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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year!

     Hi everyone! I apologize every time I have a gap between writing, but I have decided not to do that this time, because I really needed that time for physical healing and time spent with loved ones over the holidays. 

     It's the end of the year again! I am so excited for the New Year, as I'm sure a lot of you are. I hope you all remember the challenge I am doing, so you can do it with me. I am making a box (I'll post pictures when I'm done with it) for all the wonderful things that may happen over the next year. This will help keep focus on all the things that have gone right in my life, rather than dwelling on the negative. Here's the deal: Any time an event impacts you positively, or someone does something special for you, or maybe you just had a self realization that will have a positive outcome; you will write that down on a piece of paper and stuff it into the box. The rules I found on Pinterest indicate not looking at what's inside until New Year's Eve of the next year. I am going to change this slightly, because I know that there a lot of people (including myself) who have rough times, and may need assurance throughout the year. I am not sealing the box, but making it accessible if I need a mid year boost.

     I have been thinking a great deal of all of the things that have happened throughout this first year of me being in an industry that was previously unfamiliar to me. Even though I have learned some hard lessons from some business failures in the begininng, I loved every minute of it. I would not take it back or change courses if I was given the opportunity. This has been such a learning curve and has shown me all the things I have to be grateful for. I have a very supportive husband, and such positive friends and family backing me up that it is truly overwhelming at times. I feel incredibly blessed and have my God to thank for all of it.

     I want to share with those of you who may not know me personally, what sorts of things that have happened this year.
1. I started a new business

2. I learned what questions to ask and who to ask (the hard way).

3. I learned that if you are going to bring in a 3rd party or another company to help you, you must be absolutely clear about what your expectations are, or it will have been a waste if time, energy, money, and volunteers.

4. I had to get a pixie cut because of some poor decisions (that I still oddly enough do not regret) from the previous year. This made me learn how to love my face as is. I no longer had hair to hide behind.

5. I learned a very new self confidence that I never knew I could have. Sharing myself through videos and not caring about who doesn't like it, has done wonders for my self esteem!

6. I struggled hardcore with organization this year. I don't even know if that will be better next year, but I'm okay with that. I mean, if that's my biggest issue in life, I think I've got it pretty darn good.

7. My husband and I took bounding leaps of progress in the communication department. We have talked about everything this year and grown closer together because of it.

8. People I love moved away, and although that still stings a bit, I know I can visit them and Skype. The relationships you have to work for, are often the most rewarding.

9. People love me. I had a very scary car accident and I am still overwhelmed to tears every time I think of everyone who brought me food, drove me to appointments, or took time out of their day to send me words of encouragement.

10. I have prayed my hardest this year. I have had so many friends go through rough times, medical problems, losing loved ones, loved ones getting medical problems, etc. this year has possibly been the hardest year for me to be a good friend. There have been times I feel like I'm not doing enough, there have been times where I have felt useless. These are the times I prayed the hardest. If you are my friend, chances are I have prayed for you. It seems like 9 out 10 people in my circle had some sort of hardship this year, and I wish I could do more.

11. Finally, I have learned to blindly trust. This has been such an issue for me in the past. I like being in control, and don't know what to do with myself when I can't be. I have had to trust my own instincts without knowing what could come of it. I have had to trust others and hope that they will be accountable. I had to trust my husband to take care of things that I couldn't when healing. This is the hardest lesson of the whole year, and I find it very fitting that it happened so close to the New Year. 
Please don't allow yourself to be so jaded that you deprive yourself of the joy of trusting others (or even God). I have been let down a lot in my life, so I got to be bitter in some ways, to the point of having the attitude of do everything myself because other people suck. This was possibly the loneliest time of my life. Let people in. I have built some of the best possible friendships this past year.

     I am so excited for the challenges and blessings that 2014 has to offer. Make this your year to be a better you. 
Here's my New Year's box! I will probably decorate it more with pictures as the year progresses.

 I left a perforated flap underneath in case I want to open it throughout the year. Feel free to share pics of the ones you make. I would love to see your creativity.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Let It Go

     Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. I am still restricted from normal life like work, the gym (Nooooo!), laundry (Yay!), and so on. I get my nose cast removed this Friday (I will post pics) and can go back to work Saturday.

     During the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle, I managed to see Frozen in the theater. Without giving anything away, the main villain of the movie has a lot to do with fears, and one of the underlying themes is finding yourself and sharing what you find with others. Also, there is a musical number in the movie called "Let It Go". All of these things are what I would like to talk about today.

     Why do most people conceal who they really are in any given situation? Because of fear. Any amount of fear can be debilitating. I can remember as a teenager, I thought I had excellent style after I started buying my own clothes, until a group of girls my age made fun of me. That made me so wary of being who I was. I was scared of what others thought of me. All of sudden the thoughts of others became a concern of mine. Why? I never saw those girls again. Why would there be a long term affect? Why would I go from confident to insecure over a comment and some laughter by complete strangers? My bubble was popped. I had this beautiful innocent vision of the way things were, and someone pooped on it.

     The insecurities from my eating disorders had been long forgotten and then abruptly thrown back in my face. I would stare at myself in the mirror for way too long analyzing what was "wrong" with me physically. I would pick at myself, including over tweezing my eyebrows and putting way too much makeup on to try and hide what my face really looked like. I discovered the hair straightener and became crazy about not wearing my hair curly (I still sort of have this issue...). I tried really hard to be what I thought other people thought I should be and continued to fail miserably.

     Do you want in on a secret? People don't think about you. I know that sounds brash, but hear me out. When you interact with strangers daily, the people you may run into have a million things swirling around in their brain just like you do. If someone says something unkind to you out of impatience or stress (I am unfortunately guilty of this myself), you will typically think on this for far more time then the offender(s). For instance, when someone says something nice to me, it makes my day and I remember it. This exact scenario can also happen when someone is rude, but I don't usually think about that for nearly the amount of time as a compliment. The person who said or did those things most of the time will not think twice about it once it is said and done. Of course there are wonderful people in this world who genuinely feel bad after a distasteful interaction with a stranger, but not for more than 24 hours typically.

     I am not nearly close to the self image I would find ideal, but I would say I am for the most part; confident. I have already beat the dead horse as far as talking about making lists, so I won't spend time reiterating (but it really works!), but I will say that the practice of letting go can do wonders for your self esteem. I am not suggesting that you become apathetic, nor am I saying you should never care about what people think. Sometimes the criticism of others can enlighten you or change you for better. I like to take a tiny amount of time to reflect on what was said or done to me. This includes asking myself the following questions: Is this interaction a reflection on something I said or did? Did I do something wrong? Did that person sound stressed or hurried? If it was a reaction to something I did, I plan on not doing or saying that thing again, but if there is no lesson to be learned I have to chalk it up to the fact that the other person was having a bad day. Maybe they found out they have cancer, or lost a loved one, or something as simple as they are running late. Be forgiving. Don't be the person who is easily offended.

     I have a saying that a lot of my close friends make fun of me for; "I do what I want", now if you know me, you know that I would never be intentionally unkind to anyone, so this mantra is basically saying "I'm going to be myself". I make a fool of myself on a regular basis. I am probably the butt of many jokes because of the silly things I say and do publicly. I would have zero time to do anything else if I stewed over everything that other people thought was stupid. Somewhere along the line I decided to do what I want. I am not a mean spirited person. I love who I am and who I become daily. I know that I would not have as many friends as I do if I wasn't nice. I love life and attempt to pull others into my silliness as often as I can.

     Please, I am begging you, do not waste time with worries over something so small as what others may think of you. Life is too short to be someone else. You are too good. God made us all unique. Yes we have similarities, but no one can be a better you. Learn to love what is different about you rather than wondering if you fit in. Let it go.

Here is a sequel to my last video, if you haven't already seen it. This is an example of how I do what I want.