“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” -Coco Chanel

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Have truer words ever been spoken? Can a girl get an AMEN? HALLELUJAH? PRAISE..okay, I’m getting carried away. But seriously.  This haircut felt so good y’all. I recently cut off 10 inches of my hair and there was such a liberating, freeing feeling attached to it.

First off, I had been unintentionally growing out my hair for the last 7 months or so.  I wanted to get it cut months ago, but my recent battle with eczema had me so self-conscious. The skin on my neck was (and still is) a place where my rashes hit me the most.  I couldn’t bear to be seen by anyone, let alone get my hair cut, and subconsciously, I wanted my long hair to cover my neck to hide the rashes. I’m being honest about this because I know it’s SO easy to look at my photos and go, “Wow! She looks great!” I know that my photos make me look like I’m perfectly happy, but trust me, these last few months have really pushed me to inwardly reflect and find comfort in who I am beyond the appearance of my skin.  Besides the discomfort of having rashes all over you and extremely dry skin, the mental battles I’ve faced have been the hardest.  It’s so difficult to sometimes to be patient with your body and to trust that it will heal.  It’s difficult not to associate your self-worth by your outward appearance.  And so while my photos show me smiling, the life behind those little snaps hasn’t been full of sunshine and butterflies. I genuinely love smiling, and perhaps that has helped me push through–smiling beyond the pain, the discomfort, the insecurities.

But because God is just so good and I am healing, I finally was able to get my hair cut a few weeks ago…and dang, it felt so good.  I started thinking more about how while we are transitioning, literally, into a new season of spring, I am entering a new season in my adult life and it feels really incredible.

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These last few months have been hard, to say the least.  I haven’t felt like myself and have been extremely reclusive.  I’ve found myself protecting my energy, keeping to myself more, laying low, and focusing my energy on me.  I’ve been reflecting on how, for the first time ever, I’ve learned how to say no, unapologetically, and make decisions that truly benefit me.

I think that, as women, we associate saying “no” with weakness.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a “yes” person–saying yes to tasks, projects, commitments that came my way.  But lately, I’ve been saying “no” more.  I’ve had to grapple with how I would be seen by others and confront my fear of being seen as “weak” if I said no. If people would question my work ethic, or judge me for saying no to things.  But I started to realize that if I continued to make decisions based on what others would perceive of me, this wouldn’t allow me to prioritize myself.  Teaching is a job where we give 100% of ourselves to others–to our kids, to their families, to the work…before we think about ourselves. And so for me to really stay present in my job and simultaneously preserve myself, I had to learn to say no to taking on extra work, responsibilities, and roles. And trust me, this was really hard and super new for me.

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Through this experience, I’ve learned that my strength here, is being brave enough to say: “I am not 100% right now, and I need to do these things to take care of myself.” My strength here is having the courage to own my struggles, being honest with those around me about what I was going through, and ultimately, making choices that would benefit me and my ability to heal and focus on my health.

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What this experience has also taught me is the power of our “yes’s”. I recently listened to a podcast episode from “Goal Digger” with Jenna Kutcher, and she talks about protecting the “yes’s” we commit to.  We must be selective and intentional with what we say yes to.  Fiercely protecting what and who we say yes to is vital to the quality of life that we want to live.  Not every project, task, relationship, or social activity requires our attention. I subconsciously used to associate the word “no” with ideas of failure, shame, and guilt.  That if I turned something or someone down, I’d be letting other people down.  I’ve learned to let go of those feelings and genuinely assess whether or not my decisions are benefitting me and whether or not they are meeting my needs.

And so friends, if there’s a takeaway here, it is this:

Decide what your “yes’s” are and protect them fiercely.  Whether it’s family time, time with your significant other, self-care, gym, meal prep, investing in your blog or business, doing nothing but watching Netflix, protect it. If it feeds your soul, fills your cup up, maintains your sanity, protect the “yes” and don’t be afraid to say “no” more than you say “yes.” Practicing this for the last 3.5 months has changed my mindset on what I say “yes” to and has helped me let go of my fears of disappointment. It’s freed up my time so that I can be intentional with what I invest it with.  So that I can unapologetically make decisions that genuinely make me feel good.

Sweet friends, leave me a comment and let me know: what is a “yes” you are committing to protecting? Let’s keep each other accountable and speak it into existence!

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What I’m wearing:

  • Tweed Jumper from Make Me Chic
    • I was definitely hesitant to order from here because it appears to be a sister company to SheIn and the other Chinese clothing companies, but the quality wasn’t terrible and the fit was great! I got a small in this and definitely recommend looking at the measurements of each garment before purchasing. I received SO many compliments on this! Such a hit!
    • The best part is this jumper is $24 and can be even cheaper with 20% off your first order!
      • Here’s another similar option from Forever 21
  • Pink Trench Coat from Banana Republic Factory
    • This coat is currently on sale online for $82!
    • I got this in store and it was 60% off the sale price, so I actually got mine for $34. Talk about a SCORE!
    • Here are a few other options from Nordstrom:
  • Pleated top from Forever 21
    • I love this top so much that I bought it in 3 different colors! Such a great work top that does really well with layering or just by itself. Extremely comfortable and not see through on the parts that matter. Highly recommend!
  • Stockings from Target
    • These are only $8.00 and so worth it!  A must for transitioning to spring.
  • All weather booties from Target
    • My exact pair are sold out, but I linked a similar one!
  • Ring Bucket Bag from Target
    • This is from the new line Universal Thread and I could not be more in love! The quality is great and it holds a good amount of stuff. The only thing I would change about it is having a zipper closure instead of a magnetic snap.  But overall, I really love it!

 

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