Be Proud of YOU!

Hey, friends! Happy March! I don’t know about you, but I have serious spring fever. I’m ready for shorts, tank tops, going to the beach, fresh fruits and drive-in’s. This winter has been brutal, but to be honest, it has given me some much-needed time to sit down, reflect and realize just what needs to happen in my life at this point and what I need to do in order to make those things happen. (I am sure there are grammatical errors in here)

The effects of bullying are many. Some people don’t have any, some people have a list a mile long. Some people are able to move past them, some people it takes years. It all depends on the level of bullying, how severe, how long it went on, and whether or not it’s still going on in other areas of life. The effects I have are: anxiety accompanied by paranoia. I am constantly assuming that laughter anywhere in my vicinity is directed at me. Gossip is always about me. People talking about me. Friends/family/significant other getting tired of me and trying to find excuses not to spend time with me. Some of that actually still DOES happen, from people closest to me but you know what? I don’t care anymore because I have finally realized it has nothing to do with me. It is all a reflection of them. You want to talk about me? Gossip about me? Exclude me? Go ahead. If that’s the entertainment you get out of life, to talk about others and gossip, then go for it. It says more about you than it does about me and I no longer have time in my life for drama like that. When someone comes to me and wants to gossip about someone else, no thank you. I have realized that if people gossip to you about others, they most definitely will gossip to others about you. Sure, we all do it at some point, but I know people that do it all. The. Time. Just think if we all put a stop to that, if we all stood up for the person being talked/gossiped about. A simple “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this; he/she is a good person.” What a world of difference that would make!

Lack of self-confidence. This is big for me. I hate talking myself up, I feel conceited telling someone about an accomplishment I had or even that I like my hair today (if someone compliments me, I laugh and say “yeah right!”) After hearing people say over and over, on a daily basis “you’re worthless! You’ll never amount to anything,” it starts to sink in. When I recorded an album of my songs, I think I only told my immediate family and one or two friends. I never posted about it on social media, even though I was DYING to. I felt like I was bragging too much, or that I was conceited and people would rain on my parade. So, I held it all in. And guess what? I deeply regret it now. It was one of the happiest, proudest accomplishments of my life—something I worked for my entire life—and I pushed it down, like a pressed flower in a heavy book. Hidden and silenced. I felt ashamed for some reason. Unworthy. I am proud of it, dammit! I get mad at myself for not spreading the word, sharing pictures, showing my excitement that was inside of me. I had to learn to forgive myself of that, and I vowed to myself if I ever recorded another album again, I would shout it from the rooftops! I don’t care who doesn’t care, or who thinks I’m unworthy, stupid, undeserving…it’s my life and I’m going to live it and be excited about it. There are so many things I want to do in my life, I wish I could live to be 300 years old. I can’t let fear, anxiety, or anything else rob me of living it and showing it. That goes for you, too. Live your life. Live your dreams. Love your life. Love your dreams. Shout it all out for everyone to hear! Be proud of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, where you’re from, where you’re going. Do everything you want to do! EVERYTHING!

Bullying myself. This is a huge one for me, and ties into my lack of self-confidence. If I write a song I like, I will tell someone about it and say “yeah, it’s okay. No one else will probably like it. It’s probably lame.” Literally, those are my words. Instead of telling myself I’m good at something, I will tell myself the opposite. If I eat an entire sandwich and I’m with someone, I will say “gosh, I’m such a pig. I ate the whole thing!” Because I’m certain they are thinking that to themselves (when really they’re not). This quote is something that really hit home for me: “If you talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself, how many friends would you have?” It’s so true! We all have to be kinder to ourselves. More understanding. More grace-filled. More forgiving. More loving. Embrace YOU. Hug YOURSELF. Look in the mirror and tell yourself five things you love about yourself. Literally, do it, first thing in the morning. Write them down on post-it notes and put them on your mirror. Repeat them every morning for 30 days. It takes 30 days to cultivate a new habit, so take that 30 day challenge and learn to love yourself. Let’s take it together, shall we? Forget the past, forget the nay-sayers, stop the negative self-talk and let’s love ourselves. Make it personal and take the time for YOU.

I want to learn to love myself more, to be kinder to myself and to my heart. To listen to my soul and what it needs. If it needs rest, I will rest. If it needs a night out, I will go out. If it needs fresh flowers, I will buy fresh flowers. A bubble bath with wine? Sure! A night of binge watching old Gossip Girl? Yes, please! Going to bed at 8pm? Okay! Rededicating my life to my purpose. Forcing myself to get out and meeting new people. Seeing more live music. Writing more. Reaching out to friends I haven’t talked to in a while. Spending less money and more time with what I do have. Being grateful for waking up in the morning with air in my lungs and an entire world out there to explore. You know what? I am freaking excited. Excited for life! Excited like a kid! That’s how I want to live—with the child-like excitement for everything, big and small. Live it. Love it. Do it. You deserve it. We all do. We all have scars, but scars are beautiful and you are welcome here.

If you want some musical inspiration, check out the song “This Is Me” by Keale Settle. Maybe listen to it first thing in the morning! Dance to it! Belt it out! Believe it! Be proud of YOU!