Monday, September 14, 2015

Confidence and Class.

This past week, a situation occurred that led me to a difficult decision.  For everything there are always two options:  you can choose to be silent or you can choose to let your voice be heard.  Unlike other times where my quiet little self got the best of me, I chose the latter.  I'd like to share a little insight about why I made this decision, some thoughts about being confident, as well describe class and confidence are connected in my life.

I won't go into full detail as to what occurred this past week other than I was involved and a young man I have never even met had done and said some things that could have really hurt me (emotionally that is).  When I had heard about this, I was actually in shock.  Sometimes it's hard to pin point one emotion because at that moment I was just overwhelmed with hate, disgust, and vulnerability.  Do you ever have to wrap your head around the fact that some people are simply mean?  I'm usually a "let's find kindness in everyone" kind of person, but truth is some people are just mean.  Or in the words of Taylor Swift, "Why you gotta be so mean?"  

This young man just so happened to be in my class, and I had to make the decision to confront or ignore his comments.  Like I said, I'm usually the type to sit quietly, but something stirred inside of me.  I just kept thinking what if he says things about other people and what if those things really do hurt them?  My emotions I can deal with, but when it comes to other people who may be made fun of unknowingly, that is when I have a problem.  So I decided to have a little chit chat with him.  Nothing too fancy, but just letting him know how I was aware of his comments.  The moment I opened my mouth, my heart started to beat a million beats per second, and I could feel my voice getting shaky.  Somehow (despite my emotions) I managed to open my mouth with class, make my point, turn around, and learn from the class I was sitting in.

Something I've always struggled with is having confidence and standing up for myself.  Ask anyone that I went to high school and they will tell you how shy and quiet I was.  I guess I always just felt that what I had to say wasn't good enough, wasn't funny enough, and didn't quite meet the high standards I set within my own head.  Just within this past year I've started discovering that my voice does matter, it does need to be heard, and it may even help someone else out too.  Confidence is one of those things that everyone struggles with.  Even my friends who are loud people admit to lacking confidence, and that's okay.  What I have to remind myself from time to time is that I am good enough.  My life may not be perfect, it may involve tears on occasion, and I may not workout as much as I wish I could, but I am still good enough.

Along with confidence comes class.  Do you ever see really confident people who just lack class?  They seem to let confidence take over everything and let whatever comes to mind out of their mouths.  I know I have struggled with finding the perfect balance between the two, and I usually tend to lean towards having more class rather than confidence.  Throughout this whole situation I have especially learned that I don't have to sacrifice my confidence with class.  There is a unique balance that helps you maintain your self worth while preserving your persona.  One of the best compliments I have ever received was being told how classy I conduct myself.  I really pride myself with keeping my head up tall and knowing when to bit my tongue, however sometimes it's okay to open your mouth even when no one has talked to you.  Rather, when someone has talked about you it's also okay to stand up for yourself.

Now, maybe I'm just writing this for myself, but I'm sure all of us have had a lack of confidence at some point or another.  That is normal and okay, but try not to let others' opinions, thoughts, and talk affect you or your confidence.  It's so easy to get caught up in what others think, but I'm slowly learning that my opinion of myself matters the most.  No matter what you wear and no matter how you do your hair, just remember that confidence is key.  If you like it, rock it.

On a completely different note, check out these new lace up flats that I just got.  They come in red, cheetah, and black found right here!  Since they are very busy and bright, I decided to tone it down a little with my outfit choice.  I opted for a simple black skirt and my favorite peter pan collar top.  The shoes definitely make the outfit a lot more fun, and I'm pretty sure they will be on repeat all week!  I hope everyone has a great week!   

Friday, September 4, 2015

First Week Back, and I May Have Cracked.

Alright, I'm back at Carroll University.  This week has been something else, and not really in a good way other than when I went to an insanely good cafe.  The majority of this week has been made up of organizing my new room, trying to get back into the swing of things (like going to class, working, and studying), and realizing how much I've really changed.  Before I left to study abroad, I was told how reverse culture shock can be just as bad as culture shock.  I just assumed it meant moving back home, however, I've really learned that it takes place moving back to school as well.  Carroll didn't tell me this part.  Maybe I just need to get into my routine again, but this week has had in me tears on multiple occasions.  Nothing is worse than feeling like you don't belong, and unfortunately I just feel like I'm an outsider on campus.

Now, I'm not saying all of this to have you think "poor Janae," but rather I feel like this has allowed me to look at the bigger picture of things.  I'm not necessarily feeling like I don't belong because of the way people are behaving, rather I guess I feel like I'm different.  To be honest I feel like I graduated and came back for fun rather than finish the two years I have left of schooling.  The change came from within me, not the campus and that is probably the hardest thing to deal with.

Back to the bigger picture of things, I can't help but think of why I am here.  I have had many options to transfer, there were different paths to take, but yet I am still here.  I have a strong belief in the idea of "everything happens for a reason," and it's probably the hardest lesson I've had to learn.  However, I do know that there are good times, there are bad times, and transition times.  So even if you are in a spot like me, just remember that there is always a bigger plan and hard times don't last forever.  I just thought everyone should be reminded of that once in awhile including myself!

Another thing I wanted to share is this super cool cafe I went to with my good friend Kenzie on our last day of Summer.  Kenzie and I both studied abroad in England last semester so it was so nice to catch up, vent, and share our common feelings towards coming back to school.  I have been to this cafe called Stone Creek Coffee one time before, but I fell in love even more this time around.  The whole place is decorated with cool prints of Milwaukee and the owners actually designed all of it!  I also may have had the BEST iced lavender latte I've had in my entire life.  If you haven't had one, you are missing out.  If you are ever in the Milwaukee area, go check it out!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!