Enough

One of the hardest things I grapple with is convincing myself that I do, that I am, enough.

There’s this incessant feeling ruminating in the background, this self-appraisal that often goes too far and bleeds into self-deprecation, that I should be doing more. That I should be further along. That I should be more than or less- confident, positive, secure, forgiving, responsible, kind, patient, loving, tolerant, trusting, insecure, critical, emotional, selfish, doubtful, resentful- than what I currently am.

I tell myself stories. Internal dialog that only I can hear, accept, or protest. These stories that I tell myself are scare tactics and a desperate preventative measure that a younger, more scared Sarah developed to protect herself. I spent more than a decade constructing a safe room that I could go and hide in when I was feeling exposed, challenged, or generally uncomfortable with the world around me. When things got too real for me, I would tell myself a story- I can’t, I’m broken, I’ll never get past this, I’ll never be better, I’ll never learn how- and go hide in that safe room.

The part of me that plays this tape of self-sabotage, the part of me that lets fear run rampant in the driver’s seat, it’s a diversion from the truth, from my truth. It no longer serves me. It is no longer helpful. It’s not even true. But expunging it? Removing it from my daily behavior and go-to when I feel scared or unsure? Now that’s the real trick. That’s where the growth lies.

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There’s a book I read that is filled with daily meditations.

“When you have to make a decision or take a certain action, all that you can do is to do the best you know at that time, and if you do that you will have done your duty.” it said.

At the time I was developing my internal dialog about being broken and hopeless, the best I could do was adopt these protective mechanisms. Now I have been gifted with the opportunity to do something different, to do my best in this time I now stand in. I have been shown there is another way. A different way. A new path that I must explore.

Lean in. Don’t balk at the fear. Embrace the discomfort. Have faith.

The best part? Miracles of triumph and progress keep popping up like wild flowers in a field full of blooms. I see my life changing. I see myself questioning these stories I have always told myself. Where did they come from? Are they even true?

What is my truth?

My truth is that I am continuing to work. I am continuing to fall short. I am continuing to try new strategies and when one thing doesn’t work, I try something new. Again and again. I’m stretching. I am at my growing edge. I give it everything I’ve got. Many days, that is not enough in my book. But my truth is that it has to be enough. It must be enough to give as much as I possibly can every single day, investing in myself like a retirement fund. What it feels like is a lot of never-ending discomfort.

My North Star is hope. It’s deeper relationships. It’s giving more of myself. It’s living a life based on principle and ideals and connection. It’s never giving up on trying to fulfill the purpose that God has set for me.

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If I keep looking at where I am falling short, I will miss all of the wins that I am accomplishing along the way. Some of the wins are so big I can’t even believe that this is my life. These wins are crucial. They help to temper the losses and the grief and highlight the silver linings that are present in every experience.

There’s incredible power in fighting like hell, not letting challenges tank you, and instead inviting them to sharpen you and soften you into a stronger, more resilient, more dedicated, and more effective person. You’ll find after that you are capable of giving more of yourself than you thought was possible and realize you have been filling your tank of self-love along the way. All on your own.

All the doubt and the fear and worry show you that you will continue to learn and fail and overcome and blossom.

And so we grow.

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I hope you never give up on following your North Star. 

xoxo

Sarah

On Letting Go

How do you let go?

I don’t know about you, but I love to hold on to things. Old birthday cards, favorite books, cherished friendships, my stuffed tiger that I’ve had since I was seven years old, old bottles of perfume that still have a couple drops of fragrance left in them, resentment, guilt, self-pity, fear.

Perhaps this is in part due to the fact that I am a Cancer, known for my sensitivity and sentimentality, or maybe it is because I have to experience a lot of pain before I jump into action.

I do my best to keep my side of the street clean and my nose well in my own business but when I am pushed to the limits of my patience and compassion, I let all the icky feelings flood in. The insecurity, the comparison, the jealousy, the wishful thinking, the doubt. All of these feelings are extremely unhelpful and, nine times out of ten, they aren’t even based in truth.

The point is, sometimes people do things and take action that hurt me or threaten me and maybe feel just like being shoved, hard, onto the cold cement. How do I let go of that? How do I forgive someone who threatens my security, balance, or serenity?

I let go.

And letting go is a pain in the butt..

In order to let go, I have to invite faith in. I have to relax into acceptance rather than continuing to struggle in self-will. I write. I pray- over and over again. I also am sure to purge the source of angst from my life to the greatest extent that is within my power.

Letting go is hard. Letting go is annoying.

Letting go is so, so necessary to my survival and growth

Most times I have no say in what people, places and things continue to pop-up in my life that cause me distress, but I do have a say in how I react to them. Do I let it all tank me or do I accept it with dignity? I endeavor to achieve the second option.

The truth is, I simply do not have time to become emotionally crippled by every single slight that comes my way. I am a busy woman living a life that is full to the brim in every single way. A life that I have carefully nurtured and crafted to get to the point that it is at today. I am trying to make moves. I am trying to make a difference. I am trying to grow.

I cannot let distress cause me to falter. I cannot let frustration keep me in place.

My happiness and security and faith comes from inside and nowhere else. No external source can tell me, force me, or convince me to let go. I have to start with me and only me to live my best life possible. I must choose to overcome it. I must do the foot work. I must get over it, no matter how big of a deal or injustice it is. I must believe in myself.

Letting go is choosing faith over fear, trust over doubt, and action over idleness. It’s living in joy rather than in misery. It’s accepting what is. It’s not stewing over the past. It’s not tripping about the future. It’s giving love and understanding and compassion during the times in which I want to be selfish and self-serving. It’s choosing adventure and fresh starts and moving forward.

Whatever you are trying to let go of just remember that, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, you will do it. Practice. The more you practice the easier letting go is. And above all, don’t give up.

You can do it, I believe in you. 

xoxo

Sarah

 

 

On Decision Making

Let’s talk about good versus great.

What differentiates the good from the great? How do you get from one to the other?

Decisions. Your decisions reflect who you are and who you aim to become. Your decisions pave the path to your future successes.

I don’t want good. I don’t want acceptable. I don’t want mediocre. I don’t want satisfactory. I don’t want mundane. And I certainly don’t want whatever society is telling me I should at this point in my life, just because it is what is expected.

I want the power of choice over settling. I want gloriously fulfilled over simply maintaining. I want completely overflowing rather than filled to the top. I want novel and thrilling and keeps-you-guessing. I want exceptional. I want life-altering. I want bursting. I want overjoyed. I want triumphant. I want something incredibly special. I want shooting for the stars.

I want great.

And what keeps me going is the daily reminder that I didn’t come this far to only come this far.

The decisions you have to make in order to achieve greatness are not easy. They aren’t obvious. You will not know for sure if they are the right ones until you see how they play out. Good decisions take practice. They take self-awareness. They take effort. They take commitment. They take inner strength. You have to be ready to take risks. You must be willing to jump without being able to see if you’ll make to the other side. You need to be prepared to go down in a blaze of glory.

I can tell you one thing- the quality of your decisions can be easily determined by your intent.

Think about it. When you are making a decision, what part of yourself are you nourishing? Encouraging? Growing?

If you are feeding your ego, then you are surely making the wrong decision. The same goes for greed, envy, insecurity and fear.

Let your actions reflect your decision to have a great relationship with yourself first and foremost. Forget good for now or good enough or maybe this will work in every single area of your life. Love, friendships, career, hobbies, side hustles; throw it all out if it’s not making you gloriously fulfilled and practice patience until great comes along.

Except the career- make sure you can pay your bills while you work on securing your dream job.

It won’t always go well. I promise. You will fail. And then you will fail again. The failures will hurt. Your heart will cry out in protest. This is too hard, it will say. We have come far enough, it will urge. Why can’t we just be happy with good, it will question. I’m just not ready, it will whisper.

You will have to remind your heart that you want great. That you will never know what you could have achieved if you stop now. That you must keep going, no matter what. You will never feel ready. You will never become immune to pain. You’ll just become more skilled at dealing with it all, and that is a sign of greatness.

The failures only mean you are getting closer to what it is you are striving for. Failure is the surest indication that you are taking an active role in chasing your dreams. Failure isn’t final and only you have a say in what stops you.

Don’t expect to ever stop failing but you can expect that your failures will, one day, reflect a refining process rather than a complete demo of your life.

I want to, every single day, strive for great rather than good. I want to be a great friend, daughter, mentor, employee, and partner. I want to be great at adapting right alongside of change, at accepting the difficulties I must overcome, at thriving when my heart tells me it would be fine for me to quit and fall apart.

I want to, every single day, become better than I once was. I want to choose authenticity over being perceived as perfect, honesty over saved face, and owning my truth over hiding behind the fear of vulnerability destroying me.

We must decide to choose challenge over comfort and patience over instant gratification.

We must make the decision to make the choices that aren’t easy.

And that’s how you will get from good to great.

What decisions are you making today?

xoxo

Sarah

 

A Letter To My 18 Year-Old Self

Dear Sarah,

You will change so much in the next ten years, it will make your head spin.

Mistakes, many many mistakes, will happen. You will, sometimes, hate yourself. You will question the purpose of it all, and wonder if you are doing anything right. You will wonder if you are broken and beyond repair. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. You will discover that you are capable of greatness. You will eventually gain enough perspective to see that your heart is tender, loving, vulnerable, and forgiving. These qualities are so important. You are special, so special. You will only get better at life.

Most people won’t get your sense of humor. That’s okay, because it doesn’t make you any less hilarious. You’re more intimidating than you think you are, so be careful with your words. Make sure they are always kind. Your ability to say how you feel, and your directness, are two of your most enduring traits. You won’t realize this until much later than you should. Do not be ashamed of your positivity and sparkle. Some people will not like you, and that is okay. Some people will not understand or approve of your story, and that is okay too. It is not their story to write.

You will lose yourself, and then you will discover yourself. The world, and your decisions, will almost break you. Then you will build yourself back up again. The people in your life will teach you valuable lessons. They will enter into your orbit and show you love, wisdom, pain, sacrifice, and toughness.

That’s what everything is. It’s toughness training. When you get to be twenty-eight, your skin will be thicker. Your heart will be bigger. Your self-awareness will be better than it’s ever been. You will have gained back the confidence you lost during your dark years, and more will come with it. You will get more than you bargained for in every aspect of your life.

When it comes to the dark years, remember it is all essential in shaping who you will become. They will be extremely uncomfortable, painful, and full of tears. You will doubt your ability to make it through. You will feel alone and devoid of faith and hope. Remember, dear one, that these years are inevitable for you, and so important to your journey. When you are closer to thirty than you are to twenty, you will be on the other side of them. You will feel truer and more authentic than you ever have. You will have learned so much about yourself. The darkness is imperative to discovering your inner light. Feel it. Go through it. Don’t fight it. Look forward to the person you will someday be.

When it comes to college, pay attention. Especially in statistics and economics, or else you’ll regret not doing so once you graduate. Major in something that you are passionate about, regardless of what job opportunities it may present after graduation. College is a bubble, a wonderfully encased and protected version of life, so soak it up. Join the sorority that resonates with you and your ideals and your principles, and it will give you lifelong connections. Do not disappear into the partying. For heaven’s sake, make it to that 8 am ochem class regularly. Take a quarter abroad and travel. Your twenty-eight year-old self never did, and she really wishes you would. At graduation you will have no idea what you want to do or who you are meant to become, and that is okay. You will figure it out along the way. Be weary of how much you spend on your credit card.

When it comes to your career, don’t be afraid to assert yourself and live out loud. Do not shy away from expressing your opinions. Do not let other people make you feel small. If you work for a company that does not value you or recognize your accomplishments, move on. Chase your dreams. Don’t be scared to make a change or to use your voice. Don’t settle for a job that is boring, but be sure that you can always pay your bills. Financial security is necessary but living lavishly is not. Try your best to let temporary setbacks and negative energy flow in and out, like the gills of a fish. Work is the water and your gills are the filter; keep only the good.  Be fluid and proud and kind, always kind. Treat people how you would like to be treated and do not reciprocate less than graceful behavior.

When it comes to your love life, maintain the faith that the right one will come along. There will be years that are meant just for you in which you learn about yourself, all alone. There will be years in which you have no interest in a relationship, and years where you yearn for companionship and love. Who you think is good for you, or a good idea, usually won’t be. Consider advice but make your own decisions. There will be men who lie to you, take advantage of you, disrespect you, and don’t appreciate the wonderful woman you are. There will also be men who restore your faith and teach you that what you are looking for will come in its own time. There will be men who take care of you and honor your friendship. There will be men who are honest, kind-hearted and want the absolute best for you. Keep fighting for yourself. Keep dating. Pray. Do not become bitter or closed-off to something amazing, for it could be just around the corner. Assert your needs but don’t be afraid to compromise. Remember to find the good in every experience and that time heals all. There are good ones out there, I promise. It only takes one to change everything.

Do not play the comparison game. It is the quickest way to suck the happiness out of your life. Follow whatever it is that makes you happy. Write. It will be your therapy and your contribution to the universe.

The earlier you learn to accept what is, rather than what you wish would be, the better. Quit blaming yourself for everything. Throw out that life plan you’re writing out in your journal. It’s all a process. It’s all impossible to control and predict. The point is to enjoy the ride and to run head-first into your life, with arms spread wide.

Don’t be scared. I know that’s easier said than done, but it will all be okay in the end. You are fierce, brave, independent, driven and full of promise.

And last but not least, trust me when I tell you that the only thing standing in your way is you.

What do you want to say to your 18 year-old self?

xoxo

Sarah

 

 

The Big Experiment

Every morning my alarm goes off at 6:00 sharp.

I curse it, blink my eyes, and roll over to hug my dog. As I savor the last few moments snuggled up with him in my warm bed, I know that I can’t delay for too long. He is restless because in his world it is time for breakfast, and in my world it is time to get ready for work . With a sigh, I throw back the covers and get up to face the day.

Feed the pup. Wash the sleep off my face. Swipe on some makeup. Arrange my hair into something presentable. Dress. Quick walk for us both, then I shoot out the door and into my morning.

In this part of my life, I feel like I am constantly in process. In progress. In development. In growth. In pain. In joy. In bewilderment.

I am trying new things, and failing at many of these new things, and succeeding at a few of these new things, and mostly just experimenting with no clue as to what I am actually really doing or aiming for.

Sometimes, I have to stop and marvel at how all of my life choices have brought me to this very moment that I am now in. It’s confusing and liberating and frustrating and astonishing that I have been able to come this far yet still, always, feel like I am not far enough.

When I really give pause, silencing all of the unnecessary noise in my mind long enough to relax and just be, I realize a simple truth: this life that I am living, my life that I have crafted for myself, is magic.

Absolute magic.

Some days, it’s nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed. I make up to-do lists and check-lists and not-yet-done lists in order to focus and refine and give my life direction. On other days, it’s difficult to even leave the office and head home because I am getting so much done. Project after project seems to be completing itself with very little effort on my part, and I feel satisfaction towards all that I have accomplished. On the better days, I can’t write down all of the ideas as quickly as they come to me and I vibrate with inspiration, energy and motivation. I know just who I am writing to and for and the possibilities are endless. On the worse days, I sit feeling empty, uninspired and like my writing will never go anywhere. I fear that I will not find and fulfill my greater purpose. On the absolute worst days I seriously question the point of it all in the first place. I doubt my very purpose’s existence.

Through it all, the magic remains. Day by day the experimenting continues. I forget about it sometimes, the magic, but it is still there. It waits patiently for me to embrace it again. The magic is floating around me, a gold iridescent cloud that I cannot see but I know is very real.

That’s what life is, one great big magnificent magical experiment. Our experiments demonstrate a brief but complete history of human trial and error, baptisms by fire, and doing the best we can. We make choices, take chances, place our bets, attempt to let go of regrets, and always try, try again.

At its best, our experimenting allows us to create something absolutely beautiful: groundbreaking new companies, clean energy, stunning art and architecture that survives through the centuries, gripping novels, children, love itself.

Life is nothing more and nothing less than One Big Experiment.

So, as I shoot out the door into my morning and to face yet another day, I ask…

“What can I create today?”.

Here’s to the good days, the sad days, the magical days, and everything in between.

xoxo

Sarah

 

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?

xoxo

Sarah

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!

xoxo

Sarah

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.

xoxo

Sarah

 

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.

xoxo

Sarah

Fearless

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.

xoxo

Sarah