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.

Working On My Personal Happiness

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Most of you know that over the last few months I have been struggling since moving back to South Carolina. I’ve felt very lost and depressed, but over the past couple of weeks I have been feeling much better. I’m feeling stronger and happier and I’m okay with where I’m at right now.

I still get sad when I see pictures of my friends in Hawaii or something reminds me of my life there. But then I smile and tell myself, “How awesome is it, that I got to live my dream”. Not many people get to do that and I did. I should be thankful. And I am. The past few weeks I have been working on myself…taking care of myself and changing my mindset.

One of the things I’ve been doing to help is make different kinds of lists. Not your normal shopping or to do list, but a list of short term and long term goals, a list of dreams, things that make me happy, things I’m thankful for…those kinds of lists. They’re all positive things and keep me from looking back on the past or focusing on the negative.

I’ve noticed that when I talk or think about the things that make me happy, I feel happy too. I wanted to share with you my list of 5 things that make me happy.

5 things that makes me happy:

1Spending time with family and friends

2Going to the beach or being outdoors

3Packing up the car and going on road trips.

4Going to Barnes N’ Nobles to find a good book to read and a comfy chair to sit in for a few hours

5Eating fresh fruit 

Whenever you have the time make a list for yourself. Feel free to share it in the comments or keep it to yourself. If you want to, you can even challenge a friend to do it with you. Add more than 5 things to it if you wish, make other lists too, just don’t forget to look back on them to see how far you go and use them as a reminder of your goals and of your happiness.

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

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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.

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Live-in Nanny


Just a little over 9 months ago, I accepted a job in Hawaii as a live-in nanny. I’m from South Carolina. I lived with my sister and my parents lived pretty close by as well. My life wasn’t perfect. I struggled a lot, but I always had them there for support. But I gave everything up and I moved away for this job.

I took a huge risk accepting a job not only so far away from home, but off the mainland all together. It has always been my dream to live in Hawaii ever since I visited the big Island of Hawaii when I was 7 years old. I was excited more than anything and because I was so excited there were a few things I forgot to do when I accepted this job.

I wouldn’t say I messed up, but I wasn’t careful and well, I lost my job and I’m having to start all over. It hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been stressful because I basically have nothing and the only help I have here on the island is from my best friend that lives here. My parents are trying to help out the best the can, but it’s hard because they’re not even here.

This has all been a learning experience. Being a live-in nanny has had it’s ups and downs. I’ve had a place to stay, a car to drive and food to eat. All I had to do is wake up and I’m already at work. I could stay in my pajamas all day and not even have to put on a bra. But at the end of the day, I’m already home. I miss that feeling after a long day of wanting to go home and get away from work. I couldn’t do that. I just went to my room. The kids were always around. I missed having friends over and movie nights at the comfort of my own home. And no privacy. Ever. Would I be a live-in nanny again in the future? Maybe. If I was planning on moving somewhere completely different than Hawaii, yes. This job got me here and I don’t regret taking the job at all. But next time, I will be more careful.

If you ever plan on being a nanny, especially a live-in nanny far away from home, then please, please pleaseeee don’t make the same mistakes that I did. These are three things I wish I knew or had done before becoming a live-in nanny.

1. Have a good contract!

Seriously you guys! Have a contract and a good one! Don’t leave anything out! I did and that’s how I pretty much got blindsided. I did not put anything about taxes or what happens if my contract was to end sooner. Most jobs you get at least a two week notice…not me. I got a week notice. After that week was up, I had no job and no car. Luckily, my friend and I had already planned to move in together, I just ended up moving in sooner than planned.

I was supposed to work for this family for a year. I ended up working for them until the end of march because they wanted to put their children in daycare. Although, I understand why they made the decision, I wish I had a heads up that they were even considering that option and didn’t plan on spots opening up for the kids so soon and not wanting to lose those spots, I wish I had a heads up.

So, next time I plan on putting in the contract that if the parents are putting the children in daycare or if they plan on being a stay at home mom, that it needs to be brought up and discussed ahead of time. If they plan on ending the contract early, then I need a few weeks-month notice. Not only that, but also agree on some type of payment to buy me out of my contract so I’m left with nothing.

Also, have a tax plan with the family and put it in the contract! We discussed taxes and they were supposed to claim me and take taxes out of each payment. Then after a few months, they stopped and in the end I’m left having to claim my taxes, not even knowing how to do it. I could have ended up in a lot of trouble or just stuck because it would appear that I went then last 9 months without a job.

2. Taxes!

Like I shared above, have a tax plan! Call the state and federal tax companies and ask what you’re supposed to do to be claim your taxes as a nanny. Do it before you take the job…don’t wait! It becomes stressful to figure these things out at the last minute. So prepare yourself.

Care.com provides a safe and legal way for you to get paid and your taxes are included.

3. Be financially prepared!

I’m not going to lie, I wish I had saved more money than I had. I have bad spending habits. I should have and could have done a better job putting money in my savings for emergencies. I’d probably be less stressed out right now and wouldn’t be struggling as much. I’m thankful I found a new job as quick as I did, because I’m not as worried, but still. I wouldn’t be stressed or worried if I was more careful. You never know what could happen, so be prepared, especially financially in case you have to start all over like I did.

Waikiki Weekend Getaway

Sometimes, life gets a little overwhelming. You get stressed out easily. You’re working a lot and you’re finding it hard to relax. You need a little vacation. So, what do you do? Well, book a Hotel and have a mini getaway, of course!

Seriously you guys, this was just what I needed. My best friend and I booked a hotel room and pretended to live this luxurious life. It’s was fun and relaxing. It was also a great way to play tourist since we live in Hawaii. We forget to take advantage of the fact that we live on this beautiful Island.

We booked a room at the Laylow Autograph Collection in Waikiki, Hi. They have great prices and the stay was wonderful. They upgraded us to a suite for free and we even got a goodie basket…we were pretty excited about that. We laid in bed and watched Milan on Netflix, went to the pool and laid out in the awesome pool chairs. I mean the chairs were actually in the pool. How cool and relaxing is that? Afterwards, we ate dinner and got fruity drinks by the bar and ended the day by getting all dressed up and going dancing with a group of our friends.

I’m pretty sure my favorite part was wearing the super comfy robes that the hotel provides. I just wish we were able to take them home. I even slept in mine because it was so comfortable.

I’m definitely looking forward to doing this again soon. It was much needed, very relaxing and so much fun!


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Trail of Trials

Back in October, I was diagnosed with Asthma. I’ve always had athletic asthma which made it difficult to play basketball or run. The older I got, the worse it became. And now it’s just full on Asthma. One inhaler for mornings and nights and another to use through out the day when I need it. Last year I did a lot of hiking and realized breathing was slightly difficult, but I figured it was normal for me and I pushed through it. I (FINALLY) went hiking this weekend with friends here in Hawaii… I. About. Died. It may have been an easy trail for most people, but for me, it wasn’t. I realized I was definitely out of shape. This is also the first time I’ve been hiking with my ashthma like this. My lungs hurt bad. I couldn’t catch my breath. Once I did, I’d walk a few more feet and I couldn’t breathe again. I told my friends to go ahead without me. I didn’t want to hold them back, nor did I think I could go any further. I wanted to stay right where I was, sitting on a rock and let them make it to the top. I wanted to cry, but didn’t. I was angry because I already deal with other health issues, I now have crappy lungs too. It sucks.

I sat for a while, not wanting to get up and go further. I considered going back down to the cars. But finally, I decided that I’m a tough girl. I was going to finish the hike. I was going to make it to my friends. I was not going to let Asthma and my health problems stop me from doing the things I wanted to do. I was going to kick asthma in the butt. I was going to prove myself that I could do it. And I did. After a while I didn’t have trouble breathing any more, probably because I puffed my inhaler a lot, and I really started to enjoy the hike. I made it to my friends and it felt good! I will definitely do an easier hike next time and work my way up to the more difficult hikes.

Today, my legs are KILLING ME! Haha, but I’m definitely motivated to kick my butt in gear in get into shape for these hikes! I can do this!

Faith or Fear

I have lived in Hawaii for a little over 3 months now. It has been amazing and I love being here more and more each day. But as the days have gone by, I’ve become a little impatient. If you know me, that’s not really surprising. I’m not that patient at all. Everything has pretty much been great and I can see everything in my life falling into place…but it just feels like something is missing for me. I know I’m here for a reason, but I don’t know what that is yet. I know I haven’t been here that long, but I hoped I would have found out by now. Lately, I’ve had the same questions play over and over in my head. What the heck am I supposed to do? Why am I here? I left my family and friends and everything back home and came here on nothing but a spiritual prompting and faith.

When I first got here, I had this “go with the flow” mindset. Moving here was a fresh start. A great opportunity to learn new things and be who I want to be. It was great, no one knew me and I felt like myself for the first time in my life. I was no longer followed around by my past, I was able to let go of everything and I wasn’t afraid of the future anymore. I trusted that good things were going to happen to me and that there was a plan for me. I lived everyday off faith. Then slowly fear started to control my life once again. It’s such a bad habit of mine. I’m overthinking everything, all the time. I’m in my head. I’m stressing myself out.

Even though I’m on a completely different island, I became fearful that my past was just going to repeat itself here. I’m no longer living off faith. Fear is now fully in control. I’ve given up hope. I feel lost. I don’t feel like myself anymore. I’ve been really quiet and have kept to myself lately. And that’s not me. I like to talk and laugh. I love to have fun. I’m always dancing and being silly. I love being around other people. How could I let this happen? 

The other day, I attended a yoga class. The instructor was talking about how there are two things that control our everyday choices. Faith and fear. The very two things that I’ve been battling with the past few weeks. It was a yoga, breath and meditation class and at one point our instructor had us trying to do a handstand. I thought it was odd, but went with it anyways. I couldn’t do it. I tried a ton of times and I was getting tired and became frustrated. I used to be able to do this as a kid. The lady next to me was able to do it. Why couldn’t I? It was fear. Fear of falling. Fear of dislocating my bad shoulder. Fear of injuring my neck or hurting my back again. I didn’t have faith in myself that I could do it. I didn’t have faith in my instructor.

I’m done allowing fear control everything that I do. I need to have faith in God and his plan for me. I need to have faith in His timing. It’s all going to work out. We never know why we have to go through what we have to go though, but we can either let it defeat us or make us stronger. We can either be afraid to take chances and be afraid of what could go wrong, or we can have faith that everything is going to be okay. I believe that we have more opportunities for great things to happen in our lives if we take risks and have complete faith that everything will fall into place.

“Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.”

Let It Go

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Lately, I’ve just been in a grumpy mood. I’ve been holding in a lot of negative energy and it’s starting to really take affect on me and how my day goes, also how I treat others. Little things bother me and I get irritated really quick. A couple of things happened a few weeks ago and even though I’ve said I’m over it, it’s still eating me up inside. That’s what has been causing this, the other day someone told me to just “let it go.” I wanted to respond “I’m trying.” But then I had to stop and think…”am I really?”

The answer is No. I’m not really trying. At least not the right way. I’m just holding in all of the negative energy and hoping it will just go away on its own. It’s not helping, it’s making it worse. I’m not doing anything to release it. I’ve been letting this go on for so long, that I’ve lost motivation to do anything about it. But not anymore. I hate that it took someone telling me to “let it go” to actually do something about it.

Since moving here, I’ve pretty much been stress free, not a care in the world, feeling free and happy. But it started to wear off because I’m not taking care of myself. I haven’t been getting enough sleep like I used to. I haven’t been journaling, doing my yoga and meditation…everything I used to do to distress, clear my mind and release negative energy, I stopped. I can’t expect for what has been bothering me, to go away on it’s own, it just doesn’t work like that.

I keep saying that I’m going to go to this yoga studio and start getting back into my yoga practice, but I haven’t. I tried going once since living in Hawaii, but I was too late for class. I could have gone to the beach or a park to do yoga on my own, but I didn’t. I came home, grabbed something to eat, crawled into my bed watched Netflix and checked social media instead. It’s hard to practice yoga and meditation at home with the kids. There’s just so many distractions. I can’t relax.

I’m going to make a goal for myself to at least go to the yoga studio once a week to practice. The other days, I will find a spot on the beach, layout my mat, practice my yoga, meditate, and write in my journal. I also want to set a good sleep routine, say my daily prayers and study my scriptures daily. I feel that if I do this, I will feel better and if I continue to do this, I will be able to let go of things and not let them bother me.

This weeks mantra… Let. It. Go.