Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Word of the Year

This is kind of late, but Happy New Year to all of you! First off, here are a few new things that happened this year:

 I got a new tattoo on Dia de los Muertos. My best friend got the same one on her back. She drew it :)

We got Remy!! It's almost been one year since his "Found Day"!

My niecey-poo Olivia was born!

I have a new doggy-niece too! This is Scarlet :)

And on to the post:

I have been thinking about this post for awhile. At the beginning of the New Year, I decided not to give myself a New Year's Resolution to adhere to. I don't do well with resolutions from past experience. They make me anxious--I don't know why. If I want to do something, I am good at getting myself to just put my mind to it and get it done, especially if it's something that I deem important to my life and my happiness. Now some things are harder than others, especially those that I don't have a lot of control over, like the time from last March until November-Decemberish when I was depressed. That was not a "just pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move on" kind of thing.

Some goals just get set in your mind and you work towards them because you want to, not because you have some deadline looming over your head to get it done. I think goals that are ongoing, continuous, always-learning and growing kind of goals are the easiest for me to keep plugging away at. Maybe that's part of why I like being a teacher. Who knows. But I like knowing that I'm moving in a good direction and working towards something that I put thought into. 

This year I saw a lot of people posting about their "word of the year." A guiding word, a motto, something that would drive them throughout that year. I wasn't sure that I could pick one word to drive my whole 2015--sure happiness is the obvious choice, considering the nature of my blog and my goals with my health and my emotional well-being. However, I wanted a word that could last me for more than just 2015. I wanted a word that I could think about when the times get tough and I could use a little inspiration or motivation. But I was really having trouble coming up with something that didn't pigeon-hole me into focusing on one small aspect of my life.

After contemplating this whole "word of the year" idea, I finally was struck by a word that I felt could do the job, so to speak. One day I was sitting on the couch watching Scandal, of all things, when my word just kind of smacked me in the face. (Don't even ask me how Scandal brought this one to me. I think Scandal awakens the creativity in all of us--thanks Shonda!)

So here's what I've got:

My word to live, love, and learn by this year is

No, I'm not going to go procure a farm or anything like that. Can you see me working on a farm? I don't think that would go well. Anywho, I really love the following definition of the word:

to apply oneself to improving or developing (one's mind or actions)

synonyms: improve, better, refine, elevate

I believe that I have always been working towards cultivating a better emotional state in my life: to feel happy, to feel settled, to feel acceptance of things that I can't change. I have been working to cultivate better relationships in my life with family and friends. I have been trying to cultivate habits that will make me calmer, more peaceful, and more joyful. 

I love the idea of improving and elevating your life to another level of existence. After all, aren't we all always trying to live, love, and learn more and better than we ever have? 

I think I chose a word that can drive me throughout my life, not only this year, but for a long while. I am excited to continue on my journey of joyfulness, peacefulness, wellness, and strength. Last year was a hard battle fought, but won. I am excited to see what this year has in store for me.

Love and happiness <3 Holly

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Anxious Girls Don't Change their Hair

A long time ago, especially before I was a junior in high school, I hid behind my hair. I used it to cover my face in class. Not to have to look anyone in the eyes, not to let anyone see my uncontrollable acne, and to try to stay invisible. I didn't like being called on in class. Most of the times my eyes were staring down at the table, my hair flanking the edges of my eyes. My hair was a kind of invisible cloak to me. As long as I hid behind it, no one could see me. No one could tell how anxious I was. No one would know I existed.

When I was a junior in high school, I joined Color Guard. We were the girls who entertained  you during the half time marching band show during Friday night football games, dancing, hurling rifles in the air, and twirling flags. That group of girls made me feel comfortable as myself; I could just be me. I was part of a big family, and I loved them for loving me like a sister.

That year of high school, I decided to cut my hair. And so began the beginning of my hair-changing journey. I had always wanted shorter hair. I didn't feel like long hair was “me.” It just didn't fit the personality I knew I had. A lot of people didn't know that Holly. I was tired of hiding behind my hair, and this, in some weird way, was me coming out of my shell.

One of my first "shorter" hair cuts. My hair was previously halfway down my back. Homecoming junior year with my now hubby :)

This is how short my hair was most of junior and senior year in high school.
It's even out of my face!

But what I realized once I cut my hair was that changing my hair was the way I could express who I was to the world. To me, my hair was a bold statement. Since I was not the outspoken, stand-up-in-front-of-a-crowd kind of girl, this was my way to say, “This is me!” And I was, and still am, very comfortable making this kind of statement about myself, instead of yelling it out loud to the world. I am the girl who takes everything in quietly and formulates her opinion before speaking in a room full of people. But with my hair, I yell it out! 

The last few years, I literally walk into get my hair done sometimes with an idea and sometimes without, but pretty much let my friend (who does my hair) create something new with my hair. I usually know that I want to keep my bangs, I want it short, and I want fun color. That's it. No anxiety there! 

It's funny to think that, on average, I change my hair about every six months or less. It's something fun that I always like to do and it lets me be who I am. Making an appointment to get my hair done makes me feel excited about making a change. 

It's interesting to think about the long list of things that can bring on anxiety for me in my life and the many possibilities of things that could, but don't. It just goes to show how much biology is at play with an anxiety-filled mind and how you don't control what will bring you anxiety and what won't. Now I choose how to deal with my anxiety, since I have the tools I need to do so. 

This was a crazy 'do!
Just kidding! Halloween costume ;)

Wedding hair.

Previously, a little blonde streak.

My current color

Love and happiness <3 Holly