how wonderfully you have grown...

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:

how wonderfully you have grown // Amanda Zampelli

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

  • my energy was not ONE with my body

  • LOST

  • 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.

how wonderfully you have grown // Amanda Zampelli

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