Ditch "shouldn't" and stick with "should"

 

Hello, friends. Writing has always been my passion and some days I keep these posts short and sweet (because I know you all don’t have time to read a novel every day on here) but today is one of those days I have a lot to say…and I think here’s why…

Here’s the thing. I’m not 22. I’m not just starting out on this blogging adventure. I’ve been around the block a time or two…I have a degree in Psychology, I’ve moved around the country 3 times, been a mom for nearly 10 years, and been married for close to 14. It’s no secret that the past year has been the most challenging of my life. A cross country move, settling back in to the West coast, our first winter back in Seattle (which nearly killed me btw) dealing with a family member’s battle with Cancer, a few of my own health issues…so here’s what I’ve learned and what makes sense to me…and that I wish I would’ve figured out a lot sooner…

Don’t listen to people who tell you that you SHOULDN’T do something. I feel like I heard it my whole life and never really realized how much it affected me until now. You shouldn’t be in band. You shouldn’t dance. You shouldn’t dress like that, what are you wearing? You shouldn’t show cleavage. You shouldn’t show too much skin. You shouldn’t be assertive, but you shoudn’t be shy. You shouldn’t hold your baby that much. You shouldn’t breastfeed. You shouldn’t stay home with your children. You shouldn’t blog. No one ever makes it, the market is too saturated. You shouldn’t wear that swimsuit or those tight clothes, after all, you’re a mother. You shouldn’t talk about your personal life on the blog. You shouldn’t discuss your kids. You shouldn’t take the road less traveled. You shouldn’t post a selfie. You shouldn’t pursue your dreams, they’re unrealistic.

You know what? It’s time to throw all of those SHOULDN’TS out the door and stick with what I SHOULD do! I’ve been so worried about the impression I would make that I feel l haven’t been completely myself. It honestly held me back for a long time with the blog because I was afraid to take a picture. Terrified to take a selfie…because what if people misunderstood? What if they thought I WAS conceited when that’s the furthest thing from the truth? What if I just do what I want and be me in the truest form and forget the rest? I know that’s what I would tell my daughter to do! So I’m going to stop apologizing. Stop holding back. Stop worrying what people think of me. What I’ve realized along the way are that the people who truly understand who you are wouldn’t doubt you for a second, wouldn’t mistake you for an arrogant person, or think you have any ill will toward ANYONE EVER! They would just accept you for who you are 100%.

It was a hard lesson to learn, but I think I’m finally here. It’s a nice place to be. A place where I can just be me and not worry about the consequences all the time. Shouldn’t we all be in that place on a daily basis ??? I think all women go through these feelings, but I hope that some of you will be positively affected by my words and will join me in just being the most authentic, honest version of ourselves. I mean for goodness sake, my blog name after all is HONESTLY WEST!

So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn’t do something, just laugh and think of me, and then go about doing whatever it is that feels authentically you.

If you made if to the end, I thank you for being here. A million times over, thank you. Now GO DO YOU! Do not apologize for it either!!!

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Floral dresses I'm loving

 

It's funny, even though I generally avoid prints and too much color, every now and then I'll fall in love with a floral print dress.  I think it has to be the right color combo and style, plus a larger print that isn't too "cute-sy."  I bought this one from Target over a year ago, and since I am a big believer in capsule wardrobes and keeping my closet small, I tend to get stuck on a few pieces and keep them on repeat for a long time.  Here are some current floral dresses that I'm really loving...

Black floral maxi

Navy floral print dress

Peach two piece dress

Photo:  Tiffany Redmon Photography