Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve reflections

Today is New Year's Eve---a day of reflection on the past year.

I actually wasn't planning on writing a post today until I found myself lying awake in the wee hours of the morning making a mental list of all the things that didn't pan out the way I wanted them to this year.

I know, I know. It's an awful thing to do to myself. But I still found myself doing it.

While today is a day of reflection on the past year and hope for the new year, I also think it's a day of ruminating on years gone by for some people. We find ourselves thinking about all the things we didn't do, all the things that didn't happen, all the people we didn't please (including ourselves), all the mistakes we've made, all the lessons we have yet to grasp, all the obstacles we have yet to overcome, all the old habits we have yet to kick to the curb---the list goes on and on.

These thoughts have left me feeling a bit anxious and defeated this New Year's Eve. Old emotions are being evoked and old thinking patterns are popping up and saying, "Remember me?" 2012 is about to be gone forever, and I can't help but wonder if I truly made the most of it.  

And this is the part where I'm supposed to tell you something inspiring in case you've been feeling the same way. I should be telling you to let go or be kind to yourself or focus on how far you've come, rather than how far you have left to go.

But the truth is, I'm still trying to do those things myself.

<3 Madison  


Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear Teen Me

I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday (best store ever) when I came across a book called "Dear Teen Me." I browsed through it a little and thought it was very interesting and a cool idea for a book.

Every time I go to B&N, I come out feeling inspired or creatively fueled in some way. There are so many different books, journals, etc. It's like a writer's paradise.

So naturally, when I came across the "Dear Teen Me" book, I was all, "Oooh! I wanna write a letter to MY teen self!!!!"

After contemplating on whether or not I should put my letter in a Microsoft Word document or share it on here, I ultimately decided to share it on here.

I haven't been out of my teenage years for very long, but I definitely learned a lot during that period of my life. So this is what I would tell my teen self:

Dear Teen Me,

Choose your friends wisely. Girls who gossip about you, give you dirty looks and never save you a seat at lunch are not your friends. Your real friends will be there for you when you get your heart broken for the first time or need to vent about how horrible your 9th grade physical science class is. (It's pretty horrible.) They will lift you up and make you feel free to be yourself. Choose them.

It is possible to get straight A's. Your mother will be proud when you make them. She might not buy you anything expensive or reward you in some huge way for your grades, but you will still make her proud. You will also make yourself proud. And that should be reward enough.

Throughout your teen years, you will meet a few boys who hug you, cuddle you, tell you you're pretty, flirt with you in the middle of class, and basically make you feel really attracted to them. And then they will never call, never return your texts, lie to you, kiss other girls in front of you, go behind your back, and basically make you feel stupid for ever thinking they liked you at all. I'd hate to break it to you, but guys like this won't change. They won't write you long, sincere apologies or toss pebbles at your window or tell you how wrong they were for hurting you. They will just keep hurting you. (Taylor Swift songs will be a great comfort to you during these times.)

You might spend a lot of your time thinking, "Love sucks." But guess what? Love is not supposed to suck. If it sucks, it's not love. One day you will meet someone who adores you---extreme awkwardness and all. He will transform you into an even better version of yourself. He will tell you he loves you and mean it. He will be your best friend. He will open you up and chip away at your walls. He will make you wonder how you ever got so lucky.

But in the meantime, live your life and adore yourself. Stop pining away for assholes. Stop fearing that you will die alone with nine cats. Nobody wants or needs nine cats, and you're not even a cat person. Let love come to you when it's good and ready. Let it happen naturally. It's okay to be boyfriend-less. I promise.

I know it seems really scary, but try to stand up for yourself and others more. If you see someone being relentlessly picked on, speak up. Even if all you can muster is a quiet, shaky "leave him alone."

Don't let everyone copy your homework either. If a large, intimidating dude asks to see your homework, go ahead. Get on his good side. I wouldn't want you to get your face rearranged or anything.

But if the girl who makes fun of you and is only nice to you when she wants to see your homework asks for your homework, it's okay to say no. People might make fun of you even more, but at least you stood your ground. That's something to be proud of, not ashamed of. Just stand up for yourself. You'll only be treated like a doormat if you act like one.

Stop trying so hard to please people who won't even be in your life after high school. 98% of the people you're going to school with will drop off the face of the planet after graduating, and you'll never hear from them again. They are not worth pleasing or impressing. You're not really that cool, and you'll probably never be cool. I'm sorry. Being cool is overrated.

And lastly, you should probably know that after high school, you're going to hit a rough patch. You're going to be scared. You're going to be confused. You're going to be under immense pressure to make your family proud. You're going to have a brutal falling out with one of your best friends. You're going to cry a lot and carry around a lot of anger. You're going to get pretty depressed.

I'm here to tell you that you will live through all of that. It may seem as if there's no end, but there is. Nothing is permanent. This confusing, horrible phase in your life will ultimately lead you down the right path. Everything will turn out okay. Trust me.

Be who you are. Feel what you feel. Forgive yourself. Forgive others, even if they don't apologize. Be nice to people. Listen to your gut. Make your mistakes. Learn your lessons.

Just enjoy being young.

your 20 year old self

What is the single most important thing you would tell YOUR teen self? Leave me a comment and let me know (if you want).

<3 Madison 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Miscellaneous thoughts

Sometimes I can't seem to pick just one topic to blog about. Sometimes I have various little thoughts running through my mind and want to randomly share all of them.

I frequently find myself writing posts where I just spew random thoughts. But you guys seem to like them, so that's good.

Here are a couple of previous examples:

So I decided to start calling these posts "Miscellaneous thoughts." (Because I never know how to title a post that's about several different things at once.) If I ever write another post like this, I'll probably just call it "Miscellaneous thoughts (Part 2)" or something like that. 

Okay. Here we go. 

~ Hold on to the loyal people in your life. The people who stood by you even when you tried to push them away. The people who know who you really are when you lose yourself. The people you can always count on, no matter what. You need these people more than you know.

~ Smile at strangers. Exchanging a smile with someone you don't know is a very simple, yet very rewarding gesture. We should all smile more. Like Buddy the elf. 

~ Love > Fear 

~ Dogs are amazing. I don't know if you're a dog person or a cat person or a fish person, but dogs are amazing. I recommend getting one if you can. 

~ Be charitable when you can. But don't ever beat yourself up for not having a certain amount of money or resources to help a certain cause or whatever. All help is good. Like I said, when you can or when it's possible, be charitable. 

~ Say yes more often. (But not to drugs or gang initiations...)

~ Don't create a problem where there isn't one.

~ Cultivate joy, not stress---especially this month. Remember the reason for the season.  

<3 Madison 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Defining success for yourself

When you think about society's definition of success, what typically comes to your mind?

Money? Fame? Notoriety?

One thing that really bothers me a lot is the widely held belief that the above things are what make a person successful. So many people put an immense amount of pressure on themselves to succeed on a large scale in order to feel worthy. They tie their self-worth to their level of success. It's a shame.

I have a completely different perspective on success. To me, progress equals success. Happiness equals success. Gratitude equals success. Personal fulfillment equals success.

If I'm happy, grateful, making progress, and feeling proud of myself regardless of whether or not anyone else is proud of me, I think that's a successful feeling.

I don't make a whole lot of money, but the fact that I'm even getting checks in the mail in exchange for doing something I love makes me feel successful.

I don't get thousands of page views per day, but the fact that I even get page views at all makes me feel successful.

I don't get hundreds of adoring emails per day, but the fact that some people even take the time to send me nice, heartfelt emails on a pretty regular basis makes me feel successful.

Helping people makes me feel successful.

Laughing on a daily basis makes me feel successful.

Waking up each morning and embracing my life just as it is makes me feel successful.

Doing something every day, no matter how big or small, that helps push me closer to my goals makes me feel successful.

Choosing happiness and fighting for that happiness makes me feel successful.

What makes YOU feel successful? Are you defining your own success?

<3 Madison


Monday, December 10, 2012

Why I don't want to look at the long haul

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." ~ John Lennon

I sort of hate it when people ask me questions such as...

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
"Where do you see yourself in ten years?"
"Where do you see yourself in twenty years?"
"Are you ever going to get married and have kids?"
"Are you ever going to buy a house?"
"Are you ever going to *insert other non-applicable inquiry here*?"

I always clench up at questions like this. I don't see how people answer them.

How am I supposed to know how my life is going to end up? Do I look like a psychic?

It's okay to dream and have goals and visions, but anytime I've allowed myself to sit in one place and map out my future, my future has turned out to be completely different from what I planned.

Life rarely turns out exactly the way we plan. At least, that has been my truth. People always say to plan ahead and be secure enough to know exactly where you want your life to go. I disagree. How can we possibly know where our lives are going? How do we know for sure if we've found the right person, the right job, the right path? We can't know for sure. Things can change in a heartbeat, and the future has yet to arrive.

My life looks absolutely nothing like I planned for it to look five, ten years ago. There were so many things I thought I knew. I could've sworn I had it all figured out.

But I didn't. This seemed like a terrible tragedy at the time, but now it's a blessing. I'm proud of myself and my life. It's not perfect, of course. (No life ever is.) But I've turned out just fine so far. I'm alive, I'm well, I'm learning and I'm human.

Thinking about the future makes me crazy. I can't do it. I can barely even bring myself to think about where I'll be or what I'll be doing tomorrow. I could get hit by a bus for all I know. (And I sort of almost did one time. Note to self: Look BOTH ways before crossing the street.)

So I don't plan ahead. I don't look at the long haul. I don't map out my future. I stay present and let life take its natural course. I take my life one day and one heartbeat at a time.

I don't want to focus on happily ever after...I just want to focus on happy right now.

<3 Madison  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Enjoying solitude vs. being a loner

"I don't want you to turn into a loner."

This comment was made to me the other day by a well-meaning person after I told them that I liked being alone. What I meant by that was that I typically enjoy my own company.

I think this person simply misinterpreted what I meant. I think when someone says that they like being alone, people impulsively think it means, "I don't like being around others."

When people think I'm a loner, it kind of hurts me for a few seconds. Because once upon a time, I was one. And I don't like slapping labels on anyone but myself, so I can comfortably say that there was a time when I felt like an awful loner. I would've licked a hot stove top before I went to a social function or greeted another human being.

But one of the main things I've been working on this year has been finding a balance between enjoying my own company and enjoying the company of others. And I, like many other people, feel a bit deflated when people don't seem to notice my progress. Or when I feel misunderstood.

When I gradually started easing my way out of my depressive state last year, I decided to spend more time alone in an attempt to reconnect with myself, get to know myself and figure out what I really wanted.

I did that. It worked, and it was a wonderful decision.

The problem? I got extremely comfortable with my seclusion and could not seem to pull myself out of it for the life of me. I became addicted to my solitude.

I alienated almost everyone who cared about me. I stopped picking up the phone. I faked illnesses to get out of participating in family functions. I turned down invitations to hang out with my friends. I never made an effort to meet or greet people. I was about as closed off as a metal door with four thousand chains around it. Getting me to come out of hiding was close to impossible. I pretty much never left my home.

You get the idea. I stuffed down feelings of loneliness because I didn't want to risk giving up my comfortable, solitary lifestyle.

But this year, I have made a lot of progress. Especially in recent months. I've been opening up more. I've started being nicer to people and seeing the good in them instead of assuming that they want to judge or hurt me in some way. I've started realizing the sacredness of love and friendship again. When someone I care about takes the time to invite me to something, I go. I've spent more time with people in recent months than I ever would have in my "loner" days.

But with all of that said, I still enjoy my solitude. And that's okay. I'm still working on maintaining a healthy balance and being able to recognize any resistance to spending time on either end of the spectrum, but I'm making progress one step and one social situation at a time. That's all that matters. All progress is good progress.

You can't define yourself based on what another person says or does. People usually mean well, and we're all misunderstood from time to time anyway. As long as we don't lose ourselves in the opinions of others, it's okay.

I have a solitary job. I would rather curl up on the couch with a good book or a good movie than attend a high energy social event. I only have a handful of close people in my life, but they're all I need and everything I want.

I'm an introvert, and I enjoy spending time alone. It's who I am.

And for the first time in a long time, I'm genuinely happy with who I am. :-)

<3 Madison        

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another random update

Hi friends.

I have recently come to the realization that I've only written two posts this month, and the month is almost over. I'm a failure as a blogger. (Just kidding. But seriously though.)

I feel like sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to provide quality, heartfelt content for you guys on a consistent basis. Putting this pressure on myself usually causes me to dwell, overthink and ultimately fail to write anything at all. This blog is one of my favorite things ever, so I can be really hard on myself when I can't seem to find the time and/or inspiration to write.

So to wrap up this year (which has gone by ridiculously fast), I have some goals in mind for myself.

I want to....

1) Start accomplishing some goals that I've been putting off for far too long.

2) Give a majority of my attention to the things that really matter to me and say goodbye to the things that no longer do.

3) Stop putting pressure on myself to write super inspiring posts and start accepting the fact that I won't always feel inspired.

4) Figure out a way to set myself apart.

5) Spend more time with my loved ones and less time sitting on my bum whilst aimlessly browsing the Internet and waiting for answers, work and motivation to fall into my lap.

6) Work hard and play harder.

7) Come up with my own authentic ideas and visions.

8) Stop squelching my drive and passion for the sake of trying to please others.

9) Stop mentally beating myself senseless every time I fail, make a mistake, or feel clueless, lost and confused.  

10) Start engaging more with my readers/friends.

To fulfill that last one, I want to top off this post with a few questions for YOU.

What would you like to see on my blog? Sometimes I get tired of writing about my own life. I want to know what is going on in YOUR life that you wish someone would write a post about or publicly ponder over. What inspires and speaks to you?

Would you be interested in potentially reading an e-book written by yours truly, or are you getting sick of e-books in general?

What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned this year? What are some of your goals for next year?

I look forward to hearing from each of you. Xx

<3 Madison

Thursday, November 22, 2012

20 things I'm grateful for

I feel so inspired by all the posts on thankfulness I've been seeing this week. I try to count and appreciate my blessings on a daily basis, and what better day to share them than on Thanksgiving? 

2012 has been a wonderful year so far. It's had its ups and downs, as every year does, but I really feel like I've grown as a person and learned how to be more appreciative of everything that I used to take for granted. 

Here are 20 random things I'm grateful for:

1. The above photo. It's adorable.
2. All the people I love and all the people who love me back
3. My wonderful doggies
4. Autumn weather
5. Uncontrollable laughter
6. Work I enjoy
7. My health
8. Barnes & Noble
9. Happiness
10. Inspiration
11. Pita chips
12. Fearless love
13. Music
14. Ice cream
15. The roof over my head
16. Clean water
17. Food
18. New beginnings
19. Nice people
20. YOU

And many, many more! :-)

What are you thankful for this year?

<3 Madison     

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


If you know me at all, you know that I'm a huge Christina Perri fan. I have a wristband with the title of her debut album on it, and I wear it (almost) every single day. 

It says "lovestrong." 

The other day I was getting hopelessly distracted and letting my mind wander to what that word personally means to me. I think it can have different meanings for different people. And once I started thinking about what lovestrong means to ME, I thought it was really profound, so I decided to share it on here. 

I like to wear the wristband every day for three reasons.

1. It reminds me to love and be nice to myself. 

The whole concept of self-love and self-respect is something I didn't fully grasp until I was about 19. Before then, I had never truly loved or respected myself. I was different. I was strange. I didn't have many friends. I got rejected left and right. For as long as I can remember, I carried around a belief that I was unlovable and unworthy because nobody seemed to like me. And I sure as hell didn't like myself

It took me a really long time to get out of that mindset, and it's still something I struggle with to this day. I'm trying to not be so hard on myself anymore. Being lovestrong means having the strength and ability to love and respect myself even when it's hard.     

2. It reminds me to openly give and receive love despite the vulnerability or fear that comes with that.

As a result of not liking myself very much and believing that nobody else did either, I became very emotionally closed off. As far as I was concerned, everyone wanted to hurt me. I was better off being completely on my own and never needing another human to love or support me. 

I built walls around my heart, and it was hard to let people love me. But I feel like I'm finally starting to chip away at those walls now. I'm trying to love and let myself be loved. It's scary and vulnerable, but it's worth it. There's nothing quite like loving openly and without fear. My best moments in life have come from letting go and letting love. The best feeling in the world is knowing and trusting that you're loved by others. Being lovestrong means having the strength and courage to let my walls down.     

3. I wear it to show my support for Christina Perri.  

And of course, I wear it simply because I love CP. :-)

What does being lovestrong mean to you? I would love to hear your thoughts if you have any to share. xo

<3 Madison 

Monday, October 29, 2012

When you hit a wall

I've been thinking a lot about growing up and navigating life lately. 

Life really is like a maze. One minute you can be navigating your way through it like a boss, and then the next minute you find yourself backed into a corner and desperately trying to figure out how to get back on track. 

I hit walls a lot, as I suspect many of us do. I've been trying to work on the way I react when this happens.

I've realized that you have four choices when you hit a wall in life. You can either...

A) Panic
B) Should all over yourself until you feel as worthy as a pile of pencil shavings
C) Curl up into a fetal position and do nothing
D) Step back, dust yourself off, and think of a positive/productive way to tear down or remove yourself from the wall 

I have a history of doing A, B and C, but I think I'm going to actually give D a try this time. 

We hit walls for a reason. I think it's a lesson in slowing down, taking a step back and being forced to take a closer look at certain aspects of our lives.  

Maybe something needs to change. Maybe something needs more attention or more work. Maybe you just need to slow down and give yourself a break instead of constantly pushing yourself to be on top of everything. Maybe it's all of the above. 

So I am determined to NOT choose A, B or C this time. 

I am going to re-connect with the things that matter most to me. I am going to start being more patient with myself. I am going to start letting people help me instead of assuming that it's me against the world. I am going to start making monthly goal sheets.  

And I am going to be just fine.

<3 Madison   


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You shouldn't care what people think (Because no one is thinking about you)

I have a confession to make. I can be really really really self-conscious sometimes. There aren't enough "really's" to describe how self-conscious I can get. It's like this crippling obsession over what everybody really thinks of me. I've struggled with it my whole life. 

Ever since I got epically rejected by one of my friends in fifth grade, I've carried around this belief that very few people will actually like me. I've gotten better over the years and have started opening up a little more, but I still care way too much about what other people think. 

I can just be walking down the street, and as cars and people pass me by, my inner dialogue goes a little something like this:

I look so awkward right now. I'm just shuffling along with my head down and my shoulders hunched, avoiding eye contact and trying to look casual. I'm not casual. I look stupid. I look insecure. I bet everybody is noticing how insecure I look right now. I can practically feel their eyes burning into me. I can practically hear them laughing and saying, "Look at that awkward girl over there. She looks like a vagrant. Look at her just walking along the side of the road like she's homeless or something. I should hit her with my car."  

And every time a car or another human being passes me or looks at me for even a split second, I'll just clench up until they've passed. It's ridiculous and completely irrational. The anxiety of coming into contact with other people gets so bad sometimes that I can barely even leave my home. 

While a large part of this has to do with my history of rejection, ostracization and social anxiety, it IS something that I'm working hard to be more consciously aware of. It's an insecurity that I've been trying to pay more attention to and not blame on other people or ancient circumstances.  

People have told me that other people care about me way less than I think they do. And they're so absolutely right.

Random strangers who drive or walk past me on the street more than likely don't give two shits about me or how I look. They're just going about their business, thinking about where they're headed and what's in store for the day. They're not breaking their necks to take a closer look at me so they can laugh at how awkward and out of place I look. It's all in my head.

It's also in my head that people I know are constantly judging and analyzing my personal life decisions. Although negative offhand comments have been made in the past, most of the things I believe are beliefs that I just pulled out of thin air. I have a habit of taking the slightest little comment and blowing it up times a thousand in my head. 

Someone could say, "Sears is hiring. You should look into it," and all I will hear is, "I don't approve of what you're trying to do for a living. You should get a real job like everyone else."

And then I'll form a belief in my head that my face is the first face that pops into people's minds when they see a "now hiring" sign in the window of an establishment. And then I'll get angry about it. 

All this because someone innocently and casually let me know that Sears was hiring.

So yeah. That is what I've most recently been trying to be more aware of---the fact that people care way less than I think they do. The assumption that everyone is judging and analyzing me is entirely in my head. The real problem is that I judge and analyze MYSELF. I need to stop doing that.

Stop worrying about what people are thinking of you. Chances are, no one is thinking a single thing.

<3 Madison



Friday, October 12, 2012

A random update

Hello friends.

It's been way too long since my last post (shame on me), so I decided to just pop in and let you all know what I've been up to and what's been on my mind.

Truth is, I haven't really been up to much. Sometimes I go weeks without inspiration for a new post. I think it's because my life is too routine and I don't get out much. I feel like I should plan to do something I've never done before---you know, be spontaneous or take some kind of big risk. I'm open to ideas...

Also, I was letting my mind wander yesterday and trying to figure out why I'm so resistant to change.

You see, Taylor Swift is coming out with a new album this month. I've been a huge fan of Taylor (still am) since I was fifteen. She got me through all of my high school relationship monstrosities, and I really feel like I've grown up with her. I have all her albums and know the words to all her songs. I love her simple storytelling, guitar strumming way of singing songs.

So if any of you are Taylor Swift fans and have been listening to the new songs she has been releasing in the weeks leading up to her album release, you know that she's going for a different sound on this one. She's going more pop. She's playing with auto-tune a little bit. So I've basically been walking around feeling like a giant part of my life has been snatched away from me. Because the storytelling, guitar strumming Taylor Swift is all I've ever known.

I obviously have no way of knowing if the entire album is going to be like that or if she's going to have a delicate balance between her old sound and her new sound. Either way, I'm still excited.

But the point of the story is that I realized that I'm resistant to change because I look at every change as a loss. And that is a terrible way to look at change. If I continue to feel a gaping sense of loss every time something I'm accustomed to changes, I'm going to walk around my entire life feeling pain and loss. I don't want to live that way anymore. I want to be able to bend and evolve and suck it up. As long as I'm alive, things are going to change. People are going to change. EVERYTHING is going to change.

So that's the most recent thing I've been pondering over. Taylor Swift is still Taylor Swift. I know that I will eventually grow to love her new sound because I'm too loyal of a fan not to. She is evolving. I shall evolve with her.

And I will do my best to evolve with any other changes that take place in my life. Change is inevitable, and I'm trying really hard to grasp that concept once and for all. I really think I will feel happier and freer if I do. (Freer is a weird word, by the way. It doesn't look the way it sounds.)

And lastly, I just want you all to know that I love getting emails from you. Every time someone emails me and I email them back, they seem surprised by the fact that I actually emailed them back---like they weren't expecting me to or something.

They're all like, "Whoa, thanks for responding!" or "Whoa, I wasn't expecting to hear back from you!" or "Whoa, you got back to me so quickly! Thanks!"

And I'm just thinking, "Why wouldn't I get back to you? You just poured your heart out to me and gave me the nicest compliments ever!"

I read every email I get. I respond to every email I get. (Unless it's hate mail, but I've never gotten hate mail. PLEASE DON'T SEND ME HATE MAIL.)

Interacting with the people who actually care about what I have to say is important to me. I would never read a heart wrenching or super nice email and just be like, "Eh. Okay. Moving on to the next."

So don't hesitate to email me if you need someone to talk to or whatever. I can't promise to fix your problems or give you mind-blowing, life-changing advice, but I WILL respond.

Happy Friday!

<3 Madison      


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One thing I'll never understand

I stayed up for awhile last night thinking about something that made me feel very sad, angry, helpless and guilty. It's something I'm sure a lot of other people have thought about before. But it has really been eating at my soul.

The world is really unfair.

I'm not talking about people cutting in front of you at Burger King, taking credit for your work or parking in your favorite spot.

I'm talking about people hurting, grieving, struggling to get out of bed every morning, and almost hating every happy or joyous person they come into contact with.

I don't understand why some parents get to watch their kids walk, talk, graduate and fall in love while others never even get to hear their kid say their first word or see them waddle across the room without falling down.

I don't understand why somebody somewhere is watching someone they love come home safe and sound while somebody somewhere else is finding out that someone they love will never walk through the front door ever again.

I don't understand why some people are healthy and others are fighting a terminal illness.

I don't understand why some people are spared from violence and abuse while others have to live with it every single day.

It makes me feel like an asshole for being happy, healthy and knowing that the people I love are safe and within arm's reach. I am so infinitely grateful for all of these things. Obviously. But it still makes me feel like an asshole because somebody somewhere---maybe even in my own neighborhood---is unhappy, or unhealthy, or suffering a terrible loss. It's just not fair.

And it kills me because I know I can't fix it. I've always felt an obligation to comfort people and make things better. I hate seeing people unhappy. My favorite thing about writing this blog is that I am inspiring people and making people feel better and more hopeful. When I get emails and comments from people who have been moved or changed by something I wrote, it's the most rewarding feeling in the world.

But there is so much suffering that I'll never be able to fix. Nothing I say or do will ever feel like enough. I can't bring someone's kid back. I can't rid someone of awful memories. I can't turn back the clock for someone.

Life is chaotic. Terrible things happen to good people---every day, normal people just like me and you.

I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. But I'll never understand why some people suffer so badly while others don't. It will never make sense, and it will never be justified.

Please don't ever take the love and happiness in your life for granted. Please.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stay on your path.

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~ Henry David Thoreau 

Sometimes I feel really repetitive with all this "walk your own path" business. I kind of annoy myself with it. But the whole idea of walking your own path was sort of the initial inspiration behind this blog, so please forgive me as I share yet another simple story that explains why you should always stay on the path that feels right to you. 

As you all know, I sort of took a nontraditional direction in my life---The whole skipping over college (for now) and easing my way into self-employment whilst my friends from high school went off to get degrees and real people jobs.  

I tried following the rest of the crowd and doing everything I thought I was supposed to in the beginning, but it made me miserable. And to tell you the truth, breaking away from the crowd and going in a separate direction from all my friends kind of made me miserable too, in a way. 

Because breaking away from the rest of the group and marching to the beat of your own drum can be awkward and terrifying. And some people won't get it. And some people will think you're weird, immature and slow. And you might feel glaringly different or ten steps behind everyone else. It's not exactly a fun feeling. 

That feeling almost drove me off my little path countless times. I cannot tell you how many times I felt tempted to give my concerned family members and confused friends what they wanted and just go ahead and apply to college or pursue a career that didn't involve me writing about silly stuff like my life, my heart and my soul. SO MANY TIMES, you guys.

But I didn't. I couldn't. 

Despite all the discouragement and alienation, something just kept me going in the direction I wanted to go in. It was almost like a psychological need to keep going no matter what. At the end of the day, I knew I was on the right path. I could feel it. 

So to jump right to the point here, I would like to share that things are going pretty well right now. Work is steadily rolling in. I feel like all I do is write these days. And breathe. And occasionally tear myself away from my writing long enough to have a life outside of it.  

Some cool opportunities have been thrown my way recently. Someone INTERVIEWED me on their blog. ( *Thanks Claire!

To put it simply, things are going well. The ball is rolling. Things are moving in the right direction. I haven't reached any milestones, I'm not rolling in cash and I don't have People magazine banging down my door, but things are finally happening---slowly, but surely. 

And I think it's important to celebrate the little victories. Because if you can't celebrate the little stuff, how can you celebrate the big stuff? 

I'm not wanting to accomplish anything huge here. All I want is to be happy and make other people happy while I'm at it. That's all that really matters to me. I want to be able to say that I didn't give up. I want to be able to say that I made an impact and gave comfort and inspiration to people who needed it. I feel like that's sort of what I'm doing right now, you know? 

Keep going. Stay on your path. Just because no one is walking it with you doesn't mean you're on the wrong one. 

<3 Madison

photo by Joost Lagerweij             

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I know what it's like

I know what it's like to feel like no one will ever understand how you feel. 

I know what it's like to feel alone---like you have no one to turn to. 

I know what it's like to feel like a prisoner in your own life, in your own body and in your own head.

I know what it's like to watch something that can never be replaced vanish slowly before your eyes.  

I know what it's like to truly hate yourself. 

I know what it's like to feel backed into a corner. 

I know what it's like to be paralyzed with fear and then beat yourself up for feeling like you can't push through it like you're "supposed to." 

I know what it's like to feel like a giant disappointment to yourself and everyone else. 

I know what it's like to be criticized in the worst possible way over and over again. 

I know what it's like to feel almost overwhelmingly tempted to give up. 

So whenever you feel like no one knows what it's like, I do. I get it. You can talk to me.   

And everything will be okay in the end. Trust. 

<3 Madison  


Monday, September 10, 2012

You should be who you are.

I want to elaborate a little more on something I wrote in my previous blog entry...

"People will not always perceive you the way you want to be perceived or treat you the way you want to be treated. That should never change the way you perceive and treat yourself."

This is something I have a hard time with sometimes. When people perceive me a certain way, treat me a certain way or tell me I should be a certain way, I have a habit of taking it to heart and turning it over and over in my head.

For example, I've been told my entire life that I should be more sociable and extroverted. I used to get judged and left out a lot at school for being the quiet, awkward kid. And I've been labeled as antisocial more times than I can count.

I will say that I agree with people when they tell me I should speak my mind and stand up for myself more, but as far as being a quiet, introverted person, that's just who I am. I've always been that way.

Anytime I've tried to be talkative or extroverted, it has been nothing more than an act; an uncomfortable and extremely awkward act.

It seems as if being quiet is looked down upon. In fact, I think there are a lot of common personality traits that are looked down upon.

I don't like feeling ashamed of the fact that I'm quiet. I don't like comparing myself to outgoing people. It has a way of making me hate myself pretty hard.

I guess the moral of the story is that there is more to people than meets the eye---or ear. The people who have been patient with me and given me time to warm up to them are the people who know what I'm really like as a person. The people who have dubbed me as antisocial after only meeting me for less than five minutes DON'T know what I'm really like as a person.

Not everyone will take the time to get to know you the way you wish they would. Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will respect your feelings and shower you with love and attention every time they come into contact with you. I know it sucks, but at some point, you just have to let go of what other people think. I'm trying to do that just as hard as the next person.

If you're weird, be weird.
If you're different, be different.
If you're loud, be loud.
If you're quiet, be quiet.

There is nothing wrong with you. When people tell you that you should be a certain way or do certain things, don't let it go to your head.

What you SHOULD do is be who you are. You have my permission.

<3 Madison    

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A letter to myself

"Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself." ~ Cicero 

I wrote myself a letter yesterday. I've had all these thoughts and feelings swimming around inside of me for awhile now, and I just felt like it was time to give myself a pep talk. We all need to turn away from external sources of advice every now and then and just tell ourselves what we think we need to be told. Self-advice is the best advice you can get sometimes.

After reading back over the letter, I knew I had to share it. Writing it really inspired me and helped me put some things back into perspective. I hope it helps you do the same.

~ A Letter to Myself ~

Figure out what you need to do for yourself and for your life ON YOUR OWN. Other people don’t know what you feel in your guts, and other people can’t make you change if you’re not willing to change. You have to take responsibility for your own life, your own guts, your own heart and your own soul. Stop being so concerned about what everyone else is saying or thinking about you. You can’t focus on yourself when you’re focusing on everybody else.

If you have love and happiness in your life, I promise you have enough. Stop questioning and worrying about everything else. You’re going to die one day. Nothing else will matter on that day, so it shouldn’t matter so much now.

Try new things and see new places whenever you can. There is an infinite amount of beauty and inspiration in the world. Get off your butt and go look for it.

Take pictures weekly, and try to write in your journal more often. You don’t want to look back on your life one day just to find a bunch of empty pages and sketchy memories. This is your life, and it’s going to fly by. Capture as much of it as you can.

If you are happy, let yourself be happy. Seriously. Being happy for no reason in particular is a wonderful thing, not a weird thing. Stop spoiling all the fun.

Your well-being is worth fighting for. Your dreams are worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for. Never even THINK about giving up on any of these things.

People will not always perceive you the way you want to be perceived or treat you the way you want to be treated. That should never change the way you perceive and treat yourself.

Life is hard sometimes, and very little comes easy. Just remember that.

You need to give yourself more credit and start recognizing your worth as a unique individual. Speak your mind, share your soul, be yourself and stand up for the things that matter to you. And do it unapologetically.

Fear can be a good thing depending on how you choose to look at it. Fear usually means you’re evolving. Fear means you’re alive.

People can’t read your mind. You need to practice speaking up.

You’re beautiful just the way you are. Stop complaining about your face, hair, etc. It’s all in your head. You look fine.

When people compliment you, believe them.

Make sure you’re listening to your gut and feeding your soul on a regular basis.

Take care of your body. Go for more walks. Try healthy recipes. Have a drink of water every time you pass the fridge. Keep yourself feeling as energized and wholesome as you possibly can. You’ll be glad you did once you start getting older.  

Don’t forget to take your own advice every once in awhile.

Money is important, but it is way less important than you make it out to be sometimes. You have everything you need. Look around.

If something feels right, it’s probably right. If something feels wrong, it’s probably wrong. Trust your judgment.

You are a constant work in progress. You will always be imperfect, and there will always be a lot that you don’t know. Stop being so hard on yourself. It’s an exhausting waste of time and energy.

Let go---whatever that means to you at any given moment. Just let go.

<3 Madison 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trust your soul

Hey friends. I am currently writing to you from a bit of a sleep deprived state, but I will try my best to avoid sounding aggressive, drunk, or like I just now learned how to make words and compile them into coherent sentences.

I write a lot about my soul on this blog---hence the title of it. I try to nurture and be in tune with my soul as much as possible, and I'm constantly learning, growing and healing as a result of that.

If there's one thing I've learned about my soul, it's that fear and doubt have a powerful tendency to make it shrivel up and try to lead me astray. This has happened more times than I can count.

I am in the process of pursuing my dream career, as I have been for awhile now. But every now and then, I start to question what I'm doing and wonder if I'm good enough to pull it off. I'm pretty sure I've told you guys that many times before, but sometimes I seriously wonder if I have any idea what I'm doing/talking about. I start feeling and thinking all these different things. I feel like an amateur. I feel overwhelmed. I feel weak and small. I wonder why people listen to what I have to say in the first place. I wonder if I'll ever make enough money to stop by brother from jokingly handing me pennies and saying things like, "Here's your weekly pay!" (*sigh* Brothers...) I worry that people are secretly judging what I do and wishing I would do something else.

I just wonder a lot of different things sometimes.

But you know what? At the end of most days, I feel happy and proud of myself. At the end of most days, I realize that there's nothing else I'd rather do and that all the uncertainty, stress, fear and doubt I sometimes feel are all very small prices to pay.

Because at the end of the day, I still know what I want. My soul still knows what I want.

So I keep going. When I keep working and keep believing, things start happening---Wonderful things that validate my decisions and remind me that my soul is not crazy after all.

When something feels right in the very pit of your gut, you have to trust it---even when you're scared or feel clueless and out of control. Because that feeling knows you better than you know yourself and will never disappoint as long as you don't stray from it.

Trust that you're on the right track. Don't let fear try to convince you that you're not.

<3 Madison

p.s. How would you guys feel about me posting a different excerpt each day (Monday-Friday) next week from a mini-memoir I wrote last year? I was inspired to write it after reading the book Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi, which is a very honest and moving book. It inspired me to write about some of my own personal struggles---things I've never really talked much about on here. I came across it the other day and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Hold on to it? Re-write and publish it? Post little bits and pieces of it on my blog? I honestly can't decide if I want to publish excerpts here or hold on to it and potentially publish it as a whole someday.

What do you guys think? Is that something you would like to see, or do you think I should just hang on to it for awhile until I decide if I want to publish it altogether?

Let me know! Thanks. <3  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What if syndrome

I'm no doctor, but I know a sickness of the soul when I see one---or feel one. What if syndrome is a very common soul sickness and occasionally decides to pay me unexpected visits. I'm sure almost everyone has experienced what if syndrome at some point in their life. But in case you're not completely sure if you have it or not, I would like to show you a list of its most common symptoms.

Symptoms of what if syndrome

~ Wondering what your life would be like right now if you had taken a different path besides the one you're on

~ Wondering if your current circumstances would be better if you had made a different choice

~ Uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and regret

~ Anticipating the dropping of the other shoe in an aspect of your life that is going exceptionally well (Career, relationship, etc.)

~ Fear of the future

~ Being terrified of making any choice that could potentially affect your future in an unexpected or unplanned way

~ Constantly fearing that your life will ultimately take a turn for the worst

~ Worrying about whether or not you're good enough to live up to a pre-conceived notion of other people's expectations

While there is currently no known cure for what if syndrome, I have come up with a few ways to alleviate the discomfort of it.

Ways to alleviate the discomfort of what if syndrome

~ Take a minute to be grateful for what you have instead of focusing only on what you don't have. Seriously. It's surprisingly liberating.

~ If you're unhappy with the course of your life, know that it's not too late to change directions. Take a little step in a different direction each day.

~ Make a conscious effort to stop worrying about the future. It hasn't arrived yet, and you have no way of knowing how it's going to turn out.

~ If you're happy, let yourself be happy. Don't obsess over potentially losing that happiness in the future.

~ Leave the past in the past. Don't stress over something you can't change.

~ Surround yourself with people who love you, believe in you, support you, and tell you how awesome you are.

~ Take a risk or try something new without thinking too much about the outcome.

~ Eat lots of ice cream and get plenty of rest.

<3 Madison

Friday, August 3, 2012

Just so you know...

In case any of you need to be told some of the things I've had to tell myself over the past few weeks...

It only takes one second to tell yourself that you can't do something and one more second to remind yourself that you can and you will.

Society's definition of beauty should not match YOUR definition of beauty.

You are loved and thought about.

Everything takes time. The ability to be patient both with yourself and with the progression of your life is a wonderful ability to have.

Don't break your traditions or stop doing the things that make you happy for the sake of pleasing someone else.

If you want people to give you a chance, remember to give them a chance too.

Judging yourself still counts as judging.

Fear is a perfectly valid emotion. Don't beat yourself up for being afraid.

Just because someone is accomplishing more than you are doesn't mean you're doing nothing with your life.

There is nothing wrong with buying yourself a gift.

Find something to be grateful for every day.

Laugh more often.

<3 Madison

Monday, July 30, 2012

Giving change a chance

The Dollar General store, that I know like the back of my hand and have been going to on a bi-weekly basis for years, recently closed down and moved elsewhere. This all happened pretty quickly, and all that's left of it now is a barren white room---like something out of the Twilight Zone.

Strange how something I had become so accustomed to had been swept away so quickly and with little warning.

Yesterday, I finally and somewhat reluctantly went to the new Dollar General to pick up a few things. It was my first time going in there, and while I was sort of looking forward to seeing what it looked like inside, I couldn't help but miss the old store---the one that felt familiar to me.

But the new store actually turned out to be pretty cool. I was especially fond of the automatic doors, considering there were NOT automatic doors at the old store. No more awkwardly attempting to shuffle my shopping cart through the door while random strangers stare at me and wonder if they should help or not.

Don't get me wrong. I still miss the old store and the proximity of it to my house. Like I said, I had been shopping at that store for years and effortlessly knew my way around. I still haven't adjusted to the new store. It's rather large, and I'm probably bound to get lost at some point. Or get frustrated because I have no idea which aisle the maple syrup is on. But I will eventually get used to this change, and the new Dollar General will become just as familiar as the old one in due time.

So I guess the moral of this incredibly boring story is to give change a chance instead of making up your mind that it's going to suck before the change has even taken place.

This isn't a happy clappy post about how wonderful change is and how you should embrace it. It would be extremely hypocritical for me to sit here and tell you all of that because I hate change and struggle to come to terms with it on a daily basis.

But that mundane little trip to the new Dollar General yesterday taught me about giving change a chance. (I find inspiration in the strangest places.) It taught me to NOT make up my mind about how something is going to be before I've even given it a try.

So that's all I wanted to share today. I hope you all have a wonderful week. :-)

<3 Madison    


Friday, July 20, 2012

We all grow up (Ways to recapture life through the eyes of a child)

As you probably all know by now, I think growing up sucks and has been one of the greatest challenges in my life so far---that nightmarish, almost overnight transition from kid to adult.

A few people have responded to my attitude towards growing up by telling me that no one ever really HAS to grow up. In a way, I understand what they mean (and I'll get to that later), but actually, we DO grow up. All of us. Whether we like it or not, every single one of us grows up and gets older.

We have to face responsibilities.

We eventually have to let go of certain things.

At family gatherings, questions like "Did you have fun on the playground today?" turn into questions like "What are you doing with your life, and will I approve?"

Things change, and life doesn't slow down for anyone. So yes, we DO have to grow up.

But there are some ways we can practice seeing life through the eyes of a child again, and I want to share those ways with you. If I miss anything, feel free to share your own ways in the comments.

~ Ways to recapture life through the eyes of a child ~

1. Stay present. Children don't spend time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Whatever they're experiencing, they experience it fully. They know how to be involved in every moment. I know "stay present" is one of the oldest sayings ever, but it's something I try to practice regularly.

2. Tell the truth. Younger children are very honest, and most of them don't understand the concept of lying. Ask them what they saw, they'll tell you what they saw. Ask them what someone said, they'll tell you what that person said. Ask them how they feel, they'll tell you how they feel. It's okay to be honest with yourself and others---unless you're protecting yourself or someone else from a potential threat or something. (Example ~ You're shopping at a somewhat shady and deserted grocery store in the middle of the night when two large, intimidating dudes approach you and ask if you're alone. Obviously, you'd tell them that your 250 pound body guard wasn't far behind.)

3. Be amazed. Everything is exciting to children. When they discover something new, all is right in the world. They take the time to really notice things. There is always something to be amazed about. Just look around.

4. Stop judging others. Children see human beings as nothing more than human beings. They don't care about your social status, financial status, the way you look, your sexuality, what you do for a living, what you do or don't have, etc. They see you as a person. Treat people like human beings, and don't label them or put them in a box based on your opinion of them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Finding what keeps you going

I sometimes wonder if I confuse you guys with my frequent thought/mood swings. I'll write something super inspiring, and people will be like, "Wow, you really know what you're talking about" or "You sound like you're on the right track." And then there are days where I'll write something super depressing, and it sort of gives away the fact that I have NO idea what I'm talking about or that maybe I'm NOT on the right track.

It must be an early twenties kind of thing. I'm in the "figuring shit out" phase. The truth is, when I write something inspiring, it's because I'm feeling inspiring that day. And when I write something dark or pensive, it's because I'm feeling dark or pensive that day.

I read a fact the other day that 75% of our thoughts and feelings are delivered by our subconscious minds. So we can read inspiring books, quotes, and articles all day long, but when we're feeling or thinking anything negative, we seem to forget about everything we've learned and immediately shift into the "woe is me" mindset. When you're in a bad mood, it's highly unlikely that you'll think about or even remember that article you read two months ago about how to turn your bad mood around---even if you thought it was incredibly inspiring and life-changing at the time.

So I've discovered that one way to solve this problem is to keep the things that matter to you and the things you want to remember in front of you as much as possible---All those things you forget about when you're convinced that the world is coming to an end and that life can't possibly go on. You need to find what keeps you going.

When I tell myself that I'm all alone and that no one cares about me, I look at pictures of my family, friends, and pets, and remember that I am more loved than I will ever realize.

When I tell myself that I'm a crappy writer and that I will never be as good as *insert name of talented writer/blogger here,* I read the nice comments, emails, and tweets from you guys, and remember that there are many people who don't think I'm a crappy writer at all.

When I tell myself that my life is going nowhere and that I will grow up to be a vagrant, I remind myself of how far I've come and the things that I've accomplished so far, and remember that I am capable of continuing to move forward and accomplish even more things.

Find the things that keep YOU going. And keep those things in front of you, not behind you.

Big hug from me: {{{{ }}}}

<3 Madison


Friday, July 6, 2012

Your heart always wins.

We all do it---place protective shields around our hearts, distract ourselves from our emotions, and run like the wind when someone or something threatens to chip away that shield or make distracting ourselves impossible.

I always get caught up in this cycle of letting myself feel what I feel and then eventually doing everything in my power to make sure I don't have to feel what I feel.

I'll let myself feel vulnerable and open to any pain that's inside my heart, but as soon as that pain gets too uncomfortable or too vast, I feel weak and begin doing everything I can to numb it.

I used to (and still do sometimes) wake up every morning and dive headfirst into any kind of distraction I could find, whether it be listening to loud music, drowning myself in work or studies, or watching hours of TV and/or movies. I'd fill every possible open minute of my day with SOMETHING that didn't involve sitting with myself and letting my heart or soul writhe in discomfort. And then before going to bed each night, I would take Advil PM so I could avoid that window of time before sleep when your mind starts wandering and reminding you of everything that feels wrong in your life. I also wanted to avoid the possibility of not falling asleep at all, which is the absolute worst thing in the world when you don't like yourself very much.

As long as we're alive, we are inevitably going to be at war with our hearts at some point---way more than once.

It's almost like a survival instinct to avoid this kind of pain.

We avoid giving our hearts to that person who has the power to shatter it into a million pieces at any given moment---as if our hearts are sensitive bombs that could go off if placed in the wrong hands.

We ignore our gut instincts, the whispers of our soul, and that little voice in the back of our minds.

We work, sleep, and drink away our feelings all to avoid surrendering to them.

Because when at war, we never want to surrender, right? We never want to be the one waving that white flag in the end.

So we fight away our feelings, fight away our desires, and fight away our instincts.

Yet we still end up losing somehow. Nothing good or fulfilling ever comes out of doing any of the above actions. 

The truth is, your heart always wins the battle in the end. It's stubborn, and it refuses to be reasoned with.

What if we gave ourselves permission to surrender? What if we lied down and stopped fighting? What if we looked at it as letting go instead of giving up?

I am trying so hard to stop fighting with my own heart.

<3 Madison

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some encouraging words for you

Hi friends.

I finished reading and taking notes on a book called My So-Called Freelance Life a couple of months back, and there were some really encouraging words in the back of it to give aspiring freelancers a kick of motivation to get their careers started. (FYI, I highly recommend this book to anyone considering self-employment. It's funny, easy to understand, and very informative.)

I was putting the words that encouraged me the most into a Microsoft Word document yesterday when I realized that they were pretty relevant to everyone, not just self-employed people. So I decided to re-word a few things to make the advice more applicable to everyone and then share these encouraging words with all of you. If you want, you can put them on a blank document, print it out, and put it somewhere where you can see it every day (if you're into that kind of thing). That's what I'll be doing! :-)

Ignore the naysayers.

Don't try to be perfect---you're human.

Be true to yourself and the things that feel right to you as an individual.

Treat people well. 

Know what you're worth. 

Keep setting new goals.

Branch out into the unknown.


Get inspired.

Make friends.



Celebrate your successes. 

Learn from your defeats without dwelling on them. 

Have fun. 

<3 Madison

p.s. Thank you to everyone who has liked me on Facebook so far. If you haven't yet and you want to, here's the link: Seeing new likes makes me happy. 

p.p.s. Pinterest is pretty cool. If you've ever wondered what my favorite quotes or books are, what places I want to visit, what kind of music I listen to, or what I love/what makes me happy, wonder no more!:

Yay for awkward self-promotion.. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


"It's such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it." ~ For One More Day by Mitch Albom

I've read a lot of books and a lot of quotes, but every now and then, one will come along that makes me stop and think---REALLY think. 

I get just as annoyed with cliches as the next person. But every now and then, I will read something that puts meaning behind those cliches.

You always hear people say the following statements:

"Live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is never guaranteed."

"Get off your bumhole and start living! What are you waiting for?"

"Time flies. Savor each and every moment."

Blah blah blah. When you hear the same thing over and over again, it starts to lose its meaning. It becomes stale and uninspiring after awhile. 

But why DO we waste time? Despite reading all these quotes about taking time for granted, what is our motive behind continuing to waste time anyway? 

It's because we think we have all the time in the world.

We think we've got nothing but time. "There's always tomorrow. There's always next week. There's always next month. There's always next year." 

And then before we know it, all this time has gone by and we're left scratching our heads. That's when we start grieving all that lost time---all that wasted time when we could've done something, but didn't because we thought we had plenty of time. 

I thought my childhood would be long enough, but I was wrong.

I'm 20 years old now, and I'm sitting here thinking my 20s will be long enough. I bet I'm wrong about that too. 

<3 Madison   

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You are a somebody

You know what I hate? When people say stuff like, "I want to be somebody. I don't want to be a nobody my whole life."

First of all....Huh?  

Second of all, EVERYBODY is a somebody. I don't believe in calling anybody a nobody. It goes against everything I stand for. 

Society has a way of shedding a bad light on people who are dubbed as "ordinary." People who work medial jobs, people who aren't rich, famous, or taking over the world, etc. 

"You can do better than that." People say. "Don't be average. Don't be a loser. Make something of yo self!" 

Gahhh! This bugs me so much, and I don't know why I haven't addressed it yet. This is the exact reason why so many people feel like they don't measure up. They tell themselves, "I can do better than this. I'm not good enough. I'm not appreciated. I'm a loser. Blah blah blah." 

You guys. I want you to think about a job title or a position in life that you think most people tend to look down on. Maybe it's being a janitor. Or a fast food restaurant employee. Or a stay-at-home mom who does "nothing" all day. (PSH. Seriously people?!?!?) Now think about what we would do without these people. We would be surrounded by trash and messiness, we wouldn't have delicious french fries (gasp), and the world would be full of helpless children with parents who are too busy to take care of them.  

Everybody is a somebody. Everybody plays some sort of role in the world, no matter how big or small. 

Don't be ashamed of the role you play. (Unless you're a serial killer or you eat babies or something. You guys know what I mean. -_-) 

Sure, it's okay to dream big or reach for something that makes you feel more fulfilled. But some people are fine and dandy right where they are, and that's perfectly (more than perfectly) okay too. 

Last week, I found out that one of the janitors who worked at my high school passed away awhile back. I was so sad. I cried for days. He was the happiest, sweetest, most fun-loving man ever, and everyone at my high school knew who he was. He was always smiling, singing, and asking people about their day. He left his mark and will always be remembered as a beloved member of my high school community...And HE was "just a janitor." Doesn't matter much, does it? Of course not.  

Only YOU can define what makes you worthy. And I swear the list of reasons for your worth is ridiculously long. It's sad that so many people don't realize that. 

<3 Madison 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Things to remember

It has been one of those weeks where I need to sit down and remind myself of a few things. Because once again, that crazy, mean voice inside my head has been telling me all of these things that make me wake up at three in the morning with tears and anxiety.

The last time I had one of those "I need to sit down and remember why I'm still here" moments, the most popular piece of my soul that exists on the internet came out of me. (

So the other night, I decided to read through some of my old blog posts---the ones I wrote when I was feeling more inspired, worthy, and happy. And reading through all of those posts re-enforced those feelings a little bit.

So today, I want to give you some important reminders to carry around with you this week. (And next week and the week after that and the week after that...)

~ You are more than you give yourself credit for.

~ You deserve the same amount of love that you give to your loved ones.

~ It is okay to hurt and struggle and be a human.

~ You are enough.

~ Most of the things that don't feel okay are actually perfectly okay. (This is probably my favorite post I've ever written.)

Contrary to popular belief, bad days can get better.

~ Life doesn't come with a rulebook. Live it YOUR way.

I don't expect you to read all of the above in one sitting. You can if you want, of course. But you don't have to.

Lastly, I just want you guys to know that your nice comments, tweets, and emails mean more to me than I can express. I'm so glad you can relate to what I have to say. I'm so glad I've made you feel better or more inspired. I'm so glad you think I'm awesome. You're pretty awesome too.

I save all of the nice feedback I get and read through it when I feel crappy. I sort of want to print it all out and put it on my bedroom wall or something. So thanks. :-)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a wonderful summer!

<3 Madison

p.s. Did you guys notice my radical social networking buttons located to your left?! I'm finally starting (trying) to get more involved in the social networking world. So please join me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. I'll try to be as active as I can on each account without being annoying.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My inner wise woman

"Why does life have to be so full of change, endings, and goodbyes?" I thought to myself with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes.

My inner wise woman answered almost immediately.

"Because without change, endings, and goodbyes, there wouldn't be growth, beginnings, and hellos."

<3 Madison

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Have a little faith

As most of you have probably noticed by some of my recent posts, I'm sort of at a fork in the road in my life right now.

Uncertainty is scary and depressing sometimes. I've spent the last few days stuffing my face, staring out of windows for countless minutes on end, and Googling questions like "Where is my life going?" (Whoever said no one has all the answers clearly hasn't tried Google........But unfortunately, Google was not able to tell me where my life is going.)

To be clear, I know what I want to DO with my life (sort of), but I don't know where it's all leading or if it will ensure that I don't spend my late twenties or early thirties living under a bridge. I've basically just spent the last few days wondering how I'm going to make a living staying completely true to myself and my passions. Because let's face it: It can be pretty hard to get paid simply for being yourself. Especially in a world intent on molding you to fit in with the rest of the crowd.

And I know that money isn't the most important thing in life. When I'm lying on my death bed, I won't give two shits about money. But a friend of mine once said, "It's fine and dandy to think that life isn't about money, responsibilities, and long term goals, but I have a cell phone bill and a landlord who would beg to differ."

I'm all for positive thinking and focusing on what truly matters in the long run, but I'm also a bit of a realist. And if I want to actually take care of myself, I'm going to need to figure out how to accumulate the green stuff. (With that said, getting rich or whatever is not the goal here. Not even close. The goal is to make a decent living doing something I love to do.)

BUT ANYWAYS. I'm getting way off topic.

So the other night while I was mindlessly surfing the internet and questioning the point of life once again, I came across this quote on someone's Tumblr:

"Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it's meant to be." 

My initial thought was something like, "I don't want to hear any cliches right now."

But my second thought was, "This is true."

It's not always comforting when worrying, wondering, and doubting takes up 99.9% of your time, but things have always turned out okay for me. My worries, doubts, and fears haven't killed me. And if I'm still here and breathing, it must be for a reason. Learning to believe that gives me a reason to wake up every morning.

And if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that faith is much more powerful than doubt.

If you can relate to this post, maybe these quotes on uncertainty will help ease your mind a little bit. Courtesy of my favorite website. :-)

<3 Madison

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I worry about myself

I think a lot of people wonder why I worry about myself and my future so much. People are always telling me that I'll turn out just fine.

But how do they know that?

I appreciate all of the reassurance and words of comfort, but by the time you finish reading this post, I think you'll understand why I worry so much.

As most of you may know, I've been keeping a mood journal to track my moods throughout the day. Yesterday morning, my mood was "irritable" and for the reason behind that mood, I wrote this: "It has been one of those mornings where it seems as if the entire universe is conspiring against you."

I'm sure you can all relate to those types of mornings---when truly bad or inconvenient things actually happen.

Looking back, I can barely remember what I was so worked up about, aside from a couple of extremely minor nuisances. The only thing that was really bothering me at that moment was the fact that I had to pour half a gallon of milk down the drain because it had expired.

So...If I conclude that the universe is conspiring against me when my milk expires, I can only imagine how I would react to something big happening---something much more tragic than expired milk.

I've never been good at managing stress. In fact, I try to avoid it as much as I possibly can because I KNOW how intensely it can affect me.

I'll never forget the time I nearly had a nervous breakdown because I had two days to complete a multi-page study guide for my algebra class in ninth grade. I didn't know where to start, and there were several problems I didn't know how to solve. I was on the verge of being physically ill, lying in a fetal position on the couch while my mom looked at me like I was nuts.

So my point is this: How can I NOT worry about my well-being when I almost immediately curl up into a ball of shame in the face of adversity? When I'm independent and have to deal with my problems on my own, how am I going to stay sane in all of the inevitable high-stress situations that accompany adulthood? How do I know I won't have a mental and/or emotional breakdown before the age of 30?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions.

THAT is why I worry so much about myself and my future.

Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do not give up on yourself.

"It doesn't matter how slowly you go---so long as you do not stop." ~ Confucius 

If you're a dream chaser, hard worker, creative soul, or success addict, you can probably relate to the feeling of pushing and striving and constantly wondering if you should or could be doing more to reach your "destination." 

First of all, I'm finally starting to realize that there never really is a "destination" or an end point. We create a vision of what we think the finish line should look like, when in reality, there is no finish line. It's all about the journey and learning as we go along. 

We have no way of knowing where our efforts will lead, and that tends to create oodles of anxiety---at least, that's usually the case for me. 

"Following your dreams is the scariest thing in the world, and that's why a lot of people don't do it." ~ Christina Perri

When you have a dream or a vision, you usually have an intense instinct to cling to it for dear life, fearfully wondering how everything would pan out if you were to let go and follow that dream---and the path ahead can look extremely daunting.

Again, maybe that's just me. 

Lately, a lot of thoughts have been running through my mind. These are just a few of them:

I have no idea what I'm doing.

I don't have a plan B. If my efforts go to hell, I'll be living in a cardboard box for the rest of my life, wondering why the universe hates me. 

How the hell am I going to make money? 

Everyone will laugh at me and tell me to grow up and get a real job.  

I should be doing more. I should be working harder. 

You might be wondering what my dream is. To be honest, I often wonder the same thing. I don't have everything mapped out, and I could write a book on all of the things I still need to learn and figure out. 

I often feel that I'm moving too slowly. I feel like there's an imbalance between planning and taking action. Maybe you can relate to that feeling.

I should be doing more. I should be working harder. 

Yesterday, the quote at the top of this post randomly popped in my head. And after it did, I realized that I wasn't being fair to myself. I do something every day to push myself closer to my goal (whatever that goal is). Every day, I take a step---even if it's just a baby step. There are days when I do more, and there are days when I do less. Either way, I still do SOMETHING. And if I take the time to look back to where I started and compare it to where I am now, I've come pretty damn far. 

So I might be feeling a little stuck right now. I might be taking my time. I might be over-planning and over-thinking. I might be at a fork in the road. I might be mildly terrified. 

But I have no intention of giving up. And looking back on all of the things I so easily gave up on in the past, that is a pretty big accomplishment in itself. 

<3 Madison