“Be Fearless In The Pursuit Of What Sets Your Soul On Fire.” -Unknown
Do you remember when you were a kid and had ZERO fears?
You climbed a tree because it looked fun.
You rode an elephant
You pedaled your bike as fast as you could down dirt roads.
You let your dad pull you behind a four wheeler in the dead of winter with a sled attached.
You fed a baby African lion.
You sent love notes to a boy to check yes or no if he liked you.
You practiced cabbage patching down the halls of school.
You sang everywhere you went in hopes that someone might hear you and make you famous.
You didn’t think about what might happen. You didn’t care what others might say. You went for it because it looked like fun. You were in your mind I N V I N C I B L E.
And even when you did fall flat on your face…
Like the time your forgot your dance moves for a solo on stage and ran off crying.
You bounced back..and tried again…because you believed in yourself.
That was me. I was that girl.
And then one day, I stopped believing in who I was, and what I was capable of. Instead of looking inward, I started looking for outside approval. I let what others think of me stop me from being my true authentic self.
Instead of being F E A R L E S S…I lived in F E A R.
For many years, I let what others did or said dictate how I acted. And can I tell you something? It was E X H A U S T I N G!
Then one day, A G A I N, I woke up and realized that by stopping myself from E X P E R I E N C I N G life…I was only hurting myself.
So I started doing what I, me, Makala wanted. I focused less on what others thought, and more on what I thought.
And out of that I discovered that…
That WILD AT HEART GIRL still existed!
You know, the girl who sings too loud in the shower.
The girl who rocks stripes with polka dots.
The girl who isn’t afraid to take a S E L F I E in the middle of a crowd.
And it feels so incredibly good!
It feels good to finally be living the way I want to…not for what others want. But for what I want.
And that took C O U R A G E and a M I N D S E T shift. You can change your physical appearance all you want, but until you work on the inside…
It won’t make a difference. You won’t be happy until you can be 100% you…
U N A P O L E G E T I C A L L Y.
Because once you become F E A R L E S S then life becomes L I M I T L E S S.
To start off. No, this is not some super mushy, lovey dovey, cliche Valentines Day post. So if you are looking for all the artificial, commercial, we met, we fell in love stories…you probably should just move along.
You see, I’m a girl who has always had a distorted view of WHAT exactly love was. I didn’t grow up in a home with a Mother & Father who doted over one another. The only happy endings I knew that existed only happened in fairy tales.
You see, I am a product of divorce. I grew up with a single Mother who worked ridiculously hard for everything that we had. I was raised by an incredible tribe of people who loved me unconditionally, but when it came to relationships I wasn’t really sure WHAT one could look like.
So for most of my young life, I searched for LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. I craved it like it was a drug. I didn’t care where I found it, or how messed up it might be. I just wanted to be wanted by someone.<<More importantly by a man, because I felt so rejected by my biological father.>>
I know what you are thinking…Typical girl with Daddy’s issues…and you would be right. I have had my fair share of horrible relationships. Relationships that have left me bruised and broken. Relationships that tore me down to nothing.
I’ve been threatened to be kicked out of my own car for the radio being to loud. I have had my phone broken. I have been cheated on multiple times. Told that I wasn’t enough. I have been used. And the list goes on and on.
In my last relationship, I’m not exactly sure what broke the camels back. But enough was enough. I was so tired of being isolated from my family. So tired of being blamed for things that I could not control. Tired of being emotionally abused at every single turn.
So I left. I packed up my belongings, and headed home to my parents home. I had no desire to be in a relationship ever again. How could anyone love me, if I didn’t love myself?
Little did I know that, that very night I would meet the man I would end up with. Now, you might be thinking…didn’t she just say she didn’t want a relationship? I didn’t. I needed a friend. Someone who would listen without judging. I needed someone to see the raw, real me and just say it’s OK.
And that’s what he did. He picked up a broken shell of girl in the front of her house in the middle of the night with mascara stains down her face, in basketball shorts, and a scary looking ponytail. He drove around for hours & hours listening to me cry, and share my heart and soul with him.
I told him everything under the sun that was wrong with me, and instead of judging me. He accepted me, flaws and all. He was a friend. He was exactly what I needed.
“The best kind of love awakens the soul; and makes us reach for more; that plants a fire in our hearts; and brings peace to our minds.” -The Notebook
That night I absolutely did not plan on falling in love, and I doubt he planned on falling in love with me. But once we met it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us.
You may not believe in soul mates, but I do. I believe that this man was sent to me at the exactly the right moment. You see, we grew up only 11 miles from each other for 19 years, yet never once met. We had mutual friends, we were interested in many of the same things, but never met. I bet we probably walked past each other multiple times over the years, yet never knew it.
So why then? Why that moment in time? I can’t help but think it was serendipity.
Now, don’t think that this ends with “And They Lived Happily Ever After.” because while we are happy, we have had our fair share of struggles.
From sneaking around at night due to parents not being on board with our whirlwind romance, to parents boycotting our wedding (they did attend), to moving over 1,000 miles away just two months after tying the knot, to having a baby 11 months after we got married, to our home being repossessed, and much more.
But we have endured those struggles together. And that my friend is what love should look like.
Struan is not exactly who I pictured I would marry and spend my years adventuring with, but he is exactly who I need. He is smart, funny, hardworking, loyal, dashingly handsome, quiet, passionate, an excellent cook, motivated and so much more.
Bottom Line: I was looking for love in all the wrong places, I was looking for someone to sweep me off my feet. And the truth was I needed to learn to pick myself up. He taught me that. He didn’t pick up the shattered pieces of my broken heart and put them back together that night, he helped me figure out how to do it myself.
And still to this day, he helps me figure things out for myself. He never tells me what to do, how to dress, or how to act. He loves me for me. Which is exactly how it should be.
To the girl who is still searching for love. Stop. Stop searching so hard. Stop trying to create something out of nothing. Stop trying to force something that isn’t there. Trust me. I’ve been there.
Love will happen when you least expect it. So for now, love yourself. Treat yourself the way you should be treated. Find friendships. Build relationships. The right one will come along and it will be absolutely worth it.
So instead of searching for love this year, why don’t you devote this year to loving yourself more? You might be pleasantly surprised at how joyous it could be.
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” -Mandy Hale
In honor of Valentines Day I want to encourage you to treat yo’self. Grab a cute new pair of pjs, or a new workout item, and just dote on yourself a bit.
Feel free to go to Adore Me to snag a cute set of Jammie’s or Adult Dress Up Clothes (wink, wink) for $24.95 + free shipping!
1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
A couple weeks back I shared that I struggle with…ANXIETY. It is something that I have always dealt with, but didn’t really get the best of me until I became a Mother. Since that post I have received numerous messages asking me…now what?
How do you deal with it? What’s your secret? Do you have any recommendations? I totally get how you are feeling, I feel the same…but I don’t know how to overcome. What can I do? I don’t want my life to be like this anymore.
So I decided to really think about what I feel has been the game changers when it comes to my anxiety, and to put together a list of things that have worked and continue to work for me.
I must tell you that I STILL do in fact deal with anxiety, but instead of it being this big huge scary monster that consumes my life, it is now a little tiny fly that buzzes around irritating me from time to time…but is something I can handle and manage.
I will also say, that if this has gotten SO big and out of control…know that there is ZERO shame in asking for professional help. Sometimes our problems are just to big for us to handle on our own, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Here are my tips in no particular order.
Get In Touch With Your Inner Yogi (Not The Bear). I have said it before and I will say it again. YOGA was a four letter word I used to HATE. Who has the time to rest and relax when there is a MILLION things to do? #AintNobodyGotTime I have a chore list a mile long… But I can honestly say that this Fall when it seemed like my world was spinning out of control…Yoga saved me. Yoga helped me get in tune with myself, to check out of every day life, and to finally feel peace. Now, because I don’t live in a big huge area, I Yoga at home. My all time favorite instructor can be found on YouTube and her videos are FREE! So if you need to find your center or just want to drown out all the brain chatter be sure to check out Yoga With Adriene.
Self Help Books…No They Aren’t Granola. I know what you are thinking…REALLY a BOOK? But hear me out…your brain my friend is a POWERFUL thing. Think about it! Your anxiety stems from your THOUGHTS! So why not fill your brain with positivity and confidence? Start your day reading or listening to positive and uplifting messages. Here are a few of my all time favorite.
Find audio books, podcasts, uplifting music, anything that surrounds your brain with positivity and tells you nothing more than that you are AWESOME. Because you are.
3. Write That -Ish Out. Part of my struggle with anxiety seems to be that my brain never stops. It goes a million miles a minute from sun up to sundown. So much static and brain chatter, which could cause anyone to get stressed out. So one of the most helpful things I do is I write…I make lists, I schedule ( but not over schedule), and I empty my brain. I leave notebooks all over the house so that I can brain dump. Getting it out of my head clears things up, seeing what I need to accomplish in a day on paper helps me not get so overwhelmed. So grab some cheapy notebooks at the store and toss them around the house.
4. I Believe In That VooDoo Stuff. That’s what my husband likes to call my obsession with essential oils, but you guys whatever you want to call it. That stuff works! Track down a DoTerra Rep or a Young Living girl and get you some! My top picks are Lavender, Marjoram, and Angelica. Although those work best for me, I would recommend getting together in person with someone and smelling different oils, your body will tell you what you need. You will be drawn to the one that will be best for you.
5. In With The Good. Out With The Bad. One of my friends a while back gave me some incredible advice for the days where I wake up totally freaking out for no reason (if you have anxiety you know what I’m talking about), she said lay in bed and start counting all of your blessings. Name every single thing you are grateful for, and do not leave that bed until you are calm. Now with kids that isn’t always an easy task, so maybe you don’t have the ability to stay in bed and do it, but just keep telling yourself all the things you are grateful for. OR just BREATHE!! In…and OUT…Over and over again. Focus solely on your breathe. Not able to keep your mind from wandering? Check out the Headspace app for your phone.
6. Most Importantly…Let Yourself Off The Hook. Here’s the deal. You will have days, days where you feel like the whole world is crumbling around you. This is something that unfortunately doesn’t magically go away, this is a battle you will fight daily. So do yourself a favor and let yourself off the hook. Every once in a while…let yourself have a day…but make sure you limit it to only ONE day. No more than that. Trust me when I say, that IF you keep trying, this big scary monster will turn into an itty bitty annoyance but know that you have to stay alert. Be gentle with yourself, you are doing the best you can.
The truth is anxiety never goes away, it is just something that we learn to control. So find what works for you. I wish there were some magical formula to make it go away, but there isn’t. Luckily we have so many resources available to us, so that we can find ways to keep it at bay. Use them.
Just know that if you do in fact struggle with anxiety, know you aren’t alone. You aren’t going crazy (well maybe you are, but all the best ones are). You aren’t doing anything wrong. Don’t listen to the voice inside telling you all those lies. Stand up to yourself, stand up to the monster who is trying to control your life, be brave and take back control of you life. Reach out to someone you know, reach out to stranger like me, find a support group, do whatever you can so you can live life to it’s fullest with zero limitations.
Tonight, for the last time…I kissed my five year old goodnight. Tomorrow morning when she wakes up she will have magically transformed into a big six year old. My poor heart can’t handle it.
It seems like just yesterday Struan was demanding that I take a pregnancy test, it seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital to have our FIRST baby, it seems like just yesterday she snuggled up next to me for late night feedings….
Yet here we are SIX years later. This girl changed my world. She showed me what really mattered in life. She helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. I am better because of her. She is the reason I belong to a super special group. A group that isn’t something all women are blessed to be a part of, The Mommy-Hood Gang.
In my SHORT six years as a Mommy-Hood Gangster, I have to say I have been in some pretty rough neighborhoods. There have been moments where I have wondered if I was truly cut out for the job. Moments where I have told God I understand if He took her away because I wasn’t doing good enough.
But there have also been those incredible moments, where I sit there and think to myself, I don’t know what I did so right in this life, to deserve such a beautiful spirit in my presence.” If you know Adeline our little Lion, you know exactly what I am talking about.
She is the best combination of Sassy & Sweet. She loves EVERYONE with everything that she has.In fact she informed me that all she wants for her birthday this year is for people to be happy. Don’t get me wrong she is stubborn as hell, and can give you a good run for you money. But she is mine, and as much as I would love to say I have taught her everything she knows…
The truth is..she is the one who has taught me. She has taught me MANY life lessons, but in honor of her turning the BIG Six…I thought I would share my Top Six favorites.
Learn To Laugh…A LOT! Lord knows you are going to have your good days and your bad days. There will be days when it seems like everything is falling a part. Days where you want to run away to the zoo. Days where you have to decide whether you should LAUGH or CRY….My advice…LAUGH!! Laugh as much as you possibly can. Laughing makes cleaning up the mess so much easier.
2. You Can NEVER Take Too Many Photos! Try to limit the number you share on social media, there will be those friends who block, or delete…but trust me when I say THESE will be some of the only things you will have left. Cherish them. Your memory will only last so long before it starts to fade, capture moments! Lots of them. Be the Mom whose kids roll their eyes and groan because Mom is taking ANOTHER picture. Trust me when I say, they WILL thank you later. Even for the embarrassing ones.
3. Fed Is Better Than Nothing. Having PB&J’s for the FIFTH time this week? Don’t be ashamed & don’t feel guilty! Repeat after me…FED is better than nothing! I can remember as a NEW Mom thinking that I had to have ALL of my -ish together. That I had to be the PERFECT housewife, which included a spotless home and home cooked meals every single night. I set myself up for failure. For far to long, I punished myself for not being perfect. I’ve since learned to RELAX! Remember the basics…food, water, clothing, shelter. Your kids have all of that? Then you have done your job! Stop worrying that little miss Susie Homemaker down the street makes gourmet meals every single night…and you are throwing cold cereal out on the counter. WHO CARES?! Kids won’t remember 99% of the meals you cooked, but they will remember the time you spent together eating those meals. So let yourself off the hook will ya?
4. Perfect Doesn’t Exist…Find Joy In The Little Things. I tend to be an unrealistic person with huge expectations. I have an idea, and I want it to go exactly how I thought it up in my head. For example the Zoo trip we took a few weeks back (see previous post), back in my newbie Mom phase I would have counted that day a failure, because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m here to say PERFECT most definitely does not exist.
If I have learned anything from my kids (especially that girl right there) it would be to find joy in the little things. No matter where you are in life, no matter what they day might look like there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. I have multiple photos of Adeline standing in this exact same pose, in different types of weather, and her face is exactly the same…FULL of WONDER & JOY! Shouldn’t we be a little more like that? Excited for what they day may bring, and full of gratitude and joy for the simple fact that we are alive and get to experience it.
5. Pick Your Battles. If I have learned anything in this journey, it’s to pick what’s really fight worthy and what’s not. Your kid wants to rock yellow and orange shorts, with a green plaid shirt, and an owl hat LET THEM! Who cares about the looks you MAY get!? If your child likes it, and feels confident, let them ROCK IT! Individuality is something we should celebrate, so let them be who they want to be. Trust me when I say, it’s not worth the fight. You will have many more battles to come, save your energy for those that truly matter.
6. Never Be To Proud To Ask For Help. I have been BLESSED to be raised by an incredible Tribe of strong, confident, compassionate, and loving women. They all shared a piece of themselves with me, and I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it weren’t for them. All of them. They say it takes a village to raise a child & I believe in that 100%. So take some pressure off, stop thinking you have to be Wonder Woman and do EVERYTHING on your own.Because you don’t.
Never, ever be afraid to ask for help. Never be to proud to accept what others have to offer. Never be ashamed to admit when you feel defeat. There have been so many times I have called my mother in the middle of the night begging for help. Many times I have leaned on friends in time of need. My kids have been raised by an incredible village of people, and I know that I couldn’t have given them everything that they have if it weren’t for those people and their examples.
Six years. Six years I have been a Mom. Six years of tears, heartache, joy, excitement, and so much more. Six years I would never trade for anything. Six years I wish I could get back. Six years I wish I could freeze in time. Yet, I know that as much as I want time to slow down, it’s only getting faster.
So instead of trying to slow time down, I will take time to slow myself down. To enjoy the moments I have, to take time to study the little things like her little freckled nose, or the way she throws her head back when she laughs, and to savor as much as I possibly can. Because ready or not, she is growing up.
And that my friends is the HARDEST part of Motherhood, slowly letting them go. Knowing that every single year you are loosening the grip just a little bit, only for them to eventually let go and do things on their own.
I grew up shopping at thrift stores & not because it was cool or hip.
I was jealous of girls whose Dad’s were around and lied about who he was to my friends.
I was kicked out of college.
The longest I ever held a job was in high school.
One of my very best friends passed away weeks before graduation & I went off the deep end.
I was in many unhealthy relationships because all I longed for was love & believed I could fix anything.
I ran away from home at 19 to live with a boy (who treated me horribly) because I didn’t know who I was.
I have had possessions repossessed due to our finances being so far in the toilet we had to choose between paying bills or feeding our family.
The list goes on and on…
And yet even though all of this has happened to me…you want to know something that I have learned? Even though I have been “That Girl”. She doesn’t dictate who I am NOW. Yes, she is a part of me, but I don’t have to be her, and guess what?
I’m NOT! I’m not a victim, because I have consciously chosen to be a VICTOR! I have found a plan that works for me (more on that later). Has it been easy? No. Have I failed miserably? Yes. But I continue to keep moving forward. To continue to search for who I have been called to become. What I was sent here to do. I won’t give up until I do.
I want to make a difference in the world, and I believe I can. So can you! We are ALL destined for greatness in this life, no matter where we have been. No matter the choices we have made. No matter what, you are NEVER to far gone to create a better life for yourself.
So while my rap sheet many not look so promising, it doesn’t matter because I have made a choice to not be that person anymore. To not let past circumstances define who I am.
So yes, you may say that I am damaged, bruised, broken, and chipped. And you are absolutely right, I am. However, I am not so far damaged, bruised, broken, and chipped that I can’t make a difference. That I can’t create an incredible life full of hopes and dreams. Neither are you.
Did you know that in Japan there is a tradition called “Kintsukuroi”. It is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer & understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
They take what some would consider broken, completely useless and turn it into something even more beautiful than before. You can do the same with your life.
So here we sit. You have a choice. You can turn your scars into stars, and your mess into a message…or you can choose to be a victim…to let your past define who you are today. Just know that no matter who you are, you have the power to change it all.
I don’t know about you but I am NOT what happened to me, I AM what I choose to become.
And I choose to become the best person I can possibly be, and to create a beautiful life from the broken pieces around me.