Love Yourself. It's The Greatest Middle Finger Of All Time
“Rewinding is not possible, but do-overs are. Sometimes you get another chance to do something right the second time around.” - Unknown
The last year has been an interesting one for me to say the least, and not the best. From heartbreak to some hate messages, it’s been a tough go. Yes, I have had a couple Friday nights where I have sat curled up on the couch with a few tears running down my face. Everyone has those moments. We get through them though. I also had a lot of time to reflect on things I did or caused, and where I could of been a better person. I fully own up to a few situations I should of handled differently earlier this year, and although I don’t regret them — I do make sure I learn from them. A couple weeks ago, I had a moment where I truly realized to myself: “You know what? I don’t have a good day every single day and I’m not perfect, and at times I am probably hard to handle, but I am proud of myself. I stuck it out. I made so many changes and improvements to better myself in the last couple of months, and I didn’t do it for anyone but me. Finally, it’s all starting to pay off and things are falling back into place. I love who I am and where I am at.”
Sometimes you just need to take some time to work on yourself. Take full advantage of every second chance you get in life, including taking a few more risks and going out of your comfort zone. When you are busy improving, loving and focusing on yourself, and taking chances -- everything else around you will seem to start to fall back into place when you least expect it in one way or another. Make a list of things to do for yourself. Write it in a place where you can read it everyday. You don’t need to do a lot to make big changes, because sometimes the littlest things make create the biggest smiles.
Learn to cook a few new meals. Your future husband won’t be able to eat Oreos for 3 meals a day.
Book those flights to hunt this fall with no excuses. It will force you to be able to pull back 40lbs in draw weight on your bow and finally live one of your biggest dreams.
Start doing push-ups at home. It’s a start, even if it means putting M&M's on the floor and eating one every time you move downward.
Give it 110% at work everyday, but leave work at work.
When you are out on the river, fish every inch of every single run top to bottom and go hard, even if you are tired and just want to go home. Push yourself. The longer your line is in the water, the more of a chance you have to hook into something.
Tie at least one new fly a week.
Face your fear of driving downtown Vancouver. You will cry the entire drive but you got this.
Dye your hair & give yourself a fresh makeover.
Dress up nice & put on your makeup, even if you’re just going to the grocery store. You never know who you are going to run into at the least expected times. (You might bump into Sam Hunt in the cereal isle of Safeway one day Jesse, you never know!)
Make at least one other person smile or laugh EVERY day. Even if it’s just one little joke or one little funny story you tell — the littlest smile can make and change someone's entire day.
Make new friends. And by friends, I don't mean the neighbourhood cats all coming over for free treats.
Go on dates and stop assuming every guy on Tinder is the next Robert Picton. No, they aren't going to chop you up and feed you to their pigs. If anything you are probably scarier than they are. I don't know many people shooting arrows through their house on the regular.
Go the extra mile to appreciate your fishing buddies. They have always had your back both on and off the water. Love them like they are your family because good fishing buddies are hard to find.
Keep in touch with your best friends from your childhood. Those friendships are one-of-a-kind.
Be the bigger person and apologize to people, even if you gain nothing from it.
Let the haters hate. Ignore any harassment online and just smile about it because really, if they hate you but yet seem to still watch everything that you do, they are fans. I love fans!
Don’t ever sit and compare yourself to someone you were cheated on with or “left for”. Confidence isn’t walking into a room and comparing yourself to others; confidence is walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone else in the first place. Seriously. You are a total babe, a river goddess with a spey rod, a wild queen with a bow, and truely once-in-a-life-time. Don't sweat it honey because you play on an entirely different league.
Let go of the people who broke pinky promises, dreams & your heart. You kept every promise, every dream and had the biggest heart — and they didn’t. That is their lies, their mistake and their loss. Stay humble.
Stop chasing boys who don’t make time for you, or who make you an option. If they want you, they’ll make just as much of an effort as you do. (It takes TWO SECONDS to text someone to say “Hey beautiful. Hope you have a good day today.” Remember that!) If not, move on to someone else who will appreciate you & everything you are. Everyone deserves someone who is crazy-stupid-in-love with them. It might not be right now, but someone will feel that way about you one day, I promise.
Don’t let go of anyone who has been a #1 fan of you since they met you, and would do anything for you. Those type of people are rare, whether its a boyfriend, a best friend or your Mom.
Finally, but most importantly, don’t forget where you came from. You will always be that little, sassy “The Paulsenator”, growing up with neighbours who you love you like their own kid, with childhood best friends who kept every secret safe, and with parents who never doubted any dream you ever had. Always remain that small-town sweetheart no matter where life takes you.
That is my list of things that I have proudly completed in the last couple of months, and continuing to do. I also have some bigger things that are still in progress, and I will continue to pursue them. It hasn’t been all peaches and cream by any means, but I have proved a lot to myself by doing all of those things for no one but me, and working on myself. If anyone can gain anything from reading this all, I hope it’s: Sh*t happens to the best of us but you get second chances and do-overs to prove you can do better the second time around. Plus, know that some people will never better themselves. They will never step out of their comfort zone or take a risk to jump with both eyes closed. Instead, they will always crawl back to & stay where they are used to. They’ll always limit themselves when they know they could have, be and do so much better. And that’s ok, but those are the type of people who let their comfort zones hold them back from something greater. I’d rather be the type of person to always take that jump with no fear, and who never takes a second chance for granted if my first leap of faith didn’t go as planned. At least I never let anyone or anything hold me back.
Tight lines + stay wild, oxo.