Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
I can’t really say that I’ve been looking for “signs” in my life lately, but these serendipitous things keep on happening and I can’t afford to not pay attention. Some of these things are small; others significantly larger and it’s as if my path is being paved exactly how it needs to be.
You see, for some time now, I’ve been struggling. I so desperately want to be this certain kind of girl, but there’s been a block in between wanting to be that person & actually getting to the place where I’m that person. I have a very clear and intentional way that I want my life to be, yet I’m not there. In fact, I feel quite stuck. Whether it’s that damn voice in my head telling me that I’m not good enough, not deserving enough, or that people are judging me and that I should care, I’ve fallen victim to it way too many times to count and I just can’t seem to connect all the dots.
What I’m noticing now though is that maybe it’s not something that simple. Maybe it’s not so black and white, like feeling awesome motivation on Monday, then the motivation disappearing on Tuesday, and figuring you should just completely throw in the towel for the rest of the week. Maybe there’s more to it. Maybe, just maybe, it takes constant work, lots of forgiveness and a ton of self-love.
And that’s where the serendipity part comes in.
I’m currently in Calgary, Canada and I have this whole week to myself. My goal? To explore and get lost. I did this yesterday and embraced everything that came my way: talking to someone new at a coffee shop, getting wet in the rain, and just being me. I brought my kindle that I loaded with books before I left home and read a little while stopping in coffee shops. (The only crazy thing about this place y’all is the bathroom situation. You can’t just walk into a Starbuck, or Tim Horton’s (when in Canada, right?) and use the washroom, as it’s called here. Oh no, they kind of complicate it for you. You need to purchase something and get a key from the employee to unlock the bathroom door. Needless to say, I had a lot of coffee and water yesterday because I have the smallest bladder in the world.)
Before I left my hotel room, I decided I would listen to a podcast while walking. I don’t know why or how I picked “Style Your Mind” by Cara Alwill Leyba, but I did. I read her book “Girl Code” years ago & absolutely loved it. As I do though, I bounce a lot and forget authors or books from the past, so I had no idea she had a podcast even. Y’all, this is where stuff started to happen though… Like I was meant to listen to her podcast yesterday. It was everything I needed to hear. I could relate to everything she said. She was talking about ME!
So I went with it. I walked around this great city with no real plan or even inclination of knowing where I was going and I listened to Cara talk. I listened to her saying that she struggles. That she sometimes doesn’t do her podcast because she needs to take time for herself. That she had this desire to be bold, but sat quietly instead because she feared how others would judge her. That she has struggled with her weight. That she likes to use emoji’s, even though some might deem it as unprofessional. That she used to enjoy writing and then it became something she had to do and she had a block. And so much more stuff that just spoke right to my heart because I am that girl, too.
I struggle a lot with everything above. I feel like there’s power in being vulnerable, but it’s scary as hell to admit out loud (or, in my case, a blog post). But why? Everyone struggles. Everyone needs cheering up. Everyone needs to be lifted up. Everyone yearns to try to do it all, but ends up falling short. And all of these people need to know that they aren’t the only ones that struggle. That struggling is actually part of life and a whole lot easier when you have a tribe behind you.
So back to one of the podcasts that I was listening to… Cara said that she had just finished her new book and that it was going to be released on July 10, 2018. I swear that I just smiled to the rainy sky above in all its glory because yesterday was July 10th. What are the odds?! I went into the first coffee shop I could find and bought the Kindle version to start reading right away. And whoa. I am SO glad I did!
Like She Owns the Place: Give Yourself the Gift of Confidence and Ignite Your Inner Magic by Cara Alwill Leyba is the book and you can get it here. It is everything I need to hear. Shoot, it’s something all women need to hear. Confidence. Doing you. Not comparing yourself. Not worrying about what others think. It’s such a crucial part of happiness, but so hard to attain.
There is so much self discovery that I need to do. That I want to do. More experiences that I want to have. I deserve happiness. I deserve to do what I want to do whether or not people will judge me. I deserve to me able to be comfortable in my own skin. I deserve to be whatever size I am (& not only a size 2) and for that to be just fine. I deserve to be successful and to not sabotage myself. I deserve to be confident and for people to not interpret it as arrogance. I deserve to be me, in all my glory and with all of my flaws. And I deserve to not let anyone tell me otherwise or to make me feel less than. But I know that that comes from within me and only me.
And whatever you desire should be yours too.
I’ve always enjoyed writing freely and I think I’m pretty good at it. I’ve heard from a lot of people that they like my writing style (parenthesis use & all) and that they can relate to me. I love hearing that. One time though I was advised that I should not make my blog about me, but instead more about what people could learn. That I always should try to teach them something when they visited my blog. It was that point when blogging changed for me. Well, dang, not just blogging, but writing in general. I stopped. I stopped it all because now I had to fit this mold and had to focus on word count and key words and not talking too much about myself and teaching the reader something and trying to be funny… all while not understanding the reasons why because it did not make any sense to me.
But I’m making a change. Right here and right now. Going forward I want to talk about what’s going on in my crazy head because, chances are, that same thing is probably going on in someone else’s head too. It’s like my End Binge Eating Now eBook and website. I was honest and transparent (and y’all, that was HARD), and I got emails from all over the world thanking me for sharing my story because that one person felt like they weren’t going through it alone. That one person was given a glimmer of hope that they could be freed from the eating disorder. That they could have a healthy relationship with food once and for all. That there was someone out there that cared and wanted to help them. That, my friends, is powerful and the amazingness that comes from being real and raw, even when the times get sticky. Because, after all, no one is perfect and even if the Facebook highlight of life reel looks like that, it’s not real life.
Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Man, this is a tough one, but something I struggle SO much with. I am terrified to let myself be vulnerable. It’s a hard thing because I know with every ounce of my being that I need to get to a place of acceptance and letting myself feel all the feels, whether happy, sad, or scary. I know I need to share my story because that’s what bonds people. It create relationships. It’s needed. But, it is so scary to put myself out there.
I look back to the days that were spent writing my binge eating eBook and realize that it’s all a process. There were days when I wrote freely and openly and had the intention at the forefront of my mind that I was writing to help people. Days that I felt so strong and empowered. Days when I could just imagine how it would feel reaching that one person to let them know that he/she was not alone in this. Then there were other days when I couldn’t even form a sentence. Days when I just stared at the blinking cursor on the screen. Days when I had something to say, but couldn’t see through the tears that were falling out of my eyes. But, in the end, one sentence turned into one paragraph that turned into one page that turned into more pages and finally made up my eBook.
And that’s how we need to tackle life. One day at a time. Forgiveness when we don’t feel as strong as we did yesterday and love for ourselves always.
Judge: form an opinion or conclusion about.
I’m just going to put this right here and admit that I admire people with colorful hair and visible tattoos. I feel so completely opposite of that kind of person and when I pass them on the street, I just want to hug them… but I don’t because that would be weird, lol. Even high-fiving them would probably be weird, but less than hugging. I digress. I don’t admire them necessarily because I want colorful hair or a sleeve of tattoos. No, I admire them because of what it stands for: Not caring what anyone else thinks. Not fitting in with the crowd and being part of the mold. While walking around yesterday I passed a girl with hot pink hair. I tried to play it totally cool (so not my thing), and was all, “Cool hair!” because I wanted her to know that I admire where she is at in her life. These people are doing what makes them happy and not giving a shit about what anyone else thinks. I look at them with awe because they are daring and bold… and I want to be that kind of person.
I’m good with my hair color and don’t have any crazy dreams to change it (right now anyways), but I want a tattoo and I think I want it on my wrist. Currently my wrists are bare and deep down I want a “Be You” or a “Grateful” or some kind of message so that I can look down and remember to take it slow and breathe and to be myself always. But I haven’t done it yet because I care too much about what people will say. Or think. Or how they will judge me. Or even what my parents will think. Yes, I am 38 years old and care about what my parents will think.
I know how stupid this is. Like, I freakin’ know. But it is very real and something I struggle with. I want to be bold and do all the things I want. I want to have the self-love and confidence from within to not give a shit what anyone thinks about my wrist tattoo, but I’m not quite there yet.
I posted on Instagram last night about getting lost in a new city and how it was the best day ever. I used hashtags for: Calgary, explore, and best day. When I checked my notifications today I saw that “bryanistattooing” was one of my likes. After looking at his Insta, he’s a tattoo artist in Calgary. Maybe I should take it as a sign and go and visit his tattoo shop?
There’s so much more I want to write about, but will leave you with an excerpt from the book I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones. I read some of this book yesterday and this really resonated with me:
“Because living a “perfect” life is like watching television in black and white: You take out all the color. We need the adventure, all of the highs and lows, the unexpected heartbreaks, the ecstasy, the challenges, and the sweet, smooth sailing. Life is not about picking out the parts you like and leaving the rest, it’s learning to coexist with it all and choosing to see the beauty, the grace, and the hilarity while also experiencing the inevitable disappointment and failure”.
Be YOU. Always be you. There is no one else better to be you than you. You are perfect and should always embrace your authentic self.