Lara Jae Evangelista: Wake up. Work. Train. Sleep. Repeat.
4am, wake up. Journal till 5:30am. At the gym by 6am. Pickup by 7am.
30 minute car ride on the way to work after the gym. Half spent learning languages, and the other spent reading my book of the week.
That was my daily routine; memorized and timestamped in my mind.
Perfectly planned, hour by hour, minute to minute.
Getting to work at 8am was the “break” for me.
The only part of the day I didn’t have to plan.
I was working at a bamboo nursery- growing and selling plants.
I spent all day outside in nature.
For 8 busy hours I fed my brain with endless music, podcasts, and audiobooks
all because I was constantly wanting to optimize my life and improve my efficiency.
I listened to a lot of podcasts and books written by successful female entrepreneurs,
who taught me affirmations like “Good morning, good life” and to “go after the life I want…”
Hearing that pushed me to keep going.
And I never gave my mind time to stop racing.
And this was everyday.
Me, programming like a machine how to live the life I wanted.
Everything I did was intentional, and had a direct effect on making progress in my perfect plans.
I was disciplined, I was mindful, I was consistent, I respected myself.
But… I forgot to include God… I just hadn’t realized it yet.
Nor did I think I would feel the effects of overplanning.
So I just kept going, and going and… I thought it was going well.
Until my friends asked if I was okay.
That was when I started realizing that my mind was beyond, over-exhausted- over-exerted- from the endless information I was constantly flooding it with.
I was numb. I felt paralyzed. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t know how to make myself feel better.
Moments of silence would enter my mind and it would cause me to panic because I didn’t remember what it was like for my mind to go… silent…
I didn’t know how to feel about it.
So I just kept going.
In time, I realized how dependent I was on myself.
Rather, how IN-dependent I was.
I realized that I felt like I could only trust myself.
And that maybe that’s why I was so stuck on doing everything alone.
I never thought I would actually reach the end of myself
Until I did.
And that’s when I didn’t know what to do.
My mind went blank.
Burnt out became an understatement.
Making even the smallest decisions felt like a battle in my mind
Every. Single. Time.
I started caring less and less
about the things that once meant everything to me.
I started feeling less and less
for the things I was once passionate about.
And the pillars of the perfect routines
I relied on so heavily for support- just
began to fade away
until work was all I had.
And even that was exhausting, because for the most part, it was mindless.
And I couldn’t sleep at night,
and I couldn’t wake up in the morning.
and I was so tired of being tired…
It got to the point where I was waking up to work instead of waking up to enjoy the life that God gave me.
And that’s what broke me.
So I prayed.
“God, can You fix me? Can You give me the strength to wake up in the morning, and the peace of mind to fall asleep tonight?”
“Can You give me something to care about? Something to hold on to?”
Can You give me this, can You give me that?
Can You, can You, can You please… ?
I cried myself to sleep that night.
And I woke up the next morning.
I went back to my robotic life.
Again. And again. And again.
Wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat.
Nothing in between.
days started to feel like weeks with a nap on the weekends,
and then, my prayer changed
“Dear God… I just don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t know what I need.”
“I can’t translate the darkness of my heart into words.”
“But I know You can hear everything my mind can’t speak”
“I’m not sure what You want me to do with my life”
“It’s not even a decision that I want to make anymore.”
“It’s not even a decision that I want to make anymore.”
And in that moment,
I surrendered one thing…
Can you guess what it was?
I let go of the control I once held onto for dear life.
The control that dictated every minute of every hour of every day.
I finally accepted the possibility that the fully optimized identity I was chasing, might just not be who God wants me to be.
I realized that the resistance I felt towards letting go of control… ?
Was simply pride.
But I called it my trust issues.
So, I gave myself permission to trust in more than just myself.
I gave myself permission to rely on the plan that God has in store for me.
I gave myself permission to fall in love with a life that was imperfect in my head,
But perfect in my heart…
Knowing that it’s perfectly from God.
And I also allowed myself to stop worrying about the happiness I was trying to secure for myself, through all my overplanning.
Because, no matter how perfect I may have thought it was,
If my plan wasn’t going to make God happy,
How could I ever expect it to make me happy?
Surrendering control to God allowed me to go back to living my life instead of constantly worrying about whether or not I was doing it right.
I was afraid of making mistakes
And that fear was paralyzing
And I’d always think- I’m not going to start until I can do it perfectly because I don’t want to waste time doing it wrong.
And so finally letting go of that perfectionism- that control?
It relieved me of the pressure that was keeping me stagnant,
And it felt like all of the gray, stormy skies of that depressive state
Began to fade away.
And the sun came out again
And light in my eyes were shining again
And I was falling back in love with life again.
Because He gave me something to care about
Something to hold on to-
But most importantly, He gave me something to look forward to.
Wake up. Work. Train. Sleep. Repeat.
But this time
God’s holding the control for me.
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