new beginnings

If you don’t know me or haven’t talked to me in a while, when I turned 27 I started on this quest to find myself. I know I have said that many times and in many situations prior but I really meant it this time. I could feel it was crucial to my future and my future happiness.

As I have explained to close friends and family, I have been feeling like I’m sitting in this bowl (in my mind, it’s this small purple one I’ve had since I went to college) and there is press and seal covering it and for years, I was content at the bottom…not needing to think or make decisions for myself. I have been too scared to make a decision because I don’t want to disappoint others or am too scared to actually change. Recently, I have felt like I’m at the top of the bowl banging on that press & seal and not being able to break through it. I want to break through it, desperately. I am no longer content at the bottom being miserable. And I know there has to be change. It’s time to think for myself…make decisions that will make ME happy….and follow my heart.

I knew that in order to get out from the bottom, I needed to deepen my relationship with God. God and I go way back and I like to think he spends a lot of time chuckling at me with my grand plans and my hopes and dreams. On June 26th, I started a 40 day prayer challenge. And if you know me, you know I like dates and the anniversary of important things and I believe, June 26th will remain a very important day in my life.

 

The 40+ days I’ve spent praying really hard and looking at who I am, where I want to go, and asked God to continue to open my ears and my heart to where He was guiding me and that He would get the glory for whatever happened because I sure don’t deserve it. There is a lot of other stuff in there, but that is at the core of where my prayers have been focused. During all this I struggled a lot (ok that is probably not surprising) but I reached new lows…lows I haven’t experienced before…lows that made me question everything: who I am and where I belong. Why was I not worthy of all the things I wanted in life? Why did I feel not good enough for anything or anyone? Those questions ran through my head time and time and time again and then I found myself questioning the most important relationships–my dearest friends and confidants and my parents. I hate that I felt that way but I did. I was at the bottom of that bowl. And worst of all, I felt completely 100% alone.

I didn’t know if it was going to get better and not that I was questioning God because I don’t know that I was but I was not recognizing that He was there with me all along. I got too caught up in my own brain and my need to control, I wasn’t truly giving Him the power. Once I realized that, I felt less alone and I was more than capable.

The one person I really needed to be honest with and fix my relationship was with my Dad. He and I don’t always see eye to eye and have a lot of similarities that don’t help that all the time but we have had many ups and downs this year and that has been extremely hard on both of us. I felt extremely compelled to finally talk to him and be honest. It was weighing on me every moment and I absolutely hated the discord. He has always been one of my strongest supporters and inspiration for me so not having that in my life during this was killing me. I had been so scared of what this conversation would look like but I knew it had to happen to really start being true to myself. Our conversation was so wonderful and was the best conversation we have ever had. And I know God was there with both of us that day. I was honest…I told him I was not happy at work and while I desperately wanted to want to be there, my heart was not in it. I wanted it to be…it’s all I ever have thought of and known. I want to make him and my mom proud and I feel that by feeling that I’m not happy I will disappoint them more than anyone has before. On top of that, thinking about making a career change and leaving is really scary. And I have NO idea what I would even want to do! At one point out of no where he suggested I look into becoming a counselor. It was a sign! most don’t know, but I have thought of that off and on for over a year. I was too scared though. I was too scared to make any decision. Again, for so long it was just easier to sit in fear than to rock the boat.

Anyway, I KNOW God was in that conversation because I had asked for a sign a few days earlier in my prayer that God would continue to guide and direct me in what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I needed and still need the guidance. But my dad saying that to me in our conversation was my sign. The more I talked about it or shared with others, the more excited I have become.

Counseling, I can see it! Me helping people, making a difference in someone’s life. I finally feel like this is my calling…this is what I’m supposed to be doing. It doesn’t matter that I’m 27 and completely changing my career. I feel and know God has spoken and instead of trying to control, I’m giving it to Him to guide and carry me through on this plan. This is my time and God has said a lot of “not yet” in my life when I feel like He should be telling me “yes yes yes” but this one is a yes, now.

I feel the most comfort and peace I have felt since I graduated college. I don’t know where I’m going to go or how it all looks but I am open to any and all ideas and keeping my ears listening to God.

It’s a brand new beginning for me and I feel so confident and content about it that it brings me to tears. God is good and I know no matter what, He is there with me every step of the way.

I want to thank my closest friends and my family…especially my parents for supporting me and being there for me through my post college journey. It has been challenging in many ways but I have grown and feel so blessed to continue to have such an amazing circle in my life. I love you all so much.

I don’t share this to brag on my new goals/dreams/plans that have come from this 40 day prayer challenge. I share and write this to give hope to others. To show that because of digging deeper in my relationship with God, it has brought me into a new mindset with a different perspective. It just happened to impact my goals for my life. God gets all the glory here….He is the one carrying me along and guiding me. No matter what is going on in your life or things you may be dealing with, God is right there with you. And no matter what He is saying, trust Him because I know it will be worth it.

cheers to new beginnings and all that’s to come!

 

friday humor

let me tell you a little story….it's a story that is mostly humorous and comical… filled with a touch of disappointment and a "WTF" thrown in there a few times.

it's a story of Katie's dating life or lack there of. I don't like dating, I don't like feeling the pressure to be the perfect version of myself when I know good and well that no one is really 100% of the time that way. and because of who I am, I choose to put even more pressure on myself. Dating is supposed to be fun and light and exciting and casual and I look at it like I have one shot at going on one date with one guy in order for him to be "the one". It's insane!!! Part of it is my own fault and part of it is the way the dating world works and my experience, or lack there of in relationships. It's comical to me when I hear about other friends going on dates and how they look at it and honestly, it just terrifies me. I would rather be friends with someone first and let it grow into more…that's what I prefer but that can't happen if I'm going on dates.

After many a year NOT dating and my broken heart finally truly on the mend, I decided it was finally time to try this again. (I'm serious, this is like a once a year, every few years deal for me). Yes, have been on all the dating apps with little to no success but about over a year ago I matched with this guy on Tinder and he seemed really sweet and nice and we started chatting on there and then started texting. At this particular time, I was not really wanting to go on dates or date anyone, just to talk to someone to distract me from my unrequited love (I know it's dramatic but what else do you say when you love someone and they don't love you back?) So I wasn't really in a place for actual dating…too scary I wasn't ready to give up on my heart. We continue to talk for a few months and I finally get up the nerve to actually meet this guy. He was patient and I think I was hoping I would piss off the other one enough that he would realize his true feelings for me. And let me just be frank, life doesn't work like that….that is in the world of fairy tales where the girl ends up with the boy….not. real. life. and p.s. me doing that did not make him jealous. AT ALL. alas, I digress…back to my story.

This guy was kind enough to come to my neck of the woods and we met a sports bar I've never been to so we could watch the Carolina basketball game. (I'm a big fan) I was super nervous but kind of excited! I felt like I knew him pretty well so I would be more at ease. I arrived first and I saw him driving to find a parking spot and when he saw me got super excited and was waving so big. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking "oh lord here we go". I waited for him at the front door and he asked for a hug and so I hugged him and as we were walking inside, he held the door and it made me feel uncomfortable (why I have NO idea) but it did and so being me, I said "Oh you don't have to do that!" Ugh I'm such an idiot sometimes. We had to wait a bit for a table and so we sat on this small bench and then he tried to touch my thigh right above my knee and I said "oh that's a little too much too fast". I think it made him feel uncomfortable but I met him less than 5 minutes before!!! Again, I do NOT move fast. AT ALL. Not going to apologize for it either anymore. We eventually sit and talk and hang out and eat and drink and he shared very interesting things….talked a lot about his daughter (I get it) and about his ex-wife which I found rather odd. And how she was a virgin on their wedding night (COOL. THAT doesn't make me feel uncomfortable or weird or anything……….) And honestly, I was thinking about the other guy and was comparing the two pretty much the whole time. I never really relaxed and didn't feel like I was myself but in all honesty, I realized I wasn't ready. I wasn't over things and I didn't want to be unfair to this nice guy. I feigned illness so I could go home…and yes that is bad but it had been 3 hours and I was mentally exhausted. He walked me to my car and planted a kiss. WHICH by the way, I had mentioned multiple times while we were eating that I like and need to take things slow. Sorry but to me, that is not slow and you clearly didn't hear me when I said SLOW. I said goodbye and got the hell out of there.

Now I know that slow is different to each person so I respect that and I knew very well and good I was comparing in my mind the whole time and this guy simply did not live up to what, in my mind, is my standard. Regardless if things didn't work out with the other guy, doesn't matter, he set a standard and will continue to be my standard….good or bad as that may be. And I'm ok with that, especially now.

After our date, I blew the guy off for a few days and decided I needed to be honest with him. I told him that I really liked him (maybe a stretch) but I was just NOT in a place to be dating. I was getting over someone still and my heart was not ready or willing to move on. And he accused me of lying and not be truthful but in fact it was the honest truth. We went back and forth a few times and he finally got I was telling the truth. I still wasn't ready to be dating and his intenseness with me freaked me out some so I know that was part of it too.

Alas, we continued to talk off and on from April last year until now. Nothing too serious or deep but he always seemed to reach out when it was like I was getting too wrapped up in the past with the past. It was comical because I felt like God was giving me a sign. I tried to listen and be really open to going out with him again and giving him a real chance. I felt he deserved it after kind of stringing him along even though I wasn't being too forward or saying how much I liked him or wanted him. Just felt he deserved another chance. Oh and he drunk texted me one night…something really inappropriate…it was funny but definitely made me feel uneasy. Oh and he's 40ish so that makes it even more comical and slightly, WTF, you're 40.

FINALLY I got up the nerve and we decided to meet up….last Friday to be exact. Originally we were going to meet on Wednesday and I was FREAKING out. FREAKING out. I was so nervous and I felt I was because he continued to say how much he liked me and was so into it. And I knew I was putting too much pressure on this date and myself but I couldn't stop myself. It wasn't fun and casual anymore, I was back to looking at it as I get one chance, one guy, one shot. And I had been sick the week before so I postponed until Friday and there would be alcohol involved so it would be easier for both of us. I panicked about it all day and talked to way too many people about but I knew I had to go no matter what. I needed all questions answered and to really see what this guy was all about. I ended up messaging him about my nerves because I felt it would help and it really did. He told me no pressure and that we would be friends regardless and he was nervous too so I felt like "Ok I can do this." I psyched myself out and I was going to do it.

As I walk up to him, I said a little prayer…asked God to be with me, help me be open, really give him a chance, and to be myself. We said hi and hugged and here apparently is where it goes south. I was nervous so I said something silly- "Oh it's casual Friday?!" I was in a dress. I felt over dressed compared to him and plus I was just trying to break the ice. I wasn't intending to be critical of his outfit (although he was wearing a winter fedora so I was internally critiquing that…who wouldn't? It was 1000 degrees outside). I remembered he likes to open doors so I let him this time without saying anything rude and we were seated. We kind of talked about my nerves and there were many lauls in the conversation so in order to keep it going, I asked a lot of questions. I didn't want to feel uncomfortable so I just kept up with the questions. He chugged his beers and whenever I did talk (p.s. he did not ask me ONE question about myself. not. one.) he stared everywhere except my face. My hands, my arms, my chest (mostly there) and never once looked at my face when I was talking or sharing a story. He didn't seem interested in what I had to say or getting to know me at all. Cool. His staring made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and I was trying to ignore it and just chalk it up to nerves. Now remember, I told him earlier that day how nervous I was and that I needed to take things slow, I kept saying it and was being up front and honest. Don't think there is anything wrong with that….I was being true to myself. And what does he do? Awkwardly reaches across the table and tries to grab my hand. Which then I literally snatched it back so fast I didn't even realize I did it. CLEARLY did not want him holding my hand let alone touching me. It was not because he repulsed me (although on some level he totally did) but it was about the fact that he completely ignored and disrespected me in my requests for things to go slow. SLOW. and again, while hand-holding is not slow though awkward when you're sitting across from one another, it's fast enough to me. at least with him. SO there was that. And soon enough it was time to go and he made a comment about how he would "pick up the tab since I'm going to buy dinner in a few". GEE. THANKS SO MUCH. That bothered me too but again, I was trying to do this whole thing in a different space and different mindset than before. I was still not feeling comfortable with physical stuff but hey, it's been one time. Give me a flipping break PARTICULARLY with my lack of experience.

He asks me to walk with him to his car so we did and asked him not to make any moves because I didn't want to be taken off guard again and I was trying to get him to respect what I had asked and said so many times before. He awkwardly gave me a hug and we said goodbye.

I left feeling relieved and proud of myself for going….and as the night went on I knew it wasn't right. If I really liked him, I would have been more willing to let him hold my hand or kissing me or if it was right, he would have respected me more. So I was proud I went but needed to tell him I didn't want to move forward in a relationship. I put it off and really didn't hear from him much so I thought maybe he wasn't feeling me either. I was kind of cold. :O

I talked with Jason and he helped me with what to say and so Tuesday I got up the nerve to text him finally. I said exactly what Jason told me to and felt good about it…..I was kind but was honest and was allowed to not feel it. He responded with "I figured as much. 14 months is a really long time to go in between meetings. And I wasn't feeling the same as I did last year anyways." Ok. I can respect that….it kind of stung because I was MORE myself this time so I did feel a tinge of rejection but let's be honest, I didn't spend that much time with him nor did I spend that much emotion on him so he didn't deserve me to be upset. I replied and said "OK. Well I'm glad then I guess you feel the same. We both need to be honest with ourselves and each other. So I guess we won't be friends then either?" To which he replied….and it's too long to go into on here…but he replied. A big. Long. Rant and what I'm calling a text attack about how terrible I basically am. He reiterated he wasn't feeling it and that he was super offended about my comment about his outfit (thus why I said that above) and went into all the reasons he dressed that way….I don't care! I didn't care then! I said it because I was nervous!!!! (other than the winter fedora). And that he could tell I wasn't into him so he bailed and didn't care and that we couldn't be friends because he was just saying that because he was hoping for something romantic to come from it and that's what he gets for being positive and hopeful about it turning into a relationship and plus he needs to clear his mind and focus on the positive things in his life, and honestly, I'm not one of them. END. (also he blocked me on FB…again, how old are you?!)

speechless. it left me in tears if I'm being honest. It felt like a verbal attack. written attack I guess but I felt attacked. I chose not to respond because he didn't deserve to hear from me again but OMG & WTF. I had been honest and upfront with where I was at and what I needed the ENTIRE TIME. I did not lie and I did not lead him on so if he thought I was just joking with him, I was not. I was as honest as I could possibly be. And it all became more about his unnecessary text attack…he doesn't really know me or what I meant by all that or anything about me because he never took the TIME to ask me questions. It became highly evident he cared about having sex and getting some then he did about me. I was mad at myself for believing he was a good guy and made me really question, what is wrong with me?! I shared all this with way too many people but I felt like I needed support. I needed backing. I needed someone to say I was right and he was just being a complete ass for no reason other than he was upset and disappointed.

I have to be honest, this whole thing threw me. It made me question everything and everyone and it was so small and trivial. It was one date. No big deal. But why could he not have said something else and just been cordial about it? Fine if you didn't feel it, great. Makes it easier in a way. But no. He attacked my character and who I am and that is what hurt. I am still trying to process through it and let it go….it's in the past and it really is a good lesson more than anything.

So. Here I am. Still pretty much in the same place. BUT that is OK. I still have a standard. I did not give him anything (literally, Thank you God) and he doesn't know anything about me obviously. I was true to myself, I let myself be open and that is really all that matters. I am and will remain proud of myself for that. I just can't let myself wait another 3 years to go on another date…..even though I am scared about it….I gotta keep doing it. No matter what. God guided me to this situation for a reason and while I have an idea what it is, I know he has something even better in mind for me ­čÖé

Thanks for reading….I hope you laughed and cringed and well, someone out there may relate.

Cheers to this life….it's pretty great

all my love,

K

words

I love to blog. I love being able to express myself through words. I am much more eloquent with words than I am when I speak them. I get tongue tied because I want to make sure my points come across clearly. And in writing I can erase if I don't like how something is written.

I have been rather reflective this week on many things about myself….how I come across, how I define myself, how I box myself in by the words I use. I never thought about it before but the very definitive words I write and speak have done me a disservice my whole life. I speak in concrete and definition, nothing open for possibilities or what could be or hope….only definition and most likely negative definition.

FAIL. ALWAYS. I AM. I KNOW. I CAN'T. DISAPPOINTMENT.

May sound extreme but those are my most used phrases…real helpful huh?? The words I choose to use to others and the words I choose to speak to myself have created this terrible self worth and demeaning view! It finally hit me this week, I am causing all of this. I am terribly self aware except with the words I use. The words I've chosen to use have limited by ability in so many areas- relationships, goals, dreams, promises made and broken, my own self worth and value– all because I am choosing that. I am believing the words I'm saying and instead of defining myself from the core values and attributes, I'm valuing myself on words used. Words that aren't even true, if I really and honestly evaluate it. I'm choosing to be the victim and being a victim of the victim. It's easier to be the victim….and there have been times I probably HAVE been the victim but feeling sorry for myself does not help me. It forces me into this tiny bubble of shutting others out, closing down, and well, being the victim.

I know deep in my soul, I've been created for good and to do good and be good. I have been created to make a difference in someone's life and to change lives. I feel that in my soul. I have been created to be a mom, to be a hard worker, to live my life and be at peace with myself. But I cannot be at peace with myself if I am always the victim and using words that are the opposite of all the good I was meant to do. I'm not open to the possibility to ANYTHING because I believe that I'm not destined for that so of course it's not going to happen. I have to believe it, in my soul…the possibility that ANYTHING can happen and that I can do WHATEVER I want and be whoever I want. I've already been doing that…..except in the negative way. I want to be the person someone can say- "Yeah, she went through some crap but look how much stronger she's come out of it and what a beautiful person she is." I don't let those things happen because I pre judge and believe that the past is going to keep repeating itself so I sabotage any chance I get at doing different or being different.

I'm writing this to myself so when the habit starts again, I can catch it before it overcomes me. I'm writing this to remind anyone and everyone to love on yourself a little more and to remind you that you are not defined by your past or decisions you've made. God did not send His Son to this earth to die so we continue to hate on ourselves up and not live to our greatest potential. You have the ability to change how you see yourself, to not do the same that has been done before, to show yourself you are capable of making a change, to show yourself more love.

"be present in all things and thankful for all things." maya angelou, my favorite quote. the more present I am and thankful I am the more chance I have at doing things differently. God gave us this life for a reason and I am not going to let the past put me in a box anymore. I deserve as much happiness as I want for my loved ones. And happiness starts with one person, me and those positive, loving, and hopeful words I choose to use.

all my love,

 

 

be.

18010757_10209095998139594_4652677570080398632_nbe where your feet are. be present. be in the moment. being in the moment can help guide you to what you were created for (thank you esther for that insight). to be.

most of my life has been me living for either the past or the future. i would focus on the wonderful memories from the past and not want to let them go OR i would be living for upcoming adventures. both are good things to do but it shouldn’t be so that the present is completely ignored. in the last year, i really recall only looking to future trips and things i know that would make me happy. and when those future things happened, i wasn’t enjoying them, i was worried about how i would feel when it was over. what a terrible way to live!

my ‘tude change started with trips. i tried to put my phone down and be present in the moments of the things i was looking forward to and try and not let myself worry so much about how i would feel when it was over and not hurry it away. it really started to work. my memories became more vivid and i felt like i was getting more out of my experiences. i started that probably over a year ago.

then came the hard part…being in the moment and being present in my every day life at home. that’s where i was the worst with that, wishing it away faster so i could get on to the next thing I was looking forward to. there is nothing wrong with having something to look forward to. but when i was spending my time wishing away the current, i miss out on so much. and it really is the simple things that mean the most. i always struggled more at home because i had to sit with myself and be with myself with everything good and bad i am. i wasn’t able to escape it as easily because i wasn’t distracted with fun and exciting things. i still feel i struggle with this on occasion but i know it has improved greatly. normally i am the one who is traveling monthly or sometimes a couple times a month so that is always what i look forward to but from the middle of February through the middle of April, i didn’t go anywhere. i was “stuck” here. and it sucked at times but i realized i became content being here and doing things at home and being able to sit with myself–my struggles and be ok with them. accepting them for what they were and knowing it would pass; it wouldn’t last forever. i didn’t feel as “stuck” as i always had in the past. i was able to have adventures in my own back yard and appreciate home for what it was and who was here.

that brings me to my tattoo. the last 5 days, i adventured in LA with my 3 best friends from high school. minus Jason, those 3 really are my closest and best friends. and i think of all 4 of them like family. they know my stuff, i know their stuff, and we love each other anyway. i don’t feel ashamed of my struggles around any of the 4 of them and that’s what makes them my best friends. so i decided before we went to LA that it was time for my tattoo and who better to share that experience with than 3 of the people who mean the most to me in the world. i knew i would be nervous (and i was) and they calmed me down, encouraged me, and supported me thru it. it was an experience i will always remember and cherish close to my heart.

i got the word “be” written by my mom. there is so much around that and it honestly makes me emotional. first of all, it’s my mom. my person. my mom. i love her deeply and sometimes i get really scared when she’s not going to be around and how i will handle what life throws my way. she’s my safe place and she is my mom. so having her writing on me forever is something i’m totally ok with. secondly, it’s the word “be”. to be where my feet are. no matter what, good or bad. to be in the moment, to feel it all; no matter how good or bad it is. be. i have struggled specifically with myself the last 4 years and who i am and who i want to be and what i see as important but learning to not let anything define me except who i am. katie. and even amidst the struggle and heartbreak, i am ok. i am feeling it all and i’m being and i’m ok. as i sit here with tears welling in my eyes, i KNOW how much i’ve been blessed. God has given me SO much and i think i really see that now that i’m being present no matter what. i wouldn’t be who i am without my struggles. as i have said multiple times recently, those are what i believe really define you…who you are in those darker moments…that’s when you know what you’re made of. and i want to be made of strength, resilience, persistence, faith, hope, and a mantra to NEVER GIVE UP on yourself, no matter what.

i came home excited but also feeling renewed. i needed this trip. i needed to be with friends and to be reminded that i’m loved no matter what by people on this planet and even if not everyone agrees with the decisions i make all the time, they still love me. but most importantly, i love me. i love me for all i am. and when i look down at my wrist now, i will remember to be, how blessed i am, and that God never gave up on me so i shouldn’t give up on me either.

to be.

what a powerful sentiment. and i’m damn proud of focusing on that and for how far i’ve come.

be no matter what. you’ll be so happy you did.

twenty. seven.

some how I’m not sure how I got here, I’m already turning 27? I feel like I’m still 23 or 24, I think that’s the age I’ll always think of myself as. To be honest though, I’m glad I’m NOT still those ages.

I’m a person who is big on anniversaries of events and important moments because it gives me an excuse to stop and reflect on myself: who I am at the current moment, remember how far I’ve come, be thankful for the memory, but continue to press onward.

I have ALWAYS been an anniversary of things person, especially anything I deemed as life changing or altering. So between my 26th birthday and a “life changing” moment I experienced, 26 did not start off on the most positive note. It felt like a year ago, my life turned upside down and I had to figure out how to live with this new normal. Everything I had known as true and real the last 2 years had suddenly changed and I had to figure out how to accept that change. If I’m being honest though, I don’t think I accepted that change until about January┬á2017. I spent 10 months, TEN WHOLE MONTHS, trying to accept a change that had already happened.

You see, I hate change, I really despise it, in pretty much every aspect of my life. I’m sure I’ve expressed this before, how much I hate change. But it’s a goal I have for myself this year (2017) is to be more open to changes and to be more accepting of them immediately because change is a part of life; it’s inevitable and instead of fighting it, I should learn to embrace it. It might make me happier and continue to be more present in my every day.

Reflecting now, I spent so much of my 26th year trying to accept this change and struggling with who I was, where my worth came from, and what I want for my life. I finally decided I didn’t want to live in this space of chasing something that I was never going to get. I didn’t want to be in this negative space where I couldn’t enjoy anything or was always looking forward to the next good thing and missing out on the present moment. I was tired of being miserable and the only one who was miserable. I realized my life was going to be gone and I was still going to be holding on to these very small and VERY past moments.

It was TOUGH to let go and put these good and bad moments behind me enough to enjoy the here and now but I decided back in March that I was damned and determined to end 26 in a better space than I started it. I felt like letting go meant I had to let go of all the good parts too and that I had to forget about the happy memories but you don’t have to do that. You get to keep those special moments that meant everything to you and hold on to those but it doesn’t have to control or run your life. It was very difficult for me to get to this space. It’s been a big change of perspective and I’ve had to learn to have and feel true acceptance. But now that I’m here, it feels good. It feels good to see how far I’ve come and all I’ve learned about life and myself through all this.

I’m very thankful for these challenges because it’s brought me to this new place and space. God has guided me and carried me through all this to get to the other side. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I know it’s all going to be ok, I know I’m stronger and more confident in myself now because of all the good and the heartache and break. You have to know what it’s like to walk through those valleys to enjoy the mountains that much more. 26 was a valley for me but 27, 27 is going to be my finding my way to the top. Everyone’s lives are full of ups and downs of all different kinds and I’m no different in that. My story and my growth will be able to help someone, I just know it. Just don’t give up on yourself, don’t lose hope, and don’t lose faith. We really learn who we are and what we’re made of in those valleys.

be where your feet are. be in those moments, no matter how hard or how wonderful they are, be in them fully. those are what matters and those shape who we become. don’t live in the past, don’t live for the future. just be because it’s all going to be ok in the end; God makes sure of it.

cheers to 27 and all those good moments to come….

grace and its possibility

grace.

grace is a concept I struggle with. I got my Monday morning email this morning and it talked about grace & and how to learn to give yourself grace when you fail because it matters how we talk to ourselves, especially when we have messed up. But not only am I terrible at giving myself grace, I’ve been bad about giving grace to others lately.

If I had written this a week ago, the focus of this post would be about how I have a terrible track record with giving myself grace. I am without a doubt my own worst critic, I am harder on myself than I am on anyone else but I also set expectations for people that are pretty near impossible to meet. I have the idea that if I can do things and put in all this effort than so can everyone else. Well everyone else is not me and that is not fair to put those expectations on others. And so I find myself caught in this cycle of not being able to give up those expectations and thus giving others grace.

It’s an ugly thing to constantly have the feeling of being let down and feeling like you care more because you know what you would do but then others don’t do as much so you think others don’t care as much. Thus, I always feel disappointed and no one cares about me. It’s a horrible cycle because not only am I not giving myself grace and beating myself up, I’m projecting the same thing onto others.

And so all this combined, creates negative relationships with others and myself and then I have the feeling of being unworthy and undeserving of grace and love from others because I’m terrible for placing those expectations where they don’t or shouldn’t be.

back to grace. grace is something I’ve been praying about a lot lately…grace for myself when I mess up and fail and giving that same grace to others. I have to accept that others show their love and care in different ways than I do and that doesn’t mean they care more or less than me, it just shows through in a different way. And I MUST learn to be give myself grace and stop beating myself up every time I don’t do something perfectly. This world and my life is full of mistakes and instead of constantly berating myself for those mistakes, I have to learn to let myself accept the grace that God so generously gives me. Accepting that grace is going to be a challenge but it’s something I have to focus on so that no only can I receive it but I can give it others who deserve it as much as I do.

along with the idea of grace, comes the idea of possibility and the possibility that someone else’s positive view of me can be true. and that one person’s view of me, that I’ve made up in my head I will add, does not mean it’s the Bible truth, ESPECIALLY because I made it up. I think for so many years, I had this idea that this friend saw me in such a negative light because of our interactions and now that I *know* it’s different, I still can’t accept it. I expect this mountain to move to prove that it’s different and that can’t happen because it’s never been different, I just have to look at it differently. If this makes sense to you, then great, because as I am typing it out, I still don’t think I understand myself.

I have to trust and believe that people who are in my life love me for all the good and the not so great parts of who I am. And when they tell me I’m something, I MUST believe them. No matter what. Some I believe more than others & I have NO idea why that is. But most importantly, I do matter and I am worthy of all the things I want to do and that even if someone’s opinion of me is negative, it doesn’t matter because I know I am good enough…God says so and if He does, then I shouldn’t argue with that. The not giving myself grace in ANY circumstance has caused this deep rooted issue of me feeling unworthy of anything good to happen to me. I don’t believe I deserve it so I continue to create situations and thoughts that just take me by the hand and lead me down that dark road.

These are ugly feelings and thoughts to be dealing with on a regular basis. It’s overwhelming knowing that I have the idea I don’t deserve grace or love from anyone but today, when the idea of possibility sunk in, it made me see things a little differently. I have the possibility to do whatever I want and be whoever I want and even when I continue to mess up and make mistakes, God will be there to remind me to give myself grace and that it’s ok and that I’m still good enough. This idea of perfection has got to go because it’s not reality, no matter how┬ámany times I tell myself otherwise. And when I finally live that out, then I will be able to give grace more freely to others.

Life isn’t easy and I’m not making it any easier by having this thought process and I’m ready to make the leap of faith. I have a feeling I’m going to like the outcome….

all my love…

new year, same perspective

normally at the beginning of a new year, I have all these hopes and dreams of what I want to do with my life in that year. It's a time for a fresh start, a new year, a new me. I tend to make this big, grandiose statement about the person I am going to be this coming year. Out with the old, in with the new. An excuse to start over of sorts.

This new year is a little different for me. I don't feel the way I have in the past. I don't want to start over. I want to keep doing and feeling the way I have in the last 4 months. I can't say that I was sad to see 2016 end. Part of me was because of all the amazing experiences I had with people I love and cherish & all the life lessons and strength I found within myself….that made 2016 wonderful. However, there was a lot of tough stuff that happened to me and to my family and while there is always that stuff, it seemed extra heavy in 2016. So in terms of that, I was ready for something new.

I've been feeling restless of sorts, like I need to make a big move for myself. Big, out of the box, different, and for me. I think with the experiences and what I've learned about myself in 2016, I need to make this big and different step in order to keep growing and learning and morphing into the best version of myself. I have come out of the last year with my head held high and holding onto this great hope for me and what my life will become and honestly, what it is already. And in order to keep that perspective, this big move needs to happen. What is this big move, you may wonder? I don't know yet. I just know I need to take a big leap.

I want to continue to be observant, be more present in the moment regardless of what's happening, loving on others, and learn to be more loving on myself.

For anyone that knows me, I'm really hard on myself. Like really hard on myself. I NEVER give myself a break, ever. I'm always pushing myself in every way humanely possible to be perfect and I think I have learned that I'm not and never going to be so if I loved myself more and talked to myself like I talk to my friends, I may turn out happier and be more content with who I am…which really is my ultimate goal.

And with that, I also want to be more present and more present with where I'm at personally with my life and well, really everything. I feel that in the past, I missed a lot because my mind was somewhere else entirely. I wasn't focused on the place I was in with family & friends or I wasn't present with my feelings in the moment. I tried to fight the feelings and fix myself (another point of being too hard on myself). And I just finally have learned how much I've missed out on by being that way. I realized my life will be passing me by if I don't change something, and soon. Having my mind be somewhere else and or fighting whatever it is I'm feeling just makes me more restless and unhappy.

I've been working really hard on both of these things and want to continue that work. I know it will not always be perfect but it will help me love myself more and be more appreciative of my life and everything and everyone in it. Life is about growing through changes and losses and challenges and I truly believe that's where we do the most work on ourselves and see the most growth, is in the tough times. We get to see what we're really made of.

2017 is going to be a year of keeping on the path I ended with in 2016. I'm looking to a year of growing to true contentment and peace with all aspects of life. It'll be a nice change from what the last 5 years have been.

Cheers to all that lies ahead in 2017….