[Essay Contest] - Finalist #5 - Erica Cominsky - Stratejoy


[Essay Contest] – Finalist #5 – Erica Cominsky

**This post is one of the finalists in the Stratejoy Essay Contest. Throughout the month of February, we will feature one finalist per day. On March 3rd, we’ll open the voting for the best essay. The winner will earn the $500 cash prize. Sweet, right?!


How easy it is to become buried and caked with social expectations, self-doubt, commitments, and depression. At first it’s difficult to see how small steps start buffing back the clumps. A dramatic transition for me started in February 2012.


Up until that point, I had spent almost 5 years living in a dark, tiny apartment that I hated. I was horribly embarrassed to have people come over. Once I had surgery, and some dear friends were kind enough to bring dinner for us and take care of me. I was mortified. I’d been friends with them for years and they had never seen where I lived. I was so anxious that I told them I was doing fine so they could leave when I was really in horrible pain and needed their help.


When it was time to house hunt, I realized three things. I knew I wanted somewhere that felt bright and luxurious just walking in the door, that I would never ever, ever live somewhere with a galley kitchen again, and that I wanted a townhouse so I could literally force myself to “take the stairs”. At this point, I had already been self-employed for 4 years from home. I had gained a LOT of weight. I feel like that move was a real symbolic transition for me. I graduated from college in December 2011, but I was mentally holding myself back until I allowed myself to breathe in my new home.


Sometimes now I almost don’t recognize myself because of the sheer number of changes. To be honest I look younger.  I’ve sold one of my businesses. I lost 65 pounds, mainly by finding out that I am ridiculously allergic to wheat so I had to give it up so I’d stop breaking out in hives! I started caring for my body. I learned how to correctly use mascara! I also become more attuned to myself because before I wasn’t actually listening.


One night shortly after our move, I was lying in bed. I was anxious, I couldn’t sleep and I felt weighed down by stress. It suddenly hit me that I was happy, but my brain simply hadn’t caught up. I lay there that night and thought about all the things that I had been blessed with. I looked at my beautiful home and realized I had never stopped to be grateful for it. I had never stopped to see all the wonderful things in my life.


I finally realized I had been waiting for something, working on something all the time, but toward nothing. What I had been waiting for didn’t exist. The transition from dark, cramped, hateful living was my literal step out of depression and allowing myself to raise my head up to the light. Sometimes I still sit in the darkest part of my townhouse and I catch myself hiding from the potential, hiding from working in places that I love that make me feel comfortable. I usually fix a cup of tea and go for a walk, because our neighborhood feels like home now.


When I mentally started to realize how happy I was/am, things started to fall in to place. In 2011, I took Molly’s Self-Love course, to give you an idea of how long I had known something was off. It was a long process but I finally started to eat away at the fact that I was my own harshest critic, I was the meanest to myself, and I had a lot of things to forgive myself for. Learning to love myself has been and will continue to be one of the hardest lessons in my life. I also discovered that I didn’t have to be held accountable for things that others had done to hurt me, and that I didn’t have to make up for every disappointment in my childhood before they happened to my daughter. I’ve learned to enjoy living with my daughter, and to be content with the fact that it’s OK for us to read separately if we feel like it or for us to watch our favorite geeky TV show together and let the dishes sit in the sink.


I’m still quite surprised at how difficult it was for me to learn to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.


With such a year of accomplishment and growth behind me, those simple joys:

  • sleeping in late occasionally
  • walks in the park
  • watching an entire season of Doctor Who in one night
  • indulging in my Pinterest addiction, or
  • watching my Kindergartener wave to me on her way in to school

Those are the things I want to smile and remember. See accomplishing a goal can whiz by unappreciated and unnoticed because naturally our minds are always wanting more. But it’s so much more enjoyable simply being happy.


For 2013, my motto is “Today I am thankful and I am happy”.

Photo Credit: [via].


DSC01804 200Erica Cosminsky is an home-based HR Business strategist that works with businesses of all sizes on hiring, legal compliance and training design.

Peace for Erica is a good cup of tea with a scratch of paper to write, or a good book. She loves to sing, and watch Doctor Who, Sherlock and Game of Thrones. Her daughter says she is the best cook in the world, she has great hair and she is very kind. They live with their 3 cats near Nashville, TN. You can find her on twitter @Cosminsky or Facebook.


**This post is one of the finalists in the Stratejoy Essay Contest. Throughout the month of February, we will feature one finalist per day. On March 3rd, we’ll open the voting for the best essay. The winner will earn the $500 cash prize. Sweet, right?!

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