As much as I wish I meant island time in the sense of I’m off in the Caribbean with my toes in the sand without a care in the world, I’m talking more figuratively here.

I’ll let you have a moment to get over the sadness that we aren’t in the Caribbean together and then we can move on. Sigh.

Better?

Ok, now I’m talking about a different kind of island time. At least that is what I’ve coined it in my life.

It seems I have certain periods in life where I am supposed to be alone, fighting my battles all by myself. I bet if you think back in your life, certain periods of time will stick out where you felt like a one person army, moreso than most other tough times in life.

Sure, you may have had people around, even those who loved you and wanted to help. But no matter who was there and what they were willing to do, they couldn’t fight your battles. They couldn’t help.

This was your moment to singularly look at your battle and charge into it.

That is what I call my island time. Maybe because I picture myself, castaway style, really being on an island. My island and my problem, duking it out right there.

I’m stuck on this island with my problem and the only way to get saved is to fight the problem and to win.

There’s no one to bail me out, send me a boat, or slay my demons. It’s just me, myself, and I. Well, I also truly, deeply believe that God is there with me, as my ultimate support, getting me through this hard time. That’s just what I think.

So this island time seems to pop up once in a while in my life.

I’ve come to notice it now and realize what it is. It’s not a long term thing (mainly because I don’t stop fighting until I defeat my problem). I know it’s there for a reason.

My island time is there for me to really grow as a person. Grow all on my own. No outside influence, no allowance for slacking. This is the time that really makes me Megan. That builds my character, develops my strength, and takes me to the next level of living this life. I come off the island another version of myself. I come off the island almost a new woman. Someone I believe in and trust in even more so. I’ve proven to myself that I’m stronger than I think. That I really can overcome anything. That happiness and peace really are attainable again. That the fight is worth it every time.

I’ve come to accept these island times and recognize them for the growing times that are essential in my life. I’m working on embracing them, but these island times are also the hardest times of my life, so that one is a little tougher.

But at the end of it, they are so good.

Try not to shy away from these island times. Recognize your island time, understand it for what it is, and then get on in there and dig into the hard stuff.

You may need to sunbath on the beach at times to build your stamina back up, and that’s totally fine, but never, never, never give up until you win that battle. Once you sail away from that island triumphant, you almost won’t recognize the even more amazing person you are. You will then be able to (mostly) look back at that island and appreciate your time there. You will be thankful for the test because of the strength you gained.

So when your next island comes up again, you will know that even in its most daunting times, you will come out victorious in the end.

Ya mon. It’s da truth.

  • Candy Walsh

    That’s a vey good analogy Megan and since I absolutely love the beach and traveling there is not much of an option for me anymore, this is a great way to look at things. And tho I try my hardest to be as optimistic as possible, I have several health issues that required me to take disability retirement at an early age. So I imagine I would need my own private island where I could pray, relax and just yell at nothing if I wanted to, lol.
    And then have my cabana boy bring me a nice frozen drink every now and then, lol. And I don’t even drink anymore~haha!
    Thank you for putting this image in my mind, love it!ReplyCancel

    • Hi Candy! Thank you so much for the comment! I am so glad that you found the island/beach analogy! It was fun to dream about while I was writing it. Also, I love the sound of your island!! 🙂ReplyCancel

What is it about moving that makes me all nostalgic and think-y and reflective? Ok, some of those things are how I feel a lot in general, but I can’t tell you how often in March, leading up to my move, I just stood in a room of my apartment gazing at the half packed boxes, bare walls, and packing tape and just thought. And I thought hard.

I thought about the person I had become in the past year and a half in that apartment. Of the tears, the triumphs, the moments, the laughs, the dance parties, the people, the loneliness…just every single moment of my life. It is just normal life stuff we all go through but it was my life stuff. It wasn’t always easy or fun but it sure was meaningful, every second of it…and some of it was darn fun too. I just got so grateful and my heart just seemed to overflow with thoughts of goodness when I looked around at the comfort those walls provided me.

I didn’t move far, and I didn’t move to an unfamiliar place, but it still feels substantial to me. A new, fresh start. From a quiet apartment complex in the trees to the concrete sidewalks of the city, with festivals and restaurants around every corner. It’s the perfect move at the perfect time. But still…memories.

Ok, enough mumbo jumbo jabber as I reflect on the past season of my life. I thought it was important to capture what my apartment was looking like before I started packing. This isn’t staged, it is just how it was pretty much every time I would walk into my apartment at the end of the day. My final apartment tour…also, I took these pictures at dusk. Seems appropriate right?

The Living Room/Dining Room/Kitchen

This room was pretty much finished. I didn’t have anything else I was really wanting to do. It was done!

The Studio

This room was a fun, colorful catch-all room. It is where I did my Stitch Fix photo shoots, stored all my craft supplies, and had guests sleep. It got the best sun light of all the rooms and just overall made me happy. It was pretty much done! It was pretty and purposeful, and I was good with it just the way it was.

The Bathroom

The bathroom was pretty much done too. It was a small space and there wasn’t too much I could do. I hung some artwork and organized the nook area and boom! Pretty, functional bathroom.

The Bedroom

The bedroom is definitely where there was work to be done. I had a few items to add to it but then I decided to move, and I decided against putting holes in the wall for pictures and curtains. Also, the furniture was a little hodge podge. I could have made it look a little more cohesive. But overall it was a happy room for me with the bright morning sun and colorful duvet cover.

The Hallway

Soooo not technically a room but I never really showed you the hallway before. I put up some artwork here that you’ve never seen…and that’s about it!

The Laundry Room

The grand ole laundry room, right?! Haha! It was a good room that held a lot. Plus, I put my first target on the wall from my first time shooting a gun. Why is it that I find shooting a gun so much fun? Anyways….

Well, there it is, my final first apartment tour. Immediately after those pictures were taken I started listing SO many things for sale (Facebook yard sale groups and Craigslist) and sold most of my large furniture and so many other things. It was a process but it made moving and downsizing into 541 square feet so much easier!

I’m settling into my new place now and LOVE IT SO MUCH! Once I get my act together I will share pictures!!

No is probably the most powerful word in the English language. It is much more weighty than yes. Yet, or maybe because of that, it is so much harder to say.

It takes so much courage and strength to say no, but the power and might it carries behind it is magnanimous.

Sometimes you have to say no over and over again. Sometimes it is the hardest word to say because of the consequences behind it. Each time you say it, it gets more powerful. You get stronger. You believe in yourself more.

Don’t be afraid to say no.

Sometimes you need help to say no. You need to turn to your support system to give you the extra push to say no. But you can do it.

Start small if you need to. No comes from the core of you, the heart of you, the most honest part of you. That’s why it can be so hard to say. It is the vulnerable part of you standing up for yourself. It is you standing up for what you believe.

Sometimes you say no and you have to immediately excuse yourself to completely break down where no one can see you. After the breakdown you realize it was the best for you. You did the right thing. You are stronger than you think.

Congratulate yourself every time you say no. Recognize the courage and strength within you that allowed you to say no. Celebrate the no-power you just used. Your no was actually a yes to you – an acknowledgement of who you are and what you stand for.

Did you know that Mother’s Day is right around the corner? I hope so! But it can also sneak up on you too! We are definitely entering birthday and family holiday season in my family so it’s time to start buckling down and planning all the wonderful gift giving.

One of the things that my family and I love to do is exchange cards/handwritten notes for most anything. Thinking of you cards, thank you cards, congratulations cards, just because cards. We are big at putting a pen to paper and sending cards snail mail style. There’s a reason it’s called happy mail, right?!

So I thought it would be extra special to take my mom and sister’s stationary game up a notch: through personalized stationary from Minted. I thought it would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift for both of them (my sister is a stepmom so it’s appropriate for her too).

I had so much fun and agony while sorting through all the options. Fun because, duh, they are all so beautiful and unique. Agony because I loved so so so many of them and wanted to order them all.

I was finally able to narrow it down to one each, and then got to personalizing them with their name, font, corner shape, paper choice, etc.

When I saw this floral print I knew it would be perfect for my sister. She is all about the rose colored anything and this seemed elegant and simple, just like her.

For mom, well I went a little crazier for her stationary. I knew she would appreciate the pink, and I just had to throw in the metallic flair for her. She has always encouraged my love of all things sparkly and glittery, so I knew she could handle the gold foil.

I also had the back printed the same print as the front. I thought it really added an extra beautiful oomph to the card.

Also, if I were a mom I would have gifted this set to myself.

I ADORE that blue marble and the gold foil. Sigh. Still might order it for myself. Because it’s that good.

There are SO many other choices over on Minted that would make great Mother’s Day gifts (or any other day gift)! Do you have any favorites?

This post was created in conjunction with Minted but all opinions are my own!

  • Minted has beautiful stationary that makes perfect gifts. I know that I’d be thrilled to receive these cards.ReplyCancel

  • Hillary

    Three gorgeous choices for three gorgeous women! (I totally think you should get the blue marble because it’s so YOU!) Thanks for this gift suggestion, too– always helpful to get inspiration from a trusted source :).ReplyCancel

    • Aw thank you so much!! And if you like them you should pass them on for Mother’s Day gift ideas for you, new momma! 🙂 🙂ReplyCancel

I think I am a holder-on. I blame it on being the eternal optimistic and always seeing the good and the potential in people. I strongly believe in people and know they are amazing in their own way.

Sometimes, people hurt me or wrong me. Because of always wanting to see the best in people and always wanting to help them find their way, I want to love, nurture, and help them, even if they’ve wronged me.

I think this also makes me attach to people strongly and fiercely. When I love, I love with all my heart and hold nothing back. I want to do everything I can for you to help you find joy, peace, and happiness. I see the best in you and want you to see that for yourself. I just do it all fiercely.

Any of this sound familiar to you?

If so, you may have also found that having this deep faith in people makes you have a hard time of letting go. You want to be there with them in the rest of the journey, to help them succeed.

It is time for me to realize that the people of the past are just that – the past.

Yes, take all the lessons you learned from them. Take the good memories. Take the experiences. Take the changes. Take the love.

Then leave them. They are gone from your life. They were important – and now they are not.

You may be holding on to the idea of them – that idealized thought in your head when everything was perfect. Or the future idea of what could have been.

But they are your past.

Holding on to these ideals obstructs your moment and your future. It stops you from realizing all that you have now and opening your eyes as to what is in front of you.

Give up the illusions and ideals of the past and be present. Give all the thought, attention, and love to the people in the present. They can actually receive all the good you have to share.

I know it’s hard, but work with me here, as together we break the hold of the people of our past and give ourselves completely to the present.

  • Candy Walsh

    Thanks for this Megan,
    Your article described me and my life these past few years as if you knew my story. I am one who is a nurturer and puts myself out there and always wears my heart on my sleeve, but I have learned the very hard way that some people can be toxic and you do have to rid yourself of that to be able to move on.
    But….God is so good and I am blessed with a husband, two great kids and my very first grandchild three months ago.
    I hope others read your article and realize that holding on to people that aren’t good in your life stop you from seeing the things that are good and beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • Ohh Candy, sending you so much love!!! I am so glad that the article spoke to you! I’m so happy for the wonderful life you have!ReplyCancel

  • What a great post, Megan! This was one of those hard “after I turned 25” lessons I learned. This is so hard — especially when you’ve known someone for a long time — but it really does help you find peace of mind and happiness.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much! It is hard but it does eventually help. 🙂ReplyCancel