- People are going to disappoint you at some point in your life. Be prepared to face it.
- No matter how hard you try to plan things out, nothing in life is ever going to turn out exactly how you want it to. Accept it and continue to build off of your setbacks.
- Don’t judge someone based strictly upon a first impression. Be fair to them and yourself by giving them a chance. It could turn out to be a friendship or relationship that’ll last a lifetime.
- The career you’ve envisioned for yourself since you were a child may not be the career you end up in as an adult. This is okay. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
- Resentment toward those who hurt you in your past is detrimental to your own self-healing. Just let it go and leave it in the past.
- There are some emotional wounds that will truly never go away, and that is okay. The best thing you can do is to just learn to live with them, but don’t let them hinder your ability to live a full life moving forward.
- Seeking therapy from a counselor is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself, and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit, and could likely benefit from it themselves.
- You’ll gain a newfound respect for your parents once you’ve become an adult. With that comes a lot of guilt for being a royal pain in the butt to them in your earlier years, but they’ve likely forgiven you and forgotten all about it.
- If you’ve lost loved ones in your life, know that you will grieve them forever, and it’s completely okay. Anyone who says you should be over it already clearly has no idea what grief really feels like.
- You cannot grow in life if you only stay within your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to get out of it.
- Taking a leap of faith by moving to a new city where you hardly know a soul is terrifying, but exhilarating all at the time. I promise you’ll be happy that you did it.
- You will get homesick, and that is okay. You’ll be incredibly grateful for the invention of FaceTime, thanks to Apple, and you’ll learn to truly cherish your time with your loved ones when you’re all together.
- It is completely okay to outgrow places and people. Don’t feel guilty about it.
- The decisions you make for yourself in life may not always be understood by your closest family and friends, but they’ll support you anyway.
- Stop apologizing for being who you are, and stop analyzing every insecurity or flaw you may have. If you do this, then you’ll never be truly happy with yourself.
- There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay in by yourself on a Saturday night while all of your friends are out. We all need time to ourselves more often than we care to admit.
- If you find that someone or something is incredibly toxic to your well being, let them go, no matter how hard you convince yourself that it may be.
- Bucket lists are important. Make one and make it a priority to achieve all the items on your list. You don’t necessarily need to put a timeline on it, either. Just get to them as you can.
- Your heart is going to be broken on more than one occasion. Do your best not to judge the next person that comes along, strictly based upon those you’ve dated in the past. This isn’t easy, I know, but you owe it to yourself to give them a fair chance.
- If you have a desire to travel, figure out a way to make it happen, even if it’s only once a year. Exploring new places will give you a sense of fulfillment that you won’t be able to get through anything else.
- Talk to someone from a different culture, different religion, etc. to gain new perspectives in life. Being culturally aware is so important in this day and age.
- Spend time with kids. Although they can be exhausting, giving yourself a chance to look at the world through the innocence of a child’s eyes can make you realize what’s really important.
- Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. If they do, just do everything in your power to prove them wrong.
- Don’t give all of your time and efforts to someone who doesn’t love you back. Chances are they don’t know your worth, nor do they have respect for you. You deserve better. Remember that.
- Do something that scares you, whatever it may be. You’ll be so proud of yourself in the long run.
- Stop telling yourself that you should have your life all figured out by now. This isn’t 1953 anymore. You’re not expected to be married with multiple kids. Kick ass at whatever you’re doing now, and the rest will all fall into place when it’s meant to.
- Love yourself, unconditionally. After all, you’re stuck with yourself 24/7, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. It is by far the most important relationship you have in your life, and the foundation upon which you will build everything else. Love yourself first, so that others can love you, too.
They take what isn’t theirs.
They’re careless and non-remorseful.
Vulchers eager for a quick fix,
no repercussions for their actions,
Or for the chaos they cause.
Yet, the victim is the one who suffers.
One who stays silent out of fear.
The critics will arise.
Voice their opinions about what should’ve been done.
As if they know the real truth.
but, they don’t.
They’re living in glass houses throwing stones.
Unwilling to understand a reality that isn’t theirs.
The truth is hard to face these days.
It’s easier to avoid anything that comes close to being unbelievably real.
Anything that forces efforts of deep thinking.
A thinking that isn’t recycled.
Thinking that actually involves searching the soul.
One that requires being a decent human being.
Oh, they will fade in time.
As will the vulchers.
After all, they have to live with themselves.
Yet, the victim.
The victim will always rise,
and share the real truth.
And at last, the world will listen.
Your heart is kind.
Your smile is genuine.
Your soul is beautiful.
Your faith in what’s to come is unfailing.
You heart has been broken.
It has been tested many times.
It has faced moments of darkness,
and it has overcome them.
Your smile. Oh, that smile.
It gets me every time.
Yet, it hides some pain.
Old wounds that you keep inside.
Your soul is unlike any other I’ve ever known.
It connects so deeply with my own.
Like it was always meant to be mine.
Your faith is relentless.
Your hope for the future is inspiring.
You make me want to be better.
To love better.
To live better.
You make me believe in an endless love.
One for all eternity.
Our story to be shared,
yet it’s still being written.
It hasn’t even begun.
Only time will tell until we cross paths.
And when we finally do,
our souls will catch fire.
And suddenly, every doubt we’ve ever had will vanish.
For our love story is bound to be breathtaking.
November 17th. A date that used to not have much significance in my life, that is, until 2008 came along. It was a Monday during my very first semester of college. My mom called me, gave me the news, and told me to immediately call my dad. I don’t remember much of either of those conversations other than feelings of complete sadness and lots of tears. The only grandmother that I had ever really known was gone.
By Thursday, my sister and I were on a plane headed north to meet our dad. There was a wide range of emotions that ensued within the following days. Sadness, guilt, and anger were at the top of my list for various reasons. Yet, it was bittersweet and intriguing to go back to the place where my dad grew up. A place that I hadn’t seen in years. Memories and laughs were shared. Two very Southern Louisiana girls experienced real snow that stuck to the ground for longer than an hour. My cousin made fun of me for wearing boots in November, since “real boot season didn’t happen until at least January.” We saw the beauty of Niagara Falls, ate pizza from a restaurant named “New Orleans Pizza,” and learned a thing or two about what it means to be Canadian.
Despite the circumstances that brought us there, it turned out to be one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever had.
Sadness and heartbreak can lead to brighter days, which brings me to my next point of why I’m writing about the further significance of November 17th:
World Prematurity Day.
In case you didn’t know, premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. The preterm birth rate in the United States worsened to 9.6 percent in 2016. This occurred for the first time in eight years. The mission of World Prematurity Day is to bring awareness to the health issues faced by these little fighters, along with offering support to the parents and families of those affected.
So, why am I talking about this?
Let me introduce you to me, circa 27 years ago:
I was born at 27 ½ weeks. I weighed 2 lbs. 3 ½ oz. at birth. The doctors told my parents they weren’t sure if I would make it past the first 24 hours. Back then, survival that early wasn’t always likely.
I spent 77 days in the NICU until I could finally go home.
I have a scar on my back from the heart surgery I had to undergo for patent ductus arteriosus. For the longest time, my mom always tried to convince me to get it covered up somehow. It brought back bad memories for her, and probably still does. Yet, I always remind her that it’s a battle wound that isn’t going anywhere. It’s part of the reason that I’m alive today.
…You see, my story has somewhat of a happy ending, even though it’s still being written.
There are families out there who aren’t always so lucky. Some preemies don’t survive, no matter how hard their little bodies try to fight. Some are born with severe and irreversible birth defects. Some may live, but they may not ever be able to walk or speak. They may not ever be able to live a full, vibrant life.
They may not always end up like me.
And that’s a huge reason why I’ve started to bring more awareness to this issue, as I’m getting older. I’ve gained a different perspective of it from working in healthcare, along with knowing people personally that have been, or are currently in, the same situation as my parents were 27 years ago.
These little ones can’t speak for themselves. They’re too busy fighting just to stay alive. They’re fighting to beat the odds stacked against them. They can’t tell you how you can help, which is where people like me come in. I encourage you to learn more about World Prematurity Day by visiting the March of Dimes. You can view their website for volunteer opportunities at your local office, participate in your local March For Babies walk, or you can simply donate at the below link:
Because of people like you and me, we can give these little ones a fighting chance.
Remember the 17th of November.
Maybe now it will have some significance to you, too.
Keep on keeping on, and be kind to one another, y’all.
So, here’s the thing: you look at the world around you and wonder where you fit in. You ask yourself: Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to do? Why am I here? Will I ever be successful in life and love?
…what’s my purpose?
Any of those questions ring a bell to you? Maybe you’ve asked yourself these questions a time or two or ten thousand in your life. Maybe you’re asking yourself these questions right now, and you can’t come up with a solid answer for any of them.
These questions started popping up into my mind recently based upon conversations I’ve had and things that I’ve observed lately. And do you know the main thing that brought up all these questions in my head?
Yep, that’s right. SOCIAL MEDIA.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “oh this girl is going to talk about how bad social media can be, yet here she is writing on a social media platform.” Yes, I do, in fact, get the irony, but, for me, writing is more of a creative outlet. An escape from the chaos of everyday life. It has been since I was about 15. I write because it helps me ease my mind. I don’t really know how to explain it. In all honesty, these posts always start off as random arrays of notes on my phone when I’m trying to fall asleep at night (and clearly failing miserably at it), and if I feel its worth sharing with people, then I’ll post it. If someone happens to read it and it helps them, great! If it doesn’t, that’s fine, too. At least I got it all off of my chest, out of my mind…however you want to say it. At least it’s given me some clarity. A chance to allow me to do some serious self reflecting and healing.
I lie awake some nights because my body just won’t rest until my mind does, and my mind has been telling me to become more in tune with myself. To start doing little things to improve my self happiness. You see, I’ve found myself consumed lately with scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, etc. and just comparing my life to the filtered “highlight reels” that I see of my peers and their lives. Or the lavishing lifestyles of the rich and famous. It all just seems so enchanting.
“Wow, their life is so much cooler than mine.”
Yeah, it all seems so incredibly amazing…until I stop and really think about how ridiculous my perception of it can be. How ridiculous it is to compare myself and my life to others, strictly based upon what they post online. Now I don’t know if all these thoughts are flooding though my mind because I’m adjusting to life in a new city, in a whole different state, well over 500 miles from home. It could honestly be because of my most recent Netflix binge on 13 Reasons Why. I don’t know. Could be anything putting these things in perspective for me, but I’m just gonna chalk it up to one of life’s never ending lessons. I think it’s also because of the fact that I just miss when life was simple. When I truly didn’t have a care in the world. Back when I was just a little girl with ambitious hopes and dreams for my future.
Now, I think I’ve come a pretty long way since being that little girl with ambitious hopes and dreams for my future. Yet, I know that I still struggle now as an adult, especially in regards to loving myself. It can be really hard, at times, and it worries me for the young children of today. Those young children who learn how to use apps like SnapChat at the age of 3. By 12 or 13, they value their self worth strictly by the amounts of likes that they get on their Instagram pictures. It’s no coincidence that bullying rates and suicide rates have sky rocketed in recent years. Shout out to technology for making us all such disconnected individuals who can’t always put our phones down to actually get out and do things that bring our lives meaning and feed our hungry souls.
Honestly, it’s a damn shame. The world we live in today. I often talk about my disdain for the amount of hatred and cruelty in this world. I’ve been told before that I can be a very old soul. There are times when I’m convinced that I was born in the wrong generation. Guess you can’t expect much more from a girl who put “world peace” on her Christmas List when she was 11, right? I’ve always tried to live my life somewhat optimistically because it’s never really made much sense to me to be a constant pessimist. And believe me, I’ve had my share of being a constant pessimist myself, and I didn’t like myself for it. Not at all.My disdain for hatred and cruelty goes hand in hand with my disdain for pessimism. Those miserable people in the world who can’t seem to find happiness within themselves, so they’re just downright mean and judgmental for no good reason. It’s quite sad, really.
Now, I can only hope that I, along with others, can be positive examples for those young children in the world. Although I am not yet a parent myself, I often think of my younger cousins and all that they’ve experienced so far in life. I strive to lead by example and show them that they can be anything they want to be in a world where society tries to dictate who they should be. Show them that kindness and love can get them far in life. That loving themselves is one of the most important things that they can do for themselves. That no one can define who they are. To believe in themselves till no end. That being perfectly imperfect is amazing, and that they deserve great things in life, but they need to expect to work hard to achieve them. To understand that their acceptance and self-worth in this world will never be defined by an Instagram like, a boy, or a job.
The “reel lives” are bullshit. Our real lives are the ones that need to be lived to the fullest because our time here is only temporary, so we might as well make the best of it. So go on out and do things that give your life meaning. Feed your hungry soul, and do so with absolutely no regrets.
No surefire feeling.
Reflection of your younger self.
When you thought you had it all figured out.
The world at your fingertips.
Endless hopes. Ambitious dreams.
And then one day, you realize: you’ve changed.
Growth is necessary.
It is warranted to calm the chaos.
To ease the mind.
To set the soul free.
To reach those endless hopes.
Those ambitious dreams.
To make yourself better than you were in your younger years.
Back when you thought you had it all figured out.
Only to one day understand your true self.
To bring you closer to the person that you’re meant to be.
Life is your greatest teacher.
Yet it is relentless in its lessons.
Don’t focus on the end result.
Don’t stay stagnant in the past.
Live in the moment.
Cherish the time you have now.
Laugh until you cry.
Or cry until you have nothing left in you.
Be fearless in the way you love.
In the way you live.
In the way you care.
In the way you dream.
Calm the chaos in your mind.
In your heart.
In your soul.
Life is balanced on a razor blade.
Like a double edged sword.
There is no calm without the chaos.
No certainty without uncertainty.
No predictability without unpredictability.
No stability without instability.
Yet, we continue to live.
Despite the chaos.
Above the odds
To reach the calm.
To see the beauty of it all.
…even when it seems impossible.
It’s Sunday morning. I’m lying in bed, phone in hand, as I jot down an array of thoughts running through my mind. It’s always hard for me to get them all down on paper (or in this case, on “digital paper”), mainly because I over analyze my thoughts before I’m even fully done thinking about them. Makes sense? No? Great, it doesn’t to me either, yet, here I am.
I guess the main point of this is to share how I’ve been feeling lately. The only word that I’ve been able to come up with that I feel best describes it is: surreal. No, I don’t mean surreal as in bizarre. I mean it more in the sense of disbelief, but in a good way. In a “wow, I can’t believe this is really my life,” kind of way. Now, when you read that last sentence, don’t perceive it as a negative connotation by any means; read it with the sound of my voice being overly excited (kind of like how we all felt when our beloved Saints won the Super Bowl 🙂 – & if you’re a Colts fan, then I’m sorry for that reference)
Anyway…read it and hear it with a smile in my voice.
Now, those of you reading this, will fall into one of two categories: 1) you know me quite well and therefore, are well aware of me and my personal life or 2) you don’t really know me at all and are probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about, and that’s okay. If you happen to be in the latter, let me enlighten you a little bit.
Over the last two years or so, I began a journey of some serious personal and professional growth. On the personal side, I went through some stuff that forced me to face my past, learn some tough life lessons, and move on. My personal struggles and strengths, in turn, led me to the somewhat unforeseen path that I’m currently on today. On the professional side, I channeled my emotional hardships into furthering my career and becoming more successful. I completed an accelerated graduate school program over the course of a year and a half, while working full-time, taking classes full-time, and maintaining a 4.0. Upon graduation, I faced some setbacks, as the job market odds were certainly not in my favor. Que the personal feelings of complete discouragement, depression, frustration, and failure. Once again, I felt stuck in my life, and I absolutely hated it. However, this time was different than the last. I had new goals to achieve, and I just kept reminding myself that my feeling stuck was only temporary. I was going to find my way eventually. I just had to give it some time.
Fast forward to an evening in January, when I finally got a phone call that instantly lifted my spirits. Two days later, I had a phone interview. A few weeks later, I had an in-person interview. Then, a little over a month later, I packed up everything that I could fit into my car and drove eight and a half hours up to Tennessee to start a new chapter of my life.
When I look back on all that I’ve accomplished throughout the last two years of my life, I realize that I couldn’t be prouder of the woman I am today. For me, that is a huge deal to admit that to myself. I am, quite often, my harshest critic. Maybe it stems from insecurities or a fear of being inadequate in many aspects of life. Maybe it’s because someone once made me question my own self-worth. I believe that a lot of it stems from me just wanting to be a better person, in general. I’m finally recognizing that every day of my life is a chance for new opportunities and new life lessons, even on the days when I’m feeling down.
If you’re still reading this and you’ve made it this far into my mini novel, then this is where I’m probably going to get a little more empowering and/or inspirational. My life experiences may be minuscule compared to yours. I don’t know what any of you are going through. Our experiences and perceptions of life will never be exactly the same. Some of you may be having the time of your lives right now. Some of you may be going through some really tough times, and you don’t know if it’s ever going to get better. All I can say to that is this: wear your accomplishments, your pain and your wounds as your armor. As a sign of your strengths. As a reminder of every fear, heartbreak, or struggle you’ve ever had to face and/or overcome. Wear them and wear them proud. Use them as your motivation to keep moving forward, even on the days when it really seems impossible. Just take it one day at a time.
Don’t be ashamed of your past or the person that you used to be. You may not have to wear your past with pride, but at least recognize that it’s played a huge part in getting you to where you are today. You’ve lived it. You’ve learned it. You’ve grown from it. Don’t let yourself be defined by it, and don’t define others based on their pasts.
Instead, embrace it all: every accomplishment, every heartbreak, every fear, every struggle, especially your past. Take it all in, and immense yourself into whatever feeling you need to feel on any given day. Just remember to keep on keeping on and look forward to what’s coming next. Life is a never ending journey. The path that you’re on right now may end up surprising you in a few years…
Yet, you’ll never truly know where it may take you until you give it a try, right?
Keep on keeping on, and be kind to one another, y’all.