Being Vulnerable

Two months ago I finally decided to share my blog with others, it was a hard thing to do because my very first post was one that made me feel very vulnerable at the time. That was the post that said “Hey guess what everyone, I have Chronic Kidney Disease (stage 4)” It’s something I’ve been dealing with for about 4 years now and a transplant is coming quicker than anticipated. It used to scare me to share that with other people. I didn’t want others to know, I didn’t want to be vulnerable.

I waited months to tell my sister, even longer to tell friends, and much longer to tell extended family. I told myself it was because I didn’t have all the answers, but really it was that I was afraid of being vulnerable. I hated the look people would give me when they found out, that look of sympathy, I still hate it. Now I just realize that it’s okay to get that look, because from their perspective I am a young woman with so much life ahead and its a tragedy that this has happened.

I had to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable when it came to being vulnerable. It wasn’t an overnight thing, it took months of practice, in fact I’m still learning. Being vulnerable is such a difficult thing to do because there always seem to be thoughts of doubt and possible judgement from others. I’ve learned that you can turn your vulnerabilities into strengths; like me writing a blog about it.

Life is an unexpected journey with bumps and mountains, you can’t let something so small seem so big that it keeps you from living. Take chances, be uncomfortable, live, grow, be vulnerable. Most of all though, Learn! Even if its something like becoming comfortable with being vulnerable

Those Who Have It All Together

I had a really close friend request a post about courage and doing what you want, not what others want from you. So here goes….

Those who seem to have it all together, actually don’t. There is something that sets them apart from others. It’s a piece of advice I learned and have passed on to others who ask me for advice on how to move forward. “Do You” It is as simple as that. You need to put yourself first, make yourself a priority.

At first it was so hard for me to make myself a priority, I had always taken others into consideration, let them give me little pushes towards what they wanted me to do. I wanted to please people, to make others happy, no matter what the cost was to me. It took a lot of courage to make the change to work on myself and what I wanted. I was that lioness lying in wait among the tall grass, that sleeping giant waiting to show the world who I was.

All I needed was someone to show me I could. Someone to tell me that they had been where I was and had been successful. I found that person at an Outlier Event, Chiara Mazzucco, and begin to follow her on social media. I eventually got up the courage and took the leap to enroll in a beta course on reinventing yourself. I was scared and nervous because I didn’t know what to expect and it ended up being the best decision I ever made. I learned to grow and to move forward. I learned how to start doing what I wanted. I made a goals again, and a vision board, and even a bucket list! Things I hadn’t done in years unless it was required for a class.

I can’t tell you how many times I was nervous to do something. Job interviews, dates, publishing my blog. It was never about having or not having courage and confidence, it was about telling myself I had those things. And it was also realizing that if something scares and excites you, then it is right and you need to go for it. Take the leap, you’ll land where you fall anyway, so whats stopping you?

Anything is possible, sometimes you just need a reminder that you can do it. Let this be your reminder. And as far as courage, well fake it until you make it! (I’ve gotten pretty far by faking it and telling myself that I had courage, or confidence, or well anything really). You can do anything, or be anything, it’s time to leap out of the tall grass, time to wake up and let the world know who you are!! Just remember, do you, put what you want first, meet the goals you set, and remember who you are; a beautiful soul who has so much to show the world!

A Lesson Learned from my Kidney Disease

My dad has told me this numerous times and yet it didn’t sink in until the last few years. It’s okay to have a bad day! This is one of the lessons I’ve truly learned throughout  this 5 year and counting trial. Have that bad day, just don’t unpack your bags and stay there; have your bad day and then move forward. Sleep all day, be moody, get cranky, spend time alone, take the day for yourself and push reset. It’s okay to sulk and throw a pity party and feel sorry for yourself. For a day, 1 single day. No more than that.

That’s right, bad days are normal and needed. You can’t appreciate the good days as much without the bad. We all have them, and yes it can be hard to get past them. For me bad days are a wake up call because there is something going on in my life that needs to change. Bad days pose the question “Why didn’t I wake up and choose to have a good day?” Bad days make me reflect and try to figure out what really has me down. Its called embracing the darkness so that I can more fully enjoy the light. I don’t necessarily want bad days, but I don’t hate having them, I’ve come to enjoy the solitude that they bring.

For those of you currently having a bad day, I promise it will pass. You will get through it and it definitely will not last forever. Sometimes it just takes someone else to tell you that because of the dark place you’re currently in. Bad days are all part of lifes’ journey, so when they come change into comfy clothes, turn on Netflix, and take a rest from your everyday life. You, beautiful soul, deserve to have a bad day on occasion, just remember not to be hard on yourself when it comes because it’s just a part of the journey.

Back to the Basics

Keep things simple:

  • Breath
  • Laugh
  • Smile
  • Give Thanks
  • Be Happy
  • Do you
  • Have Faith
  • Trust God
  • Love your family
  • Spend time with friends
  • Enjoy life

Don’t let life’s stress overwhelm you. I know its common, but can we break that cycle already?! Stress is so damaging!! I should say TOO much stress is damaging, because a bit of stress is good its what gets us out of our comfort zones and pushes us to grow and expand, but too much is unhealthy!

I need this reminder just as much as you, and like me I bet you can start to tell when there is too much stress even when you don’t feel it. Tight muscles, tired, grouchy, and little motivation because you have this immense weight upon your shoulders. Trust me I get it, I’ve been dealing with insurance authorizations or lack of for the last two weeks. I’m one of those people who does not have patience for waiting around for an answer, I want things figured out. That has been the most frustrating thing about having this Kidney Disease- The WAITING! Waiting for test results, waiting for appointments, waiting for insurance, waiting for answers. And you know what? God is probably trying to teach me patience but boy am I a slow learner! The waiting is stressful, but lucky for me I have amazing people in my life who remind me to keep things simple.

So, I guess in a nutshell that’s my lesson for you. Just don’t overdo it, enjoy life, remember the simple.

Choosing Your Tribe

People in your life come and they go, and that’s okay. Something I’ve come to realize is that people are a choice, and they can be absolute blessing or they can drag you down. But it is your choice, not anyone else’s. Yes, God will put people on your path to help teach you and guide and give you the lessons that are needed, but not all of them are meant to stay. The only one that can decide your value and can make you happy is you! Yes you. That means you need to choose those that fit into your puzzle.

Maybe I’m just rambling on, but the thought that our entire life is directed by conscious decisions and consequences of those decisions has been circling my brain all day. Especially regarding people. It took me awhile to comprehend that I was the one with the choice. I chose to not leave toxicity and I chose to give power over myself to others. At the time, I thought I had no choice that it was just how it was.  It’s tough as hell to be able to wake up and realize that “Hey, why do I let this certain person, or people, treat me this way, why am I okay with it?” Sub consciously all through school I knew it wasn’t okay, but I wanted to belong and fit and have friends and be popular, but guess what? Each year I had a different group of friends because I made the subconscious decision that those people were not my tribe, that I didn’t belong with them, that they were just a small part in my long journey.

Only recently have I realized this though. Only recently have I realized that people are not a necessity but a choice. I guess that’s where all the rambling was leading. People may think I’m crazy when I say I don’t need social interactions but I choose to have them. It’s because I’ve come to realize that I can choose who I want in my life. I can choose because I am comfortable with who I am. I am comfortable in solitude, I am comfortable spending entire days alone. It doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is when people think they are needed for me to be happy. Don’t get me wrong I love the small number of people that make up my tribe and I would do anything for them, but I know that I can spend time away from them and pick up where we left off just as strong as ever. I choose to keep those souls that match mine in my life because they add value to my life each and every day! I consider myself super lucky for the people I have chosen to keep in my life and as equally lucky for those that I have chosen to step away from. Both choices of people have taught me valuable lessons and that’s what is important.

So, my lesson for you to learn through my journey is that it’s okay to choose some people over others because you need to choose to make yourself happy and some people stand in the way of that happiness. Make the choice to remove the toxic relationships, make the choice to keep those that help you stand back up on your own two feet. Remember to choose you. Do you. Be you. Make that conscious choice each and every morning that you wake up breathing. Just because God put people on your path does not mean they are meant to stay on your path.

You are in the Right Place in Life, Always

Quite recently I learned to embrace the darkness, whatever it might be. I was taught that only through embracing it and acknowledging it could you begin to build a strong foundation on which to start again. I had begun to hate everything in my life; my job, my level of self esteem, how I still lived in my parents house, how lonely I felt. So I turned to my dad because he always sets me back on track. I love getting his advice, even if I don’t like it, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. Through his help I decided to look into other options, to enlarge my circle of influence and to find a way to better myself.

Through the process of uncovering who I was meant to be and how I could happily be her, I stumbled upon Chiara Mazzucco, founder of Bold Self and an inspirational person who had just started her own coaching business. I enrolled in her Beta course and started on my path to a happier me. It was she who showed me the benefits of embracing the darkness. And it was Chiara who let me know that I am in the right place in life. Because without the struggles and obstacles that I currently face, I won’t be able to change to get where I need to be.

I’ve grown up knowing that life isn’t easy, but I guess I had forgotten that over the last few years. I had to be reminded that I am in the Right Place in my life because it takes being uncomfortable to grow.

My lesson for you: Be a Lobster. Sounds silly right? Well if you really think about it it’s not. Let me tell you why. A lobster has a rigid hard exoskeleton; this shell does not grow, instead the lobster grows inside of it, and when the shell becomes uncomfortable and tight, the lobster finds a safe place to shed its shell and grow a new one to fit it, over and over again. It only can shed the shell to grow when it becomes uncomfortable. So the take away from that is that it is okay to be uncomfortable, its okay to struggle, and its okay to have challenges and obstacles. Learn from them and walk forward into growth and change!