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

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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.

Thanksgiving in Hawaii

Happy thanksgiving everyone. In no way this time last year did I think I’d be living here in Hawaii. It was on my mind, but I didn’t think it was actually possible. I’m amaze myself everyday. When I first moved here, things were going perfect, then the last couple of months have been a bit rocky. It got to the point that I thought that I had to go home to South Carolina. Not that I wanted to go back, because more than anything I want to be here, but under the circumstances I thought I might not have a choice but to move. I lost my job, which kind of meant I lost everything that was helping be here. But things worked out and they’re still working out. Seriously you guys, if it weren’t for my friends, Mariah and Victoria, I’d probably be back in SC. They gave me a place to live and a job. I couldn’t be more blessed or thankful to have them in my life.

The last week, my sister has been in town. Unfortunately I only got three and a half days to actually spend with her. I’m kind of sad that she’s here and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her and miss thanksgiving. But being the new girl at my job, I wasn’t able to get any time off. But it is what it is. I’m just thankful that I even have this job to begin with. I’m thankful that my sister is here and for the time that I got to spend with her. I’m thankful that even though I have to work thanksgiving, I got to spend the first part of my day at the beach and snorkeling with my sister. We’ve been having a great time and I’m glad I got to work on my tan a little bit.

I’m very thankful that I live on this beautiful island and that things worked out for me to still be living here. I also very thankful for my parent for being supportive about me living here and being so helpful with things got hard. There’s so much that I’m thankful for this year, but if I wrote about every single thing, you’d be reading a book instead of a blog post.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

For The Guy Who Dates Me Next


I’m always going to overthink. I will read into everything you do or say. I don’t get my hopes up. Instead, I’m prepared for the worst because it always ends badly for me. In fact, I’m waiting for that call or text from you any minute saying that It’s not going to work out. Even if that’s not what is going to happen, I think that’s exactly how things will turn out. This is just how I am.
My past makes me this way and as much as I hate it, I can’t change it. I will always wonder if I’m good or pretty or interesting enough for you. I worry about every little thing I do or say because I don’t want to be pushy or clingy. I don’t want to scare you off.

I will wonder why you are with me and if you really are interested in me. Are you planning on sticking around or am I just someone to fill in that temporary loneliness?

I know that there will come a day that I won’t think these things anymore. I will know that you want to be with me because you actually do like me. And I will believe that that you aren’t going anywhere. Your intentions and feelings are honest and real.

But until then, please be patient with me. Sometimes, I will shut you out and unintentionally push you away. I don’t open up easily and if I do, it’s because I feel like I can trust you. I just need you to remind me that you’re here to stay. Tell me how much you care about me, even if you think I’m tired of hearing it. I promise I will never get tired of hearing it.

I might not be the prettiest, smartest girl and sometimes I feel like I don’t have a lot going for me, but I am the most loving and loyal girl you will ever meet. I will go out of my way to make sure you’re happy and that you know how much I care about you, that sometimes I forget about myself. All I ever wanted is to make someone happy. I want to love someone, but I also want someone to love me back.

I’ve never been loved back before. I’ve never been a priority or taken care of. I’ve never been treated like I’m special and one of a kind. I’ve been made so many broken promises.

It’s not fair how I’ve been treated, but as hard as it is for me to open up and give my heart to someone, there’s nothing I want more than to do that. I want to give you my whole heart. I hope that you stay around long enough to give me that chance.

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.”