1. SAYING NO. “No” is a complete sentence. I find myself trying to come up with good reasons why I can’t do something for someone or why I can’t go somewhere with someone. It takes up tons of my time. I feel guilty. I feel like a bad mother, daughter, sister, wife or friend. Instead of just saying “sorry, I can’t.” Or “No thanks, I’m just going to stay home.” I try to come up with all these really great excuses like “my tummy hurts” or “I’m just so tired” when the truth is I’m not tired, I just took a 3 hour nap and my tummy doesn’t hurt, I just don’t want to…And that’s okay! We shouldn’t be expected to jump up and do things just because someone else wants us to. Obviously, you should always be polite about it but I don’t see why we can’t say “no” and leave it at that.
2. PARENTING. I am online a lot. I’m at home most days with a 2 year old who’s just learning to talk. My older two come home at 3 o’clock but they’re much to cool to have a conversation with their old, embarrassing mother. Social media is my life line to the out side world, the world where adults live, who have interesting lives and jobs that I like to read all about. I see these parenting groups, these people are mothers and fathers and they are ripping eachother apart. There are a few groups that I’m afraid to post in for fear of backlash. What good does that do? There isn’t one perfect parent on this planet. I’m certainly not perfect and I don’t pretend to be. I will tell you, most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t have a parenting plan, I don’t have a parenting style, I just go with it. I have yelled, I have screamed, I have cursed and I’ve slammed a few doors. Sue me. There isn’t one thing anyone could say to me that would make me feel guiltier than I’ve already felt. You can’t tear me down any more than I’ve done myself. Being a parent isn’t easy, it’s actually really hard. There isn’t one set way that will work for every child. I have three children, I parent each one of them a different way because that’s what they need. They are individuals. We shouldn’t be worried about being bashed and shamed for making decisions for our kids that are different from someone else’s.
3.DISMISSING PEOPLE. For a long time in my life I’ve been afraid to speak up for myself. I’ve let people treat me horribly. I don’t like confrontation so I just learned to live with people who didn’t have my best interest at heart, to avoid arguments or drama. That isn’t the way it should be. We should be in charge of our lives. You teach people how to treat you. There are rules and boundaries we need to set for ourselves. If someone wants to be in your life, if you’re important to them they will abide by them. There is a common courtesy some people lack. Disrespectful, abusive behavior isn’t okay. There is absolutely no reason why we should tolerate people who intentionally hurt us.
4.WEIGHT: Let me tell you, I’ve been toothpick skinny and I’ve been fat. Growing up I couldn’t tell you how many times I heard “you’re too skinny”, “You just wait until you’re older, it’ll catch up to you.” or “DO YOU EVEN EAT?!” I did eat, a lot and those people were right, it did catch up to me. Before I knew it I was 200+ lbs. After kids, I didn’t have the energy to care. Oh but people still talked “you’ve gained some weight.” “You’ve gotten big.” “You’re pretty in the face.” No matter what shape or size you are people are going to talk. You have to love yourself, if you can’t do it no one else will. Of course, being healthy is important and we should always work towards being the best we can be but as long as you’re happy, healthy and you feel beautiful, that should be all that matters. Everyone else’s opinion about YOUR body is void.
5.CAREER: We all grow up fantasizing about being something big. We think we’re going to have these amazing jobs, for most people that doesn’t happen. Life happens and life has a way of changing and stealing our dreams. The truth is the is nothing wrong with living a simple life. There is nothing wrong with being a cashier, waitress, taxi driver, fast food worker or all these other jobs we show up to everyday. People say “That kid is going to end up flipping burgers.” SO WHAT?! What’s wrong with that? You are no less of a person than a doctor or an attorney, They show up to your humble little job and ask for your services everyday. If you’re content with where you are in your life and your career, be confident, be the best cashier or burger flipper there is. Love your life for what it is, not for what it could be or what other people’s lives look like.
6. LOVING SOMEONE: Loving someone can be amazing, there is nothing like those butterflies you get in your tummy when you see them or hear their name. Loving someone can also be heartbreaking, it can leave you with a hollow, empty and sad heart. Loving a person who doesn’t love you back is horribly humbling. When the person we love doesn’t feel the same way, we start lying. We lie to ourselves and we lie to other people, “he’s crazy.” “I never really liked him anyway” “he would never be able to give me what I need anyway.” “I’m way too good for him.” “He definitely doesn’t deserve me” these are things we tell people and ourselves, for what? What’s wrong with loving someone? Why is it embarrassing to admit that you care about someone? Wouldn’t it be better if we were an open book, a true book? We would all see each other in a new, softer light if we could admit that. We can be vulnerable and confident at the same time.
7. THE PAST: Everyone has a past. I’ve done some things I’d be mortified for the world to know. Wether you’re a preacher or a stripper, we’ve all been ashamed of atleast one thing we’ve done. IT DOESN’T MATTER. We’re all the same, we want love and acceptance. What does matter is who we are right now, who we intend to be in the future. Live your life one day at a time correct the things you can, make things right with the people who are willing and move on. Everyone has a story we can learn from. That’s what life is about.
8. DEPRESSION: I’ve spend a whole lot of my life living with depression. For a while I didn’t even know I was depressed, I mean I knew I was sad but I didn’t know there was a name for it. I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was 19. A big part of PTSD is depression. Some days I’m okay and some days I can’t get out of bed. I want to be better, I try to do better and be happy but on my bad days it’s just physically impossible. For some reason there is this negative light on mental health issues so many people are afraid to go get help for fear of being shamed, for fear of people thinking they’re crazy. The way I look at it, what’s the difference between someone having diabetes and needing medication and someone with depression and needing medication? They’re both imbalances of some kind. People with mental health issues should not be afraid to ask for help or talk about their illness. We all should be more open minded and accepting to all people, they are people after all.
9. DISAGREEING: It’s okay to have your own opinion, as a matter of fact it’s beautiful to have your own opinion. We have to learn to say what we feel and what we believe in. Not everyone is going to like everyone, we’re all going to have different views. I always have more respect for someone who uses their own brain, rather than falling in with what you think is the popular opinion, telling people what you think they want to hear. We’ve all lead different lives and have had many different experiences that leads us to believe what we believe. What’s true for one person won’t be true for the next person. We should always be respectful but we don’t have to be puppets. Live your life, speak your own truth.
10.LOVING YOURSELF: I’m not that girl who is overly confident, takes a million selfies everyday. I think I’m fat sometimes, I want a boob job most days and lip injections everyday. I’ve always wanted to love what I looked like. I want men to think I’m beautiful, I want girls to think I’m beautiful. I’m working on being proud of who I am and what I look like. I see movies and TV shows and I think “I’d love to look like that.” When a girl does love herself, when she loves her body and her nose and her lips men seem to love it but us women call her “full of herself” or “stuck up” it’s hard for us to admit that we like ourselves because we don’t want to be looked at that way. You can give compliments all day long but the minute you pay yourself one you’re a snob. Why isn’t it okay for women to like their hair or think they have the prettiest eyes? I have learned to compliment myself in front of my girls. “Oh, I really like my hair.” small things like that. I want my daughters to know they’re beautiful and be able to tell people so.