Pursuing our dreams and purpose

As kids, you’re encouraged to DREAM. As adults, you’re told dreams don’t really come true. That dreams are just fairy tales and for children.

When we die, one of our biggest regrets with be everything we didn’t do. It’ll be everything we said we wanted to do but never got around to it. I’m a big dreamer with big ambitions but it wasn’t until this year that I learned that if you don’t create a path for your dream ( set goals, milestones, check ins along the way) it’s easy to think you’re working towards your dream only to realize you been wandering around in circles. Which leads to discouragement and creates space for you to want to give up.

My heart has always been full of big aspirations and this desire to change the world and be a part of healing the broken hearted. I’d see phenomenal things that others would do and my heart would crave those things. The thing was, I never created a realistic plan on what I needed to do to get there. I’d do random things but never with intent/purpose of the bigger goal. I’d see all these people doing what I wanted to do but wasn’t aligning my life and actions to accomplish those things.

It’s like I had this big shiny red car that I wanted to drive. And instead of pressing the gas peddle , I’m washing the car, cleaning the tires and windows, cutting the grass, all while wanting to drive but never getting into the driver seat so I could go.

Dreams I feel work the same. We all have them, but don’t align things in our life or take purposeful steps with the intent of accomplishing those dreams.

So today I just want to encourage you to have COURAGE to pursue the things you want in life so you can fulfill all your dreams!! Because dreams do come true, we just need to have the courage to pursue and obtain them.

You are perfectly made

And you are extraordinary! .

I read today that there is only one chance in 10/2,000,000,000 that your parents can have another child like you and that the combinations of attributes that you have cannot be duplicated. WOW! We are so beautifully and uniquely made ❤️ .

This past week I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about suicide. From the suicide rate of veterans to the suicide rate of kids and teens and It breaks my heart. I was told today that someone I knew committed suicide and I sat there for a bit letting it sink in.

I’ve lost friends to suicide and have attempted suicide multiple times when I was in my teens. I am grateful that I can stand here today, strong, and confidentially say those thoughts are something of the past and I haven’t had thoughts like those in over 10 years. But back then, confidence wasn’t even in my vocabulary. I thought the world was better off without me. I didn’t want to hurt anymore & I didn’t want to deal with the pain of the everyday. But I promise you it gets better. Yes I still get discouraged, down, sad, and depressed but I no longer allow those fleeting moments to control me and my thoughts because I have learned I am worthy, I am loved and I have learned to love all of me!

If I was right in front of you, I’d look you right in the eyes and I’d tell you: I love you. God loves you. Don’t listen to the lies of others. Don’t listen to the lies formed from your doubt and insecurities. YOU are PERFECTLY and UNIQUELY made. Scientifically there will never be another person like you. Statistically the odds are slim to none. Spiritually, God made you perfectly. All your “flaws”, unique qualities, quirks, etc are perfect. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You are worth it! You are beautiful! You are intelligent! You are capable! You will change the world! You have a purpose! You are not your past! We make mistakes and ITS OKAY! You WILL find a community of people who appreciate you for who you are. You WILL find people who love you for who you are. You WILL find a tribe who will support you right where you are. ❤️

Remember you are freaking perfect just the way you are!

Patience

PATIENCE… Easier said than done. Patience in general is difficult for most. Knowing specifically what you want, having people tell you “in due time” and having to wait with no date in sight, is a whole other animal.

I’ve always struggled with the unknown areas of life. I’m a yes or no kind of person and have always had difficulties with the wishy washy moments. We all face some version of this and it’s something that won’t necessarily change.

I wish I had a better answer for these kinds of moments but I’ve learned that spending energy wishing things would happen quicker is a fast way to get yourself in a rut of negativity because you end up focusing so much on what you want, that you lose sight of how far you’ve come and all that you currently have. ❤️

Everyone has a story

I’ll be interviewing my friend James Garnes January 6, 2019 and we’ll be talking about his story! And I’m excited. We all have our own personal stories of struggles and victories and I feel that telling our story and exposing ourselves to others stories can be life changing.

Stories have an ability to touch our hearts and souls and reveal that each and every one of us struggle and it’s important to remember we don’t have to go it alone. .

Let’s take some time to be kind to others out in the world and to get to know people we don’t know. Let this be a reminder that we don’t know what other’s are going through and taking the time to LISTEN to someone’s story can be life changing. .

Love you guys ❤️

James Garnes STORY

“Taking the bus home from my last final of the semester yesterday, I took some time for self reflection. Here’s two different perspectives from the same year in a life:

1. This year was hell. Taking on the house, after having waken up to find my mom passed away in the night, has weighed on me mentally and emotionally in ways I can’t describe. And home ownership has been a hard learning experience, especially when all the good and bad of it is still so connected to my mom for me. Over the summer the basement flooded, a couple months later the deck fell off the house, I have to remove a tree in the yard to fix the piping to the street in the spring. I overextended myself to frightening degrees at times, with responsibilities and obligations piling up in terms of school, work, two bands, landlord responsibilities, social obligations that I refused to miss because those same people were there with me through it all. My depression, anxiety, and ptsd have been at an all time high. I started smoking weed as a tool to just keep moving forward and grinding because there were times I felt like i couldn’t even function without it. Through it all I drifted from my recovery and self care.

2. This has been an incredible year. James and the Low rollers played their first show, my first time on stage in 7 years. I released a solo EP back in May, I took over a house and with the help of so many am turning it into a new home. Glorious Retribution officially changed its name to BRÖTHER and under this new moniker we’ve been making the best material of our musical lives together. Last Saturday we started preproduction on a 13 song album. I was able to show up: for birthdays, celebrations, breakdowns, heart to hearts, and every day responsibilities. I started focusing on self care a lot more recently: putting down the weed, quiting cigarettes, daily meditation, AA meetings and other recovery based groups, and I’m 8 months into therapy. I was able to get through another semester while working and with all the music I’ve dedicated myself to and all still without a lisence. I didn’t pick up a drink.

Perspective matters. I heard someone recently say that people who do a lot of good are trying to make up for the bad.

I think this is a worrisome outlook, because we can’t bury our past.

We can use it as a tool to grow and become a better person who wouldn’t make those same mistakes and whose accountable for them when we do, not just trying to tip the karmic scales in our direction. I stepped out of prison 4 years ago after taking the life of one of my closest friends in a drunk driving crash. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and know I still have even farther to go. I’m not trying to make up for the sins of my past. I’m just trying to become the person and friend Toni deserved on that night so many years ago. I’m just trying to make my momma proud.

It’s been a terrible, wonderful, difficult, beautiful year. Bring it on 2019.”

-James Garnes

Merry Christmas ❤️ Happy Birthday

I hope today was full of hope, love, and strength. To those that had a difficult day, I want you to know that you are loved and appreciated! I send love to all those that have lost loved ones during the holidays. I hope everyone was able to spend time with their loved ones and families (biological, adopted, created, whatever family means to you!) and I want you to all know I appreciate you all and love each and every one of you

❤️ Happy birthday baby Jesus

Brittany’s Story

“Wow! I did it. I made it to 30 years old!! I understand in most standards that turning another year older isn’t exactly an accomplishment, however to me, this is the biggest accomplishment of my life.

There was a time I didn’t know if I would live to see tomorrow. I never believed I would even turn 18. I always felt inside of me that I wasn’t meant to live a long life. As a teenager I played into this feeling. I suffered from insomnia and manic depression while being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I coped through drugs and self harm. I spent years fighting suicidal ideation wondering if this is how torturous living a long life would be. I struggled hard in my own confusing world and faught within myself to try to understand the point of life. I lived on the edge of absolutely everything I could. I made rash decisions, hung out with the wrong crowd, consumed harmful drugs in search of a feeling that made me feel alive. I attempted and failed suicide and I survived accidental overdoses. I never graduated high school. I never went to college. I suffered through months of debilitating depression that reeked havoc on my personal life, destroyed friendships and crippled my relationship with my family.

I share all of this because today at 30, it is all different.

I have peeled myself off the floor, distracted myself from the pain, and built myself the most incredible life.

My parents are my best friends, and I can honestly say I am the happiest person I know. I have a business that I absolutely love and wake up each day eager to work and see my next accomplishments.

I built a life I dreamt of having and never knew was possible.

I built a life that works with my gypsy soul, and I can feed my need for adventure and discovery. I have learned who I am, what I need and I embrace my flaws while actively learning how to grow and become a better person every day.

I am happy! I am clean. I am sober. I am finally me!

I have to say I am so fortunate to have the most incredible woman in my life. My Grandmother who never doubted my future success, and never once looked down on me for the mistakes I made. Love you Sandra Levine.

Thank you for always believing in me.

I share this because I know how difficult life is. I know how lonely life is!! Life is Hard and unfair and I am here for you. I ALWAYS will have time for you. I WANT to listen to you. I am here if you want advice, I am here just for an ear. I don’t care how well I know you. I know you enough to know that you never should have to feel like you’re alone. I know you well enough to know you WILL get past this. I know you well enough to know you are capable of building a life for yourself the way I have for myself. It is Never too late!! I am here for you! Please call me…any time! (Seriously, you can even call on messanger. Anyone who needs a friend.)

As always I hope my birthday is just as happy for you as it is for me. I hope you buy yourself something special today and think of me when you do! I hope you hug yourself and recognize how wonderful you are. Happy huge 30th birthday to me. I hope everyone has an absolutely amazing day!!! And thank you for the birthday wishes and reading through this ridiculously long rant.

Bravo if you made it this far!”