Don’t Wait ‘til You’re Ready

Right after I graduated college, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. All I wanted to do was move to New York City and become a model like I’d always dreamed of, but how? It felt like there was so much money, time, and work between my dreams and I.

Now, here I am, with all these experiences that tell me I’ve accomplished some semblance of my dream, and with an equal amount telling me I’ve fallen short and nothing has been good enough.

But if I could go back in time and show my then-self what my present reality looks like, he would be so relieved to know all the hard work was worth something. So, my challenge today is trusting that every tomorrow is leading me to this same experience. If my former self knew the successes he’d experience – would that relieve some anxiety? Can I adopt that same energy into my present-day life, knowing everything is going to work out?

The only problem is, the human mind quickly adapts to new things, and that whole “grass is green on the other side” saying is totally true. So, how can I hold my future dreams at the forefront of my mind, yet allow myself to be deeply connected with My Now today? Because as much hope as tomorrow can provide, it is still not guaranteed, so how can I make My Today the best it can possibly be?

I choose to allow myself to simply Be today. With all the work ahead and all the distance I still have from my new goals, it’s OK to Be. It’s OK to enjoy. It’s OK to take a break. Everything is going to work out, and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.

Acceptance is my elixir.

Pretty Little Bow

For most of my life, I’ve felt like I needed to wrap a #PrettyLittleBow around all interactions. I wanted to please people, and make them feel comfortable and happy, even at the cost of my own happiness and comfort. Now, at 30, that desire is slipping away as I gain confidence and more experience in this body. Human relationships are messy and that’s OK. Not everyone gets along, as there are infinite vibrations of energy all around us harmonizing and clashing at any given moment, but as long as we can respect each other and the lens each of us views the world from, maybe we can live in relative harmony. I hope you can get a few laughs from this video, along with the underlying message, which is whatever you think it is, or not what you think it is at all. 

Life With Zero Balance

“Congratulations! The loans listed on the reverse side of this letter are paid in full. No further payments are required on the loans listed as paid in full. We appreciate your business and wish you success with your future endeavors.”

Wow, thanks, Chase Bank! Mighty cool-a-ya.

“Phew, what a relief” I thought. As a person who came from an economically depressed, rural area with blue-collar parents, when it came time to go to college, I knew I’d be on my own. When my advisor urged me to do a once-in-a-lifetime study abroad program in Argentina my junior year, I knew I had to go. But, already on the wrong side of a Zero Balance, how was I to take that life-changing journey?

With unsecured debt, of course! My Dad used to get the statements each month and tell me, “Myles, you’re gonna end up paying 3 times that loan by the time it’s paid off!” And guess what? He was right. *insert shocked-face emoji*

Life with [a] Zero Balance

So, I paid the motherfucker off. Completely. With the sweat off my back, tears from my eyes, and lots of early mornings and late nights (no, I’m not a prostitute, but I do consider some elements of my job emotional prostitution *insert thinking emoji*)

I’d been paying the minimum payment like a Hedonic-treadmill-running millennial with no end in sight.

“Fuck, Dad was right, wasn’t he?” I thought. “That bastard – probably looking down on me laughing his ass off with that loving and understanding glow of an all-seeing angel, who knows I’m gonna be taken care of beyond my wildest dreams.”

Since I work in sales and entertainment as a 1099 Independent Contractor, my income fluctuates each month. But, after reading the book “Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money and the American Dream” by Scott Trench, I awoke to the opportunity to use my personal power to crush my consumer debt years ahead of my initially proposed timeline. After some careful career transitions, I found myself in a place to swiftly annihilate over 30% of my total debt in one month.

Without going into boundaryless financial details, I made it happen and am continuing on that journey. But all this work mania got me thinking: am I living a Life with Zero Balance?

Life with Zero Balance

What I found as I began producing at new and personally unfounded levels at work was that I was engaging in self-numbing and self-abandoning behaviors that were negatively impacting my life.

I was doing damage to my body, mind and spirit to keep up with the stress of being a highly productive salesperson and regularly booking model. I was a “Yes, Man,” who was coming at the world from a scarcity mentality that said, “there isn’t enough.”

“How can I take a break,” I thought, “when I work in two highly competitive fields where success is like a snowball, which turns into a suffocating avalanche: once you start doing well, you can’t just roll out of it, you have to keep going and going and going and going and going and going.”

Then I thought, “Until WHAT?”

Until I die getting hit by a bus because I’m too glued to my phone to look up?

As a person who’s lost both of his parents suddenly, the ever-present knowledge that any day could be my last never leaves me.

Then, it got me thinking about the consequences of a Zero-Balance Lifestyle:

  1. Destruction of the spirit.
  2. Emotional numbness.
  3. Isolation from loved ones.
  4. Entrapment in people-pleasing behaviors.
  5. Active relapse to old, bad habits.
  6. Complete spiritual resignation.

Who said life had to be so hard? So dismal? So depressing? So empty and meaningless? Just make more and more money, self-destruct and die? I don’t think so.

After all, what will my tombstone say? 

“Here lies Myles Ellison: he paid off all his debts.”

Nope. So, what is my solution?

I started the simple-but-not-easy, day-at-a-time journey of putting myself first as much as I can each day. And if that means being selfish, well… *insert shrugging emoji*

Revelation Station

How can I let go of the old beliefs and bad habits that feed my inner saboteur?

How can I pay off that debt to myself? I can start slowly, one day at a time, and then when I get the strength and resources, I can take out a whole chunk of it.

As a millennial, I’ve been spoon-fed consumerist culture just like my baby-boomer parents, and my grandparents’ generation before. My grandma used to save everything because, well, she lived through the Depression.  My Mom took some of those hoarding characteristics to our childhood home. When I was a kid, we’d have corners of clutter in our house, mostly containing clothes, knick-knacks and Family Circle magazines.

I’ve also inherited the unfortunate belief model of a Linear Life Timeline, one that keeps improving, keeps getting better and better, keeps making more and more money, keeps collecting more cultural artifacts of success to showcase. Until when, though?

Until I’m a 45-year-old addict trying to keep all together, then falling and losing everything? 

I don’t think so.

How to Be My Own Solution

  1. Stop people pleasing. If I need time for myself, I take it.
  2. Ignore everyone else’s life timeline because most of the “happy people” on social media are struggling with an internal battle in some (or multiple) area/s of their life – I know because I am one.
  3. Pay off as much debt as I can as responsibly as possible, but don’t screw myself into more unsecured debt just to feel like I’m getting ahead.
  4. Look both ways before crossing the street and take my face out of the phone. Ya, that one should probably be Numero Uno.
  5. Make time for the people I love. They could be gone tomorrow.
  6. If people shame me or lay a guilt-trip on me for sticking to my self-care goals, then I reconsider their role in my life. It’s OK to let people go.

Recovering Adult Orphan

So, here I am, posting a vulnerable, imperfect note for you all to see. Both my parents are dead and I don’t have a trust fund, so it’s just me out here doing my thing. You’ll never understand it unless you live it. My main priority is Living a Balanced Lifestyle. So yes, I want to pay off all my debt, and yes I want to be a millionaire real estate investor, and yes (for better or worse) I still want to be America’s Next Top Male Model, but the beauty is in the journey of becoming. 

Thoughts for the day:

  • How can I honor myself in mind, body and spirit while still attacking my goals?
  • How can I allow grace into my life today?
  • Can I say “no” and offer no reasons or explanations when necessary?
  • What areas of my life would benefit from Recovery Work?
  • How can I laugh, play and have fun in my life today?



5 Warning Signs your Depression May Actually be Burn-Out

…and how Bad Habits may be Making it Worse

You’ve done everything right: worked hard for long hours, accumulated cultural artifacts of success, and made your family proud. Still, however, you feel this nagging exhaustion, irritability, deep depression and hopelessness for a more balanced tomorrow. When you’re feeling burnt out, your inner saboteur can have a hayday and make life even harder, so read below to see if any of these negative habits are messing with your qi:

Continue reading “5 Warning Signs your Depression May Actually be Burn-Out”