Monday, July 24, 2017

The Last 5 Years

Five years ago, I wrote a blog post sharing life lessons that I had learned by the age of 25. It was one of my most popular posts, and frankly, one of the most fun to write. You can read that post here.

Each of those were strong, important lessons. Lessons I am ever so grateful for learning. But at the time, I had no idea what was to come next. The five years that followed that blog post were ones full of self discovery, adventure, challenges, and accomplishments.They were my growth years. They were the years I experienced heartbreak, fell in love, put myself first, grew closer with my family, and found myself. They were the years I found my voice, I pushed past the fear that had held me back for so long, and learned to forgive myself.

So I am here to update you on some lessons I have learned in these 5 important years.
  • Just because someone can make you laugh and buy you presents doesn't mean they are your soul mate. 
  • If you get the feeling someone is not being truthful with you, don't ignore it just to avoid conflict. 
  • Do not let another person define your worth. 
  • Cut yourself free from anyone or anything causing you pain. 
  • Family, above anything else, is the most important thing in the world.
  • The best way to get revenge on someone else is to prove to them you are so much better than the way they treated you.
  • You are worthy of being healthy and happy.
  • Pay attention to the people who embrace you when you are feeling the most unlovable. 
  • When you think you can't, you can. When you want to give up, push harder.
  • There are very few things a Girls Weekend trip cannot fix.
  • Do not be afraid to be happy. Do not be afraid to succeed. 
  • Let love in, even when it's hard. 
  • Be patient. Change does not happen overnight. Your dreams do not came true with a snap of a finger. 
  • That special guy who is patiently waiting for you to put your guard down IS probably your soulmate, so stop ignoring it.
  • Cancer is an asshole, and it does not discriminate. Cancer can happen to anyone at any time. 
  • Let people help you when they want to help you.
  • You do not have to live life the way society wants you to. You do not have to follow anyone's timeline but your own. This is your journey.
  • Taking care of yourself and becoming the strongest, healthiest version of yourself is not selfish. Do not let people tell you otherwise. You truly cannot begin to take care of others if you yourself are not taken care of.
  • You are capable of so much more than you ever even imagined. You just have to try.
  • Be open to new opportunities and challenges. Do not put yourself in a box. 
  • You will feel tired, worn down, and defeated when challenges arise. Allow yourself to rest, and find the spark to keep fighting.
  • Treat every single person you meet with love, but do not forget to love yourself just as fiercely. 
  • While it is nearly impossible to keep in constant contact with your friends, do your best, and remind them how much you love them. 
  • It's okay to breakdown. Find a health way to empty the negativity from your life, cry it out, and take the next step forward.
  • Take pride in your accomplishments, and own them.
  • Understand that you are a constantly changing, ever growing human who will make mistakes, and that's okay. 
  • Marry that guy who was waiting for you, who stood by you through all of the curve balls life threw at you, and who would do anything to make you happy. 

There are so many more lessons where these came from, you guys. It's been a jam packed, fast faced, incredible five years. When I wrote that blog post 5 years ago I had no idea that my life was going to change. I didn't know that I would lose 140 lbs, or that I would find a job that I absolutely adore, or that my dad would be diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know that I would fall in love and get engaged to a guy who I had already dated once before. I didn't know that I would have a niece and nephew who I would love so much. I didn't know the toll my dad's cancer diagnosis would take on my family, and I sure didn't know the unexpected blessings that would come with that diagnosis. I didn't know that I could be happy. 

I am not afraid to be 30. I am embracing 30. To me, it is just a number. I am not worried about a timeline or what next year or the next 5 years will look like. Perhaps that is because the biggest lesson I have learned is that you truly cannot plan for anything in life. We are not in control, here, and we have to learn that it's okay. Things happen, plans change, and it's all for a very distinct purpose. 

I am sending so much love out to each and every single one of you who have been there for me in these 5 years of craziness. I couldn't have possibly learned all of these lessons without you.

Closing with a song that I believe defines my last 5 years.

Monday, July 10, 2017

All We Need Is Hope.

It's hard to believe that it has already been over a month since I last wrote a blog entry. True, I do not blog as much as I once did, but it still seems hard to believe that so much time has passed.

When I last wrote, I spoke of the hardships my family was facing with my dad's cancer. One month later, we're still there. The roller coaster ride has not stopped, not even for a moment for us to catch our breath. But we are still holding on.

Tonight I feel it on my heart to share (duh, Megan, why else would you post a blog) something that has been weighing on my heart.

I'm getting married in 75 days. And I'm beyond excited. We are starting to get some of the RSVP's back, I've had my bridal shower, and there is really not much left to do besides the last minute logistics stuff and figure out the seating chart. Oh, and I have to pick up my dress. But other than that, we are pretty much on track with our to do list. But aside from the details of the ceremony and reception, I am so incredibly excited to marry Tom and to start this next chapter of our life. I am finding that I am starting to lay in bed just dreaming of our special day, our honeymoon, and the life we are about to have together.

But every single time I start to get excited, that excitement comes with a side of guilt. I feel almost selfish for being so excited about our wedding day, when my dad is fighting this battle and my mom is dedicating her life to taking care of my dad. I also get a side of anxiety. I mean, that's pretty natural when it comes to thinking about your wedding, but I have worries about my dad. I, along with almost everyone else in my life, have very, very strong gut feelings that he WILL make it to my wedding. And every time I see him, he reminds me that he will make it there. And I am trying to trust in God on this one. But that doesn't mean I don't worry about his health and whether or not he will be able to participate. And with these worries comes the lonely feeling, because there aren't too many people around who understand these feelings. I even checked the wedding forums. There are people in similar situations, but no one knows what to say except "I'm so sorry, I hope **insert relative here** feels better". And I don't blame people. There is no answer for this. I just wish that there was. I wish no one had to worry if their loved ones would or wouldn't make it to their wedding.

Combine all of this, along with the general wedding anxieties, plus work, and you get me. A sort of tangled web of excitement, fear, anger, guilt, and extreme sensitivity.

So what gets me through?

I take a breath. I remind myself that the little stuff (or as I like to call it, the Pinterest shit) for the wedding does not matter. I go to the gym. I carve out time to spend with Tom or my family. I listen to a LOT of music. I do what I can to help my mom with my dad. I pray. I go to church. I cry.

And now, for the first time ever, I share.

I bet I can guess what some might be thinking- none of us ever know what tomorrow brings, so why spend all our time worrying? Well, when there is a dark cloud of worry hanging over your head that literally is unpredictable and simply will not disappear, you can't help but to just dance in it's raindrops and hope the sun comes back out, pushing the cloud back out of the picture.

And that's what I'm trying to do-. Embrace the craziness of this roller coaster, hanging on tight to hope and to the people around me, understanding that it's beyond my control and that I can only do what I can do and spread my love as loudly as I can.

As always, thank you all for all the love.

PS: I know I've shared this song before, but it's become my mantra.