why my last run of the year reflected 2016 perfectly.

lately words have been spewing out of my head and i’ve had such an urge to write. but i haven’t. for a hundred reasons. sometimes just opening the laptop and letting the words come out takes more energy and work than i wish. sometimes the words are coming out of my head when i’m on a run and i just don’t have the energy to recreate them after the fact. sometimes i have things i’d love to write but know if certain people ever read them, their heart would break and that’s not worth it to me.

but i’ve been looking forward to this weekend all week. a weekend to reflect and gear up for 2017. a weekend to write! a weekend to collect thoughts and say things that need to be said.

2016 apparently wasn’t a great year for some. i’m impartial to it to be honest. but the last run i just went on PERFECTLY summed up my 2016.

it had just stopped raining, so definitely not sunny and warm, a mild 50 degrees…just warm enough to not wear gloves. i stepped outside, turned on my music and started up the hill. within a quarter of a mile, i realized i forgot a headband. i workout most days of my life, sometimes two or three times a day. i NEVER sweat without some sort of hat or headband. but there i was, just far enough away to realize this run would be done without the one thing i always have on a run.

2016 was a jumble for me. there were moments where i actually lost my mind. i started the year losing my wallet. let’s rewind. last NYE i moved into a new apartment. i had found an amazing place, bigger than my studio, cheaper than my studio, with front and back balconies and views of my favorite mountains…almost too good to be true. just a little dated, but hey i’ve always been into that vintage look! so last NYE i was reminding myself how to be me. how to be independent and on my own and solo. i had still been dealing with a breakup and wasn’t 100% myself. A week into the new year, i lost my wallet. if i explained the story, you wouldn’t believe it. i went to costco after work to pick up a few things. ran home to change and go meet some friends down town. when i was heading out to leave, i frantically couldn’t find my wallet. i panicked. crying. sobbing. hysterical. a complete mess. i called my mom literally losing my mind. i didn’t give a shit about what was in the wallet but it was a Louis Vuitton wallet, which meant the world to me. my mom convinced me to go back to costco and retrace my steps. i walked in crying and calmly asked if they had any wallets turned in. nothing that was mine. i went back to where i parked and laid on the ground searching in the dark for any sign of my wallet. finally, a lady who was collecting carts asked if she could help and suggested i check the carts. i walked over to the collection of carts, turned my flashlight on and dropped my jaw. my wallet was sitting in the cart. right where i had left it. i hugged the lady and thanked her at least 20 times. we both praised the city we live in and i instantly called my mom to explain. she reminded me to thank my lucky stars and pray that i had someone looking out for me.

i have never in my life lost something of that much value. but i did this year. and that’s how my year started…

scattered is always a word i use to describe myself but i took it to new levels this year. not because i meant to. i honestly think my head was just too full to let go of some things. it was a clear reminder to slow down in more ways than one.

anyway, back to the run…here’s how it was sounding in my head earlier…

my last run of 2016 was far from pretty but it was absolutely beautiful. it wasn’t as long as i wanted it to be, but it was still a great effort and was what i could do today. it wasn’t easy, there were lots of moments of struggle, but i got through them. i stopped to enjoy the views. i stopped to take pictures. i waved to strangers. i smiled at the fact that i found my stride and felt good doing so. i sang to the songs playing. i sweated and put in the work. and i was disciplined enough to get out there and get it done.

my year wasn’t pretty, but there were many beautiful moments.

i struggled. damn did i struggle, especially toward the end. but i got through it and i feel stronger because of it…at least i’m convincing myself of that part still.

when i look back at my year i realize i actually did a lot. i had fun. i smiled. i loved. i hurt a bit. i set goals. i broke through barriers. i shaped my body. i cried. i smiled. i made new friends and lost old ones. i found what means a lot to me.

but the one thing i realize i did in 2016 is i took a step back. for whatever reason, i hid parts of myself that i love from the world because i was worried about what “they” would say. i feel like at times i let my friends who say i’m super positive down because i pulled back from being positive on social media because i was worried what others would think. well for 2017 i say, f*ck that noise. i genuinely want to love me in 2017 and plan to be a role model and positive force to be reckoned with. love me or hate me, i am going to be me in the new year!

cheers, be safe, and let’s make 2017 an amazing one!

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

 

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.