The First Step

We’re Italian which means we will always have more than one refrigerator in our home. It’s like a rite of passage to being Italian. You have to have one in the kitchen and one in the basement. Recently, we bought a new second fridge and suddenly all is right in the world… at least as far as my food refrigeration needs are concerned.

When the new fridge arrived, I began the process of organizing my fridge and freezer in my kitchen which meant cleaning it out and bringing a plethora of adult beverages, homemade olives and meats down to the auxiliary fridge. It is here that I should pause and offer a shout out to Hubbz for adding the term “auxiliary” in front of anything that I do in life that he finds to be “extra”… a list of auxiliary things include: an auxiliary patio set, an auxiliary Keurig in the laundry room, an auxiliary mini-fridge- also in the laundry room, multiple auxiliary Christmas trees, and of course the auxiliary fridge. It amuses him to point out where I live in excess. I think he should be careful because if he keeps up his shenanigans I may need to find an auxiliary husband… I’m only kidding, relax. Hubbz is my O.G., Ride or Die, and also my Champion. Back to the process of organizing the fridge…

As I was carrying a box down the stairs that would have made my Orange Theory coaches super proud, my Ma warned me, “be careful – the first step is the hardest!” Sheryl Crow’s version of “The First Cut is the Deepest” instantly started playing in my brain because I make weird associations to songs. Over the melody of her voice, and per usual, I got to thinking…

The first step in life is ALWAYS the hardest. In love, in our careers, in working out… basically in all things, the first step is the hardest… unless you’re getting chased by a bear or something. Then well, you don’t even think about steps- you usually just run. Not that I’ve been chased by a bear… but if I did, that’s how I think it would go. I digress.

The first step walking away from a toxic relationship is always the hardest. Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships with men who will gladly hold our bodies but not our hands and never our hearts. Sometimes find ourselves in relationships with people who won’t admit their feelings (or not feelings). Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships that help us fill our time but not our souls. In these moments, we need to take a step back from the emotions that can cloud our thinking. We need to examine our hearts and what we truly want and are looking for. This isn’t an easy process and sometimes it hurts like hell… but it’s imperative to do the hard work. Our hearts and souls deserve it.

The first step in getting real about our careers can be the hardest and let’s be honest, the most terrifying. Sometimes we find ourselves in jobs that pay the bills (or not) but leave our hearts void of joy and purpose. For myself, if I am going to spend 40-50 hours or more working, it is a non-negotiable that it needs to be something that lights me up and impacts the world. If I am trading a day of my life for something, it needs to be something worth doing. That worth can come in the form of money but deeper- in the form of fulfillment. I have had positions where I made very, very good money but it didn’t light up my heart. I have had positions where I didn’t make a lot but the job lit up my soul and the souls of others. I have come to the conclusion that the magic is finding the career that does both. A role that offers you a lifestyle that you want while lighting you up inside and sharing your gifts with the world around you.

The first step on the treadmill is always the most difficult and the first dumbbell we pick up is always the heaviest. Can I be super transparent and say that although I do love Orange Theory and workouts that leave me tapped-out, 100% of the time I would rather be laying on my couch, in my most comfy clothing, watching DVR’s with a pint of Talenti.

It is here I pause and tell you that if you don’t know what Talenti is, stop what you are doing, get in your car and go to the nearest grocery store. Joy and dancing await your tastebuds. Joy and dancing, people. I shit you not. If you are already at a grocery store and happen to be reading this… A) GOOD FOR YOU! B) Head to the freezer section, STAT!!! I whole-heartedly digress…

I have never been one of those people that L-O-V-E-S working out. I wish I was. I really, truly do. Although sometimes that kind of enthusiasm makes me raise an eyebrow. If you are one of those people who loves working out, I promise I am not judging you. I am mostly in awe of you and your enthusiasm… it is my eyebrow that is judging. She has a mind of her own. I can’t control her. Don’t get me wrong, I do get amped to workout but most of the time, it’s just my pre-workout drink talking. Alas, since I have made the resolution to not lose weight but to just grow taller multiple years in a row now and it hasn’t happened, I am confident I need to clean up my act when it comes to food and gluttony and moving my body. I can tell you that I know first hand that the first step is the hardest… and the second and the third… but something happens after you get going. You start to pick up speed and you start to eventually enjoy it.

The first step in making a decision to better your life is always the hardest to take- even when it comes on the heels of a “New Year, New Me, Who Dis?” mindset. Just because the calendar flipped a year doesn’t mean our minds magically shift. Changing our habits is HARD. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. To change your habits you have to change your actions. For most of us that means flipping auto-pilot to the off position and getting real with our thoughts, attitudes and feelings. In this space, we are free to dream and strategize and create lives we really truly want to get out of bed for. Some of the changes we desire to make are as easy as putting the Talenti in the auxiliary fridge and keeping it out of sight and out of mind. Some of the changes are harder. In relationships they take more thought, conversation and radical acceptance. In careers they take more time, training and a solid strategy. One thing I have learned is that regardless of how hard that first step is, a lot of the time it gets easier as you go.

You pick up momentum.

You gain more knowledge.

You increase your self-confidence.

You move swiftly through roadblocks.

Yes, the first step is the hardest, but to create a life you love, it is also the most necessary.

cheersdez cursiveslope

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