No Looking Back Now

Recently I’ve started feeling nostalgic…for myself. I’ve been thinking back to the days when I was (semi)carefree and in my own little world. Looking back, I thought I was happy (I wasn’t), I had great confidence (with self image issues) and a pretty good idea of what my future looked like (BOY WAS I WRONG). But with reminiscing on it all, I can’t help but feel happy (?!) that it all worked out the way that it did. I know it seems crazy but let me explain…

I have grown SO MUCH. The only way I could have ever learned so much about what I wanted in life was to go through some pretty shitty times. Would I ever want to do it all again? Well, no, not if I had a choice…BUT I’m glad that I did because honestly as cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t dealt with all the tough decisions and heartbreaking moments that popped up in the last 5 years. It’s been a great example of learning from your mistakes and has given me the knowledge to have a better understanding of which direction I want my life to go in. It’s been pretty interesting to look back on what I thought were devastating moments and realize that they were merely lessons helping me move forward. Losses, divorce, heartbreak, unemployment. Yes, these are all difficult to maneuver and understand, but they shouldn’t be a reason to give up and accept defeat. At least for me they weren’t. I may have a stubborn streak in me that was very determined to prove that I wouldn’t stay down long, I knew I had shit to do and I wasn’t going to stop until I got my feet back under me. I swear us women could breathe fire if we tried hard enough, that’s just how we operate.

When hard times hit you always panic and think “how am I ever going to overcome this?!” But guess what? You will, you always do. You move forward, persist and pretty soon you look back and wish you could give your past self a hug and tell them that much better things are ahead. As I slowly (and excitedly) move into new territory with my little life, I’ve started to notice little glimpses of my past (happier) self. And honestly, I’ve missed her. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same person I was a few years ago, which is good, but the joyfulness and determined attitude I once had are finding their way back. I’m finally doing things for myself (and Casey) and living how I WANT to. At times I didn’t think I’d ever get here. If you would’ve asked me a year ago if I’d be in my own place, with a job I love, back in shape and beaming with a positive outlook I would’ve told you to piss off. I was in a bad place and had no idea what to expect for the upcoming year. And honestly, I still don’t know what to expect for the next year but it doesn’t even matter because I’m loving where I’m at now. Do I still want to make changes? Of course! I’d love to work on my finances more, find a man I can adore everyday, plan an actual holiday, build up my business and give Casey the experiences he deserves. I know there are probably tough times ahead but at least now I know I can make it through them. My support team pulled through this year and knowing I have back up makes it that much easier to face the unknown.

Just know that even when you’re feeling low, have been through hell and back and are ready to wave the white flag, that you are capable of facing and dealing with whatever experiences cross your path. Yes, it’ll be hard, but one day you’ll realize that you’re smiling and laughing and that you haven’t thought about all the tough times in a long time. You’ll soon start to replace those sad memories with joyful new ones and it’ll all seem so far away. Just keep moving forward one little step at a time and it’ll all pay off in the long run. Ask for support, cry to a few friends, write down goals, and be so stubborn on your path to happiness. You’ll learn some things about yourself and those close to you and you may lose a few people along the way, but trust me, it’s all a part of the process. What’s good for you will stay. You’re much stronger than you think 💗

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Celebrate All Victories

When you hear the word victory, what pops into your head? A battle win or winning a game or competition? For most that’s generally what you will think of first. Today I’m not going to talk about a victorious battle or how the underdog team conquered the all stars, what I’m going to talk about are all the little victories each of us have in our days or lifetimes.

These small, nameless victories can range anything from making breakfast, getting ready, getting the kids fed and dressed and making it out the door on time. They could also be the moments when you win over your boss, make a big business sale, nail your interview or pull off an elaborate recipe that turned out amazing. These are the things that we all can encounter, but do we ever take the time to actually appreciate them or celebrate them?

KELLY: BEACH - Victories.

For me, I tend to down play things. I like to see them as “not a big deal” and don’t want to draw attention to them, despite other people’s reactions. I work hard, both in my job and at home, but I don’t like to acknowledge it because my initial reaction is usually, “Someone out there is worker harder than you and pulling off bigger feats so don’t get ahead of yourself”. Ummm…hello Ego! I’ve come to recognize this and decided that you know what? That type of response isn’t working for me anymore. I should be proud of what I have and will accomplish and yes, there may be other people out there doing bigger and better things, but I’m doing my best right now and I need to value myself. Talk about a mind shift!

A lot of times we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be better, work smarter and accomplish more, when really we should be looking at what we HAVE done and how we ARE better. I can bet most of you have made some changes for the better in the past year, so why not celebrate that?! Showcase what you’ve done, big or small, you don’t have to write a newspaper ad, but even telling yourself how far you’ve come can be a huge boost and there’s no harm in that. I think a lot of people worry about gloating or bragging, coming off as cocky or entitled, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You’re not going around telling people how much you made in the last month and rubbing it in their face, instead you’re recognizing that you work full time, run a household and still make time to read your kid a story at night before bed. That’s a victory. Or maybe you made a big move, took on a new job and have transitioned flawlessly into your new role and life. That’s a victory. OR you might have worked overtime a few times each month and are finally treating yourself to a well deserved vacation. That’s definitely a victory.

Whatever the case, we need to start seeing ourselves in a better light. We need to look back on our achievements and not just ones related to money. It’s easy to get caught up in the whole more money = happier life mentality, so we really need to break it down into our day to day accomplishments and wins. A stay at home mom will have a VERY different idea of a daily win than someone who works an office job AND THAT’S OKAY. You are not competing with anyone else. We really need to stop comparing and worrying about what others think about us because honestly, their opinions will not affect our day to day decisions. I say this because it took me a long time to stop caring about what others thought. Everyday I was constantly fretting over every decision I made because “what would people think of me if I did this or that”. In the end, who cares what they would think? Are they in my shoes? No. Will their opinion make me change my mind? No. Do they have any influence over my life? No. Take action, be confident in your choices and celebrate those tiny victories you encounter each day.

Nothing succeeds like success. Minor victories spawn major victories. Major victories spawn a trajectory for life!

Share with your friends about how proud you are to have made it to work on time all week when you’re prone to being late. That’s progress. Or when you finally get into a routine of exercising, express how great you feel because of it. That’s a positive change in your life. Some people might not seem as excited or happy for you as you’d think they would be, but that’s their problem not yours. A lot of times people won’t share your excitement because it highlights what they need to change in their own life. It’s a reflection of what they feel they need to do, so don’t take offense or feel hurt over it. As long as you’re not parading around showcasing the differences between the two of you and putting anyone down, then you’ll be fine. Carry on.

I just think we need to start feeling good about ourselves and this is one of the many ways to do it. You don’t even have to tell anybody about what you’re doing, even just recognizing it yourself and giving yourself a pat on the back will do the trick. We all have our own battles and things we deal with day in and day out, so I believe that if we start focusing on what we have done and how kick ass we are for having done it, then we’d all be a lot happier and proud of ourselves. So I’m here to give you a virtual high five for whatever victory you had today or this week! Keep grinding, do your thang and never let anyone downplay your accomplishments. You’re doing great.