It's Okay To Not Feel Okay

It's Okay To Not Feel Okay

It is okay; it is normal, and recognizing this is so important.
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And I’ve learned this.

I’ve learned this a lot lately, actually, and I have learned that it’s totally fine. I’ve learned over time, that frantically running to the bus for class and making it with seconds to spare, accidentally pinning my fingers thousands of times during the prep of a garment creation, or sobbing into my pillow for a few hours—that these are all just small pitfalls.

Yes, they may be awful, and sometimes my week, or even weeks, can be filled with these pits, but there’s always something that happens to reassure me that I am on the right path.

Although, this path is one that I do not always instantly see.

It can be difficult. It is definitely mentally exhausting to walk into my dorm from The Warehouse at 5 a.m. when my roommate is asleep, to realize I have two hours to rest and convince myself that I am taking a “nap” because my sleep schedule just isn’t cohesive.

My 7 a.m. alarm is not the best thing to hear after falling asleep at 5:30 a.m., and the harsh design critiques we as designers must undergo each day don’t always leave me walking out of The Warehouse with enthusiasm.

But, I know I am here. And I know my talents. And I know my purpose. It might not always scream out to me, but I always know it’s there.

It’s taken years to learn that although it’s okay to not feel completely OK, it’s actually kind of a good thing. I’ve learned how empowering it can be sometimes to have a dip in my day where things aren’t completely looking up, and have the ability to continue moving.

It’s reassuring to know sometimes that downfalls will not interfere with what I am meant to be doing because my purpose is so strong that nothing can distance me from my path.

I shed a few tears this week, and to be truthful, maybe a little more than my liking. But, this week has taught me more about myself than this entire past semester has.

Last Friday, I walked into my 8 a.m. class with my completed garment, running on an hour of sleep and yearning to somehow make it back to campus before midnight. With energy solely from the venti iced macchiato I had just finished, I looked into the mirror at my beautiful dark circles, beginning to be accompanied by tears.

I knew it was time to relax, and I knew that I couldn’t just brush over it anymore. It now had to be acknowledged. I was indestructible last semester—so I thought, until this week when I realized nobody is. This is the week I learned that it is completely impossible, and I could not continue acting like my exhaustion wasn’t beginning to deplete my overall health and happiness.

I walked into this weeks design classes with less energy than usual, and my productivity was not it’s best, although I continued to put my best energy into everything. There just wasn’t enough energy to carry myself the way I would normally.

After many phone calls with family, conversations with friends, and trying my best to check in on myself, I learned it’s time to debrief for a minute. It’s time to still carry the work ethic I have always honored, yet do so without exhausting myself to the point of breakdown.

I am going to try my best—but my over-achieving spirit always does make it difficult. I overviewed my day today, and in contrast to this week, I began to smile. Today was the day I left The Fashion Warehouse earlier than I usually would and was able to take a break with some of my closest friends. It felt so good to know I was doing my body good.

This is the week I realized it’s okay not to feel OK.

It’s okay to not be extremely happy all the time and to not be the gem who makes it through a schedule like mine without a tear, a full cry, or even a complete sob. It is okay, it is normal, and recognizing this is so important.

I would not expect myself to undergo such a demanding schedule without weeks like these. It is just time I give myself more of a break, like the one today, and it is important for us all to do this. Taking some time to debrief is the best remedy, and I am continuing to learn of its vast importance.

One step at a time.

Cover Image Credit: João Silas

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It's OK To Be Your Family's "Emily" This Christmas

Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that's okay.
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We all know the feeling, one sibling is getting married, another landed their dream job, someone got a promotion, someone bought a house, and another one has a baby on the way.

Everyone has exciting news to share or something to brag to the relatives about, and then there's you.

You’re just a typical college student with absolutely no idea what you want to do in life.

You didn't make a 4.0 this semester or land an internship at some big name company. You aren't dating anyone, expecting a ring, or having a baby anytime soon.

You may not have anything special for your mom to brag about on this years Christmas card, yet you are still content. Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that’s okay.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things That Matter Way More Than Having A Boyfriend This Winter

There are years of simply just finding yourself. Years of figuring out what it is you want out of life or searching for something that will finally “fuel your fire.”

Everyone’s path is different, some have more bumps, roadblocks, and flat tires than others, yet despite all of that, we all still get there.

As one of my favorite quotes states, “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, they shine when it’s their time”

So, no matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, it is okay to be your family’s Emily this year.

Embrace it, throw your excitement at everyone else’s accomplishments, and be thankful for where you are at.

Your time will come.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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15 Things Every Woman Will Learn After Watching 'Dumplin’'

A swimsuit body is a body with a swimsuit on it.

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Willowdean Opal is not your typical beauty pageant contest and I am here for it. So often bigger girls are indirectly told not to compete in beauty related things. As a society, we have shaped what beauty is, and that mold doesn't fit everyone.

After watching the Netflix movie "Dumplin'", I picked up 15 things said in this movie that everyone should hear.

1. The world is filled with people who are going to try to tell you who you are, but that’s for you to decide

Willowdean and her mom

Often time-based on our looks people decide which path we should go on. What things we should wear, eat and overall being. But at the end of the day, you decide who you want to be, no one else.

2. Speak clearly cause you never get a second chance at a first impression

Being Bold

First impressions are hard. What we sometimes lack is our confidence to stand up strong and be heard. So in order for us to have a voice we should speak with confidence and keep our head down otherwise we conform to ideas we don't all agree on. Silence is deadly, but our voices are sometimes the only thing we got.

3.Everyone has their own story

Every Story

It's hard for everyone not to go based on stereotypes when we meet new people. We find ourselves thinking that smaller girls have had no problems with guys, pageants and life. What "Dumpln'" showed us is that every person has their own story. And that life isn't easy for most people. We shouldn't judge others based on their outer appearances. Because what may be tearing one person down, can be covered by our outer bodies and hidden by a smile.

4. I get that you were just trying to protect me, but sometimes I need you to support me.

Support

We may not always agree with what our friends and family think its best for us. But what we need to do as a society is support one another. Life is all about learning from mistakes and making them. That develops character.

5. Speak from experience cause it shows you’ve lived a life worth paying attention to.

Experiences

We can easily put on a mask for people, almost as if we are competing to see who is happier. The truth is, we need to speak from our experiences, what we learned and what we are going through because that is what is going to get others to listen. All of our lives are worth a listen.

6. Every revolution starts small.

Rainbows

In order to see change, we need to be the change. We may want things to change in our society, but that all starts with you making small impacts on other.

7. Stop Rejecting people for things they can’t change.

Acceptance

If they can't change it in 10 seconds don't point it out. Often times we see that rejection takes on many forms. What we as a society need to stop doing, is rejecting people because of certain attributes they can't change for themselves. You have to ask yourself, what kind of person does that make me if I do not accept a person who goes out of my norm?

8.A swimsuit body is a body with a swimsuit on it.

All Are Swim Suit Bodies

This was by far my favorite line in the movie. When the warm weather approaches everyone always says "I have to get swimsuit body ready or I'll hate myself", but what we fail to realize is that everybody is a swimsuit body. We as people, come in many shapes and forms. And we think that everyone should look the same in a bikini. Wrong, we need to love ourselves the way that we are in order to better ourselves for the future.

9. I’m a beauty queen. I’m all of it.

All Beauty Queens

Even if you don't see yourselves as a beauty queen, does not mean you're not beautiful. You are everything and more.

10. Why does this hot guy want to kiss me?

Beauty in All Forms

Willowdean questioned why Bo would like a girl like her She thought society would question why this pair was together. Stop. We need to stop questioning if we are good enough and start realizing how amazing we are. Anyone would be lucky to be with you.

11. To hell with what everyone else thinks.

Bo

There are going to be people who are going to talk, but what Bo teaches us is to hell with everyone else opinions. What matters at the end of the day is what you think of yourself.

12. You're saying that every girl in this room is more deserving than me because I’m not built like them.

Empower

Women, we are taught at a young age that we are competitors. We have to be the best out of everyone. The problem arises when we start to think we are better than another person without hearing their story. Not every girl is going to be built the same, talk the same or dress the same. Accept the differences and bond with one another. We need to empower one another otherwise we conform to the hatred that is already bestowed upon us in society.

13. What do you say we finish for us?

For Us

Your goals should always be for you, and not anyone else.

14. I’m doing this for me.

I am Me.

If at any moment in your life you are questioned for doing your best you must recognize that you are doing this for you. When you do something for you, it has the greatest ending.

15. Why are you here?

Here To Stay

As women in our society, we are going to be questioned about our reason for being in the position that we are in. It is up to us to break the glass ceilings and show everyone what we are truly made of.

There were many amazing scenes in "Dumplin'" and I believe it is an amazing movie about body acceptance and empowerment. Empowerment of others is the key to growth in our society.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?

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