Dear Michelle,

20190320_122634.jpg**Let’s take a peek into a letter that I wish I could have received from future self when I was 19/20, pregnant and scared as all hell!**

Dear Michelle,

Oh dear, I hope that you are doing okay as you read this letter. At 19/20, pregnant, and scared… there are not many words that I know that can ease any worries, however, being your future self at 36– let me talk to you for a minute.

Things are about to get super real and you need to hear some things that you are not going to like. You and your baby’s father are over. You are done, no longer together.  This will feel like the end of world, but believe me when I tell you it is not. It is the best thing ever. Him walking away will save your life. SAVE YOUR LIFE!!  I can tell you a million times over that this will leave you broken, but you will NOT stay that way. There will be a piece of you that he takes with him forever, but you will not need it because in the end you will receive something even better.  So allow yourself to break down and collapse, it is not the end girl- you are truly at the very beginning. In fact, let’s talk about what is about to happen.

This pregnancy is going to suck. You will be tested in ways far beyond what you have seen and you will surpass each and every test. But listen to me girl- You are a f****** warrior! This pregnancy and experience could seriously break you down to nothing- however, you will not let it. You will cry, scream, yell, hide your feelings, feel as lonely as ever but will come out of this stronger than ever. You will lose friends and will piss people off because of some of the decision you will make, but trust me- it won’t matter.  First- you will experience some things throughout your this pregnancy that will cause some danger to both yourself and your baby. Stay calm, there are some people who are going to want to see you at worst and are going to try to make that happen.. and you WILL let it happen and will hate yourself for it, but again- keep moving forward. I still cannot tell you what made you decide to keep this pregnancy as opposed to terminate as you had done before but I think you made the perfect choice and on June 27th, 2003 you are going to give birth NATURALLY and CALMLY to one of the best individuals ever and it will be THE MOST POWERFUL moment of your life. And I mean that with all of my soul. I mean- trust me- it has been over 15 years and that precious child is a damn rock star human being!!!!

One of the other things that I want to talk to you about is your self-doubt and your  lack of confidence. I know that people think that you are the most confident and outgoing person of life. I also know that these thoughts about you is so freaking far from the truth. I know that you currently sit in your room alone scared to death of the life you are going to bring into this world. I know that while you are sitting there you have cried buckets of tears because you are nowhere near where you thought you would be. You never made it to NYU-nope. You never moved to New York and chopped your hair off-nope. You aren’t on your way to become a criminal psychologist- nope. You dropped out of college- yup. You passed on an opportunity to move to Chicago and start over and have no idea why- yup. You feel like your parents are so disappointed in you- yup, they probably are. You feel like you are alone and I stress that because this is going to follow you, but you will embrace the “alone” differently as you age.

I will tell you that over the next 16 years or so those same feelings and thoughts will continue to be ever.  You are going to still feel that self-doubt and have that lack of confidence. What I am going to say is that you are going to come so far.  But let me tell you about some of your feelings.  By the time you turn 36 you still won’t be where you thought you should be… your entire life will have changed. You will decide not to reenlist in the military. You will get married at 24, have 2 more super amazing kids before turning 30, live on your own, live with your husband’s parents, and then purchase your own home at 28.  These are all big events and you survive them all. Not all of them are easy but they have all been worth it.  You will haven’t made it to NYU, but your oldest daughter hopes to go to a school connected with NYU for dance. You did chop off your hair after you turned 36 because by then you were finally brave enough and confident enough to not give a shit about what anyone else thought.  You go back to college a couple of times and are currently active in school hoping to receive your Bachelor’s in Criminal Psychology by the time you reach 38.  You still never went to Chicago and that desire and want is since faded.

So, no I cannot tell you what life would have been like if those things worked out different, but I can tell you how life has been.

It has been a roller coaster. You are on a “never-ending” journey of self-love and you are really working your ass off.  You struggle with being a mom, and know there is a shit ton of room from improvement- but have finally understood that parenting is a challenge. And while it was originally never in the cards for you, it is probably one of the reasons why you are not homeless and addicted to drugs.  You are thankful for each one of your kids and the special gifts you bring to your family. Your husband and you have ALWAYS had to work double hard to maintain your relationship- but neither one of you has yet to give up.

You are resilient, loving, empathetic, kind, sensitive, and a bad ass all rolled into one.  You can’t stand people just as strongly as you love them.  And this is all because of the person you are right now as you read this letter.

DO NOT GIVE UP! KEEP MOVING FORWARD! KEEP DOING THE HARD THINGS! Write as much as you possibly can. Talk to anyone that you can. Continue to build relationships with people. Do not be afraid to trust. Be honest and open and raw and real- even when it makes you or other people uncomfortable.

You got this Michelle!!!  Keep hanging in there… maybe one day when you are in your 50’s you can write a letter to your 36-year-old self…. I can only imagine what that letter will say….

In all things find beauty,

MRC

 

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😃
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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
confident.
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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.
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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.
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*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!

WISH ME LUCK

In all things find beauty,

MRC

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),

*ME*

WeightWatchers Journey—- is this farewell??

Alright, so it has been about 8 weeks since my last post about my WeightWatchers journey.  I certainly wish I had much more to post, but honestly— not much has changed.  I am at a current weight loss of 26.8 pounds.  My current weight is 136.  I will let you do the math to figure out my starting weight, lol.

And I will be candid and tell you that I write this while I catch up on General Hospital and am eating Birthday Cake Fudge Striped Cookies with tears in my eyes– go ahead and Judge me………

My goal weight is 125, so I am still 11 pounds away and I have a feeling, that it will take me a little while to get to that weight loss.  I am sort of at a stand still right now.  I know that is normal and I know that 26 pounds lost is a great thing.  I actually feel bad that I am not as happy about it as I should be.  But, realistically- I have not been working quite as hard as I was before, so I haven’t been expecting much!

I have a reached a point where I am just ready to give up.  My confidence is soaring, I am feeling amazing, but there  is just something that pulls me to the other side.  The side of me that wants to eat what I want, when I want, the amount I want.  The part of me that doesn’t want to track everything that I put in my mouth, and then feel guilty when I choose the “wrong” things.

And, to be perfectly honest.  I HAVE given up.  I haven’t weighed in in about 3 weeks.  I haven’t tracked any of the food that I have put in my mouth, and I haven’t really been doing much in the area of exercise aside from the occasional dance class and work out video here and there.  Jen and I have been talking and we are thinking of trying something new that starts on Monday, but I am still not 100% sold on that either.  Why is it that the more work I have to put into something, the less I want to do it?  Am I really that lazy?  The answer is … yes!  I really am that lazy.  And it just plain sucks.  Over the past month, I have been complimented more than I could ever imagine.  I have been praised for my weight loss.  My boost in confidence has not gone unnoticed.  I carry myself slightly differently, I smile way more than I have in a long while.  I was even told, just recently, “Wow, I can actually put my hands around you, which means you must be losing weight” (Wait a minute, was I that big- I don’t think so, but the fact that someone could comment like that makes me realize just how drastic my weight loss has been)

Why would I want to sabotage that?  Why throw all of this hard work away?  Unfortunately, if I had the answer, I probably wouldn’t be writing these questions one.  SO if you come to these posts for motivation– click off NOW- You will NOT get motivation here.  You will get real life.  Real feelings, real self sabotage, real self pity, real ME!

I am not just my weight loss. I know that.  I know that there is so much more to me than that. I am extremely happy and grateful for as far as I have gotten.. I don’t take any of it for granted.

Let me close this by saying– Yes, I am giving up Weight Watchers. And yes, I acknowledge all of the good that it has done for me.

BUT NO — I will not just stop trying to lose the weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  My journey with weight loss and the journey to find myself is so far from over. It has only just begun………

 

~~~~~Michelle

xoxo

I love my kids, and yet….

God knows that I love my kids. I really do, I mean it.  And yet, which in reality is just my fancy way of writing BUT, yet sometimes I don’t like my kids or even want to be around them.  I know right now all of those perfect parents are out there thinking to themselves, “how on earth can she say those things, what kind of mother is she?”  I know people think that because people have said it to me.

Well, I feel that I am a normal mother. A real mother. A mother that isn’t afraid to speak the truth.  Maybe not a “typical” mother, but normal according to my definition of the word.  And that is all I care about.

I can honestly say that I am not one of those mothers that always misses my kids when they are away.  Sometimes, I am just so grateful that I have time to myself and don’t have to entertain anyone or fetch anyone some juice, snacks, lend a listening ear, etc.  Yup- sometimes I plain just don’t want them around.  And because of this “alone” time, I am also extremely grateful that my kids all have activities, friends, and family members that keep them busy and want to actually spend time with them.  I am one lucky lady.

Now my kids are amazing kids.  Pretty well behaved for the most part and extremely intelligent and self sufficient.  But nope, I still don’t always like them.  I have even caught myself resenting them at moments.  Yup– I am not afraid to admit that anymore. I also think that in the moments when I have felt that resentment, that it is probably best that I a, away from them for a moment. Don’t think that I wrote that I regret having my children.  I am so glad that I have each and every one of them.  They have each taught  me many different things about my life and brought a special something to our family dynamic.  With that being said, yes- I have thought about how different things may have turned out had I not had kids.

Please remember, that right out of high school, I had no intention of becoming a mom.  I never wanted kids and always wanted work to be my first priority.  Then reality set in.  I wanted to have sex, I made the not so smart decision of not being “on point” with my birth control, and then came child #1.  Fast forward a few years and I got married and then we decided to try to have a child and here comes child #2, Child #3 was not a surprise by any means (I’m not an idiot, I know how babies are made), but we weren’t exactly planning that child.

3 children was definitely the limit for me.  I know darn well that I would not be capable of handling anything more than what I have.. .even sometimes the 3 of them pose a challenge for me.  Maybe that is why I am not the super loving mom that society tells me I must be.  I am not the cuddling type.  I don’t eat after my children.  I certainly won’t kiss them on the mouth.  Yet – I do love my children and I try to show them in the best ways that I am able to.  I tell them that I love them at least once a day.  I make sure they have a place to live, food on the table, and even some extras at times.  I listen to them when they are telling me long, drawn out stories about things I have no interest in hearing about.  I help them wipe their butts when they need me to.  I stay up until the wee hours of the morning helping them straighten their hair for pictures and dance competitions.  I drive them to all of their activities and spend the majority of my money on things for them. I clean up after them.  I am the Secretary for their school’s PTO, help out at dance recitals, and let them pick out food while I am grocery shopping.  I wipe away tears when they are hurt (normally because I am the one that has upset them). Stand up for them when necessary.  I correct them when they do the wrong thing and I hold them responsible for anything they do- good or bad.  I will sit in silence with them when they have had a rough day and just need quiet time.  My ways of showing my kids love may not be conventional- but they are real.

So when you hear me saying I want time away or I need alone time, please just respect it.  It may not be your style.  You may not even approve.  And you are entitled to that.  Just know, I love my kids, and yet…

Day 14 — If you won the lottery….

Okay, so in typical Michelle fashion, I have fallen behind on this challenge already.  BUT– to change it up, instead of just giving up, I am going to jump back in.. and hopefully back track on some of the days as I make time to.

Today’s challenge is, If you won the lottery……

Definitely  a challenging question and while I think about it all the time (don’t we all), I have never really THOUGHT about it.  t doesn’t give a dollar amount that you won, so I am just going to assume that it is a pretty substantial amount.  Possibly one that would mean that I would not need to work anymore and could still manage to live quite comfortably.

With that being said, I probably would NOT quit my job.  I mean, I don’t think that I would necessarily stay on full-time, but I would certainly work part-time for as long as possible.  I would also pay off any of our big “loans”. Damian’s student loans, the house, my car.  I would finally add-on the additional bathroom that we don’t quite have the money for right now.

Of course I would like to help out my family members as much as possible as well.  So yes– all of the normal things that I feel like most people would want to do with some of their winnings.

THE #1 THING I WOULD DO IF I WON THE LOTTERY, would be——————————————————————-

GO ON A VACATION!!!!  Well to be honest, 2 vacations really.  I would like to go on a vacation with just Damian and I and then an additional vacation with the whole family.  This is so important to me!  We haven’t been on a family vacation since before Mayci was born. When Myles was 1 and a half we spent a weekend away so we could go to the Bronx Zoo and then to the New England Aquarium.  Not even what I would consider a true vacation.  And Damian and I, we took a long weekend for our anniversary about 4 years ago.  And we have done a couple of overnight stays in NJ/NY at his brothers places a couple of times since then.  I want a true getaway.  Like more than a few days and somewhere longer than 3 hours away.

So, see– I wouldn’t be too greedy if I won the lottery.  It would just be nice to be able to live comfortably for a time.  Something that we don’t always do, depending on the time of year.

Unfortunately, I don’t play the lotto, so if I don’t play, I guess I will never win!

 

What would you do if you won the lottery??