Choices

We all have choices that we make every single day. Some choices are easy to make while others take a lot of consideration. Some determine the direction of our lives and others have minimal impact. But that’s the thing. Every choice we make has some kind of impact on our life. Your decision to read this post will have some impact on your life. You have the choice of whether it will be a beneficial impact or not. 

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Episode 8: Choices

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 8: Choices
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We all have choices in life. What choice are you going to make?

Little by Little

We’ve been talking about going your own way and making the most of yourself, so today I wanted to talk about what it takes to do both. The truth is that no matter how much pressure we put on ourselves or how many times we say “today is the day” or how many new weeks, months, or years we plan to do something new, nothing happens or changes all at once. No matter what we do, that thing, that effort, that goal, they are always, absolutely always, achieved little by little. 

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Episode 6: Little by Little

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 6: Little by Little
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How do you accomplish things? little by little.

Episode 5: Make the Most of You

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 5: Make the Most of You
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Learning to lean in and be the best you for you is a journey that has its ups and downs. With practice and persistence, you can be the best you.

Comparison

I was talking to a friend the other day about goals and what we need to do to achieve them. We were specifically talking about the things we can do on social media to get more of a reach. He had mentioned that he doesn’t like being in his social pictures with his product because he doesn’t want someone to see him and not buy his product because he doesn’t think he is likable. For a minute I was flabbergasted because I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t like him, but then I realized, I’ve had similar thoughts. These are thoughts of comparison. We are comparing ourselves to those who have come before us in the industry that we are trying to break into.

For me, the comparison comes from years of bullying during school and from my parents. It also comes from years of me bullying myself because of my lack of self-esteem. For others, the root behind their comparison isn’t as easy to figure out. When we can’t easily figure out why we are comparing ourselves to others, we can go into a dark place and have a hell of a time getting out of it. 

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Thoughts About Family

I’ve seen so many quotes that say things like “family is everything” or “blood is thicker than water.” These are all over social media and people use them in everyday conversation. The underlying theme is that, no matter what, family sticks together.

I wish life was as simple as that. For some families, it is. For mine, it is not. If I were to stick with my family no matter what, I would not be where I am today. I would be living a much different life supporting people who only take from others or supporting everything the drug addicts do. If family was the only thing that mattered in life, my life would be miserable and depressing.

The thing about family is you can’t choose who your blood family is, but you can choose who you consider family. Blood may literally be thicker than water, but familial blood does not have to rule your life. Your life is yours to live.

I choose to associate and keep close quite a bit of my family. I used to force relationships with more of my family but got tired of being the only one who put effort into those relationships. Keeping family close means different things for all of them. It depends on the relationship. It depends on their efforts as well as mine. Relationships are a two-way street.

I have family I would give a chance to have a relationship once they turn 18 and can make decisions for themselves. I have family that will never have a chance to come back into my life. That sounds harsh, but it is my reality. I choose not to support those who keep taking more and more from me or those who abuse drugs and emotionally abuse those who take care of him.

That brings me to my father. I don’t even like calling him that. It feels dirty. It feels wrong. I could use sperm donor, I think that is from a movie, but I can’t think which one. But I’ll call him dumbass because that is what he is. Dumbass has been a drug addict most of my life. It has escalated year after year. More and more drugs. From meth to opioids, he is or has been on all of them. Well, dumbass broke his ankle, got home from the hospital and then overdosed on what he had in stock. If my grandmother had not called my sister worried because he wouldn’t answer the phone, he would have been there on his own and may have possibly died. How do I feel about that? He died to me many years ago. There is no feeling left there except for disgust and annoyance. Today I am more frustrated that he keeps manipulating my grandmother to pay for things that allow him to be home and continue using drugs. Dumbass text me two days late for my birthday and included the typical poor me message. First, he got my phone number from my grandmother’s phone without my permission and has sent harassing messages a few times since. Second, this is the first birthday in over 10 years that he even bothered to try to get a hold of me. Selfish. He is extremely selfish.

Recently, one of my friend’s lost her dad due to health complications. I was more devastated about his death that I would have been for dumbass’. Her dad was a good dad. He was loving and funny and a guy I enjoyed being around. I can’t imagine not hearing his jokes and voice ever again. He was more to me than I ever thought. It sucks that death brought those feelings. I already miss him and it’s been years since I saw him.

Family is not just comprised of those who you share blood with. Family doesn’t have to be people you see or talk to frequently. In my opinion, family is a connection that can’t be explained. My family is comprised of more than just my blood relatives and I will do anything for that family.

Stop Apologizing

Rachel Hollis wrote a book directly dedicated to this thought. She talked about all the things that women commonly apologize with. I received this quote on a cute little card in something I ordered from the Hollis Co. and I turned it into a little graphic that I read every day when I go through my gratitude in the morning.

Rachel said this quote in her book Girl, Stop Apologizing and it has resonated with me ever since. I feel like I’m somehow connected to it. Like it is speaking directly to me.

You see, I’ve been apologizing ALL of my life. I seriously mean all of it. I was always getting in trouble, sometimes for things that didn’t even make sense, I had just irritated my parents, so I was always apologizing. I still apologize for a lot of things that happen every single day. You might be asking, then why the hell does this quote resonate with me? Well, because I know and I am working on learning how to live my life without apologizing. I am learning how to be unapologetically me.

I know, the term ‘unapologetically’ is thrown around like its a badge of honor. It isn’t. But yet, it is. Every person defines living unapologetically differently. Some flash it around like a reason to be a douchebag. Some flash it around because they love their not-so-common attire. Some flash it around to be part of the social media movement. But for some of us, it simply means that we are trying to and learning to live our lives for ourselves rather than apologizing for everything.

We want to stop apologizing for everything about who we are. We want to be able to live a free life, loving ourselves without somebody, anybody else telling us we have to apologize for it. We want to lean into who we are without worrying about offending any and everybody. We want to live into being our true unique selves rather than trying to live according to what social deems is socially acceptable.

Going from apologizing for everything to living unapologetically isn’t easy and the road is most definitely not straight. I will have some really good weeks and then bam! I am right back to apologizing for everything. I blame hormones. I blame changes in my overall environment. I blame anything and everything. I apologize for blaming. Then I stop to realize blaming isn’t getting me anywhere fast.

Sitting down and working through the events over the past few days and weeks help me to identify what caused my path to fork. I sit and do thought work (sometimes written, sometimes not) to see what triggered me. Then I gather all of the conclusions I’ve come to and I start again. I start undoing the apologizing and start focusing on what I know I can change. I start releasing my stress again. I lean back into being me and living for me, regardless of the outside world. I create another fork in my path.

I want to stop apologizing because I know that there is so much more happiness on the other side. I know that my life will be more fulfilled when I lean into who I am and stop apologizing for it.

I am me and that is who I’ll be. No apology needed.

Live Creatively

Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been.

When I saw this quote, a lightbulb went off for me. You see, I have always thought that being creative meant you had to be an artist or the like; someone who made something from scratch and it was beautiful or useful. I equated creative people as being artists, painters, those who sewed or crocheted, or those who came up with awesome wood or metal designs. I never once considered writing a blog or sharing life as being creative. Until I read this quote.

If you had asked or mentioned anything about me being creative, I would have laughed in your face and told you that I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I would have told you that there is nothing creative about me, I only know theory and project management.

This quote by Alan Alda opened my mind to a larger world of creativity. Creativity isn’t about what society says creativity is. A person can be creative in so many different ways and he/she may be the only person who thinks what he/she is doing is creative.

I can look at so much in my immediate life and see creativity. Our garden. We are creative in how we plan our garden and care for it. My flower garden. In planting the bulbs, I was creative in how I organized them. My writing. I am creating right now. I am being creative. Our home renovation. We are being creative in the designs we make up and how we choose to build within our home. My photography. I may not be a professional photographer, but I am being creative.

Creativity comes from within. Creativity is a gift that we hold special to ourselves. Creativity may be defined by the typical thoughts of what creativity is, but to our soul, creativity is anything.

What are you creatively making that you might not have attributed to being creative?

Defense

I don’t remember where I first heard this quote, but it turned on a lightbulb for me. You see, I jump to defensiveness immediately. It doesn’t matter if the statement is nothing is sarcasm, a compliment, or a deep conversation. Defensiveness is my first reaction.

Defense is the first act of war.

There are probably many different interpretations of this quote, but I’d like to share mine.

Every time I go on the defense, I am starting an act of war. I can look back at situations where I have been defensive and I can see how I interpret the situation after as a war. It usually goes like this: I feel attacked, get defensive, then it feels like war to prove something or assert my opinion. Usually prove something. I always feel like I have to prove something.

Because I feel like I have to prove something, almost anything, I get defensive. I have to prove something because of two reasons. First, my ego, or as Andrea Owen calls it, my inner critic. Second, I lack self-confidence.

I can start a camera reel of situations that I feel shitty about and see this same thing happening over and over again. I get defensive, the situation then feels like war.

How am I going to flip the switch?

I am going to do thought work. Every day. Especially after future situations happen.

I just learned methods for thought work this weekend. I haven’t done my first session of thought work yet, but I am going to dive in and work on all the thoughts and feelings that make me get defensive.

Why haven’t I started? Because I did the normal “I’ll start on Monday.” I don’t know why, but I did. And it’s Monday. So I’m starting tonight. Thought work starts tonight to end the camera reel of defensiveness causing war.

Can you think of a situation where you were defensive and it felt like war?