Be Enough for Yourself First

“Putting your happiness on another person is a huge burden for them to carry.”

The quote above was something my therapist had said to me once. It took me some time to be able to accept it, but it’s made me stronger and more aware.

See years ago when Scott and I had first started dating, I fell hard. I had never fallen for someone the way I did him, so I didn’t exactly know how to handle my emotions. My biggest struggle was this need to always be around him. And if I wasn’t around him, then I wanted to be able to reach him at any given moment.

Scott didn’t require the same things I did, and sometimes he would make me irrationally upset and not even know it. When he would plan time with his family (before I met them) I wouldn’t hear from him all day. He would barely respond to my texts, or give me any idea if I would see him later. If he did happen to have plans with friends, (which honestly to this day doesn’t happen much, they all have kids etc.) I would feel jealous. All of these feelings I had were irrational, and irritating, but I couldn’t control myself.

At this time in my life I was regularly seeing a therapist and decided to bring this up. That’s when she explained to me how much pressure it is to put so much of your happiness on someone else. I never looked at my feelings the same after that.

With Valentines Day this week I wanted to share this important lesson I learned for all those who struggle with this day. Personally I feel it’s a silly “holiday”, and have never really celebrated regardless of if I was in a relationship or not. But that is not the case for everyone, and I know it can be a rough day for some. I also realize this is coming from someone in a relationship and that diminishes the message a bit. BUT we all need to learn to be content alone, regardless of relationship status. We need to find our happiness through ourselves and not rely on others! Be enough for yourself, everything else can wait.

The reality of someone who feels so strongly that a boyfriend or girlfriend is “really going to change their life”, is that they are actually missing something else. Finding the one is not going to fix the problem long term, and here is why.

When you are looking for your happiness and purpose through someone else, your expectations of them are very high. With your expectations being so high, the inevitable is going to happen. That person WILL let you down. And when they do, it’s going to hurt. It’s going to consume you and upset you for longer than you deserve.

However if you are someone who feels content to be alone, has activities and friends just for yourself, you aren’t going to expect everything to come from your significant other. You will have things outside of your relationship that bring you joy. You also won’t find yourself getting upset when your partner wants to do something for themself or with their friends and family. You will be much more encouraging of them having their own life outside of your relationship. This is majorly important, both for yourself, and to sustain any long term relationship!

On the flip side, if you are enough for yourself, and able to find happiness being single, you are already a step ahead! You won’t be looking for someone to fill a “void”, and you definitely won’t be willing to settle for anyone less than you deserve!

The reality of searching so hard for someone to be your happiness is that you are losing yourself in the process. You aren’t focusing on bettering yourself, but focusing on finding someone to make your life “better”. You aren’t going to attract the right people, because you aren’t giving off a confident, content vibe. And you may even find that you are willing to put up with more than you should, just for the sake of having a relationship.

Don’t look for someone to come in and change your life for the better, because they won’t. You want someone to join you and only add more value to your already full life.

So for Valentines Day this year, whether you are in a relationship or not, think of something you can start doing for you that brings joy! It will be a life changer once you can feel like you are enough for yourself. I promise 🙂

Until next time,

Weekend Recap: Waking Up to Big Pun

I think it’s pretty clear that I spend a lot of time focusing on my needs, and well being. But this weekend in particular was largely focused on me, and lessening my stress. Long story short, I have a whole event series to kick off at work in the next 4 weeks, which alone could cause stress! But I’ve also been dedicating so much time to my social media platform that I think I made myself a bit mad. I had a few nights of serious anxiety and I decided I needed a SECOND.

After work on Friday I went to my favorite winery for a glass of wine and some tater tots with one of my best friends. I felt like I just needed some girl time! We had a good few hours unwinding with good wine, catching up on the week AND booking our girls trip to Barcelona. I’m so excited to have started the planning for this trip. It’s me and my two closest friends, celebrating the fact we are all turning 30 this year. More to come on this!

Saturday morning I woke up early to get to the gym. I had to force myself for sure this weekend, but I’m so glad I went. I mean who ever really regrets going to the gym… but still. Definitely had a great workout and started my day positively. I came home singing a song that was played in the gym, and before you know Scott’s got a retrospective of Big Pun’s career playing through the speakers.

Picture it. 9:30am. Pig Pun blasting through the speaker. Coffee brewing. Me dancing like a fool around the living room in my robe, and Scott nodding along to the beat. It was one of those unplanned pure moments of happiness. We went on to drink our coffee on the couch with only the lyrics of Big Pun playing in the background. And for reference, I don’t know much about hip hop music. Over the years Scott has educated me on rappers and popular songs of the 90’s/ early 2000’s. We have turned it into a game, and I always get super excited when I can actually name the artist playing.

From there I got myself out to my favorite coffee shop to work on my Valentine’s day post. Stay tuned! Had the MOST AMAZING latte, and a really great avocado toast. This is easily becoming a weekend routine for me. I spend too much time in the house on the weekends, and I think a few hours out in the coffee shop with my thoughts is perfect.

Latte was called Little Italy, and it basically tastes like a pignoli cookie. I’m obsessed.

Not too much to report on Sunday of course as I do really feel Sunday is the day of rest! Really tried to avoid social media for the day. I always feel that helps. We basically just slept late, did some snacking, and of course watched old episodes of Love Island. We are obsessed with that crazy show!

I really felt I just needed a mental break this weekend. To not focus on much, or put any pressures on myself. I don’t feel anxiety all the time, but when I do it feels so overwhelming. I’m thankful I can recognize the signs early on, and know when to make changes. I feel my mind is clearer today, and my body is far less tense than it’s been in the last few days 🙂

Until next time,

P.S I thought it might be fun to provide some insight into my life on a regular basis. I don’t lead a non stop, crazy life or anything, but I always love to find connections with bloggers I read. So let me know if you like these little recap type posts, and I’ll add it in to my week!

Success is Up to You

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.” – Wanda Sykes

Do you ever get what feels like a great idea, and then immediately think, “I don’t have time”, or “I probably can’t do that”. It seems most people do. In fact I had previously debated starting this blog for years before actually doing it. But what is it about us that makes us feel we can’t accomplish certain things? Why is it that we hold ourselves back?

Likely most people are afraid they will fail, or that they don’t have what it takes to succeed.

I have always been the person that believes we create our happiness. That you have to put the work in to get the things you want out of life. I knew technically you could be/do whatever you want with your life as long as you never gave up. But you see the thing about me is, I give up. I have always been content to say “That was hard. I know what I need to do at least. I’ll come back to it when I feel ready.”

In a surprising turn of events, I never followed back up. So time after time I had started, and stopped doing something I wanted because it had become just a little too much work. And in case you want a list of all the things I really loved but didn’t follow through with for reference, here you go!

Opera Singing– I had a real talent for this, not to sound conceded. The plan out of college was to practice and really perfect my craft for a year, get into a top school, and pursue this. However I never followed up with preparing or even applying to a conservatory. I still love to sing, and miss it everyday, but my singing is now limited to the car and the shower.

Playing the piano– I took lessons for years. Loved being able to play music to support my singing, only I literally never practiced. I got called out for it ALL the time. Then when my piano teacher moved away, I took this as an opportunity to just quit.

Writing Music– I could be found writing music at any given moment. I had notebooks full of lyrics to be turned into songs. However, many of them never made it off the page.

Dancing– I had started dancing at the age of 3, and followed it through until I was 16. I took every major type of dance there is, often at 5-6 classes a week. But I never made it to my senior recitcal because I quit. To be fair I quit because I started getting very involved in singing. BUT I always dreamed of making it to the senior recital, being showcased as one of the graduating dancers. Looking back, I wish I had followed through.

School– I did get my bachelors, but let me tell you, I put little to no effort into it. I also had no idea what I really wanted to come out of it. So I went through the motions, got my degree by doing the bare minimum, and then had no idea what to do next.

So what is is that sets the successful people apart from all the rest? Their willingness to work hard, never give up, and believe in themself.

There are many people who have become incredibly successful. But these were the people who weren’t willing take “no” for an answer. They were the people working nights, weekends and holidays. These people have been told “No, that won’t work”, or “You’re going to fail”, but didn’t believe it. They may have even failed a few times! But they kept trying, learned from their mistakes, and improved.

Most importantly, these were the people who took the leap! They stopped making excuses and decided they could do it, that they would do it.

I mentioned earlier, I had thought about starting this blog for years. I had made a few attempts that failed quickly because I didn’t really put the effort that is required into it. The truth is I didn’t think I could actually succeed. I wasn’t willing to put the time in just to “fail”.

As someone who recently decided to put the effort in and go after what I want, I’m here to tell you that you can too. It won’t be easy, and you’re going to have to work hard.. But stop telling yourself that you can’t. We don’t want to look back and regret not taking chances that could lead to incredible things! Take the leap and go after what you really want. No more excuses!

Until next time,

Stop Focusing on What You Don’t Have

If I had to take a guess, I have a thought that contains “I want”, or “I really wish I had” AT LEAST 10 times a day. I am constantly seeing things I didn’t know about, that I immediately decide I need. Usually it’s something small, like clothes, shoes, some kind of electronic item, etc. These things are easy to move past. My options are, buy it, or realize I don’t REALLY need it and move on!

What really sticks with me, are the big things. The things people talk about relating to their lives. The type of things people easily get jealous about, and wish they had for themselves. I’m talking, house, family, career, lavish vacation, or luxury car type things. These are the things you hear people talk about, and you spend all day thinking about how you can make them happen for you. Or you think “what am I doing wrong?”

Now if you’ve read any of my other posts, you might be thinking “Wow Dana this sounds like a you problem.” And yes, this absolutely is something I experience at this point in my life, however it is something I have realized quite a while ago and I am actively working through. But I know this isn’t just a me problem. This is an everyone problem no matter what anyone says. The grass is always greener isn’t a saying for no reason!

But what a giant WASTE of time this is. Not only is it a waste of your time, it’s not helping you in anyway. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else.

The Biggest Hurdle

I realize that we live in the age of social media, and that makes the above statement infinitely harder than it used to be. We are constantly battling everyone’s highlight reel. We follow people based on the things we wish we had, wish we did, wish we looked like. Social media is giving us a false idea of people’s lives, and the sad part is we believe it. It becomes increasingly difficult to get your head out of that “I want that” space, after scrolling past 5+ people with the things you feel you’re missing!

Do you ever feel good in those moments though? I know I don’t. I actually start to feel anxiety and stress as I scroll deeper through social media pages sharing what I want but don’t have. This is not how I want to spend my time, and I don’t think it was the intention of these social media platforms, however it can be difficult to overcome.

Remind yourself that not everything you see is real on social media. That no one is sharing the moments of struggle in their life. Most people only want you to see the good. Remind yourself that you are comparing yourself to someone who may be missing things that you have, and want for themselves! Just as you are sitting here wishing for xyz thing, the person making you feel this, is wishing for something different. No one is perfect no matter how beautiful and exciting their instagram account looks.

I implore you to take a break. Log your self out, or start unfollowing the accounts that are constantly in your face and causing you to feel bad about what you don’t have. It may be difficult at first, but it gets easier. You’ll stop wanting to spend so much time on it, and won’t really even miss it. Give yourself a break to start paying attention to everything you do have instead!

You can do it

Once you’ve removed the social media aspect, or at least lessened it, the next thing is to change your thoughts. This takes work and isn’t going to be easy, but this is the heavy lift if you want to move passed these thoughts.

Every time you start to feel yourself go down the path of “Why don’t have I have that?”, counter that thought with something you do have. Think about the supportive family you have, or the fulfilling career you have. This will be different for everyone, but make sure to choose something that’s important to you to put your life back into perspective.

This might be hard at first. It’s so much easier to get wrapped up in what we don’t have, then what we do. So if you are finding this to be difficult, start journaling what you are grateful for. For example, I used to write down 3 small things that I was grateful for each morning, and then one good thing that happened at the end of the day. When you start keeping tabs on these things you realize all that you do have. Then you can focus on those things, rather than what other people are doing around you!

Now I realize sometimes this isn’t enough, and you have to take a deeper look at yourself to figure out why you feel this way so. However I’ve gone on long enough, so that is a post for another day. Let me know if that is of interest!

Until next time,

How to Prioritize Yourself

I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend of 5 years about my interests / hobbies. Long story short, he couldn’t name anything I liked to do other than going to the gym, and endlessly watching Netflix.

Imagine feeling that the person you share all parts of your life with doesn’t know who you are. Not great right? Now imagine you’re thinking of all the things he SHOULD know, and realize that he doesn’t because you’ve never shared that part of you, or don’t do those things anymore. How could he know that version of me? That isn’t who I appear to be anymore.

This simple conversation hit me hard. I realized that I have become this version of myself that hasn’t just grown up, but lost herself a bit. I think part of it comes from the hustle and bustle of everyday working life exhausting me, but I also think some of it comes from the comfort of a 5+ year relationship.

Old interests naturally start to take a back seat as new things like a career for example, or a serious relationship starts to blossom. The issue is in letting them become everything that you are. This is obviously what has happened to me over time, and I didn’t want to let all of me go. I started thinking about all the things I feel I’m truly missing from what seems like a past life. I wanted to find a way to incorporate what I could into the “new” Dana.

Below are three major things I felt I was missing in my my life. I encourage you to think about a part of you that you miss. See if you can find a way to bring that part of your life into your current life!

Found Time to be Alone

I’ve always loved locking myself away to devour a good book, or belt out an entire album by my favorite artist…which is Christina Aguilera by the way. :p I would also write songs, or make crappy drawings about things I was experiencing.

I know it isn’t easy to find time to do things like that anymore. I have work, I have a house, I have a family, among other obligations. And I know too well that when I finally do get a moment to myself, I binge on TV I’ve watched, or even doze off. I realized that I needed to literally pencil me time into my day.

I found the most productive, and best time of day for me is the morning. I know I won’t accomplish much beyond dinner and the couch once I get home from work. So I wake up at 5:30 am to go the gym 3 times a week. (8 am on Saturday for a 4th day though. Didn’t want to lie like I’m getting my ass up that early on a Saturday!) But on the other days I don’t go to the gym, I still wake up early to have my coffee alone with either a book, or my blog. The house is quiet, my coffee is hot, and I have the chance to relax ahead of my day.

Started a Blog

This ties into my first point above a bit. Everything I mentioned up there that was during me time, was something creative. Something that made me think, or express myself. What can I say? I’m a left brained kind of girl.

So yeah, you’re currently reading one of the ways I started prioritizing myself! Blogging isn’t something I was originally drawn to, but it feels like the right way to let that side out of me. Since I’ve started writing, I have been more and more excited as my ideas keep coming. Once I opened up that creative side again, I see that it never really left. I just pushed it away in lieu of everything else happening in my life. And it doesn’t matter to me if I have no readers, or tons of readers, because I’m enjoying this process again. I’m enjoying this side of myself. (Besides, it’s not like anyway ever heard the songs I wrote. I only wished I was a rock star!)

Saying Yes to Friends

I feel I mentioned this in my last post, but teenage Dana HATED being in on a Friday night. She had all the time in the world to spend with her friends, and honestly would probably get a little annoyed at them if they had something to do other than hang out. I mean this would send her spiraling into writing a shameless emo song about how no one loves her. Talk about dramatic. BUT, that’s how I loved to spend my time.

As I got older, and as I fell in love, I stopped saying yes to every plan my friends made. For a while, I even stopped getting invites. But as my friends got older, and found their partners, they stopped going out all the time too. Then it became never seeing each other, and realizing this wasn’t the answer either.

So we started making plans on a monthly basis, or something like that. But even then, I wouldn’t always say yes. And I will be honest, a lot of those times I didn’t have plans. I just didn’t want to go out on a day where my stepson was with us, or my boyfriend had the day off. I wanted to be available and around these people I love, even if it meant literally doing nothing.

It has taken time to change my initial response, and I sometimes have to remind myself, BUT I say yes to the plans my friends make. This even means saying yes to a girls trip once a year. (4 years strong!) These women are important to me, and the truth is, I need them. Friendships have always held a big part in my life. Just because my priorities aren’t the same as a teenager, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make time for my friends.

So there you have it! Three areas of my life that now require work, but are so rewarding and worth it. If you don’t know who you are anymore, let’s work together to find that person again!

Until next time,

Self Care: A Night Out

There are many ideas of what self care is. Most examples come in the form of journaling, exercise, reading, face masks, etc. However what I’m about to suggest, is basically the opposite of what everyone thinks of.

Picture it. A teenager who spends every moment of free time doing something. Out with friends, parties, after school activities, and being miserable without plans on a Friday night. That was me, and me well into my twenties!

Fast forward to about the age of 26 and all of my “normal” fun activities had changed. My prioritizing friends became seeing them every so many weeks, or even months in some cases. And not having plans on a Friday? Well that became the ultimate goal. Everything I was, had changed to the complete opposite. But the thing is, this is normal. This is growing up.

This now brings me to my point. I made a choice this Friday to go out with a friend, see a local band, have a drink, and stay out until 2 am. When I left that night, I had every intention of being home no later than 11 pm like usual. But I saw a band I don’t normally listen to, with someone I don’t spend a lot of time with. We went out for drinks with some of the members of the band afterwards. I met new people, had new interesting conversations, and before I knew it it was way passed the hour I had planned to be home. I didn’t realize it until I was driving home, but I needed this. I needed to do something that I don’t do anymore, but used to love!

This simple night out was a version of self care for the woman who spends a lot of time either lounging around alone, or watching cartoons and playing board games with the family. Sometimes your version of self care may fall outside those usual categories of relaxing, or a great skin care routine. Sometimes it’s filling your cup with something different, exciting, or missing in your life.

So what kind of self care do you need lately?

Until next time,

Setting Goals & Sticking to Them

We can say we want to improve until we are blue in the face, but until we have a very clear set of intentions for ourselves we are all simply full of it.

Here we are again, the new year. New year in a new decade, and it’s time for all the resolution setting in a big way. I know I’m a bit “behind”, but I’m actually not a resolution setter. In the past I’ve always felt resolutions were stupid. Partially because every year it was the same resolution. So clearly I wasn’t very serious about changing!

Every year I would watch my gym flood with people on the first week of January, and then drop back down to normal after a few weeks. Considering getting in shape is one of the most common resolutions, clearly everyone else wasn’t so serious either.

Now my intent here isn’t to bash on resolutioners, however offer a different way of thinking about new year goals. There are three things that could probably help a lot of people succeed in the long run, and I’m going to provide them below.

1. Create more small goals

One of the biggest mistakes is setting a large goal to be accomplished over 365 days that is lacking real boundaries. For example, “get in shape”, “save more money”, or “spend more time with family”. You get the point.

Try instead setting smaller goals that are easier attained and more defined, but still fit the overall purpose. It’s easier to complete a goal if it has a more structured outcome. Smaller goals sets you up for more success, and feelings of accomplishment. So take the three example I used before and turn them into, “go to the gym 3 times a week”, “save $100 per pay check”, or “visit my parents every other week”.

2. Don’t Get Discouraged

When I say don’t get discouraged, I mean don’t let minor slip ups to your plan derail you. Don’t let the fact that you didn’t accomplish your goal by the week you set out to, cause you to give up all together. Understand that as humans we make mistakes, we talk ourselves out of good things, and sometimes we let failure be a reason to not keeping going.

You have a goal, a plan, now stick to it! You will have obstacles while getting there, I promise you. But keep going. It’s not about the failures you have, but about getting to that finish line and realizing how much you can accomplish if you get out of your own way.

3. Dont Make a New Years Resolution

That’s right, don’t do it. If you take nothing else away from this but this point right here, I will consider it a win. Don’t go into the year with a grandiose resolution that you think is going to be perfect. The way we romanticize resolutions in our culture is hurting us in the long run.

How many people lose momentum on their resolution within the first month, or even first week? How many people eventually give up all together because it didn’t go as planned and think “well there’s always next year.” By setting a resolution versus goals, we are giving ourselves an out when it doesn’t work.

If you can focus your energy towards achieving smaller “goals” without giving in at the first hiccup, you will be successful. Nobody accomplished all their goals in the first attempt. It’s those who keep working towards what they want that are successful. So now it’s your turn to be the accomplished one. Start planning out your goals, and get to it!

Let me know if any of these ideas resonate with you, or what your goals for the year are!

Until next time,

P.S. If any one is curious, I took that picture of the Golden Gate bridge on my solo adventure around San Francisco. One of my goals for 2019 was to step outside my comfort zone, and start doing things by myself. Since I travel so often for work I had plenty of opportunities to do this, and it’s been a huge place of growth for me that I am very proud of!

Why Not Loving Your Career is Okay

Happy almost Friday everyone!


First things first, I have a house keeping item. Now that I’ve got two posts under my belt, I’m going to plan for a post every Thursday. Keep an eye out
😉


As I have previously mentioned, you know, one or two times, I have been feeling unfulfilled and unsure about my career path. I had quite a few weeks where I felt like those 8 hours a day lasted an eternity, and I found myself struggling to get anything done. I started to question if I even liked my job, but then couldn’t come up with something I would like in place of it. All I could think was “I don’t like my day to day, and I feel like I’m meant to do something more than work in an office.”


One day I was really down about this, and mentioned it to one of my closest friends. She asked me if I associated my career as part of who I am. I very quickly said “No.” She went on to assure me that not everyone will love working so much it becomes their identity, and that’s okay. It’s okay to come to work because you have to, and it’s okay if you don’t go above and beyond what’s expected of you.


I have to say, as I was listening to her I felt a lot of “mhmm, mhhm, sure.” The new college graduate Dana dreamt of this kind of job. It took me a long time to find it! And I have always felt so strongly about having and keeping a well paying job to be able to support myself regardless of where I am in life. The idea of me just going through the motions for a pay check seemed contradictory to what I had always thought.


So like anything else, I spent a lot of time thinking about this conversation. The more I thought about it, the more I started to agree. I can still love being independent and making my own money, but not feel like I have to put my heart and soul into a job. I can do what is asked of me, but not feel that pressure to find all the ways to improve every process and stay late while doing it. I can feel secure in the fact that I no longer have the desire to become leadership. What makes this acceptable is the pure fact that I do not identify who I am, with the career that I hold!


Now make no mistakes, the above line comes with a caveat. The real challenge was asking myself “How do I identify, if it’s not with my job?” The honest answer is I am still working on it. But it became very clear that it was was time to start putting more effort in to what I want to do. To find what I feel will fill up my cup, instead of trying to find my happiness at work. This is going to take time, but it feels like I’m starting in the right direction.


It’s okay if you don’t love you job, or identify as a workaholic! We put so much emphasis on working long hours and loving to work in our culture, and that just shouldn’t be the focus. There is so much more to life than answering email after email, and meeting impossible deadlines. It’s okay to not love your job if you are working to find what fulfills you outside of work. Maybe you identify as a parent, a partner, or a performer. Maybe you love attending sporting event, or traveling the world. Whatever that thing is that genuinely brings you happiness should be your primary focus.


My point in all this is, don’t feel down if you don’t LOVE your job. I don’t love my job, but I don’t hate it either. All I really know is that it’s not enough for me. That I am not capable of putting my all into it because it just isn’t everything that I am or want. And that’s okay! I am determined to find and focus the things that get me excited to get out of bed everyday. If you feel this way too, know you are not alone. Start working on what YOU want out of your day, out of your life. Take small steps everyday to make it happen!


I’m interested to know what others “identify” as large parts of who they are, instead of a being a <insert job title here>. Let me know who you are!


Until next time,

How I Learned Who I Really am

It’s easy to tell yourself who you THINK you are, but are you really being honest with yourself?

This past year has been a WHIRLWIND of emotion I have never experienced before. I had plenty of your traditional breakdown moments, and many moments where I truly just questioned where I was going. But also made some huge strides this year! Learned to push myself far out of my comfort zone, as well as realize just how mentally strong I can be. Though I think my most important accomplishment for myself was really acknowledging the person I am, not the person I felt I was.

Acknowledging your true self is a hard one. I mean let’s be honest, we all tell ourselves “I am a great friend or partner!”. Or, “That wasn’t my fault”, “I’m doing everything I can”. Or even, “I care SO much about <insert one of the many charitable organizations, or tragedies around us>. But the reality of these types of statements is that we are just not willing to admit our flaws to ourselves. And why would you want to! It’s natural that we all want to see ourselves in the best light. After all, there’s no one better in our own eyes. However, let me challenge you to really take a look at yourself, and admit things that maybe you wouldn’t like to. I’m going to share with you the top 3 things I realized about myself this year, and what I’ve done to help me figure them out.

Number 1 – I am a “Meets Expectation” Kind of Person

First let me give you a little background on this phrase. Twice a year my company requires self appraisals with three different choices. Doesn’t Meet Expectations, Meets Expectations, and Exceeds Expectations. I will admit, in the past I had checked myself as “exceeds” in quite a few of my objectives, only to have my manager counter with a “meets”.

However, this year I knew exactly what to select, and I knew exactly what my manager would mark me with. Meets expectations. This is my reality for work and most things in life, and this is the year I finally own it! I will do enough to make the house look clean, or enough to make that slide show presentation makes sense but not aesthetically pleasing. I will work until 5pm, and no longer. But if you ask me to take a long break, or a walk around the building, I will also do that! I will do what needs to get done, and no more.

I used to think I did so much, but others were just missing it. Only now am I willing to admit that’s just not true, and that’s okay. The silver lining here is that I realized I have room for improvement, and the option to do more…if I want. 😉

Number 2 – Jealous Under the Guise of Judgment

This one is a perfect example of one you don’t want to admit to yourself! But it’s true, and it’s a big one for me.

This last year I was finding that I had so many negative thoughts and judgments of people around me. I would scoff internally at coworkers conversations, or text my best friend to talk shit about all the “dumb” things people are doing. However when I started realize that this was so constant it couldn’t possibly be good for me, I started to look at myself.

As soon as I was TRULY honest with myself I realized that this was constant jealousy of what everyone else was doing. That my judgement about “Sally” from the office booking a boujee ballroom for her wedding that I would never book for my own wedding, was my jealousy for the fact she had a wedding to plan. Or when I thought “wow there’s no way so and so can afford that house on their own, their parents MUST be helping”. Yup, that was jealousy surrounding their ability to afford an expensive house. I could go on for days with every judgmental thought I’ve had, but that’s not why we are here!

All I’m saying is, I loved the constant dragging of people down in my head because I felt it made me a no bullshit kind of person. The reality is, this was a classic case of bringing others down to make myself feel better. The good news with this one is that once I realized what I was doing, I have been able to talk myself out of it and look at the positives for me instead!

Number 3 – I am Resilient

I wanted to add a good realization in here, because I’m not ALL bad!

As I mentioned earlier, it’s been a year of crazy emotion for me. Plenty of this has come from learning how to deal with stepmom stressors. However the bulk of it has come from just about everything around me, including me! It wasn’t until recently, looking back on this last year that I realized how much I wouldn’t let anything break me. In fact I did the opposite.

When things got hard, and my emotions were high I learned exactly what I needed to improve the situation. I stopped pushing my needs down and started saying what I needed to say, even if it could cause an argument. I stopped letting every little negative thought ruin my day by realizing where it was coming from, and challenging it with self improvement. And I am learning (because this one is still hard!) how to let go of the things I can’t change, like the actions of others.

I am a work in progress, but I am proud to say that realizing some of these negative traits I have has made me a better person. I have taken many steps to approve upon what I discussed here today, as well as other traits; and I plan to work even harder on myself in the coming year.

I Asked Myself Why

When was the last time you asked yourself why you were thinking something? I don’t think I ever have. Until recently.

Maybe this seems like common sense to you, but I can tell you it wasn’t to me. And based on conversations with people around me, I don’t think its common sense for the masses either. I was finding myself in a mental struggle so often, that I eventually just thought “why am I like this?; why am I feeling this way?; is this really what I feel?“. I challenged myself to dig deeper into so many of my constant thoughts and motives. This is exactly how I was able to find out parts of myself that I had never considered before, and I challenge you to do the same!

So, are you ready to test out the question “why”? I hope so! And I hope it’s as enlightening to you, as it has been to me.

Until next time,

Live the Benefit of the Doubt- Intro

Ever felt like you are just going through the motions? Like you’re living, but you don’t really know what your gets you excited for the day?

Well that’s exactly what led me here!

Hi there, my name is Dana! Allow me to give you a little background and intention here, before we really start to dig in later.

I am an awkward, soon to be 30 year old working as a corporate event planner. My free time is largely dominated by the couch and Netflix, but I have been known to read with a nice cup of coffee as well.

I live with my longtime boyfriend and his son. Yes, that’s right I’m a stepmom! But no, this is not a stepmom blog. They are my favorite two people in the world, and I cherish every moment spent together.

So, if you didn’t catch it, I’ve spent probably the last year feeling like my “normal 9-5” just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. Like I’m not being fulfilled, or haven’t found my passion. I know, I know. This is a common theme in the working world. We work because we have to! But I need something else. I had spent all my formative years, singing, dancing, in drama club, playing instruments, and writing emo music about how mean my mom was (haha). So I can’t help but feel like I needed a creative outlet, and this seemed like the best way to do it!

I am on a journey to find what I need for a more fulfilling day to day, while throwing in some of that constant self improvement. I like to feel my ALMOST 30 years of life have taught me how to recognize who I am, what I need to improve on, and how I got where I got. Why not share what I do know, while I’m working out all the rest!

I know I’m not the only one out there that feels this way. So I welcome any one who can relate to hear me out, and figure things out right along with me!

Until next time,

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