Choose to be Different

The first half of this week has been filled with anxiety and stress.

Actually, I take that back. These past few months have been pretty stressful, to be honest. This job hunt is not easy, and it’s taking a lot longer than I’d like. I’d like to say I’m trying my best not to complain, but there have definitely been some days where I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Anyways, all this stress and anxiety has come to a high point this past week. I’m waiting on some results in regards to a job opportunity and I’ve been incredibly impatient. If everything goes according to plan, I should find out by the end of day today.

The closer I get to finding out, the more nervous I become. So, as you can imagine, I’ve got a ton of nervous energy running through my veins right now.

I can tell you exactly what Past Lisa would have done with all that nervous energy. First would come the stress eating – chocolates, cookies, you name it. Not to mention a few glasses of wine and/or beer. Next, she would probably stay up late each night, surfing the internet, reading articles – fixating my attention on anything to distract me. Finally, she would probably go shopping for clothes and shoes that she didn’t need.

But this week, instead of resorting to the usual nervous habits of Past Lisa, I chose to be different.

  • Instead of stress eating – I’ve been practicing portion control. I’m not exactly on a diet, but I’ve been more mindful of what has been going into my body and how much. As far as alcohol, I have been cutting back considerably lately.
  • Instead of staying up late with distractions – I’ve been trying my best to sleep at a reasonable hour. As a result, I’ve been waking up early on weekdays, usually around 5:30 am. (That’s one thing I can cross off my 2014 goals!) On top of that, I’ve been going to the gym 3x a week during the early mornings.
  • Instead of shopping – I decided to pay off one of my student loans!
My updated student loan situation.

Bye bye, non-direct loan!

So, what happened?

Honestly, I’m not too sure what exactly took me from Past Lisa to Present Lisa. But I do know that a lot of it started when I just decided to be different than who I was. You can always choose to be different at any point in your life. From that point, you can either follow through with your decision or you can ignore it and stay the same way you’ve been up until this point.

Yes, there was a point in time when I associated anxiety with food, wine, distractions, and retail therapy. But I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to change your perspective to something more healthy, productive, positive, and budget friendly! Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen!

How would you like to change? And what will you do to get there?



  1. Marissa@Financetriggers February 2, 2014

    I agree with you Lisa, it’s really cool to be different! You can do more when you’re not following other’s shadow. Seems like I’m inspired on changing and moving on to the present me!

  2. Me Against the Debt January 29, 2014

    Hi Lisa,

    I am a new reader and have found quite a bit of inspiration in your blog. Finding a job is one of the hardest things that we can do in life and there is SO much rejection out there. Keep your head up and I know that you will find something.
    Me Against the Debt recently posted…First Extra Payment of ManyMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 29, 2014

      Aw thanks for stopping by! I’m definitely trying to keep my head up!

  3. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance January 29, 2014

    I’m definitely a stress eater. And a good times eater. And a bored eater. But I’ve been working on correcting that. It does sound like you’ve been going through a lot lately, but fingers crossed it will all end up okay (which I’m sure it will :)).
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted…I’m not the CFO of my householdMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 29, 2014

      I’m definitely a good times eater, too!

  4. Erin @ My Alternate Life January 28, 2014

    Congrats on paying off that loan! I am working on becoming Present Erin all the time. I am not a stress eater (more of a boredom eater), but I’m a stress spender. And this is why I only shop at places with good return policies 🙂
    Erin @ My Alternate Life recently posted…Staying Minimalist in a 3-Bedroom HouseMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 28, 2014

      Thanks, Erin! Good return policies are a MUST!

  5. Wow! Awesome outlook. Great job with the student loan, too! It’s pretty amazing how much change you can make when you just decide to be different.
    Nick @ Step Away from the Mall recently posted…The experience experiment.My Profile

    • Lisa E. January 27, 2014

      Thanks Nick! 🙂

  6. Our Fine Adventure January 26, 2014

    Great post! It’s important to be “different” in the sense that what makes other people happy isn’t always what makes you happy. You can’t be afraid to be different and step out of the box, because that is usually what will make you happier!
    Our Fine Adventure recently posted…Save Money By AskingMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 27, 2014

      That’s a great way to look at it. Being different from others will definitely make you happier!

  7. Emily @ Urban Departures January 24, 2014

    I don’t have stress eating, but I do have bored eating. That’s when I whip up a batch of brownies or head out and get a slice of cheesecake, indulge and then feel guilty and stressed… which then leads to shopping and another whole can of world (: I’m working on the shopping and constantly reminding myself of the bigger picture when I have the urge to shop.

    Congrats on paying off that loan. That’s a great way to start off the new year.
    Emily @ Urban Departures recently posted…Excessive Consumerism: A Tale of One Too Many ScarvesMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 24, 2014

      Oooh, I’m guilty of bored eating, too. Bored AND stressed eating is just not a good combo 😉

      Thanks Emily!

  8. DC @ Young Adult Money January 24, 2014

    Good for you for making some positive changes! My wife has been looking for a job for quite some time now and I know how stressful and difficult it can be, especially if it seems to go on and on.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Friday Giveaway Roundup – 151 GiveawaysMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 24, 2014

      Tell me about it! I’m sure the work and wait will all be worth it…

  9. SavvyFinancialLatina January 24, 2014

    you can do it! Best of luck!
    SavvyFinancialLatina recently posted…Saving Up For 2014 TravelsMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 24, 2014

      Thank you!

  10. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer January 24, 2014

    “You can always choose to be different at any point in your life”. LOVE that, Lisa!! So many people say “That’s just the way I am”, which is why they’re stuck in their unhappy lives. Huge congrats to you on being different, and best of luck with the job hunt!

    • Lisa E. January 24, 2014

      Thanks Laurie!

  11. I go through what you’re going through right now on a regular basis, so I have had to find better ways of coping- some days I do better than others. When you’re in final callbacks for a show, you’ve already invested so much time into the process and you start to envision yourself in the role, prepping to leave town for the job, etc. They only call when you get it, so when you hear through the grapevine that offers have gone out, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach. I used to respond with heavy drinking 😉 Now I try to go for a run.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Money Talks: Raise Your VoiceMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 23, 2014

      A run is definitely better than heavy drinking! Although, I do like to partake every once in a while 😉 But I can totally relate – not hearing from an employer is probably worse than if they actually told me that I didn’t get it.

  12. Travis @debtchronicles January 23, 2014

    The hard thing to make yourself believe is that change does not happen overnight…and it won’t happen all at once. I can’t wake up tomorrow and say “I’m going to eat perfectly healthy from this second forward.” Change come gradually, and in steps…..
    Travis @debtchronicles recently posted…When Frugal Travel Hacks backfireMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 23, 2014

      I completely agree – changes that are phrased similar to “I’m going to eat perfectly healthy from this second forward” are very difficult to make. Yet change can be as small as “I’m going to have one serving of this today as opposed to the normal two”. Change doesn’t have to be huge, it can be small. And all the small changes can add up over time and eventually turn into a big change.

  13. Dear Debt January 22, 2014

    I’ve totally been there. I was looking for full time work for 2 years!! It was awful. This after getting an M.A. from a great school. It took a huge toll on me, and just now am I regaining my confidence. Try to stay positive and keep busy. I’m glad you are making positive choices. I didn’t so well either, but I love what you said about choosing to be different. This week I’ve had various stressors and late nights — I’ve decided not to fuel it by drinking or having coffee. Trying to be in charge of my emotions, feelings and energy. You can do it and something great will come!
    Dear Debt recently posted…Your Self-Worth is Not Your Net WorthMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Whoa, two years???? Insane! I’m definitely trying to stay positive; “trying” being the key word.

  14. anna January 22, 2014

    That’s awesome that you changed anxiety-ridden behaviors from negative to positive ones! That waiting period is brutal, and can seem like an eternity, but I hope it arrives with positive news. Keep us posted!
    anna recently posted…Wedding/ Honeymoon – Bridal Shower and Getting Into the DetailsMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      It really does seem like an eternity! I’ll definitely keep you updated 🙂

  15. Good for you!!! Hopefully you hear back some wonderful news soon and continue on your positive habits road!
    Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life recently posted…What’s In A Home?My Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Thanks Amanda! I hope I continue on this road, too 🙂

  16. Michelle's Finance Journal January 22, 2014

    You’re doing great~ I’m better at stressing eating, but going to sleep early thing gets me. Going to sleep late and waking up late has been my thing for such a long time. But I need start a new me that goes to sleep early.
    Michelle’s Finance Journal recently posted…Hosting Family MembersMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Whatever works for you! Some people function better when they stay up late/get up late. Others prefer to wake up early. Find what works best for you and commit! 🙂

  17. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living January 22, 2014

    I’ve been more unmotivated than anything as of late, partially due to anxiety I think. But I’m trying accomplishing little things as opposed to big tasks which does help in the motivation department.

    I hope the job news comes out positive! You can do this. 🙂
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…Yay for Snow DaysMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Focusing on the little changes is a lot easier than trying to change big parts of yourself. Once you get used to the small changes, sooner or later you’ll realize you’ve made big changes along the way!

      Also, I hope the news comes out positive, too!

  18. Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 22, 2014

    That’s awesome Lisa! Sounds you’ve achieved a big step in your own personal growth! Good luck on the job! Keep us posted!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Last Picked In KickballMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Thanks Tonya 🙂 I’ll definitely keep y’all posted.

  19. E.M January 22, 2014

    I hope you get good news tonight! Waiting is the worst. It doesn’t feel like long ago when I was in the same situation.

    Congrats on paying that loan off! Sounds like you’re having a great start to the new year with working out and waking up early. I’ve been getting to bed earlier but still waking up tired.
    E.M recently posted…5 Big Ticket Purchases I Don’t RegretMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Waiting really is the worst! Honestly, I would rather have the news, good or bad, ASAP so at least I can move on haha.

      • NZ Muse January 24, 2014

        I hear ya. Limbo is the worst. Crossing my fingers for ya!
        NZ Muse recently posted…Oh snap. My favourite photos from 2013My Profile

        • Lisa E. January 24, 2014

          Thanks! And yea, limbo really is the worst. Just tell me already!

  20. Michelle @fitisthenewpoor January 22, 2014

    Hey! That’s huge. Stress eating Michelle is very jealous of non-stress eating Lisa. I’ll cross some fingers for you on the job front!
    Michelle @fitisthenewpoor recently posted…A Look Towards the FutureMy Profile

    • Lisa E. January 22, 2014

      Haha thanks Michelle! 🙂

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