Advice to my 7 year old self

Boy do I wish I could go back and have some talks with my 7 year old self. Back to a time when things were less complicated. Before the world became too tarnished. When Saturday mornings meant cereal, Flintstones and pajamas. When my biggest worry was eating all of my veggies. When riding around in my sister’s jeep listening to music was the highlight of my week.

I have learned that somewhere in life, at some point, I told the younger me some things that made her disbelieve how amazing she could become. I learned bad habits. Became insecure. Learned to deal with things I knew I shouldn’t deal with. At some point, my younger self lost her confidence. She lost her fire inside. So for months, I’ve been working on talking to her. “Un-telling” her all of those things that made her feel undeserving, insecure, tarnished, weak, vulnerable and sad.

If I could go back and sit down with her, I’d tell her this?

  • Pray! A lot.
  • Be you, don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not good enough.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Follow your dreams  before you commit to anyone else’s.
  • Always trust your gut; it won’t let you down. If something feels off, it probably is.
  • Eat the cake, life is short.
  • If something is bringing you more pain than joy, let it go.
  • Don’t be afraid to choose YOU. It’s not selfish, it’s self care.
  • Always save for a rainy day.
  • It’s okay to feel down, just don’t unpack and live there.
  • If you have 2-3 really good friends, you’re blessed! Quality, not quantity.
  • Exercise for your health, not for anything or anyone else.
  • Social media is a feedback loop from hell, don’t get sucked in.
  • Go away to college, you deserve that experience.
  • Take the piano lessons!
  • Eat for your blood type, trust me you’ll thank me in 30 years!
  • Don’t ever stop dancing, your heart, mind and body love it too much.
  • Don’t get the tattoo, you’ll end up covering it up.
  • Don’t get the tattoo, you’ll end up covering it up. (yes, I meant to type it twice)
  • Travel the world, there’s so much beauty to see out there.
  • Learn two more languages and use them!
  • Go to law school, don’t let anything get in your way.
  • Learn from what you’ve seen and from what you haven’t seen.
  • Don’t make excuses, make solutions.
  • Dance in the rain.
  • Be the person YOU need, not the person anyone else needs.
  • Crying doesn’t make you weak, let it out.
  • Don’t relax your hair 🙂 Your natural curls are amazing!
  • Laugh until your face hurts.
  • Love is really amazing, don’t give up hope.

There’s so much more I could tell this little girl but I’ll stop here. What advice would you give your younger self?

B

Who am I?

A few days ago, two of my best friends shared some really powerful words with me. These words have resonated in my soul for days. “Are you living for yourself, or for someone else’s decision for who you are supposed to be?”.

This question made me think.  I’m talking think beyond my current non-stop, mind racing, having whole fictitious arguments in the shower type of thinking. It made me stop and think about three people: Me, Myself and I.

Who am I? What am I? Who do I want to be?

Believe it or not, I opened the notepad app on my phone because I really wanted to write out the answers to this question. Then I sat there, fingers frozen for a good 3 and a half minutes. Then I started jotting words down like: woman, mom, friend…employee. Hmph. Well that can’t be all, can it? Will someone read four words at my eulogy? “She was a woman, mom, friend and employee”? Shit no! Come on Bianca, think!

For those of you who know me well (you’ll hear me say this a lot) know that I don’t see myself in the same light as those around me. I am a perfectionist. I’m my worse critic. I hold myself to unrealistic standards that I’m not exactly sure where they come from. I’m prickly. When asked to describe myself as a fruit, I chose a pineapple. Prickly on the outside, but sweet in the middle.

On the flip side, I am so much more. This exercise really got me thinking and focusing on me. My positive attributes. What I have to offer this world and most importantly myself. So, who am I? What am I?

  • I’m woman
  • I’m mother
  • I’m friend
  • I’m employee
  • I’m a rock
  • I’m consistent
  • I’m an empath
  • I’m a listener
  • I’m a goofball
  • I’m an organizer
  • I’m a planner
  • I’m a closet nerd
  • I’m a reader
  • I’m a nature lover (believe it or not)
  • I’m a foodie
  • I’m an inspirer
  • I’m a testimony
  • I’m a professional
  • I’m a family woman

Each day I’ve been working on my list of “nouns” for who I am. What really put a smile on my face was the list of “adjectives” I began to write for “What am I”?

  • I’m compassionate
  • I’m strong
  • I’m sensitive
  • I’m loving
  • I’m emotional
  • I’m loyal
  • I’m dedicated
  • I’m empathetic
  • I’m understanding
  • I’m responsible
  • I’m trustworthy
  • I’m dependable
  • I’m resilient
  • I’m goofy
  • I’m calculated

My list is and always be a work in progress. I’m okay with that. I’m not so bad actually 🙂 Each day I remind myself that if I’m not the best ME; if I’m not doing what needs to be done to take care of Bianca…I’m worthless to everyone else. So I ask you this: Who are you? What are you?

“Today I choose to live for who I am and who I want to be. God I ask that you remove the internal desire to be who the world needs me to be but be who you and I need me to be”.

B

Stop picking scabs

I should really get this title tattooed on my forehead. This seems to be one of the hardest things for me to do. Just when I’ve: made progress, started on a better path, stopped feeling so anxious, learned to smile regularly and enjoy life…I pick a scab. I used to think it was morbid. Then after a really long talk with someone I love and respect, I realized….I’m only human. If I didn’t hurt, if I didn’t feel sadness and moments of weakness, I wouldn’t be human. If I hopped up one day like “phew, that’s over. On to the next thing”, I never really loved.

Somewhere along the last few months, I stopped offering myself compassion. I allowed the words, thoughts, feelings and judgement of others make me feel like I’m not a good person. Like I’m not enough. Like I’m a monster. Now, let’s be clear. Bianca is not perfect. I repeat, Bianca is not perfect. But I am a human being. I have a heart (a big heart). I love hard, which in turn means I hurt even harder. Picking my scabs only makes this worse.

For those of you who literally think I’m sitting here picking away at hardened blood on my skin, let me clarify. No. That’s not it. But it’s like anytime I make a little progress in this healing process, and I’m left alone to my own thoughts….I falter. I go searching for things I know already exist. My mind wanders for answers that have already been given to me. It’s as if I’m trying to awaken myself from a nightmare by repeating “it’s not real, it’s not real”. Oh yes my friend, it’s real. It’s life and an idle mind is the devil’s playground.

I cried today. An ugly, nasty, snot dripping from my face, red-eyed just ridiculous cry. I mourned. Mourned my life that once was. Mourned the life that could have been. Mourned hurt that I’ve caused. Mourned decisions that I could have made differently. Mourned the babies I’ve lost. Mourned the relationships that have come and go.

After about 30 minutes of that (yes, 30 minutes), I said a prayer. I asked God to get me off the floor and to remind me of the woman that I am. To remind me of my heart. To remind me of my blessings. My beautiful, healthy children. The roof over my head. The refrigerator full of food. The legs I have to walk on. The eyes I have to see. The heart that’s still way down deep inside the mini freezer of my chest…I know it’s there. Because I can feel it beating.

I asked God to help me smile again and not feel guilty for it. I asked God to keep me away from doors he’s shut. I asked God to give me a forgiving heart. I asked God to help me forgive myself. I asked God to remove the callus from my soul and my spirit.  I asked God to help me accept what is, not linger in what was and not worry about what will be. For anyone who knows me, the last one is difficult.

For anyone who reads this today, just know that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. If I ever cross your mind, just pray for me.

Lastly, I’m so sorry to any of you that I’ve ever wronged. Anyone I’ve ever hurt. Anyone who’s ever needed me but felt abandoned or exiled. Anyone who I took too long to forgive. If I never got a chance to say those words to you, I hope they ring true. Anyone who didn’t feel anything but love, peace, hope, joy and happiness from my presence.

B

It doesn’t matter how slow you go…

One year ago today, I knew my life would be different. At the time, although unable to decipher what different meant, I just knew. I can honestly say that I vividly remember every single one of the last 365 days of my life. Some days I skipped in my journal because I never wanted proof that they actually happened nor the details of such. Other days had promise, smiles, laughter and love.

In the industry I work in, everything is driven by key dates, “milestones” as we call them. With that being said, sometimes I can’t help the way my brain works (trust me, I wish I could most days). Over the past year, I’ve forced myself to find value in every little milestone or key date. A way to say  “Ok, if you make it to THIS date…you’re good”. I realized this process was making me more anxious of what was coming than I needed to be. I spent so much time waiting for “dessert” to come that I forgot to enjoy my “meal”.

I’ve let too many situations affect the person that I am to my core. I let hurt callus my heart. I let disappointment cause me not to trust. I let the altered reality of others convince me of things I knew weren’t true.

Healing is such a cluster. It’s the process of going thru shitty situations all while learning from them and coming out more resilient on the other side. I guess it’s true that life’s best lessons are those we learn on our own.  Remember how many times our Moms said not to touch the hot stove?

The last 365 days have been a journey. Some days I wish I could burn the memory of and others have shown me that no matter how much shit life throws at you…you can use it as fertilizer. This process has been like an old knee injury. I’m better. I can walk but I can feel it when the rain is coming because my knee aches. And yes, sometimes my knee aches. Believe it or not, this Super Woman is really just a human in a cape.

One of the hardest things to do is smile when you’re really hurting. Always remember; it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.

B

Just when you think you’ve had enough…

miracle.jpg

Have you ever been minding your business, having a conversation with yourself? (what…? y’all don’t do that?). You ask yourself, “really? like, how much more can I take?”. Then the Universe comes in, dressed in some really over the top cloak like it’s auditioning for a spot in Harry Potter the Musical and says “hold my beer”.

Yea that’s pretty much my entire 2017. It’s like I tripped over the dog, stubbed my toe on the coffee table,  hit my head on the mantle while standing up, only to knock the candle off the ledge and get hot wax in the same toe I stubbed.

No, no that’s child’s play. It’s more like I woke up late on the day of a job interview, wearing two different shoes, left my wallet at home, got stuck on I-285 because a plane landed on the interstate, while my kid’s school called telling me my child fell off the monkey bars and my gas light just came on.

Seriously?! Am I alone here? Just when you can’t take one more d*mned thing, here comes the Universe’s dismount! #WatchThis

I kept finding myself in this Toddler Rut.  You know how toddlers constantly ask, “but why “? I was stuck in this continuous vortex of “WHY”? But why is this happening to me? Why didn’t God give me a sign? What did I do to deserve this? (insert very slow, dramatic violins).  If you’re stuck in the Toddler Rut, maybe this will help you as much as it helped me.

  • Stop Asking Why – The why isn’t important and it’s none of your business (insert Kermit). I’m 98.2% positive that the answer to the why will eventually come. But getting stuck there stunts healing. I don’t know this because I’m super smart. I know this because I’ve lived this. I’ve been in the Toddler Rut. I wanted (and sometimes still want) to make sense of my situation. I get stuck wanting the WHY. I demand it! Then what happens when I don’t get my answer? Frustration, Irritation, Anger, Resentment, Lost energy. Hours and hours of my life, wasted. Never coming back. Instead of asking why, remind yourself…“It Had To Happen”. Take a peek at that link. It’ll change your whole life.

 

  • Stop Blaming Yourself for Other’s Decisions and Mistakes – I had to come to the realization that I can only be held accountable for Bianca, for Bianca’s actions. Not anyone else’s. People’s choices are not a reflection of me, their decisions are a reflection of them. You can be the coolest, funniest, smartest, most amazing person ever and still get dealt a bad hand. Unfortunately, shitty stuff happens to good people.

 

How do you push thru when you think you just can’t take anymore?