Life Is Good!

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I feel like I’ve been gone from the blogging world forever but in reality it’s only been a couple of weeks. I thought I would pop in to say that I’ve been busy living my life and have been neglecting blogging for great reasons!

In the past two weeks I’ve traveled to Illinois, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. I’ve gone to my first NFL game, visited my sister in her new home, and spent lots of time with my family. I’ve been living my life and loving every minute. I feel good!

I feel refreshed and ready to re-dedicate myself to this space. Sister time is good for my soul and it’s hard on me when she lives in a different state. She has moved so many times in the past couple of years and it’s good to see her more settled. I’m so proud of her!

I’m busy catching up on the posts that I have missed reading and have so many posts that I’m looking forward to writing and sharing with you.

How has your life been lately?

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Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

10 Things That I Love About Myself

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I wrote a post last week titled “Overcoming Self-Doubt” which was hard to write but really important for me to share. One of my main goals of blogging is to share my real life which includes all of the ugly moments in between the magical moments. Self-doubt is something that I have struggled with my whole life and I have let it slow me down and ruin many opportunities.

Today I wanted to share 10 things that I love about myself to remind myself that I have so many good qualities to share with the world.

  1. I’m funny. I’m typically a quiet person and I didn’t know that I was funny until my sister told me. I don’t open up around people very easily but I’ve been trying to open up more and I enjoy letting my personality shine. I’m able to make people laugh along with me and bring a bit of brightness to their day.
  2. I’m empathetic. I’m a crier and if I see someone crying I will probably cry with them. I feel all the feelings so strongly and deeply that it’s often hard to catch my breath. I want to help people feel better. I want to be able to take some of their pain away. Being empathetic is a superpower in my book.
  3. I’m a great listener. I tend to thank my introverted tendencies for making me such a great listener. I’m constantly aware of my surroundings and love a good chat with a friend to catch up on their life.
  4. Children love me. For some reason children have always loved me. They naturally seem to make their way to me and want to talk or play. When I was young I couldn’t wait to be a mom and have children of my own to run around with.
  5. I always put family first. I was at a funeral recently and the minister said something about spending a day with your family and friends because you never know when it’s your last time. I think about that all the time now and cherish every moment with my family and friends.
  6. I’m a dog AND a cat person. A lot of people seem to be one or the other but I have both a dog and cat and I love them equally.
  7. I love to travel. A part of me is always ready for the next adventure but I’m a planner so I must think everything over before acting. I look forward to the next trip all year.
  8. I’m a dreamer. I’m always lost in my own head dreaming up my next blog post, thoughts, words, adventures, etc. I have big dreams and I’m always working on my next move to make my dreams come true.
  9. I’m a great wife. Being married is so hard and I think I was a little naive going into it. I got married at 23 after being with my husband for 6 years. Even though we had been together for so long and had lived together prior to being married, it’s still been a bit of a challenge. I know I’m a great wife though and I’ll never stop fighting for my husband.
  10. I’m an introvert. If you asked me a year ago I would have said that being an introvert was my worst quality. Now I know that being an introvert is what makes me empathetic, caring, thoughtful, and organized. Some of my very best qualities were created because of my personality and I’m so glad I have learned to embrace it!

If you are struggling with self-doubt or any other type of insecurity I challenge you to create a list of 10 things you love about yourself too. I thought coming up with 10 things would be hard but I found it to be quite therapeutic.

We are our own worst critics. It’s okay to have a bad day but it’s so important to give yourself grace and respect.

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Photo by Drop the Label Movement on Unsplash

 

October According to my iPhone

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It’s November! October is my favorite month so I am kind of bummed that it’s over but I had a great month and I’m excited to share this month’s round of iPhone pictures.

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October started out badly with the passing of my good friend, Alex. He was only 25 and I had known him since kindergarten. Alex was also my freshman year roommate’s ex-boyfriend so we spent a great deal of our college careers together. He was so funny and had always been a great friend. I’ll really miss him. He was hit by a car on his way to work which once again proves that life is way too short. Brett and I always raise a glass and toast to our loved ones when they pass. It’s something that I learned from my mom and have continued doing.

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Oscar the burrower looking too cute for words.

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Brett and I babysat our nieces, Ava and Elizabeth, while their parents had a nice night out. It’s so cute to see Brett interact with them! A couple of months ago he was too scared to hold them but now he’s first to react when they cry and is always ready to rock them back to sleep. He’s the best uncle!

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We got Oscar a Detroit Lions jersey. He had such an exciting day watching the game with the guys that he fell asleep with his jersey on!

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My work had their annual Fall Festival and I had the opportunity to co-sponsor it. It was a lot of work but so much fun!

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I spent many days at the lake with my grandparents. The lake is my favorite!

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I celebrated 3 years at work! My company sent me a beautiful Orchid and a gift card.

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My dad stopped by the night before my birthday with donuts and cider from our local apple orchard. It was the best way to start my birthday weekend!

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Brett got me my favorite cake from Coldstone. It’s called Peanut Butter Playground. Yummmm

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We spent the Sunday of my birthday weekend at the lake with my family. My grandpa and I have the same birth date so we always celebrate together! So much fun!

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We had a snowy Halloween night in Michigan but at least Bruno and Oscar looked cute! My nieces came over along with their parents, my parents, Brett’s mom, and Brett’s uncle. We had a good night despite the cold weather!

How was your October?

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Overcoming Self-Doubt

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I need my next blog post to be titled “10 Things That I love About Myself” because I have been terrible to myself lately. I have let self-doubt kill almost every dream that I’ve ever had. I’ve blamed this doubt on my personality. I’m too shy, too introverted, too awkward, etc.

Enough is enough.

My whole life I have been waiting for a sign from the universe telling me that I’m good enough. I’ve always thought that the world was built for beautiful people with their styled hair, perfect makeup, and put together outfits. I’ve only recently discovered that behind those perfect looks are just normal people who are also doubting themselves too.

I almost let my self-doubt ruin a really good opportunity at work. I’m so afraid of speaking my mind that I shut down and shut people out. I’d rather ruin something than fail at it. I’m scared of taking a chance and having it thrown back in my face.

Well, Hayley, this is your sign.

No one cares that I’ve gained weight. No one cares that I have no idea how to do my hair or makeup. I am projecting these issues onto myself and dragging my own name in the mud in the process.

Tomorrow is a new day and I promise to be kinder to myself. I promise to thank my body for carrying me through every day. I promise to look in the mirror and not say a million nasty things to my reflection. I promise to hold my head high and own my career.

It’s easy to let self-doubt get in the way of your life. I’ve done it a million times. If you are waiting for your sign from the universe like I was, let me be your sign too. It’s time to take back control.

Whatever you are facing, you’ve got this!

Do you have any tips for overcoming self-doubt? How do you deal with it?

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Photo by David Kiriakidis on Unsplash

My 30 Before 30 List

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6 years ago I had the idea to create a blog to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. So Life of Hayley was born! I turned 26 on Saturday and  now it’s time to create my 30 before 30 list. Honestly so much changed in 5 years but it’s pretty cool to look back on what I thought would be important 5 years ago.

  1. Go to London (again!)
  2. Go on a road trip
  3. Start investing
  4. Pay off my car
  5. Create a workout routine
  6. Spend a whole day binge-watching a TV show
  7. Try to have a baby (maybe?)
  8. Go on a trip with my family
  9. Have a spa day
  10. Learn a new hobby
  11. Travel to a new country
  12. Work on making our marriage stronger
  13. Have a girls day
  14. Create a self care routine
  15. Celebrate TEN years of blogging!!!
  16. Have no credit card debt
  17. Get a promotion
  18. Find a hairstylist that I love
  19. Learn an everyday makeup routine
  20. Have a monthly date night
  21. Take family pictures!
  22. Meet a blogger friend in real life
  23. Focus on work-life balance
  24. Send birthday cards to friends and family via snail mail
  25. Learn to cook some new go-to recipes
  26. Create a Christmas tradition with our nieces
  27. Do something spontaneous
  28. Create a travel video
  29. Wake up earlier
  30. Find a personal style

What should I add to my 30 before 30 list?

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Photo by The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

3 Year Work Anniversary

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3 years ago today I was a nervous wreck as I drove downtown for the first day of my current job. I sat in the parking garage for at least 20 minutes because I was so nervous and didn’t want to be late for my first day. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Prior to this job I had worked for 6 years at a restaurant. It was my very first job that I started when I was only 17 and I loved it! Saying goodbye to my co-workers was difficult and I was scared to leave my comfort zone. I thought about staying at this restaurant forever but I had worked so hard for my college degree and I wanted to do something more impactful.

I had dreamed of working in a big city doing social media marketing for a super cool company. I’d dress perfectly and have everything figured out. At 22 I had no idea what I was doing. I took a bad social media marketing class and threw the idea of marketing out the window for a job in finance. I knew nothing about the financial industry and was honestly in way over my head.

For the first few months I begged myself to make it a year in my job. I loved the company but I didn’t feel like I fit in at all. I was super depressed because it was such a cool place to work but I hated it.

So I made a change. I talked to my boss and switched roles within my department. I loved my co-workers and quickly made friends and an impact on the team. I worked my way up, covered a difficult maternity leave, and got promoted! I haven’t thought about quitting in a long time.

3 years ago I started this job that I thought would get me some good work experience. Here I am absolutely loving my job everyday and imagining staying forever. It’s funny how much things change in only 3 years!

I’m proud of how far I have come in 3 years and I know I will continue to grow within my role. My team is amazing and I have two leaders who want me to succeed. I never thought I’d enjoy a job in finance but it’s interesting, challenging, and exciting.

Here’s to many more happy years!

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Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash

Reflecting on 25 Years

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For as long as I can remember I have been looking forward to my 26th birthday. My 26th birthday is also my golden birthday so I thought that meant something amazing. As a kid I imagined that 26 would be the best age, I’d have my whole life figured out by then.

I turn 26 on Saturday and I know that I don’t have my whole life figured out but that’s okay. I’ve spent the past week reflecting on my 25 years on this planet. All the good, the bad, and the incredibly ugly moments that have made up every second of my existence. I thought I’d share the thoughts that have been floating through my mind as I prepare for this special milestone in my life.

  •  I’ve spent all but 20 months of my life with a built in best friend. Being a big sister wasn’t always my favorite thing but I’m so glad to have my sister!
  • My grandparents have always been a huge part of my life. All three of them have supported, comforted, and cheered me on and I’m grateful to have them.
  • My mom is the best person in the world. I can count on her for anything and even at *almost* 26 years old I still need my mom!
  • My dad and I haven’t always gotten along but I know he had good intentions. Having two daughters wasn’t his dream but he always supported us and provided for us. I’m glad I’m no longer a sassy teenager and we can get along!
  • Brett has been a major part of my life for the last 8 years. He’s been my shoulder to cry on, my pillar of strength, and my friend. Like I said in my wedding vows, Brett came into my life when I really needed a friend. He was brought to me at the perfect time and I’m always grateful to have him as my other half.
  • Lucy and Oscar are my furbabies and they make me so happy. Lucy was a gift from my parents after I went through a really rough patch in high school. She’s the perfect therapy animal and is always there for me when I’m upset. Oscar is the goofiest dog and really completes our little family (for now!).
  • Middle School and High School were some of the hardest years of my life. I couldn’t wait to graduate and forget all of the horrors that I experienced. It’s been 7 years since I graduated and I realize that all of those terrible moments made me who I am today. I’m stronger because of the tough moments.
  • College wasn’t what I expected. I worked hard in class and at my job and didn’t really have the time to socialize. I’m glad I went to business school but wish that maybe I had tried to make a few more friends. I struggled a lot during these years.
  • Studying abroad in London was the highlight of my college career. I made friendships that have lasted despite the distance between us. London became my second home and for a homebody like me, that says a lot.
  • Unfortunately, migraines and headaches have been a huge part of my life. I’m still struggling but I’ll keep fighting for as long as it takes!
  • We had a foreign exchange student live with us during my sophomore year in high school. She was a family friend from Denmark and I was so excited to finally have an older “sister”. She is beautiful and loving but I was a brat. I learned so much about other cultures during this time and am proud to call her my sister to this day. She even came to our wedding and played an important part in our day!
  • People say that your wedding day is the happiest day of your life. That wasn’t true for me because I knew that there would be many “happiest” days for us as a couple. Our wedding day was one of many happy days but it felt amazing to be surrounded by people who loved us so much and wanted to celebrate our life together.
  • Buying our house was special. Everything fell into place and we found the most amazing home to start our life together in. We walked in and I knew that I knew that this house was meant for us. I have never felt so settled in my life! I’m happy to be here and add our happy memories to this incredible home.
  • I’ve had two best friends since the third grade. We may not talk everyday or see each other often but I know that I can always count on them.
  • I went through a really tough breakup in high school that set the rest of my life in motion. I would be so different if I hadn’t gone through this breakup exactly the way it happened. It’s hard to acknowledge that this was a pivotal life moment for me.
  • After graduating college I jumped into the job search like it was my second job. I struggled for those couple of months after college before I found a job. I stumbled into my current job because I knew that the company was amazing. It wasn’t my dream job but I knew I’d be happy. Three years later and I’m so grateful that I took the leap of faith!
  • In school I struggled with anxiety and depression which I don’t often talk about. I learned a lot about myself during these times and continue to learn as I grow older. In high school I also struggled with body image and an eating disorder. All of these things have shaped me into who I am today. I’m sad for past Hayley but glad that these hurdles were added to my journey to make me a stronger and more empathetic person.
  • Band was a huge part of my life! I played the flute from 5th to 12th grade. I took private lessons, made symphonic band as a freshman, was a total marching bank geek, and made SO many band friends along the way. I think I would have been lost in high school without band. I even considered being a music performance major in college!
  • My parents always provided a warm home, food, clothes, and toys without making us spoiled brats. I learned the value of a dollar at an early age and have always been financially savvy which has proven to be helpful in my current career in finance.
  • In 2011 I traveled to Europe for the first time with my high school band. This trip opened my eyes up to a whole new world of possibilities. From that moment on I was always planning my next trip. I want to see the world and am grateful that I had this opportunity to inspire me to chase my dreams.
  • My parents have fought for me. They have helped me chase every dream, they have supported me, and they have loved me when I was pretty unlovable. I know that I’m lucky to have them.
  • I’ve been all over the world, I’ve left my heart in so many places. Yet the feeling of coming home is always my favorite.
  • Here’s to the hundreds of notebooks that I filled with stories, songs, poems, and random thoughts throughout the years. I recently went through these notebooks that dated all the way back to preschool. I’ve always been a writer and I’m glad I found blogging to fulfill my passion.
  • Speaking of blogging, in the next couple of weeks I will be celebrating SIX years of Life of Hayley! I never imagined that my passion for writing would take me here. To a platform where I can share my most precious thoughts and feelings and be understood and acccepted. Thank you for sharing my journey with me!

All of these little moments, these struggles, these “happiest” days have made me who I am today. These friends, family, and loved ones have shaped and inspired me. I’ve been hardened by the struggles to know my worth and to fight for what I believe in. I’ve learned to love myself even when I think that no one else does.

The past 25 years have been challenging, exciting, emotional, and adventurous. What will the next 25 or 50 years bring? I have no idea! But that’s part of the adventure!

If you have gotten this far, thank you so much for reading! I am a sentimental introvert!

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