I got a text from my mom a few days ago asking if I had given up on Forest Tourist.
My immediate response was “no! I’ve just been busy!” but I knew deep down that she wasn’t that far off from the truth behind my hiatus. Yes, I have been busy over the past few months, but in reality I have also been struggling with a lack of motivation to write – my perspective towards sharing my thoughts and experiences started to shift at the end of 2019, and I’ve been reevaluating the intent behind this blog as well as my personal aspirations for the new year.
I don’t plan to stop writing any time soon, but I know that the tone of Forest Tourist will change in the near future. I want my posts to reflect the things that I value most – authenticity, honesty, and compassion.
I want to thank all of the people who have reached out to me recently about my blog, the people who went out of their way to tell me that they enjoy reading and are waiting for the next post. Thank you for your patience, and thank you for sticking around. I hope you won’t regret it.
All that aside, I’m excited to share my deep thoughts from 2019. I know what you’re thinking, “India, it’s already February of 2020!” but hey, better late than never.
In case you missed it, I was inspired last year by the blogger Erin Outdoors to spend time at the end of every year reflecting on the things that I learned. These “deep thoughts” are just personal realizations that I made in 2019, and while I’m not trying to come across as philosophical I hope you can gain something by reading them. Check out my deep thoughts from 2018 if you want to read more!
Let’s just jump in.
You are your attitude.
I’ll admit it – my attitude hasn’t always been the greatest. I wasn’t a very happy person during my summer in Wyoming, and it impacted the relationships that I made (or failed to make) and my overall enjoyment. When I moved to Salt Lake City I had the opportunity to start over with a clean slate, and I put so much effort into changing my attitude. It was hard at first, but when I showed up everyday with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart it slowly became second nature.
Your attitude has a lot of influence over your life. I think of myself now as someone with a perpetually positive outlook, and so many aspects of myself have become more positive as a result.
Slow is fast.
Much of my 2019 was spent subconsciously competing in a race that I never signed up for; I got caught up in following my ambition and didn’t allow space for much else. As 2019 came to a close I became aware of the fact that “the hustle” didn’t make me happy – and as soon as I realized that everything changed (as cheesy as that sounds).
Slowing down was one of the best decisions that I’ve made, and I genuinely feel happier as a result. I freed myself from the push to be successful, to getting more followers, to selling yourself as a commodity, to being liked by everyone – and it has been so liberating. I learned that living slowly isn’t inherently bad, and it doesn’t imply a lack of drive or motivation but rather tells the world that your personal health and growth is your ambition.
It’s not about you.
Erin Outdoors has shared this sentiment several times on her Instagram and blog, and I included it in my September intentions. Realizing that not everything is about you, connected to you, or even vaguely related to you is surprisingly difficult to do – humans are deeply narcissistic creatures to begin with, and the culture of self-promotion that is so prevalent in the 21st century only fuels our self obsession. If you do manage to separate your emotions from other people, however, it is so liberating.
This seems like a fairly simple concept but it takes a lot of effort each day in order to bring it to fruition, and it’s something that I’m still practicing. It’s so easy to take everything personally these days; every response or lack thereof to a text message, every casual remark from a stranger, and even other people’s behaviors. Living with the attitude that everything that other people do is directed towards you just makes you bitter and prideful. What has helped me is mentally “zooming out” from the situation and acknowledging that everyone has so much going on that I’ll never know about – not only does this reinforce the idea that “it’s not about me”, it also helps me practice compassion and patience.
What are your deep thoughts from 2019? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos in this post were taken by me unless otherwise specified in the caption.