The Greatest Time of Year

There’s nothing like the end of the summer to remind me that in a week I am officially a

  • Student
  • Friend
  • Partner
  • Vice President of Scholarship
  • Aspiring candiate for Regional Vice President
  • Ivy League Applicant
  • If-all-goes-well Columbia transfer
  • Aspiring model
  • Dedicated Paleo-er, and worker-outer (because, refer to the previous bullet point)
  • Employee
  • Slightly insane individual

That all sounds way more exciting and impressive than it actually is (or feels), but it still scares me. It doesn’t really make sense because I am many of those things now; but there is something about the beginning of the school year that reminds me of the potential to fail. It seems the harder I work, the more I have to work hard, and Monday is going to take me to the next level, as my responsibilities and goals are  bigger than they’ve ever been (totally natural, still scary).

The days are passing, and I can’t decide if I am terrified or excited…

But for now, my excitement is larger than the feeling that I am about to sh*t myself…so I think we’re good.

Much love, 

Lucy Loves Life… and mini freakouts xx

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Close Your Legs


The other day, I was with a certain five year (arguably, the cutest) and she was seated with her legs hiked up, wearing a skirt with shorts underneath. Her loving relative (who I have LOADS of respect for) told her to close her legs. Immediately I thought, how would this be different if she was a boy? What if a boy was sitting like that in their own home? Before I finished that thought, the five year old replied, “I’m wearing shorts.” To which she was told, “it doesn’t matter, sit like a lady.”

I could see her confusion, and it really bothered me. What was she thinking? What ideas was she forming of her body and sexuality? Did she feel confronted or uncomfortable about sitting in a way that was not at all immodest, but “inappropriate” because she’s a girl? Will this affect her when it comes time to have sex, go to an OB/GYN, and/ or have a baby? She was clearly conflicted enough in the idea of modesty to speak up for herself, but was she conflicted enough to form an idea based off of that encounter?  I don’t know, and the beauty of child psychology is that I can’t just ask (because she’s not yet developed enough to communicate emotions/thoughts of that nature), but I can wonder.

There are a lot of unknowns and very few facts in the world of double standards, so much so that I will not go far enough to say that boys aren’t told to be modest and girls are, because that’s very subjective. However, I will say that I definitely formed an opinion for when the time comes for me to raise children. I will never consciously (it may slip, I grew up hearing it) tell my daughter to “sit like a lady,” because quite frankly some of the most beautiful moments of her life will require her to spread em’. I will be sure to emphasize my ideas of modesty for both my boys and girls (if I’m fortunate enough to have both), but not because of their gender. Modesty, posture, and conduct are important, but never more or less important because of their sex.

This is not a “boo-hoo” I am a woman debate, as I am highly aware that double standards are no respecters of sexes. However, it is ideas like “sit like a lady” that create minds that form the large stereotypes both men and women struggle with today, and I will do everything in my power to prevent that cycle to continue in my own children. I want my children to understand that their is no shame in their sexuality, gender, or body; rather that all three are beautiful and best reserved for the right circumstances.

What do you guys think?

Much love, 

Lucy Loves Life…and child psychology xx

I Am Learning

I am learning the ropes all over again, I am learning to trust someone, and I am learning what it means to love, after I swore I never would again. I have stopped living my life as if he is watching. It may have been abandoned, but it is still my life, my heart, and my happiness, regardless of what anyone else has to say of it. I am exploring something new, and sometimes, that scares the shit out of me.

I am taking someone that I held at arm’s length, and letting them see me, all of me, in a way I never thought I’d be able to again. I am learning to trust, because I can’t cling to security at the cost of love. I am learning to believe “I love you,” truly and deeply. I am letting my guard down, and giving someone the power to hurt me, to leave me, and maybe even break me in a way that will take another year to recover from. I can’t be isolated in the fear of pain, it’s too lonely.

This may not last, this may actually hurt quite badly, and I don’t doubt that at some point, tough decisions are going to be made; but I have to live. I have to risk my security and comfort, because I was made to feel and love wholeheartedly.

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life….and “someone” xx

Confused and Perfectly in Place

Have you ever gone through a period in your life where nothing is as it “should” be, yet you feel perfectly at peace? Yeah, I’m there.

Everything is confused and perfectly in place at the same time. My ideas of love, family, my future, my health, and even my religious views are changing (BIG aspects of my life dude), and normally in times of change, I lose my freakin’ skittles.  I really love constants and routine, but right now, I am at peace with not knowing where my life will be a year from now. I am okay with the idea of “failing,” or possibly falling short of my best option. I am not afraid of regret, and that is a phenomenon I have never experienced.

I spent nearly three years of my life planning; doing what was “right,” stressing out when I was “wrong,” and trying desperately to always be pulled together. I’m not sure if it’s the yoga or my careless 20’s speaking, but ain’t nobody got time for that.  Life is too short to stifle myself out of fear that I could be wrong.

Yes, everything is a hot mess, and I could come to regret so many things; but I am happy, and that’s really all that matters…right?

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life… and quotations marks around words that have too many meanings xx

Another One of Those ‘I’m So Busy’ Updates 

Dear friends and family, 

No, I have not fallen of the planet. No, I don’t hate you and purposely not answer my phone or come home super late to avoid you (sorry family). Yes, I am extremely busy and the only time I even look at my phone is to see how late I am, read emails, or check in with my fit bit. 

However, I am not complaining at all. I am as busy as I am because I am Spartan kicking my way through all of my goals, and I really couldn’t ask for more… Well, maybe a nap would be nice… 

Anyway, what’s going on you may ask? Well, I thought now would be a good time to update you all seeing as I haven’t done this since July. 

  

 

School and volunteering: 

The most exciting and most time consuming part of my life! I am still maintaining my 4.0, but this semester I made the decision to only take 12 credit hours for the sake of diving into some of my interest head first. This semester I am proud to say that I have;

  • Volunteered to organize and be the primary source for social media postings for an incredible non-profit, Care Highway International. 
  • Become very involved in my honors society, working my way to president of leadership 
  • Completed training to intern as a Survivor Advoacy Team member for survivors of sexual abuse 
  • Put together yet another research project (won’t be presented until next month) 

Health and wellness: 

This has been a pretty constant struggle since I was, hmmmm….5? Yep, 5. But for the first time, I feel good. 

I have always been a crash dieter; but after hiring an online trainer and finding a pretty handsome workout partner/ supporter… I feel healthier than I ever have and every sign of progress is a reminder that the healthy way is much more rewarding both physically and mentally; it also taste better, win. 

Starting next week, my hunky supporter, sister, and dad are embarking on our newest “health kick” (that’s what we’ve titled it), and I’m really excited to see what that brings. Could be a six pack, could be cardiac arrest; either way, I’m pumped! 

Love:

As you guys know, this particular aspect has been FUBAR (google it). Luckily, I can say I’m beyond that constant state of FUBAR. I have a pretty great guy in my life at the moment, “the one who was always there.” Though I still deal with weak moments and uncertainty, the healing has stayed, and I realize now that the hurt was the best thing that ever happened to me. 

I acknowledged what he is, how bad it was for me, and at a young age I have the knowledge to avoid another potentially life ruining relationship (for those of you I have elaborated on this with, we both know that’s not dramatized at all… It may actually be an understatement).

 I learned what to expect and what to avoid, I learned that I need to trust my head because my heart loves the ones that are wrong for me, and I’ve learned to appreciate the wonderful (and very patient) man who has stuck with me through both of those realizations…. That required a lot of Starbucks and patience, I’m sure. 

In English: 

Between a new relationship, school, 2 jobs, an internship, volunteer work, dieting, exercising, running multiple internet forums with no internet in my house (oh yeah, we are moving!), and trying to stay a calm, cool, and collected human…. I am always moving, always busy, and always happy + sufficiently caffeinated. 

The keyword there is happy

So if i haven’t called you in weeks, forgot that coffee date, or neglected to wish you a happy birthday… Please know that I love you and my crazy little life but sometimes it’s hard to do both. 

Boring post over now! 

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, suggestions, or the desire to say ‘hi,’ please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email…. They real do make my day, especially the witty, sarcastic ones. 

Much love, 

Lucy Loves Life… And my beautiful chaos

I’m Only Human

I think I have made it easy for people to forget I am human. I realize that it’s very rare that I let someone completely in. I am honest to the point of making some uncomfortable, and yet, very few people know exactly who I am and what I am thinking.  I am a professional at keeping people exactly where I want them; never too close. I can be moody, but very rarely do I let my true emotions show.

The emotions of others have always come before my own, and I am pretty good at picking up when someone can’t be bothered with my hot-mess of a mind. If my pain hurts someone I care about, I don’t talk about it, if my success makes someone jealous or upset, I do a happy dance in private, and if my thoughts make someone uncomfortable, they get buried (or made into a blog post).

I am a loud, outspoken person that loves to make people think and laugh. I enjoy my larger-than-life personality; it makes it easy to always be the strong, confident one…

Until it hits me and those around me, that I am still so susceptible to being a real person, and a very sensitive one at that. One day I am over it all, and the next day a “like” can make me cry for an hour. One minute success always seems to find me, the next, I am terrified of failing.  One second I am ultra-confident, and the next I wonder if she really is better than me.

I am never above that.

People see my life as I present it to them; in the most lighthearted, inspiring, and rational way I possibly can without it getting boring or disingenuous. What they don’t see is the version of me that has nothing figured out. Not him, not university, not my appearance, not my future, not even my own mind.

All of this to say; I truly appreciate all of the people in my life, I even love some of you… Because of that, I ask that you always remember what I’ve just said. I will always try my best to be whatever you need of me; but sometimes I fail and it all becomes too much.

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life… and beautiful messes xx

The Beauty of Uncertainty

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“She was lost in her longing to understand.”
—Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

I can sit here and theorize about what he feels and doesn’t feel, I can question myself on whether or not he truly loved me (or even knows what love is), and I can try to attach his life to every psychological theory I learn about. I can hate him for what he is, what he was brought up to be, and all of the things I can’t understand about him… or…I can remember that at one point, I loved him for all of it.

I can acknowledge that he did love me the best way he knows how, and though it may have never been “real love“, he gave me the best of what he understands it to be.

There are times I really wish I could go back and undo it. Loving someone who can never love you back is heartbreaking; there is no painless way out. However, I also remember that no matter how malicious his actions seem, they were not necessarily intentional. You see, hurt people, hurt other people, and he hurts the ones he loves the most.

“Each man kills the thing he loves.” -Oscar Wilde

As I seek to make sense out of the coldness of my mended heart, and the warmth of our life together in photos… I can choose to be lost and angry, in my lack of understanding; or I can admit that I don’t have all of the answers, and see that it hurt because I was the one he loved the most.

I’ve become perfectly content with getting lost in the beauty of uncertainty and only truly knowing one thing; sometimes love means being hurt by someone and empathizing for them even when you can’t understand it all yourself. 

Much love, 

Lucy Loves Life… and the understanding that I’ll never understand xx

The Grateful Challenge (Part 1)

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After reading Women’s Wisdom, the Garden of Peace for Women one particular theme stuck out to me…gratitude. A lot of times we forget just how fortunate we are to be alive, yet alone thriving. This book not only taught me to be more grateful for the wonderful things I have, but also the not so wonderful things.

This series of post (there will be three parts) will be my acknowledgement of all of the things I am grateful for, both good and bad, and why that is. This first post will be semi-cliché and a typical load down of what you would expect someone to be grateful for, but nonetheless, it needs to be said (the next post will be getting a little stickier lol)

1. My family

This is the epitome of cliché things to be grateful for, but because I feel I take my family for granted the most, I must mention them.  From my immediate family, my grandparents, and my aunt, to relatives I rarely see (like my cousin), my family is amazing.

Sure, we have disagreements and there have definitely been some rough times, but I know I can call my parents when my car gets towed at some unholy hour in the morning , I can always call my aunt for a bit of advice or just a good laugh, and when I need to be reminded that someone thinks I am the best person in the world, I call my grandma (she is convinced, y’all) for the standard, Spanglish, load down of all the reasons I am her “reina.” (queen)

Cliché or not, I have a warm, loving family and I do my very best not to take them and my time with them for granted.

2. My Education

I love the opportunity to learn, I love feeling like I really gained an important life skill (critical thinking, factual argument, you name it), and I love the tangible reminder that I am succeeding with something so important.

I feel so fortunate to be where I am right now. Sure, a lot of my accomplishments came through my own blood, sweat, and Starbucks bills, I still have to be grateful. Everyone has a dream, everybody wants to succeed, but not everybody does, and because I have and I continue to, I have nothing but gratitude.

3. Travel

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Anyone that knows me has a pretty deep understanding of just how much I love to travel.

Being challenged by a new culture, and experiencing new things that take me out of my comfort zone provides a type of euphoria that I can’t even really explain. I have had the opportunity to experience that high many times, and I have never once taken for granted how fortunate I am.

I am far from checking every country of my checklist of “must sees,” but it doesn’t change my gratitude for the amazing experiences I have had and how they have impacted every aspect of my life. I will elaborate on this in another post (coming VERY soon).

4. My health

As a very healthy 19 year old, you might assume it is easy to take my health for granted. Guess again. Every August 23rd, I am reminded of just how quickly life can change, and how blessed I am to be alive and in good health.

For those of you that don’t know, on that date I was diagnosed with meningitis, and things weren’t looking good. I won’t go into every little scary detail, mainly because I was slipping in and out of consciousness for most of said experiences and don’t remember much. However, I will tell you how grateful I am to be alive with all of my limbs, functioning organs, and no obvious brain damage.I beat the odds. All. Of. Them…How can I not be grateful?

5. My friends

One of the many great ones
One of the many great ones

I am grateful for every one of my friends…from the ones spread out all over the world that manage to keep in touch, to the ones I see every day and deal with being exposed to all of my crazy. I have had some shady friends in my life, and I must say, those shady friends made me grateful for all of the incredible people who walked into my life and stayed there for years.

As you might have read in  The Pretty Girl Stereotypes I keep a relatively small group of friends, and the ones that I have are absolutely incredible…so major thanks, you awesome people, you.

So that is it for today (I told you it was going to be cliché) I hope you got something from this. Tomorrow I will list the five not-so-wonderful things that I am ever so grateful for, so stick around!

What are you grateful for? Let me know of all of the semi corny, yet wonderful things in your life!

Much Love,

Lucy Loves Life…and reading self help books (haha!) xx

 

Samuel David’s First Selfie

Well guys, I have fallen in love. He is bald, unemployed, and toothless, but I have fallen madly in love.

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Baby Samuel was born at 6:54 on the morning of August 18th, and he is absolutely gorgeous. He has two proud sisters, a wonderful mom, and a very proud daddy, who gets to join in on the love from heaven.

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This kid has one amazing story, but we will save that for another day.

I’d have to say that Baby Samuel easily makes it on to my list of all things happy. He has infected me with baby fever, and activated every mushy, hopeless romantic, baby lover switch in my body, but I am okay with that.

It is time to stop gushing, and leave you all with a little cuteness: Samuel’s first selfies .

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Huge congrats to Tina and the rest of the Stawski’s. He is so beautiful.

Thanks for reading, I should be back to my normal self in no time lol!

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life, and baby Samuel xx

Because You Asked For Real…

This is raw. Maybe too raw…but I’m hurt, and this is how I deal with it. It doesn’t make sense, I wrote it with tears in my eyes, and very little desire to edit any part of it, but you asked for real, so here it is.

I wasn’t designed to be criticized. I don’t think any woman is. I can’t speak for all of us, but I personally can’t take being criticized by the people or even just a person I love the most. When I truly love someone, their words cut me the deepest.

In reality, I can handle a verbal lashing from most anybody and I can very easily shake it off, but the slightest hint of disapproval from a family member or significant other can bring me to my knees. When I love someone, their opinion of me means more than that of any average Joe. I work to make them proud, and that criticism makes me feel like I have failed them some how.

No one in this world is harder on me than myself, but somehow the approval of those I love lessens the every day wounds I inflict on myself. Chances are, every criticism someone slaps me with, I’ve already brutally assaulted myself with numerous times, and hearing it from someone I love just pours salt in the wound.

I am a people pleaser with those that I care about. I very rarely let people in to that “circle of love” because people make mistakes, and they can be harsh, so it takes a long time before I give yet another person the ability to cut my self esteem.

If I love you, if I have fallen in love with you, please keep in mind that all I want to do is please you and make you proud of me. I want you to think I’m the best person in the world, because if I have given you the power to hurt me, I clearly think that way of you.

A bit of constructive criticism is necessary, but please remember that I think the world fell out of your pocket, and your words have the power to hurt me and break me down. If you have to criticize, please be gentle, and please give me a solution, because the idea of not being good enough for you with no potential redemption is crippling and slightly heartbreaking. It makes me want to rid you from my little love circle, because constantly disappointing you will eventually prove to be too much.

I know how much it hurts to be criticized, therefore I will never rake you over the coals for hurting me, because I don’t want to repeat the cycle. I just take it as a hit, and try to be better…what else can I do?

There are only about five of you that have this power, but chances are, one of you five is reading this. If I made the conscious decision to love you, and give your words power, please use them wisely, because you’ll never know how much they can help or hurt the image that I have of myself.

Use your words cautiously, because you are one of the five people in this world that have the ability to reinforce all of my insecurities. I am very hard on myself, so your praises may need reinforcement every once in a while, but your criticism will always linger within me.

 

Sorry for being so morose, but if you wanted real, you just got it.

Much love,

Lucy xx