This year more than ever, my trust and faith in God has been strengthened. I'm in my sixth year of an eight year bible study, this is my first year as a leader. I've seen more prayers answered in my life and others this year. God has 'pruned' my life to better serve Him and others. Learning to trust the struggles this year has been a challenge I've accepted and my battles are getting easier with God's help. I can truly see Him at work in my life and those lives around me now more than ever.
So how has that changed who I am? Well, I've turned from my former life. My old life was full of conviction with no sacrifice. I've been a christian for several years now, but not until this year have I made it a point to remove sin from my life. I'm still a sinful creature of course, but I've made certain adjustments to be closer to God. To turn to Him first, trust in His timing, obey Him only.
Being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis early in 2012 has been one of the biggest reasons for a change. For those of you who are 'What the heck is ulcerative colitis?', best explanation is here. Big triggers for my UC are stress, sugar, alcohol and certain foods.
No alcohol? What the heck? This was by far the hardest thing to change, and not for the reasons you think. It wasn't the actual alcohol that was tough to quit, it was the people and activities surrounding it. Found it was very difficult to spend time with certain people while sober. Not because they were only bearable when I was buzzed. But some people don't understand nor do they care what you are going through. So many questions were asked, over and over and over....
"Why aren't you drinking?"
"You mean you can't just have one? Come on now, that's lame."
"Why don't I see you at the bar anymore?"
Needless to say, it got old quick. I tried to continue to spend time with people I used to drink with and go to certain establishments and just not drink, but became pretty difficult. And, for those of you who don't know, it sucks to be the only sober one around a group of drunks. No offense to my bartender friends, but I would love to see you more often, just don't want to be the jerk ordering water from the bar. So I just don't go. Then I had to figure out who the non-partying Courtney was, which was pretty difficult. By eliminating that part of my life, it made me realize how much of my life I've spent in that realm. Pretty depressing actually.
I was in remission for a year. In remission, its almost like I'm not sick which is wonderful. But, when I'm in a 'flare' its a roller coaster of craziness. Been in a flare since the end of July. For a snapshot of my fun during this time:
- Blood loss daily
- Pale skin
- Swollen abdomen (sometimes making it look like I'm 4-5 months pregnant, no joke)
- Weight gain and loss
- No energy
- Most time spent in the bathroom or running to the bathroom
So, yes its super fun. So I've had to eliminate people and things from my life that aren't supportive to me getting better. Re-prioritizing what is truly important. Eliminating high stress people and situations are very important. The key is determining what/who contributes to 'high stress'. That has been a fun exercise.
As I look in the mirror I see a feminine version of myself that is unfamiliar. I'm finding myself taking interest in girly things. What the heck?! What is going on? Am I actually buying and wearing dresses? What brought all this up? Well, his name is Richard Nestler. The relationship I have with him made me realize I've never dated a real man before. I know that sounds silly, but hear me out.
No offense to my exes, they served a purpose and I have no regrets. Thinking back, I've had to be both roles in the relationship. Being the rock, the provider, the decision maker, the strong one, etc, are all roles that should be filled by the man in the relationship. But up to this point, I filled those roles. So my feminine side never had a chance to show. Which means now at 32, I'm just now digging into the world of makeup, matching outfits, hair and jewelry accessories, etc. Yes, its ridiculous. There are new feelings popping up that I didn't know existed. Feelings of vulnerability, security, safety ... and the obvious, girly.
Things are different now. I've never felt more girly before, and to be honest, its freaking me out a little. What is this new feeling? Not sure, but I'm liking it :)
Well, my stint as chief communications officer for Total Title Solutions is coming to an end. So what's next? I'm starting my own company. Launching in January, BrightLight Solutions, a social media management and training company targeting small businesses.
So yes, I'm taking a leap. I found the deeper I got into the social media realm for Total Title, the more people were asking me 'how-to' questions and asking for my advice for their business pages. The timing is perfect, so I'm diving right in. I'd rather put my heart and soul into this and fail, than regret never taking a chance. If I fail, the worst case scenario is that I lose things I can replace. I'm not going to die.
Also, my role at Crossfit Rebels has changed. I'm on the coaching staff now. I'm so thankful for the Crossfit family at Rebels, its strong and has helped me so much this year.
I'm hoping to have this blog back up and running for 2014. That's the plan anyways. Look for topics involving faith, social media, crossfit, health and random rants. Should be a fun year :)