“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Those words written by Eleanor Roosevelt have lived written on a chalk board in my house for a number of years. I read them every day as I walk about from room to room. I have even written about them before, but over the past few months I have fully come to understand their meaning. Continue reading
Broken. Bitter. Exhausted.
That is who I was a year and a half ago when I began what would become the wildest and most amazing journey I have ever embarked on.
Life just stunk, and I needed a change. Continue reading
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
How many times have I heard that statement in my lifetime? Probably to the point that if I had a penny for each time I did hear it, I could retire to some tropical island with my new hot husband, Clay Matthews…..
but I digress.
As children, we are taught that it is impolite to judge others based on what we see of them on the outside. Looks can be deceiving, and 99.9% of the time, we underestimate someone based on how they look, speak, or act. Continue reading
I hate art.
There I just said it.
I remember very vividly the day I realized I hated art. I was in the 6th grade and was forced to take an art class along with my other peers for six LONG weeks. Our final assignment was to paint a still life portrait of a vase of gaudy flowers our teacher had sat on the table before us.
For sixty minutes, my fingers worked their magic. Sweat poured feverishly from my brow. I was going to be the next Van Gogh.
Well, I’ll spare you the grizzly details, but what I remember most was my teacher saying, “Jessica, perhaps next year when you can choose your related arts activity, you should pick something BESIDES art.”
From that moment forward, I hated art.
My hatred for the subject was even more fueled by the fact my sister was an excellent artist. She would doodle for countless hours making beautiful and creative designs that weren’t really anything, but were really impressive to look at.
Even my stick people looked shady.
So I let the Illusion that I could be an artist die.
I gave up.
Without a fight.
That has pretty much been the story of my life. If something was hard, made me struggle, or someone told me I was doing it wrong, I dropped it. Cold turkey. Clearly this wasn’t for me, or it would be easy right?
Of course that way of thinking only left me feeling even more bitter and angry at the world, so I knew I needed to make some changes.
And I did.
And then I thought I was all better.
But of course….. I wasn’t.
Over the past year, I have developed a strong and incurable passion for hiking and being outdoors. There is no other place that I feel more alive and at home, then out in the woods. I have hiked over 600 miles in a little over a year, developed some amazing friendships, and seen and done some amazing things.
But the old me is still deep inside, and sometimes she likes to come out.
She tells me that I am too fat, too ugly, too slow, too weak, to unlikable, too introverted, too extroverted, too messed up, too insecure, too dumb, too cocky, and sometimes just too much.
I don’t like her.
She doesn’t show up too often, but when she does, she comes at me with all guns loaded and aimed at me.
A couple months ago she showed up, and decided to stick around for a while. She followed me to work. She followed me to church. She followed me on outings with my friends and family. She even followed me when I went and cut off 13 inches off my hair last month.
“Are you really going to wear that?”
“Are you really going to eat that? You’re fat enough…just eat carrots.”
“Are you really going to try and do that? Good luck. Hope you have a nice dress to be buried in.”
For the first couple of weeks I didn’t listen, but she got more and more persistent, and pretty soon the jabs got harder and harder to ignore.
Last weekend it finally became more then I could take. While on a hike with my ultra fit and amazing sister and another friend, I struggled. I didn’t feel well, and the climb was tough. All I wanted was my couch and big ole glass of coke. I did good shutting out the hateful me, until the three ladies over the age of 60 passed me going up the mountain.
“Well, well, well…. do you believe me now? You are NOT cut out for this. You suck. You are weak. You are too fat, and clearly you just a wanna be.”
That was all I needed to hear. I was officially defeated.
I finished my hike, came home, and pouted.
Now some may not understand what I am talking about, and that is good. Consider yourself blessed, but some of you out there know all too well what I experienced and how real, frustrating, and defeating it is to have those kinds of conversations with yourself. Others will tell you to get over it, move on, it isn’t real, and that you are just being a baby. But some of us know the realness and struggle all too well.
It has been a crappy week. I have wallowed in my self frustration for seven long days. I created my own little pity party with me as the only guest.
Sad and pathetic I know. Go ahead. Laugh.
But this morning I got up and I opened my devotional for the day, and instead of the bible verse that went along with it inspiring me, it was the quote the author used.
“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You can’t paint,’ then by all means paint, and the voice will be silenced.” ˜ Vincent van Gogh
That voice is always going to be inside my head telling me I can’t. And you know what, I am okay with that now. Because ultimately I am the one with the power. She may speak, but it is up to me to chose to listen and believe.
So go ahead evil girl inside of me, talk away. You may tell me I am not good enough, but I chose not to listen. Instead I will draw on what I know I can do. Over the past year I have done and seen WAY more than I ever thought I could, so that proves that I am pretty amazing.
I may not be skinny, all that gorgeous, fast, considered a part of the in crowd, or even in shape. But I AM determined, stubborn, full of sass, adventure, and crazy adorable.
Some may have stopped reading a long time ago, but to those of you who stuck it out, listen…… You are AWESOME. You are able to do AMAZING things. DO NOT listen to that voice inside of you that tells you different. You may not reach all your goals, you may not do it with style and grace, and you may fall down along the way, but listen, the ONLY way you or I will ever fail is if we don’t TRY!
Keep going. Keep moving forward. Pushing through the frustrations, the pain, the looks, and the comments.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go find where I put those paintbrushes…. I feel a masterpiece coming on.
“Our lives are frittered away by detail…Simplify, simplify, simplify!”
Growing up, I didn’t fully understand what Henry David Thoreau was trying to say when he wrote those words. But over the past year they have become my life’s mantra.
Nothing is simple today.
In order for my face to be glowing as well as acne and wrinkle free, I have to use no less than 4 different products at least twice a day. Sorry gals, Noxema and Oil of Olay don’t cut it anymore! Continue reading
“What is wrong with you????”
This was the question thrown at me today at lunch when someone found out I was a 42 year old single woman. When I told them I had never been married and didn’t have any prospects, they reacted as though I had just told them I ate small children for breakfast. Continue reading
Have you ever been so inspired and moved by something, that it simply leaks from every fiber of your being? You have been so changed and touched, that you just have to share?
A year ago, I embarked on a journey that has forever changed me. Looking back, I don’t even recognize the me from a year ago. As a writer, words are my lifeline. Sometimes writing is the only way I can adequately express myself. Continue reading
Isn’t it amazing how you can see a word your whole life and think you understand the meaning of it fully, only to find that your whole life you have been sadly mistaken?
As I stared at the word for what seems like an eternity today, I realized that right now, at the ripe ole age of ***gulp** 41 I finally realized what the true meaning of the word is. Continue reading
Sometimes, real life sucks, so I daydream. My life is so much more interesting and fulfilling in those fantasies then they are in reality. For example, Yesterday at the Doctor’s office, the nurse wanted to know my weight, my response was, “Do you want my real weight, or the Mythical weight I have convinced myself I am?” Thankfully, she let me enter my mythical weight.
Surely I am not the only one who, in their head, has a far more entertaining life then they do in reality???? We mean well, and aren’t really trying to be deceptive, but sometimes it is just way easier to fill my head with nonsense, than it is to live out the truth. Continue reading
Words are powerful things. They can be used to inspire, bless, and encourage, but they can also tear down, destroy, and kill. Even a word as Tiny as the words “NO” can have a significant effect on how we view ourselves. We can let them take us to the highest of highs or to the lowest of lows. We can embrace them, or dwell on them.
The power all belongs to us. Continue reading