When Love Is A Gamble, Bet On Yourself First πŸ’—

There’s something about the entertainment industry that really excites me. Even when I was a kid, music and performing held a special place in my heart because it felt promising. I used to tell everyone I wanted to be a singer when I grew up and on some days, even as an adult, that’s still true. I ran around my best friend’s yard singing Jonas Brothers songs and I used to point to every passing plane wondering if Joe Jonas was on it while we swam in her pool. I’m not kidding. I was a Disney Channel loser but I loved every second of it.

As you can probably tell, my “heroes” were all popular performers when I was a kid. Some got their start on Disney Channel, others in Nashville. But the idea was the same: they made it. I practiced saying “Hi, my name is Shawna and you’re watching Disney Channel” more times than I’d like to admit and spent many summers watching Hannah Montana on my grandma’s floor.

I’m not sure if this ran nationally but I remember sitting by the radio ALL DAY one summer to hear a 30-second ad about Disney Channel auditions. Part of me was beyond excited but the skeptical part of me figured it was a scam. You can probably tell which part of me won that war. Hi, my name is Shawna and you are DEFINITELY NOT watching Disney Channel. You are watching me grow up to get a college education and work in an office for a living. Cheers!

Anyway, I’m telling you this because I wanted to write about something Demi Lovato mentions in her documentary called Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated that has shaped how I view love. If you’re unfamiliar, this Youtube Originals documentary first aired in 2017 and gives a raw look at Demi’s experience with fame. When I watched early last year, I was wowed by Demi’s story and her resilience. Despite her struggle, it renewed my love for music and performing. Her personal triumph reminded me that we are not alone with our challenges, even when our lives look different, and we are also stronger than what we give ourselves credit for.

Continue reading “When Love Is A Gamble, Bet On Yourself First πŸ’—”
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NO EXCUSES

So much of this year has been about getting back on track with taking care of myself and fostering my interests. Although college can be a time of great growth, it can also become totally overwhelming and pull one’s attention away from other important areas in life. Looking back on my experience in college, I can see how I neglected to build a solid foundation of self-love and care I could return to in times of stress. I put taking care of and appreciating myself last so I could get ahead, giving into the demands of constant worry and fear. The result is something I am still cleaning up to this day.

When I graduated in May, I thought it would be easy to get on top of these things. I would have more time for myself and I could finally pursue what’s truly important to me. However, life quickly challenged that notion, introducing me to the reality of the working world and adulthood. Although I half expected this to happen, I was still surprised and annoyed when it did. I guess I figured wishful thinking and denial could postpone adulthood while I got my sh*t together. But life continued to get busier and I kept making excuses to justify why I was waiting until after the stress ended to be happy and healthy. Continue reading “NO EXCUSES”

Self-Care

A huge focus of mine right now is self-care. I try to spend as much time as I can after work caring for myself and making life a little easier on me. It has been such a relief to have at least a little more free time again, after 4+ years of go, go go in college. Although the demands and frustrations of everyday life still overwhelm me, I finally feel like I have the time and energy to take care of myself and focus on what’s truly important to me (hint, hint: music 😊).

This month, I found out that I have celiac disease which, for those of you who don’t know, is an autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the intestines and digestive system. When a person with celiac ingests gluten, their body signals an immune response that damages the small intestine leading to a menagerie of digestive complications and other reactions. After almost two years of struggling silently with, what I thought at the time were perplexing symptoms, I finally found the answers and relief I was looking for. For several months, I was hiding pain that I continued fueling unknowingly with the food I ate. I was pretty shocked to find out that celiac was the problem, as I never had problems with gluten in my childhood. But by the end of it, I was more relieved to come out with a game plan to resolve the issue and hope in the forecast. Needless to say, self-care has taken on a whole new meaning for me, casting great emphasis on my diet and eating pain free food as my life progresses. Continue reading “Self-Care”