Shout Out To 2018…

This is a shout out to 2018 as I reflect on all of it’s events, trials, obstacles, good times, bad times, and most importantly the growth that took place. 2018 made me “Level Up” to a different version of myself. 2017 catapulted me into a more mature, more vocal, a harder version of myself. One day I woke up and found a much stronger woman staring back at me in the mirror.

2017 was filled with everything from the hurricanes, ACL rehab, a few questionable people in my life, and a lot of emotions I didn’t know how to handle well. But 2018 felt like I was walking around wearing an extra layer of defense or maybe it was an accessory I picked up along the way preparing me for things/people I’d meet in the next phase of my life. I felt myself walking taller, more fiercely, being more confident in who I was while speaking up about things I didn’t think were right.

One thing I used to avoid like the plague was upsetting people, making others uncomfortable, confronting problems as if they’d go away if I ignored them long enough. This time around I knew the types of people I wanted to be surrounded by and who I knew needed to be kept at a distance. I upset a few people, made them uncomfortable, and spoke out when necessary (sometimes when it wasn’t too… oops) lol. But hey, the most growth doesn’t come from a place of comfort and I can honestly say I felt more ME than ever. I didn’t live to please everyone along the way.

I was called “mean” quite a few times by guys and I actually laugh at that. Because in this season of my life it’s more of a compliment and there’s worse things to be called. It just means that I’ve learned to stand up for the woman I’ve worked so hard to become. I didn’t go through so much, to get this far and have boys parading as men tell me the penny in their hand extended is actually worth a dime. You could also say I was a little bitter towards guys too, but hey I got it out of my system. 😉 I would say it grew from a place of mistreatment from myself and by other people in the year prior.

On the flip side, I accomplished sooo many wonderful things on all levels that I’m very proud of. Many of them that I haven’t allowed myself to sit down and appreciat until writing this. I am proud of everything from the beginning of the year with how I handled the Lebanon situation with a coach that was as toxic as they come and a club that was blackmailing me into staying in less than promised conditions. To my team’s/my performance in Sweden even though I tore my hamstring near the end of the season. To how I handled Australia. Lastly, I’m proud of the MBA I worked 2.5 years to graduate with in December.

You see, anyone who knows me knows I use humor and sarcasm to make things seem smaller than they are; even the bad stuff. Just like many of you reading this, I make self-deprecating jokes and comments to make the good stuff and the bad stuff seem less than it really is. Those little things we all use to make ourselves seem LESS sometimes. What I’ve used to minimize anything from hurricanes, to bball performances, to emotions, or even my MBA.

If I’m sitting here being honest with myself and allowing myself to appreciate it all a bit, I see that I’ve accomplished some pretty great things. I made some pretty amazing friends, as usual, in a multiple countries and somehow along the way I was able to graduate with a big time degree while balancing the ups and downs of it all. I did that! Nobody else did it for me.

I’m using this blog to boast about the badass woman staring back in the mirror at me today. I’m taking a moment to stop worrying about all that I’m not, all that I wish I could be, and all that I have yet to accomplish. I’m using it to let myself reflect and know it’s okay to be proud of what I’ve accomplished and I want you to do the same.

You may not be who you want to be right now or where you would like to be in your job, life, relationship, or even emotionally, but it’s okay to appreciate yourself and all that you’ve become in the last year. It’s okay to show a little love to the person looking at you in the mirror every single day, good or bad! You are the only you and your journey of how you got where you are is no less or more amazing than the person whose life seems near perfect on your newsfeed. It’s okay to hype yourself up sometimes because YOUR journey matters. YOU matter.

My New Year’s resolution is to change the way I talk to myself. I want to appreciate myself more and stop making myself small so others may feel more comfortable. Stop down-talking my accomplishments. Step into myself more because I’m really liking the person I’m becoming. It’s probably about time too because, I mean… it is kinda a forever thing. Lol

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions for 2019, make sure to recognize how amazing you are, have been, and will continue being. Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see where we grow from here.

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Strong Women Today: Seen & Heard…

When you think of strong women in the world today who comes to mind? Serena Williams? Melinda Gates? Your mom? Your sister? Oprah Winfrey? Angela Merkel? Michelle Obama? Becky Hammon? If you don’t know them, look em’ up. Drop some knowledge on yourself.

If you follow the news at all, you know all about Serena Williams and what went down at the US Open. You might even be able to relate to a certain level of what she had to go through. And some of you will look at it and laugh it off as a female overreacting. Using the gender card or the race card, but the majority of it revolves around the fact that gender equality still isn’t where it needs to be and that men get away with much more than women do.

One of the things I’ve learned in these last few years is that many men are uncomfortable dealing with a strong woman. They aren’t used to them. They’re used to women pretending to be dumb to make men feel superior, playing the damsel in distress, the pretty faced bimbo. A lot of guys want to lead all the time and don’t want to follow. Their ego takes a hit. It’s a power struggle. This past year seems to be a year where I am very blunt and direct when it comes to people and men. It had me riding that line wondering if I’m being a b**** or if I’m just being honest? Because if you’re blunt and honest with guys that’s what they tend to classify you as. But why? ….Because you don’t let them walk all over you? Because you don’t give them what they want or act exactly as they prefer? Because you aren’t acting the way society claims a “lady” should act? Just handle everything with grace.

Be seen, but not heard? It could go on and on, evidence trickling from relationships to the workplace. Accept lower benefits or a salary than the man working next to you in the same job position. Put up with powerful males trying to take advantage of the women working beneath them. Men taking advantage of their power and position. Not all men of course, but more and more are being put into the spotlight within the past year.

SPORTS:

I know that in sports seeing a woman throw a fit out on the court is seen as them being childish and over the top. While men are out there in the refs’ faces, getting in fights, swearing, doing far worse than most women dare to. Not saying that’s the way to go, but the repercussions of each person doing it, are very different. For men, it’s accepted as a part of the game and maybe they get a fine or two every now and then. However, women are held to a different, quieter, more restricted standard. I don’t think the world is ready for this generation of strong women, but they better start preparing because one by one women are finding their voice and one by one we choose to put up with less nonsense every day in our fight for equality. Equal pay would be a good start. Equal rights is getting there. I will say that equality is better than it once was, but it still has a long way to go. And as history shows time and time again, we need people who are willing to push against the barriers we have in place, in order to make progress towards something better. We need people to question the present in order to open ourselves up to a better future. A special thank you to the female professionals who are opening doors for the rest of us and future generations to come.

DATING:

One thing I want to set straight in the dating world today is that it’s not that strong women have attitudes, it’s that they have standards. You hear all the time that you teach other people how to treat you. What you allow is what will continue. “Strong women intimidate boys and excite men.” That’s a fact, my friends. It’s okay to know what you want and not be considered a b****. It’s strong women that help boys turn into men. It’s those women that challenge men to do better, to be better. They are the women who push their man to go after his goals and do all the little things behind the scene. Strong women challenge the people around them to be better and stick up for the people that can’t or haven’t learned to do it for themselves.

This past year and half has made me tired of being surrounded by boys calling themselves men. It also makes me appreciate the men that do live up to the name, but I’m tired of guys disrespecting women because that’s what they’ve gotten away with for so long. I’m annoyed that boys think, “Wyd?” is an acceptable conversation starter or that only sending invites to hang after 9 pm isn’t a slight slap in the face. That if you have a girlfriend, no… I do not want to “talk to you and see where it goes” just because you enjoy hanging with me. No, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. That’s not how it is “supposed” to work….but, that’s what it’s become. We’ve let those little/big things slide and in doing so we created a new, lower standard for so many young women growing up today. I was told a few months ago that I need to be nicer to men. I thought about it, but decided that no, I do not. Could be why I’m single, but I don’t think women should have to put up with some of the nonsense guys throw at them. I fully believe that sometimes they need to be called on it. How else are they going to grow and know how to treat the next lady in line? Ladies, don’t be afraid to be vocal. Your voice deserves to be heard, too. Strong is the new single. Be proud you’re an intelligent, outspoken woman that will find a MAN who’s not threatened by it.

FRIENDSHIPS:

Who is your TRIBE? …..Two of my former ISU WBB ladies, Lyndsey Fennelly & Kelsey Carper, own an indoor cycle studio called CampusCycle over in Ames/Ankeny, IA. Their business morale is built around creating an environment that empowers, inspires, motivates, and builds their community and its members up. They call it their TRIBE. It’s not just for women, but I thought it tied in well with this and was worth the recognition.

Strong women lift each other up. They empower each other. Strong women surround themselves with other women who make them a better person. They surround themselves with women who challenge them, women who are there for them when they need a boost. Strong women learn from other strong women. My other former ISU teammate/friend, Allison Lacey has a website dedicated to empowering women. It is broken into 3 different sections: KNOWING strong women, BEING a strong woman, and RAISING your daughters to be strong women. For any of you who haven’t checked it out already, I also highly recommend doing so! It’s called KNOW.BE.RAISE. I’ll include the link to it and Campus Cycle at the bottom of this page. (And if you haven’t noticed by now, the ISU WBB program produces some pretty BADASS women 😉 Coincidence? Or maybe its the standards we were held to/high expectations of some quality coaches that helped shape us a tiny bit. Idk.)

But for all my ladies out there stop gossiping and spreading rumors. Stop tearing other women down for being different, having a different body shape, or wanting something different for their lives than you do. Stop throwing shade at the women you should be sharing your LIGHT with and in doing so, you give them permission to let their LIGHT shine and burn brighter too. A candle loses nothing by lighting another. Who is in YOUR tribe? Who helps you burn brighter? Who helps you tear down those glass ceilings?

What I really wanted to say is, don’t be afraid to be a strong woman in the world today. Give yourself a voice and stand by your morals and what you believe. Break barriers. Ask questions. Raise each other up. Voice your opinion. Create new standards and opportunities for our young women growing up in the world today. Help blaze the way for a better, more equal tomorrow. Because the world needs a little more good to outshine the bad.

Be POWERFUL. Be STRONG. Be KIND. Be YOU.

Check out KNOW.BE.RAISE & CampusCycle in links below:

KNOW.BE.RAISE- Alison Lacey-Otzelberger

CampusCycle – Lyndsey Fennelly & Kelsey Carper

The “Pain” Behind Those Carefully Masked Replies….

I’m going to take this time to dig into myself, be a little vulnerable, and write down some my past heartaches and my hurts. It seems so distant, yet so current. That dull empty feeling, I want to call it hurt and I want to call it pain, but those don’t quite describe feelings of such disappointed, so raw, so hallow, yet still healing from bleeding out. Bleeding out. What a funny phrase created for something so physical, yet so vivid in a metaphorical sense. Pain is a word describing something felt. It’s not actually something you can see … or so they say. It’s a chemical reaction from stimuli sent to nerves, firing to the brain letting it know there’s an injury or potential problem. But what about the pain that comes from heartache? What about that pain that is invisible inside you and your mind, but is an unbearable heavy weight you feel daily? What about that pain of depression? Anxiety? Sadness? Hey, even too much happiness can be overwhelming some times because we don’t always know what to do with it (aka “tears of joy”).

If you pay enough attention, you can see pain written on the faces of those around you. If you look close enough, you can see them “bleeding out”. From the moments you see them closing their eyes taking deep breaths. To the dull look in their eye that seems to fade a little bit more each day. That sparkle that stops twinkling. A bleeding out with every action that goes unnoticed or even intentionally ignored. Every twitch. That sad look in their eye as they reply “good” to your “how you doing today?” That robotic default answer everyone gives no matter what, because to say “not good” requires an explanation most might not want to listen to. Or even worse that awkward silence where they have to care enough to ask why? It’s an easy thing to do, it’s easy, yet incredibly hard going through our days giving these robotic answers to avoid these encounters of “caring” because those negative feelings are frowned upon or it’s inconvenient to listen to other people’s problems when we already have our own.

You ever go through those phases where something or someone took the life out of you? Where you dread going to sleep because you dread waking up and doing it all over again? Where every time you open your eyes in the morning it hurts all over again. Waking up from a numbness and light and pain flooding you again as reality hits you. Someone did this to me before or maybe I technically did it to myself. Someone made me, gave me that push to just go numb. They made me feel so much, I felt nothing at all. I laugh now at it, because I drove all the way back from Florida last year to be home with those I love and who truly care about me. I was holding in a lot and I remember just wanting to be held. Just wanting a hug from someone who loved and cared about me. I remember just looking at my dad and saying as tears flooded down my cheeks that I just needed a hug and he didn’t hesitate. It was long enough to make me feel better, yet not long enough to get awkward. Lol And.. that’s all I needed. I explained why I needed it and we joked about guys and stupid stuff. And I can honestly say that I never cried over that guy again since then, but what I realized after that was how blessed I am to have a Dad and even a family who I can be 100% me with. Who I can tell when I am hurting. Tell when I need a hug. Can cry in front of. Can laugh about those things and laugh those tears of “pain” out with, that I’d been holding in for so long.

It’s a huge release of pressure, when you can lay your guard down after you’ve had to hold it up on your own for so long. Who you fight your battles with matters. I now understand the phrase “That’s someone I’d go into battle with”. Because life is a battle. How you get through it depends on the people armored up beside you ready to take it on. I find myself filled with so much love whenever I’m around my family whether they be immediate or my amazingly huge extended family, because I know they’re the people that would go into battle with me and me them. My amazing, big hearted mom would bake me any emotionally driven food item I wanted before I could get “I’m on a diet” out of my mouth and I’d probably still eat it. My aunts would be on the phone with me in a jiffy if I needed them for anything. They’re at the foundation of ME and they’ll always have my back. They’re the people I can show my weaknesses to and they won’t use them against me unless it’s at a family gathering and the “jokes” start coming out. Then it’s all fair game because that’s how family works. Lol We find a way to laugh at the good and the bad (even at each others expense) because we can’t imagine a life without a bit of laugher in the face of it all.

I actually wrote this piece a long time ago, but I’m posting it now to challenge you look a little closer at the battles others might be fighting behind that mask they put on for every day wear. Behind that falsely layered response of “I’m good”. Be a little nicer, care a little more, see the little things unseen because life isn’t all Instagram or Facebook “Posts” to be and everyone’s just trying to get through life a little less damaged than what is already promised. Also, I don’t know about you but I really appreciate it when people notice the little things. It makes things easier when you know you have a few big hearted people out there willing to care a little extra and listen to you more than what’s “convenient”. Like the topic of a sermon I recently listened to talking about how we should to allow ourselves to be DISTURBED. It really made me take a look at how I go about my days and my interaction with others. Go out of your way; Give some love and you’ll more than likely find yourself receiving plenty of it in return. ❤

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

1 John 3:17

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4

Let Yourself Breathe…

Sometimes life hits you hard. Then it hits you again, but maybe not exactly a quick jab. Maybe the next swing is like a punishment drug out. Because you refused to let go of something not good for you. Like water skiing when you’re holding on to the rope too long after you’ve already lost control. Swallowing water and getting drug around, a hurt of your own doing. And then you come up for air, but you’re trying to catch your breath, trying to recover. Finding yourself in the middle of the crash zone. That place where all the waves break coming to shore. A short lived moment of safety, only to find yourself taken out by another massive wave crashing down. Held under and having to hold your breath just a little too long. The waves crashing down as you struggle to get back to calm waters. Somewhere in the middle of it all you lost your breath struggling to stay afloat…

Sometimes life happens to us like that and we find ourselves holding our breath; bracing ourselves for another impact. And we’ve had to hold our breath for so long, we forget to let ourselves breath. They say good things come in threes, but I kind of believe bad things do too. Lol A few things happened in the last 7 months that I think in a way knocked the wind out of me. Had me holding my breath waiting for what was next. Starting with surviving in Puerto Rico after two CAT 5 hurricanes destroyed the island, to some personal things that were drug out too long, and then a pretty miserable experience in Lebanon that had me stressfully getting 3 hours of sleep each night. Not because I was unsafe, but because my intuition was screaming at me that I wasn’t in a good situation. I was in that “crash zone” and Sweden turned out to be those calm waters I was trying to reach.

I write this because I found myself smiling for no reason again and laughing at little things that brought me more joy than they probably should. From walking home after having dinner with my adopted Swedish grandparents, to leaving my church and friends there in Stockholm on Sunday. To walking to our gym looking up at the sky, watching the thick snowflakes fall down. In the middle of taking one of those really good, deep, fill your lungs to the brim breaths, I realized just how long I’d been holding my breath. Not realizing it or what I’d been bracing myself for. But, I was finally letting myself BREATHE!

I think sometimes life hits us hard and seems to keep coming back for more. We sit there waiting for that storm to be over. For the next wave to hit. Often times, forgetting to breath. Living life on the defense instead of taking offense. Sometimes it’s from shock and we take a little extra time to assess the damage done and collect ourselves. But LET yourself breathe again. Let yourself take the freshest breath of air you’ve ever taken and savor it slowly. Get back up. Take control of your life. Control the controllable. Appreciate the little things. Take a moment to see clearly and to take a closer look at the beauty surrounding you. All the beauty that was there the entire time, but was drowned out by all the noise. It’s in that calm after the storm where you start to hear birds chirping again. It’s simply where things restart … or continue going… whatever you choose to see it as.

This blog is the product of just another moment where I’m reminded that it takes your silence to appreciate the sound of your own, genuine laughter over something so simple. It takes darkness to appreciate the light. Being alone to appreciate the company of good people. It takes all those forced, fake smiles to FEEL the fullness of the real ones. It takes losing your breath to realize just how often you took the simple act of breathing for granted. All of that, just to be reminded over and over that your life is fuller than you realize.

Just a little reminder to take a look around and notice. Take a look around and let yourself breathe. Xx

Dare To Do More Than Dream…

Anyone who knows me knows that my journey hasn’t been the easiest, nor has it been the hardest anyone’s ever experienced. I’ve been through the ringer in the pursuit of my dreams and still pending…

The funny thing about DREAMS is that a lot of times we are looking at those who are already living their dream, but we don’t see the journey it took them to get there. We don’t see the tears, the blood, the sweat, and often times the unfair, broken moments crashing down around them. We don’t feel  the lonely nights choosing not to do what everyone else does in order to stay on track. We don’t feel the pain, the disappointment, the frustration, the heartache that made the fact that they actually made it happen that much more impressive. We don’t always get to see, read about, or understand the DNA of other’s successes.

For many, a dream is just that… a DREAM. Something unattainable. Something you go to sleep for, so you can fantasize about. Waking in the morning; crashing back to reality. Back to that mundane job you hate with coworkers who don’t want to be there either. Back to that weekly routine of waiting for the weekend. That 9-5 grind on repeat. Something that only those lucky individuals you read about or watch on TV are blessed to be living. Something other people do or live. Like they were “dropped” into that role or won the lottery for it. Praying for that miracle life to be sprung on you.

In my opinion, too many people are just “dreaming” and not “doing”.

Ask yourself: What makes you happy? What motivates you? What kind of change do you want to make in this world? What kind of impact do you want to make in your short lifespan? How do you really want to live it? What kind of work are you willing to put in to get it?

Dreams are meant to be chased. Dreams are meant to be clawed after. Dreams are meant to take pieces, take chunks out of you along the way. Dreams take work! It’s your dream, so why shouldn’t it take parts of you and your time to fuel, to create it?! They say nothing good ever came easy. I believe it.

The pursuit of my dream has broken me physically and mentally. It has tried me over and over again. Most recently, it has put me through not one, but TWO Category 5 hurricanes playing in Puerto Rico. It has left me lonely, staring at the ceiling of a gym at 3 AM wondering what I was even doing. Asking myself, “What am I thinking for daring to dream something so BIG, that at times feels unreachable?” It’s created a lifestyle where having a real meaningful relationship with anyone worthwhile is nearly impossible. Again, staring at the ceiling in a foreign country, where I’m all I have, wondering what’s wrong with me? Taking me to the darkest parts of myself with every knee operation on my resume. It’s left me bawling my eyes out alone in my cold Poland apartment, knee swollen in unbearable pain and heartache knowing another surgery awaited me after a 28+ hour travel day back home. It’s driven me to push my family and my friends away at times so I could bask alone in the crappiness of it all, knowing I’m the only one who understood the heartache I felt. The only one who could see the details unseen or read the language of the pain inside my soul. It’s taken pieces of me inside and out and at times, without meaning to, from those around me as well..

I’m nowhere close to achieving my dream but I do know I’m closer than I would be sitting on my ass dreaming of reaching a destination without the ambition to get in the car and drive. Basketball isn’t my life but it has given me a platform and the confidence to share my struggles with others. It’s given me the ability to help others and motivate young minds. In a way, I guess I’m already living my dream.

In my silence, I found my voice…

In my breaking, I found my making…

In losing myself, I found myself…

In my journey, I found my dream…

The struggle is a part of the dream process. Your steps are the keys pressed down to make the notes, creating the music to the masterpiece of your life.

The question is: How much of that masterpiece are you willing to write? How much are you willing to fail? How much are you willing to fall apart, only to put barely put yourself back together again and again and again?

Dare to DREAM! Dare to claw after them and make them a reality! It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be fast. It’s not going to be instant gratification. You have to climb to get to the top of that mountain. Ever notice that books are written about and movies are made about those people who faced adversity and overcame it? Those are the stories we like to hear. Those are the people who have the best stories and those same people were dreamers once too. Don’t settle to be less of the person you’re capable of being! Whether you would love to open a business, succeed as an athlete, graduate from college, or even just to live your life you want! Make those steps. Get up and start walking! Start working! Just simply START! Wake up from that fantasy every damn day and start living into your dream, until it starts to become your reality. You’re capable of so much more! You’re capable of more than just simply sitting around dreaming.

Start “Doing”…

 

Aiming For That Right Kind of Love…

Last post was about knowing your worth. In this one, ask yourself, “What kind of love are you looking for?”

I’m one of those suckers that truly believe in love. I’m one of those suckers who love hard and don’t know how to love any other way. I’m one of those suckers who believe that there’s a perfect person out there for me, who makes me feel at home. That God created the right kind of person for me to meet, at the right time in my life for them fit perfectly into the messy person I’ve been “Shaped, Maked, Breaked” into time and time again. A man I can trust with my insecurities and broken edges. Who won’t do me more harm than we as girls already do to ourselves. Someone who makes me feel sexy and like the boss-ass woman I am today. Who lets me know they adore me. I believe love should be two independent people, able to stand on our own, who truly make each other better people. Who make each other into an even better whole. I believe in the type of love that lasts and vibrates within your bones. I may be naïve but I’d rather spend my life waiting for someone who makes me wonder how could someone so perfectly imperfect exist? Someone I could just look at all night and appreciate them for the person they are and who they’ve had to fight to become. Someone who makes me want to add to their life. A person, I absolutely adore and love in their rawest form when all the walls have been broken down.

Also, I believe no woman should be completely reliant on a man. Every relationship is different but there’s nothing more empowering and attractive than a woman who is her own person with a partner she CHOOSES to stand with. Being with someone who CHOOSES her to stand with them, as well. Two people who chose each other at the end of the day and didn’t simply settle for each other because it’s something that was just comfortable or easy. As a woman, I don’t think you should ever allow yourself to be baggage to a man’s life. I say man because that’s just my life situation but warp it to your own life in whatever way. After a while that just gets exhausting. People trying to care for themselves while carrying you along the way? Life’s hard enough, let alone with someone you have to drag up that ladder with you.

Be the woman others look up to and admire. Be that powerhouse of an independent woman to show all those young girls out there that their world and their life doesn’t revolve around finding a certain someone to complete them. That that person isn’t WHO you are, but they help shape you into the best version of yourself. They should be able to see you for the masterpiece that you are, as well as your potential for who you could be. Young girls should know that they were born amazing, complete, and their entire worth doesn’t come from the person they allow to stand beside them.  

Most men I’ve spoken with don’t truly want a woman who is completely reliant on them. They don’t want someone who’s going to weigh them down on their journey to be successful and claw after their dreams. They want a woman who will help mold them into the man they need to be! Carry your load and EARN your keep! BUT let’s not act like and think that there aren’t men out there who are lazy pieces, riding on the drive and success of the woman who keeps them around. That door swings both ways people. I’ve said before that a good relationship should be two people running at the same pace, on the same wavelength, adding to each other’s life, making it better. ADDING value to an already priceless piece.

I want to look at my man and smile, thinking “Damn, I really enjoy doing life with you.” I want to be able to tell him how he makes me a better person. How he brought light to those dark places inside me that hadn’t been viewed by anyone else for a very long time. I want to tell him how he inspires me to live more vibrantly and motivates me to strive after my dreams. I don’t want to be with him out of comfort or because I want someone to hold me or give me attention from time to time. I don’t want to be with someone just because I’m tired of waiting for the “right someone”. I don’t plan on stuffing another person into that “theoretical” coffin of loneliness with me pretending there is room for the empty “I love you’s”. I’d rather be alone. I’d rather be the badass I know I can be. I’d rather be an inspiration to those women out there who cry behind closed doors, brewing in their insecurities and feelings, unwillingly playing the games of the person toying with their mind, painting that smile on as they walk out the door.

I’m not saying that love is easy. I’m not saying that it’s always sunshine and rainbows, but at the end of the day, actually no, every damn day, all day, it’s a balance system. If someone wakes up with only 10% love to give, the other has to make up for the other 90%. You should always have to strive to have that 100% kind of love. It’s WORK. It’s hard. It damn well wasn’t easy to find, so why should we expect it to be easy to keep? People have their ups and downs but they found each other so they don’t have to walk through life alone. They found each other because sometimes, it’s nice not to carry all that weight alone. Sometimes it’s a relief to look into the eyes of someone who truly cares about you and for them to say, “Don’t worry I got this. WE got this.”

I believe in true love. The kind of love that vibrates deep within your bones. I’m not looking for a half-assed love, for a half-assed marriage, with a half-assed effort kind of man. I don’t know about you, but I’m just not aiming to live a half-assed kind of life. I’ll wait for someone I get to live fully with. Someone I can look at smiling, thinking, “I really love doing life with you.” I want to look to God one day and say: “Thank you for sending me the man I prayed so long and hard for. He was well worth the wait.”

You’re Not Alone…

Every feel like you’re going crazy? Like maybe your solitude and the loneliness of being stuck with your own mind is driving you mad? Like maybe your broken or somehow ruined beyond measure? That there’s no way, no person, who will be able to decipher it, to start smoothing over the rough edges/cracks within you? Like maybe you’re buried so deep in what is essentially you that maybe nobody will find you. No one will be able to dig deep enough to find you. They barely reach you.  Barely scratch the surface. They give up; seeing the labor in the task and find something easier.

A prison of your own making? Did you surround yourself with so much armor weighing you down? Didn’t see the quicksand devouring you with every piece you put on? Are you forever lost within yourself? No light ever to reach the darkest parts? Waiting for someone to open the coffin you put yourself in. Wondering if that day will ever come… Cause it’s starting to get stuffy in here.

There’s a sadness in you that you cover up with sarcastic remarks and jokes to laugh away the jagged truth. Why is it so forbidden to admit to the loneliness? To say its devouring you, when you let your mind go. Those late nights when you turn off the lights. You let yourself feel what you keep bottled up. Screwing it tight again as the sun rises.

But who’s to say your prison of loneliness is worse than the persons next to you? Is it worse to bask in your tomb alone or to cram another body in there with you and feel the emptiness all the same.

It seems so cliché when people who’ve been single for a while say it’s because they know their worth or that they’re independent. Almost seems like they are too good or picky by saying they have high standards.

For me, I want to think of it as I have a good idea of who I am and that my thoughts run deeper than what most see or are able to reach.  Someone who can find their way to the roots of my being and understand the things unseen. And I guess I would rather lay in my tomb alone than share it with a familiar stranger. Pretending that there’s room for the half-hearted “I love you’s” in the air already so thick with uncertainties it chokes me sometimes.

Maybe one day he’ll find me…
Maybe one day I’ll notice the shovel at my feet…
Maybe I’m supposed to be the one digging.

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I posted this for all of the single ladies and my single friends out there. For all those who look around at their friends and family all getting married and popping kids out conveyer-belt style. For all of those women who find themselves sitting there in the late hours of night wondering what’s wrong with them. Wondering why you haven’t found someone or why someone hasn’t found you… I write it for those people who can relate to my late night thoughts above but maybe don’t verbalize them because they’re a just a little too raw….

I’ve been single for the past 6 years and I have to keep updating that number because apparently it changes every year. One minute, I’m still saying 4 years and have that mind blowing reality of it actually being 6 years. Hits you like a brick wall… Like damn, has it really been that long? I’d say time flew by, but Lord knows there were times it stood pretty damn still… Like a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter… Laying there, staring at the ceiling thinking about what you might be doing wrong for nobody right to actually come along? When in reality you’re probably doing more “right” than you know.

The piece above, I wrote one very lonely night while playing abroad and I believe there’s more people out there who can relate to it in some way, so I felt it worth my while to lay myself bare and share. Wanted to let you know you aren’t alone in those sometimes crazy, lonely, insecure times that creep out in the middle of the night. I’ll dive in deeper in my next blog, but for now I’ll just leave you to brew over the above…

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“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

-Matthew 28.206

“Until you become strong being alone with just God, you’ll never know if you’re choosing someone out of love or loneliness. “

“God makes everything work out according to HIS plan.”

-Ephesians 1: 16