Why I’m Not a Social Wellness Expert

social wellness

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by to read Part Five of my series, How to Create a Wellness Lifestyle. I could talk to you about how to form a thriving circle of friends and explain how to maintain these friendships throughout the years. I could even gush about what it’s like to be part of a tight-knit community who goes on retreats together and has monthly slumber parties with bottomless sangria fountains. I could, but I won’t- because I don’t want to be a lying hypocrite.

Honestly, building friendships is my weak spot and my open wound. It’s gone back and forth between being a dull pain and a sharp stab in my heart for many years. I’ve realized that I try to conceal my hurt by acting like I don’t need or want anyone in my life, because they’ll just prove to be another huge disappointment to me. But I actually crave deep, meaningful friendships- not just random acquaintances. I want a close group of girl friends who I can meet up with every week over drinks. I want to discuss our wildest dreams together and laugh about the ridiculous things happening in our lives. Okay, I think I’m describing the plot of Sex and the City, but you get my point! In all reality, I’m pretty jaded in the friendship department and don’t know how to get over years of that negativity.

I’m not going to go into major details about all of the friends in college who let me down or all the people who made me feel unloved and unworthy in my life, but let’s just say it’s enough to make me never want to be vulnerable in making a new friend ever again. So that you can get a quick picture, here are three more recent experiences off the top of my head:

  • I went to the University of Georgia where I didn’t know a single soul and was befriended by a group of three girls at the beginning of my first school year. We hung out all the time, ate every meal together, and had a complete blast. But when I didn’t get into the same sorority that they all got into, they dropped me completely. Not even another text message. When I passed them on the way to classes, they acted like they’d never met me. I felt so alone.
  • Almost all of my college “friends” stood me up (11 people!) for my 21st birthday dinner that I invited them to. They just never showed up and had no excusable reason even though I’d reserved an entire space in a restaurant for the celebration. The waitress kept coming over every few minutes to ask if more people would be joining me. It was hurtful and very humiliating.
  • I’ve lived in Miami for over a year now and the people I often hangout with through my boyfriend still don’t remember my name, They haven’t asked a single question to try and get to know me, and it makes me feel like I’m completely invisible.

I could literally come up with 5,000 other stories from my past similar to these, but you get the gist. I don’t even know if I just pick bad friends who hurt me or if I somehow deserve this treatment. In fact, now, I think I’ve turned into a bad friend myself because I push people away and stop contacting them. I don’t want to get close and be disappointed again. As you can see, it’s all a self-fulfilling prophecy- the social wellness part of my life is what I’d like to call a giant shit show.

Okay, I’m done with being emo! Sometimes we just gotta be vulnerable and get it all out there in the world so that healing can start to happen. So, what does one do when their social life is a crumbling mess? I have no freaking clue! I’m not the expert on this. Though I’m experienced and happy with the other areas of wellness in my life, having healthy friendships is not my forte. The only idea I have is to challenge myself to get out there and try to make a friend. It’s the only way to avoid permanent hermit-hood, right? If you’re feeling lonely or frustrated with your current friendships, give these things a try along with me. In the next month (by December 1st), I will:

1. Go to a Meetup. I think I could find some like-minded people in the following Miami groups: Borderlink (for travelers & curious, culture lovers), Pageturners (a book club), Girls in their 20’s, and the South Florida WordPress Group. I’ve always made friends through work or school though, so this will definitely be a nerve-wracking experience!

2. Ask the girl that I *click* with most at the Meetup to get coffee or brunch sometime soon. This is the hardest part for me. It feels like asking someone out on a date! What if I get rejected? GAH! Sorry for turning you down in the past, boys… I now know how it must feel!

3. Keep in weekly contact with my internet friends. Through blogging and using social media, I’ve started to build connections with some awesome ladies online. I just wish they all lived closer so that we could have beach days together! I’m pretty bad about staying in touch as much as I should to keep relationships alive, so this personality trait needs to change. Contacting each other on a regular basis is half the battle right there.

4. Hangout with an old friend. I desperately need new friends, but continuing to be there for old friends is just as important. Case in point, and my one bit of happy friendship news, is that I’m going to be the Maid of Honor at the wedding of my best friend since middle school! I’m so excited to experience these special life moments with her! Keep cultivating those old friendships- we all need wonderful witnesses to share in the memories of our lives. 🙂

5. Keep being open and vulnerable. Writing such a personal post and talking about my failings in friendship is hard for me. I would much rather keep going on with my life like everything is perfect and like I have a billion friends. But true friendships require each person to be vulnerable and invested. This will be the hardest, but most important, step that we all need to focus on in improving our relationships.

So are you feeling lonely in your social connections? Perhaps you have a lot of protective blockages, just like I do, that keep you from making new friends. If so, I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts, and let me know what you’re doing to cope. On the other hand, if you’re awesome at community building and consider yourself a friendship guru, then I’d LOVE to hear your strategies. In fact, it’d be great for you to guest post about it here! Email me at caypugh@gmail.com if you’re interested. 🙂

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

xo Caylee

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5 Things I’ve Learned About Life This Summer

shining light quote

1. Your community doesn’t have to be made up of the people in your town.

In this age of the internet where people from all over the world can connect over Twitter, Facebook, and a variety of other social media forms, why not take full advantage of this opportunity? I used to scoff at getting deeply involved in social media, because I thought it was a waste of time- that is, until I started utilizing it for my blog. And now, in just the past two months, I’ve met some of the coolest lady bloggers online! From my experience, it can be difficult making new friends in your community once you’re out of college, because often times, you’re just waiting for a serendipitous event to bring you in contact with friendly and interesting people. Instead of restricting yourself to only forming business and friendship connections with the people in your local community, think outside of those social limits. I’ve been meeting amazing people who share many of my common goals and interests though participating in fun Twitter parties and inspiring Facebook groups. If you’re not feeling supported by your friends at home, perhaps your soul people are waiting to connect with you from other cities!

2. I’m the best version of myself when I’m on the go and traveling.

When Stefan and I were vacationing in Costa Rica a few months ago, he remarked that I’m so much happier and energetic when I’m traveling. I would hop right out of bed at the break of dawn, and I’d be ready to explore for the whole day. I felt exactly the same when I was on my recent road trip up the East Coast- pumped to try anything fresh that came my way. I thrive on a combination of being busy and inspired, rolling in momentum over stagnancy. But traveling and being on the go is surely not what makes everyone the best version of themselves. It’s important for each of us to listen to our bodies and realize when we feel most energetic and in the flow of things. Then, do more of it!

3. Just because you follow your passion doesn’t mean success will come quickly.

Wouldn’t it would be wonderful if dream jobs and amazing lifestyles came easily to us all? Though I do believe that part of the struggle is just letting go of our ego and ignoring what other people want for our life, it really is true that work is inevitable. I could spend all day writing articles, marketing on social media, reading coaching books, and learning tips for small businesses. Even though I have a deep love for this whole business building process, it’s hard on the days when I feel like I didn’t get anywhere. I always have to remind myself that it takes time to become successful. So here are my thoughts- if we’re all going to work long hours to make it big and earn money in any industry we choose, why not pick the path that makes us happiest? It’s a no-brainer. That’s why I’m starting from the bottom and working hard to become a coach and blogger. It’ll still be a challenge, but at least I’ll be in love with my job.

4. When you follow what makes you happy, you’ll give off a shining light that attracts amazing people.

Which traits are most appealing to you: joyful, kind, and inspired OR bitter, selfish, and dull? I’m assuming you picked the former. From my experience, the more you embody these positive personality traits, the more people you attract into your life who value the same positivity in life. Truth: I can be the sassiest person on earth, but I was tired of the negativity and dramatic things that were being drawn to me. Instead, for the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to act from a place of love and understanding in every situation that I’m met with. Is it difficult at times? Hell yes. Does it sound hippy-ish to do that? Probably. But does it make me a happier person? No question about it. The best part is that during conscious attitude change the negative people naturally distance themselves from you and the positive people stick to you like a magnet.

5. On that note, you have to accept and set free the people/ things that are drifting away from your life.
Struggling and fighting to keep them with you isn’t allowing the natural course of life to take place. Let it flow. Though it can be challenging, let them go in a peaceful, loving way. It’ll hurt you and make you feel all alone, but I believe that if they were meant to be in your life, they would be. And if they’re meant to come back into your life in the future, they will.

So what are the biggest things you’ve learned about yourself, or about life, this summer? Please share with me in the comments below!

Have a great end of the week,

xo Caylee

 

Living Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” Lifestyle


If you’ve ever traveled to Costa Rica before, I’m willing to bet that someone said the phrase “Pura Vida” to you at least five times daily. These words were coined during the 1950’s through a movie but weren’t common in the country until the 1970’s. Now, it’s a way of life for Ticos and surfers alike, and the quickest way to describe their amazing lifestyle in the tropics. Translation into English literally means “pure life” – it’s an expression that I’ve had the urge to live by ever since I visited the little gem of a country.

To many foreigners, “Pura Vida” is symbolic of a leisurely lifestyle full of friendliness and a disregard for time. For Costa Ricans, the phrase can mean a whole lot more – or a whole lot less. Some rattle it off as a casual greeting like how we might say, “Have a good day” or “Goodbye” in the United States. When “Pura Vida” is used to its depth of meaning, Costa Ricas have described it to me as:

 

Appreciating what you have. Enjoying life slowly. Building a strong sense of community. Being good spirited.

 

I believe to my core that all of those things are important for embodying my idea of the good life. For me, it is all about quality over quantity. I want deeper friendships rather than more friendships and greater spiritual wealth versus material wealth. I crave meaningful experiences that enliven my heart – maybe that’s why I like to travel so much. Just loving the simple moments in life is what I want to focus on.

 

Both times that I’ve been to Costa Rica, I found it very easy to live in the present and enjoy every little thing that came my way – or at least feel it to its depth of emotion. When my boyfriend, Stefan, and I arrived at our first stop on the trip, I pulled open the doors to our cabina and sitting majestically, right in front of us, was Arenal Volcano. Tropical birds were chirping all around in the lush, green trees, and the setting sun was hitting Arenal dramatically. Everything was so fresh and quiet and beautiful. I cried. I’m not a crier, guys – this place just buries itself into my core, every time.

 

Since we can’t all go and live in Costa Rica right now (a shame, I know), figuring out how to live the “Pura Vida” lifestyle back home is key. So have you ever been to Costa Rica? What are your thoughts on the “Pura Vida” lifestyle? What does a “good life” consist of for you? Please share, and let me know your experiences in the comments below! This is a topic I love, so I’m sure we’ll talk more about it soon. 🙂

 

Have a beautiful day,

 

xo Caylee