Something Personal

When we think of the word 'growing' our minds quickly go to the phrase 'growing up.' I'm going to be 26 in two months and I still don't feel 'grown up.' Grown up to me means you're done growing. I don't want that to be me. Ever. I'll probably always consider myself a girl. Even as a mom someday, as a grandmother someday. I hope 20 years from now I still say things like 'I'm the luckiest girl in the world' and jam out to the song 'Just a girl.'

On the plane yesterday I was thinking about how much I've changed in the past ten years. (That'll happen to you with little to do for five hours by the way!) How I've changed in the past five years. In the past three years. In the past few months. How some of the ideals that once absolutely defined me have changed.

Being caring was one of the top characteristics that once defined me. Ten years ago, I had no idea how strong I was. I had no idea how scared I was. How lost I was. I had no idea who I'd become or who I was. How little direction I had. Back then, I would do almost anything to help someone I cared about. I ALWAYS put others ahead of myself. That was my purpose. I trusted that karma was real. That if I made a big gesture, it'd be reciprocated sometime even if that sometime wasn't soon. That if I was a shoulder to lean on to no end, it'd come back to me. That my friendships would last forever. They'd be exactly the same, but we'd have kids. Realistic, right? That I was a young Carrie Bradshaw. That all people changed for the better and they all changed together. That I could teach some people to be happy. That I could fix demons that haunted them. That finding a route to adulthood could happen alongside someone else whether that be your high school best friend, your college roommate, your boyfriend, your family.

There's no way for me to say this without sounding jaded but maybe I am? I was naive. I was wrong.

Five years ago, I made excuses for people. I accepted things that shouldn't be acceptable. Things I wouldn't let my friends tolerate if the situation was flipped. I thought things fell into your lap if you were a good person. I still thought friendships would be the same forever. I thought my relationships couldn't change negatively because I cared about them. I worked hard, but made decisions that set me back. I often took the easier way because I thought the end result would be the same.

Again, I was wrong.

 Three years ago, I saw that things weren't changing. Things weren't falling into my lap. Those excuses I made for people? Well, they were getting tiresome. My route to happiness was different than my friends. I started to realize I wanted different things for my life. I found that I was often being a doormat rather than someone who was dependable. I had a sudden clarity about who I was, what I wanted, and the confidence to leave people behind who would stop me from that happiness. I learned I had value, I had a creativity burning inside me that I couldn't shut out, my innate personality would get me far in the business world if I applied myself, I had something special and unique to offer in a relationship. I was someone's dream girl only if they were worthy. I wasn't your stereotypical girl. I was more logical than emotional most times. And I realized it was acceptable and more than okay to be emotional and sensitive sometimes. No one could tell me what I felt wasn't valid.  It was justified to be who I was even if it wasn't always pretty. I learned it's true that some people are toxic. Sometimes saying goodbye is hard. Most importantly, I found out that freedom from negativity is worth whatever 'consequences' come with moving on from what stops you from what you want.

In the past few months, I've realized that it's normal for friendships to change or end. I've realized that with EFFORT and the freedom to allow positive change in others and ourselves, relationships of all kinds can grow together. The effort part is crucial and without it, you will lose in all aspects of your life.

In some way I'm still that girl ten years ago. I will always make an effort. I will try my best with some failure I'm sure to find the positive in people. I will always take the time with people I care about to show them what they mean to me. I'll be of dedicated service to their mental and physical health. But I won't jeopardize myself and standards to maintain relationships. Or believe I can change people. The only control I have is over myself.

I may have been wrong about a lot, but I know I'm not wrong about this: I am the most important relationship I have with myself. Someday I will teach my future daughter to have the confidence to find herself important, to not forget the purpose in being a good person to others AND yourself, to not be afraid of change, and the work and dedication it truly takes to be successful professionally and personally.

The end. If you made it this far, thank you for reading. <3


  1. couldn't have said it better myself! i have a feeling 26 is going to be a good year for you! xo.

  2. Loved reading this. It is so refreshing to know that we are not alone in being young and naive!!! And the crazy thing is, we still have so much to learn :) Cheers to 26!! It's a great year. It's been one of my best. You will rock it!

  3. oh i loved this! looking back and reflecting on life sometimes is such a refreshing thing. it's crazy how at the time we think we have all the answers, we think we know who we are, but looking back you are able to see how far you have come. we are always changing, always growing, and it's kind of nice to know that we can never stop being better versions of ourselves. love.

  4. I thought I was the person I was going to be when I left for college... But 4 years later, I had totally evolved. I really have continued to since I graduated - and I think we all do, we are constantly growing and changing. Hopefully for the good, but not always.

    I can't wait for you to teach your daughter all sorts of amazing life lessons. Whenever it is that I surrogate for you... Since you know, a dream equals reality. I hope Jeff likes her when you bring her home and surprise him haha. ;) Sorry, I can't really not be laughing at myself even after reading a serious post.

    I'm glad as you've gotten older you've realized how high your self worth is. And I think you'll realize it's even higher than you think it is even now. You are priceless my friend - there is not enough money in this world.

  5. I'm almost 30 and even though I feel 25 soooo much has happened since then. I wouldn't re-live any of it (well, most of it), and I'm still changing. It doesn't get any easier though, and effort seems to be harder to come by. I'm still learning who my real friends are. I thought I was done with that years ago.

    I hope you continue to grow and learn more about yourself and continue to value yourself very highly. Because you should. xo

  6. Wow, I think you read a page of my diary or something from when I was in my mid-20's! I think it is such a relief when you hit that defining moment in your life where you decide to shed that "doormat" mentality. I remember when I finally started to accept the fact that friendships, people, and even yourself change over time and it felt so good to walk away from things that were negative or what not and the best part... you don't feel sorry about it , you don't feel like you own anyone an apolgy!(like you do when you are younger)Good post!

  7. Love this, so true, you're remarkable!!


  8. Hollie, this is beautiful! Thank you for sharing. At 36.5 (my half bday was a couple weeks ago), I've started yet another journey of self-realization and discovery, and these words of yours couldn't be more true:
    "Most importantly, I found out that freedom from negativity is worth whatever 'consequences' come with moving on from what stops you from what you want."
    Thank you!

  9. I am with you! I am married and I still feel like a little girl sometimes. In fact the other night I said Jon, isn't marriage so fun, it's like a sleepover every night haha. I had a similar experience to yours almost 3 years ago (in fact in a few weeks it will be 3 years) and I totally left what I knew and was comfortable with to move on to bigger and better things. It was scary but I broke up with a guy I thought I would marry, I decided to graduate college early and I made a vow to put my faith in the Lord first. I no longer surrounded myself with people who brought me down but finally saw the purpose for it to the fullest! You need to follow your heart, even if it is a huge leap of faith, leaving what you know behind. I love that you said the most important relationship is with yourself. You can't possibly have a nurturing relationship with others if you aren't 100% secure in who YOU are! xoxoxo Hollie

  10. completely on the same page with you! New follower, can't wait to catch up on your posts :)

  11. Such a well written post! I think this is one of my favorite ones you have written :)
    I'm in transition place in my life right now since I just finished college and it's people like
    you that push me out of my comfort zone...that push me yo go after what I know I want & deserve.
    And you know what...I plan on doing just that. So thank you for encouraging me!


  12. genius hollie!! so well written too. its amazing how invincible we feel as teenagers and then how much we change. i really look up to you missy!


Thank YOU for your comments. <3