I Didn’t Think It Would Be This Way.

“One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life. And with that, she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them. So, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor and grace. She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.” – Kathy Kinney

 

I didn’t think it’d be this way. I never thought life could get so messy, so confusing, so out of control. I’d done everything in my power to live the “perfect” life. I’d gone to school, gotten straight A’s, participated in activities, went to church and tried to be a good human.

Yet it never felt like enough.

I thought all of my good deeds and careful choices would spare me of the heartache and pain that seemed to fill this ugly world. I thought my kind heart and gentle soul could keep me from sorrow, but I was wrong.

I didn’t think it’d be this way. I never thought I’d lose my best friend at such a tender age or experience a gut wrenching break up with an ex that would leave me feeling paralyzed. However, I intimately learned the saying “love hurts.”

I never thought I’d hang out with the wrong crowd or do things behind my parents’ backs like some typical rebellious teen. I thought I was better than that. Yet I partied and made bad decisions sometimes for no good reason at all.

I never thought I’d struggle so heavily with anxiety and depression as a teenager. I didn’t think I’d battle with self confidence or self love either. On the outside I appeared so confident, so in control, but on the inside I was drowning.

I could’ve never imagined the struggles I’d face in college. The sleepless nights, the drunken disagreements and feeling like I might not make it through nursing school. I remember asking myself what the hell I was doing putting myself in these risky predicaments…

Yet I could never bear to hear the truthful answer to those questions.

I never thought I’d be so cruel to myself. I truly was my own worst enemy. I never thought I’d look in the mirror and be hateful to the reflection staring back at me. Despite all the good things I’d done in the world, I was never good enough in my own mind.

I never knew I’d be single into my latter 20’s. I figured I’d follow the pattern of my hometown and be married with children by 24 years old. I thought I’d grow old in my tiny Texas town and never leave. I thought that was the only life I could live.

I never knew I’d be given such opportunities by simply moving away from home. I didn’t know I would find so much happiness in recreating myself…new town, new me. I had never realized just how claustrophobic I felt in that place.

I never realized realize how much I missed out on by giving in to my fears. I was terrified to start over away from my family, and with this fear came tons of missed opportunities. I’d never comprehended how much my wings were bound until I broke away and flew.

I didn’t think life would be this way. I never thought I’d have moments of complete emptiness, moments when breathing seemed like an unimaginable task. I didn’t know that anxiety would be something I’d deal with my entire life, a problem that I could never permanently fix.

I didn’t think it would be this way. I thought I could get through life without ever losing a family member. I thought they’d all meet my future spouse, attend my wedding, and hold my future children while we shared stories around the table…and then my Grandpa passed away.

Yet another dream crushed.

I never thought I’d experience the rollercoaster effect of feeling so lonely while also feeling happiness. I never thought it was possible to find joy in the pain and light in the sorrow. I never thought I’d be one to feel weak and alone.

While I didn’t think life would be this way, I’m extremely pleased and grateful at how my life has played out. While I didn’t understand the struggles and grief in the past, I’m beginning to understand them now.

I now see that through pain and heartache comes growth. I realize that losing someone makes you hold onto others a little tighter. It forces you to realize the amazing people you have in your life and reminds you to never take them for granted.

Through heartache we learn to love again. We find that our heart can repair itself and become even stronger than before. We may put up a wall, but it allows us to see who is willing to break it down to be in our lives. It teaches us that our hearts are indestructible.

While I didn’t think life would be this way, each and every experience has made me who I am today. Each trail and tribulation has shaped me into the kind yet wise soul that I am now. While I still try to find the best in others, I’m no longer naive to those who try to hurt me.

I’m stronger than ever before, full of scars but also full of wisdom.

Life really does have a funny way of working out. While things that try to break us may hurt like hell in the moment, their meaning ultimately comes full circle in God’s timing. We don’t understand the pain we initially feel, but later on we often see its purpose.

And while I didn’t think life would be this way, I’m forever grateful for this crazy life I’ve been given. I’m truly thankful for every high and every low, every victory and every defeat. Now I know that although life’s struggles might knock me down, they will not keep me there.

Our lives are our own, and the choice is always ours. Will you choose to dwell on your shortcomings and grieve what you thought life would be, or will you choose to rise each morning with a grateful heart and a fierce perseverance? The choice is ultimately yours…

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell 💋

The Unfortunate Ones.

“It’s time to distance yourself from the people who let you down, the inconsistent ones. it’s time to start loving yourself.” – Billy Chapata

 
I hate to tell you this, but you are the unfortunate ones. If you play any part in my life, I must apologize in advance. I apologize for the person you will be dealing with, the person who has changed so much over the last few years.

I apologize because you will no longer see the weak and innocent soul that once consumed this body, the girl who would do anything for anyone without a second thought.

Now, I’m not saying this generosity has been permanently removed from my DNA. I’m merely no longer naive to the ulterior motives that now seem to drive the human race. I no longer turn a blind eye to the harshness and cruelty in the world.

There was a point in my life where I would turn away from things that broke my soul…child abuse, animal torture, violence, broken hearts, etc. Yet, I discovered that those terrible things happen whether I like it or not.

Leaning to accept this uncomfortable fact allowed me to accept many things about myself as well. I learned to stop making excuses for people who hurt me time and time again. I learned to cut people out of my life that wanted to use me for what I had to offer.

Ultimately, I learned to accept the fact that the world is a cruel place filled with a human population that is overrun with sin, abuse, manipulation and negativity. I hated giving in to this reality, but as I looked back on my life I realized it too was full of unpleasant moments and memories.

Upon this realization I decided to make multiple changes in my life. I started cutting out those who had done me wrong (on numerous occasions). I started separating myself from things that didn’t bring me joy or positivity. I ran from people and things that caused me heartache.

Now, I am by no means a perfect person (I’m far from it to be honest), but I try to live a positive life by being the best person I can be. I pride myself on being a Nurse and Humanitarian, giving back to those who need it most. I try my hardest to make a positive impact in the world.

Yet, I’ve found too often that many people seem to only be looking out for themselves. Their selfish nature not only feeds their ego, but it causes them to hurt others emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically.

I’m grateful to have never experienced the latter, but mental and emotional trauma can sometimes be just as damaging.

Going back to the beginning, I must say “sorry” to everyone in my life. Unfortunately from now on you will have the realistic me, the one who doesn’t fantasize about fairytale happy endings and white picket fences.

You no longer have the girl who is willing to give and give and give with nothing in return, to be trampled on without saying a word. There is no longer a quiet soul who finds an excuse for every bad thing that happens in life. Screw that.

There will always be good and bad people in this world. There will always be heartbreak, cruelty, disappointments and sadness. I’m completely aware of this. However, in this day and age we are able to decide what kind of life we want to live.

We are in control of our own destinies, living in a world full of endless possibility. We have the freedom to move to a new city, start a new job, create our own company and include people who truly matter to us in our lives. We are no longer pinned down by our pasts or backgrounds.

In 2017, we are able to be whoever we want to be, to create a fulfilling life full of love and happiness. We are able to choose our friends, our spouse and ultimately our futures. Unfortunately, so many people will never take advantage of this fact.

I, however, will take full advantage of my choices from now on. I will be extremely selective about who is allowed in my inner circle. I will keep the thick walls up around my heart until I find the right one who is willing to patiently break them down.

I will look for people who have similar goals and aspirations, who long to make the world a better place. I will cut people out of my life without remorse if they continue to do me wrong. I’m not playing games anymore, and neither should you.

This world is full of people (7,500,000,000 to be exact) so why let a mere few take away your joy? Why let one pesky person bring you down? If someone doesn’t love you for who you are then let them go. If someone can’t understand or accept your anxiety or issues then say goodbye.

Gone are the days of compromising ourselves for those who don’t care and the times of giving ourselves to others who won’t do the same in return. We all deserve love, understanding, happiness and a fulfilling life so why let others hold us back from that?

So again, I say “sorry” to the unfortunate ones, the ones who have recently come into my life or those who have stuck by me since day one. My core values remain unchanged, but my mind has a whole new outlook.

There is heartache from the past, but the future seems so bright. I’ll no longer simply allow things to happen to me. I understand that we cannot predict the future, but I’ll now control the impact I allow those events to have in my life…and I hope you’ll do the same.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell 💋

Always Remember.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese

 

Some days you’re going to feel like giving up, like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You’ll feel like that weight is crushing you and that you no longer have the strength to stand tall.

You’ll have moments where you doubt every single decision you make, constantly wondering if you made the right choice. You’ll doubt your self-worth, abilities and who you are as a person.

No matter how great life is going there will always be moments of darkness, moments when the storm seems like it’ll never pass. The winds will howl, the rain will beat down and you’ll begin to wonder, “Why me?”

You’ll have days when you view the world as a blank canvas full of opportunities. You’ll set out for adventures and begin to learn that this enormous planet is full of more beauty than you ever imagined.

You’ll find a refreshing sense of peace while escaping the every day routine of life. You’ll explore places you’ve only read about in books, and while you’re gone you’ll feel on top of the world. Yet, when you return you may feel a sense of sadness, for the joy of adventure has faded and the mundane routine has returned.

You may fall in love, a love that turns your world into rainbows and sunshine. Eventually, however, you may find that love can quickly turn to heartbreak, and that pain may flip your world upside down.

You may start to once again doubt yourself. You may question why you were even put on this Earth if only to experience heartache and pain. You may question your relationship with God, wondering why He chose you to walk such a tough path.

You may lose a friend or loved one tragically and begin to question life itself. You may feel like you’ll never be able to overcome the grief and pain you feel. Death is such a permanent thing, and you’ll never know why they had to leave.

In this life, you’ll undoubtably experience heartache and happiness. You’ll have moments of debilitating weakness and tremendous strength. At moments, you’ll question the purpose of life, but other times you’ll admire its unfailing beauty.

There will be times when you may cry yourself to sleep, unsure of what the future holds and anxious about the times ahead. There will be moments of unexplainable joy, happiness and accomplishments. Life may start to feel like a rollercoaster of emotions with alternating highs and lows.

Yet in those moments of doubt, fear and pain I hope you always remember this…

Always remember that your mistakes do not define you, and your past does not dictate your future. Remember that in times of struggle you are never alone and that the pain won’t last forever.

When you’re feeling broken, wounded and unsure remember to reach out to those around you. Look for guidance and reassurance from those who love you most. Never stop relying on your friends and family because they will help you through even the toughest of times.

Remember to cherish your time with loved ones because nothing is guaranteed. Tell them and show them how much you love them. We never realize how much someone means until they’re gone, and regret is a horrible thing to live with.

Always remember that this life is what you make it. If you don’t like how your life is you ALWAYS have the capability to change it. Change is scary but so is living an unfulfilled life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to live the life you deserve.

Always remember to give love another chance. Our hearts have this amazing way of healing themselves even after they’ve been torn to shreds. Don’t let the wrong person from your past defer you from the right person in your present. Give love a second chance.

Remember to guard your heart, for from it everything flows. Be willing to allow someone to break down the walls you built from previous heartache, but don’t give your love too freely. The right person will be patient and willing to remove the bricks one by one.

Always remember to learn from your mistakes and to take a leap of faith. Nothing good comes from playing it safe. Even if you fail, you tried…and in the end that’s what matters. If you fall, always get back up. Nothing in this world can keep us down unless we let it.

Always remember to put yourself first. It may seem selfish, but you should always be your first priority. You deserve the love and attention you so freely give. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others. You can’t pour from an empty glass.

When anxiety begins to consume you and the darkness closes in, always remember to fight. You deserve to be here, to take up space on this Earth. If you have trouble staying strong for yourself, remember those who love you. They need you more than you know.

Always remember to allow room for change. You may not see the purpose in it right away, but God has a much bigger plan for our lives than we can even imagine. Sometimes change leads us to the things we always wanted but were too afraid to try.

Always remember to chase your dreams. Nothing in this world is impossible, it’s all about mind over matter. If you really want something you will make it happen. Even if it takes a while, continue to fight for your goals. With fierce determination comes success.

Remember to do what you can to help others because you never know when the roles may be reversed. This world is full of people seeking love, acceptance and support…be the person willing to freely give those things. The small act of giving goes such a long way.

Lastly, always remember to be yourself. There is only one of you in the world, and that is your super power. We were each put on this Earth for a reason so never stop searching for your purpose. Make your mark on the world, and it may just leave an everlasting impression on others.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell 💋

Finding Balance In An Unbalanced World. 

“Balance is key. In everything you do. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”Rachel Brathen

 

For most of my life I felt like I was constantly walking on a tightrope, always scared to lean too far to the left or right. I was always afraid to fall, afraid I would be unable to pick myself back up. Let’s just say balance has never been my forte.

Growing up I always jumped from one thing to another whether it was sports, academics, friends or hobbies. I’ve always had a gypsy soul that never let me focus too hard on one thing for too long.

I used to think that was just the way life was suppose to be, a never-ending cycle of things to keep my mind busy. Sure, I’d find myself completely exhausted each day, but it was so much better than sitting in silence with my thoughts. All these years later I realize that was the unwelcome work of my anxiety.

Three years ago I felt like something was just off in my life. I couldn’t explain the feeling, but it was definitely real. I felt like I would achieve a milestone I’d worked so hard for (like getting my first apartment, achieving a Bachelors in Nursing, having a real relationship, etc) but it was never enough. I was constantly searching for the next goal to check off my list.

One of the biggest ways I used my anxious energy was by giving back. I’d become a Registered Nurse because I absolutely loved helping people. I loved volunteering with various groups and doing what I could to help others. I also loved putting my all into my relationship. These things filled my soul and gave me purpose.

One day as I spoke to my Therapist about my constant need to pour myself into others, she said something that stuck with me. She told me, “you can’t fill the cups of others when your own cup is empty.” I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant at the time, but one day the lesson just clicked.

I’d been trying to do things for everyone else without ever taking care of myself. I’d never focused on my physical, mental or emotional needs and eventually my cup ran dry. I learned in that moment that my life had been completely unbalanced for far too long.

Once I experienced this epiphany, I set out on a journey to find balance in my life. However, I realized quickly the road would be tough because our world is so unbalanced. Sadly, our society is filled with enormous negativity which made it really difficult to try to make positive changes in my life.

Although the journey was tough, I stuck it out. I began searching out ways to find peace and balance in my life. I started practicing meditation, started exercising more and started making more time for God. I started doing things that I thought would bring me instant stability, yet something was still off.

I continued to speak to my Therapist about the tiny progress I was making and how frustrated I was that I still had this uneasy feeling. I still felt like I had pieces of my puzzle missing, but I couldn’t figure out what they were. I thought I was doing everything right, so what was the problem?

At that time she encouraged me to get back to things that made me happy, things that I possessed a unique gift for. She encouraged me to write about my feelings and to start doing things for myself, things that made me truly happy. Honestly, I wasn’t sure where to begin.

I’d had my own band for years, but once I moved to a new city our concert schedule had become somewhat  non-existent. I loved music, but it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind at that time. I’d just moved to a new city with a new job, and that was all I could handle with my anxiety.

After thinking about my conversation with my dear Therapist, I decided to dust off the mic and start writing/recording music again. The mere joy I felt by simply picking up my guitar and playing a song was incredible.

I started booking gigs at different venues along with making connections with some people in the industry. A spark had been rekindled the moment I brought music back into my life, and I felt like I’d found one of my missing puzzle pieces.

I started integrating music back into my everyday life. I began to learn how to balance my professional job as an RN with my fun, expressive musical career. It was a small step, but it was a step in the right direction.

After a few months of playing music, I began to have that dreaded, uneasy feeling. I started feeling the aches of my other absent piece. I couldn’t understand why this feeling wouldn’t just go away. I gave in and started exploring what else was missing in my life.

One day as I sat at my computer, I began thinking about my past struggles and my long time battle with anxiety. I’d always loved to write, and suddenly a thought came to my mind. It was in that moment that I started this blog to help myself, along with others, know that they are not alone in their hardships.

My blog took off and before I knew it, it had become a huge part of my life. I got so much joy from hearing the comments about my writings. I was able to work through my own issues while also helping others. It was a win-win that I could’ve never dreamed of. I’d finally found my last puzzle piece.

Ultimately I learned this important lesson, that we have to put in the work to find balance in our unbalanced world. With balance comes happiness, peace and tranquility. Balance allows us to find our purpose in life and live it out full force.

Some people may have that one special thing that fills their cup, and others (like me) may have several diverse pieces that make them whole. Each one of us is unique and original. There is no one in the world like you except for you.

Although the journey is never easy in achieving such tranquility, it’s never impossible. In order for us to find our harmony, we have to find the things that make us happy and use those in our everyday lives. We have to locate those missing puzzle pieces that make us whole.

Balance is something I fear our world will never completely find. There will always be tragedy, always be suffering and always be sadness. There will be negative stories and heinous crime. However, we can’t allow the world to dictate the type of life we live.

Someday you will find all of those things that make you into the complete, unique individual you were meant to be. My happiness comes from balancing my life as a Nurse, a Singer/Songwriter and a Blogger. It comes from expressing myself and helping others.

I finally learned how to fill my cup, and now I’m able to fill the cup of others around me who are struggling. I’m able to give back and encourage those who need it most, and all of this is possible because I found my balance.

So don’t be afraid to take the leap. Find the things that set your soul on fire and give you purpose. Discover the things that allow you to refill your cup over and over again…and someday you’ll be walking on the tightrope without fear of falling.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell 💋

 

5 Struggles That Accompany Self-Evolution. 

“Evolution of the self is not meant to be validated by others. There is no need for validation at all. You are here full and complete. You being your soul. Not necessarily you in the physical world. Nobody and nothing external needs to say yes in order for you to be who you are. You have your own yes to believe, trust and live by. So, live. So, be. Alive.” – Nora Boghossian

Just as the never-ending clock of time continues to tick, we as humans continue to evolve. It’s written from the very beginning of our history. We evolved from monkeys to cavemen to…you get the picture.

Each year we’re presented with new technology, new advances in modern medicine, new and increasingly efficient ways to do things. So as the world around us evolves, it seems natural that we should too.

Now for some, self-evolution is a wonderful and magical thing. Some of us love to know we will forever be changing into our best selves. We know that the older we get, the more life lessons we learn. We figure out ways to adapt to our surroundings, to the demands of our current lives.

For others, this concept can be extremely stressful.

I like to think that everyone fears change to a certain extent. Most people (I presume) would rather have at least a little bit of knowledge of what’s to come. However, there are those who want absolutely nothing to do with this whole “evolution” thing.

There’s nothing wrong with not being 100% thrilled about changing of the self. I understand that some people may really love who/how they are now, and that’s great. However, evolution is in our DNA. Our environments constantly change, so we too must adapt.

With such adaptations and changes, it’s expected that we would face certain fears. Change can bring about a lot of anxiety and questions. We start to doubt ourselves, doubt the process and doubt our abilities. Yet, self-evolution doesn’t have to be scary.

If you experience fear, anxiety or stress with becoming your best self, hop on the train. You are NOT alone in your struggle. Five of the biggest struggles I’ve noticed with my own transition, as well as my friends, are:

1. Fear of Others’ Opinions

“Will I be accepted?” For some reason even the most confident human beings are constantly looking for acceptance. No one wants to be a loner with no friends. No one wants to be misunderstood or rejected by their peers. However, evolving doesn’t mean your peers will change their opinion of you. If they truly love you, they will stick by you no matter what. Don’t let others’ opinions dictate who you really are.

2. Self-Doubt

“What if I don’t like the new me?” With change comes self-doubt. We become so terrified of the unknown that we make up scenarios in our heads. We list all of these unrealistic reasons of why change is bad, and we believe we won’t like who we’ve become. There’s nothing wrong with a little revamping every now and then. We must never let self-doubt consume us. Be confident in who you are, and everything else will fall into place.

3. Fear of Change

“What if I continue changing?” Listen, change is going to happen whether we like it or not. I always say that change can be a wonderful or terrible experience. The more we fight it, the more painful it can be. Yet when we embrace change, we find that it can be a beautiful experience. We change, we evolve, and ultimately we become the best version of ourselves…just like the caterpillar and butterfly.

4. Lack of Confidence

“What if I can’t embrace the new me?” This topic goes back to self-doubt. If you don’t believe in yourself, how is anyone else suppose to believe in you? Lack of confidence severely affects anxiety and depression. We get down on ourselves because we believe we’re unworthy. We think that we don’t deserve happiness, and we feel like we’re not meant to be a standout. All of these thoughts are untrue. We all deserve to be rockstars in our own right. Get out there, show the world your talents and shine bright like the diamond you are.

5. Negative Outlook

“Will this negatively affect my life?” Positive minds create positive vibes. This is seriously my mantra in life. Within the last year I realized just how important positivity can be. When we have a negative outlook on our evolution, it can hinder the process. If we worry about the opinions of others or doubt ourselves, we are ultimately creating an incredibly negative environment. Nothing can properly grow if not given the right surroundings. Therefore, we have to create a positive space to allow ourselves to transform.

 

While change and self-evolution bring about questions, concerns and fears, we must remember the light at the end of the rainbow. The journey may not be comfortable, it may not be perfect, but ultimately we’ll be grateful that we transitioned.

There’s nothing more rewarding than realizing you’ve become the person you always wanted to be. As children, we dream of who we’ll be when we grow up. There’s no reason to let your inner child down. Be the person your inner child would be proud of.

If there’s anything I’ve learned on my journey, it’s that we’re only guaranteed today. In life, it’s so easy to say “oh I’ll do that tomorrow,”  but tomorrow may never come. Just remember that as tough as the journey may be, you’re never alone. Evolve into your best self, and let your rockstar soul shine.

 

XOXO,

Myka Shantell 💋

Learning to Just Be.

“Beware of Destination Addiction: a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job or person. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.” – Robert Holden

The last few weeks have been full of anxiety for me. I’ve been planning trips, working out details of upcoming events, furthering my nursing education and keeping extremely busy to say the least.

I found it really hard to just take a moment to relax, and it started catching up with me physically and emotionally.

I’m a do-er, and I hate to sit around and wait for things to happen. I want to get out there and put my thoughts into actions. In some cases this is a good thing, but recently I was pushing my limits.

Since I was a child I’ve always found it difficult to just be happy in the present, to just be happy where I was. Every moment had to be filled with action, or my anxiety would reach an extreme level. Being in the moment is simply not in my DNA.

When I started this year of transition, I decided I wanted to look into some new practices. I wanted to do things I’d never done before.

Ultimately I wanted to create a routine that allowed me to manage my anxiety better. So I looked around a bit, and after countless hours of research I began my journey of new age spirituality.

One of the main components of new age spirituality is meditation. Honestly, I always thought it was stupid and pointless. I’d watch people meditating and think “what a bunch of crap.” However, this was a time of exploration so I thought, “what the heck, what’s it going to hurt?”

Fast forward almost a year later, and I absolutely love my meditation time. I meditate each morning for at least 10 minutes (it took me a while to be able to sit still that long), and during that time I’m able to reflect on my life.

Through meditation and other practices I’ve slowly began to realize just how important being happy in the present moment is.

Being a Pediatric Oncology Nurse I find myself constantly surrounded by grief and sadness, and sometimes it’s hard to embrace hope. Yet there is also something inspiring about watching how tough the human body can be.

We have so many blessings to be grateful for, but we consistently look for happiness in the future.

If we can’t be happy in the here and now then what’s the point? Today is all we’re guaranteed, and it’s a shame that we waste so many wonderful moments.

I look at the world we live in, and it saddens me. The world has turned to violence instead of love and understanding. While my empathetic nature forces me to feel all of the sad emotions of the world, my hopeful side has taught me to embrace the present.

Each day that we live is a precious gift that we so often take for granted. We are always looking for the next best thing, the next moment for happiness, the next opportunity to live. However, we fail to realize that now is that time.

We will never be younger than we are now. We will never be in as good of health as we are now. Our lives will always be busy, and there will always be things we can use as excuses. It’s time we start living. It’s time we start learning to just be.

So many people would be amazed at how long 5 minutes can feel when you are sitting in complete silence with yourself. I say this because I know from experience. When I first started taking time to reflect, my body sat still but my mind ran a 100 miles a minute.

It takes time and true effort to teach ourselves to stop forging ahead and see all of the blessings our lives currently hold.

There is so much beauty and wonder to be found every day. There are small miracles that are overlooked because we are too busy. Take time to embrace the magic, embrace the wonder. Take the time and learn to just be.
XOXO,
Myka Shantell

 

 

 

Surround Yourself With Love. 

“Surround yourself with the dreams and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee

I realized today that I’ve been single for an entire year, 365 days of only me. If you know me you know this is a huge deal because the last 10 years of my life have been consumed with non-stop long term relationships.

To be honest, I look back on this last year and realize how truly life changing it’s been. This has been the most hectic, lonely, vulnerable, exciting, challenging, heartbreaking, breathtaking phase of my life.

I started the year by leaving a toxic 2 year relationship, packing my bags, and moving to a brand new city. I transported my life to a place where I knew no one and started a new job at a prestigious hospital. I left the security of my family, friends, and a town that had been my home for 25 years. Looking back now, what the hell was I thinking?

To this day I still don’t understand where I got the guts to take this huge leap of faith. As I’ve told my new friends my story, they all seem to have one common response. They each tell me how brave I am. I never really understood why they said that, until now.

I’m really proud of myself for taking a chance on a new start, a new life. It does take a lot of courage to leave everything you’ve ever known for an unknown future. When I first moved here, I kept wondering if I’d made a mistake. I constantly worried that I’d ruined my life, and for a while I let my fear get the best of me.

It’s taken me almost the entire year to finally start finding true happiness in my current life. A few years ago I had a crystal clear dream of what I wanted for my future. I wanted to be married, buy a house, have a baby, and travel.

Sometimes I catch myself grieving that alternative life I thought I’d be living, but recently I’ve began to notice signs of why my life hasn’t turned out that way. At least not yet.

There were many times over the last year that I felt so incredibly sad and lonely. I would curse and yell at God, blaming him for my despair. I had nights that I cried for hours just wishing someone was there to hold me. I know it sounds gloomy, but my emotions run very deep and sometimes dark.

It wasn’t until this “year” mark of being single that I realized there was a bigger purpose to my pain. God has been molding me into the best version of myself in preparation for all the wonderful things my future has to offer.

For so long I tried to fill a void in my life with romance thinking that loving someone else would bridge the gap. This past year I’ve learned to surround myself with positivity and fill that emptiness with self-love.

See, the thing about self-love is no one can ever take it away from you. No one can ruin the compassion you have for yourself. It’s a sacred and beautiful thing, but it also takes a lot of time and practice to master.

I truly believe I’m a good person. I know I have plenty of flaws, but I try to do the right thing and live each day to the fullest. In some weird way I thought being a good person automatically meant I’d end up with Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Yet, I’m learning that life is about so much more.

It’s about loving yourself and those around you. It’s about doing the right thing because you want to, not because you have to. Life is about helping others in need and adapting to your circumstances.

It’s about surrounding yourself with good genuine people who want to see you happy. It’s about chasing your dreams and waiting for the right person to come along. It’s about living.

It frustrates me to no end that in our society being 25 years old and single is like a death sentence. Yes, I am 25 years old. No, I’m not married. No, I don’t have kids. No, I don’t have a boyfriend. So what?

It’s time for our generation to wake up and realize we are unique. Stop trying to fit into a mold just because society says you should. Do the things you love to do, travel the world, follow your dreams. Surround yourself with good people, and you’ll be amazed at how much of a positive difference it makes in your life.

After a year of just me I now realize what’s really important. My new goals don’t depend on a ring or a man, they stem from a deep desire to do what’s best for me. My soul is finally free, and I’m ready to follow my dreams wherever they may take me.

If there are people in your life that are holding you back or not contributing to your happiness, delete them from your life. Wash away the negativity, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light. If you’re struggling with loneliness just take life a day at a time. There is someone for everyone. When it’s right you’ll know, and you’ll be so glad you waited.


XOXO
,
Myka Shantell💋

Lost in Transition.

For a little over 20 years I lived in the same small town. I grew up there, went to school there, graduated college there, fell in love there, and even began my nursing career there. It was the typical small town where everyone knew everyone and everything that happened (supposedly). There was literally no getting away with anything. It was full of gossip and drama, but it was home so I didn’t mind it much.

If you would’ve asked me a year ago if I would ever move away the answer would’ve been “absolutely not.” My entire family lives there, my alma mater is there, my friends were there, EVERYTHING I knew was there. It was my comfort zone. However, one day out of the blue I got an amazing opportunity to work for an incredible company doing amazing work, and I just couldn’t pass it up.

The way it happened couldn’t have been more of a “God thing” because if things did not go the way they did I would’ve never embarked on this new journey. These last 2 months have been one heck of a transition, and I know this is just the beginning. It has been full of many highs and many lows, and each day brings a different feeling.

A sweet friend of mine said I had inspired her by taking a leap of faith and being open/honest about how I’m feeling during this time. Her kind words stuck with me, and I figured why not start a blog to document it? What is a new journey without being bold and open?

So something not everyone knows about me is I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety when I was 17 years old. Now I know every teenager goes through a lot of anxiety, stress and emotions growing up, it’s just part of becoming an adult. However, I would like to give you an insight into what it is like to have actual clinically diagnosed anxiety (hence the name of my blog) not just your occasional bout of stress.

One thing that bothers me the most is other peoples’ reaction to anxiety. The most common responses I hear are “anxiety is not real” and “everyone has stress, get over it.” It makes me laugh when I hear that because trust me I wish they were right, I wish I could get over it and that it wasn’t real.

So anxiety (for those of you that don’t know) is like running on a treadmill while juggling knives that are on fire while reciting a poem while being blind folded. My mind constantly thinks about everything 24/7, I have heart palpitations all the time (I’ve even had 2 scares where I honestly thought I was having a heart attack), I always feel like I have to have a plan/control, and when things go wrong watch out. It’s a really difficult concept to grasp if you’ve never experienced it, but trust me it’s very real.

When I decided I was going to move to Fort Worth, my anxiety was through the roof. A new city, new house, new job, no family, no friends, and leaving a lot of complicated issues back at home. I was fr-ea-k-ing out!

I didn’t really have much time to think about it though because within a few weeks I had put in my 2 weeks notice at my old job, gotten an apartment, moved, and started orientation at my new job. My world completely flipped upside down. I’m not going to lie, there have been a few days that I’ve cried and thought “what have I done?

I’ve had days where I miss my family so much that it physically hurts. However all of that being said this has been one of the best things in my life. I have grown SO much in the last 2 months. I have always been independent, but moving 2 hours away from home is a whole new type of independence for me.

I have had to meet new people and make new friends. That has been one of the nicest things about this transition. No one knows my background or who I dated or how I was in school, they only know me for the woman that I am now. It’s so refreshing. Plus, people here are a lot different than back home so it’s a nice change. I get to build a new life for myself, work at a great organization making a real difference, and learn all about myself.

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned since moving here is how important distance is to showing you who really cares about you. Sure it’s easy to show you care about someone when they are convenient and close, but true commitment comes out when someone moves away to pursue a dream.

I will say I still have a couple good friends from back home, and I’m so lucky to have a lot of family that care about me. Those people are one of the reasons I started this blog. A lot of them have wanted to keep up with my new journey (I’m not sure why, I’m really not that cool LOL), but if I can inspire and help someone else take a leap of faith you know I’m going to do it.

The last thing I will say on my first entry of this transition is if you are contemplating making any change in your life big or small like moving to a new city (check), getting a new job (check), cutting your hair (yep, check), starting/ending a relationship (check), going backpacking in Europe ( I wish), going back to college (no thank you)…DO IT!

It is so cliche but we really aren’t guaranteed tomorrow so why wait to do something? We only have one life so LIVE IT! Take chances, make mistakes, fall in love, go on adventures, make a change, and tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Someone may be here today and gone tomorrow.

So many times in life we fall into an everyday routine. This life is too precious to be ordinary. We may not all be astronauts or millionaires or presidents, but we can all be happy. True happiness and change starts with just one step in the right direction, don’t be afraid to take that step. Seriously what is the worst that can happen?

I know there will be tough days ahead of me, but I’m taking it one day at a time and dealing with life as it comes. I’m finally leaving the past in the past (which is something I’ve never been able to do) and moving forward with my life.

To those who have lost me, I feel sorry for you because you have lost someone who is truly loyal and would’ve done anything for you. For those of you that I will meet in my future, I look forward to getting to know you and seeing how life turns out. Until next time.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell💋