Tag Archives: support

You will never lose your value

27 Feb

It happens to the best of us. That little nagging voice in the back of your head that whispers “you’ll never amount to anything,” “you’re such a failure,” “who would ever love you,” “just give up already, you weren’t meant to reach your dreams.”

That voice that sounds like my voice, but isn’t. That voice which remembers every failure and every mistake and every disappointment and lives to remind you of those times over and over and over again.

Most of the time I have no trouble tuning that awful voice out. I know what it’s telling me isn’t true. I know my life has a greater purpose that I haven’t discovered yet. I know I’m not worthless, but sometimes when my world starts shaking and it feels like my foundation is crumbling, I sometimes forget.

I find myself comparing my “lack of accomplishments” to the apparent abounding success of others, especial those with whom I am on less than friendly terms with. I find myself asking why it comes so easy to these individuals, why was it handed to them when I’ve been working long and hard with no results, what makes them better than me?

It was on one such occasion this afternoon when I stumbled upon the following story on the blog Catalyst Quotes.

“A speaker began a seminar, pulling a crisp, new bill from his pocket, and asked, ‘Who would like this $20 bill?’

Hands started going up.  He said, ‘I’m going to give this $20 bill to one of you, but first let me do this.’  He proceeded to crumple up the bill.  He then asked, ‘Who still wants it?’  Still the hands were up in the air.

‘Well,’ he replied, ‘what if I do this?’  He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor, so now the bill was not only crumpled, but also dirty.  ‘Now who still wants it?’  Still the hands went into the air.

‘My friends, you have all learned a valuable lesson.  No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value.  It was still worth $20.  Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.  We feel as though we are worthless.  But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in the eyes of those who love you.  You are special – don’t ever forget it.’”  ( Anonymous)

And that led me on the hunt for other uplifting reminders.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Proverbs 3:5-6

Yes, I am not perfect. There are times I will make mistakes or fail or just not be within reach of my dream. I don’t know what God has planned for my tomorrows yet, but I’m working on trusting him and his timing. I am a unique, special and loved individual. There’s only one me in the entire world, and I’m striving everyday to be the best version of her I can. Sometimes it’s a struggle not to give in to the taunting of the voice who would have me believe otherwise, but in a way I’m glad it’s there pushing me to better myself and prove it wrong. Anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge and the chance to prove someone wrong, even if it is just that nasty self-doubting voice in my head.

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Teachers – changing the world one student at a time

4 Oct

I have had many teachers in my lifetime, and many more to come should I ever decide to attend grad school in the future. It’s amazing how some of the most bizarre details of these individuals, the people we spent five days a week for seven or so hours a day, listening to and observing as if they were on display at the local zoo, stick out to us years after we were their students.

Some of my earliest memories of my teachers are details of how they looked. Take my first through third grade science teacher, Mrs. Bloor, for example. She had white-blonde curly old lady hair (you know, like a grandma!), she would draw on her eyebrows and had the kindest smile. I found my old yearbook to double check this and lo and behold, I remembered her perfectly!
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And then there are the odds and ends I remember about the music teacher from the same grades, Mrs. Miles. She had two, big, black poodles she loved talking about! my family and I also would bike past her house when the weather was nice, so I saw them in person a few times, too. I loved her class because she introduced us to music from around the world. One of my favorite memories is that of her dancing around the room holding a rain stick while tribal music played on the speakers. She was teaching the class a chant or something, but that part is hazy. I’ve always had a love of music and I think her class taught me at a very young age to appreciate and enjoy all kinds of music.
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There are two teachers from this school I have seen periodically over the years, who surprisingly remember me. Most recently I saw my kindergarten teacher, Miss Cobbs (she has gotten married and changed her name since I was her student all those years ago), at the first high school football game of this season. I moved school districts when I was going into the fourth grade and for the opening game this year, the school I graduated from was playing the school district I use to attend and she was at the game. I could tell you it’s a small world running into her, but my mom is a teacher in this district as well and they keep in touch at district wide meetings and whatnot. I would also like to point out that I’m as tall as she is, not that that’s saying much as I stand a barely respectable five feet, four inches tall. She also couldn’t believe I was 25, honestly, where has the time gone?!

The other elementary teacher I have seen from time to time over the years was my reading teacher, Mrs. Searfoss. If my mother hadn’t ingrained a love of reading in me from such a young age, I feel I still would have developed it in her class. I can remember reading and writing poems, short stories and her bubbly, infectious laughter. When I moved schools, she mailed me a letter and a book. I came across them just a few months ago tucked neatly away in a box hidden in the back of my closet, which means that at this moment when I’d like to take a photo of them, they are nowhere to be seen.

I’ve had dozens of teachers over the years, but none has had as great an impact on my life outside of school as that of my seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher, Mr. Lawrence.

I remember the first day of his class as if it were yesterday. There we were, all sitting there with the deer-in-the-headlights look as we waited for our names to be called. (Was I the only one who breathed a sigh of relief afterwards because I was in the right room on the first try? I always felt bad for the kid who read their schedule wrong for whatever reason.) Anyways, I was in class with my two best friends at the time, Sarah and Kris, her last name came before mine and his after, as my last name fell near the middle of the roster for the class. Finally I knew mine was to (should) be the next name called based on the students sitting around me, but it wasn’t my last name he called. “Mariah Monkey.”

WHAT?! [Looks at best friends completely confused.] Again he says, “Mariah Monkey.” This time in a tiny, shy voice I speak up, “I’m Mariah, but that’s not my last name.” To which he responded something to the effect of “I know that. But your last name is a species of monkey.” [Collective class ah-ha as it all makes since.] And after that, the nickname stuck. My friends and I started calling each other by nicknames based off our last names. (Sarah became “Birdie,” Kris became “Directions,” and I of course was “Monkey.”) I even adopted the nickname on the soccer field and put it on the back of my team hoodie. And the year I was very sick, it was monkeys that filled my hospital room. On a Saturday morning during soccer games, Mr. Lawrence learned from my parents that I was 1. Very sick and 2. He was the reason behind all my new monkey companions. He made a special trip to visit me in the burn unit and when he came into my room he had the biggest Curious George monkey I’d ever seen. (I named him Taco, but that’s a story for another time.)

While the story of how I got my nickname is interesting to tell, it’s not the true reason why Mr. Lawrence is mentioned in this particular post. I chose to include and publicly thank him because he was the first teacher to recognize that I was a writer.

Growing up I always enjoyed writing. I began keeping a detailed journal at age 10 and I was constantly making up stories and writing poems. And finally, someone outside my family recognized that talent in me as well.

Now don’t get me wrong. There were days when I wondered if I’d ever write something “good enough.” Mr. Lawrence was tough on me, but that taught me to sharpen my skills. He made me ask questions of my writing “are there details that need more explanation, eliminated because it clutters the flow? Have you told the best story you can? Have you conveyed your meaning as clearly as possible? Who is your target audience? Are you using words and language appropriate to them?”
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Mariah, yes you still have “it.” But I must warn you, however,that if you ever figure out what “it” is, you won’t have it anymore. The only way to become a true writer is to write. There are no shortcuts. P.S. It’s comforting to know I may have a small part in touching the world through you. -Mr. Lawrence, October 27, 2006

Many times he told me that writing was going to be important in my future and he was right. I spend my days using the skills he taught me at work to write press releases, blog posts and other various projects. And in my free time I am journaling and blogging. And I am happy to say I have still yet to figure out what “it” is, and honestly I think that’s why writing is still so effortless and enjoyable to me. And that is something I hope never changes.

One Run at a Time

29 Sep

I hate having asthma. Today was my last chance to get in a long run before flying to Walt Disney World in a couple days for The Tower of Terror 10 mile race and a stupid truck spewing black smoke went and ruined it. I feel like a failure because I didn’t even make it to 2 miles. I felt an asthma attack coming on and so I stepped off to the side of the road to take my inhaler and call my dad to pick me up. I’ve never been so disappointed in a workout before. 😞

I guess it also doesn’t help that where I live the seasons are starting to change. With the arrival of fall comes cooler temperatures (mid 60s) and a wind that feels like it cuts through you. A dangerous combination for an asthmatic runner, even under the best circumstances (I.e. no black smoke from trucks filling already compromised lungs which are working hard already.)

Luckily, I was recently introduced to a great Disney running support group on Facebook and they were there to lift my spirits.

Different members commented that they too had asthma and knew how challenging running could be.

I have asthma also 😦 u have trained up, one last long run isn’t going to make or break a race! Go, have fun, trust your training! You will do great!!! Bring your inhaler 😉

Look back at all the successes you have had in your training–I bet you have way more “wins” than “losses”! It’s all the work you have put in over the last few months that will get you across the finish line strong! Have fun at ToT–that’s a race on my bucket list for sure!

I have had my share of ups and downs during my training….dealing with blisters that refused to pop and heal…

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And then there was the day I discovered I’d actually been running 8 miles when I thought I’d only been going 6! And on hilly, country roads!

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When the ToT race starts, trust your body to adjust your pace. Don’t worry about your time or pace. Enjoy the course and of course the after party.

I feel so very blessed that these people I’ve never met before believe in me. I am as ready as I’ll ever be at this point. I WILL cross that finish line Saturday night and it won’t matter what place I’m in or the time on the board. All that matters to me right now is crossing the line and proving to myself, asthma and all, I’m able to tackle 10 miles with strength, determination and a little pixie dust!

Will you be running at Walt Disney World this weekend?!

Insecurities and Nightmares

21 Aug

I don’t know if I can blame it on the full moon, the strange weather patterns or the unbalanced hormones of being a girl, but lately I’ve been having so much doubt about things in my life — my career, my life goals, different relationships with people, the list goes on and on. I am a worrier by nature. I have been known to stress and fret about things in the past to the point where I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t enjoy my surroundings because I am over analyzing a situation or event or problem I probably have no control over. This is one of my flaws, I acknowledge it and accept that it is part of what makes me, well, me, and I’m working on controlling my urge to constantly worry. But recently, it’s not stressing over a class project or what I’m going to do on Saturday night, it’s bigger and scarier than that. It’s, what am I going to do for the rest of my life? Am I going to be stuck in my hometown forever? Will I find my happily ever after? Will I get to be a mom? Will I end up alone? What if no one wants to hire me? These fears, and that’s truly what they are, haunt my nights, taking the place of monsters and creepy crawlers of the dark.

About a week ago (one month to the day until my 25th birthday) I started having this dream that I was participating in a marathon, but for whatever reason, I was the only runner forced to wear an army vest and steel toed-boots. The course was through a combination of cement and quick sand. I couldn’t even see the other participants they’ve gotten so far ahead of me. It made no sense to me until a friend broke it down…

Sounds like your stresses and fears about getting your life started/moving up and out are invading your dreams now. You need a vacation. A relax and do nothing but quiet, non-exhaustive things vacation.

Of course my brain would have me running a marathon (still training for runDisney’s Tower of Terror 10 Mile run on October 4, 2013). I can see it now, I feel weighed down. Friends and family members my age are doing things I wish I were doing too, and I feel like I’m being left behind. It’s lonely, not to mention depressing in the wee hours of the night.

And let’s not forget how insecure I feel in my own skin sometimes. The same friend and I were having a conversation a few nights ago when I had a minor breakdown:

Me: It’s not that I need to cling or be included in every little detail of their life, I think I’ve proved that over this past year, I just want to be wanted. And loved unconditionally. I’ve never been the pretty one, the super smart one, the witty or funny one, I’m nothing extraordinary or special, I’m just plain and boring and mundane. I think I will always have trouble believing a guy is truly interested in me, just me. There’s no rhyme or reason he should be.

Friend: But… You subscribe to the multiple possible *soul mates worldview. That means, he is out there (several he’s, in fact). It’s only a question of finding him in this incredibly, insanely populated world (3.5 billion-ish men, chop off the old half and young quarter for just under 1 billion possibilities)

*I refuse to believe that there is just ONE perfect person for everyone. It would be nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find them. Rather, I think there are multiple people you could be perfectly happy with, it’s just a matter of finding one of them when both of you are ready to make that commitment — it’ll happen at the right time, at the right place, with one of those right people. The odds are much more in your favor this way!

Me: With my luck in the love department, my soul mates probably got eaten by a lion, joined the ministry or is circling earth in the space stay…..

Friend: Psht, you’ve more than 3 possibilities. Honestly though, do you smile?

Me: Yes

Friend: Then you must be beautiful. Do you write?

Me: Yes

Friend: Then you must be intelligent. Can you make people laugh?

Me: Sometimes

Friend: Then you must be witty or funny, depending on the day (no one wants a clown who can’t step back from the giggles). So, there. Why on earth WOULDN’T a guy want you?

Me (feeling slightly better about myself): I guess there isn’t a reason now. 🙂

Friend: Well, unless Scar decided he wanted a snack. But that’s only one of several! (And you can’t deny the appeal of an adventurous guy with a few battle scars, eh?)

Me: It would be Scar, wouldn’t it?!

Friend: He’s such a poo head. And Even though I know you’re a worrier, and that’s what you do, ya gotta step back and breathe sometimes!!

I have one of the best friends out there! This wonderful person knows just what to say to lift my spirits, she understands my insecurities and doesn’t hold them against me. She’ll listen to me complain and wonder “when will it be me” over and over again without losing her cool. She helps me remember that yes, I’m not perfect, but I’m someone pretty special in my own rights.

And then the weirdest thing happened… this conversation took place on a Saturday night, that Sunday in church the sermon was about facing your insecurities. Honestly, sometimes God’s sense of humor is a bit over the top, but it was, once again, a lesson I needed at the time when I needed it most. It was pretty emotional hearing:

“God made you right for the purpose for which he made you.” – Pastor John

Now I just need to keep reminding myself of this and I think I will be okay….

One day at a time…

2 Oct

Life is hard.

Relationships are messy.

Hearts are fragile.

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Words cut like knives and stay in our minds long after they were spoken.

Tears flow easily, and all too often.

The happy ending feels farther and farther away…

Things that would have brought you such joy, bring knots in stomachs and sleepless nights.

But we can’t let the heartache consume our lives. As hard as it is, and trust me because I’m fighting one now, somehow you find a way to get up in the morning, and to lock away the broken parts so you can function throughout the day.

Little, tiny steps and a big support system help you put patches on your heart. Scars that show you cared deeply for another, that show you’ve given your love away once and someday when you feel stronger, you will do it again.

You deserve to be happy. And so do I. Maybe one day we both will be….