The 365 Day Challenge: Passion Isn’t Simple – Week 1 Review

Okay. So I should have admitted when I started this challenge that it wouldn’t be easy. When I decided on taking time to dedicate to my passion (writing) every single day for the next year, I didn’t mention that it’s harder to stick to on weekends, when traveling, or when you’re overwhelmed with just general life stuff.

Some days I have a jam-packed schedule, other days I obsess over cleaning the house, and then there are other days I might just want to binge Netflix/cuddle my dog and not even think about writing. But these days, full of distraction or lack of motivation entirely, are the days I should want to write on most. While it may be tough to prioritize, I’ve found that times when you’re furthest away from your passion, due to doing day to day life, are exactly when you need to find time to do them. Even if my to-do list has an endless number of tasks on it, I’ve found that taking a step back to put myself in a “writing timeout” allows me to relax for a brief time and brings clarity to the clutter in my brain.

I’m just a week in to this 365 day challenge and 2 days of that week were a struggle to sit down and take time to write. I can guarantee that there will be many, MANY more days that are difficult and maybe some days where writing just isn’t in the cards, but committing to this challenge has encouraged me to stick with it. That may mean writing two sentences for my book or simply finding an encouraging quote or editing what I’ve already written. And that’s okay – it’s enough.

Speaking with others about the topic of passion is also encouraging. It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one who gets frustrated when you can’t find time for your happy place on a manic Monday. It’s also exhilarating to talk about your passion with others and celebrate their passions because when we all actually take time to do what we love it makes us a little bit more whole for the special people in our lives. So what did I learn from my first week?

Week 1 Lesson – Pursuing your passion isn’t always simple and that’s okay.

Click here to see more on the 365 Day Challenge

Nearly Native Explores: Noelle and Makeready Libations & Liberation

Nowadays everything in Nashville seems bright, shiny, and new – new construction, new restaurants, new bars, and lots of new people. It seems like one of the nation’s hottest cities is all about being “out with the old and in with the new”, but does that mean it’s losing it’s character? After all, Nashville wasn’t always a trendy metropolis full of music hopefuls, celebrities, and twenty-somethings. Luckily, the are some Nashvillians who are making it a point to preserve (or renew) the past, including the team at the Noelle hotel downtown.

Nestled between the bustling streets of 4th Avenue and Church, and overlooking Printers Alley, Noelle may have just recently opened its doors, but not as something shiny and new – as a part of Nashville’s history, renewed. Originally built in 1930 as a hotel and later converted into office space, the Noelle building has seen The Music City evolve for nearly 90 years, standing tall long before the “Batman Building” and Broadway as they’re known today, and symbolizing a simpler, slower, more elegant time. When it reopened it’s doors as a hotel late last year, Noelle proudly presented its history, embracing a style rooted in Art Deco originality and balanced with a modern flair. Throughout the hotel you’ll find features they’ve embraced from the building and the city’s history, including the blue heron – a bird that was native to Nashville back when the hotel was built.

While Noelle’s style showcases it’s past, you’ll also find conveniences of a more modern time, like typical amenities such as a gym, wifi, a business center, but also additional touches that leave a lasting impression. Every floor features a central water station with fresh fruit and a newspaper printed in-house on a quarterly basis. Plus, you can access coffee on-demand from renowned coffee roaster, Barista Parlor, delivered to your room or available in the lobby at the Drug Store Coffee shop.

Noelle is a beautiful blend of historic preservation and modern attitude that’s perfect for a weekend downtown or a staycation. But enough about the hotel, there’s more to it than that. Noelle also features a restaurant, Makeready Libations & Liberation, that continues the hotel’s theme, paying homage to printmakers of the past, but with its own unique twist on American food. Serving all meals of the day, including Sunday brunch, this isn’t your usual hotel restaurant and could surely stand on its own as the perfect place for a casual lunch, business lunch, or fun dinner with friends. The menu is diverse and seasonal – satisfying every palate, and the mussels are not to be missed! With its convenient location and entrance directly off of 4th Avenue, you have no excuse not to try this place.

NOTE: Noelle also has a rooftop bar opening this Spring, called Rare Bird!

To say Nashville is booming is an understatement and while we appreciate all things shiny and new, it’s important to look back on our history and remember where we come from. Withstanding the test of time, Noelle celebrates the cultural foundation of what makes Nashville what it is today, making it worth your time to visit, stay, eat, and play.

Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!

**Also featured on the 365 Day Challenge and Explore pages

The 365 Day Challenge

We all have habits. Things we don’t realize we do every single day of our lives. Whether we’re on vacation, rushing off to work, or sick as a dog on the couch, we still find time for the things that sooth us – make us feel comfortable in the day-to-day. While my habits usually consist of working out, taking a hot shower, brushing my teeth too hard, checking Instagram, and drinking a bowl of coffee, I also make to-do lists, think about my priorities, and research things that I aspire to do.

Habits can be diverse, influencing every part of your life, so making a passion of yours a habit should be easy, right? You would think so, but if your passion pushes your boundaries beyond your day-to-day routine, it can be hard to keep after it so it has a chance to evolve into habit. This is how I feel about writing – I absolutely love it, but some days I just don’t want to do it. Pursuing your passions can require energy that you might not have every day.

I’ve remained pretty dedicated to this blog over the past 4 years, but the energy to write comes and goes and lately it hasn’t been around much. We’ve all been there – social comparison, stress, or life changes can impact our passions, causing us to feel discouraged and bringing into question if it’s worth the pursuit at all. It’s easy to see everyone “doing what they love” on the outside, but it’s important to remembering that everyone has their own struggles. I had the opportunity to attend an event last week that featured a panel of successful women who made a point to explain that they didn’t achieve anything without challenges and hard days. Even the most polished, shiniest of us don’t always have it easy.

In the spirit of owning my struggle and my passion, I’ve decided to set a 365 day challenge: Write every single day for the next year. Whether it’s a blog post, a quote, making progress in the book I’ve been writing, or a simple line that says, “Today it ain’t happening”, I will write every day.  Even with travel on the books, I want to make an effort to write. Like many of you, I have tons of ideas swimming around in my head, so I want this challenge to help surface the idea that best suits my journey. But hey, it may not do that at all, it may take me in a different direction entirely. I might create a completely new passion, but I won’t know until I try, right?

I invite you to join me in living your passion every day, whether that be writing with me or something completely different, like training for a marathon, fashion blogging, cooking, or crafting. As on of my boss lady friend’s always says – it’s important to celebrate a win every day. So why not start today by taking the first step to making your passion your best habit yet?

Click here to go to the 365 Day Challenge page