The terrible teens.

I have heard so many people say that the teen years are the hardest years. Full of self-doubt, confidence issues, bad decisions, and terrible haircuts. It’s true they are some of the hardest years of our lives. Let’s face it they are downright awkward. But if you think back you learned and grew from every bit of it. The good the bad and the ugly.

As I think about all the tests we are put through during our teens I can’t help but tie it to all the people I’ve heard saying “thank goodness that 2019 is over. The last 5 years have been horrible.” Which I believe is their truth. I in no way am taking that from them. If I’m being honest I have seen my friends and family members go through super tough times and I have had them myself. But I wanted to shed some light on positive points, and highlight that out of all of that sucky stuff you became better, stronger, and more confident for it. Also, remind you it’s 2020 baby! Those teen years are over!

Here are some things I learned over the past year to help me realize that while things may have been tuff you have the power inside you to gracefully make those tuff times better.

Be grateful.

Focus on the things that you are thankful for. Don’t get that mixed up with not being able to recognize and feel the impact that bad things happen and are gonna hurt. Realize hurtful things are still going to happen but sit back and count your blessings. Because from a dark cloud comes rain and rain makes things grow. With growth, all things get easier.

Surround yourself with a solid positive support system.

These people aren’t your Friday night fun “yes” friends but people that mentor you from their heart. People you respect, you look up to, people who are there to cheer on and push you and your ideas. These are supportive people that care even when your solutions or ideas are a tad far fetched.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.

You can’t do it all on your own. After all, it takes a village and you are only one person. I would bet if you have the right people in your corner they will jump at the thought of taking time to help you through any tuff situation.

Stop obsessing over what they say.

Who the heck are “they” anyway. Worrying about what they say is only holding you back, wasting your time and I would bet causing you some sort of anxiety. Nobody has time for a panic attack when you are trying to do epic things.

Trust you are a good person and are doing the best you can do.

Aka: get out of your head. If you make a mistake forgive yourself, learn from it and take action to make the next day better. Trust me you can’t move forward if you are living in regret.

Make time for you.

If you need to say no more to things you don’t want to do or are always doing things that make you miserable. It’s not persons asking fault you can’t feel better. Nobody can make you do things you don’t want to do.

Stop letting people make you feel guilty.

If you are happy and they are not that’s on them. You are not responsible for their happiness. They are.

My message behind this is GO after your passion. Love yourself. Grow from your mistakes and give yourself to yourself. You and the people around you will get so much more from you if you are you.

Don’t tiptoe around trying not to be quiet. Put on your loudest heels and make as much noise as you can walking down the runway of life. Because what you have to say makes a difference, your opinion has an impact, and you deserve to stand tall.

Flats

wear flats

What is the one word you tell yourself 500 times a day? That word that’s really a game-changer. Keeps you going and helps you feel like you have conquered your day? I know what mine is. Also, knowing I have a tendency to ummmm…. ill say overthink. I decided to email a few people I know.
My experiment came up with words like focus, relax, and prioritize. When reading these results you should have seen my face people. It was something like that mind-blown emoji mixed with that Merp… sound that the girls from Jersey Shore made so popular. NOONE had said MY word. Was I alone? Was I being extra? I then stepped outside of the box to find out why no one had this same word in their heads.
The answer was simple. I hadn’t asked the right question. So my friends got another email. Dear Friends, So sorry for annoying you but…. I need to rephrase my previous question. What is the one thing you tell yourselves in your head when you need to take a long bath, read a chapter in a book, or watch anything that isn’t cartoon based?
Then the magic happened. 95% of them said “No”. A verse from Maren Morris’s song My Church rang so loud in my head it almost shattered my eardrums. “Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen?” I was NOT alone! So I did some research and some soul searching and I decided to write this blog.
I saw a friend the other day that said to me “Girl what is wrong? I’ve never seen you wear flats. I didn’t realize how short you are”. I was speechless. Not because she offended me but because I realized I’ve been wearing these flats for months. My flats are me telling myself no to myself. No need to get your hair done. You have to get home and clean the house. No you can’t write your blog today you have to call your mother, make sure tour child is entertained and has a balanced meal, make sure your husband doesn’t walk into a house that is not straightened, and answer your sweet friends texts from the day that you couldn’t get to because your 8-10 hour workday was so hectic you held your pee for hours. Not to mention no you didn’t work out today because you didn’t have time. I don’t know about you but the workout no spirals out of control and fast. All of these no’s you tell yourself are basically broken promises to yourself. A wonderful book by Rachel Hollis taught me that that is the biggest no no of all! Sorry, Rachel if by some grace of all that is holy you read this please don’t scold me. Although ladies lets admit it I would take scolding from the legend herself any day. 😉
I decided to take the path of most resistance. Yes most. Before I say this, I want everyone one to know I think flats are amazing. As a self-proclaimed realist, I think sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward and flats are a huge necessity for this process. Now mind you I’m a tad extra so I did decide to go barefoot for a while. Not Britney Spears in the public bathroom sort of way but a girl get your shit together barefoot. Then one day I went to the Macys alone feeling guilty about leaving my husband at home with a grumpy little girl, a sink full of dirty dishes, and an empty refrigerator and bought myself a new pair of heels. Something amazing happened. I got home and found both of them on the couch with a pizza watching a Notre Dame football game joking and laughing. I went into shock. I wasn’t here killing myself to make them happy and they didn’t die? Not to mention the massive bouns that the sink of dishes had disappeared. That day I was sure that because I had been wearing flats for so long I would fall over if I tried to walk in these heels.
My 7-year-old says “we fall to get back up”. My falling was saying yes to everyone around me because I thought to say no was selfish and mean. After those feelings comes our good friend guilt that always brings my arch-nemesis anxiety. I have always been taught to be thankful for opportunities, and have been trained saying yes to everything will open doors. While I 100% believe being thankful is one of the most important things ever I now realize that it is also important to be thankful to yourself. Not in a pompous way but in a way that you appreciate you and stop scattering your time, focus and energy.
I can not stress enough how important self-care is. It’s okay to say no to something you don’t want to do or go to Macy’s alone because you need to regroup. Always saying yes to things you don’t want to do and putting yourself on the back burner will spread you thin and make you much more exhausted. Be honest with yourself, true to your priorities and say no to everything that doesn’t align. Sacrifice comes before success! Ewwww I cringe as I write that because I am admitting my sacrifice is not caring if people like me and giving to myself as much as I do others. HORRIBLE! I know.

Boy, do I need help! So I invite you to do this with me. Buy those heels that you want. The ones that are sooo loud people can hear you coming a mile away. Stop apologizing all over yourself for being loud when it comes to you. Practice saying yes to you and believing saying no is okay. Take back some time for you and your inner happiness. That is what will make those doors of success (whatever they look like for you) open and bring joy to you and the ones you care about the most!

🤦‍♀️

Guys please don’t give up on me for not writing. It’s been a rough monthly or so. I promise I will write about it later. That hand on your head emoji. My daughter asked me why I look like that. Breaks my heart, but just like everything else when you fall down you get back up and keep trying.

Mud Pie

Mud pie

I will take that one. I hear these are the best pies in the whole state.

Oh yes! Simply divine. That will be twenty dollars, please.

Thank you, ma’am, have a very nice day.

That’s me. Selling a mud pie to myself. I had also made myself. Age? Oh, I’d say about 7 or 8. That’s how I played most of my young life. In my head making up scenarios about anything that struck my fancy that day.

Now, most would read that and feel sad. She has no one to play with. Heck, when I was little I could hear adults whisper “oh that poor thing she’s an only child. She must be so lonely.” HELLO people! I know I’m only 7 but I can hear you! Wait…… maybe I am lonely? Gosh, I wish I had a sibling or could live closer to a neighborhood with friends. They are right! Poor me. One day I will have a tribe of children so no one will ever have to sell a mud pie to themselves again!

Fast forward. I am now an adult with an only child. No plans on having anymore and I just now realize that’s okay. She’s 6. She saves the day on the floor with her superheroes, and outside she has the best adventures with the wildest imagination. She also gets that look on her face when we go to the park and she sees siblings playing together. You know. That lonely look that rips your heart out as a mother? But then something amazing happens. Within minutes every single person knows her name and is playing with her on that playground even the parents. Every time.

Rewind. I know. I know. I have your head spinning but stick with me I promise I’ll get to it.

I replay myself growing up yearning for siblings. Even looking at now, with my husband, watching him and his brothers and admiring how close and loving they are. I realized this fascinated me. Then watching my daughter and myself I realized this poor only child mess I had created in my head was rubbish. Now I still love the thought of siblings and admire their bonds and the way they can be unconditionally and quickly forgiving. But for this blog, I’m gonna leave that and go with this.

Everything in your life pushes you to be a certain way. YOU decide which way. For me and my daughter being an only child feeling like we can only find one heel pushes us to get out there, know everyone in the room, build our tribe with many. Would you look at that? All these years, I thought it was a curse and a 6-year-old showed me it’s a blessing by deciding to not take the poor me approach. Whoa! My mind is blown! I feel like that Oprah me’em! You get a mud pie! You get a mud pie! You get a mud pie!

Love life. Love what you’ve been given. You are strong. Everything feeds into who you are, good and bad. If you don’t like something but really really want to. You have the power to change it. If you’re lonely build a tribe. People love you it’s okay to love yourself!

Trunk shoes

A very dear friend of mine who by the way is one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever met. Told me a story. While riding in one of her girlfriends cars she noticed a smell. Her and the other passengers searched the car thinking surely there was some rotten food hiding under the seats. They had a mission, find this stank and remove it immediately! After all they could not have their dear friend riding around with toxic gases that may burn her nose hairs.

Ah ha! They opened the trunk and there it was a stinking pair of old heels. Whhhhyyyy they asked. Their friend said oh those are my “trunk shoes”. The story was so funny that this trunk shoe name stuck. Me, my friends, and friends of my friends refer to those heels we just can’t get rid of no matter the nicks on the outside or the toxic smell that radiates from them. Trunk shoes.

Now admit it or not we all have those heels. The heel hasn’t broken, and finally they are finally broken in. They have supported us through many party’s, best nights on the town. They have been there when we wobbled and when we kicked ass in a business meeting. Weather it was the best of times or the worst of times those heels where always there.

Recently it had me thinking. Those heels are much like our friends. The friends that when I stink or have nicks I can always call when need advice or support. The ones that don’t throw me away. They might however throw baby powder on me and tell me to take a shower but they always support and love me.

In life we are quick to shed people when they are going through something that makes them stink. We get mad and grossed out and we treat or toss them right in the trash. Now I’m not referring to every friend. Some of those people we think are friends need to be thrown out because no amount of baby powder or Glovestixs can get rid of the bacteria that they bring to your life. Im talking about being open to supporting and excepting old and current friends no matter what phases they go through even if you think their choices are starting to develop an odor. It’s like beauty, to each is own. Mistakes have silver linings even if you cant see it something good comes from some of the wildest things. So it’s okay to keep those trunk shoes it’s even better to add new ones to your collection. Build your closet with all kinds of heels like this build your tribe with all kinds of new friends. Adding divine supportive people to your life will quickly take the stink out of everything.

Ouch! That heel just stabbed me.

Dont Cry Over a Broken HeelAnyone have a band-aid? Heels and band-aids go hand and hand. Did anyone ever tell you this as a child? No ma’am it is a learned survival skill. What happens if you don’t have a band-aid? Well I’ll tell you it’s a mess!

A few years back I attended a party. We all put on our best outfits and highest heels for a night out on the town in a limo and all sudden….. there is bloodshed. Not a full on blood bath because this limo is full of me and my closest friends of course. {Insert woo girl joke from How I Met Your Mother here} but seriously one of my friends stabbed me in the arm with her heel trying to get to her seat. Obviously, I can not get blood on this outfit that I took weeks to pick out. So I reach in my purse and no band-aid! WHAT?!?! I did not prepare myself for not only a blister much less a puncture wound. But my girlfriend (who stabbed me) quickly came to my rescue a band-aid. Saving the night!

Yes, I do realize I’m being dramatic but I tell you that to tell you this. From a young age we have learned to protect ourselves from getting stabbed with heals. Most of us can remember vividly the 1st time we got stabbed by a heel. Mine was getting invited to a party only to come home to a message on my parents voicemail from a bunch of older girls making sure I could not attend by telling my parents to make sure I brought beer and chuckling. I was in high school and being invited to a party was an exciting honor that somehow made me feel popular. Squashed just like that. Now I have my thoughts why they did this to me but I took it on the chin and continued to let them bully me for years. Those stories are for another time but if I want to get to the point I better get to it.

Surround yourself with people that have a band aids for your wounds. Those people that make you happy. Not the people from the Jerry Springier that throw their shoes across the room at you type. It takes all types to make the world go around even if some are viscous.

Make it a habit to uplift and people will follow. Stop forcing yourself to be around people that stab you. That is not where you find those friends that will give up their band-aid for you as you would for them. Sisterhoods and tribes are amazing. Let’s face it we all grew up thinking Prince Charming was the one that would sweep us off our feet. But I have learned surrounding yourself with good caring positive people is a much better way to happiness. That starts with us being kind and uplifting each other. So I challenge you to change people minds and make an impact. Lead by example be positive supportive and even if it’s your heel that accidentally stabs someone always have band-aids to help them!

Fighting in heels

Fighting stance

This is a true art form. If Wonder Woman has taught us anything when preparing for battle, your stance must be wide. Your core must be strong. Your shoulders must be square and you must own those beautiful Bracelets of Submission.

Being an only child living in a home full of verbal and physical abuse I was fairly young when I decided that I desperately needed these bracelets that would surely deflect any pain coming my way. Problem was I too young to have money to buy them. So if I couldn’t have the bracelets I would have to at least have the stance right.

So I began. Every time I was yelled at, every time I was hit with a wooden spoon, every time I was dismissed for having an emotion, every time every thing was my fault. I would stand stand tall and use my mind to deflect that pain being hurled at me like the the things that would be thrown at me if I didn’t clean them up fast enough. Truth be told, in no way was I strengthening my ability to cope, I was just getting very very good at looking like I was.

As I moved into my early teen years I was sure I had the stance down. Especially the year I won the fair pageant. There I was right on the front of the newspaper. Crown on my head sash draped across my beautiful gown standing like Wonder Woman. Surely people won’t mess with me now. They wouldn’t see the emptiness of a girl who’s real father was an alcoholic that never bothered to know her. The girl who’s step father was sexually abusing her. The girl who’s mom dismissed every cry for help.

At 14 I had perfected the fighting stance. I used this appearance method well into my 20’s. Even having a long relationship with a guy that argued with his fists and treated me like the piece of crap that I secretly thought I was. Until one day he almost killed me. He broke into my apartment, held me hostage, beat me and choked me repeatedly. He put me in the hospital and I couldn’t hide behind my fighting stance anymore.

I had to throw everything I knew about fighting out the window. I had to stop looking like Wonder Woman and BE Wonder Woman.

So I changed my mindset. I stopped thinking I was never gonna be anything. After all, who was gonna believe my stance if I didn’t believe it myself? This fake news was getting old. I realized I had and still have real big girl stuff to do. No longer was I preparing for battle. I was smack in the middle of it.

I stopped saying I can’t and I just did. I stopped being so damn proud and I allowed people to help me. (By the way most of those people are still my closest friends). I started facing every terrible experience head on with a “I am not gonna die from this” mentality. I started believing that just because I came from nothing and was treated like I was nothing didn’t mean I couldn’t be something. Guess what happened? My stance got wider, and my shoulders became more square because I aloud my core to be strong!

I stopped trying to look like Wonder Woman and in my heart started to feel the power to stand in my own heels with my own bracelets.

So when going into battle stay strong and remember when you feel like you’ve been defeated get back up because this is not gonna kill you.

Training Heels

Red Training Heels

Red. The power color. The color of extremes, passion, love,and adventure.

Being a mother of a daughter of course I want her to be explained this way when she grows up. So you can imagine my giddiness when my tiny little superhero lover selected my favorite pair of red heels for her very first experience.

I watched her stumble around and cried with laughter. Till she fell. As I was picking her up. I found myself saying “see honey that’s why mommy said be careful.” Noooooo!!!! Bad mom! What I should have said was what I was thinking that made me so happy that she had them on in the first place. Look at my strong little girl. She’s fearless. Not afraid to fall. Not afraid my laughter was criticism. Loving every second of her new experience.

Truth is those heels. That day. I thought I was teaching her something. Teaching her to be careful. When we all know heels teach you that themselves. What really happened is she taught ME. She taught me to be strong, not to take myself so serious, don’t think things are too big to try, and lawd have mercy if you fall get back up and keep on keep in on!

I have a lot to learn as a parent and a lot to learn as a woman trying to uplift women. But today I want to spread the message of the little girl in the training heels. Don’t be afraid to go after your passion no matter what extreme. You have the power to take your adventure and LOVE it! No matter the obstacles get back up and try again.  

The day I took my personality test and chucked it in the trash!

I welcomed 2019 with goals of owning it and honing it. You know the kind of self-aware awareness habits that you think are abnormal or have been kind to you. So naturally, I took an in-depth self-assessment test. As I awaited the results that I knew where gonna be spot on with what I know about myself. I already began planning on honing these street skills that I had.

Test results arrive and BAM! It’s like I ran into a brick wall! Now if you have ever taken one of these tests you know that they are fascinatingly accurate. They leave you wondering how on earth could they know me so well from the set of questions they asked me. The people that make these tests must be creative geniuses!

Well, this time my friends this was not the case. While I was put in a category that I agreed with being self-aware I am also aware there are things about my self that I’m not aware of. When I got into the nitty gritty results this test scored me low in empathy. Me? Impossible. Me the one who always puts myself in other’s shoes and is notorious for giving too many chances, not sleeping worrying what could be going on in someone’s life to make them act a certain way. My 2nd thought was obviously I was daydreaming during that day in school when Mrs. Sellers taught what the meaning of empathy was. So to Wikipedia, I went. Nope, Mrs. Sellers if this ever finds you. I was awake and not daydreaming.

So I mustered through the rest of the results. Some things I did not like but I could understand how I would come off that way. Which was okay because after my goal was to own it and embrace those things that were meh about me and hone my strengths.

I chewed on these results for a few months and decided to call bullshit. Loud and proud and picturing Kate Hudson’s character playing cards in that scene from How to Lose a Guy in 10 days the whole time.

I came to the realization that the only one that could nitty gritty know me is me. Not some test with questions where the assessment of me was based on computer-generated static’s. So yes, instead of letting that take me over worrying and having empathy for the people that had to deal with that from me. I chucked it right in the trash. Because I am me. Not what that paper said or what I thought that paper said about me. I decided to trust my judgment. Trust me and my core beliefs about myself. It was freeing. It was freeing to trust MY self-assessment and not someone else’s.

So when someone tells you about yourself. Instead of taking in there feelings self reflect as you are not responsible for there beliefs. If you believe it’s right. Then work on changing it but at the end of the day. The truth is you and who you are and strive to be. So if you feel like someone’s else’s self-assessment of you has broken your heel. Don’t cry over it’s . Chuck that shoe in the trash and move onto a better more fabulous pair of shoes that will take you much further than those busted ole stinky ones you where wearing that weren’t supporting the true you anyway!

The Journey Begins

Dont Cry Over a Broken Heel

Dont Cry Over a Broken Heel

It’s broken! In front of everyone. Now I have to wobble away. I trusted you to support me. Lift me up all while being a rock star. Now I’m in the middle of a party looking a fool with no support and knocked down 3 inches. We have all felt like that but am I talking about a heel that’s broken? No, I’m referring to life, much like a heel that breaks we get knocked down, we feel 3 inches shorter and we feel like everyone is seeing us wobble. When the reality of it is the damn shoe was killing me anyway.

I am just a woman with stories to tell. Stories about my life, my struggles, and my truth. I am a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend, a professional that travels, and my personal favorite a mom. Just trying to fit in this crazy world.

I decided to start Don’t Cry Over a Broken Heel in hopes to show that we all have had things happen to us, we have all done things to others, we have all made mistakes. I want to share my stories and help people have a common ground (I think they call it a platform) to share and learn from each other.

As women its so easy for us to tear each other down. We see the girl with the beauty pageant title, the lady with the Prada purse, and that woman with the beautifully orchestrated social media page and our first instinct is envy or desire to emulate. We sometimes even act like savages to tear that person apart, from our own fascination of how perfect her life must be. For myself, I want to stop that I want to uplift and face that we all have fears and tell stories that make each other feel human. Even that Prada purse had to endure quite a bit to be so beautiful.

My hope in sharing our truths is that we will stop crying over broken heels and help each other realize that everyone’s heels break. Heels hurt. Breaking one might heal your life.

This is a collection of my stories about all of my broken heels the joy or pain before it broke, how I dealt with the embarrassment of wobbling away and the tears that drove me to think like a rock star again and stop crying about it.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton