I’m going to be super real with you all…my life has been a bit of a disaster. I know everyone has their struggles and you can’t compare your struggles to mine and I can’t compare mine to yours. I just know I’ve been through a lot!
All my friends tell me how positive I am and how happy I am despite my life literally falling apart. And I really do think I am a positive person and I’m overall, genuinely happy!
Let me give a run down of my life from the beginning just to give a frame of reference.
Everything was pretty good until high school. I didn’t have many friends in high school, I was super shy, and I was so insecure. I had severe cystic acne which made me even more self-conscious. Click Here to find out how I cleared my cystic acne. I ate lunch by myself my sophomore and senior year (because I only had literally 4 friends and if they weren’t in my lunch period, then I ate by myself.) My senior year, one girl talked the entire table I sat at (which I sat at the end of the table, minding my own business) into getting up and moving to a different table as soon as I sat down. Then she told my sister, who she was friends with, how “funny” it was that she got the whole table to do that to me. High school girls can be so mean!
I made it through and I held out hope that life would get easier. My senior year of college, I started dating my boyfriend CJ. We had a great relationship and we were planning on getting married. Unfortunately, he passed away super unexpectedly. I had no idea what to do…my life completely fell to pieces. (After he passed, I wrote a handful of posts about that. If you go back far enough on this blog, you’ll find them.)
Also, at the time, I was captain on a pro cheer team and about a month after CJ passed, I got the email that this team wasn’t bringing their cheerleaders back. The one thing I had to look forward to was gone too.
After he passed, I didn’t feel mentally capable of living on my own.
I moved back home with my parents. I really didn’t want to as I was 25 and that’s not what 25 year old’s do. But 25 year old’s also don’t lose their boyfriend/almost fiancé tragically either.
My job at the time was less than supportive, so I quit before they fired me. I got a new job almost an hour away, which was a better environment for me mentally. After about a year there, the commute was really draining me.
I thought about moving out of my parents house again to be closer to work, but a year into the job and this job was draining me too. I didn’t want to jump the gun and move, then get a new job in a different city and have the same commute situation. So I waited it out and got a new job!
I started this new job in February 2020…right before COVID shut downs. By March, I was working from home and by April, I was out of a job.
So here I was at 28 years old, single, living with my parents, and unemployed. What a catch, right??!
Don’t worry, I have a different job now which is actually perfect for me (even though I took a massive pay cut, but I enjoy it so much more!) I’m also dancing on a team again! (Virtually though, but I still love it.)
Through everything, I definitely hit rock bottom many times, but I’ve always managed to pick myself up and make the most out of the one life I have to live. It’s okay to have moments in life where you’re upset and down, and it’s okay to live there for a minute, but you can’t stay there.
I used to believe everything happened for a reason. I don’t believe that anymore however, I do believe you can find a reason for everything.
If you’re wondering how I stay so positive and genuinely happy through everything, here it is…
1. Life has seasons.
Everyone’s life is different and everyone’s journey is different. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. Especially with social media where everyone posts their highlight reel, just know that there’s probably something in their life that they’re struggling with. So don’t compare your life to theirs.
2. Animals are the best therapy.
Less than a month after losing CJ, I got my puppy! She gave me something to look forward to when I had nothing else. She gave me a reason to wake up in the morning when it was the last thing I wanted to do. My dog kept me busy and gave me something to love which I needed.
3. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself.
If you don’t love yourself, you won’t take care of yourself. I realized this when I started working out with my trainer about 8 months after CJ passed away. Working out made me feel good physically, it made me feel good about myself since I was doing something to better myself. It also made me feel confident in my body (which I had let go and over indulged for months on the adult beverages.) I felt healthy and happy with the progress I was making, which I could see through my weekly check-in photos.
But whatever taking care of yourself looks like to you, do it. For me, it was exercise, but it might be something else for you. When you take care of yourself, you’ll also love yourself more.
4. Along with loving yourself, is eating healthy.
Someone who loves themselves and wants to take care of themselves doesn’t down and entire pizza and drink a 6 pack of beer constantly. Someone who loves themselves eats to fuel their body. Properly fueling your body helps you feel better, you won’t have brain fog, you’ll have energy, and you’ll be happier! That’s not to say never eat pizza. It’s just saying to love yourself enough to take care of yourself, which also means treating yourself to the occasional treat!
Because I felt great about myself, the way I felt physically, the way I looked, I had so much more confidence and I felt happier with myself!
5. Surround yourself with good energy people.
Have you ever hung out with someone and after an hour, your energy is just drained and you feel exhausted? Stay away from those people! Surround yourself with people who radiate good energy and good vibes. It will make you feel better and more energized!
6. Break free from toxic relationships.
Whether it’s a significant other, friend, even family, someone who doesn’t bring good vibes into your life and drains your energy has no business being close to you. Don’t even feel bad about it! You need to prioritize yourself and do what’s best for you!
7. Take time to yourself to do things you enjoy.
I love going to dance classes. Even if I don’t know anyone taking the class, I just think it’s fun to go! Also, having a night in just painting my nails and taking a long shower feels so good! Do activities that make you feel good and that you enjoy doing!
8. Don’t be afraid to say no.
After CJ passed away, I really learned to say no. I very quickly stopped feeling bad about it too. To this day, if I’m out with my friends and I’m ready to leave, I leave. People who love you will understand. I haven’t lost a single friend by standing my ground, and I’ve actually gained more friends! People will respect you more for having boundaries, so don’t do anything you don’t want to do!
My life isn’t exactly what I’d envisioned it being at 28 years old, but surprisingly I’m at peace with it. Getting your mental state in a good place is just as important, if not more important than eating healthy. Your mind is so powerful, so make yourself a priority! If you need to get professional help, than do it! Do what you know you need to do to get in a good place.
If you’re going through a rough time, just know this all will pass and looking back, you’ll realize how strong you are and that’s such a powerful feeling.