Patience My Dear, Patience.

Okay guys… so I have to be honest and admit that the past couple of weeks have been really hard. I haven’t been feeling quite like myself. I’ve been doubting my abilities and spending a lot of time questioning what my true purpose is. Each morning I’ve been dreading going to work, questioning why I’m even in school again, and day dreaming every chance I can get. I want everything to happen and happen now. The reality is that instead of focusing on the positive in my life, I’m centering in on the negative. What can I say, I’m a work in progress! So, after spending some time trying to dissect the reason behind my negativity, I think it’s time I face my personal issues with patience.

I mean really patience…why?? Why must you test me constantly? I don’t know about you, but learning the value of patience has to be one of the most frustrating experiences. Personally, I like to blame the fact that I’m a Millennial and I don’t know what patience is. I’ve grown up in a world of immediacy, a world where everything I want or need can be obtained within the touch of my fingertips, so patience isn’t really something I’ve had to practice regularly. Essentially, when adulthood hit, it hit me more like a Mack truck rather than naturally and effortlessly. But as a woman who struggles with feelings of anxiety and fear of the future, I think my lack of patience comes from the place of needing to experience certainty. I find myself spending a majority of my time daydreaming about what my life will look like once I “get where I’m supposed to be”. I want all the answers but have difficulty practicing patience through the in-between. So I’ve started to use two of what I would call “mantra’s” to help me apply patience and find appreciation within the journey:

1.) Be patient with yourself

  • It’s the all time cliché quote that arises when I think of this, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It’s okay to still be the search to find yourself, reach your goals, and discover what you want out of life. It’s also okay to have absolutely no clue about any of those things. Life is a very fluid experience, I like to think of it as a very grey area in a world where everyone wants you to be strictly black and white. We’re taught to think of our futures starting at 6 years old and we stress over the importance of “having a plan” throughout the rest of our school days. This is an opportunity to remind you and especially myself, let yourself LIVE. You don’t always have to have a scheduled timeline or plan to your life. Allow yourself the time to configure who your best self is, and what will bring you joy and peace in life. Allow yourself time to navigate this without shame or guilt in how long the process may take. Think about it: if we were all supposed to have our “shit together” (whatever that means, right?) at the exact same time, we’d all just be a bunch of robots. Be yourself, do things that serve who you are in the moment, enable growth, and work hard to achieve or experience the live you desire. Be patient with yourself along the way.

2.) Be patient with the world

  • Sometimes things are out of our control. Life doesn’t always naturally ebb and flow the way you expect or hope it will, which in return leads us to believe we’re not enough. I know for me, I tend to place a lot of blame on life struggles such as student loans, working a job that is dissatisfying, or the mundane tasks required to be an overall healthy human, for a majority of my frustration. These things provoke me to ask the existential questions like “why am I even here?” “What’s the point of doing all this?”, “Why couldn’t I have chosen a less stressful path?”. And it has me thinking…those questions are very important but can also be SO unproductive to the unsettled mind. I can’t help but wonder if applying patience when asking those tough questions, as well as, while managing the inevitable adulthood stressors, may be best practice. Don’t necessarily blame the world for not being a positive outlet for success, but rather acknowledge it, and be patient with the time it takes in-between to get there.

 

Though I believe it’s extremely important to work hard in the interim of determining what you want out of life, I really think this message speaks to the idea of enjoying and appreciating the process of getting to that point. Essentially, instead of imposing negativity upon your daily life and waiting for “good things” to happen, work hard for what you want and practice patience as a way of positively navigating the journey to success. I hope that through practicing appreciation and patience, you’ll be able to experience less confusion, anxiety, negativity, doubt, shame, and all other harmful emotions associated with the pressure to have life all figured out. Because the fact is…you get one shot at life. Embrace the present moment. Don’t wait till your life is “perfect” and you’re where you’re “supposed to be” professionally/personally/emotionally/etc. to start living. Life is happening NOW…celebrate and enjoy it no matter where you are along the way.

 

Wishing you all a beautiful week and thanks for reading loves!!!

Can’t Win if You’re Not Right From Within.

Anyone who has known me for awhile, knows that self-acceptance has been very difficult for me over the years. It’s still difficult. But this is a small testament to recognize that self-acceptance is possible. It takes time, deep soul searching, significant life experiences and commitment to develop into who you are. For me, it all really started when I decided to lose weight.

I grew up VERY self-aware of how overweight I was. From my peers, teachers, friends, doctors, family, society, etc constantly reminding me, it was pretty hard not to be aware of my size. It was in about 6-7th grade where I realized, “how my body looks is most important”.  I was maybe 11 years old at the time. 11 YEARS OLD?! Why was I even thinking of my body weight at that time?? Instead of focusing on learning or practicing new hobbies, I obsessed about how imperfect my body was. I wanted nothing more than to be like the thin girls in my class and I really started to believe that thinness was directly connected to a woman’s worth.  As time passed, I decided, “well if I can’t be thin then I’ll show them up with my personality.” So I did. Into high school and college, I became the girl who would command a room. This way I could dazzle people with my personality and then, just maybe then, they wouldn’t notice my belly or comment when I bought nothing at the mall because the stores didn’t carry my size. For the most part, it worked. I gained a lot of friends, experienced a ton of laughs, became a leader in almost every organization I joined, and experienced some bouts of happiness. But…the insecurities still lingered. They were like a shadow on my back constantly nudging to remind me, “you’re good but just not quite good enough”.

So, then I graduated college. I began to work my first big girl job and I was thrilled. A few months in, I quickly learned that a desk job meant inevitable weight gain. After about a year working, I had gained 40-50 pounds. Fact is, I was just not feelin’ myself. I remember looking in the mirror and saying, “if you would just get your life together and lose weight, you’ll be happy”. So I did. I joined a fitness training group, became a vegetarian and lost about 60 lbs.

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I lost weight, but here’s what I gained:

  • Consistant positive comments validating that I wasn’t good enough for the world before I had lost weight (though I did enjoy them at the time)
  • A complete and total obsession over every morsel of food I ate and every calorie burned
  • More insecurities than I bargained for

I realized shortly after losing weight that I still hadn’t been able to obtain that happiness and contentment I had been looking for. After a return move back home to Maryland, starting graduate school, and the process of choosing to surround myself with healthy relationships, I had then decided to stop obsessing and begin to focus on becoming right from within. 

The fact is, happiness is an emotion not a tangible item you can grab off the shelf. Emotions are meant to be experienced interchangeably and frequently; AKA: happiness is an emotion that comes and goes. I can’t tell you how long it took me to realize this. All this time I’ve been looking for happiness as a means of it being something I could obtain, rather than directing my life in a way where I can feel happiness more frequently. So I decided to start working on myself. I began finding hobbies and activities that brought me joy, started practicing self-care, and started changing my own self-talk when referring to myself. Making these changes not only changed my mindset, but my life.

Here I am today, a woman who has struggled with self-confidence her whole life, lost weight, gained it back, overcame bullying and criticism, and is now finally committed to working on being the best person she can be. This journey and message of self-love really became solidified for me once I started posting pictures of myself on social media. I posted pictures that the “old Alex” would have never dreamed of putting on display for the whole world to see.

I started to post outfits that made me feel good.

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And even posted pictures that exposed major vulnerability.

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And you know what? It felt (and still feels) AMAZING!

I started to notice the response from people both close to me and those whom I had never met, and I began to realize that this message is more than about me…it’s about the millions of people who have been told they are not enough. The millions of people struggling to find worth in who they are at this very moment. The millions of people living in constant comparison, shame and judgement. This message goes out to you.

Here’s my testament: Self-love IS attainable. You ARE enough. You ARE worthy. You ARE incredible. Confidence isn’t something that comes overnight but if you work on it a little each day by telling yourself something positive, I can promise you, your entire world will become a little brighter.

 

Thanks for reading loves!

 

*Disclaimer: shout out to the inspiring Lauryn Hill for the title of this entry 🙂 *

Being Unapologetically, Authentically Me.

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyways.” -Mother Theresa

As the year has started to pass(rather quickly I might add), and we begin to venture into the fall season, I tend to focus on the nature of change this time of year brings. With this sense of change, I wanted to begin setting a challenge for myself; this way I’m able to both naturally experience change, but also, can begin to integrate the choice of change into my daily life. So I’ve decided to challenge myself to live as unapologetically, authentically myself as possible.

In all honesty, I immediately began to question…”well what the hell does that even mean??”. So I started researching. Specifically speaking, being unapologetic means to go without acknowledgement or expression of regret. Although this explained the plain definition of being unapologetic, I wasn’t quite sure how I would apply this to my everyday life. After much thought and pure exhaustion from the years of apologies, here’s how I have defined being unapologetically and authentically me:

1.) Never apologize or feel guilty for doing something that brings you joy.

  • Eat the doughnut you’ve been eyeing every Friday at work, drink the expensive bottle of wine, try the hobby or workout you’re too afraid to admit you’re interested in, wear the crop top that makes you feel like Beyonce, and for god’s sake…tell that person how you feel (whether it be out of love, anger, sadness, lust, etc.).

2.) When in doubt…SAY YES!

  • Life is too short to say no to an adventure or opportunity simply because you’re afraid of failure or judgement from others. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable while exploring new experiences, that just means you’re getting closer to growth!

3.) Be candid and honest with others, but most importantly, with yourself.

  • You’ll experience many lies and deceit in life, so why lie to yourself? Check in, be present, be real, and never stop progressing.

4.)  Embrace YOU.

  • There’s nothing stronger, more gravitative, or beautiful than a person who loves every ounce of their being. Strive to adore your strengths, flaws, failures, pain, triumphs, beliefs, etc. Really the list could go on and on. The point is, when you stop pressuring yourself to be perfect and simply work towards embracing yourself in the here and now, the happier and more content you’ll be.

 

Moving into the new season, my hope is that you will consider joining me in the challenge to work towards becoming your authentic self! Imagine how freeing it will feel to forget what the world tells you is “acceptable”, and begin to live by your own definition of what serves you best in life. Be you and nothing less.

Thank you for reading loves!!

 

 

 

 

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