Not only is this the first day a new year, it is the first day of a new decade. It seems much bigger, more important and like a much larger stamp of time. Ten years ago I didn't know myself. I was struggling with a lot of things - investing in relationships with people that didn't truly love me, (still) chasing after affection from a parent that was mentally and emotionally abusive and believing that I was unworthy of pursuing my dreams. I was looking for myself in places that would never fulfill me. It was not until I started dating Jeremy and we got married until I finally felt like me. I knew I was home, safe and able to take down the walls that I had been putting up my whole life. When I was young, I was told that emotions and vulnerability were a sign of weakness, that if you had any deep feeling or problems you were not to let the outside world know about it 1) because that is not what we do and 2) nobody would care. That is a terrible way to walk through the world and it ultimately makes you feel very trapped within yourself.
I do not want to live like that. I do not want my children to think that they need to close themselves off. I want to teach them that strength comes from emotional intelligence, compassion and vulnerability. I want them to dream and know that I support them in their passions. I want to be their best example and love them every step of the way. This decade feels like a fresh page of not only a new chapter, but a new book for how I want my life to read. To help me focus on my goals and vision for the future, I have picked a couple of words to carry with me and remind me of my "why"...
- Bold Faith -
God had given me so much. I would not be who I am today with out my deep faith and personal relationship with Christ. I want to pray boldly and know that He will lead me to where I am meant to be. I want to see the blessing and promises and prayers He's already answered and be unafraid to ask for His hand touch everything I do. I want to allow myself to feel the love that He wants to pour into my life. I want to extinguish the nasty, hurtful voice of evil trying to tell me otherwise.
- Advocate -
In 2019 I truly feel like I started stepping into a stronger version of myself, despite the extreme decline and weakness of my physical body. I became more open and unafraid to share my story - parts of which are incredibly difficult to put down and know that anybody could read it. I still have more to share, more to say and I am excited to set an example for myself and others. Hearing from people that have found my writing and feel a connection, compassion and like they are no longer alone has been life changing. Adding the word advocate to the way I describe myself makes me feel incredibly proud. This year when people ask me "what do you do" I want my answer to include my work that I do in the chronic migraine community.
- Simplicity -
I don't want to rush away the days to come. I want to live in the moments that are seemingly small and simple, because I know that those are the moments that matter and quickly fill up the years. I want to spend less time focused on what's coming and enjoy the right now. My days the past few years have been full of a pain and the pursuit of growing our family. I have been going a pace that is personally and physically crushing. I still want the have more children, but I need to give my body a chance to rest. I need to make self-care and slowing down a priority. With our decision for Jeremy to not do the Navy reserves, I feel like we have more room to breathe as a family and enjoy the time we have together without worrying about him being pulled away... even writing that now feels wrong and makes me uncomfortable because it just doesn't really seem true yet. I want more date nights, more family games and just simply being together. I want to be unafraid to make memories and enjoy myself regardless of my chronic migraine disease. I want to allow myself to acknowledge the truth that I deserve the happiness that surrounds me and to actually partake in it, not to just be a spectator, sidelined by my limits.
I want to thank each and every one of you that come to this space for allowing me to pursue my dreams here - to be bold, share my faith, continue my advocacy work and to give a glimpse into my simply broken, beautiful, blessed journey through life.
Love, hugs and light for the many chapters of your new book!