Monday, November 18, 2019

This Decade And The Next...

About 40 Days of 3,652 Days in this Decade (and 2 leap years… 2012, 2016)

That's it...!

There are only about 40 days left in this decade.

Thinking about this decade it brought me to a place of reflection. Where was I January 1, 2010...

Here is the story, in brief.

On January 1, 2010 - at the stroke of midnight I was pregnant with my now oldest daughter, Emma. I was about to be a single mom. I hate to say this, but I loathed the mental space, professional space, and relationship space I was in. I was living at my very supportive parent's home, with very little prospect of a strong career that I have longed to have. See, I graduated from my undergraduate degree during the academic year of 2008-2009. The economy was tanked and my spirits were along with it. I will be honest, I felt like the ultimate failure. I graduated as an undergrad as a mediocre student, with a strong understanding of people and an ability to link unseen things together. But, I hadn't yet harness my abilities. Amazingly, my closest family and friends all dug in to support me, and in time, I started to grow.

Let's take a look at the life events that made up 2010-2019…

  • February 16, 2010: Emma is Born (I remember laying in bed one night 4 days after she was born thinking about how perfect she was and questioning how I was going to be able to do this for 18 years...)
  • March 17, 2011: First Date with Doug
  • January 2012: The Twins were born
  • May 23, 2012: I Start My Internship with Caterpillar (This is where I learned the truth about leadership and career development, and how to perform - NOT compete)
  • July 1, 2012: London - Here I Come
  • December 1, 2012: Masters of  Business Administration (with a 3.85 GPA… damn it Economics, my only "B")
  • December 12, 2012: Full-Time Job with Caterpillar as an HR Associate, Professional Development Program
  • March 23, 2013: Wedding Day
  • March 2014: Move to Waco, Texas
  • August 2014 Emma's First Trip to Disney World (Emma called this the "best day ever!!" and I cried in the Magic Kingdom - literally I had to hide it behind my sunglasses)
  • June 21, 2015: Find Out I Am Pregnant (And its was the best Fathers Day gift I could give to Doug and my dad)
  • February 17, 2016: Charley is Born
  • May 2016: Brother Graduated From Medical School (cried at his dinner and graduation because I do not know if he will understand how proud of him I am)
  • May 2010: Bought Our First Home
  • June 2016: Move Back to Peoria
  • September: My Sister Married Her Best Friend (Not me! Her amazing husband)
  • January 2018: Decided to Get Healthy (and lost 52 pounds)
  • August 2018: Faith Re-Envisioned 
  • July 2019: New Role at Caterpillar 
  • October 2019: Move to Arkansas

The summary of this decade brought and kept some of the most amazing people in my life. In hindsight, really the best of my memories are centered around experiences and the people I had them with. Thank you! Thank you with every sense of my being for all of you who were there with and for me.

I guess looking back at all of it, if I didn’t feel the growing pains in the beginning, I would not appreciate ALL of the amazing things that happened. They do not call them growing pains for no reason… Even looking back at this blog and how it started, as profession advice from a young professional over 7 years ago. To creating a digital diary of my most intimate thoughts for the world to read. Like Rachel Hollis says, I just put it out there for the world because someone can benefit, and maybe, just maybe, it will make this journey just a bit easier for the next person. 

Looking to 2020 and beyond, it won't be easy. It never is. But I want to make it intentional filled with faith, love, joy, and laughter. Honestly, this past decade had its fair share of lows, however, there were far better highs. Yet, most important, I truly grew - I am not the same person I once was (and that change feels so good - again it wasn’t easy, but it was good).

I guess so to say in short, the decade wasn’t perfection, but it was progress. And ultimately that’s all that matters. Let's stay the course and keep moving forward. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Thoughts to My Past: Pain

This series has been so amazing to me, it has been some of my most-read posts consistently. But most importantly, it has allowed me to reflect on my life and my strengths and weakness, to guard my heart, soul, and mind - most important to grow in faith and life. But I must say, y'all really like hearing about the tough times, but strangely enough, I love writing about them. So let's get into this... 

And now I'm glad I didn't know  
The way it all would end the way it all would go  
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain  
But I'd have to miss the dance  
- Garth Brooks: The Dance 

If I could write myself a letter at 17 & 23 years old (ask me privately why I chose those years of my life...) this is what it would say to me, as an "adult." The focus of this letter is pain, the bad kind of pain - emotional pain. Not the my 32-year-old arthritic knees hurt or I pushed just a little too hard in yoga or cardio pain. But the can't get out of bed, can't think clearly, and it hurts everywhere kind of hurt. The emotional pain that leaves deep invisible scars that we manage to hide or mask from the world.  How did I learn, and still learning to handle it and how do I, in time, shake it off; to continue to see the amazingly imperfect beauty of the world. 

Tiffany,

Oh, young girl don't cry, I'll be right here when your world starts to fall... I wish so badly I could hug you and tell you all the amazing experiences that you will have in life. That this moment in time, is just that, a moment. There are so many amazing things to look forward too, and as the wise people say, "this too shall pass." Because self-doubts are real!

They don't call them growing pains for no reason!

I am writing you this letter as a 32-year-old woman, who has felt the highest highs of life and the lowest lows of life. But, trust me, we ALL have! You are no different than the next person, we all feel joy and pain.  We would not appreciate the joy if we didn’t have the pain. And sometimes, looking back, a little bit of pain is a good thing. However, we have learned biologically that emotional pain is processed by our brains the exact same way that physical pain is processed. 

The problem is that we never know just what someone is going through because you will find that the invisible scars of pain are easily masked.  (Just as you have masked yours, via your car, house, clothing, bags, make-up, social media presences). However, what you have learned as an evolving and growing woman is that only time truly heals some of those deep wounds. There will always be some of those moments that will continue to hurt deeply and may take you years to recover from - if ever. 

As you have grown you have accepted that it is "ok" to share your pain - in fact, it is quite normal. As a leader, it makes you real to all those around you. But more important, it allows others to come to you for support and for you to get the heavyweight of carrying pain off your shoulders. Also, in sharing of your pain, (the whole reason I blog, it is an outlet for all the random things in my head) it allows you to become self-reflective enough to understand the root cause of your pain and address similar patterns of pains prior to them leaving a scar. You know, it is the difference between needing a band-aid and stitches. 

God speaks to us in our grief. It is often in our darkest moments that we are most aware of His Spirit. -She Reads Truth

Past Letters to Me:
Upcoming Letters to Me:
  • Fear
  • Faith
  • Love

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Are You A Hero or Villain? I Can't Help But Wonder


We all have a story of life, some people are the protagonist and others, well, the antagonist. Some people are the knights in shiny armor and some are a princess longing for love. But at the most basic level in the stories of our life, some people play the hero and others the villain. But I can't help but wonder, what happens when you are the unintentional villain in someone else's life story?

I had an uncomfortable and a bit of a saddening moment of clarity and I couldn't help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw, but very seriously) if in the lives of others that I have come in contact with - was I a villain or a hero in their life story.

I recently found out, in full disclosure that in at least one person’s life story, I definitely was a villain. I never met to hurt anyone or cause anyone any level of hurt or pain - for that I provide the most sincere apology.  It’s no consolation, But it happens.  (My goal in life is to leave every place I go better than it was before I got there - being a villain doesn't align well to that purposeWe all sometimes hurt others, whether it be intentional or unintentional. We all at times are not kind for one reason or another. However, when I am completely honest with myself, it’s hurt to be cast as a villain in someone's story of life. I wish I had the courage to tell the story but I don’t have it right now. 
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6
The biggest comprehensive hurdle with others life story is the divine plan that I do not see or understand. The plan that pulls all things together in time the way that they should be. I have clarity now to know and understand that acceptance is the only way to move forward. Because that is what life is truly about, learning the lessons and applying them to be a better person. It is very hard to accept what you cannot control - someone's life story. However, keep in mind that there are people in your life story that are both heroes and villains, and we have to accept that although we are all called to be kind to one another, we will sometimes play the role of the villain.