Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Yesterday I shared a pretty personal post to my Instagram account. This isn’t a particularly new thing, but it is always scary putting your heart out there for the world to see.

Something I am going to start talking about a little more on here is body image. I have been so content with my body image for the most part since my junior year of college, but there have definitely a few little bumps along the road, yesterday being one of them.

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I’ve had an overwhelming two weeks with a lot of sickness (like, normal people colds and such — not only my chronic illnesses) and really gotten off my normal POTS recovery schedule. Missing a day or two here and there is alright, but a large collection of days? Not good.

So not only was I starting to feel worse, but I started getting inside my own head and letting my mind bully my body. Since day one of getting sick I made the decision to be kind and gentle with myself, take one day at a time, and not compare myself to others. Theodore Roosevelt was spot-on when he said,

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I knew that comparing the new life I never wanted for myself — having a chronic illness — with my friends who were going out into the world and getting their first post-college jobs and apartments would only be detrimental to my health. Rather than moping at home about the death of my shiny new dream job at Seventeen magazine I decided to focus on the things I could do. I could watch The Food Network and learn to cook, even if my body wasn’t actually up to cooking yet. I could write short blog posts with my dictation software. I could call my grandparents and make their day a little brighter; I still had the ability to be there for my friends and family. So those were the things I focused on.

When a handful of my friends started doing a bikini body workout I felt a little left out. Not that it was their fault; they would be happy to have me on board, but I am physically unable to do that kind of exercise with my new collection of illnesses. My Instagram feed and Facebook page began to flood with photos of weight lifting, sports bra before and after photos, and small digs at different body types. After a short while it all started to get in my head. Since I got sick I have not been able to do intense cardio workouts (I would faint pretty quickly), and I can’t lift more than a couple of pounds. I lost the muscle tone I was used to having my entire life, and I was the person so many of the girls would complain about being online — the before picture… And I absolutely cannot help the way I look.

This got me thinking more about the culture we live in. When did we start putting our self-worth in the hands of others, and why do we listen to the lies they tell us about our bodies? What exactly is the perfect body and why do we work so hard to change our physical appearance, but forget about changing our mindset? Being healthy is a wonderful thing, but appreciating everything your body can do at every single stage in life is incredibly important. Loving yourself  no matter what your shape or size is, and realizing that your worth isn’t dependent on the body that carries you is an important factor to being content and secure in yourself.

It sucks that we sometimes question our worth because of something as minuscule as the paint job on our outer shell. I genuinely think every single person I meet is beautiful in his or her own way. I can come up with a long list of amazing things about a person if I get to know them. Just ask my friends; odds are I have written them a letter (Or a hundred) about what a great person they are. Why are we so much harder on ourselves than we would be on a friend?

There is absolutely nothing wrong about working out and taking care of your body, (It’s actually a great thing!) but it becomes dangerous you make yourself sick by striving for perfection. I want to be someone people think of when they start to question their own beauty and self-worth. I want to serve as a reminder that it’s not at all about what is on the outside, but rather what’s on the inside that really matters. It may sound corny, but kindness is what counts, and the way we make others feel about themselves speaks volumes above how many “likes” we get on Instagram or whether or not we look like the people we see on television, in magazines, or on the runway. Once we get past our flesh and really dig deep into our souls we can make a lasting difference in this world.

Slow And Steady

I know I mentioned forever ago that I’ll be changing my blog around a lot, but it’s pretty difficult since I have arm problems and can’t sit at my computer very long without having issues. I am still working on getting a new domain, editing the layout, etc. with the help of friends and family, but it’ll be a little while. I am excited to share a lot of new experiences, products, and feelings with y’all!

Now that the dust has settled a little with Robert being back home I will be posting as regularly as I can again. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to get email updates! You get exclusive typos, grammatical mistakes, and sometimes even deleted posts when you get emails of my rough drafts. Somehow I enjoy editing things more once they’ve been published to my site.

Currently I am working on sending out a million Valentines. February is my favorite month because I absolutely love everything about Valentine’s Day. Whether or not I’m single I love seeing other people in love, I love showering my friends and family with gifts and words of affirmation, and I love pink hearts.

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These are just a few of the cards I got to mail this year.

In the next few weeks I’m going to be talking a little about the cruelty-free makeup I’ve found (I keep waiting for my voice to get better to make a YouTube video, but I swear this winter has been the death of me!), sharing a few of my favorite products and suggestions for Valentine’s Day presents, updating y’all about what the Patriots did for Robert, and finally, telling you what it was like being very mildly cyberbullied.

One of my favorite character traits is kindness. I’d say my word of 2017 is KIND, but this is actually a word I want to apply to the rest of my life. If nothing else, I would love for people to remember me for being not only “nice,” but kind to everyone I meet. I will be talking a lot about this in the coming weeks, and I hope we can together make the world — including the Internet — a happier and more beautiful place.

The Greatest Of All Time

What a game.

I can’t say I always enjoy sitting for four hours to watch football, but yesterday was totally worth it.

I started watching at a bar with one of my best friends, and we sipped milkshakes as we watched the Falcons get a couple of touchdowns. I knew Robert was probably not super happy about how the game was going, but I am a fierce optimist, so I kept saying to myself that the Patriots could still make a comeback. I actually felt really at peace most of the game, not because I didn’t feel invested, but I just had one of those crazy gut feelings that the Patriots would come through. I’d be lying if I said my heart wasn’t racing the last ten minutes of the game or in overtime, but it was just one of those weird moments where I felt like I knew everything would work out in my favor (As a sidenote, I am so sorry if you are a Falcons fan. That must have been really tough to watch; I feel pretty bad for everyone involved in that organization right now).

The Patriots have been a pretty big part of this past year for me, as I’ve been working on the Tom Brady project and kind of converted to becoming a Patriots fan. In the past I haven’t changed my sports teams for a guy — though I did date a Cowboys fan once, which was convenient for football games — but the Patriots have been different. I love the energy the fans have, and I actually genuinely like a lot of the players on the team. The more I see about the organization the more I really fall for it.

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Photo taken from Tom Brady’s Facebook

At first I enjoyed going and watching the Patriots play the Cowboys with Robert and having a friendly rivalry, but throughout his deployment I have grown incredibly fond of the New England team. They will always have a special place in my heart, and I have made the bittersweet decision to trade out my Tony Romo jersey for a Tom Brady one next season. I had already been trying to figure out who I was going to go for, as Romo has had a rough year, but instead of grabbing a Jason Witten or Dez Bryant jersey, my heart is leading me in a different direction. I will always love the Cowboys, but now I have two teams my heart feels really happy about. It will be interesting to see who I choose to root for when the Cowboys make a comeback to play the Patriots in the next Super Bowl. That will be the true test to see who my loyalty really lies with. 😉

Robert’s Homecoming

I am finally getting around to writing about Robert’s homecoming!

I’ve always known that whenever I get engaged I am going to wait a few days before announcing it to everyone so that I can just sit and enjoy the moment with my close loved ones. I love social media, but I think there’s something special about keeping some moments private. This is kind of how I felt about Robert’s first week back. I waited to announce that he was home because I really wanted to be able to thoroughly enjoy the moment without the million texts that I knew would come — which I also loved when the time was right!

Robert came home on a rainy Saturday evening, and I had jitters the entire day I was waiting to pick him up. I woke up in a little bit of a daze, but decided I just had to do everything I needed to get ready. The day before I had picked up a giant bouquet of balloons, made a welcome home sign, and talked to my best friend about when we would need to go to the airport. The week prior I had received a beautiful bouquet of red and white roses from The Bouqs Co so that I would be ready for his return as soon as he informed me he’d be home. You see, the Army is all about the element of surprise, so I didn’t know exactly when Robert would be back until the day before his flight.

Going to the airport was a kind of strange experience. I had waited for this moment for months. Since the day Robert left to be exact. Every day he was gone I thought about how incredible the moment would be when he got back. I thought about his return for 10 long months… Now that it was finally here it didn’t feel real!

Waiting in the airport was a strange form of torture. On one hand it was incredible the moment Robert set foot on US soil. As soon as he texted me I felt a heavy weight leave my shoulders, as I knew he was finally safe. On the other hand, though, Robert’s plane being fifteen minutes later than I had expected felt like such a tease. It was funny because I knew I was being ridiculous feeling antsy. After all, what is ten minutes in comparison to ten months of waiting?

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I did the math. It’s .00023% of the deployment. That is essentially nothing.

Seeing Robert for the first time is indescribable. Partly because yes, I was excited, but the other part of me felt really confused. He’s not supposed to be here, said a part of my brain. This isn’t real, said another. Robert isn’t going to be staying was the loudest part of my brain. Instead of being able to be ecstatic about having someone I loved so much back in my arms I felt kind of shaken by it. Yes, my brain knew Robert had told me he’d be around for a very long time now, but my heart didn’t believe it. I was so used to him being gone that it couldn’t register that he was actually here to stay. Our entire relationship has known this deployment. Even when I started dating Robert six months before he went overseas I knew he was going to be eventually leaving.

Since we’ve had just over two weeks together now I am starting to feel like things are normal. It definitely took a bit of time, and I’m still trying to adjust to the realization that I can see Robert whenever I want to, but my heart is finally starting to catch up with everything that’s going on.

Robert is here to stay. We can finally go out and continue to date each other in a really normal setting. He’ll still be in the Army, but the only time he’ll really be away from me is one weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. I am so beyond excited to start a new chapter together. I will definitely keep you posted on our new adventures together as a normal twentysomething couple. Goodbye deployment, and good riddance 6,500 miles!

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