Thursday, September 29, 2016

Self- Diagnosis

I'm a self-diagnosed perfectionist.

I've decided.

I think that's what it means when you uncover some kind of crazy truth about yourself without the help of a medical professional. I've struggled with believing I was good enough in various facets of my life for a number of years. The time I've spent overanalyzing decisions I've made, outfits I've worn, things I've said, people I've shared my time with, situations I've been in, and obstacles I've faced completely baffles me. If I'm being honest... I'm ready to be done with that shit.

As one self-diagnosed individual does, I have determined that I require a specific course of action to help curb the progression of this perfectionism. The easiest form of therapy would be to simply say, screw it and move on every time I find myself doubting my "ENOUGH-NESS." Unfortunately, that course of action is probably akin to looking at a Nicorette patch without the intent of placing it on one's skin. I can also confirm that this strategy would not be practical for this individual given my ability to think about things far longer than the average human should be able to mull things over.

I think the most appropriate course of action is actually self-realization. When I find myself criticizing the fabulous woman in the mirror, I simply need to take a moment to remember what I know to be true about myself:

1. My worth is innate. No one can tell me who I am or what I am worth. Only I can determine that.

2. I recognize that no person who contributes to me feeling less than I am worth is not someone I will chose to spend time with. Sorry people... if your presence in my life is causing me to feel crappy, I'm cutting you out. Life is too short for me to worry about what you think. 

3. In conjunction with that, I also know it is absolutely impossible for me to make everyone happy. Despite nearly 30 years of attempting this... I'm giving up. It's not going to happen, so I'm going to focus on my one obligation... Me. 

4. Life has blessed me with some truly beautiful people that I can confide in when I need it.

5. Perfectionism is not a disease... it's a flaw and I'm flawed and that's okay. 

It's all just a part of this journey to growth, gratitude and grace, right!?

Stay Sweet, Friends~


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Radical Empathy

What do you do when you don't know what to do? When someone you know is hurting and you're not sure how to help. When you feel overwhelmed and can't seem to uncover why. When society seems to be going to shit and no one has any answers...

I started reading a book that has come highly recommended by one of my soul sisters (thanks, Liv). It's called Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. I have not had the opportunity to dive in deep yet, but within the first 50 pages I've found a quote that seems to resonate here:

"It's what most of us have to give a few times over the course of our lives: to love with a mindfully clear sense of purpose, even when it feels outrageous to do so."

I'm not sure what to do to help the best friend who is hurting, or the child who has experienced a trauma, or to help bring peace to communities who are being destroyed by race and judgment and bigotry.

So I'll love, and I'll love purposefully.

Reaching out to loved ones in need can be hard sometimes. Holding space for healing hearts can be exhausting, but we do it... because we love them. Our friends and families appreciate this of us, knowing we are there. They may not always reach out, but the peace of mind that a person can and will show up for you is a remarkable thing. But what about those who we may not agree with??

What about the bigot who lives on the corner, or the online bully who is brave behind a screen and a coward in person? What about those people who cause our loved ones pain? Is it possible to show up for people we dislike in the same way?

I think if every person decided to love purposefully on someone who may need it most, someone who seems impossible to show compassion to, someone they can not see eye to eye with... we could change the world. At I AM THAT GIRL, we have a saying "hurt people hurt people," and I honestly believe in the truth of that statement. It takes someone who is in pain to cause pain to another human being. Think about it... truly happy people don't treat people poorly, they lift them up.

So find that jackass, or that person in pain... seek them out, find them. They need you more than you know. Show them love and understanding. Ignite radical empathy and start a chain reaction. They probably don't deserve your love. Give it to them anyway. Actively practice loving with purpose... if it doesn't change their life, let it change yours.

Wishing you growth, gratitude and grace~

Thursday, September 15, 2016


It's been another long hiatus for this writer... not from writing, but simply from this platform. I've had a lot on my plate lately, so posting for the masses has had to take a back seat. I so appreciate the support and encouragement I've received from some of you! Lots of loving vibes are being felt and sent back your way! So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I've spent the past two years writing and interning for an organization that completely enhanced and transformed my life. I've built relationships with women in all corners of this country and some across the globe. My heart has drummed one beat after another for the cause that is I AM THAT GIRL. I have had the privilege of learning from women I idolize and sharing my story with younger girls. It was always my hope that they, at their tender ages, would not feel so alone knowing that women before them have made it through similar situations... and become better and stronger human beings in spite of their struggles.

It's been incredible, enlightening, inspiring and motivating. I've learned that I have more interests and more passions in life than I ever thought possible. A typically scared individual, I am learning to stare my fears in the face and conquer them without second guessing myself (something I've struggled with my entire life).

Over the past two years, self-exploration has been in the forefront of my life. I've dedicated countless hours to journaling, dating myself, engaging in hard conversations with people I trust and really getting to know who I am. Learning about my needs and how I can best serve myself and the people in my life, was one of the most incredible self-discoveries I've made. Throughout this time I also learned that I hadn't really given myself permission to dream. I think a lot of times, we limit the dreaming to the kiddos, emphasizing that they CAN DO ANYTHING they set their minds to. At a certain point, we stop reaching for some of those dreams. Perhaps we achieve them, perhaps we settle for something less than our original aspirations... but somewhere in my nearly 30 years, I started to stop believing that the dreams I had dreamt up as a child were attainable.

Almost a year ago exactly, I wrote about a quote from one of my favorite philanthropists, Sophia Bush. Earlier this week, the quote resurfaced for me, and it now resides on the cover of a binder that is housing one of my most precious dreams. Part of the quote reads,

“The dream is what you imagine, the hustle is what you have to do to actually live it and the hustle is hard, no matter what career path you’re in.” –Sophia Bush

We get so caught up in being dreamers. People appreciate that you have a dream and often look at dreams with romanticized ideations. But I think sometimes we become so enamored with dreams being dreams that we forget (or we don't actually believe) that we are capable of making them come true. I know that I'm incredibly guilty of that. When thinking about my aforementioned dream, it always seemed so far out of reach, a beautiful thought, something to fantasize over. I don't think I ever truly believed it was something I was meant to accomplish.
IATG instagram post

So what of dreams, then?? I refuse to believe that dreams are meant to stay dreams. Dreaming is a beautiful concept but I can't help but become frustrated at the idea that dreaming is merely theoretical. What purpose do dreams serve if we only look to them to give us warm and fuzzy false hope?! We owe it to our dreams and to ourselves to chase after them with the intent of catching them... or, if you ask me, we do not deserve to dream them at all.

This binder of mine, it comes with me everywhere. With it, I carry a journal that I am utilizing to brainstorm, plan, and explore the depths of my creativity and my passion. The simple act of keeping this physical representation of my dream close has helped reaffirm the "hustle" for me. It is allowing me the space to dream out loud, so to speak. Having it close at all times gives me the opportunity to embrace inspiration when it comes, instead of putting it off until I have time (if you know me... you know I'd be waiting for months). For the first time since I was a little girl reciting monologues and making music videos in my bedroom mirror, I am actively and confidently pursuing a dream I've had for 10 years.

It feels good people. It feels really good.

So my friends, I implore you to dream dreams. Don't place yourself in the box of adulthood and assume you have no right. Dreaming is for everyone... not just the kiddos. But don't dream in vain. Decide what you want and actively pursue it. Remember, “The dream is what you imagine, the hustle is what you have to do to actually live it..." 

Hustle hard my friends,

and dream on.

Wishing you growth, gratitude and grace always-
xo AL