It is a 2 blog week ya’ll!
I simply couldn’t wait to share these once this gorgeous woman sent me what she wanted to share with everyone.
Listen, take notes, and BE KIND!
Choices. I thought for only about 2 minutes on what I would write when Lindsay asked if I would. It is a word that I preach not just to myself, but in my professional life throughout every level of my career, to my children, to my friends and family when they are in need of some advice…life is all about choices. Not just chocolate or vanilla, or the things like what we want to be when we grow up, some of the more profound choices of the bunch; but the every day choices that make up who we are. How do we choose to act towards others, for example. How we choose to react to a situation, a judgement, a comment. How do we choose to treat ourselves.
My sister wrote in Lindsay’s blog once, and I vaguely remember her stating that we grew up in a family full of strong women. VERY strong women. Stubborn as fuck, too. Independent. Fiercely protective. But I guarantee that we all started out the same way…vulnerable…moldable.
My parents divorced when I was 3. They both remarried when I was 5. I grew up in a house of either some form of abuse, or on the other side, alcoholism and unhealthy sibling competition. We grew up Catholic (guilt, anyone?) I moved out on my own at 19. Moved out of state at 21. Found out my father was not really my biological father at all, at age 27. Got married at 31. Got pregnant and very sick at 33 (my family was told I was going to die). My son was born 12 weeks early, weighing 2 lbs 1 oz and spent 86 days in the NICU (today a very happy, healthy 7 year old). Got pregnant again, this time with identical twins at age 36. Divorced at age 39. As recently as 4 weeks ago my now ex husband found his best friend dead on his couch, at age 39, of alcohol poisoning. A brilliant human being with a wonderful life, money, family, who touched my life in tremendous ways. I could go on, obviously. The point is, all of these life events mold a person. We all have them, some more drastic and traumatic than others, but still, they exist in everyone’s lives. It could have gone a lot of different ways.
But still I choose to be a good human. I choose to have solid morals. I choose to not judge others…because quite frankly, who the fuck am I? I’ve seen some sides of hell, and a lot of heaven (I have 3 angels to prove that). I choose to believe in the positive and good. I choose to LEARN from events and challenges that I am faced with. I choose to be grateful as HELL for everything and everyone that I have been blessed with in my life. I choose to look the other way when people make judgements about me. I choose to never assume. I make these choices Every. Damn. Day.
So at 41, at my sister’s insistence, I chose to get hooked up with Ms. Lindsay and do a little something for me. I felt vulnerable and strange about having pictures taken of myself (I will barely take a selfie with my own children), but in the end I did it for one reason…to make an investment in ME and have something to look at that will remind me, in times when I am feeling less than enthusiastic about the bullshit that surrounds us daily, that life is all about these choices and damn it, I have made some pretty damn good ones in my life. I have stared my challenges right in the face, told them to fuck off, and I will continue to do so. I am proud of who I am, what I have been blessed with in life, the people that surround me and love me and support me…there is so much beauty in that. Nobody would know my story just by looking at me. Just like I don’t know your story. I can look at these pictures and say “damn, that girl has been through a lot of shit, and look at her!”
When you walk outside today and the person walking in the other direction doesn’t acknowledge you, or when the stranger entering the coffee shop doesn’t hold the door for you or has their nose in their phone and it seems that all is lost in common decency at times…don’t assume, don’t judge. Hold back. Think a little about the fact that you don’t know that person’s story, just like they don’t know yours.
And choose wisely.
Hair and Makeup by Erin Marie Artistry