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Note To Self

Today I am having a bad day.

Waking up is hard- I do my absolute best to choose the day ahead of me but being completely transparent, sometimes I let the day choose me. I let the depression win, I let the anxiety take over, and I decide to surrender to all the pain that is, mental illness.

Then, the guilt sets in. Which for me, is the worst part- I feel guilty for feeling my mental illness, like it’s not a real illness. I think this guilt stems from being surrounded by a physical illness like cancer for a portion of my life. I have this lie in my head that I tell myself, “You’re not really sick unless the blood test shows you that you are.” It is a lie I’ve convinced myself of and even as I type it I know it sounds ridiculous. But for so long I had convinced myself that Cooper’s cancer was of more importance than my mental health would ever be. That because it was cancer, I could never compete unless I too, had cancer. No illness, especially no mental illness, was of enough importance to admit it was a problem.
I know where this lie stems from, it stems from a long line of feeling like if it wasn’t cancer it wasn’t a big enough problem to address. See, when you’re a sibling of someone with cancer, someone dying of cancer. You make your problems small. You convince yourself that your problems are not as big as cancer so they do not matter.
The problem with this is, you cannot undo the mess you’ve create in your mind- it follows you.
So now, years after cancer has left my life and Cooper has left this world- I still believe my illness is not valid. I still have to convince myself that if I am having an off day I can rest my mind and my heart.

But let me tell you what cancer and mental illness have in common.
They can both kill you.

So I am writing this, a note to myself, that just like cancer feasting at the bodies every healthy cell, my mental illness is doing the same thing.
And if ignored, my mental illness will take hold of every healthy cell, and kill it off just like cancer.
Cancer and mental illness are not far off from each other.
It’s just how you choose to look at it.

Maybe today you too need to be reminded that whatever you’re dealing with is just as important as cancer, or a heart attack, or a paper cut. Do not weigh YOUR struggles against someone else’s. Everyone is hurting, everyone is struggling, whether physical or mental, illness is real.

If I could go back and tell Kassidy something in January of 2013, a few short weeks before Cooper would be diagnosed with cancer, I would tell her two things.
Never feel guilty for what you’re feeling- mental or physical.
Your pain is important.

Even though we can’t go back, we can go forward.
I can tell Kassidy today and Kassidy tomorrow those same words.
I can work through the guilt of feeling like my illness is not enough compared to others.
And maybe you need to work through that guilt too. Whether you’re a cancer sibling or a mom who puts her child’s needs before her own.
We all struggle with this, so lets say it together…

“Never feel guilty for what you’re feeling- mental or physical.
Your pain is important”

To My Gracious & Grateful Community,
I want to remind you-
You are loved.
You are enough.
You are important.
You are needed.
Tomorrow needs you.

xoxo,
Kassidy

The dress

When I saw this dreamy dress, I just knew I had to add it to my shop!
It’s flowy, can be worn on or off the shoulders, and is extremely comfortable! All my requirements when looking for the perfect brunch dress! I wore this dress to a blogger brunch I attended and the benefit to the dress being so flowy? I could eat more food! haha!

I paired the dress with some adorable tassel earrings, you can find similar ones in my shop, and a cute wrap around sandals.

Ruffle Trim Dress

Boho Long Tassel Earrings

Tie Up Ankle Strap Flat Sandals for Women

*Please be advised that Gracious & Grateful The Shop has a shipment duration of about 2 weeks. To make sure your packages arrive on time please account for the shipping time*

Is perfection really freedom?

Sometimes I get anxious to write my blogs. Not because of my anxiety but because of my fear that they will lack perfection.

There is probably something in your life that creates anxious feelings within your body- mostly because you’re craving perfection.

Here’s an unpopular thing to say as a bloggerI don’t have an answer for you about perfection. lol – no but really, blogs were designed to help make your life easier. “This recipe will help you make dinner in under 20 minutes!”, “6-pack abs, in 5 minutes or less!”, “Childbirth… it will be easy if you read this blog!”
My blog however, I hope never gives you the answers. I hope my blog leaves you with deep questions that only you can dive in and answer.

So lets tackle perfection- why do we strive for perfection in a world where perfection is unachievable?
Why do we expect perfection when it’s physically impossible to be perfect?

per·fec·tion/pərˈfekSH(ə)n/

  1. the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

The definition of perfection is interesting because it is described as being ‘free’ of all defects. But I do not believe that NOT having defects will allow you to be free. If I lived a “perfect” life that had no flaws- a story that didn’t involve my brother dying and running for my life in a shooting- I would not be free, I would be shackled. I would be restrained to a life without lessons.

A life without lessons, is not a free life- it is a broken life.

A life full of lessons is a life well spent- it is a life full of stories that taught you and allowed you to grow.
I would choose growth over perfection every time.

Every time I choose to open my computer and write, I am allowing myself to grow. To grow as a writer, a blogger, and as a person.
And every time I write a blog that is not perfect, I am freed.
Freed of the very thing that causes me to grow.

I am grateful that I am not perfect.
I am grateful that I am incapable of writing a perfect blog post, or a perfect Instagram post, or buying the perfect items for my shop.
I am grateful that every time I choose to be imperfect, I am choosing to allow myself to be free.

What things in your life are you forcing to be perfect, when you could allow yourself to instead- be free?

This Monday, I ask you to free yourself.
It’s going to be a challenge, because if you’re anything like me you have several things you try to be perfect at- but just remember, a perfect life is a life without experience, without joy, without adventure.
A life tethered to perfection, and one I personally, do not want to live.

How will you choose to be free today?

Shop This Look: Women Floral A Line Skirt

My People

Remember when you dreamed for the life you currently have?

4 years ago I came home from my very first trip to Naples and said, “One day I’m moving there!” Today I live in Florida. The dream came true! Yet I am the first one to crave the next dream I have lined up instead of basking in the one I’ve accomplished.

I wish my blog was bigger.
I wish I had a bigger following.
I wish I could create more content.

All things that will happen organically as I choose consistency over the easy way out. But, if I keep chasing the “next great thing” or “the next 1,000 followers” I miss out on what’s right in front of me. The opportunity to serve the people who are already at my table. The followers and readers I already have, the people who support me day in and day out.

For so long I served the people in the crowd, the people who I wanted to be at my table, supporting me. The whole time I was ignoring the people behind me, the people already sitting at my table, waiting for me to serve them.
Whether there are 10 people at that table or 9,000, they are at my table because they believe in me, those are the people I need to focus on.

I focus on the people I wish loved me- and I know I’m not the only one.

I spend so much energy focusing on the people I wish loved me, the people I wish approved of me, the people I wish wanted to be apart of my life.

I recently discovered that me spending time WISHING they would accept me is just wasted energy. I am wasting so much energy on the 1% of people who don’t care to be apart of my life. AND, why would I want them to be apart of my life if they don’t even want to be apart of it?

Jay Shetty states, “Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”

When we start to see the value in ourselves, we start to discover the people around us who see value in us.

See we need to transition our thinking to focusing less on the people who don’t care and more on the people who already care. The people who want to cheer us on. The people who are already in our corners.
The people sitting at our table, listening intently as we announce our next big dream.
And once we speak that dream into fruition, they are the ones sitting at the table helping us plan, execute, all while screaming in support of YOU.

Friends, THOSE ARE YOUR PEOPLE!
The people that want your dreams to work so badly that they will do anything to keep you from talking yourself out of it.
The people who keep you accountable and never let you quit.
The people who show up, even when you don’t want them too- those are your people.

So start showing up to your table, start looking around at who’s sitting there ready to listen, and then start serving your people.