Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Truth: Emotional Consequences of Adoption



It hasn’t been all fairytales and happiness since placing my birth son. It’s had its hard moments. The deep lows, emotional struggle, and a kind of hole in your heart you keep trying to fill with positive thoughts, people, and love. With an honest heart, I can tell you I have never once regretted my decision to place Dayton with his adoptive family. If there is someone exploring adoption, I want to tell you that I believe the benefits greatly outweigh any negative. However, there are emotional consequences to such a selfless choice.

Typically, during a visit with Dayton and the Miller’s, I feel such incredible peace and reassurance. Every time. And I’m grateful for those overwhelming feelings. After our time with one another ends, there’s a silence that takes over my mind and body. A silence wherein I can see and feel what’s most important in this life. Our families, our loved ones. 

And I begin to feel that gaping hole in my heart. 

The regret that I didn’t do it right the first time, that I didn’t bring a child into this world with all of the right circumstances. I struggle with my perfectionist self that my life hasn’t happened how I planned… that I still don’t have it right. My heart begins to hurt, and I struggle with thoughts and feelings of inadequacy for a number of nights. 

I cry more than I used to. I'm sensitive to things I can't even always pinpoint a reason for. Heck, I'm fighting back tears as I write this!

What gets me through? Unconditional love from those around me. And a lot of work on seeing the grander scheme of things.

I’m still learning and growing, we all are. But one things for sure, I can relate to so many people now. The depth of love and understanding I have for my friends, family, and the people I meet or don’t… I never want them to feel alone or unworthy. Because they’re not.

I talk a lot about loving ourselves and building our self-esteem because along my path, I lost myself. Then had to find it again. I have this desire to share with others how I learned to do it and how to maintain it. Loving ourselves takes hard work, so be patient. I also talk a lot about how important GOOD and HEALTHY friends & family are. There is a safe place with them to talk about our lives, our loves, our fears and our struggles. They hug us through our worst and support us at our best. 

The hole in my heart may never fully go away and I think about Dayton probably every single day! But I have such a LOVE for open adoption and for anyone who has chosen to place – YOU are strong and YOU are brave!! Your life changes in ways you never expected. Open adoption brings families together – to love, learn, and cherish each other. Not only is Dayton in my thoughts, but so are his siblings. I would do anything for them. Dayton’s adoptive parents are some of the most amazing people I have ever met and they never fail at making me feel loved and appreciated.


There is such a bigger reason to live this life. Accept that there will be some emotional pain but seek people that build you up... you’ll get through. 

Choosing to place through an open adoption was right for me - I could never deny it. This journey is worth any hard moments that come. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lesson #3: Keep Your Independence Yours


Lesson #3: Keep your independence yours


Regardless of what gender you are and what friendship or relationship you’re in, do things for YOU! Be comfortable enough with yourself to spend time alone, doing what sparks your creativity and opens your mind to self-realization.

These are the times where we improve the love we have for ourselves and what beams from us. It’s what allows us to be confident in ourselves and hold healthy, continuous relationships with others. Sometimes it’s hard to take a day or two away from the people we love most and it’s hard to not attend every single social activity for fear of missing out (FOMO duh)… But the clear mind and internal strength created in us is powerful when we take time to ourselves. You’ll find you are less likely to hold onto negative thoughts, negative people, and able to make healthier decisions in your life. All while building up your own self-esteem & self-worth (which I'm all about). 

Self-realization is one of the hardest traits to cultivate - and an important one! It is such a great tool I use to help recognize my not so great behaviors so I am able to work on them. I’m the kind of person that’s all for self-improvement and using self-realization helps me to build better confidence. Honestly the only way to discover our inner person is to be alone. Alone with your thoughts, reading, searching, creating, and reflecting. It takes separating our minds from social media, materialism, and comparison to really understand why we think and do what we do. This process brings happiness to my soul, and a greater sense of self that assists me in keeping balance & independence in my life.

Another form of keeping your independence if you are in a relationship, is to make time for your friends… without your significant other. WHHAAATTTTT!? Yes, for real. You can do it. And I bet your significant other can deal with it too. If anything, you both get a mini break. It makes them miss you and you miss them – it’s attractive to date someone with hobbies and interests outside of their partner. I LOVE my girl nights or weekend getaways with my friends. We laugh, we cry, we yell, we joke, we dance… it’s a fabulous time where I come out feeling all kinds of warm & happy feelings. It totally boosts my confidence and reminds me of all the love I have around me.

Keeping my independence in whatever way necessary brings me strength and confidence in who I am. Inner love and inner peace with myself helps me feel balanced. Taking time to myself to do what I enjoy makes me feel rejuvenated and I am so much nicer to be around!! Without keeping my independence, I become irritable and can find myself depending on others around me to handle my emotions – which isn’t very fair and not very pleasant! 

So make an effort to explore who you are and what you truly desire in this life. Keep your independence yours…and you’ll see so many benefits because of it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Strong Women Need Other Strong Women



Lesson #2: Strong women need other strong women.


Strong, brave, courageous, driven, uplifting women are a rare breed. They tend to be the women that most intimidate you. Why? Maybe they have what you don’t, or maybe they have exactly what you have. I do know that some of what’s lead to the best times in my life thus far, is approaching the women that intimidate me most. It is how I have made my very best friends.

When encompassed by strong women, it brings you a feeling of fearlessness. After I had placed Dayton and moved back to Utah (ooo scary), I needed some new friends. I would go to social gatherings literally knowing only one person, and would come out meeting 10-15. Where not only did I meet smart, hard working women, but a handful of solid men that remain my closest friends. These friends gave me the feeling of fearlessness… and they still do today.

Want to know why we need strong lady friends? They…

EMPOWER
UPLIFT
ENCOURAGE
COMPLIMENT
SPEAK HONESTLY
LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY

All great things, right!? As women we experience things deeply, we have emotions and hormones that we can’t always handle by ourselves. I know I sure can’t! “Uhh hello, mom? Yeah I need you.” I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to rely on my friends when I’m sad, angry, or hurt. They let me text me them all day long. Haha I’m so not kidding. The strong women in my life have my back, keep it real, and comfort me along the way.

Strong women are happy for you when good things happen, when you accomplish big things, and when you do what’s right for your life. They don’t bring you down, guilt you, or make you feel like you should stick around for them when opportunities are possibly taking you elsewhere. Strong women can remain friends across time, states, and countries.

Don’t let your fear keep you from making friends with amazing people, make a choice to love yourself and take the initiative to compliment others. I guarantee that the amount of friendships and opportunities in your life will increase tremendously. Behind those beautiful faces are strong women - needing other strong women to stand by them. There are so many things we can accomplish together. Having a network of strong women is powerful.


Forget about your worldly concerns and strive to be a STRONG WOMEN. We need you!!  

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Your Past, Your Baggage & Your Worth


Lesson #1: Don’t let a man (or woman) lessen your worth based on your past “mistakes” or experiences.


Would it pain you to know this HAS happened to me in my dating life, multiple times? I decided to be open about the story of placing my birth son in an open adoption with some of the guys I dated. Since I “wore” my mistake, it became a whole lot worse in their books.

Sadly, some of those closest to me thought I shouldn’t share my story with people because it might deter boys from dating me. Having seriously grown up in the past few years (and deciding that I will not be controlled by shame), I realize just how messed up that idea is! I should hide an experience because a boy may not want to date me? And his parents may disapprove of him dating someone like me?! Considering the background and culture in which I grew up in, I expected that my mistakes could be forgiven and forgotten. Clearly though, something isn’t clicking for all.  Why should I feel shame for living my life and having experiences I’ve grown from? The guys I’ve dated may have made the same “mistake” as I, but mine was worse according to them. Some claimed they just couldn’t handle it because they always viewed the girl they wanted to be with, as a virgin.

My experience was placed on some kind of scale – where they, themselves got to be the judge.

Talk about some major BS!! Some people live in a fantasy land with a fantasy idea that’s been built in their head about the perfect, worthy woman or man. I’ve also heard about boys discounting my worthiness to other boys who were interested in me – and yes, they are BOYS. Real men and woman with integrity do not take the opportunity to discount your worth based on your past experiences. Nor do they look you in the face and say what they’ve done is not as bad as what you’ve done. I won’t allow this kind of hypocrisy near my life anymore and I don’t think you should either.

I am grateful for my current relationships where I am loved for my experiences and constantly uplifted regardless of my past choices (yes these people do exist). Be weary of keeping a person close or dating someone who ranks your sins and takes it upon themselves to judge your worthiness. And don’t be the person doing this as it is extremely hurtful and very damaging to a person’s self-esteem. Wait and search out the people and relationships that have a higher standard of operating. It is SO worth it to be in a safe, loving, uplifting relationship.

Just to be clear, I am not dismissing the importance of choosing your relationships wisely. It is important to know someone’s background, what they stand for, and how they function (healthy, unhealthy).  A relationship wherein it becomes emotional, verbal, or physically abusive is never OK.


However, I am saying that a guy who makes you feel unworthy to date him over the fact that you drink Diet Coke regularly, is some kind of BS hypocrisy you can throw out the window. My life is funny, right?! ;)  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Life Lessons



Naturally, we tend to depend on those closest to us. The people we surround ourselves with shape a lot of our lives and who we become. They fill our heads with memories and lessons that we carry with us for years! Throughout my 20’s my friends and relationships have shifted year to year. Some friends stay, some go. There’s a few things I’ve learned along the way about which relationships and friendships I want to keep close – and which one’s I don’t.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing a handful of "Kylie's Life Lessons" with you that all have one common theme, healthy relationships and fulfilling friendships. They will include meaningful lessons I've learned regarding things like having "baggage" and how it affects relationships, why strong woman need other strong woman, and the importance in keeping your independence. These pieces may be personal to me, but I hope my readers can find new information and knowledge they may have not had before. 

"The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world."

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Travel - Food & Exercise


Outside of blogging, I have a typical day job that takes up most of my time (I love it). A week and a half ago I was on location in Las Vegas at Adobe Summit - a really awesome tech convention where a lot of cool companies & their nerds get together and show off their stuff, build relationships, and find opportunity. It was SO busy I had zero brain power left to blog that week! I love traveling for work, but this means I have to be prepared for the trip ahead!

I’m the type of person that puts a lot of work into the health of my body and the type of food I eat to maintain. It doesn’t come easy and when I travel it can be really difficult to always plan ahead. Thankfully, I don’t travel for work too often, where my options are limited and I am at the mercy of my fellow co-workers and their eating habits. Because let’s face it – it’s what we eat that affects us most!

PLAN AHEAD 

Ugh, prep!? Sometimes it feels like it can take SO much brain effort. I tend to eat every 2.5/3 hours so I’m kind of high maintenance. Not only do I stay fueled throughout the day but it keeps the hungry grump in me from emerging. So before I leave, I make sure to pack up a couple different kinds of protein. Depending on how long I’m gone, I’ll pack my powdered protein (from Costco) into a mason jar or two, or if I’m going to be gone for more than a couple days, I’ll just bring the whole bag with me. I always bring a shaker bottle for convenience when making a protein drink and plus it’s great to fill with drinking water. I also always bring Quest bars, my favorite type of “bar” that has about 20g of protein in each serving. These make awesome snacks or fillers during the day and there are so many different kinds! I prefer to pair it with a banana or an apple if available.

GETTING ACTIVE

Depending on where you are and what you’re doing, it can be difficult to get a workout in. If I’m staying in a hotel, I do some research on their gym facility. Most hotels have them now and they at least offer some basic equipment. I try and make some time to lift some weights or get some cardio in. When I’m visiting family, I usually find where they attend in town and I get a promotion pass that allows me to workout for free for a few days. When I visit my mom she gets the OK from her trainer and she brings me along to her intense, kill-me-now workouts. She kicks my tooshy!! If I am ever just plain unable to find a facility, I try and get some walking in.

I believe that keeping up with our healthy body goals is super important for our well-being (and it’s proven). It helps us think more clearly, have more energy, and simply feel better physically & emotionally. With that said… want to know how my week in Vegas went for me in these regards? How did I squeeze in the time? How did I do on watching my food and getting in workouts?

Welp – I did absolutely terrible. 

I didn’t eat very well or as often as I would have liked, I didn’t get a single workout in other than some walking, and I didn’t sleep much. Over the weekend I chose late night hangouts, treats, and movies with my family (who I don’t see as often as I’d like) over going to the gym. It was an exhausting non-stop week and that’s life sometimes. Am I going to get down on myself about it? No. I just pick up again and refocus. And I don’t regret it. Give yourself a break! We’re all doing the best we can.