I am happy to announce that I have been nominated for the Blogger’s recognition award. First and foremost, I want to give a big shout out and thank you to the wonderful, Cassidy Dyce for the nominating Bloom Like a Lotus for this award. I am honored to be receiving this award so early on in my blogging journey.
Please take a moment to check out her page, Sunkissed, here.
How Bloom Like a Lotus started:
I have always been incredibly passionate about writing, even as a little girl. It seems as if my mind just takes over and I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing. I have always wrote random pieces, even growing up. I just never really took the time to pursue anything with it. Nothing ever really had any specific meaning per se. I just did it because I loved to write.
As I got older and started sharing some of my writing with people, I was complimented constantly about how inspiring I was and how much I impacted people with my inspiration and motivation. That was never something I was trying to do per se, I was just sharing my thoughts on paper. Once I realized how much of impact I made on people’s lives, it really touched my heart. That alone was huge to me because I love helping people and give people advice and such. I just didn’t realize I did so well with it through my writing. To know that.
Well, if you have been following me, you know that I had gotten really sick and was on bedrest for a long time. If you didn’t catch that post, you can check it out here.
But after being on bed rest for so long, it made me look at life completely different. It was like a big wake up call to let me know how precious our time is. We are truly never promised tomorrow and we never know what can be taken away from us. So, since writing is my passion, I decide to start a journey of blogging in February of 2017. I wanted to combine my passion of writing and helping people to starting an inspirational blog so I can bring both things to fruition on a regular basis in the same place.
Little did I know how much of a blessing starting Bloom Like a Lotus would be. I can confidently say that I know that starting this blog was a step in the right direction for me. Since I have became a blogger, I have received two awards, I have met some wonderful people, I have became part of some amazing blogging communities, and I have been asked to write a piece as a guest blogger for 5 different blogs so far. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for my writing career and for Bloom Like a Lotus!
Advice to new bloggers:
Build your brand
I cannot stress this enough. Building your own professional online brand is so important. Essentially, this is your online reputation but it goes so much deeper than that. Your brand is who you are. This is your own true, authentic self. Don’t try to copy someone else’s brand just because you think they are a successful blogger. Everyone is creating content right now. There is a lot of competition out there so you want to be unique so you stand out. Whatever you do needs to be authentic to yourself. Let your true inner colors shine. Be unique. Be creative. Most importantly, be yourself.
Buy your domain
If you are serious about blogging, then you have to take it serious and you need other people to know that you are serious. If someone sees your site and it says “.wordpress.com” then they are not going to take you seriously. If they just see that you have your own domain, then they are going to take you more serious.
Live an interesting and exciting life
Writing about personal experiences is very important. If you write about personal experiences then you will be sure to be authentic in your writing and not copy what other bloggers have written about. Your personal experiences are very unique to who you are so no one else can copy that. Also, you will never run out of things to write. So, focus on living an exciting life and having as many experiences as possible, then you will never have writer’s block.
Don’t give up
You will have lots of bumps in the road. You will make mistakes. You will learn just how much work is actually involved in blogging. You won’t realize just how much work needs to be done until you actually start. Then you will realize there is even more work that is involved. When you first begin your blogging journey, it can be stressful and overwhelming. But don’t give up. You will be successful as long as you are consistent and don’t stop.
Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. Some bloggers are successful within 6 months, others it may take 2 years. There is not a set time frame. So if you are not making as much money yet, don’t panic. Keep pushing and you will get there.
Now, I would like to take the time to recognize the nominees of the upcoming Blogger’s Recognition Award:
Lela Knight - http://languagefortheplayground.com/
Naomi Destiny David - http://www.naomidestiny.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Janet Nguyen - https://thaojanet.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Morgan Smith - https://bibliobakes.com/review-policy/
Kelley Harvest - http://www.becomingbritton.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Shelley Whiting - http://arizonaartistaday.blogspot.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Joanna Lizette - https://www.thecupofjojo.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Larysa Shevchuk - https://1beautiful-mind.blogspot.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Clair Rivers- Boyden - https://heelstohorses.com/page/2/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Joyce Hadiwibawa - http://thejoycecollective.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Nicole Kops Black - http://coffeeandcarpool.com/
Neha Patil - www.endlesslyexploringearth.com
Camille Crespo - https://cresporia10.wordpress.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Ross Hunt - https://www.isablog.co.uk/single-post/08/08/2017/postnatal-depression-my-story?dti=170139453515011&fref=gc
Joseph M. Dabon - http://www.agewithcharm.com/
Wasana Madushani - https://workkidssleep.com/
Kirstine Ilum - http://www.thebalancingsoul.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Janice Collins - https://theuglyducklingslife.wordpress.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Manar Joulik - https://beautifulmindleblog.blogspot.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Angela Reinhard - https://yourpowerofreason.com/?fref=gc&dti=170139453515011
Congratulations to everyone! Please continue this award by following the instructions below:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide the link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story about how your blog started.
4. Give 5 pieces of advice for new bloggers.
5. Select 15-20 other bloggers you wish to give this award to. (choose more if you feel they merit they award.)
6. Comment on each blog to let them know they have been nominated. Provide the link to the post you created.
I am excited to announce that I have been nominated and selected for this year’s 2017 Liebster Award. If you are not familiar with the Liebster Award, it is simply an award that recognizes new bloggers. It is an excellent opportunity for bloggers to be found and discovered. It also allows you to support and connect with the blogging community. I am honored to accept this award.
The Liebster award is an award that only exists online and only for bloggers. It was created for bloggers to promote other bloggers. It is an awesome way to help encourage and motivate bloggers to keep blogging.
Receiving this award has only inspired me to keep on blogging and pursuing my dreams. It is an honor because one simply only nominates blogs that they feel should be recognized. It is also a reminder that I have a great support group with all of my other fellow bloggers. We are all here for each other and we lean on each other. We give each other that extra boost when it is needed.
Liebster is a german word that means valued, lovely, kind, dearest, beloved, pleasant, endearing, welcome, nicest, cute and sweetest. The purpose of the Liebster Award is to give your blog greater exposure to the internet.
I was nominated by the wonderful, Trupti Bhatt. Thank you so much for this lovely gesture. She has an amazing lifestyle blog that is geared toward women. She covers topics such as fashion, beauty, relationships and wellness. Check her out! I think you will love it! You can check her out at here.
Trupti has requested that I answer a few questions. Here are the questions and my reply:
Number one blog tip?
My number one blog tip would be to not write for money. If you are writing just to try and make money then it won’t work. There is a saying that says, “If you follow your dreams then the money will follow.” I am a firm believer in that. If you’re blogging, then it has be because it is your passion. If you are not passionate about it then you will not be successful with it. You have to be genuinely writing from you heart. It may be challenging at first to get your name out there, but consistency is key.
Favorite blog post?
My favorite blog is The Female Entrepreneur Association by Carrie Green. She truly is inspiring. I read her blogs and I have listened to almost all of her podcasts. She is incredibly motivating and she is a reminder that I am on the right track with my blog. I believe we all experience moments of doubts. We will always have obstacles that we have to overcome. By reading her content and listening to her blogs, it is refreshing because I know that I am not alone. All of the thoughts that I have and experience are the same ones that other bloggers and entrepreneurs have, even the most successful ones. They all had to start somewhere and they were exactly where I am today. She is amazing and an inspiration. She also hosts podcasts with other entrepreneurs and has them tell their success stories which I think is incredible. I love success stories and hearing about how people start from the bottom and work their way to the top. That also is a reminder to let me know if they could do it, so can I. I believe if you have to work hard for something then you will have a greater appreciation for it in the long run.
Item you can’t live without?
Since I have started blogging, I cannot live without my journals, laptop or my phone. I am constantly working on my laptop and my phone. There are always things that need to be done. I use my laptop for writing but I mostly work from my phone as far as statistics other networking. Being a writer, I always have to keep a journal with me. If I have an idea or a thought, it is important that I make note of it write away. If not, then that thought may never cross my mind again or it may not cross my mind in the same way.
Why I started blogging?
if you have been keeping up with my posts, you know that I went through a very hard time and was very sick for a long time. I was on bed rest for 9 months. If not, you can read that post here.
Well, I have always been very passionate about writing. Even as a little girl I always wanted to write in those diaries with the locks on them or journals.
After being sick for so long, I have a completely different perspective on life. I whole heartedly believe in living life to the fullest. You are never promised tomorrow. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but I had never been consistent with it or had the confidence to pursue it. When I finally recovered, I decided to start pursuing my dream. I wanted to see if I could make it a reality.
Hobbies other than blogging?
Other than blogging and writing, my hobbies include fitness, travel and adventure. I have been working out on a regular basis for about 11 or 12 years. I try to do a variety of activities to switch it up but primarily I lift weights and I am a runner. I ran my first half marathon in April of this year and I am hoping to run a full marathon soon. I believe in always setting the bar higher for myself.
I love to travel, especially abroad. I also love to take cruises. I have been to a few places but I want to see as much of the world as I possibly can.
About my blog?
My blog is an inspirational lifestyle blog. When choosing the title of my blog, Bloom Like a Lotus, I wanted it to have a very unique meaning. If you are not familiar with the lotus flower, it is a flower that grows in muddy waters. If cannot bloom unless it goes through muddy waters. I relate this flower to people because we have to go through muddy waters before we can bloom.
What and who motivates you to write?
I believe that everyone has a calling in life. It is almost as if we have a seed planted inside of us and it is up to us to make it grow. I think there is an inner voice inside of us try to guide us to be on the path that we are supposed to be on but we have to listen to it. Writing is my passion. Any time that I write, it is also as if my mind just takes over and all of these thoughts just come out. Ever heard of runners high? I guess I call it writers high. That fire burning inside of me fuels me and motivates me to keep writing.
Also, I have had a countless number of people come to me and tell me how big of an inspiration I am to them and how much of an impact I have made on their lives. People would tell me this all the time, even before I started blogging. I love to inspire people and I love to do so through my writing. That is my biggest motivator is knowing how much I help people.
Now, I have to nominate several other new bloggers with followers less than 200. You can nominate as many as you would like. The nominations for the next Liebster Award are:
Ashley Odekirk - www.littleraysoflife.org
Ava Zechiel - www.faroutfeminist.com
Vivenne Singer www.thewordymom.com
Yvette Marie www.ahealthysplashofhomemade.com
Laura Guzman - www.galswhinetime.com
Annabelle Grace - www.intothedeepunknown.com
Hermine-Jane Bagumyan - www.hookedonstories.com
Ka Lia - www.mysliceofhappy.com
Candace Reilly - www.thecandiecorner.com
Lisa Edwards - www.lifewithadecorator.com
Bri Mele - www.mymillennialsoul.com
Congratulations to you all!! I nominated you because I love your blogs and your content. You all are doing an amazing job! Keep up the great work!
Here are some of my questions for you to answer:
> What has been your biggest challenge with blogging?
> What is your number one tip for other bloggers?
> What are your hobbies other than blogging?
> What successful entrepreneur do you admire and why?
> Who is your favorite blogger and why?
> Tell us about your blog and why you started blogging.
> Item you can’t live without.
> What and who motivate you to write?
Liebster Award comes with a few easy “RULES.”
Write a Liebster Award Blog Post in which:
> Thank the blogger who nominated you for the Liebster Award.
> Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
> Upload the award to your blog. It can be done as a blog or on the sidebar.
> Answer the questions you have been asked.
> Nominate 5 blogs with followers less than 200 that you believe deserve to receive the award. If you feel others deserve the award, then you are welcome to nominate more.
> Notify the nominated bloggers so that they can accept the award. Bloggers can be nominated more than once, giving their readers more chances to learn more about them.
Please follow the rules. I wish you the best in your blogging career. Also, don’t forget to drop me a link to your blog so I can read your answers.
Have you ever heard people say, “the secret to success is in your daily routine?” I see that quote floating around Instagram and Pinterest all the time. And it makes sense, right? Success begins with you and what you incorporate into your daily routine. I knew what it meant and I understood what it meant, but it wasn’t until I actually experienced it that I realized the extent of it.
If you have been following my posts, you know that I just recently got out of a toxic relationship a few months ago. It was just very emotionally abusive and honestly, I didn’t realize how bad it was until I actually left. After I left, I was so much happier because I just realized how terrible of a person he was and how much he was dragging me down. But it goes so much deeper than that.
Prior to living with him, I had always had my own place. I always had routines for everything that I did from when I would wake up in the mornings to going to sleep at the same time each night. I would straighten things up every day but I would mop, sweep, vacuum and dust every Friday. I would go to the grocery store every Sunday and buy my produce for the week. These are just to name a few, but I had all of these small simple routines that I would do and always do them. Before him, I had honestly never even thought about doing them. They were just part of my life and my daily habit and things that I had always done. I never had to think about them. I felt so organized.
I didn’t realize this until after I had left him, unfortunately, but as my relationship with him slowly fell apart and deteriorated, I had slowly lost myself. I had slowly lost who I was and I had no routine to my life whatsoever. There was no structure to my life. After I moved out of his house and got all settled back into my own place, I felt lost. Not lost because I had left him, but lost because I just didn’t know what to do with myself.
I would do things randomly, just here and there. I would go to the store whenever. I wasn’t going to bed at the same time or getting up at the same time each day. And I honestly just felt so scattered. I felt so unorganized. I couldn’t pull myself together and get myself back on track. And I honestly couldn’t even figure out why. I was struggle with such simple things and it didn’t make sense to me. Of course, recovering from a toxic relationship took a lot of energy, but it took so much more energy to build myself back up.
I had been talking with a friend about how I used to read all the time but I just hadn’t found much free time during my day lately to be able to read. He then went on to tell me that he made it part of his daily routine and just did it at the same time every day. I was like, hmm okay, maybe I should try that.
And I did.
I decided that every morning when I would get up, I would eat breakfast and drink my coffee and while I was drinking my coffee that I would read at least a chapter or more if I had time. Well, ever since that day, that is exactly what I have been doing. There were a few mornings I may have skipped or found myself not having time. But eventually, it became something I would do daily. There is another quote I see floating around all the time that says, “it takes 60 days to change your life.” And after this, I firmly believe that. And I also now believe and fully understand the meaning to “the secret of success if found in your daily routine.”
Shortly after I started reading every morning and realized that I did actually have time for it, I also realized that it was becoming my daily routine and this was exactly what I needed to do to build my life back up. That is exactly what I had been missing was routine. So, it is true. The secret to success IS in your daily routine. And it can be whatever you want. You just have to discipline yourself and force yourself to continue to do it. Decide how bad you wan to change your life. Focus on doing it and you can do it. Now although, this was just something as simple as reading or my daily chores, it goes so much deeper than that. What are you doing with your life? Or better yet, what do you want to do with your life? You have to learn to incorporate whatever it is into your daily routine and I promise you will see and experience so many great changes. It makes such a huge difference. Stop making excuses. You have the time. There is time. You just have to incorporate it into your routine. What is it that you want to do? If you want to start working out, but you “don’t have the time” then find the time. Decide when you are going to do it, and do it. Do it before work or after work. But whenever you do it, do it at the same time every day. Maybe there is a dream or a goal you want to accomplish. Whatever it is, go do it. Life is too short to say, “one day.” Of course it is okay to do things outside of your routine. For example if you want to do something fun or go out with your friends and enjoy yourself randomly, then okay, great. But the things in life that are important and you want to be successful with must be a incorporated into your daily routine. Success comes from consistency. How can there be success if you are not consistent in doing something and you only do it once in a while?
Change is hard. I don't care who you are. It is just hard. We just so accustomed to our ways that it is hard to try something new. We get comfortable. Things become habitual and they become part of our daily lives. Some people deal with change better than others. Personally, I have always been a person who struggles with change.
Any time there is a change, that means you will be going outside of your comfort zone and outside of your normal routine. Change is hard because we don't know what the future holds. We don't know what will happen next. That feeling can be scary. We are scared because anything could happen. It could be good or it could be bad. We won't know until it happens. But nonetheless, change is inevitable.
I have always had the mentality that I want to grow in every way that I possibly can. A lot of people are competitive with each other. That has never been the case with me. I have never been competitive when it comes to games or trying to be better than anyone else. The only competition that I have is myself. I constantly strive to be better than I was yesterday. There is always room for improvement and I always want to do better. I have that mentality with literally every aspect of my life. Well, one of those things that I know I need to work on is dealing with change. So, I am constantly finding ways to force myself to be out of my comfort zone to help me grow. The more I do this, the easier it is for me to welcome change. We do not grow when things are easy. We do not grow in our habitual state. We can only grow when we are uncomfortable. We can only grow when things are hard and challenging.
I have created a list of things that I have done to help me go out of my comfort zone that I wanted to share with you. Now, of course, there is no statistical research to any of this or anything like that. Some of these I have done myself. Others are simply suggestions.
It certainly helps me to do things like this and they may or may not help you.
In the process of doing these things, I also have been learning more about the power of the mind. It has helped me grow in other ways besides just dealing with change. I have learned just how powerful the mind is. Of course, I do things outside of my comfort zone to help me grow. Some of those things are enjoyable and some of those things are not. When I do the things that are not enjoyable, I tend to have a greater appreciation for things when I return to my comfort zone. Sometimes things happen that are outside of my comfort zone that were never planned and they still seem to help.
Here is a list of some of the things that can help you grow and expand outside of your comfort zone. These are in no particular order and again, they may or may not work for you. Some of these may seem very simple but once you do them then compare yourself after, you realize that made a big difference.
1. I normally run on flat ground but occasionally I will force myself to only run uphill. This helps me to be a better runner and appreciate running on flat ground more.
2. One thing that I absolutely hate is to run in the heat. I think is is absolutely brutal. I will also force myself to run in the heat when I get a chance. This helps me be a better running because it is harder than the climate I am used to running in.
3. I run in Brooks running shoes. Those are by far the most comfortable pair of shoes for runners. Nike shoes are cute, but they are definitely the most uncomfortable pair of running shoe that I have ever worn. But I still have them and I still wear them occasionally. By running in my Nikes, I am uncomfortable. It makes it harder, so when run in my Brooks again it seems even better than it initially was.
4. Headphones. They are essential to all of my daily workouts regardless if it is at home, running or at the gym lifting. If I am out for a run and my headphones die or and I am at the gym lifting. Sometime I am out for a run and I realize I forgot to charge them. There have been several times that I have went to the gym and gotten there then realized I forgot them at home.
5. When my FitBit dies. Since I have purchased my FitBit, it has literally became part of me. I love seeing how many steps I get per day and I love doing the challenges with other people. It encourages me to do better. So, if my FitBit dies, and I don't get all of my steps tracked, I am not a happy camper.
6. Go to a restaurant alone or bar alone. This is no longer something that is out of my comfort. I used to be uncomfortable doing this but now I would any day.
7. Order something you normally wouldn't. Even if you don't like it, it is outside of your comfort zone.
8. Read a book that you normally wouldn't read. Watch a show you normally wouldn't or see a movie that you normally wouldn't
9. Go out on date with someone that is totally not your type.
9. Try to make friends with a complete stranger.
10. Do something that you hate.
These are just a few to name that come to the top of my head. There are tons of things that you can do. But regardless, every day I try to challenge myself in a different way that is outside of my comfort zone. I am happy with the results since I have been doing this. I have grown so much because of this. I have learned that it really is mind over matter. I hope it works for you, too! :)
This is one of my favorite quotes. Einstein was a brilliant man and unfortunately, his predictions are pretty accurate. We are addicted to technology. We are addicted to our phones. I don't think I realized how bad it was until I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office one day. There was a woman with a little boy. He couldn't have been older than 4. He wouldn't sit still. There weren't any toys or anything around so she grabs a magazine to try and keep him occupied. She opens it for him and he starts swiping his finger across the page. He does it repeatedly. He continued to do it more aggressively and nothing happens so he starts crying and screaming and pitching a fit. He thought it was an iPad. He didn't understand that you had to turn the page. His mom kept trying to show him, but he wanted it to be an ipad.
The conversation is always up for discussion whether or not technology is a good thing or a bad thing. In all honesty, it's genius. It is truly amazing how technology has progressed over the years and it is only growing. I remember the first time I ever played with an iPhone. I was so intrigued. There is so much that can be done with the growth of technology and the digital realm of things. Social media has become part of almost everyone's daily lives.
But what happened to the personal touch? What happen to that face-to-face interaction? Over the years communication as a whole as slowly changed. Handwritten letters have transitioned into emails. Visiting someone has transitioned into phone calls and phone calls have transitioned into text messages. We don't see our loved ones as frequently because we think they are just a phone call or a FaceTime chat away. But they aren't. It's not the same.
If you go in a restaurant, what do you see? A group of friends are having dinner together but they are all on their phones. They are physically together, but are they mentally together? No.
Society is so connected to their devices but so disconnected from each other. How often do you actually sit down and have an in depth conversation with someone? As technology progresses, kids won't understand the true value of a conversation.
I am just as guilty as the next person. But I want to change that. Sure, technology is amazing. It has allowed for so many wonderful things to happen and it gives us so much power just as the touch of our fingertips. But is it worth sacrificing human interaction? We constantly feel the need to stay connected but not to each other anymore, but instead to an electronic device.
Technology is a stimulant. It stimulates our minds. Therefore it is addictive just like drugs or cigarettes. Sure it is great, but can we continue to utilize it without forming an addiction? Is it possible to keep an appropriate balance without addiction? A person who starts smoking becomes addicted inevitably. Smokers can't balance smoking to only an occasional thing. So, how is it possible to balance technology to not be an addiction.
I have watched numerous Ted Talks about how technology is destroying us as a society.
I love how the power to connect with anyone in the world at the palm of my hand. That's one of the reasons that I love cruises. It feels so good to be out in the middle of the ocean and be disconnected from technology. Nothing but human interaction on an entire ship. It is such a beautiful thing. People are happy and you meet new people and there is constant interaction. No one is suckered into their phone. I try my best to do things in life that don't involve technology. I don't even watch TV hardly. It is a rare occasion for me to even watch TV. The world has so many things happening and there is much of the world that we can see and do. If we aren't careful we will miss out on those special moments because we can't get away from our devices.
Below is a list of a few links from Ted Talks and videos about what smartphones are doing to us. Please check them out. There are a lot of them and some of them are long, but I promise it is worthwhile to watch them all.
Do you ever just sit and think about life and the challenges that come along with it? Sometimes life is just hard. Like, seriously. It is a struggle and it can be really hard. I don't think I can count how many times I have felt like I was at rock bottom, probably more times than I care to count. There have been many moments where I felt as if I couldn't do it anymore. There have been many moments that I didn't feel like I go on. I felt like I was drowning. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what direction to go in. I have felt like that numerous times and I know that you have experienced those moments, as well. We all do. It happens to everyone at different points of our lives and there is no way around it. That is just life. I also know that it is going to happen again and again in the future. Life is like a roller coaster full of constant ups and downs. But in an odd way, I have learned to embrace the hard times. If life was always good and we never had any bad happen, then we would not appreciate the good as much when we had it.
Have you ever been in a hospital and you see the heart monitor constantly going up and down in all different directions? That monitor lets you know that you are alive. If the monitor flat lines in the ER, that means their heart has stopped beating. They are dead. So, if we didn't have the ups and downs in our lives, then are we really living?
One very important thing that I have grown to learn is that being at rock bottom is a good thing. During those moments of pain and suffering we don't actually see the beautiful transformation that is happening. We never do. Often times, it is hard to find the light when all we see if darkness. But it is during those dark moments that we are transforming into something very beautiful all over again. Each time we are at rock bottom, that is because life has broken us and tore us down to a point to where we have no choice but to start over. We have no choice but to start fresh and build from the ground up all over again. The reasoning for this is because every chapter of our life is going to demand a different version of ourselves. Each time that we break, we come back stronger and better than before. And we could not enter the next chapter of our lives unless we had been broken, unless we had to rebuild ourselves back up. If we are at the bottom, there is only one other direction that we can go and that way is up.
This process is never easy. But you keep on fighting. You keep on pushing because if life is hard and life is challenging you, then that means you are in the process of transforming. That is why they are called growing pains.
If you are going through tough times, know that it has purpose. Know that you are approaching a breakthrough. It means that you are being broken down to rock bottom so you can bounce back up to the top. Just like the caterpillar that goes into a cocoon before it becomes a beautiful butterfly. In that cocoon, all it can see is darkness. It doesn't know that it is going to come out as beautiful as ever.
I know it hurts and I know that it is hard, but you have something wonderful to look forward to. The rebuilding starts soon. You may not see it and you may not feel it, but it is near. I know this because it is a process that I have encountered numerous times. You may not realize it but so have you. You have to break before you can build. This is how we grow. You are a flower and just because you are getting rained on does not mean that you won't start to bloom soon because you will. You, my dear, are beautifully broken.
I have always been a relatively active person. I started lifting weights when I was 17 and I started running when I was 23. (I will be 28 this month.) So fitness has always been a huge thing for me. Unfortunately I had a minor setback and had to stop exercising completely. I got sick. And I don't just mean sick, I mean REALLY sick!
February 2014 I was diagnosed with a severe case of mononucleosis. You may have heard it referred to as "The Kissing Disease." Well, people tend to make jokes about it and I honestly don't understand why. It is airborne. You do not even have to touch someone to get it. And it is so much more serious than that. Mono affects your spleen and your liver. Your spleen swells and can rupture at any time so it can be very dangerous. The amount of pain you feel from your spleen makes you feel like it did rupture anyway,
On top of the mono I kept numerous other infections, as well. I had pneumonia 4 times, bronchitis several times. I kept constant ear infections and constant sinus infections. I had the flu and strep and few times. My fever was 103 for 7 months. All of this occurred over the course of 7 months.
My entire body hurt. I ached all over. My throat was sore. I could barely breathe. My ears hurt. My lymph nodes were huge. They were seriously like the size of golf balls. I had kissing tonsils. If you don't know what that means, it means they were so big they were touching which was scary because it was almost restricting my airway. I barely had the strength to get out of bed to eat or shower. It was an absolute nightmare. I laid in bed and cried almost everyday because I felt so horrible.
I live alone so it was that much harder. I somehow still managed to get up, eat and shower. I still had to take care of my dog. But let me tell ya.. trying to go down 3 flights of stairs was a huge challenge. I live on the third floor of my apartment and it doesn't make life any easier, especially when you have mono.
So, I actually decided to get better and was approved to go back to work. I got better and felt great. I resumed my normal activities. I started working out again and went back to work. Life was good.
5 months later and it all started again. Sick again. Mono again. Bed rest again. This time it wasn't nearly as long it was only for about 3 months and it was still bad, but not as bad as the first time.
Then it went away...
...and came back..
and came back.
Like seriously why is this happening again.
So my doctor sent me to an immunologist who said my immune system was compromised and my body didn't have the ability to fight infection. So, I had to get infusions to create antibodies again.
6 weeks later, my immune system is back to normal but I still feel like crap.
Mono was intermittently returning and even when they said it wasn't active, I still experienced all of the symptoms. My doctor finally suggested that I get my tonsils removed because apparently your tonsils hold infection. So I did. And let me tell you, as an adult, a tonsillectomy is brutal. But that's a story for a later date.
After the tonsillectomy and going through hell for a bit, I did start to feel better temporarily, but still always seems to come back. I have basically been diagnosed with chronic mono. I may feel great for 2 months, then I may have a week or 2 that I feel like crap all over again. I just have to be cautious about taking care of myself and exercising and eating healthy, which I always have, so that isn't an issue. However, since I am such an active person, it is hard to rest when I need to and my doctor has told me that I need to listen to my body and rest when I need to and not push myself. Although, that can be a struggle because I like to be on the go all the time.
My point in sharing this story is because life is short. Before I got sick with mono, all I did was work and school and repeat. I did things occasionally, but not often. This experience has really made me look at life differently. We are only here for a little while. There is so much to see and do. They always say you never know when your last day on earth will be. But you also never know when something is going to happen that could prevent you from doing the things you always wanted to do. It is so important to live every day to the fullest. I do my very best to never take a single day for granted now.
I have just been sitting back and reflecting on my life a lot lately. I have seriously been through a lot, as I am sure most of you have been. Some good and some bad. I have thankfully been blessed enough to have a lot of good things happen, but I am just as thankful for the good as the bad. I have still been through a lot of bad stuff, but I have learned to embrace it. I didn’t have the easiest life growing up. I have made mistakes but I am only better for them. A lot of people tend to not forgive themselves for mistakes they have made or they can't let go of bad things that happened to them. Do not dwell on it. The past is the past for a reason. It does not exist anymore.
You should realize that you are someone special. We all are. God put each and every one of us here on purpose. We all have a purpose. We also were not created to be perfect. We aren't supposed to be perfect. So why try?
Whatever happened to you in your past needed to happen to help you become the person that you are today.
You are whoever or whatever you want to be. You have all of the tools inside of you to take you places. And everything that you had to go through was only stepping stones to get you to where you are today.
The thing is that we all go through things in life. We have bad things happen to us. Sometimes people tend to get wrapped up in the bad and let it hold them
back from going further in life. Don’t do that. Everyone has different things that they go through and experience. We have to push through. Just remember, we can’t bloom unless we go through the mud. Redirect your focus on the final product of what you will become when you finally push through your storm because eventually you will bloom. It is going to happen. Your time is coming. But if you don't learn to let go of the past, then you may be so focused on the past that you miss your opportunity for the present and for the future.
You may also think to yourself that others may have not had to go through the mud. But that isn’t true. A lot of times people are just better at hiding it and they want their life to appear as perfect on the outside. And even if they haven’t been through the mud yet, trust me, their time is coming.
We all face different obstacles and different paths. But you have to let the bad times that you have gone through push you forward. You are not a definition of your mistakes. You are not what has happened to you. You are whatever you choose to be. Those things had to happen to make you who you are today.
This will be my first blog post for my blog. Basically more of an introduction.
Writing has always been a huge passion of mine and so has inspiring, helping and motivating people in various ways. So, here I am writing in hopes to inspire or motivate you!
I have been a writer for over a year now. I started writing for BlogMutt December 2015 and I recently cut ties with the because I wanted to focus more of my personal blog. However, I also have my own column with The Odyssey Online. You can follow some of my work there by clicking here.
Since I love to write and I love to inspire people, I decided to start a blog so that people can come here to see motivational posts. People are constantly coming to me asking me for advice, whether it be for fitness and nutritional goals, relationship advice, or even fashion and makeup advice. I seem to be such a go to person. So, I decided to start this blog and I will write about a variety of topics. I consider myself to have been rather experienced in life and quite cultured and that is the only way to learn is through experience. I suppose that is why people seek advice from me. But it is a great feeling to actually help someone and that is what I thrive from.
Through everything that I have been through, it has taught me that to be good at anything in life, you have to start at the bottom just like a lotus a flower. If you are going through muddy waters, don't worry, it won't be muddy forever. Storms don't last forever.
Regardless what you have been through in life, you too, can rise up to the top.
I will be leaving comments open and my contact information is also listed, as well, on my page. If you would love to see any future topics or posts, or even if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from my readers! Don’t forget to bloom.