And It All Came To An End…

5 Minute Read.

Just like that.

College: That place we all grow up imagining. That magical place that feels so far away, but in reality, comes so much quicker than expected. And in the 4 years we attend, it’s almost as if time speeds up far beyond what we were ready for.

4 years ago today, I was attending my senior prom. It feels like yesterday. I still remember the feeling of putting on, in my opinion, the most beautiful prom dress I had ever seen. I can still feel the weight of the gown on my body, and I can still remember the excitement that swirled around the entire day and night. Very vividly.

And this morning, as I pulled my cap and gown out of it’s plastic wrapper and hung it in my room, I was immediately hit with an overwhelming sense of sadness, excitement, fear, happiness, overwhelm, accomplishment, and regret. A combination of emotions that took over my body and sent tears to my eyes.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a senior in high school?

I think this is a thought that all college seniors whisper to themselves. Ask anyone who is graduating, and the first thing they’ll say is “time flew by”. And as I sit here, in a popular coffee shop on campus, and write this, I look out at all the students around me, the freshman, sophomores, and juniors, and I think, damn, I wish I could go back again.

But this isn’t a normal thought for me. Not at all. As a matter of fact, if you had talked to me yesterday, I would have said something along the lines of, I can’t wait to graduate and get on with my life, college just wasn’t really my thing.

College wasn’t really my thing. Did you catch that?

As emotional as I was this morning, I wasn’t emotional because I am going to miss college. I was emotional because I didn’t make enough out of college.

And here’s why:

To me, college was a place full of parties, freedom, friends, Greek life, late nights partying, knowledge, professors, late nights studying, and eventually, a degree.

College was not a place for growth, for contribution, for involvement, for having deep conversations on a Tuesday night about the greater purpose of life, for gaining mentors, for exploration, for making a difference.

And that’s where I fucked up.

I was never taught the importance of truly getting involved.

“Getting involved” to me was joining a sorority; that was normal. That was where I would find the parties, freedom, friends, late nights partying. And you know what? The first semester I joined was awesome, I truly thought I had found my place. But the second semester, it was different. I was different. I had spent my summer in a very intense position as a sales manager, and in that summer, I had experienced more growth than my previous 19 years of life.

When I came back, I had lost connection. I wanted the deeper conversations, I wanted the strong friendships, I wanted the support, and I couldn’t find it. And any glimpse I found, it just didn’t feel right to me. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; I had changed. I was no longer the person I was when I joined. So, I disaffiliated.

I felt abnormal. My expectations of my sorority were crushed. My reality had been altered and I didn’t know how to adjust.

I threw myself into my work, both my school work, and my sales job. This felt normal to me. This was what college was about, too. The knowledge, the professors, the late nights studying, and eventually, the degree.

I wasn’t aware that there were other ways of getting involved, because to me, my college life was supposed to include a sorority.

That was where I was supposed to find my future bridesmaids.

And when my expectations did not meet reality, I crumbled.

Eventually, I found girls who I could resonate with. Who I felt as though I could grow with. Who I could have those deep conversations with on a Tuesday night. Who would be my bridesmaids. 

I felt content, but with that content came complacency. I faded into the background of a very large school, and I stopped trying to “get involved”.

There were glimpses of involvement: a semester playing club water polo, a semester in our school’s leadership program, and currently, during my last semester, a semester in our Entrepreneur Club.

With the exception of E-Club, none of them felt like “home” to me. I just couldn’t find where I fit in outside of my little friend group. So, I would just stop going.

And then came study abroad. I passed up on that opportunity. Do you want to know why? I was afraid of “missing out”. Are you fucking kidding me!? Excuse my french, but quite honestly, I wish someone had smacked me in the face at that point in my life and said DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. 

I was too wrapped up in the idea of creating the “college life” I had dreamed of, but hadn’t yet achieved.

Did you get that last part?

I was too wrapped up trying to match my expectations that I forgot to pay attention to my reality.

And eventually, I had a falling out with my group of friends, not a huge falling out by any means, but once again, the expectations I had for our friendship had been altered. I was growing in my own way, and they were growing in their own ways. And thus, we grew apart.

So now, there is one month left until graduation. And as I stared at my cap and gown this morning, I was hit with so many emotions. So many things I wish I had done.

But you know what? I didn’t. And I can’t go back now.

I have come to terms with the fact that my expectations did not meet reality, and that’s okay.

I created my own reality outside of school. I just didn’t realize it. I was involved in other places, just not the typical places. Most people don’t find life long friendships from their summer jobs, but I did.

Most people are too afraid to step away from what is normal. I was.

But without noticing it, I did.

And after sitting down a really reflecting on these last 4 years, while there are some things I wish I did differently, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

As they say, “Everything Happens For A Reason”. And here I am today, for a reason, and a reason that I am still figuring out.

College wasn’t really my thing. But because of college, I found my “thing”. And I’m grateful for every step along the way that has ended me up here.

So my advice to you?

If you are going into college, or still in college: Do everything you can to study abroad. Whether it’s for a month or 4 months. Just do it. Do everything you can to get involved beyond just Greek life. There are amazing clubs and organizations on your campus that serve a bigger purpose. Just do it. Get involved and create a name for yourself. You deserve this.

If you are graduating and you feel as though your expectations were not met: That’s reality. I’ve been there. I’m still there. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the next 4 years of your life meaningful. The saying “college is the best 4 years of your life” is bullshit, don’t buy in to it.

If you are graduating and you loved every second of your college experience: GREAT! That’s incredible and you will tell your children stories for years and years to come. But remember, this chapter of your life has come to an end. Don’t forget to carry your excitement on to the next chapter, because remember, “time flies by”, keep making an impact.

Life is crazy, isn’t it?

If you liked what you read and are looking for more insight, click here to follow me on Facebook!

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. You ever realize you totally neglected to add something in a blog? Ok, good I’m not alone because I feel like a total jerk: At the beginning of my junior year, I was fortunate enough to gain membership into the Executive Mentor Scholars Program at my school, and I was paired with a fabulous mentor who really helped me work through some major decisions I made that actually lead to my current reality. That was probably the one thing I actually allowed me to get slightly more involved on campus.

 

When You’re Not You.

5 Minute Read.

These last 2 weeks have been a blur. And I couldn’t exactly figure out why until this morning. You know those moments of clarity, when your mind all of a sudden goes “OHHHHH, I GOT IT!” And you finally feel at peace? Well about 2 hours ago, my mind slipped into that place and I am so damn happy it did.

I think you need a little bit of background here, yeah? I’m going to ask you permission to get candid, not that I really need your permission, because, hey! This is my blog, isn’t it? But anyways, here I am, asking you for permission to dig deep. And my hope is that I can inspire you to do the same, especially when you find yourself in the position I’ve been in the last 2 weeks.

It all started on March 10th…..

I went into Philly for an event with my company, I had high hopes going into that event, and although it didn’t pan out quite the way I wanted it, too, it was still a successful night in my book. However, when I say night, I usually mean “ends at 11:30” kind of night. You see, I’m pretty systematic, I enjoy structure, and I enjoy a full day. So my bed time is 11:30 and my morning starts at 6:30. It’s just the way it is. However, this particular night dragged on until about 2 AM in the morning, and while it was a total blast, it threw me for a loop.

That loop continued into Friday, where I decided to sleep in to about 11 AM, which, if you know me, is very, very rare. I went about my daily routine, and I had a whole afternoon/evening scheduled to work on my business; if you can’t tell already, I’m not really the “get wasted and stay up all night” type of girl. I was at one point, but now I’m on to bigger and better things. And in my book, those better things revolve around my health coaching business. Yet, I decided, you know what? I’m only young once, so screw it! Let’s go back to Philly.

So I did. With one of my best friends in tow, we went back to Philly and had yet another late, late night. This night was filled with more alcohol than the night before, more food, more money spent, and ofcourse, some new friends. In many people’s books, this would be considered a “successful night”. But remember, I put off my work to do this. So I was backtracking–but I didn’t care, I was having fun.

Saturday Morning, I had already planned to do a St. Patty’s Day Bar Crawl with my best friend since 2008, and her boyfriend. I know I mentioned above that I’m not the “drinking and partying” type, but every once in a while, I actually do schedule in some good ol’ 22-year-old fun. And this was in my schedule. All day and all night we drank and we partied, we spent money, and we ate lots of delicious foods, and again, made some new friends, and saw some old.

And by Sunday Morning, I was DONE. Like SO done. All I wanted was my own bed, my blankey (yes, I still have one), some Advil, and that thing called sleep, which I had clearly forgotten about the last 4 days. And sleep I did. All day, with the exception of a few short hours that I was awake and working on catching up on all of the things I pushed to the side, but I felt so scatter brained and overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to do, that again, I pushed the majority of it to the side. Little did I know what a whirlwind that would send me in over the next 2 weeks.

From the outside looking in, I am incredibly put together. I often get told to “slow down” and “enjoy your 20s”. Listen, when I’m working on my passions, and when I am excelling in my business, that’s when I feel most fulfilled, because it means I am helping more people and I am creating a better future for myself and my family. But nonetheless, everyone has their own way of living, and I respect that. So like I said, from the outside looking in, I’ve got it “goin on”. But little did I know, the next two weeks would be some of the toughest I’ve dealt with in a while….

Before I dive in to this, because I am putting this out there on the Internet, I feel as though I must say this: By no means do I believe my problems are bigger than anyone else’s. I understand that I have lived a beautiful life and continue to live a beautiful life. But my problems are MY problems, so I still deal with them and they’re still tough.

Anyways, in the next 2 weeks, I was playing catch up. I fell into this “funk”, all I wanted to do was sleep in, watch Netflix, and complain about how ready I am to graduate and be done with school. So you know what I did? Just that. My business suffered, and my grades suffered. Again, I was able to put on a good face, because I didn’t want to bring anyone else down with me, but my mind was racing, over and over agiain;  snap out of it.

And there were moments of clarity, where I was actually able to get out of bed at 6:30 AM, get to the gym, and continue on throughout my day in a productive and excited state, like I normally am. But there were more days where I struggled to get up and get moving, then there were like the one I just described.

I was not myself. Ever feel that way?

I was misaligned with my core values.

I was veering off course.

I was letting one day blur into the next.

Well, this morning, I realized it; I was neglecting to feed my soul, and instead I was doing what everyone else was telling me was “normal”.

Oh, you’re 22, you should be getting drunk every weekend! Live a little!

All of your classes start after 11 AM? Oh my gosh! You should be sleeping in!

You’re still in college, you still have time to binge watch Netflix, just wait until you have responsibilities!

I was hearing these things, and I was letting them sink in.

I was silencing that inner voice inside of me that was saying “you’re different. You’ve got something really big and beautiful to bring to this world.”

I was being selfish; I wasn’t moving forward.

But at the same time, I understand what everyone was saying, “slow down”. College is the years of the least amount of responsibility and the most amount of freedom.

The most amount of freedom.

I beg to differ. The reason why I am working so damn hard is so I can create a life with unlimited freedom. But unfortunately, for most people, they just don’t think it’s possible for them. So, they NEED to live it up in college, because once the real world hits, there will just be no time for that.

My soul was telling me differently. Do you know how I know? Because when I was doing “the normal” I was falling into a funk, an almost depression-like state, where I wasn’t present in the moment, and instead living overwhelmed days, wondering “when am I going to snap out of it?”

This morning, my inner voice spoke to me. It told me, “you haven’t been you recently. But that’s okay. That’s the beauty of life. Now that you’ve realized it, it’s your duty to grow stronger.”

So here I am, being candid with all of you, letting you know that despite how “put together” someone may look on the outside, we ALL have struggles, we all deal with issues. And we all feel off course for days, weeks, and sometimes even months and years. But that doesn’t have to become a permanent reality. Because we are human, and we are WAY stronger than that.

I believe that society puts this stereotype on college, “the best 4 years of your life”, so every student feels as though they need make the absolute most of it, and for many, that means compromising their values, drinking themselves into oblivion, trying every drug in the book, and allowing one day to blur into the next.

I’m not knocking that life. You should have seen me during my freshman and sophomore year. But, don’t let that “life” take you away from your true calling; what your soul is trying to say to you. If you know you are meant for more, go out and become MORE. YOU deserve it, and so does your future, because let’s be real here, who honestly wants their college years to be the “best years of their life”, doesn’t that mean you peak in your early 20s? What does that say about the next 60-80 years of your life? That you will never be as happy as you were when you were 22? How sad is that…..

I hope this gave you something to think about; if you enjoyed reading, and would like to gain a little more insight into my life, follow me on Facebook!

Until next time….

Shelby

 

Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

I’m the most Badass of them all. Nope, not going to apologize for saying that one; want to know why? Because I know I’m a badass. And honestly, you are, too. You might not feel like it yet, but you are. But before we dive into finding your “inner badass-ery”, let’s talk about that person you see in the mirror.

I want you to think back to the last time you were looking in the mirror, and you were alone. Like maybe this morning as you were getting dressed, or brushing your teeth. When you looked into the mirror, what were you thinking?

I bet I can read your minds:

Man, I could definitely lose some weight.

I wish I had a perkier butt.

WHERE ARE THOSE ABS!?!?!

Shit, I am SO pale.

Yikes, when did that pimple show up?

I wish I had bigger boobs.

I wish I had smaller boobs.

None of my clothes look good on me.

My hair looks like a rats nest.

I’m not as pretty as my friends.

Smile, you just gotta get through the day.

Any of these sound familiar? I’ve said them all…well maybe not the one about smaller boobs…but for the most part, I’ve said them all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are times when you stand in front of your mirror and you’re like, Daaaaaamnnnn, I look good! But let’s be real here, what is more common? The positive self talk, or the negative?

I’m going to safely guess the negative. Do you want to know why I “safely” guessed that? Because we are ALL our own worst critic. And it’s horrible.

But, I mean, it’s the truth. Right? Isn’t that what you’re thinking when you talk about yourself? Because if it wasn’t true, why would you say it?

Listen to me: it’s only the truth if you make it the truth.

What?

It’s a crazy world we live in, but trust me when I say this, the Universe listens to what you say. And the more negative self-talk that you throw upon yourself, more and more reasons to be negative will show up. It’s a Universal Law: The Law of Attraction. What you focus on, you find. What you focus on, expands. I could go on and on about this, but if you’re really interested in learning more, check out the documentary called The Secret (yes, it’s on Netflix…you’re welcome.)

Now, here’s the real question: How do we break this cycle of being our own worst critic? It’s quite simple. Be our own best friend. Think about it, would you tell your best friend all the same things you tell yourself? I know I’m making a lot of guesses today, but I’m going to go ahead and guess again, the answer is NO, right? Okay, so WHY IN THE WORLD do you say it to yourself?

Start treating YOU like YOU would treat your best friend. You deserve that kind of treatment.

And I have the perfect way for you to start: Positive Affirmations. Positive What? Positive Affirmations. These are statements that you make about yourself that start with the phrase, “I am….” and it is followed by something positive. Here are a few examples:

I am a badass.

I am smart.

I am sexy.

I am courageous.

I am funny.

I am successful.

I am respected.

I am a millionaire.

These are just a few of my affirmations. Did you catch that last one? No, I am not a millionaire, BUT I will become one. See, the thing about positive affirmations are that they don’t have to be true just yet. If we go back to the Law of Attraction, you will find that I said “what you focus on you find”, so if you focus on speaking positive words that you know are or will become true, then, guess what? You will begin to find that they ARE true. Again, this is a Universal Law, take it or leave it.

But, the bottom line to this whole post is: You Are A Badass, no matter what. Tell yourself this. Shout this from the rooftops. Stare at yourself in the mirror with the same intensity that Rocky Balboa had before his fights, and tell yourself, “I AM a badass!“. Nobody else has to hear you, but YOU have to hear you.

Just freakin’ do it, trust me.

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. Want some daily badass-ery on your Facebook Newsfeed? Yes? Great! Follow me and I’ll be sure to deliver 😉

 

Rip Off Your Mask And Get Naked

I don’t mean literally….

But I do mean figuratively. So let’s talk about that:

We all have something that’s hidden in our past that we keep to ourselves. That something can be a number of things: an event, a relationship, an addiction, etc. And we keep this something to ourselves for a number of reasons: embarrassment, guilt, pain, shame, or if you’re like me, all of the above, plus the feeling that NO ONE will understand what you went through, and therefore, judge you for having gone through it. And I now KNOW I’m not the only one who has gone/is going through this….

Listen, we ALL have stories. We ALL have shit that we’ve gone through. And MOST of us choose to wear a mask throughout our lives that serves to hide the inner and outer struggles we’ve gone through. We choose to suppress these situations in an effort to forget, or to move on.

Sometimes, this mask becomes too heavy to wear, and instead of peeling it off to face what’s underneath, we crack under the pressure. The pressure of our past. And this pressure leads to illness’s such as anxiety, depression, and unfortunately, for a few, suicide. Now, I am not here to dive into the depths of these detrimental illnesses. I’ve been there before, and it’s tough, I know, and I understand.

But, let’s go back to that mask. Most people believe that their masks are what hold them together. Their mask allows them to be a part of society, it allows them to “forget” the past, and move on.

I’m here to tell you differently. Your mask is holding you back. It is giving you a “safe face” to hide behind. It is allowing you to “forget” your past, but let’s be real here, you’re not really forgetting, you are simply pushing your shit down deeper and deeper, and letting it sit there, and stink up your life. Sounds pretty morbid, I know, so bear with me….

As humans, we are born with one 2 fears. A fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learned over time through the experiences we’ve had: the events, the relationships, the addictions, the abuses, the fights, etc…

The Fear of Failure.

Of Success.

Of Disappointment.

Of Money.

Of Imperfection.

Of Rejection.

The list can go on and on.

And what most humans do is they put on this mask, and they accept their fears as real. The same way they accept their mask as real.

The longer you’ve worn this mask, the harder it is to take it off, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes a little bit of strength, courage, and badass-ery.

And whatever you do, do not blame yourself for hiding behind your mask. Our society tells us to “forgive and forget”, it tells us to “just try not to think about it and everything will be okay…”, no wonder we have so many fears!!

Your mask probably won’t come off in one swift “rip”, it takes time, but it all starts with facing your past. Facing the source of your fears. Uncover the events you’ve worked so hard to suppress, the events that created your mask. Acknowledge those events, and work to understand how your current fears are a product of your past. By work, I mean: journal, talk it out with a close friend, scream it, recreate it, whatever the “work” may be for you.

Your fears are part of your mask. As you begin to do the meaningful work required to rip off your mask, you will feel exposed. You will feel naked. But most of all, you feel vulnerable.

Vulnerability is what destroys the mask. Vulnerability is becoming your truest self.

Say goodbye to your mask and your fears, get naked, and get vulnerable.

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. If you want more daily inspiration, click here to follow me on Facebook!

 

What’s All This Talk About Courage?

Alright, it’s about time I make a post about courage, I mean, the name of this blog is Coffee Shops and Courage Talks, right? And I’ve mentioned coffee quite a few times throughout the last blog posts, so let’s get in to the other half: the deeper and more soulful half.

I’d like to start this one out with a definition, and this definition will guide our discussion today:

Courage (n): The ability to do something that frightens one.

I don’t really think that definition is a surprise to anyone, remember the lion from the Wizard of Oz? He was a real “scaredy cat” before he received the gift of courage from the Wizard, and then all of a sudden, he was able to take on anything, you could really hear him ROOOOOARRRRRR! What a pleasant way to end the movie, with all the characters getting exactly what they were searching for from the great Wizard himself….

Wait a second, didn’t he find out that he really had courage all along? Wasn’t that the whole twist at the end? Yes. YES! So, his courage wasn’t actually a gift, it was simply realized, and it took him quite the journey to finally understand that he what he was searching for, he actually already had.

This is LIFE. Welcome. 

As humans, we have an incredible power to overcome adversity. This is not my opinion, this is a fact. And part of overcoming this adversity is having the courage to do so. So, in lamest terms, the key to prospering is having courage. Now, I’m not naive enough to say that just by “having courage” you are going to see all of your wildest dreams come true, that is simply not the case.

But here is what IS the case: understanding that by exercising your courage, you will grow stronger in the face of adversity, and this is really where you will begin to see your dreams become reality.

We all have fears, some are rational and some are totally irrational (like my fear of walk-in freezers), and these fears are what stand in the way of our success. And the biggest fear among our population is the fear of failure. Let’s talk about this for a second…

Along with the fear of failure comes a host of SO many other fears: being ridiculed, being judged, being proved wrong, etc. And most people will put aside their hopes and dreams because they are afraid of failing in the process. Guys, COME ON.

Remember what I said about the lion? He had courage within him all along, but in order to realize this, he had to go on a crazy journey to see the Wizard? Okay, I’m not saying you need to find a Wizard, but you do have to go on a journey. And along this journey, YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL, but, that’s the beauty of the journey, that it keeps on going, even after the first failure.

So where is this magical journey? Newsflash, it’s LIFE. 

Your life is going to happen regardless of whether you embrace your inner courage or not. The minutes will keep passing, so will the days, and so will the years. And along this journey, you can choose to make the most of your minutes, days, and years, or you can let it pass you by.

You might be wondering, how do I make the most of my life? And I’m sure you can guess my answer, you embrace your courage. We all have it within us. Let me say that again, we ALL have it within us. And what separates those who we all desire to be (like Beyoncé, for example), and those who let life pass them by is the amount of courage these people exert on a daily basis.

All this is great, right? No, it’s not, because let’s be real here, it’s a hell of a lot easier to talk about finding your courage than it is actually living a courageous life. You may be thinking, where do I start? First off, you start today, and you start by doing ONE THING that scares you. You’ve heard that quote before, right?

So let’s break it down:

Think about your ideal lifestyle and what it will take to get there. Don’t think about the immensity of it all, just think about the vehicle you are going to use to get there; for me, it’s my Network Marketing business, for my friend, Dustin, it’s his weekly podcasts, and for my friend Chris, it’s his baseball career. All of these things are vastly different, but they will all lead us to a life of our dreams. What is it for you? It can be ANYTHING.

Now, I want you to think of the skills that are necessary for becoming the master of your vehicle. The most important skills and the least important skills, everything and anything. Ok, got it?

Today, I want you to do one thing that scares you, and that is in relation to the skills you just thought of. For example, a huge part of Network Marketing is building relationships, and a huge part of building relationships is meeting new people, and a huge part of meeting new people is chatting with strangers, and a huge part of chatting with the strangers is learning to say hi to people. Do you see how I whittled a big, scary skill down into a very simple daily action? You can do the same thing. And today, it is my goal to say hi to at least 3 strangers. Does that sound hard? No. Does it sound a little scary? Yes. Do I have the courage to complete this simple task? Yes.

And you do, too. 

Xoxo,

Shelby

P.S. if you want to chat more about this on a 1-on-1 basis, please reach out to me via Facebook, I would love to brainstorm ways to elevate and realize your inner courage!