As I write this, I am two weeks deep into my teacher-summer off, and YES: it has been all kinds of glorious. One thing that’s been incredibly obvious is HOW WONDERFULLY I’VE GROWN since July of last year.
In fact this very week - this time last year - I had a vicious panic attack, I was battling anxiety and OCD flare ups, breaking up with John, dealing with him moving out, coping with my co-dependent tendencies, juggling various therapists in search of the right one, BY DAY: trying to get a product idea of mine “up & running” (whatever that means), and BY NIGHT: waitressing in a sexist Italian restaurant making a third of the amount of money than most of the guys there, busting my ass twice as hard. // Good times! (Not really.)
So what caused the growth? Well, for starters: NOT SHYING AWAY FROM ANY FEELING WHATSOEVER was key, and I knew that in my core. Not distracting away from my pain with any kind of drink or drug or vacation or validation…just sitting in it, and crying through it, and trying to muster up the strength to tackle one minute’s problem before tackling the next minute’s. You have to do the inner work.
Inner work & little check-points of light (like Awesome Ladies Live) were what made up my basic ‘growth’ formula. NAPS. Naps were a crucial part of the puzzle. I also wrote about what I experiencing. DUH. …and this list of helpful things were a great start. Not to mention the completely unexpected jolt back into teaching, and latent Grief with a capital ‘G’ that steamrolled me in December.
I haaaaad to go through it, I know that now. There was no getting around what last year threw at me, and although most of 2018 felt like a loss, I’m considering what it equipped me with a MAJOR. FRIGGIN. WIN. // To celebrate that win, I generated a list of differences between my 2018 and 2019 selves shown below:
JULY 2018 ME
stressed, pulling at my skin
looking away, searching for answers
feeling overwhelmed barely surviving the waitressing job
working straight through the summer & on weekends
broke up with John & wildly co-dependent
no time or money for the gym
juggling therapists trying to find the right one
therapy costing SOOO MUCH MONEY
anxiety at an all-time HIGH & out of control
desperately needing to feel HAPPY all the time
thinking way too much about my social media presence (What to share?!)
need to PROVE I’m good
unable to see myself in the mirror
hard to smile & mean it
JULY 2019 ME
relaxed, resting on my hand
making eye contact, confident & calm
feeling accomplished after surviving my 1st year back to teaching
summer off: breathing room
in the healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in
time and money for the gym
going to the right therapist & treating the right condition
health insurance covering a portion of the therapy
anxiety manageable & I’m more skilled at it than ever
understanding HAPPINESS can co-exist w/ other emotions
took a break from social media and might not ever go back (Why share?)
I KNOW I’m good
my reflection is more ME than ever
my energy + my body are in every. present. moment.
smiling HARD & meaning it
NOTE: None of these selfies of me from 2018 or 2019 were forced to ‘feel’ a certain way or give off a certain vibe. They were candid, in-the-moment self portraits, and they show what was in me to show.
Last year - with the launch of this site - I declared: NEW WEB SPACE, SAME HOT MESS, however, that description no longer applies. This web space is not new anymore. It’s a whole year old! And this hot mess, oh she’s still messy and hot, but DEF not the same…
…changed and better and older and wiser, and getting the right help. Doing the work, not expecting it to be easy. Content as EFF with this extraordinarily ordinary life. Oozing with gratitude & fortitude. …and of course: still growing.
Thanks so much for reading. Please reach out with any questions or comments you may have. xoxo