You’re worth more than you think.


Boy, have things changed this last year. I have learned a dramatic amount about myself, love, and life.

Over the last year, I got out of a 5 year relationship (he got “custody” of one dog and I got custody of the other– so I also lost a dog), got back into the dating game, found a wonderful man who completely swept me off my feet unexpectedly, got to know his amazing kids, and moved out of the county and city I’ve lived in since I was young. It’s been intense to say the least.

I’ve learned a TON about myself here lately. I realized how truly strong I am and what I am really capable of. I learned that I have to make my own decisions and not worry about what others think about me (i.e. moving out of my hometown).

I also discovered my worth. It took a very long and difficult relationship to make me realize it, but I finally decided I am worth more than fighting and crying all the time, being lied to, and being manipulated. I realized I don’t always have to apologize when I didn’t do anything. I have a habit of saying sorry no matter what; I hate feeling like someone is mad at me. I think in a sense saying sorry is a comfort for me, even when I actually did nothing wrong. I spent way too much time apologizing for things that weren’t my fault in my last relationship.

I have learned what love really is. Love is not nitpicking the person you love to death. Love is not feeling the need to snoop, go through your significant others’ (SO) phones, etc. because you have been lied to so many times. Love is not dreading spending extended amounts of time with your SO. Love is not the feeling of anxiety when you think about your relationship.

Let me tell you what love is…
Love is feeling completely safe with the person you are with– like you can be yourself and not anxious. Love is trusting the person you are with regardless of their past mistakes or yours. Love is finding something you cherish about the person even when you’re having a bad day or they are. No, you may not love every habit your SO has (and they probably don’t love yours), but you should be able to find something in every day that you love about them. Love is enjoying every second you get with them, even if it’s just laying on the couch binge-watching Weeds episodes. Love is also learning to trust someone fully, regardless of how you were hurt in the past.

For me, love is a uncontrollable urge to make my SO smile and the uncontrollable smile I have around him that makes my whole day better.

Always remember, especially on particularly tough days:

It may not have been meant to last, but it was meant to happen, and I am a better person because of it.

april

 

 

Forgiveness

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This is a tough one.

Let me start out by telling you a story.

A few months back, someone hurt me. This person embarrassed me in front of a lot of people, cussed me, disrespected me, and made me more angry than I have possibly ever been.

I left the situation feeling ridiculously irate, and later I began to pity the person. It honestly hurt my heart that someone could possibly hate me as much as this person acted like. I felt that they had absolutely no right to act so belligerent and claim to be an adult. Basically, I have had flames coming from my eyeballs every time I think of this person since that incident.

So now I know you’re thinking. “Wow! This girl really holds a grudge!” And I have always tried not to, but for some reason (probably because I have never experienced being blindsided like that for no reason), I could not let this go. Everyone experiences this sometimes I’m sure.

So, back to the forgiveness part…

Today, I have decided to let this go and forgive this person. Yes, it still upsets me that it happened. And yes, I am probably still going to walk the other way if I see them. However, I am releasing the stress of this grudge that I have been carrying with me. I am not going to go out of my way to smile or speak, but I will not be rude.

Sometimes I think this is all we can do. When someone hurts us this much or more, it can be hard to forgive and maybe even impossible to forget. I will not be forgetting this incident anytime soon, but I have chosen to forgive it. I am forgiving for my own benefit; it has been a burden for too long.

Sometimes it’s better to just suck it up and be the bigger person. I’m not holding my breath that this person will ever let this go (and I personally couldn’t care less), but I am doing myself a favor by moving on and putting it in a far, dark, dusty place in my mind that is never ventured.

So, if you have been struggling with forgiving someone, I encourage you to give it a shot. Don’t necessarily do it to relinquish the relationship– do it to ease your soul. Of course, this may be the first step to getting your friendship/relationship back, but it is not necessary (as in my case). Personally, that situation solidified the fact that I need to be more careful with who I associate with.

So learn from this experience like I have, and be a better person because of the forgiveness you have given.

Feel free to leave your comments on your own experience or advice! ­čÖé

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Your Legacy

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If you were to leave this earth tomorrow, what would you hope people would say about you and the life you lived? How would they describe you?

Would they say you were a wonderful person, who gave unselfishly and loved everyone or would there be an awkward silence while they try to pick their brain to think of something nice to say about you?

I hope it’s the first. And I hope you earned those words honestly.

People say you shouldn’t care what others think; and yes, this is true to an extent. However, I know that I want people to think I am a good person who they can rely on in a time of need. I want them to know that I care about our relationship and that they mean a lot to me.

Show people you care while you have time. Give them your undivided attention; put your cell phone down, get off Facebook, and look at the person who is speaking to you. Show them that their thoughts matter to you. Be the person who they can turn to when they are having a bad day or just want to talk to someone.

I hope I have been this type of person thus far. I hope the people in my life know how much they mean to me. I hope, when I’m gone, people talk about how loving I was and that I would have done anything for them… and I hope they really mean it.

Be sincere in your relationships throughout your life. They are more important than you may realize.

Strive to show people you care about them and that you are present in your relationships. Don’t be that person who is pretending to listen while you text under the table.

More than anything else, love unconditionally. Do not put limits on your love and gratitude. Give more than you take and be the person who people can always rely on. Be the type of person you would want to be friends with.

Don’t hold grudges. There is not enough time in your life to hold grudges. Even if you can’t forget something completely, forgive the person. Life is too short to be miserable. You will feel better in the end if you just let it go.┬áOf course, sometimes┬áthere are things that you can’t let go, and that’s okay too. Sometimes it’s best to let negative people go and move on with your life.

Ask yourself these questions:

Am I the type of friend I would want to have?
How will people remember me once I’m gone?

If you can answer these in a positive manner, keep up the good work. You are on your way to leaving a great legacy.
If you can’t answer these in the best way, work on becoming the type of person you know you should be. Be a person who conveys love, gratitude, loyalty, and happiness every day. You can do it; don’t give up until you get to where you know you should be.

 

April

The Past is in the Past…

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Let it go.

I think we can all learn something from this wonderful Frozen song (that everyone in the world knows just about every lyric to).

Letting go and moving on can be a terribly difficult thing to do. Whether it’s a relationship or a traumatic childhood incident or something even worse, sometimes it’s just better to let it go. That doesn’t mean you need to forget it– that may be impossible– but don’t let it hold you back.

Don’t be scared to go on with your life and find your happiness. You deserve that.

Things happen to us that really suck (for lack of better terms). At the time, we wonder how in the world we are going to move on or even survive… But we do. And we come out stronger on the other side. We all feel like giving up sometimes, but you truly show strength when you continue your journey instead of surrendering.

For me, I have overcame quite a few obstacles from my childhood. A lot of unnecessary heartbreak happened early on in my life. But you know what? I have learned from it. I experienced some things I would never wish on any children, and I believe I will one day be a better parent because of it. I believe I have repressed a lot of childhood memories, but of the ones I do recall, I have learned something valuable from.

So, just because you “let it go” doesn’t mean you forget the relationship/event/situation, it means you learn from it and move on.

Be a better and stronger person because of it.

 

To My Future Kid(s)…

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So, another one of my friends had her baby today (see picture). This just reminds me, once again, how not ready I am for kids. I will probably have them one day, once I’m married and whatnot.

But until that day comes I’ve decided to compile a list of some things I’d like to share with my future children (or any other kids/teenagers). Hope this isn’t going to get too awkward.

1. First off, you have the coolest mom in the world. Your dad is okay, too.

2. Life is really not fair sometimes. There are going to be some days where you just want to pull your hair out, poke my eyes out, and slash your dad’s tires. But my advice to you is: don’t– unless you enjoy the idea of juvenile prison. Really though, bad situations pass– you just have to keep going when you feel like giving up.

3. No matter what stupid, idiotic, childish stuff you do, I will still love you. Guess what? We all have done stupid stuff; although I was close to being the perfect kid/teenager (don’t believe what your daddy tells you about my younger days).

4. Absolutely no boyfriend/girlfriend is worth giving up your sanity. Do not depend on a significant other for your happiness. You can be happy with or without someone else.

5. Do not forget your morals in relationships. Boyfriends/girlfriends can sometimes make you overlook certain things that you are not okay with. Know what your deal-breakers are (see #6 for example). I promise, if you overlook something once it will continue to happen.

6. Do not EVER do drugs. I realize you are going to do some dumb things. Some dumb things are okay, like jumping in a big bouncy ball display pit at Wal-Mart. Drugs are not one of those things. People ruin their entire lives by deciding to give into the pressure ONE time. And yes, marijuana is a drug (crackheads and heroin addicts had to start somewhere and it’s usually with pot). Be careful and be smart.

7. You have to make your own decisions at some point. But with this freedom, comes responsibility. You may not understand why no one will buy you the super-cool pair of shoes, but one day you will have rent (or a mortgage), bills, car payments, insurance fees, phone bills, etc. to pay and you will totally get it. Life will go on if you don’t get the Coach purse that you are just dying to have. Once again, life is not fair. I promise you will have everything you need in life and more.

8. Put some effort into your education. It will make it a whole lot easier on whoever ends up paying for your college because hopefully you’ll get some scholarships and assistance.

9. Be polite. Use manners and apologize when you need to. It is so important for you to respect others, especially older people. Say “please” and “thank you”, and don’t be afraid to say “I love you”.

10. Work hard. Work ridiculously hard at everything you do: school, jobs, and everything else. When you start working, you are going to have to prove your worthiness to your employers. Start out strong and don’t give up. It might take a while, but you will eventually get the credit you deserve. Never ever give up on what you want. It is so easy to forget about your dreams– don’t. Set goals and work toward those goals.

**Note:
This list basically developed into a list of stuff I wish I knew at a younger age. Feel free to add your own advice/comments! ­čÖé

April

Growing Up is Totally Overrated…

When I was younger, I always wished I was older. Actually, for the last, let’s say 10-15 years, I constantly wished I could be a “grown-up”, be out of high school, be out of college, be married, have a big-girl job–you get the point. I’m pretty sure I thought the minute I hit that adult status, I would have an awesome life and that everything about life would make sense. I have literally spent so much time wishing I was in a different place in my life. Even now I find myself wishing I had it all together. I’m sure this is relatively normal for a post-college 20-something, but it’s still really frustrating.

I am really trying to focus on where I am right now, not on my ideal of where I should be.

It’s really tough though. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could just fast forward to that perfect time in our life? Oh wait, that doesn’t exist. Things will never be “picture perfect” like all of the Disney movies’ happily ever after endings. It’s life. It’s super-wonderful at times and it sucks at other times. You have to just learn to be happy with where you are in life.

Be grateful for the time you have on this earth. Show the people who you love that you love them. Laugh as loud as you possibly can. Do not dwell on the negative aspects of your life. I have been called negative one too many times (I always prefer to think of myself as a “realist”, but I’m beginning to┬áthink that’s just a toned-down version of “party pooper”). I sometimes struggle with finding the good in a lot of situations. I should feel blessed for all of the people I have in my life and all of the many great ridiculously amazing opportunities I have been given. I am giving myself a challenge to look for the best in every situation. This is going to be tough, but it will be so worth it. If you are reading this, I also encourage you to challenge yourself with this. When you get home, before you begin telling your significant other, parent, friend, etc. the bad parts of your day, say something positive that happened during the day. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge that the entire day wasn’t bad, and think about a time that made you laugh, smile, or just be happy to be alive.

I think every situation can be affected by the way you percieve it. You might be having the worst day you could possibly imagine, but if you focus on something positive (even if it’s the super-fantastic food you ate for lunch), you will feel better. Don’t focus on the bad; life if going to go on–regardless if you are miserable or if you are happy. You might as well smile and make the best of whatever situation you are in.

I think this whole “growing up” thing has its advantages. I mean, sure, I might have bills and responsibilities, but there are also some pretty cool things. I just bought my first brand new car (on my own!), I have my own apartment (that I pay for by myself), and I have a┬áfamily that would bail me out of any crappy situation I got in if at all possible (within reason). Find your happiness in this crazy, non-perfect world!

It is pouring down rain in Alabama right now, which reminds me of a cliche, yet very appropriate, quote…

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

 

 

Life As I Know It

Hi! I’ve decided to try this whole “blogging” thing. Hope it doesn’t bore you to death…

So I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately about life and things I’ve learned in this journey.

I have a bad habit of comparing where I am in life with where all of my peers are. Everyone I know (especially friends from high school) are getting married and having babies, and I’m not. I’m focused on my career and myself right now. I’m not ready to be a wifey or a mommy right now. I can’t even decide what I want to eat for dinner– how the heck can I be a mother? Of course, if some miracle happened and I became one, I would handle it.

I get asked when I am going to get married on a weekly basis. Yes, I have been together with my boyfriend for a long time. Yes, I love him. Yes, I know I’m not getting any younger. You get the point– it gets annoying. I personally think I’m being smart about things– I want to know, without a doubt, that I should get married. Not because everyone thinks I should. When I get married I plan on being married for the next 50+ years (forever), so I don’t think I should even relatively second guess myself.

As far as kids go, I definitely want to be married first, so that’s not even in the picture right now. I do want at least one ONE day, but I’m only 24.

Having a stable life is important to me before kids come along. I want to be able to give my kids everything I had growing up and a stable life. And I do not want them to have to go through the divorce of their parents (or worse) like I had to. Right now I have a good job, but it’s my first year here so I want to make sure it lasts and that I can move up before I make any extreme life altering decisions.

So, after being asked this 5,000 times since I graduated college, I have come up with an idea: stop putting time frames on everything.┬áStop worrying about where everyone else is in life. Stop focusing on having kids and getting married before so-and-so and live how you want to. If you aren’t ready, listen to your heart and your brain and know when to choose one over the other.┬áStop living based on what you should be doing when, and focus on just living now.

I vow to take my own advice and stop putting a time limit on my life. Yes, I won’t live forever, but I am going to enjoy the time I do have without worrying if I am on everyone else’s life track.

You should make this promise, too. ­čÖé

April