Welcome to my blog!

I am Buffy, I live in Iowa with my kitty cat Meowshine and stay rather busy trying to be healthy, eating right, working out, working my full-time job and running my own custom jewelry business on the side. Thanks for coming along for the ride :)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 2

Well week 1 one is in the books! It was so hot last week, with excessive heat warnings most days. I mean you know it's gonna be hot if it's already 80 degrees at 5:30am! But I made it through & am thankful I could run in the morning when it was just hot, not ungodly hot ;) In addition to the 4 runs, I got in 2 ST sessions and a Zumba class.

This morning's run was very different than last Mondays run. It was a cool 65 degrees and running in it felt great! I have another crazy busy week at work so morning runs will be where it's at.

So here's the plan for this week...
Monday - 3 miles ✔
Tuesday - Strength Training
Wednesday - 5 miles
Thursday - 3 miles
Friday or Saturday - 6 miles
I'm going to try to get at least 1 other ST session in and probably a Zumba class in.

Here's to week 2!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Let the training begin!

This morning I ran my first training run for my 3rd half marathon of the year. I know, who is this girl and what has she done with Buffy. This year marks 7 year since I ran my first half and I have never looked back! There have been years where I have hurt myself and couldn't complete a race I've signed up for but each time I lick my wounds and pick myself back up and try again. This is the first year that I've done 2 half marathons and I'm going for lucky number 3! Lucky in the hopes that I can do it in under 2 hours. I was 22 SECONDS from it in May so I know it's in reach. So here I am, back at the training grind and I'm glad your along for the ride!

The one thing I love about training is it makes me stay consistent. I have tried to run a half where I did not put in the training and it wasn't pretty. And painful. So painful. And it led to an injury that took me out for the next two I wanted to do. That was a tough lesson to learn! I work at a funeral home providing grief services for our community and my hours are pretty crazy. So training makes me workout and run when I might very well give into the temptation (and tiredness) to not do it. Training makes running and exercise a priority that I can't let slide. So as another crazy week starts I'm glad to have day 1 under my belt. Because after 12 hours of work the last thing I had energy for tonight was to run. But no worries, got that puppy busted out this morning at 5:30am!

So this is my training plan for the week...
Monday - 3 miles
Tuesday - Crosstraining. One thing I've skimped on has been strength training so that will be a priority this time
Wednesday - 4 miles
Thursday - 3 miles
Friday - 5 miles
Saturday - ZUMBA 😍

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Loss of my best friend

I’ve always been really proud to be an animal lover and a very proud pet parent. My beloved cat Meowshine had been with me for 11 years (I adopted him when he was 4-5 yrs old from the rescue league) and I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love him. He was my constant companion that was always there for me through the toughest times in my life. Through the death of my best friend Sarah (who helped me pick him out), through the painful grief that followed her death, through the demise of my marriage and through the divorce, through an accident that seriously injured my dad (and almost killed him), and through the countless ups and downs life has thrown my way. He’s been my constant source of comfort. No matter who came in or out of my life, Meow was always there for me. Never judging me, always giving me complete unconditional love and helping me cope with whatever state my life was in. When I felt unlovable, Meow was there to show me how he loved me regardless of how I felt about myself or how I acted. When I was so sad I could barely make it off the couch, he was right there beside me gently purring me along. He kept me going during those really difficult times and he gave me something to look forward to. No matter what I lost at least I still had my sweet Meowshine. He was the best cat and best friend a girl could ask for. I loved him so much and I was not ashamed of the bond we had. Call me a crazy cat lady (many others have before) but I really don’t care. No one knows what that cat meant to me and the bond we had and I refuse to let others make me feel bad about that. I’m not sure how loving something so completely is a bad thing but for some reason there are people who tried to make me feel that way. Thankfully there have been many others that understand it and have been so sweet and supportive, which I am beyond thankful for. Over the last year and a half of Meowshine’s life his health started to decline. He was always a healthy cat and he was my first pet so this decline was not something I knew how to deal with. I’m so thankful to his vet Dr. Mack and how wonderfully she cared for him. On April 7th, 2013 she figured out that he either had a mass on his pancreas or he was diabetic. She suggested that we try insulin to see if that would help and I agreed on giving him twice a day insulin injections. There was very little I wouldn’t do for that cat. He had his ups and downs over the next 9 months but progressively he got a lot better which made me so happy. He started purring again, gaining weight again and was a happy elderly cat – in spite of being blind, on heart medication and being injected twice a day with insulin. Minor details, right? In August we got a good dose of insulin figured out (after taking him to the Vet twice a month for blood sugar checks) and things were looking up. I knew that he wasn’t going to live until he was 20 (which I always told myself) but I was hoping for some more good years with my little old man. In the first few weeks of December I noticed he started being finicky again about what he would eat, often refusing to eat and started losing weight again. When he didn’t eat I couldn’t give him his injections which of course was cause for concern. Since he had started getting sick I was constantly worrying about him. Toward the end of December he wouldn’t go to the bathroom in the litter box but instead went everywhere else. I was constantly cleaning up after messes and worried he wasn’t doing as well as he had been. After taking him to Dr. Mack again she advised me to up his insulin dose again but also warned me it might be getting close to his time. I was in complete denial because he had bounced back so many times before. The following week I notice blood in his urine. She said it could be a UTI, which diabetic cats are highly susceptible to, but it also could be his organs shutting down. She prescribed me some antibiotics to see if that could help. In early January 2014 we were set to leave on vacation to Mexico. I was worried sick for weeks before we left. I worried about Meow and how he would do under someone else’s care. Would they care for him to the same level that I would? I knew he wouldn’t survive being boarded for a week and the vet tech agreed it wasn’t a good idea for him in his condition. My boyfriend’s sister was going to be at our apartment to care for his dog while we were gone and offered to care for Meow as well. I knew it was such a big thing to ask of someone else but didn’t have many other options left. I talked with the vet tech and signed some paper work that if anything happened while I was away that his sister could take him to Dr. Mack and she could make decisions on my behalf. I didn’t want to think he could die while I was away but I didn’t want to leave that to chance either. How awful would it be if I wasn’t prepared and the BF’s sister had to deal with that? I don’t think I would ever forgive myself for that. I wrote out two pages of instructions for her so she knew exactly how to take care of him. I don’t know that I realized just how much care he required from me or how much I was willing to do for him until I typed up that note. I was just willing to do whatever he needed and I didn’t think twice about it. But asking someone else to do it really made me realize the extent his illness. I really felt absolutely sick to leave him. We were set to leave early in the morning on Thursday January 9th. Our plane somehow got damaged so the flight was rescheduled to the next day. I was pissed at first but after some snuggling from Meow and accepting the situation, we took that additional day to tie up some other loose ends before we left. That morning Meow seemed fine but when we came back later that day he wasn’t quite himself. He was very lethargic, very slow moving and even spit up a little bit of white foam. My boyfriend’s sister came over that night and I was showing her how to prepare his food with his new antibiotic so I could show her how to inject him with his insulin. And once again he wasn’t having it and slowly wandered away. I tried again with no luck. A little while later discovered that he had diarrhea, which was my final big red flag that something really wasn’t right. I thought maybe the antibiotics didn’t agree with him though so I was going to call the vet when we landed in Minnesota to see what she’d advise (it was around 7pm and they were closed already) and keep a close eye on him that night. I really didn’t know what else to do at that point. I cradled my boy in my arms, kissed his head and placed him on his yellow blanket on the couch next to my boyfriend. I asked him to watch Meow while I jumped in the shower. As I had conditioner in my hair I hear the door crack open and his sister’s voice through the door that something was wrong with Meowshine. I didn’t hear the panic in her voice I expected if something was really wrong so I started to quickly wash the conditioner out of my hair and then I heard my boyfriend yell my name with panic in his voice and I could tell something was really wrong. I ran out wrapped in a towel to see Meowshine having a seizure on the couch next to him. He and his sister were holding his head and trying to keep him steady and comfort him. Meow was full on shaking, foaming/spitting from the mouth. We rushed him to the vet hospital. I can so clearly remember the details of that night. Clutching him tightly to my chest as my boyfriend drove us the short drive to the animal hospital, him all wrapped up in his yellow blanket that he loved. He loved it because I loved it. It was mine from when I was little, all tattered and worn and it was one of his favorite places to be cuddled up on. We were just snuggled up in it that morning as I was trying to figure out what was going on with our flight. I was crying into his soft fur, kissing his head, telling him repeatedly that everything was going to be ok. My mind was reeling. My boyfriend dropped us off at the door, I fumbled my way through the automatic doors with what seemed like endless handicap buttons and locks. The girl at the desk asked what they could help me with and I could barely get anything out. I managed to choke out that I just called about my cat and they took him back to the room as she tried to get my information. Somehow between sobs she got my name and address. I was absolutely beside myself. When my boyfriend got inside after parking the car they led us to an exam room. Meow was somewhere else but there was a vet student there waiting to ask us questions. It was the 2nd time in a week that I realize just how sick he was, just how much care he needed from me as I rattled off all the medical issues he had that I could remember in my panicked state. The vet student left and after a while the vet came in. A pretty, petite blond with a sweet voice. She said a lot of stuff that my mind could not comprehend... “It might be his kidneys... He’s really dehydrated… We need to do diagnostic tests to see exactly what the problem is and those will run around $3,500. And if we do that to find the problem there’s no guarantee that what we find is fixable… He needs hospitalized… He’s really sick… If it is kidney disease (as she suspected), there’s no guarantee that he doesn’t have other issues to complicate that. That would be a lot of work on your part and then you have to ask yourself about the quality of his life…” It seemed to go on and on. My mind was spinning. I could not compute what she was saying. It just didn’t make sense to me in the moment. My reply was, ‘Ok, so if I take him home with me tonight…what exactly are you saying?’ I thought I could take him to Dr. Mack in the morning and somehow she could fix it like she had done so many times in the last year. Or somehow she could make things more clear for me. She knew Meow, she knew me. She cared about us and could help us make whatever decisions we needed to make. Dr. Mack the one who would sit with Meow when I boarded him in October and wouldn’t eat to try to get him to eat. I didn’t know this vet. I’m sure she was nice and sweet but I wanted to be with Dr. Mack who we both came to trust. The vet said that I couldn’t take him home that he was too sick and needed hospitalized. She said if I wasn’t going to hospitalize him, do all the tests that she suggested that she suggested that we euthanize him. My heart stopped. She left the room so we could make the decision. I knew when it got to the point that a decision needed made that I would have to do what was right for Meow. I never wanted to give up on him but I wanted to make sure that when it was his time to go that I made the right decision. No matter how much I wanted to keep him around because of the comfort and love he brought into my life, I knew that the moment he was in pain and there was nothing realistically I could do for him that I had to choose to end his suffering. I knew that it was the best thing for him but it didn’t make the decision any less heart breaking. I knew that I had to do it but I didn’t want to. I wanted to take my buddy home with me and love him back to health. My love for him was so strong it should have been able to save him. In my mind and my heart it didn’t make sense that my love couldn’t do that. I wanted my love to be enough of a reason that he had to stay with me always. But in the end, that love was what I had to use to let him go…no matter how much it broke my heart. And it was weird because something washed over me and I knew it was time. I knew what I had to do. I wish I had the money to pay for all the tests so I knew that I truly exhausted everything but in the end it didn’t matter. He was far too sick that none of that would have mattered, there would be no answers on things we could do to help him. My poor boy was riddled with cancer and diseases that we couldn’t save him from. When the vet came back I told her what I decided and she said it was the right decision for him. It was hard to take much comfort in that in the moment. I had tried to imagine many times before how it would go if I had to make the decision to put Meowshine down. I really wanted him to die peacefully in his sleep to avoid any pain and avoid me having to decide. They lead us to this very large family room and then brought my sweet Meow in, still all wrapped up in his yellow blanket so we could say our goodbye’s to him. I sat with my beloved buddy and again cried into his soft orange fur. Like I did so many times when my heart was broken but this time it was the last time. I kissed his head a million times in a row like I loved to do. I stroked his soft head with my free hand and talked to him. I told him that I was going to miss him so much and that I loved him even more. I told him that he was going to go to sleep and when he woke up he wouldn’t be in any more pain and would feel so much better. I told him that he was such a good cat and I was so lucky to be his mom. I told him over and over that I loved him so much and I was so sorry that he had to go. I told him to say hi to Sarah for me and that she would take good care of him until it was my time to join them. I kissed, sobbed and cuddled him until the vet came back in. When it was time to administer the drugs, he was cradled in my loving arms comfortable in his favorite blanket. They took his front paw out that had a little IV in it. It was so small and so cute. I remember reacting with an automatic ‘awww’. They told me the three things they were going to inject, one to clean it out, one to put him to sleep and one to stop his heart. As they started their injecting, I just kept repeating over and over again that I loved him, that I loved him so much. Over and over. I so badly needed the last thing for him to hear was that I loved him, I needed that to be what he left with and it was. I needed him to leave this world knowing that his momma loved him more than anything and that he heard that loud and clear. I needed him to be surrounded with our love to help make his passing on a little easier on him. He peacefully drifted away in my arms and it was done. My sweet beloved boy was gone. My heart was destroyed. I miss Meowshine terribly. Some days are better then others but the loss of him has weighed very heavy on me. Our lives had become so intertwined and not having to worry and care for him has left me feeling very lost. I read somewhere that grief is love with no place to go. I like that because I loved him so much and it makes sense that I would be grieving this much over losing him. It’s hard to be able to grieve the loss of a pet because there are people who don’t understand. They view the pet as ‘just an animal’ and it is hurtful to feel so misunderstood. If my best friend died or my child, people would understand that I was having a hard time. While I understand that it’s different I don’t understand why something so painful to me feels discounted by others. Minimized. Like it doesn’t matter. Like Meow didn’t matter. But you know what? He mattered to me and even if his life didn’t matter to anyone else, his life and him being in my life completely changed it. And that is worth my pain, worth my anguish, worth my mourning. He is worthy of that and I refuse to let anyone try to tell me different. To anyone grieving I hope you find the strength to grieve how you need to, no matter what the people around you say about it. You have a duty to yourself to process the loss and feel that pain. It is so much better to deal with it know then to pretend it away and deal with it later. The last three months have been difficult but having grieved before I knew slightly what to expect and what I have found helpful in the past. Each day I process the grief in different ways, to incorporate it into my life more and more. I still hate that he was gone but I now know that I did the right thing for him. I miss him terribly and I know I always will. I did decide to open my heart and my home to another cat and while I really wasn’t expecting to do that so soon, I am glad I did. He brings a light back into my life and it feels nice to smile and laugh again. To care for something else and to be able to pet that soft fur, hear those purrs, it’s really comforting to a broken heart. I miss Meowshine and I always will. But I am glad that I opened my heart to Drake and I know that Meowshine loving legacy lives on. It doesn’t mean he meant any less to me, I’m not replacing Meow. I’m just continuing the love I have to share with another animal. I know Meow would have wanted me to.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Listen to yourself

I was talking to a coworker today on how important it is to trust yourself. To listen to that inner voice telling you what is right for you, not listening to what everyone else says you should be doing. She had sent me a blog about a girl who was 25 and not feeling like she fit into what society said she should be doing at 25. She talked about being open to what is out there and doing what is best for you, not what you think you should be doing. I can certainly empathize. Most people my age are married, with kids, paying a mortgage and in a stable job that’s been progressing since they graduated from college (aka making more money). They have their life figured out. Ok that is what it seems to the outside world but I have begun to learn they often do not. And I suppose that is where a big problem arises when you compare your life to others. You don’t know the inside like they do. You can’t see why they have made the decisions they have and if they are truly happy. I would much rather be happy then suffocating in a life that from the outside fits the rest of the worlds mold of a 31 year old female. Now for someone who is always concerned about doing the right thing, doing what I should be doing (I blame it being raised by a correctional officer)…this was a really hard pill to swallow. After my divorce and feeling like a failure at life, I struggled with who I was and what I meant to the world. What was my value now? I soon realized that who I was had so little to do with my relationship status and I started to reevaluate the things that were really important to me. I could finally ask myself what I wanted out of life, not just what I felt was expected of me. It was such an exhilarating (and scary) time and I was really happy I could honestly look at myself and my life and what my inner voice was telling me. In the time that has passed, I can’t tell you how many ups and downs I had. There were times I had no idea where I was going and felt so lost. But then there was other times that I could feel that I was in the right place in my life. I suppose it is never 100% but you have to trust yourself and let it guide you hoping for the best. The parts of my self that I have embraced since then have always been the core of who I was but I really hadn’t let those parts guide me before. Now that I have, my life is in such a better place then it ever was. And I know they are going to lead me to even better places. My life is mine and I am proud of myself for continuing to grow even now. To get the best life we can, we have to be willing to take risks, we have to listen to that inner voice telling us what is important and right for us. You might not fit into what society expects of you but you know what? That’s ok. We are all different and we are all supposed to take different paths in life. I’m not ashamed where my path has taken me and you shouldn’t be either. As long as you are growing and reaching for your dreams, how can you be mad at that? Found this on pinterest...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The gift of starting over

Holy good God it can hurt but I’m here to tell you that it really can be a gift. If you let it be. You can choose to dwell on your pain and refuse to move forward or you can take the fresh start as a new beginning and do the best with what you have. You tackle it with an open heart and an open mind and even though it does hurt in the beginning, it will get better. So much better. But in the mean time, you have to find it somewhere in yourself to be brave enough to learn your lessons, accept what happened, deal with the pain in the most constructive what you can and move forward with your new life. You have to love yourself enough and want the best for yourself or you’ll make the same mistakes and find yourself stuck in a really ugly place. I’ve been there, I’ve been in total denial before, I have refused to see what was happening around me, I have been stuck and refused to follow my heart. I knew what I needed to do, I knew what was right, but I didn’t trust myself enough to listen. Being in denial doesn’t stop what’s going to happen. It only leaves you blindsided when it does happen. And angry. And pissed because you should have saw it because you should have listened to yourself and now you are just left in a massive amount of pain, confused, scared and picking up pieces. It’s a real sucky place to be. My best advice before you get to your new beginning is to start being honest with yourself. Take a step back and try to view your situation in the most honest and real light you can. Maybe talk to that friend that is willing to be honest and you just wouldn’t listen before. Listen to that nagging feeling you have and trust yourself to make the right decision for you. Know you are brave and strong and can do whatever life has for you. You can endure so much more than you think you can. For me this message provides hope when you might be in a place that there isn’t much. I hope that you know that you will come out the other side and if you try and look out for yourself, you can actually come out the other side happier than ever before. Starting over sucks and for me it was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to deal with. But I’m proud of the life that I have built since then. I might be a work in progress but I’m so proud of how far I have come. And if any of your find yourself starting over you will be proud when you look back too. It takes time, trust the process and keep getting back up. Life will knock you on your ass a lot but you have to be willing to keep getting back up. Proud and strong and never give up. Anyways, I suppose when I saw this as a pin a few days ago it got me to reflect about the last few years of my life, where I was, where I am now and how my new beginning brought me to where I am which I’m really grateful for. This gift I was given brought me to the best place I could ever have imagined. I love my life and the people in it and feel incredibly blessed to call this my life. Starting over taught me a lot of really valuable lessons that helped me get to the life I have and I’m actually grateful for that time of struggle. It taught me to love myself in a time that I didn’t feel very lovable and to trust myself to do what is best for me. It showed me all the crap I thought was acceptable that really wasn’t and what I refuse to put up with ever again. It taught me the real struggles in life and that things really could be worse. And no matter how ‘worse’ it got that I could handle it. Sometimes by the skin of my teeth and taking it second by second but I could endure whatever was thrown my way. And it made me realize you really can’t sweat the small stuff. As clichéd as that is. It taught me how strong I am and just how much I could handle. It taught me who were my true friends are and how much my family loves and supports me. It taught me to be so appreciative of what I have. I am incredibly happy that I could learn my lessons from my past and I know that allowed me to move on like I did. It allowed me to open my heart to someone more fully and allowed me to love someone so much more than I ever dreamed was possible. So the point of the post? Know that there is hope even when you don’t feel like it. That it gets easier. That this new beginning, however painful, will get better. That if you do the work, process your feelings and sort through the ugliness, that it will pay off. It did for me. I have started over so many times in my life, big and small and each time you have to believe enough in yourself that you know it will get better. Because of the changes you are making your life, your end result will be better than when you started. Besides you love yourself enough to fight for the best life you can have. You are worth that struggle to get to a better place. Embrace the gift. It's totally worth it :) The picture at the start of this post I found on pinterest and this was the link attached...

Thursday, May 16, 2013


How does a month go by so quickly? I mean I can’t believe that it’s been since April 1st that I last posted a blog on here! Well I’m going to make a concerted effort to blog on here at least once a week. That is totally doable. I want to post things like healthy recipes I’ve tried. New jewelry I’ve made (more on that a little later). Exercises I’ve tried that I’m crushing on (like Zumba :)). Other random thoughts about things affecting my life right now and I’m sure much more. Thanks again for coming along on the ride with me. So my newest endeavor is I’m really trying to make a go of my jewelry business ‘Buffy’s Bracelets’. I’ve been making jewelry for it seems like forever but I go in spurts of when I make new things and lately it has been one of those things that has collected dust in the corner of my apartment. And besides doing a couple craft fairs I never really tried to sell my stuff to people other then friends asking what I had and buying stuff from me. I have made jewelry for some of their bridesmaids but other then those few things it was never really a business per say. It all started 6 or 7 years ago. I started by making jewelry when I got married for my bridesmaids. My friend Michelle bought some of us girls these beautiful swarovski crystal birthstone bracelets that a woman was selling at a restaurant and I thought I could totally make these. I have always been the creative type so I thought why not give it a go. And no matter how off and on it’s been, I’ve been making jewelry ever since. While I have been in school it had been pretty sparse just because of time but I would manage to make up some Iowa State bracelets before games to try to sell them tailgating. Ok I would give most of them away but still. I guess it got out the word of mouth that I could make them? Anyways, I had a woman reach out to me that saw a friend’s bracelet and wanted me to make some jewelry for her bridal party! Since graduating from school and feeling kind of lost trying to find a new job that would be more satisfying, I have been trying to focus on doing things that make me happy. One of those things has been making jewelry. There is a farmers market in town and I thought maybe I should try to sell my stuff there. After a month or so going back and forth about it in my mind, I decided to just do it. Since then I have created a facebook page where I post pictures almost daily of whatever I made that I’m wearing that day. I also started an Etsy shop where I have a pair of earrings listed and more to come. So I feel like I’m at least giving this a go. I’m actually trying and not just waiting for things to happen for me. You have to at least get out there and try or else you can’t complain about what might have been. The only way to know is to try. So far it has drummed up some business and I’m hoping it will keep expanding. If anything else at least it’s a way to get my creative juices going and make a little money on the side :) For the last month I have been doing really well with exercising and eating right. I have had a few days (ok, really just meals on those days) where I let go a little but I think that is really helping me to stay on track the rest of the time. I’m down 5 pounds so I’m really happy with that. This past week I have started to notice what is firming up and that feels good. I have been doing cardio at least 3 times a week (either Zumba or running or Tae Bo or some other workout DVD) and then at least 2 days a week I do some sort of strength training (on my own with free weights while I watch TV or a yoga, pilates, or other ST DVD). I try to get in 6 days a week of workouts but sometimes I only do 5 and that’s ok too. I think part of it is I am being more attentive to what I’m stuffing into my mouth, being more strict about it but also cutting myself some slack when I need to. If I eat bad at one meal I don’t say screw the whole day. If I miss one day of workouts because of a legitimate excuse (last minute plans that need done that night NOT just being too lazy to do it) then I just make sure to do it on another day. It’s that whole moderation thing, you know. I have also been trying very hard not to emotionally eat (as I really like to do) and being more conscious of that. That one is the slippery slope and I have to be able to cut myself some slack when it happens but also not go over board or not get back on track. I’m a work in progress, what can I say? So that is where I am right now. Feel free to like my facebook page and keep up with all things pretty there. I will also post some pics here to but you can get your daily dose over there :) Also I have some links on the side of the page for the facebook page, my etsy store and all that good stuff. P.S. Tonight we are grilling out (the cute bf and I) and making burgers. One recipe I threw together is 1lb of ground meat (it's ground turkey 93% tonight) and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (I just use whatever I have on hand, you can even use a stick of string cheese cut it in 4 and stick inside the burger) and dried onions and spices. The spices I have been using is garlic powder (I use it on most everything), dried basil, chili powder and Cookies seasoning. So yummy :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Deep thoughts for a Monday

The last few months I have been feeling rather lost, like I was searching and searching for myself and I could not find her anywhere. I remembered the glimmer of who I was and what I wanted to be but could not seem to find her anywhere. Where the hell did she go? The more I searched, the more lost I felt. I could not seem to grasp why I was so unhappy and why I felt so lost. It seemed to sudden and was so confusing. I fell into that trap…the ‘once (fill in the blank) happens then I’ll be happy’ trap and it’s a bitch to get out of. Mine was… ‘Once I graduate’ ‘Find a job’ ‘Move away’ ‘Hit my goal weight’…just to name a few. I wasn’t focused on the here, the now. I wasn’t focused on what made me happy with my life as it was. I was always looking to the future and when I got to a certain place and then I’d finally be happy. After graduation, I found myself severely let down and here I was waiting for my life to start. Waiting for (fill in the blank) to happen. And I was beyond annoyed with myself. I suppose that is what happens when you’re purposeful in your life. When you take the time to figure out where you are going, where you want to be and when you want your life to go fantastic places. At least I had figured out a long time ago that waiting on someone else to make you happy was the quickest way to be miserable. I knew that I had to be happy with myself to be happy with anyone else and I’m thankful I learned that lesson because I don’t think I could be as happy as I am now in my current relationship. That and he is totally awesome…that sure helps :) Anyway, I digress. I think you also have to realize that you have to be happy where you are right now in your life and when the other stuff finally happens you can be happy there too. It makes sense now that I realized it. At the time though it was a downward spiral I had no way out of. Its part of appreciating what you have and not always looking to the things you want. I mean it’s good to have goals and to work toward something but that can’t be the only key to your happiness either. One other important part I’m starting to realize is you can’t compare your journey with anyone else’s. You have to be willing to love your life how it is, not how you think it should be. On the outside maybe people would not define my life as a success up until this point because I’m 31, just graduated from school, looking to start over in a career, being divorce, renting an apartment and still finding my way. It starts to mess with your head when you see your peers at different points in their lives. But the truth is I’m just as happy in my life and maybe even more then some of my friends are that own their houses, have careers and are married with babies. Those are not the only markers to success. A lot of times you are made to believe that but it is not true. I’m brave enough to start over when I found my life miserable. I love myself enough to want to be happy and grow in a positive direction. I have a life that I am proud of and I will continue to be proud with whatever steps I take to make my life all I know it can be. I won’t be afraid because of what others think or be discouraged by what they say. This is my life and I decide what makes me happy. So the moral of this story is this is YOUR life and your story. Not anyone else's. You have to live your life for you and do what you know will make you happy. You have to appreciate what you have while you have it. Grow and change and become the person you want to be but don’t lose sight of what is in your life right now and the parts of you that will always remain. You are not a failure if you keep trying. And it’s never too late to start over again. Don’t be afraid to do what it takes to reach your goals and dreams. You can’t be too afraid to try because you’ll always regret it. Be a person the child version of you would be proud of. We are all works in progress but that is the most important, that you are progressing. No one wants to stand still. If in 10 years you are at the same point in your life you’d be so pissed. I know I would. Don’t compare your life to someone else's. So go do all those things you were too afraid to do. You only have today, this moment, so make it count.