I have to preface today’s blog by telling you that what I’m about to say doesn’t come easy. It is the result of a LOT of tears and a LOT of loneliness, doubt, confusion, and an overwhelming amount of fear. At least for me, anyways. I’m not going to get into that aspect of the journey tonight, but I don’t want you to think that the process of rebuilding yourself is an easy one. It’s not. But in my case (and in many other people like me, too) it is truly the most rewarding and freeing feeling…to design your life the way you dream it to be. To not live life wishing, but to live life doing. I hope you hear my heart and are inspired to fly, my beautiful friends!
I want to talk to you tonight about rebuilding yourself when you don’t like what you see. Let me back track a little bit for you, so you can understand where I was. Two years ago I was unhappy in most areas of my life. I was in a relationship that didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. We didn’t talk. We weren’t healthy. God wasn’t present in our home. I worked a job that I disliked. I felt like I was a valuable asset to my work, yet I never heard much from my colleagues except for negativity. It was exhausting and depleted my energy. Everyday I pulled up into work wondering if that feeling was just part of life. Was I supposed to just deal with it?
Beyond all of this, I hated my body. I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. It took me A LONG TIME to get ready for ANYTHING because nothing “fit right.” But oddly enough, instead of working out and eating better, I would drown my sorrows in more fried, fatty food and tons and tons of beer. It was ridiculous and embarrassing how much Miller Lite this little frame could hold. And at the end of the night, I would secretly hit up McDonald’s on my way home to help prevent a rough hang-over in the morning. I lived life recklessly, to say the least. I lived a long period of time pretending. Pretending I enjoyed my life. Pretending I was “OK.”
I can’t tell you that I woke up one day in a pit and decided enough was enough. It didn’t happen for me like that. It took a lot of baby steps along the way. A lot of long, solo runs where it was simply ME and MY MIND going head to head about what needed to change. And so, I set to work. Step by step I tore down the hideous, old building that was “Brittany.” There was no bulldozer or team of people to help clean up the mess. It was just me. Brick by brick, I tore it down. I peeled it in layers. Friendships that weren’t really friends. Take that brick and toss it. Bad, unhealthy habits. Another brick, reluctant to go. Relationships that weren’t going anywhere. A pile of bricks on the ground that didn’t even fight to be added back. Jobs that didn’t build me up and make me excited to wake up and work. Crumbling down. Things that no longer served me. Gone. I basically tore down the entire structure of what I had considered “life” until it was me. Standing there alone.
This is when it got good.
I believe that this particular “building” I had built for myself was done on a rocky foundation. I wasn’t solid. If I wasn’t solid…how could anything else be?! But here’s the deal. It was ALL MY FAULT. I CREATED THAT LIFE. And I had the power to change it, too. And so I got to work.
I worked on building MYSELF. What did I want in life? Where did I see myself in 1, 5, 10 years? What types of friendships would I tolerate and what type of people would I not? How do I deserve to be treated? What am I passionate about? How can I make an impact on the world? What type of man do I want to build a family with? How can I become closer to God?
Not all of these questions had definite answers, but they had thought behind them. They allowed me to consider what I valued most in this short life we have. The things that are important to me now in life come first, no matter what. I know what I will and will not tolerate and I know what I deserve.
And that, my friends, was a beautiful start.
And now?! Now I’m in a really fun phase. I’m in the phase of rebuilding the layers. Carefully placing new friends onto the structure. Looking at work that inspires me and makes me feel like I belong, filling in each crack along the way. Adding layers of love as I plan my future with Charles. Growing closer to my family in a time when I think we all need it the most. Focusing on my health. Sharing my walk in faith as I awkwardly begin to know God. All of this is being built from the ground up. A new version of me…an “I’m not living that way anymore” kind of mentality.
Through this whole experience, I have gained a lot of insight into what it means to change as well as the true definition of courage. I think people are afraid of change and don’t truly believe they have what it takes to do their life any differently. They feel stuck, almost. I’m here to tell you that, although it isn’t easy, it is POSSIBLE. It doesn’t have to be a bottomless pit that you scream up from to ignite a fire to change. You can just start…like I did. Baby steps. One brick…one layer, at a time. Find out who you are, what you want, and set boundaries for your beautiful self. You truly deserve it more than you know!