Featured | TJ

2022 Thoughts

fam 2022

Happy New Year! I don’t usually do “resolutions” but I did start making small goals the past couple years. Growth was a word that came to me in 2022 and I thought I would apply that word to my goals for the year but little did I know at the time 2022 would be a HUGE year in growth for me. I’m about to get real real for a minute. For about the past five years I have had literally no idea who I am, which sounds weird considering my age. Most of my life I’ve been alone, focused on my career, partying, doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I had no real hobbies or plans, just packed and moved tomorrow if I wanted and I did.  After I had Nilly obviously everything changed. I have never felt like the “mom” type (whatever that was I made up in my head).  I had thrived on being able to drop anything personal to do my job, my entire identity was wrapped up in working hard, going to shows, drinking and being “fun”. I even hid my pregnancy for almost seven months and fake drank because I was so afraid of people not thinking I was fun.  Let me tell you, I yolo-ed and I LOVE my life, I have experienced so many things most people never will. After Nilly came I was just like now what? I couldn’t make myself as available as I could in the past, I MISSED her so much when I had to leave her, and the anxiety I had being responsible for a human life was out of control. Every single choice I made would now affect her life too and honestly I’m still terrified to ruin her. I remember going to a music festival and throwing up for three days because I was so anxious being away from her, drinking,  making stupid choices, worried something would happen and she’d grow up without a mom. Everyone was having so much fun around me and inside I was sick.  This continued to get worse as she got older and I found myself not enjoying the things I’ve enjoyed for over 20 years which spiraled into a depression.  Like WHY don’t I love doing these things anymore and if I don’t love them… WHAT do I love?! People kept asking me about hobbies and I didn’t have an answer, I honestly did not know what brought me joy anymore.   This continued to escalate after we moved to Nashville and I thought trying something different (mornings) would bring me joy and it did, but it was everything outside of my job that caused even more depression and anxiety.  Again, no hobbies, there were so many parties, events, and shows. I was out all the time, mostly without my husband because we didn’t have many options for babysitters. I didn’t enjoy being out without him or away from my baby. I tried too hard, I became someone I didn’t like, someone I didn’t recognize simply trying to fit into my new surroundings. I started to care and talk about things I’ve never cared about but in Nashville I desperately cared. At that point I didn’t know or recognize myself or even like this new person I was becoming and it was rough. I was so sad and I kept telling myself I had literally ZERO reasons to be sad, from the outside looking in life was amazing!   Then came covid. My anxiety went from a 20 to 100 on a scale of 10 being the worst. I obsessed about death and would physically cry from imagining funerals of people I loved. After the morning show ended in Nashville I had no idea what I wanted to do going forward. What I really wanted to do was move to a cabin in the mountains, home school, and never see another human again. Now that we are back in Minnesota, with a new home, two years into a routine, work, school, etc. I had more time in 2022 to focus on myself, make myself a priority, and figure out what it is that actually does make me happy

and so in 2022…
I learned to focus more on people who cheer for me, are open and honest, and who care about our friendship as much as I do. I gave new friendships a chance by being myself no matter how vulnerable it made me feel.

I learned to say no and to advocate for myself. I learned to stay home and it’s ok if I’m happier being at home.

I learned to stop making myself sick with stress and guilt over things I can’t control. Sometimes being a mom comes first and that’s OK too.

I got treatment for a long time eating disorder and while it will never be completely gone, I at least have the tools that help.

I got treatment for my severe anxiety and my PMDD which has been life changing.

I tried new random hobbies until I found some things that brought me joy. I do puzzles and gem painting, I took golf lessons and joined a women’s league, I’m not good BUT I do own my own clubs now and like it! Ricky got me a bike for my birthday so I plan to bike ride a lot this year.  I also bought hiking boots because I already know I love hiking. I just don’t ever do it.

I have put a lot more focus on my health, drinking WAY less alcohol, eating better and have lost 20lbs in the last two months of 2022.

I learned it’s ok to stop what I’m doing for a 5 minute dance break when my 5 year old wants to dance with me , everything else can wait, I can always go back to what I was doing.

I learned how to be a good mom in my own way and not care about what other people think of my choices, lots of different ways work for different families.

I learned to give my 5 year old more freedoms, like chewing gum and not following her around a playground LOL but also so I don’t unintentionally put my anxieties and fears onto her

I learned how to give my dog IV fluids to help save his life…WITH a needle, something I NEVER thought I’d be able to do.

I bought my DREAM pink jeep wrangler

I learned there IS such a thing as too many animals in my house.

I got two new baby nephews
Nilly got to experience Disneyland and the ocean for the first time! I learned we love traveling together as a family and we need to do it more often, seeing things through nilly’s eyes is so much fun

Took Nilly to see Justin Bieber! I learned she is officially my favorite plus one (sorry Ricky)

I’ve been practicing cute braids on nilly and super proud of the fun hairstyles we have managed to pull off!

I took Nilly to her first Country Jam festival and we had a blast! I still Jam, I just do it differently now.

We got a new puppy I’m certain is a natural therapy dog so I’m going to certify him and bring him to retirement homes and hospitals (or wherever they allow therapy dogs) when his training is completed.

I REALLY enjoy being in Omaha, we don’t visit nearly enough, even if I just go one weekend by myself. I NEED Omaha time.

I held a tarantula which turns out I’m not really afraid of spiders. Maybe I just thought I was? I mean, we ar en’t besties or anything but I didn’t die letting a tarantula crawl up my arm and hand and I’d do it again.

Anyway, I don’t know if you have made it this far…but all this to say if you feel some type of way, sadness, loneliness, frustration or even just struggle with knowing who you are. You’re not alone. I suffered in silence for so long. I never told anyone the things I was going through because I didn’t think anyone would care or even understand how I felt.  I had a lot of growth in my career as well that I’m proud of but it’s always been the personal parts of me I struggle with.  But now that I have help and support, all of the things I didn’t enjoy anymore the past five years, I enjoy again but just differently.  I’ve learned so much about myself and who I am (without hiding behind alcohol) that I can make plans and make choices that make me happy without feeling bad or guilty. You can make small changes to more happiness too!  It DOES get better even when it feels like it never will.  I saw four words in one of those “the first 4 words you see will describe 2023” things and they couldn’t be more perfect. So cheers to 2023 and the strength, selfcare, family and breakthroughs that are coming!