So it’s pretty typical for the passionate bloggers of the universe to conduct and share a year in review of their blogs. Being one of those not-so-passionate-as-of-late bloggers, I felt a little more compelled to sit back and reflect upon why that is.
Scrolling quickly through postings, I realized that I have had this blog since 2013 and it amazes me that I have committed to sticking with it so far. Three years ago I would say I was in a very different place physically and mentally. I was at a job that I no longer loved. I was involved with people that are now no longer in my life. I was still in my twenties and really thought this was all life could be up to that point but in the present it all seems like distant memories.
If anything the tone of this blog has certainly changed. It started out as a sarcastic and blunt way to laugh at myself and the world around me. Though I try to continue to sneak in those posts ever so often, I still seem to gravitate to talking about life and the new challenges of being a woman in her thirties. That can get quite tiring after a while; I mean who really wants to read all of that!!! My hope for this blog in 2017 is that I can put my strange, side-eyed, at times, over the top, personality to good use. As you can see postings have been sparse but I plan on changing on that as the New Year hits upon us.
People seem to be in fear of what’s to come next year but I say we are in this together. So let’s get back to basics and laugh about the crazy things that make up this silly thing called LIFE.
Today’s photo prompt from The Daily Post is Shine: Has something bright or reflective caught your eye in the moment? Share a photo of something you were able to explore a bit!
Living in New England in the fall is an opportune time of year to snap a photo of a bright and beautiful leaf to correlate with this challenge but for today, I’m taking it literally.
Something that caught my eye that caused me to reflect was this post by the Kind Campaign on Instagram:
There will be days where we will be taken for granted, looked down upon or seen as weak but keeping this passage within your soul gives you the proper moment to shine even through those moments.
Like most people, I spent my summer evenings binging a lot of Netflix shows including the ever-so popular and possibly unexpected hit, Stranger Things. At first glance I wasn’t sure if this eight episode, sci-fi seeming, show would be my cup of tea but it turned out to be one of my new favorites. Aside from the wonderful acting and intricate story line, I was really drawn to how the character of Eleven was written. Although characterized as a bit odd and at times, frightening, Eleven embodies strength, resilience and extreme loyalty to a group of boys that haven’t yet put their full trust in her. Her bald head signifies fearlessness and when she’s on screen with her male counterparts, she steals the show. About halfway through the series, the boys decide to dress Eleven more like a “girl” with a pink dress and blonde wig. Although she plays along with it, you have the sense that she will not conform and stays true to who she’s been all along.
We learn that Eleven was taken away from her parents or was a lost child (I think). Although she was held captive and tormented by her “Papa,” I feel as though her personality is still very much in line with who she once was and who she continues to be. Eleven doesn’t apologize for who she is and her character teaches us that we shouldn’t either. It’s important to be an individual and to stay true to who we really are. As the meme says, “in a world of 10’s, be an eleven,” and I couldn’t agree more!
The title of this blog posting, I realize, is totally cliche. It’s like one of those inspirational posts on Instagram that you come across and think hey that’s nice but you don’t necessarily follow these words of wisdom throughout your daily life. When my favorite boss left my previous job a few years ago, she gave me a card with “Do Something Everyday That Scares You” on the cover and it didn’t have the same effect that the title of this blog does now. Her words within the card were deep and what you would expect from someone that was invested in you as a person and your future career. Although I wouldn’t say the card and her words were the driving force behind me embarking on a new career and life, they did continue to resonate with me when I tried new things.
This simple motto, although not so simply done when you have to take action, came into my mind when I was at the gym this weekend. Now I know what you’re thinking, how can you do something big at the gym that scares you enough that when you do it, you feel accomplished? Well for me, it happened.
I’ve been lifting weights for a while now and have slowly transitioned away from my years of being a cardio queen. Although I still have work to do, I have watched my body transform and my overall strength increase. There’s nothing more empowering as a female than to walk in the gym and be able to lift heavier weights than some of the men. It’s nice to make them feel insecure for once 🙂
This weekend’s workout called for dips either assisted or unassisted. I’ve always used the assisted machine because I was nervous about failing in front of people. The assisted machine was safe and tucked in a corner so I could get as much assistance as I needed without anyone really paying attention. That theory changed though and I gathered up enough courage to approach the regular dip bars. To my amazement, I was able to pump out about 8 dips, maybe 5 actually looked good but overall I was able to do them on my own.
Moral of the story? You should do something that scares you, even if it’s something small. If I didn’t get out of my own head, I would have never attempted to do those dips and would be selling not only my workouts short but my confidence. There are so many other things in life that I want to try and I’m slowly dipping a toe in the water to see how far I can get without retreating. For now, the next thing to tackle in the gym is unassisted pull-ups. Those will come in time but I know the risk is definitely worth the reward.
As I sit in my windowless office, I am in need of solace, distraction and beauty. This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is to convey the word “Pure” through an image and I thought it was very appropriate to help satisfy my current need.
When I think about the word Pure, phrases come to mind like “innocence,” “untouched,” “calm,” “original,” and “free.” I often find myself feeling this way when I am out walking among the trees and nature with my soon-to-be 12 year old Papillion.
This photo was taken in late May when the first real hot summer weekend had made it’s debut. This two mile walk through the woods was not only peaceful for me but I felt my dog become more in-tune with her surroundings rather than the hustle and bustle of daily life. I love how she took a moment to pause on this dock bridge and take in where she was. My dog represents that feeling of purity and innocence and when I am with her during these moments, I feel a natural calm and safety.
I remember during my high school days when those Tifanny heart chained necklaces were all the rage. Did it portray wealth? Being on trend? That you were spoiled by your parents? Nevertheless, it was the accessory to have back in the early OO’s. I was never one of those girls though and to this day, I’m still not. Don’t get me wrong, I love accessories and I’m pretty sure I have inherited my grandmother’s compulsive behavior of having to have that purse or that ring when I see it but it’s not about how it looks, it’s how it makes me feel.
In a previous blog, I talked about coming into my own at 30 years old and really finding out who I am. I often find myself feeling empowered by the stories of others and how I can make some small change in the world. About two years ago I stumbled across a small non-profit now small business that embodied my love for jewelry and my desire for hope, kindness and change, it was called The Shine Project. I encourage you to read their backstory but the short of it is that the founder Ashley LeMieux started a scholarship project to help send inner city youth to college. As the organization grew, Ashley taught herself how to make bracelets and began employing inner city students. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with this organization and quickly ordered a necklace that has become a staple in my daily wardrobe.
Feeling inspired by wearing a piece of jewelry with a story and a purpose, I magically found through Instagram, another similar organization called The Giving Keys that employs those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make key necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. Again, how could one not want to get involved in such an empowering project? I am happy to say that I have purchased 5 keys and given away 4 over the last year with the recipients completely enthused about the idea behind it.
What inspired me to write this blog today? The necklace around my neck and the bracelet on my wrist. They serve as a constant reminder that everyday we should all think about how we can make change and empower everyone around us. It’s not about looking good but feeling REALLY good!
The dramatic lead up to UFC 193 aka another big Ronda Rousey fight, was, in my eyes, a huge disappointment. Rousey met face-to-face with her opponent Holly Holm during the weigh-in and things got intense when fists practically met faces. This is what makes fights exciting, right? Well I guess it does when it happens during a fight between two men because the frenzy on social media was less than supportive of the (at the time) unbeaten champ, Rousey.
Let me premise what I am about to say with why I am aggravated with the turn of events that have happened over the last few weeks. I am a large supporter of Rousey, not just because of what she can accomplish in the octagon but also what she has done for women. It has been a long time since young girls and women had a strong, accomplished, no-nonsense female to look up to. Yes, we have had successful women soccer teams and sure, some female actresses but their time comes and goes as well as takes a backseat when a men’s team or male actor does something “newsworthy.” Every day my news feed is filled with stories about the Kardashian’s and the scandalous lives that they live. You would think society would be ready for a female heroine to take us away from this nonsense…but ….no it didn’t happen this week.
Scrolling through my Facebook feed over the last few days I was shocked to see multiple females sharing and commenting on the photo above: “She looks like a man.” “Look at her body, she is so disgusting.” ” I look better than her.” I initially took it as a few insecure females that couldn’t comprehend what Ronda has done to empower women but the snarky posts didn’t led up. Surprisingly, more men were actually being positive and commending Rousey on not only her looks but what she brings to the sport. I sat in horror thinking about how women (some) continue to tear down other women based on the way they look, what they do, how they dress, etc.
Is this really happening?
I hope Rousey knows what she has done for me. Seeing her weigh in at a LEAN 135 has inspired me to push harder in the gym than I ever had before. Seeing her be confident in the ring and be able to back it up has shown me that I can bring that confidence into my own life. She has done so much for females in a male dominated sport and I hope she continues to do what she does to push me to be great like her!