Wrecked…

 

Full disclosure I’m a bleeding heart and I’ve always had a deep connection to music. So the other day one of my friend’s posts a new song she found from RaeLynn called “Love Triangle”. It’s about divorce written from a child’s perspective. Normally these songs are written from the husband or the wife’s perspective and that’s probably why they don’t hit me like this one did.

I was standing in the laundry room and as I changed over the current load I cued up the song to play. Mistake alert!! I was not ready for the gut wrenching cry I was about to experience. This song brought me to my knees in every way imaginable. It broke me down and kicked me right in the feels. She perfectly describes what it feels like being stuck between two parents who are in the midst of a divorce. Hearing the beautiful melody took me back to my childhood and having to pack my bag for my dad’s house and all of the struggle that came with that. (Did I have pj’s that fit? Were my pants going to be too short this time?) So many thoughts running through my head that a 6 year old shouldn’t have to deal with. It took me back to all of the hurt I’ve kept down and ignored for years.

Naturally you’d think I’d listen to it once, realize it upsets me and move on to a happy song. But that’s just not my style. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. I continued to cry for the next four hours… taking me all the way up to 3:30am. Let’s just say the next day at work was brutal with a 7:30am meeting and a full day I headed into it with puffy eyes. Positives did come from it, I feel so much lighter though. That cry was cathartic and helped me to release pent up anger and hurt I had bottled up.

Here’s to moving on with a fresh outlook on my experience!

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Ouch… It’s Been so Long!

There’s things I wish for in life. More time is one of them. Since I’ve last shared with you so many things have changed. (Which I feel sums up the constant feeling of my late 20’s, but we’ll get to that)

  • I’ve gotten a new job!
  • I have an incredible boyfriend
  • I’ve moved into an adorable condo that’s smack in the middle of both of my families.
  • I’ve been forced into a gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyle. Thank you Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

New Job: 

In December I interviewed and accepted a position as an Assistant Event Manager for a small firm in Orlando. Let me start out by saying I love my job, my boss, his family and our clients. I was the Assistant Event Manager/ Volunteer Coordinator/ Administrative Assistant/ ((Too many things to name)) for the FIRST ever He Got Up event in Orlando, FL. It was the most incredible event I’ve ever worked, even above all of the concerts! Just under 10k people were helped on Easter Sunday, 4k haircuts were provided, over 500 showers, 18 palates of free clothes were given away along with 8 palates of toys. DCF saw over 500 families, helped people understand the services that were available to them. It was an incredible experience and one I’m looking forward to doing again next year.

I also did the Citrus Bowl Parade which was exciting up until I broke out in hives because as luck would have it I’m allergic to citrus. Overall, riding a police escort around Orlando was pretty exciting and the parade went off without a hitch.

Incredible Boyfriend: 

Let me start off with the disclaimer… we met on Bumble. I’ve gone on Bumble dates before but this one was different. We messaged back and forth for a week and he kept postponing our dates off because he was sick. The third time he postponed I started loosing hope and as a last ditch effort I re-scheduled for Tuesday, the day before I was leaving to London on vacation for two weeks. Because fate is a fickle witch she got me good. It turns out my flight for London was Tuesday night so this time I had to cancel our date… on the last possible day before leaving. He was such a trooper. He was positive and told me we could meet up when I got back.

We continued to talk while I was gone, he asked about my hotel and how I was holding up being overseas alone. On my birthday he surprised me with flowers! It was epically awesome.

We FaceTimed while I was gone and I knew I liked him from what I knew. He also volunteered to pick me up from the airport. He did and now the rest is as they say history…

New Condo:

Not too much to say aside from its perfectly located and super nice, aside from the cat stains from the previous tenants it’s awesome!!

New Lifestyle Diet:

This one was so not my choice but on my last day of vacation in Nashville my doctor called and diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditus which essentially means I can’t have any dairy or gluten for the foreseeable future. The transition hasn’t been an easy one but my family and boyfriend have been extremely supportive and encouraging. Here’s to hoping I continue to be successful on this journey. Wish me luck!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Hit Me Like a Wrecking Ball

I promise not to mention that super catchy Cyrus tune again.

Disclaimer: This post is technically about my faith but it’s relatable no matter what you believe.

Today I was absolutely wrecked in all the best ways. I felt it on my heart to reach out to my friend who is struggling in the aftermath of a divorce. So I texted her on my way to work and started praying. Within minutes it was like word vomit. I had so many petitions that it just kept coming. I know you’ve felt this whether you’re yelling to God, the universe or to yourself it’s that feeling of surrender where you unselfishly give every fiber of your being to a feeling, a thought, an action. It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve done this. Jumped head first into an abyss and waited for what was put on my heart. The tears and prayers kept coming five minutes became ten and I found myself in my parking space clutching my steering wheel and crying… Ugly crying with every ounce of my body. In that time of prayer I had felt God sitting in the passenger seat beside me prompting me to continue. As I walked into work I decided it was a great day to see my friend. We’ve both been through the ringer lately and today seemed like the right day to catch up and it was. We talked for hours. Giving each other advice, crying and being present.

Background: I’ve been going through some of the worst life changes lately. Not only have I been down but I’ve been battling feelings of unworthyness and loneliness. I’ve pushed almost everyone away including God and haven’t cared up til today. My friend is recovering from a toxic marriage that left her lonely, broken and scared. She has two beautiful little boys who are products of a strong woman. They are resilient and amazing. She has faced persecution and felt the need to defend herself in the eyes of people who are supposed to love her.

As we talked we opened up. She took a leap of faith and confided in me about a recent sin that has been weighing heavily on her. I saw her heart and how torn she is from her sin and I couldn’t help but feel ashamed knowing my sins are inexcusable and much worse. We both sinned the same way the difference being my sin was 8th circle of hell worthy. After hours of talking, confiding, tears and feeling every spectrum of emotion I opened up about sins I’ve openly committed, sins I could have stopped myself from it didn’t. I showed her my heart and instead of casting me to the side she spoke to me, her words were like a healing balm on my soul. I’ve never opened up to anyone about my shame and when I finally did I was met with open arms, not condemnation. This is how it should be. The people in our lives we count on shouldn’t condemn us but love us right where we’re at.

We briefly spoke of how her friend, and I use that term loosely, convinced my friend to take certain action and now the fallout and consequences of that are breaking her further. I know in the end some good will come of it, but how much longer will she hate herself for something she has already been granted mercy from? I wanted to scream, “don’t you think she’s suffered enough?” I could feel my friend’s brokenness and her desire to fix the situation, to take it back, to make it right. It’s a brokenness I’ve lived in for far too long. Too bad there isn’t a time machine to fix mistakes. If there was how would we grow and learn?

There are so many days where I feel unworthy, not cared for and unimportant. We live in a world that tells us we’re not enough or too much while God tells us we’re perfect because we’re made in his image. I read this amazing book called Be Rebellious by Megan Clinton and wow was it amazing and thought provoking. The world we live in knows nothing of grace and forgiveness so in a world that wants to beat me down I’m going to continue to stand up. If I fall there’s always tomorrow.

  
Let me break it down. Here’s what being a follower of Christ means to me. (Not all reasons will be listed, only ones pertaining to this post)

  • He loves me even when I don’t love myself.
  • I am worthy of his love because I am his daughter.
  • His forgiveness comes as soon as I ask for it.
  • He won’t hold it against me.
  • I am called to forgive others just as he’s forgiven me.
  • A sure fire way to turn people away from him is to judge and condemn them.
  • Grace was meant for everyone. Peter denied him three times and he was still loved as much as the most faithful servant.

I just want to end this post by saying you aren’t alone. Whether you’re behavior is self destructive or hurts others you can turn it around. It’s not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it. Fight for yourself, be kind to yourself and most of all love yourself enough to make a change.

An Open Letter to My Dad on His Birthday!

Happy Birthday Dad.

I can’t imagine spending my day a better way honoring the man who helped make me who I am. You came into my life when I needed you most. I was 10 and angry. Angry that my dad wasn’t there. Not because he couldn’t be but because he didn’t want to be there. It didn’t matter that I’d already started shutting people out because you knocked down my barriers. When you moved in you let mom and I throw away all of your terrible tacky ties. You let us show you how a wardrobe overhaul could change how people treated you. Almost overnight you went from mismatched and brilliant to coordinated. Showing you were every bit as put together on the outside as you are on the inside.

When I pushed you away you refused to take no for an answer and never missed an opportunity to tell me how much I meant to you. You showed up for every school and church function. You pushed me to be better, always encouraging me to be everything you knew I could be. You loved me like I was your own and showed me what true fatherly love meant. When I was weak you were strong enough for both of us, when I cried you were there to wipe my tears. In a world constantly telling me I wasn’t enough you promised I was. You were the quiet voice telling me tomorrow was a new day and unforgettably the very loud one waking me up in the morning. I didn’t make it easy for you but you never let that stop you. You loved me even when I didn’t feel worthy of being loved.

You taught me to fight for what I believed in even when it’s easier to concede. You taught me “if you’re not fifteen minutes early, you’re late.” and to always put family first. You taught me that in the face of life’s toughest trials you have to face it head on no matter the cost, you taught me to always do my least liked task first and to always leave my phone number twice when leaving a voicemail. You taught me how to wakeboard and how to get a great deal on a car. You gave me everything I needed to succeed and showed me that living a debt free life is empowering in so many ways and the knowledge that nothing worth doing is ever easy.

You showed my mom what it meant to be fully loved not just for one part of her but for every part most especially her heart. You’ve stood by her side through all of life’s demands. Through the loss of parents and friends, changes of addresses and businesses. Always putting her needs above your own. You’ve showed me how a man of God is called to treat his wife. One day I hope to have what you and mom have, a true partnership. I look up to you more and more each day. You fought for our family and I want you to know that I’ll always be in the front line fighting for you.

On my birthday you told me I changed your life. I guess that’s something we have in common because you’ve changed mine.

Ghosting

Ghosted Playlist

Have you heard of it? I guess I’m out of the loop because I didn’t know rude, disrespectful and uncaring had a new name in the dating game. So for reference…

Ghosting: The act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. This is done in hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to the subject simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.

Have you ever had a moment where you’re reading an article you stumbled on and all of a sudden it’s as if the idea lightbulbs are flashing all over the place and what you’re reading is so true you could have written it yourself? Thinking back the majority of the first dates I’ve had in the past two years where I met the guy online have ended with be being ghosted. Whether it was before the first date happened or a few in it’s become socially acceptable. #Growingupagirl isn’t easy, and anyone who says it is… is clearly a man.

As women we’re taught:

  1. To let the man pursue us.
  2. To not come off as ‘too interested.’
  3. To wait until he calls/ texts/ emails first.

These lessons are taught to us not only by our mothers who try to pass on loving advice, we see them played out on our favorite TV shows and movies. There are literally thousands of books written on the ‘art of dating’. I can’t help but feel like this ideal tells young women they should be less. Less caring, less loving, less interested, less intense, less passionate, less amazing… just less. I came to this realization during a long talk with my dear friend Isabel. During our conversation we complained about how we’re the last single ones in our friend groups. After a rant that consisted of me “cryelling” (crying and yelling at the same time, it’s not as easy as it sounds promise) I shouted that I’m tired of being told to be less. This opened the flood gates. We shared with each other all the times we’ve been told we were doing ‘too much’ for our current love interest. Whether it’s showing too much interest or making ourselves too available.

Recently I was bopping around the internet and I came across an article that I’ve fallen in love with. Pardon the crass title but it’s called Fuck Yes or No by Mark Manson. Now, I may be biased because I think Mark’s work is inspired and amazing but reading his article and vowing to follow it’s principles has transformed how I view potential relationships and even friendships. I’m done with being told I need to be less of anything. I’ve started applying the principles from his article to my life and it’s made all the difference.

My challenge for you is to apply the principles of Fuck Yes or No to your life. It won’t be easy at first because if you’re anything like me and allow your self to get your hopes up taking this forward approach can be intimidating. You have to be prepared to call it quits at any time and know that the one your supposed to be with is still out there. But wasting your time with someone who isn’t as into you as you are to them is just that… a waste of time.

A closing thought: You are strong, you are beautiful, you are enough. Never feel like you need to be less of anything, EVER.

It’s Been a While…

Well needless to say I’ve missed this. So much so that during my free time you may be seeing a lot of postings come through. As if I have so much to say and not enough time to say it in.

Since we’ve last chatted:

– Today is the first show I’ve worked since May. While it’s nice to be back in the mix it’s a bit frustrating not knowing what is expected of me. I’m a firm believer that in order to exceed expectations you need to first know what is expected from you. The original position I was hired for (which I was excited for) has now changed to a condensed version of what my usual job is. I look at each show as a learning opportunity and I’m hoping that this one will be no different. There is a lot to be said for keeping an open mind and always being willing to learn no matter how many times you’ve done something.

Coincidentally I am working with my old boss who has since the last time we worked              together iced me out after I found out some less than appealing things he did to me at our last show together. But, enough about that. I believe by taking the higher road in the end I will come out on top, and if not than it wasn’t meant to be but my work ethic speaks for itself and something better will come along.

((Update))

Within the time I’ve been writing this he has now leaned on me twice, which speaks loudly instead of doing it himself he approached me for help. Houston: We are making progress.

– My carpal tunnel has continued to worsen and my appointment tomorrow cannot come fast enough. Hopefully, it will bring further insight and resolutions as well.

– I’ve been able to spend an immense amount of time with my family, which I love! Especially with my little sister helping her learn how to read. and working on her phonics.

– I’ve purchased an almost new Ford Fusion SE in cash (which I saved for 5 years to get).

– I’ve fallen in love with a new budget app called Every Dollar. I’ve earned silly amounts of money from the Ibotta AppReceipt Hog and Poshmark. They are all great ways to earn extra money without much effort.

– I’ve been able to FaceTime my BFF, Isabel, quite a bit which is a huge treat.

So that’s what’s new with me. I hope these last few weeks have treated you well and that happiness has been busting down your doorway.

The F*ck Yes! 

http://markmanson.net/fuck-yes#.eswykl:QBQg

An acquaintance just posted this on her Facebook timeline and it’s pretty EPIC. As someone who has always tried to ‘play along with the relationship games’ I’m done. 

**Steps up on soapbox**

If a guy isn’t as excited date me as I am to date him then why bother? Really? All it does is lead to me laying awake at night asking myself these stupid questions… “Why didn’t he text?”, “was he really busy?”, “Did I do something wrong?” Enough is enough. I’m worthy of more than a casual nod. I mean half these guys act like they’re doing me a favor… REALLY? Come on now. 

/rant

The final straw…

This is me, what I look like at this moment… (You’ll need that for reference)

   

 

There’s days when I get wound up, and angry and flustered. Today is one of those days. 

I was standing in line at my local sub shop when I overheard a mother whisper to her daughter that “someone like that (referring to me) would never be able to get a real job.” Her daughter asked why and she began to explain because of the crazy colors in my hair and my tattoos for reference you can only see three of my tattoos, one on my ankle and one on each wrist. 

Now, maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t eaten all day or I was just finally fed up with this mindset but I not so kindly whipped around and looked at the daughter and said “Hi my name is Lauren, I am a 25 year old who graduated from Flagler College and I am a production office manager for music festivals. I pay all of my own bills, I drive a nice dependable car oh did I mention I graduated college debt-free and worked three jobs to do so. I used to be like your mom afraid to express my individuality and cared so much about what everyone else thought and then one day I realize that it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is what I think and my work and my work ethic speak for themselves.” 

To say the mom was shocked would be an understatement she tried to pick a fight but I said I wasn’t interested I was just sharing with her and her daughter the facts of my life before she goes and make snap judgments. I have faced criticism like this only a few times in the past but when somebody is trying to pass on awful ideologies to a child that’s what really bothers me knowing that they will grow up thinking the same thing their parents still just as my little brother has grown up thinking tattoos are stupid and ridiculous because that is how my father feels. 

To each their own opinion but keep it to yourself if somebody is within your shot of who you were referring to and cutting down this world has enough of negativity we don’t need to add to it.

Wisdom

   

These words speak to my soul. When I’m at festivals I’m constantly being told “you’re so kind, so sweet” well why be any other way. Seriously? Why be a miserable sour puss if you don’t have to be? 

The other day I kept a newly dear friend, let’s call him A, on the phone for 4 hours and 15 min… Well in reality we kept eachother on the phone that long. So he’s telling me about a mutual friend, we’ll call him S, who is boarder line acquaintance for me and in Dec when I got them what they had hoped for at the festival (with my boss’ approval). They were so stoked and couldn’t believe how kind and nice I was they got to talking and S had said “You know, she’s the kind of girl you marry. Not the kind who you want to be a mistake for, but the kind you marry.” I sat there kind of floored. 

While I don’t have particularly low self esteem I don’t see myself as that kind of girl. For someone as awesome as him to say that hit me like a ton of bricks to the chest. 

Now… I just need to find a guy who feels that way about me who’s single and laughs at my dumb jokes, indulges me in random dancing and never makes fun of my love for Taylor Swift.