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

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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

Sweden & a Little Perspective on the Price We Pay as Pro-Athletes Abroad…

I am officially in Sweden playing for the team called Telge, in Södertalje, Sweden. It’s pretty much a complete 180 from my situation in Lebanon. I have a cute little apartment with actual space to move around and a kitchen! Oh the little luxuries… The team’s gym has 6 courts, we have our own locker room, a sauna, and the weight room all in one place. We also get free gear, are Adidas sponsored, and receive massages/treatment the day after games. I real-life felt like I was an orphan they adopted from a 3rd world country (though not literally) when I first got here. Beirut outside of my specific situation was good, but I was just SOO happy to be in this situation here in Sweden. They would apologize about stuff that was completely irrelevant to me. Such as, apologizing that my apartment wasn’t the absolute best. That they didn’t have my practice gear ready or have a water bottle for me. I looked at them like “You can seriously save your apologizes, I’m just happy to be here. “ haha

Anyone who has played overseas understands that it is nothing of the discipline, organization, or professionalism college was. In Poland I slept on an uncomfortable couch made into a bed the entire 4 months (my back killing me) and good medical treatment was hard to come by. Sometimes you don’t even have a trainer to treat injuries or tape your ankles before games. In Lebanon, we had no practice gear, no treatment, and no real access to a decent gym. It was in no way a professional, organized situation. If we wanted shots we could go to this sub-par gym with slippery, rubber floor, loose rims, and broken nets. We maybe, practiced 3x a week which consisted mostly of less than mediocre scrimmaging. If I was just playing recreationally this would be fine but at a professional level, when it’s your job, it’s not a good situation to rise in. Luckily, I’m no longer there.

I’ve played 2 games since being here. We’ve won both. First game, I got MVP with 23 points/13rbs the first game. Second game, I was 18 pts and 10 rbs. Our team has a lot of potential and so many fantastic shooters, but hasn’t had a real post player all season. So it’s a learning curve on building that chemistry and changing mindsets to utilize me. We will be fine though. Everyone is friendly and positive, which is a nice environment to be around and play the game I love in again. I’m blessed to be in the situation I am now, surrounded by good people and like I’ve said before it takes bad experiences to appreciate the good ones all that much more.

ON A SIDE NOTE..  

I know so many people who wish they could play pro ball overseas. They see it as this amazing “dream” and like it’s a life of luxury. Yes, we get paid to see and experience the world. We get to do a lot of things other people could never dream of doing. We get to be fully immersed in the culture and get paid to play the sport so many people love. We get to delay the inevitable curse of growing up and “adulting”. But I want you to understand that that experience and lifestyle comes at a cost. We pay for it through our relationships with friends and family. We pay for it through a lot of time spent alone in a new country, where we are literally all we got. We pay for it through family time spent mostly FaceTiming our nieces/nephews so they don’t forget us while they grow up without us around. We pay for it on lonely nights abroad, becoming game-masters of Netflix wishing we had good, loving people to come home to every night. Wishing we had people physically present who truly, honestly cared about us and actually know us on that level. We pay for it through long-distance relationships that struggle to survive the 6-8 months in an entirely different time-zone. Through blood, sweat, tears, and occasionally physical injury, we pay. One way or another we pay for the decisions we make on the lifestyle we choose to live. It’s important to me to let you know, we pay. We take the good with the bad.

Sometimes the sacrifice is playing in a country with a terrible league where most players don’t share same level of basketball IQ as what we’re used to. Many players have to make the hard decision to either make more money playing in a bad league with bad basketball or play in a good league for less money. The lucky ones are able to make it in to a country with both, but those are the players who have been able to create a reputation for themselves while remaining healthy. We sacrifice our quality of life and sometimes our happiness in order to make a good amount of money in a short time. Or we accept the Goodwill version of the game we love and grind through all while knowing what quality basketball looks life and feels like. The game we fell in love with and chose as our career, watered down. Like nails on a chalkboard, because we know what “flow”, chemistry, discipline, and great clockwork basketball “IQ” looks like.

For women, we already make less than what men make and are put in worse situations than most male players. Men seem to have it better in the quality of what they receive, the way they are treated, and money they get for playing abroad. Though, I know plenty of guys who have seen some pretty terrible situations too, but women get the short end of the stick on this one 99% of the time.

We face a lifestyle that isn’t exactly the “norm”. It’s not the popular route for women because we’re supposed to find a partner, get married, get a good job, and start a family. Most of the women in this line of work don’t follow that or aren’t able to do it well and are forced to retire. Many men have wives and kids they leave back in the states while they play. Some are lucky enough to take them along, but it’s still a difficult life to live for everyone involved. My friends talk about how hard it is to not be with their kids while they’re gone. The sacrifice to play professional basketball abroad isn’t a light one, by any means.

Most people don’t realize what we sacrifice in order to follow our dreams. We risk our health, our relationships, our finances, our families, often times our sanity in order to keep clawing after and doing what we love. We sometimes float around during the summer months not knowing where our next job will be or when. People ask us over and over what’s next and us not having a good answer for them. Players get called up one night and told they have 2 days to pack up and be on the next plane out of town. It’s not a lifestyle for everyone. In a way, it’s a gypsy lifestyle. I write all of this, not to say our lifestyle is harder than others but to give you perspective. To show you that in every decision, a sacrifice is made. Not everything is as it seems. Not everyone is as they seem. Just something to chew on, from someone standing in a different pair of shoes.

For now, I’m just thankful I have been placed in a good situation, with decent basketball, and good people. I made a hard decision, to be in a place where I could be happy and where the quality of life is 100x better than the situation I was in before in Lebanon. Asking for my release wasn’t an easy thing for me to do. From the month spent in Puerto Rico due to the hurricanes, to my situation in Lebanon, I was tired of just simply “surviving”. I wanted to actually do more than exist and be able to begin enjoying it all again. Find my vibrant self, back again. So here I am… Ready to start exploring, start enjoying, and start living again… Simply enjoying where I’m at .. right .. now…

#StillBlessed 😉

“If you can’t sacrifice for your dream… then it’s not your dream.”

“In order to become the 1%, you must do what the other 99% wont.”

“Everyone wants success, until they see what it takes to get it.”

Take a Step Outside…

Since I’ve gone MIA for a bit I figured I should throw an update out there to catch people up on my adventures. I am currently living in Beirut, Lebanon. From what I’m told, the night life here is great and the food is spectacular. So far I’ve managed to make my daily home base a café right down the road called “HOOK” where I’ve made friends with the owner and her family. The area I’m living in is very much a residential community where people park wherever they can find an empty few feet of space and I’m sure a few dozen people get hit by cars on the daily because the lack of sidewalks. It’s definitely a different world but the people are very nice. A few blocks down the way is a more ritzy area where there’s a great social scene. A few low key bars and nice restaurants to eat out at, mostly by myself. Haha One thing I’ve learned traveling, living in a foreign country, and trying to get the most out of every place I visit is to not be afraid to go out and do things alone. Not everyone is as eager to fully immerse themselves in it and some people are just here to play ball and get paid. I find that a bit sad, but to each their own. Not everyone gets this opportunity to get paid to experience the world and not everyone will get to live somewhere completely out of their comfort zone like we do. The other day I went out and had a glass of wine and devoured an entire pizza while onlookers watched me enjoy my table for one and be the fatty my momma raised me to be. Corn fed and Iowa Bred. I won’t lie though, I was initially nervous because I had never been to the Middle East and because of all the tension over here. But Beirut isn’t at all like I imagined and hasn’t in any way made me feel uncomfortable living here. Even though my tall, Amazonian, ginger self gets stared down literally everywhere I go.  I kind of stand out just a wee bit.

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I wouldn’t say my living accommodations are spectacular at the moment but I’m just accepting where I am and working with what I got. On a positive note, I’ve only been electrocuted about 3 times since being here. One while trying to use the washer and another while trying to use my stovetop. Lebanon is already trying to kill me. Lol But overall, I’m not high maintenance and I’ve become very good at adapting to my surroundings. We don’t have a car so our teammates pick up the other Americans and I for practice daily. Which also means I do a lot of walking if I want to go anywhere somewhat close to me. It’s okay I could use the extra exercise and work through all my untapped reserves from not playing consistently for a while. We’ve played two games so far and lost both of them. One of them was to the top team in Lebanon but the other should’ve been easily won. I however wasn’t making anything for the life of me besides 3’s the first game. Makes sense right? Lol The further out you get the more accurate your shot becomes? The second game I played much better but not well enough to pull out a W. It can only go up from here though after every game my body feels like it got hit by a truck. I definitely do not bounce back as well as I could in my college days of taking charges and running around with an endless motor of energy. I’ve been living in compression tights, a knee brace on for walking around, and ice bags strapped to me since day 1 of practice. Haha

My sleep schedule has yet to become regular. It doesn’t help that the other Americans go to sleep at like 3 or 4 AM every night. The first week I was sleeping mostly during the day and awake for most the night. The last few days I’ve had a sort of insomnia and averaged about 3 hours of sleep per night. One would think I would be super productive with all this time but you’d be wrong. Still adjusting. I’m getting better though. I spend my days doing schoolwork at a coffee shop and nights practicing or working out. But boy did I miss this, getting paid to play basketball and have the freedom to explore the world. I get to dedicate my time to learning and investing in myself in the areas I value the most. What more can a girl ask for? J

For now, I’m just enjoying where I’m at and learning from where I’ve been. New year, New you. Not the same girl I started off as at the beginning of this long basketball journey but boy have I learned a lot. If you ever get the chance, step outside your comfort zone. Hang with people you don’t normally hang with. Experience a new restaurant, coffee shop, fun activity, event, or bar. Learn a different language or travel to a different country. What you know, where you’re from, and who you are, is just a speck of what this world is made up of. The world is bigger than you; so take a risk, take a chance, and step outside… I promise you won’t regret it.

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”…

 

Dating… in a world where less is more??

Now let’s talk about how hard and oddly how easy it is to find yourself single in this world today. Like, how do you meet other human beings of the opposite sex or same sex depending on your preference, these days? It’s a serious question!! I like having a drink or two every now and then but even then I don’t really have much success in meeting quality guys at the bar, club, local Chipotle…Not to mention, they have to be at least 6 ft to even get on my radar and maybe a ticket out of the friend-zone…if they are lucky. Trying to talk to a guy or even date one is so mind boggling and a rollercoaster in itself. You don’t know how much of yourself to show to them because you don’t want to show them all the crazy you are snuffing out for the time being. You want to seem at least sane and a bit normal (whatever that is anyway). It’s an endless battle for girls at least to be stuck in their head like: “What is he thinking? Why did he say this? Oh he didn’t text back. That must mean he doesn’t like me. What are we?”

Then we all have these crazy moments when we somehow get to the extreme like: “He didn’t text back. He doesn’t respect me. He probably is talking to another girl, three, ten. Yep he’s definitely a player. You deserve so much better! Go off on him for ignoring you. Naw, don’t show him the crazy. Meh, whatever. light him up, he deserves it. …. * no response for 2 hours* “ Okay crap, backtrack and apologize. Blame it on the one – five margaritas.” “Okay you spilled all crazy out and he hasn’t replied. You’re so stupid. Delete him and ignore him if he ever messages back… This is probably why you’re single. ” “oh he texted back! *waits 1 hour for revenge*.. Hey babe, I’m sorry too for being a little crazy.”

It’s a constant mind game. I don’t know about you, but I go through phases where I find myself lonely and wishing I had someone to care about me/the things in my life and then I decide to actively try to date or talk to guys. Then there’s those times where I’m content just doing my own thing because putting energy into that area seems pointless and too time consuming. There’s also that phase right after a failed attempt to talk to someone and you’re like: “Well… THIS is why I am single and it’s really not so bad. I may just live here….. FOREVERRR. It’s getting pretty comfy in here. “

My problem is that I just want to be blunt and put it all out there. I want them to know what they are getting into. Which is, as you can tell from my previous posts, a person with “issues”.  Haha. I’m constantly fighting the role of knowing what I deserve and not settling for anything less than quality or anyone that doesn’t fit in my screwed up puzzle quite right. I’ve always said “You can’t force a puzzle piece into the wrong spot, the picture won’t turn out right.”

If you’re looking for just a piece to fill that hole, then it does the job but the overall scheme/ picture isn’t going to look complete and it isn’t going to be pretty. The right piece is out there, you just have to put the work in, be patient, and find it. Sometimes it just gets kicked around, lost in the chaos, or in between the couch cushions. I’d say this past year has tested me to practice what I preach and taught me how painful it is to let go of those people you care about but are no good for you. That however is a topic is for another day and another blog.

It’s weird how being blunt scares people off. How sometimes being too real and showing them your undiluted self, scares them. I just want to be like: I’m looking for someone for the long haul. Someone I can actually have deep conversations with, not just superficial/surface conversations. Someone I can relate to and can relate to me and let me tell you guys AND gals, there is NOTHING more sexy or more attractive than someone with ambition, intelligence, kindness, humor, and LOYALTY. Someone who knows what they want or even WHO they want. Nobody should ever tell you anything different. Have goals! Know the kind of person you want in your life for the long haul and know the kind of people you want to be surrounded by. Know the kind of person you want to be and be it! Have some sort of drive towards something! Have an open mind and constantly be thirsty to learn and gain knowledge! Don’t settle for who you are today because tomorrow’s going to come and you don’t want to look back and see that all you’ve been doing is standing in the same spot for the past year. It’s in our nature to want to feel fulfilled and accomplish things, no matter how small. Keep moving, keep walking, and run if you can!

I had a great conversation about this exact thing with someone months ago. It was my birthday weekend, so it only seems right that I was able to relate on this topic with someone else. It was refreshing to know for a fact that there are girls out there that have the same line of thinking as me and that I’m not just screwed up in the head after all those concussions I suffered in college. Nice to know that I only came out with the bare minimum “Dain Bramage” as my dad would put it. 😉

Dear men, let me just say that being a gentleman in the “old school” meaning of that word, will never go out of style. I don’t know a single girl who wouldn’t appreciate a door being opened for them, a call instead of a text, just to see how their day was. An ACTUAL date that requires thought instead of just “Netflix and chill”. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just that we allow ourselves to accept less and be less. Don’t allow yourself to be any less of the man you are supposed to be and ladies don’t allow your man to be anything less either. But don’t allow yourself to be any less of the woman you are supposed to be either. Be a real WOMAN or MAN in the purest form. Not that watered down version society deems acceptable as the “norm” now-a-days. BE better. DO better!

If you already are in a relationship guys, the best advice I’ve given some of my own friends is that “When in doubt, do more!”. When she says,  “Don’t’ come over.” You best be already on your way over. When she says she’s “fine”… She’s not and you best already be already at a McDonalds picking her up a Mcflurry or something sweet… Just saying… You’re welcome!! You’ll thank me one day when you find your better half, who makes your days all that much brighter. Like I said in my last blog, don’t settle for less than what you deserve because you deserve the world! But you also deserve to be pushed to be the best version of yourself possible. Don’t settle for being LESS than who you can be because people also deserve to experience the BEST version of YOU too!

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.”