It was January. It was a blistering chilly winter night - for Los Angeles, at least - but  It was some late night back in January the beginning of this year, and I was sitting cross-legged on my yoga mat in my new North Hollywood. I was staring aimlessly down at my mat,unsure if I about to either start laughing or crying hysterically.  I can't recall exactly which night of January this was, but it was early 2016 - the past few months had been a blur of very abrupt changes.  Just the night before, I had moved out of my glamorous apartment in the Hollywood Hills to relocate to a quiet, comfy apartment in an offbeat area of NoHo, conveniently on the same sidewalk as a liquor mart, a Spanish bakery, and two taco trucks - if you want specifics.  
    That previous night I was on my way out the door of my old apartment, and I literally broke up with my now-ex boyfriend as I was leaving. Mind you, this happened while a guy friend was in the next room over, as he had offered to helped me move out. As if that moment couldn’t be more imaginably awkward. There was no official goodbye to my ex, either; I had simply walked up to him, we hugged each other, and I said just more of an, "Ok, I'm leaving now, so...see ya later." He nodded. I left. And that was it. It was far less dramatic than what you would expect, fortunately. We officially ended our solid two year relationship - my most serious one by far. We had been dating since the end of college, and we were best friends prior that. Naturally, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get over him, but we needed to head our separate ways for our own personal reasons.

    That wasn’t the only situation pulling on my heartstrings, either. I was also working at an emergency animal hospital at the time, which was incredibly stressful; I was underpaid, overworked, and dealing with clientele whose animals were dying.It was enough stress to the point where I’d get off work for the evening and  stop at Whole Foods on the way home to eat my feelings through macaroni and cheese, and  then I’d head straight home to collapse on my air mattress, wondering when it would all end. My breakup with the former love of my twenties, moving into NoHo with two roommates I barely knew, plus a job I despised was the perfect recipe for a lot of loneliness, tears, and being on the verge of losing my sanity. I lost my drive to pursue my passion of acting and comedy. If I wanted to be happy again, I was going to have to face the reality of what was happening and accept that I felt as miserable as I did. And that left me with only one army to make a change happen: me, myself, and I.

 Flashback to that night sitting on my yoga mat on my bedroom floor. I couldn’t bring myself to start laughing or crying, so instead, gave up. I sat there. Silence. I tried not to focus on the bare essentials of my room: an air mattress with one blanket, and a fridge on the floor. It all reflected a new beginning and complete loneliness to boot.
   And then it happened: a sweet, soft little voice that seems to enter through the back door quietly popped into my head:

 "Danielle. Quit being so dramatic, first of all. You need to put your happiness first - especially now. Get over it. So, what is it that YOU want to do?"

I scrambled over to one of my handbags on the floor to reach for the nearest notebook and pen (I'm known for keeping at least 5 notebooks on hand at all times), prepared to scribble down an answer. I hadn't asked myself that in two years. Right then and there, I decided I’d make my happiness my priority. I had no guy to hold me back - and I wouldn't let a crazy job or anything else to distract me. I basically had no one else  - so what did I have to lose, anyway? I'd already lost my mind, clearly. It couldn’t be much worse than that. I needed a plan to execute.
  I opened my notebook and scribbled as quickly as I could at the top of the page:

 “THINGS TO DO WHILE I'M 25/ BRING MY HAPPINESS BACK: THE PLAN.” And then I wrote out a huge list of things I I had always wanted to do for myself - and this included activities that intentionally scared the the hell out of me. The variety included burlesque classes, going out for a drink by myself, and....pole dancing class.**

 After that list was finished, I took immediate action. Self love needed to be a priority -  I bought myself a bottle of rose wine the next night after work and went home to color in my adult coloring book (no shame). I also put in my two weeks’ notice at my animal hospital job and ended up getting myself a much better job with a wonderful company. And then I took a risk of going out one night to a fancy bar, and ended up meeting a wonderful guy out of the blue (but that’s another story for a different day). I started find and reading books that discussed happiness and changing perceptions from fear to love. 

   Life can be and is dramatic. The good news is that I’ve gained some solid wisdom from these distressing experiences: the only direction we can go from rock bottom is up. It’s going to take one-hundred-ten percent of your effort, and yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable - but you’re going to come out of the other side much stronger, braver, confident, happier.  Whatever challenges you’re facing head on can be used with your power to move into a much better place. What if we start using these life detours as our guide to get to an even better place?  You have your prime opportunity to get back up. We need these moments to guide us into the direction of true happiness and diving even deeper into our actual selves. And one day, there will be some morning where you're going to wake up in bed and the first thought you'll have is, "everything's different. Things are changing. I'm changing. It's all happening." And that is your introduction into a beautiful new beginning of life.

   If you want any further inspiration, I suggest reading one of my favorite quotes by one of my most favorite female authors, Marianne Williamson. You’re welcome in advance.

 “A queen is wise. She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passer her tests. She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it. She has proved she can hold her kingdom together. She has become its vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself. She rules with authentic power.”

― Marianne Williamson



Published by Dani Savka