Monday, April 24, 2017

#MondayMantra



we think that choosing ourselves is selfish, but i'm here to tell you babes, it can be the most selfless decision you make.  when we choose ourselves, when we commit ourselves to making our lives better, it benefits everyone we love.  if you choose yourself and let it lead to your happiness, the people around you will notice.  and happiness is contagious, y'all.

every person deserves to know what it's like to smile and be successful on their own terms, so choose you, babe.

Friday, April 21, 2017

fri-yay!!!

erica's been sharing sneak peeks of our photo shoot, and this has got to be my favorite family photo, ever.  EVER.

well, happy friday, y'all!  fiesta is finally here in san antonio, the wildflowers are in full-bloom, and my allergies are on high-alert, lol.  every one i know is struggling with the allergies, so i'm in good company, but i could probably do without the daily sinus headaches!

peak of the week:  family photoshoot with the lovely and oh-so-talented, erica, of rae vision photography.  her aesthetic is everything, and she took some of the cutest pictures of lucas!

it's the pits:  just call me lonesome, heartbroke and then some.  (this song has been stuck in my head!) i've been super-nostalgic for new orleans and nashville the last few weeks.  those two places each have such a dear spot in my heart, and my short trip to nashville in january with my bestie and one of our other best girls only made me miss it more.  i realized i haven't been back to new orleans since i left five and a half years ago (omg, i just realized how long it's really been when i typed that out!).

since fiesta kicked off this week, i'll be partaking in a couple of the festivities.  tonight, oysterbake with melissa to see midland perform.  as much as i hate crowds, i'll be braving a mighty one to see them play live, drink some beers (perhaps), and take an oyster shot or two if i can muster up enough courage.  tomorrow night, catch my sisters and i under the stars at whitewater with willie nelson and kacey musgraves.  y'all.  best life ever.  now, hopefully i can wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on sunday morning to run a 10k with my dad (well, he's doing the 5k).  y'all cross your fingers for me!

have a safe and festive weekend, babes.
  • i swear naomi's blog gives me such wanderlust!  i really need to get on adding stamps to my passport (and idk, maybe even updating my passport since it expired like a million moons ago?) tout de suite!
  • this is why people are saying "13 reasons why" is a dangerous show.  so.  i have been torn about watching "13 reasons why".  i can see why people are speaking out against it, and i'm not sure if by watching it, i'll be buying into the sensationalization of suicide as they say.  i've been on both sides of mental health issues, as the sufferer, and also as the "bystander" in a sense, but at the same time, as an artist, i can see why this is an important topic to portray in mainstream media.  idk.  i'll let y'all know if i decide to delve into it.
  • however, i am excited to watch "the keepers", the next crime series to hit netflix.
  • there's still two more days to join penguin random house's #projectreadathon campaign.  every excerpt you read, donates time and books to children in local communities.  you guys know how passionate i am about reading, and the written word, so...help a girl, help some readers, huh?
  • goals.  #bossbabemomma


xoCandice

morning rituals.

eeeeep, accidentally posted this last night in my exhausted stupor before bed.  edited, obviously.

i drink a cup of coffee in the mornings.  nothing special.  and only on weekdays, because i actually still don't like coffee.  i couldn't even tell you what kind it is, just that it's brewed every morning in our break room.  a splash of french vanilla creamer.  a pinch of raw sugar.  just a little warm pick-me-up to fight the cold quiet in our office.

but not before i down at least one cup of water (preferably cucumber-lemon infused water) and eat my breakfast of typically oatmeal and half a banana.  the banana is the best part.  a half cup of oats, four ounces of hot water, left to sit for a few minutes.  half a banana, sliced, and mixed in once the oats have cooked.

all of this, while i check emails, and go through my list of tasks for the day.

slowly, i am adding routines to my day, in the hopes that they will help me focus, something i struggle so desperately with.  i am not now, nor have i ever been (nor will i probably ever be), a morning person, so it's really important that i start my day off feeling on task.

life is about to get really busy, and a little crazy, for me - what with work, gym, meal prepping, school, and mine and my sisters' business project.  adding routine to my schedule will keep me from stressing too much, and give me little moment in between the chaos to look forward to, like that morning coffee (y'all i'm really trying to sell myself on the coffee - it's like i hit 30 and no longer easily function before noon without it, in spite of my body's aversion to caffeine).

if anyone has great suggestions for keeping focused throughout the day, without caffeine (because i really can't drink more than that cup in the mornings), they would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

excerpts from a book i'll never write - ten.



he did not choose her, and she accepted that as gracefully as she could.  

when she found out there had been someone else, she responded deliberately and calmly.  numb at first, though she knew it was just a matter of time before it sank in.  before she realized she was not chosen, yet again.  before her brain started working, twisting words this way and that.  leaving her to wonder what was the point of even telling her in the first place, when they had hardly spoken a word to each other, hardly even given it a try?

she'll let it be.  she's spent enough time running after men who ultimately didn't choose her.  it left her choking, desperately gasping for air.  the caged bird.  now that's she's free, choice is everything to her.  so, she chooses to walk away with her head held high, leaving bread crumbs of love and support behind her.

he'll find her, eventually.

Monday, April 17, 2017

#MondayMantra



pull yourself up by the bootstraps, loves, and do the hard things.  i've found that success is infinitely sweeter when the journey is most-difficult.  that's not to say you should make your life harder for yourself (please, don't), but look those things you've put off for fear of failure in the eyes and don't back down.

this is where i'm at these days.  i realize i no longer have the advantage of restless youth (though i will always be restless, and i feel so very youthful) as a shield or a crutch, and it is now time to take on those things which have intimidated me for much of my twenties.  head-on and on my own, as the women i admire, and am a descendent of, are wont to do.

i feel a settling in my bones lately, (agin', it ain't easy) that tells me while i'll always be wild and open to adventure, i'm ready to be serious about my legacy, about how i spend my days as i get older, about how i get there.  so, i'm looking the hard things in the eyes, and telling myself i have to do them.  it's my time.

and if you know me, you know that patience was not a virtue bestowed upon the women of my lineage.  so suffice it to say that i cannot wait for what the universe sets before me as i embark on this path.

have a festive week, loves!

Friday, April 14, 2017

fri-yay!

sweet inspiration in my new fave spot.

totally on a three day weekend high right now, y'all!  i've been really bummed this week, and it took me probably about a week to finally get yesterday's post about my trust/dating issues to a place where i felt comfortable sharing it, and then another couple of hours yesterday stressing over whether it was right to share it or not.  

i'd really love for y'all to think my life is all rainbows and butterflies, and i think i do a pretty good job of not letting myself sink too low in the doldrums, but i have really rough days sometimes, particularly when certain memories pop up, and i think it's important to share so other people know they aren't the only ones feeling that way.  and so they know that you can get through it, but it's a process, it's not going to happen over night.  

it's been about 9 or 10 months since everything happened between corey and i, and i wish i could say that he hasn't been apart of my life since then, but that would be a lie.  truth is, he slid back into my life last fall, maybe 3 months after we broke up and it's only been a month since i told him to kick rocks for good, to stop texting me, stop calling me, stop looking me up on social media, because i realized that he just wasn't good enough to be a part of my life, as a friend or otherwise.  and it was something that i needed to figure out on my own.  

i couldn't shake the burning hatred i built for him in the pit of my stomach for what he did to me, and to the other girl, but, for reasons i can't understand, i still struggled for a long time to say to him that i needed him to leave me alone.  i have to tell you, though, from the moment i did, from the moment i didn't look back, i haven't felt so light and free. and anyone who loves me and knows me will tell you that i haven't been happier in so long.

anyway, enough about the blues...let's get back to that three day weekend, shall we?

peak of the week:  i think i've mentioned my three day weekend about three times now, but it's been really nice to be off today and have time to relax and get things done.  i needed to slow down after the last couple of weeks of craziness.

it's the pits:  my workout schedule has been sporadic at best, so i feel physically the same way i have been feeling emotionally.  yuck.  i'm fixing it by starting boot camp with melissa again next week, though!

this weekend i'll be seeing two of my best babes in austin, and celebrating the holiday on sunday with my family.  i'm so excited to put together lucas' first easter basket from his auntie pish posh (lol that's what everyone's been calling me, why, idk!?).  and hopefully i can squeeze in a little bit of spring cleaning, somehow (i need it desperately)!

have a happy holiday weekend, babes.
  • obsessed with this midland jam.  i love that they're bringing that old country sound back!  they're quickly becoming a fave of mine, and i can't wait to see them at oysterbake next week.
  • the rules do not apply by arielle levy is next on belletrist's book club list and it sounds right up my alley.  can't wait to pick it up next week!
  • i can't remember if i've ever mentioned how the only movies that really scare me are the ones about aliens (like m. night shyamalan's "signs"), but if i did and you ever wondered why alien life forms might freak me out, maybe go watch "life".  melissa and i saw it the other night, and it really makes you think about how much we don't know in this universe.
  • this article about the handmaid's tale inspired me to read the book and watch the upcoming adaptation on hulu.
  • love everything about this look (reasons why i need to spring clean, lol)!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

the aftermath.

i've been thinking lately about domestic abuse and the women i know who have survived it.  women i admire, intelligent women, driven women, women like me.  it's mind-blowing, the number of friends i have had send me messages after i've written something about the abusive relationships i was in, saying, "i understand how you feel, i've been there," or, "i didn't realize what i was experiencing was so universal, that other women experienced it too," or, "thank you for being open, for being able to say the things that i wish i had the courage to say to my abuser, thank you for your strength".

all such wonderful, affirming things to hear.  and yet.  i don't always feel strong.  i am still healing.  i am still hurting.  i still chase away dark thoughts, dark moods.  i still get hit with flashbacks, when i'm watching movies, or reading, or listening to music.  when someone mentions something that ties me back to my ex - like the thrift store.

in both relationships, i was entrenched in psychological warfare.  in my last relationship, my ex was both my "partner", and my boss.  i must've cried 2-3 times a week, sometimes i wasn't ever sure why i was crying.  i was both happy and miserable.  i loved my job, but it cost me so much.  time, energy, relationships with other people.  i was stressed and on edge all the time.  if i did something wrong at the thrift store, he would tell me it was because i didn't care enough - about my job or him.  everything i did at work would translate into our relationship.

at the same time, i had a feeling in my gut that he was cheating.  i would ask questions, and these too would turn into arguments.  he would say i didn't trust him, and that was my fault.  i always wanted to talk about the wrong things.  i kept bringing up the same questions.  all of these were accusations he held against me.  a part of me knew that he was using what happened between my ex-husband and i against me, playing on my insecurities, making me feel like i was crazy not to trust him, when in actuality my gut was right.

these weren't even the worst moments of our relationship.  there are some things that occurred that i'll never talk about publicly.  out of embarrassment that i didn't leave him, that i didn't run from a relationship that was not meant for me, that i wasn't stronger.  out of fear that i'll be opening wounds, and telling too much.  after everything, after all the things i've said, written, posted about this relationship, i just can't talk about it anymore.  it makes me feel weak.

and maybe this is residual of the abuse.  maybe i still doubt myself at times, in spite of my awareness of my strength.  i realized the other day that i still do not trust new people.  it's part of the reason i don't want to date.  i'm scared to deal with getting to know someone, wondering if they're actually portraying their true self, or if they're pulling the wool over my eyes.

it really hit me that i was struggling with the aftermath of my abusive relationships when my sister  (who also went through a nasty breakup around the same time as i did last year) came to me, her phone ringing in her hand with the sound of text messages from a guy who wanted to date her, and she asked me, "how do i learn to trust again?  how do i put down my defenses?" and i realized i had no answer for her.  because i myself had not yet dropped those defenses.  i had put up walls, and second-guessed every moment of a few weeks spending time with a guy i had liked for a long, long while.  and while he ended our brief "courtship," for lack of a better word, with the quintessential, "it's me, not you," i found myself wondering if i hadn't been open enough.  (not to drag this guy, he's a nice guy, y'all, and i am not offended in the least by how he ended things, and i could not possibly, would not, say a bad thing about him, ever.  i'm only mentioning him in passing to show how hard it has been to open up again.)  did i still keep him at bay, even though this was a person that i connected with on an intellectual level like i had never connected with a person before.  even though i knew this person, and other people i know knew this person, was i still not one hundred percent myself because to be myself would be to show my wounds and my scars and that i am still healing and my ex took advantage of those things when i showed them to him, so was i afraid that this person would do that, as well?

it's a mind-fuck.  you want to protect yourself at all costs, and yet you want to get back to the person you were before the abuse.  back to the person who gave no fucks, who trusted openly, who felt for people in her heart.  now you worry that your heart is broken, that it is frozen to the core, and that no one will ever want to take the time to watch it warm again.  or that you'll never give them the chance. and you watch yourself shy away from the advances of men, constantly deflecting, answering questions of "why don't you join this dating app, or that one?" with answers like, "i'm just too busy," or "it's hard to meet people i connect with intellectually," or "i just have no interest."  you say, "i'm happy on my own," and you are.  except for the moments when you realize just how alone you are (wouldn't it be nice to have someone to go on that roadtrip, see that movie, try that new restaurant with?).  and don't even get me started on dating apps (am i the only person who wants to meet someone the old-fashioned way - whatever that is?).

and you realize you can never return to the person you were before.