#WonderTips, Life's Little Adventures

I’m No Wonder Woman.

I remember when I was a kid and I used to tie a towel around my neck and jump off furniture and hope that maybe, just maybe, one day I would actually stall in the air long enough to feel like I was flying. That never happened.

I would jump then I would fall, but the funny thing is that I would always go back and try again. Still hoping to fly one day.

I haven’t blogged in so long because I’ve had a lot of changes happening in my life. Some people use working out as their therapy (I can’t really do that too much anymore), some people sing (I have a terrible singing voice), and a special breed, like myself, have to write to get it all out.

Not for sympathy. Not to get noticed. Not for any other reason than the fact that once it’s put on paper and it’s staring you in the face, you can not deny it.

I am currently on medical leave for work for 2 months. I will not go into details, but I will say that my whole life is changing and it’s happening fast. I can no longer legally drive and I can not live by myself.

As a woman who was raised to be independent, this has been challenging for me to accept. I actually have to start relying on other people. I actually have to look in the mirror sometimes and say “Shelby, you can’t do that.”

I still want to try sometimes. I still want to fly.

Many people do not know why my blog is named after Wonder Woman or from where my obsession stems.

She is the epitome of womanhood to me. The idea of feminism in a leotard.

She makes me believe that I can still fly no matter what.

People are always so enamored by the fact that I stay positive and crack jokes all the time, despite how I’m feeling. People always tell me that they love my upbeat personality despite the fact that I basically live in hospital rooms now.

I don’t do it to put a front on for other people. I do it for me.

No matter what has come my way, God has brought me through it. My family and I have been through some major things and to this day I get to see how all those things worked together for my good, just as the bible says it will.

This, I know, will have the same ending. This is my testimony, y’all.

When I look back years later and this whole thing is over (it will be because I’ve claimed it), do I want to tell a story of how down I was and how much I doubted God and “Woe is me! Something’s wrong with my brain so I’m a victim”?

NO.

I want to tell a story of how my faith got me through. I want to tell the story of how neurologists, nurses, and other people effected by serious seizure disorders such as I am, saw God in me.

You know what I think about in my postictal state of paralysis (a period of time when you can not speak or move after a seizure)? First, I try to make myself aware of what’s going on around me and try to remember where I am, then I pray.

My body feels so light in those moments. I have no choice but to lay there. As scary as those moments are with all my stillness and all of my muted words, I fly.

I’m no Wonder Woman. I am THAT Wonder Woman. I am the one that smiles through the pain and prays through the darkness. I am the one that, despite having moments of short term memory loss, I always remember to put on my cape, go to the edge, and jump without fear.

No matter what is happening in your life, no matter who has hurt you, no matter what people walk out on you, you can’t stop flying. You can’t give up.

You have to let go of things and be free. You have to forgive people. You have to smile more.

You cant fly with a burden on your back and chips on your shoulder.

Remember who you are and remember who God wants you to be.

Stay blessed, my people.

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#WonderTips, Life's Little Adventures

Pretty Little Liar

I’ve had this post in mind for weeks now, but it is honestly so raw and stripped down that I’ve hesitated to put it up. I’ve had all these things I felt as though God wanted me to share, but I had been secretly terrified to expose some of my most intimate flaws that I had spent years lying to myself about.

Anywho…to the actual post:

A few years back, I had a conversation with one of my coworkers at the time. He shared with me that he was starting his own fashion business and that it was bound to be something big.

I was so ecstatic and instantly yelled out, “I’m so happy for you! You deserve this!”

He stopped me right there.

“I hate that word ‘deserve’. That word sounds like a sense of entitlement and the world isn’t going to give you a d*mn thing. Either you EARNED it or you didn’t. I don’t deserve this. I earned it.”

That conversation has stuck with me for all of these years. I believe that what he said applies to life in general and not just work or employment.

Lately I’ve had a lot of my friends stopping and asking me if everything’s ok or if I’m doing alright. I hadn’t understood what so many people are seeing about me that seems “off” lately.

I honestly just think that I have been caught up in my own little world. Trapped in my own thoughts.

I’ve been reflecting on my life a lot lately. I’ve had a lot of things going on currently that have forced me to look back on things in life that I’ve never shared with people and how me suppressing those things have affected me today.

There have been a lot of things that I have spent years being ashamed of sharing. Things that caused me to feel like I maybe didn’t “deserve” some of the blessings that I have been receiving.

Recently I’ve been feeling compelled to share more of my story.

I used to live in denial about a lot of things.

One full story that I’ve never shared with anyone is how I secretly had a breakdown my sophomore year of college.

Keep in mind, I’ve dealt with anxiety since high school. I remember having my first panic attack in the 9th grade. I remember sitting in the back of my Pre-AP Bio class and freaking out because I didn’t know we were having a test that day (I was a stickler about my grades).

Fast forward to the Fall semester of my sophomore year in college.

It was my first college semester being single, I was living on my own, my classes starting getting more challenging, I was working 3 days a week, and I had a lot of personal things going on.

I kept lying to everyone and myself. I kept saying everything was ok and that I could handle everything. Slowly I saw myself pulling away from everyone around me. I found myself not answering my phone and staying cooped up in my apartment. I found myself alone.

I had no idea that others recognized that as well. I’m not even referring to my friends. I’m referring to my professors.

One day, I received a concerned email from one of my professors. He stated that he had seen a decrease in my work ethic and attendance and that he would not allow me back into class until I spoke with a therapist in the health center. He even CC’d my advisor in the email.

The next day, I went to the health center. After meeting with 2 therapists and a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed as severely clinically depressed. I was precribed three different prescriptions of anti-depressants.

A few people are aware of this, but what I never told anyone was that I was also told that I should be checked for the early stages of schizophrenia and was also put on a 24 hour suicide watch by the university.

I walked out of there feeling like a crazy person! I was ashamed to think that I wasn’t normal and that people would begin looking at me differently.

I eventually went back to class after being gone about 2 weeks. People would ask where I had been and if I was ok.

All I could tell anyone was that I had been “sick.” I was still lying. I’m not sure if it was for them or for me, but I still couldn’t be honest.

After that, I saw a therapist once a week for the next year and a half.

I’ve been through a lot of things in life. Private moments that I’ve never shared with anyone.

But I overcame.

Yes, there are some things that I’m still learning to speak on and be real about with people, but this right here is a huge step. Writing this right now and admitting my past is therapeutic.

I’m trying to learn how to use my words more wisely and more positively because I know some of the things that have hurt me that I have lied to myself about and let build up.

I never tell people that mention when my skin breaks out that those comments actually hurt because my acne was so bad at one point that it has always been an insecurity of mine.

I haven’t been able to openly thank people for complimenting my recent haircut yet. Not because it is out of vanity, but because it was not a haircut I chose. I went to go get my hair done last week because my hair had been coming out at the root and when I did, the stylist found a bald spot in the back of my head. Cutting off my hair again was the only way to hide the bald spot.

I don’t share that it bothers me when people make jokes about how “I don’t like to eat” because I’m skinny now. I’ve lost about 35 pounds and I’m proud of that, however, it was rough being reminded of my weight when I was overweight and it’s still rough now that I am constantly being reminded of my weight in a negative way now that I am fit.

We all have things in our lives that we are telling half truths about. We all have moments in life that we hide from even ourselves and say “it’s ok.”

I’m starting to really immerse myself in my blessings.

Why? Because I’ve EARNED it.

I’ve earned the right to a decent job. I’ve earned the right to have nice things. I’ve worked and prayed for them.

The biggest realization that I’ve had is that I’ve earned the right to have a healthy, loving relationship.

I’ve spent so much time saying “I don’t want a boyfriend”. Possibly because I had that whole insecurity about what I “deserved” in my head.

People spend their whole lives looking for something genuine. Looking for someone they can laugh with, share their emotions with, pray with, and even just relax with.

I don’t want to be the person that is so stubborn and stuck in my ways that God brings that person in my life one day and I’m sitting here saying, “No, I don’t want a relationship.” I don’t want to look up 10 years from now, wondering why I “deserve” a good man and he’s nowhere to be found when God had sent him years prior and I pushed him away.

I am open to love and being loved because I have earned it.

We have to stop lying to ourselves about things of our pasts because everything is meant to be used as a stepping stone towards where God wants you to be.

We have to stop sitting back and waiting on the things we believe that we “deserve” to come to us. We must live in the life that we have EARNED.

Stay blessed, lovers.

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#WonderTips, Didn't Cha Know?, Uncategorized

Maturity is the New Black: Keep Yo Heart 3 Stacks…

I remember how the ages of 21 and 22 were all about how many guys were texting me and asking me out and telling me how beautiful I was.

Those were the ages when I built a lot of my self-confidence off of how many men desired me.

Every since I can remember, my mom has joked with me about how guys “fall over me” (this is not said to be cocky, but to just be real) and how I’ve always been so smug and nonchalant towards the opposite sex doing so.

It was not because I was arrogant or self-centered. It was because I knew I possessed a lot of qualities that males wanted.

I’ve always been the type of girl that guys look at and see “relationship”. Never casual dating. Never side chick.

This sounds great in theory, but it also worked to my disadvantage in several of my past relationships.

I have always been told I’d make “the perfect wife” or that I am “the perfect girlfriend”.

The negative side of those ideas and beliefs was that being with me forced guys to think about the future and settling down with one person, which none of them were ready to do at the time.

In my very early twenties, I was not able to understand how I was so “perfect”, but still alone.

Now, let’s be real here. I come from a family of all women. ATTRACTIVE WOMEN.

I’ve always been the quiet one of the group…BUT…I am my mother’s daughter therefore I know how to play the game better than most men out there. So that’s what I did.

I began treating men like commodities. Always replaceable. Always able to be moved around as needed like game pieces.

I can’t even lie and say that I was miserable at the time because I wasn’t. I always had somebody to text. I always had somebody to hang out with. I always had somebody to compliment me and boost my ego everyday.

But now, after growing so much in Christ and really learning myself, I found that I was doing all of that out of fear. I was afraid to be left alone.

Despite always being told how pretty I was growing up or how gorgeous my hair was (I had really long hair most of my life), I always struggled with my confidence.

I loved having people constantly boost me back then because I was feeding off of those reminders.

I’ve always had a strong relationship with Christ, but I have really IMMERSED myself in Him lately (I even took out my nose ring. *gasps*).

In doing this, I am able to look at my past self, in relation to my heart, and realize how foolish and immature I was.

Last night, I went to a party in Ft Worth. I did a little very light flirting, but for the most part,  I kept to myself and I was perfectly happy with that. I did not feel the need to walk in and have every guy talk to me.

For the more mature Shelby that I am now, simply knowing that I could have a lot of guys approach me makes me feel way more sexier and attractive than actually having to interact with every guy and exchange information.

I am genuinely dedicated to focusing on myself. We all say it from time to time, but are we actually doing it?

I realized before that I was still guilty of leading guys on and still spending too much time talking to guys I knew I was not trying to be anything more than friends with.

Recently, a male friend and I had a conversation about being friends with people of the opposite sex and them “catching feelings”.

He said, “If I tell a female the truth about not wanting a relationship right now and she stays around anyway, that’s on her.”

Initially, I agreed with this statement.

But as I have started planting seeds in church for God to bring me healthy and stable relationships, I feel as though He has convicted me of the unhealthy relationships that I have placed on other people.

I realized that it is not completely on that person to walk away. If they really do have feelings for you, it is challenge enough to let go. Especially if you are spending time with them, texting them, and flirting with them, how can you expect them to walk away?

That is why I have taken it upon myself to clarify situations with people. I have not been 100% straightforward with every male that has expressed interest in me and that is my fault that they are still around with hope.

Maturity of the heart requires a conscience. It requires us to not only recognize our worth and when it’s time to walk away from certain people, but it also requires us to ensure that we are not doing anything to anyone that we would not want done to ourselves.

When you first started learning to drive, did someone ever tell you, “Always stay alert because you’re not only driving for you, you’re driving for other people.”

It is the same with emotions. Be careful because you not only have to worry about protecting your own heart, but you are responsible for the protection of other people’s hearts in regards to you.

If you want to be in a relationship, put yourself out there and do things that would be steps toward a relationship. If that’s not what you want, then don’t do the same things you would do if you were “talking” to someone.

I’ve made the mistake of letting guys treat me like their girlfriend only when it was convenient for them and it is not a good feeling.

Know your worth (both males and females).

I feel as though within the recent weeks, God has held a huge mirror up to me so that I could see myself and my life.

Do I think that I am just the hottest thing out in the world? No.

However, after studying myself, I see that my value is out of this world.

I am a woman of faith, substance, beauty, intelligence and I have a will to better the world, yet I’m able to be down to earth and joke with just about anyone about anything.

Like I said before, I don’t think that I am just the ultimate pinnacle of womanhood, but I honestly do believe that I deserve the best that life has to offer.

Although I may not fully understand all of the guys from the past (boyfriends or not) that have said I am/ would make “the perfect girlfriend” and then isolated me for someone less, I have grown enough to recognize that this happens sometimes because we get into our comfort zones and would rather settle for someone who will not force us to be better or demand us to be more than what we currently are.

No Shade

We can no longer be afraid of something incredible.

If you know me, you know that I am goofy and I clown as much as the next person, but at the same time, I’m now looking for something different.

I am single and truly embracing getting to know ME because I am figuring out what specifically what I want and what God wants me to have.

We should all be looking for someone whose top priority in the relationship is challenging us to do more for God and develop as a person. I want someone who, not only acknowledges what he has, but will not do anything stupid to mess it up or so frivolously let something so “perfect” go.

Decide what you want, ask God to help you grow and mature into that, but also, until you get what you desire, KEEP. YOUR. HEART.

Stay blessed, Loves.