Written by: Darcy Nichole
That is the question. And you know what? YOU have the power to decide. It’s funny thinking about this concept. For the last 5 years having kids, my whole life was turned upside down very quickly. We were in survival mode. I felt like i had no control in my life and we were really just trying to get through each minute, each hour, each day. I don’t remember much of the twins first year of life, but one thing I do remember is literally DREADING nights. I was exhausted, barely had time to shower most days let alone brush my hair. And then the evening would start to seep in… and I just knew what the night held. Up almost every 30 minutes sometimes, and if we were lucky, maybe every 1-2 hours. I remember a time we would just sleep on the couch. Josh and I did what we could. And I’m not going to lie, for us, it was brutal. Let me just say, that even with all that the first year brought with having 3 boys under 2 and a half years, I still wouldn’t trade it for the world! In these past few years, I have learned a lot about myself. My strengths, my weaknesses and so many other things.
One of the hardest things that I have dealt with regarding myself, is learning to be good at what I was not. Let me explain. I am a spitfire who has abundant energy. I am motivated and not scared of hard work… well job/career type work. I had my first job when I was 15 and learned what it took to make money from an early age. I know what it takes to make a buck and I’m pretty much willing to do most things to make that buck if needed. I’m a survivor, a leader, a strong individual. I don’t say these things to brag in ANY FORM, but I know my strengths. I don’t mind confrontation, and I have always stood up for myself and my friends. That being said, I’m a bit of a spaz, I can be overwhelming, and being calm just isn’t really in my capacity. I try, and actually in emergency situations I tend to stay calm and get what needs to be done.. well done. I think that’s more focus than actually staying calm. I tend to over react… a lot. At least that’s what my husband tells me… amongst other things. Haha! So here I am. 3 kids in under 2 and 1/2 years and in a whole new territory. I was scared.. still am some days. I became a stay at home mom very quickly as we figured out we were saving almost 20k a year on childcare. But here is the thing.. and please don’t judge me for saying this, I’m really just being as honest as I can. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. As I said before, I know what i’m good at. This was something totally new, unfamiliar, and something I could fail at. On top of this, I had developed post-partum depression after the twins and had no idea for about a year. All of these things came crashing down on me all at once, and I felt very… useless for lack of a better word. I felt (and still feel) like I’m failing my boys and on top of that i’m not able to go and do the things that I’m good at.. the things I feel give me purpose. I felt like I was stuck at home not doing a good job at all and not being able to go out to do what I am good at. I felt horrible. It didn’t really help my depression, but perpetuated it. It was an awful feeling and I hated it.
All of this was affecting me in such a great manner. I wasn’t able to parent well, and I didn’t care. I wasn’t making money from working my home based business in Nerium (which I had come in and done extremely well with), and I didn’t care. I had given up… and I didn’t care. I stopped trying to make a nice home and I really did the bare minimum needed to survive the day to day. 🙁 It was heartbreaking. I was angry. Angry at myself for giving up on me and my life, yet not really able to take the necessary steps to change it… I would cry almost everyday HOPING that tomorrow I would wake up like my old self and take this life by the balls and do something! And every day I would wake up overwhelmed knowing that nothing would change. I never stopped to realize that I had to make that change within me. I just couldn’t. I was holding myself back from being great. From being the person that God meant me to be. There is a reason that He has blessed me with the strengths he has… and I was wasting them. It was the most hopeless feeling ever. Jeff Olson, one of the smartest individuals I’ve had the pleasure of learning from and CEO of Nerium, has said over and over, “Happiness is the precursor to success, not the other way around.” Even though these words reverberated in my mind daily, I couldn’t seem to change.
And then I realized. What am I supposed to learn here? What lesson is God trying to teach me not only about myself, but in that lesson giving me the ability to be better. To do better. To do more than I ever thought I could. I realized I had the power to at least change my attitude and try to accept the life lessons being thrown at me. I also came to a huge realization that I was living and operating out of a place of fear, not love. To me this was a HUGE realization. Every reaction I’ve had these past few years, were out of fear. Fear I wasn’t good enough or I’d mess something up, or even worse ruin everything in my life. And while I now realize some of these fears were so unfounded, I still felt them, and it was scary. It still is scary. But now I get to consciously decide to react in love vs. fear. I can accept my lessons and fail right through them and get something I wouldn’t have not gotten before. A life lesson of self development. Since graduation college, I’ve missed it. I actually enjoyed school as I love to learn. I realized that I’m now learning in a non traditional sense.. and the lessons are SO much greater than ANYTHING I could have learned in the classroom. These realizations have only come to me recently. When I decided TO BE, rather than not to be. I have A LOT to learn about life, myself, and my purpose… but I’m learning. I’m embracing the challenges that come at me with a different mindset. I have a LONG way to go and I’m grateful for that. Not everyday is good, but now, most days are. I’m learning to listen to my kids and try to be better with parenting style, understanding and compassionate toward them. I’m learning to be happy so that I can be successful enough to change the world. Steve Jobs once said, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”. Call me crazy, but I’m so grateful to learn everyday how to be better and do better so that my crazy can turn into change. I’m learning gratitude. And that has been one of the biggest assets for me. An attitude of gratitude will help me reach the highest altitude. Be grateful for the hard times, and look for the lessons. More than that be GRATEFUL for them, embrace them, and you might just learn something about yourself that changes your whole life!
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Photography by: Natalia Cruz