It never gets easier, you just get stronger

I’ll admit, I was on kind of a high for a few months there in 2018. I finally, finally, met the love of my life. Someone who enjoys all the same things I do. Who really just completes me. Finding him actually made me feel stupid for all the time I wasted on other guys who weren’t right for me, when someone exactly like him existed in this world. He makes me a better person, and I thank the stars every day that I get to call him mine. In addition, I sold my car on a whim at the end of the summer, and ended up getting an amazing deal on a brand new one that I absolutely love. Family was good, work was fine… I was comfortable financially and even took a beach vacation with one of my girlfriends for the first time in years. I was just plain comfortable in general. Nothing was really going terribly wrong in my life and, deep down, a part of me recognized that. And we all know you can’t enjoy the sunshine without a little rain, but what I got felt more like a monsoon…

The last few months have been pretty rough to say the least. It started right before the holiday season, when I first discovered a loved ones’ personal, private battle with addiction. I didn’t even know if they would be home for Christmas this year, as they decided to leave town and get help. It’s something you see all over the news, and read countless stories over social media; you know it’s an epidemic because that’s what they tell you. But you really don’t fully understand until it affects someone you know and love. It was one of the scariest times in my life, and even when you think you “made it through” the worst part, accepting that this will be a lifelong battle with someone you care tremendously about, is still utterly terrifying. But experiencing this when I did taught me the value of having faith, remaining positive no matter what, practicing unwavering support, and believing in something greater than myself. It doesn’t make the situation any less challenging, but I have kept these lessons close to me.

Then the New Year came and went, and that first weekend, at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, I got a call that would change my life forever.

“Come quick, it’s your father,” my mom said between sobs. I had never driven so fast in my life. My dad had been rushed to the ER and not long after, we all would be sitting in a private room as a doctor came in and told us, they did everything they could, that my dad didn’t make it. We would later find out it was a massive heart attack that took him from us. He never even stood a chance. It still doesn’t seem like any of that was real.

No one ever prepares you for losing someone you are close to. It’s not discussed, not ever acknowledged as a legitimate possibility. We’re taught that “getting your affairs in order” can actually be a warning sign for suicide, because as a society we just don’t plan on any alternative other than us dying at an old age. And we foolishly believe that, as we drink, smoke, tan, and continue in all kinds of other high risk behaviors- just assuming that we are all invincible. And we continue seemingly low-risk behaviors too, like crossing the street not knowing if that will be the moment a car will hit us out of nowhere, or if a meteor will fall out of the sky while we’re having a picnic or going for a jog.

And then one day someone is there and fine, and the next they’re gone. And life becomes a whirlwind of funeral homes and cemeteries, life insurance companies and figuring out account balances and bills that are due, returning his uniforms and key card to work. These things we should realistically all be prepared for to a certain degree, but no one really ever is. When in reality, the only inevitable in life is that every single one of us will die, though no one really knows what to do when it happens to someone earlier than anticipated. My dad was an amazing man who treated others with so much kindness and respect; he would do anything for anyone. And now that he’s gone, everyone who relied on him so heavily and loved him so much, well… we’re all lost.

Something that has always given me strength in unexpected ways is a statement my boot camp instructor tells us at the end of class…

“It never gets easier, you just get stronger.”

Obviously, the instructor was referring to the workout itself, as in, her class is and always will be tough. But as you work harder to get stronger, your mind will trick you into thinking it gets easier. And it doesn’t, your muscles are just developing in a way that it takes you less effort to get through the class.

The first time I applied this sentiment to other areas in life, it was when that loved one made the decision to go to rehab. You could call in to leave them messages, and a lady at the nurses’ station would write it on a slip of paper and hang on a board for them to receive. One day I decided to leave just that, because I knew it was fitting in this situation too.

And then when my dad died, a flood of people had a myriad of advice. And I knew everyone was just as shocked as we were, and they all just wanted to offer comfort and support. But if I heard the words “new normal,” or “it’ll get easier,” one more time… I was going to explode. So I wrote that boot camp message on a sheet of paper, and hung it up on my mom’s calendar (which was riddled with phone numbers and to-do lists), because deep down I knew this was the only thing I could say, and the only way I could feel, to ease the pain of the loss we are all experiencing. Because it’s not going to get easier. What happened was shitty. It wasn’t fair at all. We are all suffering. But we will get stronger- little by little, day by day. I see it every single day in my mother, I can see it in myself. And if these words can help you get through a hard time, no matter what it is, I just want to make sure you know:

It will always be tough. But as you work harder to get stronger, your mind will trick you into thinking it gets easier. And it doesn’t, your muscles are just developing in a way that it takes you less effort to get through.

So, it never gets easier, you just get stronger. x

reflections: pt. 2

“An intention will help create more clarity in your life, especially when the seed is planted right before you start your meditation. Setting an intention is like drawing a map of where you wish to go — it becomes the driving force of your higher consciousness” 

Source: “10 Intentions to Set for Your Most Authentic Life” by Chandresh Bhardwaj

A little over three years ago, I wrote down some intentions on the eve of a strawberry moon. Without going into too much detail, these intentions included goals for my career, my family, my home, my love life, and my general well-being. I filled up an entire sheet of paper, folded it up, and tucked it away in my sock drawer.

By the next month, I started my new job and got one huge item checked off the list. It seemed like after that, good or bad, everything started to fall into place – even if I couldn’t see it as it was happening. I pulled the note out once, maybe twice over the course of the next year, but in all honestly I completely forgot about it in that sock drawer until about a week ago.

As I read over that list, three years later, I was either at or far beyond every goal and intention I outlined for myself. And it was a really good feeling… but it was also a little defeating. Was that it? Where do I go from here? I know I probably should have kept this piece of paper for its sentimental value or whatever, but in that moment – when the realization hit me – I knew there was only one thing left to do.

So, I ripped it up into tiny little pieces and threw it in the trash.

The lesson I learned through this experience is to never stop striving. Never stop setting intentions and goals for yourself. Write it down. Check back in on it periodically. Achieve it. And once you check everything off your list, rip it up and set higher ones. [Okay, ripping it up might be a little over dramatic, but you know who you’re dealing with here.] Either way, always remember that you are so, so capable of so much more than you think you are. Never stop learning. Never stop growing. And never, ever settle.

That’s all I got for now.

the moment.

Every now and then, you’ll find yourself in a moment of clarity.
That moment when it hits you, where it all completely makes sense.
That moment when you realize, you were never meant to be anywhere
except for exactly where you are.
That every little insignificant thing that has happened to you,
and all the significant things;
all the bullshit, all the heartache,
all the choices you’ve made or didn’t make along the way.
It has all lead you to this point.

And when that moment hits,
all you need to do is
be present
be grateful.

What a difference six years can make

“Happy New Year!!” She exclaims, 45 days into 2018. What can I say. I guess I’ve been busy *shrugs*

The roller coaster that was 2017 ended on an extremely high note, and I’m hopeful for what 2018 has in store. My goal, at least during this tax season, is to use some of my tax return on the purchase of a functioning laptop so I don’t have to sneak around on my free time at work to post something. Let’s be honest, my first drafts usually start on my phone anyway *shrugs again*

So, if you use Facebook at all, you know there is an “On This Day” tab where you can see your Facebook activity on that same day, years in the past. For someone who is an avid Facebook user, this can either be full of really fond memories you can share, or it can be a really cruel page filled with things you’d rather forget. If you’re like me (i.e. never post anything on Facebook and use it purely to creep), this section is usually barren and/or filled with cryptic statuses and song lyrics from a decade ago when you thought people actually cared.

Yesterday being Valentine’s Day and all, I got this (kinda sick?) idea to check out my Facebook memories On *This* particular Day.

Spoiler alert, there wasn’t much there. I guess I never had any exciting Valentine’s Days via Facebook? Entirely for the best, I’m sure. However, there was one post I made on this day, six years ago, that I’ve been thinking about ever since I stumbled back upon it. It read, “Always want what you can’t have. Never what you can.


Now on V-Day 2012, I am pretty sure I was single. This was after my high school boyfriend, but before the post-college one (yes, my former suitors have now been generalized into these two very broad groups). I’m not sure how my 21-year-old self would have interpreted this statement, since I don’t even remember posting it or what prompted me to do so at 11:40 PM on Valentine’s Day; but I know how my 27-year-old self understands this statement today.

There are a lot of things we say we want, that we can have if we were motivated enough. You say you want a nice body, but you’re not willing to discipline yourself in the kitchen and at the gym to achieve one. You say you want a quality significant other, but you push all the good ones away in favor of the assholes. You say you want that nice car, but you’re not willing to stop spending all your money at the mall or the bar to save up for one. Most of what we say we want can be 100% attainable if we just shifted our priorities. Most people would rather just be unhappy and complain, rather than go out and get it. [Side note for all of you thinking, “but I want this person who doesn’t want me???” let me present you with this mind-blowing thought… if they don’t want you, then trust me, you don’t want them either!]

The truth in what we really want lie in the things we’re willing to sacrifice to get it. If you’re not willing to make the sacrifices, then you probably didn’t want it as bad as you think you did.

The only “wants” I hope to have in life are the unattainable… (likeeeee the ability to teleport, for instance) because everything else I’ve already wanted I’ve surrounded myself with.

Maybe I am over simplifying this. I’ve been told Scorpios are very black-and-white.


Three years ago, on the verge of my 24th birthday, I put together a list of advice I’d learned over the years. Recently, I went back and re-read this list, and yes, it’s still a damn good collection of thoughts.

Check it out here: Twenty-three

Fast forward three years, and I am now approaching my 27th birthday. And I feel excited, I feel scared… I feel young, but I also I feel kind of old. Basically, I just have lots of feelings associated with entering my late 20’s. So it seems like an appropriate time to add three more wisdoms that I’ve learned between 24 and 27.

24. Don’t be afraid to say “No.”

There are certain things in life we are required to do if we want a certain outcome, such as showing up for work to keep our jobs, or filing taxes to keep the government off our case. When it comes to things like someone asking for your number, your attendance at a party, or even cleaning your house… by no means are you required to do anything you don’t want to. Trust me when I say, it’s okay to tell someone “no,” and it can feel really good to generally just do what you want in life. In the end, everything is up to you. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty about a decision.

25. Spend the extra money on clothes that will last.

I spent most of my 20s (mind you, with a good job and money in my pocket) wearing the same clothes I had from high school because I hate shopping and I always seem to have brutal buyers remorse. But I’ve learned that certain staple articles, like shoes, coats, business casual outfits for work, jeans… they are always worth spending money on, especially if they are going to last. Plus, an updated wardrobe does wonders for your confidence (but please also refer to #12).

26. If you mean it, say it.

Especially as I get older, I notice more and more so many people have something to say, but no one wants to be direct. If it’s gossip, cut that shit out – you’re better than that. But other things are worth bringing up. If someone at work is doing something you don’t like, don’t be a dick – but let them know! If you misunderstood something that caused an issue – admit it! If you think the guy at your gym is hot – tell him he should take you out on a date! Tell your mom you love her before you hang up the phone. Tell your friend you appreciate them for listening to you complain. Practice genuine, healthy honesty, be direct, and always practice gratitude. All will go a long way with everyone you interact with daily.

Happy almost birthday to me, again. This has to stop happening every year…


Endless likes

No matter what social media platform it is,
You can never run out of “likes” to give.
The limit does not exist.
It’s like that in real life, too.

If you like what someone is wearing,
Tell them.
If you think someone’s new haircut really brings out their eyes,
Tell them.

If you are thinking something nice about someone —
Anything nice about someone,
Always, always, always
Just tell them.

We can start a movement
By hitting the “like” button
In person too.

I found a strength I’ve never known

So, I read this book…


Ironically, I ordered it before my life took an unexpected turn for the worse, but I guess you could say I was anticipating (maybe even preparing for?) it in a way. And truthfully, this book was delivered just in time.

First of all, I highly recommend this read. It won’t change your life in one day, but it will make you start to think about changing your approach to certain situations in life. The most influential themes I took away from it are:

  • We all need to stop framing our reality based on other’s perceptions of us (and any other uncontrollable factors)
  • Weathering the shitstorm is usually a necessity
  • You really don’t know everything (so stop pretending like you do).

As it turns out, you can’t control other people. Chasing perfection and trying to control every diminutive aspect of your life is a recipe for disaster and anxiety. It breeds unwanted stress. You can’t expect to account for every possible outcome in a situation, yet that’s what I’ve found I always try to do. It’s always been the unknown variables that I don’t do well with. But at some point you have to realize, you can’t control the way other people are; you can’t make someone care about you, or even like you for that matter. And you can’t base your worth on any of that shit.

Others will care as much as they want to, and sometimes factors in their own life will affect that. And guess what? Most of the time it will have nothing to do with you. Which brings me to another valuable lesson I found in this book: it’s not always about you.

Last Saturday I woke up to a beautiful morning with no real plans for the day. I went to the gym, hit up the grocery store, and even got my car washed. I needed my next destination to be out in the sun, next to the water, in a bikini and preferably with a drink in my hand. Everyone I texted was either out of town, busy, or just flat out didn’t respond. All I wanted to do was go to the damn beach and no one was available to join me.

If you would have put this situation in front of me last month or even last year, my response would have been to just stay home and contemplate how lame I am, or retreat to my parents house where I could lay out, undisturbed, in their yard. I would sacrifice the idea of going to the beach because I didn’t want to go alone.

Last Saturday, I said “fuck it.

And guess what? I had a wonderful time. I didn’t need to, nor did I want to, depend on the accompaniment of anyone else as my only reason for going to the beach. This is not a testament to any new-found reclusiveness amidst the breakup, but more so, a new-found independence. Yes, it would have been nice to have a beach buddy. But it was not necessary and everything was still okay. No one was at fault for not being available to join me, and I was still able to enjoy the couple hours of relaxation and solitude.

This book showed me that I’ve been a little too self-centered through the hard times too. Everyone has problems. You have no idea what someone else is going through (you know, back to the whole not being able to know/control everything), and in no way should you assume that all the bad stuff is only happening to you. That is victim mentality and it is toxic as hell.

I was at my cousin’s wedding a couple weekends ago, and took full advantage of the open bar. I was approached by a family member who asked how my relationship was going, and I had a total drunken breakdown. I explained how horribly he ended it; how I never meant anything; how I’m going on 27 years old, and feel so lost and alone; how it feels like the rest of the world has found their forever person and I’m back to square one. She listened intently, with a slight smirk on her face. When I was finished and composed myself, she looked me in the eye, and you know what she told me?

“I am seriously so excited for you and this time in your life.”

Like, what? It didn’t hit me until [sobriety hit me] the next day — how significant those few words actually were. Even in simply reframing the way you view your own misfortune; acknowledging that yeah shit still kind of sucks, and yeah sometimes I still hurt, and some days will be shittier than others, but in the end I will be better for it. I got out of a bad situation. I am ready for this time in my life. Others would honestly kill to be in my situation right now. I’m young, independent, and ready to face whatever this world throws at me. Sometimes we need to weather that shitstorm to come out better and more appreciative of the things we do have.

And that’s why you should probably read this book, then give it to everyone else you know to read too.

Now here is some empowering music from my girl Kesha.


Here’s the problem.


I realize, all too often, my go-to response tends to be, “I’m not very political.”

I have a very laissez-faire attitude when it comes to the subject of politics. I shy away from answering questions about my own political ideology, I don’t challenge anyone about their own. Largely, I just never paid any mind to politics.

I also realize, that this response, is a quintessential product of my white privilege.

“White privilege” sounds like such a trite phrase anymore. People throw it around, people get offended by it, some are empowered by it, but what does it really mean?

I’ll tell you.

When I am pulled over by the police, my first instinct is to cry.

Not because I fear my life. Not because I fear the life of the loved one sitting next to me.

But because I fear getting a ticket. I fear points on my license. Car insurances rates skyrocketing. My good drivers discount becoming a distant memory.

And sometimes, crying actually gets me out of the situation all together.

That is the definition of white privilege.

That is my reality.

This is not the reality faced by minorities, people of color, or any other marginalized group.

I say I’m not political because politics have never been life or death for me.

If white people don’t start speaking out against this injustice, we are no better than the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville last weekend.

This whole “not my chair, not my problem” mentality we have, actually makes you part of the problem. Whether you’re aware of it or not.

I may have always avoided the topic because truthfully, I don’t identify as 100% Republican or 100% Democrat. But I do identify as 100% human, and I know right from wrong. It’s time we all speak up for what is right, and take steps beyond just talking about how bad things are. Let’s all be better.

August was never our month

Sometimes you have to say goodbye to the one person you thought you’d spend forever with.

No matter how much you truly care about someone, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. No matter how hard you fight for someone, sometimes there is nothing more you can do when they look you in the eye and tell you they don’t know if they love you anymore. Sometimes after you give all you have, there’s truly nothing left. Loving someone isn’t always enough.

Humans are often motivated by fear; the fear of the unknown, fear of change, the fear of ending up alone. And that fear can cause us to settle. To resent the very thing we are trying so hard to keep. How many times does the universe have to show you, if you struggle so hard to keep something, it was never really yours to begin with?

“Loss of control is always the source of fear. It is also, however, always the source of change.”
–James Frey

And then there’s the fear of facing the fact that maybe we deserve better.

When my grandma passed away at the age of 84 this past May, my grieving grandpa said something that resonated within me: “Sixty-three years I spent with her, and it still wasn’t enough.” That is the love I want. That is the love I deserve.

In the end, there is only one person you are absolutely guaranteed to spend forever with, and that person is you. So when it comes down to losing someone, we all eventually have to trust that we will make it through. And trust, that in taking care of the person you do have to spend forever with, you will welcome love back into your life.

I won’t let you giving up on me mean that I should give up on myself.

Just because you don’t love me, that doesn’t make me unlovable.

I will repeat these words when the thought of losing you makes me sad. I will repeat these words, over and over again, until they become my only truth.

I am going to be fine. I will get through this. And I will be better for it. I will find somebody out there who treats me the way I deserve to be treated, who showers me with the love you never wanted to show me. And in a few months, when you realize [again] what you lost, this time I won’t be there.

I always thought I would sink, so I never swam

Yes, those are Miley Cyrus lyrics. Don’t hate.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the lives of those around us. We see flashes of good fortune happening to friends and colleagues that we wish would happen to us. We get so invested in the milestones of others around us, that it creates an unnecessary pressure in our own lives.

Try not to let that happen to you.

Instead of spinning out all in your mind, thinking of all the ways what you want will never happen, and how it’s all happening for someone else… start believing what you want can be real. It will manifest itself if you believe.

Remind yourself every day that you can have everything you ever wanted. And be happy for the success of others, knowing you can have it too.

It’s easy to give excuses, to avoid a swim because you’re afraid to drown. It’s hard work to live your life everyday with positivity in knowing your goals will materialize if you are constantly working toward them.

Stop sabotaging yourself.

Don’t be that person that finds contentment in yearning for the success someone else has, never doing anything to get there yourself. Don’t spend your whole life just waiting for it to happen to you.

If you want it, you can have it.

It is as simple as that.

And don’t you ever forget it.