STRIPPED with an Open Heart

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 
I’ve been wanting to strip things down and write this post for a long time but there just never seemed to be the right time.  With a new year beginning I felt that the start of 2018 would be the perfect time to share a few things that have been on my mind with those of you that have been following along for a while.
If I’m being honest, there is so much to say yet I’m not sure how to put it all in words that make total sense.  So many times, I’ve ran through whether or not this post would matter to anyone but me and I’ve ran through my approach to this post so many times in my head.  I’m sharing because it has been on my heart to share and I won’t be able to be at peace until I put my thoughts down here.
Let me start by saying, 2017 was an incredible year for me personally and for my brand, it was the BEST year that I’ve had so far.  I’ve felt encouraged and excited about my accomplishments with KBStyled and I’m truly looking forward to a great 2018.
As I reflect on 2017, even though it was a great year overall, I struggled internally with a lot of things.
You know the saying, “the struggle is real”…the struggle was very real for me last year.
The constant feeling of being pulled in so many different directions wore me down and often times left me feeling empty, unhappy, and even depressed at times.  I was constantly chasing things, trying to keep up or win the race, all the while leaving my own self in the dust.
Life left me feeling exhausted and much like a hollow being that could be blown away with the wind.  Dramatic, right?  Just being honest.
Often times I experienced major Mom guilt…I never felt like I was playing enough, paying enough attention to Reins & Addison, giving them enough of me, being patient enough, disconnecting enough, being “present” enough.  Although they reassured me through their unconditional love that I was, often times I felt less worthy of their unconditional love.  I just wasn’t a good enough Mom.
I felt myself pulling away from many people in my life…becoming bitter and allowing myself to be hurt by the words and actions of others.  Instead of forgiving, I harbored my negative feelings and held onto them.  More time was spent focusing on the wrongs instead of the rights.  I internalized a lot last year and allowed much of the negative to take over all of the positive.  I found it more difficult to maintain my normal positive outlook on life.  Not a good place to be in.  
Sharing my personal style in hopes of inspiring all of you is a true passion of mine but there were many times where I sat down to write a style post and it left me feeling empty.  Style is how KBStyled started and it is a big part of who I am but it isn’t the only part…there is so much more to me that I plan to share going into 2018.  Instead of feeling empty and uninspired, I am feeling more excited about KBStyled than ever.  When someone tells you that everything seems to be “all about you” it makes you pause for a long moment and reevaluate what you are doing.
Much of last year was spent comparing myself to others.  Allowing my self doubt and insecurities take over and maintain a tight grip on me.  I was never good enough.  Everything needed to be perfect yet it wasn’t perfect.  The more I compared, the unhappier I became.  I felt like I needed to be someone else…change my personality…be someone who I thought others wanted me to be.  
I abandoned God…not my faith but I just didn’t maintain a close relationship with God last year.  There were major strongholds that I just couldn’t let go…feelings & thoughts that I just couldn’t kick.  So many wrong things had a hold of me and I was weak…I wasn’t the strong resilient person that I have always been.
All this to say that I am at a point of recognition…I’ve been here for a while now and it feels so good to be open about it.  Happiness and peace with ones self comes from within and we (me & YOU) are the only ones who can truly focus on what makes us happy and content.
Going forward…
There is so much that I want to accomplish in 2018…so much that I want to focus on & be better at.  It starts with becoming a happier more content me.
I don’t necessarily make resolutions but I have many things in mind that I want to concentrate on.  I’m working on loving myself more and treating myself more kindly.  Letting go of negative feelings towards others and feelings of bitterness.  Being more kind even when I may not get that in return.  Being more present with my family and always remembering what’s most important in life.  Reestablishing a close relationship with God.
My work here will be more intentional and more meaningful…I’m excited to see things continue to evolve here on KBStyled and I’m so honored that you will be a part of it.
If you are feeling much like I have been feeling or you have been there before, I hope you all know that you aren’t alone and that it is completely normal to experience these feelings.  We learn, we grow, and hopefully become a much better “self” on the other side.
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey…I’m thankful for each and every one of you!  I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2018.  
Cheers to a great year ahead my friends!