You’re not broken; you’re just unhappy.

Starting my own business has been a surreal finish to a years long journey toward happiness. It started after I graduated from UT in 2014 and got an unbelievably coveted internship at Southwest Airlines.

Working on their corporate communications team, I got kudos and gained experience working for executives whose names casually dotted Forbes on the regular. There were events, there was a steady paycheck. I made friends. People called me a cruise director because I organized happy hours and events for the other communication interns. And still I was miserable.

So I left the big company and went to a small one. I loved my boss. I was needed and important enough to merit three raises and promotions inside of a year. The paycheck was growing and I actually loved working hard. But still I was miserable.

Being an adult meant I had to push through though. When I stopped being able to get out of bed, when I started eating my way through bouts of unbelievable sadness, when I felt suicidal for the first time in years, I told myself: you SHOULD be able to do this. Other people your age would kill for what you have. Push through.

And then I ended up on disability, in an outpatient group for extreme depression and my whole life fell apart around me. I was in the middle of paying for a wedding and I was the sole income for Zach and myself. I had to destroy my credit just to keep food in the fridge ( and yes that credit journey has made it super hard to start a business ).

Would admitting my unhappiness been easier than beating myself into the person that could love that life? Yes. But at the time I thought the fact that I was unhappy meant there was fundamentally something wrong with me. Because I was living the “ideal life” of a successful corporate job at 22, getting married to my college sweetheart and achieving some financial stability, I thought there was no way I could be unhappy. I felt like there was something broken inside of me that meant I would never be happy. A little of, “well if this isn’t enough, then nothing ever will be.”

Me doing a promo for my business here in Austin. I love everything about it!

Coming up on four years from that time of my life, I understand now that the only thing that was broken was the way I saw myself. I refused to validate my experience and instead wrote my own emotions off. I took sadness and called it laziness. I took the fact that a set schedule is hard on someone with chronic illness and called it ingratitude. I took my real, very honest needs in the workplace and called them a problem.

Now, I’ve built a live around those very real needs and I see now that my soul was begging me to see myself clearly and love myself well. I love working hard, but I rarely know for sure what kind of day I’ll have health wise, so I need flexibility in my schedule. I need complicated projects that teach me new things every day. I need external feedback. I need to know that the work I’m doing means something. None of these are flaws – they’re just very real reasons why that life didn’t work for me.

If you need to hear it today: you’re not broken. You’re just unhappy. And unhappy usual means forcing yourself into someone else’s idea of your perfect life. Whether it’s your parents, your bosses, your friends or just that voice inside of you – ignore the person or people telling you that you “should” be happy. If you aren’t, that’s real and deserves to be looked at. Read some of my posts on starting over and understand that it’s tough but it’s possible. You are capable of feeling something better and of loving the life you’re living.

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

I do not need your smallness, your timidity, your fear
I need your anger, your passion, your rage
I need your deep, round belly laugh that rumbles
through aches like epsom

Shed your sins like the skin they made you wear
Discard the armor against the fruit, the seeds
They threw at your feet
threw at your womb

You are a meteorite in a sea of diamonds
No one is made smaller by your shine
You are a goddess woven by time
You were born among the stars.

26, from me to you

I have never needed a birthday less, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing at all. The last year of my life was filled with unprecedented growth and change. I met so many new people and said yes to so many new opportunities. But most importantly as I sift through my stories and my birthday texts and messages, I finally realized the difference between the genuine feeling of being loved and just basking in the glow of any attention at all.

In my life I have made unbelievable mistakes. I have lost so much time to sadness and sickness and pain. I’ve said goodbye to friends I should’ve fought for. I’ve fought for friends I should have let go. I’ve drank too much and stayed out too late and procrastinated on the projects I wanted most. I have hurt people. I have hurt myself. The weight of all of my sins has been around my neck for so long I became accustomed to it in the way your body acclimates to a missing limb.

For so long, I couldn’t accept the genuine love of others because of those sins. I didn’t feel like I deserved even a speck of their affection. But yesterday as I read through the happy birthdays and the affection, I finally felt it deep in my bones. I finally let my friends and family’s words “rumble through my aches like epsom”.

Maybe the person I was a year ago didn’t deserve people’s trust. My actions were riddle with need instead of honesty. But the person I am now, she is good. She is strong and determined and beautiful. I cannot change who I was then; I can love who I am now. Maybe I needed the her of the past to become the me of now.

25 truly was both the best and the worst of times. I look around my life now though, and I see it filled in a way I never thought possible. Forgive yourself for who you were. You can’t change it. Then look in the mirror and give today your best. Who you are now deserves it.

Places: Cute Nail Studio

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Located on the East Side in a bright rainbow house, this spot was recommended to me by none other than Danneel Ackles. The artists here use Japanese Hard Gel to create nails that stun and last longer than any other gels I’ve had in the area. My only recommendation would be to skip the matte finish. This will scuff more quickly than a classic gel overcoat and decrease the amount of wear you can get from your investment.

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