A Messy Life Doesn't Mean It's Not Beautiful

A Messy Life Doesn't Mean It's Not Beautiful

Stress is real and overwhelming, but days like these only last as long as you allow them to.
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This week was just one of those weeks.

The kind of week when you only have coffee for breakfast and lunch, donuts to last you till dinner.

The kind of week when you’re late to important meetings because you can’t find the conference room -- two days in a row.

The kind of week when you just look at yourself and go, “I’m such a mess.

Even today, I had an appointment to be at by 7 a.m., but didn’t hear any of the three alarms that I had set for this morning! Great! Another reminder that I’m overworked, overwhelmed, and so over this week.

And I’m going to be incredibly honest here: I’m actually writing this piece as I sit, on the floor, in the middle of a car wash convenience store because there aren’t any seats left outside, and my dad insists on getting a car wash right now even though I don't have time.

When weeks like this happen to me, I’m so tempted to just give up on all my responsibilities, feel sorry for myself, and dwell on how incredibly messy the past week was, and compare myself to every other person I see who seems to have the perfect life.

In reality, a lot of great things happened in the last 5 days. It’s just that I became so overwhelmed looking at how overcommitted I was that I overlooked all the incredible people who brought me so much life and laughter in the past few days.

I allowed my imperfect circumstances to steal my joy. Yes, I’m tired and overcommitted, but at the same time, I realized that it was my mindset that was giving me so much grief, and not my less-than-perfect circumstances.

But yesterday, I realized that I was wearing the wrong pair of glasses -- meaning that my outlook on life was completely wrong. So I decided to take that pair off, and I chose to wear a new pair, and now I see the world differently. Despite the fact not everything went the way I wanted to this week, I have no realized there is so much beauty in an imperfect life.

Allow me to give an example:

Yesterday, I had to work an orientation event, but I really didn’t feel like it. It was an all day event, I was so tired from the day before, there was so much for me to get done, and to top it off, the parking situation was horrible so I had to walk across campus multiple times in heels that made my feet ache in all the worst places.

While working the event, we realized that there were some students missing, so we called them up to find out if they would be arriving late. One girl said she was lost, so it was my job to find her and bring her to the event. After finding her and guiding her to the orientation event, she told me she was flustered and late because she had just left the hospital where her grandma was having an extensive surgery. I did my best to console her, and after the event, she came up to me and thanked me for being so helpful and for calling her at the precise moment she had arrived on campus and was so stressed out because she couldn’t find the event. What’s more, she found out the surgery would be successful and her grandmother would be alright.

Driving home that day, I did a lot of thinking. I realized that having the opportunity to help someone who was having a stressful day as well was an incredible blessing in itself. In that moment, I was able to take my eyes off of my own problems and see that first of all, I’m not the only one going through stress, and second of all, in every stressful circumstance, we are able to make the most of it if we take the focus off of our problems and instead, focus on how we can be a blessing to others. In the end, I was so glad I went to the orientation event!

So, if you’re in a situation right now where you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed, just remember that days like these don’t last forever -- they only last as long as you allow them to. When your mindset becomes clouded by the a huge “TO-DO” list that seems impossible to complete, by the fact that you feel like a failure, by the fact that you feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities you have to juggle, by the fact that life just isn’t going your way, take a step back.

Stop whatever you’re doing; in fact, stop trying altogether. Focus on the present moment. You’re living, you’re breathing. You have an amazing life ahead of you. The fact is there are always going to be stressful moments, but those moments don’t have to stressful if you stop and realize that this life is too short to be worrying about something that may never happen, too short to be concerned with what others may think of you, and too short to condemn yourself about all the mistakes you’ve made in the past.

Sometimes, we focus too much on where we want to be or what we want to do, instead of where we are at right now. There’s so much beauty in knowing that this is where I am right now, and I am going to make the most of this moment, trusting that God will work out everything for everyone's good if we obey Him.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.kallikids.com/filemanager/root/site_assets/family_photos/messy_painted_hands.jpg

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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