When the OLD You Comes Knocking at Your Door //No. 8//

Triggers. They suck worse then having to wear wet bathing suit bottoms under your tight jean shorts. Am I right? 

I like to think that I’m strong and that I’ve worked really hard to overcome a lot of my obstacles and “wounds” that I’ve experienced. I am a lot more confident and happy than I used to be. 

But sometimes, out of nowhere, like a hurricane, a trigger hits me and I straight up fall prey to it. I’m talking like a bunny to a mountain lion status. The emotional blood starts gushing and I just can’t control myself or my feelings

Yesterday, already feeling little off, we went for a hike. Okay guys - - I hope I’m not ruining anything for you but I am NOT a camper/hiker chick. I don’t think I’d been camping once before I met my husband. And somehow, I’m now a full-time RVer, and my life is one big outdoors fest. I’m not good / talented at being a camper and woah is there a learning and a comfort curve. Side note: Isn’t it funny how sometimes the very thing that makes us uncomfortable ends up being where find ourselves spending a lot of time? I think that’s God way of helping us expand our comfort zone and teaching how to grow. 

Anyway, TRIGGERED I was. First, it was 100 degrees and our air wasn’t working super great. Then I was bloated AF and not happy about putting a swim suit on. Then, I was hungry. Then, Jake knocked me in the ear on accident and hit my mother trucking new cartilage piercing. OMFREAKIN’G I lost it - I burst into tears right there in the trail-head parking lot. I threw my backpack on the ground along with my water bottle and my portable fan - in good ole fashioned Dramatic Danielle style . I couldn’t stop crying. My ear hurt like hell, it reminded me of all the reasons I wanted to cry earlier in the day, it was so hotoutside, and SUE ME but I am not a hiker. Unless there’s a beach involved or something. 

THEN. The biggest trigger of them all walked right in front of me - a flawlessly tan, 6 packed model looking chick came into my line of sight. Looking happy as could be, while flaunting her model bod, she floated past me on a cloud of unicorns and perfection. And just like that, my mind reverted to its old ways: 

“I hate myself” 

“Why don’t I look like that” 

“All Iv’e done for the past 10 years is TRY to look like that and she just effortlessly does. Why the f%*@! ?” 

“I wish I looked like her” 

I wish I was THAT girl” 

Followed by more tears. And deep hurt. 

WOAH. Where in the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS did THAT come from? What did I just say to myself? How harsh, how cruel, how BRUTAL. That can’t be right. That can’t be accurate. That can’t be TRUE. Thoughts and beliefs I have worked so hard to un-do just took over my body in less that 5 seconds. 

We ALL have these moments. We ALL get knocked down and don’t know how or when we’re going to get back up. No one is “above” these terrible pitfalls. Yes, we can work hard and take the right steps to choose TRUTH over lies and reprogram our brains, but we ALL have moments of failure. 

As the hike went on, it turned out to be my favorite “discovery” of our entire road trip. We found this beautiful waterfall with a swimming hole. The water was just right. It was my kind of paradise. I jumped in without a thought of what my body did or didn’t look like. I was lost in the moment, overflowing with joy that we had found THIS type of H20- treasure in the middle of this 100 degree desert. It didn’t matter that I was pail and not feeling my best. I was able to fully enjoy every bit of that experience. 

Which is A LOT more to say than how my “old” self would have felt. I would have been miserable the whole time, defining the moment by what I “looked like” instead of the beauty of the moment happening around me. The self-hate I used to harbor would override the happiness of the experience that I was in. It was terrible and I felt like that for so many years. And I know some of you feel like that too. 

Sometimes its “scars” from childhood - I was bullied and made fun of and felt like SUCH an outsider because I was heavy and had frizzy hair and crooked teeth and a shit load of freckles. As I think about it now, I cringe remembering how alone and “unaccepted” I felt. I failed at so many things that I tried when I was younger. I was “too heavy to pull myself over the bar” in gymnastics and auditioned for musical theater shows for about three YEARS until I finally got into one (all of my friends had been getting cast since their first audition). Sometimes its things that people comment on your Instagram post. Sometimes its something a family member said or did that made you feel less than. There are SO many things that you may harbor in your soul that affect how you feel daily

All this to say, I think sometimes, as a whole, we feel things and we react to situations and we get very emotional - which is OKAY. But, if no ones ever told you - there’s a REASON for it - you aren’t broken or defective - you aren’t a failure or worthless - you’re a beautiful, capable human who’s been hurt and scared and you’re just doing your best to be the best human you can be. 

We live in a world where perfection is sought after and worshiped. I mean that would be dope, but the only problem is…  perfection isn’t actually real. Like, it’s not a thing. Regardless of what Instagram post you read or what Pinterest photo you saw. My whole point in rambling about a painful ear piecing injury gone wrong, is to remind you that you’re not the only one feeling this self-hate. This inadequacy. This failure. We all have our THING. Even the 6 packed model looking chick, she’s got her thing. Don’t let your moment of weakness try to lie to you and tell you you’re your “old self”.  Keep moving forward, knowing that your mess is is not bigger than anyone else’s, and it WON’T hold you back, as long as you CHOOSE so. It was a bad day, not a bad year. And hey, if it was a bad year, let yourself know that the rest of 2019 is gonna be a GREAT one. I believe in YOU.