They say it takes 20 seconds of insane bravery to take an action. That’s all it takes. And in 20 seconds before writing this post I’ve decided to tell you my most honest experience on how I’ve learned to simplify and let go. This post is a bit longer because I’ve felt the need to share it. I was so grateful and motivated to write it after some of you contacted me about a short story I’ve shared on my Instagram and told me it inspired them for a change. If you don’t wanna hear about it there are some photos of my pretty friend at the bottom 😀
It was 13th of July last year, summer semester ended and I was traveling to my home town that day. I remember the date because that was the day when I stopped smoking. I know it’s silly for me to talk about this because I’m only 22 years old, but it was an actual problem I had to deal with even at this young age. I was a passionate smoker. The first thing I would think of in the morning would be coffee and cigarettes, and with that sentence finished I was already up on my feet making myself the first morning cup and rolling my cigarette, getting out of bed was so easy. In the morning of July the 13th, I just decided that I’m not gonna smoke anymore, nothing bigger, nothing less just decided to say no to myself every time I think about smoking.. Now you must be wondering why did I quit? Was it my health, money issues, what? Health, but not in a way that I actually got some pretty serous disease, more that of I will if I don’t do something about my bad life habits.
When you go to college… Oh well, you all know how it goes, and since I had absolutely zero interest in living a healthy life, my daily routine would be: get up, drink coffee first and smoke a bunch of cigarettes (at least 10 in the morning from 8am- 1pm) then I would start to get hungry. My solution was eating a toast with cheese, mayo and spices, (disgusting when I think about it now) and only so I could drink even more coffee and smoke some more cigarettes. There was no time for me to make lunch. No lunch, no in-between meals, no dinner, just substitute food so I could continue to poison myself. Around this time last year I’ve stopped eating meat. Tasting it or even smelling meat was making me sick. First I panicked and thought on the worst thing like some kind of disease or even cancer (stupid internet) and even stupider me who listened to the internet and got nerve wracked and in the end took months before she went to the hospital to find out what’s actually happening inside her body.
Since I stopped eating meat and my culinary skills were not so amazing to start with, my food choices were very limited so I would always return to the thing that fed me most and it was, guess, coffee and cigarettes. If you’re a normal person and you smoke 2 cigarettes in the morning and drink like two coffees a day it’s okay, but I knew no limits. By the end of the day I would count my 8th or 9th coffee and god knows how many cigarettes.. My apartment is on the 5th floor of an old building from 1800. and every floor in this building is like two floors in modern buildings, no elevator. I would start to choke somewhere on the third floor, then stop, try catching my breath and then moving on. Not to mention how much my legs hurt while climbing upstairs because I had no cardio, neither did I do anything with my body except go out for walks every now and then. Just to remind you, I’m 22 years old.
Let me tell you how I’ve felt every single day. I would wake up tired after sleeping for more than 9 hours, I felt week inside out, my stomach hurt almost every time I would eat something, I had no motivation for anything, I would just sit for hours and get depressed on how my life is shit and I can’t do anything about it. I wondered why I was feeling like this, and the answers came from all kind of different directions. Unbalanced diet, smoking, drinking too much coffee, getting stressed about college, exams, people, life, anxiety, not supplementing with vitamins since I’m not eating meat, not getting physical nor mental exercise… The list can go on for days. But the main problem was my relationship with myself, my body and my overall well-being. On my last day of smoking I’ve smoked over 17 cigarettes from 8 am until 3 pm (that was the time I’ve spent in college), god only knows how much I’ve smoked after. On the July 13th my boyfriend and I woke up and just decided that we’re not gonna smoke anymore, that was the day my life changed drastically.
Quitting smoking ment all kind of new problems and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now, I’m not gonna lie and say that it was easy because it wasn’t and it took me almost 9 months to stop feeling those nicotine crisis and not wanting to punch everybody in the face. Since I’m a very passionate and emotional creature, that cigarette was my best friend in every occasion. I would smoke when I’m happy, when I’m pleased, when I cry or when I’m nervous to calm down, after the class, before the class, when I’m waiting for a bus or when I’m studying. First two days were okay, because I had that e-cigarette with 2 mg of nicotine. On the 4th day I decided to spill it out and pour in the fluid with no nicotine, just to have that oral fixation. I traveled to Pag Island with my parents and then the real struggle began when nicotine stared to leave my system. You know it’s bad when you’re crying in the middle of the shopping mall while your mom is pulling you on the hand while trying to buy you Nicorette gums. When nicotine starts to get out of your body it’s not anymore of a mental struggle, but a physical one. Your body starts to crave what’s been given to all these years and it’s now missing. I was so bad that my mom told me few days ago ”I was so worried about you… If you continued to behave like that I would told you to start smoking again.” My mom… Now you can imagine the situation and how I’ve behaved but most importantly, I’ve got through it and I feel like a minion bucks. Most hurtful thing was arguing with my boyfriend. Two people who smoked for years now stopped smoking and have to deal with life without the comfort of nicotine. When I think about myself and how I’ve behaved I actually can’t believe that was me, and most importantly I can’t believe I didn’t give in. That was the time I’ve found out that the power of will knows no boundaries. After overcoming smoking, I’ve felt this huge power and I knew, if I can do this I can do ANYTHING.
Whenever I had an urge to smoke I would walk. Walk untill my feet hurt. Only time I didn’t think about smoking was when I photographed so my camera was always with me. That was the time I’ve crystalized my purpose and path, photography. I started listening more Alan Watts lectures, reading more spiritual books etc. because I was feeling lost. After hours and hours of classes, reading and soul searching I’ve come to an epiphany. What is purpose of life if not BETTERING OURSELVES IN EVERY WAY. Not just thinking about it and leaving crucial steps unattended. Doing good to our being and by that making a world a better place for other people too. I’ve decided to do my best and that has become my mantra. ”Be grateful and always do your best.”
After all those shitty months, arguments, crying, trying and quitting workout programs, trying and quitting balanced diets and overall healthy life, I found a piece of mind and learned that the most important thing is in that ”trying”. And in counting your blessings, that ment starting with saying thank you to yourself for getting up every day and eating a healthy breakfast first thing in the morning, working out every day, saying thank you to your family and boyfriend who didn’t left you after you’ve been a crazy person for months, saying thank you to the Universe for sending you challenges along the way and once again saying thank you to yourself because you’ve been strong enough and didn’t give in to all the bad habits you used to have. It’s courage showing itself every day when you decide to life a good, healthy, balanced life. Everyone can sit on a couch, smoke and eat chocolate, not many can eat cereal in the morning and work out for an hour an a half every day. Go on the road less taken, it’s never crowded, and everything in your life will reward you for your effort. I can promise you that.
”But I’ve said to myself; don’t quit! Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”- Ali
That was the quote I kept repeating to myself every time I would feel like throwing those dumbbells out the window or have a nicotine crisis. Every day brought me more peace and results of my hard work started to show. When you start to work out, you start eating more clean food because your body can’t run on junk food anymore. It needs real nutrition. After reading many articles and listening to some amazing podcasts I’ve started taking vitamins. I don’t eat meat so no vitamin B. Rijeka is not so sunny all the time so less vitamin D. All those things we miss out without even noticing. I’ve gained 10 kilograms since June! 10 kilograms!! And for the first time in my life I can say I look amazing to myself, I feel like energy on two legs and everything around me is getting better the better I am. I never thought that I’d be okay with gaining 10 kilograms, neither did I think I would be sick while smelling cigarette smoke which is slowly happening. My face is clean, my energy levels are balanced during the day, I gained so much muscles in my legs that I can run to my 5th floor without choking, my whole being is in balance and most importantly, I feel strong, healthy, confident and okay with myself. And that last thing, being okay with yourself, that’s what we all want isn’t it? When we live in an unhealthy circle of life we don’t realize why are we feeling like shit, the minute we step out of it we see things in a more clear way.
The title of this is ”Letting go” because I’ve learned that if you struggle with it, you’ll never win. Letting go is the key. Let go of the bad habits, they’re not you. Nothing you do is you, you are how you feel inside. It’s scary to let go because there is nothing to hold on to anymore, but it’s okay. Think about it now. Think about how old are you, think about your life and how you feel, think about what can be better and feel everything that’s been going on inside you. Are you in? Will you do something good for yourself today and witness the results as the time goes by. Think about it like this. If someone else can do it, you can do it to. 🙂 You’ll thank yourself later when you’re harvesting the fruits of your labor, and trust me, there are a lot of them!
Sorry for the length of this. I really love you guys and I know there is so much power of will in every one of you. This story is something to maybe get you going. That’s all I hope to get out of this post, so If there’s something you wanna share, like a personal story of how you learned to let go of the shit in your life, or if you have anything to share, my heart gets bigger when I see your comments below so don’t be shy, sharing is caring. 🙂 SEA OF LOVE, S.
In the photos: My beautiful (and healthy haha) friend Martina from the blog Freckles In My Mind 🙂 Thank you once again for this amazing weekend!