October 25, 2017 – Storytellers.

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Storytellers. Everyone has a story to tell. We all have a past, one that has shaped everything about who we are, and a future that dictates who we will become.

From the moment we are born our story begins. Chapter 1, if you will, maybe yours starts with a preface if you’re into that haha The first few years of your life you will never remember, which is funny to think about. We were alive, yet we have no memory of it, at least I don’t lol. When I think back to the years I do remember I was probably 6 or 7. Those memories are some of the ones I have carried with me my entire life.

One example. Growing up my brothers and I were extremely close with my cousins because we were all the same age. It was great, we were best friends, we still are. We did everything together, we even vacationed together. One trip in particular we were at Ocean City, Maryland. It was our go-to vacation spot, we loved it. My twin brother used to torment me, like most brothers do lol I’ll never forget what he said to me on this trip though. It was the first time anyone ever called me fat.

My cousin Kerry, who is a year and a half younger than me, and I were prancing around on the beach, it was a bright, sunny day, we were both wearing cute little bikinis. I was an adorable little blonde girl. Not going to lie, I was the cutest lol My brother comes up to me and just bluntly says, “You’re fat!” My Mother was near by and I remember thinking, I’m fat? What does that mean? I ran to my Mother and I told her my brother called me fat, and she replied, “you’re not fat! Don’t listen to him.” I remember running back over to my brother and cousins and saying “Mom said I’m not fat!” He was in the water, I don’t even know if he heard me, but I was upset by what he said. I would spend the whole rest of the day thinking about.

As my family prepared dinner that night all of the kids were playing with balloons, and my cousin Kerry and I stuffed two balloons into our shirts and made ourselves some boobies lol Didn’t we all do that at one point in our lives? I was sitting on my legs in a kneeling position, Kerry was sitting next to me, and my brother was on the other side of me. It was picture time! All of us cousins lined up like we had hundreds of times before. My brother taps me on the shoulder and I look at him and he says “See, your thighs are bigger than Kerry’s, you are fat!” Snap goes the picture. I went immediately to my Mother after he said that and told her what she said, her response was the same, but she was slightly annoyed that I brought it up again, “I already told you you weren’t fat, don’t listen to him!”

When you’re young you don’t have a clue how to process emotions. Hell it’s a daily struggle now lol But at that time I just remember comparing myself to Kerry. I thought, you know what he’s right, she is smaller than me. I instantly felt fat, and so my shame began. I would compare myself to her for years and years after that. I never looked at the situation logically. Logic would have been – I’m older than her, I’m taller than her, duh it makes sense that I’m bigger than her, a 6-year old is obviously bigger than a 5-year old. But I didn’t do that. The people who surrounded me couldn’t explain it to me in a way that I could understand, and a way that didn’t make me self conscious.

My brother doesn’t remember this story, and why would he? This moment didn’t affect his life, it affected mine. I’m not mad at him, I hold no resentment towards him, it was a very big lesson I had to learn in my life. Acceptance. And I only recently learned that in the last few years.

Life is hard. Our story’s are forever changing. What affects one person doesn’t affect another. It’s important to look back at your own life and take the time to get to know yourself. All of these little stories have created the person you are. Understanding, processing, accepting the bad ones, gets you to the good stories.

No two people are the same, everyone has their own string of stories to tell, and I want to hear them all. The stories someone shares with you shows you a piece of their soul. It’s an incredible experience and I treasure every one I hear.

Nothing is a coincidence. I believe everything happens for a reason, including the people you meet. In my job I have to meet a lot of new people, almost every day. New clients, new co-workers, people on the elevators lol These are people you can’t control meeting, however I still think you meet all of them for a reason as well. To learn from their stories.

When it comes to my life and the people I let into it, I’m very selective. Some say I’m too picky, but I disagree. Quality over quantity. The older you get the less people you have in your life, but I think that’s by design. The older we get the more we realize how important it is to be surrounded by good people who genuinely love and care about us. People who are truly invested in our lives in a meaningful way. The ones who listen when you talk. The ones who hug and kiss you when you’re sad. The ones who are excited for you when something good happens. The ones who ask about your day because they genuinely care. The ones who support your dreams no matter how ‘crazy’ they may seem to someone else. The ones who take the time to get to know you. Most importantly, the ones who love and accept you for who you are and don’t pass judgement. These are the people that mean the most to me. These are the people I share my stories with. These are the people I truly treasure.

That little 6-year old girl will always be a part of my story. My brother calling me fat led to me comparing myself to other women, which led me to feeling insecure and self conscious, which led me to a deep depression, which led me to develop an eating disorder, which led me to have a nervous breakdown, which led me to seek treatment, which led me to give up refined sugar, which led me on a path to recovery, which led me to finding myself, and reinventing myself, which led me to finding my inner peace and happiness, which led me to accept myself, which led me to realize my bigger purpose in life…helping others who struggle with sugar addiction. Everything happens for a reason.

Everyone has a story to tell. Most people who read my blog have blogs of their own. I appreciate people who allow themselves to be vulnerable and let people into their world, into their story. It’s not an easy, blogging is really personal, but sharing your story can help someone continue writing theirs. The stories I have read have really helped shaped me as a person. Stories are powerful. If you have a story to tell, share it. You never know who you might be helping, and maybe the person you’re really helping is yourself.

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Writing is therapeutic. Blogging has helped me understand myself on a deeper level. Starting this blog helped me figure out who I was, what I wanted, what made me happy. It also helped me work through my problems and learn to love and accept myself, finding my inner peace. Writing forced me to look at myself differently. I’m not fat, I’m beautiful. Every line, dimple, curve on my body, each tell a story. Every experience in my life is a story. Every emotion is a story. Two years ago I was ashamed of my stories. I’m not anymore. I believe all of my stories make me who I am, they tie in to my bigger purpose in life, helping people.

Don’t be afraid to be who you are, love yourself. Let the past live in the past, but learn from it. Don’t fear your future, embrace it. We’re all meant to be something great. Each of us have a purpose, a story to tell. If everything happens for a reason, than all of your stories will lead you to live an amazing life. I believe that.

Be grateful for the stories you have.
Be excited for the stories you will one day tell.

XOXO,
HopefulAddict

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