Social Media Strikes Again

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I bet you saw this title and thought to yourself… again? I’m sorry to be repetitive, but social media is a big part of our lives. I am not joking when I say I spend hours on it almost every day. Maybe not a full hour consistently, but adding up every 5-10 minutes I open up Instagram and just scroll and decide to stalk a celebrity that randomly popped into my head and search thru their entire page till I’m back to 2013 and they weren’t even famous. I can be honest, every time I do this and get mindlessly lost in the app I finally close it and feel guilty. Guilt rushes over me because I think about the time I just wasted when I could have been working, cleaning the house, spending time with my daughter who is currently pulling all of the tissues out of the box because I wasn’t paying attention… shake my head.

Why do we do this?

We follow pages of beautiful women, who in turn, their page will inspire us to go on a diet or work out more than once a month. I know how much we all love paying Planet Fitness their $10 a month, but never actually go there or if we do we spend 10 minutes on the treadmill and go tan. Guilty, again.

Or how about those “Travel accounts” that encourage us to leave all your responsibilities behind and seek adventure and new places. Because it’s super realistic for us to not work and travel the world right?

We get skewed messages from these “insta models” trust me, behind the scenes they have their unpleasant moments, their bank accounts have seen better days. I’m sure they’ve had a zit here and there, or stretch marks that they won’t show us. But again, I am guilty as well, I’m not going to post an ugly picture of myself, or a picture that clearly shows my belly hanging over my jeans, because guess what!? I already know I could do a few more sit-ups now and then… but I don’t need YOU to know that too!

Now what if we were all honest about our lives though? You know how good it feels to talk to a friend who I thought had to all together judging off their social media post. But then talking to them in person, they share the struggles they are going through, like they hate their job, their boyfriend just dumped them, etc. It sounds absolutely horrible, but here I was going into a dinner date with them envious of how great I thought their life was, only to find out they’re struggling just like me or even more! I hate to even “praise” or “get excited” over their issues, but it makes ME feel better. I’m not the only one who doesn’t have it all together.

I hate that. If we didn’t skew our social media pages to only show our best pictures or coolest vacations, maybe we wouldn’t all secretly envy each other. Maybe, we wouldn’t feel so bad about ourselves if we knew the insta model we follow is busting her butt working three jobs just to maintain this “fun” lifestyle she shows us! Or maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here right now scarfing a grapefruit down because I so badly want to look like Blake Lively or my thin neighbor who posts her daily workouts and eat a breakfast that I actually enjoy!

God designed each and every one of us to be special in our own ways. We each have our own talents and set of skills that set us apart. We each are passionate about different things. Social media isn’t going anywhere and although I’d love to say I’ll start posting ugly pictures of myself just to prove a point, I probably won’t. But maybe what we can start doing for ourselves is letting go of the jealousy we feel. Maybe we can start being happy for those who share the good news on social media and recognize the greatness of our own and stop comparing. Maybe we can try letting go of the power social media has over us and learn to accept our bodies, our strengths, and skills and find praise in that alone! I’m not saying to stop following the pages that inspire and motivate you or get rid of all social media. What I’m saying is don’t let social media bring you negativity. Know that we are all going through something whether we post about it or not, no one has a perfect life. Life is what you make it, and staying positive will have a huge effect on yourself! Easier said than done, but we can all give it our best try!

Episode 10: Mother’s Day with My Amazing Mom

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I’m posting a day earlier than usual, but it’s just too fitting to miss out. I know you are all busy with your own Mother’s Day plans, but when you have a chance I promise you this episode is worth the listen! My mom shares her incredible story of how she entered her twenties. I already knew my mom was the strongest women I know, but after learning even more about her struggle I am more captivated and astonished. She had to escape a cult and run away to a new town with nothing but the clothes on her back. She begged for a job and a place to sleep, which gives me anxiety just thinking about. But SHE DID IT! She started a new life for herself with her faith in God that directed her paths and kept her safe when all the odds were against her. It amazes me all that she has gone through and raised us 6 kids with my dad in a loving and supportive home that I will cherish forever. I can only hope and pray I set that same example for my daughter and provide all the love and support I have had my entire life for her. Happy Mother’s Day, mom, you are truly an amazing and wonderful Mom, Mimi, and friend to us all. We love you!

Episode 9: New City, College, and Careers with Miranda VanVolkinburg

VanVolkinbugEntering her college days, Miranda knew she wanted to try something new. To find that independence, but still be able to drive home and visit family on the weekend. She found the right college and began her degree. Like many of us, majors changed, she met a boy, and the hunt for the right career was underway. After marrying at 21, she adjusted to the challenges of different career paths and now launched her own business. Listen to her story, as it’s one most of us have experienced or are experiencing now. We make a lot of big decisions in our 20’s and Miranda has learned and grown from each one.

Dating in Our Twenties

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Remember your first boyfriend? Not just the boy who chased you around the playground and your mom who constantly reminded you that he’s not your boyfriend, he’s just a friend of yours that happens to be a boy. Because what 8-year-old could have a real boyfriend, right?

No, I’m talking about your first real boyfriend, maybe it was high school, maybe it was college, regardless, close your eyes and soak in those memories for just a minute… the butterflies, the nerves you got when he first held your hand, or how your lips felt numb as you waited for him to first kiss you. Do you remember? All those feels and flutters mustered together could make us queasy all over again. Or not, depending on how who your first real relationship was with, maybe the bad outweighed the good, which is why you didn’t end up with him the first place. I’m just talking about the good times though, all those “firsts” of dating and being in a relationship. Those good memories that made it all worth it. When dating just to date was easy, it was fun, there wasn’t much stress or pressure on the relationship, because you were young. It was okay to take things slow and get to know one another.

Now let’s shift gears, dating in our 20’s. Sure in those first few years dating to date still works. You have a lot of figuring out to do with yourself and deciding your “type”. It all starts with what do you find attractive? Short guys or tall guys or do you like brunettes or blondes? Then you get a little deeper into their characteristics, they must like dogs, are they smart, are they funny, etc. Then we start taking things a step further like are they a Christian or Catholic, what are their beliefs, which way does their moral compass point, do they want to get married, are the open to having children? Scary how our concerns can change so quickly. We go from wanting to make sure they like butter on their popcorn to what if they only want one kid and I want three, can we compromise?

At what point does it all start to be “a little more serious” the relationships you are in are no long “puppy love” or “just seeing what you like” they are real. They have the potential to be lasting, like as in a marriage, kids, and growing old together. 20 seems too young to possibly be ready for that move, but some are! People like to say “when you know you know right?” I am here to tell you, I was not a “when you know you know” person. I was the opposite, I questioned everything. I had the cute puppy dog love high school relationship. Then I had the few in between flings of testing my taste, who am I, what do I want, what do I like. I could have done without a few of those flings, however, it brought me to my husband. And during our 4-year dating relationship I questioned so many parts of it before I came to the conclusion, please be mine forever. I was scared, I often thought I was too young to know. I married at 25 by the way, and start dating my husband at 21 (during those on again off again moments) it scared the pants off me that he could be the one. So I often ran away, did something to piss him off so he would run away. Doesn’t make much sense to fight “true love” right? But that was the immaturity in me. It took me longer than others to get to the point that I was ready for my ever after, but I got there. I am beyond blessed to have a man that stayed by my side during my 20 questions. I guess you could say he was more mature than me during this time because he knew he loved me and I was the one he wanted to be with. It amazes me that in our 20’s we can make these life-changing decisions like marriage. In just a few short years you can meet a guy in your 20’s and also marry him also in your 20’s. What a decade!

Living Through the Rush

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You know when you go through a drive through and you get up to that window waiting patiently… well as patiently as you can, because we all know you chose the drive-through for quickness and most importantly the ease of not having to get out of your car! However, now you are stuck waiting for that window to open with your money/card in your hand ready to go. All the while you are trying hard not to stare directly into the window in case you make direct eye contact with one of the workers who clearly love the opportunity to serve your eager self.

Finally, the window opens as a breeze of coffee or fast food smells spill into your car. You reach your hand out to pay and suddenly, they switch into this speed mode and are reaching back out to you with your change/card, your drink, and your food all at one time! Now you are the one they are waiting on as you frantically rush your money back into your wallet. While you see the window attendant in the corner of your eye, holding out your items for you to grab. You feel the pressure of their rolling eyes and fumble everything back into your purse that you now decide to chuck across the passenger seat, because gosh darn it, you just don’t have time to put it back in an organized way. You can feel their annoyance growing as they are still holding out your food.

Quickly you grab it, they give a halfhearted smile and say, “have a nice day!” Again, you are in a hurry to find a safe place for your food/drink, so you can throw your car into gear and get out of everyone’s way in the drive-through.

Am I right? Does any of this ring a bell for you?

And just when you think you’re in the clear you have to tackle eating and drinking in the car while driving to your destination that I am betting you are already late for…

Maybe I’m the only one here, but I have a strong feeling I’m not. This is exactly how life goes these days. Whether you are in college and trying to tackle going to class and your days you have work or maybe you have days that you do both. All the while, you still find time to do everyday items on your list like grocery shop, clean your apartment, and maybe try to hit the gym? Or maybe you’re a working mom who brings her kids to school, make them cookies for a bake sale and manage your workload on top of an already full schedule. I mean your two kids have to be involved in every after-school activity right? Heck, being a stay at home mom who balances the kids’ schedules, activities, homework projects, grocery shop, clean the house, the piles of laundry, and finding time for yourself and your husband, so you can keep your sanity… I think we can all agree whatever life you are living right now; single, married, and/or kids our lives are busy! And we thank drive-throughs’ for the convenience of allowing us to sit there and get our fix of food or caffeine, however, excuse me if I take my time putting my wallet and purse back together before I grab my coffee. I need that extra couple of minutes because if I don’t I know myself and I will misplace my credit card in the process which will become a much bigger issue for me later in the day.

Anyways, how do we live through this rush? How do you we all continue this day to day grind of constantly feeling behind? That no matter how fast we move or how quickly we accomplish things our work is never done, there will be no such thing of catching up. Because just when you think you have, something else comes up!

Now I don’t have the answers, unfortunately, I wish I could tell you some 3-quick step guide to accomplishing it all and relax with a peppermint mocha in your pajamas. What I can tell you is find time in every day to enjoy yourself. I get that seems too simple, but it’s what we all need, or our busy lives will get the best of us and we will never learn how to sit and enjoy. So, whether reading a book, watching a show on Netflix, or catching up on the latest Bachelor show, or heck baking cookies, do it! And most importantly do it GUILT FREE! Sure, you could do be doing laundry instead of sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn watching television, but girl you already accomplished enough in your day. Save the laundry for tomorrow and enjoy just this moment with no regrets. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself I will just relax tonight and blow off the cleaning I needed to do only to punish myself the next morning with negative thoughts. “If only I did this yesterday instead of wasting my free time”. You cannot do that to yourself. Celebrate the big and small accomplishments throughout your day and give yourself a break! You deserve it… We all do. It’s for our sanity and to allow us to enjoy this life instead of watching it flash before us as it quickly does.