Until You’ve Seen the Darkness. 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

As children we grew up afraid of the dark. We heard stories of the Boogie Man, ghosts and monsters hiding in our closets. We slept with a nightlight and blanket for extra security, just in case something was lurking under our beds.

I can recall many nights of sleeping in my parents’ bed or making a pallet on the floor beside them. Some nights I was just too terrified to sleep alone. Darkness is a scary thing.

We put a face to the dark as children, like the monsters we saw in scary movies. Yet, little did we know that there were much scarier things than beasts. Our emotions, our minds, our feelings…those are scarier than any movie I watched growing up.

While my days primarily consist of sunshine now, there were a few points in my life that I thought I wouldn’t survive. I experienced some hard times that I honestly thought I may not make it through.

While I’ve been extremely blessed in my life (great family, friends and accomplishments), my biggest struggles were within. There’s a saying that “a smile can hide so much,” and I found out just how true that was.

My inner critic has always been somewhat of a bitch. No one ever had to get on to me for anything because I would already be beating myself up for not being perfect. Ever since I can remember I strived for perfection. I had to be the best, or I was nothing at all.

That’s really tough to deal with when you’re a kid. Society and peers both put a ton of pressure on children, and putting stress on myself only made me feel 10 times worse. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this lesson until 20 years later.

Losing competitions or games in middle school would throw me into brief periods of darkness. I’d be pissed, then sad, and eventually I would get over it. The process probably took me a little longer than my friends, but I managed to figure it out.

Fast forward a few years, and my best friend, Jacob, died in a tragic accident. That was the first time I’d ever experienced debilitating grief. I couldn’t move, couldn’t talk, couldn’t function. The following weeks were a total blur, and after 11 years I still haven’t fully healed.

The darkness I felt when I lost Jacob was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It was a feeling that I never want to feel again and (knock on wood) I haven’t. While that moment taught me many valuable lessons it also took away a piece of me.

A few months after Jacob’s passing, I started High School. During those years, sports were my life. I lived and breathed the two-a-days, practices and games. Sports were a great outlet for me and my aggression but while the highs were high, the lows were very low. Again, I started to experience deep dark mental moments.

Once I’d graduated High School, I went through a period of transition. No longer was I a star athlete or Valedictorian, I was merely another college student. I still tried really hard to stand out in nursing school, but it just wasn’t the same.

My 4 years of college were full of academics and good grades, but they also consisted of a lot of parties and drunken nights. I had a lot of trouble adjusting to my new life as an adult. I’d never felt so lost in the crowd, and I really didn’t like it.

My late teens/early 20’s really tested my mental strength. I found myself very unhappy with my relationship, lost and confused about my purpose in life and just sad. My anxiety was at an all time high, and at that time I didn’t know how to control it.

After a while I settled in to my job as a Registered Nurse at the hospital. I was getting to work with babies (which I absolutely loved), and I started making friends that were a positive influence on my life. I felt accomplished, I felt happy. However, there was still this inner battle of discovering my true purpose.

Even though I was accomplishing all of the things I’d ever wanted to do, I faced a daily mental struggle. My mind wouldn’t just let me be happy in the present. I was constantly searching for the next best thing, the next life event I could check off my list.

I battled with my brain constantly and somehow found a way to keep the darkness out. I started focusing on my future with my boyfriend (at the time) and making plans for a wedding and kids. I thought I’d finally met my soulmate, but yet again I was wrong.

After almost 2 years of dating and living together, my boyfriend broke up with me. He told me he wasn’t ready for this life I’d been planning, and he left. That day was the single darkest day of my life.

I’d never felt that low, and I promised myself I would never go back to that level of devastation again. I didn’t eat for days. I laid on the floor and cried for a week before I could even semi function. I remember screaming at God, asking Him why he did this to me.

It was that point in my life, that level of darkness, that caused me to seek help from a therapist. I had no motivation for life, but I knew the only way I would return to the light was to let someone help me. Little did I know that finding my therapist was one of the best things to happen to me.

It’s been 2 years since I’ve began working with Megan, and my life has completely turned around. I’ve started this incredible journey of self discovery, and I’ve learned so many lessons about life.

Taking that huge leap to reach out for help benefited me in ways that I never even imagined. It showed me that I wasn’t alone, that I wasn’t crazy for feeling this way. It taught me that although no one’s darkness is the same, we all experience it at some point.

After 2 years of intense inner work and dedication, I’ve figured out how to stay in the light. I’ve learned how to embrace my little moments of darkness and then leave them to the night where they belong. I still have some shadows, but now I’m basking in the sunshine.

Working through the darkness is no easy task. It takes courage, dedication and strength. It’s a very uncomfortable process at first, but the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. If you’re struggling with darkness just know you aren’t alone. Even the happiest people you know have dealt with tough times.

No matter what you go through in life, you can survive. You can be broken down, lost, confused and still come out stronger than before. The light is a beautiful thing, but it takes work to bask in its glory. Keep on fighting and remember…until you’ve seen the darkness, you’ll never appreciate the light.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell💋

You Will Bend But Not Break.

“Like a tree, you have to find your roots and then you can bend in the wind.” – Angela Farmer

This last year has seemed like a never-ending uphill climb. Every time I felt like I was starting to get ahead, another obstacle was thrown in my way. I’ve had to fight, push, pull, endure and face some of my toughest battles yet…but here I am, still standing.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in the past few months, but the one that really stands out to me is that as humans we bend but don’t break. We get pushed to our limit time and time again, and yet we somehow survive.We endure heartache, loss, devastation, denial and regret, and yet we keep on living.

The more I’ve delved into my “new age spirituality” journey, the more I’ve begun to realize just how amazing humans are. We’re capable of finding love after heartache. We possess the ability to trust after being deceived. We can get broken down over and over and somehow get back up. It’s fascinating.

The incredible thing is I know all of this from personal experience. What really pushed me to take the leap of moving to a new city was heartbreak. I was so low, so lost, so confused about life. I’ve always felt like God created me for a special purpose, but at the time I couldn’t figure out what it was.

I tried so many times in my 25 years of living to figure out God’s grand plan for my life. Every time I thought I was making progress, some tragedy swooped in and started me back at square one. My faith was tested to say the least, and there were many times that I asked God, “Why? Why won’t you show me what I’m meant to do?”

Little did I realize that’s why they call it faith. It isn’t something you can see or figure out, it’s just something you have to trust. I continued to fight God, to question His goodness. I felt like, “hello, I’m 25 years old. When are you going to show me my path?” I’ve realized now that every day is a small step toward His bigger plan for me.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could overcome some of the hardships I faced in my life. When I was 14 years old, my best friend died in an accident. You want to talk about devastation, that’s it. It completely influenced who I am today. I have trust issues, I don’t like getting super close to people, and I have a daily struggle with the fear that someone I love is going to die.

As I got older, the pressure I put on myself began to amplify. I always was (and still am) my own worst critic. No one could punish me for the mistakes I made because, trust me, I was already punishing myself. I hated myself, and I always thought I should be better than what I was.

It’s taken me 25 years to truly love myself. It’s taken me all this time to realize that I am worthy, I am special, I am not perfect and that’s okay. I finally realized that the struggles, the bending, that we endure in life is simply God molding us into who we were meant to be.

Once this important life lesson finally sunk in, I realized that everything I’d gone through was leading me to where I am now. I’ve achieved my dream of becoming a Pediatric Oncology RN, I’ve started a blog and I’ve had a successful 9 years with my band. I’ve accomplished so much that I never gave myself credit for until this year.

The most rewarding part of all my accomplishments is seeing my hard work appreciated by others. Every time I see a patient smile or receive a message from someone who’s read my blog or see someone singing along to my song at a show, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of purpose. Knowing I’ve made a difference is what fuels me.

I somehow learned to stop condemning myself. I finally realized that criticizing yourself does absolutely nothing but bring you down. The world will always be judging you so why judge yourself? If you aren’t rooting for yourself then who will? Be your number one supporter, and learn to recognize your worth.

All of this has definitely had a negative effect on my anxiety. When I start going through a rough patch I start to feel like it’ll never end. My mind starts running wild, I start having heart palpitations and I just get in a really bad place. However, I’ve learned some amazing techniques to bring myself back to reality.

The moral of this story is to embrace the struggles and the growing pains. Realize that those moments are shaping you into who you were meant to be. They may seem impossible and never ending, but I promise you will make it through. One day you’ll look back and realize it was all for a reason.

Eventually we all find our purpose. I wouldn’t say I’ve had that big ah-ha moment of clarity where I see every detail of my chosen path, but I’m learning to take it a day at a time. Sometimes we get so caught up in the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey. I hope you realize that no matter what you face you may bend, but you will not break.
XOXO,
Myka Shantell 💋

 

You Can’t Win Them All.

“You’re the type of woman a man should never let go of, you’re the type of woman men regret losing. Nothing about you is ordinary. Choose someone who knows this…never settle for less than you are…” – R.H. Sin

One thing I’ve come to truly understand as an adult is “you can’t win them all.” I’m one of those people that continues to fight for what I want despite the obstacles. Seriously, nothing stands in my way.

However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I can say something over and over again until I’m blue in the face, but some people just don’t get it. It doesn’t matter how many ways I try to explain something, they just don’t understand.

This struggle is a deeply frustrating one for me. Like why can’t I just make them understand?

Feelings seem to be one of the hardest things to get across to others. If I say “I love you” then I love you. If you hurt me, apologize and don’t do it again. If I tell you I need you to support me then be there for me. It’s pretty simple.

I feel like these are really easy concepts to grasp, especially because I’m a point-blank kind of person. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s to be brutally honest. People aren’t mind readers, especially guys, so if you want or need something just come out and say it.

For most of my life I’ve known what I wanted for my future. I’ve always known a general direction of where I wanted to go and where I wanted to end up. My ultimate dream consists of success, love, family and happiness.

I feel like these dreams are pretty straightforward, but achieving them has been one of the hardest things in my life. It doesn’t matter how many times I look for love, get a good job or strive for happiness…as soon as I get one another slips out of reach.

Life is a balancing game, and Lord knows I’m a klutz. I guess I just haven’t quite mastered the art of balance yet.

Despite the fact that we can’t win them all, I have a feeling that it’s our job as humans to continue trying. We should strive to be open and honest. We should work toward being clear and blunt about what we want from others.

Beating around the bush and hoping someone gets the hint does nothing but cause us pain. When we feel misunderstood or unheard, it can cause a lot of problems in our relationships and friendships.

By being direct about what we want, we leave little to chance. Now, how someone responds to those wants and needs is a whole other story.

I’ve learned that being direct doesn’t always get us what we want. Sometimes it leaves us more confused and upset than we were in the first place. When we’re honest with others and those feelings aren’t reciprocated, it can really hurt.

I actually went through a situation like this in the last year.

The past year has been an enormous transformation for me. It’s completely challenged my thoughts, beliefs, dreams and everything I thought I knew about myself. There’s been a lot of uncertainty to say the least, but one thing I’ve always been certain of is love.

I’m a very compassionate, caring person. To me “I love you” isn’t only reserved for a significant other. I have friends and family that I love as well, and I’m not afraid to tell them that. I feel like love is something that should be shared and integrated into every part of life in some way.

So, this year I had someone that was very in and out of my life. I gave things way too many chances and usually ended up being the one that got hurt. Yet, for some reason I kept fighting. I told you I was stubborn.

After all of the back and forth I finally told them that we had to come up with a plan, or we had to let it go. I couldn’t deal with the uncertainty anymore. I don’t know how many times  I tried to explain what I wanted, but every attempt was misunderstood. They never got it.

It was really heartbreaking to realize that just because we’re certain about what we want, it doesn’t always work the way we hope. Even laying it out directly for someone doesn’t guarantee results. You just can’t win them all.

So the moral that I’ve taken away from my experience is to continue being open and honest about what I want in life. Just because it didn’t work out for me now doesn’t mean it won’t work out in the future.

There were times that I wanted to shut down and give up. There were moments that I felt like no one would get it, but there is someone out there that will understand. There’s someone who will comprehend what you want from them, and they’ll be able to give you what you need.

That will be the person you’ve always wanted in your life. That moment will make all you’re losses worth while. In the end you’ll be so happy that you continued to pursue your dreams and lived life with an honest heart.

Don’t let one little defeat keep you from all of the wonderful things that are in store. Ultimately, you can’t win them all.

XOXO,
Myka Shantell💋

Surround Yourself With Love. 

“Surround yourself with the dreams and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee

I realized today that I’ve been single for an entire year, 365 days of only me. If you know me you know this is a huge deal because the last 10 years of my life have been consumed with non-stop long term relationships.

To be honest, I look back on this last year and realize how truly life changing it’s been. This has been the most hectic, lonely, vulnerable, exciting, challenging, heartbreaking, breathtaking phase of my life.

I started the year by leaving a toxic 2 year relationship, packing my bags, and moving to a brand new city. I transported my life to a place where I knew no one and started a new job at a prestigious hospital. I left the security of my family, friends, and a town that had been my home for 25 years. Looking back now, what the hell was I thinking?

To this day I still don’t understand where I got the guts to take this huge leap of faith. As I’ve told my new friends my story, they all seem to have one common response. They each tell me how brave I am. I never really understood why they said that, until now.

I’m really proud of myself for taking a chance on a new start, a new life. It does take a lot of courage to leave everything you’ve ever known for an unknown future. When I first moved here, I kept wondering if I’d made a mistake. I constantly worried that I’d ruined my life, and for a while I let my fear get the best of me.

It’s taken me almost the entire year to finally start finding true happiness in my current life. A few years ago I had a crystal clear dream of what I wanted for my future. I wanted to be married, buy a house, have a baby, and travel.

Sometimes I catch myself grieving that alternative life I thought I’d be living, but recently I’ve began to notice signs of why my life hasn’t turned out that way. At least not yet.

There were many times over the last year that I felt so incredibly sad and lonely. I would curse and yell at God, blaming him for my despair. I had nights that I cried for hours just wishing someone was there to hold me. I know it sounds gloomy, but my emotions run very deep and sometimes dark.

It wasn’t until this “year” mark of being single that I realized there was a bigger purpose to my pain. God has been molding me into the best version of myself in preparation for all the wonderful things my future has to offer.

For so long I tried to fill a void in my life with romance thinking that loving someone else would bridge the gap. This past year I’ve learned to surround myself with positivity and fill that emptiness with self-love.

See, the thing about self-love is no one can ever take it away from you. No one can ruin the compassion you have for yourself. It’s a sacred and beautiful thing, but it also takes a lot of time and practice to master.

I truly believe I’m a good person. I know I have plenty of flaws, but I try to do the right thing and live each day to the fullest. In some weird way I thought being a good person automatically meant I’d end up with Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Yet, I’m learning that life is about so much more.

It’s about loving yourself and those around you. It’s about doing the right thing because you want to, not because you have to. Life is about helping others in need and adapting to your circumstances.

It’s about surrounding yourself with good genuine people who want to see you happy. It’s about chasing your dreams and waiting for the right person to come along. It’s about living.

It frustrates me to no end that in our society being 25 years old and single is like a death sentence. Yes, I am 25 years old. No, I’m not married. No, I don’t have kids. No, I don’t have a boyfriend. So what?

It’s time for our generation to wake up and realize we are unique. Stop trying to fit into a mold just because society says you should. Do the things you love to do, travel the world, follow your dreams. Surround yourself with good people, and you’ll be amazed at how much of a positive difference it makes in your life.

After a year of just me I now realize what’s really important. My new goals don’t depend on a ring or a man, they stem from a deep desire to do what’s best for me. My soul is finally free, and I’m ready to follow my dreams wherever they may take me.

If there are people in your life that are holding you back or not contributing to your happiness, delete them from your life. Wash away the negativity, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light. If you’re struggling with loneliness just take life a day at a time. There is someone for everyone. When it’s right you’ll know, and you’ll be so glad you waited.


XOXO
,
Myka Shantell💋

One Day, One Step, One Breath.

“I know you’re sad, so I won’t tell you to have a good day. Instead, I advise you to simply have a day. Stay alive. Feed yourself well, wear comfortable clothes and don’t give up on yourself just yet. It’ll get better. Until then, have a day.” – Anonymous

So it’s been a while since I’ve written an entry, and to tell you the truth it’s because I have been going through what I like to call one of my “lost” stages. It seems like throughout my whole transition I’ve been riding a roller coaster of emotions and phases that range from fierce badass warrior to sad lost soul.

Just a few weeks ago I was ready to take on the world with a bold fierce attitude and a belief that nothing could tear me down…and then the darkness came back. It’s a bit of a let down that my intense brave warrior phases have only been temporary thus far, but I’ve started noticing that they are occurring more often. I’m starting to have more episodes of feeling powerful than I ever have before. Still, that doesn’t mean the darkness doesn’t like to creep in from time to time.

What has been really difficult for me to figure out is what brings on these sad gloomy episodes. I’m still working on pinpointing the triggers, but I also realize they’re just a part of life. No one lives 100% of their days on this Earth in total bliss and happiness (although that would be really nice). I’m coming to terms with the fact that these “down times” are going to happen, but instead of sulking and giving into the sadness I’m learning new ways of coping with them.

I don’t want to sound cliche, but I swear it seems like everyone I know is starting new relationships, getting engaged, and/or starting families. I absolutely love all of my friends, and seeing them in such a state of bliss sends me over the moon with happiness. However, the human side of me somewhat feels envious of all their happiness simply because I have not yet found it myself.

I’m honestly kind of sad because I feel like I’ve temporarily lost faith in true love. I know it’s out there for me, but after being hurt so many times my heart has definitely built up a wall. It’s a whole new experience for me. I’ve always been one to openly and freely give my love, it’s just the way my heart works. After my past few experiences, I can tell a huge difference in the way I view relationships. My heart is guarded 100%, and it’s a shell that won’t be easily broken.

One way I’ve started coping with my feelings during my “sad phase” is by reminding myself that all great things are worth waiting for, and I have NO DOUBT that a special someone and an amazing life await me. I just consistently have to remind myself to be patient…one day, one step, one breath at a time.

It’s amazing to me how much social media can truly impact our lives nowadays. I find that the days that I stay away from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are days filled with way more joy and much less worry. It keeps me away from those constant reminders of what I don’t yet have and focused on all my many blessings.

I find it very flattering that I often get asked how I “have my life together at such a young age.” I have a Bachelor’s Degree, an amazing job, my own house, money saved in the bank, a 401K, insurance, a band, my blog, and close family/friends. Trust me, all of these things DO NOT mean I have my life totally “together.” Does it mean I’ve worked really hard to become successful? Yes. However, it doesn’t make me any better than the next 25 year old. I still have plenty of faults that I’m working on…one day, one step, one breath at a time.

Recently, I’ve begun working through my issues by creating a vision board. A vision board is a physical board one makes with goals, dreams and aspirations for the year. Once the board is complete with pictures and words that sum up what you hope to accomplish in 2016, you place the board somewhere that you will see it daily. By looking at my vision board every day, my negative self-doubting feelings are removed and replaced with positivity and hopes for a wonderful year.

In addition to my vision board, I’ve also began reading inspirational books and using mantras to work through my sadness. My therapist had suggested a book titled “Be Free Where You Are” by a Buddhist named Thich Nhat Hanh. This book teaches different practices that help us stay in the present. These practices release us from being stuck in the past and the future, and they allow us to be completely happy in the now. For someone with anxiety who is constantly worrying about the future (like myself) this book was a lifesaver.

One of the most powerful things I received from reading “Be Free Where You Are” was a breathing exercise that Thich goes on to fully explain in the book (listed below). Now I realize this may not seem like something you’re comfortable with, but humor me and give it a try sometime. You will be amazing at how relaxed you become and how truly connected you feel to the present.

“Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.
  Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out.
  Breathing in, I notice that my in-breath has become deeper
  Breathing out, I notice that my out-breath has become slower.
  Breathing in, I calm myself.
  Breathing out, I feel at ease.
  Breathing in, I smile.
  Breathing out, I release.
  Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment.
  Breathing out, I feel it is a wonderful moment.”

So while I’m still trying to find my way back to the light of my fierce feminine self, I will continue to practice patience and other methods to re-center my soul. I really want to encourage you to fight through any darkness, pain, and uncertainty you’re currently facing. Maybe you are having feelings of envy (like myself), or maybe you just simply feel lost. Either way please DO NOT give up hope. The clouds will fade and your spirit will become more powerful than you’ve ever imagined. God gives His hardest challenges to His toughest warriors. Just remember to hang in there…one day, one step, one breath at a time.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell💋

 

 

25 Thoughts About Turning 25.

Well the time has almost come, the day that I officially embrace being a quarter-century old. I must admit, I thought my life would be WAY different by the time I hit the big 2-5, but heck life is unpredictable so I’m just rolling with the punches.

My previous ideal plan of my life (at 25) was married, a somewhat well-known singer, possible mother, friend to many, living in my hometown, and a frequent traveler. In reality I am currently a single, barely known singer working a full time nursing job to pay my bills with no kids (just a fur child named Lambeau) and few true friends living in a new city with very little time to travel.

Man, life has really changed course on me. However in my short 24 years and 359 days on this Earth I have seen and learned a lot, especially in the last few months. So to commemorate this milestone in my journey to living a LONG full life, I have decided to share 10 (anxious) thoughts, 10 life lessons, and 5 feelings I have about turning 25.

1.) I THOUGHT I Would’ve Been Married By Now
This is definitely the biggest thing that has hit me. I could’ve sworn on the Bible I would’ve found my soulmate by now. This has been something that is still really hard for me to accept. As much as I know I must be patient, I’ve definitely had feelings of hopelessness. However, I know the right one will be worth the wait.

2.) I THOUGHT I Would Still Live In My Hometown
Being raised in a town with approximately 600 people, you come to accept that most people will never leave that small community. I would estimate that 75% of people raised in/around my town will never leave. I am so proud that I took the leap and am able to experience this new side of life.

3.) I THOUGHT My Singing Career Would Be Further Along
Something I was really excited about with moving to a bigger city was taking my music career to the next level, but I got a reality check REAL quick. It’s going to take me a while to figure out how to make myself successful in the music industry, but believe me I’m not giving up.

4.) I THOUGHT I Would’ve Already Figured Myself Out
While I’m obviously going through a transition right now, my “old self” would never believe that I didn’t have my “new self” figured out already. Throughout this process I’ve realized there were a lot of things I stuffed down inside, and now it’s time to work on all those issues I’ve hidden for far too long.

5.) I THOUGHT I Would Already Have Children
This is a big one for me as well. Almost everyone in my family had children at a young age, and with my huge compassionate heart I have always longed to have kids. However, looking back on it now I am so happy God didn’t grant me this wish. I can’t imagine life right now as a single mother, full time nurse, and singer trying to figure everything out.

6.) I THOUGHT My Path Would Be Clearly Defined
I thought by now I would surely see my purpose in life as clear as a beautiful diamond. That’s definitely not the case. I’m almost more confused now that I’ve really started digging into who I am and what I want to accomplish. I’m still waiting for that flashing sign from God to say “this is what you should do.”

7.) I THOUGHT I Would Own A House
I thought at this point in life my perfect little family and I would live in a beautiful big house with a white picket fence. Nope, that hasn’t happened either. But for now, my 1 bed 1 bath apartment will do just fine. My bills are cheaper anyways.

8.) I THOUGHT I Was A Stronger Person
I would’ve bet a million dollars that I was a stronger person than I currently am. I think I was able to act “strong” when I was younger because it was a type of coping mechanism. No one can mess with someone who is strong (or so I thought). Now that I’ve broken down my walls, I realize I’m not as strong as I once thought…but I AM getting there.

9.) I THOUGHT I Could Save The World
One of my dreams has always been to make a HUGE impact on the world. While I believe I am making somewhat of an impact on a smaller scale, I now realize that no matter what I do I can’t save the world. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying though.

10.) I THOUGHT Life Wouldn’t Be So Tough
This is an emotional one for me. I never realized just 5 years ago that life would be this tough. I knew becoming an adult was no walk in the park, but reality definitely hit me like a rock. I never knew heartbreaks and let downs could be so painful. I never realized life could be so lonely. Lets just say I will never underestimate adult life again.

11.) I’ve LEARNED to never let someone take you for granted
12.) I’ve LEARNED to always put yourself first
13.) I’ve LEARNED that not everyone has your best interest at heart
14.) I’ve LEARNED that life can be scary, and it’s okay to be scared
15.) I’ve LEARNED that true love takes time and patience, wait for it
16.) I’ve LEARNED that real friends will stick by you no matter what
17.) I’ve LEARNED that family always comes first
18.) I’ve LEARNED to not care what other people think
19.) I’ve LEARNED to never say never
20.) I’ve LEARNED to always thank God for your blessings

21.) I FEEL like now is the time for me to truly find myself
22.) I FEEL like my life is this way for a reason (no kids, single, ect)
23.) I FEEL like God has big plans for me this coming year
24.) I FEEL like 25 is not a death sentence, it’s a chance to start over
25.) I FEEL like 25 is going to KICK ASS!

Well 24, you’ve been great. I’ve experienced some of my biggest highs and  my lowest lows with you this year. I’ve felt heartbreak, moved to a new city, started a new job, started this blog, and began this amazing journey to finding out my purpose and who I really am.

I’ve smiled and I’ve cried. I’ve finally let go and trusted myself. In the coming year I hope to become a stronger person and put myself first. I plan to apply all that I’ve learned so far to live the most exciting and beautiful life that I can. 24, you were great but 25, it’s time to shine!

XOXO,
Myka Shantell💋