This is the time in my life where everything is changing. I have gone through so much change in the last 8 years of my life. Anyone who is in their 20’s, or those reflecting back, probably agree it is a time of changes, self-discovery, and growth.
Some might be reluctant to change, but I am encouraging you to embrace it. The last year and a half has been a roller-coaster of change, emotions, and I think it is only the beginning. Whether I’m ready or not, life continues on and it is up to me to either remain stuck in my rut or make the life changes I need to keep moving forward.
Motherhood Changed Me
15 months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She has changed my life. I feel like I have been re-born, myself. I was tested in every aspect of my life and more. I hit rock bottom in the sense where I didn’t know who I was or what I really wanted. Or more so, I knew what I wanted but did not how how to get there and I ended up feeling paralyzed. I wanted to be the ambitious, driven, hard working woman I always have been. I wanted to be the most loving, caring, compassionate mom I knew I was meant to be.
So instead I froze. I felt like I was being torn in every direction. I took the time during deployment to not focus on work. It was hard because it was such a huge piece of me, but I do not regret it. I focused on being a mom, I focused so hard to the point of self-neglect. I had support and was around my amazing family, but I was far from being happy with myself on the inside.
I kept focusing on my husband coming home and thinking that was the issue. When he came home, we had our own issues to face and adjustments to make after being apart for 8 months. I hated admitting to him that I was not happy. I hated admitting that I was already overwhelmed and I was so scared to go back to work. But I had to make a change. I had to do something to help me find myself. That something started with going back to work. Work was a huge part of what made me – me. And to my surprise, the sky did not fall, and I felt like a piece of myself was put back in place.
This was the small piece of motivation and momentum I desperately needed and it set my life back in motion. So, I decided to keep riding that wave. My mother-in-law recommended the book Girl Wash Your Face to me almost a year ago. Even if I would’ve listened to it then, I do not think it would have resonated with me the way it did when I read it now.
The Books That Changed My Life
It may sound cliche, but I am being completely honest when I say these book changed my life. Girl Wash Your Face and Girl Stop Apologizing spoke to my soul. It was everything I needed to hear from the type of person I needed to hear it from.
She covered a vast variety of topics, but there were a few that stood out to me the most. Personal development, being a working mom, and taking action on your goals are the ones that resonated most. Not to mention, listening to her books via audible PUMPED ME UP! Her words were the fuel to the small spark I had inside me. It was the right words at the right time to put the life I wanted back into motion.
A lot of what Rachel said, my husband has been telling me for years. After I finished these books, we had to sit down and have multiple conversations about this. I had to start by apologizing to him and let him know that it was not because I didn’t appreciate what he was telling me. I knew he thought these great things about me. The problem was, I did not think these things about me. The crazier part was, I didn’t even realize that I didn’t think these things about myself. My brain just blew it off. It protected me by saying things like “it’s not realistic” or “that’s not how it works for most people”.
The Changes I Made
I started with my blog. It was my husbands idea and at first I was unsure. But the more I have been writing the more passionate I feel about sharing my journey. One of my biggest drivers in life is helping others. I deeply and genuinely care about others. I started using my blog as a way to be vulnerable and uncomfortable in hopes it helps others.
I went back to work. I did not love my job and felt like I was taking a step back instead of forward. This actually upset me, but I knew I was the only one who could change that. This is when I started listening to Rachel Hollis’s books for personal development. I changed my perspective on my job. I hated my job, but I was taking a step back so I could be launched forward further than I even knew possible. I was taking a step back so I could reflect on what I really wanted my life to look like.
I took time for self-care. The majority of my daughter’s first year, I had almost no self-care. Even when I tried, the mom-guilt over took me. It had to stop because mom guilt is a lie. You need to take care of yourself to be a better mom. I reminded myself this when I finally took the time to focus on me. I had to stop feeling bad. It was not working for me anymore. Self-care started small with letting Ryan give Arya a bath while I watched Grey’s with Kayla. Then it grew to allowing myself to enjoy going out for wine with friends. The biggest self-care act was a night away with my husband. I am a work in progress, but am so proud of my growth.
Almost as if God himself was telling me I was on the right path, I was reached out to by a recruiter regarding an HR Generalist position. The position I have been working my butt off to get to, but didn’t seem to work out. I will add that the pay for this position was more than what I set for myself to be realistic. I was blown away that someone would reach out to me for an HR Generalist position that paid more than what I would have asked for myself. But I trusted God, I listened to my husband, and I listened to Rachel Hollis. I went for it, killed my interview and was offered the job the next day. I am still in shock I’m not going to lie.
Just because I got the job, does not mean I am stopping there. Each small change I have started to make has turned into fuel for the next. What was the next small change I could make to get me closer to the life I actually want?
The answer is goal setting. I consider myself ambitious and have a lot of desires in life. But before focusing on my personal development, I never wrote anything down and never thought I needed to. It took some time, but I finally found something that worked for me and, again, I have to give the credit to Rachel Hollis. I ordered Rachel’s Start Today Journal and I have wrote in it everyday since April 28th. Two weeks of writing in a journal every day might not seem like anything crazy to you, but for me this is huge. I have gone from never writing a single goal down ever to writing and re-writing my goals EVERY DAY.
I have written my goals down every day for the last two weeks and for the last two weeks I am constantly thinking about the big picture of my life and HOW I am going to get there. One thing I noticed was after writing my dreams and goals down was how realistic my dreams actually are. Nothing I have been dreaming of is actually that out-of-the-box. And honestly that motivates me even more.
If you wrote down your life dreams and turned them into 10 goals, how crazy do they really seem to you? Are you on the path to reaching those goals? Are you closer than you think to turning your dreams into a reality?
My Life is Changing
I am re-discovering who I am and I am loving myself more with every new growth opportunity. I am falling in love with myself and the new me I am growing into. I am owning my strengths and accepting my faults. I am on the path to be un-apologetically me. Some days it is exciting and other days it is uncomfortable and even scary, but I am fully embracing it.
Ryan and I are flourishing and taking on, what at times, might seem like a lot to handle; But we are taking on these opportunities confidently. We are trusting ourselves, each other, and God. We have our common goals in life and we are on our way to turning them into a reality.