SHOULD WE STAY OR SHOULD WE GO

 

I am currently sitting in a coffee shop in Richmond, Virginia as Johnny is attending his 6th psychiatry residency interview. If you were to ask me where I wanted to live after Johnny finished medical school 4 years ago, I wouldn’t have answered Lexington.

For the longest time I believed that to be successful you had to move away from your home state. What I have found is that to be successful you have to believe in yourself and work extremely hard. It doesn’t matter what your address is, you can be successful wherever you are. Now that leads to the big question, where do we go?

For a while we thought moving away would be the best thing for us. Sometimes life is hard and all we wanted to do was run away from our problems. 2016 was a terrible year but 2017 has turned out to be a really good year. My business has doubled. Johnny has found something he is passionate about in medicine. I have stepped outside of my very guarded shell and made really great friends. We are happy. Which makes the idea of leaving Lexington very difficult.

I’m not sure where my business will lead in the next six months or where Johnny and I will be living. But there is something invigorating about the uncertainty of the future. In March we will find out where we will be going. We are excited for our next adventure whether it be staying in Kentucky or moving to a different city or state.

2018, here we come!

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I AM NOT LESS OF A PERSON FOR HAVING A VAGINA

A lot of people hear the word “feminism” and picture a topless, unshaven, crazy woman holding a protest poster and yelling, “Free the nipple!” While I totally support hairy legs and going bra-less, that is not what feminism means to me.

Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

See? Not a foreign concept. Feminism is literally equality, which is apparently a very hard concept for people to grasp. I get it, people often escalate the true meaning of things to benefit themselves. I have seen “feminist” posts about how much they hate men. That isn’t what feminism was created to be. Radical feminism is just another form of hate, which is exactly what our country doesn’t need right now.

I believe that I should be equal to any man.

Meaning: I am not less of a person for having a vagina.

I am not a maid.

Cooking and cleaning aren’t my sole purposes in life.

I am not a sex object.

That being said, sexual assaults are at an all time high. Young kids play video games where you are literally able to purchase prostitutes and kill them. This is teaching both boys and girls at a young age that women are mere objects. I am in no way saying that men are all bad. I am married to a man who respects me and doesn’t think he is better than me because of his gender. Unfortunately, not every woman has a man who is that respectful.

I took a poll on my Facebook and asked how many women have been raped or assaulted. 58 women replied to my survey. 38/58 of these women have been raped and/or sexually assaulted. What breaks my heart more than anything is the reason most of these assaults weren’t reported. Majority of people said they were afraid of what their parents would think, afraid of losing their job or told someone who thought they were lying.

I am one of those women. I was terrified of what my family would think of me if I ever told them. I kept it a secret from almost everyone and decided to pretend it didn’t happen. Almost 8 years later and I am still struggling.

What does sexual assault and feminism have in common? Everything. If women were valued as equal to men then maybe the number of rapes and assaults wouldn’t be so high. We need to be teaching younger generations how to treat one another.

I am more than a statistic. I am a survivor. I am a feminist. Girl power! 

What I wish I knew in high school

When I was in high school I really struggled with finding myself. I was a chameleon who blended in to whatever my friends thought was cool. I let boys treat me like garbage and I thought I was not worthy of love.

I am now 25 years old. I work with high school girls 2-3 days a week. I see so much of myself in these young girls. The never-ending struggle to fit in and be accepted. This post is dedicated to them.

These are the 15 things I wish I knew when I was in high school. 

  1. You don’t have to change who you are to fit in with the “cool” kids. Cool is a matter of perspective.
  2. Stop pretending you are something you are not. You don’t have to put on an act to please people.
  3. It’s totally okay to cry. Let out your emotions. Don’t keep everything bottled up.
  4. Your parents aren’t stupid. They were teenagers once, they know more than you think.
  5. Find something you love to do and devote yourself to it.
  6. Don’t get drunk. I know, I know. A lot of people will say that drinking is just what you do in high school. But why? You don’t have to make poor decisions to have a good time.
  7. Be kind. Everyone is fighting an internal battle.
  8. Choose your friends wisely. If your friend is only around when they want something or need a ride, are they really your friend?
  9. Having a boyfriend/girlfriend shouldn’t be your main focus in life. Dating is fun and great BUT it isn’t everything.
  10. Stop believing that you aren’t good enough. You are worthy of love and respect.
  11. It’s okay to say no, even if it’s to the person you are dating. Don’t do anything you aren’t ready to do.
  12. Stop comparing yourself to the girls around you. If you live life always comparing you will always feel inadequate.
  13. Don’t be ashamed to tell someone if you are being sexually abused or hurt by someone. You are not to blame for the terrible things people do.
  14. Try hard in school. There is nothing wrong with wanting to succeed. Be a go-getter! Set goals for yourself and work hard to accomplish them.
  15. You are capable of so much more than you think. Where you are right now isn’t where you will always be in life. When you graduate high school everything changes. Don’t get so wrapped up in the labels you are given. You are young and you are able to re-create yourself whenever you want.

BOSS LADY

Act like a lady, think like a boss.

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a singer and an actress. The only problem was that I am not musically gifted and I hate to be in front of the camera. But that didn’t stop me from trying. When I was in high school I started taking acting classes, modeling lessons, and voice training. One day I had to get my photos taken for headshots. I LOVED it. Except I loved it because I wanted to be the one who was behind the camera. That same year I got a camera for Christmas. I took pictures of everything. Little by little I started falling in love with photography.

When I went into college as an art major I really didn’t take photography seriously. I kinda just cruised through without really putting forth my best effort. A few short years later I married my college sweetheart and was faced with the real world. I had to take photography more seriously if I wanted to shoot full-time.

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After 2 years of hard work I found my style. During those years I almost quit at least 3 times. I felt like I wasn’t good and I would never make it as a photographer. I had people tell me that I sucked and that I should give up. I was hurt from it but decided to turn my sadness into motivation to be the best I could be. So, with a ton of help from my amazing husband I learned about editing, business taxes, posing, writing documents, shooting skills, etc.

I put my heart and soul into my work. A lot of people don’t understand how being a photographer can be a full-time job. Aside from shooting I am my own secretary, graphic artist, editor, account, and web designer. Photography isn’t just a job while I wait to start a career, photography is my career.

10 THINGS I WISH I HAD KNOWN AS A NEWLYWED

Sometimes life sucks. There are mornings when I wake up and literally can’t get myself out of bed. But there is one thing that can make me feel better at my worst.

My husband.

Johnny is my rock. When life kicks us down somehow he manages to pick us both up. I am thankful to be married to someone who understands me and loves me unconditionally.

We are not experts on marriage, but I would say we have a pretty great one. We are in our third year of marriage, and almost 7 years as a couple. It has been bumpy and wonderful all at once. Here are some things we have learned:

Listen to hear what the other person is saying and not just to respond 

I think we so often listen just to argue. I know I am guilty of this. Sometimes we need to just listen and say nothing.

Never stop dating

Dates are important. Take the time to just be together. Find a hobby you both like to do together. We love movies and food. That may sounds boring but there is nothing better than spending Friday night at the movies!

Learn how to let it go

Johnny and I are very different. He is neat and I am messy. I live life in an organized chaos and it drives him crazy. If we fought every time our room had clothes on the floor we would never stop fighting. Pick your battles.

Netflix & Chill

One of my favorite things to do is watch tv. Every night at dinner Johnny and I eat in front of the tv. That sounds bad but it’s my favorite part of the day. We find a show that we both like and binge watch it everyday. I’m not saying this is for everyone, but make a daily routine. Have time set out that you spend together. Sometimes the everyday hustle takes over.

Take care of yourself

You can’t depend on someone to be your everything. You have to be able to depend on yourself. Do things alone or with your friends. Being married is a balancing act.

Be honest

If you are happy or upset, tell your spouse. Something I had a hard time with early on in our marriage was opening up about my feelings. I was always scared that I was being annoying. It is much better to be open than to pretend you’re okay.

Compliment your spouse 

Being married doesn’t mean you should stop complimenting your spouse. Tell them when they look great or when they had success at school and/or work. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves.

Don’t keep secrets

If you are talking to someone over text or social media that you wouldn’t tell your spouse about, then it probably means you shouldn’t be talking to that person. Keeping secrets from someone is a good way to put a strain on a relationship.

Say thank you

Be grateful. Everyone wants to feel appreciated.

Don’t take life too seriously

Marriage is the best. You get to spend your life with your best friend. Johnny and I both have signature dance moves which we only do in front of each other and for some reason even after 3 years it cracks me up every single time. Life is too short to be boring.

 

 

 

Ovulation kits, Negative Pregnancy Tests, & Broken Hearts

It has been 518 days.

17 months of negative pregnancy tests.

Countless ovulation kits.

Every month it’s the same thing. I have my period. I pee on an ovulation stick at the same time everyday. When my fertile days hit we have sex and just pray that this time it happens. After my fertile days end is when the sadness starts to creep in. My boobs start getting sore, I feel bloated and sick to my stomach. I count down the days until my period just hoping that it won’t come. I somehow convince myself I am pregnant and start thinking about all the wonderful things that will happen. And then I wake up to realize I am bleeding. I always think the next month will get easier, or at least I will stop feeling like a failure.

This is how every month is for me. I cry for hours each time I get my period. Yes, that is completely irrational. But to me it feels like I lost something.

I have this constant jealousy every time I see a birth announcement. I am happy for everyone who is blessed with a child but I am sad and selfish because I just want it to be me. I have never wanted anything more.

I want to give a shout out to those of you who are struggling with getting pregnant. It is heartbreaking, lonely, and tiring. You are allowed to scream and cry, but don’t give up. Keep pushing through. I am right there with you.