Empower Women Denver | 10 Things I Will No Longer Apologize For – 39th Birthday Lessons
Yes, I’m 2 months late. But better late than never, right? Done is better than perfect and I am EMBRACING that in 2020 y’all! So let’s empower women Denver!
I actually did a video on Facebook awhile back about this, which ironically helped me to really work through some of the things that I wanted to say in this post. Before, it had kind of been a big jumbled mess, a brain dump, and the video clarified a lot for me. If you want to watch the video, click here to see it.
You may be wondering, where did this list come from? Well, 2019 was a crazy year for me. Not because I was overbooked or running around like a madwoman – although I was, because let’s be real, having two kids in three different schools is no small feat – but because I was busy shedding SO MUCH of what I have been hiding behind for years. It was an immense year of personal growth for me. Before 2014, I had been a mom to my only son (single mom for much of that), and there were definitely lessons in that. If I had to sum them up into one word, it would probably be empathy. Watching him grow and navigate school broke my heart multiple times, and then turned into some really empowering situations for both of us, and I’m so proud of the man he is becoming.
My daughter was born in late 2014, and I saw a ton of change in myself that came with my new addition. Even as a woman, there were things that I hadn’t really addressed in our culture and even my own family that were now front and center. The things that women face daily became VERY obvious to me in thinking about what kind of world my daughter would have to face as a girl, a teenager, and then a woman. She is now older, and starting to really verbalize her thoughts and opinions. And if I had to really sum up the lessons and growth that I’ve seen just for myself since she’s been born and put them all into one word, that word would be EMPOWERING.
And that, my friends, is what 2019 really stirred up for me. It really shined a light on all of the things that I was doing in my own life that I didn’t want to see my kids repeat. To be completely transparent, 2019 was rough. There was SO MUCH GROWTH that my old self could no longer continue in the same way, and I had to break to become the person that I’m meant to be in this season. Because when you are growing, it’s not always easy, right? But it is ALWAYS worth it.
When I was speaking in the video, a common theme kept coming up – apologizing. And when I say it’s time to empower women Denver, I realized that I have been apologizing for things over and over again, things that really make me, ME. In doing so, I have taught my kids to do that as well. Even though I SAY otherwise, my behavior was reflected at me in the harshest way possible – watching my kids take on the things that I do that I really wish I didn’t do. We don’t even realize we are doing certain things until we have these beautiful humans mimic us, and that can be a beautiful and painful thing, all at once. I have watched both of them apologize for stupid things – things that they love, or find funny, or enjoy. And it has to stop. They learned it from me, and that is a legacy that I do NOT wish to continue for myself, for my kids, and for every other human on this planet. It is particularly an issue for women, and one that we can work together to stop NOW.
So here we are, the beginning of 2020. A new year. I feel more powerful and aligned this year than I ever have, in my life. So many lessons that I have been taught for YEARS finally clicked. When it comes to embracing that power and moving forward to really live a life that is adventurous and everything that I want it to be, I have come up with a list of things that I will no longer apologize for. I’m sure it won’t be popular for some, and I’m okay with that, because again – I refuse to apologize for being myself. For stepping into and owning my voice, my power and the way that I can truly impact and change the world. It is time to empower women, Denver!
I give you, the 10 things I will no longer apologize for. Or, my 39th birthday lessons. And really – if this is what 39 brings, I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited to welcome 40.
1. Being decisive. Or what some would say – impulsive.
For years I have waited for input, talked with people around me, and considered ALL THE THINGS before actually making a decision, no more. I lost 140,000 travel points recently because I waited too long for someone to get back to me – my fault, not theirs – and I’m not going to continue to wait. Wanting to do something or decide on something is enough of a reason to make it happen, I don’t need anyone else’s permission or input.
2. Enjoying and celebrating the things that I love – even if others don’t agree or think they’re dumb. And letting go of the things that I do NOT love but still do out of obligation.
Music. SPARKLES. Having 4 different beverages on my desk at once because I just felt like drinking all of them. Disney movies. Glitter. Baking. The circus and its wicked and wacky history. Travel. Doodling with colored pens while listening to audio books or watching TV instead of being 100% engaged with the book or show. Wanting to experience new things that I’ve never done before.
Just a few of the things that I really love, or things that are a better FIT for me when it comes to my life. Not everyone loves them, and that’s okay. I’m not going to try to change my preferences based on what someone else thinks. And I haven’t done this to a great degree in the past, but sometimes I hold back on saying something because I know that someone else may not like it. No more. This is what I love and part of what makes me who I am. If you’re into some of the same things, cool! Let’s have some wine and get excited about them together. If you’re not? Cool also! I will cheer you on in whatever you love and makes your heart happy, even if I don’t necessarily participate in it.
3. I’m extra AF and am over the top. Some would even say “too much.”
When I do something – I DO IT y’all. I’m an ALL IN kind of girl, none of this half-assed bullshit. (If you’ve done my website course you’ll know this… always use your full ass, right?!) When I decided I wanted to find a new favorite chapstick? I bought 12 kinds to try them. When I got a new Nespresso for Christmas and wasn’t sure what kind of coffee to get for it? I bought a TON of sleeves to try them all. I’m pretty much over the top and extra in almost everything I do, and I’m not going to apologize for it anymore. If I’m too much for someone, they’re not right for me. If that intimidates someone, that’s THEIR problem, not mine.
4. I believe wholeheartedly in magic and miracles, and will cry and get RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED when I see or experience them, it doesn’t matter who is around or what they think.
Mermaids and unicorns. Bottle feeding a lamb. Santa. Eating the most amazing thing I’ve ever had and wondering if I should be THIS EXCITED about food, then realizing who the fuck cares because damn it’s good. The wonder of the kiddos and magic they see in everything. Baby sea turtles hatching. Holding and connecting with a stingray. There are so many magical miracles in this world – even if other people don’t see them that way – and I want to experience and revel in all of them. And I give zero fucks about what anyone else thinks.
5. I have no filter, and HATE small talk.
Make no mistake, I don’t try to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. But I will also say what I think and not apologize for doing so. I’m also naturally curious and will ask a ton of questions that other people think are inappropriate. I would rather know your dreams, fears, and the things that really light you up than talk about the weather. I feel ALL emotions to the Nth degree – from joy to anger to sorrow to love. Sometimes, I don’t want to share those things because I want to process them for myself. And sometimes, I do want to share them, and if you don’t want to be a part of that, cool – you do you. Some people do, and I have found over and over again that those are my people.
6. To love myself fiercely, no matter what anyone around me does.
Do I love every inch of my body and how it looks and feels and everything about it? No. I have an auto-immune disorder that I deal with and quite frankly, sometimes it really fucking sucks. BUT – the things that I don’t love do not make me who I am. I can change and I can grow and that will never end until I’m gone, and I embrace the change with arms wide open. Because ultimately, I know who I am, and I am proud of myself. To empower women Denver really means to encourage women and MEET THEM WHERE THEY’RE AT. Self-love is a journey, not an overnight decision. I love myself – and that is something that isn’t popular to say in our culture of self-deprecation. But ladies, can I just share with you how immensely freeing it is? To love myself enough to take myself out on a date if my husband doesn’t feel like going with me. To love myself enough to eat what I want to eat because it makes me feel good, even if my family complains about the vegetables. And really – embracing this part of me has done amazing things in my relationships and my family, because it gives every member of my family the freedom to love themselves too. To lovingly set boundaries, and be 100% okay with someone that doesn’t necessarily want to share that experience with them. It is a BEAUTIFUL thing!
7. I will no longer dim myself for anyone in my life.
Part of loving myself, but really, this one deserves it’s own number and line. Because it is THAT important. As I said above – some say that I’m too much. Because of that, I have dimmed myself over and over again throughout different experiences in my life to try to appease others. To try to “fit in.” To try to be “normal.” And I can tell you with 100% certainty from experience – IT NEVER ENDS WELL. For years, I have scaled myself back, and in turn, I have watched my kids dim themselves for others and it breaks my heart. This was a HUGE wakeup call because I realized that I taught them that. Even though I told them not to, and I encourage them to be TOO MUCH if that is who they are, they have watched me dim myself and have followed suit, and I will not do it anymore. I want them to fully embrace their “too muchness” and leave their mark on the world in whatever way they see fit, and so in turn, I have to embrace that in my own life. I only wish that I had embraced it sooner.
8. It’s okay to want more out of life.
MAN this one has been hard. I am so incredibly blessed in my life, with an amazing and healthy family, a beautiful home, a car that runs, food when I’m hungry, water when I’m thirsty, and just so many awesome blessings. Our culture is so quick to say “just be grateful for what you have.” And yes, I am absolutely grateful. But even with all of these blessings, it’s okay to want more out of life. It’s okay to want to grow and learn and move forward beyond where you’re at – even if you’re in love with where you’re at. And this goes for people too. It’s okay to need more than someone is willing to give. It doesn’t make me unreasonable or stupid or outrageous. It’s okay to know that my husband isn’t going to fill EVERY NEED that I have. (PS – that’s another blog post for another time because seriously where do we get this idea that our spouse is everything?) It’s okay to say no to my kids sometimes because I really don’t like bugs and don’t want to play the game that has bugs. It’s okay to need 10 minutes to yourself without someone constantly bothering you for a snack. The kids will survive, I promise. It’s okay to want more, and incredibly empowering to do what makes you HAPPY.
9. To embrace the weird and the crazy.
I love to do things that some consider a little weird. I’ve wrestled alligators. The only houseplant I have is the one that has branches that go out in 20 different directions and it looks like a Muppet’s hair. I’ve gone swimming with sharks twice, and we’re going again this year. I bought and planted a tree in my backyard that we lovingly call “honey badger tree” because it does what it wants and grows in a very odd way, and I love it. I’ve gone skydiving. I’ve pushed the limits of what MOST people think of as normal, and have been called crazy more times than I can count. I remember when my son was in 3rd grade, he came home crying and said “the kids said I’m crazy.” I told him “all the best people in the world are crazy.” And it’s true. Why settle for normal, when extraordinary is so much more fun? We have one beautiful and glorious life, if you enjoy the crazy – OWN IT. Now the same goes for the other side, if that’s not your thing, that’s cool too. However, I love the weird and crazy things, and I will embrace them even more as I get older, and encourage my children to embrace their own flavors of weird or crazy.
10. To step into my power fully and completely, unapologetically.
My daughter was born in 2014, and in 2016 as we all know, the political climate changed. A LOT. I’m not getting all political here, but no matter which side you’re on, the fact is that we are seeing MASSIVE shifts. And a big part of that is how women are being treated. #MeToo, #TimesUp, and other movements have started highlighting the realities that we, as women, have seen for years. The spotlight is now there and people are stunned, when we have known this and been taught this since we were little. And whether you agree or not on the political sides or the movements, the bottom line is that for ALL of our children, especially our girls, we need to encourage them to step into their power fully and completely. To be advocates for themselves. To love themselves enough to set boundaries, and to take care of themselves, even if it’s not the popular thing to do. THIS is what I have been really pondering and struggling with ever since my daughter was born. How do I teach her this, what are the things that I can tell her that will really teach her to step into her power? 2019 was a banner year for me in realizing that I can’t teach her this by telling her this. I have to show her. **cue the tears** It doesn’t matter what I tell her, if I’m not really embracing my own power and loving myself fiercely and unapologetically, she will never learn that. So this is my number 10, the last and most important. I will no longer apologize for stepping into my voice, my power, and owning who I am. I can only hope that BOTH of my kids learn that and start to embody that for themselves.
Years ago, I was CONVINCED that there was a Bible verse that talked about what I was feeling so strongly. And we scoured the Bible, looking for this verse until someone said to me “that’s not in the Bible, it’s a Dr. Seuss quote.” WOW, well that’s not a mixup that happens everyday.
It is a quote that I tell myself consistently. I have made temporary tattoos to put it on my arm. I have it on one of my mantrabands. It is crazy important to me, and I tell my kids this all the time – time to start actually LIVING it, instead of just saying it.
May you embrace your own “too muchness” and live life to make yourself happy. May you stop apologizing for the things that you love, or the things that you want to embody in your own life. May you step into your own voice, your power, and who you really are. It has become almost cliche but is so true – life is too short. Love yourself fiercely and live your life.
Love & Adventures,
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