Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dear Mr. You

A collection of letters to the various men in my life. To the ones who have come, have gone, or have stayed, you have become a part of who I am today. So I thank you. 

Dear disappointed,

I took most of your disappointment onto myself and it has defined me as a person. I wasn't good enough so I tried harder and then felt awful because I wasn't good enough. You see the irony of an endless cycle?
I hate that I am like you. In that I mean I picked up your knack for perfectionism, among other things. I really wanted to be an apple far, far away from the tree but I have learned that you become like what you fear to become. 
I hope to manage my anger better than you taught me. 
I am glad you aren't around much. I feel no anger, nor resentment anymore.

Dear hipster,

You were the coolest person I knew. You helped me see that being different is not something to be ashamed of but something that should be embraced. That's a lesson I will take with me to my grave.
You also taught me that opening up to people and showing the raw inside parts of yourself is not always a bad thing. You taught me to trust for the very first time in my life.
You also showed me that I deserved more. That I was a precious treasure. Before, I was an extremely broken person, susceptible to all the hate that was thrown at me. Thank you for showing me that I was worth more.
I hope you know that I appreciated you and I looked up to you so much.
Never stop being your weird self. Ever.

Dear boyfriend I was never good enough for,

Honestly, I am so unbelievably glad for the lessons you have taught me. 
You taught me so much about what I do not want in a man. You taught me to be strong and not let others control who I am or what I do. 
Breaking up with you gave me a purpose. I was no longer someone's girlfriend; I was me. I could be whoever I felt I should be and no one else had a say in it. 
From you, I learned that manipulation and judgement can be snuck into relationships without anyone really noticing and now I am prepared for that. I am constantly on guard because of what you taught me. Maybe that makes me overly cautious and someone who isn't open to most relationships but if that's what I have to do so that I don't find myself with someone who does not appreciate me for who I am then I'm okay with that.
So thank you for giving me a greater purpose and greater appreciation for myself. I wish you the best.

Dear Mr. Right,

You are my brother in every possible way, minus biologically.
We could communicate from across a room with our eyes half shut. 
Every time I smell Old Spice I still think of you.
There is an intimacy (not necessarily romantic) that occurs when you've known someone since before knowing. You taught me how to defend myself and stand up for myself, but never taught me enough to defend myself against you. How many trash cans did you throw me in? Far too many. 
But I thank you because without you I wouldn't be so comfortable around the opposite sex. Without you I wouldn't be as strong and as daring as I am today.
You taught me that bodily functions are okay because they happen to everyone. 
You also rocked the middle school blonde Bieber shag before Bieber thought it was cool. Not to mention you were Ralph Lauren's biggest fan before we were old enough to understand what preppy meant.
You are so strong and endure so much. I hope you know that people (i.e. me) look up to you.
You survived Mexico and the Swine Flu among many other things. Be careful though, because with all your injuries and illnesses I am pretty sure you are on your last life.
You are one of the most caring people I ever met. I still remember this one time at work I had burned myself very badly. There was no burn relief in the first aid so I went up front to wash my wounds. When I got back to the kitchen you were there with a large cup of ice water and salt. You were mixing the water and salt together and told me to just stand there with my burn submerged until I could not bare the cold anymore. I still remember this as one of the sweetest things that anyone has ever done for me. [Be still my heart.]
You are my hero and even though you're not my biological brother I would go to hell and back for you. 
I miss you. And I don't remember the last time that I told you that I love you.

Dear boy version of me,

You scared me so much because we were so similar. I was so scared to open up to you. I wish I had. I wish I had given you more of a chance. 
We could have been great or we could have been a disaster but I will never know.
It's crazy that you're married now and I will most likely never get to see you again. 
You were too good for me. You were too good to me. I wish I had been better for you. 

Dear boy who wanted me to be the one,

What can I say... I was never sure. And I'm glad you finally found your one. I told you it wasn't me. 
All joking aside, I wish I had treated you better. There was no reason for me to be so standoffish, except for the fact that when it comes to matters of the heart I keep it very close to my person. 
I still think about you from time to time and know that had I reciprocated feelings you would have loved me fiercely until the day you died. I am thankful that I at least have that memory.

Dear rescuer,

How many nights did I fall asleep crying in your arms? Too many to count. I still can't look at you without slightly feeling ashamed of how many tears and how much snot you've seen come out of me. 
I wish we were closer than we are now. We don't really talk unless we run into each other. I guess some of us can never forget some nights. 
I still laugh because of that one time a nurse thought we were brother sister. It was the most ridiculous assumption. We look nothing alike.
Do you remember you leaving me in the ambulance and later at the hospital? Probably not but I will never forget those fierce hugs and that heartfelt goodbye. I suppose some things will linger with us for the rest of our lives and those two moments are some of the few.
You showed me for a time what unconditional, fierce love looks like. I'm not sure I've ever thanked you for that.

Dear best friend,

I love you so much. I honestly think that I will love you for the rest of my life. You are just one of the most special people from my memories. Yes, my memories, because you are no longer in my life. 
I wish it could be different. I wish I understood why you had to go from my life. Ripping you from my memories is like repeatedly getting a bikini wax every single moment I remember who you were, who we were and who we are now.
People say never date your best friend unless you are prepared to lose them. I wasn't prepared to lose you. I am sorry that I blocked you because what you did was too painful for me to keep on reliving over, and over, and over again. I'm sorry that I will miss out on so much of your life. 
I still remember back to junior year of high school when I decided that we were going to beat the odds... We were going to continue our friendship past high school and through college. My determination and perhaps a little bit of our friendship made that come to pass... At least for a while.
I do want to thank you for the friendship that we had, even though it is in the past, it is still dear to me. 

Dear model boy,

Gahh, I love you. You literally light up my life every time I see or talk to you. Without you I wouldn't have survived these last few years. 
We have shared the best and the worst of times and still come out laughing. Please never lose your humor and your sense for bringing the fun in everything you do.
I cannot wait to be YouTube famous with you.
I worry about you from time to time. I hope that you take time for yourself to recharge and refocus. I don't like to see you overwhelmed and overtaken by everything that everyone else has going on. You care so immensely for others. It is inspiring.
You are my favorite to be weird with and honestly I am just so happy to have you in my life. 

Dear noncommittal,

I understand. I understand so perfectly well that I am honestly fine with everything. But I do question if two people unable to commit is one to many. At some point someone will have to take a leap of faith and I pray one of us might have courage. 
If not, you have given me more reasons to love after I thought all love was lost, and for that I am thankful. 
You have helped me through some of the hardest times in my life with an amount of patience and humor that I do not understand. 
You are one of those people who would walk through fire for someone they just met. There needs to be more people like you in this world. 
You are so smart and have taught me to question and challenge everything about life. You challenge me to be my best self everyday and I could not ask for more from you. 

Dear Mr. You,

I have some advice. Treat her with respect, no matter your relation. Make her laugh. Sit with her when she cries. Be kind and know that whatever you say or do may in fact impact the women she will become. Take heed to make every moment count and fight for her until the end.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

what i'm reading — spring 2016

I would like to apologize in advance for all the self-improvement and business books in this mix. I seem to be at a point in life where that is what is most important to me so I unconsciously dedicate time to it, including reading time. Hopefully you might find some of these reads as compelling as I have.

This book has been on my to-read list for a while and I really cannot wait to dive in. Small Victories is all about hope and celebration even in life's worst moments. Check out Anne Lamott's twitter here.

This is one book that I definitely judged by its cover but in a very positive way. I can't wait to find out what these four Parisian women have to say about life, love, and happiness.

Can't seem to get the peanut oil out of me. This book is by Dee Anne Turner (I swear I am just now realizing the 'Anne' trend...), who is an executive for Chick-fil-A. I'm really excited to dig into this book because it is all about growing relationships with customers and having an positive impact in the business world. You can find more Dee Anne Turner on her website and on twitter.

Finally, a novel. This book takes on several themes and tackles some hard topics like as marriage, children, gender roles, etc. It takes place during the Cold War which really shows with all the tension between every page. This is Williams first book so feel free to support her on her website here.

Google Gary Vaynerchuk and so much, I mean, SO MUCH stuff pops up. You can follow him on Youtube here. Check his website out here. See his twitter game here. Gary kills the hustle game. His insights on Marketing, Social Media, Leadership, Hustling and just so much more has really inspired to me to work harder and do more. Also, follow him on Snapchat (GaryVee), you won't regret it!

That's all for my reading list. But now what about you?
What are you reading this Spring?

later, Chels
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Monday, April 4, 2016

april bucket list

Let's all applaud the fact that I am actually getting this out at the beginning of the month this time 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻. As far as last month goes though, I didn't do as well as I anticipated on my Bucket List.

I did buy myself flowers, spring clean, tried a new yoga class (it killed me), got a silver glittery mani-pedi, hiked somewhere new, decluttered my computer (however, it is cluttered up again. Ahh! 🙄), and cleaned out the backyard to the best of my ability (seriously, if any boy out there wants to help with some of our yard work, I will bake you cookies). 

I've realized through doing a few months of these that I am really good and intentional with activities on my list that are singular. I've done a lot of reflecting recently on why as an extrovert I seem to isolate and be by myself a lot. I haven't come to a conclusion on this yet but I'm not sure I am as comfortable around people as I used to be so that is something that I think I will challenge myself with this month along with my Bucket List.

What's on your bucket list this month?

later, Chels
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

the side of social media marketing that nobody talks about

Social Media has actually changed and shaped the world we live in today. For better or for worse, it is here to stay. And not only do I get to use social media for my own personal life but I also am one of those "lucky" few who get paid to manage social media accounts. I started with Facebook back in 2011. Five years later our Facebook numbers have grown by 2000+, and we have added a Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+ and more to our social media output. <—This is the definition of doing the most. 🙃

I put lucky in quotes (see above ^) because even though I am incredibly blessed to be able to work from the comfort of my own home, there are several downsides that I really wish someone had told me before I started down this career path.

ONE // You must develop a thick skin.
When your company or brand you manage comes under fire, you have to be prepared for anything and everything. For me this was one of the first lessons I learned and trust me, I am better for it now. For a time I struggled with attacks on my company because so much of my own identity was in what I was putting out. I had to quickly come to a mindset where I took the personal out of it and just started to roll with the punches. Now an attack on my company is not necessarily an attack on me. It is a low-ball comment from someone who just wants to make people feel bad and frankly their opinion does not matter to me. 
Side note: Perhaps becoming cynical is a side effect of developing a thick skin.

TWO // Realize that Social Media life is not the real life.
This is one that I still struggle with and I constantly have to take a step back and check myself. Depression and anxiety are very real and comparing your own life to the virtual lives of others on social media is unrealistic. I have to remind myself that the lives that people live online are not the whole story.  You have to remember that a social media life is a life through rose-colored glasses. 
"Comparison is the thief of joy."—Theodore Roosevelt 

THREE // You need to form solid boundaries.
Oh, boy. I am not an expert at this, but I do realize that it is necessary, so do I at least get some brownie points for that? Social media can take over a lifequickly and silently. I often find myself distracted mid-sentence because someone tagged us in a post on Instagram or tweeted back at us. This is something that I am always trying to combat. Some best practices is to know when to stop working and be in the moment. I also have quiet hours where I refuse to look at a screen (Do Not Disturb function on iPhone is possibly the best invention ever). 

FOUR // Get your company to front your data bill. 
You will need the most data you can get. I kid you not. Especially if you plan to be managing multiple social media accounts (well) like I do. Do not skimp on your data plan. Make sure you get the best rates coming out the door or you might end up owing your soul to your service provider. 

Overall, I'm not complaining. I love my job and the impact I get to tangible see. But I know that Social Media Marketing isn't for everyone so I hope this can help you discern whether or not it is the right move for you.

Any tips on how to manage Social Media better?

later, Chels
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

5 things to do before you hit the pillow

I have really amped up my work schedule lately... For better or for worse. So with a crazy schedule I have been trying to figure out the best way to balance everything. In that, I have come to realize the importance of sleep (seriously, cannot survive without it), so here are some of my nightly practices to make the most of my shut eye.

ONE // Lay out tomorrow's clothing
Preparing my backpack or purse as well as laying out my clothes really helps me save time in the morning. Nothing's worse than waking up late and trying to decide between 3 different outfits. 

TWO // Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
When you sleep you can get so dehydrated. I don't know about you but I hate waking up in the middle of the night dying of thirst. I make sure to gulp as much as a can, PLUS I keep a cup on my nightstand. It's good for your skin as well as your overall well-being.

THREE // Plan out your to-dos
If you are at all like me, you would not be able to survive each day without your handy to-do list. I make a point to sit down at the end of the night and go over what I didn't complete that day as well as add all the things I need to make sure I do the next day. Not only does this help with my productivity but it helps relax my mind before I go to sleep.

FOUR // Use anti-aging night cream
I started using an anti-aging cream because let's be honest, I'm only getting older, so why not try to combat the inevitable. 

FIVE // Turn off your tech
I am definitely guilty for spending hours on social media (no doubt this is a pitfall of working in social media). However, I have started to make it a personal rule that all tech has to be on the other side of the room when it is time for sleep. I also automatically set my phone to Do Not Disturb from midnight to 7AM. This really helps with those 2AM notification dings.

What are some things you do before your head hits the pillow?

later, Chels
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

march bucket list

Can we all just admit that February was absolutely insane and my capabilities of being able to do it all got away from me a little bit? With that being said, thank you for not hating that I never got around to making a February Bucket List (and thanks for being kind about this one being out a week late #oops).

I feel a little overextended from last month so I think that I am going to do my best to be kind to myself this month. Yay for self care and overall life happiness.

What would you add to your March bucket list?

later, Chels
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