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Our Fears and Joys

Our Fears And JoysMy very first time on the interstate I had a panic attack.  My driving instructor proceeded to yell at me about not freaking out while behind the wheel (not that it helped the matter much to yell) and I refused to drive again until I was 20.  I remember lying awake some nights in my dorm room wondering if I would ever learn how to drive, or if I would have to live with my roommate until I was 80 so that she could drive me to pick up my meds.  I constantly dreamed of being trapped in a situation where I HAD to drive.  Usually the friend I was with had some sort of incapacitating emergency, and it was up to me to save the day.  And every time there was something wrong.  The car had no steering wheel.  The road was made of Jello.  I was blinded by something I couldn’t remove over my eyes.  Never the same scenario, but always the same fear.

It became the most debilitating and irrational fear I had at the time.  I was at everyone else’s mercy to get around and I felt like I would never get over it.

Cut to now.  I’m almost 26 and my husband surprised me last weekend by taking me to get a brand new car.  I thankfully learned how to drive before my 21st birthday because I didn’t want to be the girl that was old enough to buy alcohol but couldn’t drive.  Still, never in my mind would I have guessed back when I was 20 that I would care about a car for a birthday gift.  Or that it wouldn’t terrify me to just drive around whenever I felt like it.  Or that driving alone down the road with my music blasting would be one of my greatest joys.

We all have some sort of fear.  Sometimes they make perfect sense, like being afraid of dogs because we were attacked by one once.  Other times they make no sense at all, like being terrified of clowns even though we’ve never seen one in person.  Our fears can be small or our fears can be large and control our lives.  But all of us fear something.

So what happens when we let those fears win?  We are afraid of rejection so we never ask that guy out.  We are afraid of commitment so we don’t tell that special person that we love them.  We are afraid of failure so we don’t try that business venture that sounds so exciting.  By allowing those fears to win we are constantly missing out.

Driving wasn’t my only fear.  There were tons of them.  Some I’ve completely overcome and others that I’m still working on each and every day.  But what if I’d never gotten over my fear of driving?  I wouldn’t know the joy of driving down a backroad with the windows down to clear my head.

So what is your fear?   Could it be keeping you from your biggest joy?

51 Women

51 Women
For the past three years, my blog has been a space to talk mostly about my life and my random thoughts.  Which was great for the newly married season I was in at the time. When I needed a place to share my feelings, this page was there, and it got me to once again fall in love with writing.

But a shift in priorities has come.  Just a little over a year ago I signed up to be a Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser.  What started as whim, with the intention of being a small addition to my blog, has become one of my greatest passions.  I love the jewelry and the confidence it’s given me to be an entrepreneur, but more than that, I love the opportunity it has given me to be a leader.

Last fall, I was promoted to a Merchandise Manager with Chloe + Isabel and given a team of women to lead on their Chloe + Isabel journey.  I was excited to grow with the company and help pass on the knowledge I learned about how to be a Merchandiser.  What happened was beyond what I could have possibly imagined.  This group I was given (all 51 Women) have absolutely changed me and my outlook on life.

Each and every one of them came to Chloe + Isabel for different reasons.  Maybe it was to earn a little bit of extra money or get jewelry for free.  Maybe it was a chance to own their own business.  Maybe it was a creative outlet they didn’t have in their regular job.  Whatever it was, these women, they are all different.  They all have stories, different backgrounds, various challenges, obstacles in their paths, and struggles they have overcome.

It’s incredible what some of these women have been through personally or professionally.  Health struggles, job losses, relationship changes.  Still, they are inspired to build a business, take care of their families, and make other women feel beautiful.  And the fact that I get to have a small part in encouraging them to keep pushing, is an incredible honor that I don’t take lightly.

You see, I constantly think about how often we as women are told we cannot do something.  We are not smart enough, rich enough, thin enough, powerful enough, to do what we set our mind to.  Words are constantly coming at us from various sources that are meant to break us down and to feel that we are not good enough for those crazy dreams that are put on our heart.  I have made it my biggest goal with these women to be the absolute opposite of those messages that they hear too often.  I want to be their biggest cheerleader.  I am the one screaming in their corner that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds to because they are MORE than good enough.

And it’s time to extend that mission to this blog.  I’ve reached 51 women and hopefully made some of them feel like they can do anything they set their mind to.  But there are many more women who need to hear the words “you know that dream you have that you think is nuts? Chase it and I’ll be here chanting your name.”

So I am setting out to have this place become that source of encouragement.  I want to help women feel beautiful and valuable.

I hope you’ll join me.

A Magazine Reminder

A Magazine Reminder

I feel like singing a little Adele.  “Hello, It’s Me.”  I haven’t been gone for a couple of years, but it’s been quite a while. I could say all the cliché lines like, “I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting this space.”  “I’ve been so busy.”  “I didn’t have time,” etc.  But it just isn’t the truth.  The truth is the longer I didn’t type a word, the longer I thought I had nothing to say.  I lost my confidence that my words mattered to anyone, most of all me.

That’s why I started writing in the first place.  Because I needed the words.  I needed them to flow out of me.  There were things I needed to say and it seemed like the best place.  And then I got caught up in wondering if anyone else was reading.  Why weren’t more people reading?  Did anyone even care?  And then I got a magazine in the mail.

My grandpa sent me his copy of “Writer’s Digest” and said that if I liked it, he’d get me subscription for my birthday.  That gesture spoke volumes to me.  He knows I love to write.  He figured I’d enjoy reading about writing.  He sees me as a writer.

I might have two half-finished books on my computer and a blog I’ve neglected for months, but I’m still a writer.  My guitars may live in closets, lonely, but I’m still a writer.  My lack of self-confidence isn’t going to change that.  The desire is still in there.  The drive still speaks to me at times when I’m not expecting it.  It whispers, “you could write about this.”  Even if I think there’s no one reading, there will always be that one person that finds that I’m speaking to them.  That one person that believes in me enough to send me a magazine.

Tell Me About Your Hometown: A New Home

Tell Me About Your Hometown: A New Home

I’ve lived in Tennessee for seven years now but have always called California home.  It’s where I was born. It’s where I grew up.  It’s where I got sick, made some of my best friends, had my first kiss, and drove a car for the first time.  As my mom got ready to sell my childhood house where I was raised, I mourned what felt like the loss of my home. Even though my husband and and I were buying a place of our own, it still didn’t feel like Tennessee was “my” place.

But yesterday as I drove to a friend’s house I past the place where my husband and I had our first date.  It’s just a rundown bowling ally.  Really no place of excitement.  Except I remember the exact feeling I had when I looked at him and knew he was special.

There are places like that sprinkled all around Nashville.  The dorm room where my best friend and I met.  The parking lot where my husband and I had our first kiss.  The lake where he proposed.  Our wedding spot. And now the house that we own together.  Places where little moments have had life-changing impact.

And that’s what home is, isn’t it?!  It’s not always the place you grew up or the first place you fell in love.  It’s the place that you want to come back to every day.  It’s the place where what’s most important to you can be found when you walk in every evening.  It’s the sound of your husband telling you he’s glad you’re home after a long day.

California will always have a special place in my heart.  I’ll probably continue to miss it and my family every single day.  But my husband is my new family and as we continue to make new memories, this is our home together.

Where is your home?

Marriage And Relationship Goals: Exciting Times

Marriage And Relationship Goals: Exciting Times

If all goes as planned, my husband and I will be homeowners in 10 days.  It’s been overwhelming, stressful, and emotional.  But as Zack likes to say, “These are exciting time.”

As a child of divorced parents, a house has symbolized to me something to eventually be fought of over.  It was the one last tie holding the end of a relationship together.  From the first time we talked about buying a house way back when we were engaged, it terrified me.  More than marriage itself, because that was all I knew.  A house was something that two people ended up having to split.

But Zack keeps reminding me, we are not our parents, and our relationship is not theirs.  And I know that.  I’m trying to keep myself from being hesitant and allow myself just to enjoy this time.  Yesterday I started browsing Pinterest to decide on what paint colors would be nice for our living room and bedroom.  It was the first time I had imagined us really living there.

And it is exciting.  It’s the next step in our life together.  I would hate to miss all the excitement because I’m too busy dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. So my goal this month is to enjoy the process of buying our home, moving in, and making it our own.  I will not spend that time in fear.

What’s your relationship goal this month?
Marriage & Relationship Goals

New to the Marriage & Relationship Goals Link-up? Goals help our relationships grow stronger and get better with time as well as help us to continue moving forward and avoid the “ruts” of life. This link-up was created in hopes of inspiring your relationship with your significant other no matter your chapter in life and love. We would love for you to join us in making the things we do in our relationships intentional. If you would like more information, click here.
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