How My Mother's Death Gave Me a New Attitude

I never knew that at age 26, I would become a motherless daughter. Lost. Confused. Indecisive. Stressed. Clueless.

I've been reading countless books, articles, guides searching for advice from other women who share their stories of survival, confusion, uncertainty, hope and prosperity. Their stories show similarity with my situation but none the exact same.

The bravery of Cheryl Strayed to leave and hike the Pacific Crest Trail; the determination of Elizabeth Gilbert of self-discovery while traveling around the world are all great stories.

While their stories are beautiful and inspiring, it is their narrative, not mine. Instead of 100 percent emulating their survival journey, I have to create one for me. Let's be honest; I would love to quit my job and travel around the world on a journey of healing. But, I have bills to pay and would probably end up in a hell hole of bad credit from unpaid student loans, rent and the list goes on.

Time for change. For the better. The time is now.

Some people wait until the new year to change. Not me. Since my mother's passing, I've been thinking a lot -- maybe too much -- about my life and which direction to embark on.

One thing I know for sure is take care of myself. I want to start by exercising more, eating healthier and incorporate more positive thinking and living.

I'm going to meet with a nutritionist on an ongoing basis to develop a healthy, nutritious eating plan. I will make sure to check-in with him/her as needed. I have to keep myself accountable with this. Proper nutrition is the way to go! I thought about this because growing up, I didn't eat healthy and... I still don't. It's a learned behavior/lifestyle. But, I have to end the cycle of harming my body by consuming unhealthy foods.

I'm going to begin exercising weekly. I would love to work with a personal trainer to develop a sustainable and enjoyable workout regime. I'm not the exercise type but I'm going to be. During college, I took a butt-load of fitness courses but after graduating, I exercise VERY RARELY, more like whenever I felt like it... which isn't often. I know I'm not the only one with this problem. Maybe one of few who will admit this.

My problem with working out is I need variety, something fun, and something easy to do in or outside of the gym. Starting off with a personal trainer would be helpful. Lord be with me on this one!

I'm going to continue to attend my weekly counseling sessions with my therapist. She has been helpful on this journey and I want to make sure to continue to work with her in order to improve my mental health.

For right now, I'm going to focus on those three components of my healthy lifestyle change. For me, this change is for my health. Mind. Body and spirit. It's a way to cope with my grief, reduce my stress and live a happier and healthier life.

As I embark on this journey, I will continue to journal about the experience. I'm hopeful and optimistic about this. The journey begins Monday. Wish me luck!