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The Fight For Beauty – Chapter 2 – Beware of Men

I welcome you to join me as I share my story of my own fight for beauty!  I’ll be posting once a week a new chapter of my journey, from beginning to end.  I’m going to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the embarrassing.  My hope is to remove the veil and misconceptions that people have about eating disorders while offering hope to those struggling that there really is a way out.

With that said, here is Chapter 2 of my story.  To read chapter 1, click here.


“I think Reed likes me. Kristin said he’s going to ask me to be his girlfriend.  My mom will kill me but I’ll have to keep it a secret.” Helena confessed to me as we sat in the backseat of my grandma’s car on the way to the mall.  It was my thirteenth birthday and she was taking us out for an all day shopping trip to celebrate. It didn’t surprise me that Reed had a crush on her.  It seemed that every guy in our class did at one point.  She was the type of girl that guys seemed to be drawn to and she loved every second of it, even though she pretended not to.

As our day of shopping came to a close, my grandma needed to make a quick stop at Target.  Helena and I wandered off into the jewelry department where we tried on sunglasses and bags.  Eventually we began wandering the store in the hopes to meet up with my grandma.  As we turned into an aisle, my heart stopped. I took a quick step back and pulled Helena by the arm as I tried to get out the aisle without being seen.

My heart was racing as I quickly walked through the store to find my grandma.

I have to leave.

I can’t be seen.

Don’t say a word.

When I found her, I lied and said I felt sick and needed to go home immediately.  She quickly paid for her things and we left.

The entire car ride home, I began to actually feel sick to my stomach.  Anger rose within me as I could feel it burning in my chest.  When we got home, I ran into my room and laid on my bed as my mind replayed over and over what I had seen.

My grandpa, hand in hand, with another woman.

I knew who she was.  We all did.  My poppa, try as he may, was never successful with hiding his affair.  He would sneak to the backroom of their house multiple times a day where he would call her.  Sometimes, I would stand by the door and try to make out what he was whispering to her.  He would lie to my grandma and say he was taking us grandkids out for breakfast.  When we got there, she would be there waiting to join us.  I remember seeing him reach across the table to grab her hand.  My stomach would knot up and my heart would break as I thought about my grandma sitting at home alone.

She was young and blonde and had a Russian accent so thick that I normally would just smile and nod as she spoke because I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

That night, my parents were taking me out for my birthday dinner and my grandparents were joining.  As we waited for my grandpa to arrive, everyone was growing increasingly frustrated and concerned because he was over an hour late. They couldn’t imagine where he could be, but I knew.  He was with her.

When he finally arrived, we all went to dinner.  I remember feeling like I was betraying my grandma as I watched them sit together because I knew he was about to leave her. At the end of dinner, he and my grandma began arguing about something where he made a jab at her weight.  My heart stopped.

Is that why he is cheating on her?

I don’t remember the exact timeline, but shortly after my thirteenth birthday, my grandma came home after work and all his stuff was gone. I couldn’t help but feel as though I had let her down. I kept this secret from her.  I knew he was preparing to leave since the day I saw them purchasing pots and pans at Target.

I remember seeing my mom and my grandma cry.  It was a scene that I had seen played out time and time again.  Uncles, family friends, and now my grandpa leaving their wives for a younger, more attractive woman.  These women in my life, who I viewed as beautiful and powerful, suddenly became broken and used all because someone failed to see and treasure their beauty.  If they couldn’t keep a man, how would I be able to?

I made a vow to myself to never become like them. I would never allow my body to be the reason why someone couldn’t love me. I was never going to allow a man to hurt me in that way.  “Perhaps it’s safer to just never marry,” my thirteen year old heart reasoned.


Stay tuned for the next chapter next Wednesday!

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The Fight For Beauty

I’ve been putting off creating this series of blogs for a while now.  I came up with every excuse imaginable to avoid having to put in the time and effort, however I was recently challenged when I was praying one night.  I was asking God what my purpose was here.  What is my next step? Am I wasting my life away living day to day with no real goals or vision? The answer: yes.  After finishing BSSM and having to go through the process of grief after losing family members, I found myself just taking one day at a time.  For a season, that was exactly what I needed.  However, I’ve felt a shift and the Lord gently reminded me of a promise I made to Him when I first moved to Redding, CA just four years ago.  When I arrived, I was deep in my struggle with bulimia and couldn’t find anything about myself that I liked.  I lived guarded and insecure.  I would cry before God asking for freedom from this life-consuming disease and promised Him that if he would set me free, I would give my life to help others find their own freedom.  Since my recovery journey, I’ve had many great opportunities to share my testimony and see it give hope to others and my prayer is that the same continues.

I welcome you to join me as I share my story of my own fight for beauty!  I’ll be posting once a week a new chapter of my journey, from beginning to end.  I’m going to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the embarrassing.  My hope is to remove the veil and misconceptions that people have about eating disorders while offering hope to those struggling that there really is a way out.

With that said, here is Chapter 1 of my story.

“What is it that you want?” She asked as she sat leaning on her worn-down desk. Her office always smelled of old potpourri and hand sanitizer combined.  The lights were always dim. I assume to give the person sitting across from her a feeling of comfort and coziness, but I instead always felt like I was sitting in a police interrogation. My eyes scanned across her walls and I briefly remember seeing pictures of her family, her degree set on display within in an overly-gaudy frame, and her bookshelf was packed with books entitled, “Family and Depression” and “The Monster Within.”  The monster within. I knew that monster all too well.  That monster is what got me here in the first place.

“Rihanna,” she interrupted as I stared blankly at her. “What do you want?”

“To be skinny.” I replied.

Her eyes grew narrow as she stared directly at me…or through me.  I couldn’t tell the difference.

Silence.

“What do you want?” She asked again.

What do I want? I thought to myself. I want to be skinny.  I want to be able to have a conversation with my parents without it turning into an argument about food.  I want my sisters to stop thinking I’m crazy.  I want to go out to dinner with my friends without leaving in a nervous breakdown. I want to eat cake on my birthday and not think twice about it. I want the dreams about working out and bingeing to stop because I can’t even escape this disease in my sleep. I want the kids at church to stop treating me like I’m a lost cause. I want my sisters to be proud of me. I want to sing and travel the world.  I want the sadness in my parent’s eyes to go away.  I want a boy to chase after me as if I’m the only girl he’s ever laid eyes on.  I want a friendship so deep that we finish each other’s sentences.  I want to be loved. None of this would have even happened if I could have just lost weight. None of this would have happened if I was skinny.

“Rihanna, bulimia is just a symptom of something lacking in your life. Now, I’m going to ask you again, what is it that you are looking for? What do you really want?”

The silence of the room was only broken by the sound of the clock on her wall.

“I want to be skinny.”

It didn’t start as a sickness.  It didn’t start as a disease.  I couldn’t honestly tell you when my obsession with my body began.  My earliest memories consist of watching my mom do Jane Fonda workout videos in our living room and overhearing conversations about diet and exercise.  My mom, aunts, and their friends always seemed to be strange around food. While serving us macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches, they would comment on how lucky we were to be able to enjoy such a luxury while they had to endure celery sticks and rice cakes.  I never understood why they felt that eating cheese would be the end of their world, but I remember thinking that if their lives would be ruined if they wore a bigger size jeans, then surely mine would be as well.

I remember hearing my parents fight one night.  They seemed to always fight about money or the fact that my mom would spend hours on the phone at night with her friends and I guess my dad didn’t like that.  This particular fight was different though. I remember my mom yelling, “I’m sorry that I don’t look like Cindy Crawford!”  I remember my heart sinking as I wondered, “Does my dad not think my mom is pretty?” I remember thinking about the times when everyone would tell me that I looked just like my mother.  Ever since that night 21 years ago, I have yet to see a photo of Ms. Crawford without being brought back to that moment.

It was in the sixth grade when I made the first real effort to lose weight.  My friends and I all began noticing our bodies changing and while my friends were going shopping for their first bras, I was going shopping for bigger jeans.  I was developing curves and everyone noticed.  My friends started calling me “JLO” and I remember coming home from school crying because everyone thought I was fat. Since I didn’t have a clue about dieting, I decided to stop eating breakfast.  I loved the feeling of being hungry.  It gave me a sense of control and power.

As I entered into Junior High, everything began changing.  My friends, our bodies, our lives, our interests.  I never felt like I could fit in anywhere.  I desperately wanted to be accepted by the cool girls in my class, but everything felt off.  I remember sitting in Heather’s bedroom listening to Blink 182’s Enema of the State while she and Cara were modeling their new bras that they filled out perfectly and talking about the boys in our class that they wanted to make out with and eventually marry.

“Rihanna, who do you want to make out with?” Cara asked.

I immediately felt uncomfortable in my own skin because not only was I still stuffing my bra with toilet paper, but I wasn’t particularly interested in marrying anyone in the seventh grade. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of crushes and had an undying devotion to Craig Johnson who made me weak in my gangly knees, but I’ve always had different goals.  Growing up, I fantasized about being a rich and famous singer who traveled the world but lived in my humble 20 acre ranch in Nashville, TN.  Boys always came secondary to my dreams of singing.  Although to be honest, I do sometimes feel that I have a better chance of joining the ranks of Taylor Swift than accumulating my MRS degree, but that’s for a different blog.

“Umm, maybe Troy?” I quipped.

“Well you better hope he likes girls with a fat butt like yours!” Heather laughed.

I immediately wanted to shrink away.

Fat.

Disqualified. 

Not good enough.

I walked home that night as those words echoed through my mind.  I vowed to not only cut out breakfast, but also lunch.  That will show them.  Then I’ll find a guy to like me.


Stay tuned for the next chapter next Wednesday!

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Six Things I Wish I Knew About Grief

It’s no secret that the last year of my life has been the hardest year that I’ve had to walk through.  Navigating my way through grief was not an easy journey and I still find myself having to ask, “am I doing this right?”  Looking back, there are a few things that I wish I knew about grief before I was forced to walk through it.

  1. It Hurts like Hell.  Losing my niece was to date the most painful experience I have had to walk through.  I remember the days following her death where I would grab my chest because the pain felt so heavy upon me.  My entire body felt like I was hit by a truck and simple tasks felt like burdens. Grief is so heavy that your physical body begins to ache from the emotional toll and there are moments when you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it through the day, but you will. You always will.

  2. It Can’t Be Avoided. After my niece died, my introverted habits suddenly disappeared and I found myself wanting to constantly be around people.  At the time, my current roommate and I were having to share a bedroom until we were able to find a house, so even then I wasn’t alone.  I found that if I was around someone that I didn’t have to face the pain that was raging inside of me.  After a few weeks of suppressing my emotions, they would surface without warning.  In the middle of the mall, the checkout line in Target, or at the bank while I was making deposits for work where I felt I would have to apologize to whomever was helping me and explain that my niece just passed away.  About a month later my grandpa passed away and I was now not only grieving the loss of my niece, but also my grandpa whom was like a second father to me during my childhood. It was then that I decided to embrace the pain, no matter how hard it felt, I had to give myself permission to be a complete wreck if I needed to be. I didn’t care if my sadness made other people uncomfortable because letting it out meant that I was giving my heart and my pain a voice.

  3. Grief Makes People Uncomfortable. As a culture, we’ve learned to look at pain as a bad thing. Have a headache? Take a tylenol.  Having a bad day? Go to happy hour.  We want a quick fix.  Unfortunately when it comes to emotional pain such as grief, the only way out is through and sometimes that can be a very long and dark road.  I found in my own journey that many people wanted me to bounce right back to normal and declare that “God is good” despite my sadness.  They didn’t want to know that I was struggling with why God allowed her to die or how to manage my anger towards Him.  They were quick to throw “spiritual Tylenol” as I like to call it at me and quote scripture about the goodness of God.  The problem with that is I felt like my process and my emotions were not being validated. It’s like saying to someone who’s crying because they broke their arm “Stop crying! Your leg is completely fine!” People don’t always know how to respond to other people’s pain and they may say things that hurt you.  Just know that at the end of the day, their heart is only to love and help you.  Sometimes they just need a little direction in how to do so. 

  4. There is No Right Way to Grieve.  I have a high D personality meaning that I like to be productive and I like to do things the correct way the first time.  It’s hard for me to not have a set answer or solution for something, so when first going through the process of grieving, I found myself constantly stressed that I was “doing it wrong.”  I found myself thinking, “It’s been three weeks, should I still feel this sad? Should I be in the acceptance stage? Should I be putting all my emotional distress into something more productive like working out or volunteering at a charity?? Why is it still a struggle to get out of bed?” The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to grieve and the cliché is true that everybody grieves differently.  I finally had to get to the point where I stopped over analyzing where I was at and just allowed myself to be wherever I needed to be in the moment.  Some days I needed to veg out on the couch watching Scandal for hours on end while saving the world vicariously through Olivia Pope, and some days I needed to paint my nails and go to dinner with my girlfriends. Whatever my heart needed, I allowed myself to be okay with that.

  5. Anger is Part of the Journey. I’ll never forget the moment that my mom called me to tell me that Abby had died.  It was a Friday afternoon and I had about an hour left of my shift at work. I answered the phone and the words, “Rihanna, we lost Abby” came flying out of her mouth and I calmly said “Ok” and hung up. It was a strange reaction, but I have a tendency to resort to becoming very calm when something scares or shocks me.  I grabbed my purse and as I walked to my car I began to violently shake. Anger, shock, and disbelief all came over me as I began to yell at God, “Are you f—ing kidding me? Is this a joke to you?!”  I felt like the world was spinning and the rage and anger just continued to pour out of me.  Although the initial rage soon subsided, I found myself still battling feeling anger and resentment towards God. The weeks following, I found myself at a church conference where people were being healed left and right from various illnesses. Anger began to rise within me and I knew that in that moment, I had a choice.  I could choose to partner with resentment or I could surrender my desire to understand and celebrate the healings surrounding me.  At first, I felt unauthentic but over time God began to heal that part of my heart that only needed reassurance that God still saw me. 

  6. God is Faithful in the Process. It’s been a little over ten months since Abby left us and 8 months since my Poppa joined her.  There were times when I felt like I would never fully heal or ever feel close to God again.  However, having to walk this journey has showed me levels and parts of God that I never knew existed previously.  In the times when I felt overlooked or forgotten, His sweet presence wrapped itself around me and carried me through.  I wish that I never had to walk this journey, but at the same time I wouldn’t trade the moments I had with God through this for anything in the world.  

Grief is painful.  It cuts us to our core and forces us to look inwardly and face who we are and what we believe.  If I could go back and tell myself anything before having to walk this journey it would be this: you’re going to make it through.

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If you liked this post, you may also like When I Stopping Believing in God and I Stopped Believing in Prayer

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When I Stopped Believing in God

It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight months since we lost our sweet Abby.  I still remember laying in bed the night she passed, unable to sleep and tossing and turning with emotions ranging from sadness, disbelief, anger, and shock.  The pain that I felt was unlike anything that I had experienced before and it was hard to believe that it would ever pass.

The days following her death felt like a terrible dream that I kept half-expecting myself to wake up from.  For the first time in my life, I felt completely disconnected from God.  It was like a black curtain had been hung over me and I couldn’t comprehend why, if He truly existed, would He allow this to happen?  I remember laying in the bed of a home that I was housesitting at the time, crying out loudly “Do you even exist, God? Are you even there?” It’s humbling to admit that as much as I didn’t want to say it out loud, I truly wondered if there was even a God.  Was everything I ever believed or experienced a lie?

The next day, as I was traveling to Miami to be with my family, I sat in the airport with the same questions still spinning in my mind.  Is there a God? Is He as close as I really once believed He was? The level of disconnect that I felt brought me to place of desperation.  I inwardly prayed, “Okay God, if you are real and if you are still present in this situation, I need you to prove it to me.”  I sat for a bit longer racking my brain of ways I could force God to prove himself to me.  “If you’re here, I want to see a red balloon today.”

It would be impossible considering I would be stuck either in an airport or on a plane all day. I knew better than to ever put God to the test, but I figured that I had nothing to lose that that point.

My travels went on as normal with delays and even a landing at the wrong airport.  By the time I actually arrived in Miami, it was after midnight.  My dad picked me up and we had a quiet drive back to my sister’s house. When I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the aroma of flowers overflowing in her living room.  A reminder that this wasn’t a dream.  I stood in silence as I looked at the flowers and photos of Abby that surrounded me.  I turned to my dad and sobbed into his chest.  The one thing we fought so hard for for the last eleven months was gone.  I remembered my request to see a red balloon and I thought to myself, “Figures it wouldn’t happen.”

After I had calmed down a bit, I went to go get ready for bed.  As I walked into my sister’s bathroom, I stood in complete shock as to what was in front of me.  Sitting on her counter was a red balloon.

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Have you ever heard the phrase, “it felt like a kiss from heaven?”  This was that for me.  The next day, I saw my sister for the first time since her daughter had passed.  There were no words to say, but I hugged her and my heart ached as I felt her tired and lifeless body.  She hardly had the strength to wrap her arms around me.  I told her the story of the red balloon and she just looked back blankly at me. Over the course of the next few days, she would sometimes walk outside to get away from everyone and everything.  I followed her out and we sat in silence, both unable to grasp the right words to say.  After a few minutes, she stared straight ahead and said, “I almost threw that red balloon away before you got here. But something told me not to.”

In that moment, I knew that the red balloon wasn’t for me.  It was for her.

Sometimes we are so afraid to ask the hard questions.  But if I hadn’t been unafraid to be completely honest before God, my sister might still be searching for her red balloon moment.

I still don’t understand why things happen the way that they do, but I am thankful that I have a God that welcomes my confusion and isn’t afraid of my questions.

“So now we come freely and boldly to where love is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.” Hebrews 4, The Passion Translation

If you liked this post, you might also like I Stopped Believing in Prayer and I Don’t Want to Worship God

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Out of Hiding

 

One thing that I used to take pride in is my inclination towards independence.  My mother claims that I was her most difficult child to raise due to my desire to want to do everything myself.  Stop me from wearing my Dorothy inspired red-glittered shoes everywhere I went (including camping)? She dared not.

There’s a part of me that loves my independent spirit because it gave me the courage to do things and experience life differently than some of my peers.  It allowed me to try to go after my dreams at a young age and be unafraid to travel and wander alone.  However over time, it also became a form of self-defense.  A wall to keep people from getting too close.  Hurt me?  You can’t.  I’m independent and will move on just fine.  I remember when my boyfriend, who I was convinced was the love of my life, broke up with me.  Inside, I was devastated and felt like my world was being turned upside down, but I sat still and silent without showing any sort of emotion.  He seemed surprised by my lack of emotion and asked if I was even sad about this.  “I’ll be fine” I said.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is allow people to see our pain.  We live in a culture where everyone wants to be seen as “strong” and “self-sufficient” to the point where we neglect and avoid our feelings and emotional needs.

This last year has forced me to come to terms with just how my desire to be independent was actually destroying me.  When my niece, Abby, was born and the emotional rollercoaster of her life began, my first inclination was to pull away from my friends.  I felt afraid, confused, and overall just a mess.  I avoided my friend’s phone calls and attempts to hang out and used the excuse “I’m just going through a lot and I need to be alone.”

 Translation: I’m not as strong as I thought I was and I don’t want you to actually see me.

Being seen is scary.  Allowing another person to really see you – the good, the bad, the mess ups, the irrational fears, the mood swings, the failures and the brokenness can leave you feeling exposed.  It’s laying yourself out and saying, “This is me. This is what I have to offer. Take it or leave it.”  It’s allowing that other person to make a decision as to whether they are going to embrace it or walk away.  I finally had to come to a point where I realized that taking the risk to be seen would be less scary than living in hiding for the rest of my life.  A friend once said to me, “You can take a risk to be loved and I can’t guarantee that you will receive it.  But I can guarantee that you will never be loved if you don’t take the risk.”

I took the risk. Thankfully, I have a beautiful group of friends that have the ability to see every part of me and take me as is.  Being seen made me realize that my failures and shortcomings only made up a small part of me and that I was actually so much more than my mistakes.

Once I allowed myself to come out of hiding, that’s when I began to find myself.

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Will I Ever Forgive God?

Yesterday started out like every other Sunday for me.  Sleep in, enjoy a lazy morning, and then begin getting ready for church.  As I was going about my morning, I checked Facebook and clicked on the “On This Day” notification where it showed me everything I posted on the same day in years past.  Most days, it will make me cringe, laugh, or feel some sort of nostalgia.  Yesterday, it made me angry.

A year ago yesterday, I posted this photo:

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This is a photo of my sister and brother-in-law getting to hold their daughter, Abby, for only the second time in her two months of life.  Given her fragility and the ventilator, they were unable to have contact with her other than touching her through her NICU bed.  I remember crying when I received the photos and the hope that filled my heart as I realized that she might actually get the miracle we had been praying for.

It’s been almost six months since Abby left us.  A day hasn’t passed when I haven’t wondered why she didn’t get her miracle.  What could we have done differently?

When I saw this photo yesterday, the same one that once gave me hope and renewed my faith, I quickly clicked off of Facebook and went about my morning.  Within minutes,  everything was frustrating me.  My hair. My clothes. My body. The fact that I was having to go to church.  My roommate, who can always sense when anything is even slightly off with me, was convinced she had done something to upset me. I assured her that it wasn’t her and that I truely had no idea why I was so upset.

Once we got to church, we stood in the back as the worship played and I kept thinking about the photo of my sister holding her baby who is now gone.  The eight months of Abby’s life kept playing over and over in my head. All the highs when we thought she was making progress, as well as the lows when we thought we would lose her.  I replayed the day I received the phone call from my mom letting me know that we lost her. The moments and days that followed her death as we all tried to navigate our way in a world that looked vastly different than it did just days before.  As I unsuccessfully tried to stop myself from crying, I looked at my roommate and said, “I am so angry Abby is gone.  I’m so angry that my sister had to lose her child.”

The rest of the day went on as I tried to almost will myself to not feel angry anymore. I felt so much shame and guilt over the fact that I still feel anger towards God for not healing her.  Isn’t this the part where I can hold my head high like a good Christian and say that my heart is healed and whole again? The part where the paralyzing fear of losing someone else I love finally ceases?

I took a long drive late last night and I finally cried for the first time in a few months.  I realized that it’s okay that I feel angry.  It’s okay that I feel confused. It’s okay to feel at peace with God one moment and upset in the next.  A piece of my heart was taken from me when Abby left and just like any other wound, it needs time to fully heal.

“I will trust
Here in the mystery
I will trust
In You completely

Awake my soul to sing
With Your breath in me
I will worship
You taught my feet
To dance upon disappointment
And I, I will worship” -Heroes by Amanda Cook

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A Singles Guide for Surviving Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means many will be finding themselves in line at the local market.  Some will be buying cheap, heart-shaped chocolates paired with flowers while others will be browsing the Ben and Jerry’s flavor options while waiting for their Prozac to be refilled.

I’ve experience Valentine’s Day as both single and in a relationship.  I was once both one year, starting the day off in a relationship, only to break up with him halfway through (what can I say, I like to make sure I’m not easily forgotten).  All around, Valentine’s Day has its own set of problems for the singles and non singles alike; but since I am single now, I thought I would reach out to my fellow man and offer some words of advice to help get you through this holiday!

Avoid alcohol. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and I’m here to help pass along some wisdom acquired by my own a friend’s experience. In years past,  V-Day prep would begin on the evening of the 13th. My friend I liked to prepare by either drinking an entire bottle of wine or bottom shelf vodka, depending on the status of my bank account.  Plus drinking ensures that I would most likely sleep in until 12pm, which helped me out by missing half of Valentine’s Day! Most sane people pair a good bottle of wine with an expensive cheese or hor dourves, but I preferred to pair it with Ryan Gosling movies (trust me when I say that there is no other person you would rather get drunk with than Ryan Gosling on Valentine’s Day weekend).

Now this may sound like your dream V Day weekend, but trust me when I say that that you don’t want to be waking up with a hangover and a text from your ex saying “Are you ok? You called me a thousand times.” Girl, you are not Adele and you can’t wipe your tears of embarrassment with your 20 Grammys and millions of dollars! So just do yourself a favor and pass on the wine, avoid Ryan Gosling movies, and read a good book like The Holy Bible. Stay away from the Songs of Solomon though. Maybe stick with something like Leviticus.

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Bottomless Mimosas. Wait, didn’t I just tell you not to drink? Yes, I did.  But let’s face it, if you’re strong enough NOT to drink on Valentine’s Day then you really don’t need any advice from this blog. With that said, I highly recommend grabbing brunch with a bunch of your fellow single girlfriends and keep those bottomless mimosas flowing! There’s no heartache that a room full of estrogen and champagne can’t fix!

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Invest in a body pillow. Rumor has it that it also helps to have a body pillow handy so you can fall asleep wrapped up in it pretending it’s not a pillow, but an actual human body. Like I said, that’s just a rumor that I have NO experience with WHATSOEVER.

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Kiss your pity party goodbye.  Seriously, if you’re embarrassed about your lack of love in your life, the only thing more embarrassing is being that person who constantly talks or posts on social media about hating it! Do you really expect your prince charming to see that and say, “Well, I saw her posting about how much she hates love, flowers, couples, romance, the Son of God, and sunshine and that’s when I knew that I couldn’t live without her!” Don’t be that person. Get out, throw those ringless hands in the air and rock that confidence I know you have!

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There you have it! I hope from the bottom of my single heart that you end up having an amazing Valentine’s Day full of mimosas, ice-cream, and love. Xoxo.

If you liked this post, you might also like 20 Things I Wish I Knew In My Early 20’s and Single People are the Worst!

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I Stopped Believing in Prayer

It was late October and just a few weeks after my niece passed away.  After I returned back to Redding from the funeral, my roommate and I had just one month to find a new place to live.  Day after day we searched for apartments and houses and before we knew it, we had just over a week before we had to have our stuff out of our apartment.  It was stressful and frustrating as each place we felt had potential continued to fall through for various reasons.

We had just gotten news, once again, that the place we wanted was no longer available.  I called a close friend and began sharing with her how I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being homeless and I was considering paying a visit to findmeasugardaddy.com to see if some lonely millionaire needed company.

“Ok, I am going to get off the phone right now and pray and see what God says” she replied.

I left out a little laugh and thought “well what good is that?”

The thought came and went to quickly and naturally that I almost missed it.  I hung up the phone and I thought about what had just happened in my heart when she mentioned prayer.  As I sat in my car I said out loud, “God, I stopped believing you hear my prayers.”

My heart had been so broken and let down after we lost Abby.  It was 11 months of constant and continual prayer for her healing.  Most nights, I would wake up just to roll over and my first thought would be, “Lord, please heal Abby.”

For eleven months, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t praying. When we lost Abby, I lost belief in prayer.

I began to think back over the weeks that had passed since Abby had passed.  It’s not that I had stopped praying, but I stopped believing that my prayers would do anything. Prayer, in my heart, became almost like a wish. I would say the things I wanted to say and ask the things I wanted to ask and just hope that maybe, maybe God will get around to hearing them if I’m lucky.

As I sat in my car outside my apartment, I closed my eyes.  I knew that I had a choice to make.  I could continue on my life with the belief that my prayers don’t matter; viewing my chances of having my prayers answered in the same way I viewed winning the lottery. That would be the easy choice. Or, I could look at the defeat I was facing in the eyes and say, “You do not have a say anymore.”

Do I still have moments when I feel afraid that my prayers aren’t being heard? Absolutely. But I refuse to allow defeat come between me and my maker any longer.

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If you like this post, you might also like I Don’t Want to Worship God and Miracles Don’t Exist

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Valentine's Day Part 1: The One That Got Away

I’m in the process of redoing my blog and I came across this post. It made me laugh and thought I’d re-share, since Valentines Day is right around the corner

Miss Rheyna

In case you haven’t heard or noticed the red and pink cut out hearts and overpriced boxes of chocolates at your neighborhood store, Valentines Day is just around the corner.

A day where love is celebrated and Prozac prescriptions are refilled simultaneously.

I love Valentines Day so much. Actually, I love the awkwardness of Valentines Day.  I love the sad and angry singles, the oblivious and annoying newlyweds, and everything in between.  I love it so much that I decided to post a blog every day this week documenting my random thoughts and/or memories on the holiday.

Growing up, Valentines Day was always very stressful.  It was a day that needed weeks of preparation.  First, I had to pick out the absolute best Valentine’s Day card that would be passed out to every classmate during the mandatory VD party. Second, after choosing the best set of cards (my awkward and…

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A Single’s Guide for Surviving Christmas

Ahh, Christmas.  Laughter, Christmas carols, Mariah Carey, couples getting engaged, and mistletoe that you won’t be getting kissed under but you’ll rather become the butt of some joke at a holiday Christmas party when you realize you’re standing under it with your boss. I love the holidays!

Being single, the holidays can be mixed with emotions especially when after the holiday parties, your family and friends go home with their significant others while you stay with mom and dad watching Love Actually and eating leftover cranberry bliss bars for the 8th time. I decided that I don’t want my single friends to have to suffer through another holiday season alone, so I put together my top 5 pieces of advice to help get you through!  So let’s raise a glass of *spiked* eggnog and begin!

  1. Deactivate your Facebook.  My Facebook feed averages about sixteen-hundred generic engagement photos around this time. It’s just one photo after the other of a man on one knee in front of the Christmas tree, a photo of a newly adorned hand (with bad lighting) in front of Christmas lights, a happy couple holding champagne glasses with the caption “He put a ring on it. He must have liked it😉.” It only took one day of these types of posts for me to vomit all over my keyboard.  Granted, I’m still unsure if the vomit was due to these posts or the entire chocolate rum cake I committed myself to. But better safe than sorry, so I deactivated the FB! For the sake of your computer and liver, I advise you do the same!tumblr_inline_mh64ez9Evf1rwvk4w
  2. Drink a lot.  No, no, no! I know that you think I just gave you permission to drown your sorrows in vodka cranberries, but I am actually referring to water! The way I see it, if I have to listen to all my newly engaged friends talk excessively about their new fiance, I want to at least be properly hydrated. It also gives me the excuse of having to use the restroom every half hour where I can be free for a blissful two minutes! (Also, vodka cranberries don’t necessarily hurt the situation).tumblr_ncbcs6IFSP1saxwc2o1_400
  3. Become a Vegan. The only thing that people will harass you with questions about more than your relationship status is the fact that you no longer ingest eggs.  Who cares if you’re a vegan or not, just politely decline the cheese platter at every holiday gathering with the explanation that you’ve just decided to be better and more self-righteous than every other person there and voila! Your relationship status officially bores them and now they want to know about your protein intake.  No one has to know that you secretly ate an entire block of brie cheese in your bed last night after you drank an entire bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon because you logged onto your facebook only to be bombarded with fifteen-hundred engagement announcements.  NO ONE HAS TO KNOW. anigif_enhanced-24955-1448919657-2
  4. Take advantage of Amazon Prime.  Families on a budget seem to forget that because you are a 29 year old single female, you don’t have a significant other who can make up for the lack of gifts. This can make the holiday season feel somewhat depressing when you see photos of your friend’s new Michael Kohrs bags and watches and new cars and diamonds and concert tickets and fitbits and and and (you get the point).  This can be easily solved using Amazon Prime! Amazon has everything you could possibly need to help add excitement to your own life this holiday season! My go-to purchases are wine, chocolate, paper towels (because eating cake in bed is messy), and some sort of diet product for when I decide it’s time to attempt to lose ten pounds in a week. I order each thing separately so that it’s like Christmas every time I come home. tumblr_mxrxdifYtV1sdty8jo1_500
  5. Start a Fitspo instagram.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but I feel that it could be helpful since girls with fitness Instagrams are always bragging about how they are in a happy and committed relationship with things like peanut butter and sleeping. I feel that I can really give myself to that type of relationship, especially if in return I get arms like Michelle Obama.giphy

 

So there you have it,  my single comrades!  May your holiday season be filled with wine-induced laughter, netflix binges, and cuddling up with your chocolate cake!

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If you liked this post, you may also like 20 Things I Learned in My Early 20’s and 10 Things to Never, Ever Say to a Single Person.