It doesn't have to be a new year to start resolutions; there is no time like the present to start working to improve your life and yourself.

There's no need to wait because the truth is, change is hard. Change is REALLY hard. And it's a process. It's not something that I can just flip a switch and say, done! That was easy. It's waking up day after day and remembering what it is that you want and working for it.

So I'm starting today and for now I'll just write them down in as many places as I can, so that I can hope to remember what it is that I'm working for.
 - Be more brave than fearful
 - Read more books
 - Go outside!
 - Take more walks
 - Help others more
 - Listen better
 - Love more deeply
 - Learn new skills and things! Seriously, invest in yourself.

There might be individual posts on some of those later, but for now, that's what I'm working on. Because life is what you make it, and oh, how I hope to make mine more and more beautiful.

Don't be sorry

Stop being sorry, stop apologizing; you have no reason to be sorry for simply occupying space. You don't have to apologize for learning as you go, after all, aren't we all?

And you certainly don't have to apologize for being yourself, because that's the greatest gift you could ever give the world.

You are a work in progress - don't let anyone make you feel like a failure. You are not finished. You are just beginning and there's no shame in that.

You can only live up to your true potential when you've stopped apologizing for what you're not. Because if we counted all the things we're not, we could go on forever and ever, but that doesn't make the world a better place and that doesn't make you a better person.

So, I want to remind you that what YOU are is far more important than what you're not. You are loved, you are wanted, and you are needed in this world, don't you ever forget that.

Digging deeper

I am always thinking. Always busy. And truth be told I don't know how not to be.

I'm twenty-four and filling my life with worthy things like working full-time, studying for certifications, actively pursuing God, looking at furthering my education, serving as a regional coordinator for my sorority. And that list isn't to brag, it's to illustrate what I signed myself up for, and what, often times, makes me feel overwhelmed.

I've put myself in a position where people have such high expectations of me that I'm constantly trying to meet, and it's hard. Even their praise makes me feel like I'm not doing good enough, because I know I can do more, but I'm just not. I feel the pressure to live up to (and beyond) their expectations. It's never enough and I can't stop. I can't let any of it go.

And I know that if I did, I'd fill it with other things, instead of using it as time for myself. I'd find a way to still burn the candle at both ends.

But why?

Because it's what I do best. It's how I avoid the things I don't want to think about, the things that scare me, the things that terrify me. It's easier to be busy than to face some of those things. It's easier to fill my life with tasks than to dig deeper and find purpose.

And that needs to stop. I need to stop. Because I want more than what I have. I want to dive deeper into life, I need to. The things I want can't be found on the surface.

I need time for myself. Time to run, time to read, time to write, time to be outside, time to breathe, time to ponder, time to face the scary things, time to reconnect, time to make more meaningful relationships, time to become who I am meant to be.

So here's to making time for me, making time for things that matter, and being less busy.

Dear mom, you're the best

My mom is the one of the most amazing humans I know (I mean she is planning a family service activity for her birthday, come on people). Not in the “she’s like totally my best friend and does everything with me” type of way that a lot of girls talk about. I mean in the truest sense, she is amazing. Like, let’s say in my last job interview, I started talking about her and started crying. Yes, crying. In an interview. Tears. SOBBING and finally choking out the words “she’s the best”.

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know where to end. And if I’m being truthful, I’ve been trying to write this post for the past two years, but nothing does my mom justice, nothing, but here goes nothing.

She gave up so much for me and my sister to have what we have today, to be where we are today. She was a single mom with two kids, still going to school to get her Bachelor’s degree. She didn’t have much, but she had a family who loved her and two daughters who needed her. So she found a way to make it work, and I watched her graduate from the University of Washington when I was 7 years old. And she continued to work hard and push herself further so that she could support our small little family of three.

I didn’t know it then, but we weren’t the richest.

I remember eating hamburger helper for dinner (and loving it). I remember getting everything I wanted for my birthdays, well, except Barbies because according to momma Reyes those were not acceptable role models/examples for young girls. I remember laughing my head off while she wrapped my sister and me in towels like little lumpias (look it up).

We didn’t have much, but we had each other and we had our family. I don’t look back and remember being poor (I mean, come on, I had all the Lisa Frank school supplies I wanted AND Crayola crayons), I look back and see that I had everything I needed and most of what I wanted.

She has conquered so much. She has overcome so much, and I could not be more proud of the person she is and how far she has come. I can’t get over how much she continues to strive to grow and become better than who she was before. How she is always serving those around her and making sure that others are provided for.

Looking back, it honestly breaks my heart to see some of the things she sacrificed for us. It breaks my heart to look back at how difficult and unappreciative I was of her when I was like 14-18 (SORRY MOM). Because she has done nothing but put me and my sister first our whole lives. Like when she shut down her catering business because we needed more, even though it was her passion. Like how she’d make sure we had rides to everything and that she made it to as many as our games as she could, even if she was a little late.

Looking back, I can see how extremely blessed I was (and still am) to be her daughter.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I’m becoming more and more like my mother and that has made me think more about how that makes me feel. If you asked me 10 years ago, I would’ve been mortified, trust me. But now, I couldn’t be more proud to be even a smidgen of the woman she is.

And I guess, I’m writing this because I am so overwhelmed with gratitude for everything that she has done for me and everything she is. For the example that she has set for me, for showing me that hard work and dedication can take you to places you never expected. For making time for the things that mattered.

So here’s to you mom, thanks for being the best. Thanks for loving me even when I’m a poop. Thanks for putting things in perspective for me when I’m being overly dramatic and freaking out. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for going to my 6th grade field trip to the sewage plant and not being too mad when we went to the Seahawks stadium the next week and you couldn’t get the time off again to go to that one (oops, my bad!).

Thanks for being you and thanks for making me, me. I love you more than I ever tell you.

xoxo - Tater

Happiness is not a luxury

I woke up this morning way too early. Way way too early.

And instead of doing the usual, turning on netflix to mindless shows or movies (nothing wrong with that), I read. I read books that I started forever ago. I read/listened to inspirational talks. I wrote things in the good old Moleskine.

Sometimes I forget how much I love reading. And when I say forget, I mean, I put it on the back burner with all the other things "I just don't have time for". It's a bad habit. Truly it is.


Because reading makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. And if it makes me happy, I SHOULD FREAKING DO IT.

I think we forget a lot of the time, that happiness is essential to our being. It shouldn't be a luxury. It shouldn't be something that we partake in when it's convenient.

Make time for happiness, make time for what makes you feel alive. You'll find that you are better because of it. That maybe, taking that time to read (or whatever it is that makes you feel alive) in your day, might make you a happier more pleasant person.

Having that "you" time, whatever it may be, is essential to being the best version of you.

Trust me: doing what makes you happy allows you to show up as your authentic self, rather than that strung out, overburdened, too busy, uptight, stress coming out of your eyeballs, scary person that kind of freaks people out. Take time to recharge, you (and probably everyone around you) will be thankful.

If you "just don't have time" for the little things that make you happy, you're doing it wrong. Don't get hung up on that though, because guess what, you can start today!

glorification of busy

We're all busy and most of us are too busy.

At some point in time, being "too busy" changed from being something that was undesirable to something that is the goal. And I am here to tell you (and myself) to quit it. 

Seriously, please stop. Stop glorifying being busy.

Being busy has become some type of badge of honor that we wear on our chests with pride. "Oh, sorry I can't - I have X and Y and Z". We LOVE(hate) being busy because for some reason it makes us feel important and inflates our sense of worth. 

But there is no glory in being too busy to do the things that make us happy. There is no joy in being too busy to do the things that we love to do. Being busy isn't always a good thing.

Let me say that again, being busy isn't always a good thing.

Make time to do the things that make you feel alive. Make time to see the people who remind you that you are loved and worthy. Make time to read and write if that's your thing. Or adventure into the outdoors. Whatever it is that you love to do, make time for that. Make time for the things that make your soul sing.

Stop killing yourself for things that you don't actually care about. Be intentional with your time and how you spend it. Because you've got this life to put your passion to work, don't waste it doing things because you think you need to be doing them (except like taxes and paying bills, definitely do that).

That thing that makes you happy, that thing that makes you feel good about yourself, that thing that makes you feel alive, go and do that.

Time flies

Wow. Is it mid-March already?!

Am I the only one who thinks this year has been flying by? I swear, just yesterday it was the summer, or Christmas, or anything that is not 2015.

In all the chaos that is 2015 and my life, I've learned lots and lots of things. For example, enjoy the small little things, like having your friends come over and eat rolls and chat about life, or someone bringing you sour straws, or somebody saying a few nice words to you in passing.

All of it, soak it all up! Stop waiting for grandiose things to happen for you to be happy, because you know, you can be happy, right here, right now, if you want to.

Recognizing the little things, it makes life that much better. Live intentionally and live happy.

So here's to doing so much more of what I love, with the people I love, and learning along the way! Hopefully more blog posts about life, things I like, things I love, and things I've learned.

Love you all, love you always.



Blogger's Block

Recently, I've been beating myself up about not blogging and not writing. Because I should be doing it, it makes me happy, why can't I think of what to post. And it's not that I don't have ideas. It's not that I don't have things to say. And really, it's not like I haven't been blogging.

I've been blogging, but not online. What I mean by this is I have ideas, I write them down in my beloved moleskine notebook, and then later on I share them with my friends. We talk about what I wrote down, what I was feeling at that time and what their opinion is.

I write for that connection, for the discussion. Not necessarily for the likes or the views. Because I don't care about those things, what I care about is my ideas and the discussion that comes from what I think and feel and believe.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still be blogging and working on making my blog super awesome to look at (aka getting back into my inner coding nerd).

Basically I'm Slim Shady, but not really... at all

I had a breakthrough, about this whole NOT writing thing that' I've been doing recently. Clarification: I had a breakthrough on Saturday morning, at 6:30 in the morning, after which I danced around the room singing "guess who's back... back again... Lauren's back... tell a friend... guess who's back guess who's back guess who's back"

But then I stopped and laughed because it was ridiculous. Both the dancing, but also the fact that afterwards I just kept thinking TWO TRAILER PARK GIRLS GO ROUND THE OUTSIDE ROUND THE OUTSIDE ROUND THE OUTSIDE.

Totally not descriptive of my breakthrough. At all.

More to come and I'm super excited to be feelin' this whole blogging and writing things after feeling so meh these past couple of months.

Check back later this week, it'll be some good stuff.

Blogger's block

What am I doing sitting at my computer screen right now?

It's been a while since I've blogged, but this time it's different. This time, it's not because I don't have the time or that I don't have anything to say or anything to share. It's none of those. It's like a writer's block exclusive to my blog, because right now, if I'm being honest, I don't know what I'm doing here.

I've got tons of things to say, I've got tons of things to write. Moleskine journals filled with words and thoughts and ideas, but for some reason, none of them translate to the blog. None.

It's a weird feeling. Not knowing why I can't write. It's that inbetween I was talking about in a post before this.

I want my blog to be more than it is. I have a need to create, to make it better. More than just words, but a feeling. Which sounds stupid. It looks stupid when I type it. But it's true.

So I'm (re)learning my coding and HTML and photoshop and figuring out how to do it on my own. I'm excited to learn, I'm happy to do this, to create things, which is what I feel like I'm supposed to be doing right now.

This makes no sense. Babbling, but it's okay.

The point is: I'm taking it slow, I'm figuring things out, and it who knows when I'll post again. It might be tomorrow or next week or next month or next year even - the point is I can't force myself to type things I don't feel.

So until then, I love you all.