Nothing Was Enough, Until This Happened....

I was a miserable kid.

My mom and aunt both told me that and also, I’ve seen it with my own eyes because I watch home movies and I see myself pouting. In one home video, while we were having a family party, I laid on the front lawn refusing to socialize. I often got into arguments with my aunt, who admitted years later that we never got along because I always acted like a bitch. And, I’m glad she was honest with me because looking back, I was.

To add to my unhappiness, which I don’t understand what stemmed from because I never had any tragic experiences or any negatives events happen as a child, I never felt like anything was enough. I had supportive parents, brothers who I got along with, a roof over my head, food on the table, my own room, etc. Point being I didn’t have parents who neglected me or went to a school full of bullies, so I figured it was time for me to dig deep into my past.

I started looking at the jobs I had and began to re-evaluate what happened at each job that made me dislike them. Honestly, it wasn’t really the job itself, but rather, the boss I had that made it miserable for me to drive to the office every day.

I was either micromanaged or treated like I was dumb. Just when I’d think I was getting somewhere with either my job or my freelancing, something would happen and bring me back down. I was very easily upset and the downward spiral would start where I was too hard on myself. I would begin to ridicule my body, want to leave a job and so on and so forth.

I never felt like I could find a job that I genuinely enjoyed. And, I think that was a sign that all the jobs I had were just a stepping stone, not what I would be doing for the rest of my life.

So, I spent years focusing on what I didn’t have instead of what I do have.

I focused on all the negative things happening in my life and often felt compelled to say, “poor me.” Guess what though? My life was NOT bad enough to say, “poor me” because I was never homeless, I always had food to eat, I always had money coming in, I’ve always had a supportive family and then, in 2013, I met my now-husband, who loves me for who I am, so how dare I say “POOR ME?!” How dare I lump myself into that category and feel “sorry” for myself.

I wasted all this time complaining when I could have been using that energy to focus on more important things. I should have spent that time figuring out why I felt like nothing was ever enough and truly searching for my happiness.

Happiness does NOT come from money or fame or being thin. It comes from appreciating what you have and focusing on what you do have.

Know when my perception changed? On Thursday night I watched a lecture from Geneen Roth, who said she had all the money in the world, and yet, she still complained. She wanted more and never felt like it was enough until she lost all her savings and something inside of her changed. It clicked.

I sat in front of my computer in awe.

Damn, I said to myself. That’s me. My husband said to me the other day, “is there ever a day where you don’t complain about something?” Ouch. It’s true though.

Geneen experienced the same thing with her husband, who asked her if she was feeling okay after not complaining for a few days straight. So, that was my turning point.

So, when YOU feel like nothing is enough, this is what you can do:

1) Write down everything you DO have. Make a list of what you feel grateful for. Review the list daily and remind yourself not to focus on the negative.

2) Go for a walk. Use this time to reflect and ask yourself why you’re feeling this way.

3) Read a book. There are so many books out there such as Geneen Roth’s “Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life.”

Don't Forgot About Yourself!

I’ve been married for a little over 2 years now.

And, I’ve been with my husband a total of 5 YEARS. In 2013, we met, which was a few months after I graduated. At that time, I thought I was at the peak of my career and yearned to be a New York City girl reason being I had my 2nd internship at a magazine. I wanted to become a magazine writer and be engrossed in the magazine industry. Later on, I figured out that it was no longer something I was interested in due to the competitiveness.

I’d only see my now-husband a few times a week and weekends because of our schedules. We only lived 30 minutes away, but it felt like so much farther.

We had our alone time and I was still Hope and he was still Brett. We each had separate lives and we were two different people. I would focus on what I had to do and my goals and he did the same.

In 2014, I moved in with him and his parents. Then, in 2015, we moved to Tennessee. In 2016, we moved back to PA temporarily until 2017 when we moved in SC and have been here since.

But, sometimes I feel like I lost myself. I used to write in a journal almost every night, workout, and spend time by myself. I still workout, but don’t write as often as I used to. Part of it is because I don’t have as much time and my full-time job takes up most of my time, but still, I definitely don’t manage my time well enough.

So, if you’re engaged, in a relationship or married, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget about yourself. I know at times you should put your partner first sometimes, but always remember to take care of yourself too!

Here are few ideas for self-care:

1) Book a Massage.

2) Take a Bath.

3) Get your hair done.

4) Go to a yoga class.

5) Go for a walk alone.

6) Get your nails done.

7) Meditate.

8) Write.

9) Book a facial.

10) Go for a run.

Now, these are just suggestions above and they do not have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re on a budget, I suggest getting a french manicure or even spending 30 minutes to pamper yourself. Bottom line is if YOU feel good, then everything around you will feel good and you’ll feel happier, more content and feel closer to your partner.

What Happened When I FINALLY, Begrudgingly Embraced My "Pudge"

When it comes to my body and appearance, I've always had issues.

From an early age, I was always picking on myself. As a kid, I was too skinny and my mother tried to plump me up by giving me Carnation Instant Breakfast. I gained some weight and in my middle school days, I began to develop acne. So not only was I now concerned about how I looked and my body appearance, I also had big red dots along my skin to worry about.

I was disgusted whenever I looked in the mirror. I tried to make myself feel better by dressing in clothes that made me feel pretty, wearing makeup and hanging out with girls that boosted my confidence, but nothing worked.

In high school, I joined Colorguard — a club that makes marching band more interesting by dancing and twirling flags, sabres, rifles and batons — and was excited to be part of a club that I figured (hoped) wouldn't judge me.

At the time, I wasn't a fan of wearing bras because I didn't like my boobs. They were so big and the bras I wore didn't support my breasts like they should've and often made them sag. One day in band camp — yes, I actually went to band camp — someone teased me about my "hanging boobs" and again, I felt my confidence instantly diminish.

After that, I began wearing a more supportive bra and even lost a decent amount of weight.

When I came home that summer, my mother told me I looked too thin and wanted me to gain some weight back. But I balked: I was happy with my weight loss. I felt more confident and my pimples weren't as red so I looked prettier. I began working out and wearing clothes that actually fit me properly.

My mother has always been my biggest cheerleader and gave my brothers and I the best life possible. But even still, I was never happy with who I was. In addition to all my other insecurities, I hated my big nose. People often told me I was ugly because I had such a big honker. And the grossest thing was: I listened to them.

Instead of blocking out all the negative comments from others around me, I digested and began to believe them. I thought: Maybe I am ugly. Maybe I won't ever find a man who loves me. (Trust me, I realize the worst part about me is how easily I can be influenced and look! There I go criticizing myself again.)

I knew that I had to make major alterations to my life or live miserably. I sat in my room contemplating what I could do to change my attitude for the better. I was so negative about my appearance and it was affecting my entire life. Would I continue to bash myself or would I finally accept that I was trying my hardest to look and feel better?

I vamped up my workouts and began getting rid of the extra skin around my belly.

But my God, do you know how difficult it is to work on your lower abdomen? It was a total nightmare, but I was happy to see my rolls eventually disappear. Then, I improved my eating habits and stopped consuming so many snacks and processed foods.

After I began to see results, I still wasn't happy with myself. Sure, some days I feel confident but others I just feel blah.

And, what I've learned from all of this is: My body will never be perfect.

Also, the way I look will never change unless I get surgery, which I refuse to do, so why not embrace what my momma gave me?

When I think about it, I have a wonderful figure with a dab of flab around my tummy.

Society teaches us that we must be a size 2 in order to be beautiful, but what about the plus-size women who are gorgeous? Why must you be "thin" to fit in? We shouldn't be judged on the size of our jeans; we should be judged by our character.

So let's stop hating on each other and begin using positive reinforcement because our world would be so much better.

Via YourTango