seeking quiet(er) moments 🤫

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Another month gone, another new love letter. October came and went in the blink of an eye and I’m sure you had it jam packed with endless events: late nights, sleep-ins, hard work, Netflix binges, the list could go on. Today, let’s talk about just how busy our lives have become.

I spent all last week striding through these stunning scenes of red, orange, yellow leaves and the sound the wind makes when it dances through it. An ode to a crisp autumn, it’s amazing just how much you hear when you start really listening. Birds pecking away, leaves crunching underfoot, a dog barking in the distance. And the silence.

The moment I started to realize just how quiet it was, I realized how loud the rest of my life is. Head-down-headphones-in, meetings galore, cars honking, endless chatter. Since coming back to my reality this week, here is my two cents: clear up some space in your life to let great stuff come your way.

Our concrete commutes and dedication to the #grind aren’t the only things we have going for us. We have long lives ahead full of innovation, boundless creativity and genuine human connection.

The best parts of great thinking are in the times when you can actually hear yourself think. Let yourself have that freedom. You don’t have to always be plugged in, you don’t always have to be as successful as your Instagram says you are. Sometimes, you can just be you. And that’s pretty damn great, too.

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love,
ELLE

summer in september 🍂

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Can you believe September is nearly over? Where did all that time go! I’m sure you’ve had quite the month yourself—I hope you’ve taken some time to catch those last few rays of sunshine.

When summer ends, I feel nostalgic. Nostalgic for the warm weather, the scratchy picnic blankets, the let’s-meet-anytime-anywhere mentality that seems to only live in summers. If you’re anything like me, you wrote a list of things you wanted to do this summer. And if you’re human, you didn’t quite cross everything off the list.

Truthfully, I get frustrated when things are left unfinished. Like I’m forgetting something, I feel as incomplete as my list.

But that’s the thing – your life is not a list. It’s not predetermined life milestones that you must adhere to in order to move forward. It’s not Get Married by 28 and Have Kids by 30. We’re so used to hearing about how other people are crossing things off their to-do’s and how we just aren’t quite there yet.

Sure, I didn’t end up writing for a publication or learn how to make macrons, but I did start a new job and have the most life-changing experience doing something I truly loved. And I did buy a bike, so there’s that.

A lot of the most fun parts of life are unplanned. Summer is for pints of ice cream or fresh flowers or how grass stains your new white shoes. I like to think that there is a beginning and an end to the lives we lead, but everything else that happens in the middle is up to us.

Curl up with a new book. Drink a coffee and stare out the window. Pick up a pumpkin pie on your grocery run, especially if you weren’t planning on it. Embrace the way life goes in the same way that you bring a jacket out when seasons change. We’ll all end up where we’re supposed to be eventually, so just enjoy it until we get there.

 

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love,
ELLE

pick your battles

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You can do anything, but you can’t do everything is a quote I heard a year ago that I often play in my head when I’m feeling overwhelmed. There have been times where the goings have truly gotten tough and I wonder to myself: “How can I do all of this?”

I’m not here to tell you to get an agenda or planner. I’m here to tell you a simple response to that inner monologue:

You don’t have to.

Whether it’s at work or at home, you have a team of humans who were pulled together as a team to well, do it all as a team. There is no honour in being a martyr who can do it all, and there certainly isn’t honour in struggling but not telling anyone you need help. Sure, there may be praise for getting it all done on your own but in my experience, that praise never comes. Because when you struggle and complete the nearly-impossible tasks without asking for help, no one really understands the breadth of how much you did and thus, your hard work may go unnoticed.

Look around at the stuff you have on your plate and consider,

“Do I need to do all of it in this timeline?”

“Do I have anyone who can help with some of this?”

“Am I doing my best and still can’t do it all?”

Then, decide. All anyone can ask of you is to do your best. You have the knowledge and strength to take on anything this world is going to throw at you, but you can’t fight every single fight. Pick your battles and make these decisions out loud. Ask for help when you need it, and take a break when you know you need that, too.

 

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Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here to receive a pep-talk straight to your inbox on the last Wednesday of every month. See ya then!

love,
ELLE

mind your beeswax

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what success means to us. Is it a nuclear family and a solid median household income? Is it travelling the world and learning new languages? Is it spending time with friends and writing your book? And if it isn’t one of these things – is that a failure?

There are so many paths to take at every point in our unique adventures. People in my life are pursuing dreams bigger and smaller than mine, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that any of us are doing this wrong.

It can feel terrifying to compare yourself to the folks on your Instagram feed. Some might have a Masters, a new family, a house, a beautiful wedding, a cool job. If you’re comparing notes with people on social media, it’s no wonder you feel like you don’t stack up.

When was the last time you shared a post online about something awful that happened to you? Probably never. And why would anyone else? In fact, maybe someone looks at your perfectly curated life online and thinks that you’ve got it all. We’re all in on this charade together.

Live your life in whatever way you’re happy with. There’s no how-to manual on navigating the rest of your life. We’ll all get there in the end. Take your time. Have fun along the way. Turn off your wifi sometimes.

 

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Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here to receive a pep-talk straight to your inbox every Wednesday. Until then, see ya next week!

love,
ELLE

fake it til ya make it

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Let’s talk about confidence.

I’ve known plenty of successful, confident people who didn’t know what they were talking about—in this case, let’s call him Steven. I can objectively say that the Stevens I’ve met in my life are rambunctious, driven and hold heads up high despite (and let’s face it) we know a lot more than him. But he is so confident in his abilities that he convinces others of it: he moves up in the ladder, gets the promotion, gets the better grade or whatever it is, while it always seems that you get left behind.

Now, that’s not any fault of Steven for being able to portray that level of self-esteem and leverage it to get what he wants. But it does provide a disservice to us if we don’t do the same—especially if we have the same (or better!) capabilities that he does.

And while you and I both know that Steven may not be the smartest guy in the room, we also know for a fact that it’s the confidence that got him there. This week, I want you to walk into every encounter with the exact same level of confidence that Steven has. Even if you feel like you may not totally know what you’re doing or if you feel completely out of your depth. Hold your head up high. Drown out your insecurities. Believe in your own ability.

I know that sounds terrifying and uncomfortable to be so self-assured, but you know that you know your stuff. People like Steven have faked it until they made it; lucky for you, you already have it. You just need to be ready to share it with everyone else.

Be assertive. Be confident. Know your worth. If Steven can win over a crowd and have no idea what he’s talking about, you can walk in with that same enthusiasm, a lot more knowledge, and woo the crowd over, too.

 

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Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here to receive a pep-talk straight to your inbox every Wednesday. Until then, see ya next week!

love,
ELLE

gone swimming

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Hard decisions are really freaking hard. I’ve recently had to make an important choice myself: Will I go over the deep end and try something terrifying, unsure and potentially life-changing, or stay in the shallow pool where it’s safe and guaranteed I (probably) won’t drown?

This sort of self-reflection is so tough to swallow. A year ago last year, you felt so blessed to be in this position and now you’re seeking something bigger. Why can’t you be happy with what you have? Because you’ve grown. And you’re still growing.

It could be as big as a career change or even as everyday as going out when you’d usually stay in. Whatever it is, there is no wrong answer to that tough choice. Though, I will say this: I can’t tell you about the nights I stayed in. Even times when I went out and was bored by the company, at least I had a funny story to tell.

Staying on the shallow side isn’t a bad thing – just don’t ever think it’s all there is. Even if it’s scary, even if it seems monumental, we have the rest of our lives to get it right, and maybe even a little wrong, too.
Let’s mess things up sometimes. We can forgive ourselves later.

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Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here to receive a pep-talk straight to your inbox every Wednesday. Until then, see ya next week!

Thanks to Otakuaegyochan for this week’s theme, “making important choices.” Click the comment button below to tell me what themes you’d like to hear about next week! Until then, see you Sunday.

love,
ELLE

 

be nice to people

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Hi! Grab your coffee and let’s chat. This week felt really difficult at times, but I’m glad we’re here now. It seems like everyone has been in a mood the last few days, and perhaps that has gotten to you, too. Maybe a boss, co-worker, friend, family. Don’t sweat it. Keep in mind that people have their own lives and their own baggage to carry, and even when they display their frustrations, they aren’t always frustrated at you. You may just happen to be nearby.

In my experience, it’s easy to internalize someone else’s emotions as your own. I sure do this a lot. You don’t have to carry this weight on your shoulders. Instead, consider all the tough things going on in your life that people don’t know about. Imagine all those things are also happening to that person.

When you find yourself in moments of frustration with someone else, the most mature thing you can do is to try and understand them. Funnily enough, they’re just like you – only different. Breathe in, breathe out, and remember that thankfully, not everything is about you. Let those folks deal with their emotions on their own, and you go out there and live your life.

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Click the comment button below to tell me what themes you’d like to hear about next week! Until then, see you Sunday.

love,
ELLE