Confidence

According to the dictionary Oxford Languages, confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. Just reading that definition made what I have been saying about myself even more solid. For once in my life, I appreciate myself. I see myself, and I am beginning to love myself. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard for me to see myself as a confident person. As I tell people that I have a confidence for the first time in my life that I have never had, I feel like I need to follow up that statement with something explaining that I know there is still a lot about me that needs to be worked on. I feel awkward telling people that I have confidence, which shows that I don’t have complete confidence yet. I feel guilty, as if I am bragging on myself. You see, I come from a family that has never truly believed in themselves, so every once in awhile I have to remind myself that it is okay to be confident because when you are confident you are in fact trusting in yourself. After all, trusting yourself is the most important person to trust. You have got to believe in yourself and trust that you have what it takes to become who you want to become. You have got to trust yourself when your gut tells you to leave a situation or even a person. You have to trust yourself to guide you in the direction you need to go to accomplish all you want to accomplish.

Yes, it has taken me fifty years to get here, and if you were to ask me for advice, I would tell you not to wait as long as I have to find your confidence, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter when you find it, just find it. I do admit that if I had gotten here sooner, I probably would have made some different choices in my life. But honestly, those choices, right or wrong, helped make me who I am and I am fifty and fabulous. What is sweet about me saying that last statement, I am fifty and fabulous, I didn’t even flinch when I typed it. I truly believe it. So go and find your confidence! It is such a great feeling.

Are You a Negative Person If You Have Bad Days?

As I stated before, when I started this blog, I was in a dark place. I literally feel the progression and the pain lift off me everyday since I started blogging. However, I let how my family members felt sway the direction of this blog somewhat. What I mean by this is that my son and my oldest niece both told me how sad my posts made them feel, so much so they quit reading them. I have encouraged them to keep reading because you can truly see my healing take place. Because of their response though, I felt I would be seen as backsliding if I posted anything negative, so I just quit posting if I was having a bad day. I know I’ve touched on this before, but I read over a few things the past few days that made me realize that I need to let all of you see that I am not completely recuperated.

The first thing I read was a quote by Najwa Zebian. The quote just simply states, “You can be a fighter and have pain inside of you. You can be a hero and live with trauma. You can be brave and still need a break.” I just want to thank Najwa Zebian for reminding me that having pain, trauma, and needing a break doesn’t mean I am not a fighter, hero, or brave. Furthermore, in my research of who she was (If you are reading this and knew who she was already, I apologize that I am just now finding her.) I found a tweet from her that said, “You can be healing and feel broken at the same time. Healing isn’t a destination we reach where we’re perfect and at peace all the time. Healing is a journey that involves accepting and embracing ourselves as we break, as we heal, and as we reconstruct.” It’s so funny how I actually knew this but hearing or reading it from someone else makes me feel okay with my pain. I have not regressed or back stepped. This is not going to be a miraculous healing overnight and I need to give myself some slack. Remember from my previous posts, I am my own worst enemy by far.

Today, I am not in a good place mentally, which really sucks because I came off such a good weekend. I am feeling lost right now. It’s not about my career as it was at one time. I am actually enjoying it again. It’s not about my weight loss, although, I am stalled right now, but I still am feeling good about myself for once in my life. I am just feeling a little heartbreak and confusion and I can’t pinpoint what it is about, hence, I am lost. Am I letting everyone down? Why am I struggling? Things aren’t at it’s best, but it for sure isn’t at it’s worst. When I struggle like this and can’t figure it out, it leads to me being angry with myself and I start to spin. Just in time, however, I found this on Facebook of all places. Someone posted what seems to be a picture of a little kids writing. I don’t know who or what to give credit to, but it is worth mentioning, especially since it’s written from a kid’s point of view because, let’s be honest, sometimes the innocence of a kid can touch our heart faster than the mind of someone brilliant. The note says, “If you’re not in a good place today mentally be easy on yourself, be patient with your healing. Sometimes it’s slow or even feels like you’ve gone backwards, that’s ok” and then he or she draws a heart next to ok.

I decided to post about this today because I want everyone to forgive yourself for being mentally tired. You are not expected to be perfect. Being a positive person doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel anything negative, it just means you rise and find the positive. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel pain, anger, sadness, frustration, or even lost. You’re still the hero of your own story.

Where’s the Manual?

What is right or wrong when it comes to communicating with the opposite sex? I am always asking myself that very question. Momma always told me growing up that the lady does not chase the guy; she lets the guy chase her, so I have always been afraid to make any kind of move. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I talk myself into making a slight move now and again, but I then constantly second guess myself.

Yesterday, I had three guys messaging me at one time. I told my oldest niece that I wish they would spread out the messaging because I probably won’t hear from any of them at all tomorrow, which is today, and I was right. So I begin to wonder if I am supposed to reach out to them? I am not because it wouldn’t be lady like. I would rather wonder what the hell happen than look like someone that is coming on too strong. It’s not the fear of rejection because, as I have mentioned before, I would rather someone tell me they aren’t interested than to just disappear.

So here is how every conversation ended yesterday. One, I just got a message hearted. I am not sure if I was supposed to reply to someone that just gave me a heart, so I just didn’t. Next, one of the two that actually have my phone number, he had a long day at work and told me when he had gotten home. He then ask me what I was doing. I told him the truth. I was grading papers. I haven’t heard from him since. I guess my life is too boring or I didn’t catch a hint. I don’t know, but that man manual would have been nice to have. The next guy, which is an old friend from about thirty years ago, called and we spoke on the phone for a bit. It was nice to catch up. He said goodbye and that he would try to call today. I honestly didn’t expect him to call, so it’s not really a big deal that he didn’t, but I am second guessing something I said or didn’t say as to why he didn’t, but he hinted more than once how we should get together and also messaged me after we hung up and said we should talk again. I thought we had already come to the conclusion that we were going to, so I just simply replied, “Okay.” Maybe that was too vague of a response. Hmmm. Man manual, please. This is all silly because we do not have to talk everyday, and, in reality, I am good with not talking everyday, but I find myself wondering if I was supposed to be the one making the first move today. Hmmm…ding ding! Manual!

I have never been good at this, ever. I am not good at catching hints or cues. I don’t know how the hell or why I am so awkward. I really do have so much to give someone, but I seem to talk myself into believing that I don’t. I even start to worry about meeting up with someone in person and how they might regret meeting up with me at all. Anyway, I hate playing this game. I have always loved the idea of being with someone, but I hate the whole process of getting there. Ugh. Can’t my someone just come riding up on their horse, knock on my door, hand my a bouquet of flowers, and tell me that it was always me that they loved? What? Too much? It would be so much easier on me. ha ha….

Anyway, if you are a man and are reading this, how about you send me that manual now.

What Made You You?

I read something the other day that really touched me. Maria Consiglio said, “Both narcissists and empaths suffered from early childhood trauma. The empaths took that pain and became more compassionate, not wanting others to suffer the same fate they did, while the narcissists got angry and decided to take their anger out on the world. Vowing to put themselves first. Empaths were strong enough not to let the trauma destroy their goodness, while narcissists were weak and let the trauma overcome them.” As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I am an empath. I feel the pain of others. It can be very heavy at times, so I think that is what drew me to this quote. However, I can’t think of an early childhood trauma. I look back at some of the choices I made as a child and often wonder if I did experience something and just can’t remember it. I do know, though, that I did experience something at 19, which I have spoken about in one of my first blogs. After reading the above quote, I tried to think as to when I became on empath. I have always been kind to people and hated it when they suffered, but I think I was more sympathetic than I was empathetic. I think after my trauma at 19 was when I became more empathetic than sympathetic. So if I was to write a quote like the one above, I would take out “early childhood trauma” and just change it to trauma. I think that whether you are a narcissist or empath is already somewhat ingrained in you, and when you go through a trauma that personality trait becomes more prevalent. In my case, I became aware of other’s pain. I did not want them to feel what I had felt. I often mention what a toll empathy can take on a person; however, if I had to choose between being a narcissist or an empath, I would choose empath every time. Taking care of others, loving others, and even carrying their pain, is so much more of a reward than just carrying my own load. I love to see someone succeed and win. I love to see someone smile. I love that I have compassion. I guess this could be a positive spin on the trauma I went through because wanting people to win is a success story in itself.

Yes, I Am, I Am Awkward

In my newspaper class we spend time talking about cool items that could be in the newspaper. Since it is a small class, I like to get to know my students even more than I get a chance to know them in my bigger classes. As we were talking today, I told them that I am an awkward person. You know the kind that responds with “Green” when someone asks how your day is going. Yes, I am that awkward. One of the students looked at me and said, “There is no way you are awkward.” I told them I truly was and they still didn’t believe me. So a couple of things came of this. One, I am glad that I can be something to my students. I was too fearful and too unsure to push myself to chase my dreams or to step outside of my box. So I now use this experience as an opportunity to push my students to 1) Be true to who they are. 2) Step out of their box and live those dreams. I have no qualms with telling my students who I am because I want them to know that no matter their struggles they can rise above and become who they want.

However, with this student questioning my awkwardness I started to question it for a bit. Am I really just socially inept? So I played around with the word awkward to see what all I could come up with and you guessed it, I came up with some pretty good quotes. One of my favorites, “The awkward moment when the awkward moment you thought was awkward wasn’t really awkward and you created an awkward moment by thinking that a non-awkward moment was actually awkward and now is awkward.” That’s a lot, but fitting because it fits my overthinking everything mentality. By the way, author is unknown as far as I could tell. The next quote I laughed at was “I don’t need to flirt; let me seduce you with my awkwardness.” ~ Janet Gwen I laugh at this one because I might actually be the worst flirt in the world. And finally, one that I am going to get made into a shirt is, “Hi, I’m awkward.” Now that probably leaves you asking, “Why would she be celebrating in her awkwardness? Well, I ask you, “Why not?”

I think the fact that I have always been awkward has held me back because I was so convinced that something was wrong with me. Instead of loving everything about me, I have chosen to pick myself apart. Instead of embracing my awkwardness and laughing at my silliness, I overthought every situation I was in, or even worse, I would overthink situations that might happen. I feel by recognizing who I am, awkwardness and all, will only help me with my growth, and if you’ve read my earlier blogs you know that my personal growth is my focus right now. So I will end this with another quote I found and it just simply says, “It’s weird not to be weird.” In the end, the only way you can grow is to be YOU. So embrace and love all of you.

I think the fact that I have always been awkward has held me back because I was so convinced that something was wrong with me. Instead of loving everything about me, I have chosen to pick myself apart. Instead of embracing my awkwardness and laughing at my silliness, I overthought every situation I was in, or even worse, I would overthink situations that might happen. I feel by recognizing who I am, awkwardness and all, will only help me with my growth, and if you’ve read my earlier blogs you know that my personal growth is my focus right now. So I will end this with another quote I found and it just simply says, “It’s weird not to be weird.” In the end, the only way you can grow is to be YOU. So embrace and love all of you.

Hmmm, It’s Called Shifting

All this time I said I was reinventing myself, which I do think that is what I am doing, but I found something that I read and it instantly made me think about my transformation. I am not quite sure if you would consider it a quote or poetry or in between but here is what it says:

Shifting: As you are shifting, you will begin to realize that you are not the same person you used to be. The things you used to tolerate have become intolerable. When you once remained quiet, you are now speaking your truth. Where you once battled and argued, you are now choosing to remain silent. You are beginning to understand the value of your voice and there are some situations that no longer deserve your time, energy, and focus.

I do believe this describes me at this moment in time. I am shifting. I am living life for me for once. I am trying new things and new ideas. I want to be known as Dawn and not so and so’s mom, sister, daughter, or aunt, and I intend to just make that happen. I will no longer live in someone else’s shadow, but instead I will be in my own spotlight. I will not waste my energy on things I can’t control, I can’t change, and if it doesn’t affect me. I will not sit back and be walked all over. I am shifting.

This is growth and it is real and it is freeing and it is about damn time. Are you ready to join me?

P.S, I am proud to be so and so’s mom, sister, daughter, and aunt. My family means everything to me, and I will always be here for them. I just can’t let that be my only identity anymore.

Just Touching Base

In previous blogs I have mentioned that I am not sure my career is what I want to do anymore. This past Thursday I started my tenth year of teaching. Three days prior to that I started my professional development days miserable while people walked through the doors with an optimistic and cheerful attitude. I sat at a hidden table where I could read my book on my phone because I didn’t know if there was where I belonged. Two days prior to school starting, we had our annual open house where students come and find their classrooms and meet their teachers. I was happy to see the students I will have, but what made me even happier was when my past students popped in to see me. However, that hole was still there. Thursday started up and students came in my room. I was more relaxed than I have been in my past years. Not sure why. Maybe because I am a badass bitch now (ha ha reference to past blogs). Old students would pass my class going to their new class and say, “Can I just come back to your class?” Where I would reply, “You can come back, but you won’t graduate because you have to have the other classes as well.” Some would laugh and just simply say, “Okay.” But there were some that said, “So, I want to stay with you.” By the time I got home Friday evening and I started to reflect over the last two days, I realized that it’s not my career that I am second guessing. It’s me. I thought I didn’t connect with my students last year and come to find out, I did. I think it isn’t my career I am not happy with, but it is my home town. This is all I’ve known since I was in 7th grade when I moved here. Oh, I grew up and moved away for a bit, but it was only a town over, so can I really say I ever left? So where does that leave me? No where. I am still going to stay here. The fact of the matter is, although, I am ready for a new me, there are parts of the old me that I will not let go of and one of those is being here for my family. I have talked about up and leaving, but I have two younger nieces still in school in the school district I teach in. Next year, one of those will be in my building and in two years, she will be in my class. The younger one is only in fifth grade, but she cries if I talk about moving. I have been her safe haven since she started school in this school district. She has always come to my classroom before and after school. The thought that that might change for her, scares her. So it looks like I am here for awhile, but I refuse to just go through the motions. I think maybe I will change up some of my teaching style. Whatever I need to do, but I am glad that I came to the realization that it isn’t my career that isn’t quite right.

On one of my dating websites it asked if my life was a book what would the current chapter be titled, and I said “Reinvention.” I do feel I am reinventing myself. I feel I am working through some past and present pains, but the future me will be better because of it.

What would your current chapter be titled?

P.S. Still hating the online dating thing. Why can’t someone just walk into the room, our eyes meet, and there is an instant connection, and we fall in love? Oh, that only happens in the movies? Damn movies! Always lying to me and getting my hopes up!

Well, That Explains It

I am going to do an exercise with my class. The exercise required me to look up several quotes. In my search of quotes, I ran into this one, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I was a little stunned when I first read this quote, shook my head, and read it again.

First of all, I want to lead with telling you that I am not back stepping. I am; however, struggling a little and I can tell you that it is probably because I am exhausted. This is my first week back to work since we got out in May. I worked a camp the end of June, but that wasn’t a mental exhaustion. I read this quote and I had to agree. I think that I have never fallen in love because I have never felt that I deserved it, hence, I have always been alone. Isn’t that crazy? I never thought about it until I actually read this quote. I ask myself all the time what is wrong with me. Why can’t I find someone? I have even asked myself that lately do to zero success in the online dating pool. In reality, the only thing truly wrong with me is me. Subconsciously, I have never felt that I deserved love; consequently, I have never allowed myself to be loved.

Self-discovery. Isn’t it grand? I deserve love and I deserve love that is unbelievable. Love that leaves me speechless. Because I am one of a kind, one that will treat you so well that it is only me that you see. I am beautiful, inside and out. I have a good sense of humor. I am independent, but soft enough to let you help me. I will make sure you feel like a man, while I am your lady.

So from now on, I will be ready for the love I deserve. I will not be my own worst enemy talking me down every step along the way. I will no longer settle for less, and you should not either, ever.

Emoji This!!! 🖕🏼

Hahahaha, the title, but you may get what I’m about to talk about. As mentioned in a previous post, it’s all in the title.

I use emojis, but I never have really paid attention as to when I used them the most. However, these last few guys I’ve spoken to on this online dating site have responded with emojis. How the f—- am I supposed to reply to emojis? First guy I was speaking to, the last thing he said to be before he disappeared was “Good morning 😃.” The next one, I complimented his tats. We all know from a previous blog, I am really into tats. His response was 😘😘😘. Not one 😘, but three. What am I supposed to do with that? Final one, which was this morning, and the one that sparked this blog, was just a simple 👍🏼. He initiated the conversation and we chatted a little, but then I get the thumbs up emoji. Does that mean we are through chatting? I’m assuming so because I don’t know how to reply.

I’m kind of guilty of sticking an emoji in when I am at a lost for words, but I didn’t realize this until it happened to me. We all know that technology has crippled our communication skills, and this, my friends, is only further proof.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling people not to use emojis because I’m sure I will still use them, but I will think a little harder before I just simply stick one in. We need to work on how we talk to people. Tell people what you want and why you want it. Tell people how you feel. Don’t leave people guessing. Sometimes the truth hurts, so work on delivery; however, I want to know the truth more so left wondering what just happened.

Just Take the Compliment

Are you the type of person that can’t take a compliment? It either makes you uncomfortable or you don’t or can’t believe someone is saying something great about you? Me, I am that person. My progress with my weight loss is being noticed, and when someone tells me, “You look great.” I respond by saying, “Thank you, but I have so much further to go.” Why can’t I just say thank you? I do, I have about 30-35 more lbs to go before I will be satisfied, and I don’t want people to think I am complacent, I guess.

Other times, my oldest niece is so sweet to me and she is always giving me compliments and I simply just shut them down. She tells me over and over again, “Just take the compliment.”

Tonight at Open House I had students from last year pop in and tell everyone that I am the best English teacher ever. My response, since they are just now juniors, was to inform the parents that were in there that they have only had me as their high school English teacher (small school) so they don’t really have anyone else to compare to. Why couldn’t I just take the glowing recommendation and smile? We all know, well, if you’ve read my previous blogs, that I have been struggling with my career lately, so to hear previous students love me this way is something I needed to hear, but instead, I just shake it off.

Do you think people get mad when they give someone a compliment and that person more or less turns it away? The person receiving this adulation should make sure that the praise is appreciated. I have never wanted to be put on a pedestal. I have never wanted to be the one excepting the honors. I don’t know why. When someone compliments my weight loss, I don’t see what they see, not always anyway. When a former students sings my praises, all I see is someone that can be better. I appreciate it so much when someone sees something positive about me, and tells me, but in the end, I don’t see what they see and that is just sad really.

I think, though, with the progress I am making. With me starting to see how beautiful I really am. With me trying to get back to the badass bitch I was when I was a younger girl, maybe compliments won’t make me so uncomfortable one day. Maybe I will be able to believe what I am being told. Yep, another goal to put in front of me, and it is about time that I do.

If someone sings your praises, if someone tells you how great you are, take it as so, and simply look at them and say, “Thank you.” I am still working on it, but those are two words that I definitely need to put in my mind and heart because people don’t genuinely tell someone something just to be telling them something. Most of the time people won’t say anything at all rather than give you a false admiration. Yes, you will have those that don’t mean what they say, but why is that your problem? Why worry about who is being fake and who isn’t? Just simply look at them and tell them thank you. After all, hearing good things about you should be a GOOD THING.

Make Sure You Follow the Cookie Crumbs

If you have just now found my blog, make sure you go back to the very beginning. Where’s My Lipstick was started because over the last few months I have been in a really bad emotional and mental state. I have always been the person that held my pain in because I didn’t want to be a burden to others, but this blogging has allowed me to open up and in the process I have been finding myself. I know this person who I am becoming will not be liked by some, but it is about time I step out of the mold people expect me to be in. I do hope my loved ones realize that this change isn’t about them, but it’s about me and this change needs to happen due to the fact that living your life lost is no way to live. I am ready to live.

Please don’t wait 50 years to help yourself, to believe in yourself, and to love yourself. However, if you have already waited this long or longer, trust me, it is not too late. Break out of that container you or other people have forced yourself in, and live your best life. Living for you doesn’t mean you abandon those around you. As a matter of fact, you quite possibly will be in a healthier state which can give you strength to help out even more.

Don’t Be a Coward

Why and when did people become such cowards? Yes, this has to do with online dating. So when did it become appropriate to “ghost” someone? Am I the only one out here that would rather be told I’m too ____ whatever than just to be ignored. Honestly, I would rather someone tell me I am too ugly or too fat than just be ignored. You know what I mean?

I have always been a curious person. I want to know why. I am also one of those that likes my observations from the principal in the classroom because I want feedback. I want constructive criticism. I want to know what I am doing wrong, so it can be corrected. I want to be better at whatever I am doing because there is always room for growth. I am also the person that loves closure. I don’t like leaving things unsaid and undone. However, this ghosting seems to be the cool thing to do. Who am I kidding? This isn’t anything new. My son’s father did it. Just left without a phone call or a goodbye. In the long run, I ended up better for it, but it is such a cowardly thing to do.

I know this sounds so judgmental with very little understanding on my part, but I have always been the type of person that owns up to her mistakes. I have always been the type of person that wanted to have closure no matter the pain it caused, it at least offered a way to heal.

I guess, this online dating isn’t for me. I’ve only been signed up for a bit so I shouldn’t be so quick to close the door on it, but I can’t deal with people who take the quick way on everything. People in online dating tend to move way too fast and skip the steps of getting to know each other, and then they just slip out without offering you an explanation. I want someone real, and I am not sure I can find it through the virtual process.

Just be real. Just tell people the truth. That doesn’t mean be harsh and hateful, but give people a reason. Don’t be such a coward.

I Just Don’t Get This Game

I did it. Something I didn’t think I’d ever do. I signed up on a dating website. Results? I hate it. I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what is right or wrong. Some are just too fast or maybe I am just too slow. Either way, it is not for me, but that leaves me with what is? What is for me? I can’t meet anyone the old fashioned way and I am not a fan of this way, so what do I have left? I am old fashioned and a hopeless romantic too, so I want someone that is interested in me to SHOW me they are interested. You know what I mean? I want them to put the work in and PROVE to me that I am worth it. That’s not to say I am a snob and won’t do any work because that is far from the truth. Once I realize a person is for real, I will give them my all. All I ever wanted, as my past blog indicated was to be an amazing mom and an amazing wife. I got half of that that, well, the mom part, I don’t know about the amazing but I try. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I didn’t screw up the wife part. I didn’t ever have it. Long story that I don’t want to get into right now.

I have gotten to the point where cell phone numbers were exchanged. This guy “liked” my profile, so I “liked” his. We exchanged conversation for a bit and then I admitted to him that I would like to get to know him more. He gave me his cell number. I waited awhile because I didn’t want to look desperate or too excited and I also don’t know the rules. I text him the next day and told him that this is my number. We exchanged greetings and left it at that. I haven’t heard from him. I have a self help book that I am listening to and it says to let him reach out to you and that it may take a couple of days, so here I am waiting. Not sitting by my phone waiting, but not reaching out to him because I am supposed to let him contact me first. Maybe a guy should write a self help book for women. Oh wait, didn’t Steve Harvey do that? I need to go and check it out. I say that because it is easy for a woman to tell a woman what works, but she’s not a man and doesn’t have the mind of a man so how does she truly know what works and doesn’t? This isn’t really about this one man. I only spoke to him for a bit, but it’s about the whole process. Me constantly guessing if I am doing it right or wrong? And then, if you’ve read past blogs, you know I am extremely hard on myself, so I begin to question what I am doing wrong. Why doesn’t someone see the value and beauty in me? This book says the normal, that it’s not about looks that a man is interested in, but then she says, “Oh, they have to be attracted to you before they decide to get to know you, but it’s what’s on the inside that keeps you there.” So then I begin to question my outer beauty. Why can’t I pull someone in so they can see what is on the inside? I must be hideous. I know I’m not, but I begin to wonder. It is a vicious cycle.

I came across a TikTok where a guy is standing on the beach with some music playing and there is a caption that simply says, “This is a shout out to all the single women out there that complain about being single but never got out. Just waiting for Mr. Right to break into your house.” I laughed because it really is true. I want my Prince Charming to come riding up on his horse and tell me that it is me; it has always been me. 🙂

I really do want to meet someone. I always have. I just can’t handle the psychological games. I really believe that I am worth it. I really do believe that if I met someone today and they took a chance on me, they would never regret it. BUT, how do I get there?

What’s In a Title?

Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I know you have all been wondering about what is up with the title of my website, Where’s My Lipstick? How many of you stumbled on this and started to read the blogs and think, “This isn’t about makeup.” Or you saw the title and you thought, “Oh yes, another makeup site.”? Well, let me take a brief moment to explain.

I have a Dolly Parton shirt that says Guts, Grits, and Lipstick and then I have a makeup bag that has a quote from Audrey Hepburn that says, “On a bad day there is always lipstick.” I do love me some makeup, but the title of my website is really symbolism. Man, I love symbolism. I make sure and teach my students about this because literary elements always adds interesting color and behavior to your writings. So what is the symbolism to Where’s My Lipstick?

If you have read my blogs from the beginning or at least read a few of the blogs at the beginning, you would see the pain I have been put through either by other people or myself. However, this pain has not stopped me from rising each day, dusting myself off, and continuing on. Have you figured out the symbolism yet? Yep, it’s about looking your best no matter how you feel or what you have been through. Sometimes the lipstick is just simply hiding my pain, but other times, it is exemplifying my victories. Either way, my lipstick is my symbol that I will always rise, apply my lipstick, and smile. I mean, after all, every day you are given is a gift.

If there are days that you need to apply your lipstick, or whatever it may be if you are not a lipstick wearer, to hide your pain and just to get you through the day, then wear it proudly. If there are days you want to put some color on your face because you have a smile you want to magnify, then wear it proudly. You are beautiful and you deserve all you desire.

Learn to Breathe

So, I have a confession. I was in a training today, well, the last two days, but today we were looking for some curriculum we may want to implement within our school and I ran across this title and I thought what an amazing title for a blog. If you are a writer, can you do that? Can sometimes a title or even one word be enough inspiration for you that you just want to write? One time I assigned an essay or story to my creative writing class and I simply just gave them the word “blue” and told them I had no guidelines or rules other than the length I requested. Those students went all different directions, but I was wowed by their responses. Sometimes when we aren’t put in a box and contained, we can do many great things.

Back to the title, Learn to Breathe, made me think about how stressors in life can totally weigh us down to the point that it feels like we are drowning and can’t breathe. When in reality, if we just stop, step back, take a breath, we will realize that there is nothing we can’t overcome.

If you have been following my blogs, I have been in an emotional turmoil about my job. I have had a few veteran and retired teachers tell me not to ever quit teaching because the kids need someone like me. I was told once the art of teaching can be learned, but the heart of teaching is just natural and it can’t be learned, and I had the heart of teaching which was rare. All signs that I belong where I am career wise; however, I have felt the pressure of my job strangling the life out of me. These last couple of days, I spent some time with some of my co-workers that allowed me to take a breath. It’s like the grip of my decision finally let go of my neck, and I taught myself how to breathe again, and I am ready for the new school year.

Think about it, In order for us to live, we have to breathe. That is a physical fact. But metaphorically, it works as well. We may be overtaken by something that makes us suffocate emotionally and mentally, but when we “learn to breathe” we can work through the pain and come out on top.

So next time you feel as if the world is pulling you under and you can’t breathe, step back, regroup, rise up, and just breathe.

Why Is This So Heavy?

God gave me a gift. He gave me the ability to experience the feelings and emotions of another person. This isn’t saying that I have some sixth sense. I am simply saying that I am an empathetic person. Yep, God made me empathetic. Yet, sometimes I ask God why he gave me this gift because I can promise you it isn’t always easy. My empathy goes too far sometimes. For one, my older niece talked me into watching the show Love Island and while watching it it reminded me why I can’t watch these type of shows. I had to quit watching shows like The Voice and American Idol because when someone is voted off, I feel their pain. I know that seems silly. After all, these are people on television that I don’t even know, but when someone hurts, I hurt.

Today, I was sitting through a training at school. We had to go through some “test” so to speak, you know, to figure out what type of teacher we are. First two, I was answering, and thought, “What am I doing wrong? I am barely saying yes to any of these.” Then the box for empathy came up. Ding, ding, ding. Yep, full blown. So when we were discussing, I got emotional. I told them that there are so many positives to this. I can feel a student struggling without them even saying the words, which is so good for this student because I can reach out privately and offer help, but I bring this pain home with my constantly. I also let them know that, we, the teachers that feel more are the teachers that are less likely heard when we have to sit through meetings and make choices that will affect the students and the staff. I honestly can’t tell you why I got so emotional with my response. Maybe it’s because I am struggling with my career as a whole. It is true though, I can feel my students’ pain. I wonder if this is why they come to me and vent about things. Whether it be a coach, another teacher, or a friend. I wonder if they know that I feel what they’re going through. Now I want to pause here. I tell them upfront that I will not talk bad about another teacher or coach. I also tell them I can’t fix it. That that is their responsibility, but if they just need to vent then I am all ears. Their response, every time, is “I just need to vent.” I feel I need to pause again and say this. If they are in any danger, I will step forward. A lot of times, it is just them being upset because something didn’t go their way. So yes, I fell in the empathetic category, and it made me stop and think. It is so heavy carrying everyone else’s pain. I don’t know if I would want to be any other way though. So again, it is about finding my release so that I can continue being their release.

With all that said, God gave me the ability to be empathetic. It does get extremely heavy at times. I still have my problems and then someone else’s fall on me. However, I am not a stand by and watch people hurt type of person either, so here we are. My empathetic butt and all. I guess instead of asking God why he chose me to carry this; I will thank him for choosing me.

Find the gift God gave you. Think long and hard about it. Then, instead of asking why, thank him for trusting you. Empathy is my super power, what’s yours?

Not Another Quote!

First of all, I would love to give credit to the person who said this, but the author is unknown. Without further ado, the quote, “Being positive doesn’t mean you don’t ever have negative thoughts. It just means you don’t let those thoughts control your life.” I stumbled across this quote on, of all places, Facebook, and immediately I felt relief. Since I have started this blog, I have had so much personal growth but when I have had bad days I was afraid that I was regressing and I didn’t want to share those types of moments with you guys because I didn’t want you all to think that I was slipping. With all that said, this quote immediately touched me and made me realize that maybe you guys still need to see the vulnerable side of me as well. Of course, I don’t think I have held back too much, but now I know that it is okay for me to let go when I am stumbling.

Not today, I am not stumbling today, but I know there will be days. There will always be days that I don’t feel good enough. There will always be days that I wonder why I am still alone. There will always be days that I miss my really good friends. There will always be days that I wonder why I am in a different place than all my current friends and we can’t get on board or on sync with each other which makes me feel like I have no one when, in reality, I know that it is not true, but those days will creep up, but instead of being mad at myself, I will simply let myself have those days; however, I will not let those days control me.

As I have said in a previous blog. without the bad days, you wouldn’t appreciate the good. When I started this blog I was in a bad, dark place. I am pretty sure that part of the reason I was in that place was the fact that I didn’t want to burden anyone with the pain I carried with me. Although this blog has been 100% therapeutic I need to quit being so hard on myself because 25 blogs later really isn’t going to be my magical number that completely heals me. I need to accept the fact that negative thoughts will occur and it’s okay because what truly matters is what I do when those thoughts do appear.

Final thoughts….you are not weak or sad or pathetic for allowing negative thoughts to creep into your head. As a matter of fact, you are strong and beautiful because you allowed that pain and overcame and made room for the positive. Keep moving forward and keep looking for that rainbow; it will be completely worth it.

Loyalty

Loyalty, it is such an important quality to have, but you truly can become a slave to it. Loyalty is a strong feeling of support or allegiance. But what if that support or allegiance is only one way? Do you give away a piece of you and let go of that loyal characteristic you have? Or do you lose a piece of you by holding onto something that is one sided? My opinion, which it is my blog, so you know I was going to give it. While holding onto something one sided, you are more than likely to lose a piece of you and that could be a pretty solid piece, so in turn, you become lost and forget who you are supposed to be in the first place.

I have a strong sense of loyalty. Have I ever betrayed anyone? Absolutely. And because of this strong sense of loyalty embedded in me, when I have betrayed someone, I was extremely hard on myself. My loyalty that I offer to others is important to me. My loyalty, however, tends to be too extreme at times. I smile really big at what I am about to admit because I am a dork, but my loyalty isn’t just toward people. I tend to have a loyalty to companies and inanimate objects. A couple of examples, I just canceled DirectTV and felt bad about it, but it was a good financial move for me so I needed to do it. Next is my car, I obviously will need to get a new one soon; nevertheless, Dolly, my car, has been good to me and I feel I am breaking up with her. Ha ha. I know, silly, right? Anyway, I give you those two examples to show you just how deep I am into loyalty.

I do think people know this about me though, and take advantage of me. For example, my job. I do my job because I feel I am meant to work with youth. Do I think I will teach until I retire? I don’t know. I used to. Maybe my calling to work with youth was only temporary for the fact that I have been tossing around my happiness with it for awhile now; nonetheless, I will give my students 100% of me. I am there for them, loyalty. My bosses know this and will often time approach me about doing extra because of it. So here I am a slave to my loyalty, yet what am I to do? If I can’t perform a job at 100% then I don’t want to be there; therefore, I am stuck.

I read a quote, I know, another quote. To be honest, I love, love, love to analyze quotes. One of my blogs may just be about that sometime, so if you have a favorite quote send it to me and I will see what I can make out of it. Anyway, back to this quote. It said, “Don’t let your loyalty become slavery. If they don’t appreciate what you bring to the table; let them eat alone.” Hmmmm. Food for thought. Oops, no pun intended or maybe it was. 🙂

Loyalty, again I will tell you that it is one of the best qualities to have. Cicero once said, “Nothing is more noble. Nothing is more venerable, than loyalty.” However, you can’t lose yourself in the process. I do believe this world started to fall apart when we started putting ourselves ahead of everyone else. I think we took it too far when we were told to love ourselves first, and we forgot love our neighbor in the process. Be that as it may, I think we do need to learn to love ourselves, be loyal to ourselves, and know ourselves before we can truly focus on others, but that doesn’t mean to let others go, I want to make that clear. You do, though, have to love you, be loyal and true to you, know who you are before you can give so much of yourself away to everyone else. After all, a reward for loyalty should be loyalty. Are you being loyal to yourself or a slave to others? Remember, find yourself and be loyal to who you are. That doesn’t mean stop doing for others or to stop being loyal to others, but take care of you so that you can be a better you for them. When it’s all said and done, loyalty needs to be returned. If those you are being loyal to aren’t being loyal back, maybe they don’t deserve your loyalty. Maybe you should let them eat alone.

I Would Like to Think I Am a Sunflower

My oldest niece sent me a quote that said, “In a world full of roses be a sunflower.” She followed it up with, “This made me think of you.” I simply replied, “I’d like to think so.” That response I gave her was a true response. I honestly want to be a sunflower, but at first I couldn’t put my finger on as to why, so I’ve been processing the material for this blog for awhile now and now I think I have figured it out.

I am not an expert on flowers, so let me get that out of the way. However, when I think about a rose, I have never seen one grow and stand on its own. I have always seen them on a bush. Roses are beautiful and popular and wanted, man, so many people want them. I mean, roses are the most delivered flower on Valentines Day. So why would I want to be a sunflower? To me, sunflowers are down to earth, bright like the sun (I love the sun), strong, and independent It can stand alone or it can grow with others. I planted several sunflowers last year, and after they die, they are to be pulled up by the root. Have you ever try to pull a 6 t0 7 foot sunflower up by it’s root? Let me tell you, they are strong. Sunflowers have all the qualities I want to have, but there is more.

In looking up some information about sunflowers, I stumbled on some information about Chernobyl. According to shesaidsunflower.com, Are Sunflowers Weeds? Wildflowers? Or Plants? fields of sunflowers were planted after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. They were planted to soak up radiation and clean the soil. Pamela Anne, in this same article said, “If they are a weed, then they’re a weed we need.” Sit back a minute and think about the fact that sunflowers were planted to clean the soil after a nuclear accident. Again, strength.

Yes, I understand that sunflowers aren’t for everyone. Many look at a sunflower and think it’s a wildflower, and that’s okay because I tend to think I’m a wild soul that can’t be tamed, but my purpose is a good one. I’m okay that many will pick the rose over me, but when someone chooses me, the sunflower, you can bet you’ve chosen correctly. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Maybe you view me as a weed, but again, I have so many virtues and when you take the time to see them, you will not want a rose ever again.

It’s okay if you want to be a rose. It’s okay to be anything you want to be, but me, I’ll be a sunflower, bright, strong, reliable, and independent.

PS. I do love sunflowers, but they aren’t my favorite flower. My favorite flower is the tropical flower, hibiscus but the sunflower just fits me.

Do We Have to Choose Just One?

Consistency or persistence? Do I choose one or can I choose both? To be consistent is to adhere to something or it can be a degree of firmness; whereas, persistence is lasting or enduring or constantly repeated. The two are very similar in meaning to me. If you are consistent with something, doesn’t that mean you are persistent too? To adhere to something you have to be enduring.

In my research of these two terms, I found a quote that said, “Persistence will get you there. Consistency will keep you there.” So my above take on the two would be correct, the two can and do build off each other. Why did I wake up thinking about these words? I know you are asking yourself that exact question, and if you are familiar with my blogs, you know I am about to explain.

My weight loss journey has not been an easy one. It is taking me FOREVER. I have lost around 50 to 55 pounds, and yes, I’ve mentioned this before, but damn, it is taking me so long. Some people do what I have been doing and lose so much quicker. I guess my fat loves me too much. I mean, once you get to know me, I am pretty lovable. Okay, Okay, focus. To say I have been persistent is an understatement. Consistent? Yes, for the most part. Dang it! That’s it, isn’t it? I have let consistency stray now and again, but I am consistent on getting back on board. I do allow myself cheat days, especially when I am with my family. I don’t want them to worry about my diet. And exercise, well, I have a love/hate relationship with it. I hate it and it loves to piss me off. Because of this, I will exercise for a bit and then get out of routine and then start back up and then get out of the routine…you get the gist. Right now, I am onboard and being pretty consistent so my persistence to exercise is winning at the moment.

However, even as I mentally argue with myself about my exercise routine, this isn’t even what started this topic today. What started this topic is the scale! Last week I was only four pounds from reaching my NEXT goal. My goals are smaller goals to push me to the finish line, but I am going the opposite direction. I am not doing anything different. I mean, Saturday for my party I drank more than usual so I am sure that comes into play, but come on, that was Saturday night. I have gained four pounds instead of losing it. I can tell you what it is because I can feel it in my feet and hands. For some freakin’ reason, I am retaining water. My fat said, “Oh, four more pounds until your next goal. How about eight pounds instead of four? Let’s see how you like that! Try to get rid of me? I’ll show you.” How many of you flip off the scale when you don’t get the results you want? Nobody? Just me. Yep, I even gave it the ole double flip off, and may have even called it a name or two. What makes all of this worse is I am getting older. My fat has gotten comfortable with my body, so it is only going to get harder. I won’t give up though. I will have a few screaming fits. I will yell at my scale and exercise machines. I will cuss myself out when my inner voice says, “Don’t exercise today!” I will continue to be persistent and hope that my consistency steps in so that I can get to where I want to be.

If we are all honest with ourselves, there will always be something in our lives where we need to put that two word combo to use. Whether it is leaving a toxic relationship, overcoming an addiction, pursuing a dream, or just trying to get healthy, we need to choose to be persistent and consistent, so that we can be successful. I really want success, so that two word combination will always be involved in my life.