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29 and feeling…BRAVE.

I can’t help but enter this 29th year of my life incredibly and overwhelmingly thankful. This past year was another year of immense transition. Everyone has a different story, but I think we can all agree that the only constant in life is change. Bryan and I bought our first house, we both got new jobs, and I decided I wanted to start applying to MBA school… and oh yeah! We have a five year old in the house now! 

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2020 is not only the last year of my twenties, but it’s a new year and the start of a new decade!! When I try to think about what all has happened in the past decade, I get overwhelmed. Basically, what it all comes down to is that I have to decide how I am going to move forward with all of these experiences under my belt and how I will bring a better version of myself into this next decade. As I stand here today and look back, I CHOOSE to focus on the milestones, lessons, and priceless moments that have brought me here to this moment. 
So let’s recap. I decided to choose only four lessons to share simply because I could go on and on and on… remember when I said a DECADE of milestones, lessons, and priceless moments??

Never stop learning. Stay curious. Never give up discovering why someone else’s view is different than yours, or how something works, what you are passionate about, and even something that scares you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to discover something new. When you take the time to fully understand why something is the way that it is, you gain a different perspective that allows you to respond who and what is around you in an positive way. I think Judy Hopps from Zootopia says it best:
“When I was a kid, I thought [the world] was a perfect place, where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, real life is a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations, we all make mistakes, which means – hey, glass half full! – we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are; from the biggest elephant, to our first fox, I implore you – try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us.” – Judy Hopps, Zootopia
You are BRAVE to never stop learning.

I’ve realized that people appreciate transparency and vulnerability. It’s amazing to me that authentically telling your story (even the toughest parts) is actually what people need, even crave! Yet we are so afraid of being judged that we don’t say anything! However, we all just want to know that we aren’t going through the same struggles alone. Let me put it this way, pretend you are standing next to two people: 
Meet Tony. He seems to have it all together, he wears designer clothes, married, has a thriving career, and drives the new tesla SUV… but the only thing he ever talks about how big his house is and the ferrari sitting in his garage. Well his life seems perfect. Talk about lame dinner parties with this guy. Why on Earth would I reach out to Tony to help me through something or give me advice when a challenge arises? I am too afraid of feeling judged since he seems to have it all together and I know I don’t, that’s why. We all know that’s a lousy feeling, it can make us feel absolutely worthless. 
Now meet Toryn. She has had all of the same successes in life as Tony. She drives her dream car, has a flexible work schedule and makes enough money that she didn’t have a budget for her wedding dress. Let me say that again… no budget. What Toryn does that’s different than Tony though is that she actually shares her story with the people around her. By doing this, she offers advice to those that are trying to accomplish similar goals. Imagine that she talks to you about how she had to go into student loan debt, took night classes as a single mom, worked two jobs to get through school, got the dream internship but still took the bus to save for groceries. 
How did Tony accomplish his goals again?? Hmm I don’t remember. So. Which person would you rather sit down and have coffee with? Be that person that people can relate to when they need help navigating similar experiences. Because believe it or not, all of us DON’T have it all figured out.
You are BRAVE and valued for sharing your story. 

Get back up. As each day passes, I get a little more comfortable sharing my story. Not that it doesn’t still haunt me from time to time, it just gets easier to share. Long story short, I found myself in an abusive relationship when I was 19. Every kind of abuse: mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical. It slowly stripped everything away from me. Actually, without knowing it, I LET it strip everything away from me. Not because I saw what was happening, it was because I was young and didn’t see the red flags in time. Yep, the Kylie you see today was whittled down to nothing and I LET IT HAPPEN. That is why they call it a cycle though. (link to a picture of the cycle) The dark cycle of domestic violence does not discriminate against age, race, or income status. 
I remember watching a movie when I was in highschool and a woman in the movie was punched in the face by her boyfriend. I looked at my dad and I said, “I will never let that happen to me!” Fast forward five years later and I found myself in the hospital ICU after surgery with 75% less of a pancreas because my boyfriend at the time got mad enough at me to kick me into the corner of the kitchen and. didn’t. stop. kicking. Eventually I left him while he was at work with a police officer standing at the door incase he came back early unannounced. 
This is my story, but the fact is, it can happen to anyone. I grew up in a home that wasn’t perfect, but it was loving and supportive, so why did this girl end up in this all too common situation? Because it’s all too common and we as a society ask the wrong questions or we don’t even ask questions! 
We should not ask, “Why didn’t she leave?” We should ask, “What is the root cause of his abusive behavior?” “How can we support this girl as she tries to figure out this mess of a situation she never wanted to be in?” Ask the right questions and don’t turn a blind eye! No matter the shade of darkness on your situation, who or what knocks you down, know that they are only there to sharpen your character so that you are stronger going into the next round. That 240 pound heavyweight ain’t got nothin on me. That part of my story is really dark, but the point is, through all of the time in the hospital, and the war within myself for getting into that situation, I GOT BACK UP. I got back up for my future daughter, I got back up for my family and friends, I got up for women like me, I got back up for myself. I’ve got a whole lot of fire left in me! I will never give up on myself and what is important to me and neither should you. 
You are BRAVE for getting back up over and over and over again.

Seize every opportunity, but enjoy where you are in the moment.Create and witness those priceless moments that you will never get back. Growing up, I felt like there was always this urgency to constantly be moving on to the next task/job/event/sport. I don’t think I learned how to appreciate and embrace the moments inside whatever it was I was doing at the time. If you read my birthday post last year, that is something I have been actively trying to work on. Wow, do old habits die hard, but I’m determined! I don’t want to get to the next moment in life and realize I didn’t fully enjoy it or appreciate the last one that got me there. I don’t want to watch Lila drive off to college and at the same time grieve that time has gone by too fast. I want to enjoy our Disney jam sessions on the way to school and every kid birthday… yep, even at Lava Island where they don’t serve alcohol to parents haha. Seriously though, I don’t want to miss a single moment. Especially, when this is what makes life so rich and beautiful. These are the moments that we live for. 
You are BRAVE for living your best life in every moment and in every opportunity.

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Dear 2019, thank you for the lessons.
Now 2020, let’s do this! As I walk into this new year, there are several things I would like to intentionally work on #constantlygrowing:
Be the best wife and mom I can be. I realize what is important now – my family. Showing up as a wife and a mom in the best way that I can is what is most important. That means mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I fully admit that I don’t have all of the answers, but I can promise I will do my best. I mean, let’s be real, who left the hospital the day your baby was born or walked away from saying, “I do.” with a manual?? I didn’t! I must have missed that booth on the way out. Oh well, life is more fun without a manual anyways. I am so excited that I have a lifetime with them by my side figuring it all out. They are my greatest adventure.
I am BRAVE for prioritizing what’s important.
Be a better friend. Last year my goal was to be a better friend by learning how to support my friends and family the way they need to be supported. I don’t think I did the best I could have at trying to grow in that area. So it’s going right back up to the top of my list this year. It’s important to me because they are important to me.
I am BRAVE for learning how to support those around me.
Keep going eco friendly. I am passionate about a plastic-free planet. I am so sick of feeling like I can’t do anything to help the outrageous waste problem our world is facing. Enough said. Stay tuned as I continue to transform our house into a plastic-free and waste-free environment. I hope you can come on this journey with me!
I am BRAVE for standing up for what I believe in.
Stay creative. When I started college, there was a slow downhill spiral when it comes to creativity. Art, creative writing, dance, and drama were such a part of me and I slowly allowed it take a back seat because I thought adulting meant that I needed to give up on those things. I’ve never been a fan of living inside the box or accepting society’s norms, so that creative side of me is coming back baby!!! Adulting and maintaining a creative soul. What a beautiful thing. This is something I hope to pass on to Lila as she gets older. I hope she never buys into the lie that you have to give up being creative to be an adult. This blog has not only helped me to explore a way to communicate my thoughts about what is close to my heart, but it has opened my mind to so many more creative possibilities. Let me just say this… stay tuned people, big things are happening in thekyliebee blog world!! 🙂
I am BRAVE for living my most creative life.
Never give up on my dreams. Although my dreams may change as I get older, the moment I give up on my dreams is the moment I give up on myself. And I will NEVER give up on myself. The tattoo on my arm that marks the day I said “No more! No more giving up on myself” is the day I made that commitment and you better believe that I am going to stick to that. Also, how embarrassing to get a tattoo and not live up to why I got it in the first place. Simply, I’m never giving up on myself. Neither should you.
I am BRAVE for never giving up on myself.

This past decade was truly a wild ride. And guess what? I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have become the person that I am today because of those experiences. Even though I have many things about myself that I still need to work on, because of what I have been through in the past decade, I feel nothing but confidence as I tackle everything that is set out before me. I feel equipped to take on this next decade as I am supposed to. The warrior spirit inside of me is on fire and I accept the ever evolving challenge to be the best version of me for my daughter, those around me, the planet, and for myself. My therapist likes to say I’m building my toolbox. I am learning and becoming equipped with everything I need at the pace that I need to and doing my best to embrace it along the way. Again, to this next decade I say, “Let’s do this.”
Music Cred: Brave – Don Diablo, Jessie J
So please if you don’t remember anything else from this post, remember this > NEVER DOUBT HOW BRAVE YOU ARE. 
To wrap up this first year of being in the blogging world, I just wanted to say a giant THANK YOU for following my blog over the past year and supporting this creative journey as I try to share what I love with the world and passionately pursue a plastic-free planet. Your support means more than you know and I am incredibly grateful.
So here’s to another year around the sun and looking forward to the witnessing the beauty within each and every moment along the way.
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If you are new to my blog, CLICK HERE to find out what I’m about and why I decided to pursue this creative venture. Long story short though – I’m a wife, mom, dog mom, and a beer enthusiast that’s passionate about a plastic-free planet.
Welcome to thekyliebee.
Until next time, 
Kylie Bee

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