abusive relationships.

i am a strong woman.

physically. emotionally. spiritually.

if you asked me to list adjectives to describe me, STRONG would be in the top five.

i’m 5’11. i work out a lot. i have a big personality. i’m opinionated.

so when i tell you that i’ve been in a physically abusive relationship, that should shock you.

and sadly, i still don’t even know how to talk about it.

thanks to a little alcohol, i’ve slowly, one year or so later, opened up to some of my closest friends about being physically abused by my ex.

it rained today. and we planned to go wine tasting. just like we had that day…months ago. when i was dating him. when i loved him. when he was the center of my world. when he slammed me to the ground and i rose bleeding. and with tears in my eyes and a laugh in my voice and i convinced him it wasn’t his fault. it was definitely his fault. to this day, i can’t say that out loud. why? why do i blame myself. for being clumsy or my stupid shoes…why can’t i just admit it was him and his doing. and he knew it. and thats why he continued to freak out about it. the scar on my knee will forever be there thanks to my ex.

and that night we broke up. when the police came. when he put his hands on me. when i had to cover the bruises for the week to follow. and when he claimed to not even realize he touched me let alone hurt me.

how was i that girl? that woman? the strong female who was in a situation where a man could physically hurt her? i hate that part about me. i hate him. but i still hate that there was some part of me that loved such a person who could do that to me. someone who could tear down every ounce of me and make me insanely vulnerable to the point where they could actually hurt me.

to this day one of my biggest regrets is not reporting him to the police. when i sat there crying, bawling to the police and spelling my last name, i absolutely hate that I didn’t turn him in then and there. i hate that three days later when i was covering the bruises that i didn’t turn him in. i hate that about myself. and i hate that about him. and hopefully for my sake, i get over that. but i promise you and me that will never ever happen again.

in working on moving past this and forgiving myself, i will be volunteering for a group that helps with domestic and sexual assault. i couldn’t be more excited to get started as i think i need to feel good in my soul over this and start mending the past.

xox.

anxiety.

my anxiety is through the roof this week.

i can’t breathe. i can’t catch my breathe. i haven’t felt this way in years.

and i don’t know what is causing it.

forever ago (ok, 4 or 5 years ago) I knew what was causing it. I was lost. I didn’t have a job. I was stuck. I thought there was no way out. I was fat. I hated myself. I wasn’t happy. That all lead to my anxiety, which, granted I didn’t realize was actually anxiety until I finally did realize it was just that.

So what’s wrong with me now?! I’m not quite sure.

Today it hit me that, I may in fact, HATE THE HOLIDAYS. I repeat, HATE THE HOLIDAYS. Yes. This girl who prides herself on being holly jolly every november might just hate the holdidays. At least for this year.

How did I get here? Well…maybe it started when my sister, (my best friend) kicked me out of her house and berated me saying I was no longer welcome in her home. To which she later apologized and realized how wrong she was which was too little too late since I already had been swiftly kicked into a pretty solid depressive state. So it may be ironic (or not so much) that since that day I just haven’t been myself and just can’t seem to catch my breath.

And then maybe it’s the fact that every human I know is suddenly coupled up and can’t do anything without their significant other. Making me the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 1111th wheel in every situation.

So when I spent two hours venting to my mom about “life” and explaining how I am just frustrated with people, she told me “welcome to adulthood.” and that couldn’t be more true. Lately everyone makes jokes about adulating. But at 33, I’m f**king sick and tired of fake people, and people, and dumb people and all of the above and I’m done trying to be nice or fit in. So yes, I am actively working on saying NO to things that don’t provide me with ultimate happiness. If you happen to leave me feeling sad about myself, NO i’m sorry, I will no longer be spending time with you,

And so, after 32 christmas’ in this life…my mother gave me some great perspective after I told her how hard I am trying to get in the festive mood…”It’s ok not to feel super festive. some years it just isn’t there. and that’s ok.”

So, this year, I’m just not so festive. it’s december 10th and despite decorating and shopping and wearing my christmas tee…I’m still not feeling the christmas spirit. and that’s ok. i think. at least it is this year for me.

and in the mean time, i hope my soul settles and sorts itself out. as much as i wish everything was rainbows and butterflys, there’s a reason why it isn’t always that way, and when it comes back, that makes it even more worthwhile. so until then, i will persevere and toward for better days.

xox.

My happy looks different than yours. And that’s ok.

Yesterday as my sister and I were driving down the 210, tears began flowing from my eyes. Real tears. And lots of them. And suddenly my happiness bubble shattered. The weight of society and the rest of the world meticulously found a pin to burst my bubble. And burst it they did.

Tears. Because I’m in my 30s and single. Because I’m in my 30s and don’t make “a lot” of money. Because I’m in my 30s and don’t own a house…or have a dog…or a Mercedes…or a vacation rental. Because I don’t have kids. Because I’m not a size two or conventionally beautiful. Oh so many tears.

And I don’t know what was worst, the fact that those things on my good days NEVER make me feel sad or upset but rather empower me and make me feel badass. Or the fact that it was all true…

Let me rewind. Last Thursday, I was hit by a ton of bricks by something simple that jolted my soul without me realizing it (until the tears were flowing on the freeway). It doesn’t really matter what it was that was said but it kind of jolted me to my core…it definitely jolted me to my core. And then I began questioning everything I love.

I have worked my ass off my whole life. I have lived more than most. And I have enough stories and life experiences to fill a book. I love…or shall I say, loved, my life so much because I have literally been to hell in back in more ways than one. I have failed. Oh, I have failed so many times. And I’ve had to pack my bags and start fresh on countless occasions. Not because I am bad or dumb but because I’ve lived…and I’ve learned, oh have I learned! And all of those life lessons and experiences and relationships have helped make me who I am today. And today, I appreciate so much the life I now have and have somehow constructed. I love where I live. I adore my job. I am blessed to work for a company that allows me to be exactly me. I have always dreamed of living in the city I live in. I’m normally obsessed with the greatness of my life. That my weeks are filled with work I am passionate about and social gatherings and runs and hikes and trips to the beach and wine and laughter. And what makes me so unique and tick is that I don’t usually get where I’m going in life the conventional way. I’m a late bloomer, I take the road less travelled, but that’s what makes the journey so valuable and the end point becomes even more coveted. Which is why I am so upset that this one thing started eating away at me consciously and subconsciously. Why was I so easily being torn apart over this…

Money has never defined me, seriously. When I tell you I absolutely adore my job because I can be exactly who I am, it’s true. I’ve had jobs before that all I wanted to do was climb to the top and completely throw myself into work 15 hours a day…and I hated my life; I hated myself; and I hated that I had no friends. Finally finding a spot where I have just literally found my family and can geek out on things I love is invaluable in my eyes. And that’s the absolute truth. When you’ve been somewhere you hate and work for someone you don’t respect and cry at the idea of going back to work…that’s when you know the difference between what is right or wrong for you. And that’s why it’s so easy to show up every day excited and with a smile on your face.

Then, as far as relationships, yes I would love to find the right guy and be so sickening in love with him. No I am not a man hater. I often correct my mom and married sister when they generalize that “all men are jerks” to remind them that no, there are great men out there. I am looking forward to meeting one. But I also refuse to compromise and settle. After several detrimental and abusive relationships, I get that I have a pattern of finding the wrong guys for me. So this time around I am going to be cautious. And at the moment, being on my own and single actually does make me happy because I am not relying on someone else to make me smile. I’m not relying on a guy who can’t even be happy on his own to tear me down while I fester and try to build him back up…I’m not waiting for a guy that won’t even value me enough to treat me like someone special. And at this point in my world, I also know how life works for me. When the right person is meant to be in my life, he will show up and I won’t have to force it. I am going to value myself next time, so he has to as well. Period. So why was I instantly convinced my value as a human dropped because I’m not in a serious relationship or engaged or married…Why did it hurt me so much to see my own sister has a wedding board for me on Pinterest, but I don’t because that’s just not who I am.

Why is this festering in my mind. Why at 3 am was I wide awake thinking if I was worth more and if anyone would value me as so?

I’d be lying if I told you I have it all sorted back out in my head. I don’t. I wish I did. Because I’ve been in a funk and a bit sad about it all. Somedays I think if I had all those things, maybe it would be easier…maybe I would be happy…maybe I should try harder to get there…but honestly, maybe I would hate my life.

I’m normally the cheerleader in your life that reminds you how badass you are. How beautiful your soul is and how amazing your spirit is. Some days, I even believe that about myself. But this one deflated me more than I thought it would. And I’m working on getting back there. So this week I focus inwardly on figuring my head back out. Finding things I am thankful and grateful for. Going out of my way to do the things I love for me and only for me. Giving back to others. Smiling more. Enjoying the little things. And trying to not give a sh*t what anyone else in the world thinks because as long as it makes me happy, that’s enough.

And just because all those things aren’t for me right now in my life, doesn’t mean they aren’t for you. Do what makes you happy. Find what makes your soul shine and do that. And the people who love you and genuinely get you will totally understand that and want nothing but that for you and they won’t push you to be someone or something you aren’t.

While I haven’t figured it all out, I’ll leave you with this…

“Happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life.”

and…”The world is going to judge you no matter what you do. So live your life the way you f*cking want to.”

xx

 

Happier Fat?

Ok, that’s a vague title.

I’ve had a bit of an off week. I haven’t been writing for whatever reason. I haven’t found…scratch that, made the time. That’s the actual reason. Which is kind of a bummer because over the past few weeks I’ve thought of a lot of things to write on. But either way, not beating myself too much about it…here I am.

So aside from not writing, the past week or so has also handed me a few challenges. I strained my calf (the same spot that I tore almost 4 years ago when I was over exercising). I came down with a nasty cold (maybe the flu?). And yea, that was enough to throw me off. The calf thing had been building up and bothering me now for well over a month. And I had been run down and exhausted so I guess getting sick was also imminent. So I battled this week.

Monday, I wasn’t feeling great, but as I almost always do, I told my head to stop complaining, suck it up, and deal with it. I dealt with it in a way almost no one else in the world would. I ran 2 miles then hit the gym to do 100 thrusters and 100 hand release push ups. Normal, right? My head was killing me by 4pm and I dragged myself home and into bed where I remained for the next 24 hours.

I allowed myself a sick day, loaded with sleeping and rest and fluids and then gave myself said pep talk on Wednesday and got myself back into work. And back into the gym.

Despite not being able to breathe. Or taste. Or function without a throbbing headache, Thursday ran about the same as Wednesday.

By Friday, I was so excited I made it through the week. Went for a mile run to test my calf for the big run I had planned all week for Saturday and hit the gym hard, blowing my nose every 5 minutes, but completed my WOD and accessory work and was proud to have successfully made it through a tough week only giving up one day off.

And by Friday I felt like I had some swag back. I also felt like I was leaning out and doing good work in the gym and since I’d been sick, I was proud I didn’t really eat too poorly. Except by Saturday, I realized I didn’t really eat at all.

So let’s fast forward to today. Saturday. After taking almost 2 weeks off from any long runs, I was so excited to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. It has been raining, so I planned this one perfect. Post-rain, it would still be wet but not too cold. I woke up without my alarm, made coffee, drank a glass of water, ate some eggs and got dressed. Threw on an ankle brace, compression sock and calf sleeve and was stoked to get going. I parked, picked my pandora station and I was off! The goal was between 5 and 6 miles, but I was hoping my body would be able to handle 6 no problem. I hit 3 miles and was ecstatic to turn around. Until, bam. I gingerly stopped. My right hamstring just balled up into a tiny pretzel before my eyes. Wait a minute?! What?! My fucking right hamstring is now giving me issues? You have got to be kidding me. I stopped then and there, unsure of what to do, with tears welling in my eyes not from the pain but the mere fact that I might be facing another injury. Unsure what to do, I crossed the street and started pounding my hamstring with my fist — I probably looked insane, but I have pretty tight legs and my mere pounding wasn’t even beginning to loosen them up. I started going through every hamstring stretch I knew…as sweat is pouring from my body. And then it hit me. It’s 85% humidity right now. I didn’t drink nearly enough water yesterday, let alone this morning and I sure as hell sweat most of it out in my first 3 miles….

I stretched and started my walk home. I figured I would be fine if I could somehow lengthen the muscle and get it to unknot. Jog. Stop. Stretch. Walk. Jog. Stop. Stretch. Walk…By the time I was a .75 mile away from my car, I jogged and told myself I could make it, I’d be fine and the faster I got to my car the faster I could hydrate and ice.

I made it to my car and inhaled 40 ounces of water like it was nothing. And my body wasn’t full. Then and there I realized despite all the warning signs to slow down and take care of myself all week hadn’t worked. Then I realized that eating one solid meal a day for the past week hadn’t worked. Then I realized forcing myself into a day off hadn’t worked. And then I realized how my head has been a bit more of a mess than I thought lately.

What’s the point of telling you all this? All morning I had been so proud of the “baby abs” I am starting to sprout. And how lean, but strong, my legs are looking. And how I did 5 pull-ups without assistance this week on a week I was sick. And how I felt like my core has been tightening. And my boobs might be shrinking. And my shoulders are looking stronger. And how I hadn’t over indulged at all all week. These are all the things I was so proud of. And yet my body was screaming at me.

I had a conversation with my sister the other day explaining to her how I hadn’t had anything pumpkin yet because of how many carbs and sugars are in everything. I love pumpkin. I love fall flavors. She said “I don’t care about carbs.” Is it bad that somedays, for some moments, I wish I didn’t either. I wish I could eat that brownie without feeling guilt. With remembering that life is a balance. I wish I could remember the last time I had a sandwich, with bread. I wish I knew the last time I had ice cream that didn’t have sugar alcohols in them. The only pumpkin items I’ve had have been sugar free. I swear I wasn’t like this a year ago. But I also swear I didn’t have “baby abs” a year ago too.

It’s frustrating. There are many days my head obsesses over what I will eat, when, where, what happens if I go out, what if I want to drink and no one has sugar free mixers, what if there is only beer and I don’t want all the carbs, what if we order pizza and that’s all there is to eat, and more importantly, what if i DO eat a cupcake or cookie or brownie?!…these are things that constantly rotate in my head. And then the next day it’s all about how many miles do I need to run to fix that mistake I made by eating that brownie, and is that going to be a hard enough or long enough workout, and how do I get my cardio in if I can’t run, and how many miles can I run after work, or should I hike, or maybe a trail run or HIIT sprints might be good, but I can’t tonight how will I fit that in if I have an obligation at 6pm. It’s exhausting.

While I know I wouldn’t be happier where I was 60+ pounds ago, somedays I wish my inner fat kid could just take over without my inner fit fanatic always being present. And the thing is, I know I need to find the balance, and I know that takes work. It doesn’t just happen one day. I need to practice it. One cookie won’t ruin a workout. One brownie won’t ruin a month of hard work. Run because you love to run, because you love the time alone and you love the sweat. Not because you ate pizza last night. Or had a beer. Or three. Hit the gym because that’s your version of therapy. And you love growing new muscles and being strong and looking strong. Not because you need to punish yourself for a day or two off. Or for not eating clean the day before.

Time to work on letting go a little because truth is…

Life is a mother fucking balance.

xx

sample story. 1st draft.

As a single 30-something living in a college town in the Fall, Friday night plans can either entail avoiding the 21-year-old-crowds Downtown before midnight, catching up with some friends while enjoying some wine at home, or maybe catching a local show at one of your favorite breweries. I’m not going to lie, on this particular Friday by 5pm I was ready for a hot date with my couch, a bottle of Pinot and Netflix, however I had agreed to entertain the idea of a couple beers and some live music at Bang the Drum.

I’ve been to Bang the Drum several times over the two years they’ve been in SLO whether for a beer with friends, a pub run or even to watch several of my talented friends perform; I love that spot — great vibes, a cozy patio that feels just hip enough that I don’t need to go to Urban Outfitters to buy a trendy new outfit to fit in, and always full of fun, friendly people. This Friday was no exception. While beer isn’t always my drink of choice, I’m a fan of their King Mate (Yerba Mate inspired) IPA and I know several friends who swear by their bourbon-barreled southern-inspired beer. What initially drew my friend and I to BTD that night was Dan Curcio. Both my friend and I had recently had an amazing time at the G. Love concert where Dan opened. I’ve been a big fan of Dan’s for years. Upon moving to SLO 3 and a half years ago, I was often lectured about the amazingness of Stilltime and quickly became a fan. So when I was at an event later and “discovered” this band that sounded just like Stilltime, I claimed Moonshiner Collective as one of my favorite local bands (obviously, since I could brag that I discovered them!). And of course, living in a small town, I quickly realized how many of my friends not only know but also appreciate Dan’s music (solo or otherwise). So after clicking interested in the Facebook event with The Suitcase Junket and Dan Curcio at work on Friday afternoon, I instantly began to find and listen to as much of this “suitcase” music as I could.

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a music snob, but it is kind of my thing. I went to Coachella before people knew where or what Coachella even was. I toured around the country following a popular jam-band around for years. I often drive 90 minutes south for a legit concert or show whether it’s at the Santa Barbara Bowl or a tiny club on State Street. So after a listening to a few songs from The Suitcase Junket on YouTube, I was hooked and texted my friend, “OK, I’m in, let’s go — this other guy is going to be good!”

Dan set the stage perfectly for what was to follow. Through his set, I watched Matt Lorenz (or, the one man show known as, The Suitcase Junket). His fro of curly hair bopping along to Dan’s rhythm and vibing off the beer, the crowd and the tunes. Every so often, he’d begin scribbling in a notebook. Maybe it was inspiration or notes, words that sounded right together or possibly even a grocery list for his drive up to Hardly Strictly — either way, it was awesome to watch an artist dial into another artist’s music and enjoy the local scene. Dan finished his set and humbly thanked Matt for beginning to help him out with some “foot pedal stuff,” which he promised was sure to blow our mind during his set. At this point, the man sitting next to me began gabbing about the shenanigans I was about to see from this so-called Suitcase Junket. I’m not sure I believed him, but politely smiled and sounded stoked on the idea of it all.

Nope, he wasn’t kidding. The mustached and bearded man adorned in flannel, stripes and polka dots took the stage, played a note and everyone was mesmerized. His powerful sound echoed through the brewery and captivated us all. After a couple songs in, Matt Lorenz introduced his “band” and explained the funkiness of it all. How the front of his right foot plays an instrument he created, while the back plays a different one, same on the left side, and yes, said instruments consist of pieces such as a suitcase as well as a baby shoe hitting a pan, just what you’d expect from a standard 5-piece band right?! And then there was that whistle-sound he made, which he explained took him 5 years to master, but oh did he master it by creatively moving his tongue around in his mouth and coming up with an insane sound all his own. Oh wait, and did I mention his guitar came from a dumpster? Long story short, knowing this man was on his way up to one of the biggest Bluegrass Festivals of the year made it so much more of a treat as everyone was on the same page — this guy was not only insanely talented, but he makes amazing music that gets you tapping your foot, swaying and straight up ready to boogie down.

Once we were hooked and didn’t want his set to end, the man unplugs, stands in front of the crowd and serenades us with his amazing voice, ironic lyrics and squeezes beauty out of the once trashed guitar. I don’t know if it was the combination of it all — seeing a man make beautiful things out of the ordinary (or what some would even consider trash), or maybe his lyrics which literally spoke true to us, or the fact that this guy not only played and sang with passion to draw us in, but had the personality to pull it all off. While no one wanted the music to end, it was clear everyone wanted to grab a beer with this dude and chat his ear off for hours.

We left Bang the Drum stoked on the discovery of new music and we agreed we just witnessed an artist that undoubtedly will ‘make it.’ However in two years from now we probably will have to shell out $65 to sit a mile from the stage and enjoy his music instead of the $12 we spent that night to literally be 10-feet from this talented artist. Between you and me, I was slightly inclined to stay in the car and drive up to the Golden Gate Park, find what time and stage the Suitcase Junket would be playing and enjoy 3 days loaded with tunes at Hardly Strictly.

To wrap things up, if you live in SLO and don’t know Dan Curcio’s music, do yourself a favor and catch him live, I promise you will be hooked! Bang the Drum always provides a perfect backdrop for a low key Friday evening. And if you are a fan of soul, rock, blues, and/or all things creative then you will love The Suitcase Junket…just trust me on this one.

when he’s being an a**.

I’m not gonna lie. I have had it up to here with a**holes. So, when one of my guy friends seemed to befriend me and start spending a lot of time with me, and even fooled half of our social circle into the fact that we were (or weren’t we?) dating…I enjoyed it. Yes. Maybe that means I was using him as much as he was using me. But I enjoyed the fact that a) if people thought I were dating said guy friend that it was a definite upgrade from my ex and b) if people thought I was dating said guy friend, maybe somehow that made me more special…and c) I liked his company and honestly could see me dating SAID GUY FRIEND (plus, did I mention, he’s cute?!).

SO when I realized said guy friend has THE worst taste in women, it completely killed the vibe. And it broke a little piece of my heart. So you are into the dumbest, skinniest, blondes? (No offense ladies…but really?!) Said guy friend has been a friend for over 3 years. On and off and on again for different reasons…but that time it was my birthday and he may (or may not?) have hooked up with someone who I consider to be a younger sister is reason enough why we never got real close. But, he was roommates with two of my favorite people…which was reason enough why we DID in fact get close. So when he started spending nights at my place…and in my bed…well I guess the line got, to say the least, blurry. And when every other friday turned into a night out of drinking, dancing, deep thoughts and flirtation…well I guess I thought maybe something more was there. I guess I thought maybe he would realize I am actually the one he wants. But I’m not dumb. Or skinny…And I’m a legit blonde…not the fake blonde type.

So since he’s spoken all of 5 words to me in the last 3 days, I guess I see where I stand. And since I know I come nothing close to his standards, I will pretend to not care. But the thing is. I am what he wants. I am the right choice. But in all honestly, he doesn’t deserve me. And I should never talk to him for treating me like I now don’t exist…but really, I should have been smarter and known better and never trusted him.

And for that…I refuse to be effected. I’m sorry but eff you. If you’ve been in fact using me to get what you want from other people or waste your time, then karma has something coming at you. That’s not what friends are. I expected so much more from you, and can honestly say I’m actually disappointed in who you’ve turned out to be. And that’s all I can say for now, but it hurts my heart to know you might have used me…

xox.

 

 

and some days you’re bad ass.

Ever have those days where you feel on top of the world?! Nothing can stop you! You can do it all!

Sure, they may not be but every couple weeks (or maybe more often if you’re lucky), but today was one of those days! My alarm went off this morning at 5:30am and I popped up, got dressed, made some coffee and was out the door before the sun was up. 12 minutes later, I started a morning run and raced to the beach trying to beat the sun to the shore. Today, I won. Turned around and finished just over 5 miles at 7am.

Off to work I went, endorphins and sweat flowing, feeling good. There’s nothing like feeling accomplished before even getting into work on a Monday morning! 5 miles down, what else was on the agenda. Work flew by — checking emails, getting things done. When it was time to workout, I got in the mindspace, changed and started with a warm up run…in the 100+ degree heat. Followed by an insanely hot 40 minutes in the gym working on squats, squat cleans, sumo squats and pushups, I finished up with the last thing in the world I wanted to do, run another mile in the heat. I make it a habit to open and close my Monday WODs with miles…while it never gets easier, it seems to be pretty awesome and butt kicking and sometimes even vomit inducing. I left the gym feeling accomplished — 7 miles done and a workout to boot!

Later, the energy continued to flow. I jumped on the court and drilled and it felt amazing. Driving solid balls through the court well over 80 miles an hour, moving around, pain free. Gotta love that feeling on a monday where nothing yet is sore or hurting.

Anyway, one might think this blog post is just showing off and bragging. But really it’s a nice reminder that somedays I am pretty badass. Over the weekend I had some friends tell me how athletic I was. I laughed it off and said they must not have been referring to me, but one of the other 3 guys I had been playing beach volleyball with. “No. I watched you out there. And I watched them..you are athletic.”

It got me thinking. I may not have ever had the most natural talent. Or athletic abilities. But I sure as hell will try harder than anyone I know. And I’m coachable and competitive. And you bet your ass I ran 7 miles today, played tennis AND worked out…you’re damn right I’m athletic!

I’m slowly learning to like little things here and there about myself physically. Like my baby lats that slowly are popping up above my shoulders. And how maybe my waist isn’t leaning out but my bra line is…leading to emphasizing my broad shoulders and strong legs. I’ve never worried about a thigh gap per say, but my quads are strong and my legs have carried me through hell and back. For whatever reason, the veins in my hands pop just a little bit more lately and the calluses on my hands are actually a badge of honor to me, while most men (and women) would find them disgusting. My aches and pains remind me of how hard I push. And my sweaty clothes that I need to air out every day are also soaked with passion and pride. Maybe my body isn’t changing drastically, but every day I work hard to get stronger and become more of who I want to be.

Either way…on most days where my head can be consumed about ways I can be better, try harder, be nicer, accomplish more…today, I’m just going to be proud of me. No, I don’t have four kinds and 3 jobs…I’m just living a life I love, but today, I pushed myself and was positive and strong and somedays, that’s enough. And today, I was badass.

xox.

where is my mind.

Here’s the thing, if you can’t tell already…I am one of those people who lives in the moment. I get super excited and passionate about things on my plate. I’m not going to lie, I get distracted easily and the term “blonde moment” may have been created because of me. And when I’m on, I have a tendency to go 100 miles per minute. There’s no telling me no or to slow down.

With that being said, 2016 has been an interesting year for me. I have had more things come up where I literally am asking myself “where is my head?” While I am scattered at times, I don’t lose too many things. While I’m clumsy sometimes, I don’t break too many things. This year, I’ve lost my wallet (that’s an interesting story! Thank God I live in an amazing town and it was right where I left it an hour later), my car got banged up and I’m still not quite sure how, and most recently, I left my phone on top of my car and then drove away. Yea…

I read a quote the other day that said something along the lines of “my extrovert personality covers up my introvert tendencies.” I like to be busy and love being social, but there are those days and moments where I need my time. On a daily basis I can usually achieve that when I get a workout or run in (although, let’s be honest, some days the gym is definitely too much of a social activity!). The other day, I went to get some sand sprints in after work — a weekly workout I actually love — beach + sand + sprints + endorphins. Long story short, there are those days when runs just don’t really happen the way they are supposed to. It was super windy, a bit cold, and a half mile in, I had to pee! So, I turned around, jogged to the bathroom and was pumped to get my sprints going now that I was sufficiently warm and my bladder was empty. I start my timer and get going…A mile in, my already super tight calf really tightens up and I realize if I sprint one more time, there’s a good chance it would tear (been there done that, it’s NOT fun). I stop, turn around, and hobble back to my car. I set my phone down and shake the sand from my shoes. Get in and go on my merry way. Yea…2 minutes later, I’m wondering where my phone is. The freeway onramp comes up and I’m about to get on the freeway when I realize I really actually have no idea where my phone is and I need to pull over and look for it.

A half mile later I pull over to a gas station, search my purse and passenger seat, maybe under my seat…nope. I get out, and there it is…laying right on top of my car. Right where I left it. Ironically, before all of this I was contemplating giving my Mom a call to catch up, the phone on the car solidified the fact that she needed to hear how much I had officially lost it. “Where is my mind? What is wrong with me?” I asked, literally laughing but with a slight tone of seriousness, like do I need to check myself into the mental institute NOW?? Obviously a clear sign to slow down.

The next morning at work, I submitted a mental health day off.

And here I am enjoying said day off! 🙂 Honestly, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. I have threatened for months to take a day off…and haven’t…for a hundred reasons. Because I tell myself “I don’t need a day off” or I feel bad if I take a day off, or I just don’t think I realize the importance of a mental reset. Or maybe it’s also the fact that I want to take an actual sick day but I know HR will hound me for not going to the doctors on my deathbed or having a sick child.

But I woke up this morning without my alarm going off. Brushed my teeth, made my coffee like normal and am sitting here with the crisp fall air rushing in and writing. It’s quite liberating! And well worth it and now that I’m actually taking said day off, I realize how badly I needed it! So far, I have no guilt for taking it off, yea, still working on that whole “give yourself a break every now and then” thing! And after the way I reacted last week to some internet hate, it’s always nice to have a little distance and a bit of a reset. My day consists of a fall hike and maybe some wine with friends, but honestly, as long as I smile, slow down and enjoy the day, it will be well worth the 8 hours of vacation time. Enjoy the day.

xox.

 

 

 

embrace your inner beyonce.

one of the hardest parts of being a “strong woman” is just that, remaining strong even on the toughest of days.

let’s be honest, life is rough man. some days just aren’t great. and some days the littlest thing in the world can get under your skin and turn your day for the worst. and maybe you’re having the best day, or week even and something hits you like a ton of bricks and you can’t find your smile. even worst, maybe you just don’t even want to look for it. or it’s just another straw on the camel’s back that brings you down right as you were done being sad. I get it. I’ve been on every end of this story. and what’s tough, is my “I’m a badass, don’t mess with me, I always have a smile on my face” persona completely cracks at that point…and this strong woman I used to recognize in the mirror has disappeared.

last week, i had one of those moments. i was in a great mood. i’ve been enjoying the company of some different people and just super busy at work and socially (which I enjoy), pushing hard in the gym and out of the gym and just having a decent week, when there it was…the comment that broke me. (I have to preface this with the fact that I did write about this last week, but had a chance to discuss it a bit today with someone, so i guess these are just some more reflections.) “she’s ugly as hell.” Wait? what? Excuse me? Yes, some internet troll got the best of me. The tears started welling up and the voices in my head began. “Well, I guess I don’t look that great, I should have re-done my make up and brushed my hair or at least put it in a better bun and clipped up the sides. And yea, this shirt isn’t the most flattering, and my face looks horrible today, why is my nose peeling?! And why didn’t I put on lipstick. Ugh they’re right, I am ugly as hell.”

Then and there, I kind of broke. I left the room and stood outside to gather my emotions before returning to my desk where I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. The tears welled up and left, welled up and left. And then my boss asked to chat. I stepped outside and knew what he wanted to talk about, but wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it. “It seems like you’ve been getting effected more with each negative comment…” Yep. Yes sir, you are right, with each one, the knife gorges deeper. “I don’t have the answers, but people are jerks and I want you to know I am here to help you through it and it probably isn’t going to change.” Of course, I began apologizing profusely, “I know, I need thicker skin. I don’t know why it bothers me. I’ll do better.” But what came out next was the actual truth. Because he wasn’t looking for an apology from me or for me to close myself off, but he wanted to know he cared and didn’t want me to lose my passion over some asshats on the internet. So back to what I said next…”the thing is, it hurts me so much more than others because I believe it.” I couldn’t look at him as the tears were flooding in. I laughed and apologized for the impromptu therapy session. And I could just feel his heart breaking for me.

Now, I’m super lucky to have an amazing boss and support system. Thanks to him, today I had a chance to chat with someone who would keep things light and anonymous. I think it honestly hit him harder than he realized (as a dad of 5, 3 of which are daughters, I think it just really tugged at his heart strings that people can be so cruel and hurtful). So today, after talking it out a bit, and trying to explain it to someone who may not completely understand but was a good listener, I said, “I just need to embrace my inner Beyonce.” She smiled and agreed, “yes, definitely.”

I left the conversation feeling slightly unsure about my next step, but slightly leaning toward the idea of just trying to remain as strong as possible. But something we talked about hit me. “No matter what it is that gets you down, we all have those moments where we need to call on our tribe and ask them to remind us how awesome we are.”

Somedays, despite the smile, I feel like I am fooling EVERYBODY! Don’t get me wrong, somedays I feel absolutely bad ass and amazing and yes, you’re jealous of my life because my life is pretty fantastic. But on those odd days when I feel gross or fat or ugly or stupid or lonely or sad or unaacomplished or slow or disgusting (yes, I could go on!) I have to realize that’s ok too. I can’t be 100% on my game everyday (or can I?!?!?). And on those days or moments, I need to find a way to be ok with that.

Ironically last week, I had about 3 friends tell me I am the hardest person on myself out of anyone they know. That’s always an interesting critique to me. My mom would cringe hearing me explain it, but if I’m not hard on myself trying to be better/faster/stronger/smarter/prettier/wiser/etc…then what’s the point?! I have a horrible (yet amazing) habit of committing 100% to basically everything I do. Passion I think would be a good way of describing it. I was raised not to half ass anything. So I don’t. But it’s a bit of a double edged sword. Because there’s always room for improvement…what’s that quote, “they tell me nothing is perfect, then why is it a word?” Like I said, double edged sword.

So today I realized a few things. I need to remember the good things people say about me. Maybe even collect those. How sad is it that I was keeping the mean, hateful comments…?! (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??). I also am considering therapy…again. I’m scared and really don’t know about it, but today it was explained to me like this — if you talk to someone about things to help you grow into a better version of yourself when your life is good and you’re NOT at rock bottom, you’re going to be much more receptive and interested in fixing the little things. So, I know I have my own glaring issues that have really come to the surface this past year, although I think they are pretty submersed from the public eye…I hope! I need to write down my goals and be specific. I know what I want, and I want to get there…so time to put pen to paper (I may even just publish them here…the universe needs to know!). I’ve gotta give myself a break, somedays. It’s great to be pushing to be better every day, but the speed bumps happen and if it isn’t an exactly perfect day, I need to be ok with it (that’s going to be a big one to work on). And embrace my inner Beyonce! I know that sounds silly, but to me, it makes all the sense in the world. She’s such a strong woman and you know she has those days where the media has gone after her or she’s tired or it’s just not her day (I’m assuming even Bey has bad days, I mean, did you hear Lemonade?!). But, consult your tribe. Deal with that. And move forward. Stop letting it control you. Control what you can. And continue to build others up and be nice. Compliment and make others around you strong. You can’t always be the strongest woman in the world, but you can be nice and you can help build others up.

I’m going to put a quote at the bottom of this post, which made me realize how much I need to change my brain and way of thinking. Because all the negatives I repeat to myself are manifesting in the world. And I do NOT need that negativity. So let’s manifest some positive sh*t! 🙂

Now if you made it just that far through this jumbled blog post…kudos to you! My brain is mush after this long day. I had every intention of writing something that made absolute sense this evening…but I just wrote, and this came out 🙂

“the world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” – Beyonce

xox.

when will you love yourself.

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to start writing again was to hope to cope with some internal issues that have seemed to flare up. Mainly my body image issues as well as my negative internal voices.

I work in a position where I am in the public eye. I’m not a trained actor. No one has ever really taught me how to do my make up or hair or speak correctly or what not. But I have personality and I smile big and I love what I do. I’m on social media and youtube and my face and body is out there. So today when I got the comment, “She’s ugly as hell” it hit me hard. Like the rest of them.

All week I have been happy and feeling pretty good about myself…but in that instance when I received that message, I was quickly reminded how ugly, fat, dumb, pathetic, gross, etc. I am. While everyone reminds me “that’s not real, that’s not the truth,” I beg to differ. My boss pulled me aside to let me know he could tell the hateful comments have been getting to me. Yep. They have. Sadly in that moment as I fought the tears back, I realized why they get to me more than anyone else…because I believe them to be true. It might as well be one of the voices saying it to me. As my boss explained how much he sees I have changed physically over the past 3 years and how I work harder than anyone he knows and am in better shape than 90% of the world, it’s so hard to pat myself on my back for that…I mean, I’m just trying to be better each day. While I realize I’m so far from perfect, some days I just want to be done with the day and have someone tell me I’m beautiful and perfect just the way I am.

Why?! Why can’t I love myself? Why can’t I get there? I have hours of greatness — where I feel completely in control of who I am and love *almost* every ounce of her. I look at people and wish I had their confidence or ego even. Why do I believe them? I have friends tell me I’m one of the most beautiful people inside and out and all I feel is that I’m one of the most broken people. I talk about embracing the “glorious mess” that I am, but it’s hard. I mean, I embrace it 100% but somedays that consists on dealing with some self hate.

I’m not actually looking for answers because at the end of the day I know I need to work on these things. And I do. And I have. And I know no one can love me enough for me to love me. But I just wonder if it will ever happen?

And on the complete opposite side of the coin, people that go out of their way to be mean, hateful, and plain rude are assholes. What makes you feel the need to RUIN someone else’s day? Newsflash, we are people. It effects us. It hurts. Shut the fuck up and don’t say anything if you don’t have something nice to say. And while you’re at it, send me your Mom’s phone number or email so I can call her up and see if she taught you that or if you’re just a royal jerk.

And with that, I’m off to spend an evening with my ladies, let go of all the bullshit and hate swimming in my head and enjoy the evening.

xox.