I am determined to remain happy. To keep steadfast on this journey I entered before pregnancy. Weight loss, running, socializing (outside of my comfort zone at times), self-love, self-acceptance, confidence, happiness, contentment.
I want to experience more moments of happiness and joy than not. I want to show Embry if you work hard, if you follow through and are true to your word, if you are a good person, that you can have a predominantly happy life. You will always experience sadness, frustration, anger, etc – without those you have nothing to compare to and understand what happiness is and truly feels like.
I’m not a religious person, I don’t subscribe to what some people would refer to as “hippy” thinking, but I do believe that each person has the power to choose happy. I don’t know how it happened or what I did, but when I made a change in myself, it just clicked. I thought about happiness. I thought about laughter, joy, elation. I actively made efforts to connect with positive people, with joyful souls. I made a choice to no longer be my own bully. I decided that negative self-talk didn’t have a place in my life. It took a while to get the message I was trying to send myself. It took a long while. But every day, I did a little bit better.
The changes that have happened in my life, the experiences I’ve had, the connections I’ve made – honestly, it’s indescribable. This change I was able to create in myself, it literally saved my marriage. If I could give a piece of advice about marriage to everyone out there, it would be… don’t ever take your role in your relationship for granted. You had an argument? What was YOUR part in it? Your feelings are hurt? What did YOU do to allow that feeling? Your goals weren’t met? What did YOU do/not do to keep from reaching them. You cannot blame your partner for your role in life. You cannot shift responsibility away from yourself, even if your partner was part of the issue. That’s the key – you are each a PART, in order to work together, you have to be willing to own up to your life.
I can say, in all honestly and full disclosure, that I was a terrible wife for a long time. I am extremely lucky, and I thank the stars every day, that Chris didn’t leave me. Now, on the outside, sure, everything looked great. We both worked, we spent a lot of quality time together and with friends, we at all our evening meals together – usually a home cooked meal by yours truly. We had a lot… A LOT… of sex. I had NO IDEA our marriage was in trouble because I was ignorant of my role in our relationship. I took for granted that my life was no longer about me. It was about US. I wasn’t taking US into account.
Now, let me explain what I mean by this. I mean, everything I did, I did for us, right? So how could I not be thinking about us? On a truly fundamental level, on our foundation, I was not putting in what I was receiving from Chris. He was all in. He was supportive, encouraging, he spent copious amounts of time with my family. He listened to me complain about my weight. He expressed his love for me, even when I felt unlovable. He joined the same gym as me so we could go together. Once I got him into running, he continually invited me to join his group runs. He signed up for all the races I wanted to do, he waited for me at the finish line or came back out on course to come help me finish. And you know what I did? I complained. I procrastinated. I sat on my ass and I continued to get fatter. I’m going to be honest, I was obese. Technically I still am, according to BMI (which I don’t really follow). It’s hard to share that about yourself in words. I know you can see it. I know I’m not hiding anything. But to put it out into the universe, to ‘say’ it out loud, to admit – that takes guts. And by hiding behind my self-loathing, when I was too self-absorbed and too angry and disappointed in myself to see outside of my own pain, that’s when I failed my husband and my marriage. I never once thought about how my feelings about myself, my lack of follow through and lack of activity affected my husband. My partner. My most important everything. By neglecting myself, I diminished his efforts to help me. I pushed him away while also driving myself crazy trying to “do everything” to keep him close (dinners, activities, affection, etc). But I wasn’t doing the most important thing. I wasn’t loving myself. How can you expect to be loved unconditionally by others when you can’t love yourself?. How can you expect someone to stay by you, to continue to exhaust themselves mentally and emotionally, when you can’t bring yourself to be in your own corner?
We’ve been through a lot, Chris and I. More than I’d like to get into at the moment. We’ve always, however, been able to come full circle and reconnect. We will both tell you how lucky we were to find each other on Craigslist 12 years ago. How we’ve met the perfect person to compliment ourselves, that we just work. But with that takes personal growth, adult communication, honesty, trust. A willingness to be criticized by the person who knows you best. The ability to listen, not just to the words.
I don’t know where this is going. I might organize my thoughts more later… I might just leave it like this. This natural imperfect flow.
Embrace your imperfections, love who you are. I have a hard time with this. I’m still fat. I still feel self-conscious. I still wear shorts and a tank top in the pool. I still cross my arms over my stomach to try to minimize myself. I go between loving to I am, and hating the body I am in. That’s what I need to remember. It’s a body. It’s something I am in, it does not define who I am.
There was a big thing on social media in the past, using a phone’s predictive text. You were supposed to open the text box and select the center word that the phone suggested. Most people had jumbled sentences that made no sense, jibber-jabber to laugh at. This was years ago. I tried it, but never posted my results. My phone told me “I am a beautiful person.” on repeat. My own phone knew what I needed to hear, and to tell myself. This was at the beginning of my emotional transformation. This is right when I was starting to believe in myself – no, love myself. Yet, I was still too self-conscious to post my results, worried about what everyone else would think. Not wanting to draw attention to myself. Here we are, a couple years later, and my phone still reminds me of what I need to know is true. “I am a beautiful person”. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat until you believe deep down in your core that this is truth. I don’t know why my phone continues this phrase, I don’t know what power in the world is behind this, but I believe I needed this. I needed it then, I needed it all those times I checked it in between and I need it now. Especially now. Even though I love myself like I never have, I still need that reminder. I still need to TELL MYSELF that I love me. That I am beautiful, stretch marks and extra fat included.
I want to be a better role model to Embry. I want her to see hard work. I want her to see healthy. I want her to see positive energy. I want her to witness both self-love as well as devoted love. I want her to see healthy communication, good listening, unconditional support, pride, confidence. I want her to NEVER feel the way about herself as I did about myself for the majority of my life (so far). I vow to do my best to become the healthiest version of me, in order to nurture the healthiest version of her. I want her to grow to be a beautiful soul full of love and good vibes. I want her to have the type of personality that attracts good people. I want her to be able to surround herself with love, whether it is platonic, familial or romantic. I want her to be genuinely and wholeheartedly HAPPY.
I can’t believe I had so much to say. Usually when I try to blog, I can’t even think of where to begin. Maybe I should just free-fall it every night and eventually be able to cultivate blogs from what comes through.