Take A Stand

Warning: This post is not for the light hearted, and is the deepest post I have written to date. If you are looking for a funny and sarcastic post this is not it, but there is a great message to be shared.


I have a story to tell that has not been told to many people, and I feel like it is important to share my story in hopes that it can help someone who has been through or may currently be in a similar situation. I do not seek sympathy, nor do I want to victimize myself. These events have taken place in my past and I have successfully moved on in life. While my past has impacted certain relationships in my life, it has also molded me into the strong woman that I am proud to be today. If you are reading this post and in any way feel like you can relate or have a similar story to tell, I encourage you to seek help if you haven’t before and talk to someone about your situation.

I am a product of abuse. My parents divorced when I was three, and my mother was granted primary custody and moved across the country from my dad and his family (our support system). I was very fortunate to have an older sister to look after me and help while my mom worked to support us. Growing up my mother had a short temper and quite the drinking habit. She would be quick to respond with a spanking, which would later escalate to “the belt”, then yelling and screaming in my face, and before you knew it I was 13 getting slapped across the face. After years of physically proving she was the parent and I was the child my mother started playing a mental game. All of my teenage years when my self image was in constant question all I heard was how I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, and flat out not good enough to accomplish my goals in life. It wasn’t until I started to experience success in early adulthood that I realized everything my mother had said about me wasn’t true. I know that it may sound far-fetched, but when you have a parent who you are supposed to count on and trust belittling you and tearing you apart it is hard to believe in yourself. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I took a stand and said enough was enough and confronted my mother. This led to the decision for me to separate myself from the relationship I had with my mother and end all communication. I realized a few years later that holding a grudge wasn’t the best way to live the rest of my life and I have recently spoken with my mother and forgiven my past and how I was raised. This in no way means that I want or will have a relationship with my mother, but it does mean that I can let go of years of pain and doubt and live a healthy life full of love and positivity.

So you would think living a childhood/young adulthood filled with mental and emotional abuse I wouldn’t entertain a relationship with a man that possessed the same capabilities, right? Well, I wish I were strong enough back when I met him to look passed his great looks, amazing body, charming personality, and deep southern accent and say NO and move on. This is not easy for me to share, because unlike parental abuse, I made a choice to keep going back. The extent of our actual committed relationship was short lived, but we have maintained a toxic friendship for nearly 6 years. My ex never physically abused me, but up until recently I was emotionally and mentally abused by him. Close friends and family are well informed of the toxic relationship and have always encouraged me to stay away. I have blocked him from contacting me multiple times through my cell phone provider, and have had him blocked on social media as well. There was a time I had been transferred with my job, blocked his number, and he called me at work to find a way to communicate with me. I have been called every negative word you could use to describe a woman, and although I am not proud to admit it there have been times that I have been pushed to say awful things in return. My ex was a heavy drinker and depending on how much he drank he either loved me, or thought I was a stupid bitch. For years I heard about how unsuccessful I would be and that I would never amount to anything if I cut him out of my life. He has openly admitted many times that he is aware of his ability to manipulate people to get what he wants. I always tried to find the good in him and remember the guy I fell in the love with when we were younger, but a person can only take so much abuse before they are exhausted and have no energy left to give. I will always wish him the best, and hope that he finds happiness even if some would say he doesn’t deserve it.

I know that this post is heavy, and for some it may even catch you by surprise. I hope that by sharing my past you see my strength and not “baggage”. For those reading this post who can relate or have experienced any abuse, please remember that you are so much stronger than you think and you deserve all the happiness life has to offer.

-Nicole

 

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All The Single Ladies

Have you ever asked yourself “where have all the good men gone” or “does the perfect guy for me even exist”? It’s okay, be honest, because I am pretty sure every single woman has asked herself this question. I know I have asked myself both of those questions. In a world where technology and social media rule people’s lives, it seems nearly impossible to find someone who you can trust and build a long lasting relationship with. Right? Well, I’m not so sure about that. I think there are a few things that contribute to a single lady missing out on a great opportunity with her perfect match.

First, the media has created an image of the “perfect” relationship that is far from reality. Trashy television shows like the Bachelor and Bachelorette on ABC are a perfect example of expectation versus reality. I am ABSOLUTELY guilty of loving both of these TV shows, but you can’t lose sight of reality while enjoying the drama and entertainment. Not everyone can fall in love in 8 weeks while traveling and jet setting across the world, love takes time and any perfect companion should hopefully have responsibilities that keep them grounded. Any relationship that is going to be long lasting requires a strong foundation, and you can’t rush that process. A real relationship consists of compromise, honesty, compassion, support, selflessness, trust, and hard work.

So now that you have a more realistic expectation of a relationship, it is important to remember to be self-aware. I have often observed women wanting to find the “perfect” man when they are far from perfect themselves (I myself have been found guilty of this). Ladies, you can’t expect a man with a great career, perfect smile, and smoking body when you don’t have any of the same qualities. Further more, aside from the superficial demands you can’t expect to marry a man with all of the perfect personality traits when you are lacking in the personality department as well. Relationships are give and take. You can’t just expect a man to meet all of your expectations on that handy checklist I know you have, and you don’t meet the same expectations. Also, take a step back from superficial dating apps like Tinder because if you think you will find love swiping right or left, you will be disappointed.

If you are looking for love, stop. It will find you when the time is right. I know this is cliché and trust me, I have heard it myself and rolled my eyes and said yeah fucking right! However, when the time is right and you are ready and willing, the right man will cross your path. In the mean time, work on yourself and love who you are!

-Nicole

Overqualified and Jobless

I have always been proud of my career and all that I accomplished with the company I previously worked for, but starting over has been the true definition of a struggle. It all starts with your resume and cover lever and when you finally complete them then there is the whole application process. I have probably sent out hundreds of applications in the last 60 days, and from those hundreds of applications I have only landed three interviews. The last external job interview I had was over 8 years ago, and since then it has been internal interviews for promotions, so lets just say my interview skills are a little rusty. Set aside the rusty interview skills and then there is a whole new obstacle of what do I wear? For those who know me, they know my outfit means everything. So I’ve done all of this work just to get an interview and I have stressed over the perfect interview outfit so what’s next, the actual interview!

One common thing I heard through out every interview is that I am over qualified based on my experience. Yes, I know this; I changed my entire life for a change of pace. My application for the job was intentional. I am flattered to hear that I am over qualified, but I don’t need to be reminded of it through out the interview. You would think a company would be happy that someone who is over qualified is willing to come aboard. So once I get through the over qualified portion of the interview, next comes the obstacle of wanting to keep me in the box of my experience. I didn’t apply for a job that is the same as my previous job, so please see my skill set and apply it to your field of work. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to show someone how you are qualified for the job based on your experience when all they see is what you come from. So, you make it through the interview and then what comes next? The waiting game!

Waiting to hear back about a potential opportunity makes days seem like weeks and a week seem like a month. Luckily I have a job opportunity that I am excited about, so the wait isn’t as bad. Let’s face it though I wish I could make a living off my love for puppies, champagne, and fashion. That would be a real dream come true.

-Nicole

Not All Who Wander Are Lost…But I Am Lost As Fuck.

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How many of you are guilty of loving the (basic bitch) quote “Not all who wander are lost”? I am guilty of loving that quote myself. I think it is important to have adventure in your life, in fact I think its necessary. With out adventure you get stuck in a daily routine, which isn’t always a bad thing, but you can lose sight of what inspires you. I found myself stuck in a routine in the last year. Wake up and drive to work, clock in and work, clock out and drive home from work. I was making a living, but I wasn’t living. Now tell me, what is the point in making a living if you aren’t going to enjoy it?

So here I am free of a routine, across the country from what I have known for the last 13 years and I am lost as FUCK. I have no idea where to even start. It was so much easier back where I came from because I could pick up the phone and head over to my sisters house around the corner, or drive up to my girlfriend’s house for a night out. Now I have to take a step out of my comfort zone and explore a town I don’t know very well, SOLO. I need to let go of the comfort of what I WOULD have done back home, and move forward with what I WANT to do here. As cheesy of an idea as it may be, I need a bucket list. I don’t need it as a checklist but as a source of inspiration of what I want to accomplish next (maybe I’ll share this once its done).

I woke up this morning and got dressed. My outfit for the day consists of a pair of sweat pants, and over sized t-shirt, a flannel, my slippers, and I didn’t even run the brush through my hair. Am I upset about it? Absolutely not! This is exactly what I wanted for the longest time after feeling exhausted by routine life. I am happy to spend my day in comfortable clothes, enjoy an iced coffee and hang out with my dog, but I still want more. This is perfect for me right now, but I didn’t give up my career, friends and family to be lazy.

After writing this all out, maybe I’m not as lost as I think I am. Maybe I am right where I’ve wanted to be and it is just time to keep moving.

-Nicole

Girlfriends For Life

What do you do when your boyfriend/husband is being an ass, or the guy you met from your most recent online dating venture is nothing like you thought he would be? What do you do when your life at work is a complete nightmare, or you didn’t get your morning coffee and had to sit in traffic? How about when you see the cutest puppy on Instagram, or you see a girl’s post that use to be hot in high school but now looks like a busted can of cinnamon rolls? If you are anything like me, you pick up your phone and text your closest girlfriends and vent, laugh, cry, or all three simultaneously LOL.

There are many important relationships you will have in life, but what would life be with out girlfriends? It would be HORRIBLE! There have been multiple times in my twenties when the support of my closest girlfriends got me through some of the hardest times, even when I didn’t ask for it. There have also been plenty of girls nights in my life that have been some of the most entertaining times I could ever have asked for. Like that one time I went to the grocery store on Valentines Day (SOLO) and bought three bottles of champagne to be there for one of my best friends when she needed me, the looks I got were priceless! Ladies if I am going to be honest, most men will never understand our friendships with girlfriends but you know you have found a keeper when he accepts you and your crazy friends. For those of you who haven’t found your prince charming, make sure he appreciates your girlfriends before you settle.

I am very fortunate to have friendships that have lasted over a decade, friendships that have become family, and friendships that have grown up and matured as I have. All of my girlfriends are strong, bright, supportive, understanding, fun, beautiful, and a little bat shit crazy (yes, they should have all considered careers as private investigators). You know you will be best friends for life when you hide in bushes with your best friend to see if someone was telling you the truth (we were teenagers). Don’t lie ladies, we are all guilty of doing something crazy for our closest girlfriends. If you haven’t maybe you are normal and the rest of us are just fucking nuts! If there is anything I know for sure, life wouldn’t be as fun with out my friends.

Thank you to all of my close girlfriends who have given me a lifetime of memories to look back at and cherish. Thank you for never passing judgment and always accepting me as I am. Thank you for being you, women that I can admire for all that you have accomplished and can count on for your continued support. I know we are living in different time zones these days, but I am always grateful for you.

-Nicole