Dreams are scary because they are big.

Goliath was scary because he was big, he was actually a giant.
But the young David defeated him with just a single stone and Gods mighty power behind him.

I think our dreams are the Goliath’s of our lives. They are HUGE and scary and intimidating. They taunt us with words, saying you can’t accomplish this! You’re too small to do that! You don’t have enough life experience! Or my favorite, you’re not good enough to accomplish that dream.

But the thing is dreams are not meant to be small.
If dreams were small, they wouldn’t be so scary, they wouldn’t push us out of our comfort zone just enough to allow us to grow.

Dreams are meant to be big.
Goliath was meant to be a giant, because David was meant to defeat him.
Among the other things David was made to do, defeating Goliath was one of them. David just had to recognize he was made for more, and in that moment, that MORE was defeating Goliath.

Do you have a dream in the crevice of your heart?
Do you have a fire in your soul that you have constantly been putting out because you believe the lie that you cannot continue to let the fire flourish within you?

I did. I do.
I have many dreams that are in my heart, and they all look a lot bigger than Goliath.

But what a selfish act it is to not chase those dreams.
Friends, you have a dream for a reason.
It’s because someone else in the world will benefit from your dream.
For instance, this blog had been a dream of mine for YEARS, I sat on it and told my friends, who would all say “GO FOR IT!”. But I never did, once I finally launched this blog, and even now a year later, I am STILL getting messages about how my words have changed peoples lives.
But if I had never chased that dream, If I had never conquered that Goliath, I wouldn’t have helped anyone.
I would have just let the dream slip past me and all the people I could have helped.

So if you’re not able to chase your dream for YOU, chase it for the sister next to you who needs to benefit from YOUR dream.

Our dreams are not merely for US, they are for those around us.

Friends, go out into the world and chase your dreams.
Be who you were made to be and listen to the fire that is in your soul. Don’t hold yourself back. Embrace who you are and the dream inside of you and GO for it!

This week I launched Gracious & Grateful the Shop.
An online boutique of Kassidy’s favorite things.

When I was in college I studied Kinesiology and Pilates, but if you had asked me what I wanted to do with my life, my answer would have been to be a blogger and own a clothing company.
Through lots of research I decided that going virtual was the best fit for the lifestyle I wanted to live, so I decided to pursue the online shop.

But don’t let that easy little paragraph fool you, it wasn’t an easy decision.
I was in a job I hated, then going through one of the hardest bouts of depression I’ve had thus far, all while balancing life in general.

I would call those I love explaining the dream for this store and what I believed it could be, they would all encourage me.
I was the one standing in the way of me chasing this dream. And honestly, I am the Goliath standing in the way of all my other dreams.

I still have work to do. I am still learning to believe in myself. To show myself I am enough right where I am. That I have done enough in this life to be proud of. But launching this store was a HUGE stepping stone for me, I conquered a HUGE Goliath, my own self deprecation.

Today, I am proud of my blog, my boutique, and I am proud of Kassidy Lynne OwenBlogger, Store Owner, Pilates Instructor, and all the other accomplishments she’s achieved.

Go chase your dream.

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were built for.”
– John A. Shedd –

To SHOP this look:

It takes a village

It takes a village to feel loved.

One person cannot make you feel fully loved.
One person cannot complete you.

It takes a village to feel loved.

If you rely on one person to make you feel loved, you will fail.
You must have several people you rely on to take care of you in different ways.
Each person in your life will fill your cup in different ways.
They will teach you different lessons, show you a new direction, and love you completely different than someone else would.
Thats what makes humans so unique, each human was hand chosen for this life, completely unique.
Let the humans in your life SHOW you they love you.
Give them the chance to love you in their unique way.

I’ve been letting my people love me.
I’ve been saying yes to spending time with my people, even when my depression says not too.
I’ve been listening to their stories and then sharing mine.
I’ve been letting the people I love, love me.

For so long I believed in different types of love. I’m assuming I got the concept from movies and TV shows. I believed in love from your parents, love from friends, romantic love, and the love you give to a child.
I believed that each love was different. So I would sit around waiting to be loved.

What I’ve realized is love is quite simple, love is in your peoples actions.
You do not just speak the words “I love you”, you prove them.
Every day, you love your people. You encourage them with the words you send them, you show up when they need you, and you remind them who they are when they forget.

How my people show me love is simple.
Its coffee dates at Starbucks.
Its sunsets at the beach.
Its floating in the ocean.
Its in the fast food drive thru.
Its in the words of encouragement when I need it most.
Its the Facetimes, phone calls, and voicemails.
Its the hand written cards.
Its the books they send me.
Its the hugs.
Its the laughter.
Its all the same love.

And it radiates out of all of my people. They radiate love for me but I was just choosing to ignore what was right in front of me.

Friends, if your people are asking to hang out more, to get coffee, or to just spend time with you. They are asking to love on you.
Don’t neglect that.
Let your people love you, THAT is how you fill your cup up.

Let your village love you and you will feel loved.

Tomorrow Needs You

Tomorrow needs you.

After a Saturday spent on the couch in and out of sleep and crying spells, I rolled over to the coffee table and grabbed my phone. I opened Instagram and clicked through stories, suddenly one caught my eye, @loswhit was wearing a shirt that said “we need you here” I clicked back to the start of his stories and listened to what he had to say.
He shared his struggle with his depression and anxiety and how it had recently come back the past couple of days. When he got home he received the shirt as a gift and was sharing the story on Instagram.
He spoke on his Instagram story saying these simple words to ME, his audience, “Tomorrow Needs You.”
He said he didn’t know who needed to hear those words but that he felt he had to share them. I immediately messaged him and thanked him for sharing his struggles and those words. I was the person who needed to hear them.

He messaged me back saying, “you got this amiga!”
It made me laugh and in a moment of deep depression, all you crave is a good laugh.

Afterwards I sat there thinking about how I’ve recently started opening up about my current battle with depression and anxiety. Although this is not my first time fighting depression it is my first time really allowing people into the journey. I fought a lot with myself about sharing my journey while in the middle of depression. But after feeling the impact of watching Carlos Instagram story, FEELING him talking to me, even though he has no idea who I am. I realized that being open and vulnerable is exactly what I need to be. I need to share my story. I need to share exactly where I am IN THE MOMENT.

In that moment, I really really needed to hear that tomorrow needs me.
And maybe in this moment, right now, you need to hear that TOMORROW NEEDS YOU.

Today might suck, today might not be working out, but tomorrow. Tomorrow needs you.
Tomorrow needs us.

My sweet friends fighting any sort of mental battle, I am with you.
You are heard and you are loved.
But DO NOT STOP fighting the battle.
You can’t stop now.

Fighting a mental battle looks a lot like this image above.
If you stop, you’ll never know what you could of found.
If you keep going, there will be joy and abundance. Yes, you will have to fight again. Yes, you will conquer your depression again when it returns. But if you choose to stop fighting, you’ll never know the joy of tomorrow.

Tomorrow needs you.
Don’t give up because of today.
Today turns into yesterday, and then tomorrow is here.

& tomorrow needs you.

the semicolon

The Semicolon – “Where the author could’ve ended the sentence but decided to keep going. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

I know I’m not the only one thinking about ending the sentence.
I’ve thought, if only I could be where Cooper is…

I admit this, because for some people, I know it’s not as easy to choose to keep the sentence going. I know it’s physically and mentally the hardest decision you make in that moment. But I want to remind you why continuing the sentence is worth it.

It all won’t be okay for awhile. It will hurt and you will feel worthless, you will feel like you have fallen down the rabbit hole of destruction as things get worse and worse, everything falling OUT of place instead of into place. But thanks to my favorite biomechanics teacher, I know that eventually because of gravity, all things fall. Everything eventually lands. You my friend, will land. Whether it be gracefully or flat on your face (that’s how I will land haha!). You. WILL. Land.

You will fall, land, and then when you least expect it, you will rise.
You will rise up again. You will see small hope start to glimmer around you like little stars in the night sky. You will start to hear the voices of the people who believe in you, who are rooting for you and your dreams. And most importantly, you’ll start to hear your inner voice again, the one who keeps those dreams alive.

Lately, I’ve been holding onto something deep within me that tells me this will not be my forever. The sadness, the hurt, the grief, the pain, the depression.
It’s just part of me falling.
I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and I am just waiting to land.
Maybe you’re waiting to land too.
If that’s you, don’t end the sentence… wait for the semicolon. The semicolon is the point of the story where you land; you’re done falling, but you’re not quite finished. You’re getting ready to rise again.

It’s Okay to not be okay

I’ve always considered myself resilient.

Since the day Cooper was diagnosed with cancer I knew it was time to buckle up my boots and be strong. Not just strong for me, but for my family, friends, Cooper’s friends, and any one who knew him and was distraught by the news.

This obsession with being strong for everyone else turned into an obsession of worrying about every person I hold close to my heart, which is pretty much anyone who I get to know.

The obsession then turned into constant worry, stress, and pain as I felt for not only myself but for everyone around me. Cooper passing away was no different, I had my moments and then got back to work. “You just have to take care of everyone”, “If everyone around you is okay, you’ll be okay”, “Did you make sure to texted so-and-so about how much you love them?”. And the vicious cycle of never taking care of myself began.

During Coopers treatment I was diagnosed with a host of mental illness disorders. The list only grew as Cooper passed away and I ran for my life during the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. I went to therapy for years, sometimes 2-3x a week. I did everything possible to become of healthy body AND mind. But as most things do it eventually caught up to me. After the Route 91 shooting my level of trauma had gotten so high I couldn’t function. With the help of an amazing medical team I made the decision to start medications that would help ease the anxiety, allowing me to focus and get through finishing my degree. I remember the first time I took medication, what once would have taken me hours to finish, was done in 15 minutes. What once was panic, was now peace.

I continued with therapy and medication and made it to graduation day! I have never been more proud of myself than I was on that day.
That same year I made the massive decision to move across the country, after never living away from my family or my childhood home. In a little over 48 hours I had packed up my whole life and became a Florida resident.
I remember every step of going to the airport the day I left Las Vegas for Naples. The freedom! All I could think about was, “I am finally going to figure out who I am, what I want, and chase every damn dream I have. I’m leaving these traumas behind to focus on a better me.”

But thats the unfortunate thing about trauma, it doesn’t stay in one place.
Trauma LOVES to leak into other trauma.
It LOVES to trigger you right when you think you have it all together.

So I moved to Naples. Since then, I’ve worked what feels like 80,000 different jobs. Met new people, which I never thought I would be able to do! I got to one of the highest points in my mental health life, I was on top of the world and crushing it! Or so I thought.
See, I was doing EVERYTHING right. I was working out, listening to podcasts, reading self-help books, being grateful, journaling like nobody’s business, eating (relatively) healthy, spending time in my own headspace, spending time with people who fill my cup up. I was doing it ALL. But I was lying. I just kept telling myself if you keep doing all the right things, if you find NEW people to care and love for, you won’t have to face your OWN traumas.
Meanwhile, my body was physically screaming for help. I had been in the hospital twice, suffering severe boils. I had different infections almost every week. Yet I was still pushing myself to do more, be more.

Well a couple weeks ago, my body met up with my mind.
They decided no longer was I going to be able to push myself as hard as I once did.

So the panic set back in. The anxiety came full force. The depression like a 20ft wave. It hit me like a ton of bricks…you are not doing enough…you are not being enough…you don’t know what you’re doing…who are you to think you can lead people when you can’t even take care of yourself…you are worthless…and my least favorite, you. can. not. do. it.

I pushed through a beautiful vacation with my family, celebrating so many amazing accomplishments.
And then, like the clock striking midnight, my body was done fighting.
I clearly heard her say, “It’s over.”
I went into full blown panic and suffered my first real panic attack in a year and a half.
I just remember thinking to myself, “UGH! See Kassidy, you had it all together you were doing FINE and now look at you sitting helpless on the airport floor! This is why you will be NOTHING!”.
All this coming from someone who had spent so much time working on her self talk to ease the anxiety, yet here we are.

Since then, I’ve had numerous panic attacks, struggled to get into the right doctors, fought to get out of bed, and cried more tears than I can count.
I’m hurt, physically and mentally.
I’m exhausted, physically and mentally.
Yet somehow, in the midst of all the panic, the thing I worry about most?
Is other people. How they are doing, if they are okay, what’s going on in THEIR lives.

Friends, it’s not always healthy to care for other people.
When it becomes an obsession, I would say there is a problem.
When you become so obsessed with helping in other peoples lives, I would say you need to fix your own.

I need to fix my own.

The funny thing is, I’ve given this advice to a majority of my girlfriends.
They come to me struggling, I can see it in their eyes, and I tell them something along the lines of…”Girlfriend, you cannot fill others cups when yours is empty.”
I am actually laughing as I type this because of the irony.
My cup is so empty.
It’s not only empty, It’s been shattered.
There is no cup left.

I have to rebuild my cup and find some life to pour into it.

I have struggled with this post. Mostly because I do my very best to keep my blog and social media platforms as sunny as they can be.
But I never want anyone to think the sun is always shining for me.
I never want to give the illusion that my clouds are not dark, because they are and have been for some time now.
I took a bit of a social media break to clear my head. Then my blog had been down and the second it was back up I started typing, I felt the biggest relief come over me. It felt like one giant rock was lifted.
And I realized that this is exactly where I need to be, writing, sharing my story.

This blog, these words, are not only for you.
These words are for me.
Writing is healing – I healed so much when I started journaling about Cooper and then created this blog.
The purpose of this, is one, to let you know I’m struggling. To be transparent. And to two, remind everyone who is reading this that you are doing your absolute best.
You are trying.
You are giving it all you have, even if its only Netflix and your bed today.
It’s okay, to not be okay.
I’m not okay.

But I am resilient, so I will not be okay for a little bit. I will struggle, hurt, and feel all the pain and trauma this life has thrown at me so far. But then one day, hopefully soon, I will remember the bad ass I actually am. I will remember all the adversity I’ve overcome. I will remember who I am becoming.

And she will be beautiful and she will also be resilient, happy, sad, joyful, funny, depressed, smart, anxious, nervous, stunning, loved, scared, caring, hurt, and radiant just like the sun.

She will be all those things and then some, wrapped up into an extraordinary girl named Kassidy.

“Sometimes the happiest people are the saddest” – Robin Williams