Posted in Adventures

First Time Living On Your Own – Tips

Over a year into living in a home that’s not my parent’s, I feel like I have finally found a place of comfort. The first half of a year was terrible. I cried almost every night. I was sure I was not cut out for this “adulting”. For someone who never went away for college, I was 21 living with my boyfriend, four hours away from everything I knew for the first time in my life, and I was terrified. But moving away from home was also something I had always wanted to do, so I had to find a way to enjoy it. That didn’t actually happen until almost eight months after moving.

My first tip is to make your house your home. One of the hardest parts of having your first apartment with little money is the comparisons you make between the one bedroom you’re living in, and the beautiful three bedroom your mom kept. Push around the furniture in your living room until it’s exactly how you like it. Decorate the walls anyway your management allows. I hung white and blue Christmas lights around my living space to add a softer lighting, which made me feel more at home on nights that I was seriously homesick. Buy a cheap throw blanket and toss it over the back of your couch. My first couch came from a retirement home auction and a bean bag chair serves as my lounge chair. I found cute throw pillows at Walmart and made sure our bean bag chair was one of my favorite colors. Make sure your living space makes you feel at home.

My second tip: explore your town. It’s tempting to stay inside and watch Netflix all day, I know, I’ve been there. But, step outside. Even if it’s only for an hour a week. Even if it’s only five minutes. Find someplace to explore and make a list of each you enjoy – that way you can always go back to one if you’re feeling complacent. You don’t fall in love with a place by sitting on your couch.

Next, don’t be afraid to fall in love with your new town. Sorry, no pictures for this one, but it’s probably the most important on my list. I self sabotaged for months after first moving. No matter how much I left the house, I always found something to ruin the day. I was always too tired, too hot, too cold – until I realized the problem was me. I was too afraid to fall in love with a place that wasn’t Vermont. What I had to learn over time was that a person can love multiple places at once.

Find things that remind you of home and fill your new place with them. For me, this was pumpkin spice candles and brewing a fresh pot of coffee every morning. I decorated my walls with pictures of my family and places back home I loved. This way I could always be reminded that those things weren’t gone from me, just a bit further away.

And finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “nail” this right away. Often it appears that people move away from their parents and are instantly living their best life. That’s rarely what actually happens. Living away from home is hard. Crying is okay and completely normal. Calling your mom at one in the morning because you just wanted to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and you can’t remember what her special ingredient was is totally fine. Take this day by day. Keep yourself busy.

Living on your own for the first time can be the most beautiful thing you’ll ever experience. You just have to get through the rough patches first. You’ve got this.

Posted in Adventures

Block Island RI – My Experience

July 9th, 2019

My boyfriend Blaine and I have been dating for four years as of yesterday, July 9th. In past years we have been on a much smaller budget, so dinner and movies was usually how we would celebrate. While this served it’s purpose and was enjoyable, this year we decided to spend a bit more and take a day trip to Block Island, RI. From people I talked to and blogs I read beforehand, I wasn’t really sure what it expect. All that I could really gather was this one consensus – it’s expensive.

Gathering this to be true – but also worth it – please continue on to read the events of our day, start to finish.

When Blaine and I arrived to the docks for our 11:50 departing ferry, it became obvious today may not go as planned. We drove around the Water Street parking garage in New London CT, finally finding an open space on the third level. The elevator broken, we ran down three flights of stairs and across the street, finally finding the ticket booth at 11:45 after five minutes of raised voices and arguing over whether we’d even make our ferry in time.

At 11:50 almost precisely, we boarded the ferry and found window seats near the far end of the boat. After turning around once to pick up a group that had missed the departure (so much for our worries), we were finally underway.

ferry out

The hour and twenty minute ride was beautiful. I have always been in love with the ocean, so I was in heaven. We made sure to check out the very top, open level, which was gorgeous and boasted great views, but very windy, so we spent most of our time on the outside deck of the second level. Around us was open ocean, other sailing vessels, and the occasional bit of land rising from the water.

 

As the ferry approached the island, we rode along one whole side, lined with beaches dotted with people, dirt hillsides, and stretching acres of green grass. My first impression before stepping off of the ferry was that this island was very alive. This was only confirmed when we got off.

Upon exiting the ferry, we were standing in a parking lot facing very colonial style buildings and streets lined with bicyclists,  mopeds, pedestrians, taxis, and mostly out of state license plate cars.

After stopping at the welcome center for a map of the island, we continued up Water Street in Old Harbor, in search of lunch. Hungry and not too interested in searching too long for food, we stopped in at a restaurant called The Surf, located inside the Block Island Beach House Hotel, on Dodge Street. This was a wonderful decision, though a quick one. Our outdoor table was right by the railing and looked directly out to the open ocean. Blaine ordering a burger and I fish tacos, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch, pricey for a young couple, but very worth it.

view from restaraunt

Fully and ready to explore, we began down Water Street, stopping in at the many touristy shops lining the street. One thing new to me was how free everyone was. People were dressed completely in bathing suits or swim trunks, in and out of stores. Others walked in the streets and crossed without concern. Music played from docked boats and shops alike.

After some consideration, and having not decided if we were leaving on the 4:50 or 8:10 ferry, we decided we would at least see the Southeast lighthouse and Mohegan Bluffs. This is where there was a slight wrench thrown in our day. Seeing the trek was only 1.6 miles, we decided to walk.

All uphill and very hot, both dressed in flip flops, we made it to the lighthouse, and decided to call for a taxi to bring us back to Old Harbor, quitting on the idea of Mohegan Bluffs, praying our 9 dollars cash would be enough, and both pretty discouraged and ready to leave at 4:50.

Calling from a list in a free brochure I had picked up, of course the first we called was no longer in service. However, the lady who picked up said she would called a friend who was and call us back. We sat on the grass at the lighthouse for twenty minutes. She never called back.

Now pretty angry, and regrettably not really able to enjoy the scenery at the lighthouse in our current mindsets, we decided to begin the walk back to Old Harbor.

When we waved down a taxi about ten minutes down the road, our spirits immediately began to lift. The young man began making conversation, and upon learning we were from Vermont, told us he had met people from all over, but had never met a person from Vermont he did not like. Towards the end of the roughly 1.5 mile ride we worriedly asked how much the fare would be. He told us 12 dollars. We only have 9, but offered to run to an ATM and get the rest as soon as he dropped us off. He shook his head, saying he could tell we were good people and 9 dollars was just fine.

Moods lifted and a new pep in our step, we stopped at an ATM and took out some cash, bought 8:10 ferry tickets, then caught a new taxi to Mohegan Bluffs. It was well worth the anxiety and stress of the first half of the day. Breathtaking views, cool and refreshing ocean water, and a kind woman in a sparkly dress agreeing to take our photo. We spend a while there, just walking along the beach and sitting at the overlook, taking in the beauty in awe. Our initial trek had limited our time and therefore the amount of things we could see, but if I had come and only seen Mohegan Bluffs, I would have been satisfied.

Using the card our second taxi driver had given us, we called him back for a return ride into Old Harbor. Down a couple side streets we went into stores we had missed, I found a shirt, the only touristy item I had wanted to take back with me. With an hour and a half before our ferry, it was time to find dinner and use the remaining time to explore.

We found dinner at Harbor Grill, fish and chips for me, a chicken sandwich with fries for Blaine. We both treated ourselves to an adult refreshment, paid, and then spent the last half an hour walking along the rocks that jut out into the ocean, and along the beach.

The ferry ride back boasted an amazing sunset over the water, and the cost of the parking garage was substantially lower than I had calculated.

All around, we only saw pieces of the island, but it was an amazing experience anyway. The island was beautiful, the atmosphere unique to which I had only experienced the likes of in Hawaii, and the vibes magical. My only regret on completion of the day was having to step off the ferry and return home.

Posted in Poetry

My Business

We are in the business of settling

planted six feet deep with beating hearts

we earn our wages

weighed down by the dirt still being shoveled in

we wallow

and I am afraid this hole is where I will breath my last

 

We are in the business of settling

for lukewarm relationships and stale jobs

plastering a smile onto grey faces

already dead

with half our lives still left to live.

– CM

Posted in Poetry

The Day Before Today

It was the day before today

Not yesterday because yesterdays are to close

but the day before today

a lifetime ago

When my whole body would shake

at the thought of losing you

like a leaf about to turn brown and drop

I didn’t know that the end could be so beautiful.

-CM

 

Posted in Letters to..., Thoughts and Opinions

Curvy Girl’s Guide to being Happy

Yep, you read that title right. It’s crazy to think that the composition of one’s body and one’s happiness would go hand in hand, but in our society, that is exactly what we are conditioned to believe. Was the title click bait? I guess you’ll have to read to find out.

I am a curvy woman. There is no arguing that. I always have been, even when I was a size 6. Wide hips, big bum, big breasts, small waist – I was blessed (my words) with it all. And for a the better share of my teenage and young adult years, I was depressed (diagnosed). Do I believe there is a connection between these two variables? Heck no. Does society push it down our throats that there must be? Of course they do.

Unless you are rich and famous like a couple well known celebs, you are not supposed to have an ounce of fat on your body. They don’t come right out and say it, but the message is everywhere. Magazine covers. Movies. Television shows. Instagram. The list goes on but I don’t have all day and I’m sure neither do you. Now, don’t get me wrong. Progress is being made. Several influencers have made platforms addressing these very issues, with beautiful bodies and the souls to match. Yet still, young girls are led to believe that if you have a certain body type (flat stomach, big boobs, long legs all preferred) then you will be happy.

This is the biggest loud of BS you will probably ever be spoon fed in your life.

Let me tell you a story. Buckle in and hold on because we’re going to dive here.

As I said, I’ve always been a bigger girl. When I was younger, this wasn’t really a good thing. They weren’t yet curves, just little girl chub, so I was made fun of. I was told to eat less and exercise more. Yes, as a ten year old. As I began to grow into my body, fat began to go to places that society is okay with. That I was praised for. Until there was too much of it. Until it came around to my stomach. Suddenly, there was something wrong with me. Yet, I was still happy.

I was still happy until right after High School graduation. I hit a real low, and while there were many factors in my life contributing to this which now I find obvious, my mind then jumped right to my body. Why? Because I had been conditioned to believe there was something wrong with it. Because the girls in my graduating class didn’t look like me. Because the girls on Instagram didn’t look like me. The conclusion to me was obvious. I was unhappy because I was fat.

In six months I lost thirty pounds and five pants sizes. My stomach was flat for the first time ever. I had also hit the lowest depression I have ever been in. So, my body must still not be right. I began going to the gym more and more. I was building muscle where I wanted it. Finally, I was looking like those girls I followed on Instagram. I was also suicidal.

After digging myself out of this dark place with a lot of therapy and even more love and support from family, I began to put the weight back on. I was still going to the gym. I was still eating healthy. But I wasn’t being as restrictive or strict, because I was no longer eating and exercising to get a certain body type. And then I stopped going to the gym for a few months. I started drinking soda again and eating chips. And I gained all of the weight back I had worked so hard to get off.

At the heaviest I have ever been, 170 pounds (THE FEMALE AVERAGE) I am proud to say I am also the happiest I have ever been.

And so, I learned the hard way. Happiness has absolutely nothing to do with the size or shape of your body. You will not be any happier when you are ten pounds lighter unless you also change your heart.

It is completely possible to be as happy as you wish to be in this very moment. A hundred pounds overweight or twenty pounds under.

So here is my curvy girl’s guide to being happy. Step one. Stop placing so much value on the figure you see in the mirror. Step two. Realize you are made up of so much more than just the way your skin and fat have chosen to lay on your body. Step three. Make sure you are okay with the person you are when you’re body isn’t at place. Step three. Make sure your environment is a good breeding ground for happiness.

“Curvy” girls deserve to be happy. “Skinny” girls deserve to be happy. “Fat” girls deserve to be happy. And every single girl in between.

Posted in Letters to..., Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Dear World – Love, Unapologetic Me

Sixth grade English class, first day of school. I wore a purple t-shirt with two penguins printed on the chest I had so enthusiastically asked my mom for whilst school shopping. I liked penguins. The teacher told me to cover up because I was attracting too much attention. Later in private elaborating that too many of my male classmates were looking at the black and white birds displayed on my top.

This is the first time I was treated like an object to be molded rather than a human being.

My dear mother taught my sisters and I that fitting into a box was for woman too shy to be themselves. She taught us to wear the bright colors, to choose the mix matched socks, to buy daisy duke shorts and crop tops and strut them like we were made to be worshiped. My mother taught me to own my body.

Sophomore year of High School, last day of school. I was dressed in all black, walking to my waitressing job fifteen minutes from school when a middle aged man across the street whistled at me and called me sexy. When I angrily told my coworker, he told me I was asking for it. My barely developed teen body shivered as my cloths were suddenly too tight, wishing I had a blanket to wrap myself in to protect me from his stare.

We live in a world where short skirts and tight tops are seen as provocative while cat calls and labels are portrayed as normal.

Senior year, another day at work. A costumer walks in. I will never forget the red of her lips, the way her hair curled back from her face, the form of her body hugged in a black dress. The click of her heels as she approached the counter as if she was made to be there. She spoke the English language in a way that suggested it had been written all for her. When she left, the air was stale.

I promised myself that one day, I would own the room exactly the way that woman did.

Since the moment we learn to talk we woman are surrounded by voices telling us that we are not good enough. Our bodies are not thin enough. Our hair is not straight enough. Our clothes do not cover enough. Or our clothes cover too much. From the second we learn to walk we are groomed into perfect little misses, ushered into cages, taught that if we do not fit into a certain box we will not fit in anywhere.

My sixth grade teacher was a lady. Unknowingly, with only a quick instruction, she set a wheel in motion I was afraid would never stop rolling.

2019, 22 years old. I am still trying to unlearn what the world has forced down my throat since childhood by spoon feeding myself the teachings of a very wise woman. My mother. Her silent example the reason for my loud mouth and overflowing opinions.

Not every woman is lucky enough to have a mother as loud and colorful as mine. So many women are ushered into the darkness, into baggy clothes and fake smiles, believing this is the world they were meant to live in. These women sadly never get to learn what it means to exist freely in their bodies. So many women convinced there is nothing more to this life than the mold they were forced into.

I am here to help you become the woman you might have never known you even had the power to be. Wear the clothes you want. Weather those be the tight jeans and crop tops or the baggy dresses and sweaters. Cut your hair the way you want. Tell everyone exactly what you think. Open your mouth when people tell you to stay quiet.

Own every room you walk into, because this world is yours for the taking.

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Giving Up: The Best Choice I Could Have Made

“Don’t give up!” “Keep going!” “It’s all worth it!”

These are just a few of my own personal mantras. I preach these not only to myself in order to get out of bed in the morning, but also to others, when they come to me with their worries and woes, expressing how bad of a life they have. Do not give up. This will forever be my one solid grain of advice when all my other pearls of wisdom fall to the wayside. When you feel like giving up, give it one more try.

However, that’s not what today’s post is about. Today’s post is actually about exactly the opposite. Today, I plan to tell you about the one time I gave up, and why to do this day, I don’t regret that decision.

Picture this. Years of friendship. The kind of friendship people look at and say “I wish I had a friend like that”. The no boundaries kind of friend. The my house is your house and your house is my house kind of friend. Her family was my family and my family hers. Summers were always spent together. Sleepovers were plentiful, laughing until we had stitches in our sides was an almost nightly event.

And now picture this. A falling out. Not a big fight, a sudden episode, a burst of anger. No, a slow and steady drift that started before either of us even noticed the crack. Days drifted into weeks, weeks into months, until one day we looked back and hadn’t spoken in nearly a year. Life gets busy. People have their own lives. So I’d reach out. She’d reach out. We’d both send a couple messages here and there. We would hang out when we could. The drift continued.

It was only a few months ago when I thought about the big question: Should I give up? It seemed like such a huge thing, such an important friendship to just wash down the drain. But still, each ignored message, each hasty reply, each awkward forced conversation, the question popped back into my mind. Would giving up really be the worst thing?

Some days I wish we had fought. Some days I wish one of us had broken the others heart, because then at least there would be someone to blame. Here, there is just pointing fingers when we both have dirty hands.

I finally made the decision early one morning over my cup of coffee. It was an exceptionally beautiful day. The morning was crisp, the birds were chirping. I never sit on my porch early in the morning, but this particular morning, I decided to. Wrapped in a throw blanket, my hair piled high on top of my head, my limbs still waking up, it came to me at first as a whisper. The thoughts weren’t concrete yet, and so I pushed them aside. But as the sun got higher in the sky, so did the thoughts grow louder in my head until I couldn’t shut them out anymore.

And so the messages stopped. I stopped scrolling up to reread old messages. I stopped digging through my search history to find something relevant to just “bring up” to start conversation. I stopped forcing myself to make something of the past a part of my future. I gave up trying to force something to work that just didn’t seem to want to work.

Giving up is such an ugly phrase. We tend to pair it with dark thoughts, with failure and death. Maybe sometimes giving up means new beginnings. Maybe sometimes giving up doesn’t mean you failed at all, but that you succeeded. Maybe sometimes parts of your past aren’t meant to exist in this moment.

Our friendship was beautiful. We existed for one another when neither of us had someone else to turn to. But people change. Life moves forward. Life also has a tricky way of bringing things back to us that we thought we’d let go.

Giving up meant I no longer had to worry about being the one to message first. Giving up meant I could focus on relationships that were flourishing, rather than watering those that maybe needed a break. Giving up meant resting at a time when I had been doing everything but, trying to keep an old flame flickering.

I write all of this only to let you know that it is okay to give up every now and again. Not on the bigger things. Never on yourself or your dreams or your own life. Never on those things. But sometimes giving up is the only way to see the bigger picture. Sometimes giving up allows you to take a step back and evaluate the situation from the outside.

Now to wrap up my story, because I am sure some of you are wondering. Some of you are probably even shaking your head. “Such a shame,” you’re probably thinking. “Years of friendship just gone.” I don’t see it that way.

I have outstretched arms for this woman and I always will. My home with always be her home. If she fell on her butt and needed some cash to get by, my money would be her money. My ear will always be ready to listen. I still want to be a part of her daughter’s life. I still want to grow old with her. I still want her to be my maid of honor whenever I do get married. Just because she is not part of my now does not mean she can’t be a part of my future. I will always love her in a way I’m not sure I’ll ever love anyone else. Because in a way, she was my first true love. Before either of us knew what romantic love was, when we only really knew we loved our parents and siblings, we grew to rely on each other and we grew together. That’s not something I will ever forget or take for granted, nor would I ever want to. The blunt truth though is that we are on different paths now. We are living different stories and that’s a good thing.

I gave up only to allow room for growth. I gave up only to allow the universe to do her thing. Because she really does have a way of knowing what is best for you.

Posted in Thoughts and Opinions

10 Things Your Server Wants You to Know

Five years working in a restaurant can make or break a person. It’s not easy work, and the pay isn’t always great either. My experience had it’s hills and it’s valleys. To this day, waitressing is my favorite job I’ve ever had. But it’s also my least favorite.

I stumble across these lists everywhere. Blog posts, magazine articles, Youtube channels. It seems everyone wants to give their take on the topic, and I can see why. From my own experience, I tend to disagree with half of what these writers say, and whole heartily agree with the other half. No two people are going to have the same exact experience working a service job, so this difference in opinion makes complete sense. As I find profound interest in these lists myself, I thought I would take a moment to construct my own list of the 10 things your server wants you to know.

1.) We have bad days. I can’t count the amount of times a costumer would complain to another one of my coworkers about my ‘attitude’, when in reality, I just didn’t smile wide enough. I know you are paying for good service. I understand that you expect a server who smiles widely and returns to your table promptly at your every beck and call, but the reality of it is, we are human too. We have bad days. So if I’m not smiling when I return to your table with the extra dressing, it’s not because I think you’re needy for asking for extra ranch. It’s because I wish I was in bed instead of wearing this apron and taking your order.

2.) Any tip is better than no tip. Often when reading these lists people say angrily TIP AT LEAST FIFTEEN PERCENT. I get it. We live off of these tips. We make crap money so we depend on these tips to pay our bills. But I don’t agree with the argument that if you can’t afford a fifteen percent tip, don’t go out. I’ve been in the position where I couldn’t afford that fifteen percent tip. My family and I all ordered the cheapest things we could on the menu to keep our total low, and we tipped what we could. Everyone deserves to treat themselves. We are all trying. So if you can only afford a two dollar tip, then leave a two dollar tip. I might complain in the moment to my coworkers, but I get it. It’s better than nothing. This does not mean however, that it’s okay to rack up a bill of over a hundred dollars and only leave a two dollar tip. This will put you on the servers sh** list.

3.) PLEASE clean off the space in front of you before I bring you your food. More times than not, costumers will place their phone in front of them, or their drink, or their own elbows, and expect me to clean the space for them while balancing a tray and carrying refills in the other hand. This almost always results in me struggling for a good five minutes trying to set your food down while you stare at me with an angry glare, and then an angry note about my service written on the comment slip when you leave. This can all be avoided by just keeping that space clear. Thank you.

4.) This is on every list. But it needs to be repeated. DO NOT take drinks off of my tray. It took me months to learn exactly where each glass needs to be placed, and in which order each glass needs to be taken off in order to avoid every drink landing on the floor or worse, on your brand new dress. I know you think you’re being helpful. But you’re not. I know what I’m doing. You are only going to cause a mess. It won’t hurt you to wait an extra ten seconds for me to get to your diet coke.

5.) Just because I don’t look busy, doesn’t mean I’m not busy. When you see us walking around the dining room and you get angry because you haven’t been checked on in the past two seconds, know that we are probably very busy, even if it doesn’t seem it. You are not the only table your server is responsible of, and serving requires mental multi tasking to the point that I would often leave with headaches Tylenol extra strength wouldn’t even touch. Wait for us to come around. We have a system and I promise we will get back to you.

6.) Your server has no control on when your food comes out. All we are responsible for once we put your order into the system is picking it back up and bringing it out to you. We are not in the kitchen cooking it for you. Someone else entirely has that job, so yelling at us to cook your well done steak faster, is going to do nothing but make both you and us very angry. The most we can do is go back and ask the chef how much time is left, normally causing the chef to promptly yell back a line of profanities and usher your server from the line. Just enjoy the company at your table and sit back. Your food will come, I again, promise.

7.) PLEASE do not come into a sit down establishment and tell your server you are in a rush. If you must, we will do our best to get you out in a timely manner, but as stated above, there are so many other variables out of our control. Most restaurants offer take out, online ordering, or even delivery. If you are in a hurry, please consider one of those options. Our jobs include making your meal the best experience it can be, so if we have to rush, not only will you experience sub par service, but other tables might suffer as well.

8.) The nicer you are to your server, the better experience you will have. It sounds horrible, but it’s true. Again, we’re only human. Most servers, or should I say, good servers, will always give you good service. But if you are nice to us, patient, kind, understanding, you might even experience great service. I’ve been known to give a free refill on a drink we aren’t supposed to, or an extra sauce for no charge where their should have been a fee, just because the costumer didn’t yell at me when I forgot to bring ketchup to their table. Like the saying goes, you reap what you sow.

9.) Your server does not control the prices. I have had two service jobs, one of which, and my all time favorite job thus far, was at a health food cafe. You get what you pay for, as in all things. So, I thought understandably so, prices were a bit higher because the food was farm to table. Everything was organic and handmade. Still, costumers would complain to me, after ordering and eating, once receiving their bill, about the price. I do not get paid from your check. I do not make the prices. I have no control or interest in the prices of each item whatsoever. If you can not afford a particular place, pick another. It is okay to look at a menu and leave without ordering because you can’t afford anything on the menu. I will not judge you and I will not be angry. I’d rather that than having to deal with your angry complaints as I am trying to buss your table and serve three others.

10.) And finally, please don’t look down on your server for the line of work they are doing. I have met some of the best people working service jobs, people with some of the most interesting stories and lives you wouldn’t even imagine. Some of the most intelligent people. Some servers are High School students saving for a car or college, others are single moms working three jobs to put food on the table, and others stumbled into serving on accident and never left because they loved it. And every story in between. No matter what the reason, they are no less of a human than you simply because they are bringing you your meal. If you can afford a bigger tip, leave a bigger tip. If you are in a great mood that day and want to leave your server a note on how amazing they were, please do. Each and every server you will ever have is only doing their job, living their life and trying to pay their bills, just like you.

After reading my list, I hope you leave here with a bit of a different outlook on your servers and I hope you learned something. If you’ve ever served or worked in costumer service in general, please leave a comment and add to my list. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Posted in Letters to..., Thoughts and Opinions

Stop Comparing Yourself: Feeling Confident At Any Size

I remember going to Plato’s Closet with my sister, four years younger than me, after I’d put on about twenty pounds, and feeling so discouraged because I felt my body no longer looked good in the styles I used to love. I picked through the racks and grabbed off items I would have worn a year ago and handed them to my sister, telling her how beautiful she looked in them as she tried them on and questioned whether her hips looked too big or if this bunch of fat peaked out too much. I remember wishing I had the body back that I had so desperately tried to change.

A week later I was standing in front of a full length mirror at work in a baggy t-shirt and leggings, picking at my stomach and I said to my co-worker, “I have gotten so fat.” She looked at me with a look of complete surprise on her face and said “Where?” Like she couldn’t believe I think that of myself. Like those weren’t thoughts that cycled through my brain about every five minutes.

When I got home that night I took a long look in the mirror at my body and I wondered where I had gone wrong. I didn’t hate the way my body looked. Sure, there was a bit more to my stomach and my thighs pressed together a bit tighter, but I still thought I was beautiful. So why was I feeling so down about my own body?

Theodore Roosevelt once said “Comparison is the thief of Joy,” and while I doubt he was talking about our bodies, the same principal applies. Comparing your body to another body – whether that be a friends, an Instagram Models, a Celebrities, or even your own a year ago – will do nothing but make you feel bad about yourself.

I am the biggest now that I have ever been. I work out and I eat healthy. I am healthy. Yet, I am still the biggest I have ever been and that is okay. Could I be doing more to make my body smaller? Sure. But would that make me happier? Probably not.

According to a quick Google search, the average weight of a woman over 20 is 170 pounds. My heaviest weight puts me slightly above the average, yet woman who look just like me call themselves fat and ugly every single day.

Stop comparing yourself to anybody. Look in your mirror and love your body at whatever size and shape it is right now. If you know you are healthy, you know you are doing the best that you can in this body right now, than that is enough. You can still want smaller arms. You can still want to see a smaller number on the scale. You are still allowed to think the girl five sizes smaller or bigger than you is beautiful. But also know you are beautiful. Know your arms at this size are beautiful. Know your body at this weight is beautiful.

I’ll leave you with a selfie taken this morning at my heaviest weight. I am posing to make myself feel good. I am posing to extenuate the body parts I feel most confident in. I promise my stomach jiggles when I walk and my thighs rub together with each step. Notice that face? She’s happy in this body right now. Join her.

me

Posted in Poetry, Thoughts and Opinions

Getting What you Want: A Leap of Faith

61250530_363852321152003_4499826409885036782_n

I am a firm believer that hard work is the number one ingredient in getting what you want. Without hard work, dreams remain just that; dreams. Instilled in me since childhood has been this grit – a willingness to put forward every ounce of my energy into my desired outcome. However, I am also a firm believer that the second ingredient will always be faith. Let’s rewind.

I have had many people call me crazy when I tell them that I moved to Connecticut (four hours away from any family or friends) with only the money I had saved and no job lined up. I have had people look at me like I was stupid, questioning why anyone would do something so ridiculous. However, in the moment, the decision to move without any real plan was just a complete leap of faith. And I had no doubts that it would work out.

Similarly, a few years back my best friend and I made the drive from Vermont to Mississippi just the two of us, stopping at hotels along the way on a week long adventure. People asked why we didn’t fly. People asked why our parents would allow us to make this journey alone – we were almost twenty at the time, but looking back, it was risky. In the moment though, we set off with our suitcases in my friends Honda CRV, and took to the road with no doubts that we would do nothing but have the time of our lives.

I could explain to you several other instances in which I jumped without seeing the ground. With every single one, I would not be where I am today had I not taken that leap.

It is terrifying. Admittedly, it can be the scariest thing you will ever do. But it is also extremely important in getting what you want.

There is no secret recipe. No short cut to success. But if you work hard and believe in your actions, effort and faith will always pay off.

I am not here to say that you will not eventually leap and land on your behind. More than once I have tried and failed. But it’s in the getting back up where you win. It’s in the failing and always jumping again that you succeed.

Take the risk. Jump when you can’t see the ground, step when you don’t see the stairs, dive when you don’t know the depth – you will be rewarded. There is no success in safety. Always, it lives in the unknown.