Motivational Monday: Learn How to “Live a Little”

For the past few years now, I’ve mastered exploring places by myself. I begin going out alone due to not wanting to depend on others’ availability. Being patient is a skill of mine, but not when I’m ready to go somewhere. I’m not too fond of waiting for people to get themselves together or canceling our plans when I was looking forward to them. Once it started to happen more often, I decided to enjoy myself.   

Because I’ve mostly worked multiple jobs at once to keep busy, I didn’t usually hang out with anyone much. I would arrive at one business, finish my shift, go to the other, and then home alone to my apartment. That was a routine I was content with, and I rarely invited anyone over due to wanting peace of mind. After a while, I realized I wasn’t living, and I worked too much to enjoy my life to its full potential then. At that moment, I knew it was time to begin my “solo” journey.  

So I did.

Taking time from work was unusual for me, but I was sure to use that time to enjoy life more. Exploring new restaurants and bars alone became a usual habit during my free time. Of course, some random interested men would often make small talk and cover my tabs. Not so bad? With good conversation from so many strangers, my time out would be more enjoyable, and I didn’t feel alone during those moments. You’d be amazed at how many feel comfortable telling their whole life story and troubles to a stranger they met five minutes ago. I never judged though; I’m a people-person, so I didn’t mind.   

Since I’m from the Virginia Peninsula, I’ve always been surrounded by water. I’m a real “beach-bum,” so when I needed a beautiful and peaceful place to think, cry, or relax- any of our many beaches became my happy place. I mainly preferred two secluded beaches because they would pretty much be empty and quiet. I was content with being alone at the beach because of the sense of solitude. Being alone started to become my preferred choice of company.

After a while, I begin to travel out of town to other cities and states alone as a spur-of-the-moment thing. My family disagreed with my choices initially, but when they realized I decided to live my life with a “Live a Little” motto, they simmered down. They worried too much about my safety and felt I shouldn’t be traveling alone. I understood their concerns, but at the same time, I chose not to live my life in fear. I would take these simple trips to explore nature mainly. Most people love traveling to other countries- I prefer to explore the beauty in my nation.

The United States offers an incredible amount of beautiful sceneries, national parks, beaches, islands, etc. Some seem to avoid it. I’m a firm believer in appreciating what you have at home before searching anywhere else. The excitement of exploring breathtaking hiking adventures is mind-blowing and therapeutic for me. I’m able to peacefully absorb nature, relax my mind, breathe the refreshing open-air, admire the scenery, get a great workout, and reflect on life in silence. I absolutely love it!

Moving to Los Angeles gave me even more incredible opportunities for places to explore during my free time. I begin to explore many art museums. I discovered a laid-back, fun karaoke bar. I’ve visited numerous landmarks being curious. Trying random restaurants in random cities became the norm for me. DTLA, Malibu, Long Beach, Angeles National Forest, and Inglewood quickly became my favorite hangout areas. There are endless amounts of things to do or places to visit out here. I try to explore as much as possible because I’m unsure which state I’ll decide to move to next.

My all-time favorite part about the County of Los Angeles is the Angeles National Forest. Since I live in the desert and far away from a beach- going to the mountains became my new happy place. It is beyond peaceful; the air is refreshing; there are secret areas to explore; my favorite bridge is there; the views are stunning; you can see the entire city of L.A. and its skyscrapers, and so much more. It’s the perfect alternative for the beaches back home. I go there to think, cry, and sometimes even nap.  

I’m always trying to encourage others to go out and enjoy life by themselves. I try to convince them to explore alone because you never know when you’ll have to experience a sense of loneliness. You can’t depend on others for all of your happiness; you have to have fun with yourself, enjoy yourself, and have peace of mind with yourself. At first, it may seem a little awkward, but once you make it a habit, you’ll adapt quicker, and it becomes more fun. 

You may not be a hiker nor have an interest in the beach, art museums, or mountains. There is a museum for everyone’s interest. There’s plenty of different locations for everyone’s hobby or talent. Challenge yourself because you’ll never know your capabilities until you try. The one thing you assumed you couldn’t do may become your favorite and perfected hobby. Believe in yourself, and you will succeed. I challenge all reading this to go out and begin to be free and “Live a Little!” 

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