This is What Strength Looks Like

Strength

Strength is tear soaked pillows and piles of crinkled tissue.

It’s hot tea filling up empty hands and warming up a heart gone cold.

Strength is taking a bite when you want to waste away.

It’s saying hello after the hardest goodbye.

Strength is good days and terribly awful minutes.

It’s writing a song or painting canvases full of splattered heart beats and memories.

Strength is pulling yourself out of the warmth of a blanket cocoon.

It’s peeling your heart off the sidewalk after an earth shattering quake.

The pieces will never fit back together but they remember the familiarity of what used to be there.

And you change.

Strength is saying yes to new adventures and fighting for everything you believe in.

It is loud and boastful or quietly accumulating.

It withers and swells each day.

Strength is feeling something so deeply it drowns you.

Strength is floating up from the abyss.

It is answering questions you’re scared of and letting someone hold your heart with their bare hands.

It is loving a place you’ve never been and leaving behind everything you know.

Strength is adventuring into the world.

It is embracing strangers.

It is curiosity for something beyond ourselves.

Strength is trusting yourself.

It is trusting others.

It is holding up those who are struggling to move forward and carrying on with them.

It is never forgetting the people who made you love.

It is always loving those who have made you who you are.

Strength is creating a better person when the air is filled with temptation.

It is forgiving when surrounded by betrayal.

Strength is constantly giving away kindness.

It is letting go and holding on and fighting in between.

Strength is forks in the road and lonely trails.

It is loving yourself and becoming your own friend.

It is acceptance.

It is fear.

Strength looks a lot like the reflection in the mirror.

Strength is YOU

– Anna Marie 🙂

P.S. This is dedicated to the ones I love who are struggling a little more than others today. We have good days and bad days when dealing with pain but as long as you are surrounded by love you will shine. I’ve been there and some days I’m still there but you always have to look forward to what might happen next with a big smile and an open heart. It’s easiest when you do what you love and forgive what you can’t control. You are STRONG!

All of my love.

For When You Are Just Tired…

This post was inspired by the beautiful article from Elite Daily and the link can be found in the P.S. at the bottom of the post.

I’M TIRED.

Just thinking of words to say makes me feel like I’m mustering up a kind of energy I can barely spare. I’m not just the kind of tired that drags your eyelids closed and whisks you into sleepland.

I’m tired, in all honesty, in every single form. My brain cannot process the knowledge I need to learn. My emotions are so exhausted from being in overdrive that sometimes I can barely feel anything at all. I’m physically drained from sleepless nights that are consumed by racing thoughts that won’t let me sink into the pillow quite as much as I crave.

So when I read the a fore mentioned article, I had the most confusing sense of understanding. Oh, I thought, I am not weak, I’m tired. Every word was applauded by the beating of my heart and each sentence whispered straight to my soul.

The state of tired I’m in is because of the most difficult changes I have been putting myself through. If I’m tired, it’s because I’m moving. Maybe not as fast as I’d like to, but even a glacial crawl is putting me closer to where I want to be.

And everything made sense to me.

I’m exhausted because I’m transforming. I’m making new routines, trying new things and exploring new dreams. I am creating a new me and it is an extremely overwhelming amount of effort.

My patience is thin and my hope is at an all time low and it wasn’t until last night that I looked at myself in the mirror and asked my reflection “Do you see how far you’ve come?”

Because I hadn’t until that moment.

I hadn’t realized the thousands of miles I have trekked or the wounds that I’ve been tending to. I didn’t realize the fight I have been unconsciously  participating in every day or the power behind my footsteps. I am truly transforming.

Transforming yourself isn’t easy my friends and it sure as hell doesn’t happen in one day. But one day I woke up and realized that I could be anyone I wanted to be and I realized how important my choices were. So I began a new journey.

So, I’m tired. I’m tired of battling to be this person but I am so unbelievably proud of myself for the challenges I’ve willingly faced to turn into someone I can give self-love to.

It’s okay to be tired, as long as you keep fighting. 

Growing is never easy but that’s why only the strongest people survive. 

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

P.S. Elite Daily: Read This When You’re Tired of Everything

Courage is Infinite

When I was 18, I did what a lot of teenagers can legally do at that age. I got a tattoo.

It wasn’t on my birthday in some whimsical shop where I chose a burger as my choice of permanent ink; I took my time in thinking this out. In fact, I decided on what I wanted and then waited six months after my birthday to make sure I still liked the idea before permanently engraving it into my skin.

tattoo

My smile is filled with fear.

So let’s start with why I chose what I did. I was in a really rough state of mind at the time I started thinking of ideas. Senior year of high school after my family took a huge hit with personal dilemmas did not treat the brain kindly and I was feeling very weak and frail. I would tell myself to overcome these issues and rise above to what is yet to happen. Overcome.

For a while, I thought this is what I would get on my body. After about a month, I didn’t like how it sounded anymore. Overcome had this connotation for me that I was always going through something and would be a constant reminder of tough times. It had a melancholy ring to it that didn’t sit right with me.

I started to love the word courage. I compared it with the word strength but what I wanted was more than strength to me. Courage embodied the fight to get through something and face it head on no matter what fear ices your heart. Strength left me feeling like I could just wait the storm out where as the word courage made me feel like I would run head first into the eye of the storm and find a way to handle the disaster I knew was coming afterwards.

However, so many souls have courage tattooed on their bodies and I couldn’t just be like everyone else. I needed a small phrase that would lead me to take strides when my legs feel broken and tired. A phrase to help me last one more minute in agony because I know happiness is waiting on the other side.

Courage Is Infinite. It popped into my head and stuck. Courage doesn’t run out. Courage can be summoned at any time and you will always have it within you. You will never run out of the courage to do what you want. You don’t get 100 instances to use it. You have an unlimited supply that can pull you through the roughest of times if you fight.

That’s what I loved most. I am a fighter and this is my mantra. Courage is infinite. It does not run out in the middle of a battle, we can always find it within ourselves or the world around us. The courage to leave the country in chase of travels, the courage to tell someone I love you after a dozen heartbreaks, the courage to forgive those who hurt you, the courage to push yourself one minute further on that run you didn’t want to take, the courage to go up to a stranger and say hello for the first time.

Courage will never expire. It is always hidden within us as long as we know how to access it.

It was perfect for who I am and the words I need to call upon when I feel stuck. foot

I can’t tell you how many times I have looked down at those words scrawled on my foot and have repeated them tirelessly until I believe it. It has been an incredible reminder to keep pushing forward even when you feel like you can’t muster up the strength to move your big toe. Courage will last a lifetime if you let yourself become friends with it.

That’s why I got a tattoo. I made an amazing decision to get that phrase on my skin so when I feel like I need it most and don’t know where to go next, I am constantly reminded by my own skin that I have the courage I need to get through anything.

When it means that much to you, it has to be right.

Plus, I can’t wait to see what it will look like in 60 years. 🙂

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

I’m a Damn Butterfly 

When ranting to my best friend about life’s challenges and uproars, we usually start throwing out insane expressions to make us laugh off our frustrations. Lately, we both have had a lot of changes get thrown into our laps and had a long conversation about how we were just trying to make it through the next day without crumbling into glitter dust. We felt like cringing at whatever life’s next blow might be even though we both knew we deserved something good to happen.

We’ve been in a super fragile and sensitive place. To emphasize, we cleverly announced how fed up we felt. “I feel like slamming my head against a tree”  in which she responded “Me too and then please let it fall on me. Lift if off when life is normal again”.  We laughed over our creative words and talked about how we would propel each other through these times.

As the conversation progressed, I said “I’m a damn butterfly.” I was referring to how fragile and overlooked the little winged creature is.

I said this and then I realized that it was the most accurate description possible.

I am a damn butterfly for a few reasons.

1. Change: I’m going through a lot of change in my life. I’m going through my own kind of metamorphisis that is making me into a new person. A stronger, more capable woman. Someone who can trust herself to get through the most screwed up situations.

2. Fragile: I cry in comedies now. I tear up when someone says something really kind. I’m so emotionally exhausted that I am super sensitive to everything happening around me. I wouldn’t choose this but when you’re feeling raw and scathed… You’re left feeling a tad vulnerable.

3. Beautiful: that’s right. I am beautiful. I laugh and I share love. I have really great days and I know what I want and what I have to offer the world. I am confident in who I am becoming and I don’t want to change that. 

4. Flying: I wish I could really fly but metaphorically speaking, I am just learning to navigate a new sky with wings that are a little bit weaker. But the more I practice, the stronger they will become and the more familiar the sky will be. There will be storms and winds but they always pass.

5. Grace: I will handle my situations with grace and kindness. I will be gentle and never let the way others treat me affect how I treat someone else.

Sometimes, really crappy things happen to the least deserving of people. I am positive that everyone reading this can relate to the effects that can have on you.

It makes you a damn butterfly. A fragile, beautiful creature getting used to new wings and learning to fly.

Until tomorrow, let’s raise those pretty little wings to the winds.

Anna Marie

Rain

Today’s post isn’t very inspiring but it’s real. Sometimes the inspiration is looking up into the eye of the storm and raising your middle finger to the sky because you know you are going to make it through the thunder and lightning.

So here it goes.

The sky is crying. Sunshine is taking a break and the clouds are protecting the sun from having to be so bright and happy today. I want nothing more than to stand in the rain and let it wash away the thoughts, doubt and any pain I have been through.

The rain drops can hit my skin and take the poison from my mind and I’ll feel them roll down my face until they fall from me and sink into the ground.

I’ll let my mood fall into alignment with the clouds for today. I’ll pretend they are protecting me like they are protecting the sun from having to always be shining. I can be a little bit dull today, I deserve a day like that.

A smile will cross my face because I know how deeply I feel and how strong a person has to be in order to brave the emotions that come with a giving heart.  I will laugh in the rain because I will feel the self-doubt drip down my sides and recognize the worth I have in myself.

I might cry in the rain to let myself know that I am not going to numb what I have experienced in my life.

I know that every step forward is progress that has taken work. Even if you feel like you have fallen miles behind.

I know that love is surrounding me. Love is all I need.

My mind just gets in the way sometimes.

I’ll make it out of this little hell.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie