Dancing in the Rain
June 2018 // By Natalie Jean
Holy cow! I can't believe today is my 25th Birthday! Seriously, its so weird to think of myself as a 25 year old married woman with her own apartment and small business. I don't know why, maybe its because I tend to be overly emotional at times, or maybe its because I fall so easily into nostalgia but I still feel like a kid most days.
Lately I've been really excited about life. I've been working on some projects, falling more and more in love with my husband, trying to figure out being an adult (don't get me started about student loans and bills though... hating those at the moment), creating and growing in new friendships, and just plain excited about life. I used to let disappointment and anger and jealousy and low self esteem dictate my mood for the day. It totally sucked. In the last couple of years however, I've been trying to focus on joy. My word for the year last year was "joy" and this year its "commitment." Both of those have slowly shaped my view on life. Its funny because you might think "Oh well they're only words and little ideas," but isn't it so true how one word over and over again can shape your beliefs about life?
Don't get me wrong, I still struggle with anxiety and seasonal depression, but choosing to look at the good in life and allow it to happen is so freeing.
For example, I got these giant balloons to take photos with. I thought about not doing it because "every blogger does it" or people might think it was lame. Then I told myself WHO CARES and I got them and haven't stopped smiling since because they're so fun. Mark and I were literally getting ready to go out and take the photos when it started pouring. I was bummed for about 5 minutes and then decided I didn't care. I was getting these photos!
So, we went outside and danced in the rain and snapped some photos. Then the thought dawned on me of how lucky we truly are. I've shared this before, so I don't mind sharing it again, but in 2011 I tried to end it all because I was in such a dark place and felt totally alone. Instead of seeking comfort and solace in Jesus and in family I isolated myself and let myself fall further and further. It was the worst. I'm so unbelievably thankful that I was unsuccessful in it and that people surrounded me with love and patience as I worked through it all.
Slowly I began to heal and grow as a person, a strong person. I feel like I can finally say that I'm excited about life. I've changed my perspective over the years and tried my best to start focusing on joy. Mark has been such a strong and supportive part of my life, my best friend. So many other friends and family have been here for me too in all kinds of different ways. That's not to say that they all understand how I feel or they say exactly the right thing, but they care and that means a lot to me.
I just felt like today, my birthday - a day to celebrate life, was the best time to share two things. One- if your family member or friend is going through something or struggling with mental health issues or anything like that be there for them. You might not know what to say and that's ok. Just be there! Have a meal with them. Spend time talking with them, listening, watching a movie, whatever! Let them know that they can count on you, talk to you, and lean on you.
The second thing I wanted to share with readers is this- if you're feeling down, if you're dealing with depression or anxiety, if you're feeling lonely, etc. REACH OUT to someone. Don't allow yourself to be boxed in or isolated, even if you think that will help. Let yourself cry or scream into your pillow. Journal out every thought and feeling. Give yourself time to feel. But don't stay there...Take care of yourself, of your heart and spirit! Allow yourself to dance in the rain.
Happy birthday!!! 25 was my absolute favorite year of life so I hope you have the same experience!ReplyDelete
The Adored Life
Thank you so much! I'm hoping so :)Delete
Happy Birthday! I'm so happy that you found the support you needed and are doing so well! Words can either be just words, or they can become a mantra and lifestyle choice. It seems like you are doing more than just saying joy and commitment. Someone close to me has had severe depression and anxiety and I have seen first hand how truly debilitating they can become. I'm glad you were able to get the help you needed and continue to move forward!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Beth! I totally agree, words can have such a heavy meaning and influence in our lives. I think I started to notice some changes in my life when I started believing the positive talk. It took time but it definitely improved :) Praying for your friend!Delete
Happy Birthday! I am so happy for you and definitely can't wait for the upcoming projects you have for us! By the way the photos you guys took was amazing shots! XoReplyDelete
Thank you so so much!Delete
I loved reading this! It was filled with so much joy! It's funny how as we get further into our 20's most of us start figuring out who we are and start being more positive about life. I used to be SO negative about EVERYTHING but I've been trying to be more positive the past couple of years, as well. I loved your story about the balloons. I tend to worry a lot about what other people think (now that's something that hasn't gotten too much better even though I'm getting older) but it was really inspiring that you just said "Who cares!" and did it anyways. I need to think more like that! Whenever I post a picture on Instagram (especially if it's of a product for a sponsored post) I feel so self conscious... like I don't want to come off as salesy or something... but I really need to just let go and be me even if other people don't like it. I love love loved this post! :)ReplyDelete
I feel the same way sometimes, Coral! It can be hard to overcome that self doubt and "what if someone gets annoyed/thinks this is weird?" Haha! Lately I've been trying to gauge different photos/blogging situations like this- will I be more embarrassed after the fact or will I be happy that I did it and proud of the results? If its the latter then I just take a deep breath and do it! (lately anyways.) Ask me 3 years ago and NO WAY! LolDelete
Girl, Happy Birthday! And what a beautiful post. I totally agree. You should always do what makes you happy. Whether it's taking adorable photos with balloons (I love them, by the way) or dancing in the rain. Enjoy life to its fullest - every day. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Monica :)Delete
I love that you took these beautiful photos in the rain! And yes! I debated doing balloon pictures and then I thought, heck! I am 30 and I want to celebrate! IT was so fun (even though the wind was CRAZY) hhaah. But I love that you are seeking joy in all things and dancing in the rain! You are an encouragement and inspiration and the Lord is doing a mighty work in you! Happy Birthday!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Beth! I hope that you're doing well and the final stretches of pregnancy are treating you well :)Delete