Tag Archives: self-esteem

The Girl I Was

It was the summer of 2008.  My husband ame and dognd I had just gotten married two weeks prior and there I was…lying in our bed, clinging to my dog and crying my eyes out.

He had just left for a 2 week field exercise.  I wouldn’t see him for 2 weeks.  I wouldn’t talk to him for 2 weeks.  I had just moved into our apartment.  I had just moved to Killeen, Texas.  I didn’t know a single person there.  I didn’t know where anything was.

I was devastated.  Seriously.  I had no idea what to do with myself or how to occupy my time besides walking my dog and working out at the little apartment job.

I had just graduated from grad school.  I had no job.  Nothing to do.  And 2 weeks to kill before my brand new husband came back.

The days and hours loomed in front of me.  I had no idea how I was going to get through these next 2 weeks, let alone the upcoming deployment.

Now, 9 years later, 3 deployments later, here I am, in a foreign country with three little kids, all under the age of 7.

And he is gone.  Only for 5 days this time but still…(did I mention that we just got to this foreign country 7 weeks ago?)

Here are the things, that 9 years later, still haven’t changed:

  • I doubt myself…every time he leaves.  Whether it’s for 5 days or 5 weeks.  I doubt whether I can do this…whether I’m strong enough.
  • How will I be able to take care of these three kids by myself?  Get them dressed, fed, to school, to their activities, to bed?
  • I miss him.
  • I can’t wait until he gets back

Here are the things, that 9 years later, have changed:

  • Even though doubt creeps in every…single…time…I KNOW, deep down, that I AM strong enough to do this.
  • That girl who laid in bed and cried her eyes out is gone (although, I will admit, that as I laid in bed that first night in our new house in this strange village, I slept with all the lights on because I was scared)
  • I KNOW that I have all the tools and skills I need to get through this.
  • I know that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
  • I know, that with time, it will get easier

nobody

I am no longer the girl who can’t even deal with getting books for her college classes without having to call her mom and ask her for help

(Really.  That happened.)

Not to blow my own horn or anything…but I have come a LONG way.  I am still a work in progress.  I still have a long way to go…BUT…I can say, that I am, without a doubt, PROUD of how hard I have worked to be who I am today.

Who do YOU want to be?  What do you need to do to get there?

And…what are you waiting for?!??!!!!

Here are a few exercises to help you out:

reasons

self esteem journal

goals

 

 

Hello, World

I know I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks and here’s why – we just moved to Germany!  And let me tell you, it’s been a RIDE.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is in the Army.   Several months ago we got orders to go to Germany, and now…well…here we are.

germany 4

I’m going to be real with you.  My exercise routine is shit right now.  I’ve been eating a lot of crap (partly because I wanted to try some of the authentically German treats and partly because the first 2 weeks we were here the jet lag was so bad it was like I was in my first trimester of pregnancy).

 

I’m homesick.  I miss my family.  I miss the familiarity of everything back in the states.  And the driving here – whoa!  It takes some getting used to.  I have not ventured out very far unless my husband has been sitting in the passenger seat.  It’s like I’m a teenager all over again with my learner’s permit.

The first day we got here, my daughter and I couldn’t even figure out how to flush the toilets.  And the shopping carts here – you can’t just take one.  They are all locked together and you have to put a coin in the slot to release one.  When you return it, you get your coin back.  Well, before someone took pity on us and told us that, my husband was quite a sight trying to figure out how to get a shopping cart.  He was yanking.  He was pulling.  He was muttering to himself.

I’ve gotten lost several times already walking around on base.  I’ve thrown my kids in the back of a stranger’s car (a soldier’s at least), sans car seat, and gotten a ride to my daughter’s school to go pick her up because I was 20 minutes late.  I’ve been stranded at the grocery store, with my baby and a cart full of groceries, for over an hour, because the taxi stood us up.  And yet again, I sat my kid on my lap and got into the backseat of a stranger’s car, with my groceries in the trunk, and got a ride to our hotel.

We bought a car off the “lemon lot” and I’m afraid to say we may have actually gotten a lemon.  I only had it 2 weeks before it had to go in the shop…It needs a new muffler…which they have to order from the states…

It has, literally, been one thing after another.  I have gotten a few workouts in here and there.  I’ve had a few healthy meals and a few not-so-healthy meals.

Wah, wah, wah, right?

I mean, here we are, in Germany, in this beautiful country, in Europe, where we have the chance to experience other cultures, try new foods, learn other languages and travel…and here I am…bitching…

So, now, here’s where the cool part comes in:

The OLD me would have continued to focus on the negative and the fact that our lives right now, every day, have been a true comedy of errors.  I would have decided that this is going to be the worst three years of my life.  I would have cried.  I would have spiraled into a depression.  I would have dug my heels in and begged my husband to take us back to the states.

germany 5

BUT…now…being in this particular situation of just moving to another country with three children in tow…I can truly see how far I have come.

There are times that it really sucks right now.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  My nerves are frayed.  I have very little patience for my children’s shenanigans.  My husband is stressed.  I’m stressed.  There are tons of partially unpacked boxes in our house.  There is a TON of trash piling up in the garage (not to mention bags and bags of dirty diapers) because we have yet to receive the trash cans our landlord ordered for us.  Our dishwasher doesn’t work.  We have an ant problem in our dining room…and yet….

Despite all of this, (this is the cool part), I KNOW it’s all going to be okay.  I know that once we get settled, we are going to love it here.  I can see beyond all the shit (and I do mean, literally, all the shit in the diapers in our garage) that this is going to be a once in a life time opportunity to travel and explore and learn and grow and make many wonderful memories with our family.

 

 

Just Go For It

I’ve been taking a lot of risks lately – not physical risks like skydiving or bungee jumping…but more of the emotional type of risks.

I have just been going for it – and guess what?  It feels AHH-MAZING!

better

I’ve been reaching out to people and asking them to be a part of my team (Team Fight For Fit).  I’ve been asking people if they would like to join challenge groups to work on their health and fitness.  I have been connecting with old friends I haven’t seen in a while (like years) and asking them to hang out.

I am going after what I want.  I am going after what I want my life to look like.  I’m being more authentically ME.

Even when the people I reach out to don’t respond or they say no – you know what?  I feel PROUD.  I’m proud of myself.  Proud that I tried.  Proud that I won’t keep wondering “what if” because now I have an answer.

The rejections I get.  The silence on the other end.  It means I’m LIVING.  It means I’m working towards my dreams.

And do you know something else I’ve recently realized?  It’s not about whether the person says yes to joining my team or not.  It’s not about whether the person responds or not to my offer…it’s actually NOT about the outcome at all.

Before, I used to think it was ALL about the end result.  That’s how you measure success – how many “yes’s” you get, how many people you recruit, how much money is in the bank – BUT I’m here to tell you it’s NOT!

As I put myself out there more and more, share my personal thoughts and feelings, share my transformations (inside and outside) I realize it’s all about the PROCESS.  It’s about who I am becoming.

I am becoming STRONGER.  More confident.  More sure of what I want for myself.  Of who I want to be.  Of my purpose in life (besides wife and mother).

woman-walking-tightrope

So, today I say to you:  Do what scares the CRAP out of you.  Do that one thing that you are afraid to do.

Climb that wall.  Jump that hurdle.  Because, what’s on the other side is BEAUTIFUL.  It may not look like what you expected, BUT it’s beautiful all the same.

 

 

Broken is Beautiful

Have you heard of the Japanese art of ‘kintsukuroi’?

japanese pottery

I just heard about it today at work and thought it was absolutely perfect and beautiful…It means to glue a piece of broken pottery back together with gold lacquer…to restore something that was once broken and make it even more beautiful than it was before.

Do you know what this reminds me of? LIFE!

No matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter where you live, no matter what you have…we all have hardships we must face. To be alive is to know pain. To be alive is to know struggle. To be alive is to know shame and vulnerability and sadness.

BUT – we can either continue to hurt and fall deeper into this chasm of pain and despair OR we can turn it into something beautiful and amazing and meaningful!

These scars, whether they are visible or not, whether they are on the outside or on the inside, can show our strength, our determination and our courage. We can wear these imperfections as a badge of honor, as proof of not only what we’ve been through but what we’ve overcome.

No, we won’t look the same ever again and we won’t feel the same ever again BUT we will be more beautiful than ever before because this is what’s REAL. This is LIFE.

I have imperfections (gasp).  I have hang ups (double gasp).

I have been through some HARD stuff in my life (just like you).

jap writing

I have been through break ups where it literally felt like someone had ripped my heart right out of my chest, threw it on the side of the road and ran a 18-wheeler right over it.  I seriously thought I was going to die.

But low and behold…I survived.  And I was stronger because of it.  Not only did I get stronger, but I ended up being grateful for those break ups.  Looking back, if I had ended up with any of those guys I would have already been divorced by now.

I’m grateful for these relationships, for these learning experiences because they eventually led me to my husband.

I’ve dealt with addiction in my nuclear family.  I watched my family fall apart, piece by piece, until there was nothing left but some dust on the floor.  I watched my parents get divorced after 41 years of marriage.   And even though I was 25 when they got divorced, it still hurt like hell.   BUT  I survived.

I have dealt with low self-esteem my ENTIRE life.  I have hated myself, wished I was someone else, wished I had been born in someone else’s body and wished I would just die.

BUT now, after years and years (literally) of working on myself, my issues and my hang ups, I can truly say I am loving who I am today.  I am finally at peace.  I am finally content.

I am the person I am today because of all the people who have walked in and out of my life, or walked in and stayed.  I am who I am today because of the experiences I’ve had, because of what I’ve endured, what I have chosen to do, because of what I have learned, what I have worked hard for and because who I have chosen to be.

me outside

Even though these things I’ve been through were excruciating at their worst and hard at their best, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing.  Because the cracks that these experiences have left behind…I have filled them up with gold…and they are beautiful.

 

You know I love to hear from you!  Make comments, share your opinions and share this blog on all of your personal social media pages!

 

 

HOW do you talk

most dangerous stories

 

I have a question for you….how do you talk to yourself?

And no, I don’t mean where you are when you talk to yourself (we all do it, don’t lie) or why you talk to yourself or where you are when you talk to yourself…I mean HOW.

HOW do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake? HOW do you talk to yourself when you look in the mirror?  HOW do you talk to yourself when you accomplish something?  HOW do you talk to yourself when you fail?

It’s kind of a hard question, isn’t it? Most of us don’t think about what we actually say to ourselves.  It’s automatic.  The thoughts just come and that little voice whispers in our head and then we go on our way and we either end up feeling like crap because of that little voice or we end up feeling really good because of that little voice.  It can go either way.

These automatic thoughts are SO important because they impact how you feel! Did you know that your thoughts can determine how you feel about yourself?  About your life?  About other people?

Did you know that you can CHOOSE to change your thoughts? You can CHOOSE to change how you feel about yourself, your life and others.

That’s impossible – you might say – I don’t have control over my thoughts or how I feel.

BUT…you do!!

Now that we’ve talked about this and I’ve pointed these automatic thoughts out to you, you’ll start noticing them. You’ll begin to listen for that voice inside your head.

What is it saying to you? Do you find a lot of automatic negative thoughts running through your head?  Then STOP them and CHANGE them!

You may think I’m nuts (and that’s okay) and you may think I’m full of feces (and that’s okay too) but I encourage you to try it anyway!

Here are some steps you can take to start changing things around

  1. Notice your automatic negative thoughts. Pay attention when they come.
  2. Argue with them. Tell them off. You can say something as simple as: Stop. I’m not going to think like that anymore.
  3. Replace that negative automatic thought with a positive one.
  4. That’s it! Easy, right?
  • Actually, no…it’s not…but it is possible.

It takes practice. How do I know?  Because I do this!  I still have negative thoughts (gasp) but I also know how to combat them.  Some thoughts take longer than others to grapple with.  Some are more ingrained in others.

It’s freakin’ hard BUT I also promise you it’s totally and completely worth it!

 

blog post pic

I’ll give you one of my own examples:

My automatic negative thought:  I am not a good mother because my child keeps having tantrums.  I am doing something wrong.  I can’t fix this.  It’s getting worse.

  • Result – I feel like crap about myself. I feel like I’m not good enough or worthy enough to be a mother.

My positive thought that I CHOSE to replace this negative thought with:  I am enough.  I am doing the best I can.  I am trying.  This is a phase.  It will eventually pass.  I will support her, love her and give her what she needs as best I can while keeping in mind that I have to take care of myself too.  It will eventually be okay.

  • Result – I feel better. I don’t feel wonderful or perfect, but I feel better. I know I have the skills and strength to get through this.

Do you see how that works? It’s AMAZING…seriously.

Practice this! Treat yourself with kindness!  Pay attention to your thoughts and talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend!

Here are some resources to guide you further:

http://www.therapistaid.com/content/0087.pdf

http://danielamenmd.com/3-quick-steps-to-stop-negative-thinking-now/

Book Recommendation: You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero

Book Recommendation: 52 Ways to Live a Kickass Life by Andrea Owen

 

DON’T FORGET:  Sharing is Caring!!  Share this with others on your personal social media pages!!