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Monday, April 8, 2013

Lessons :: Smarter. Stronger. Twenty Six.

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As I sit here on the evening of my birthday, I can't help but think back on the past year. It began with me coming to the realization that I had lost everything I thought to be good and true. I spent April 8, 2012 curled up in bed with my best friend Chris sitting at my feet. On that day, he was the only thing that felt safe and genuine.

"We can go anywhere," he said. "We can do anything. Do you want to get sushi? I can get you froyo. Want me to go get it for you? Let me go get you something..."

"No. I can't eat. I don't feel hungry. I can't feel anything right now."

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The good thing about your life falling apart is that there's nowhere to go but up. The bad, is that you have to climb. Rebuilding life and love and self takes work. It takes forgiveness. It takes strength, the kind of strength that you build along the way. Your emotional health, like your physical health, requires discipline and willpower to maintain. It's not easy, which is why most people turn away from emotion. They tuck it away. They run away. They bury and hide it.

I tried to do that, too. But I couldn't.

That's just not me, and it never has been.

Which brings us back to blogging.

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I've always loved writing. I've always loved photography. I've always loved people, and I've always loved social networking. I had a blog before I even knew what a blog was. But the type of blogging that I've been doing for the past 2 years + 3 months? Well, it simply isn't me, as much as I've always wanted it to be. I like clothes and shopping and putting together cute outfits, but I have no desire to tell people where I got my pieces from. I like reading fashion and style blogs, but that doesn't mean I have to have one. And I like having my picture taken, but it doesn't mean it has to happen every time I walk out the door.

I've learned that my interests expand outside the blogging bubble, and since beginning The Loudmouth Lifestyle, other hobbies have fallen by the wayside. I've realized how much I loved theatre in high school and college, and over the past few weeks I decided to start concentrating more on vlogs and comedic writing and acting. And I don't care if people don't watch, and I don't care if people don't think I'm funny.

I miss doing things for myself.

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So much has changed since my last birthday. And even though I feel as if I say that every year, this one is different. It's special. I've grown -- older, wiser, stronger. I think back on how and who I used to be, and I'm not that girl anymore. But I'm okay with that. I've changed for the better. I don't have any regrets, and I don't dislike my former self. In fact, she was pretty cool. The problem was that she didn't realize how cool she was. She was insecure and unsure, as much as she didn't want to admit it. But, I know who I am now. And I don't want to be anything I'm not.

I've decided to keep blogging, but this time around, it's going to be different. After this post, I will be disabling comments. And over the next few weeks, you'll see sponsorships and sidebar ads begin to disappear (this will happen gradually, since I still have a few collaborations coming up that I've promised). I have a new blog design planned, with a new focus. My blog is going to be about my life; my life is not going to be about my blog.

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After letting go of so many negative forces, I gained so much. Over the past year, I made new friends and became closer with old ones. I fell in love with my job and began calling it a career. I traveled to places I only dreamed of seeing. I learned to forgive, and I learned that it's okay to take your time with forgiveness. And I realized that pain only moves you forward, if you allow it to do so.

I announced my decision to stop blogging almost a month ago, and since then, life has become even better than before. After turning my attention from the blogging world to the real world, I was suddenly presented with interesting and beautiful and exciting opportunities that I may have missed otherwise. Here are just a few of the wonderful things that happened:

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I ate better, and I worked out more.

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My roomie and I celebrated his birthday. He's my big brother.

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I spent multiple relaxing nights in bed, drinking wine and watching stand-up or reading.

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I received a small promotion at work and was moved to a different location. I got to go to a Clippers game with my new management team complete with dinner, dessert and plenty of beer. On a similar note, I enjoyed multiple happy hours with work friends and fell even more in love with them.

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I was asked to write for Phat magazine (stay tuned) and ps: my sister is on the newest cover.

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I had the best birthday weekend of my life, which included a house party on Friday night, brunch + movie on Saturday, and Disneyland on Sunday. Oh yeah, and I have a boyfriend now...

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I'm so very happy tonight.

And I'm grateful. For everything.

To God be the glory.

20 comments:

  1. omg i'm so happy you're not staying gone its probably a little sad! lol.

    Even more so i'm happy you're happy :)

    26 is really going to be a heck of a year for me too i can feel it, like you said, very different and grown, so to speak, embarking on it m'self in about 8 days!

    I have the same feeling about fashion and life style blogging. Love taking pics and putting outfits together but as for saying where i got em well...it's not very me, especially given where i live there are little to know brands and our currency is like 1/3 of the U.S. dolllar which means, since we import most things, the prices for branded bits are crazy high.

    Not like i've ever been to interested in wearing brands anyway, just like wearing pretty clothes :P

    Trying to just do blogging my way, what is fun and interesting.

    So what i mean is, i feel ya girl :P

    Happy belated birthday and blessing on your walk with happiness! :D

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  2. Im so glad you decided not to stay gone forever. I would think about you every so often and wonder how you were. Is it weird to worry about someone who tecnically is a complete stranger? Glad your doing so well. You looking great and it sounds like everything is working out. I'm excited to see what you decide to post about. Since this is the last of the commenting, I wish you well.

    XoXo

    Rachel

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  3. I'm happy that you haven't given up on your blog but even more happy that you're looking to a new you...I look forward to reading about your new adventures. (I'll always be reading and following!)

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  4. I'm glad you're going to be blogging again, it sure seems longer than a month that you've been gone!

    Happy belated Birthday my friend :)

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  5. Steph- this feels like the most honest post I've ever read from you. And that isn't a dig at what you've previously written, but just impressed with your growth.

    All those changes you've gone through? They are supposed to happen.

    I turned 30 last week and have been taking stock of the many things I've learned lately. and guess what? We all do lots of growing and changing!

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  6. CONGRATS girl! It sounds like you're off to a great year! It's amazing what happens when you unplug a bit. After all, you only live life once! :)

    xoxo,
    Nat
    Modern Buttercup

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  7. Nice reflections from the year, life is full of change, and with us evolving, but more importantly for us to love and enjoy it! I'm glad that you're happy, and back to your blog space. x/Madison :)

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  8. I enjoyed reading this post so much! You have so much to be thankful for AND to look forward to. I look forward to hopefully being able to read/watch whatever you may do next. So happy for you and the last photo is the sweetest :).

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  9. Well good luck on your new life sounds like you did a lot of soul searching


    Ali of

    www.dressingken.com

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  10. I was surprised at first because I thought you had stopped blogging, but I must say that I am very happy that you decided to continue blogging and to do it in a fashion that will make you happier.

    Sometimes I feel like "what would I be doing right now if I wasn't blogging?" and then I think that maybe I should stop, but I'm going to stick with it for now.

    I love that you are eating better, seeing more, doing more, loving life and figuring out what you love. Can't wait for the new look and style of The-Loudmouth. And congrats to your sister on the cover feature.

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  11. Yay, Steph! I've been thinking of taking my friends buttons down too...not because I don't want to support them, but because I was never about putting ads up for money, mostly because I didn't have the time or energy or couldn't give people what they would deserve if they were paying me...Anyhow, love that you're back! -Jess

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  12. loveeee this. everything about it. <3

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  13. This was so wonderful to read, Steph. You touched on so much that resonates as really true for me too... especially when you said "my life is not going to be about my blog." Here, here! I'm sure you and I could sit down and have a great heart to heart about this because, oh boy, I have so felt that - I'm thrilled to hear you're out there having wonderful & real experiences and it's my goal to do the same. Big love!! V

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  14. Happy belated birthday! I'm glad you decided to continue blogging -- "My blog is going to be about my life; my life is not going to be about my blog." -- love that! I look forward to reading your future posts!

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  15. Happy Birthday, I think I said it a bit prematurely when I said it on Twitter, lol. Also congrats on getting a boyfriend, it's great to see you blog again and catch up with what you've been up to, always loved these sorts of posts on your blog.

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  16. Happy Birthday and congrats on all the recent accomplishments. I've been wanting to do YouTube comedy videos too, my roomie and I need to get on it. I feel you on wanting to turn comments off, I'm tempted because it helps you focus on writing the content YOU want to write and not get too involved in the blog world. I'll keep reading along :)

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  17. So excited to see that you're back! Can't wait to see what comes out of this blog of yours :)
    xo

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