Taking Care of Myself

The last several months have had a bunch of up and down moments. Lately, it’s been a bunch of down moments. It feels like it’s one thing after another. One day I’m happy and doing good, then the next day I feel like my world is falling apart. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted! I barely sleep and when I do sleep, I toss and turn all night, have bad dreams and wake up even more tired.

One day exhaustion hit me hard and I was feeling sick. My body had enough. It also finally hit me that I really don’t take care of myself as much as I should or think I do. I tend to take care of everyone and everything else and forget about myself. Sometimes, I just tell myself I’m fine, I’ll take care of myself later and keep going.

By not taking care of myself, I’m not loving myself either. I’m tired of struggling. I am going to make a change. I am going to do better. I am going to take care of myself and I am going to show myself love and this is how I’m doing that:

The first thing I’ve done so far has been inspired by a new friend and mentor of mine, Brooke. She has helped me so much in the past week and one of the things she challenged me to do is make a few lists. If you read my last blog post, you know how much I love lists. The first list was to write a list of 10-20 things that I DON’T like in my life right now and then make another list of the things that I DO want to see in my life.

I turned the things I do want to see into affirmations; I am loved. I am strong. I am fearless. I recorded me saying my list of affirmations so I can listen to it every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed. I may have recorded myself over a dozen of times because hearing my own voice being played back to me is SO WEIRD. The point of doing this is so I can hear these positive things and remind myself every day, twice a day of the things that I am and want to become until I believe it.

So, the second thing I have been doing is listening to uplifting and motivational podcasts every day. Usually, I listen to a podcasts series called “From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl” by Rachel Brathen. I relate to so much she has to say. I feel like the best time for me to listen to podcasts are in the morning when I’m getting ready or driving to work. When I start my day listening to something positive, I am more likely to carry that positivity throughout my day. I feel like my days are better after listening to my affirmations and an inspiring podcast.

The third and final thing that I want to share with you is listening to my body. I’ve been trying to pay attention to what I need mentally and physically. What is my body telling me? Does it need rest, exercise, healthier food, fresh air? Lately, mine has been begging me to stretch and do some yoga. The past few weeks my back muscles have pretty much hated me, so I booked a massage to help my back feel better and to help me relax. Another thing my body has been asking me is to drink more water. So, I downloaded the My Water app and have it set to remind me every 2 hours to drink a cup of water. My mind has been needing a break and time to meditate or journal is exactly what I need.

In just the past few days of doing these things, I’ve noticed a difference. I feel like I have more energy, more positive energy. I know as I continue to care for myself, I will love myself more and that positive energy will grow. As I listen to my mind and my body and not only show it love but tell myself I am loved, things will begin to change in my life. Not saying I’m still going to have moments where I’m down and struggling, but those moments might not come as often and when they do, I will probably be able to get through it a lot better and a lot easier than I have been.

Now Is The Time To Heal

Sunset photo taken by Caleb White

To be honest. I’ve had a hard time lately dealing with the the fact that I left Hawaii. I miss it. I miss the island life, the energy I felt there, the atmosphere and the gorgeous view. Everything about it was beautiful. I loved my life there. It may have been the happiest I have ever been. Although it was hard at times and I definitely struggled, it was where I wanted to be. I knew when I took the job in Hawaii, the chances were that I’d only be there for a year, but I fell in love with the island and my life there and wanted to stay longer.

After losing my job, I tried to make it work for as long as I could in Hawaii. I ended up living with my best friend on the island and had a good job. It looked pretty promising. But once again I felt like my life was falling apart. After a while, I had a strong impression that I needed to move home. I fought that feeling for a while. I refused to go back to South Carolina. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends here, but I just felt like I couldn’t be myself and live the life I wanted. On top of that it’s like my past relationships and the unhappiness I felt before haunts me. Finally, I grew tired of fighting and learned to accept that I was no longer supposed to be in Hawaii. So, I called my parents and told them that I knew what I needed to do…I’m coming home.

I actually felt homesick for Oahu and cried myself to sleep for nights. It’s been over a month now and I’m starting to be more okay with being back. Each day gets a little better. It’s hard to let go. It’s hard not to wish I was still in Hawaii. Leaving was definitely the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. Honestly, I think I rather have been dumped because leaving my life there was definitely more heartbreaking. I’ve felt very abandoned, confused and lost since moving home. I know I’m supposed to be here for some reason, but why? Why am I here? Why did I have to give up the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life?

I don’t know the answer to those questions yet, but for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling very hopeful and optimistic. I know there is a plan for me. It may not be exactly what I had in mind or maybe it is. It’s hard to believe that good things can happen, but they will. I know they will. Only because I have been through this several times before. This is not the first time I’ve been broken hearted or felt like I hit rock bottom. Rock bottom is a good place to start rebuilding yourself.

I’ve learned that you can’t expect everything to change and get better over night. It takes time to heal. It takes time to put yourself and your life back together. Be patient with yourself. Don’t give up hope. Believe in yourself and in your dreams. God has a plan for you. Trust in that plan. I know if I didn’t listen to that prompting to return home, I would miss out on other opportunities for great things to happen. I know that even though leaving Hawaii was difficult, He has something great planned for me next. I’m excited to see what will happen next and I wish I could know now. But now is the time for me to heal and to work on myself to get where I need to be.

Home Again

502cc4fa-d828-443c-b7ec-daa062a6af40

Since living in Hawaii the past year, I have found my go to places to eat. Teddy’s, Zippy’s, Anna Millers…places I’m going to miss dearly when I leave. But I do have to say I’m definitely looking forward to all of my old favorite places that I miss eating at since they aren’t in Hawaii. Firehouse subs, Olive Garden, Panera…oh my gosh you guys my mouth is watering and my stomach is rumbling just thinking about eating at these places again. I may go to sleep tonight and dream about olive gardens salads and breadsticks.

I’m looking forward to having all of my belongings again. My furniture, my pictures, movies and books, the rest of my clothes and shoes. I’ve done a good job living a whole year without those things, but let’s be real, I’ll be glad to have them back. On top of that I’ll have a car again and even though I have an AUX cord and can play music from my phone, I’m overjoyed to play my old mix CDs to bring back some good memories.

But yes…a car! I’m so happy I could cry. Taking the bus to work and home every day has been a pain. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it at times. I enjoyed people watching and seeing the different kinds of people take the bus and some familiar faces, after a while, and wonder what their stories are. But at the same time its going to be so nice to be able to control when I leave and where I go. It’s hard relying on a bus or other people to get to work and to do other things on my days off. And also road trips…I miss road trips.

Most of all, it’ll be nice to see my family and friends again. To be able to spend holidays and celebrations with them. I miss going over to my parents house to hang out and try to sneak out with frozen pizzas. And of course I can’t wait to be able to snuggle my dog Buddy again and run around with him in my parents back yard.

A New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I was just thinking about everything that’s happened between now and this time last year. It has been a crazy year!

It started off well. I spent New Years with a couple of the greatest friends ever and then just a short few weeks later, I found out I got a job in Hawaii. I was excited to move.

My time here started off better than could ever be imagined. Lately, it has gotten a little rocky and now a little better.

I’ve changed and grown up a lot. I’m the same and completely different at the same time. I’ve tried new things and seen things I’ve never experienced before. Things I didn’t like or was scared of, I now enjoy. (For instance, when my sister was here in November, I ordered shrimp at a restaurant. She looked at me and said, “Are you going to eat that?” She was shocked because I don’t like seafood.)

It’s been an amazing journey living here in Hawaii. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and honestly, I wouldn’t do anything differently…well, except have a better contract with my original job. Other than that, I didn’t regret a single thing.

The last few months haven’t quite been what I imagined for myself. I didn’t think I would have to search for a new job and a place to live. I knew living here would be different and sometimes a struggle. But I didn’t think I would end up without a place to live, having my job terminated early and my transportation all in a day. To start anew has been super tough. All I do now is work now.  I don’t have any time to spend with friends or explore the island. It actually breaks my heart.

So, after weeks of fighting myself about whether or not I need to stay here or go home, I’ve realized that what I need to do might not be what I want to do. I realize my adventure here in Hawaii is over for now and that I need to return home in February. Who knows? I would love to return. I want to come back.

This has probably been the hardest and most heartbreaking decision I’ve ever had to make. I love Hawaii so much. But after a while, I’ve started to be okay with going home. I know it’ll just be a temporary thing until I’m on to my next adventure. I’ve been thinking about moving to Charleston eventually but who knows.

What I do know is that my resolution for 2018 is to live a Happy life no matter where I am or who I am with.

Be Brave With Your Life

As I’m driving one day through Oahu, I look at the beautiful sunset behind the mountains and I can’t help but to smile and laugh a little. I became overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I took a huge risk and moved here. I began to think about what my life would have been like if I was still living in South Carolina. I’m almost positive that it would have been the same as it was when I left. I’m sure I would have found a new job and a new car, but I’d be still living with my sister wondering if there was some grand adventure out there for me. Waiting around for something truely amazing and exciting to happen to me. The thing is…Sometimes those amazing and exciting things aren’t just going to happen…sometimes we have to make them happen. We have to take risks. I took a big risk moving to Hawaii. (I moved here with nothing but faith, four suitcases, and $30 in my bank account.) I believe that I’m here for a reason, but I also believe I’m here because of my own agency. I could have chosen to stay in South Carolina. It would have been the easy thing to do. It wouldn’t have been a bad choice, but I knew that other than my friends and family, there was nothing for me anymore in South Carolina. I needed something different in my life.

So many incredible things have happened to me since I’ve moved here. I’ve been able to see good things happen in my life and be able to recognize how blessed I am. I have strengthened my relationship with God. I have a deeper love and appreciation for others and for different cultures. I’ve learned so much about myself and have opened up a lot. A lot of my likes and dislikes have changed. My desire to learn and travel has gotten stronger. I’m not normally this brave…in fact I never thought of myself as brave, but through this I’ve learned how to be happy and overcome my fears and anxiety.

I think that taking risks is good for the soul. Life is a learning experience. It’s amazing to think about how we can live whatever life we want to live. We can do whatever we want if we put our minds to it. It’s up to us. Have a little faith and follow your dreams. Make goals and do it! Go apply for that dream job. Move to a new city. Ask that person that you’ve had a big crush on a date. Take a chance. You never know what will happen. Maybe it’ll be everything you’ve dreamed of. The outcomes are endless and can be really great. And if it doesn’t go so well, try again or find a new dream and try that one out. We are in control of our happiness and our futures. Follow your heart.

“If there’s even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short and happiness is too rare.” 

-A. R. Lucas

Hanauma Bay


I went swimming with the fishes and the other Mariah that I met here on the Island.

Seriously you guys! I conquered a fear of mine. Ever since I moved to Oahu Island, I decided that I needed to do the following:

  • Get out of my comfort zone
  • Try new things
  • Go with the flow

That’s only a few of the many things that I need to do.

As you know from a previous blog post, I love the beach. I also enjoy visiting beautiful aquariums. I really enjoyed the Bahama’s when I was a little girl because we stayed at the Atlantis Hotel and there are aquariums everywhere and one of the water slides is surrounded by a huge aquarium. It was incredible, I probably went on that slide about a thousand times. It was my favorite part of the whole trip. Really it was!

But despite all that, the thought of being close to a fish creeps usually me out. In South Carolina, our beaches and lakes are murky and you can’t see anything in the water. The fish aren’t colorful and tropical looking. I think they’re gross and smelly. If I’m swimming in the ocean and I spot one jumping out of the water…I’m out! Nope. I don’t want to touch one and I don’t want to eat fish either. Something about the look, smell and taste turns me away. Blech!

It’s strange considering I used to go fishing with my dad as a kid and I absolutely LOVED eating seafood. I loved it! Things changed the older I got and now I can barely stand it.

So, like I said, I conquered a fear of mine. I went snorkeling with my friend Mariah. She had extra snorkeling gear and posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to go with her. I don’t know why, but I messaged her and said I would go and for some reason, I was actually excited to go. I was nervous, but I was excited because I could potentially be swimming with a sea turtle (which is my favorite animal, by the way.)

We went to Hanauma Bay. If you’re ever visiting Oahu, that is the perfect place to go visit! You can rent snorkeling gear there or rent your own. We had our own, so all we had to pay for was parking and that was only a dollar.

I was super nervous. Something about snorkeling also freaked me out, but I had to try something new, I had to get out of my comfort zone. So I did it! It was definitely one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once I got the hang of snorkeling, I was no longer nervous. I was just excited. I was so close to some of the fish that I could touch them. I mean I was just inches away. It was breath taking, sometimes literally. I had to pause a couple of times to catch my breath.

We didn’t have much time to spend there since we arrived close to closing. Nor did we see any sea turtles, but that is just all the more reason to go visit this beautiful place and experience the excitement all over again! Hopefully next time I can get some underwater pictures.