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Why I stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop

Trigger warning: Candid talks about mental health and body stuff. This week's post was a last second switch off on Sunday night, just a few minutes before kickoff of the Super Bowl. As you may know, I was planning on sharing the tool that has kept me sane and organized during my wedding planning process, but it's not quite ready to share with the world. I think it'll be good to go by next Sunday, but I'll continue to update you on insta-stories.

Instead, as I stared at the blank screen before me, I wanted to challenge myself to share a little life check-in and to share where I am in this present moment. Not what products I'm loving or how wedding planning is going, but rather just a little check in with me.

I know that so much of what I'm going to share is bigger than my experience. I think it's safe to say we've all had a tough two years, in the same and different ways as the next person. I acknowledge the differences in the experiences, the things others have dealt with that are much bigger than what I have. I send my heart out to those people. Today, in this post, I am going to be talking about my experience, wearing my heart on my sleeve, and sharing about my new perspective moving forward.

The end of winter to spring is traditionally a difficult time for me. But as I reflect back on last year at this time, it was quite possibly the most difficult point in my adult life. Truthfully, I was not in a good place mentally. I was having panic attacks almost daily. I had slipped back into an unhealthy relationship with body image and eating. I found myself too sad, too tired, and too empty to leave the bed more days than I can count. For me, I think everything we collectively had gone through during the pandemic caught up to me late. I had been so busy trying to keep my life and business afloat that I had burned out spectacularly in the process. I had worked so hard to try to keep everything moving forward that I had spent all of my energy in the process and I felt like I crashed and burned. It became cataclysmic and dark and so incredibly lonely.

I don't know how I snapped out of it or when. I don’t know if it was a snap at all or more of a gradual walk to where it was lighter. Some days, I can feel myself toddling too close to comfort there again. But I built my toolbox of friends, family, rest, and ways to take care of myself to move forward again. I've started to become relentless in guarding my energy and protecting my boundaries. Even when I slip up, which happens often, I have been able to get back to the course.

This week was a big one for me. Big in a good way. Really good. The last two years has been building up momentum, no matter how much resistance was put in my path, I just kept trying to force my way forward. I've tried to work hard in silence because the moments that were building up required long haul. Now I'm starting to get to the other side and see these things come together. This is purposely ambiguous, I know -- but deservedly so. So much of what is happening is in motion and because they are bigger things, they've taken much more time and energy than other things in the past. But this week, I hit a tipping point -- a good one. Some major positives came out of this week. As I celebrated some big things happening in my life, I loomed back on that time in wonder of how much has changed in the last year. As I look at where I am now, there is such a feeling of warmth and positivity that would have felt foreign last year. Things are good. Really good. I feel light and hope. I feel positive. I feel like I have a better balance on what I can and can't control, which has always been something I've struggled with immensely. I feel the kinetic energy of possibility meeting hard work to spark a new adventure, new challenges, and new reasons to celebrate. For the first time, I feel energized by uncharted territory rather than fearful and exhausted by it.

I feel grateful for those people that helped pull me out of where I was. I feel proud of myself for standing up again.

The last two months, I've felt a better sense of control. Not of this big, wide, crazy world around me. But of my place in it. Of how I respond to it.

I've been smiling a lot more lately. I've been more patient. I've taken bigger risks in life and work. I've been bolder. I've treated myself better. I've been a better friend and partner and daughter and sister. I've listened more. I've been stringent about my boundaries and rest. I've produced better results. I've been in a better place. There's still so much room for growth -- but I've stood up again. I stood up, put on my red lipstick, took a deep breath, and smiled.

As vulnerable as I pride myself on being, there's always going to be a part of me that is fearful of the thing that can go wrong. Sometimes unknowingly, when the good stuff is happening, I'm waiting with bated breath for something, anything to go wrong.

I know this is self-sabotaging behavior. Of course there are going to be both good and bad things that happen in life. We are forever in an ebb and flow of highs and low's. Really good days. Really bad days. The mediocre days where we reflect with a tentative shrug.

I've been perpetually fearful of the other shoe to drop. I’ve been afraid to let myself be too happy because I was afraid while I was joyful I’d miss a warning sign for something to go astray. For something, anything, everything to go wrong. I've let that rob me of my sleep, of my peace, of taking a risk or doing the big, bold thing. The irony of being so fearful when I have the word fearless tattoo'd on my body makes me laugh. I want to tap into that part of myself, deep down in my ribs, that fearless part, more.

I think I'm ready to tell that part of me perpetually waiting for the shoe to drop to take a step back. She's been leading for too long and while it's admirable to be cautious and plan, I don't want to be afraid of things I'm creating, or be too distracted when the good is happening to get swallowed by the bad. I saw this great quote the other day: "The best New Year's resolution I ever made was to start devouring all my nicest things, and save no small pleasure for an unspecified future. Now I burn the good candles, wear the expensive perfume at home, scribble imperfectly in pretty notebooks. You can't pin joy like a moth."

I don't want to save my happy and good for only my happy and good days. I don't want celebratory days to come only so often. I want to celebrate things more. A lot more. I don’t want to rush past the moments of celebration to focus on the next big thing, the next box on the to-do list, the next goal, or to wonder if I’m going to wake up one day and have it all disappear.

I don't want to spend the whole time I'm listening to my favorite song thinking about how my least favorite song might play or be so preoccupied that the song will end that I miss it while it's here. I just want to feel the song I'm in. Let the melody warm me. Let the lyrics sink in. Enjoy it.

I've always been waiting for the other shoe to drop, but now, I think it's time to put on my best pair, put on the good music, and dance. infinite x's and o'x, kylee



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