1 step forward, 10 steps back

Have you ever felt like you just can’t catch a break? Like the whole world is conspiring against you? Like no matter what you do, things just can’t go right?

This is my life right now. This is the all-encompassing theme of my hive struggle. Every time I think we have made some sort of progress, no matter how big or small, something comes along to remind me that the hives are in control and winning. Every time I take one step in the right direction, those itchy, red son of a guns smack me right in the face and put me 10 steps backwards. I’ve got to be honest with you here, I’m so tired of it all. I’m so beat down mentally and physically. My poor body is fighting so hard and it’s just not winning. My positive attitude is diminishing. The negative side is creeping through. And although I know I need to change my perspective and be grateful for what is going well, I can’t seem to see through the pile of crap holding me down.

I’ve always promised to be honest with you guys. And excuse the language here, but shit’s about to get real. This isn’t a post about how to change your negative feelings and be positive. It’s not a post about how to persevere through your troubles and angst. This is a post about where I’m at right now. And it’s not pretty. With social media being so prevalent in our lives we tend to only see the good and positive sides of things. But that’s not real and it certainly isn’t honest. So here’s a dose of honesty for you. I’m about to vent, so if you’re not interested, as I always tell Chris, now is the time to leave.

This past week was a rollercoaster. We had a blast in Chicago, but we partied hard, didn’t get enough sleep, and flew on two different circulated air, germ factories (as Chris likes to call airplanes) within 48 hours. Kenzie and my mom were both sick when we were gone and I caught what they had when we got back. Both of them kicked their virus within a couple of days, but not Carly! As Chris likes to say, I never do anything half-assed. So leave it to me to turn a small cold into a much bigger problem.

As far as the hives went this past week, I was ok. They were still there (aren’t they always ūüôĄ) but nothing nearly as bad as they have been. Even though I had a bit of a cold, they seemed to be at bay. Here’s the worst part about the hives being calm. I spend the entire time that I’m not covered in hives paranoid about when I will be again. It’s so ridiculous. Trust me, if I could change this I would, but patterns are patterns and for me¬†the hives ALWAYS come back.

Friday comes along and I wake up covered head to toe and my cold seemed to be worse. My lips were blown up and my spirits were knocked down. I was eating pink Benadryl tablets like candy and praying I didn’t have to take any roids.¬†Chris and I had a fun night out planned with our friends to see Trevor Noah, and I was freaking out trying to pick an outfit that would cover the majority of my red spots. After my 5th outfit change, my mom kept telling me you could barely notice the ones on my face and Chris repeated to me countless times that we would be in a dark theatre and no one would see. But here’s the problem, I KNOW THEY ARE THERE. These stupid things take so much away from me. They destroy my confidence, they amp up my anxiety,they depress me, they make me feel sad, angry and defeated all at the same time. I want to not feel any of these things, but anytime I make progress in that department, they find a way to cut me down again.

Fast forward to yesterday: I woke up unable to talk or swallow without being in massive amounts of pain, because that’s good right? Let’s set the record straight here. I had my fair share of tequila on Cinco de Mayo but these weren’t hangover symptoms. I’m sure the drinking didn’t help, but I was covered in hives on Saturday and refused to let those itchy, red devils take away another fun day with friends. So I drank some margaritas, stayed up too late and had a grand old-time sitting by the fire in my backyard. And now I’m paying for it. See that’s the other thing about the hives, if I do something to spite them, they retaliate worse than a toddler. I say “screw you hives, I want to have fun regardless of you!” And they say, “hold my beer.” (If you don’t get that reference, look up “hold my beer memes.” You won’t be disappointed!)

I spent all day yesterday in bed and on the couch with a fever. I went to bed at 7pm filled with every cold and cough medicine you can imagine and slept until 10pm. Then the coughing started. Not only did I cough so loud and frequently that Chris tried to sleep in the other room, but I also woke up the baby. I told Chris to go back to bed and moved myself to the recliner in the bonus room where I managed to get about an hour or two of sleep. Chris had to call into work because taking care of Kenzie is my job and I’m so sick I couldn’t do it. Plus I needed a ride to the doctor’s office where they diagnosed me with a severe ear infection and upper respiratory infection. Again, I can’t do anything half-assed.

I think my favorite part (this is sarcasm) about being sick is that my hives flare even worse than normal. They get mean and nasty because they want to be he only things messing with my immune system. They are big, red, puffy, hot, and they hurt to touch. So on top of being miserably sick, I also get to deal with a terrible breakout.

I saw a different doctor today than normal because my PCP is out of the office on Monday’s. I had to explain the whole stupid hive saga to her. While she was doing my checkup, she was saying that she could see the hives on my hands and feet (had to wear flip-flops because my feet are so swollen from the hives) but wondered if I had any elsewhere. I sarcastically laughed and showed her my legs and torso. The look on her face was priceless and confirmed what I already know, that I’m some sort of hive monster. My incredible allergist told me a few weeks ago that I am the worst case of hives she has ever dealt with. She didn’t say it in a mean way and I certainly didn’t get offended. She just solidified what I already know. Getting a cure for these things is damned near impossible.

You may be feeling bad for me right about now, and that seriously isn’t my intention. But it’s important for me to be honest about how I’m feeling. I’m not sure venting here will make me feel better, but at least I can get some of it off my chest.

I’m feeling incredibly guilty that Chris had to take another day off of work. I’m feeling terrible about not being able to take care of Kenzie, because that’s my only job right now. She’s been reaching for me and saying “mama” and I can’t pick her up and make her feel better. I’m so mad that I finally had a couple of good days but now I’m back to where I was before. I’m so tired of feeling sick. I’m only 30. Aren’t these supposed to be the best years of my life? Why do I have to take at minimum 8 pills a day? The medicine I take makes me gain weight and no matter how healthy I eat or how many miles I run, I can’t change that. None of my clothes fit, I hate how I look, I hate so much right now. I know I should be thinking about all the wonderful things I do have (family, my kiddos, friends, my home, etc) but that’s almost impossible to do when I’m so bogged down with negativity.

Yesterday I cried on my dad’s shoulder and told him that I was tired of being sick, tired of feeling this way. He told me that this is just a bump in the road, a really big bump, but just a bump. But here’s my question: when will I hit the pavement? When will it be smooth sailing? And if I ever get there, how long will it last? Because right now, as far as my eyes can see, there is nothing but bumpy dirt road. And man, that’s just so depressing.

My Tribe

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My tribe. My people. My family. My friends. My circle of trust.

These are the people I can always count on. The ones who know what to say and what to do to help me get through life. ¬†My tribe is full of the people I CHOOSE to spend my precious time here on earth with. And that’s the beauty of my tribe. I choose who is a part of it.

My tribe is an exclusive group. I don’t just let anyone in. Even though I’m only 30, I’ve had a fair share of life experiences that has made me leery to trust people. I’ve been burned badly by family members and by people I thought were my friends. These experiences, although painful, have helped me learn a lot about who I want to surround myself with. In my short 30 years, I’ve learned a lot about my tribe and who I want to be a part of it. I hope that my experiences can help you realize what you want from your own tribe and help you surround yourself with the kind of people who will make YOU a better person.

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People come in and out of our lives for a reason. Cherish the moments with them. Realize that each friendship, each person we invite into our tribe, has a purpose.

My favorite part about having a tribe is that it is ever-changing. I’ve added some wonderful people to my tribe within the last year. Some of the people in my tribe have been there my whole life. I’ve lost some wonderful people and also gotten rid of some less than stellar individuals. As we continue to grow in our lives and our perspectives shift, it would be unrealistic for us to expect our support group to be the same. One of my very best friends in the world is Jennifer. I have known for as long as I can remember. We grew up together on Salem Road. We went to Ivan Green, Durand Eastman, and Eastridge together. And then, in 8th grade, I moved to Webster. We didn’t keep in touch. It wasn’t intentional. It was before Facebook, cell phones and texting. We were too busy with our own separate lives. We drifted apart and she wasn’t a part of “my tribe” at that point in time. Flash forward to the fall of 2007 when I was severely injured playing soccer in college. I had to withdraw from classes and come home. I was devastated. All my friends and my then boyfriend was in Michigan. None of my high school friends were back. I had no one. Jenn reached out to me on Facebook when she heard what happened. I remember her coming over with all the seasons of Gossip Girl and a bag full of jelly beans. We sat on the couch in my parents living room and that day she pulled me out of a really dark and very alone place. From that point on, we were inseparable again. Jenn introduced me to a whole new set of friends here in Rochester, many of which I still talk to today. She taught me to be more confident and to put myself out there. She took me to kickball and parties and I spent numerous nights on Jeff’s (her now husband) futon. I am forever grateful for our friendship. Even though we don’t talk everyday (our 3 little girls kept us busy), she’s an important part of my tribe. It’s crazy to think that Jenn came back into my life as exactly the right time. She saved me. Surround yourself with people who have positive impacts on your life. Embrace those friendships and be present in them as long as you have them!

struggle

Your tribe wants to help. They know when to help and how to help. Let Them.

I have struggled with asking for help for as long as I can remember. I am a very independent woman. For some reason, asking for help has become a statement of weakness to me. I feel guilty that I can’t accomplish something on my own and have to ask for help. I feel guilty that someone else has to take time out of their day to do what I can’t do. As I’m typing this, I realize how crazy that sounds. I’ve been working on my mindset and trying to change my perspective mostly because of something my Mom said to me recently. I was apologizing for the 100th time that she had to stay home from work to help me with McKenzie on a particularly bad hive day. ¬†She told me to stop saying sorry. She was here because she wanted to be here. She was here because she wanted to help. She was here because she knew that I would do the same for her in a heartbeat. She was here because she needed to feel like she could help me. ¬†In my original post “My Why,” I discussed the concept that sometimes the best you can do for someone else is allow them to be apart of your struggles and allow them to help. By being a strong, independent woman, I shut people out unintentionally. The greatest part about my tribe is that they don’t let me. Surround yourself with people who push back, with people who don’t allow you to struggle alone. Those are the people you want by your side.

see you smile

The people you mourn with should also be the people you celebrate with. 

Many of you may not know, but we lost my father in law back in January of 2010. Chris and I had been together 9 months when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer (SMOKING KILLS! DON’T FREAKING DO IT!) We lost Ed 5 months later after a horrible month-long hospital fiasco. ¬†And wow, thinking about it now, those were really hard times. As I sit here typing, I have tears in my eyes. All of the feelings are overwhelming. I don’t think about it much. I’m sure Chris doesn’t either. We were only kids. Chris was 24 and had to do the unthinkable and bury both his mom and dad. I was 22, in my own horrible rock bottom situation (I’ll explain this in another post) and trying to figure out how to take care of our house, puppy, and Chris. We were both lost in our own ways and struggling. But our tribe stepped in and did everything from driving Ed to appointments (thanks Auntie!), visiting him in the hospital (Ya-Ya’s, coworkers, my parents), taking care of our baby puppy Darwin (thank you Matt, Kim and Shannon), and taking care of Chris and I (too many to name). Months after Ed passed away, Chris proposed in Disney World and we began planing the most epic wedding ever. When going over our guest list with each side of the family we ran into a problem. There were just too many people. We needed to make cuts. It ended up being easier than we thought it would. We decided that if they didn’t care enough to come to Ed’s services or even check in on us after he passed, they weren’t invited. That seems fair and realistic doesn’t it? If you didn’t want to be there for me when times were hard, why would I invite you to celebrate with me on the happiest of days. Yes, we ruffled some feathers and made some people angry. But we’ve held our ground on this ever since and its been freeing. Surround yourself with people who will hug you when you’re sad and raise a glass with you when you’re happy.

yourvibeattracts

Do unto others. Pay it forward. Be a friend you would want to have.

I never quite understood the phrase “it takes a village” until MCG was born. On top of having a baby, add in the hives, and I know for a fact, we wouldn’t have made it this far without our tribe. In the last month alone, I’ve called in favors from just about everyone in my tribe. My sisters have sacrificed countless nights to help me with Kenzie. My sweet neighbors, the Meredith’s, have changed diapers for me when my hands were too swollen to do it myself. My aunt Nancy showed up with home-made anti-inflammatory soup and aloe to help with the itch. My dear friend Whitney brought a 12 pack of Saranac and pizza on a Friday night, gave Kenzie a bath, and proceeded to make me laugh when I needed it most. My parents gave up a whole weekend to let us take an adults trip to Chicago, and it was so much fun. Miss Amy showed up with flowers and a big hug on the day I needed it most. There are so many people who have brought us dinner and sent such kind and supportive messages. I can’t begin to tell you how much it has meant to Chris and I. You all have helped us more than you will ever know. Thank you for your love, generosity, and kindness. We promise to pay it forward.

Which brings me back to “your vibe attracts your tribe.” Chris and I have been deeply humbled by all the support these last few weeks. I’ve cried numerous times, happy tears though, because I never realized how many supportive and wonderful people there are in my life. I was talking/crying to my sister the other day and talking about how I couldn’t believe the outpouring of love we were receiving. Her response was a simple one. “Aren’t you always the one remembering birthdays, sending cards and gifts, being generous with your time and money, reaching out to someone you know is struggling, reminding people how much they mean to you?” Wow. That was a thinker. I guess that I do all those things. But I don’t do it so that people will do it to me. I do those things because I feel good about helping others. And when I saw the quote “your vibe attracts your tribe” I realized that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. My overall positivity (most days, definitely not all of them) and my charisma has attracted people to want to be my friend, and want to be apart of my tribe. Although I’m judgmental at times, I try to be as accepting as I can be. I want to raise McKenzie the same way my parents raised me: to love and respect all people regardless of race or religion or sexual orientation, to give everyone a second chance, to give back and give away, and to share all our blessings. If that behavior attracts the kind of people currently in my tribe, I’m doing something right.

nolongerhappy

Lose the negative people in your life. They are only weighing you down.

So, I can’t really go into detail on my own personal experience on this one. I don’t want to offend anyone or make anyone angry. That is exactly the opposite of this blogs purpose. ¬†Here’s what I can tell you. There have been people in my life that I refer to as “energy vampires.” (I want to give credit where credit is due, but I have no idea who came up with the term. I heard it from a friend a long time ago.) Isn’t that the most brilliant term. You’ve been around people who the minute they walk into the room they suck out all the positive energy and fill it with negativity right? Think of energy vampires like the Dementors¬†from Harry Potter. They make everything cold, dreary, sad, and lifeless. Well, newsflash people. You can’t be happy when you’re around energy vampires. They don’t want you to be happy. They are usually the type of people who aren’t happy unless they are mad. We all know at least one of these people and I would even guess that many of you have them in your tribe. I used to. But i couldn’t take them always bringing me down. My tribe needed some gentle housekeeping. So, I ditched them. I gently minimized the time I spent with them until we didn’t see each other anymore. And I’m better off because of it. Stop surrounding yourself with negative people. Your tribe should be a group of people who inspire you, who challenge you, who WANT you to be better off.

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So find your tribe, and love them hard. Love them real. Just love them. Be present. Be grateful. Be you. That’s all anyone should and can ask of you. If they want or need more, think about whether or not they belong in your tribe. Your tribe should raise you up, not bring you down. Your tribe makes you a better you.

So, My tribe.  You know who you are. This part is for you.

Thank you for encouraging me to pursue my dreams. Thank you for helping me through some very dark and trying times. Thank you for just knowing what I need and when I need it. Thank you for drying my tears and for giving the best hugs. Thank you for loving my Christopher as much as me. Thank you for pick up prescriptions and changing diapers. Thank you for researching urticaria and looking for a cure. Thank you for loving our sweet little miracle and our crazy fur babies. Thank you for watching 7 million soccer games. Thank you for driving hours and hours to see me for 30 minutes. Thank you for standing up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself. Thank you for calling to say hi. Thank you for being my voice of reason. Thank you for the hours of advice. Thank you for the years of friendship. Thank you for the lemon you gave me last night. Thank you for the 6 pack and whiskey. Thank you for car rides with the windows open, music blaring, and no words spoken. Thank you for the most majestic sights I’ve ever seen. Thank you for making me love nature. Thank you for trips to Dunhams and soaks in the hot tub. Thank you for the trips to the zoo. Thank you for the much-needed parents weekend out. Thank you for sharing your passions with me. Thank you for always making me feel welcome. Thank you for teaching me how to cook. Thank you for sharing your pain. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your laughter. Thank you for being my legs when I can’t stand on my own. Thank you for scratching the hives for me. Thank you for bringing dinner. Thank you for trusting me to share my knowledge with your kids. Thank you for making me an Aunt. Thank you for making me a godmother. Thank you for making me a part of your family. Thank you for wanting to be my friend. Thank you for wanting to be in my tribe. Thank you for just being you. You’ll never understand what your love and support means to me.

Love always,

Carly XOXO

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Mid-flight thoughts…

Hi from 32,000 feet! Today’s post was supposed to be about “my Tribe,” but I got sidetracked trying to prepare for our quick getaway to Chicago and honestly didn’t have time to finish it. I could have posted what I had, but the recovering perfectionist in me couldn’t do so without an edit. So here I am, in seat 6A, eating my peanuts, listening to Elmo’s greatest hits (I forgot to download any new music [insert face palm emoji]) and typing away.

This weekend away is really important to me. It serves several purposes. It’s an opportunity to see my “little brother” Patrick, a chance to escape all the craziness at home (work, hives, etc.), and it’s time for us to be Chris and Carly and not mom and dad. Don’t get me wrong, being “mama” is absolutely the most rewarding job that I have ever had, but a vacation from any job is necessary to stay sane. With all the hive craziness lately, I’ve really struggled to maintain my identity as Carly. I’m really excited about a weekend full of beer, brunches, and adult fun.

None of this would be possible without GiGi and Papa, who are taking over the house and caring for our zoo. So, thanks Mom and Dad for giving Chris and I a chance to spend some quality time together. You’ve always told us that it’s important to keep the spark alive and give our relationship attention. We wouldn’t be able to do that without all your help. Thanks for loving our babies, even with fevers and colds (so sorry)!

Now to share why I’m sweating and out of breath while sitting on the plane. Our journey to the airport was nothing short of ridiculous. We left home at 3:25, but we needed gas. I grabbed us coffees at Dunkin while Chris pumped gas. Of course my simple coffee order turned into a 10 minute wait because they were out oo cream and hazelnut flavoring and had to refill everything while I waited. The thruway was swamped on a Friday afternoon, because of course it was. I thought our flight took off at 5:20 and made Chris panic. Thankfully it was 5:40. We didn’t pull into the airport until 5 at which time Chris told me we were looking for the green parking lot. I made Chris turn by a green sign which ended up being departures instead of parking. Oops. We had to do a loop around the airport at which time we were following a cop through a 5mph zone, because of course that would happen when we were running crazy late. It took us 5 minutes to find a spot to park and we rushed out of the parking lot so fast I have no idea where we parked. (I just asked Chris if he knew where we parked and he doesn’t know either. I guess we will deal with that problem when we get back.) I felt like we were in a movie running through the airport with all our bags. We finally made it up to grab our tickets completely out of breath and realized our flight was delayed 20 minutes. THANK GOD. But don’t worry, the security line was the longest I’ve ever seen it in Buffalo. But we made it through security with enough time to go to the bathroom and buy a water.

When we finally sat down in our seats on the plane I started thinking. And as we were taxing out on the runway, I found myself panicked for the first time on a plane. Chris and I haven’t flown since McKenzie was born. There’s nothing like leaving the most important thing in your life on the ground to make you worry about going up in the air. It’s really crazy how the minute Kenzie was born everything in my life completely shifted towards making sure her life was the best I could make it. That’s includes me being around. I didn’t panic about leaving her with mom and dad, in fact she waved and said “bye” to us as papa held her and we walked out the door. I didn’t have time to panic as we hit traffic on the way to buffalo and barely made it through security in time to board out plane. But as soon as I sat down I was nervous and my palms were all sweaty. I said a quick prayer as we were taking off to all my angels to get us safely to Chicago. I don’t think I’ll be able to take a deep breath until we are on the ground at Midway.

As we climbed higher in the air and I waited for the all clear to use my iPad, I looked through my photos for pictures of Kenzie and the boys and watched videos of them loving each other. I realized just how much I’m going to miss that sassy little beast baby, the grumpy old man doodle and the tail wagging cuddle bug puppy. That’s the craziest part about being a parent I think. The push and pull between your old life before kids and wanting to be there for all your kids moments. You can’t wait to get away or even just go on a date, but you end up spending the whole time thinking and talking about your babies at home. And you know what? I’m totally fine with that. I’m going to have so much fun adulting and brunching and hanging with Chris this weekend, but I can’t wait to get that FaceTime notification and see Kenzie’s sweet face and hear ” hi mama.” Because, even though I need Carly time, “mama” is who I really want to be right now.

Signing off from somewhere over Michigan in crazy turbulence (because of course it’s a bumpy flight.) As always thank you for the love and support.

Carly xoxo

Embracing your IMPERFECT side

What in the world does the Honest IMPERFECTionist mean? Why did I choose that as my blog name? Why does spell check keep changing imperfectionist back to perfectionist? Why did I improperly capitalize a bunch of letters? Why would anyone want to embrace their imperfections?

It took me a long time to come up with the appropriate name for my journey. My tribe [I talk all about what this means next blog post!] and I brainstormed hard about my values, my purpose, my identity and my ideas. I kept coming back to the terms chaos, honesty, journey, embrace and imperfection. I realized I needed to build on those “core values” to come up with the “perfect” name. And thus, the honest IMPERFECTionist was born. In order to fully explain why I chose this name however, I think its important to break it down into pieces. So, lets start with Honest.

Honesty itself is a very simple concept. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines honest as “good and truthful.” That seems simple enough. But the act of being honest is a bit more difficult. Sometimes it’s easier to lie and more fun to be bad. Sometimes being truthful can hurt someone’s feelings. But the phrase “honesty is the best policy” is exactly what I’m going for here! I promise to be honest. I promise to write each entry from the heart. I promise to be truthful about my feelings and not sugar coat what’s going on. I may not always say something in the nicest way and you may not agree with what I say, but I promise it will be good and truthful.

Now to the made up word, “imperfectionist.” Urban dictionary (I am ashamed and can not believe I’m using this as a literary source [insert face palm emoji]) states that imperfectionist is defined as “being good at being imperfect.” What is imperfection then? Obviously its the opposite of perfection. So lets start with that.¬†Merriam-Webster (finally a real source) defines perfectionism as ‘a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable; especially the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness.”

Talk about a mouthful. Let me break this down into layman’s terms for you. Being a perfectionist means that anything less than the absolute best is wrong. It means you have failed. It makes you feel like everything you do means nothing unless its perfect. Harsh, I know. But it’s the truth.

Before I go in-depth about being imperfect, I feel the need to share my personal story of perfection.¬†Many of you who know me well understand my perfectionist tendencies. ¬†If you don’t, you’ll understand quickly that I strive for perfection daily and it usually gets me into trouble. (HELLO CARLY, YOU HAVE A CHARACTER FLAW!) The scary part is that I’m not sure where my need for perfection came from. My parents never pushed me to be perfect as a kid. It was always “did you try your best?” NOT “do it again until its perfect.” ¬†So why is it that so many of us aim for perfection?

I don’t think it’s a problem to aim higher, to strive for better, and to be the best at what you do. In fact, those are still my personal goals. Those goals helped me to achieve great success at a multitude of things, including playing Division I soccer, having a professional career, and many personal achievements as well. ¬†I think as I have gotten older (and I’d like to think wiser) I’ve realized that perfection and success are not one in the same. I believe that it is possible to achieve success without being perfect. But most perfectionists can not define success without achieving perfection.

I found this awesome article “9 signs you may be a perfectionist” by Elizabeth Lomabardo Ph.D. that really made me reflect on my own perfectionist tendencies. Your personal definition of perfection may be completely different from mine. Understanding what perfect means to you will help you learn to embrace your imperfections. Follow along with these 9 signs and my personal interpretation of them. Do some self-reflection and think about if these relate to you.


  1. You think in all or nothing terms РI would define this simply as being inflexible. You only see things in black and white, there are no gray areas. I think that people with analytic brains tend to do this more than people with more creatively driven brains. As I have gotten older, I hope I have trained myself to be more flexible. After all, change is the only constant in life. And as Darwin (Charles, not my Dog) has taught us, Adapt or become extinct.
  2. You think, and then act in extremes¬†– When I’m in a particularly bad mood I tend to fall into this trap. For example: ¬†“I’m already fat from all the meds I’m on, so give me all the cookies.” I totally fall off track with eating healthy and to be honest, I don’t even have that much of a sweet tooth. But when you realize that perfection is unattainable, it is easy to just go to the extreme and fall of the wagon.
  3. You can’t trust others to do a task correctly & you struggle with delegation –¬†THIS IS ME. I admit it. My family has referred to me as the “dishwasher nazi” at times. I’m semi proud of the fact that only I can correctly load my dishwasher. I guarantee I can fit more dishes than anyone else in there. But guess what, as long as the dishes are getting done and I’m not the one washing them, I need to be okay with it. This is a struggle for me. I’ve gotten better over time with delegating but there are just some tasks that I must handle myself!
  4. You have demanding standards for yourself and others – I expect everyone to put in 100% of their effort all the time because that is the expectation I have set for myself. Anything less than 100% isn’t acceptable. BUT, this is totally unrealistic. I have to remind myself that I am different from other people. I can’t expect them to do exactly as I do. Plus, their 100% and mine may just be different. My Dad, Tom, is constantly reminding me to lower my expectations of others. This may sound kind of bad, but I think it’s so important. Just because I was generous with my time and effort, doesn’t mean another can be. They could be struggling or honestly just incapable of being empathetic. It doesn’t make them any less of a person. Lowering your standard doesn’t mean changing how you act, just what you EXPECT other people to be able to do
  5. You have trouble completing projects because there is always a way to improve on what you have done –¬†This is my life as a crafter. I can’t tell you how many times I have worked for HOURS on a painted glass that should have only taken me 30 minutes. I get close to finishing it and I realize I don’t like the orientation on the glass, or how the letter “o” isn’t perfectly even. I started to remind myself that people are buying a hand painted glass. If they wanted perfection, they would buy a screen painted glass of Amazon. The benefits of hand-made gifts are that they are entirely unique and personal. Having a small flaw here and there isn’t a terrible thing! Plus, I guarantee I’m the only one that sees these “flaws.” I would never send out a glass that I didn’t think was made well.
  6. You use the word “should” a lot – UGH. GUILTY. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m kid of bossy. I catch myself doing this frequently and its honestly something I am working hard to fix. Example: My wonderful husband (who admittedly drives me insane sometimes) was cooking a meal for us recently. I watched him use a pan that was too small, so I¬†told him that he SHOULD use the other pan. He rolled his eyes. Then I told him that he SHOULD use a certain knife to cut the veggies. HOW FREAKING ANNOYING AM I?! Why can’t I just be present and grateful that Chris is cooking for me after a long day of work? It’s definitely something I have acknowledged and am working on.
  7. Your self-confidence depends on what you accomplish and how others react to you – Anyone would be crazy to say that they don’t feel a burst of pride and confidence when someone tells you that you’ve done a great job. I feel that pride when I get feedback from coaching or good reviews on my Etsy page. But I’m going to give major Kudos to good ole Barb and Tom for this one. They cultivated my self-confidence at a young age and set the foundation for me to feel good about ME. I truly don’t feel as if I need positive reinforcement in order to feel good about ME. But its taken me a lot of therapy (heck yes I go to Therapy!) and self-care to get to this point. I still have the days where I am down on my appearance, drive, or work ethic, I know how to work my way back to confident Carly. I know many people do need that validation and encouragement both in their professional and personal lives. Don’t feel ashamed by that. Instead, work on ways to make you feel good about you. [see upcoming post about using a gratitude journal]
  8. You tend to fixate on things that you have messed up – If any of my soccer girls are reading this, THIS ONE IS FOR YOU! Focus on the positives, realize and accept the negatives and move forward. Without making mistakes, we can’t learn. Athletes are notorious for this one. I remember a teammate who would score 3 goals, work insanely hard during a game and would come off the field miserable. No one could understand why because she seemed to have the “perfect” game. But in her mind, she focused on all the passes she didn’t connect, all the traps that bounced out of reach, and that one goal she SHOULD have had but missed. HELLO LADY, YOU SCORED 3 GOALS AND YOUR WORK ETHIC INSPIRED OTHERS TO WORK HARDER. Don’t forget about your mistakes, but accept them, learn from them, and move past them. Barb always says “Accentuate the positives and minimize the negatives.”
  9. You procrastinate or avoid situations in which you think you may not excel– ¬†Who wants to do something they are bad at? Answer: No one. It sucks to be the “newbie” in any situation. But if you embrace the chance to do something new, you can realize it may be fun! For example: We tried curling this past winter with a group of my Brother and Sister-in-laws friends. It was a riot, and SO MUCH FUN. And guess what, I WAS TERRIBLE at it. I figured being an athlete I would be able to figure it out quickly. Let me tell you, after falling on my face 3 times on the ice, I can tell you that those Olympic curlers are bad-@$$. Even though I was bad, I got a little better by the end of the lesson and I had a great time with friends. In fact, I think I even want to try it again next winter. Moral of the story is, you’ll never know until you try. And if you try, and suck¬†at it, try something else. Everyone is good at something!

So now you know my story about being a perfectionist and some signs to watch for in your own life. I hope you were able to reflect a bit and relate to them personally. If you couldn’t, congratulations you have reached perfection status and should move on to my next post. If you’re still here, congrats on being honest and realizing that nobody is perfect!

If nobody is perfect, then everyone is flawed. If everyone is flawed, then everyone is IMPERFECT. Just like I told you before, my mama Barb always reminds me to accentuate the positives in life. You may think that your imperfections aren’t positives, but I am here to tell you that they are. Your imperfections make you unique. Your imperfections are YOURS alone. Own them. Be PROUD of them. Recognize how they make you FEEL. WORK on them and in turn, Work on YOU! Self care is so important and most of us ignore it. One of my neighbors posted something the other day that really hit home with me. Why is it that we can go into target and drop $100 (Most likely on Magnolia decor because who doesn’t LOVE Chip & Joanna) on miscellaneous crap, but we can’t spend the time or money on taking care of ourselves? I personally think that most of the time it’s because we ignore our flaws and imperfections. We cover them up with make-up, hide our insecurities with humor, ¬†and cover our mom pouches or extra happy pounds with particular types of clothing. Why don’t we allow ourselves to be imperfect? Why can’t we embrace the reasons for those imperfections? Why can’t we change our perspective and see positives in those imperfections?

I’m a 30-year-old mama who is covered in itchy red blotches most of the time currently. I’m fair-skinned and covered in freckles in the summer time. I have acne, and stretch marks and really big thighs. I’m bossy, I like things done a certain way and I hate being alone. Sometimes I over-help people and I really need to work on my boundaries. I’m passionate and fiery and will stick up for anyone else, but myself. I talk a big game but I’m a really sensitive, empathetic person. I’m Carly, and these are some of my imperfections. I’m proud of them. My imperfections make me unique, they make me stronger, they have taught me so much about myself. Instead of running from them, I’m learning to EMBRACE them. I’m learning to cope, and I’m finding reason behind them. I’m shifting my perspective and accentuating the positive.

Here’s my positive take on my imperfections. My hives have given me purpose, they have taught me to advocate for myself and my health. My fair skin and freckles are part of my identity. I love my freckles and hate covering them up with makeup. They tell the world a story about how much I love to be in the sun and my Irish heritage. My acne is annoying but it is also manageable. My stretch marks are proud scars of a lifetime of weightlifting and motherhood. I’ve earned them! My thighs are huge, and strong, and powerful. I can carry heavy things and run 10 miles. I’ve earned those thighs. I’m bossy and like things a certain way, BUT understand that my way isn’t always best. I’m learning to let others help and learning that being the boss has its down falls and perks. Being alone is lonely but also the best time to focus on Carly. I am learning to enjoy my alone time and to use that time for self-care. I’m learning to not over-help. People need to find their own way and I need to let them. I’m proud of my passion for life, sports teams, etc. I’m fiery and spunky and it’s ok if someone else doesn’t love that part of me. I love that part of me. I’m sensitive and empathetic and I’m proud of that too. I cry a lot, I wear my heart of my sleeve and I truly care about others feelings. It’s¬†not always easy, but its worth it.

I encourage you to do this activity to help shift your own perspective. Write down your imperfections. When you’re finished you will see how much you critique and put yourself down. Go back and look at those statements and give yourself some love. Put a positive spin on your imperfections. Realize that although you may have things you want to work on about yourself, you’ve already taken a major step towards loving yourself and believing in yourself. This is how you embrace your imperfections!


So to wrap this all up, I’ll go back to answering my initial questions.

What in the world does the Honest IMPERFECTionist mean?¬†Being an Honest IMPERFECTionist simply means, that it’s ok to feel however you feel, be whoever you are and accept your journey through life.

Why did I choose that as my blog name?¬†I chose the name The Honest IMPERFECTionist because its my mantra, and it’s where I currently am and need to be in life. It’s not all sunshine and roses, its real issues, real feelings, and it’s OK!

Why does spell check keep changing imperfectionist back to perfectionist? Spell check is stupid and obviously a perfectionist. [see what I did there?]

Why did I improperly capitalize a bunch of letters? I capitalize IMPERFECT because I want to highlight the IMPERFECTions and be proud of them.

Why would anyone want to embrace their imperfections? ¬† I think the better question is why wouldn’t we? It allows us to be kinder to ourselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean lowering our standards. It means that although we are not perfect, we can still strive for greatness and success.¬†And most importantly, if we don’t immediately find that greatness or success, we can choose instead to embrace our imperfections and practice self-care and self-love.

That is¬†exactly what I want this space to do for people. Encourage self-care and self-love. I want this to be a place where you can relate to others feelings, both good and bad. I want to celebrate our differences, accentuate the positives, but also be realistic and true.¬†I want you to feel like you’re not alone in what you’re going through. So to end this, I’ll humor my husband and quote his favorite animated flick Toy Story and Randy Newman, “You’ve got a friend in me!” And I’ll open you and your imperfections with open arms.

Thanks as always for being on this journey with me!

Love,

Carly xoxo

***Tune in Friday to Read all about “My Tribe” and what the heck that means.***

my WHY

 

Simple Quotes For Starting Something New what you can do when you can t help a mentally ill parent

Well, If you’re here right now, it probably means I made you feel guilty enough to¬†check out my new blog via my sappy Instagram,¬†Facebook, or¬†SnapChat¬†post. I feel a little bit bad about that, but not really. So, Welcome!

I’m Carly! I’m a wife, stay at home Mom, goldendoodle lover, older sister, favorite daughter, aunt, friend, runner, crafter, soccer player/coach/enthusiast, football fanatic, lady golfer, green thumb in training, avid romance novel reader, crime show watcher, beer snob, whiskey & scotch lover, sweatpants wearing, type A perfectionist, self-proclaimed know it all and newly minted blogger. I think that covers most of who I am.

You may be wondering why I decided to write a blog. I know, EVERYONE has a blog now. (I considered a live journal, but do those things still even exist?) There’s a million different “how-to’s” on blogging out there, and I read a bunch. You’re supposed to consider an audience and focus on a topic in order to achieve maximum exposure. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Whatever. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here to share my insane and sometimes unbelievable life experiences in an attempt to make you feel better about your situation, whatever it is.¬†

This is my WHY. I’ve been suffering with Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria with Angioedema for about 18 years. I won’t go into the crazy details about the disease itself or my treatment plan until a later post. But long story short, I get insanely itchy hives and painful swelling all over my body, for apparently no reason, and they don’t go away. Sounds fun doesn’t it? I’ve had 4 big flares in my life (age 12, 25, 28, and 30) the last of which has been on going since August 2017. I hate sharing these pictures, but its important you see for yourself how bad it really is.

We haven’t been able to figure out a treatment plan to give me much relief this time around which is a serious challenge, both physically and mentally. The medicine has made me gain 30 pounds. I don’t like being in pictures anymore. I don’t like how I look or feel. I’ve struggled to care for our one year old daughter McKenzie, our two doodles Darwin & Chewbacca, my husband Chris and myself. The simplest tasks have become difficult. I’ve slipped into days of being depressed, defeated, and lost. I don’t feel like I’m the fun, active, social Carly anymore. I guess you could say that I’ve been in a bit of a slump. And the worst part is that my life is really great these days, aside from the stupid hives. I have so much to be thankful for, especially these four!

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We have unintentionally kept the whole thing private and struggled behind closed doors for a long time. It’s not like we didn’t tell people if they asked what was going on. It’s just that no one really asked. Most people don’t understand how bad my condition is until they see me amidst a flare where my lip is blown up like a balloon and my eyes are swollen shut. And guess what? When that happens, I lock myself inside and don’t go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything until the copious amounts of Benadryl kick in. Speaking of which, I have a superpower! Did you know I can take 2-3 tablets of Benadryl every 4 hours and still function like a normal human being? Pretty awesome, huh? [insert sarcastic laugh]

Anyways, Back to my Why. Last week, the hives were at an all time BAD. My new treatment plan backfired and I felt like the hives were taking over. Chris finally convinced me it was time to be open and honest with my friends and family. He echoed a sentiment that my acupuncturist has repeated to me time and again. I urge you to really think about this concept. It has offered me a necessary change in perspective.

Stop feeling like you are a burden. Shift your perspective. When you share your struggles, you are giving someone else the chance to help. In fact, they may NEED to help you as much as YOU NEED to be helped!

And sharing my battle with the hives was the best thing that ever happened to me. I shared my struggles and you guys answered with love, prayers, flowers, food, support and understanding. For that I am eternally grateful. I don’t think I can adequately explain what that outpouring of love and support did to shift my perspective. No longer was I depressed, defeated or lost. Instead I felt loved, encouraged, and filled with renewed purpose. #killthehives2018

That renewed purpose came from others reaching out to me about their struggles with different types of Chronic Illnesses. Their feelings and experiences made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my battle with the hives. They made me realize that if I shared my story, not just about the hives, but about all the other stuff in my life, maybe I could make someone feel the same way, understood and accepted. Because honestly, ¬†sometimes you just need to know that you’re not alone in this CRAZY, CHAOTIC life.

So that is my WHY.

This blog is my shot at paying it forward. It’s given me a renewed purpose. This site, The Honest IMPERFECTionist, is more than a blog to me. It’s my story. It’s my ever-changing and chaotic life laid out for you all to critique and hopefully love. It’s going to tell you about the greatest moments in my life and some of the most challenging. But at the end of the day, I hope it makes you feel something. I hope it turns your sadness into encouragement, your defeat into inspiration, and your insanity into laughter.

If you learn anything at all from my crazy rambling in the days to come, I hope its to embrace the chaos, accept the journey, and share the gratitude. I hope that this blog becomes even the tiniest little part of your story. YOUR crazy, chaotic journey. Thanks for being a part of mine. And for your love and support. I wouldn’t be here without it.

Love,

Carly xoxo