When I initially sat down to write a blog post, I was going to just summarize the last few weeks.

I went on a Utah/Colorado road trip with my sisters that included driving miles down the wrong dirt road, hiking, sand sledding, and climbing a 32 foot ladder on the side of a cliff face.

Delicate Arch
Balcony House tour at Mesa Verde NP
Sunset on BLM land

I also flew to St. Louis to meet Patrick to drive to Illinois for a wedding in his hometown.

So I was going to write about all of that. Why? I don’t really know. I just felt like it! But then I stumbled across this…

And if that ain’t the truth. I honestly can’t remember if I wrote much about my summer last year. I think once I had the realization that I had come out on the other side whole and breathing, I didn’t really care to think much about it anymore.

July and August of 2018 were really hard for me. I faced self-doubt from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep. I felt like I had failed myself. The present I was living was nothing like the future I had imagined for myself.

I was ashamed of my part-time job. I was ashamed to not be working in a non-profit. I felt like I would never be able to do the work I dreamt of doing. And because we put such an emphasis on “success” in our world, my self-perceived career “failure” easily became my own personal failure in my mind.

My self-doubt called into question my self-worth. If I couldn’t contribute to society in the way I had wanted to, then I wasn’t valuable at all. Even a year ago, some small part of my mind knew all of that was a lie. But, buddy, it’s so easy to stay in your little hole of despair. Things are consistent down there. You know how you’ll feel and it takes so much of your energy that you don’t have to make any effort to better anything.

Fortunately, I learned to cut myself some damn slack.

I realized that giving myself some grace, cutting myself some slack, was not the same as giving up completely. I just finally decided to treat myself the same way I would treat anyone I loved going through the same thing. It didn’t mean that all my woes were suddenly solved. It didn’t mean that I suddenly felt great all the time. It meant that I had decided to get out of my little hole and just lay on the ground next to it, instead. Kneeling. Standing. Walking. Running. All of that would come later. August 2018, I climbed out of the hole, laid on the ground, and thought “alright, world. where do we go from here?”

Fast forward a year. Where did we go?

I went forward. I feel like I’ve spent the last year of my life straight hustling. Sometimes it feels like too much, sometimes it feels like I’ve got it all under control. I know there’s that whole balance thing we should all go for, but that’s so much easier said than done. I learned to prioritize tasks and emotions. I learned how to only let in what builds me up instead of tears me down. I will say, the door for that has a crappy latch, so sometimes the negative stuff gets in. Just because I finally learned how to do it does not mean I nail it all the time.

Just because I know how to wash the dishes does not mean I’m going to say no if Patrick offers to do it instead. Patrick gets it.

I still struggle with self-doubt and self-worth time to time. I kind of developed a mantra that I tell myself when I feel myself start to doubt.

Juliana, you’re literally the only one that cares about this.

Because any attack on my confidence or self-worth only holds weight if I care what people think. When I take that power away and give it solely to myself, I can quickly follow it up with a shoulder shrug and “whateva whateva”.

Healthiest coping mechanism? Probably not, but I am running with it for now.

ANYWAY. I made it through stronger, braver, weirder, and a little more caffeine-dependent.

I have a feeling the next few years of my life are going to throw a lot my way (don’t they always?) and I have a pledge. Or maybe an endeavor? Whateva whateva.

I want to be as honest as possible with myself about my energy levels, my emotions, and my priorities. I want to cut myself some slack and I want to hold myself accountable. I want to cry it out when I need to (healing) and I want to put my foot down and handle that shit. I want to write when I need to think things through. I want to share what I think with the world. I want to be brought down a peg and I wanted to be supported. I want to do more and do less. I want to fill my cup and give some away too.

August 2019 is just another month. But we’re a far cry from August 2018. I can’t wait to see what it brings.