Struggling through

I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t have a second of rest.

I kept thinking about it & was angry at myself for letting a day go by.

I’m realizing that I need to give myself a break. I’ve done really well within a month with this blog, in my personal opinion.

I’m about to be a part time student, I have a full time job as a nanny, and I’m a full time mother to a 4 month old.

Taking all of that on, I need to keep in mind that just because I have a set back, doesn’t mean I failed. I’m an aggressive go-getter who is extremely hard on herself.

Is anyone else a little too hard on themselves?

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Wear that struggle

When you sweat profusely at the gym, don’t you feel like a total badass? You’re walking around looking tired as hell, clothes drenched, you’re glistening in the florescent gym lighting. You’re checking in on Facebook “puttin’ in work 💪🏻” and taking your gym selfie. You walk around with confidence that say “yep, I did that. I worked hard as hell, bettering myself.” Something that’s actually pretty gross, we wear with pride.

So tell me, why don’t we wear our dark undereyes with pride? Why don’t we walk into that local coffee shop looking tired as hell? Why don’t we walk around with a confidence that says “Hey, I just got done crying. But I got out of bed, so can I get a quad espresso?” Mamas aren’t wearing their breast milk drenched shirt around like a medal. Those who are going through divorce aren’t flaunting their tearful, red eyes.

You should wear your hard times with pride. They are called “hard times” for a reason – because it’s hard! You’re still getting out of bed, you’re handling your shit, and you are still here. “Oh well, everyone goes through hard times. It’s nothing to give attention to.” Uh, hell yeah it is. Let’s not sell ourselves short here! Let’s be proud of ourselves more often and say “I’m going through something right now, the stress is unbelievable, but I’m bettering myself and I’m still going.”

Stop hiding what you find to be a weakness, because it’s actually your strength being put to the test. You’re dealing with your problems and that is admirable. Leave the concealer alone, keep cold towels off of those red eyes, and stop trying to fit into those NONE-pregnancy jeans (just embrace the stretchy band). Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others.

Let’s connect & let’s bond over how hard life is. So tell me, what are you going through? What struggle are you proud of?

Passion ain’t just for Nicolas Sparks novels

“Quality over quantity.” It’s a good saying for those of us who don’t have much, yeah? It is true, though. What would life be if you lived to be 100 years old, but you never once lived with intention. You survived, you stuck around, but you never lived. You were in a metaphorical coffin by the age of eighteen.

You learned the importance of money quickly & decided that being an artist will never pay the bills. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer & left him for man with a bright future. He could give you what you needed. You soon learned that you needed love & he couldn’t put that on his credit card for you. You survived, but you didn’t live. You stepped into that coffin the second you told yourself “happiness won’t pay my bills.”

You learned the importance of money quickly & you learned the importance of happiness even quicker. You decided that life without passion is no life at all. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer except for his love & support, but that was what you needed. You burned the metaphorical coffin the second you told yourself “life without passion is no life at all.”

I have caught myself just surviving, staying with jobs because they made enough money. I’ve put passions of mine aside, because they didn’t provide me with an income. Society’s idea of success can turn passionate people in slaves of survival. Do not lose your passion for life, for your art, for people. Without passion, we can only survive.

The news is depressing

I used to tell myself that I didn’t watch or read the news because it was depressing and out of my hands. I’m sure 80 percent of you agree with me, but I know you like to pretend like Buzzfeed counts. I admit it was pure ignorance. What I was really saying was “I’m not going to listen or read because it affects me, personally, in a negative way. It makes me sad, angry, and feel completely helpless.” Again, ignorance. I love to wear rose-colored glasses, watching happy little news stories on Facebook. And that’s it.

Yes, I do believe the news is depressing, but what makes me so important to where I can’t be inconvenienced by OTHER’S afflictions? How selfish can I get? Do I turn my back on the problems because it’s easier to forget or even deny that they exist? You may say, “Hannah, the news is all over my Facebook.” Did you know that Facebook only shows you what they think you will like? Not only are you filtering the truth with pure opinion thanks to Buzzfeed & Feminist Blogs, but also – you’re not exposed to what’s going on in it’s entirety. (I love Buzzfeed AND Feminist blogs, don’t attack me).

It is hard to believe that we can make a difference, purely by informing ourselves. As one person, it seems like we don’t have a lot of leverage. We have to plant one tree at a time, before we can have a thriving forest & self-sustaining ecosystem. We cannot change what we do not know and we cannot help our community while being un OR mis-informed.

Let’s not sell people short of life’s hardships

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Why are we, as humans, so naturally judgmental? I’m not going to say that I don’t inwardly judge, because I am guilty. I’m hella guilty. I am constantly telling myself not to be an asshole. Why do we group together people of the same race, religion, sexual orientation, and political view? We like to say “they” a lot, as if everyone who shares a common belief/background are the same person. How do we not realize that not everything is so black and white? Especially people! We need to remember that life is hard enough without trying to put everyone in a box.
I’m about to write something that most people aren’t going to like. We judge people who we believe to be awful people and it’s completely justified because they “deserve” it. Think about all of these wonderful people you are missing out on knowing because they believe in same sex marriage (or don’t)! Think about all of the kind people you disrespected because you don’t believe in the god they serve. Think about all the friends you never forgave because they made a mistake that you made, yourself, a few years later.
I’m going to go in the opposite direction of what you think I’m going to say. Now, let’s think about how we judge really pretty women. Especially as moms, we tend to feel immediately intimidated by a woman who has it seemingly all together. Why do we really think that this woman doesn’t have problems of her own? At the end of the day, her kid is shitting on her too – mentally or physically. Even if we are positively judging someone, yet secretly hating them for it, let’s not sell them short of life’s hardships. Nothing is more frustrating than someone venting to me about how easy MY life is because 1. you weren’t there when I cut all my hair off during a mental breakdown and 2. I will start crying right now.
I’d like to believe that we can make a conscious decision to not judge. An easy way to do this is to remember that we are all different. “No shit, Hannah” you’re saying. How often do we forget how absurd & boring it would be if we were all the same and agreed politically and/or religiously? Everyone was raised differently and everyone believes they’re right. Let me say that again: everyone believes they are right. Every single person can find those “awful people” and justify why they deserve it. Opinions are opinions, ok? Stand your own ground, but let other people stand theirs as well. Mind your own shit and be nice.

The pain is there, you just can’t see it

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For the majority of my life, I lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There was a lot of tourists, military, city life, etc. On weekends, when I was about 10-14 years old, my parents used to take me down to Gaston, North Carolina. This place, at my young age, was dreadfully boring. There was a Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) down the gravel road and a Dollar General. We would also go into town to go to Walmart. Ooh, fancy, yeah? Needless to say, there wasn’t too much going on down there.

On a few occasions, I remember my dad sitting outside with me to watch meteor showers. I had never seen them because of the light pollution in the city; this was all strange & new to me. I remember being wrapped up in a blanket just staring up at the stars; there were so many. My 12 year old self thought: “Shit, I’m small.” Then, I got back to the city, forgetting about the stars and remembering how my life is so hard because my room was messy, I had a twenty five page paper due the next day, & classmates are assholes. I was no longer small and my problems were no longer comparatively insignificant.

Out of sight out of mind, right? I think we, as humans, make that mistake quite often. Of course, we have bigger issues that are out of sight such as global warming, war, poverty, starvation, etc. We do not have those issues nor do we see them first-hand, so we tend to live as if they don’t exist. How awful is that? That we tend to live as if our problems are of the utmost importance, even though there are people who are plagued with worry every single day because they don’t know if they will survive.

Let’s make it even more relatable for you. That person you cut off because they were driving the speed limit (we all know you can go five miles over the limit) just found out that her mother passed away. You didn’t witness it though, so it didn’t happen. That woman with all that plastic surgery you just degraded? Her mother made her believe she wasn’t worth anything until she was skinny & beautiful. But, you didn’t witness that, so it didn’t happen. The barista that you complained to the manager about because he is extra slow? He can’t pay his rent this month and is facing eviction. Yet again, you didn’t witness it, so it didn’t happen.

Let’s stop being so horribly ignorant. Can we, please, start living life as if we know nothing? Reason being, we don’t know the problems people face. So everyone, live with kindness in your heart and stop feeling so self-important. Remember that the stars are there, we just can’t see them.

Grow up & start acting like a child

I have been a nanny for a total of about five years and I have a boy of my own. Children are horrifically honest. I don’t know how many times I have been embarrassed by a child just making an observation about my haggard appearance. Children are also, typically, ready to make some new friends. It doesn’t matter what their new friend looks like. If they are on the same playground, they have a new best friend until you leave. Children like yummy food, because what are calories? Children find pure joy in such small things, such as: bubbles, rain puddles, snow, swimming, going on a bike ride, etc.

Adults are not my people. Some of us are angered by slow cars, long lines at the coffee shops, and slow technology. Some care about money more than they care about spending time with their family. Some of us don’t give people a chance, based off of their looks, political stance, religion, sexual orientation, etc. We tell “white lies” because it’s easier than saying what we think.

I want to know where in life we, as adults, lost our joy in the simple things. We may not take joy in snow or bubbles, but hey, maybe let’s find joy in a good cup of coffee or tea, a big book, or taking a nice walk. Let’s not decide who someone is because of their social status. Eat the chocolate chip cookie, because your weight doesn’t define you. Let’s stop telling white lies to spare feelings and change our way of thinking instead. Let’s be patient with our fellow drivers, baristas, and our phones. Let’s take a lesson from children, because I personally feel like they got it right.