Self-Confidence Sunday #21–Big Girl Job, Big Girl Hair

So if you follow me on any social media platforms, you have probably just seen this picture due to my excitement. =) Finally, after a full year of putting it off (partly because I’m thrifty, partly because I’m lazy), I went and got this hair handled! One of the guys who used to coach with me also happens to be a cosmetologist and he is FABULOUS. Seriously. I don’t think my hair has ever looked this good, and I am so ecstatic about it. But as he said, “You got the big girl job, now it’s time to get the big girl hair!”

[Preemptive referral in case anyone is looking for a hairstylist: If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and want to get the hair hook-up for a fair but way-cheaper-than-the-salon price (he works at a very high-end salon, but when he does hair on the side obviously he doesn’t charge extra for all the unnecessary frills), let me know and I am more than happy to get you his number.]

Self-Confidence Sunday #20

I’m tired tonight so I almost didn’t write this. But these are things I’ll want to remember on a hard day, so here I am.

If you know much about me, you know that coaching brings me joy. I’ve always said that if I could spend every day of the rest of my life running around barefooted with these crazy kids, I would call it a life well lived.

More than anything, evidence that I have an impact on these kids–that I have in some way brought them confidence and helped them build self-esteem and competence–reminds me why I started coaching in the first place. It always seems like such a tiny thing at face value, maybe just an off-hand comment, but watching them grow and being told how much they’ve improved always makes my day.

Earlier this week, I was working out lesson schedules with a parent when she texted back, “You know my daughter well.” There are times when we coaches can feel so helpless as we watch a kid struggling with mental blocks, anxiety, or shame (in addition to “real-world” issues, which is always so hard), but it’s statements like that that reaffirm I’m doing a good job learning who my athletes are as people and what they need from me as we work together.

I have another athlete who struggles with ADHD (which I get, given that that’s had an enormous impact on every facet of my own life). Coaches, teachers, etc. get on her case a lot, and the poor kid tries so hard. She gets anxious about remembering things, and she is so upset with herself when she “messes up again.” She was so worried she was going to forget things or do the wrong thing that she was hindering her learning process from start to finish. I started doing private lessons with her, and I have just loved seeing the joy in her face as she realizes that she really CAN get all these skills–and even be the best at them the more she practices. I told her that one day, she could compete Level V or cheer in high school or even college too if she keeps working hard, and it was just like a lightbulb went on.

Her grandfather came to practice Friday and found me afterward to introduce himself. He told me that he wanted me to know how much of a change has been wrought in lil’ one, and that even if it doesn’t seem big to me, her lessons with me are a huge deal in their household and for his granddaughter. He said after hearing everything his wife especially had told him about our lessons, he just really wanted to meet me and shake my hand.

I may not have everything together 100% of the time, but if nothing else, I can count on the fact that I can make a difference for these girls. That’s a lot more important than, say, having a clean room (which I still fail at about…maybe 98% of my adult life), which is my current self-improvement project.

Self-confidence Sunday #19

After Knee Surgery One-Legged SquatsTwo years ago, right after my first year in graduate school, I finally elected to have the two knee surgeries (one on each leg) that I had been needing for several years. The pain was waking me up at night, and especially in the Missouri cold, even walking was often a chore, to say nothing of lifting, running, and coaching. I took this photo merely two days out of surgery, and I remember being so exhilarated about being able to (carefully) work on one-legged squats so soon. This photo reminds me that I am a hard worker, I am tough, I am resilient in the face of hardship, and I have what it takes to overcome what can seem like impossible odds. I have survived what started out to be a pretty rotten year, and I am so excited to discover what is left to come. <3

Self-confidence Sunday #18

Hands Prep Stunt United Cheer Dallas#MightyMouseActivities

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I may be (very) tired right now, but I am strong and I am a hard worker. Things are coming together, and I hope ***fingers crossed*** that something big is about to happen for me in my career. And if not, I’ll just keep on lifting big people. =)

Self-confidence Sunday #16

Sometimes, people view the decision to forgive as weakness or a lack of understanding of one’s own worth. While I can understand that view, I have decided that in my own life, I will view my capacity to move on and let go of anger–as well as my ability to love and trust again in the future despite the horrible things he put me (well, *us*) through–as a sign of my strength, resilience, and loving nature. My worth was and is not diminished by his inability to treat me as though I am deserving of a faithful partner. S. was a lesson more than he was anything else, and I intend to learn what he was brought in my life to teach, painful though it was. Things will be so much better from here on out. <3

Self-confidence Sunday #15: A Champion Is…

Gotta get it all written down, but soon I will add a lovely (long) post about yet another ridiculous mishap related to men who pretended to have my best interest in mind…but certainly did not. Sigh. I really, really hate being hit on (and this was way more complicated than just that). More on that later though!

Life is pretty hard right now, so this is the best I’ve got for this Sunday’s post. It is a thought to which I cling tightly when it seems as though I can bear no more of life’s weight on my shoulders. [Excuse the meme’s grammar; next task will be to either edit this or find one that doesn’t butcher the whole singular/plural thing!]

A Champion is Someone Who Gets Up When She Can’tA Champion Gets Up When She Can't

Self-confidence Sunday #14: You Will Never Steal My Joy Again

In the midst of this awful ordeal concerning my ex-boyfriend (which keeps getting worse the more I discover, but I digress), I had a very empowering moment.  I was driving to coach on Wednesday afternoon, simply letting my thoughts go where they would, when I quite suddenly and clearly thought at him, “You will never steal my joy again. You will never steal my joy, my laughter, or my love ever again.”

It isn’t easy yet…but I am free. Free of wondering when he’d call or make time for me. Free of trying so damn hard to accommodate his needs, which I could never do in the first place seeing as his overall purpose appears to be hurting as many women as possible. Free of all the things I did for him because I loved him, from the cooking to the surprises to the cleaning to the lingerie to whatever else in the world I thought could help make his life easier or more pleasant. Free from the anxiety about social media because of all the women…at least now I know that he really was sleeping with them all.

Most of all, I am free of the pain and the confusion, free of the dreams that will never come to pass, free of the lies. So many lies. I am free of the hope, and that was probably the most important part of letting go of this man who was bitter poison packaged as a sweet, soothing antidote.

You will never steal my joy again…and that is quite an empowering thought indeed.

Self-confidence Sunday #13

Although losing him has been hard, today I am reminded of the fact that I can turn this heartbreak into a learning experience and further enrich my worldview, my capacity for empathy, and my understanding of myself. We’ve all been in that place where we thought someone deserved the world and we ultimately ended up rejected, often seemingly out of the blue. It hurts, but it’s an opportunity to take a deeper look into what we want and need out of relationships, what the other person wasn’t giving us that we at first did not acknowledge, where we have room to improve…and where, perhaps, we need to learn to know our own worth and expect more out of the other person. Sometimes, I think we actually get left when we do not expect enough out of our significant others, although that can be a scary thing to do.

I know that after being rejected by someone you love, it can be so difficult not to lower your standards and expectations in fear of being left again. But this time, and going forward, I am determined to stand firm and refuse to settle. It will be a long time before I am ready to love again–or indeed, even to come around to looking at another man that way–but when I am, I intend to do it right.

Readers, what have been your experiences with love lost? What did it teach you, and how did you use that lesson later on? As I go through this process of moving past my own unrequited love situation, I would love to hear from people who have come out the other side and/or are currently working toward doing so. =)

Self-confidence Sunday #12

I’ve talked a lot about how the break-up affected me (although there’s still plenty left for me to say about that, don’t worry/sorry 🙂 ), but I think I hit a bit of a turning point very recently. Tomorrow will mark one month since he left me, and I’ve decided that tomorrow will also mark the day my life begins anew, the day I will let my tears begin to water seeds that, once nurtured, will blossom into grace, wisdom, empathy, resilience, and opportunity.

Losing him hurts, but not because we were perfect together and I was just blissfully happy 24/7 and thought we were going to be together forever, etc. For me, it was more the hope and the promises and the plans, the feeling of time and money “wasted,” the rejection and wondering why he didn’t want me anymore…and that Lord have mercy, I was going to have to continue missing the man.

Much of our relationship (the last few months especially, as his jobs and business hit their busy season) was marked by me missing him. It was a blessing in some ways, because when we broke up, the first week didn’t feel like that much of a difference. But what hurt when we were together still hurts now that we aren’t, and it’s a confusing experience.

I tend to cut people off after a relationship ends, in order to fully heal and move on. He didn’t want that, and his worry when we broke up was that I wouldn’t be in his life anymore. I’ll continue playing that by ear, depending on how things go for us both moving forward, but maybe that won’t be necessary this time.

As for me and the “new life,” I accidentally have a date set for Tuesday night. I thought I was just going to casually meet up with the guy after I finished coaching, but it was made clear later in the conversation that that isn’t what he has in mind. So what the heck, I’ll give it a go! I have decided that I don’t have to forego meeting new people and having new experiences simply because I am hurting. Quite the contrary: I think that is what I will commit to doing. I keep coming back to the fact that there are so, so many things in life that I have yet to experience, and I don’t want to miss my chance.

This week is big for me, filled with interviews, phone calls that will hopefully turn into interviews, coaching, that date (crazy to even think about that), events I’m working, and more. It may not be easy, but I am determined to get up, dust myself off, and begin working full-tilt at making my life the one of which I have always dreamed.

Self-confidence Sunday #11

Courage is Like a MuscleToday hasn’t been altogether easy. I think I got so used to seeing him on Sundays that my heart is still in that routine. It’s the third one without him though, so maybe it will get easier soon. We talked a bit last night, and texted a little this morning. It’s always good to hear his voice.

And that’s great and all, but I think my next step needs to be to learn to bask in this pain, live in the Longing for a while, and then use those miseries to motivate myself to make my life one that I love, that I’m proud of. No matter what…even if it all starts off as a way to ease the agony of this loss.

Maybe things don’t need to be easy. Maybe I needed him to come into my life, make me happy, make me hope and dream and love and plan…and then leave me, making me feel so out of control that I am desperate to make needed changes to my life. Maybe someday, I will thank him for this.

Sometimes it feels impossible, but then I remember that I’ve done this before, it will get better, and that I won’t ever let myself be down for too long. I have books to write, a full-time job (in a new field) to find, abs to recover… You know. And just in my city, there are so many lovely restaurants and coffee shops and museums and attractions to visit! Let alone the fact that someday I want to travel the world.

I still have so, so much life left to live, with or without him; I just have to have the courage to try. And, as the meme above so eloquently reminds me: “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.”