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I've noticed this trend in my life where I'm too afraid to really OWN anything, because I fear I'm never enough to claim any given role or title. I run a lot, but I'm not fast enough to be called a runner, I go to the gym every day but I hate telling people because I'm not ripped enough to qualify as a true gym goer, I've written many articles and now even an ebook, but because it's not on the shelves of Barnes and Noble I'm not actually a writer, I don't have a big enough following to consider myself an influencer, I don't make enough money to call what I do a job, I'm not charitable enough to be called kind, I'm not nurturing or loving enough to be a real mom. The list goes on and on. Anything I do, I don't do well enough to claim it. We talk a lot about being enough, but I hadn't thought about it in this context before. It's been insecurity and fear masquerading as humility. All the things I've wanted to be, and even the things I've worked to become, I deny because I've never hit some imaginary bar I've created. A bar that can only be reached by simply letting myself grab it. So today, we grab it. (You know the drill...TWSS) If you can't bring yourself to own it today, you'll never reach that pretend finish line and somehow become enough to own it in the distant future either. Force it until you feel it! #julietangents

Gratitude is easy in seasons of upgrade. A new car, new house, fun vacation, or even a fresh tube of lipstick and you're like bam! This is so much better than before! Until the next season when you start wanting the next upgrade, and the once latest and greatest feels inadequate and unsatisfying. I've tried to be really careful to hold on to those feelings of fresh gratitude. To remember how it felt the first day. We bought our first home this year, and even with the gold sponge painted 1970's bathrooms, and the things that need fixing, it just feels like a dream. The day we moved in I told Ryan I vowed to never curse this house. Even if we do grow out of it, or decide to move on, I promise to never forget the season this was my dream come true. More will never be enough when you waste away the present. #julietangents

The last few days I've been wrestling with feelings of questioning my belonging. I've been a little homesick, but not for a particular place as much as a feeling. A feeling of belonging. I often don't even feel like I fully belong in my own little family, or in my own house, let alone in my community, extended family, this space etc. I feel anxious and restless a lot, not abnormally so, just feelings that frequently come up for me to feel and sort through. I decided to really meditate on it today, and as I did so, it began to snow. Then it kept snowing and snowing. I walked into the woods and just stood there in the falling snow and all at once a peace and calm rushed over me. I belong here. Not "here" as in location or role, but as myself. I belong in this body with this mind and this mission. I'm at home with myself, which is a place I never thought I could be. I belong with myself, wherever that might take me. And that's enough. #julietangents #istillbelieveinselfies

When you change in marriage, as we all do, it can be difficult sometimes to navigate those changes as they impact your relationship. You decide to get married motivated by your values and beliefs and hopes at the time, you create expectations for your partner based on the now, but when those shift, especially when they don't shift in unison with your partner, a distance is created. A gap that gets filled with doubts, loss of trust, and a difficulty to feel loved. Feeling committed to is very different from feeling loved. It's easy for both people to feel betrayed. Things can get hard(twss). We got married young, and that's brought along with it unique struggles and profound triumphs. Growing up together presents obstacles, but tackling them together creates a foundation of mutual respect, understanding, and love. Our differences create growth. They teach us to love on a level that sameness never required of us. #julietangents

Identifying WHY we struggle is important. Talking about it is important. But at some point you might need to (lovingly) tell yourself "SO WHAT GET OVER IT." Stop the talk and take action. I am really good at talking about what I struggle with but taking responsibility to change is tougher for me. I'm pretty sensitive, occasionally petty, and very prone to anger. For me, choosing resentment and bitterness and spending energy on that is actually a form of not taking responsibility. It places blame and hands control over to whatever it is making me angry. Marriage, motherhood, religion, my upbringing, that girl on instagram that offended me (whatever you deal with) MADE me feel this way. Nope. It doesn't even matter if you're right, fueling a fire of negativity will never serve you. The only things you can control are your actions and reactions. Take responsibility, take action, and do what you need to get over it. Set yourself free! Also new quote format🙌🏻. First of many changes about to take off around here, thanks for sticking with me!❤️ #julietangents #getoverit

I've spent the last few years dramatically simplifying my life in order to learn how to cope and understand what a more manageable lifestyle feels like. With that I had to let go of a lot of things, one of the main things being my life esthetic. I let go of a lot of my beauty practices, home decor desires, and the goal to curate a trendy and styled social media account. Back when that was my goal it caused me a lot of stress emotionally and financially and I found myself sacrificing my real life peace chasing the validation of a life worthy of being "followed." I put all of my resources and energy into making my life appear a certain way, even though that life created a miserable reality. Now don't get it twisted, I'm only talking about myself. I learned for me that being a lifestyle/fashion blogger wasn't actually fulfilling my goals, it was chasing likes to fill a void of self hatred. I do not project my experience onto others, and support many friends with beautifully styled accounts. The beautiful thing about hitting rock bottom, stripping your life of everything extra, learning true self care, and creating a manageable and peaceful reality is that you learn what you really want, and you learn how to get it in a positive, authentic, and fulfilling way. Your capacity actually expands. This year I wanted to decorate my house more than I have the last few years. I felt ready to add it into my life. As I shopped for a few things I pictured only what I liked, not what would look good in pictures. I realized my mind didn't even venture to what would best on Instagram, a mindset that used to control me. The funny thing is today I snapped this photo, and it was completely unstaged, but it made me think about the days I would have let EVERYTHING... my mood, my worth, and my happiness ride on how good of a photo we got from decorating day. I love this picture, and I love even more that this is just my life now. As I want it. As I create it. Sometimes it's esthetically pleasing and sometimes it's very messy, but it's always beautiful, and it's always mine. #julietangents #longestcaptionever

The gift and the curse of a privileged life is that day to day we are only required to function at partial capacity. It's only in times of crisis, struggle, or tragedy that we are required to learn to tap into the full potential of our strength and test what our limits really are. A while ago I shared that the main reason I believe everyone should exercise is just that...To bring pushing yourself to the breaking point, testing your limits, and tapping into your full potential into a DAILY practice. Pushing your physical endurance regularly translates into mental strength and resiliency when life requires it of you. You understand the feeling of nearly breaking but conquering instead. Being pushed becomes familiar. Believing you can do anything becomes tangible. It's daily proof that YES YOU CAN. #julietangents

Whenever I spend time away from social media (long or short) I find it really peaceful. Whenever I come back, I'm immediately overwhelmed to the point that I really question WHY I choose this space to be a part of my life. Then I adjust and go back to *mostly* loving it for the powerful connection tool that it is. This week I realized WHY I feel so much anxiety around it. I used to struggle with things like jealousy, comparison, and inadequacy on here but not so much anymore. What gets to me still though, is the insecurity in relationships I battle. I'm often insecure in my friendships. I think people hate me, I assume my close friends will someday bail, and I constantly fear friendships changing. Also, I'm always stressed about being a good enough friend. I care a lot about my friends. I love them deeply and I worry about being enough for them. So in a way, social media feels like 5000 friendships I stress about. What did I miss? Who have I let down? Does so and so still like me? Logging in is often met with a whirlwind of anxiety. Because I care and I worry and I have insecurities. I want to support you and love you and connect with you. A lot of my best friends are people I met right here. A lot of my healing and progress has come from sharing right here. I believe in this space, but I also have to keep it in its place. #julietangents #blackismyfavoritecolor #likemysoul

On Saturday afternoon a sadness set in, a familiar sadness, but thankfully one that doesn't come too often anymore. On Sunday the anger set in, the familiar anger that always accompanies the sadness. When I realized what was happening I immediately fought against it and then felt a little ripped off. Why was I feeling this way when I've been completely diligent in my routines and practices to be well? Then I realized I was fighting the feelings. I don't want to feel sad and angry, and my way of life and thinking frees me from feeling this way more often than not, but I don't do all I do to never feel anything but happy. I do all I do to handle it when it comes. To keep progressing anyways. To cope with it productively rather than harmfully. I sometimes wish my hard work equated to total freedom from the darkness, but I'm grateful that instead it becomes my flashlight and roadmap to get through it. I work hard for my mental stability, it doesn't make it easy, but it makes it possible. I took care of my family today. I didn't turn to negative or harmful coping mechanisms. I ended my day with a long run listening to a business course that left me feeling strong, capable, and inspired. To be able to feel those things, and confidently say I did my best today, and accept it was enough, that's why I do what I do. You should always do your best, but accept that your best will look different day to day. Your hard work is always worth it, and will always pay off, but maybe not always in the way you expect. #julietangents #mentalhealth #depression


Did anyone else have a bit of a moody Monday?😳 Lately I've been working on defining what motherhood actually means to me. I often feel like I don't jive with motherhood, sometimes I even claim to hate it, but I think a lot of that has come from a misunderstanding of what it is. I don't like chaos, noise, being touched, messes, complaining, feeling like a hostage in my house, laundry, cooking, car seat wrestling, sacrificing most of the time/resources, people around me constantly, or paying so much cash money for someone else to be me for a minute etc. I think it's fair and ok for me to not like those things, but in my experience, those are all things I attach to motherhood. They are part of the work load of the role for sure, but I don't think all of that stuff is actually motherhood. I've never loved little kids, even when I was one. That's ok. I didn't experience instant bonding and connection when I became a mom. That's ok. I've let these things sometimes convince me I don't love my kids, which definitely isn't true. What is motherhood for me then? It's a refining experience. I see the world differently now, I see people differently now. I see through this lens of love and compassion. I care about people, all people, more than I used to. I understand struggle, mental illness, sadness, and joy more than ever before. I forgive more. I believe in people. I love deeper than I knew how to before. I know how to reach out to help more than I did before. I believe in fighting to be whole. Motherhood crushed me, then rebuilt me stronger, but softer. I'm not saying motherhood is a requirement to learn these things, but maybe for me it was. For me, finding the good in motherhood is necessary but isn't found in the usual places. I don't relate a lot to most of the common sentiments on motherhood, but I'm finding where I fit in my role, and learning how to do it my way. #julietangents #momlife #ppd #motherhood

The first time I experienced postpartum depression I just kept asking, "Why didn't anyone tell me? Why doesn't anyone talk about this?" That was seven years ago. I decided then to talk about it, because someone needed to. The progress we've made since then is INCREDIBLE. If you're in the thick of it you're not alone, you're not broken, you're not wrong, and it does get better. If you know someone who's had a baby recently, reach out to them today, let them know they have community and support. I've had a front row seat to watching us come together, start talking, fight the stigma, and carry each other when we can't walk alone. It's a beautiful thing. Keep up the good fight. #ppd #julietangents 📷: @thedailymer

Today a friend mentioned that the most dangerous part of social media for her is that it impacts her in ways she doesn't even realize. Obviously there are the accounts that you know make you feel a certain way, for better or for worse, so you can take the action to remove or invest in that influence, but what about the stuff you can't pinpoint? Social media really can be an addictive, reality altering substance. When you spend time here your feed becomes part of your life, part of your reality. We have to be responsible and intentional with what we invite into our lives here. We must remember that even accounts praised for being REAL, are still curated and shared selectively. I share a lot here, and you definitely get the real, genuine me, but it's still just a slice of the pie. The slice I have control over and CHOOSE to share with you. It's important to consider that this whole space might be affecting you more than you realize. BUT. I believe so deeply in the power of this space. I've seen it create some of my deepest friendships, I've seen it break down walls of prejudice, I've seen it educate, I've seen it connect, I've seen it inspire, I've seen it create change, I've seen it support, I've even seen it save. Like most things in life the power here can go either way. How you use it, or decide not to use it, is entirely up to you. #julietangents

The gift and the curse of a privileged life is that day to day we are only required to function at partial capacity. It's only in times of crisis, struggle, or tragedy that we are required to learn to tap into the full potential of our strength and test what our limits really are. A while ago I shared that the main reason I believe everyone should exercise is just that...To bring pushing yourself to the breaking point, testing your limits, and tapping into your full potential into a DAILY practice. Pushing your physical endurance regularly translates into mental strength and resiliency when life requires it of you. You understand the feeling of nearly breaking but conquering instead. Being pushed becomes familiar. Believing you can do anything becomes tangible. It's daily proof that YES YOU CAN. #julietangents

For a long time I wanted freedom from my demons. I wanted peace. I wanted to be the person I knew I once had been, the person I knew I could be. I wanted a different life. But was I willing to do what it took? Sometimes change requires big sacrifice and a world of discomfort. So if you're searching, consider questioning your willingness. In my own experience and walking with others in their experiences, I've seen peace and purpose come at the cost of divorce, reconciliation, career change for a seemingly less lucrative or more terrifying path, religious changes, and dramatic lifestyle changes. It's ok to try the easy path first, but we must be ready and willing to walk the harder, more rigorous, less traveled path if the easy way doesn't lead us where we need to be. We also need to be open to landing in a different destination than we expected. Sometimes the hardest part of all of this is learning what YOU really want instead of what you think you SHOULD want, or the one everyone else will approve of. #julietangents

You'd do this hike daily too if you were me right?! There are relationships that give, and ones that take. Most do some of both, but there's often a net gain or net loss. People that fill us and others that drain us. There's a lot of talk these days about dropping the dead weight, letting go of relationships that don't serve you, and filling your life with people who bring positivity. I get that. But I don't know about that. I feel like people need people. I feel like we are all the giver in some relationships and the taker in others. I feel like sometimes those draining people need love too. You can't be everything for everyone, and please don't confuse this as me advising you to hold on to abusive or harmful relationships in your life. You have to protect yourself, and letting go is sometimes a painful but necessary path. But lately I've been feeling the weight of the relationships in my life, feeling inadequate and insecure in many of them, and thinking about the vulnerability and opportunity for hurt and loss being close with people opens me up to. I don't take relationships lightly, and I feel things really deeply (you had no idea right?). But I feel like in some way that's who I'm supposed to be, and one reason I work so hard to keep myself stable and well is so in those take relationships, I have something to give. #trueselfcare #relationshipsarehard #imtrying #julietangents

This week has been particularly draining mentally and emotionally. I'm doing my best to be my best but it still feels like I'm failing and falling short. That feeling of trying my best but struggling to feel like it's enough is one that drains me so hard. I have learned to take responsibility for my part, do the best I can, and let go of what I can't control. I have learned it, but I continue to need experience after experience to practice it. Today as I'm sitting here feeling anxious and uncomfortable about various things I thought about how I need to use this struggle to soften me. I need to feel these feelings to remind me to show more grace and forgiveness to others. To remind me to give people the benefit of the doubt, and look for the best in people. Hard times can harden us, and protecting ourselves is vital, but I hope to always use my struggle to get a little softer and a little more loving and a little more forgiving. #julietangents

I learned it wasn't about learning to feel pretty, it was learning to not care if I was or not...discovering there are many things, bigger things, besides pretty I wanted to be. It gave me this freedom from being a slave to my appearance. A mental freedom. The compliments on my physical appearance I once required and clung to have been reduced to simply nice things to hear, but not necessary for my worth or mental stability. Through all of this the world has become such a beautiful place, on a level I didn't understand before, and I see a piece of that beauty in my own reflection. That feels like a miracle to me. #julietangents

If you missed my story Saturday, I fell ALL THE WAY down while trying to trail run and Instagram at the same time. It was funny. So I took this picture trying to show you my scabby knee wounds but you'll have to zoom to see it I guess? Anyways. It made me think. (🙄I know I wish I could stop really) It's been quite a while since I've had bloody scraped up knees, something my four year old has almost constantly. When we are young our whole lives are filled with constant opportunities to try new things, explore, learn, grow, and fall. All the way through college we are encouraged to invest time and resources into self exploration and bettering ourselves. Then, all at once, we are supposed to have arrived and that's it. Adult responsibility doesn't always lend itself to continuing to learn and change, but we must! We should never stop trying new things. We should never stop evolving. We should never stop falling down. This exploration is a huge part of self-care for me. #julietangents

Reach out, connect, include, serve, and love others. We hear it a lot. Too often, especially when reaching from a place of privilege, it's easy to do so condescendingly, even if that's not our intention. We might mean well, but when we have the mindset that we are better than, smarter than, financially or mentally superior, or are part of the truest faith etc, and these poor people need us to help them, we can fall in the trap of seeing our reaching out solely as charity, and we respond defensively. There's nothing wrong with service and charity, but let's not forget people's worth is always equal and that's unchangeable. I've found when I reach out with a sincere desire to love and connect, and with a real willingness to learn and grow from the other person, NO MATTER HOW DIFFERENT WE ARE, I am able to truly see the greatness of their soul. I'm able to see people in a light that is inspiring and so beautiful. Growth doesn't meant you have to change what you believe, it just means you can entertain new and different ideas and beliefs and ways of life respectfully. Challenge your assumptions and find the willingness to really reach out, not down. #julietangents

The last few years this trend to be "real" has been on the rise and I think it's good and bad and a little weird. Because real should be natural and normal more than trendy. I fear the problem is that being real is being confused with struggling, suffering, or hot mess expressing. The trend is normalizing things like breakdowns, poor coping mechanisms, and choosing self-indulgence over self-care. While this normalization is helpful in avoiding shame, and it is in fact real and ok to share, it's harmful to portray suffering or self-sabotage as normal or even trendy. There is a better way! If you are maxed out to the point of breakdowns constantly, experiencing crippling anxiety, or living in total darkness with no hope, or abusing a substance or activity, there is absolutely no shame in it, but there is help. There is a better way. Being real is going to include the bumps and downward drops that reality has, but you can be real and thriving. You can take ownership of your reality and do your very best with it. You can get better every day. I've learned this in my own life through true self-care. Sometimes I want to change the world and sometimes I want to lay on my floor. Sometimes I'm killing it and sometimes I'm crying in my closet. Some days I'm a really crappy wife but a pretty decent mom (today). It's all real. And sometimes all of those happen within the same day. We are all flawed, but you don't have to share those flaws exclusively to be real. You are real. Anyway you slice it, dress it up, throw it down. Win or lose. You can be real and thriving. And you can be thriving while struggling. #julietangents

My battle with postpartum depression introduced me to the struggle of not feeling the way you think, or you've been made to think, you should feel. Finding peace with yourself when you feel wrong or broken is really hard and often disheartening. I'm almost seven years into motherhood and I still haven't found total peace. I wish I loved it more, I wish I felt more purpose and fulfillment in it, I wish that when Zoe tells me she wants to be a mom like me when she grows up I felt pride instead of panic. I try to keep most of this to myself in fear of coming off ungrateful to my many, many close friends who would give anything to experience this struggle, because it would mean they were parents themselves. I know there are bigger problems, more painful struggles, but I also know having to work every single day to want what I have, show love to my perfect kids who deserve some sort of Mary Poppins, and accept my seemingly unacceptable feelings without letting it chip away at my worth is taxing. Sometimes I feel tired and I just wish I felt differently. I focus on my gratitude, I focus on the good, I focus on my insane level of love for these magnificent kids, and it's all ok, but sometimes I still feel tired and broken. #julietangents #momlife #ppd

"No one will sit by me on the bus, even when I ask. But I've decided that's actually ok because then I can hum the tunes I like to make up and no one else can hear it." #eternaloptimist #kylesays
I hesitated to share this post publicly for multiple reasons but it's made me think about something I wanted to share. The kids on Kyle's bus are good kids. We moved into a tight knit neighborhood where these kids have shared a street since birth, a few are even cousins. They are readily established close friends. They don't hate Kyle, they're just established. I've been there. How many times have I been fully satisfied with my tribe so much so that I don't make room for a newcomer? Not because I'm trying to be cruel or exclusive, simply because I have enough. Having been the new kid several times and most recently in adulthood, I've been reminded of the importance of making room. I've been shown such welcoming kindness from people who didn't need me, they had enough. I've been invited to crash many social events where very established groups of friends chose to let me in. I've engaged in deep, meaningful conversations which forge friendships that are priceless to me, because the other party was willing to make room.
Living in the same place ish from junior high through being a married mom of three made me forget what it feels like to be the new kid. What it feels like to need a place to sit, or a friend to talk to. Being new is humbling and makes me so grateful for people who unlike me is the past, have made room even when they have enough. Its inspired and taught me to continually look outward and be the person who always makes room, even when doing so makes me feel uncomfortable. In doing this I've found my capacity for love and abilities in understanding and being empathetic have grown dramatically. #julietangents #inothernews #parentingisheartbreaking

There have been times in my life I've fallen victim to scare tactics. I've believed people when they've told me I will fail. I will fall. I'm not enough on my own. Without their path, without their friendship, without whatever they are selling, without choosing them, I won't succeed. The truth I believe is that often I can't do it on my own. I do need help, support, mentoring, and love. But not because I'm not enough. I've learned that anyone or anything trying to threaten me into a choice by making me fear the alternative and believe I'm not adequate enough to even try are not things I want in my life. Seek people and partnerships that encourage and inspire you. Surround yourself with positivity and support. I find this is easiest when you become that person for everyone around you. When your focus is lifting others things change. When you're busy helping them clean their wounds and picking them up after a fall you won't have time or energy to lecture them about how they could have avoided tripping in the first place. Be someone's safe place. Be a believer. #julietangents

Enough is enough. Right? Is it though? What if you don't know how to understand what enough actually is? We chatted last week about conditional acceptance, and how that's not really acceptance at all. I've been coming to understand just how deep my struggles to accept myself run. When I'm overweight I'm the wrong kind of overweight, if only I carried it the weight differently like the other girls. When I'm underweight I'm the wrong kind of skinny, I look bony instead of toned. When my work gets praised, shared, or even published I still only hear the critics. You get the pattern here. I'm never right. I'm never enough. And so I spent many years of my life chasing enough, only to realize until my mind changed I'd never find it. There's no one size fits all definition of enough. Our individual values determine what enough is for us, but one thing I've learned to be true is that enough is mental. It's not something you deserve to feel because it isn't something you earn. You are always worthy of feeling enough. It's total and unconditional acceptance. It's grace. It's a mental understanding you have with yourself. There is no bench mark to meet or finish line to cross. You're enough today, exactly where you are as you are. As you grow and progress your capacity will increase, but you'll be just as much enough then as you were before. Enough is enough. #julietangents #youareenough

What's on my mind Monday! It's a thing now. Today I'm thinking about how there are so many paths to choose in life, and often many of them all get you to the same place. But even so, different ones are right for different times. I came to some conclusions this weekend that I've come to several times before, but the path I took to get here this time feels so much more right than the others I've traveled previously. Sorry to be cryptic, I will share more soon when my voice works again! Anyways it's been a good reminder that giving yourself space to change is really important. And giving other people space to do things their way, even when it's different than your way isn't something we should feel threatened by. Mostly though, I'm reminded that consistency is the most important thing of all. To learn, or grow, or change, or discover what YOU need, consistency isn't negotiable. Pick a color, any color, but stick with it long enough to actually learn from it. You can jump ship, and bailing can be the right thing💯, but only when you've stayed long enough to be sure it's really going down. #julietangents

We discovered a slow leak today that's done some damage, but the biggest loss in this sopping wet notebook. This has been my constant companion for the last few years. Through my most transformative years. Through my tears and triumphs and meditations and prayers and discoveries and losses. This book is full of all that. Of course watching friends and strangers lose everything in the last few weeks due to the natural disasters puts things in major perspective, but the loss of this book is something I feel. Lately I've been feeling pretty insecure on here. What am I doing, why am I sharing etc. I get really awkward and apologetic anytime someone brings up my account in real life. Every time I share I do it with the hope that if it even helps one person then it was worth sharing, but today I remembered that sometimes that one person is me. My #julietangents have forever been written to myself. So much of me is on this online space, which is so hard and scary but today I'm so grateful.

Ending one of the most challenging mom life weeks I've had in a while. Kids are perfect. Really. They are flawless. I might find them taxing, obnoxious, and impossible sometimes but that's on me. I've never really liked kids. Even when I was a kid I found my own peers annoying. So it's not really surprising that sharing a life and a house around the clock with three small children requires me to learn and grow and change. For them. Because they are perfect, and this is on me. #ihavethecutestkidsalive #julietangents #momlife photo: @alexwrightphotography

For a minute I laid on my bed not wanting to be myself, wanting an escape from my mind and an excuse for my actions. Then I decided to choose peace. What if we called a truce? Can we stop fighting? Can we get along? Can we support each other? What if I honored your needs and in turn you stopped firing mental bullets? What if instead of fighting against who I am I embraced my struggle and used it to get stronger? What if instead of loving myself in spite of certain things I loved myself because of those things? What if I released self-sabotage and chose to believe in myself. What if I stopped fearing my potential, wondering if I'm capable to carry it out? You know what if? I can be unstoppable. For a long time I've put energy into changing myself, but I chased the wrong change for too long. #feelingfree #mindbodyspirit #internalbattles #converstionswithmyself #julietangents

Kyle headed off to first grade today in some velvet sweats he sewed himself! Sending my oldest to all day school sort of feels like the beginning of the end of an era. My baby days have passed, my toddler years are winding down, and the family dynamic is changing. It's hard to not let the feelings of failure overtake. Anytime a season of life comes to an end I sort of panic wondering if I did enough, or felt enough, or appreciated enough. Most of Kyle's life I haven't been very high functioning. I definitely haven't been all I wanted to be for him. But here he is. The kindest, bravest, smartest, happiest little boy wearing velvet sweats, taking one deep breath for courage and then stepping right onto a bus to a place totally unknown full of strangers. Here he is. I take no credit for his greatness, but I do know I did the very best I could with the battle I was given. In the failures I have learned. Kyle is an old soul and I know, without a doubt, it's no accident he came to me to be my example. I'd say he will do great things, but he actually already has. #backtoschool #kylestyle #julietangents

Food for thought... #Repost @thejulietaylor
All the strength you need is already inside of you. The strength you have right now, today, is exactly enough. Learning to access that strength and finding willingness to push the limits of that strength is how you get stronger. Your struggle doesn't make you weak, it unlocks your potential. Whatever brought you to the fight can help you win the fight. You've got this. Believe! I know I sound like a cheesy motivational speaker but I don't even care because I BELIEVE this. #julietangents

It was a straight up revelation to me when I realized I could feel one way, and act a different way. I feel a lot of feelings. My moods are all over the place. I naturally have a lot of negative feelings. This is all ok. But. When I only allow myself to take action on feelings, I'm not who I want to be and my life isn't the one I want and there's no consistency in my behavior. I can't always control my feelings but I can control which action I take. Intentionally choosing positive actions and sticking to my routines and practices that I believe in allow me to create a life and a self I want- regardless of how I feel. Feelings matter and should be recognized and honored, but there are times to just do it anyway. It doesn't matter if you feel like it. You can't control how you feel, but you can control what you do with it. You're not responsible for that first thought, but you're responsible for every one that follows. Who's in control here? Me? Or my mood? Going live today to discuss this and what I think being REAL actually means and how this all has allowed me to easily accept any feelings I have with no shame attached. Hope to see you there! #julietangents

Why does our physical appearance have such an impact on how we feel? For me, I believe it's because there is so much power in feeling like YOU. It's not because I look "better" after weight loss, or because I look "better" with purple hair, or because I look "better" in solid black clothes, it's because those things feel like ME, and it feels good to look and feel like myself. It's why my name matters so much to me. It's why motherhood rocked my world so much. Its why marriage is a lot for me. It's why I cling to activities that bring out my passion. Because I want to be me. I want to feel like me. It might have taken me a while to admit what being me means, and I'm forever learning, but more and more I'm recognizing that I feel the most at peace and full of joy simply when I'm me. As we dive into a new week maybe stop obsessing about being any certain thing and focus instead on being more you. Then we'll tap into our true power. #julietangents #beyou #reallyyou

Success and failure is actually relative because we all have different values. It's easy to impose our values onto other people and make assumptions about how their choices are working for them. This has been on my mind for a million reasons lately. Watching friends brave divorce when it's a courageous and positive choice for them but getting the "failed marriage" label slapped on them regardless triggered this thought, but then I started seeing how much it applied to so many things in my life. It's so important for us to not feel threatened by people making different choices than us. It's so important to fight for connection rather than just tolerance. It's so important to be confident in our choices and values. It's so important to focus on what's right for you, and let go of what other people think of it. It seems easy in theory until it gets personal. Let people think you're failing, you know the truth. #julietangents #bebrave

When days suck sometimes things feel hopeless pretty quick. When you do the wrong thing it's easy to lose confidence in your ability to do the right thing. Big or small, remember all is not lost. Ever. You can keep going. You can do better next time. You can start over right this minute. Life is cool that way. You're allowed to change your mind, you're allowed to change your story, you're allowed to change yourself. Use that second, fifth, millionth chance. Today I'm focusing on remembering to focus on the separation between my choices and my worth. More on stories! #julietangents

Whenever I spend time away from social media (long or short) I find it really peaceful. Whenever I come back, I'm immediately overwhelmed to the point that I really question WHY I choose this space to be a part of my life. Then I adjust and go back to *mostly* loving it for the powerful connection tool that it is. This week I realized WHY I feel so much anxiety around it. I used to struggle with things like jealousy, comparison, and inadequacy on here but not so much anymore. What gets to me still though, is the insecurity in relationships I battle. I'm often insecure in my friendships. I think people hate me, I assume my close friends will someday bail, and I constantly fear friendships changing. Also, I'm always stressed about being a good enough friend. I care a lot about my friends. I love them deeply and I worry about being enough for them. So in a way, social media feels like 5000 friendships I stress about. What did I miss? Who have I let down? Does so and so still like me? Logging in is often met with a whirlwind of anxiety. Because I care and I worry and I have insecurities. I want to support you and love you and connect with you. A lot of my best friends are people I met right here. A lot of my healing and progress has come from sharing right here. I believe in this space, but I also have to keep it in its place. #julietangents #blackismyfavoritecolor #likemysoul

The thing is, feelings aren't facts, but when we keep them secret, shame ourselves for feeling them, deny them, and allow them to grow, they gain the power to be pretty effing convincing to our brains that they are indeed, facts. Feelings turn into beliefs, and as beliefs they are much harder to dispute. So then what was once a battle against our feelings becomes a fight against our beliefs, which creates a whole lot of inner turmoil. That escalated quickly huh? Yesterday was bad and I fueled the bad with a lot of self-destructive choices. It was a good wake up call for me to sift through my feelings and reality. More about yesterday and how I deal with days of blah on my stories if you wannnnnnnt. #julietangents

Identifying WHY we struggle is important. Talking about it is important. But at some point you might need to (lovingly) tell yourself "SO WHAT GET OVER IT." Stop the talk and take action. I am really good at talking about what I struggle with but taking responsibility to change is tougher for me. I'm pretty sensitive, occasionally petty, and very prone to anger. For me, choosing resentment and bitterness and spending energy on that is actually a form of not taking responsibility. It places blame and hands control over to whatever it is making me angry. Marriage, motherhood, religion, my upbringing, that girl on instagram that offended me (whatever you deal with) MADE me feel this way. Nope. It doesn't even matter if you're right, fueling a fire of negativity will never serve you. The only things you can control are your actions and reactions. Take responsibility, take action, and do what you need to get over it. Set yourself free! Also new quote format🙌🏻. First of many changes about to take off around here, thanks for sticking with me!❤️ #julietangents #getoverit

"You have been you for a very, very long time." Someone shared this with me yesterday and it hit me hard. I talk a lot about the importance of actions matching values and it's because this! When you find yourself, and feel yourself you're unstoppable. I believe we are each divinely created and when we allow it, we can inspire ourselves to reach higher and be better. You've got to learn to be you, and to love how that feels. There is no peace quite like feeling at home with yourself, and being confident enough to embrace every aspect of that. I'd love to hear your favorite thing about yourself. What part of you makes you feel like YOU? Seriously I sincerely want to read these. #tellmesomethinggood #beyou #julietangents

LOL but seriously who knows this cycle? Replace cookie dough binging with any sort of low and tell me you don't know what I'm talking about. That motivation to change triggered by the desperation of current reality. The moment of "I would do ANYTHING".... until the moment passes and things don't feel quite as bad so you're over it. Until the next time it surfaces, bigger, darker, and more desperate than the last time. It can be a viscous cycle. We are presented a million different solutions to a million different problems every single day. My advice? Pick one. Any one. The solution itself probably won't be what saves you, it's the consistency that will. It's not about finding the magic fix, it's about following through and holding on consistently that brings change. Try anything, but try it long enough to see what happens when you don't quit. This concept can be applied to ANY sort of change. It's consistency, not mastery, that brings change. I'm sensing a theme here lately. #consistency #keepgoing #julietangents

Anytime I make the trip into civilization I treat myself to a bev and let's pray that wrist twist to get a selfie doesn't give me carpal tunnel someday. Ok so when I was little my family referred to me as "the crisis child." They even made up a theme song to sing every time I went into crisis mode, which happened often and usually over nothing. It's who I am! I'm the kind of person who would make working at McDonald's seem like the most stressful and world altering important job in the world. Like fast food employee or brain surgeon, they are the same level of stress to me. My whole adult life has been a series of WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME?! I'm fragile, overreactive and struggle to cope with normal life more than average I think. College, marriage, motherhood, buying a house... all of it has made me wonder how everyone out in the world just does it without becoming a crisis child. So hey, I'm the crisis child BUT I'm aware of it and work hard to stay grounded. Avoiding self-pity, quitting negativity, and choosing to take responsibility for my actions and reactions help. Gratitude cures all but it's a learned skill, I will get there! (Also talking about how I manipulate people with my moodiness in my stories today. It's confession through rambling day I guess?) #julietangents #iliveinthewoodsnow

Do you ever have those days where you're convinced nobody likes you, and that everyone's hanging out without you, and that you have nothing special or unique to offer the world so why not just sip a beverage and fade into the crowd, and that you're definitely failing at everything? Just me? Well we can all tell our brains to go to hell. My negative thoughts always share a similar theme... I'm the worst, everyone hates me, and I should quit. They play to my insecurities just enough that it tricks me into believing them. Because they are always the same ish, I've learned to identify them quickly and label them as the garbage they are. But it's hard. Because they are convincing, and it's easier to believe them than it is to convince myself they're wrong sometimes. There are a lot of obstacles life throws at me but I know 💯 my own mind games are the biggest thing in my way. Taking back control of your brain is vital. VITAL. #julietangents #changeyourmind

Brace yourself for a little bit of tough love. I think there's some confusion about what it means to deserve something. It's actually a word I've removed from my vocabulary. Let's not get deserving something confused with worth or worthiness. You always have worth, untouchable worth, and you are worthy of all the great things. Being deserving however, gets sticky. Living in a deserving mindset makes it REAL simple to slide into an entitled mindset. You don't deserve a vacation, you don't deserve a cookie, you don't deserve a million dollars. Or maybe you do, but so do a lot of other people who aren't getting it either. It's a dangerous game to sit in self pity and think about how much you deserve certain things. That's entitlement. It also is crazy unproductive to ponder on how undeserving others are of the things they have. Also, doing certain things "because you deserve it" can really easily trick your mind into justifying indulgent behaviors in times when they can actually be harmful to you. Don't get me wrong, you can treat yoself, but the mindset is important. A lot of people in the world deserve a lot of things they never get, for better or for worse. I used to use a lot of energy dwelling on all the things I deserved more than so-and-so and how unfair things were. I felt sorry for myself. I felt bitter towards others. No gratitude, just discontent. Now I've learned to keep my eyes on my own plate and work harder, because at the end of the day it just doesn't matter what you deserve, it only matters what you choose to do with the life you create. #julietangents

I'm no stranger to any hair color or cut, I've done it all, but last night something was different. I realized not one single tiny part of me had even considered if OTHER people would like my hair. I didn't even consider it. I picked what I wanted based on what I wanted and had total confidence in it. Oh no is Julie over analyzing everything again and then tangenting on Instagram about it? Yep. I've spent almost my whole life unsure about myself. Sometimes to cover that up I would overcompensate with loud styles or "alternative" choices to purposely clash with the surrounding culture norms in the name of being ME, but I didn't really know me. I sought validation for every choice from my hair style to my career to what I ate... I couldn't even put socks on in the morning without questioning what people would think. It's a debilitating way to live. It's scary to rip everything away and allow yourself to doubt and question every facet of your life and personality and values, but it's scarier not to. You deserve to know who you are, and be so confident in that, you live with purpose and intention and peace. Change is hard, but I think the fear of what change means is actually what holds us back most. #julietangents #thepowerofhair #thanksstates

I see a lot of before and after pictures with captions explaining how the girl on the left was miserable and hated herself and the girl on the right is so much better now. While I can relate on some level, in my experience it's only when I stopped chasing a certain appearance in hopes of it bringing me self love, that I finally learned to love myself. So yes, the girl on the left of my story was miserable, and she did hate herself, and she thought it was because of her size, but she had it all wrong. Losing all the pounds wouldn't have made me love myself at that point, and really learning to love myself didn't require a single pound lost. And yes, the girl on the right is happier, more and peace, and loves herself, but she's learned to do it unattached to physical appearance. End talking about myself in third person. The love I have for myself is deep. I care for myself in a way that cultivates the best reality possible for me. My values are rooted in what I believe for me, unthreatened by the opinions of others. All of this is most of the time, I'm forever a work in progress and definitely have the hard days. I believe that if you tackle the inside, it works. You've got to love yourself enough to change, instead of hating yourself if you don't. #julietangents

Just a friendly reminder that your values can be just yours. In fact, when you're trying to live by someone else's instead of your own, you will struggle to find peace and positivity. The ability to be inspired by others and learning from them is important and productive, but it's important to do it with your own values as top priority. It doesn't matter what all your friends are doing, it doesn't matter if that works for them, that doesn't always mean it's for you. And that's ok. When someone criticizes what you do, it doesn't make you wrong. Be careful to criticize others behavior because you don't share their values, so you might just not get it. Understanding this on a really honest level gives you freedom to cultivate the life that best matches your values, unthreatened by the feedback and opinions of others. It also allows you to develop deeper relationships with people different from you. Adult peer pressure is real, and frantically jumping on every passing bandwagon heading for an unknown destination just because the other passengers seem to know where they are going and how to get there will only leave YOU more lost. Have the courage to honestly search out your values in life, and then be confident enough in them to prioritize your life accordingly. Live and let live. #julietangents

Accepting and loving yourself right now, today, exactly as you are, is important. I used to think learning to do that was the key to happiness. I thought my problem was a lack of acceptance, that I didn't need to change, I only needed to accept. The problem with that was that my behavior wasn't in line with my values, so I couldn't find peace. If you wait to love yourself until you change, you'll never get there, because hate doesn't motivate change. For me, real change happened when it came from a foundation of self-love. I accepted myself exactly how I was, regardless of the parts of my behavior I didn't love, and I loved myself enough to start working on change. The idea that loving yourself and wanting to change are mutually exclusive is a fallacy. In fact I believe they are actually the perfect match. When you truly love yourself it inspires you to constantly better yourself. Love yourself enough to change, rather than hating yourself if you don't. #julietangents

Oh I am sooo guilty of being a walking contradiction. Repost so I can remember this... "Our values don't make us superior, they just give us a code to live by to find personal peace." #Repost @socanary (@get_repost)
One time maybe three years ago I read one article about the "toxic chemicals" used in microwave popcorn and I've avoided it ever since even though I never even studied it further or checked credibility... but this isn't about convincing you guys popcorn is toxic (and please don't take this as me judging your popcorn), it's about discovering our personal hypocrisies we ALL have and often use to judge other people. I will walk down the aisle at Costco and tell my kids they can't have those fruit snacks because of all the sugar but then buy them chocolate covered pretzels on the very next aisle. This is because we all have our things we weirdly and sometimes irrationally obsess over. Not just with food, but with behavior too! Like thinking a mom is insane for allowing so much screen time, while she's thinking you're insane for handing out the goldfish crackers... or whatever! Or how I don't think doing heroine is a great idea but... jk. My point is we all contradict ourselves almost daily for so many reasons. So it's important to understand everyone has different values, so you can't judge people because theirs are different from yours. I've learned to make fun of how often I don't make logical sense and am so often a walking contradiction. It's totally fine, but it's helped me never get to high on a horse about my opinions, because sometimes they are literally based off a random article I skimmed three years ago. Our values don't make us superior, they just give us a code to live by to find personal peace. And now I REALLY want some microwave popcorn. Like now. #julietangents #youdoyou #evenwhenyouiscray

🙌🏻 #Repost @socanary (@get_repost)
One of the meanest tricks is how our brain tells us to turn to all our worst coping mechanisms in hard times because we "deserve it" when in reality this is precisely what we don't need. While some phases in life indeed call for survival mode, I've learned I have to dig deeper and choose self care in times of distress, and save the self indulgence for the lighter times. I've got to choose veggies over cookies, meditation over zoning to Netflix, and communication over isolation. I've got to choose movement over hibernation and introspection over pinning the blame. In the end it really doesn't matter what I "deserve", it only matters what will help me truly cope and progress through the hard time. I've indulged my way through many struggles only to end up even lower, but I still seem to have to learn this lesson just one more time. #julietangents

One time in an AA meeting I was attending someone said, "everyone knew I had a great life...except me." I related a lot, and I still do some days. Depression gave me a long list of bad habits that stuck around even when the depression lifted. Those habits created a life with no gratitude, an unwillingness to take responsibility, deep isolation, and a skewed view of reality. It wasn't until I realized that no matter what circumstances I placed myself in, I was still wildly unhappy, that I identified I was the common denominator. And so began my journey into personal development. I needed to change, and I needed to do it without hating myself because I was already drowning in that. So really, at the root of everything else I might share, that's why I'm here. I care so much about self-care and personal development because it changed my life. I believe in it. I believe in you. I believe the power is ours. #julietangents #personaldevelopment #selfcare #depression 📷: @alexwrightphotography

Jussssst taking a time out in my room for one second. I was trying to catch up on watching some insta stories but the volume gave away my location LIKE A ROOKIE. But before I was found I loved something @mamabear.fitness shared when she said "Just because we share does that mean we're healed? No." Preach! There are so many times I second guess this whole space because I feel like who am I to share when I still struggle? Where's my credibility when I'm still in the trenches? Let the experts do the sharing. But no! That kind of thinking is just part of me saying I'm not enough. The truth is sometimes I do still hide in my room, I do emotionally eat through my depression, I do make my friends listen to me vent all my insecurities and fears that pop up. But isn't the journey greater than the destination? When I spend 12 hours climbing a mountain and 30 minutes at the summit, you better believe the trip to the top is what I remember most. It's where the real experience happens. It's where the fight goes down. Sharing is often selfish for me because it's such a huge chunk of MY healing process, but I also do it in hopes to make you feel a little less alone, because I'm right there with you. I've come a long way but this is a hike with no summit. Thank goodness! I hope my life has no peak. I hope there are strenuous climbs and beautiful breaks to enjoy the view, but I always hope I'm still climbing. Whew. I took that cheesy hiking metaphor a little too far but I have no regrets. I mean maybe Miley said it best really, "it's all about the climb." #julietangents

In a world where anything longer than two day shipping feels inhumane, I don't think I'm alone in my addiction to instant gratification. I want it and I want it now. I want to feel comfortable now, I want the fruits of my labors now, and I just want to feel good right NOW. The majority of the time however the things that satisfy the now, crumble the long term. If we only seek to put a temporary bandaid of happy on all our issues the cuts will get deeper until we've used up all our possible bandaids and are left bleeding and empty handed. Too dramatic? I know this feeling! Real solutions take being uncomfortable, hard work with seemingly little pay off, and consistency. Consistency is impossible when chasing instant gratification. So it clicked for me to look at things a different way. Instead of choosing the behavior that brings me instant but temporary satisfaction, choose to make the long term right choice and soak in that instant feeling of peace and success that comes from knowing you made the choice consistent with your values. It might not give you the same high, but it will take you higher. #julietangents

My life is sort of everything I swore to my teenage self it never would be. I got married young and fast, had kids fast and close together, and now I deck everyone out in the gear of our alma mater and hand out fruit leather at time outs... BUT also I can still rap along with every word of the blasting music so I'm still totally cool, it's fine. Actually the fact I think that makes me cool probably contributes to my uncool momness. This all began a decade ago when Ryan and I went our first date to a BYU volleyball game, and here we are today living the cliche dream that was once my worst nightmare. For a while I fixated SO much on how my life wasn't what I expected, and wasn't the one I really wanted, that I was blind to the beauty of my own reality. I had no gratitude for what was simply because it wasn't what I thought it should be. I placed blame for every circumstance on other people from my religion to my family to Ryan and everywhere in between. Turns out my life is pretty great, and I'm extremely lucky, and when I choose to SEE that, I feel pretty fulfilled and inspired to take responsibility and create the life I want while being grateful for the one I have. If on our first date I had seen a glimpse of us ten years later... I would have run for the hills.😂 Sometimes it's good to not know, because we don't always know best. #julietangents #gocougs

For a long time I thought that if my reason was valid, it wasn't an excuse. The danger there was that I'm really good at validating my "reasons." I felt a need to shout from the rooftops-You don't get it, my life is harder than it looks! I finally learned the hard way after years of misery that it didn't really matter if my complaints were valid, it was still up to me what I did with them. It's easy to look at someone who has something you want and assume they have it because it's easier for them, or that they must not deal with what you deal with. Maybe there's some truth in that, but everyone has their stuff. Everyone has excuses, many of them are valid, but the difference is what you dwell on. Talking about our struggles is important and has a place for sure, but talking about how hard something is ceases to be productive when you're not willing to take action to work passed it. You can validate your struggle without using it as an excuse. Maybe you do have to work a little harder, maybe you do have to be more resourceful, maybe you do have to allow a solution you didn't want... but it's really up to you. We can talk all day about all the reasons we can't do something, or we can find a way to do it anyway. We choose. #julietangents #toughlovesaturday

This morning as Ryan was leaving for work I said "I just can't do this today. I can't." I could blame my feelings of AH on anything from normal motherhood issues, to lesser sleeping, to moving stress, or being behind on work stuff but really none of those things are special. Life is life and sometimes it makes you feel like you're drowning and constantly at your breaking point. I'm quick to blame motherhood for days I feel this way. Small children are taxing. But I also remember having similar feelings about every phase of life I've been in. The common denominator is needing to better learn to cope with life. My life isn't especially hard, in fact I've had quite an easy ride, but even so I've had to learn how to deal. Today I employed my go to coping mechanisms instead of hiding (not always the case, see my life yesterday for proof) and also remembered the "forget yourself and go to work" quote I love so much and in turn was gifted a beautiful day. My awareness and gratitude for the ways people in my life served me today and lightened my burden were heightened and I accomplished more than I even hoped regardless of tossing my list to focus on the needs of others. I felt good. I felt peace. I felt capable. (Because I can always make anything all about me😜🙄) I'm learning. Also there's a new video up, go watch! And finally, when will I learn to just say "best park snuggles, best day" and leave it at that? #longwinded #needmyblogback #workingobit #julietangents

You know when you follow someone new and the first time they show up on your feed you're like wait who is this fool? Well with all the new friends around here I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Julie. I currently reign in Columbus, OH, but will soon be heading to Hartford, CT. I use this account to share about things like postpartum depression, mental illness, food issues, nutrition, addictions, motherhood, self improvement, personal development and whatever else I'm currently living. Sounds heavy huh? I like to think my double chin selfies help lighten the mood. I'm rarely serious in real life but my writing often leans serious, and you can find a lot of that under #julietangents . Mostly I like this to be a space to help you realize you're enough, always, regardless of where you're at. I hope it's a place that encourages you to discover and become the best version of YOU so you can create the life you want. But maybe you're just here because my kids are cute, that's fine too. So HI, now tell me about you!

You know that really uncomfortable, shaky, hard to breathe, can't focus, mind racing, walls closing in, trapped , helpless and hopeless feeling of anxiety that happens sometimes? No? Keep scrolling. But if you can relate, I feel you. There are a lot of things I do and share to cope with general anxiety but I wanted to share a few things I do in the moment when heightened anxiety hits.
1. Cut off the caffeine supply. I've noticed a direct relation between caffeine intake and my feelings of anxiety. It increases my physical symptoms and also contributes to the restless feeling in my mind.
2. Quit believing anything I'm thinking/feeling. Anxiety makes me feel like everything is wrong, everything will go wrong, that everyone hates me, and I'm losing every battle. Tiny things I've never thought about before consume me. When I did a live video on this someone added it's important to recognize these feelings are real, but not true. (If this was you please shout yourself out!) I cut myself off from believing all the junk flying into my mind by remembering its anxiety talking.
3. Reach out. I call or text a friend and say hey! I feel weird right now and I'm having a hard time. I do this to keep me from isolating and spiraling into total darkness. It's important.
4. Turn off my phone, or at least log out of social media. When anxiety is high, consuming a ton on content about what everyone else is doing/saying/selling is just the worst thing possible. It invites comparison and panic and I have to turn it off when I'm in a delicate state.
5. Tune in and be present. Wherever I am, I make sure I'm all there. No multitasking, no divided attention. I focus on on where I am and don't ask my mind to process anything more than the basic functions of that moment.
Basic tips and they don't solve everything, but it's how I deal. Should have been a blog post or video probably but sometimes a too long insta caption is all I have to offer. #julietangents

I know the more common phrase is "fake it 'til you make it" but as someone who used to spend all my energy faking a life that wasn't sincere and pretending to be someone I wasn't, I just cringe at any encouragement to be fake, so I like this more. Whether it be forcing down veggies until you learn to like them, or forcing actions of love on the days you feel disconnect instead, I believe in training yourself to be who you want to be. I've often experienced shame and disappointment when my feelings don't line up with that I think they SHOULD be, but I've learned to let those expectations go. I try to take the right action whether I feel like it or not, and over time I've found I really do change. Today, I force a feeling of festiveness for the holiday I hate, because I'm the mom of some kids who are pretty thrilled about the whole thing. #julietangents #feelingsarentfacts

Friday! I've been stepping outside my comfort zone, taking some risks, and working on some dreams lately and it's left me feeling all kinds of paralyzed and insecure. It's made me realize something. I spend a lot of energy shaking off haters and critics and trying to let go of what people think. I claim they are the ones holding me back and making me try to be small. BUT. In reality, I'm the problem. I'm my own toughest critic, I doubt myself more than anyone else doubts me, and it's MY fear that cripples me. There are no haters louder than my own self inflicted doubts and criticism. I'm so often my own hater. Whenever I experience growth or progress I almost immediately shut down, suddenly terrified of everything I'm doing. I sabotage myself at the most critical times! Humility and confidence are not mutually exclusive. Don't let your inner hater keep you from your potential. Don't let your fear sabotage your belief. Don't let your insecurities make you small. Isn't it more fun to believe? #julietangents

Today I was waiting at the clinic where Zoe goes for therapy and I noticed a girl who was seriously killing it in some high waisted jeans. She made those jeans look gooooood. I started down the road of "I could never look like that blah blah blah." Come to find out she was there for treatment for anorexia. There I was praising her for her body, when she was there seeking help for her disease. It spoke volumes to me. Me. Someone who intentionally works so hard to promote positive self image and the importance of understanding skinny does not equate to physical or emotional wellness. Someone who is determined to see everyone deeper than their appearance. Even with all my work and focus, I still slip into destructive thinking. It's not a mystery why people hurt themselves to look a certain way when we praise the results. I understand appearances are what we see so we tend to use them as our biggest frame of reference, but until we truly learn to quit attaching worth to appearance both in ourselves and other people, things won't change. People will continue chasing pretty at any cost and consider themselves worthless when they don't make the mark. So here's a mini challenge. Decide today to give five sincere compliments that have nothing to do with appearances and write down five things you love about yourself right now as you are today. We all like to hear we look great, but when someone pays me a compliment beyond my hair and lipstick it stays with me forever. I have so far to go in this area but I won't quit! We can't quit. Also everyone go follow @beauty_redefined for daily doses of how important it is to change our game. #julietangents

I've wasted so much of my time and brain power and money and emotion on my appearance only to learn time and time again that it will never feel like enough. I will never look good enough to satisfy my obsession, because how I look is not deep and fulfilling and meaningful. It can not bring peace or happiness. So, I quit. I quit allowing the lies of society to silence my dreams and kill my potential. I don't believe working on your appearance and personal development are mutually exclusive whatsoever. I don't think it's degrading or worthless to work on how you look. I think finding confidence in your physical beauty can be empowering. I do think our world makes us walk a dangerous line though. They would have us believe that our physical beauty equates to our success, our worth, and our greatness, and unfortunately it feels like that's the true reality we are facing so often. It's hard to believe all the inner beauty campaigns right now because the actions of the world aren't lining up with the messages they are pretending to promote. It starts with us. Where we spend our time, where we spend our money, and how we treat ourselves. These things matter. The balance of self care must favor true individual worth. I hope my legacy is not one of physical beauty. I hope I can remember that the self obsession that comes from being consumed by physical beauty is the biggest sabotage of what I'm really capable of. #julietangents #selfworth #loveyourself #beauty #queenoflongcaptions

In the areas I struggle, in the places I feel inadequate, I try to find those who excel at those very same things, and then I try to learn as much as I can from them. If you're new around here, connecting to motherhood has been and continues to be one of my biggest battles. One woman in my life I admire so much has become sort of a "motherhood mentor" to me, because she has had the opposite experience in motherhood and has so many strengths I hope to grow into. She sent me a message today saying that she knows I have a hard time, but when she's with my kids and I she thinks my love of motherhood shows through in my actions, even if I don't see it. I think sometimes I zero in on the parts that don't click, I fail to see the parts that do. I also think there's so much power in taking action. When feelings and actions match it can be bliss, but often they don't, and it's important to take the right action anyways. Eventually those small, consistent actions can grow into something real, like a love for motherhood you never thought you'd find. #julietangents #motherhood #ppd #personaldevelopment #takeaction photo: @lyssorenson

Nope. Not today. Not anymore. This has been my personal hell lately whenever I go to bed. I find whenever I'm working on something new or trying to grow a positive part of my life my fear and insecurities ATTACK. I've spent most of my life listening to those voices, crippled by the lies they feed me. My mind obsesses about negative, self destructive things when I let it. My mind also creates beautiful things, when I let it. I've learned I don't have to sit back and let the dark parts of my mind attack and control. I can take action, I can tell all those lies to go to hell. I can do that! #julietangents #fightfear #insecurtiesareloud #belouder

We've created a written activity schedule to help Kyle work on his ambitious dreams and help settle some of the anxiety he struggles with. Tonight he and Ryan took on home made ravioli together. The burden my mental illness struggles put on my family is the heaviest stress I carry, but I also realize the things I've learned in having to deal with these issues personally, have sculpted me into who I am, and have given me coping skills that translate into parenting skills as well. A written schedule including self care and time spent being present has really helped Kyle, who would have thought?! Also I curse this kitchen daily, but I know next year when this picture pops up I will see it through rose colored glasses remembering how sweet our time living in it has been. #julietangents #mentalillness #parenting #kylelovestocook #fightinganxiety

I woke up in the worst mood. WHY ARE KIDS THE WORST?! Then I remembered a realization I had a while ago about when I'm feeling this way toward motherhood. Feeling like all I want is to run away. (I WOULD welcome a vacay, don't get me wrong.) But when I'm feeling this way I've found often the solution is doing the opposite of how I feel. I want to run away, but I actually need to engage. Shift my focus, time, and attention to them. This isn't always doable obviously because life has responsibilities outside of kids, but I've found if I really get present with them I feel more love. I have more patience. I feel happier to be there. My stress level goes down, and my gratitude goes up. I just sat on the couch and thought, "this is the best day!"... then had to laugh remembering a few hours ago I declared it the worst. Feelings pass, taking a positive action helps. #julietangents #momlife

Deciding to commit to someone forever at 20 years old is a little insane. Being willing to take that risk of putting your faith in someone when there are no promises of who they might become, what life might throw at you, and frankly, before you even know who YOU are is a risk, to say the least. It's insane. I was allowed to get married but I wasn't allowed to drive the rental car on our honeymoon. You feel me? They say people never change but sometimes I think the challenge comes when they DO, even if it's us. Luckily Ryan is the best decision I've ever made, but even so marriage can be hard. Neither one of us had any clue what we were getting into, but we decided to take it all on together. On my wedding day I remember feeling overcome with this sense of peace because I knew whatever happened, I had someone in my corner to get through it together with. I tend to be independent to a fault almost so sometimes remembering that, and allowing my partner to BE my partner is the hardest part. This is long and all over the place but I guess I just wanted to share that I think marriage is incredible, but I also think it's normal if it feels hard sometimes. We had a really good time wandering Home Depot kid free tonight realizing home styles can be added to the list of things we don't totally see eye to eye on, though we really agree on plant life options. What can I say, opposites really do attract. #marriage #julietangents

The night we brought Kyle home I sat at the computer looking through pictures and cried. I was already consumed by PPD, though I didn't identify it as that for months. (I shared more on that in an article I wrote for @babble a few months ago.) One of the hardest parts of my PPD experience is the lasting impact it's had on my relationship with Kyle. I still feel so robbed. I didn't get his newborn time. The entire first year of his life feels like it was taken from me. It's continued to leave a hole in me, a void of some kind. Last week I shared on YouTube about the importance of allowing yourself to mourn and it made me come to terms with some things. Last night I sat at the same computer, looking at the same pictures, and cried. I cried for all the feelings I didn't get to feel. I cried for all the pain I endured. I cried for the moments I can never do over. I cried for the bond I didn't get to feel. I cried to mourn my baby Kyle. Last night I let myself mourn the loss that PPD created for me. Loss comes in many forms, many are difficult to even identify. Mourning can heal. #ppd #julietangents #mourningmatters

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