The Best Relationship Advice.

I don’t think I ever went to my parents for relationship advice.

Okay, that’s a lie.

I remember asking them how to break up with someone once.

I would usually tell my mom when I liked someone but it was still hard for me.

I know I know..

Hard to imagine that my parents also dated growing up.

That they too had failed relationships that they learned from.

And a marriage that’s going to celebrate 30 years this month.

When asking for any advice to be answered on my blog this question came up.

Relationship advice.

Very broad but I was excited about the idea of it.

I have been in some failed relationships, and a very successful one for five and a half years now.

But I wasn’t fully convinced that I could give the best relationship advice.

I mean I can.

And I will.

But I know two people who could also give some pretty good relationship advice.

My parents were lucky.

They knew pretty soon into their relationship that they wanted to get married.

They were only 20 and 21 when they said “I do.”

And they’re still going strong 30 years later.

Are relationships easy?

No.

But my parents have shown me time and time again what love and a good family can look like and do for you.

I decided to ask them to come up with some relationship advice for my blog.

I thought it would be fun to get advice from a couple I admire.

So if you dread the idea of asking your parents for relationship advice, or want some words of wisdom from me and my awesome parents, keep reading.

Advice from my dad.

Marry your best friend.

Say “I love you as much as you can, every day.”

Laugh and have fun together.

Compliment each other as much as you can. 

Look forward and be excited to see your partner.

Laugh and cry together.

Advice from my mom.

Always say I love you when you leave for work, during the day, after work, and especially before bed.

Even if you don’t agree on something, always tell your partner you love them anyways.

Work as a team, especially with kids.

Communication.

Always listen.

Honesty.

Advice from me.

Laugh as much as you can with each other.

Be with someone you can’t imagine life without.

Never change who you are.

Love will come when you stop looking for it.

Make time for each other.

Say I love you before bed.

I’m going to end this with my favorite piece of advice from my mom.

It was from one of my first blog posts.

I was mad at the world after I got dumped by my college boyfriend.

I was so concerned with what could happen next.

With who would love me or if I would even find love.

My mom said to me, “Before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself.”

And to this day it’s my favorite piece of advice.

The second you stop looking for love and spend time learning to love yourself.

It will come.

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Blog to 2019 Day 2: How to be unapologetically yourself?

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How to be unapologetically yourself?

By far one of the toughest questions I’ve ever been asked.

By someone who I really admire.

I asked people on Instagram the other week if they had any advice for me.

This was the first question I got.

It definitely left my puzzled.

What does it even mean, to be unapologetically yourself?

And do I somehow reflect that to others?

That I am truly unapologetically myself?

Because I wasn’t sure if I was.

I literally question everything.

I doubt myself.

And I wouldn’t say I’m confident.

Far from it, and that’s been a struggle since I was 17.

But I own that.

I own these faults.

I own my mistakes

Because they make me who I am.

Those times I chased down love that didn’t exist.

The times I followed others hoping it would lead me to myself.

Everything I’ve done in life made me who I am right now.

Every scar.

Broken heart.

Mistake.

Has formed the person who I see every morning in the mirror.

And I love her so much.

She’s been through some tough shit.

But she knows how to own it.

You kind of just have to accept it.

Accept those things that you think are flaws.

Those are you.

Because guess what?

We all have them.

Maybe some worse than others.

But we’re all messed up.

We just live in this weird time.

A time that our parents didn’t have to grow up in.

Where all you have to do is pull up Instagram or Facebook and instantly lose self esteem.

People are going to try and tell you that they’re life is perfect.

And it’ll leave you questioning yours.

You might not realize it but it totally does.

Here’s a secret.

None of us have perfect lives.

Why waste your time being so worried about having everything perfect? Or worried about how others perceive you?

My dad never sugar coated things for me as a kid, and I will forever be grateful for that.

I take so much of that into my own life.

Why sugar coat who we are?

Why say that we’re happy and fake these perfect smiles when we’re having a bad day?

Embrace the mess.

Embrace the shit.

Embrace the “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” because that’s you.

That’s where you learn who you really are.

If you’re going through a hard time, take it and run with it.

Don’t shut it down.

Don’t cover it up with filters and happy Instagram captions.

Embrace it.

Because that’s what life is.

It’s about making mistakes and learning from them.

Having broken hearts so that you can learn how to put it back together.

Feeling like you’re completely at rock bottom so that the top feels that much better.

It’s ok to be broken.

It’s ok to be messy.

Nothing’s wrong with that.

Feel that pain.

Really feel it.

Take it and remember everything about it.

So that when it’s gone, you take something from it.

And in the end you can look at yourself and your life and be happy with it.

Even if there are faults in it.

Because there will be.

There always will be.

But you can’t question yourself because of it.

It’s your story.

At times it may be tragic.

It might leave you not wanting to finish it.

You may slam the book shut and refuse to except how it’s going.

But don’t do that.

Pick it back up.

Keep going.

Stay strong.

Because there’s a happy ending.

You just have to wait for it.

It’s easy to look at the lives of others and wonder how they do it.

How they clearly seem to be living this perfect life.

Or how to seem to be completely themselves.

Just know, they struggle too.

And it’s ok.

I think in order to be unapologetically ourselves, we have to accept that.

That were not going to be perfect.

That not every picture is going to be Instagram worthy.

That some days you’re going to cry three separate times before noon.

You wonder if you’re doing a good job.

If you’re going to be okay.

And you will.

Just take every little thing about your life and accept it.

Stop living life for the acceptance of others and live it for the acceptance of yourself.

Do it to make yourself happy.

Do it in spite of everything that’s hurt you.

Everything that’s tried to break you.

Just be yourself.

Be that person who gets too emotionally involved in things.

Who loves love.

That person who has gone through so much and is better because of it.

Once you start embracing the beautiful mess that you are, you’ll really surprise yourself.

Hope that helps. ❤

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A letter to you.

It’s been awhile.

8 years to be exact.

It never gets easier.

We just get stronger.

I could say that we miss you, but that would be an understatement.

It’s not the same without you.

I know everyone says that, but it’s true.

Our huge family gatherings on holidays, don’t exist anymore.

Maybe that would have been the case if you were still here.

Maybe with age, they would have just faded.

But I believe you were the glue that held everyone together.

You spent the later half of the evenings asleep in your chair, but you were still the rock for our family.

You always made sure I ate all of the food on my plate.

Always made sure I gave you a hug when I got to your house, and when I left.

And never put up with anyone’s crap.

You always told it like it was.

But were so sweet and kind.

Everyone who met you loved you.

You were “pops” and everyone knew it.

Constantly making people laugh.

You were such a presence.

I see so much of you in my dad.

And of my dad in me.

Thank you for that.

I wish I was able to know you longer.

I’m still so thankful for those 20 years, but it should have been more.

I would have asked you questions.

I would have asked to hear stories.

I would have asked for advice.

So much I wish I could have done.

It makes me thankful that I had those years.

That I have the memories of your suspenders and flannel shirts.

Of you in a Santa hat handing out presents to all of your grandchildren on Christmas.

The smell of burnt coffee and the image of you at the kitchen table.

I’ll always cherish those.

I just wish you were still here.

And I know that in a sense, you are.

I know that no matter what I go through in life, you’re right there.

So many things have happened.

I know you’d be so proud.

I graduated college, I know you would have just loved that.

I got married.

God I wish you could have met Jason.

Everyone loves him.

You’d probably think that no one was good enough for me.

Because you were protective like that.

I just know you two would have gotten along so well.

And I have a son.

He has your name in his.

Ian Kenneth.

And every time he’s trying to jump off of a couch or push my limits and I call him by his full name, I think of you.

You would have gotten a kick out of him.

He’s the most stubborn, loving, and free spirited kid you’ll ever meet.

Just like you.

Dad’s the head coach at McKay now too. We all coach with him.

Me, Janelle, and my husband Jason.

We’ve created such a family and such a great program.

I know you’d love that.

You were always so impressed with our running.

Telling us we got it from you.

That you held records back in Ohio, that you ran on a dirt track.

Thank you for that.

Thank you for telling us to “run like the wind.”

I got a tattoo of that, right on my foot.

Every time I laced up my shoes for a race I would see it and smile.

I know you’d absolutely disapprove of the tattoo and probably threaten to scrub it off.

But in the end you wouldn’t, because you usually let me get away with stuff.

I don’t really know why I’m writing this.

It’s not like I can share it with you, or show you.

But I like to think you’re watching.

Losing you definitely made me question some things.

Like why the good ones have to go.

It still doesn’t make sense.

But if I believe that you’re up there watching over us all.

It makes it a little easier.

I hope I’m making you proud.

I know you’re checking in on us.

After drinking a few cups of coffee and reading the newspaper.

You’re here.

I know you wouldn’t miss a thing.

Especially with your family.

You loved us all so much.

And we loved you.

After eight years it definitely doesn’t get easier.

I just look at your picture and know you’re still watching.

Smiling and looking over us all.

I hope you remember we never stop thinking about you.

And I hope you never stop thinking about us.

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10 good things I learned from bad relationships.

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I’d say that I’ve been in my fair share of bad relationships.

Not enough to have my own self help book or anything, but enough to learn what not do in the next one.

I would just have these expectations in my mind of what the relationship was supposed to be like.

I blame it on all of the romantic comedies I would watch on weekend nights in bed.

I was never the “go out and party with my friends” type of person.

More like “lay and bed and dream about the perfect guy.”

I would spend so much time thinking about the perfect relationship, that I had to have this perfect relationship to make my life complete.

That my life would only be worth it if I had a boyfriend.

I always go back to one of my favorite quotes by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“and in the end we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, and only love, could heal our brokenness.”

He says it so perfectly.

We’re all so fixated on this idea that love can make everything better, so consumed by it, that we don’t see the red flags in the relationship.

We see what we want to see, and nothing else.

I made my fair share of mistakes from bad relationships that I feel like, helped me get into the wonderful one that I’m in today and will be in for the rest of my life.

I decided that I’d like to share them with you tonight.

So I give you, not in any particular order, 10 good things I learned from bad relationships.

  1. Trust your gut – If you think somethings wrong, you should go with that feeling. Now I’m not saying just thinking somethings wrong because you’re bored or don’t trust yourself. I’m talking about if you really feel in your gut that somethings not right, it probably isn’t. If he butt dials you when he says he’s chilling at home by himself and you hear a party in the background, that might be a red flag. If lying is something they can easily do, they might not be the one for you. Don’t be that girl that finds out he was cheating on you the entire time you were worried. Don’t prove yourself right, it feels awful.
  2. Don’t be “that person”- Don’t be obsessed over everything they do. If he tells you he has this super close friend who’s a girl, unless he gives you a reason to, don’t jump to being jealous. It ultimately proves your insecurities to the other person and does nothing but stress you out. Trust the person you’re with unless they show you otherwise.
  3. Don’t wait to be dumped – If you see the signs that somethings not right, like he ignores your texts and calls for an entire weekend, don’t fight for it. If they don’t show you the same passion that you show for them, why waste your time and energy on them. Don’t be that person that sits and waits for them to tell you what they want, if you don’t want to be treated that way, then don’t.
  4. Don’t go for the people that you think you can “fix” – because you literally never can.
  5. Don’t force what’s not there – If you feel like somethings missing, or they feel like
    somethings missing, don’t hold yourself back from life because you’re trying to force this relationship. If something isn’t meant to be, it’s not meant to be. Forcing something that’s not there isn’t a way to make it better. At the end of the day you’ll have this fake relationship that neither of you need or want.
  6. Don’t change for anyone – I’ve seen too many relationships ruined because someone tried to be exactly what they thought the other person wanted. If he wants this super easy going person, but you’re the one who plans your entire life, why make yourself go crazy when it’s not who you truly are? There is such thing as changing for the better, like changing bad habits or faults that you may have because of the other person. Just don’t change your interests and lose yourself in the search for this perfect relationship.
  7. Listen to your friends and family if they say they don’t like them – The ones closest to you really know who you are. They know what’s going to mesh best with you and what will make you better. If they see any faults in the other person that are concerning enough to bring it up, maybe you should take their opinions into consideration.
  8. Don’t be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship – This one may sound almost stupid but it happens. You’re looking at her. If somethings missing in your life or you see all of your friends getting in relationships, don’t worry about keeping up with them. You don’t need a boyfriend because someone else has one, and you don’t need to force anything because you feel like it’s the right thing to do. I’ve always told my husband that if we would have had a little girl, I would have preached this to her. Don’t feel like you need to be in a relationship. Don’t rush it. Wait for the right guy and don’t waste so much energy on the wrong ones.
  9. Don’t let him hurt you – If someone calls you a bad name or tells you that you don’t matter, don’t listen to them. This might sound like another easy one but sometimes people need to see it written in front of them. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you need to accept their bad behavior. They can hurt you and call you names but apologizing and saying I love you doesn’t always fix it. You don’t have to give anyone second chances they don’t deserve.
  10. Love yourself first – I feel like I’ve gone over this one so many times, but that’s because it’s the most important one. I’ve had relationships where I worry about everything the other person needs and not my own. Don’t get me wrong, a relationship is a partnership and you’re both equal. But you need to love your damn self first. If you love yourself, as much as you possibly can, you’ll find love easier. You’ll find that you know what you want, what you need, and what works best with your personality. You won’t have to change for anyone and won’t have to make it work when it’s not supposed to. When you truly love yourself, love will find you.

There you go.

A little bit of my heart and past relationship advice on this hazy summer night.

I hope, if you need it, you can take some of this and apply it to your life.

Remember it and never forget it.

And I hope that if you’re lucky enough, like myself, to have love.

That you never let it go.

Advice to my younger self.

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If I could, I would give my younger self a lot of advice.

Advice that I knowingly wouldn’t want to hear.

You see…it may be hard to believe..but as a child I was very stubborn.

Shocker I know.

I would roll my eyes to almost anything my parents told me to do.

But they shouldn’t be mad, I did it to everyone who tried to tell me what to do.

I thought I knew all of life’s answers.

Especially when it came to boys.

Don’t date him Megan he’s a bad kid.

Maybe you should focus on school and not boys.

Megan he cheated on someone before, what makes you think he won’t do it again?

I had heard it all.

Ya see..I thought I had these magic powers.

That I could change someone.

If a guy was a jerk or hadn’t always been faithful in a relationship, I thought I was going to be that person to change him.

That wasn’t just something I did when I was younger, I did it up into my early twenties.

It isn’t the smartest thing to do.

To think that you can change someone.

You literally have no control over what they choose to do.

That was just a small part of my problem growing up.

From middle school to my first year out of college, I was consumed with this thought.

The thought that I needed to have a boyfriend.

I can sit here and blame it on Kate Hudson for days but that’s not the full reason and I know it.

I was fascinated with this idea of love.

I had seen my parents, grandparents, and couples on television completely in love and happy.

So that had to have meant that if you had love, you would be happy.

I wanted someone to love me like that.

Someone to sweep me off of my feet.

To show me affection the way couples in love did.

To quote a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, “that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of stuff.”

That’s what I wanted.

And I was so consumed with this thought that only true love would make me happy that I didn’t even think of falling in love with the person I saw in the mirror every day.

Not in this conceded kind of way.

But the way where you truly appreciate yourself.

Where you love your flaws, your fears, and everything in between.

That’s the love I should have been focusing on.

Not the love of a stupid boy.

And boys are stupid.

I had a conversation with some girls that I coach yesterday.

My sister and I were hanging around them as they talked about cute boys.

I told them the one piece of advice I wish I would have listened to when I was younger.

Boys are stupid in high school.

And in College too.

Just focus on yourself and the good ones will come.

Now that’s not to say that you can’t marry your high school or college sweetheart.

That’s not at all what I’m saying.

But we’re all just trying to figure life out

We’re all still making mistakes and learning from them.

You can’t expect this big love from someone who doesn’t love themselves yet.

Dating is fine, it’s how we know what we like or dislike in someone that we want as a partner in life.

But being so fixated on finding love isn’t.

I wanted someone to love me so badly that I was looking for it in the wrong people.

Out of all of the boys I liked growing up, I only had one really good relationship.

And they taught me so much about what I wanted in a relationship.

We’re even still friends today.

That’s how I know it was good.

And I’m not necessarily blaming the boys I dated for our bad relationships.

They were all just still figuring life out.

The liars and the cheaters, well they still had a lot to figure out.

But why did I want so badly to find a love with someone who didn’t even know what he wanted.

I wanted love so badly I was blind to everything else.

I was spending hours and hours talking to boys who didn’t really care what I wanted to do after high school.

Giving my heart to boys who would just step on it days later.

Lying to the people I loved most just to protect the boy I was dating.

I did it all.

I was so dumb.

That’s not nice but whatever, when it came to boys I was dumb.

I had good grades, was an pretty good athlete, but could have been so much better if I wasn’t thinking about having a boyfriend so much.

That’s the one piece of advice I would give my younger self.

Out of everything in this world, it would be to not focus so much on having a boyfriend.

To just focus on yourself, and the right one will come to you.

Think about it.

If you have no idea what you want out of life, or even who you are, how do you expect to find this big love.

And if you don’t know who you are growing up, do you think everyone else does?

Chances are no.

No one knows who they are.

We’re all just figuring out life.

When we’re ready, when we finally seem to have this idea of who we are.

When we truly start to love ourselves.

That’s when we’ll find that kind of love.

Where I’ve been.

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I haven’t written anything in two and a half weeks.

Not sure if anyone noticed.

Or cared.

But I did.

It drove me insane.

It’s all I could think about.

I would sit in front of my computer and just stare.

I didn’t have a single idea that fit my prompts for the day.

No throwback stories seemed important enough.

I couldn’t think of anything fun or interesting for my Saturday fun day post.

And by that point Sunday just felt like I was forcing it.

At the beginning of the year these prompts were exciting. I would jump to my notebook and write an idea out as it came to me.

It was fun.

Fresh.

Exciting.

Then it got boring.

Dull.

Mundane.

It turned into something I thought I had to do versus something I wanted to do.

I wasn’t looking forward to writing anymore.

And that was so upsetting for me.

This is my little corner.

My world.

A space to fill with the words that flood my mind daily.

I felt like I had lost it for a little there.

Do you ever feel like that?

Like you lost your spark?

Nothings wrong in your life.

You’re happy, loved, and enjoying the days as they come.

But that little spark of magic that was yours took a small vacation and was showing no signs of coming back.

That was me.

I lost my magic.

It’s kind of funny.

Calling my writing magic.

But that’s what it is to me.

Your magic is that thing that you do so well.

It’s that thing that ignites a fire in you.

It gives you joy on the darkest of days.

You could be the best at it, or the worst at it.

But it creates this magic in your life that you sometimes forget is there.

Well I lost mine.

I started worrying.

Was my stuff good enough?

Did people like it?

What was the purpose of my writing?

I started doubting every idea I had.

I just didn’t enjoy writing anymore.

But I love it.

I love writing and I don’t care if two people read it or two hundred people read it.

I love it so much.

It’s my escape.

My corner.

The thing that ignites the fire inside of me.

It’s my magic.

I caught a few glimpses of it while on this little hiatus.

Thoughts that would come and go.

 Ideas that sparked my interests and gave me ideas.

They didn’t fit my writing prompts for certain days but I didn’t care.

That was an idea to get me writing more often in the New Year.

It worked, and I enjoyed it while it lasted.

It served it’s purpose and I’m happy it did.

But I’m done with it now.

I’m ready to write as it comes to me.

Like I’ve done before.

Like I love doing.

I came across a sentence in a book that I’ve been reading.

“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

It was the reality check that I needed.

A slap in the face if you will.

I was afraid.

And I hate admitting it.

But I was afraid.

I had lost that confidence that I had gained from writing.

From sharing my words with anyone who would read them.

And the positive words from those readers.

For some reason I was doubting myself and the ideas in my head.

Doubting the magic that I knew I had.

I’ll be the first one to tell you if I’m being dumb.

And I was being dumb.

I had lost the courage to show my writing to the world.

Something that I loved so much.

Something that brought me so much joy.

Scared me.

Reading this line from the book really opened my eyes.

In order to find your magic, you need to have the courage to bring it to the world.

The thing that gives you life, you must give it life to have it blossom into the beauty that it can become.

Don’t let the fact that you’re scared stop you from finding your magic.

Or in the words of the movie A Cinderella Story.

Don’t let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.

Whatever you love in life.

Whatever brings you so much joy that you want to show it to the world.

Find it.

If you lost it, bring it back.

No matter what, don’t give up on it.

Trust that if it’s taking a break from you, it’s a needed break.

But don’t give up hope.

I lost my magic.

But it’s back.

What’s stopping you from finding yours?

 

That time I read a book that changed my life.

 

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I’ve talked about it several times before.

The summer of 2013.

It was a pivotal time in my life.

A time where I was lost.

And a time where I found myself.

A time where I started a new adventure.

And met the love of my life.

It was the start to finding who I really was and loving myself to the fullest.

It started with reading a book.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I didn’t really read up until that point.

Honestly I didn’t have the attention span for it.

But I had found myself in a place where I had lots of spare time and nothing to fill it with.

I decided to pick up this book that I heard was going to be a movie soon.

I had heard so many things about it and decided maybe this would be a good way to fill my time.

Little did I know that it would be the start to my road of self discovery.

Once I started reading this book I couldn’t stop.

I’ve always heard people say that when it came to reading.

They would start a book and literally not be able to put it down.

That the book was that good.

This is how this book was for me.

I would stay up late just to read.

I even took it to my job when we had down time and read.

I finished it in two days.

Which for me was huge.

The way that John Green wrote made it so easy for me to take in everything.

The tale of love and loss put my entire life into perspective.

It made me fall in love with myself and see my life from a new point of view.

A friend of mine, who was going through a difficult time, asked me to borrow it after I was finished.

He told me that it also changed his life.

He was going through a weird time and was lost himself. It gave him a brand new perspective.

We both bonded over it.

A month or so later he gave me a signed copy of it, and it’s one of my favorite things.

I made my mom read it and she loved it as well.

We went to see the movie together and I started crying at the opening credits.

The book that changed me was coming to life.

I tried reading other books by John Green, and they were really good.

But nothing got me like this book did.

I remember the night I finished it, I was at work.

I walked to the bathroom and locked myself in a stall.

I cried.

I couldn’t stop crying.

I had invested so much of myself into this book.

It hit me so hard.

From that moment on I was different.

I read more.

Smiled more.

Found joy in everything that I could.

Took more selfies.

Found the beauty in my solitude.

From that moment on I was hopeful.

Hopeful that things would turn around.

That if I started living the life that I knew I wanted things would happen.

Things would fall into place.

I can’t put my finger on my favorite line of the book, or the exact moment that I knew I was reading something special.

It was the entire thing.

All 317 pages.

The relationship between Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster gave me hope that my days would get better.

It made me take the plunge into loving myself so that I could fully love others.

I feel like books can do that to you.

They can make you forget.

They can allow you to lose yourself in something.

Giving you this idea that things will get better.

That you’ll be okay.

It feels weird to say out loud.

That a book made for young adults could change the life of a 23 year old.

But it did.

This book is something that’ll I’ll always hold near to my heart.

The book that started it all.

The reason my life took a turn for the better.

If you get a chance you should read it.

You won’t regret it.