Breathe in, breathe out… and move on.

“Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument, or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make, period.”

This morning when I was scrolling through Facebook, I stumbled across this quote. At first I read it and wasn’t impressed… but then re-read it and let it sink in on my drive to work. I needed to read this. I needed to think about it. And I needed to embrace it.

I’ve been frustrated recently because “so and so is being difficult,” or “so and so is too negative,” or “my work is too demanding,” or “my job isn’t what I want it to be,” or “I don’t live where I want to live…” and how the list tends to drag on. But the key here is, I am able and responsible for how I choose to let these factors affect me. It is true, I am responsible for my decisions and only I am to blame for how I allow myself to react or feel about any given situation. Sure, situations may provoke me or open the door for poor response… but I need to work on my reaction and my awareness of what I do have control over.

This is a hard realization for me because I do take everything (and I mean EVVERRRRR-Y-Thing) to heart (y’all that know me, know). My insecurities influence my feelings to think that every nasty, negativity is targeting me. That I matter so much (or so little) that every whisper is a judgment of me, every short response is a jab or has deeper meaning. I need to work on trusting in who I am and what I stand for in order to feel at peace with my surroundings. When I feel as though the world is closing in on me and suffocating my every move, I need to learn how to breathe, breathe deeply and remind myself that I do have control of my decisions. I have the ability to make something more out of what I’m given.

I think it’s time for me to breathe in… breathe out… and move on.

Everything happens for a reason

Yes, I’m that annoying voice in your ear when something goes wrong saying, “you know, everything happens for a reason… it’ll all work out in the end, and if it hasn’t, then it’s not yet the end.” However, I know…it’s a lot easier said than done. I definitely have my moments where I whine and cry, “but whhyyyy me? Whhhyyyyy me?!” Yes… anyone who knows me, can generally attest this is pretty accurate. Yet, once I’ve gotten a good “ICK, is this real life?” out of my system, I think to myself, “you know, you sure do preach a lot of hot air with that ‘everything happens for a reason’ nonsense, maybe you should just breath and listen to that advice yourself.” So I breath (sometimes too quickly… almost hyperventilating… then remind myself to breath … slowly, slowly being the key word)… and I focus on the pieces as if my life were one gigantic puzzle with really itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny pieces that have those shapes to them that are awfully difficult to piece together easily (you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?)… but I’m determined to make it fit. So I focus or at least attempt to… and possibly (in the mean time) tell a few more people “everything happens for a reason” in order to try to convince myself it’s true.

-breathe-

Then I find myself in a day like today… where you see the pieces from another angle and magically your eyes can see the pattern more clearly with a crisp alignment. That moment is one of the best feelings I’ve felt in a long time. It’s like everything that has happened over the last year or so almost instantly made sense. I now can appreciate each piece for what it’s been, how it fits into this puzzle of a life, why some pieces didn’t fit where I wanted them to, and why other pieces didn’t quite fit yet… Evidently, I was missing some of those key connecting pieces (you know the ones with goofy shapes on all sides… not one of those easy corner pieces).

Ah ha! moment happened. That light is on. Watch out life puzzle… moving full speed ahead.

The motivation I needed to change

This morning I was scrolling through my Twitter News Feed before work and came across a link to a post that refreshed my mind, gave me new perspective, and helped re-energize my drive in a way I didn’t think was possible by the written word. Timing could not have been more perfect. While I shared this blog post with a few different people after I read it and I posted a link to my Facebook, the more I’ve let my mind think on what J.D. said, the more compelled I am to share it with a larger number of you. It is a rather long entry, but it is worth every minute it takes to read it in its entirety.

As I read through each scenario or example J.D. shared, it hit home on several points that really got me thinking. You see, I’ve been internally struggling recently because I truly fear becoming complacent, I fear settling, I fear failure. I’ve made excuses for why I can’t do those very things I’ve set out to do, I get lost in not understanding how to generate revenue in my career choice, I get caught up in the what-if’s, and most of all I, myself, am my worst hater.

I’ve come to realize that others put more faith in my work and my drive than I do, I’ve allowed myself to not see my potential. I know I’m smart and I know I work hard, but a majority of the time I just see a lot of wheels spinning in place, which I find discouraging. J.D., I’d like to thank you for inspiring me to keep pushing through, to focus, and to make change when I’m not happy — change is okay. I only wish I could have heard you give this speech in person. We have a new addition to the bucket list, I think I’ll add: attend the World Domination Summit in 2013.

Please read, soak in, and be inspired. Make change happen, whatever that may be for you.

(just in case you’ve miss each link to the blog post I’m referring to, here’s one more attempt to encourage you to read it… so READ it! –> The Power of Personal Transformation: Change Your Self, Change the world)

Oh hello Friday the 13th… thanks for the week.

This has by far been one of the worst weeks… thank you Hell for rising on the days leading up to Friday the 13th (and no, I am not normally that superstitious). I have literally not made eye contact with anyone since possibly 8am Monday. Ohhh thank you Year-End reporting for making me so extremely kind to those who are stuck having to interact with me. However, I took a break to vent to my darling friend at lunch, pretty lady who shall remain nameless. I tell ya, she may be the reason i’m currently still sane.

Warning: we are not that sane. Read at your own risk:

Pretty lady:  welllll I am doing research on Rehoboth vacation rentals for your b-day
just fyi :)

me:  wooty woooo! im ready for that vacay thats fo sho
Pretty lady:   oh man me too hahah
me:  Beach house in the fall will be so nice! sweatshirts!
Pretty lady:   I KNOW! khakis and sweat shirts hahah
slambakes!
Pretty lady:   *clambakes
me:  HAHAHAHAHA
I was like uhm? slambakes? is that a drug reference
Pretty lady: HAHA
knowing me I would think it is
me:  hahaha i definitely thought it was
i was like uhm no idea but ok? ill do whatever pretty lady does
shes a smart girl
lol
Pretty lady: hahahaha
no you should question me when I start saying slambake
also you have to realize I will now be using it as a word
me:  Gosh I hope you will! how might we use this new word we’ve discovered? “That’s such a slambake uhg i cant believe you went there!” or “THAT”S SO SLAMBAKE!! AWESOME!!”
Pretty lady: SO SLAMBAKE
hahahaha
me: done
Pretty lady:   I love it
me:  hows your wed, anything hump-tastic?
hah… sorry i am trying to be humorous
im failing quite terribly
crash and burnnnnn
slash and burrnnnn
psssssssshooooooo
Pretty lady: HAHAHAHHA
weeelllll it was hump-tastic alright
me:  that was the crash sound
hahaha well that doesnt sound bad
you know it’s 1 week until you’re a quarter of a century
you ready for that step?
Pretty lady:   I dunno…
OH
me:  yesss?
Pretty lady:   So Mr. Manly Man (or triple M for short) asked if he could cook me dinner for the night of my b-day
since he will be gone that weekend and it’s girls weekend
 Pretty lady: cute right?!
me:  UHM YESSS! that’s not even a question! OF COURSE THAT”S FN CUTE
Pretty lady:   I was like um of course you can you beautiful man!!!!
me:  SO cute!
Pretty lady: hahaha
he’s trying to woo me I like it
me:  you can sit out on the balcony and stare into each others eyes in the moon light
Pretty lady:   hahahahah! sawwwooon
me:  let that manly man woo the britches off of you
Pretty lady:   HAHAHAH! omg
 me:  sawwwwoooon
 Pretty lady: that quote needs to be written down
me:  I just choked on my smoothie when i read that
Pretty lady:   let that manly man woo the britches off of you hahahha
me: wooing is happening
under the moonlight
Pretty lady:   hahaha!
me:  please feed him
or let him feed you
like a bird
lol
Pretty lady:   hahaha I’ll kneel on the ground and act like a baby bird
me:  omgosh ive lost it lol
HAHAHAH
Pretty lady:   and he’ll say “if you’re a bird I’m a bird”
me:  YESSSSSS
PLEASE
Pretty lady:   and it will be so romantic
me:  OMGOSH PLEASE
Pretty lady:   SOOOOO SLAMBAKE
me:  So Slambake!!
Pretty lady:   hahaha you are cracking me up
me:  OMGosh you possibly were the first person to make me laugh today and what a laugh this is
Pretty lady:   hahahaha I really hope it’s as awesome as we are imagining it right now
my face hurts from trying to hold the laughing in
me:  HAHAHA mine toooo

I did warn you we weren’t sane… yes, these are pretty typical conversations when one of us is on the edge of losing their mind… and yes we realize that we are most likely the only two people in this universe that find our conversations that hilarious (I’ve mentioned before I laugh at my own jokes, right?)… eh it happens, don’t judge.

I also have Mama T to thank for a smile-cracker shortly after this lightened mood. She forced my brother to hand-deliver the below:

Yes, my parents call me Squi. Don’t hate… they were rhymers…

What inspires you?

I originally started this blog to share my adventures as I worked through the many challenges faced in life with hopes of creating inspiration in someone else and encourage them to live out their dreams without settling. While sometimes I think my posts steer away from my original purpose (I’ve mentioned before I have ADD right?… well I mean, I don’t know if I really do… but I definitely do) I try to continue to live through that purpose in my own life. However, today I, myself, was inspired and given a new perspective on the value of life.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve been inspired by my sister and a close friend of her’s, let’s call him… lung boy? yeah?… keep reading…

My sister, for one, is a pretty remarkable woman (despite what I say about her… no seriously though… pretty cool lady). Sister-lady works hard helping people through her work with nonprofits and volunteering. She has strength to handle situations my emotions can’t even bear to think about at times.

With that said, this morning I get an email from her, subject line reads: “I need your help.” Now, typically this means the body of the email will read something like this: “Hey sister-friend, you need to do me this really ridiculous favor since I’m the best sister ever…” Growing up, that’s just how it worked… when we were kids (yes I’m going to ramble a bit, but the story fits so follow along), like really little kids… like she was twice as tall as me (hm, I guess that hasn’t really ever changed)… she was throwing this stick in the river, playing fetch with our black lab when she threw it in the river so far that the pups wouldn’t go after it, so sister-lady made me go get it. Even though the mucky river water came up to my nose and only came up to her waist… I totally did it, because of course she was my sister and she (even then) was remarkable (despite her evil manipulations) and I wanted to be just like her.

Anyhow, back to where I was going with this email titled “I need your help.” It wasn’t even close to the typical “you need to do me this ridiculously, outrageous favor” request (that she knows I’ll do, just like with that stick… because she’s my sister and sometimes, even now, I want to be a lot like her). This email however was inspiring to be completely honest.

Let me tell you about it…

My sister has this friend, lung-boy who has been put on a list for a double lung transplant for the second time. This guy is incredible, truly remarkable. He is one of the most positive people I’ve met despite what he’s been through and what health problems he has run into throughout his life. This process will determine whether he is admitted through the Duke Medical program to get his transplant with costs ranging somewhere around $10,000. I’m not sure about you, but who honestly has $10,000 just lying around in their bank account for a rainy day… not I.

This morning sister-lady reached out to five of her friends, including me (yep… I referred to myself as her friend) to help raise money to cover the costs for her friend to get this life-changing transplant. Talk about inspiration. Count me in, whatever it takes, how could I say no to such an invitation and opportunity to help.

It’s amazing how quickly your perspective can change.

He inspires me with his strength, never-giving-up attitude, and his faith in life. I admire her for her dedication and loyalty to her friends and her selfless desire to help people.

Stay tuned for updates on his progress…

**Update: My sister set up a paypal account for anyone who is interested in donating for our friend’s double-lung transplant. Thank you all for your genorosity and help! If you’re interested in more information and keeping up with Chris’ status, you can learn more at: http://christophernalley.com or if you’d like to donate please click the button below:

Now tell me, what inspires you?

The Cure.

The cure to any bad day… Chocolate shake, McDonald’s Dollar Menu, ibprofen, and mixed cds that your high school ex-boyfriends made you. Preferably those mixs that included tunes from Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, and Jimmy Eat World (Feel free to judge, I’m secure in my music appreciation). The information contained on the site is not sufficient or provided in order to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any health-related symptoms or diseases, or to prescribe any medication. While all symptoms may vary, mine are most importantly focused on. Please note this does not coincide with my bucket list - see all other posts for further information.