Hello 2017

There is only one rule for 2017 and that’s we do NOT look back at 2016. Ok, ok… maybe I’m being a little dramatic. WHO AM I KIDDING?! 2016 was a big year for me, and although I learned a lot about myself I don’t wish to look back at the year. Struggling with your happiness is not easy because you feel like you are never at peace, but the first step was realizing how unhappy I was and putting one foot in front of the other in a direction that would make me happy. No one wants to look back at a time in their life when they were unhappy, right? So goodbye 2016 and HELLO 2017!

So here I am, one week into the New Year and I am asking myself what all do I want to accomplish in 2017? Well, for starters, I am not going for the cliché caption many people are guilty of using “A new year, a new me”. I’m choosing to look at the new year with a different perspective because I have come to really love who I am so I don’t want to be a new version of myself, just a better version of myself. I know it might all sound the same, but to me it means something different and that’s all that matters.

So what are my goals? Well I have a few, nothing crazy or too specific. I want to leave them a little vague so that I can decide if I feel accomplished at the end of the year. Here we go:

 

Health & Body

For starters I want to feel comfortable in my own body. This doesn’t mean I want to hit a special number or even that I want to get into a specific work out routine to gain a noticeable amount of muscle. I just want to feel healthy, and comfortable in the clothes I wear while making a conscious effort to exercise and eat right.

Friends & Family

In the upcoming year I want to continue to strengthen my relationship with my family. I want to visit my sister and nieces and spend quality time with them. I want to continue to sustain my strong friendships with my life long friends, but I also want to branch out and continue to make new friends. I want to constantly support and love the people who matter most to me.

Travel

I want to take advantage of where I live and take the time to explore areas around me that I haven’t seen before. I want to get outdoors more and spend time in nature. It might not be California, but Kentucky is beautiful in its own way and there is plenty to see in the states around me. Lastly I want to travel to a destination I’ve always wanted to travel to but didn’t have the time or the money.

Mind & Spirit

I have become a much more open-minded person than I have ever been in the past, and I want to continue to have an open mind and try to understand other points of view. I want to continue to embrace change because I still struggle with this, believe it or not. Most importantly I want to relax a little and not be so damn hard on myself. I am not perfect, and that is ok!

I am sure that there is so many other blogs posted about new years resolutions, so thank you for reading mine and I hope you continue to follow along in 2017!

Xoxo,

Nicole

 

 

 

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