Someone close (or once close) to me sent me this picture. I’m not sure what he meant by it because it wasn’t followed with anything other than the picture. Anyway, it reminded me of how far I’ve come over the last couple years because the glow up, as they say it, is definitely real. The left pic was circa 2017/2018 at a time when I didn’t really focus on me both internally and externally (obviously). The right pic was me recently. I have been feeding my mind books that I truly needed to shift who I am on the outside to reflect the beautiful spirit inside. She’s always been there by the way, but sometimes we get lost, sometimes we forget and need to find our way back out to shining like the bright light we’ve always been. My realizations? The outside will never reflect the inside until you have become the person you need to be for YOU and ultimately put YOU first. Does that sound selfish? Maybe to some but 2020 has taught me that just like the oxygen mask on an airplane, if that plane is going down you need to put yours on first as they say (Great book suggestion: Your Oxygen Mask First – Kevin Lawrence). What good are you to others all passed out if the plane is about to crash? Same thing applies in life. Your associations can and will determine the person you become. Take care of YOU and pour into your cup first to be able to then help others. Only when change begins within will the outside begin to reflect the real you. I still have a long way to go but progress over perfection.
Honestly the title says it all. It was almost a struggle to choose it because that would mean having to be transparent in my circumstances and current situation. Too often people want to sweep life events underneath a rug rather than face them. To say it’s been a whirlwind of emotions would be a huge understatement with what has transpired in the last few months. It’s been really bad but through the really bad comes the promise of things that can be really good. Really good for my soul, my healing, my heart and overall my life. It definitely wouldn’t be what I’d call rock bottom, but it has been an emotional struggle with willpower and the ability to push forward when the idea of comfort looks way more inviting than growth.
So yes, I am speaking super vaguely because isn’t that how most problems can be described? I mean, we all go through many challenges and what I’ve come to realize is that the power ultimately lies in YOU. Now don’t think that I’ve achieved this ultimate level of clarity because I am far from being there. After trials and tribulations, after taking two steps forward and five back, and after falling flat on my face only to then have someone walk right over me did I realize that those missteps are sometimes exactly what you need to realize that you are sometimes right where you need to be to pick yourself back up. As the saying goes, if you’re down, the positive outlook is that the only way to go is up right? Well, I don’t believe that saying so much because you can also go in circles when you’re down and not know how to climb out of the sometimes self-inflicted rut that you’ve dug yourself into. The goal is to NOT stay down but that’s easier said than done. I will share a few things that have helped me thus far and I am not a sage in these matters but I do know that there may be someone out there who could use some guidance. In all honesty, I may not ever even know if this helped anyone, but that doesn’t matter because it’s often about giving value to someone who you may never even know and who will never thank you for what you’ve done. That person that may thank you may just be your future self. So perhaps these are the start of my reminders to myself or maybe just a great journal entry. Either way, here goes.
How I Began My Journey to Discover Myself Again & How I Learned to Let Go
Read the RIGHT books (yes it can be audios as well). It’s not enough to just read personal development. There are underlying issues that need to be addressed and you need HELP. Stop thinking you’re going to do it on your own. You won’t because if that were the case you wouldn’t be in the position, situation, relationship, non-relationship, situationship or whatever you want to call it. If you don’t know which books to read, ask someone who has LIFE experience or the life you desire.
Do not seek advice from those who do not have the life you want to have. This is so crucial because it’s like asking my 10 year old for financial advice that he cannot give. Do not ask advice from people who have not yet journeyed down the path that you’re on. It is impossible for them to give you sound advice. IMPOSSIBLE. So as much as you like someone or have a bond or friendship, they unfortunately may not be best suited to give you something they have no experience in. Also, some people enjoy the fact that you’re miserable. It’s true. Don’t get lost with the blind leading the blind.
Remember How Bad Ass You Are. This is HUGE. After my non-relationship or whatever it was or wasn’t, I realized how much of myself I had lost. Negative relationships or even friendships can sometimes make you believe or forget who you are. Negative reinforcement on a daily basis or someone constantly putting you down can become an affirmation to who you think you are. You begin to question and doubt yourself and ultimately become the version that that person has manifested in your mind. If someone is speaking defeat to you daily, run. Run as fast as your can because they are projecting their insecurities onto you and you need to protect your spirit and energy from that darkness. I am being so serious. The only affirmations should be VICTORY because true friends or true associations who care, would not do that.
Self-Care is the Best Care. Man I hated when people said this. Not only did it annoy me but I cringed, made a face and thought shut up, but it is absolutely a key component in rediscovering who you are. Now some people think of self-care as spa days or relaxation or some serene something or other. In all honesty, self-care is dependent upon the person. Self-care to me could be a day of journaling or writing poems because that is my form of therapy. Self-care to another person could be being outdoors or taking a hike. The bottom line is doing what makes YOU happy and feels good. Write a list. Do them. Whether you choose one day or you decide to incorporate one into an hour a day. This will drive your happiness and remind you of the things that make you smile but most of all make you feel good.
Have a Support System. People are not meant to go through life alone. Being alone sucks. Do not be the person who is afraid to ask for support. Now this doesn’t mean you want to go and whine and cry to someone about your problems, don’t do it. Everyone has their own issues to tend to and I’m not saying that you cannot vent at times. By all means VENT, but make sure that you also have a solution. Process what you’re saying with someone who can help you process your emotions and simply remind you of your worth. We sometimes forget how amazing we are and yes, we do need reminders when we are in our feelings. We do not think clearly when we are in are feelings which is why decisions should never be made while we are emotional. When you are down, do NOT drive by their house, do not unblock their number, do not consider calling them, do not ask their friends where they’re at, do not check their social media, do not do the crazy things an obsessed person would do because you DO not matter to them. For the record, I don’t do all these things lol, but I’m just saying if that’s YOU, stop it. If they wanted to be with you they would be, point blank, period. With that being said, have 3-5 people on speed dial who can talk you out of doing or saying something that you’ll regret once you’re thinking rationally.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others. This actually dates back to past and more recent relationships. No matter how hard a woman or man tries, they cannot help but ask themselves why with THAT person or those people? Just so you know, you will NEVER know why, so just stop asking. The better question would be WHY do you care? Those people that your man or woman were with (whether once or twice or multiple times) are not thinking about YOU at all. Do not spend any time asking yourself WHY. You will only waste precious time when you could have been thinking about something way more productive. Why did my ex-cheat with someone who dot dot dot, IT DOESN’T MATTER (in the Rock’s voice and tonality) because it really doesn’t. All that matters is that YOU find YOU. Who are YOU and what makes you remarkable is what the next person will see but only if you see it first.
Forgive Yourself. Okay so, I mentioned that I’m not that all knowing sage. You probably thought I was going to say forgive him or her but I believe that forgiveness should be for YOU. Be okay with the decisions that could have been better. Be okay with feeling some type of way when everything went down. Feelings are a normal part of your process. Sometimes the guilt we carry keeps us from experiences true growth and allowing us to forgive ourselves for making such bad decisions. Relish in the fact that you have another day and be grateful that you can begin again. A new start with new outcomes and the promise of something wonderful because that’s what the man upstairs has intended for you.
Dream Again. This sounds so cliche but it has been what has helped me envision what my life WILL look like. Now understand my words, WILL not MAY. What does my life have in store and who are those people in my life but more importantly HOW do they make me feel? The feeling of traveling the world with my best friends who are just as bad ass. Owning a beautiful home with the man of my dreams and my kids living their best life. Do the people around me lift up my spirits, do they treat me like the queen or king I believe myself to be, do I treat them the same way? I cannot help but smile even while typing this because it is exciting. Envision what excites you. What makes you feel on top of the world? Then do everything in your power to achieve it. No matter what.
Now I didn’t intend on even having a numbered list when I made this post. I just started typing in hopes of the words and content coming to me. This is not all inclusive and obviously I do not take any responsibility in how or whether you implement any of the aforementioned suggestions above. I am not an expert nor do I consider myself someone who can necessarily hand out advice, but I will say that I am someone who has come out of a dark tunnel that I stayed in for years. Yes, I said years. My hope is for someone who is in that similar dark tunnel to see that there is an escape. As dim or as far as it may seem, it is there. I promise you it’s there somewhere hidden behind the lies we sometimes tell ourselves. Somewhere hidden behind the false hopes that someone else can change when in actuality it is ourselves that the change must occur within first. And yes, it’s hidden behind comfort. The comfort we’ve been accustomed to for far too long and to release that comfort brings fear and uncertainty. However, on the other side of fear and uncertainty there is someone waiting. That person is the better version of you who has been patiently waiting for you to wake up and realize that you’ve always been beautiful, you’ve always been kind, you’ve always been resilient and you’ve always been enough. More than enough. They have been waiting to meet you, don’t let them wait any longer.
For the record, I was never one to share religious thoughts or quotes with others very often. Sometimes I would question why people who constantly do it, do it. I’ve realized that people aren’t necessarily doing it to preach to others per se, but rather to remind themselves of the path they’re on. Now this may not apply to all, but in my case, I share what I share to perhaps allow another to use what I provide but more so to be my own reminder. I believe that no matter what you believe in, whether God, Buddha, Jesus Christ, etc., there is a foundation for whatever you believe in. This foundation is extremely important because it shapes who you are, who you will become and your belief system in which you will share with all those around you. Some maybe be saying, well I don’t believe in a higher power or being, that’s okay because you still have an opinion which you stay true to and that may continue to be passed down to others. So why all this talk?
I strongly believe that our influence spans beyond what we comprehend. Your wave hello to a stranger can alter their day in a way you have no idea. That one conversation that you have with a friend, co-worker, significant other can shift their mindset to unlock the potential they needed to get to their next level in life. Conversely, negativity can have the opposite reaction. I’m not a preacher and I’m barely a writer (yes, I need to do it more), but what I will say is that our words influence our actions and our actions dictate our influence (to a degree of course). So with that being said, speak VICTORY into others especially yourself and have awareness in the influence that you have in this world. We have the power to bring about change in others, influence others and become the best versions of ourselves while being that light others may sometimes need. Don’t dim your light for anyone. Shine bright and may God Bless you all (or whoever you believe in).
a divorce. a death. a new outlook on life. those are just a few of the things that i’ve been consumed with since my last entry. part of me is trying to figure out where to start or pick up from but there are so many occurrences that may deserve their own post. all that i know is that life is good. life has so many things to be thankful for. maybe that’s what divorce does to you. or maybe that’s what death of someone super close does as well. life is short. we’ve all heard that damn saying time and time again but it doesn’t really sink in until the unmentionable or the unfortunate occurs and we are staring into the sky looking for a sign to continue to forge ahead despite adversity. adversity always shows it’s pretty little face. adversity will make sure to hit you the hardest when you’re already trying to maintain your balance. adversity will remind you that you haven’t faced the worst yet. adversity will smile at you with tears streaming down your face and remind you that you are stronger than you ever believed yourself to be. thank you adversity for your oh-so-amazing reminders of your presence time and time again in the last couple of years. i could not be the same person today without your guidance (if you want to call it that) which is the honest to goodness truth. so on that note, welcome back blogging monica because i’ve truly missed you and reading your inner thoughts. even if no one reads this, writing is the most therapeutic thing outside of being at the beach watching the waves as the sun sets or cuddling my now deceased husky aka best friend Miles Jacob.
I sit here listening the rustling of the trees and feel the cool breeze sweeping into my bedroom. Deep breaths…in and out. One more time to hopefully take in whatever strength I can gain from Mother Nature as she joins me from the slightly cracked window. I don’t consider myself an outdoorsy person as I don’t hike as often as I’d like to nor do I go biking like some. I do, however, know that the outdoors is what centers me when I need it the most. The fresh air helps me to reset whatever is has somehow shut down within me and restarts my body and soul. While closing my eyes, I visualize everything that I must accomplish today, tomorrow and during the week. I tell myself it will all be okay and will get done when it needs to get done. I think this to myself as I have my legs tucked underneath my Ikea covers with my old man doggy at my feet. I suppose if I think it, it will be or at least that’s what I’m hoping for. Visualize and manifest. Harnessing my power to get a grip on the silent chaos going on in my head.
So I took my little ballerina to take her costume photos today and realized that her interactions with her fellow ballerinas were too sweet to not capture. While I am far from being a professional photographer, none of that matters when you are able to capture a smile like this.
I haven’t really posted here much, obviously. For some reason, writing down my daily thoughts seems much more time-consuming and slightly more boring in comparison to posting a photo on Instagram. So rather than express it all in a paragraph of “here’s a recap of what you missed”, I’d much rather do a countdown of most recent thoughts. It’s much more interesting when you add numbers or bullet points to sentences, so here goes…
1) Just recently discovered discount travel sites and I think I’m seriously in lust, not love though because that requires too much commitment.
2) Carrying a phone without a phone case is like a ticking time bomb. All it takes is one fall and it’s game over. It’s going on week 3, so apparently I enjoy taking risks all too much.
3) I have a not-so-secret obsession with left-handedness and believe that I should have been born left-handed and my ambidextrous abilities only solidify that statement.
4) I’ve been miserable with the California winter weather which means my spoiled self could never move anywhere that has true winters. Let’s keep it above 60 degrees pretty please.
5) Lastly, my mind has already fast forwarded to summer. Feels like June not February, so clearly I preferred to bypass a bunch of birthdays.
I have a beloved 12 year old Beagle/Chihuahua mix named Frisco. Conversations as of late with my sister have consisted of what we are going to do when this little guy crosses that rainbow bridge. While we probably are thinking prematurely as he still has a few more years ahead, since he is a crossbreed and stays indoors (both of which lengthen lifespan) it doesn’t hurt to think ahead. Named after my birth city San Francisco, Frisco has been my main lil guy through thick and thin. Honestly, he has been the most consistent man in my life over the last 12 years. Sad, but true. Not so sad because his unconditional love is probably what has made me into the strong woman I am today. True story. When we first brought him home my sister also spent time with him by bringing him to her home for about a week as a puppy and then every now and then when he got older which has bonded the two of them.
Anyway, back to our conversation about what would become of him once he passed, although it makes me tear every time I even think about it. My sister and I have decided that we will have him for lack of a better word, stuffed. At first thought the only word that comes to mind when I think of taxidermy is morbid. Then I start to think about it a little more then all of the sudden it makes perfect sense. What better way than to preserve your long time family member. Then I think about it a little more and think how the same could never apply to humans, so why do it to a dog?
Well, we haven’t yet crossed that bridge, or rather he has not so perhaps we will have to wait and see if we go that route. In the meantime I am going to continue to cherish the time I do have left with him and not think about THAT day until it comes. Love you Frisco Baby.