Becoming a confident woman

*WARRIOR * This is NOT the body of a supermodel. Or a non super model. Or model of any kind in that case. Well maybe the model for real life flaws and the journey to body confidence. Okay, I’ll take that one😃
This body has seen many shapes and been many things. It has been fit, heavier, exhausted, battered, strong, bruised, beautiful… however, it was/is very rarely
We need to love ourselves and that goes so much deeper than our physical body. This does not mean that there is shame in wanting to lose weight, be healthy, look “good” in certain clothes. This just means that we need to be respectful to ourselves allow for mishaps on occasion throughout the process. We deserve to love ourselves first. Lately all across our social media pages we see posts of all kinds of bodies: thin, not as thin, fit, not as fit, loved, not as loved.  None of these is wrong. None of these is right. We are not in a position to judge anyone else’s bodies and/ or their perception of their body. That is a personal thing,  one that I happen to not mind talking about.
My current body is not my favorite, and yet I will honor it while I put in the effort to switch up a few things. I will honor my body for the fights it has had to go through as well as the accomplishments it has survived with me. This is the same body that carried and birthed 3 babies naturally and un-medicated. This is the same body the pushed itself past many physical limits during boot camp and my time in the Army. This is the same body that endured physical abuse from someone who I cared about. This is the same body that trained and completed many 5Ks and a Half Marathon. This is the same body that has held my children and friends in her arms while they struggle with life. This is the same body that participated in an adult hip hop class for 5 years even though I looked a hot mess. (Trust me, it was so fun that it was worth it). This is the same body that walks into yoga classes and walks out feeling slightly more powerful.This is MY body. This is MY temple.
*CONFIDENCE* This is NOT the body of a model. This is the body of a WARRIOR. And this body is no longer fighting a battle. It is not fighting any enemy. This is the body of a woman who has learned her worth and is working to have that worth shine out of every pore. This is the body of an up and coming CONFIDENT WOMAN.

Show the hell up…

Just show up! This is what I have to tell myself daily. Show up for my kids. Show up for my husband and other family. Show up for my friends. And damn it… SHOW UP FOR MYSELF!

Such simple words. Yet it is not a simple notion for me. I am known for not showing up. It is a sad fact and breaks my heart that many see me in this light.  My intentions are always good- but life is hard and people are sometimes just way to much for me. I love telling people yes and being there for people. I don’t like having to leave the comfort of my home sometimes, my safe place.

When I talk about showing up, I mean the term in many different ways. I mean being there for the people who are important for me.  Being there through their roughest moments as a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or just someone to sit in silence with. Being there during their accomplishments as one of their biggest cheerleaders. Being there just to be there to hang out, talk, be crazy, catch up.  This goes for family(and not just those related to me by blood), friends, coworkers, other adults or children in my life that just need someone to be there- to show up for them.  This is my goal, but this is not yet my reality. I back away and do not always show up because … well… mainly just be because I am afraid.  I am afraid to be there for one person more than another and then upset someone else. I am afraid to not be there in the right way for someone and then I end up hurting them more. I am afraid of letting myself out of my comfort zone and then what?  All the what ifs start to creep in at theat moment.  And don’t get me wrong- I do still show up… sometimes.  And when I do, I give my all. My biggest problem is aggreeing to show up before knowing if I truly can. That is where I get into the most trouble and I am tired of doing that. And then that makes me afraid to commit at all.

I talk a lot about my fears when I am writing because that is the emotion that has the most control over my life currently. Who am I kidding, this is what has controlled me for the better part of my 35 years.  But the thing that fear has most controlled when it comes to showing up– is me showing up for myself. I mean really- I am probably one of the most selfish people I know (listen, I am just being honest here- this is my safe place)- so why on earth would it be so difficult to do things that benefit me?  Now don’t be confused, yes I take plenty of time to binge watch my favorite shows, to eat the crappy foods I enjoy, to drink too much at times, to speak in ways that are not always becoming- but I cannot seem to show up for myself when it comes to making healthy decisions,  working towards MY goals, and doing things that truly excite me…yet I cannot seem to figure out why?

I have been thinking about this so much because I have been a part of a workout/healthy eating challenge through a local gym.  And one of the things I have been focusing on is SHOWING UP FOR MYSELF.  This requires discipline  in showing up for at least 3 workouts a week and focusing on getting the “correct” amount of protein and water in my daily “diet”. Oh my word- I SUCK at this.  I always have. Being disciplined is hard for me.  A lot of people think that it shouldn’t be this way since I served 8 years in the military– but boy are they wrong.

I still don’t get why showing up for myself is hard. Like, shouldn’t being there for myself be a priority? Shouldn’t I want to love on myself and take care of myself so that I have enough to give back to others? Shouldn’t I feel that I am important enough to show up for? The answer… HELL YES!  It is time to show the hell up for myself.  Stop with the excuses for why I cannot invest in myself. I am in a constant battle in fighting what I want to do versus what I need to do versus what people expect me to do…  The fight is over…..I am no longer going to worry myself about what other people feel I should do.. as long as what I want to do and  need to do align..then, the only thing that I am going to hold myself accountable for over the next 380 days is to just show up for myself!!  It will be challenging, scary, will piss people off, will push some away, will draw some near… but will continue to be worth every moment!


In all things find beauty,


Regretting words…

Image result for quotes about anger

Oh how the above resonates with my soul. Especially over the past few weeks or so. I have such a hard time maintaining my anger and it scares me sometimes. You know me, all about being honest about my flaws. I am a hot head. I don’t recall always being this way, but am definitely one currently!

And my poor family always gets to be on the receiving end of my anger. Why do I allow those closest to me be the ones to suffer the most? I wish I had answers. What I do know is that I am not an easy person to live with. I do not always make my house a pleasant place for my family to feel comfort and safe.

How have I let it get this bad? Again, a question I fail to find an answer to. I feel like I let it get this bad for a couple of reasons. I felt it was safe. I still have no idea how to actually control my emotions/outbursts.

Safe? What? I know that is what you are thinking. Let me explain – at work, I cannot have outbursts because it could seriously impact my job. At school events, people may judge and stare, etc. At home though, yeah I will upset the kids and Damian, but they will get over it. They will love me no matter what and then we will just move on. Right? WRONG!!!!! Yes, it upsets all 4 of them. It makes them uneasy, anxious, nervous to even just be around me. They live in a constant state of thinking, “when is she going to flip out again?” “What am I going to do that is going to set her off?” It makes them not take my words seriously and sometimes not even want to interact with me at all. Trust me when I say that this is not the environment that you want your family to be in. Well, at least I do not. I want my kids to want to be home, to feel safe, to be at ease. I want my husband to want to talk to me. I want my family to feel safe and feel comfortable having their friends over.

Unable to control my own emotions? How is that even possible? For me, so damn possible. I know what certain triggers are, but that isn’t an excuse for my explosive behavior. I try to talk myself down. But I can tell you, it very rarely works. I give up after about 30 seconds and just go full force cruel and whoever is around. Sometimes it isn’t even the person that I am upset with.

Even with my answers, I know that they are not valid and are merely excuses. I don’t write this because I think I know the answers, it is actually the opposite. I write this because I need to get these feelings out and work through them.

I know that my family thinks I am just a mean person. I know that, it is a fact. There lies scars within each member of my family that I have put there because of my actions and my words. I tend to say that I know my actions are wrong, but if… However, there is NO JUSTIFICATION because of my actions. Yes, I think my children are spoiled and sometimes extremely lazy and irresponsible. Yes, I wish my husband would think that keeping the house clean was just as much a priority as I do. But these are in no way a reason for my reactions to things. I cannot change my husband. I can only guide my children. Yes, I have to repeat myself several times to everyone in my family, but again, clearly the outbursts are not working, because I am still repeating myself SO why do I do it? Why do I flip and then feel guilty after, upset everyone else, and still nothing has been resolved.

Listen, I don’t have answers. I know that it is a problem. I am working on getting professional help to aid me in handling these emotions and help fix some of the relationships that I am in the process of ruining.

I think that it is perfectly healthy to get angry. Anger is necessary at times. It is NOT okay to be cruel and outof control. I know this yet struggle with executing a tame version of my anger.

Go ahead and judge me for my honesty, judge me for not being a better wife, mom, person. That is okay. I can take the judgement. I cannot take the overwhelming feeling that I get after each “episode”. The guilt and sadness. Nope, I am not ready to apologize. I can say the words but am not at a place where I feel it will mean something. I will be ready. One day. Hopefully soon. And hopefully, long before it is too late.

Wish me luck on this ….

In all things look for beauty(I am still searching on this one),


2017, it’s time to say goodbye…

2017 is only hours away from being over. Like most people, I like to look back on the past 12 months and reflect a little bit.  Honestly… The beginning of the year is sort of a blur to me. I know that I entered the New Year hoping for a great year of growth and transformation and I believe that I did achieve those goals.  Problem is … With growth and transformation comes shocking and not always good realizations about yourself.  Over the course of the past 12 months, I feel that the majority of my growth has come in these last 5 months or so.  It has been during this time that I have learned the most about myself, both good and bad.

I have incorporated yoga into my life more consistently.  I am hoping that 2018 will be the year that I practice at least 5-6 times a week.  Yoga has been the thing that helps me to feel grounded… And that is definitely needed for me since I am naturally so high strung.

2017 was the year that I gained back all of the weight that I lost in 2016.  When I first started to realize what I was doing to myself, I was angry… But towards the end of the year I have just realized that there is no point in being angry. I need to just make some changes regarding my eating and fitness and get myself back on the right track.  With the right choices I know that I can shed some of 2017 weight in 2018.

Toxic relationships are something that I struggle with ALL the time.  Every year I say that I am going to separate myself from anyone that I feel is toxic to me…and every year I fall short.  I have such a hard time letting go of things/people that no longer serve me.  I don’t know why it is so hard for me.  I don’t have a lot of friends to begin with and tend to just stick to myself …yet, a few of the people that I do interact just aren’t what I truly consider a friend.  I think they mean well, but they just aren’t really my friends… And I know that I need to respect both myself and them and end our ties. Maybe in 2018.

Real talk… I have learned some pretty crappy stuff about myself this year. I have learned about my resting bitch face,  my lack of confidence (OK, well I have known about that for a while),  and have let envy and comparison take a toll on me.  You see, I have watched some good friends do some amazing things in their lives this year… Changes in careers, leaving their comfort zones, opening new doors, slowly working out their master plans in life.  And it makes me so proud to call them my friends. I will support them and encourage them as much as I possibly can. And then come home at the end of the day and cry and feel sorry for myself that I am not working towards living my best life… Like what the hell? Why have I been allowing envy and comparison to bring out the worst in me and make me feel like I am not worth good things? I am capable of great things and in 2018 I plan to work towards greatness and happiness for the entire year!

I turned 35 towards the end of the year and that was probably the highlight of my year.35 is going to be an amazing, life changing year… I know it!  I am putting my best foot forward- escaping my comfort zone, practice yoga, spread kindness, volunteer my time for a greater good, stand up for myself and the things that I believe in regardless of how others may feel, and just live my BEST LIFE!

2017 has been a good year… But I am holding on to the fact that while 2018 may not be the best year yet( I have so many more years to experience) it will be a DAMN good one.  Here is to new beginnings! 


10 Years…

Relationships are hard. Marriage is, well, I would be lying if I said that I thought marriage was easy. And maybe it is for some. However, Damian and I – it has not been easy to say the least.  Today we celebrate 10 years married and 14 years together.  The days sometimes feel gruesome, the years endless.  I have been known to be a private person to some and then one who shares too much to others.  My marriage has been one of those things that I have shared with some and not with others.  I don’t feel that you need to share the intimate details of any aspect of your life.  But as someone who wants to be a write… I realize I do my best writing when I am talking about my personal experiences.

I never thought that I wanted to be married.  I never imagined being a , “Mrs.”  It wasn’t until I met Damian that I really started thinking about marriage.  We both grew up in families with parents who were still together and had a marriage that worked and values that we believed in.  We both believed that when you get married there isn’t separate anything.  We don’t split who pays bills, we share our checking accounts, and truly felt that we were coming together as a team.  We weren’t losing our individuality, we were gaining another perspective.  

In all honesty, the days leading up to when Damian and I got married were not easy.  There were fights among our families, among each other- in fact, I think we both questioned whether we were really doing something that we should.  Just 3 days before my wedding, I was confronted by someone who explained to me that it was still okay to back out and we could just hold a big party on our wedding day instead of an actual wedding. So, when I say, things weren’t that great- I am not being dramatic.

We are so completely different  while our differences are sometimes what cause the biggest rifts in our relationship, they are same things that cause the excitement and adventure.. We do agree on some pretty important pieces though- two of them being that we love each other and love our kids and the family that we have built.

Throughout this 10 years, the two of us have shared so much sadness,anger, resentment, and bitterness towards each other.  On only a few of our anniversaries, we were even speaking. Just last year on our 9th anniversary- we hadn’t spoken for over a week… And we live in the same house.

But today, as we woke up on our 10 year wedding  anniversary, I woke up early and looked over at the man next to me.  I got butterflies in my stomach.  This is the man that I chose to marry, the man that I have grown a family with, the man that I come home to every night.  No one promised me roses, perfection, and happiness every day! I put that expectation on myself.  This is the man that has seen me at my worst and still chooses to stand by side.  This is the man that will put my flaws aside and still love me as if I am the most amazing woman.  And some of the flaws that he has chosen to push aside are pretty damn serious and may even being considered to deal breakers to some. 

I have learned throughout the years that sharing every fight and argument with everyone is not obviously the best idea.  Each time there is a big fight and I have shared or leaned on certain people. When they would take my side and then things would sort of work themselves out… Those people weren’t/ aren’t always so easy to forgive or better yet forget. And then Damian becomes the wrong person, the bad person, the person to blame.  And take it from someone who knows, it gets harder to share the happy, positive times to those people who are still judging from the last time.   Those closest to me have been there during some of these hard moments. Damian and I have both reached out to close friends and family for advice before. We have also both been told that we should walk away and give up. We have both tried to give up and walk away. Way easier said than done, I will tell you. And for those walk away advice givers, I by no means think that they were wrong… Or right. Damian and I just always knew that the choice had to come from us. We had to be the ones to make the ultimate decision. Obviously, since we are celebrating 10 years of marriage- choosing to stay has always won out.

I think it was the right choice. I still expect sadness, anger, bitterness, arguments at times. But now I look forward to creating happiness, laughter, positive memories, a stronger bond, everlasting friendship even more so than ever.

We have contributed to the rough times in our marriage together.  It isn’t right for me to talk about any wrong that I feel Damian has ever done.  Not here anyway. But since it is my post, I can talk about my wrong doings as much as I want. I will tell you this, I am not an easy person to deal with, let alone actually live with. I am the kind of person that treateveryone outside of my home with kindness and then subject my family to all of the built anger from the day.I am working on it, but it can cause a lot of problems in my closest relationships.  My husband gets the brunt of my anger most times. He is my safe zone, but I know it can take a toll on him. He tries to let it go, but sometimes it really does become too much for him. I expect a lot and can be super selfish when it comes to my hubby. I don’t always give what I expect to receive and that is quite a stressor as well. I am learning though’ that through honesty and communication- we can make it through.

This marriage is ours and ours alone.  I need to make it a priority and put forth the work and love to make it work.  

It has been a twisty, bumpy, and scary road with stretches of sunshine and perfect weather over the course of the years and I look forward to paving the road ahead and increases those stretches to longer and longer.  Ten years is only the beginning… The best is yet to come!

Why I …

Why I… Was in a relationship with a man who was 18 years older than me, had an abortion, and forgave a man that was physically abusive.

I figured that it would be easier to combine these 3 scenarios all into one post seeing as they are all connected in a way. And they are all important events of my life- part of my story.

I joined the Army when I was a senior in high school.  And while I was only 17 and my parents had to sign forms also in order for me to join, I felt like I was such an adult.  After I attended basic training and AIT and came back to get situated with unit, I met someone. A man. I was now 18 years old and let’s fast forward a few months.  This man wasn’t some rich older man. He was real, average, and gave ,e the attention that I thought I needed.  As a young adult who had never really had a real relationship, aside from one in AIT, that ended all too soon, I think somewhere in my subconscious I felt that at my age I should have more experience and should be in a relationship.  So I pushed for this one.  Being in the military – when in your unit, it didn’t really matter our ages.  We were all different ranks but we were a team nonetheless.  We were given tasks and we worked together to tackle them.  So this 36-year-old man who was showing me attention didn’t feel like I was doing something wrong… Especially since it started out as a friendship.  We never really disclosed our ages.  I mean, I knew that he was aware that I was young and fresh out of high school and at 18, everyone older than me was old anyway.  He was experienced in the military and sort of knew the ins and outs and ways to get away with things and that worked to my benefit.  It all sort of started out innocent.  Group get togethers with a bunch of us and then it slowly worked its way into one on one time,  When I moved out to UCONN for school, he was the one who helped drive me around to get last-minute stuff or let me use his car to run errands.  I slowly allowed him to consume my life. He was older, had a car, 2 jobs, his own place and he “liked” me.  The whole “relationship was all nice and simple for such a short time.  Pretty much everyone around mew armed me and told what a bad idea it was to be involved with him in the way that I was.  But I was stubborn, hard headed, and immature so I paid them no mind.  I lost my virginity to him (insert abortion story- I’ll get to that in a moment) and then the downward spiral began.  I began even more attached, unhealthily dependent and needy towards him.  His past was consistently inserted itself into my life and causing drama in ways you could never imagine.  I became fed up… I would get the sense to leave, and then he would reel me back in with tears and false promises.  Typical young girl falling for it all.

Shortly after I lost my virginity, the abuse crept its way in.  Everything from this moment on was fast, like   awhirlwind- so much happenign in such a shirt amount of time.  In the moment it felt like an eternity- like an nevr ending nightmare. It began with typical fights that would end with slight pushing and angry words.  And then it increased to full-out hitting, hair pulling, scratching- things you couldn’t even imagine and things I would never wish in my worst enemy( one time so bad involving a wire hanger resulting in an emergency trip to the gynecologist at the college health center)  It became a more frequent activity and more out in the open.  Even happened once in a tent while on Annual Training in Ft. Polk, Louisiana, while people were right outside the tent.  I kept most of it to myself. I think mainly because I knew it was wrong and I knew I deserved better and more.  But I never left. Why? I wish I had an answer for you but honestly, I have no idea.  There were threats from exes, cheating, drugs, the abuse.  None of it was enough for me to just get up and leave.  There was something about being with this man who was like an addiction to me and I just couldn’t shake it. Even on the worst days, I craved him, longed for his presence, just needed him.

I mentioned losing my virginity to him.  I have heard that there is something about the person that you lose your virginity to, that creates some “bond”- but I don’t know if that is what kept me there.  But here I was- suddenly no longer a virgin and then finding out I was pregnant. Thinking back, I don’t remember what his response was when I told him I was pregnant.  I remember feeling so sick and just not knowing what the heck I was going to do. I do remember sitting in his apartment alone with a list of things I would need to take care of and get if I kept this baby.  I remember writing on the list that I would need to leave him and do this on my own. We were not even at the worst parts of our relationship, but I knew leaving would be better than staying.   I had already given up so much to stay with him- friendships, experiences, self worthiness…  I know that I toyed with both keeping the baby and having an abortion for a few weeks. I made a few phone calls and then finally just set up the appointment for an abortion. I am so afraid of anesthesia I asked for just local anesthetic so I would be awake for the actual procedure. I also remember having to ask my best friend, who is COMPLETELY pro-life and against abortions to help me pay for it. I didn’t have near enough money saved and well, my boyfriend- at this point, I have no idea where his money was going.  Now my friend helped me out and on Valentine’s Day 2002, I walked into Summit Women’s Medical center with my boyfriend and proceeded with  the abortion.  No need for details as it was not a pleasant experience and I don’t think most people would want To read about it anyway.  I remember sitting up immediately after and being given saltines and water.  I cried quietly and the nurse asked me, are you crying because of physical pain or emotional pain.  I wonder if I ever answered her. I had to wait for him to come and pick me up, but he wasn’t too long.  He took me to McDonald’s and then dropped me off at his apartment as he went out.  Months went by with the same patterns of abuse and then I found myself pregnant, yet again. This time with Madison. Where was my “boyfriend” at this point?  I am not quite sure.  I know that he had lost his job, gotten discharged early from the military due to a positive tox screen, and was nowhere to be found.

Fast forward to where I am now- I am not angry with him. I do not harbor any ill feelings towards him. I have found it within myself to forgive him for the pain(both physical, and mental). I feel good that that’s where I am now- I feel that it is right.

Now that I have given you most of the backstory  — let me see if I can answer some questions I know are out there.

Why would I possibly want to be with someone so much older than you?  Good question – I ask myself this often.  I’m not sure- I used to think that the circumstances were weird because we met in the military , but now, over 15 years later I think it has more to do with the fact that I was immature.  And then – I think it also had to do with his maturity level as well.  I was an inexperienced, naive 18 year old and truly had nothing to give towards the relationship.  Maybe he was a bit manipulative and that is sort of what drew him towards me- maybe he thought that he could turn me into what he “wanted” – but the way things panned out between us- the world will never know.  I don’t know exactly what was going through my mind during that year and a half.  I sometimes look back and reflect on that time and regret the time I wasted- the time I should have been living and I was stuck in a standstill. But you know what- in this new journey- looking back and living with regrets isn’t going to help in my progress. I aim to just be grateful for the good times that existed between the bad, that my time with him allowed me tap into some inner strength I didn’t know exist, and the fact that without him, there would be no Madison.


Why would you, how could you forgive him for the abuse?  This is also a difficult one to answer.  There are so many variables to why I have forgiven him.  First let me tell you- he came with a lot of baggage and with that baggage a lot of people hurt me.  His ex girlfriend and mother of one of his children was the person who called my mother and told her of my abortion. This same person contacted my father and told him intimate details of my relationship with him.  She helped him try to make me out to be a horrible and neglectful parent in the court systems resulting in endless court dates and parenting classes. But about 9 years ago – I realized that I was holding on to some pretty hurtful feelings towards her.  I was a bit more religious back then, and took it to the alter and gave it to God.  It wasn’t for me to handle.  I couldn’t change her or the things she had done- I could only move forward.  I actually consider the two of us as friends now.  And I realized at the same time that if she was worthy of this forgiveness than he most certainly was too.  Second, those closest to me know that he is extremely sick now and I think many think that I forgave him because I out all the blame on his illness and feel that this is what caused him to do the things he did. NOT TRUE!  I hold him accountable for every hit, shove, thrown item, the hair pulling, all of it.  I remember each one vividly and I won’t ever forget.  But being angry- only hurts me and those that are there for me now.  When I am living with hatred towards him, I start making other people pay for the mistakes that he made. I also didn’t always act my bestand wouldn’t want to consistently be judged for that either. Because of his illness, he doesn’t always remember much- or even me at times, and that breaks my heart.  I don’t see him much and when I do – I always wish that I could tell him that I forgive him, but I know that it won’t mean anything to him. at lot from that time period is trapped somewhere in his brain. I do believe in Karma to some extent- but I wouldn’t wish his illness on my worst enemy.    I don’t think he is a horrible person. Even back then-I think he was hurt, and misguided, and pumped full of drugs and other toxins that impacted his actions at times, but still choices he made.  I do wish that I had been able to make more of an impact before he started losing control of his life and ruining the relationships all around him.  But it wasn’t my job.  Wasn’t my purpose.  I guess that just wasn’t meant to be a part of my story.  And lastly, I think one of the big reasons that I found it easier to forgive him, is because he left me.  Like just up and abandoned me.  I know he wasn’t doing much for me anyway, but when I found out I was pregnant with Madison, that came at a point where I hadn’t heard from him for a couple of weeks- he wasn’t returning any phone calls or texts from me, and I had no idea where he was staying.  But it was that – him leaving – which forced me to move on.  If he had still been coming around and been there throughout my pregnancy with Madison- I don’t think that I ever would have found the strength to get over him, to move on, to focus on living again.  It was one of the hardest transitions that I have ever made in my life because I truly felt like I was going to die and that I wanted to.  But by him just leaving and letting me go- I was forced to realize there was no hope for the two of us and that I needed to get up each day, go to work, and focus on what I was going to do next.  Yes, I was also pregnant and there was the thought in my mind that no matter what was happening I would always be able to keep a piece of him close to me since I was having his child, but as I got further on in my pregnancy- that is when it hit me. I didn’t need him or better yet, want him around me or our child- since he had already proven that he didn’t want to be there for either of us.  And I thank God for him for making that decision for me.  And that was my first step to forgiveness.  I truly believe that he knew that I didn’t have much to offer him and he knew for damn sure he had NOTHING to offer me and that Madison and I would both be better off if he were not around fully. I know he left because he was losing his apartment adn needed somewhere to stay and I wasn’t able to provide that for him since I was living back at home with my parents. So he had to find someone else who loved him and would be able to take him in and care for him as needed. We ended up getting back in touch again adn I saw him a couple of times throughout my pregnancy.  He was even present for Madison’s birth- but nothing had changed. He was still gone and I still needed him to be gone. I never doubted his love for Madison or any of his children- he just struggled with how to show it.  There were custody battles and child support issues which brought out the worst in both of us.  But eventually the court dates stopped and the custody issyes faded as he got sicker and sicker- and then it was almost as if he were truly gone.  Honestly now, Madison and I don’t visit him nearly as much as we should and I do try to call him at least once a month- but one thing is for sure- he is forgiven.  And I know when I do see him, I sit next to him, hold his hand, and tell him that I care about him and I hope amidst all the confusion in his mind- that he has found some peace.

Now onto the extremely heavy question — Why did I have an abortion? What kind of horrible person am I?  The answer isn’t simple, isn’t black and white.  And yes- to many I am a horrible person because of the decision I made. What kind of horrible person am I – only those people can answer. I am as horrible as person as they believe I am.  I may lose friends and respect as people realize that I made this decision at one point in my life..  And if that is the case- then so be it.  I was scared? I don’t know. I was selfish? Probably.  I was confused? Sure. No matter the answer I give , someone will have a comeback.  And to each his own.  I made the choice.  I don’t beat my self up about it, but I do think about it every Valentine’s Day.  I don’t sit and wallow in sorrow- I  let it cross my mind and then I let it go.  It’s part of my story- it’s part of who I am.  No matter my reason, my beliefs, my feelings now— it happened. I did it. I am NOT ashamed.  It does not define me, but it is a a part of me.  It is not something that I am extremely proud of either.  It was a decision that I thought about and thought about and eventually just made.  I may not shout it from rooftops, but I am not afraid to share my story anymore.  And I have SOOOOO much more to share. Ask me if you ever want to know – I am more than willing to share.  Maybe I will just keep on writing my story out for any and all to see.

And let me tell you- if you ever find yourself at a crossroads with any decision- you can come to me. Not for the answer- I probably won’t have it- but with all that I have been though and all of the decisions, both good and poor, that I have made — I most certainly will look you in the eyes, honestly and WITHOUT judgement, grasp your hand and let you lean on my shoulder while you work through it to come to the decision that is best for you.  And with each decision you make- just know that you are creating yet another chapter for your own unique story…

In all things- find beauty,

Michelle xoxo


And so it begins…

Almost exactly 2 years I headed out to NJ to spend the weekend with my sister in law Karina.  She had married my brother in law just 3 months earlier and I was determined to build a better relationship with my new sister.

Such a simple thing and most wouldn’t understand why it was such a big deal, heading out to NJ to spend quality time with Karina.  Well let me be the first to tell you – IT WAS HUGE FOR ME!!  I am not a people person, I cannot stand being outside of my comfort zone, and I am easily intimidated.  I had created like the perfect little storm for an extreme anxiety attack by planning and actually follow through with my plans that weekend.  I ended up having a great time… and that weekend changed me.  It was almost 2 years ago during that weekend that I knew I needed to make a change.  I needed to find myself and stop being who I thought I was supposed to be all the time and just be myself.  So began my findingmyself journey. 

This journey had not been an easy one.  Not easy in the slightest.  I mean, I have been reading books, writing in my journal like always, listening to podcasts, etc. I try to be more aware of what is around me.  Trying to be more open and social. (okay, well I have been doing “kind of” well on them ore social front).  SO why do I still feel empty? Why do I still feel lost?  What exactly am I even trying to find, and why am I even trying to find it?  Are any of these tears that I have been shedding – do they symbolize anything, have any meaning behind them?

Why, in all of the books that I read does this journey seem so much easier.  I mean, there are struggles and such, but it seems as though they get through it much quicker and with more definite answers.  what am I talking about- I know that isn’t entirely true.  It’s just hard to tell the actual time table when reading or listening to book.  I just feel like such a failure, like I am not progressing the way that I should be. In 2 years shouldn’t I feel like I have found myself  or feel like I closer to finding myself.  Uuuuugggghhhhhhh!

The truth is- NO! Not necessarily.  Since when was there a set guideline on”finding yourself” and how long it should take?  There isn’t. But my need for control gets in the way. My need for control SCREAMS that I am failing, that I am too slow, that I must be doing something wrong.

Then reality sets in- Why the hell do I feel the need to put rules on ANYTHING, everything for that matter.  Every time I choose a goal- and as you can tell by my sporadic blog posts, that is quite often – I create all of these rules in my head, some attainable, some extreme, some absolutely ludacris.  It’s like I am utimately setting myself up for failure.. because the moment I fall short on one of these “rules”, I beat myself up. Criticized myself. Feel sorry for myself.  Treat myself in a way that I would never treat anyone else(or at least hope that I never would).

And at that moment- the moment that reality actually set in- I was listening to, “The Love Warrior,” by Glennon Doyle Melton in my car. I don’t know exactly what Glennon was saying, but I do know that something clicked and I burst into tears- ugly, loud, sobbing tears.  At a stop light, getting off the highway to pick up Myles and Mayci, crying hysterically while trying to keep the tears from blocking my vision- I realized that I was going about this all wrong.  It is isn’t that I am doing anything wrong.  It isn’t that the person that I currently am is wrong.  Those are lies that I have been telling myself and believing for years.

The truth is, I was never lost. It isn’t truly about finding myself.  I have been hiding. For years… Decades even.  Who I am hasn’t been locked away or even far away. That person has always been right beneath the surface.  I just covered it up with layers upon layers. As I was growing up,  I suffered from anxiety then too- just more silently than I do now. That’s the thing with growing up, having kids, and wanting to “find” yourself- you start to be a little more vocal about things.  But anyway, as I was saying, as I was growing up I allowed the thing to made me anxious take over and build a small barrier over who I was to help protect me from the next time. I allowed myself to peek through these layers at times, but then I would expose too much and pull that layer blanket right back up over my head, until that weekend in NJ when I realized that these blankets were making me feel lost.  So then I started my finding myself journey.

But, nope – IM NOT LOST!  Through an ugly cry in the car, I realized this finding myself journey is really just a self discovery journey.  I am rediscovering the person that I am.  I am relearning how to love myself. Not in the conceited , I am better than everyone way- but in a way that is so pure and so raw that it allows me to be able to love on others the same way.  We cannot give from an empty cup and I had allowed my cup to be completely empty.

I am crawling out from my hiding place.  I am no longer trying to find a person to become and call that person me. I am crawling out from my hiding place. I am ripping these layers off one by one… Painful it may be, but do it I shall!  I am going to live! Like, really live! No rules! No guidelines! No self deprecating! I am just going to do. Just going to be. Just going to show myself and LIVE! I am going to do things that make me scared. Do things that make me nervous. Do things that I love. Do things that may be wrong, but I am going to do them all the same.  The thing with all of this hiding is that I allowed myself to miss out on so much.  I haven’t ever lived.  I am going to stop being afraid to post my blog posts. I am going to sing out loud in my car regardless of what others may think. I am going to attempt recipes even though they may fail horribly.  I am going to finish school and finally get my bachelor’s degree. When someone upsets me, I am going to tell them, respectfully of course  I am going to tell them.  I will accept reponsibility for my actions and no longer blame others for my unhappiness.  I will work hard but learn to play hard too.  I will not allow the world and upside factors to harden me.  I will be soft and gentle and teach the same to my children.   I will volunteer like I always want to and help to make a difference in the world. I will begin to put my family first.

My goal in life is to be a kind, gentle, warrior. I want to break down the very walls that I have built with grace and love. I will create an environment in myself that makes other feel safe and secure. I am crawling out from my hiding place.  It is going to be a slow and steady crawl, filled with pain, sweat, and tears. For the first time ever, I am going to really FREE MYSELF!

And so it begins…