Just Honest; My Ugly Truth

Have I Damaged My Daughter?

There is so much stigma behind having to be this perfect cookie cutter mom – Well I am here to let you in on a little secret. Motherhood isn’t always pretty. .

“There you go turning it back onto me. You can’t just own up to what you do wrong,” he yelled right before I clenched my fists, screamed at the top of lungs, and punched the wall three times. With the third hit, I heard my daughter start to cry. I stormed into our bedroom and slammed the door and continued to break down. As I was able to grasp onto reality, I walked out of the room and went to my daughter and held her and apologized over and over as she cried.

That is how most of the arguments went in my marriage. I would get to the point where I couldn’t process anything anymore and just lash out. Outbursts is what my doctor called them. Adult temper tantrums, if you will. I was ashamed of myself… I still am. I have put holes in doors and dents into walls. I have yelled things at the top of my lungs that I never meant. I have dislocated my knuckle. I have lost lost, not just my temper, but my entire mind, in front of my child more than I like to admit. My hormone levels were all fucked up. I had anxiety and depression. And I wasn’t taking medication for anything because I truly thought I was fine. None of those are an excuse for what I have put my daughter through. No child should have to see their mother completely lose their shit. I was in no way fine. It took me over a year of these “outbursts” to get the help my family deserved. Once I did, it was like the fog cleared. I could process life again. I could manage simple emotions. There were still times that my mind couldn’t grasp an emotion or the words necessary to express myself, but being on medication has helped make sure that those moments are less intense and few and far between.

It has been 6 months since my last outburst. I was about 8 months pregnant at the time. I was fighting with my soon to be ex-husband. We were separated, but living together. (Something I don’t suggest.) My daughter followed me into the bedroom that time. She came in and her and I squeezed each other so tightly. I apologized… again. She told me it was ok and that sometimes people get upset. She comforted me. I felt so deeply for her in that moment. A 3 year old comforting her pregnant mom. I am supposed to be the parent. I am supposed to be the one taking care of her. Have I made her feel like she has to be strong for me?

Knowing what I know about child development, I know that there is a good chance that what she has witnessed could affect her. I have sat down with her and explained to her why mommy turned into a psycho bitch, of course not in those words. I have told her how sorry I was and made sure she knew how much I loved her and her daddy. My fear is that no explanation will erase what I could have embedded in her mind. Have I damaged my daughter? Will she grow up dealing with anger by putting holes in walls and lacking the ability to process when under high amounts of stress? How do I make sure she is nothing like me? These are the thoughts that rummage through my mind. I need to protect her… from me. This isn’t the mom I ever I thought I would be.

Here are some things that I try to do to ensure she has all the tools to be able to handle her emotions and to understand why some people, like me, have breakdowns.
– Validate her feelings.
Doing this is probably the most important thing. Letting her know that I hear her and understand she is feeling a certain way helps with the next tool. Validating her feelings, I believe, helps her identify others moods and emotions. When we talk about her feelings and I assure her she is allowed to feel that way, she is able to develop compassion and empathy for others.
– Help her communicate her feelings.
There are times, even as adults, that we don’t have the words for our feelings. And sometimes we need help spitting out what might be bothering us. If an adult has a hard time, I can guarantee you a 3 year old does as well. Doing this helps her understand me why I am upset. When I explain to her why I might me feeling a certain way she can relate it back to a time she felt that way too.
– Allow her to feel what she feels.
This is also very important. There are times when I don’t allow myself the freedom of feeling and do you know where it gets me? With a bruised hand because I can’t punch right without gloves. I have seen her make progress with this one. When I use to get a little sad, she use to get very angry with me. Understandably so going through what she has gone through with me. But now, after doing these consistently, she is able to just be with me in those moments and simply just ask why I might be upset.
And last but not least
– Love her no matter what and make sure she knows it
Seriously, if I never had to let her go when squeezing her I wouldn’t. When she is so upset in any way – it physically hurts me. I want to take that away from her and the only way I know how is by loving the shit out of her.

Writing this blog has been the hardest one I will have written so far. I feel like I have failed my daughter and my family. There is so much judgement behind how a mom should be. And once I hit ‘publish’, my ugly truth will no longer be in the dark. I can only hope that those who read this know that I am doing my best, that I love my babies, and that nothing will stop me from always trying to be the best mom I can be.

Read my next blog; Just Honest; Medicated Mommy, where I will go into more detail about my truth on medication.

Just Honest; Motherhood

Mothers Day. The only day of the year that mothers get a “day off”. The day us mothers step back and visualize our life and how incredibly full being a mom allows it to be. The joke on mothers day is that the mom just wants to be away from her babies. Get some alone time. Take a break. While I know that may be healthy and necessary at times, I want to try and take this day to remember why I love being a mother. A mother to my littles. I want to be grateful for every moment I have with them. Good and bad.

It can be so easy to feel stressed as a mom. Between the laundry, repetitive questions, and being someones personal snack bitch, being grateful can be hard. Finding things to be grateful for in the midst of the chaotic days, diaper changes, soccer practices, and online school bullshit, is next to impossible. But today, lets all step back, take a breath, watch our children and remember why we love being their mom.

My ex-husband brought our daughter to me at church this morning and she ran up to me with flowers. Melted my heart. I pulled her into my lap with her brother and just squeezed them. Then I looked over at their dad and realized that this wasn’t possible without him. Because that is where it starts, right? If it wasn’t for his little swimmers, I wouldn’t have two, incredible, children. So do you know what I did? I thanked him. I thanked him for helping make me a mom. And I wasn’t even trying to be funny. I truly meant it.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for my children. They have given me so many reasons to be strong, to strive for more, and to have faith. When my daughter climbs into my bed while sleep walking. When my son grabs my face and gives me a drooly baby kiss. When my daughter rolls her eyes. When my son smiles. When my daughter dances. All these things set my heart on fire. And that is what today should be about. Remembering why being a mom is the best thing I will ever be. I am a mother. I am patient, I am loving, I am tender, I am tough when needed, I am strong, I am able… I love my babies, because they make me all of these things. And without them, I wouldn’t know what I am capable of.

So, to all of you mothers; mothers of infants, mothers of toddlers and threenagers, to mothers of teens and adults. And to the mothers of the babies we have lost – Happy Mothers Day. Being a mom is the hardest thing we will ever do. Take pride in it. Thank those who have helped you get here. And be grateful for every moment.

Just Honest; Ex-Wife or Divorced Woman

A 28 Year Old’s Identity Crisis

You are sitting at a railroad crossing, the train keeps going and going. You swear you can see the end of the train, but then more cars seem to pop up. You wish you were on the other side of those tracks moving on with your day, your plans, your life. The feelings of loss just continued to pass in front of me like that never ending locomotive. Anger, denial, depression, acceptance, anger, denial, depression, acceptance. The day my marriage ended, that is how I felt. My marriage didn’t just end; it died. I wanted to be past the awful waiting period of healing and all of the nonsense that goes with it. Little did I know, it isn’t just one side of the tracks or the other with divorce. There is the middle. Ya know, the place where the train is moving. Where you can either get hit or lie down and watch the train coast over you.
I know I know, you are probably thinkin to yourself, “You could just jump off the tracks. For the sake of good writing, let’s just say that you are stuck. Your shoe lace is stuck in the rail.
Anyways, that is where I am. I am stuck in between the tracks of my divorce. It isn’t whether or not I am over him or still in love with him; I will always love him. He gave me my children. It is trying to figure out how to rid my identity of the ex-wife title and become the divorced woman. One side of the tracks is where the ex-wife title is being held over my head and the other side is where I get to move on with my life as a divorced woman.

The title, ex-wife, just holds so much weight. And being called the ex-wife just reminds me that my marriage failed; that I failed as his wife. People can say all they want that words cannot hold a power over them. Well get divorced; you’ll be proved wrong. The words ex-wife aren’t just ex-wife anymore. They are all of the words that have been used against me, at me, and towards me since this nightmare began. “I don’t love you anymore,” “This is why we aren’t married,” “I was never happy”. How can two words scream so many different meanings? How have I allowed myself to be inferior of words? I feel like I still have allowed him to have control over me, over my mind, and over my heart. I was HIS wife. And now I am HIS ex-wife. He left me. Now it is time for me to figure out how to leave him… completely. (Stay tuned).

The other side of those tracks, that’s where the road goes on for miles. That is where you become the divorced woman. I long to be that woman. I don’t want to feel pain when he walks through my door anymore. I don’t want to read into why he decided to join me for breakfast uninvited. I want to be able to look at him and think 2 things; I hope he finds happiness, and I deserve better anyways. Even typing that second one was hard. I deserve better. I deserve better. I deserve better. (Just had to practice.) I wish it was as simple as just stepping to the other side, but it’s like I am frozen there on the tracks as the train comes steam rolling at me. How do I make it over completely? I believe it will take practice. Practice being alone. Practice not texting or calling him. Practice removing my heart from the situation. Practice being me. Being on the other side of the tracks; facing the road ahead of you. All the noise of the train behind you; your past fading into the distance as you continue down your path. That is when I will be able to say that I made it. When I am able to say that I have found peace in being his ex-wife. That is when I will be able to become the divorced woman: The woman who holds her own power; the woman with her own identity.

With change must come patience. I cannot force the train to move any faster. I cannot force my heart to let go of something that I longed for. All I can do is practice being this new and improved mom who is single so that I may become the divorced woman that can see clearly into the mirror.

Just Honest; Single Mom or Single Woman

A 28 Year Old’s Identity Crisis

I remember one of the first conversations I had with a friend after the divorce started; I don’t want to date again. It was actually part of an entire mental breakdown. I see all of these sad people on social media who post memes about heart break and how the phone works both ways. Then I see the posts where the couple is this picture perfect bliss bullshit. It all sounds exhausting. Dealing with rejections and weirdos. Trying to keep up a façade that no one is going to believe anyways. Dating again just wasn’t on my bucket list. But now that I am past the mental breakdown stage of my divorce, I have put myself back out there. I may not be ready or looking for my “one and only”, but holy shit, I need the practice.

So far, I am finding that all I know how to talk about is my kids. It is like I have forgotten who I am. I have been asked, “What do you like to do for fun?” Ya know the most common question these days. You know what my answer was? I didn’t have one. I didn’t know how to answer it. It is like I do not know myself at all anymore. I feel like I put so much of my time and energy into my children that the essence of who I am or who I was has faded like a drawing that was once on a foggy mirror. Every once and a while, about as often as I get to take a long enough and hot enough shower, that small piece of me, that hasn’t been turned into mom, mommy, or momma, appears. But like the first initial drawing on the mirror, after a few showers, it gets harder and harder to make out what and who I once was.

This is where my question comes in; do I go out as a single mom or do I go out as a single woman? Will I be able to remind myself of who I am if I hold the mom title while I go flaunting my goods? That line makes me chuckle. Flaunting my goods. Ha… I picture myself walking into the bar sporting the latest diaper bag just handing out snacks. Becoming a mom has made me nothing but mom. So how do I turn the mom off long enough to figure out who I am as a single woman again? Or is it more of a balance. Life is all about balance… isn’t it? Everything in moderation. I can’t just be mommy for the rest of my life. Sooner or later my children won’t need me anymore. (My heart just broke a little.) So I need to figure out what I like, other than toys put away, a clean home, nice hands, and a full nights sleep.

At the end of the day though, I will always be a mom. Their mom. They are my light. My God given light. Without them… without being a mom, I don’t think I would make any sense. I feel as though this entire thing that I have been writing makes no sense. Like I am just talking in circles trying to figure out who the hell I am.

Maybe it isn’t single mom or single woman. Maybe it is that I am a mom who is single; a mom who is a woman. A mom who deserves to be loved by a man who can see me even when I cannot see myself; when the steam dissipates and takes away the drawing; a man who can help remind me of what I can be and what I do not have to be all the time.

Just Honest; Used Goods or New & Improved

A 28 Year Old’s Identity Crisis

Over the last couple of months, one of my favorite things to do is shop at thrift stores. You walk in and, most of the time, it’s a mess. Organized chaos. Shelves cluttered with baking sheets, glassware, plates, coasters, and cookie jars. There are random toys thrown into bags to make a set somehow. Record players next to vacuums and hair dryers next to 90’s style crock pots. You never know what you will find. A yoke, a Mickey Mouse cake pan (my favorite find), a Barbie dream house, literally anything from A to Z. And I am not one to care if it isn’t brand new. Going to these types of places has given me this question: Does a 28 year old divorced and single mom of two belong in a thrift shop next to the donated wedding dresses or can I be put on display? Am I used goods or new and improved?

At the very beginning of my divorce, I was nothing but used goods. I was 30 weeks pregnant and 160 pounds. Used is an understatement for how I felt. I started out with the fear that I would never be with another man again. I was HUGE. And now, I have a baby attached to the boob every two hours. So you tell me… how in the world would I be able to ever attract another man ever again? Two kids, a few stretch marks, loose tummy skin, boobs that leak and that are starting to drop, cellulite on my ass; how the fuck would I ever be able to be put on display?

It has been about 6 months since my divorce started and my self talk has gotten a million times better. There are still times where I wonder if I will ever be good enough for a man, but then I remember that being with a man doesn’t matter. What matters is being the strong woman I want to teach my daughter to be. What matters is being strong so that I can raise my son with the best of my abilities. What matters is my happiness. And my happiness does not depend on anyone but me. I have always said that happiness is a muscle. In order for muscles to grow and become stronger you must use them intentionally and push them. You can’t just sit there waiting for things to become better. You have to work at it.

Since my son was born, about 4 1/2 months ago, I have lost 45 pounds. I have started this blog, a new job, and eating better than I ever have. I am able to intermittent fast for 14 hours a day. I walk just about everyday and lift weights about 4 times a week. I rest when I need to without the guilt of skipping the gym. I have read 5 books and am reading 2 more currently. I started counseling again and you know what? I am happy. I can honestly say that I am happy. There are days where I feel so low; so gray. But I have come to learn that the moments of intense pain are only moments in time. Those moments are not my truth. My truth is that I am a badass. I can be put on display, stretch marks and all. I may be used goods, but I have this strength that lives in me. Strength that wasn’t able to be utilized in my marriage. Strength that comes from being completely broken down. Strength to be able to say that I may be used goods, but I’ll be damned if I am not put on display.

Just Honest; Your Hair Isn’t Your Identity

A 28 Year Old’s Identity Crisis

When I was younger, going through a breakup meant a drastic change in hair style and a lot of surfing Pinterest for breakup quotes; ya know the ones about being stronger and not being a doormat. Let me tell you, my hair can not handle any more dye being put in it. After 10 plus years of break-ups, a divorce, and having 2 children, I am lucky to even have hair left!

Well, my most current break up; the break ups of all break ups; my divorce… it has left me feeling so out of place. So unsure of who I am, what my purpose is. Five years of my life just turned into nothing over night. I am battling between being an ex-wife and a divorced woman. New and improved and used goods. Single mom and a single woman. There are so many titles that could correspond to this me, the new me… who ever that is.

I keep looking in the mirror and asking myself, “How can I be 28 years old and having an identity crisis?” Back in February, I went and got my hair done. I darkened the hell out of my roots, made my blonde more icy, and guess what… After a flipping week my hair looked like it did before I got it done. My hair, apparently, doesn’t hold color very well anymore. Or is it God’s way of telling me that dying my hair doesn’t change who I am? News Flash! Your hair isn’t your identity. I think God is wanting to tell me that this time, with this break up, I am actually going to have to put in some work. I am actually going to have to dig deep and pick a part my heart and mind. All while allowing God to move in and search me.

So for the next couple of weeks, I am going to explore what it might mean to be an ex-wife vs. a divorced woman, new and improved vs. used goods, a single mom vs. a single woman, and what it means and looks like to allow God to search me.

I hope you will join me on journey. I look forward to comments and opinions.

Just Honest Apologies; Part 2

Are You The Asshole?

Raise your hand if you think you owe someone an apology.
I’ll wait.
Did you raise your hand? I know it can be hard to admit, but sometimes you, yourself, myself, I… can be the asshole.

During my marriage there were so many times the word asshole got thrown back and forth. For all sorts of reasons; giving a little attitude, mocking, name calling, just because someone was in a bad mood. Ya know all the good stuff. So I know a thing or two about assholes. So how do you know when you are the asshole that needs to apologize?

Let’s start with this; Get the stick out of your ass and own up to the fact that we all do things that hurt or piss people off. And it wouldn’t hurt any of us to humble ourselves even just a little. You are not always right. So what they called you a bitch first. Who cares if they ate the last brownie?? Let it go. It’s time we take a look at ourselves and realize we aren’t perfect and neither is anyone else.

So, while I was married, my husband said lots of things that really got to me. He called me negative and an energy sucking person. To be fair, I wasn’t the nicest person either. But, since I knew he wasn’t going to apologize for hurting my feelings, I figured I would look into maybe why he said those things. Here is what I found out about my self…

  • I am very sarcastic
  • I joke and pick on the people I care about/love
  • When I drink I have no filter with the jokes
  • My realism definitely can seem negative
  • I can dish it, but am not great at taking it
  • I am not good with compliments (giving or receiving)
  • I react to tones instead of listening to words
  • I am uncomfortable and nervous around those who mean the most to me

Alright… So all of that… that is fucking hard to swallow. I realized that due to my nervousness I tend to pick on those I love. Kind of like what grown ups said boys do to girls they like in kindergarten. (Such bullshit by the way.) And it actually hurt people. I was making them feel like I was putting them down. I had to realize that even though I was joking around, if they got mad at me or had their feelings hurt, I had to apologize and I had to stop. I couldn’t just say, “Well you’re taking it wrong.” So what if they are? That is how I was coming off and I was not proud of it. I had crossed their boundary. And if I want others to respect my boundaries, I need to be respecting theirs. It doesn’t matter if being sarcastic and picking on people is a part of who I am; not everyone understands that. But everyone has feelings and I do not want to be the asshole who walks around like they are better than the rest.

As much as what he had said to me had hurt me, there was some truth behind it. It takes a lot of strength to be able to take harsh criticisms and learn from them. To be able to turn them around into a positive experience. Everyone is going to have a different truth about who you are. I am not saying morph into everyone’s perfect truth. What I am saying is to make sure you aren’t the asshole and to own up to hurting people. That means even if you were speaking your truth about them. Be the bigger person.

So yes, I can be an asshole. Am I ashamed? Nope. But I am learning how not to be one. I am learning that there are parts of me that do not mesh well with others and if I don’t want to be an asshole then I need to start looking at others and learning who they are and not just who I am. No, we all don’t have to be friends, but we don’t have to be assholes to each other either.

Just Honest Apologies

Define Sorry.
Sorry; adjective
feeling distress, especially through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune.
Define Apology.
Apology; noun
a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure.

I am sorry. I humbly apologize to you. You deserved an apology. You deserved more respect. You deserved sympathy. You deserved someone who could see their wrong doings, hear their dagger like words, and own up to who they became. You never deserved to be put down. You never deserved to have all the fingers pointed at you. You never deserved the bruises; physical or emotional.

Now read that again out loud. Feel it deeply. Let it sit.


Now it is time to let go. There will always be people in your life who can really sink you. People who know how to break you. You will never hear or receive an apology from them. They do not see what they have done nor do they want to acknowledge it. They are not strong enough to handle the pain they have caused you. This is where you need to have compassion. Having compassion will help you move forward. You have the strength to carry the weight of the pain and that means that you have the strength to have compassion for someone who probably doesn’t deserve it.

Why the hell would I have any sort of sympathy for someone who broke me and couldn’t care less? I get it . They’re an ass. They don’t deserve shit from you. Trust me… I know. But let’s look at the definition.

Define Compassion.
Compassion; noun
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others

Pity. In my honest opinion, having pity for someone is almost like knowing that you are just a tad better off than they are. The person who felt the need to push you down and then kick you obviously has some issues of their own and has no clue how to deal with them. People who think it is ok to treat others like complete garbage are only projecting their own feelings of themselves onto someone else. And, unfortunately, it is usually the people closest to them.
So to circle back; have compassion for those who are not strong enough to deal with their own shit. Look at them as if they are a two year old. A two year old that is throwing a huge tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. See, two year old’s don’t exactly understand their own emotions. And, from my experience, neither do most ass holes. Looking at them as if they are this tiny human being may help take away some of the hurt that they have caused. It takes away their power over you.

“Two year old’s don’t exactly understand their own emotions… and neither do most ass holes.”

JHP

To recap;
I deeply apologize that someone thought it was ok to call you a victim. That someone thought it was ok to tell you that you are an energy sucking person and kill good moods when you walk into a room. I am so sorry someone thought it was ok to put hands on you and then blame you for it. I am so sorry that someone thought it was ok to cheat on you. You deserve better. They are not worth your pain and have ZERO power over you. And lastly, I am proud of you for moving on. I am proud that you are still here. Proud that you still get up everyday and find a reason to smile.
Proud that you are who you are.

Keep doing you Boo.

Just Honest Boundaries

    Let’s talk about boundaries. I am new to this boundary setting game, and honestly, I am absolutely awful at it… for now. I am working on it. I am not one who has ever been good about putting my foot down or speaking up when I don’t like something. Like the other day, I was in line to pick up my ex mother-in-law’s cabinet from Furniture Row and some asshole walks up and hands the guy his paper before me. Like helllooo did you not see my car parked outside of the garage? Can you guess what I did? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I am still so mad at myself. I should have spoken up. But, I am terrified of confrontation. I am like a turtle that just crawls back into her shell.
    This other time, someone called me boring  (huge trigger), as they were hinting at my sex life, and when I spoke up and said don’t say that, they went on to say, “then do something fun.” I wasn’t rude, I just let them know that they are crossing a boundary and that they can’t say that to me. Do you know what they said? “I don’t have to change what I say just because you don’t like it.” The fuck you do! Who treats people that way? Who the fuck thinks they are allowed to treat people that way? Let’s take a ride back to kindergarten; Treat others the way you want to be treated. So this person was a client of mine that I did photoshoots for and it is safe to say that they are no longer allowed in front of my camera. That was not an easy decision to make. I had to think about the money that I could potentially be making from this person, the word of mouth for my photography, and honestly it physically hurts when I make someone mad… (so stupid.) But this morning, I did it. I told them to either explain why they thought it was ok or that I would have to let them go and they just decided to be let go. So obviously I was not important to them and there was a huge lack of respect.
    By setting that boundary, I got rid of some toxicity in my life and made room for better. That was a huge step for me. A huge FIRST. If I can’t respect my own feelings and boundaries by setting them and making them known, then how is anyone else suppose to respect me? Setting boundaries can mean doing something as small as reminding the waitress that she got your order wrong, which I am still awful at doing! But you have to start somewhere. I literally googled how to set boundaries. And what I found was helpful, but here are some things that I have learned from them and in this learning process of my own.

  1. Write Down Your Triggers

This is probably the most important step. How can you set boundaries if you have no idea what pisses you off? Some of my triggers are being called boring, being interrupted, being told how I feel, being hung up on. Knowing these things will help you pin point when someone has crossed a line. And when that line is crossed try your best to speak up.

2. Write It Out

If you don’t know how to tell someone about a boundary or have the balls to speak up, then write it down. Use the old letter trick. Write them a letter about how they crossed a line. Then you can either send it  to them, or what I have done is hold those words in the back of my mind for when I am around that person. Because let’s face it; setting boundaries with some can be a lot harder than others.

3. Give Yourself A Pep Talk

When you are about to set a boundary; remind yourself that you respect yourself. Tell yourself that you are more important than feeling like shit because of what someone said or did. Remind yourself that if whoever crossed that line gets upset when you bring it up, then that person obviously doesn’t respect you and they need to be let go.

If you aren’t sure if a boundary has been crossed or if you should say anything. Maybe you’re in your head and are telling yourself that you are overreacting. Here is how I know if a boundary of mine has been crossed.

That Gut Feeling

That’s it. Listen to your gut! If your insides hurt. If your chest feels tight. If you are even kind of thinking that you are over reacting, then you’re probably not. Think about it; if something that someone did or said is making you feel achy or give you the slightest thought then they probably crossed a line. It doesn’t matter if it is big or small. All that matters is that you are uncomfortable and they need to know about it.

And the MOST important thing to remember is that if you set a boundary with someone who is a decent human being, then they will usually appreciate you letting them know. Because most people don’t get off on hurting feelings or making people feel uncomfortable. But for the people that do, write them off. You don’t need them. Say that out loud. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM.

You are more important than keeping toxic nonsense around. It will be hard at first, but trust me it gets easier. And you start to feel in control; powerful.

Tell yourself that you are more important than feeling like shit because of what someone said or did.

JHP

Just Honest; Don’t Be an Asshole

Where is your go to spot for unwinding? Where do you go when you need your life to slow down? For me, it’s the book store. Any book store. A book store is a place of learning, adventure, growth; a place of healing. But for me, it is a place of escape. There are really only two reasons why I read: to improve and to escape. Lucky for me, when I read I am able to achieve both at the same time. When I read to improve, I am able to escape the ways of the present. In order to improve you have to move forward which means leaving some things behind.
So it is safe to say that my favorite part of a book store is the infamous self help section. The section where people are always looking over their shoulder because some part of them is a little embarrassed to be picking up these types of books. I remember how nervous I was when I went in to look at books on divorce. Like seriously, who needs to read a book on how to be divorced? That was what I imagined other people were saying about me. Or when people see you picking up the book, ” You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero, they are probably thinking, “poor thing; she has no self esteem.” At least those were the voices of my own anxiety in my head. It took me four books and a divorce to realize that reading self help books actually makes me pretty fucking strong (excuse my language). It made me realize that being broken is important; self improvement is important. We aren’t always put together. Sometimes there are pieces of ourselves that are broken. And that is ok. As long as you can acknowledge it and begin working on yourself.
It is more “in” to be put together already. Working on yourself, to most, means you’re broken. So we end up with all these people who are “put together”, but complete assholes. But let me tell you, those assholes are missing out on some of the best parts of life. Being broken allows you to grow and once you begin the rebuilding process, you get to leave some of those broken pieces behind. It is like we are an ever changing puzzle. Some pieces may become faded, get lost, chewed on, or bent. But, the best part is that we get to create new and improved pieces. We get to place them wherever we want. It is ok to not be completely put together; it’s ok to be broken now and again. Its’s not ok to be an asshole.

So don’t be an asshole, ok?

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