Self-Care is NOT Optional

Once you’ve lost yourself, it’s incredibly difficult to be found.

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It’s too easy to let life take over and to let go of the progress you’ve made with yourself. While most people would not actively choose to forgo caring for themselves, shit happens. I’ve spent the entire year focusing on improvement and learning to love myself while making positive changes; that shit isn’t easy and it’s a long, difficult path to take, but a worthwhile one nonetheless.

Lately, I’ve been overburdened with two jobs, school, sick family members, stress, lack of a support system, and baby kittens; I’ve felt myself crumble under the impossible weight of these responsibilities and let go of one responsibility that should be my top priority:

Self-Care. 

If you’re struggling to care for yourself and you can feel yourself slipping into a downward spiral, take heart.

Things won’t get easier when you don’t care for yourself. You might feel as though you simply don’t have time to do things that make you feel better; I’ve been there, I get it. You cannot expect yourself to be able to handle everything that comes your way when you’re already feeling rather broken. It just won’t happen, or if by some miracle, you’re able to, you’ll end up in an even worse spot than where you started.

If you don’t make it a priority, no one else will. They won’t feel badly about adding more to your already full plate, because you’re not speaking out and telling them. Don’t expect the people in your life to be mind readers (even the best of them can’t know what you’re thinking), so tell them. Are you scared? Overwhelmed? Stressed? Are you nearing the point of no return? If that means an assignment goes in late or you have to call in; do it. You have to care for yourself. 

There’s no shame in taking a mental health day. So just take it. This is something I still struggle with; I feel as though I absolutely cannot call into work or take a day off from coursework, but I’m working on it. I choose to go to the gym to relieve stress before I feel like I’m losing myself instead of when I’m in the midst of it all.

The best kind of self-care is preventative care. Don’t wait until you’re already on the verge. Don’t wait until you’re so stressed out you feel like crying. Take an hour to yourself; whether you can only take a hot shower, paint your nails, sit in silence, whatever, just do it! You need it and your soul will thank you for it.

It’s not easy to find time to care for yourself, but it’s damn worth it. Write. Read. Take a long bath. Go for a walk. Find your inner peace in whatever way you can. Make time for it, even if that means you have to schedule “me time” for yourself each week. Do it and don’t feel guilty about it. You’re worth it.

-LP

 

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Letting Go of Who You Were: A Beginner’s Guide

Don’t let yourself slip between the cracks.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life is hard. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of our lives and forget to allow ourselves time to reflect and grow. I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you are too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change for the better, it just means that we’ve got to start that routine today.

  1. Be Kind to Yourself. It’s easy to look back at who we were and want to rip away the parts that don’t seem all that great. Just recently, I spent some time reminiscing on the teenage version of myself and I’m glad to say that I’m no longer that girl. It makes me cringe to think of who I used to be, but I know that 10 years from now I’ll be doing the same when I look at how I am today. It’s alright. We’re learning. Life is a process.
  2. Forgive Yourself. Don’t hold those awkward, embarrassing, painful, or even disappointing moments against your former self. Come to terms with the fact that you’ve made mistakes and realize that we all have. It’s natural and part of growing into a better version of ourselves.
  3. Forgive Others. The worst thing we could do is harbor resentment for those who have wronged us. It’s draining and quite frankly isn’t all that healthy either. Sure, your ex-boyfriend might have been a major mistake and he may have committed some terrible crimes against you; forgive him anyway. Let it go and hope that he’s moved on as well. Wish him well and say goodbye. It’s alright.
  4. Love Yourself Through the Crap. You’re going to keep messing up. You’re going to forget that you’re not meant to have it all together; that’s okay. You might get chubby. You could enter a marriage you were never supposed to be in. You could break a home and a heart, and move across the globe. It’s okay. Love yourself anyway. Love yourself through it all, even the bad parts.

Ultimately, our experiences shape us and without them we would never grow and change so accept the fact that you’re still learning and let go of the old versions of yourself, even the one from yesterday. You’re better than you were then and not as great as you’ll be tomorrow.

 

-LP

 

I’ll Pretend to Have All the Answers

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25 Things to Start Doing Today

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day and FLOSS. It’s important.
  2. Compliment a stranger. It can brighten their day.
  3. Hold the door open for the person behind you. 
  4. Take responsibility for your actions.
  5. Stop putting your career first. Your career is great, but so is having a life and appreciating time with your family and friends.
  6. Tell the one you love, you love them. Often.
  7. Express yourself with authority. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, no one else will either.
  8. Declutter. You don’t need all of the possessions you’re holding onto. Getting rid of what doesn’t matter and keeping what does will change your life.
  9. Don’t be afraid to travel. Even if that means you’re going to do it broke.
  10. Care about something or someone more than yourself. Yes, cats count too.
  11. Spend time with your loved ones. They’re gone too soon.
  12. Cry when you’re sad and laugh when you’re happy. It’s okay to feel things. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you that, there ya go.
  13. Learn a new word each day and try to use it.
  14. Let go of the past. This includes old partners, bad habits, grudges, and even memories that hurt.
  15. Live in the moment, with a bit if caution. This is not a #YOLO type idea, what I mean is this: if you see a pretty sunrise, stop for a moment and enjoy it. If your family member is sick, call into work and spend the day with them, it’s worth it.
  16. There are a million reasons to not do something that’s a bit scary, focus on the reason you should. 
  17. Love yourself unconditionally, without being conceited.
  18. Love others unconditionally, without being foolish.
  19. Offer support to those around you. You never know how much they may need it and they may never ask for it.
  20. Ask for support when you need it. Life is hard and we can’t go through this alone.
  21. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. Unless you’re actually sorry, don’t say “I’m sorry.” Don’t apologize for being excited about something or for not knowing the answer, yet.
  22. Count your blessings. Use your fingers and toes.
  23. Say one nice thing about yourself each morning. It gets easier with practice.
  24. Never speak ill of your partner. Don’t let the last annoying thing they did, be your next topic of conversation with your friends.
  25. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We’re all still learning.

-LP

I’m Broken. So What?

I might be damaged goods,
But we both know you love the way I’m broken.
I’ve seen your greedy eyes pour over my skin.
I see they way they sparkle.
I see how you long to sin.

Life’s been good to you baby,
So I’ll try not to be too bad.
But then again, when people ask why you’re broken,
You can point to the crack left behind by the girl that you once had.

To you, it’s where the rain pours in.
To me, it’s how the demons get out.
Neither of us know for certain,
But one of us is right.

I bet it’s me.

But then again, you never liked to gamble,
So then why’d you take a chance on me?
What’d you want to know, baby?
What’d you want to see?

Life Update: LPA Got a Face Lift!

It’s been a while since I did an update on what’s going on in the life of Little Peb.

Let’s just say, things are getting crazy.

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Classes are in full-swing! And boy, am I swamped. I’ll be sharing some of the short stories that we’ve been reading throughout the course, so keep an eye out because there have been some amazing  authors I have had the pleasure of being introduced to and I just cannot keep their amazing pieces to myself. I have also encountered some absolutely mind blowing poetry in another course that will definitely be gracing the pages of LPA. It’s amazing how work that you wouldn’t have normally thought you’d find yourself interested in becomes so… life changing.

I’m going to Georgia! This gal, you know, the one who has never flown before, gets to head down south for 3 days of extensive training for work. I’m super excited to take my first flight and it’ll give me a bit of an idea in terms of what to expect when I take the long awaited flight to Finland. I’ll be down there to get some great insight on how to properly handle emergent cases and what truly qualifies as an emergency in the eyes of veterinary care. I’m super pumped for it.

Little Pebble’s Adventures got a facelift! I. AM. IN. LOVE. I cannot say enough good things about the amazing artist that was behind this work. If you guys are in need of any sort of branding, check out Krysten’s site by clicking here. Not only does Krysten create amazing, one of a kind, illustrative and design pieces, she is also an ethical taxidermist who creates adorable ensembles and truly gives these perished animals a new life of their own. All in all, she is an amazing artist and an absolute pleasure to work with; Krysten truly brings your ideas to life while adding her own, amazing, spin to it. So please, go check her out. You won’t be disappointed.

As I said, guys, life is getting crazy, but I’ll be trying to stay on top of it all while still posting weekly posts, so fret not. LP isn’t going anywhere!

-LP

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You’re a World Away

My feet have never stepped upon the ground beneath you.
My hands have never brushed your air.
But my eyes have seen the same sun rise,
And my heart has felt pull of the same moon.
I’ve looked to the sky and seen the same stars as you
I’ve seen them all, without ever knowing;
How could I have lived a life ignorant of your existence?
How could I have not known you were there?
Somehow, I lived my life oblivious to the fact that
Somehow, deep within me I knew.

I swear, you’re not new to me;
Somewhere I met you, many moons ago.
I guess we’re what you call kindred spirits.
I guess we’re more than just a happy coincidence.
Maybe as a child, when dreams took us away,
We’d wander through our new world, eyes wide with curiosity.
That must have been where you found me.
Because I swear, you’re not new.
I know, I’ve never walked the same streets as you.
I know we bumped into each other on accident.
I’ve never been one to believe in destiny.
I’ve always been the kind to take fate into my own hands.
But now, all I want in these hands,
Are yours.

Let fate do what it will.
Let destiny lead me closer.
If that’s what this is,
Then maybe I was wrong.
Maybe I do believe in destiny.
Maybe fate is real.
Because, although my feet have never stepped upon the same ground as you.
And my hands have never brushed your air.
I know that one day, I’ll be standing beside you,
Realizing I was always meant to be right there.

One Day I’ll Learn

Things I’ve Learned as of Late

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Sometimes I learn things and more often than not they’re confirming things I’ve known to be true but would rather ignore. The last few weeks, I learned some wonderful things. Take a peek:

  1. Sharing is essential. Sure, we’ve all been told “sharing is caring;” I have to say that it was much easier to share my toys as a child than it is to share my feelings now. Maybe it’s from years of attempting to pretend that I can handle it all, or maybe it’s because I’m just attempting to be stronger than I am; regardless, it’s no longer something that comes naturally. That being said, it’s more important now than it ever has been. When you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to try to brush things under the rug and attempt to put on a smiling face, but ultimately that will fail and leave you feeling less than stellar. Share what you’re feeling; share your thoughts and listen to your partner as they share theirs.
  2. Cats are cutest. Okay, okay, I might have known this all along, but my little kitty is currently snuggled up on my lap and I just can’t focus on anything else. I mean… he’s basically the cutest little snuggle buddy around. His ears are so cute, oh my goodness and don’t even get me started on his little paws!
  3. People show they care in different ways. For instance, I show I care by doing random little things; some people don’t appreciate that, some do. It’s not always easy to know what it is you need from someone, but until you can figure that out, no one can give that to you. It’s easy to feel disappointed in a relationship that feels less than perfect, but remember that no one is perfect and ultimately, your partner will learn and grow with you, if you let them.
  4. Michigan winters will always be my fav. As much as the place I call “home” may change, Michigan will always be my favorite place. Who can beat these winters? What other place will ever feel as much like home as the mitten? I guess we’ll see. Regardless of where I call home, Michigan will always hold a special piece of my heart. C’mon guys, my state is literally waving at you!
  5. Self care is important. It’s so damn easy to allow yourself to fall on the back burner when things get crazy, but don’t let it happen! I’ve spent the majority of the last few weeks stressing out over work, school, my relationship, and other things that are beyond my control; it’s been taking its toll on me and I’ve finally decided to just let my worries go. I don’t know how it is that you relax, but for me it’s face masks, wine, and The Office. Who doesn’t want some Michael Gary Scott in their life?!

What have you guys been learning lately?

-LP

I’m Yours; I’m Mine

Don’t forget that I’m a person
Once you’ve spent all your days with me.
Darling, I know it’s not easy,
But remember what I used to be.
I used to be so daring,
I used to be so new.
Back when I was just a girl,
Before I meant anything to you.
So don’t forget that I’m still me;
Don’t forget the way to woo.
Remember how you loved me,
And I’ll remember how to love you.

When I’m no longer mysterious,
When you know my every curve.
Promise to love me like you did,
Love me like I deserve.

Maybe one day you’ll see me,
And maybe I won’t notice.
You’ll get to be a stranger,
And I’ll be the one you can’t kiss.
You’ll see me like the rest do,
You’ll see my from afar.
And I’ll be on my own,
I won’t be on your arm.
Instead of looking at me like you’re other half,
You’ll view me as a whole.
You’ll see me like I used to be
Before I stepped into that role.
And I’ll get to be me again,
And well, you’ll get to be you.
Maybe you’ll smile to yourself,
Because we both know we’re no longer new.

I get to be your partner,
Yeah, I signed my name on the dotted line.
While that means I belong to you,
It also means I’m mine.
So don’t forget that I’m a person.
Don’t forget that I’m still me.
But when I return home that night,
You can’t help but look at me and see
That while I’ve turned into the woman you love,
Somehow I’m able to be
More than just your partner,
Somehow I’m still me.

Momma Knows Best

My hands reached for books,
Words have filled my head.
Boys like smart girls,
At least, that’s what momma said.

She had her plans,
A life filled with ribbons and pearls.
College is meant to meet boys;
Because after all, we’re only girls.

Momma, I tried,
I swear I never meant to,
But somewhere along the way
I realized I had a brain, too.

Those books gave me thoughts,
Ideas of my own.
And now I long for to do more
Than spend my days in our home.

But now I’m so torn,
Because all of my life,
I always dreamed of being a mother and wife.

So I jumped into it;
I said “I do,”
He said he loved me
And sometimes I thought it was true.

He told me I was pretty,
I was all he had hoped for;
But no one knew what happened behind closed doors.

I longed for more,
But I tucked it away.
I knew I was lying
Each and every damn day.

I know I’m young,
I’ve got so much left to do.
I’m only twenty-three,
And I’ve already disappointed you.

I wore the pretty dress,
Momma, I read the lines.
I tried so hard,
But I also have a mind.

I long to learn,
To explore and discover.
And all these lost years,
Well they’ll never be recovered.

Momma I tried,
I promise you, I really did.
But it turns out boys don’t like girls
With this many thoughts in their head.

Technically, I’m running.
So yeah, I guess you’re right.
But I can’t fix this
And I don’t wanna fight.

I long for my freedom,
For the wind in my hair.
And we both know I could never explore
If I would have stayed there.

So I’m hitting the road,
I’m turning my back on that man.
And I guess I’ve kind of ruined
The future you had planned.

I hope one day you’ll get it,
You look at me and understand.
I’ve always felt like myself,
With a book in my hand.

I know someone will love me,
They’ll want to hear the thoughts in my head.
When we have a daughter,
She’ll say, “that’s what momma said.”

I’ll tell her to think,
To be courageous and be strong.
I’ll tell her thinking for yourself,
Well that’s never wrong.

I’ll look at her dad,
Wrap my hands around his waist.
I’ll tell her running away,
Was the best difficulty I’ve ever faced.

These mistakes led me to him,
And in turn gave me you.
I’ll say, “maybe after all,
That’s what momma knew.”

 

I am Ordinary, so are You

“Pumpkin, you’re smarter than the average bear.” – Dad

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But what if I’m not? What if I’m all-in-all, pretty damn average? 

I’ll be the first to admit that when someone calls me “average,” a little piece of myself dies. I want to pretend that I’m exemplary; that I am “smarter than the average bear.” I’m sure I’m not alone in the desire to want to feel special. I want to pretend that my thoughts are unique; my dreams are entirely my own, and that one day I’ll achieve them. Realistically, the odds of becoming the next great American author are pretty damn low, but that doesn’t mean that I should give up.

Just because you’re average doesn’t mean you can’t do great things.

I might never become a household name; I might never amount to much more than average, but that doesn’t make my experiences any less amazing. The boyf said it best; the fact that he is average doesn’t take away from his experiences, the love he has for his family, or for me. He might be pretty ordinary, but to me, he’s magical. To me, he’s extraordinary in the most normal kind of way.

The relationship we have is unique; who would have thought that two, pretty average people, could experience something so great? Not I.

I’m okay with being average; I’m okay with being in the middle of the bell graph of life. Most of us are, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have unique and amazing experiences. We all have our own uniquenesses; the fact that we all have something special about us, shows how similar we all are. You’ve got passions; you’ve got goals and dreams, just like I do. We might have the exact same ones, but for different reasons. We might have different goals and dreams, but for the same reasons. We are perfectly unique in such a normal kind of way.

In Grey’s Anatomy where Ellis Grey is lucid and so completely distraught at the fact that Meredith is “ordinary;” she goes as far as saying “Imagine my disappointment when I wake up after five years and discover that you’re no more than ordinary.” It’s like a stab to the heart for Meredith and we can feel the heartbreak she’s feeling because we want to be more than ordinary. We want to feel exceptional, rare, and unexpected.

Now I’m not saying that we are all alike in every aspect of our lives, but we do all have some major similarities and I kind of love that.  

You were created by a man and a woman. You came into the world the same way I did. You’re going to fall in love, just like I did. You’re going to hurt, just like I do. You’ve got a heart that sets the tone of your life, just like me. You’re ordinary, just like I am. That makes us pretty damn great, dontcha think?

There’s something beautiful in our normalcy.

-LP

P.S. If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, wine, and taco bell; head on over to my place. I could use a nice long Netflix binge with ya!