I spend too much time on Facebook. But I also use social media apps to come up with new content to write about. I use a lot of quotes and read a lot of stories online that help me ground my beliefs into something that I can share in a progressive way.
This morning I was scrolling Facebook when I saw a photo that really hit me. It opened my eyes, if you will, to how much my life has turned out to be different than I ever had planned. I realized that what I once thought success looked like, isn’t what I would consider it to be now. My interests have changed, I’ve ended and created new relationships, and I’ve tested my own beliefs. I’ve overcome pain, welcomed new joy, and sought out different forms of happiness. Things I used to think I wanted are no longer even in the fore front of my life. I’ve evolved. Changed. Learned.
And it’s totally okay.
It’s okay to not stick to a plan. It’s okay to feel like you’re letting yourself down, because someday you may just find out that the old disappointment you felt was only a stepping stone to something that is much more fulfilling.
Life will work out exactly as it’s supposed to. Focus on being the happiest version of yourself and you’ll never have to worry about if you chose the right path. Life is about so much more than wealth. It’s about relationships and memories and happiness and so much more. It’s important to lead a life that you will be proud of. Even if your views change along the way.
A member of my family was recently involved in a domestic assault.
And I don’t normally write about this very important topic, because to be honest, before last week I hadn’t had a whole lot of experiences of it firsthand.
But I write a lot about my personal life and the things that I care about.
So this is written with passion, and within the parameters of what you would expect seeing on this blog.
Approximately 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse in the United States. That number just absolutely blows my mind because I have five sisters and I can unbelievably say that two out of those five women have been physically abused by a partner.
It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I received the call from my sister and my blood boiled hot. I told her to calm down and that I’d be there in one minute. I hopped in the car while dialing my boss to explain to her I had an emergency to take care of and that she needed to clock me out for the day. She understood and asked no questions.
I wasn’t sure what I was in for, so I called my aunt. The women that raised me. She always seems to know exactly every question I have about adulthood and provides personal experiences to make it seem ridiculous not to trust her advice when I ask for it.
I stayed with her while the cop took pictures of her injuries and the destruction of her apartment. I watched my sister shake in fear as she wrote her statement. I was there for the most vulnerable seconds of her life. I know she isn’t lying, and I know that she is a SURVIVOR.
The next day I called my oldest sister and asked her to help me get an Order of Protection in place. She took the day off with no questions asked and my oldest sister and I marched our younger sister into the courthouse in front of a judge within two hours of me asking.
I contacted a Quanada rep (they have advocates that attend hearings and offer assistance to victims of assaults) and got my sister some therapy sessions set up.
She is doing well now, she is staying with me now. She seems happier.
But she still blames herself.
I want to make it clear to any SURVIVORS out there:
Anyone that causes you bodily harm does not love you.
What they did to you was not because of anything you did. Nothing you could have done should ever result in someone putting their hands on you.
You are worth more than how they made you feel. You can break the chains. There is more out there for you.
If you or someone you know needs help, the Domestic Abuse Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.If you’re interested in supporting The National Domestic Abuse Hotline with non-financial donations including material resources, partnerships, collaborations, or other opportunities, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a hot head for a long time growing up. I think it had a lot to do with the resentment and uncertainty I had in the relationship I had (or lacked) with my mom. I often got in trouble well into my junior high years for hitting my siblings. I was angry and I took it out on the people that surrounded me.
When I was in high school I secretly wrote letters to my mom in prison – against the wishes of my aunt and uncle who were raising me at the time. They, with their adult wisdom, knew that engaging with my mother during such a detrimental stage of my life would be very toxic. But I was young, foolish, and full of feelings that I wanted my mother to know about. I had a friend who let me use her address for my mother’s responses and she would bring me the letters at school, without my aunt or uncle knowing.
In those letters I would spew my deepest, darkest emotions of hatred and retaliation with such imagery it would have made a film maker gasp. It felt good to know that my mother would most likely weep when she read the awful things I wrote in my letters to her. Writing those letters was the only sense of control I felt I had at a time in my life when I felt like my life was controlled by other peoples’ decisions.
The letters came and went for months, but the more and more I expressed my disdain to my mother, the more pain was piled on top of me. I though I was somehow transferring the pain she she’d given me back to her, but instead I was secretly hoping I’d recieve the one thing that was never going to come.
For whatever reason, my broken heart had always hoped I would receive some sort of apology. Some sign from my mom that she had remorse for the irreparable damage she’d caused. But I was naïve because even if her response back to my heartfelt letters was an apology, her actions never backed it up to make the words mean anything. I thought that if I saw the words “I’m sorry” in her handwriting, it would make the pain of her actions go away. I now understand that an apology without changed behavior is just empty words. It doesn’t heal, it just aggravates your sense of hope.
Part of me is glad that my mother never responded back acknowledging her mistakes or vowing to change, because it meant that never acquired the impression that she that she had any intention of changing. Her letters were instead filled with excuses and placing the blame of her actions onto anyone and everyone except for herself. Every letter I received from her threw me back into a pit of rage until one day I made the decision to not reply.
I like to think that was the true turning point when I accepted what was and made the decision to stop allowing her choices define who I wanted to become and what I wanted to accomplish. It empowered me to move on and release some of the anger I had been holding onto for so very long. It allowed me to enjoy the presence of those around me – the people that cared if I failed or succeeded; because at the end of the day, they were the people pushing me, loving me, and rooting for me.
I am forever grateful to the people that picked me up, held me accountable for my mistakes, and showed me the value of love outside of the norm; but most importantly, taught me just how great life can be when you are no longer waiting on an apology that will never come.
You may remember that a few weeks back I published a Facebook post with a link to a survey. I asked specifically for moms to help me out with a new blog series I was working on. I got a TON of responses and I think I’ve finally made enough time to share those results with all of you!
If you’re a mom, I hope this series gives you something to reflect on. I hope you read my words and realize that these statistics are from the very women you are surrounded by. These women are in your community, living next door, and clicked on the survey just like everyone else. Every day we wake up feeling so much pressure to be the best mom that we can. Some days we just fall short.
I’m here to remind you that it’s okay. I’m here to remind you that you aren’t alone. I’m here to remind you that other women out there feel just. like. you.
If you aren’t a mom, but wanted to see the results anyway, I encourage you to think about the ways that you can take a load off of the woman in your life. Motherhood is a beast and even when we say we don’t need your help, often times it’s all we really want.
When I started this project, I wasn’t sure how I was going to put all of the information from my survey into one post. Before I even looked at the survey responses, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to receive the participation that I wanted and I honestly wasn’t even sure exactly what I was going to make it into. After looking over the stats and comments left on the survey, I knew that this was going to be something great.
Sometimes, as a writer, I just live my life and hope that I find inspiration somewhere within my day. I’ve never been the type of writer to throw words onto a page and publish it “just because.” I was astonished with some of the responses I gathered and I can’t wait to share all of that with you. To start off this three part series, I wanted to start off with
What We Love Most About Being a Mom
I chose to start off revealing your answers to this question because I think now, more than ever, is a great time to sit back and think about why being a mom is so great. A lot of us are spending an extended amount of time with our children due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so you may be ripping out your hair by now. If that is the case, sit back and read these responses. Remind yourself of all of the amazing perks that comes with taking care of your children, then go grab those kiddos and give them a squeeze!
Watching them learn, grow, and become independent
Hugs, kisses, and cuddles
Hearing “I love you”
When they want you
They are our biggest fans
When they light up when they see you
My son has changed my life for the better in every way possible. My family thing about being a mom so far is that he loves cuddling me at night. He knows it’s so comforting to me
All the hugs and kisses of course! Watching my child grow into a beautiful smart lady
Those sweet cuddles! When you feel those tiny arms around your neck and you know right in that moment you are their safe place.
When my baby comes up to me all on her own to give me hug and kisses. Also to watch her learn and see her growing into her own little human.
My kid only wants me all the time.
When my child only wants me to “fix” whatever the issue may be
When they need me during the most important times
Just knowing god hand picked this child and knowing him/her is everything I’ve ever wanted.
Knowing that my body made this miracle
When you see your kiddo just being a good human. Loving and encouraging people without being prompted.
You are doing your part in making the world a better place for future generations.
All the smiles!
Coming home from work and seeing their beautiful faces. Teaching them the ropes of life and seeing them become their own person
Just him. He’s the best blessing. His smile. The new things he learns and does each day
Knowing unconditional love.
Seeing any child smile is the best feeling
Seeing him grow into a respectful, funny, caring young man. Everyday he reminds me I did a good job.
Seeing his eyes light up when he sees me, and looking down at him and seeing the beautiful life I created.
Seeing my children grown up and watching them as parents. You realize that you did after all get something right.
Seeing my kids accomplish different things at different stages. But mostly watching the people they become.
Seeing my son smile and watching him learn. Nothing better than knowing I’m helping him learn and grow into a gentleman.
Seeing the smile on my son’s face everyday
Seeing the way my son lights up when I come into the room
Seeing them grow and develop into their own person
Seeing them grow up. We started from the very bottom teaching him to eat so its crazy seeing were he came from moh
That my children love me regardless of how chunky I think I am. They love me and think I’m great even when I don’t think I am.
The bond we have. Hearing my kids say “I love you” and showing affection.
The memories that are made and the fact my children get so excited to see me after a day or work. I always love to hear “yuv you mommy” no matter what mood I’m in.
The most rewarding part is hearing my sweet boy laugh and smile at me. I could be having a complete melt down (you know being a mom has hard times) but nothing makes it more rewarding that when your crying and your baby is just staring at you with a little smile. My favorite part has to be all the milestones. It’s the most bittersweet feeling I’ve ever had.
The smiles letting me know they love me unconditionally.
The smiles on my kids faces
Them saying I love you
Watching my babies grow up
Watching my baby grow and learn
Watching my children grow and become independent
Watching my children grow and seeing their personalities develop.
Watching my kids grow and the new things they learn on a day to day basis
Watching my kids learn and grow into the best kids a parent can ask for
Watching the baby I created grow and learn new things
Watching them learn new things and being so excited about the littlest things
You can feel like you’re failing and they are still your biggest fans
I hope this has reminded you of all the great aspects of being a mother. Hang in there, tough mamas and stay tuned for Part II and Part III of this series! I have a lot more to share!
I start therapy on Friday. I’m very excited, actually. I feel like the stigma against mental health is kind of diminishing and more and more people are trying their hand at therapy. In all reality, everyone just wants to feelbetter.I’ve always wanted to talk to someone about all of the feelings I have, but I’ve never been so lost that I felt that there was no other option.
That is how I feel now.
I am on an unexpected, anxiety-ridden rollercoaster of emotions right now. I have hit rock bottom and I scheduled the appointment without even hesitating. I need this.
Yes, I am a daughter and a friend and a mother and a partner…but who am I when it’s not based upon a relationship with someone else?
Who am I?
I want to strip down and view myself in a completely vulnerable and open way. I want to look at why I do the things that I do. I want to find the meaning of all the pent-up emotions that never address. Why haven’t I addressed them? Am I a complete narcissist and have no clue? What can I do to make sure that I am focusing some of my energy on ME? What in my life has happened that has changed the way I form relationships with others? What can I do to improve the way I carry myself around those that love me?
Today I write in honor of a beautiful friend of mine that will welcome her first baby into the world in just three short days. I remember how short the days felt leading up to my induction date. Ever since I was a child, my biggest fear was always childbirth. It sounds almost silly now that I have experienced childbirth, but before you experience it yourself, there is no amount of comfort or ease anyone can offer. I do not write this to promise any sense of comfort, because I know it is a scary road that lies before you. I felt the same way and there was no amount of advice any mother could offer that made me feel any more assured.
So instead, I want to write about the amazing, incredible things that you will learn about who you are as a result of creating a life and welcoming it to the world.
Becoming a mother will bring out strength you didn’t even know you had. There will be days that make you feel defeated, tired, stressed. But there is no day that will ever be stronger than you. Even when you think you’ve reached your limit, your motherly instincts and passion will overcome any obstacle. Every. Single. Time. You are far stronger than you think, even though you may not feel like it.
You were never truly complete until you met your child.You will look back on the days before you became a mom and think, ‘How did I ever feel scared to be a mom? This is exactly who I am supposed to be.’Your confidence will go up, even though you may feel like you have no clue what you are doing. You will finally feel like all is right in the world and all the extra bullshit just doesn’t matter anymore.
The human body is incredible!Yeah, we may not always love what we see in the mirror, but the one thing that I have tried to embrace is justhow amazingthe human body is. One single egg grew into a human life and grew for nine months inside of you. Your organs rearranged themselves to make room for that beautiful baby. Your body stretched, squeezed, and grew. And it will continue to change in the coming months. Watch and enjoy it – You are spectating science from the front row. Try to embrace all the things that your body can do!!
I am not going to tell you it will be easy. It won’t be. You will be tested… But you will not fail. You will be tired… But you will not consider quitting. You will have doubts… But you will be very sure in what needs to be done.
I remember the first time you walked into our house. A timid, beautiful high school girl with curly brown hair that laid on your shoulders. You walked with shoulders forward because I wasn’t very nice when we first met. But I grew to know you and realized I was wrong about the high school girl that was coming to my house. You were so full of knowledge, wonder, and confidence. You were not shy about what you expected out of those around you. You had a laugh that would everyone in the room smile. I never would have guessed that I would one day consider you my best friend, let alone be so excited to meet the life that you would one day create. I am so proud to call you my friend and so excited to see you become a mother. I know you are scared and I know you have been overwhelmed, but I have no doubt in my mind that you will be everything and more for our little Indie girl. After all, you will have all the love, support, and advice spewing from my heart.
I cannot wait to meet this beautiful babe and I cannot wait to hear you rave about the joys of motherhood.
Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. Twenty-three years of love. Twenty-three years of adventure.
I heard my birth story from my aunt and grandmother a bunch of times growing up. I think mainly because, as they tell it, it was a wild day! My mother was in labor prematurely and it was sometime in the morning when my aunt and grandma took my mother in to the hospital. I don’t know exactly how many weeks early I was born, but they had to life flight my mom from our local hospital to the hospital at the capitol, Springfield. My aunt and grandma tell the story that they actually raced down the interstate to beat the helicopter. They both swear they were in the hospital parking lot when the helicopter landed.
Sometime just after lunch I was born via emergency c-section. My back was actually up against my mother’s abdomen when they cut her open to deliver me, so I have a large scar across my back from where they cut me when performing the c-section. I was so small I wore doll clothes because preemie clothes were too big. I’ve been told it’s a miracle I survived.
But here I am. Flourishing in the sunlight, and dreaming of tomorrow. I have been blessed many times in this life. I do my best to slow down, breathe it in, and enjoy the things that bring me joy. In honor of today, I have made a list of a few of the things that bring me JOY!
My beautiful daughter, Della Rae. Her spunky attitude and playful heart brings an overwhelming sense of pride every time I look at her.
My handsome fiancé. Dylan’s passion for music and sly rhetoric reminds me that the simplest things in life are the most important. Our love is truly an adventure and I cannot wait to marry him in just over one year!
The adrenaline rush that comes when you start to run.
Pumpkins patches and autumn weather.
Hearing “I love you”
Good hair days.
Singing in the shower and on road trips.
The way my keyboard sounds when I type really fast at work.
My daughter’s laugh.
Hiking and camping.
Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Della Rae and Dylan
Softball and basketball and football and hockey and any sport, really.
Blogging and the friends I’ve made through WordPress.
Mexican food and margaritas.
Watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Some are silly, some are very common. But all bring me joy and make me enjoy the life that I am living. Today I am celebrating twenty-three years of life. A good life.
I am so very blessed. Here is to a life full of love and adventure!! 🎉🎁🎊