It’s Ok, You’re Human

Some thoughts for today:

At the end of the day, you’re human. You make mistakes and that’s ok. Just learn from them. You are blooming and becoming and growing so much.

It’s ok. It’s ok to take time for yourself. Take time to just be. Relax and enjoy the life you have. The little moments. The big moments. The struggles and successes. Celebrate all you’ve done, the good and the bad. Because that bad stuff? It’s shaped you into who you are. It’s something you can learn from, and it’s something you can grow from.

This life you’ve got is not going to be perfect. And it doesn’t have to be.

Maybe you saved a bee from being squished or you graduated college. Both are great accomplishments. Small or big, they are accomplishments nonetheless. Maybe you had a really hard day and you got out of bed, even if it was brief. That’s a great accomplishment. Maybe you had a really hard day and you didn’t get out of bed. That’s ok, you’re doing great.

You may be a work in progress but you’re a wonderful work in progress.

It’s ok not to be ok. You may never be ok and that’s totally fine. But be happy, please try. That’s all I ask of you. Even if it’s small, be happy.

You’ll be just fine. I believe in you. All that’s left is for you to believe in yourself.

It’s ok. You’re human.

x Stefani

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Reaching Out For Help Is Very Brave

It happened on a Monday.

In high school, there was someone who I had a huge crush on. One day I asked him if he would date me.

He said, “I would date you if I didn’t already have a girlfriend.”

One year later he was single. So I asked him again if he would date me. He said, “No. We should remain friends.”

Almost immediately after I called my dad, even though school was still in session. I told him, “Dad, I need you to come pick me up right now. I’m going to kill myself and I need to go to the hospital before I do.”

He dropped everything and got to my school in about 40 minutes.

I was at the psych ward in the hospital for a week. I was back at school by Monday. I was embarrassed because the guy I had a crush on probably thought I was a coward. He probably thought I was hiding from him. But he didn’t know the situation.

He didn’t know I struggle with self-harm, that I have struggled since I was 11. He didn’t know I was suicidal. He didn’t know I felt betrayed, and lying about wanting to date me would push me over the edge. He didn’t know how close I was to killing myself. He didn’t know.

He didn’t know that I was actually very brave. He didn’t know I reached out for help. He didn’t know how strong I was, and that it took everything in me to admit I needed to go to the hospital. He didn’t know that I didn’t want help, but there was a tiny part of me, the smallest part of me that knew I needed help.

He doesn’t know I’m married now. He doesn’t know I no longer struggle with self-harm or suicidal thoughts and actions. He doesn’t know that God saved my life. He doesn’t know that the last time I wanted to kill myself I was 19 and I had a thorough plan, but my husband (boyfriend at the time) found out and talked me out of it for over 5 hours, straight. He doesn’t know that the only reason my husband found out was because I reached out for help.

Life is so worth living. Life is full of ups and downs but it doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be happy. Life is rewarding in so many ways. There is hope, there is love, there is so many people who care for you. When you’re depressed it’s really hard to see that, but it’s true.

You are brave, you are strong, you are brilliant, you are loving and worthy of love. You are hardship, you are strength, you are courage. You are a warrior, one who has survived battle after battle. You will survive this battle too. So don’t give up. Reach out. Help is here for you.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling, please, reach out.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

1.800.273.8255

x Stefani

Exploring & Getting out of your Comfort Zone

Hello and good afternoon! Today I want to explain the importance of exploring life outside of your comfort zone, tell you guys what happened to me once I did just that (good things, I promise), and fill everyone in on what my life has been like this past year.

First of all, this year has been the best year so far for me. Here’s a few things that happened to me: I finally decided on a career path; I want to be a florist. To work in a flower shop and eventually move my way over to weddings. So, I started school specifically for this. I’m going to trade schools and such, I’m trying to learn all I can before I get a job in this field. I finish school on my two year anniversary with my fiance in a couple of weeks. I’ll be looking for work next year in San Diego (if anyone knows of anything or any people hiring or accepting internships for florists, let me know please! Much appreciated).

Speaking of my finace… I’m engaged! It happened in September this year. I don’t remember a time where I’ve ever been this happy! It’s really quite amazing.

Now, as for my comfort zone… I’ve always had trouble trying new things, whether it be trying different foods or going to places for the first time or meeting new people. I have tons of anxiety so I’ve kind of cut myself off from anything that’s out of my comfort zone basically all my life.

I went to visit my brother on the other side of the state this past summer. He’s always challenging me to get out of my comfort zone because he knows it’s good for me and that I’ve basically never had to do most of my life. I love visiting him but there was always this part of me that dreaded going to see him because he’ll make me do new things outside of my comfort zone. So, of course when I wasn’t thinking clearly (at least that’s what I told myself) I told him I’d be willing to try most foods he makes me eat as long as it’s not spicy. I’m very picky, so after I told him, I was sure I had made a mistake. But, as it turns out I discovered that I actually like lettuce (just one kind though) and cashews and a few other things I can’t remember right this moment. It was amazing for me and my family to see me do this. During the moment it was terrifying but afterwards I was amazed and it felt awesome being so proud of myself. After that trip I’ve been way more open to new foods than I have ever been in my whole life.

Another thing I’ve been doing this past year is making my own decisions, and understanding that it’s ok to be wrong. I know that people make mistakes and that’s ok as long as you learn from them. But I have a habit of excluding myself from all of this. For example, other people deserve this and that, but not me. It’s ok to cry, but not me. I always give people advice but I need to take my own advice because I never include myself. I think it’s weird and I have no idea when or how this thought process started.

Currently I live with my future in-laws. My fiance’s parents. They’re the best. They’ve helped me grow in so many ways. I am often challenged to make my own decisions, but I’m not left without help. They reassure me that it’s my decision, I’m an adult I can make my own decisions but they’re going to give me advice and what they think I should do and it’s up to me if I want to do it or not. Before I moved in with them, I never knew this. Before, I’ve always looked to my mom or dad for an answer to a question I was asked. And they’d answer for me. It started as a child when I was too scared to speak because I didn’t want to say anything wrong or make someone mad, etc. I let my anxiety get in the way of my speech.

Now, I still have struggles with speaking my mind, and many other things, of course, but I’m doing way better and I’ve grown so incredibly much and it amazes me to think that I used to be completely silent and I wouldn’t speak a word because I couldn’t, and not just because I was scared, but because my fear was so strong my throat would close up and no words could escape me. My family has said that they’ve never seen me talk like I am now-animatedly and excitedly, happily, and now I talk a lot. Which is HUGE. I still don’t talk as much as the average person would but it’s a lot for me.

I still have a lot of things to learn. But I’m getting there; I’m learning and it’s great. And I never thought I’d say that, haha!

If you’ve gotten this far into my post, I applaud you! Now here’s the point, so keep reading:

Getting out of your comfort zone is incredibly difficult and scary. And it can be hard during the moment to understand that it’s ok, what is happening is good, you’re getting out of your comfort zone and that’s great! It takes a lot of strength and courage and willpower to do it. But you can do it. And afterwards? You’ll be amazed and so proud of yourself and others will be too.

Now go out and explore the world around you. You’ll grow way faster by doing so! Staying in your comfort zone your whole life will stop your growth. Seriously! It stopped mine. And now I’m growing so much and I never thought I’d ever be doing the things I’m doing now. I never ever thought I’d be who I am today.

Take small steps everyday. You’ll be surprised at what you discover you can do.

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x Stefani

Don’t Let Others Take Control of Your Life

Hi! Happy June! It’s June right? Time just kind of flew by. How is everyone? I’ve been pretty absent on here lately.

Well, today I want to talk about this quote I rediscovered today. I first found it around this time last year, and it goes like this:

“This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.”

This quote can mean a lot of things. I feel like people can interpret it a bunch of different ways. But this is how I interpret it:

The first thing I think about is the abuse I suffered and how much my abuser controlled me, whether it be manipulation with her words or how my thinking patterns changed. Because she controlled so much of my life, my life basically revolved around her, i.e., anything and everything I did was to make her happy instead of angry. Granted, she got angry anyways because she always found something to be mad about.

But my point is this: I let her shape my world. She controlled my world with fear, manipulation, anger, etc. I was becoming “the backlash of somebody’s lack of love” (a quote from the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles). I started to get angry, really angry. I don’t think I lashed out at anyone a lot, most of the time I’d take it out on myself.

I always put her first, and I’d try to the best of my ability to treat her with kindness and love, even though she didn’t treat me that way. And yet I was still called selfish. All the time. I can count four times where I’d snapped at her when I lost control of my anger towards her and my ability to think before I speak, but directly after I’d stay quiet until I knew I could only speak kindly to her to the best of my ability. Because as the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

My thinking patterns changed a lot. I had always kind of been the person to put others first and had difficulty saying “no” most of the time. I said “sorry” a lot. All that stuff. But over those five long years of living with her I’d taken all this to the extreme. After being called “selfish” and “annoying” a lot (when I was just trying to be nice), I began to apologize even more, for everything, things I didn’t do because I didn’t want to be selfish so I figured if I could somehow be the one whose to blame, all the time, I won’t be selfish any of the time. If I never tell someone “no” then I’m never selfish because I’m not putting myself first ever and if I let them do whatever they want, then they won’t be mad or upset at me.

On January 1st, 2015 I had a breakdown. After using this “no selfish rule” for most of my life I had finally reached my breaking point. It was super difficult but I managed to talk it out to a few people, and we all decided to work on it together. I would work on putting myself first, saying “no” and to only be sorry when it’s appropriate, and they would help me. I was scared. I still am. But it’s progress.

My boyfriend is constantly reminding me that she’s out of my life now and I don’t have to let her control me. That’s a reminder I think everyone should have.

The second thing I think about, which should probably be first, is God. If you focus on people, and letting them take control over your life, your thoughts, etc. then maybe you aren’t putting God first and letting him take the reins of your life. He has the best plan for you. You may not see it yet and you may go through obstacles. But those obstacles you’re going through? You can handle them with God by your side. God never gives you something you can’t handle.

Walk by faith, not by sight. Let your faith be bigger than your fears.

What does that quote make you think of? The first thing that comes to mind? I’d love to listen and discuss it with you!

Don’t forget to stay strong and courageous! Have the most wonderful June yet!

Until next time. x Stefani

Don’t let the negativity get to you

Some days are really hard. I can’t stop thinking about the past. I feel guilty. I feel angry. And sometimes I think about how much I’ve been hurt and how that has effected the way I think about myself. The weird thing is that sometimes I’ll even do this on purpose to make myself feel bad, because I feel I deserve it.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m just a confused little girl stumbling through this life not knowing what’s she’s doing, where she’s going, or why she’s even going.

A lot of good things have been happening in my life lately, but I can’t help but think about the bad things. Even if sometimes those things are in the past. I feel like that happens to a lot of people, oftentimes we’ll be so focused on the bad that we can’t see the good. Don’t let that happen. Look around you and you will see all the wonderful things happening. They may be small, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great. And if you still can’t find anything to be grateful for, try this: help others without expecting anything back. Buy a homeless person some lunch, or just have a nice talk with them. They probably don’t get a lot of people to talk to. Smile at someone. You never know what someone else could be going through, so always be kind to them, and help them. You will feel really happy you did, trust me. DSC_0391 Here’s a picture that my boyfriend took of me and my beautiful mommy. Mother’s Day is coming up, don’t forget to show how much you appreciate your mom! Have a wonderful day, and Happy (Early) Mother’s Day!

Forgiveness & Encouragement

Hey! Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. I have no excuse!

But, in other news, I want to tell you a little bit about forgiveness and encouragement.

I’ve noticed in my life that a lot of people are not very forgiving towards others or themselves. And that makes me really sad. Because forgiving is a good thing. Maybe someone did something wrong, and maybe you never got an apology. Or maybe you need to forgive yourself. Well, let me tell you something about forgiveness: When you forgive, it doesn’t excuse their actions, it doesn’t make what they did okay, but it puts you at peace. And that’s super important. So learn to accept the apology you never got, and forgive that person.

It is a process though, sometimes a long one. Try. I’m not saying you should forgive right now. All I’m asking is to please try and start the process. Forgive yourself, and forgive others. It will help you heal.

Now let’s talk about encouragement:

We are all born with the power to help others. Don’t waste it.

So be encouraging, be supportive. Everyone deserves a second chance. Especially to those who are trying to better themselves.

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Regardless of what you or others may think, you are extraordinary. Every single one of you.

Tea & Musings

Good morning beautiful people and Happy February!

Two days ago I had a very cozy day. I stayed inside all day and sat in the sun for most of the time while the sun was available. I drank lots of tea while I researched internships in the florist business for a hopeful future career, and continued to get frustrated with the results (or “no results” as I like to call it) because so far I haven’t found any in San Diego. But, more on that later.

Right now I want to talk about a little problem of mine…

I like tea, I have it multiple times a day most days. I also like sugar, lots of sugar in my tea.

But here’s the problem: I’m getting tummy aches from it. I feel like throwing up too. My doctor has told me to cut down on my tea. I did for a little bit, but I couldn’t keep it up for long.

Am I addicted to tea? Maybe I’m addicted to sugar. One day I had 36 packets of sugar in my tea in total of all the tea I had that day. Which was two medium-sized cups of tea. So that means 18 packets of sugar in each cup of tea. If you think that’s a lot, well, I used to have 26 packets of sugar in each cup and 3 cups almost every day. I’ve been getting better! It’s progress.

To put it into perspective: 18 packets of sugar twice a day for FIVE days is 180 packets of sugar. Just let that thought sit for a while.

I actually have been cutting down, once I learned that little fact above. I use 10 packets currently, and I hope to go down even more.

Needless to say, I get asked this question often, “Would you like some tea with your sugar?”

Coffee is gross, though. My boyfriend loves it, but I think it smells gross and it tastes gross. I also don’t know anything about it, that’s why I think I’d be the worst Starbucks employee haha!

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How is your February going so far? Let me know, I’d love to hear! Mine is going along great. My boyfriend was super sick for a week though. Thankfully I was able to talk him into trying to get days off. He thought he wouldn’t get any, but you never know until you try! He was able to get lots of days off to feel all better, which was awesome!

Until next time! x Stefani

Starting a New Life in The New Year

A Letter To My Abuser,

You dug yourself deep into this hole that you can’t get out of. But you dragged me along too.

And I know you were abused as a child, and that you don’t want to end up like them. But I also know that sometimes the abused become abusive.

And I don’t want to be like you, but the cycle continues.

I’m turning into you—a bitter, angry person who gets mad at everything and nothing. And it’s not just any ordinary kind of mad, it’s the kind of mad that has me unable to control myself. The kind where words fly out of my mouth before I think, the kind that has me screaming as loud as I can into my pillow, crying as hard as I can because I’ve never ever ever gotten angry at anything—especially not like this—before I met you. And I am so scared. I’m scared of myself, for myself, and for the people around me. I don’t want to be abusive like you, and although people say I don’t have the heart for it, it’s turning in that direction.

You’ve silenced me with fear, like so many other victims of abuse have been.

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Regardless, I hope you’ll learn to forgive, just as I hope I’ll learn to forgive. Because forgiving puts you at peace. And I hope you find that happiness you seek. I hope you find God before it’s too late. But most of all, I hope you finally understand what damage your actions and words have caused, and that you learn from them. And I hope one day you’ll change into the loving person you are deep down in your heart, that person I know you are capable of becoming.

And now I want you to know something: I’m out. I’m free, not only of you, but free of becoming more like you. I don’t need to think of you anymore, I don’t need to be afraid of you anymore. I’m starting a new life in the new year without you. So thank you. I know that what you have done to me will turn me into a stronger person one day.

Freedom & Daisies

For me, daisies represent freedom. I don’t have any idea why, but they do.

I know this because I was recently freed from someone. Well, I wasn’t the only one. My dad was freed from this person too. But the point is, four days after being freed I was at art class, and during art class I could not stop drawing daisies. I kept thinking, “I’m free, I’m free, I’m free!” and a field of daisies was the first thing I drew. And everything since then has had a daisy or two (or five) in it.

I even happened across a few daisies at Balboa Park over here in San Diego.Daisy

The person me and my dad were freed from, she’s not family. But she was dating my dad for a while, and we all lived together for about 5 years. Within a few months, she turned abusive. But my dad and I didn’t have the money to move away from her, until now.

But enough about sad stuff, that’s a story for another day.

Let’s talk about happy things, like daisies! What is your representation of freedom?