I had 2 amazing conversations yesterday with two women I really look up to.
It got me thinking about so many things. Life, love, God, being a good example, using my voice for a purpose, being passionate, being held accountable while doing the same for others too.
I am not perfect. Far from it. I make mistakes everyday. I was raised a Christian and have always believed in God but it’s something I don’t talk about much, and I’m not really sure why. My relationship with God goes up and down constantly. Sometimes it’s great. I feel different, more fulfilled, happier, like I am literally a light in this world. Other times, I don’t even think about that. I think about work, having fun, getting attention on social media, being the best photographer, and other insignificant things.
I forget that I am role model. I forget that people watch what I do… very closely. Young girls follow my social media accounts. They listen to my words and watch my actions. They hear me when I say a bad word, or when I say something negative. I should know this… but I forget it often. I had many great role models when I was in middle & high school. They shaped my life more than they know. I haven’t talked to them in years, but I will never forget the love they showed me, the advice they gave me, and the positive influence they had on my life. Amy, Shannon, Angie… thank you. Love you girls.
I want to be that way for the young girls (and everyone) I encounter everyday. I want to be someone they remember as positively influencing them and making them feel that they are worthy, beautiful, loved, and needed.
This is turning out to be quite a personal blog post… all I planned on blogging today was a Christmas special for my business.Oh well!
I have to apologize to the people I have disappointed, and to everyone who I have not been my best self around.
Some of you know this as I have blogged about it in the past… but my Dad is an alcoholic. He has been sober for 18 years now. I am SO proud of him. However, over the past 5 years, I saw myself headed down the exact road that he traveled. I got WAYYYY too good at drinking and it affected so many aspects of my life. It sucks… but I finally had to admit that I am not a normal drinker. Just can’t handle it. I am just like my Dad when it comes to alcohol, and I knew I had to stop before it ruined my life. There were a lot of fun times in the beginning, but it slowly started getting darker and darker. I talked to my dad about it and he was so supportive & understanding. I have many good memories of my Dad playing barbies and taking me on car rides when I was young… but I also have a lot of terrible memories. Lots. I remember when he got sober he always brought his AA chip (I called it a magic coin) home and I loved playing with it and sharing the joy in his recovery.
I just went to Colorado to see my family for Thanksgiving and was spending some time with my dad. I told him that the next day would be 6 months for me without drinking and he lit up with joy. I joked and said “So… 6 months Dad! Don’t I get one of those chips or something?!” He got really excited and said “Yes!! Oh princess, that just means the world to me. It would mean so much to me if you came to a meeting with me… you can get your chip there!” I never expected to go to an AA meeting, but I was curious and I wanted that little magic coin… I’m so easily bribed. So off we went. I was scared, nervous, felt like I didn’t belong and didn’t want to talk to anyone. But I sat down, listened, opened my heart and mind and when the lady running the meeting asked who had been sober for 6 months, I paused… then raised my hand. I walked to the front of the room, got a big hug and finally got my little blue chip. This may seem silly to some of you and that’s okay. It was a really special moment for me. I still have friends who laugh when I tell them I have a drinking problem. They don’t think I do. It’s okay. They only saw the fun part of my drinking, they didn’t see what happened after the fun.
That was a tough to type out. This is probably my most vulnerable, open & honest blog post I’ve ever written. But I feel like it’s something that should be shared, and people shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about it, or to ask for help. People that don’t understand this struggle probably never will, and that’s okay. But if this post can help one person to be honest with themselves & others, I’ll be very grateful.
Back on the role model subject… it’s rough to be in the spotlight, but it’s also an honor. It’s a gift that should be used wisely and cautiously. We are all looked up to by someone. We all have a voice. We can all be a great role model. So my advice to myself and all of you…
Forgive yourself, move on from your past. Know that you can do better, be better, and cause a ripple effect of good in the world. Be a worthy role model, and be there for those that need you. We all make mistakes. We do dumb things, we lie, we drink too much, we cuss, we’re greedy, selfish & conceited… but we can all strive to be better people. We’ll keep failing, but we’ll keep trying. We should find friends & loved ones that hold us accountable and make us want to be better people. We all have the power to make a difference in someones life.
Thank you to all my friends who are there for me no matter what. Who helped me through the hardest times in my life and supported me during the best. I love you more than you’ll ever know!!!
Here’s to being a light, and sharing the love…