Time = Change

It simply requires space and patience to develop.

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This past year has been a whirlwind. It has been a domino effect of tragedy and chaos, which has been a learning process in and of itself.

I have spent a lot of time within the last few months loving myself and learning about who I am. All of which began when I removed an incredibly large amount of toxicity from my life and started dancing to my own beat. I found a healing love for music and concerts, and my own little family to experience it with. I came to terms with my own philosophy of life and let go of prior restraints, which exposed me to a freedom I have come to love and enjoy.

The biggest lesson I learned was about myself, which began at the end of November when I removed a long-term toxic relationship from my life. I finally began to see myself as valuable and worthy- of life, of love, of taking up space and being heard. I gained confidence in myself and started holding my expectations for how others were allowed treat me much higher than I had before. I lost quite a few friends when they could no longer walk all over me. Man, it felt good to demand respect from people who previously treated me poorly because since then, only true and loving friends have remained. As a wise woman I know once said, the people unwilling to respect your boundaries are the ones who are unworthy of your time.

During this year of magnificent transformations, I experienced so much support from family and friends as they saw the intentional effort on my part to become a better person. There were countless nights of tears and fighting the mental and emotional mindset I had developed as a teenager with severe depression. These nights were met the next morning with intense love from those around me who were reassuring and confident in my season of growth.

I have since gained the greatest love I have yet to experience (I do not plan to let this go any time soon.. or ever if I can help it). A part of my heart always held onto this man since the day we met 8 years ago- even through the various people we dated in between. From day one he had a special place in my heart and was unwavering on his own efforts. I’m thankful we never truly tested the waters at a young age because I was so broken I could have never loved him well. Even more, I am thankful for the happenstance that allowed us to reconnect after a momentary lapse in contact at the most perfect time.

My lengthy soul-searching and growing lead me to a place of healing, which allowed me the freedom and confidence to jump into a new, strong love story I never expected.

It’s been quite the journey, and I am more at peace with myself than I have ever been previously. Thank you to the friends and family who have shown me tremendous grace as I’ve evolved into a more compassionate and wholistic person. Time does lead to change; it simply requires space and patience to develop.

If You Give A Girl Some Brothers

Life without them would be so boring…

My family started small- just my mom, dad, older brother, and myself. A tiny family of four doing the best we could with what we had. 

A few years later, out popped not one, but two tiny toe headed little boys. Instantly our family grew, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

When you give a girl an older brother, you give her a best friend for life. A-1-From-Day-1 (or something like that). We played together and had some intense rounds of barbies vs bionicles. Countless hours of getting in trouble together and playing hackie sack when we were grounded to our rooms filled our childhood. We even had to share our first cell phone, which drove me crazy. But one thing I will hold onto is that even on the days you wanted to strangle me, you were the only one allowed to. You guarded us when our family fell apart and made the bad days a little more bearable. You are protective and loving (even though to this day you suck at showing affection) and aren’t afraid to honestly share what’s on your mind. You taught me how to be tough and to take on challenge, and you gave me someone to gossip with at family functions. You have been my worst enemy yet always my biggest ally.

When you give a girl some younger brothers, you give her a new way of life. I’m pretty sure I wanted to return my brothers at first (BUT I didn’t) because they cried a lot and I definitely hit Kayden’s head on a chair when I held him for the first time. “House” was no longer a make-believe game when there were two literal babies in front of me. I used to scare you both so you wouldn’t come into the basement to mess up my room, and tricked you into drinking vinegar because you thought it was water. I fought for you guys in school when you weren’t being treated right and the parents wrote it off as atypical school drama. I missed your first homecoming dance because I was away at college and literally cried for an hour that night. Having little brothers gave me a role, and has taught me what motherly instincts are. I never had someone looking up to me until I had them, and I’ve become very overprotective of my little brothers even though I know they’re strong enough to take care of themselves.

As a girl who has spent most of her life with her brothers, I am so thankful they have taught me to laugh at the most inappropriate times and to just have fun no matter what’s happening in life. The jokes and goofing off never ends when we’re all together and I love that about my family.

But as time has gone on, I’ve come to notice some things that make my heart so very sad. My little brothers are bigger than me now and don’t need my help anymore. They don’t need me to show them how to use the buses or make a meal. They don’t need me to show them how to work the washing machine or change their sheets because they’re turning into little men. My older brother has his own life. He doesn’t need me to pester him to to take a shower or do the dishes because he’s already succeeding on his own. He’s even about to start his own family anyday when his son is born. Regardless, we’re definitely growing up, but never growing apart. 

God blessed this girl with three amazing brothers who mean everything me. I love all of them more than the stars in the sky and I am so thankful for all the times they’ve been my therapists, saving grace, or my goofballs to laugh with. I really cannot fathom anything greater than having a brother — or in my case, three.