Give Me Struggle

Nothing truly comes easy to anyone. We each have our own challenges that we must overcome. Your journey is your journey and my journey is mine. That is what makes each of them so interesting and beautiful; they are uniquely ours.

I used to think that one day life would become easier, softer and more forgiving. I thought that if I worked hard enough, it would all eventually even out. I believed that once I was past this or that it would all become clear. I figured that one day the messier pieces would just fall into place and I would be able to level up, reaching a space in my life where things consistently made sense. A space where I could breathe and rest comfortably, if only for a short while.

As I have historically been about how many parts of my story would turn out- I was wrong.

My story is messy and confusing and often courageous. It is punctuated by challenge, pain and moments of incredible strength. It is full to the brim with accomplishments and doing the things I thought I could not do. It tells a life of dreaming, action, hesitation, determination, false starts, harsh realizations and times of heart-breaking happiness.

My story is a lesson in nothing coming easy and learning the true meaning of appreciation and gratitude. My story is about doing my best with what I have. It’s about breaking away the unnecessary parts and wastes of time to get closer to my true meaning and purpose. My story is continuously teaching me that it’s not about what I think, what I want, what I need, or what I feel I deserve.

Give me struggle. Give me the lessons that will build my character. Give me hard work paying off over something handed to me that I have not earned. Give me confusion and give me hope. Give me trials and give me breakthroughs. Give me yet another disappointment, always followed by a fresh start and a new opportunity to see where it all may go. Give me good enough to make it through another day.

Give me the tools I need to do better in this world. Give me the challenges that will make me more useful, more capable, more creative and more tolerant. Give me whatever it is I need to teach me how to be a better advice-giver, shoulder to lean-on, and source of comfort.

Give me struggle so that I may learn to contribute. Give me pain so that I may become accustomed to sacrifice. Burden me, again and again, so that I may show that I can overcome anything that comes my way.

And keep it coming.

What does your story say?



In 2016 I Hope

The past year seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye. In 2015 I got promoted, travelled to Vienna, Austria, as well as to Chicago, Austin and Orlando, saw Garth Brooks live in concert (a lifelong dream of mine), adopted my pup, and took on an additional contributor role with Elite Daily. I was challenged within an inch of my life and also experienced some of my greatest joys. 

2015 was a year of learning, growing, surrender and acceptance. 2015 showed me that in 2016…

I hope that you fight. I hope that you make mistakes. I hope that you watch something fall apart so you can learn to build something better. I hope you experience pain so that you may be given the chance to feel joy. I hope you see sadness so that you may learn to someday help others through theirs. 

I hope you triumph. I hope that you fall in love; fall in love with your journey and your friends and your life and maybe just maybe that special someone. I hope you learn the incredible healing power of this love and all that it can bring.

 I hope that you experience darkness so that you can learn you will always find the light again. I hope you temporarily feel hopeless so that the glory of hope returning may remind you that all is never lost. I hope that you dream up dreams that seem so impossible they terrify you. I hope that you go against the grain and do things the hard way. I hope that you challenge yourself and try something new.

 I hope you learn how to say no. I hope you focus on developing the non-material things in your life. I hope you learn to value relationships and experiences over success and status. I hope you see that you are more than your job title or your income. I hope you get more sleep. I hope you question everything and I hope that this questioning will allow you to never become complacent. 

I hope you get to a place of creating rather than maintaining. I hope you learn to let go with just a touch more grace, to give more and to take less, and to seek to understand rather than to be understood.

I hope that you hustle and you try and you work the hardest you’ve ever worked. I hope you see the things you work so hard for come to fruition, but I hope that the greatest gifts you receive this year are ones you never imagined would come. 

I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for and I hope you live the most beautiful year possible.

Cheers to 2016!



Crazy About Charlie

World, there’s an important new guy in my life. And his name is Charlie.

Charlie’s a 1 year old Lab-Rottweiler (and German Shepherd?) mix who was found wandering around northern San Diego County. He had no microchip, no home, and no place to go.

He was turned in as a stray to California Labradors, Retrievers and More (Labs and More), a local San Diego non-profit dog rescue, on October 30th. They named him Kermie and he was then placed into their kennel for safe-keeping while awaiting transfer to a foster home, which would be more comfortable for him.

Around the same time that Charlie was brought into Labs and More, I was beginning the application process to adopt. The application process is quite extensive; you have to fill out a long questionnaire, submit proof that you are able to house the dog in your residence, and send pictures of your home. After you are approved you can then go to one of the organization’s adoption events to meet the dogs available for adoption.

Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and my work schedule, my plan was to adopt after and only after the first week of December.

On Saturdays, my usual routine is to do spin class at 10:30am. The rescue also hosts their adoption events on Saturday mornings, from 10:30am-12:30pm, and I fully intended to stick with my workout schedule to avoid going to any and all adoption events before I was ready to take someone home. On the Saturday of November 21st I had cancelled my spin class to go look at an available apartment for rent, as my roommate and I would be moving in the upcoming months. We finished with our appointment by 10:00am and I was left with no plans and nothing to do.

I’ll just go take a look and see if there is anyone I like, I thought to myself. I’ll have to be strong and not fall in love with any of them.

Yeah. Right.

Labs and More creates online profiles for all of the dogs they have available. I had been browsing the website pretty much daily and had a couple of dogs in mind that I wanted to meet. Among the myriad of dogs available for adoption I had noticed Kermie’s profile due to his smiling face in all of the pictures. But Kermie’s profile also had “Adopted” in bold letters underneath his name.  I hadn’t given it, or him, a second thought.

I arrived to the adoption event as the volunteers were just finishing setting up. It was a scene of chaos with people milling about, excited dogs lunging on their leashes, and copious amounts of barking. I greeted the representative I had been paired with for my adoption process and she encouraged me to look around and see if there were any dogs that I liked.

As soon as I stepped away from the table I looked to my left and saw a black and tan dog walking towards me. The odd part was that he looked just like Kermie, but I figured it was another dog that looked similar. I greeted the dog, who had an extremely sweet temperament and handsome brown eyes. I asked the handler if this was, in fact, Kermie and he confirmed that it was. But he was adopted! It says adopted on the website! I exclaimed. It turns out that Kermie had been adopted but had been turned back in the following week due to the fact that the family’s 2-year old couldn’t adjust to him. Thus, he was back on the market and again looking for a forever home.

It was love at first sight for me. I bonded instantly with the sweet guy. The problem was that it was not the right timing. I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t prepared my house; I didn’t have a leash or a dog bowl or food for him. Furthermore, my family was going out of town the next week for Thanksgiving and I had promised to dog and cat sit for them while they were gone. It was the exact wrong timing.

I walked around with Kermie and decided he was the absolute best dog in the whole wide world and that I could not live without him. He was kind, affectionate, calm, walked well on his leash, and was an all around great dog. I called my mom and asked her to come look at him, hoping that I could gain her blessing so that I could bring him home with me in good conscience. When Mom showed up she gave me the look that meant World War III was about to break out. She was not having it and there was no way I could bring Kermie home with me that day. With a heavy heart, I handed his leash back to his handler, knowing for certain that he would be adopted by another loving family soon after my departure.

That night I went to the store and bought most of what I would need should I find a dog to adopt in the upcoming weeks. While I shopped I thought of Kermie and wondered where he had ended up. I couldn’t help myself, I just had to know if he had been adopted to a good home, so I emailed the rescue inquiring about him. A few short hours later, they responded to me that he had not been adopted and that he was all mine if I wanted him.

I wanted him. More than anything. Something deep inside of me drew me to him and I wished so badly that I could bring him home. I told them of my predicament with my family going out of town and my obligation to stay at their home while they were gone. The organization urged me to think about it and told me that I could board him for the time they had to be away. I was torn.

I have a tendency to not go for things that are a risk. I try to make the logical and smart decision and usually play it on the safe side. I try to make the decision that makes the most sense and to not be rash. I felt that making the decision to adopt him was a bit rash and it made my insides twist with discomfort and indecision. I took the evening to think about it.

As I weighed my options something inside of me just wouldn’t let go. So, while I could still not see a clear answer, I decided to go for it and to make him mine.

Kermie, now Charlie, was officially adopted on November 23rd and I picked him up for good on November 28th.

It now feels like Charlie has been a part of my life forever. It is only a few short weeks later and I can hardly remember what life was like before him. He is an avid cuddler, loves his stuffed Lamb Chop the most out of all of his toys, is fairly indifferent to balls, goes crazy over pizza, and is the best thing to have ever happened to me. Together we have conquered his fear of stairs and are currently working on his leash etiquette.

I am so grateful for him and that he has entered my world.

My heart is full.




If you would like more information about Labs and More and how to rescue your future forever friend, check out their website.




On Breaking Through

Sometimes the bad days turn into bad weeks. Then the bad weeks slip into bad months. You wake up each morning dreading the day ahead of you, unsure of how to continue treading water when your legs feel like lead. People ask you what’s new and you do your best to muster an almost genuine smile and not launch into a laundry list of every negative thing that is taking up your head space. Instead you say, everything’s great! or some other blasé nonsense.

Sometimes you just don’t know what to do with it all. When you try to tackle the same problem in yet another new way and are met, yet again, with failure. You begin to feel insane. You begin to feel like things will never ever begin to look up and maybe this really truly is not figureoutable.

And then, like a ray of warm sunshine on a chilly winter day, the clarity hits you.

That, my friends, is what we call a breakthrough.

Breakthroughs come in many different forms. They come after you are beaten down into a puddle of unrecognizable mush bereft of motivation to continue. They come when you weren’t even aware that a particular problem or situation was in need of fixing. They come when you’ve pushed that particular problem all the way to the back of your mind, filed in the freak out about later folder. They come after many prayers, tears and sleepless nights. They come when you’ve just given up hope that they will ever arrive.

Breakthroughs come when they come, and how glorious they are when they do.

You can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief and know you have overcome it, this giant immense problem that has been draining you for so long. You can finally breathe and know that you have grown. Again, you have grown! You can finally breathe and feel another layer of strength added to your growing suit of internal armor.

My advice for how to survive the pain during the process?

Believe in yourself. Believe that you are better than you feel. Believe that you are capable. Believe in your greatness and your potential. Allow your friends and family to tell you how worthwhile and amazing you are. Believe them when they do. Believe in your journey and your story. Believe it is all contributing to who you are meant to be.

And keep going. Just keep going.

In the name of daily struggles and much needed breakthroughs.




In The Name Of Thanks

Understand the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility. –Oprah

In September of 2013, I opened my first ever blog post with the above quote. The notion of choosing my own path was one I was just awakening to and it was something I was just beginning to believe I might be able to do. The words in that quote filled me with hope. They instilled within me a deep need to see where I could go. Was anything really possible?

At the time of my first few posts, I never had any intention of sharing my blog with friends and family. I just wanted to try blogging and see if it was any fun. I was never going to show it to anyone. I could never be that vulnerable. I had no idea what I was doing and I certainly didn’t think it was going to be any good. I just wanted an outlet; a way to share my trials and tribulations while I navigated this thing called life.

At this blog’s inception, I was twenty-six and trying to pull myself out of a deep darkness. I struggled with anxiety and depression, had given up alcohol three months earlier, and was knee-deep in dealing with the repercussions from a variety of poor life decisions. I possessed very little hope for myself and nothing about my life was what I had imagined it would be at that age. The one positive was that I was beginning to dream up new dreams and was working tirelessly, day in and day out, to make them into a reality. Out of that, 26 and Stumbling was born.

I’ve always felt driven to write. Writing lights me up from the inside out. It excites me. It fills me with passion. It infuses me with emotion. After I have written something, I feel more whole than I was to begin with. As I let the words tumble out of me, fingers flying across the keyboard, I feel awake and completely tuned in. It’s like there is nothing else going on in the whole world except for the creation of words, character by character, on the blank screen in front of me. Time seems to pause.

I created my blog during a time of intense self-discovery and out of a desperate desire for better things to take shape. Creating this blog lifted me up. The writing began to heal me. Writing allowed me to show parts of myself to the world that I never thought I would be okay with revealing. It helped me to work through shame and to be vulnerable.

Writing makes me braver and stronger. I most often write in the hope of inspiring others and to connect with someone in need. I hope to teach that, through my own experiences, you too can triumph and overcome. I write to foster belief in myself and confidence in my story. You see, writing is one of the most selfish things I can do. I get so much more from it than I could possibly hope to give.

In 2014, as I neared my twenty-seventh birthday, I began trying to think of a new name for my blog. It was time to transition from 26 and Stumbling into something more long term and all-encompassing. I wanted a name that covered my whole life and everything that I wanted to write about. A name that didn’t seem to just focus on the negatives. One day, the idea came to me and Twenty-Everything was created. A blog for twenty-somethings and any-somethings everywhere trying to figure it all out.

Over the past couple of years I’ve written about anything and everything that my heart has desired: tips for twenty-somethings, lists and how-to’s for surviving your twenties, recipes, dating woes, dating tips, dating humor, juice cleanses, travel experiences, goals, what it was like in my first year without alcohol, career change, and all about who I am becoming. I’ve written about new beginnings and frustrating endings, about fear and doubt and perfection and freedom.

Twenty-Everything started as something intensely personal and private. I used it as a tool to begin to glue back together the broken pieces of myself. Over the past 800 and some-odd days since September of 2013, it has transformed into something more. I started this blog when I was at the beginning of finding myself and today I am simply overwhelmed with the gratitude I feel towards it.

This blog helped motivate me to turn my dreams into a reality. It helped me share my decision to make the leap into a new career and to say goodbye to the comfort of restaurant life and being a waitress. It has allowed me share my ideas and experiences on larger blogging forums such as Blog Her and Thought Catalog. This blog helped to land me my columnist role at Ms. Career Girl. Blogging serendipitously crossed my path with a few inspiring women bloggers whom I now call my friends and communicate regularly with. These women, and fellow writers, inspire me and support me and teach me how big and wonderful the world is. This little blog has helped to become a part of a much larger picture and purpose.

This is what I mean when I say I’ve gotten so much more than I’ve given. How could I ever begin to give thanks for all of it?

It’s amazing, and dumbfounding, what change can come about in your life if you just take one tiny step forward. When you hear that little voice inside of you whispering to you to try something, do it. It may be the beginning of a beautiful journey; a beautiful journey full of struggle and experience and lessons and redemption. A little voice inside of me urged me to try creating a blog, just try it. Where would I be if I hadn’t listened?

Today I am twenty-eight and my heart is full. I have come so far. I also know that I still have a great distance to go. I wouldn’t trade anything for an easier or softer way of arriving to where I am at today. Not all days are good. In fact there have been a lot of no good very hard days, but the depth of richness and fulfillment in my life is like nothing I have ever experienced. Today it is easier to share about the hard stuff and to embrace the discomfort that is necessary for growth. The darkness that I once lived in no longer threatens to overtake me. My life is filled with light, positivity, passion, and hope. Today, life is so very incredible.

It all started with a little blog that has helped me to do lots of big things.

And for that, I give thanks.



On Owning It

Life is like riding a bike.

Sometimes you have to pedal with all of the might you can muster, making your way inch by terrible inch up that long hill. And other times you can coast down with no resistance beneath your tires and the wind whipping gloriously through your hair.

If I picture life as a person, I see it as a jokester. You know the type; one of those people who thinks that super inappropriate things are really funny and who laughs at funerals. Life never takes itself too seriously. It likes to present a wide variety of situations in many unexpected forms just to make sure you really are on your toes at all times. It has an affinity for showing up in ways you could have never anticipated, will pound its fists on your front door at three in the morning just for a laugh, and it loves to pitch you curve balls to test your willingness and ability to knock them out of the park. Life has a grand ole time making sure that the only thing you can expect for certain is that things will turn out differently than you planned.

Recently, I was asked a pointed question that has kept me thinking.

How do think you react to adversity?

Great question.

I like to think that I take adversity in stride. I’d like to say that I handle all things with as much grace as I can possibly mobilize on short notice. I like to think that I do the best that I can while I keep a smile on my face and my heart full of compassion. I like to think that my experiences have taught me to be a strong and resilient person, capable of triumphing over anything that comes my way. I have overcome a lot, just like each and every one of you, and I intend to keep on doing just that.

But let me tell you that when life throws everything its got at me, one curve ball after another pummeling straight at me without pause, my reaction to adversity isn’t as pretty as I would like it to be. I’ve found that I move into silence rather than speaking my truth and that I falter in my faith rather than being able to turn it all over and trust in His plan for me. My positivitiy tanks.

I doubt myself. I wonder what I am doing wrong. I struggle with feeling wrong-sized and get angry when none of it seems to be working. Am I too sensitive? Am I unapproachable?

I switch tactics. Read more books. Reach out to others for help. I milk my support system for all its worth. Believe me, keeping me strong and centered and sane takes a village.

I am consistently revamping my strategy to figure out what the best fit is. I am constantly re-energizing in order to gain momentum for the next movement, looking to level-up and press forward. This doesn’t work, so let’s change it. That didn’t work, again, so let’s try this instead. Fail. Fail. Try again.

Do you know what all of the negative, uncomfortable and challenging feelings and experiences mean?

They mean that I am human. In progress. Developing. Learning. Achieving. Reaching. Trying.

I’m dealing with people, places and things that are not on my terms and that do not conform to my comfort zone. I’m like Silly Putty in the softening process; the part where you throw it around in your hands to make it pliable enough to mold into something entirely new.

I don’t like to think that I need molding. I don’t like to admit that I have areas I should work on. Who loves to pick themselves apart and acknowledge their faults? No person I know. But the sooner I get over with the pummeling, the faster I become ready to change my form. When I am warmed up and ready for a new shape, it means I am completely willing. It means both my mind and my heart are open to new ideas and new opportunities.

Let’s face it. Sometimes life beats the crap out of us.

We can either let it shatter us, or take it as a not-so-subtle hint from the universe that things are changing. Discomfort and pain are two of the greatest motivators for change, and change is always good.

I repeat. Change is always good.

Change forces us into action. Change improves us. Change intimidates us, seems impossible and then it teaches us that everything will be okay in the end. Always. Change shows us that the unexpected can lead to glorious results. Change terrifies us and then it chides us, whispering that we should have trusted the process the entire time.

So however you react to adversity, own it. Own it in its glorious imperfection and simultaneous badassery. You’re getting your tail licked and still asking for more. You’re waking up each day and focusing on the good. You’re giving it your best shot. Embrace everything and don’t get too caught up in the details. After all, it will work out just as it’s meant to in whatever amount of time it takes.

Own your abilities, inabilities, sensitivities, strengths, shortcomings, and greatness. Own your life.

Here’s to writing your legacy. 




Let’s talk about fear.

Fear cheers you on as you remain stagnant. It keeps you complacent. It bars you from achieving everything you are capable of. It keeps you hiding in the shadows and cowering away from your incredible potential. It coaxes you into compromising who you are, telling you that you aren’t good enough and that failure is certain. Fear speaks only to your vulnerabilities and never to your strengths.

Fear keeps us glued firmly to where we are rather than pushing us towards where we should be. It keeps us small. It allows us to accept ourselves as average rather than exceptional. It stunts us and encourages us to compromise.

When faced with the possibility of change, fear highlights danger rather than opportunity. It tricks us into thinking that the risk isn’t worth the potential payoff. It deceives us. It tells us that we will never be able to do the things that we wish that we could do. It tells us that our biggest dreams are too big and too far out of our reach.

Fear is smart. It knows just what to say to get us stop dead in our tracks. It speaks to our insecurities. It’s a constant companion and it rages battle within us, pitted up against hope and self-love.

Fear makes us average. It convinces us that what we have is enough but tells us that we ourselves are not enough. It soothes our discontent and quiets our ambition. It assures us that we have enough time and that tomorrow or the next day everything will be better; that if we just hang tough things will change.

Fear makes us judgmental. It breeds resentment and jealousy. It makes us prideful and full of ego and empowers us with an intense need to overcompensate. It allows us to become less of what we are and more of what others think we should be. It makes us feel we have something to prove.

Now, let’s talk about change.

What if we were to cast away fear? What if we imagined our lives where our decisions were not curbed by the possibility of rejection, loss or failure? What if we allowed ourselves to explore who we could be if this excuse or that excuse simply ceased to exist?

What a world that would be. What a life that would be.

Someone much wiser than me once said that you can’t be in fear and faith at the same time. We only get so much time, time which slips away faster and faster each year, time during which we must discover who we are, participate in our lives, and determine the nature of the mark we will leave.

The opportunity to be great is always available to us. It is simply a matter of having enough faith in ourselves to try.

We have the ability to make the choice to change our lives. Not only can we change our own lives, we have the power to change the lives of others. We can make today the day; make today the day that we check our fears and start to fight for everything that lies on the other side of them.

We have the ability to say to fear: I see you and I will not let you stop me. We can be everything we have always wanted to be, if only we can come up with the courage to try.

Dedicated to all of my fearless warriors who inspire me each day to let go of the fear.



The Truth About Dating

I recently had dinner with a couple of girlfriends from college who have known me forever. Eventually, the topic of conversation turned to our love lives, which is pretty standard for close friends who haven’t seen each other in a good number of months.

One of us is newly married, one has been dating her boyfriend for a couple of years, and me? Well I’m doing the same thing I’ve been doing for awhile now. More or less treading water in the singles dating pool.

A portion of my friends is married or well on their way there, but it’s fair to say that just as many of my friends are in the same boat as I am. We have tried it all: free online dating platforms, online dating platforms you pay for, meeting people through friends, being set-up, the bar scene, swearing off the bar scene, blind dates, speed dating(which remains an open action item on my dating bucket list), friends-who-turn-into-something-more, reconnecting with past loves, giving up on dating entirely, and eventually arriving right back where we started. With renewed determination we throw ourselves back into it all, come hell or high water.

And just like the next single gal, I have a lot of interesting and entertaining stories about my dating adventures to share with anyone who asks.

The truth about dating in your late twenties is that you are coming into your prime. You’re not so slowly but surely approaching thirty and you’ve never felt so good. Your career is blossoming and your sense of self is more developed than it’s ever been. Your social calendar is full of whatever you want it to be full of. Whether that’s trying out new restaurants, bouncing around to your favorite workout classes, jetting off for the weekend to wherever for however long, sleeping in, not sleeping at all, or singing along to Taylor Swift at the top of your lungs on a Saturday night, your life is filled to the brim with you.

You don’t have anyone to answer to or check in with. You don’t have to give a second thought as to who you want to spend time with. You can go whichever direction the wind blows you next. Plus, speaking of online dating, you can go on as many dates as you humanly have the energy for. When it comes to the dating game you get to set the rules, play by them, or throw them out the window as you wish.

Life is pretty easy most of the time when you’re doing what you want when you want to do it. Another silver lining of being single is that however you choose to do it, dating makes you wiser. The people you meet teach you lessons about who you are and what you want. The experiences you have make you laugh and they make you cry and they can fill your heart up with hope. They also occasionally make you want to rip your hair out. Dating makes you feel everything on the spectrum of feelings, unexpectedly and deeply and more bravely than you thought yourself capable.

By the time you’ve been single for awhile in your late twenties, you’ve gained enough experience to know what you want. You’ve survived enough heartache to know just how grateful you’ll be when the really great thing comes along. You have triumphed over and discarded all of the disappointments, repeated letdowns, false starts and squashed dreams. You know that whether you are in or out of a relationship you can be happy.

But most of all, rather than it being depressing or a shameful or representative of failure, being single is liberating and empowering.

Being single is really just another of life’s phases; a life phase that needs to be embraced and cherished and taken advantage of. One day it will be gone and replaced by the next chapter. Single turns into in a relationship which is followed by engaged and then comes married and then arrives married with babies and no time to wash my hair.

At this point, it’s important to embrace single for all of its worth; to relish in it and appreciate it and develop your sense of self throughout it. All single is is a fleeting phase within a chapter that is writing itself. What’s the big rush anyway? Enjoy the moment and live your story.

The truth about dating is that you’ve finally learned that your self-worth and capacity for self-love come from within and it’s all really not such a very big huge deal anymore. You take it as it comes.

And then on one seemingly ordinary day and completely without warning, someone will come along who will put you right back in the ring. Sooner rather than later you’ll be fighting for your next shot at love with everything you’ve got. It’ll be a beautiful time full of hope, perhaps a little anxiety, and overwhelmingly full with the power of possibility. On that day, everything will change. Because when good things happen, they happen quickly.

Don’t believe me? You’ll see. Until then, don’t be afraid to kiss a few frogs on your journey to finding your fairy tale prince. The beauty lies in the experiences you are having, not the end result. Whatever life phase you are in, appreciate it. 



In the Name of Greatness

They say that in order to love another you must love yourself first.

But do you ever find it difficult to love yourself?

I have always found it pretty easy to give love freely to others. To the people that come into my life, friends and strangers alike, I am compassionate. I am able to see their blunders as stepping stones, regard their missed opportunities as a message that something greater is coming, and have confidence that they can achieve anything. I’m an advice giver, a shoulder to lean on, and avid motivator. I truly believe that every individual, no matter who they are, is worthy of forgiveness, capable of greatness, and deserves happiness.

But I find myself withholding love from the person who needs it the most. Me. When it come to me I adopt a tough love approach.

With myself I am sparing in praise. I question my knowledge, downplay my achievements, and counter every compliment I receive with a fleeting thought of how I could have done better. I neglect to acknowledge, both privately and publicly, the things that I excel at and even do better than most.

In short, I squash my own greatness. And for what purpose? So that I do not appear full of ego? So that I don’t offend anyone? More importantly….what am I sacrificing in myself by doing this?

How many of you are guilty of doing the same thing? We must ask ourselves what purpose this serves.

Love yourself. Embrace your importance in being. Own your strengths. Do not allow yourself to be crippled by the possibility of failure. Do not strip yourself of your incredible worth or uniqueness. Do not question your ability. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. Expect to see a return on what you have invested in.

We only get one go at life. We waste much of it acting as bystanders instead of participants. We quiet our wants and our needs and our deepest dreams in the face of fear and of self doubt. We filter our words and our actions so they only carry a fraction of the impact they are capable of delivering.

Go out into the world and take what you want from it. Do what makes you happy. Spend time with the people who make you feel valued. Use your voice. Go easy on yourself and accept that you will never be perfect. Perfect is crap; it’s boring and marginalizing and impossible to achieve. You will go crazy chasing it.

Chase experiences. Chase the life you have always wanted. Chase the best you that you can possibly imagine. Chase hope. Chase the possibility of what can be.

Freely give the things that you want most: love and adoration and respect. Shine yourself up until you sparkle brightly and without falter. You are capable of contributing so many great things to this world. Believe in it as much as you humanly can.

Here’s to realizing your own greatness, today and every day.



Work In Progress

Sometimes it’s difficult to be brave and honest and well-spoken and tactful. Sometimes it is exhausting to keep trying to be kind when you want to scream, to smile when you want to cry from frustration, and to remain calm when it seems like the obstacles just won’t stop coming.

You’re an adult. You have to suit up and show up, day in and day out. You have to deal with people you don’t want to deal with, solve problems that you didn’t cause, and be the hero when sometimes you just want to be saved.

You’re improving, but it seems like not quickly enough. You’re constantly caught between wanting to get to where you’re going and not being ready to let go of the person you once were. You feel trapped in your life, wondering if all of the wrong decisions you ever made have clipped your wings and guided you onto a path not entirely of your choosing.The responsibilities mount and more often than not you wonder, how did I get here? Is this really what I want? What is the point?

The answer is yes. This is exactly what you want. And the point is that this is what you’ve earned.

All of your hard work and your dedication and your perseverance have built you into this person that you are now. This work in progress. This twenty-something that feels like you have no idea what you’re doing but somehow you know you’re on the right path. Sometimes you are paralyzed with doubt and plagued by the happenings of the past, but you keep moving forward. You may feel imperfect, but you are trying. You are trying with everything you’ve got to become something more.

You are coming into yourself. You make a million tiny decisions every single day that are propelling you towards the future that you want. Sure, you don’t have it all figured out, but nobody has it all figured out. Not at twenty-something, not at thirty-something, not at any-something. We are all on this journey of personal discovery and all we can do is our absolute best.

There will always be days when you feel like giving up. There will always be times when it seems like the weight of your problems are too much to bear. There will be days where you think that you can’t possibly keep dealing with same people, over and over, who are doing their best to dull your sparkle. At your worst, you’ll believe you cannot possibly keep enduring the three-ring circus that seems to be your life.

What you don’t realize is that you are getting stronger, every single day. Every single day you are becoming better at being you. You are going through these things and you are overcoming them. You are standing up for yourself and using your voice and not taking no for an answer. The more you work, and the more you learn, the easier it is to believe in yourself.

It’s okay to be frustrated and exhausted and reluctant to get out of bed to do it all again. It’s okay to be so full of feelings that you think you might explode. That’s life. It keeps coming. But so will you.

No matter how tough it is, be the most wonderful version of you that you can possibly be.