Being Present

Being Present

 

GUIDE (1)I usually try to post a new blog post at least once a week, but often life gets in the way. Things don’t always work out the way I want them to, and I’m slowly learning to be okay with that. So as much as I wanted to get a blog post up, it just didn’t happen. I won’t lie, at first, I stressed about it. Then, I decided to practice what I preach. I decided to be gentle with myself, to give myself grace, and to allow things to happen the way they happened.

Taking the week off showed me a lot about myself, and the things that trigger my anxiety. It also showed me that, like most, I make progress, and end up getting knocked three steps back. It’s no secret I’ve been on a journey of self-healing, and self-discovery. I’ve talked about it countless times before. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned to take the end with the downs. So, even though last week was filled with anxiety and negative thought, I’m choosing to put it behind me. I’m choosing to move on, to continue to grow, and to heal.

Of course, I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t share some tips with all of you 😊. I hope you find them helpful when you feel like life is becoming too much.

  1. Stay in the present moment.

I know, I know, I talk about this all the time! I’m sure some of you are sick of hearing it, but it’s so important to remember. There’s no rule that says you must be doing a million things at once. If you can stay focused on what’s happening right now, you don’t have to be concerned with tomorrow just yet. Simply take one step at a time. Observe your current situation, and engage with it in a way that’s best for your wellbeing.

  1. Find beauty in every moment. Even the ones that suck.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at this. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thought, but it’s so incredibly difficult to drag yourself out of it. I think the important thing is that I try my hardest to see beauty in everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I’m a negative Nancy. However, I try to no allow myself to be consumed with negativity anymore.

There is beauty in breaking your arm, if you’re open to seeing it. Choose possibility, choose beauty, choose to learn, choose to have an open mind, and more importantly choose to have an open heart.

  1. Embrace the surprises in life.

This is my final tip, and probably the hardest thing for me to do myself. Try to go into every situation with as few preconceived ideas as possible. Allow things to just happen, and then roll with it. When we think we know exactly how something is going to happen, we cloud that experience with a ready-made attitude. Simply let life unfold, and give yourself a break from trying to have it all figured out.

A perfect example of me embracing life’s surprises would be this past weekend. I had planned to write this blog post on Saturday, instead, I ended up taking a little road trip with my mother, my partner, and Walter. I could have said no. I could have told my mom we were busy, and just stayed home. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad, I decided to roll with one of life’s unexpected moments. I ended up having a great time with my family, and I would have missed that opportunity had I not been open to it.

I’ll end things with some pictures from our spontaneous family road trip. Enjoy, and don’t forget to take time to actually live life!

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Autistic Burnout

Autistic Burnout

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If you know me personally, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about autism before. It’s no secret that autism is something I’m very passionate about. I’m very vocal about autism awareness, but something I’m not very vocal about is my own diagnosis. For a very long time, I’ve known that I was different from “normal” people, but I could never really explain why. Plus, it doesn’t help that it’s a lot harder to diagnose girls with autism than it is boys. Because of that, I didn’t receive my diagnosis until I was an adult. However, being diagnosed with Aspergers is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. As odd as it may sound, my diagnosis helped me begin my journey of self-love. My diagnosis gave me a better understanding of who I am.

I do want to make it very clear that autism is different for everyone. No two autistic people are alike, and just people I have autism, I do not speak for the entire autistic community. I can only speak to my struggles.

I’m not sure what I want this post to be, so please bear with my rambling. My hope is that this post will help people understand more about people on the spectrum. My hope is that this post will show people that just because someone is “high functioning” does not mean that autism doesn’t affect them. Autism is a disability, it’s often called the invisible disability because people on the spectrum suffer every single day, and often no one even notices. Just because you can’t always see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Please keep that in mind before you make assumptions about people on the spectrum.

Today I won’t go into too much detail about my diagnosis, but I do want to discuss something that a lot of “high functioning” people struggle with and that’s Autistic burnout.

Many people who are close to me know I’ve been struggling with a ton of health issues recently. I dropped around 15 pounds almost overnight, and have been plagued by migraines. After some extensive research (and blood work) I’ve come to realize I was suffering from autistic burnout. I’m recovering now, but I still have days where I feel unwell, and struggle just to make it through. Like I said before, no two autistic people are alike so the way I experience burnout will be completely different from the way someone else experiences it. However, I hope sharing what helped me get through it will help someone else struggling.

For those of you who don’t know, burnout is defined as “long-term exhaustion, and diminished interest in work.” The symptoms of burnout often mirror those of clinical depression. Symptoms of burnout for autistic people can often include regression of coping skills. Autistic burnout often occurs in “high functioning” people. It stems from mental exhaustion caused by an intense effort to seem neurotypical. For those of you not on the spectrum, I’m sure it’s hard for you to understand what I mean. I guess the simplest way to put it is, it takes a lot of energy for an autistic person to try to be “normal”. Especially for those labeled as “high functioning”. Recently I read an excellent post from Planet autism blog, which said, “Basically, the high functioning you are, the more others expect of you, and, the more you push yourself.”

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Like I said before, every autistic person is different so everyone’s symptoms of burnout will be different. For me, it presented has extreme tiredness, migraines, and a general lack of interest in things that are important to me. I spent a few weeks trying to deal with my symptoms on my own, but as they progressively got worse, my partner insisted I go see a doctor. I had a ton of lab work done, and everything came back normal so I was basically back to square one. I knew that I wasn’t depressed, and doctors had confirmed that there wasn’t anything medically wrong with me. I was despite for an answer, so I started googling my symptoms. I know, not the best idea but like I said, I was getting pretty despite. Of course, I ran into a lot of things that said I was dying, but then I found a ton of autistic bloggers that were writing about exactly what I was going through. I finally knew what was happening to me, and I cried for about an hour from sheer relief. Once I started reading more about autistic burnout, I realized that this wasn’t the first time that it had happened to me. I have dealt with this several times during my life, and I’m only 22 years old. The realization that I had dealt with this before kind of hit me hard. I really took some time to reflect on how I had handled burnout in the past. I’ll be honest, in the past, I struggled a lot with coping skills because I wasn’t diagnosed properly. I struggled a lot with anxiety, and addition, especially during a burnout. Obviously, I didn’t want to head down that path again, so this time I really focused on recovering from burnout a healthy way.

The first thing I did was try to relax. Honestly, this was the hardest thing for me to do. I’m a very high-strung person, I always have been. So, as you can imagine, relaxing is not something that comes naturally to me. However, I knew how important this step was. Stress was a big contributor to my burnout, so I knew eliminating stress was necessary for my well being.

The next thing I did was focus on doing more of the things I enjoyed. For me, that was blogging, or binge-watching YouTube videos until I fell asleep at night. Ideally, I would have taken some proper time off, but it just wasn’t possible for me. So, because I couldn’t fully abandon my normal routine, I changed more energy into the little things in life that bring me joy.

The last thing I’m going to mention is stimming, which is short for “self-stimulatory behavior”. Stimming is something that I think is extremely important for autistic people (if their personal safety isn’t an issue), there is a lot of debate about the topic but I think making time for stimming is vital for people on the spectrum. The stim most people think of when they hear the word autistic is head banging, or hitting. Obviously, this behavior isn’t healthy, and this energy should be channeled into a safer stim if possible. With all that being said, making time in my day just for stimming was a key part of my recovery. For me stimming is necessary. The extra sensory input stimming provides keeps me level-headed, and helps me control my anxiety.

I’d like to take a second to mention that clearly, I’m not an expert on autism. I’m only speaking from personal experience. If you’re interested in learning more about ASD please let me know. I’d be more than happy to write more post about autism.

If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with this long rambling post.  Your love and support mean the world to me.

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18 before 2018

18 before 2018

 

blogger-photo-2249560_960_720Hi my sweet sweet friends! I’m so glad to be back. First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who checked on me during my break. For those of you who don’t know I took a much need break in July to focus on my family and our big move. We’ve finally settled into our new place ( a home tour coming soon) and things are much less hectic than before. Also, I took this time to do a little site revamp. I hope you noticed 😉

This post is inspired by the lovely Lisa Jacobs You can find her blog post here.

Anyway, Today I’m listing 18 goals I want to accomplish before 2018. I created my list by writing down everything I wanted/needed to get done before the year ended. Then I organized that into eighteen major goals I’d like to accomplish.

A few things you should keep in mind while making your list

  • Do you have any unfinished business to attend to so you can end this year on a good note?
  • What needs to happen in order for you to accomplish your goals?
  • Don’t stretch yourself too thin. The objective here is to work on goals that are actually achievable RIGHT NOW.
  • Some projects just need to be let go of, so you can focus more on the things you want in your life.

Here’s My 18 before 2018

  1.  Be Present

I made this the first thing on my list because it’s so important to me. So many of us are focused on things that just don’t matter in the long run. I’m letting go of that and channeling all of my energy into being 100% focused on the things that are important to me. My family, my friends, my self-care and all the little things in between.

2.  Start a Youtube Channel

This is something I’ve wanted to do for so long. Now it’s no longer on the back burner.

3. Monthly Dates with my partner

These have been practically nonexistent since we’ve had our son. Now I’m making them a priority.

4. Decorate for the holidays

This may sound silly to some, this will be the first year we’re in our own home as a family. I love homes decked out for the holidays, so this year I’m making it happen

5. Create a budget…and stick to it

This seems pretty self-explanatory.

6. Take more walks

I never spend enough time outside. I work full time, and more often than not I’m dead tired when I come home. Usually, the last thing I want to do is go for a walk, but spending time outside is so grounding and always relaxes me. So I’m planning to walk at least 15 minutes a day.

7. Reduce my mindless screen time

Recently I’ve noticed I’m spending a lot more time mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, or Facebook. I open the app to look one thing, and then 30 minutes go by and I’m still scrolling. I don’t allow my son to have screen time for this very reason. I didn’t want him to become addicted to it. Now I’m limiting my screen time, and spending more time doing the things I love.

8. Read a least one book

Again this might sound silly to some of you, but those of you with kids will understand. It can be incredibly difficult to find time for yourself, especially if you have a toddler like I do.

9. Start a bullet journal

Okay, if you have no idea what a bullet journal is, go google it now! One of my goals for 2017 was to get more organized. Well, that never happened, until now! Currently, I’m setting up my first spreads in my bullet journal, and I can’t wait for it to change my life 😉

10. Increase my content output

Blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do. I fell off the wagon for a while, but I’m excited to get things going again and to see where things take me.

11. Buy a coffee table for my living room

I mentioned this before, but we recently moved into our first family home. A super tiny one bedroom apartment. Just about all of our things were gifted to us, so buying a coffee table will be our first “big” purchase together.

12. De-clutter my wardrobe

Over the past year, I’ve been learning more and more about minimalism, and I’ve discovered that I have so many things I just don’t need. So the first major area I’m de-cluttering is my closet. If it doesn’t fit, I haven’t worn it in years, or it just doesn’t bring me joy I’m getting rid of it.

13. Take better care of myself

Becoming a mother is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. However, I feel like I lost myself to motherhood. I worried so much about my son I forgot about myself. My goal now is to take better care of myself whether that means I’m getting my nails done once a week, or just drinking a cup of coffee by myself. I’m making myself a priority again.

14. Listen to more podcasts

I LOVE PODCASTS! If you’ve never listened to a podcast seriously you’re missing out. The amount of information I’ve learned from podcasts is astounding. I’m absolutely obsessed.

15. Connect more to my faith

This is something I’ve struggled with a lot recently. I often make excuses for myself and say I don’t have time for faith. This lack of faith has directly affected my emotional well being and I’m ready for a change.

16. Create a gratitude log

I’ll admit, I’m a complainer. I often become hyper focused on the things going wrong in my life and it makes it impossible to see all the things that are going right. To combat this issue every day, I’m going to write down one thing I’m grateful for. At the end of the year, I’ll have an amazing list of all the good things in my life.

17. Spend more time with friends

I can be a pretty antisocial person. I find it hard to connect with people face to face and if I’m being honest people give me a great deal of anxiety. Because of this, I have a hard time showing my friends I actually care about them.

18. Gain at least 5 lbs

If you know me, you know for the last few months I’ve been struggling a lot with weight loss. I’ve started to feel really uncomfortable in my own skin, and in order to remedy this, I’ll be making a  conscious effect to track what I’m eating and to packing on the pounds 💪.

If I’m being honest I’m a little stressed about the sheer size of some of these goals. Nonetheless, I’m excited and ready for the challenge! What are some of the goals you’d like to accomplish before the new year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or tag me on Instagram @theholisticbee

xoxo

Destiny

A Guide to Self-Compassion

A Guide to Self-Compassion

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Hi, my sweet, sweet friends! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I really needed some time to myself, to do some self-reflection and healing. If you’ve been following my blog at all you know I’m on a journey of self-discovery. You’d also know how strongly I feel about self-care. Because of that, I decided to take some time off to work on myself and to really focus on my family. Now that I’m feeling re-energized, I’m ready to get back to my regular posting schedule.

In this blog post, I wanted to share with you the knowledge I’ve gained throughout these few weeks of reflection. So, before I ramble on too much, here’s a guide to becoming the best “you” you can be.

LET GO OF NEGATIVITY 

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times! You must let go of your negative energy to grow as a person. Negativity can hold us back from a lot in life, especially happiness. Your mind creates your reality. If you’re always walking around with an attitude of ” nothing goes right in my life” than that’s what you’ll get in return. So, you’re probably wondering how you can stop being so negative. Don’t worry I have a few tips for you 🙂

  • Be grateful-  Take five minutes a day to write down everything you’re grateful for. When you start focusing on the positive things in your life, your whole mindset changes.
  • Stop complaining-  I know, this one is tough. I’ll be the first to admit that I complain A LOT. What I’ve been trying to remember lately is that complain doesn’t fix anything. Now I try to limit complaining to no more than five minutes. This helps me to mentally notice when I’m getting annoyed, so I’m able to take the right steps to calm myself down, rather than sweating the small stuff.
  • Focus on yourself- Usually negativity comes from a place of unhappiness. Start asking yourself what would you like to change? How can you make your life better? Do some self- reflection, and be open to making some changes.

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LIVE AUTHENTICALLY

It takes so long to be comfortable in your own skin. Once you’ve reached that place in your life, never apologize, or hide who you really are. Never strive to be like someone else. Be unique, be weird, be authentic, be YOU!

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LET GO OF SELF DOUBT 

I can’t stress this enough! How can you become your best self if you’re always doubting your abilities? Letting go of self-doubt is difficult, but it’s possible. Let go of the fear of failure, let go of other people’s opinions of you, let go of pre-conceived opinions about yourself. Know your self-worth, and never doubt it again. Like I said before this may not come easy, and it may take time. A great way to start is using positive affirmations. Every morning while you’re getting ready, look at yourself in the mirror and say something positive about yourself three times. Here are a few examples.

  • I am a beautiful and strong person. I can tackle anything that comes my way today.
  • I am a confident person.
  • I am going to be my best self today. I will stay positive and kind.
  • I am going to have an amazing day. Nothing will crush my positive mood.
  • My outfit is on point today. I feel confident and beautiful.

Trust me I know how cheesy this sounds, but trust me it works!

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INVEST IN YOURSELF

Investing in yourself is always a positive thing. It’s a way to learn about yourself regardless of the outcome. The more you discover about yourself, the easier it is to become the person you want to be. Self-investment can be as simple has taking a class, reading a good book, or even starting up that business you’ve always dreamed of.

Well guys, there you have it, a few tips to help you along your journey of self-compassion, and self-love. Even if you incorporate just one of these into your life, you will see a change in yourself and your life. I’d love to hear the ways you’re working on becoming a better you. Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

xoxo

Destiny

 

 

Our Breastfeeding Journey

Our Breastfeeding Journey

Breastfeeding has always been important to me. I knew I was going to breastfeed the second I found out I was pregnant. I watched tons of videos on how to get a great latch, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I felt comfortable with my decision to nurse my baby.

When Walter was born he latched within seconds and nursed for around thirty minutes. Natural I thought we were off to a good start. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. We struggled A LOT in the beginning. In fact, we still struggle every day. However, I am pleased to say we’ve made it to nine months, and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon.

If you’re a breastfeeding mama, and you’re struggling, I hope this post helps you in some way.  Remember to take one day at a time, and don’t be so hard on yourself.

STRUGGLING IN THE BEGINNING

In the beginning, I dealt with a lot of nipple pain. For the first two weeks or so I would cry every single time he latched. Literally every single time. The pain was so bad I honestly considered giving up and formula feeding. I’m very thankful that I have a loving, supportive partner who wouldn’t let me give up. Without his support and kind words, I wouldn’t have made it.

I want to take the time to say pain is not normal. It’s a sign that your baby isn’t latched correctly. This could be due to a lot of things, but the most common are a lip or tongue tie. My son has a lip tie, and unfortunately, we didn’t discover it until a few weeks ago. If you suspect your little one might have a lip or tongue tie make sure you bring it up with you pediatrician.

DEALING WITH NEGATIVITY  

I struggled with this a lot in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. For some reason, a lot of people feel the need to comment of things that either has nothing to do with them or things they know nothing about. It can be hard to tune these things out, especially if you’re a new mom. I know I always hated hearing people say I should have formula at home “just in case”, or having people tell me to cover up while nursing in public. Unfortunately, it seems like people always have something negative to say to breastfeeding moms. My advice is to let it go in one ear and out the other, and if that doesn’t work don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself!

LOW MILK SUPPLY 

This is something that most new moms are concerned with. Honestly, it’s incredibly rare for a woman to not produce enough milk for her baby. Most of the time low milk supply is caused by a lack of knowledge and support. However, in some cases, low milk supply can happen with ample knowledge and support.

If you work outside of the home like me, you might experience a dip in supply when you return to work. If this happens to you, make sure you do everything you can to increase your supply before it’s too late.

Low supply is something I’ve faced since returning to work. I’m very lucky, and with the help of some amazing women, I’ve been able to supplement my son with donated breast milk. I can’t begin to explain how thankful I am to the ladies that have helped me feed my son. I will be forever grateful, I can only hope someday I’ll be able to return the kindness.

FEELING OVERWHELMED 

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed is something I still struggle with every day. Being the only person who can feed a tiny human being can feel like a lot of weight on your shoulders. I’m very lucky that my son was willing to take a bottle of expressed breast milk every now and then. If I wasn’t able to get these tiny little breaks, especially in the beginning, I might have pulled all of my hair out!

 

Nursing my son has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the most rewarding. The bond we have is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Every mom deserves to feel the amazing bond and love that comes with nursing a child, and every baby deserves the food nature intended for them.

xoxo

Destiny

Self care Sunday

Self care Sunday

 

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Hello my sweet sweet friends! I hope all is well in your world.

If you couldn’t tell from last weeks post I’m pretty big on self-love. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I’ll go ahead and let you know this is a relatively new idea for me. I’ve spent most of my life putting myself on the back burner, but not anymore my friends!

Basically, I started with the idea of taking a little time for myself. I usually do this on Sunday when I make a new post, but you can choose any day that works for you. In the future, I’d like to take a little time every day, but for now, Sundays are working just fine 😉

I can’t stress how important it is to create a routine of self-care for yourself, especially for us mothers. We spend so much time taking care of other people we forget about ourselves. Take some tips from my self-care routine below, and make sure you’re giving yourself some love on a daily basis!

Sleep in

You’ll be surprised when you see what sleeping in just one day a week can do for your health. Both physically as well as mentally. Sleep is when our body heals and recuperates from our stressful lives. If you have small children pass them off on Dad for a little bit, so you can sleep in.

Meditate 

Meditation is something I feel very strongly about, and it’s a huge part of my life. Take a least 10 minutes to just sit, and be present. Make sure you ditch your phone, and any negative thoughts.

You’ll walk away much more relaxed, and ready to take on your day.

Pamper yourself 

I want to start by saying that I’m not talking about “retail therapy” here. I personally believe that kind of “papering” is just a distraction, and incredibly self-destructive.

What I mean is run yourself a hot bath, diffuse some essential oils and drift away.

Get outside 

This is so important to me! If I spend to much time indoors, I feel stressed and overwhelmed with life.

Take a walk, ride a bike, just get outside and breathe the fresh air. I find this incredibly grounding, it connects back to life and just makes my day that much better.

Spend time doing something you love 

For me, this means watching my son. Literally, I just sit there and watch him sleep sometimes. I know this probably sounds really weird, but it’s the truth. I find myself becoming preoccupied with so many things that I often forget just how fast my son is growing. Whenever I find that happening, I stop what I’m doing and focus on being present in his life. Whether that means watching him sleep, or sitting on the floor and playing with him. It’s important to me to take that time for him, no matter what because I know in twenty years I’m never going to look back and wish I would have spent more time putting the dishes away.

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Life is busy, and I’m sure a lot of you are thinking there is no way you have time to find one of these activities into your day. If you don’t have time for self-care what does that say about the relationship you have with yourself?

Life is about love and joy, not negativity and judgment. Just breathe and embrace life!

xoxo

Destiny

FINDING JOY

FINDING JOY

I want to start off by saying I am not an expert. Anyone who has known me for years can tell you I can be one of the most pessimistic people on earth. I’m not denying that, and I’m not saying that my life is always perfect. Trust me it’s far from it, however, since becoming a parent my outlook on life has changed dramatically. Don’t get me wrong I still have my bad days just like anyone else. What’s different is I no longer allow myself to wallow in misery. Basically what I’m trying to say is yes I lose my shit every now and then, but when that happens I pick myself up and move on. Because of that, I can honestly say for the first time in my life I’m finally at peace with myself.

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So what is joy?

Before we dive too deep I want to tell you the definition of joy, “a feeling of great pleasure or happiness”. This can mean something different to different people. I find my joy in motherhood, others may not. In order for you to be truly happy, you have to find what joy is to you.

Before I had my son I was fighting a never ending battle. I felt dissatisfied with my life, and I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy. I knew things had to change before I brought my son into the mix. I took a step back and really tried to reevaluate my life. What I discovered was astounding. I realized that my outlook on life, my own personal negativity, and the way I dealt with situations was the cause for 99.9% of my problems. I was choosing to be miserable. Once I realized that my life started to change.

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So…what exactly did I change?

I started with the way I viewed life. By “life” I mean the day to day situations we all deal with. I realized I complained A LOT. When I say a lot I mean all the time. I found myself complaining from the time I woke up until I went to sleep. I spent my entire day focusing on every negative thing that happened to me. Once I realized this I decided to make a conscious effort to stop being a negative Nancy. Don’t get me wrong I still find myself complaining about things here and there but it’s nothing compared to the way I was.

The next thing I gave up was negative self-talk. This had a huge impact on my life. I never knew how draining negative self-talk could be until I gave it up (for the most part). I’m a firm believer that we speak things into existence, so if you’re constantly telling yourself you’ll never accomplish XYZ then you never will. Always be kind to yourself.

I would have to say the most important thing I did was stop blaming people for my shortcomings. Often it’s a lot easier to point the finger at someone else when things don’t go as planned. I’ll be honest I did this a lot. Now I’m learning to take responsibility for my decisions. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it.

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So….What’s next?

My next steps is a journey of self-refection, and truly becoming the type of person I want to be. I know I have a long road ahead of me but I’m excited about the future. If nothing else I plan on teaching my son that it’s possible to live a life that it inline with you value, and a life that brings you true happiness.

Live for you and only you. If you’re unhappy with the way your life is going do whatever you can to change it. Don’t settle for a life you don’t want.

xoxo

Destiny