Unapologetically me written over a yellow box

I’ve always been a try-er. I can’t remember a day I wasn’t a part of some challenge I had set for myself. I can’t remember a time where I was just exsisting with no goal in mind. Granted, as a preteen my goals were less elaborate than they are now. “I want to stay up for 24 hours!” I remember, was one early goal. Little did I know I would get to complete this goal many times over ten years later in college.

“I’m going to read this book in two days!” Was another. There was no prize, nobody assuring I completed it, but it was FUN. And that’s why I still do it to this day. I find challenges fun. It’s probably the gamer coming out in me. A quest, a challenge, something to beat and win and accomplish. It gives me motivation, purpose, excitement and entertainment!

I know I can be a bit much for people. I am intense and show all my emotions pretty clearly. I’m excited often and I get loud and overwhelming to those not prepared haha. I have, in the past, felt shame for being the way I am. That negative self talk would set in… “You talk too much, you’re going to overwhelm people, you need to calm down, you need to care less…” I never saw this as negative self talk though, I always thought it was constructive critisism. It wasn’t, it was my insecurities about how others would see me trying to change who I was. Trying to tone me down from a ten to a five. Lower the volume, speak less, don’t be so passionate. WHAT.

Maybe it’s that I have a kid now. Maybe it was just the stars aligning to allow me to see. I would never want Eli to think anything like that! I want him to express himself fully, openly, without shame, without fear of what anyone may think or say. Just be exactly who he is and let the world think whatever they want. I want him to be loud if he wants to and express his thoughts as often as he wants to. So why should I “calm down”? Why should I tone myself down? Why should I feel sorry for overwhelming people?

It’s pretty clear in my mind now. As this lovely woman I met recently, Lindsay Tompkins, says, “If I’m too much for you, then I’m not for you.” I’m going to try all the things, and I’m going to talk about them. I will fail at things and I will more openly share my faliures, and just as openly share my successes. I will try things that seem insane to you. I will try things that you may want to roll your eyes at. But I will try them, and I will have fun with it all. Because just like some people get enjoyment out of movies, video games, going to theme parks, etc, I get enjoyment out of trying new things and seeing how I do. I get enjoyment out of setting weird challenges for myself and trying to complete them.

So if you’re that eye rolling, unsupportive, “Maria is too much,” type person in my life. Chao! And because my word is gratitude for the year, Thank you! Thank you for making me learn some lessons about sticking up for myself, for making me learn that you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for making me learn that sometimes in life you’re going to be faced with negativity and it has nothing to do with you but with them. All we can control is how we react to situations, so I will continue to grow and work on not getting so worked up when someone is rude or dismissive but rather smile, flip my hair and say “Thank you, NEXT.”

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.” 

— Jen Sincero, You Are A Badass

It’s the month of love. Red roses, Hershey’s kisses and romantic gestures. It’s the month to fall madly in love for the first time, or the 100th time. It’s the month of cupid and love potions. It’s also my birthday month. This month, I want to say a few words to the girl who doesn’t love herself enough. To the girl who wishes she was someone else, or to the girl who doesn’t love who she sees in the mirror.

  • Love yourself enough to look at your reflection and give thanks for what you see, for your limbs and your fingers, for your eyes that are seeing and the way your body moves when you turn from side to side.
  • Love yourself enough to recognize what a unique and lovely person you are. How although you may be working on different aspects of your being, like being kinder, or more outspoken, love yourself enough, today.
  • Love yourself enough to be comfortable in front of that person that intimidates you. To feel equal to them and speak your mind confidently.
  • Love yourself enough to have a voice towards that cause you’re passionate about. Your passions keep you alive and soulful. Speak, for your voice is yearning to be heard.
  • Love yourself enough to move the body you have been blessed in this life with. To twirl it and groove it. To dance and spin and shake those hips to the beat. To sweat and get your heart pumping.
  • Love yourself enough to remove that which harms you. Be it a person, a situation, an addiction. Love your spirit, mind and body enough to let go of the chains around you and turn the other way.
  • Love yourself enough to tell that person how you feel. You deserve to be loved and cared for. You deserve happiness and to be with whoever your heart pulls you towards.
  • Love yourself even when you think you can’t. When the world is shattering before your eyes and you want nothing more than the pain to end. Be your own constant and care and love for yourself, fully.
  • Love yourself enough to take your health into your own hands. To get educated about where your food comes from. To finally make a change for the better and stick to it. To stop the emotional eating and the addiction to sugar.
  • Love yourself, it’s not simple, but its not difficult. You got this!

Love always,