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

IMG_6107.JPG

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! 🙂

IMG_6153.JPG

One Little Word

20140731-140834-50914168.jpg

I decided to participate in the “One Little Word” campaign created by Ali Edwards. It is a challenge to pick a word you would like to incorporate into your daily life. It can be absolutely any word. I chose the word ‘relax’.

According to Google, the definition of ‘relax’ is:

  1. make or become less tense or anxious
  2. rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious

I am naturally a very anxious person. I overthink everything. Even physically I am very tense. Here’s an example…

Recently I got my first real massage. I was, of course, anxious and excited to go to the appointment. So, when I got there and got situated on the massage table and the massage began, the masseuse had to tell me multiple times to relax. She commented on how tense I was, and it really got me thinking that I have got to find a way to relax.

I have tried just about everything: meditation, breathing exercises, medication, yoga… it helps for a minute, but the anxious feelings, tenseness, and worry always come back. I’ve always been a worrier, even when I was a child. I used to totally stress about everything as a child, and it has carried over into my adult life. This is not my favorite characteristic of myself.

I think sometimes I just need a distraction; a way to get my mind off whatever is bothering me. I’ve taken up reading and that helps a lot of the time, but sometimes I just get overly anxious and agitated at the smallest things. I have to learn to overlook the small, unimportant negative things in my life and focus on the positive.

My goal for myself is to find ways to incorporate relaxation into my everyday life. I got a gym membership this week, so I’m hoping that will help. Thus far it just appears to be killing me, but only time will tell. Hopefully it will help get my mind off of stressful situations that come up in my life.

I thought the “One Little Word” campaign was neat. There are plenty of things I need to work on, but I think if I get the relaxation under control, other good things will follow (less stress, more happiness, etc.). I have to work on taking a deep breath and just taking things as they come instead of worrying about the future and stressing about what could happen.

This is going to be a real challenge for me, but I am going to try to relax.

What will your one little word be? How are you going to incorporate it into your life?
April

The Power of Positivity

20140713-172827-62907345.jpg
Can your attitude and thoughts change your life?

Picture this: the worst day of your life. You ripped your lucky pants in the middle of a crowded room, you spilled 1000 degree coffee on your boss, and you somehow accidentally shaved one eyebrow off. At this point, you just want to crawl in a hole and die.

But then you decide, “Hey! I woke up today! I have people who love me, and I have food, clothes (and more pants without holes), and a place to live. Man, I’ve got made.” And suddenly… you feel better. You can come out of that dark, depressing hole and smile a little.

Ok, so hopefully none of those things happened to you, but you get the point….

Positive thinking changes everything.

Sometimes it’s really really reallllly hard to find something positive in a crappy day. You may have to dig deeeeep to find something to make you smile, but when you do, concentrate on it and it will change your mood (if you let it).

And sometimes… you may just have to “fake it until you can make it”. I first heard that saying from one of my professors in college. It can be applied to pretty much every aspect of life. If you absolutely cannot find anything positive in your day, fake it. Think back to something good from previous days, or heck– just plaster a smile on your face and eventually you will begin to believe that smile.

A simple smile (sometimes even a fake-ish one) can totally change your mood. Try smiling at a random time and see if you don’t feel better. I promise you will; it’s really hard to be mad or upset while you are smiling. Or even better: try smiling at someone else– a stranger– and lift both of your moods. 🙂

So, since you took the time to read this, I want you to vow to find something positive in every day. Push those pessimistic thoughts to the back of your mind and replace them with positive thoughts. See if you don’t feel better! Put a huge smile on your face and grin a toothy grin at everyone you pass.

And remember this:

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
~Thích Nhât Hành

What helps you stay positive?

The Great Debate

20140702-115026-42626201.jpg
Roll Tide or War Eagle?
Don’t say you don’t care which team wins– that’s the ultimate sin when you’re from Alabama.

Growing up, my entire family was Alabama fans. I grew up yelling, “Roll Tide!” I never understood the art of football; I just knew you wanted to get the ball between the big stick thing. So, when I got older and still didn’t understand the sport, I didn’t watch the games. This is like an abomination.
When I hit 18, I started dating this guy who was an Auburn fan, so I ended up watching all of the Auburn games with him and his family. My family was beyond disgusted. They loved the guy, but I remember one time he showed up at my family’s Christmas in an Auburn shirt– you would have thought it was the apocalypse. Oh, and he bought me an Auburn shirt… that I actually wore. My sister refused to walk next to me if I had it on. Yeah, this hatred actually exists in Alabama.
Eventually though, we broke up, and I got together with a “real man” aka an Alabama fan. He is one of THE biggest Alabama fans I have ever seen. He believes his Alabama hats go with every outfit, no matter what the occasion is.

You can imagine how horrified he was to know I was “an Auburn fan” for two years. Honestly, I think he was more upset about this than if he had found out I was a leper being exiled to Nantucket. He immediately began buying me Alabama attire and making me watch every game with him.
One day, we decided it was time to get rid of the dreaded Auburn shirt. We decided to have a bonfire… and he burned the shirt. I’m sure some people are still cursing our names for this heinous act. Of course I got pictures!

20140702-113334-41614142.jpg

My boyfriend is something. Don’t get him talking about Alabama and Auburn because I promise you, someone is going to end up with hurt feelings, and more than likely it isn’t going to be him.

Here’s some friendly advice from someone who has experienced the effects of not taking sides:

Don’t plan on moving to Alabama without choosing a side.
Don’t be a “house divided”. Pick a side or move to Canada.
Don’t plan on moving here being a Tennessee or LSU fan unless you love having people hate you. One time I happened to have my nails painted purple right before the Alabama v. LSU game, and my boyfriend said I couldn’t come over until I took the nail polish off (it was like the perfect LSU purple in his defense).
Also, be prepared to be asked who you root for as soon as you meet anyone. I was asked this on the first day of my last two jobs by my bosses. I made the mistake of saying “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me” one time and didn’t think I’d ever live it down.

Now of course, I’m sure I’m not speaking for every Alabamian. I’m just showing the rivalry from my perspective and my experiences. Yes, there are obnoxious Alabama fans andAuburn fans (and every other team); and this is all said in a friendly spirit 🙂

So now that I’ve decided I look better in red, I plan on staying true to my upbringing as a Roll Tide fan. And I do understand the sport a little more now, thanks to my boyfriend.

April
Oh yeah, roll tide.

You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Gray

you-make-me-happy1

I came across a new app called “Happier” the other day. Basically, you post memories or things that make you happy and share them with other members. So, I decided to create my own list of simple things that make me happy (in no significant order). Enjoy.

1) Children laughing. There are few things greater than hearing a carefree child laugh uncontrollably.

2) Old people. You know what I’m talking about (and if you don’t, you have no soul). They are just precious. I love to just smile and them and get a huge smile back. And don’t get me started on the old husband and wife holding hands in the mall. Cuteness overloaddddd.

3) Good books. I recently have discovered that I actually enjoy reading. The last few weeks I have spent countless hours reading and finding myself engrossed in the books.

4) Teaching someone anything. This is one of the greatest feelings ever for me. I love when I’ve been trying to teach someone something and the “light bulb” moment when they finally get it. Not to mention, I totally love learning anything and everything that I can.

5) Good food. Oh man, one of my favorite things to do is eat. I loveeeee food. I’m a very picky eater, but I can tell you who has the greatest cheeseburgers in every county around.

6) Sunshine. Especially when I feel like it’s going to rain forever. Cloudy days totally put a damper on my mood.

7) Getting an “A”. Don’t play–you know what I’m talking about. Pretend it’s no big deal; I know your insides are doing cartwheels with excitement.

8) Puppies. Is an explanation really necessary for this one? Is anything really better than adorable, loving puppies?

9) Clean sheets. One of the greatest feelings in the world is climbing into cold sheets (in the summer) that smell like Heaven.

10) Grown men talking to babies and/or children. You know what I’m talking about– the “baby voice”. There isn’t much more attractive than seeing a manly man hanging out with a child and carrying on conversations with them.

11) PJ days. Those every-once-in-a-while days where I don’t have to get out of my pajamas, do my hair, or leave the house. Ah, those are the best.

12) Doing something nice for someone. Even if it’s something small. Just smiling at someone or holding the door for a little old lady might make someone else’s day.

So what makes you happy? I don’t mean the new outfit you bought the other day or your new car– just something simple. What makes you smile? 🙂

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 think 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 family 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.”