Endurance. Survival.

Life can be challenging. We will constantly be tested. We will be pushed to our limits. I have mentioned this a few times throughout my posts and I have consistently preached the importance of remaining positive. This post is raw. I am all about praising when life is good, but I am also transparent about the honest struggles.

I am going to address two things here today: speak to the person that I am and the challenges I have recently faced. I will start with who I am.

I believe that we are designed with intention. I don’t think it’s random or luck; it is completely intentional. I am strong, compassionate, loving, empathetic, intelligent, loyal and I push myself to improve every part of myself. I live life to the fullest. I provide a perfect balance within each department. I’ll explain a little further. I eat my greens, but I love my ice cream. I have fun outdoors, but I enjoy my lazy Sundays. I spend a lot of time with those I love, but I also really enjoy my alone time. I am super independent, but I know when to ask for help. I am naturally anxious, but I find my solace in my own thoughts and when I clear every thought from my mind. I know when to have fun, but I also grind and excel in my career. I am a perfectionist, but I learn to let go of things outside of my control. I am bold and strong-willed, but I know when to be empathetic.

I have faced more challenges than I probably would have preferred, but after connecting with a complete stranger on my flight back from Texas recently, I was able to think of things from a different perspective. Here it goes. None of us look at our experiences and think “oh, wow, I am so glad I am going through this.” 99.9% of the time, we wouldn’t choose some chapters in our life, but looking back we are more than likely appreciative of those experiences. For example, my family went through several challenging years. In addition, my Dad worked out of town about 90% of the year, so it was literally just me and Mom. I can now look back on how this affected me and see that this is exactly why I am so independent and passionately aggressive with succeeding in all that I do. I don’t settle. I don’t allow myself to fail. I literally have the heart of a bull. I think of this experience as the strong fire that burns within me and keeps me going full steam ahead.

So, what’s the point that I’m trying to make here?

I’m pretty freaking strong. I take every challenge and turn it into something I can learn or grow from. However, some days are easier than others. I try to keep the right variables within my proximity to have a smooth ride through life, but unfortunately life happens in unpredictable ways.

In the last month, I have lost my grandfather, been exhausted from traveling every week, working my ass off at work, having some health scares, including my diagnosis with melanoma (skin cancer for those who don’t know). Jesus! I’m falling apart at 30 years old! Not really, but what the hell.

Mental strength is key here.

I have always been strong and I will continue to be strong, but I’m not going to lie, I’ve broken down a few times in the last four weeks (and I never do that). After getting the call about the melanoma, I cried and screamed (in my car) “ARE YOU TESTING ME!? ARE YOU TRYING TO SEE JUST HOW MUCH I CAN HANDLE!?” I am convinced the Universe is testing me. And, well, I have to be okay with that.

Of course this is a lot in a short amount of time for anyone to handle without having some kind of emotional reaction. But, you know, it’s all about testing our strength. I have dealt with more stressful episodes in my lifetime (maybe not this many at one time), so I have it within me to continue taking one step at a time. I have a wonderful support system and will get through all that is thrown my way. I have a lot to be grateful for and to look forward to. And, let’s be real, Milo needs me! We all have an instinctual survival kit within us. We can endure all that is thrown our way. At the end of the day, I am here right now and I will continue to live in this very moment and be the bull I have always been. I am strong for a reason and my strength is now being tested for a reason. It is all happening with intention.

Lesson to learn here- We can plan, prepare, calculate and try to control our surroundings, but one thing that is for sure is that life will throw those curveballs. We can provide balance for ourselves, eat well, be fit, take our vitamins, but there are just some things that we cannot control. And we have to be okay with it all. Learn to cry, but pick yourself up and push through the adversities. Don’t deny yourself the necessary emotional reaction, but pull yourself together and do the best you can. Don’t stress about the things you cannot control and give your body the positive energy it needs to continue on. We need to live for our little victories. Every single one of them. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are strong and nothing can break you.

Live well.

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