Knowing Your Worth & When to Walk Away

Like many women, I myself have been guilty of this in past relationships. You hold on long past the relationship’s expiration date hoping that something will change, but all the waiting often leads to disappointment. Now let me qualify this by stating that this post is not meant to disrespect men. I absolutely adore men, and I do believe deeply that love and relationships can be lasting with the right person. For me, this is more about knowing your value as a woman and holding on to your dignity in love and life in general.

Knowing Your Worth

As women, many of us tend to act as caregivers and nurturers and this is a beautiful thing. We are used to giving love and affection to those around us whether that person is a child, friend, family member, husband, or lover. I myself thrive off of caring for others, but the problem arises when we begin putting everyone else’s needs before our own. Although tempting, especially in the butterfly-ridden, early stages of a relationship, don’t neglect your friends and hobbies for a man. This will only leave you feeling unfulfilled and unhappy.

Of course you want to make time for someone you care for, but just remember to make time for the other wonderful things that make you, YOU. I love adventure, hiking and trying new things I am afraid of and I enjoy spending some time alone. These are a few of the things that make me beautifully who I am, just as you have things that make you beautifully you. My supportive friendships with the other women in my life are also a big part of who I am as a woman. Spending time with my friends lifts me up and makes me a better human being.

Chances are that many of these things are exactly what made you attractive to someone in the first place. So in giving those things up, you are throwing away a very alluring and valuable piece of yourself. I also recognize that my time and attention are just as important as any one else’s and if my time is not respected then I just simply stop giving that person attention – this goes for any relationship (friendship, love, etc.). Save your dignity and refuse to beg for someone’s attention – it won’t work anyways (trust me I have tried).

The point is you are valuable, you are loving and you are beautiful. You simply need to find that person who sees these qualities you possess and understands that these gifts are precious.

When to Walk Away

Men are different creatures that I will never claim to completely understand. However, they are human just as we are, and will sometimes make mistakes and fail. It is okay to give good men the space to make mistakes. I can only hope to be shown the same grace in a healthy relationship. Some men also just need space and don’t know how to ask for it without hurting a woman’s feelings – space they should respectfully be given.

In the past I have been inclined to worry (there’s my anxiety kicking in) and ask what’s wrong and overthink everything until I have driven myself completely crazy. I know that I cannot be the only one who has done this in relationships. Recently, I have made a commitment to myself. I don’t take things personally until someone makes it personal. If someone is too busy for me or needs space, I simply give it to them and make time for all the wonderful things that I love. Sometimes men and women need alone time and you should allow a person to have that. My life is full and I don’t need someone to complete me, but if a man can add value and join me for a beautiful ride then amazing! That being said you can not control someone else’s actions and they are not a reflection of your worth as a woman. Sometimes it isn’t about you at all, it’s about fulfilling their own needs.

The problem is knowing when a relationship has crossed into unhealthy territory. As I mentioned, we all need space to ourselves and time for our own hobbies and friendships. That being said, if a man can not find any space for you on his calendar then don’t take it personally and don’t push for attention (again, save your dignity). Pull back and focus on you. Trying to force something that doesn’t fit is unhealthy for both people involved. You have too many amazing things going on in your life to focus all of your attention on someone who isn’t willing to be there.

I have held on to some relationships in the past where I gave everything I had of myself, but was not made a priority in any way. This will never change and sticking around is degrading, disheartening and disappointing. I held on because my hopelessly romantic heart thought that if I loved harder and gave more then they would see my value. I am here to tell you, I have tested this theory and it DOES NOT work. Forgive them, move on and focus on yourself. Make room in your life in case the right person comes along.

A woman is not defined by her relationship status, a woman is uniquely defined by what sets her apart and reflects the beauty inside of her soul. I am currently single and dating. This does not define me, as it does not define you. I am a career-driven, family-oriented, loving, daughter, sister, dog mom, and friend. I crave adventure, need time outdoors, and time for reflection. These things make me the woman I am. Focus on your relationship with yourself and the rest will fall into place the way it is meant to, but don’t force things to fit. Just let them go.

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I’m Coming for You May…

So I am a bit behind because the start of this month was a Derby whirlwind. If you live in Louisville, you understand. We are nine days into the month of May and the days are finally longer and warmer, and this has me feeling very motivated to set some new goals for myself this month.

Accomplishing new goals shouldn’t be something we save for unachievable New Year’s Resolutions. Instead they should be challenging yet achievable. We should also spend time editing these monthly and making changes for the things that do/don’t work for us while striving to be better. Lately, I have been focused on making time for the things that make me happy without guilt, which is something I want to continue.  So for the rest of the year, I plan on picking three goals to work toward each month.

Giving Gratitude

Being grateful makes you happier – its science (I think). This month I want to write down three things I am grateful for each day. I also want to show my gratitude for someone every week. I know… I know… I am a big cornball (in case you didn’t already know) but I think this is important. I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and I want to start spending a little time acknowledging that.

Running Weekly

Now here is a commitment that I have tried to stick with time and again. I always feel better when I make time for exercise, but it is so hard to motivate myself to do it. I really have no excuse since there’s a gym in my neighborhood and a park 5 minutes away. Instead of saying I am going to work out everyday (we all know that won’t happen), I want to make a commitment to 3x a week. On these three days I will get a good run in and whatever else I feel like doing at the time. I want this goal to be less about how I look and more about how I feel. The scale tends to discourage me these days. Being a woman, I feel I put too much pressure on myself to be a certain size. I have struggled with the fact that my womanly body has changed quite a bit since my early 20’s and for me its time to accept and embrace the curves (wanted or not). My goal here is really just to feel stronger and healthier.

Yoga/Meditation

I have really let this habit go over the last month, which makes me sad because I was making a lot of progress. That’s life though… and mine has been busy. I am going to  recommit myself to my at home practice, and I plan on doing this around 5x a week.

I am really just hoping this will help me kick start a happy, healthy summer. Summer is definitely my jam, and I am hoping this will be another one filled with adventure, new friends and fun. What are some of your goals for this summer?

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How my Friendships with Women Inspire Me

Happy Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and I wanted to write a post about my relationships with other women and how these friendships impact my life. We all have our different types of friends; some are old or new, some are thoughtful, some are the life of the party and always providing the laughs, while others are no-nonsense, “tell it like it is” companions. All of these various women in my life help give me confidence, support, and even sometimes a shoulder to cry on.

First, I have to say I have been blessed to have always been surrounded by strong women, starting day one with my mother. Growing up she always pushed us to try our hardest, but also gave us love and comfort when we needed it. She set an example for hard work when she not only worked full time as an RN raising two kids, but also went back to school to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Then, I had my grandmothers who both raised kids and took care of husbands. I have been fortunate to have close relationships with both of my grandmothers, and their loving advice is worth more than gold. The lessons I have learned from these women I carry with me daily.

I also grew up with a younger sister, Emily (yes – my poor Dad had to endure a house full of women). Though we fought a lot growing up, as sisters often do, we have a great relationship as adults. My sister has been there for me through many ups and downs and she is one of those people I know I can always call. Lord knows, she’s had to listen to me cry about more breakups than I would care to admit, but I know she always has my back.

I have always had wonderful friendships with other women (I don’t get the whole – I’m not a “girl’s girl” thing, and frankly think it is stupid). In my hometown, I have friends I love that I have known for years, and since moving to Louisville I have gained a whole new group of friends. All of these women inspire me with their goals, hobbies, careers, community involvement, bad ass parenting skills, and many of them seemingly able to juggle it all. These friends give me career advice, push me to be more involved, give me pep-talks before Bumble dates (LOL – true though), and most importantly they show me what I am capable of through their own achievements. Seeing women further in along in their careers kicking ass, or being an awesome mom raising an actual human being (I’ll stick to my dog for now because you know… training wheels), these things are inspiring to me. These things show me what is possible.

So cheers to all you bad ass women from the past to present! Thank you for your support, drive, dedication, and most of all your inspiration.

How Junior League Has Impacted My Life

Today marks the 97th Anniversary of the Junior League of Louisville, and a little over a year ago I was lucky enough to go to my first Meet & Mingle where I made the decision to become a provisional and join. When I first joined I really had no idea what to expect, or if I would even enjoy it; now looking back I can’t imagine my life in Louisville without this group of motivated, intelligent, and empowered women.

When I first moved to Louisville in September 2015, I really didn’t have many friends in Louisville. Many of the people I met were more acquaintances than actual supportive relationships. After a year went by, and desperately feeling the void of not having any strong female relationships, I decided to make the leap and see what Junior League of Louisville was all about.

I also must admit, at first I had some preconceived notions of what it meant to be a “Junior Leaguer.” I had images of white-gloved ladies gossiping, all while they sipped tea ingrained in my head. I quickly realized (within the first meeting) that this was far from the case! These women come from all backgrounds, but they all have their love for the community and their compassion in common.

Since joining JLL I have been privileged to no longer just live in Louisville, but become an active part of the community. I have gained the confidence to use my voice, because I realize now that I do have the power to make a difference. My leadership skills have improved and I trust myself more because I am given opportunities to learn new skills. I have worked with numerous non-profits, hosted wonderful events like Mother’s Day Tea at Gilda’s Club, helped mentor kids on school and career goals, all while making friendships I know will last a lifetime.

If you are interested in learning more about the Junior League of Louisville, please feel free to message me, as I love meeting new potential members, or visit the Junior League website by following this link.