EOD Thoughts: 03.23.2021

When we were kids, my uncle would take all of us out to the garage to watch a big storm roll by. We just so happened to live south of what seemed to always be the path of the storms. So we would get our lawn chairs and flip cell phones out and have a fun night.

Times were so much more simple back then. We would laugh from the adrenaline running through our bodies – being so close to a storm yet so far away, you never know what could happen. We would gather around the weather radio and listen to where the rotation of a tornado was spotted. The garage was facing the right direction to see the storm go by and not have rain blowing in on you. There were no true worries back then. Those were the nights we were the closest. Those were the nights we came together. I wish I could get those childhood memories back. Now we’ve all grown up, split apart, and started our own families.

Tonight my own little fam sat in the garage and listened to the radio forecasts and watched the storm roll in. It was nothing too serious, but it did make me feel happy to share memories like this with the family I made. It connected me to my roots, and I’m thankful.

“I wish somebody would tell you you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them.”

I am ME

I avoid social media

Because those girls have skinny waists and

Flashy white teeth

And those are the things that society deems as beautiful

That I do not have

Nevermind the fact that

The freckles on my nose reflect patterns of stars that shine down on a cloudless summer night

Nevermind the fact that im an empath that feels the pain of others sometimes deeper than I feel the pain of my own

Nevermind the fact that I don’t base the quality of my day upon how many people hit a like button

Nevermind the fact that smiles of strangers passing by are so contagious I sometimes feel like a fool for feeling joy through the expressions on someone else’s face

Nevermind the fact that I’m smart and kind and forgiving and encouraging

Nevermind the fact that I’m good with faces and if you tell me your name I won’t likely forget it

Nevermind the fact that I’m open-minded enough to hear out your side of an argument and strong enough to explain my own

Nevermind all of these qualities that make me the kind of person that would give you the shirt off of my back

Why?

Because of society? Jealousy? Narcissism? Zealousness? Over-compensation?

To hell with society’s beauty standards.

I am beautiful.

Because I am ME.

Through My Eyes

You don’t see the way your face lights up with pride

When you’re following your dreams

You don’t see the way your lips draw a smile

When you’re looking into the heart of someone you love

You can’t hear the beauty within your bellowing laugh

When something tickles you so much that tears fill your eyes

You don’t notice the way your muscles are defined

When you wrap your arms around someone you love

You can’t feel the heat on my face

When I look at you and fall deeper in love

You don’t feel the way my heart patters in my chest

When you pull me closer

You can’t see the charm in your face

When a smile cracks on your tired face

You don’t see all of the worth that you contain

But when I look at you, I do

I see the beauty

I see the passion

I see the love

I see your smile

And sometimes I wish

You could see all that you are

Through my eyes

The Label I Carry

The whole reason I decided to start therapy was because a coworker told me she was going to start going again. She gave me the name of her therapist and told me to go to her website and check her out. So I did. I immediately requested more info and before the day was over, I was set up for an appointment.

When I was talking about what I wanted out of therapy, I explained to my coworker that I wanted to find out who I was aside from being a MOM. As mothers, we lean so heavily on our label as “mom” and base a lot of our vision of our success on how well we feel like we are providing for our children.

Let me tell you why I think that SUCKS.

In today’s world, it is DAMN HARD to feel an absence of insecurity in what we are doing for our kids. There are so many conflicting ideologies on “what is best” for a child. When we feel the amount of success that we have accomplished is based upon whether or not people agree with our parenting choices, it’s sooo easy to feel like we haven’t accomplished much. As mothers, we can’t please everyone, but you can bet your bottom dollar that we sure do try. 

We are proud to be moms. We love our babies more than anything – it’s why we bend over backwards and dedicate our lives to making sure our children have everything. But that same dedication to our kids can result in a lack of dedication to ourselves. I struggle with this on a daily basis. My entire day is almost solely devoted to providing for my child; so much that I feel like there just isn’t enough hours in the day to focus on myself. I know it feels that way for a lot of moms too, so I think it is important that we are making not only our children and their health a priority, but also our mental and physical health a priority too. You can’t possibly be a good mom if you aren’t feeding your own flame every once in awhile. I think the issue here is that it’s so easy to fall complacent with only being a mom. And for some, that is all they want to be! Which is also totally fine!

But I want to be so much MORE. I want to be someone that is so much more than a mom. I want to love myself aside from the role my child plays in my life (Even though that role is huge!)

I want to indulge in all of life – not just the parts where I am providing for someone else. I want to provide for me, too.  

Finding Myself

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 feel better. 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? 

There is so much that I want answers on.

So much to discover.

So much to solve.

I am so ready.

23 Years of Adventure

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!

  1. My beautiful daughter, Della Rae. Her spunky attitude and playful heart brings an overwhelming sense of pride every time I look at her.
  2. 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!
  3. The adrenaline rush that comes when you start to run.
  4. Sunrises.
  5. My family.
  6. Pumpkins patches and autumn weather.
  7. Hugs.
  8. Hearing “I love you”
  9. Good hair days.
  10. Singing in the shower and on road trips.
  11. The way my keyboard sounds when I type really fast at work.
  12. My daughter’s laugh.
  13. Hiking and camping.
  14. Pay day!
  15. Sunday morning snuggles in bed with Della Rae and Dylan
  16. Softball and basketball and football and hockey and any sport, really.
  17. Blogging and the friends I’ve made through WordPress.
  18. Mexican food and margaritas.
  19. Friends.
  20. 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!! 🎉🎁🎊

Gun Violence & A Parent’s Love

With the tragic and horrifying mass shootings that took place in the United States this week, everyone has been in an uproar about gun control. I get it. Let’s do something. But I think the one of the reasons we have such an awful gun violence issue in the United States is something that gun control simply cannot fix. None of what I want to talk about today has anything to do with gun control or taking away anyone’s right to bear arms. 

It’s easy to argue that the person pulling the trigger is responsible for the damage they cause, because that is the normal conclusion to come to when you hear of someone committing such a heinous act. And I would totally agree with that statement; however, there is another side to this that I feel is worth at least considering.

We have a gun problem. But more importantly, we have a HOME problem.

Since when did we become a nation filled with careless parents? Since when did we allow our nation’s children to be so disrespectful, lazy, and so careless about life? Since when is nearly 60,000 kids locked up in jails across America something that we are okay with?* Since when?

I know that most of America’s mass shooters haven’t necessarily been teenagers, but according to an article in The Washington Post, they are getting younger. Since the shooting in Charleston, more than half of shooters were under the age of 30. You may be quick to imply that it’s the younger generations’ fault that all of this is going on since they are the ones pulling the triggers. True. Ehh, kind of. 

What if I told you that children are have higher self esteem, communicate better, improved academic performance, and are less likely to have psychological and behavioral issues when they are exposed to love and affection at home? In 2010, researchers at Duke University Medical School found that children with loving and conscientious mothers grew up to be more resilient and happier adults. The study followed 500 children from infancy to their mid-30’s.**

I know with 100% certainty that I don’t have to fill this post with a ton of statistics, links to articles, and sparkly, mind-boggling information. You have the ability to google any topic you choose, so I urge you to go read up on just how important we are as parents in shaping loving, gentle, and soulful children.

It is absolutely critical that we show our children love and affection, and that has absolutely nothing to do with guns. Life can be busy and adulthood is overwhelming at times, but we cannot forget that we are raising tomorrow’s generation. Let’s raise a generation that is loving and passionate and gentle and open to talking about mental illness. Let’s love our children fiercely and show them that they have caring people that they can rely on – no matter what.Let’s raise a generation that knows that pulling the trigger of a gun is rarely a necessity.

You want to end gun violence? 

Quit teaching hate from within the walls of your own home. 

Stop whatever you’re doing that you think is more important (it’s not) and go love on your kids.

 

 

 

* – https://www.aclu.org/issues/juvenile-justice/youth-incarceration/americas-addiction-juvenile-incarceration-state-state

** – https://www.mother.ly/child/how-a-parents-affection-shapes-a-childs-happiness-for-life

Photos from Washington Post.

Good News … Finally!

Life has been absolutely CRAZYYYY lately… Is anyone else ready for fall, too? I haven’t had much time to put into my writing because I feel like I’m so busy I can’t even breathe sometimes. Everyone tells you it’s hard being a mom, but you can’t really prepare yourself for something like motherhood. I think what I miss the most about my life before my baby is that I had unlimited time to spend on myself. Not that I ever really did all that much, but the option was always there to pamper myself if I wanted to. My life has changed now to the point where I can’t even take a shower at a relaxing pace because I’m constantly worrying about what is going on outside of the bathroom…

However,

I do have some life updates that I feel like are worth sharing. I know we all get into slumps, and hopefully if you find yourself in one now, this will give you comfort that there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

I got a promotion at work! I’ve been working at my current company for almost a year now. I was hired on last August for a part-time position. Five months later, I took a leave for the birth of my daughter. Two short months after that, I returned back to work. Not long after my return, my manager asked me if I would be willing to work full-time hours. Since I was in a part-time position, I would still be ineligible for employee benefits, vacation and sick days, holiday pay, and performance-based bonuses. So, in short, I was working full-time hours, but not getting all of the benefits that the rest of the full-time staff was entitled to. To be frank, I was getting screwed!!

A full-time position opened up within my department, so I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll just throw my name in the hat!’ My boss told me I’d still have to go through the entire hiring process of a three-person panel interview and online testing. Sooo, we scheduled the interview and testing. I walked out of it all totally disappointed and so sure they wouldn’t give me the job. I had envisioned the scenario over and over in my head and I felt like I had let myself down. It didn’t go at all like I thought it would. But of course, it’s human nature to be harder on yourself than what was reality. I was offered the job!!

I am now going to get good health insurance for myself and my daughter, a $2.50 raise, holiday pay, bonuses, etc. After some long, hard months, things have finally turned around.

I’m also officially enrolled at my university again to get a degree in Business Management. I start on August 26th. I’m suuuper excited to get back to learning and furthering my education. It’s going to be tough, but there is no one more determined than I!

How is your guys’ summer going? Our county fair started last night, which means FAIR FOOD, DEMOLITION DERBIES, AND VISITS TO THE BEER TENT! Can’t wait to hear from all of you! Sorry it’s been so long!

Mending My Crushed Ego

Okay. This almost pains me to write, but I always think it is important to reflect on who we are. So I’ll say it:

I am a jerk sometimes. And I lie to myself so that I don’t feel bad about it.

For some reason, today’s society tries to make us hard, cold individuals that classify all of our feelings as the same. In reality, everyone has their own traumas and experiences that shape their personality and language differently. Since when was it so normal to openly exclaim how much we hate our lives and how we don’t deserve for people to treat us in ways that we don’t like?

Don’t get me wrong.

Yeah, sometimes life just blows. And yes, you shouldn’t let people walk all over you… But for pete’s sake… I’m so sick of seeing everyone try to morph their own feelings and thoughts into the mold that they think that everyone else feels too. Feel your own feelings, take responsibility for the things you do, and do your best not to be a shitty person!

My fiance called me out today. He said, “Nobody can tell you anything! You always go straight into defense mode. Sometimes you’re just plain hard to be friends with. You say things that you shouldn’t, and sometimes you’re just plain mean!”

I opened my mouth to argue, and then I realized… If you argue, you’re proving his point. My mind was totally in the defense mode that he had just accused me of being in all the time. I sat there and pondered his words in silence as I stared at the ground. I was embarrassed- He was right. And the worst thing was… at that moment, I realized I had a shitty way of talking to myself. After I thought about his words, it made me think about how I put myself above others when I think to myself during conversation. For example, he told me, “You always think you’re right about everything.” And I immediately thought to myself, ‘Well I usually am!’

Wow.

How egotistical of me!! I actually thought that exact thought in my head. And I am extremely ashamed to admit it!!! So that is what led me to writing this for you guys today. Because let’s all be honest… We like to think that we are joyful, humble people, but are we really???

Later on in the afternoon, I grabbed him by the shirt and said, “Will you help me? I don’t want to be this nasty person that spews hate and anger, because I don’t think of myself that way.” When I think about qualities to describe myself, I lead myself to believe that I could never behave in such a way. It’s so incredibly hard to manage child rearing, full-time work, household chores and bills, a loving relationship, and making sure your mental health is in tact. I lost sight of my values and got enveloped in the stress of everyday life. I am not quite as great of a person as I sometimes like to think I am, and I can definitely improve. I’m just lucky I have someone that loves me enough to tell me when I’m wrong and willing to help me be the very best version of myself.

Dylan hurt my ego today. And I am sooooo thankful for it!