Be confident in your vulnerability.

“Be confident in your vulnerability.”

I heard this quote on a podcast recently called Maximize Your Strengths. The host, Alissa Daire Nelson, is a brilliant woman who I had the pleasure of meeting in Vegas at a convention and who I adored from the second I met her. It could be because her and I share four of our top five strengths… but, she’s also awesome. The quote above was heard during an interview she was having with Murray Guest during his talk on Individualization and I actually stopped the podcast for a second to ponder. Be confident in your vulnerability…

Let me preface this by saying that I DESPISE appearing vulnerable. Growing up, I was known as the girl who wore her emotions on her sleeve, who was dramatic and moody. While I’ll admit that not a whole lot has changed in the dramatic sense of things, I have made it a point to appear tough, put together and confident. I would tell myself that I was always in control of the situation, that I had the upper hand and that I would never let what happened to another person happen to me. In a way, I refused to accept that I was simply human.

I have always been a student of life. I LOVE talking to people from all over the world, learning about them and seeking advice and wisdom so as to maybe approach situations in my life with a little more awareness. I have become incredibly confident in myself and the person that I am, though almost to a fault in that I confuse confidence and control on an almost daily basis. But nevertheless, I always seek to learn from situations, to walk away with some piece of wisdom that I can pass on to the next person I see who is about to act how I did.

Let’s just say, it had been a while since I had truly “learned my lesson.”

To make a long story short, I let my guard down with a guy which resulted in me falling for him, getting incredibly hurt and reacting at a stage-five clinger/crazy girl level. While I should have accepted that he was a complete douchebag who thrived on playing on girls emotions, I was more upset about how I reacted. I was furious that I let him get to me, to get under my skin and close enough that he could manipulate me. I was livid that instead of being the strong girl and just walking away without a word, I tried so hard to “win him back” and to convince him that I was different from all the other girls. I had lost control of the situation that I had such a firm grasp over at the beginning. The ball was not in my court, I didn’t have the upper hand, and I was vulnerable. I didn’t eat for three days and I cried for five.

This loss of control wasn’t necessarily over this guy alone. He was more of a straw that broke the camel’s back that combined with me not having a strong support system, hating my job, in a less-than-ideal living situation, being single during the holidays, and whatever other self-pity nonsense you want to toss in there that caused me to spiral. But I won’t lie in saying that I was SO hurt.

Why is it that matters of the heart can damage us so much more than any broken bone or harsh word in this world?

But as I said before, I like to walk away from any situation with a learned lesson and I was able to add plenty to my list of lessons learned in life after this whole situation. I was able to start the New Year with a brand new outlook and list of goals and passions that I can only fully focus on if I’m single.

But with all of these new goals comes certain vulnerability… but I think I’m ready. Being a human makes us mortal which automatically makes us vulnerable. We are vulnerable walking across the street, eating by ourselves in a café, talking to a new person and taking on a new task. But if we are confident in that vulnerability, if we accept that we are human and not perfect, then we can approach so many things with such a higher level of confidence. And ultimately, that confidence will lead us to do many great things.

So be confident in your vulnerability and embrace it.

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Yoga, Tequila & 25 Push-Ups

There is a very high chance that I woke up this morning still drunk from last night. While my extreme case of the spins had dissipated, my headache, slightly blurred vision and dangerous lack of clarity was still very present. Tequila had reintroduced itself to me in multiple forms. However, I am proud to say that it did not take on the form of a single shot glass straight to my tonsils. Nope, no shots for me. Just a little orange juice, grilled grapefruit, ice, grenadine and some flavor of bitters… and tequila.

I should mention that tequila and I have never gotten along. We are not friends nor exactly enemies, we just have agreed to disagree on many things. Like margaritas. It is always a good time for a margarita. However, tequila and I have agreed never to meet in a shot glass by ourselves. If we steer clear of that kind of meeting, we usually do fine. But what I fail to remember every time that I do have tequila is that 1) I will definitely throw up and 2) It’s pretty much the worst type of hangover there is. So, last night was a little reminder that tequila, me, new friends and orange juice should never play in the same sandbox. Ever.

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So, after a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Rochester, NY, including a very expensive stop at Starbucks and a long line at the US border, I have arrived in one piece. Feeling particularly motivated, I took my hangover by the balls and told it to go fuck itself.

So, I did yoga.

I have always, always, always adored practicing yoga. I’ll admit that there is a part of me that wants to be a “yoga girl.” It’s hot and it means I can bend my body in cool ways. Hello flexibility J But I also have always loved how yoga makes me feel. Yoga is such a personal thing for me and remains to be a vehicle of self-love and grace. I’m not breathless at the end of a yoga session yet I still feel like I worked hard. I always feel a little bit closer to a goal, a little bit more connected and a tiny bit stronger. Maybe it’s because yoga is more measurable to me than many other exercises. Sure, you can get faster or you can lift more weight. But with yoga I can really connect with my body’s performance and what it is doing. I can visualize the present, focus on my heart beating and think about nothing else for an hour. Yoga is something I can do on the road in the privacy of my own hotel room or go to the gym if I’m feeling particularly confident. But afterwards I just feel clearer.

After my 30-minute practice today, I opened the Productive app on my phone. I had put in various goals I wished to accomplish each day and realized that I hadn’t followed through with really any of them since writing them down. A daily goal I had set a while back was to do 25 push-ups every day.

I DESPISE push-ups. This exercise is the devil and usually the most painful exercise out there. Which, duh, of course, is the reason why it’s also one of the absolute best exercises out there but still. I hate them.

Now, I’m not a point currently where I can do 25 pushups in a row. Since I refuse to do “girl pushups,” I must break them up into two sets of 10 and one set of five. This way, it’s not complete hell and it’s a little victory (slash rest break) in between. My goal is of course to be able to do 25, or 50, pushups in a row but baby steps here.

So, I did 25 pushups, I’m writing a blog post and I feel good. These are the moments that I remember how much I love being single. I can chase “passions” or hobbies, do whatever I want with the time I have and I don’t have to work around anyone else’s schedule. Now, of course, I have things that need to get done throughout the day but whatever time I have left is mine and I intend to start taking advantage of that time.

One of the regrets I have is that I binge watched the entire Sex and The City series while I was in Ireland. Granted, I was short on cash and the weather was disgusting, but I still didn’t really take advantage of traveling and seeing more of Ireland when I had the chance. I was throwing a pity party for myself, getting over a breakup and mourning the fact that I “came to Europe unprepared.” Which sucks. While I’m sure, in hindsight, that I needed some time completely to myself, I could have used that time to find new hobbies, gone for walks or even considered freelance. But I didn’t. So, lesson learned.

Overall, I would say that this was a great day. I have a mingling session at 9pm tonight and I’m going to head out to dinner and hopefully begin conversations at the hotel bar. While I have zero intentions of drinking alcohol tonight, I do look forward to meeting new prospects and learning more about this crazy industry that I’m part of.

Try and check something off your list today. Trust me, it’s going to feel amazing.

Photo credit: Sunday Calling