about that statement for a few minutes to understand how I felt about it.
I can honestly say I was stunned and calm at the same time. There was too much going on in my head, and my mind was racing a mile a minute, but I knew there was a reason I heard that comment and why it made me start questioning everything.
After a few weeks of thinking about it (and going back and forth in my head more times than I can count), I agree and respectfully disagree.
Balance is an integral part of this blog and also within everyone’s lives; however, the meaning of balance changes based on whatever you need. If you’re doing the things you love, people say you don’t work a day in your life. However, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get there.
When you’re working full-time and working on that side hustle in your spare time, you need to balance out everything else you do in your life to make room for the things you WANT to do. Because of that, I believe in the fluidity of the concept.
Balance Is Fluid.
In simple terms, I believe balance is fluid. Balance comes and goes. I do believe that balance comes when you’re doing something you love. However, you can still do something else that seems okay and, deep down, doesn’t feel right. It’s up to you to change that.
Think about it… you go through life, going to school to find a career that suits you. Then that career needs to pay you well enough to live the life you want. What happens when you find that job that you love? You find balance because you can finally do what you want outside of your career.
At any rate, balance is subjective and varies from person to person. It’s based on your personal goals and development.
So, what is a balance to you? What makes your life balanced? It’s so unique to everyone, and that’s what makes it super interesting and exciting to pursue.
This post is going to be a little love note to myself. I’ve come so far in the last 5 years (let alone within 35 years). I am so proud of the woman I’ve become. I wanted to share 10 life lessons that have truly changed my life for the better.
I honor myself, my wants, and my needs more than anything and I want to use this platform to share 10 life lessons I’ve learned since I started my own self development journey.
Here are 10 Life Lessons That I’ve Learned By My 35th Birthday:
It’s okay to cut people out of your life.
It’s not that you don’t care about them or don’t love them anymore. You just care about yourself and your mental health more. The energy exchange is just not worth it for you anymore. You were dealing with their energy for whatever reason but once you realize that you need to protect your energy more, you’ll feel a shift. Trust me!
A skin care routine is super important and essential to your self care routine.
I never thought I had time to dedicate myself to a skin care routine because I always felt like it took too long, but I am taking advantage of the time I have since I’m quarantined at the moment. Whenever I feel like I need a little boost, I use a Mediheal face mask or just simply wash my face. It makes me feel good.
It’s okay to not be okay.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to sit with your feelings and let them all out. It’s okay to be sad. I know that I have a solid group of friends now who truly care about my well-being and know when I need to be alone and when I need help. I absolutely love them for it. <3
If you think getting your nails done is a non-negotiable, it’s non-negotiable.
This was something I started doing for myself in 2018. I decided to get my nails done every couple weeks and it made me feel so good! It’s definitely a non-negotiable and when they open up after the pandemic, you know I’m going to be first in line!
Finding BTS was SO IMPORTANT for my mental health.
This is one of the life lessons that I would have never saw coming, it’s this one. It may sound crazy, but BTS have truly changed my life for the better. They really taught me how to love myself and showed me that we’re all going through so many different things at the same time. They are my magic shop.
For so many years, I felt like I lost myself. I felt like I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to do with my life. Through their music, I allowed myself to grow, to learn, and to feel the love within my own heart. AND… I have to say that I’ve also gained AMAZING friends because of the love we all have for BTS. <3 borahae. You know who you are!
If you’re passionate about something, don’t hide it.
Within the past two weeks, I decided to decorate my bedroom with pictures, BTS merchandise, enamel pins, and canvas photos with the mantras that I live by. My bedroom now doubles as my office and it makes me happy to see all of this stuff being displayed. Also, my productivity has gone up big time!
Being at home all the time does not save you money.
My mom use to tell me, “stay home and save your money” all the time. However, since I’ve been home during this pandemic, I’ve spent the same amount or even more. Granted, I’m buying more groceries and not eating out as much, it’s still expensive to live.
Do the things you want to do regardless if anyone will go with you or not.
Go on that solo trip you’ve wanted to go on forever. Sit front row at that concert. Eat dinner at the newest restaurant by yourself. Just enjoy it. I have made more friends doing things solo (especially going on cruises and concerts) and it’s been amazing connecting with people who are also passionate about the same things I am.
Alignment is everything.
For years, I’ve struggled with alignment. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my business and it pissed me off (just being real about it). I think I’ve “opened and closed” my business about 5-6 times in the past 5 years. It wasn’t until last week that I took the plunge and created my LLC!
I finally felt like I was in alignment with what I should be doing (blogging and working on the side as a Pinterest VA) and didn’t want to miss the opportunity when it presented itself. *throws confetti*
Love yourself more than anything.
People can come and go in your life for whatever reason but the love for yourself will stay forever. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep on loving yourself. You are amazing.
I hope some of these life lessons resonate with you. As we go on our solo life journey, every where we look is a turning point. How you approach it is up to you! Enjoy your life and live your life for yourself every day!
2017 was a year of growth, expansion, life lessons, and major self-development, but I really didn’t see that at first.
As a whole, this year helped me discover things about myself that I’ve been ignoring or pushing aside for the sake of others in my life. I’m not the same person I was last year at this time. I’m more in tune with my needs, my wants, and my own feelings and what they’re worth TO ME.
Everything that I’ve learned in 2017 makes me want to be more of whatever I want to be. I’m more confident and aware of how I truly FEEL for the first time in my life and it feels AMAZING. I’m ready to finally LIVE a life that I designed myself and want to help my clients do the same in 2018, which is why I’m re-launching my life coaching services in the next 2 to 3 months.
Now, I want to share the 10 big lessons that I’ve learned in 2017. These are the most powerful experiences, realizations, and mindset blocks that I’ve dealt with on a personal level. I feel like it’s time to finally release them. This post is an offering of gratitude for everything that each lesson has uncovered and appreciation for the journey that I’ve been on during the last 365 days alone.
Also, when I write, I always allow myself to just type whatever comes out of my fingertips. Some may say that I channel certain statements or thoughts, but I prefer to call this my own intuitive guidance finally making it on “paper” or in this case, right onto the blog itself. You’ll see the difference in the way it’s written, too.
Here are the 10 lessons I’ve learned in the last year:
The past is your past for a reason.
Who you were in the past has helped you grow into the woman you are today. All of the winning, losing, grief, heartbreak, confusion, and unsettled emotions have made you a strong and independent woman that you were too afraid to be before. Let the past go with gratitude, forgiveness, and appreciation for everything that you’ve learned.
You’re not a bird in a cage. You’re meant to fly.
You are meant for so much more than you thought and there are people around you now that will help you see and experience that.
Trust your intuition and use that as a starting point.
Things don’t always turn out the way you want them to and they have different outcomes for a reason. Life is all about figuring out what that reason is and why you need to learn this lesson.
Do what makes you happy.
Just because someone else doesn’t approve of what you want, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve it or need it in your life. They are projecting their own insecurities on you and trying to make you see things through their eyes. Tip: Life doesn’t work that way.
Enjoy your alone time and use it to recharge as much as you need to.
If you need one day a week to reclaim your sanity, by all means, do whatever you can to make that happen. Shut off the phone, turn off the TV, and completely unplug based on your own needs. If you want to watch a movie that makes you cry, do it. If you need to meditate and do yoga, get your Namaste on. You need to know where your boundaries lie and make sure you honor them.
The people you lost are still with you every day and love you for exactly who you are and who you’ve become.
The loss of my Father and Grandfather has been with me every single day and I know they’re watching over me every second of every day. I’m so happy for the time that I got to spend with both of them and will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.
Self Love & Clarity are the two things that you’ve been missing in your life.
You need to love yourself in order to find the clarity that you’re looking for. Life has a funny way of turning upside down before you see the light.
Your self worth isn’t dictated by the amount of money in your bank account.
It’s all about how you feel. Love yourself and know that you are worth a hell of a lot more than you’re giving yourself credit for. End of story.
You are destined for so much more than you think.
You are finally starting to see that based on the small changes that you make every day. Take a deep breath every morning and tell yourself this before you get out of bed. Start your day with an open heart and mind.
You are the only one who has held yourself back.
It’s true and you know it. You let the opinion of others dictate your emotions, actions, and choices. It stops right now. Own your journey, live your life, and be whoever the hell you want to be. This is your life and no one else can change that.
While I typed all of these lessons out, I started crying – like really crying. Writing this post has helped me release all of the shit that has been burdening me in 2017 and I’m ready to start with a brand new slate in 2018.
“I release all things from the past year that has caused any negative attachment. I prepare to welcome new changes, new lessons and new adventures. I welcome new opportunities to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually.” – Namaste The Buddha
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
How has the past year reshaped your life? What lessons did you learn? Share them below in the comments.