There are two schools of people. There are those that design their lives, set goals, and achieve and there are those that let life happen and react to it. You can either live in the high stress reactionary place or you can choose the carefully plotted and curated life that is about thoughtful decisions that bring calm and functionality to your life. The choice truly is yours.

Being a firefighter will burn you up. Literally. It will consume your resources and spin you out. You will run into burning buildings trying to save things, people, and animals that often times are fully capable of saving themselves or not worth saving. You can exhaust your own resources or you can build a house full of enough sprinklers that you’ll never need a firefighter to show up. Unless they are super hot and shirtless. In that case, forget about what I said, and you ma’am, are a genius.

Being a firefighter is a waste of your time and leads you to the most useless place. You will feel like your life is too busy, too full, and you are too stressed to get anything done. You can also be a firefighter for someone else’s problems. Rescuing others from the rooftops of their own bad decision infernos can be addicting in a sense. You can rush in and get a payoff for being a hero. Because you are calm in the face of danger, people that live in anxiety that create self sabotaging scenarios will call for backup as often as you let them. It’s not good for you and it’s not good for them. You waste your energy and they aren’t required to grow into the fullness of who they were meant to be because you stunted their growth with your hero complex.

Do you want to live in the adrenaline fueled lifestyle that firefighters are known for, or do you yearn for something more calm and sustainable? If you rush to rescue, you will need to learn to stop, to wait, and to be able to watch them struggle which can be painful to do. This gets easier over time and as you see them develop the skills they need, their confidence will help them the next time they have set the house on fire. But sitting on your hands when you are used to jumping in and handling it will be hard to learn.

Architects study, they consider light, how to space will function, and fitting the perfect structure to the site. They choose strong places to build a foundation and then build structures that last for centuries on that rock solid place. They make plans, they make modifications and revisions adjusting for variables that come up during the build. Then they build, only when they have the plan as perfect as it can be, sticking to budgets and passing inspections. This is how you build something that lasts.

This is the only place that will sustain you. Architects are always revising the blue print and so are you. You can choose to create something that gives your heart shelter and brings you peace. You can choose to plan a life that doesn’t require you to call 911 constantly. You can be the creator of your own peaceful abode, it is a choice.

Drama can be addictive, that is what keeps your ass in the seat when binging on Netflix. Without the constant drama we are not entertained. When you are unhealthy, and not entertained, you can manufacture drama because it is what you are used to and it might feel boring without it. But is it really entertaining? Do you need the heart palpitations to feel alive, or can you relax into the boring and find rest there?

I was a firefighter for the longest time and I know the toll it can take on you. It is exhausting running to fight fires with a bucket with a hole in it. It keeps you busy, but not much gets accomplished. It’s being on high alert 24/7, unable to get a good night’s sleep. It’s gaining 20 pounds because of all the cortisol racing through your body. You will be the busiest you have ever been, but nothing gets resolved. I have tried unsuccessfully to put out other people’s fires and it drained my resources and almost killed me. I stopped being the hero and let people burn their lives to the ground, because I finally learned that it was exhausting me and preventing the inevitable. Eventually it would be a total loss anyway.

Now I am choosing to be the architect of my life. I have started over in every sense of the word and since everything was burned to the ground, I can begin completely over. Once you get over the initial shock and fear, it is really quite beautiful. I get to chose the best place to build and decide where I can construct the firmest foundation for myself and my kids. There is nothing left from the old life I used to live. I like to imagine myself walking in slow mo away from the explosion that used to be my life. Seems a little more bad ass that way. The freedom is incredible, I have a 360 degree view of the open ocean now. The trees that used to obstruct my view are gone and now I can evaluate everything in my life with greater clarity. I can rebuild my life brick by brick on a foundation that will last. I can build a legacy that will last for generations.

Because I am starting from ground zero, I get to be true to myself when I rebuild. I can create the home of my dreams and fill it with the people who love and support me whether they are blood related or not. I can choose each person, experience, and relationship thoughtfully. From this place I can build a life that I don’t want to burn to the ground.

Every day you get to decide. Firefighter or Architect. Which one do you want to be?

XOXO Ninya

PS. If you love these blog posts, help me keep the lights on and Doritos in the pantry for my teenager, by checking out one of my books below. There's something for everyone. "Velvet Guild" is naughty and explicit. (Erotic Romance), "Scotland with a Stranger" is a memoir of my trip to Scotland last May and "AnaStasia" is a parallel lives story (Women's Fiction) 

Velvet Guild

Friends Don't Let Friends Stay Vanilla

Desperate times…call for sexy solutions.

Aimee is panicking, feeling like a middle-aged failure, barely scraping by, raising a teenager alone. She is also a submissive who yearns to be dominated in the bedroom.

Scotland with a Stranger:A Memoir

“Who goes to Scotland for two weeks with a stranger they met over the internet?” 

At forty-three, Ninya was depressed, out of shape, and filled with crippling anxiety after addiction, cancer, and divorce had destroyed nearly everything. One day, she received a message from a stranger.


This is the story of one life, lived two different ways.

In one reality, “Stasia” is the beloved daughter of doting parents who spare no expense in supporting her ambition and talent. 

In another reality, “Ana” washes dishes at a nursing home to buy her carefully-budgeted art supplies, waiting until her alcoholic father passes out before creeping downstairs to paint.  

First You Then Him

A Former Trainwreck’s Guide to Becoming then Finding a Healthy Partner

Wish you had a big sister to take you by the hand to tell you why things aren’t working in your life?

After two decades of making all the wrong decisions when it came to life and men, Ninya has learned a lifetime of valuable lessons about both.

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