Category Archives: Just Be Enough

My Awkward, Silly, Could-Have-Done-It-Better-With-Crayons Self-Portrait (Or, The Perfect Self-Portrait for Me)

Abby Gabs was barely 7 months old the first time I linked up with Just Be Enough. This blog is totally dedicated to supporting women writers. It gives us a place to share who we are: as bloggers and wives and sisters and mothers. It encourages us to carry empowerment around our necks like gold medals.  When I found out JBE was all about helping women find their inner strength? Well, forget about it. I had to join the party.

I’ve written quite a few Be Enough blogs. And each one of them is a feather in my cap, a reminder that even on my bluest days, I am enough. I go back and visit these posts on a regular basis. They are, without a doubt, some of my best writing. Why? Because it allows my readers (and in some cases, me) see a part of That Gabby Abby that may not otherwise appear on this blog. 

And so, when I found out that Just Be Enough is celebrating their birthday, I wanted to participate in celebrating a site that gave me the tools to do some serious soul searching. And their idea of a party was to ask us to create a self-portrait.

Now, for those who have read Abby Gabs for any length of time, you already know that self-portraits are a way of life for me. I’m a pro at the stretch-the-arm-out-and-point-the-camera-at-myself shot. I have also perfected the set-camera-on-a-mostly-stable-surface-and-take-a-delayed-picture shot. I had to, if I was ever going to get shots like this:



…so I could Photoshop them into shots like this:

Courtesy of THIS POST.


Most recently, I’ve taken to using a tri-pod (or my husband) to get shots like this one:


So I could turn them into something more along the lines of this one:

Courtesy of THIS POST.


When I think of what I want my self-portrait to say about me, I think of the pictures I’ve used in my blog banner over the last two years. Sure, I wanted them to be relatively pretty (read: no visible zits, chin hairs, or food stains.) I wanted my readers to view me as Confidant, Cheeky, and/or Cute. So I set up my tri-pod (thanks, honey), and did my best posing.



Note: I always tilt my head, I always cover my chin-scar, and my bottom lip ALWAYS covers my wonky front tooth. (All tips given freely by Tyra Banks.)


But in reality, the thing I should be conveying in those portraits is the MAIN thing you should know about me. I am silly. I never take myself too seriously. Humor is my thing. I like to make people laugh—nay, snort. And none of these pictures (despite how well-lit they are) scream “Look at me, I’m a comedian!” 

So when it came time for me to take a self-portrait of myself for this post, I struggled with the concept. Once again, I found myself wondering how I would capture this silly part of me in a self-taken photo (without resorting to Photoshopping myself in front of a red brick wall, hecklers at the ready.)

And as usual, while perusing my own photos and graphics, hoping for inspiration, the answer came to me. The PERFECT self-portrait of silly, awkward, sort-of-terrific me would be one of my badly drawn graphics. And really, it captures me–as a person, as an “artist” (anyone who owns the 96-Count Bonus Box of Crayola Crayons gets to use that word), and as a blogger–just right.

Notice the sparkles for flare and fabulousness.


The only thing missing is my cracked tooth, but I couldn’t figure out how to put that in without making myself look like a hobo.

Happy Birthday Just Be Enough!!! May you change as many lives, and touch as many hearts, in your 2nd year as you did your first. With love, from That Gabby Abby (She’s the chick in desperate need of a haircut pictured above.)

 

Come join the party and help us celebrate!
And share your self-portrait with the world!
(Feel free to make yours less kindergarten-ish
than mine. Unless you have the big box
of crayons, too. )

 

Labels

Things That I Am:
Loyal. 
Funny.
Obsessive.
Wordy.
Loving.
Silly.
                                        Ever been to Mordor? I have. Sort of.
Slightly neurotic.
Overly enthusiastic.
Quick to trust.
Loud.
Larger than life.
A wee bit self-conscious.
 
                   Only Richard Simmons could save me from the evil FAT monster.
A musical-theater junkie.
A Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan through-and-through.
A New Kids on the Block uber-fan.
A video game enthusiast.
A connoisseur of bad television programs.
A self-proclaimed artist.
 
“Me.” A Self Portrait by Abby.
Nerdy. (Live long and prosper.)
Polite (mostly.)
Slightly crude (sometimes.)
Potty mouth. (Sorry Mom.)
Mother of 4 cats. (Yes, I said cats.)
Fan of parentheses (can’t you tell.)
Sarcastic. (Who? Me?? Naw…)
 
                                         When jury duty happens to good people.
I am a wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. I am a godmother. A writer. A wannabe chef. A collector of picture frames. I am struggling with weight loss, writer’s block, and PMS. I drink coffee, and wine, and even an occasional beer. I love books, good movies, bad TV. 
 
I am a soul. Single. Solitary. Unique.
 
I am so much more than the sum of my parts.
 
I am me. Not what the world labels me to be.
 

What labels are you trying to change in your own life? Link up 
with Just Be Enough and let’s collectively change the conversation.
We’re inviting posts from voices everywhere to share your
labels and who you are beyond that. The focus is whatever
you need it to be– from our lives as moms, dads, parents,
spouses, professionals, survivors, athletes and more.
We invite you to join us, to celebrate our strengths,
to celebrate our diversity, to celebrate
our voices and change the conversation.

 

 

Be Enough Me: It’s That Time. Again.

We’ve been down this road before, more than once. Ovulation charts, fertility monitors, basal thermometers. The overwhelming sadness and defeat that comes with negative pregnancy tests. The wave of hope that comes with a new pill. The nights laying awake, imagining the moment when I can finally announce to the world that I am with child.


When Brian got sick in 2010, all those plans went on the back burner.  Birthing plans turned into survival plans. Daydreams about a tow-headed toddler were replaced with nightmares of losing my partner. The constant chirp-chirp-chirp of the monitors were for my husband, battling cancer, not for me, a new baby in my arms. Priorities were rearranged. The bottle of Clomid was shoved into the corner of the medicine cabinet, replaced with pain pills, stool softeners, vitamins and Scarguard. When your husband is fighting for his life, the last thing on your mind is where you are in your menstrual cycle.


Here we are, almost a year and a half after Brian’s surgery, and that familiar yearning, that tug on my heart, that desperate desire to be a mother, has returned.


It never really went away. I’ve always wanted children, for as long as I can remember. We were distracted for awhile, by an ugly monster named Cancer, but that distraction is over. And now, the time to start over, to try again, has arrived.


As the end of the year approaches, and with it, Brian’s graduation from nursing school, my anxiety increases. I point my browser to all those familiar websites, rereading articles on infertility treatments that I could already recite in my sleep. I find myself flipping through the pages of the numerous pregnancy books already on my shelf. My list of baby names has already started growing again. 


Every day, as I jog around our property, iTunes in my ear, my mantra has changed. No longer do I hear “breathe in, breathe out” as my feet pound the ground. Now it’s “baby, baby.” With every inch I lose, every pound I drop, I feel like I’m closer to my goal. Not to fit into a pair of jeans. But to get my body healthy. So I can carry a baby.


At least once a day I find myself standing in front of a mirror, hands on my stomach, lost in a daydream of “what if” and “when.”


For now, the timing still isn’t right. There are tests to be taken, finals to study for, and projects to complete. It gives me time to get myself ready–mentally, physically, emotionally–for the road we are about to travel again. To prepare myself for the roller coaster that goes with trying to get pregnant when you’ve failed so many times before.


For now, we proceed without the aid of doctors. No drugs, no treatments, no hormones. Just us. 


For now, I pour myself into the other children in my life. I am actively spoiling my godchildren…



…and I will continue to champion little Everett, until he is well and home with his family again.


For now, I am simply in the planning stages. Thinking over my strategies. Hoping beyond hope that we won’t need medical intervention. Trying to stamp out my fear of failure and, ultimately, the inability to get pregnant at all. 



I will face my fears and start over. Again. Because I must. Because destiny tells me I must. And because this time, just maybe, we will be successful.



 

I Like Me!

The last few days have been tough for me. There may have been some negative self-talk, a few heated conversations with my reflection in the mirror, and a general feeling of discontent. Yesterday I indulged in too much coffee, not enough water, and an all day marathon of bad TV.

And here it is, a dreary, rainy Monday, and I feel like Mother Nature rolled out the perfect accessory to match my mood.

I think, on days like today, it’s important to figure out a way to turn my frown upside down. There’s no real reason for me to be feeling blue. I haven’t been defeated, or received any bad news, or experienced anything life altering.

And so I’m going to join my friends at Be Enough Me today. I’m going to wipe away that stray tear, dig deep for my happy, and share with you the things I like best about being ME.

I’m a free love kinda gal.
Wait, let me explain that statement. There’s no wall around this heart–I will love you and support you–friend, family member, husband, pet, UPS guy, nice lady at the Publix bakery–until you give me a real reason not to. (For instance, if you tell me there aren’t any more brioche rolls, that might be reason enough for us to break up.)

I am known in my little circle of friends as The Queen of Facial Expressions.
OK, so, maybe they don’t actually refer to me that way. Can I institute a new nickname, guys? Or maybe you could just curtsy when I pull my face the next time you say something funny. ‘Kay?

I laugh too loud, I gesticulate wildly, and I will always go for the laugh (even if it means I have to throw myself onto the proverbial comedy sword to get it.)
I’m good with being the loud, silly, crazy person in most social situations. I may come across to your more sophisticated friends as Ghettorific Rita from the block, but trust me when I say that you will never be bored when I’m around.

I have a really broad sense of humor.
I think silly inspirational posters, Sheldon Cooper, and dogs eating peanut butter are hilarious. (Cuz, you know, it gets stuck on the roof of their mouth? What? It’s funny!) Similarly, I will also chuckle at bad puns, perfectly executed innuendos, and funny Pinterest pictures like this one:

It’s funny because he says “Boop!” (source)

I’m a brave, strong, independent woman. Unless there’s a spider in the room. Then I’m a big ol’ fat chicken. And I’m ok with that.
It’s ok to have a character flaw. Mine just happens to be that I scream like a banshee if there’s something in the house with more than 6 legs. Bugs, I can handle. Spiders…not so much. So, if you see one before I do, just run over and kill it quick like a bunny. That way you don’t have to worry about me shrieking at the top of my lungs and trying to climb my way to the ceiling (even if I have to use you as a step stool.)

I’m also a big ol’ nerd.
Harry Potter? Oh, yes. Star Trek? Yessir. Video games, an obsession with a boy band from the 80s, Dr. Oz and documentaries of any and all kinds? Yes, yes, and some more yes. It’s ok if you think I’m a nerd. Because I embrace that part of me and will flaunt it most proudly.

Why yes, we’re wearing Harry Potter 3D glasses. That’s how we roll, right Rosie?

I’m passionate, even if I have a short attention span.
Last year, it was jewelry-making, photography, and Twitter-stalking Donnie Wahlberg. This year, it’s writing both blogs and books, exercising, and convincing Donnie Wahlberg that our relationship needs to be reciprocal (i.e. maybe he could tweet me more than once every 8 months.). No matter what project/tv show/hobby I pick up, I’m going to devote everything I’ve got to it. Until I get bored. Then I’ll find something new to be passionate about.

I rock at lists.
And I think I just proved my point.

Also, I like odd numbers better than even numbers.
Hence why I added another item to this list. So there’d be 9 instead of 8 things I like about myself. Did I mention I’m slightly neurotic? No? Well, I won’t be making it a separate entry because that would defeat the purpose of this entry, now, wouldn’t it?

See? I feel better already.

Be Enough Me: The Best Present Of All

Every year, when the turkey’s gone, our bellies full, and the dishes done, I start to get that excited, fluttery feeling in my heart. I crave the smells of a Douglas fir, cookies fresh from the oven, wintery air that’s frosty on my nose. My fingers itch to wrap presents, hang ornaments, and write cheerful holiday cards. I start my mornings with flavored coffees–pumpkin and cinnamon and peppermint. Bing Crosby, Elvis, and Harry Connick, Jr. serenade me on a daily basis.

It’s Christmastime. My favorite time of year.

Every year, as the tree goes up in the stand, and the lights are untangled and wrapped around the boughs, there’s a smile in my heart that can’t be erased. Each tiny ornament has such significant meaning, it’s a celebration as I unwrap each one. “Here’s the one from the year we got married!” I exclaim. Or “This is the first one you ever bought for me!” And “Oh, I forgot about this one! Look, Brian! It’s the silly kitty with the flowerpot on his head!”

Others hold more emotional memories: the white angel holding a kitten for the spring when Eddie died, the glass ornament with the cancer awareness ribbon bearing the date of Brian’s surgery. These baubles bring tears to my eyes each time I see them.

Each ornament is placed on the tree with care. Silver balls and glass crystals are added as the perfect light catchers. The blue bow goes on top, and the snowy white tree skirt below. Now comes my favorite part.

We turn off all the lights in the house, except the tree. We stand back, hand in hand, and just look. Music plays quietly in the background. A cat sniffs at a low-hanging branch, feigns indifference, and curls up beneath it instead. The blue lights are cool, bringing winter to our mild, warm climate. In silence we stand, contemplating. I’m sure Brian is looking at his handiwork, looking for gaps or blank spots, searching with his eyes to find an imperfection he can fix.

My eyes fill with tears as I think about the child we are without again this year. My heart breaks a little more. My arms ache. I wonder if we’ll ever have the chance to share all this love with a child of our own.

“What do you think? Should we add one more strand of lights?” my husband’s voice rocks me from my reverie. I look at him, bathed in blue light, a smile on his face. My hearts swells, heals, fills.

I know there will be a night sometime soon when I’m at home alone. I’ll turn off all the lights, lay beneath the boughs of my Christmas tree, and weep: for the child that wasn’t created this year, for the emptiness of my womb, for another Christmas gone by without the laughter of children to fill our home. That will be the night that I allow myself to feel those feelings I stamp down on most every other night of the year.

But tonight? Tonight there is too much joy in this room to dwell on sadness. I sigh, wrap my arms around my husband, and say, “If we add many more lights, they’ll be able to see us from the International Space Station.”

“Isn’t that the goal?” he jokes. And I silently thank the fates that I still have him in my life. My husband, my partner, my best friend…the best present of all.

* * * * * * * * *

 

Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice.
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence and share our mission
to empower, inspire, and remind 
women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!

Just Be Enough: Silencing My Inner-Doubter

My fingers fly across the keys. Words spring up on the page, black against stark white. I can hear the dialogue in my brain–the characters’ voices clearer than my own. I type and type, the story unfolding before me in a way I’ve never experienced before.

I don’t just feel like a writer. I am a writer.
The scene comes to an end, and like a sprinter, I stop and breathe and try to regain my center. The story I’m telling lives within me — I am just a conduit. The cursor blinks at me, awaiting my command. I instinctively check my word count. Thirty-three thousand, eight hundred and twenty nine words. The number delights me, and I sit back in amazement, momentarily stupefied.
Where did this come from? Is this the feeling that’s been trapped inside of me for so many years, begging to be released? The high that comes with a 75-page-and-counting manuscript is more than addictive.
My mind wanders. I begin thinking about the steps I will take once my novel is finished. I should start doing research on local publishing houses, I think. I already have two friends who have offered to read my book, another to edit it. I’ll need to print out a few copies to keep on hand. I wonder if I know anyone who can help me break into the business.
I imagine myself as a Published Author. My heart begins to pound in my chest, my mouth goes dry.
Trying to regain some focus, I scroll up, read the passage I’ve just finished. I strike words from the page, second-guessing what came so naturally only a few minutes before. Doubt creeps in. The voice inside my head speaks over those of my characters.
“No one else in the world would be interested in this subject matter.”
“Do you know how many people dream of being an author and never make it?”
“Don’t expect to win a Pulitzer with this stuff. You are no Toni Morrison!”
The cursor continues to blink at me, although now I feel as if it’s staring at me judgmentally, waiting for the next bit of garbage I’ll instruct it to include. The confidence I felt a few minutes ago has been totally derailed by my self-doubt.
My husband peeks over my shoulder, notes the page number, and beams. “Seventy-five whole pages? Babe, that’s so awesome! I’m so proud of you!”
The clouds of uncertainty begin to part, and I wonder what this all looks like from his point of view. I realize that he sees me reaching for my dream, doing what I love, following my passion. I think to myself, “published or not, you’re WRITING. And you’re HAPPY.”
The cursor winks at me again. I close out the sound of my inner-doubter and tune in to my characters’ voices again. I take a deep breath, place my fingers on the keys, and let the words come. I’ll second guess myself tomorrow. Today, I am a writer.

Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice.
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence and share our mission
to empower, inspire, and remind 
women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!

Be Enough Me: The Day I Became An Adult

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2003.

My Mommy and me, circa 1985.

I remember sitting on the dusty boxes in the storage room of the bookstore where I worked, cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder. My hands went numb, and my heart stopped beating in my chest.

In those brief moments when my father told me they’d found a lump in my mother’s breast, and that she would be having surgery to remove it, I instantly changed.

Before that phone call, I was just a senior in college. Brian and I were busy making plans, thinking about our wedding, dreaming of moving to the sunny South Carolina coast. The most worrisome things in our lives were making rent, studying for exams, and figuring out how to get Kool Aid stains out of the carpet. I was young. Carefree. A child on the cusp of maturity.

It took two words to snap me into adulthood. “Breast Cancer.”

I wanted to scream and cry and shake my fist at the world. I wanted to drive home, pack a bag, and race to my mother’s side. I wanted to hug my Daddy, and cry with my Mommy. I wanted to comfort my younger brother, and I wanted him to comfort me. I wanted my family.

The last family portrait taken before I got married.

But I couldn’t. I knew, as I placed the phone back in it’s cradle, that I had responsibilities in my own life that I had to deal with first, before I could have all that I needed in that one moment.

So instead, I finished out my shift at the bookstore. Then I went to class. I made arrangements to take a test early that I knew I’d miss when I went home for my Mom’s surgery. I called around to co-workers and got my next few shifts covered. I phoned the editor at the newspaper I was interning for and let him know I’d be out of town for a week, and when he asked me to finish the story I’d been working on, I did so and forwarded it to his inbox. I deposited my paycheck so Brian would have funds available to pay the rent while I was gone.

That night, I collapsed into Brian’s arms. I cried for my mother, and the pain I knew she would endure. I cried for the unknown, the uncertainty that comes with chemo and radiation. I cried for my father, knowing he’d have to be strong enough to carry this burden without shedding tears. And I cried for the girl I was, knowing in some way that I was leaving her behind.

Cancer is life altering. It is terrifying, and sobering, and invasive. It makes decisions for you that take your life on an unexpected, unplanned course.

And for a 21-year-old college kid, it launched her into adulthood.

♥My Mom. My Friend. And Breast Cancer Survivor.♥

I’m proud to say that my Mom beat Cancer, and has been healthy and cancer-free since 2003. She may have lost her hair during chemo, and she may have suffered the effects of radiation, but she’s stronger than even she knows. Love you, Mom.  

 
Every MONDAY join us…
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice.
Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission
to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents and children
that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!


♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In that spirit, please note the new addition to Abby Gabs on the top of the left column! Every time you click the Breast Cancer Site button, their sponsors make donations to help pay for mammograms for women who can’t afford them. Let’s beat Breast Cancer, one click at a time!

Be Enough Me: By Learning To Be Less Of Me (No Wait, Let Me Explain)

By eight o’clock last night, I was absolutely exhausted. I could barely hold my eyes open, my knees and hips were aching, and my back felt like I’d been lifting heavy furniture all day. My head was pounding, my mouth felt dry, and every joint in my body was creaking.

No, I did not run a marathon yesterday.

The truth is, I spent my day watching football, cooking dinner, and playing with the family dogs.

So why was I so tired and in so much pain?

Because, after 8 years of carrying all this excess weight, my body is starting to give out on me. Each pound I pack on is sapping another hour of energy I might otherwise have. I’m 30 years old, but I feel like I’m 50.

I’ll tell you one thing I know for sure. If I want to stand tall and be enough for myself, I need to lose some of myself first. (As in, some of my belly, and some of my thighs, some of my rumpus….)

Moment of truth: THIS is what I’ve been eating lately:

FYI: This is NOT what healthy eating looks like.

Oh, wait. That makes me look like a fat girl with a death wish. I do have *some* healthy foods in my stash. Let me fluff it up just a bit.

The only veggies I had to add: 3 overripe tomatoes and some wilty parsley. Epic.

Moment of clarity: THIS is what I want my daily diet to look like:

I don’t even know what that green thing is in the upper right-hand corner. Cabbage? Kale? Audrey II?

My body is sending me a clear S.O.S. signal, and has been for some time. And now, I’m ready to do something about it.

Not just for a trimmer waistline, smaller jeans, and a cuter figure. Vanity isn’t driving this weight loss bus.

Nope, it’s ALL me.

I’m sitting in the driver’s seat this time. And I’m doing it for my health.

I want to sleep better, feel better, have more energy. I want to be in a better mood, feel better about myself, accomplish something great.

I want to be a better me. I want to stand tall and proud, carrying my accomplishments on my shoulders rather than the shame and guilt of my weight.

I want to learn what that cabbage-y this is in that picture, and learn to love it.

There’s “more than Enough” me to go around. And I’m ready to change that today.

Every MONDAY join us… 
Write, post, link-up, share your story and your voice.  Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents and children that the time has come to celebrate ourselves!
How have YOU lived the “Just Be Enough” feeling this past week? Link up with us!

Be Enough Me: I AM ENOUGH!

I am enough.

This is a difficult concept for me. That I, with all my faults and insecurities, am enough. I, with my extra 75+ pounds, and my extremely loud laugh, and my over-emotional tendencies, am enough. I, with my uncooperative eggs, and my less-than-perfect housekeeping skills, and my overbearing nature, am enough.

Me. Just me.

I lay in bed last night, still and quiet, my husband breathing softly beside me, and wondered about this concept. I mulled over all the things I feel like I could do better/faster/neater/more often. I berated myself for the things I don’t do at all. I listed all my faults and misgivings and insecurities in my head.

And then I took a deep breath and mentally bagged up all those negative thoughts, tossed that bag over my shoulder, and took out the trash.

I am enough.

I am loving.

I am funny.

I am intelligent.

I am fiercely loyal.

I am beautiful.


I am a good friend.


I am creative.


I am LOUD.

I am silly.

I am strong.

I am love personified.

I may not be your definition of perfect. I may not be on the cover of a fashion magazine. I may not have beautiful children, or a published book, or a lovely home in the country. I may have places on my body that jiggle when I laugh, and my salad dressings may never be low fat. I may not have a lot of money, but the love I have for my husband, my family, my friends, my cats, my life—well, it’s worth more than any sum in the world. I may not be the prettiest, or the funniest, or the best at anything…

But I am a good wife. I am a good friend. I am a good citizen.

I can bake the best damn cheesecake you’ve ever put in your face. I will hug you when you need huggin’, and I will hug you when you don’t need huggin’. I will hold your hand in the face of disaster, and I will laugh with you when laughter is all that’s left. I will bring you a casserole when you’re too busy to cook dinner, and I’ll bring a bottle of wine, too. I will help you paint your kitchen, I will feed your dogs while you’re out of town, and I’ll probably mop your floor and fill up your fridge while I’m at it.

I am loud. I am big. I am goofy. I have a country twang, a crooked front tooth, a brand-new tattoo, and a few grey hairs.

I am me. And I am enough.

In case you’ve forgotten since last week’s post, I’m linking up with JustBeEnough.com which is a site that focuses on telling empowering stories of women, written by women. It’s mission is to inspire women to remember to celebrate themselves. This month they are fighting the good fight against cancer. For every 20 link ups this month, Bellflower Books will donate $75 toward a 20-page memory book for a family fighting breast cancer. We had over 30 link-ups last week!! The linky party is open until tomorrow, so stop by and tell your story today! 

Be Enough Me: Learning to Love Myself

I write a lot of funny blogs. I make silly faces at the camera, I photoshop myself into funny situations, I tell you humorous anecdotes from my life. I love to laugh, and I laugh a lot. My life is filled with love, and laughter, and family. For that I am blessed a thousand times over.

But the truth is, some days it’s really hard for me to think of something funny to say. Some days I can’t seem to find anything in my life to shine a light on, for my blog’s sake.

I know that, a lot of the times, I throw myself under the funny bus just to get a laugh. I’m often times critical of myself, but in a way that seems humorous. The truth behind the clown mask, though, is that more than one day a week, I wake up feeling “less than.” Unworthy. Hidden. Like the words I write are only to be lost in a sea of other voices, and mine is the one drowning while others are clawing their way to the surface to be seen.

Despite my 30 years on this earth, and the love and admiration I have for so many people in my life, I think I still struggle with learning to love myself. There are so many aspects of “ME” that I joke about, make light of…but those aspects often weigh on me like so many stones.

My weight.

Infertility.

Dreams that go unfulfilled year after year.

Insecurities.

Most days I am happy. Most days I can find humor in the world. Most days I love everything about my life.

But…

At least once a day I think about the fact that I don’t have a child yet.

At least once a day (usually many more times than that) I chastise myself for being overweight, and for not being diligent enough to do something about it permanently.

At least once a day I wonder how someone else will react to what I say or what I do, and if that will color their opinion of me to a different, unfavorable shade.

At least once a day, I dream of the little house in the country with a fence and a garden and a swing set and a pretty kitchen that I don’t have (yet.)

I worry that I’m being selfish. That I’m not enough.

But I am enough.

I cook and clean and make life easier for my husband, who is working towards his nursing degree.

I spend quality time with my family: bonding with my dad over a glass of wine and a bubbling pot of red sauce; helping my mom design the perfect beaded key chain; laughing with my brother over any and everything.

I strive to be a good friend: sending cards, little gifts, photos. Calling to check in often. Dropping off casseroles to those who need the comfort. Loving them, each one, with every inch of my heart. I snuggle and kiss and spoil their babies as if they were my own (even when it breaks my heart, just a little, each time.)

I do my job. I write my blog. I stay busy. I make others lives easier, more enjoyable.

I am enough.

Even on days when I think I’m not.

JustBeEnough.com is a site that focuses on telling empowering stories of women, written by women. It’s mission is to inspire women to remember to celebrate themselves. This month they are fighting the good fight against cancer. For every 20 link ups this month, Bellflower Books will donate $75 toward a 20-page memory book for a family fighting breast cancer. Feel free to link up and help their worthy cause! And thanks to Jen at The Misadventures of Mrs. B for giving me the idea to participate!