Best Friends For Life

With my social anxiety, it’s hard for me to actually feel confident in any friendship I have. I’m constantly wondering if that person still likes me, why they like me, what I need to do to keep their approval and love. I think eventually that ruins all of my friendships. People eventually get tired of dealing with my mental issues and constant reassurance needs. I am thoroughly convinced that I am too much to handle and nobody wants to be my friend. And that honestly really brings me down. I see all of theses people post about these really awesome friendships they have and they constantly have that person to hang out with.

As it turns out, I’ve actually had that friendship this whole time and never really open my eyes to realize it.

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My little sister and I have definitely had our problems. There were times where I’m sure we legitimately HATED each other. We were always so different growing up, and I never really understood my depression and anxiety until my twenties. I think that caused a lot of problems, because I would act freaking crazy sometimes and my sister and I never understood why I acted the way I did. Now that we understand, it all makes sense.

But despite all of that, we’ve been best friends. We would have those days where whatever we did together we were aways laughing. We had inside jokes nobody else would understand. And we lived together, so it was like a never-ending sleepover.

It wasn’t until our late teens/early twenties that we realized that we needed each other. And by that time, I was already moved away and we couldn’t really hangout anymore. But what’s awesome is that she calls me and facetimes me often. She pays attention to my social media posts and reaches out when something I say concerns her a little. She talks me up all of the time. She is the ONE person who has TRULY seen me at my worst. She has seen me through many stages of my life. She has been the front row witness to me finding myself.

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Even though she’s younger than me, I find myself looking up to her. She’s a very independent person, and she’s doesn’t let crap get to her. She doesn’t tolerate people taking advantage of her. She doesn’t take crap from ANYBODY. She doesn’t worry about other people who don’t worry about her. She’s trying to teach me to be the same way. I truly believe that, if she could, she would personally go inside my head and fight off my demons for me. And she would show them no mercy.

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I hope to be a role model for her. I hope to inspire her to not let anything stop her from succeeding. I want her realize what kind of love she deserves. I hope she never loses that self-love and self-confidence she has. She has so much potential and I know she’ll continue to be a boss bitch as she gets older.

I never have to worry about her leaving me. SHE’S STUCK WITH ME FOR LIFE.

She’s been my best friend for the last 21 years, and she’ll continue to be my best friend forever.

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❤️❤️ Keera ❤️❤️

The Fight

I wish there was a way for me to really explain what my anxiety and depression is like. I say “my”, because everybody’s is different. People have different triggers, different symptoms, and different ways of coping.

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. I am physically sick. My mind is moving 200 mph. I can’t focus. I can’t look at myself.

I am completely broken.

It’s hard when everyone sees you as this smiling, bubbly girl who’s always laughing at something. Hiding all of this emotion behind the smile is so mentally, emotionally, and even physically exhausting. They don’t know that my stomach is in knots and I feel nauseated. They can’t see my thoughts racing in my head so fast that I can’t even comprehend them. They have no clue that I looked at myself in the mirror that morning and hated what I saw. They would have never guessed that I cried myself to sleep the night before.

But I don’t want them to know me that way. I like the image they’ve created of me. I want to be the girl they see.

Because I’m ashamed of what I see.

When I look at my own reflection, it doesn’t take long before I start picking out every single flaw. Every teeny tiny, minute detail that doesn’t even matter.

And it wouldn’t matter, if this was a normal day.

You see, it’s not always like this. Thanks to modern science and therapy, I am able to be that happy person most of the days. But nothing is perfect. When those off days hit, they hit hard. I don’t see them coming. I don’t see the demons sneaking up on me. If I could, I would do whatever I could to stop them from taking over.

I don’t want to feel this way. I HATE feeling this way. I turn into a completely different person and I hate her.

I hate her so much that I feel willing to kill her.

But I can’t.

Because she’s me.

So instead, I have to fight her. I have to push through all of the thoughts, all of the emotions. I have to break free from the bindings.

I HAVE to survive another day.

She hasn’t won yet, and I’m never going to let her.

But she’s also never going to go away.

A World of Compassion

I have had a couple requests to write a blog post about veganism and how to transition. I’m honestly so excited that people are interested in this topic!! It makes me so giddy.

I’m going to start this post with some complete honesty: It actually took me a few trials to fully appreciate a plant-based diet and stick with it. My first attempt ended after a couple months when I was literally so stressed out about what I was eating and being around other food. I was working at McDonald’s at the time, and resisting all of the foods I used to it while being around of ALL of the time was so frustrating. McDonald’s FRIES AREN’T EVEN VEGAN. Like what the heck? They add “natural beef flavor” to their fries. But I’m kind of getting off topic here…

Going to the grocery store was always a headache. There were foods that had milk and eggs in them when I thought it was completely unnecessary to put those ingredients in. ended up quitting, but picking up again just a month later. Once I already knew the reasons to go vegan, I couldn’t ignore them when I was eating whatever I wanted. However, I had to quit again because I was going to basic training, and you can’t really nourish yourself in that kind of environment with just fruit and salad. Once I graduated basic and went on to AIT, I still couldn’t really go fully plant-based, because I still wasn’t allowed to keep my own food with me. I did, however, commit to vegetarianism while I was there. I thought it would be a nice transition for when I moved to my first duty station was able to buy my own food and keep it in my room.

As soon as I got to Washington, I went shopping. Everything I bought was vegan and I was so excited to give it another go. And I was doing really well until about a week or two before going into the field. That week was so busy and consisted of going to fast food places with coworkers for quick lunches. So I was eating anything on the menu. And, typically, while I was in the field I had to eat what I could to stay nourished with what they provide out there. The military doesn’t exactly accommodate plant-based diets. Because of my already bad habit of eating whatever from the field, when we got back I continued to eat whatever along with my favorite vegan foods. So I was kind of doing both.

Recently, I was showing a friend some facts about animal agriculture and how much of an impact eating vegan makes, and I honestly felt so guilty for letting my bad habits take control. So I decided to be way more strict about my diet, and I’m honestly so happy with it. I feel so much better throughout the day. I even get super excited over vegan food.

I just wanted to start this post off by making it clear that I am NOT a “perfect” vegan. And if you would like to give a plant-based diet a shot, don’t beat yourself up for slipping up. It’s a huge adjustment, and it takes a lot of patience and intestinal fortitude. But I find it so rewarding. This is why I (try my best) to not judge others for their eating habits. Honestly, even making ONE meal a day vegan can make a HUGE difference. Just by making that conscious decision, you save a life.

I also understand that not everybody has the same view and feelings about animals. Just because I have deep emotional feelings about cows, pigs, etc, doesn’t mean everyone else does. It took me a while to realize that some people don’t consider veganism because the see animals as “just animals”. And that’s okay for them. I have different feelings, and that’s why I try worry about just what’s on MY plate. And I think that’s kind of what separates me from other vegans. Sure, I’ll share some information and facts. But I’m not going to be judgmental and nasty.

Okay, now on to what people have ACTUALLY asked about: the transition.

 

So it’s really easy to get excited and just jump right in 100%, but that only really works for some people. Others need to take it slow, one step at a time. If this is you, I suggest you cut out meat first. If you want even smaller steps than that, start with red meat (its literally the WORST for your body). Then cut out poultry, then fish.

 But where would I get my protein? 

 You can eat plants and still get the same amount of protein as you’d get from eating meat. It’s all about portions and research. Most people eat bigger portions of meat than they’re supposed to, causing your body to consume TOO much protein (yes, that is a thing).

http://nutritionstripped.com/10-plant-based-proteins-eating/

That link will take you to a website that explains the top plant-based protein sources, and it even gives you different ways you can incorporate these sources into your meals everyday. And it’s actually quite amazing how much protein you can get from plants (for example, 1 cup of lentils has 18g of protein!!!)

There are also mock meat products you can buy, and I personally love these options. Gardein is one of the BEST brands out there. They have so many options from “chicken” tenders to “fish” filets, and even “beef” crumbles. Whole Foods is a great place to grab these, and they even have other brands that offer things that Gardein doesn’t. Like breakfast burritos and realistic burgers.

After you feel comfortable with that, then cut out dairy and eggs. This part is what people seem to have the most problems with, but it’s actually pretty awesome how far veganism has come with making dairy alternatives!

 Of course, everyone is pretty familiar with milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc. But there are other dairy products that have cruelty free options, like butter, eggs, and cheese! I use Earth Balance butter, and it tastes like actual butter. There are vegan egg products (those take a little bit of playing with to satisfy your personal taste). Chao is a great cheese brand, along with Follow Your Heart (which also makes wonderful vegan salad dressings). Daiya for me has been a hit or miss, but their pizza and Mac and cheese are delicious! So Delicious makes fabulous yogurt and ice cream. They also make coffee creamer!

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Once you do more research and visit more stores, you’ll find the things you prefer and love. I also recommend going out and getting a couple vegan cookbooks! Nothing beats a homemade vegan meal, and it’s always awesome seeing the look on visitors’ faces when they taste how delicious it is. You can also go on Pinterest and find some recipes (I just find follow a book a little easier).

Sometimes you need motivation to keep doing it. I have a few reasons: I’m able to lose and maintain my weight way easier on a plant-based diet, my body in general feels cleaner, I’m making a huge impact on the environment, and, of course, the animals.

If animals are your motivation, I recommend you watching ‘Earthlings” on Netflix. If the environment is your reason, watch “Cowspiracy”. If health is why you do it, watch “Forks Over Knives”. All of these are on Netflix. You can also do more research online and from books, just make sure the sources are credible. There are vegan-activists out there that will lie and scare people. That’s not the message we should be sending. I, for one, cannot stand PETA.

Checking labels can be frustrating. I use the “Is It Vegan” app! You can scan the bar code of the product and it checks (to the best of it’s ability) the ingredients to see if it’s a vegan product. I also use the Leaping Bunny app to check out products that are vegan and not tested on animals.

I hope this helps some of you! I haven’t been a vegan for super long, so I don’t really have a lot to say. But I love steering people in the right direction.

There is so much compassion behind veganism, and I would love to share it with as many people as I can!

 

❤️❤️ Keera ❤️❤️

Overdue Update

Hey, ya’ll!

It’s been SEVEN months since my last blog post. I would be lying if I told you that nothing has happened and that’s why I haven’t written. My last post for ya’ll was talking about my experience at basic training. I guess life has been pretty crazy, and I honestly haven’t had the motivation (or the computer) to keep up with my blog. Well, now I am settled in my new duty station and just recently purchased a MacBook Air, so I’m ready to rock.

Since my last post, I went through 16 weeks of training to become a combat medic in the United States Army. It was pretty intense, and I learned so much. I gained confidence in myself and my skills to save the lives of my brothers and sisters in combat and in garrison. Along with that, I met some pretty amazing people. I grew close with such a wonderful group of people, and I wholeheartedly believe that I would NOT have made it through those 16 weeks without them. As much as I was ready to leave the training environment and go out into the real army, I was so sad to be separating from the people I become so fond of. We still keep contact in a mass group message, but it still gets pretty lonely here without them and I miss them like crazy.

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After four months of not being able to see my husband, I was able to spend a short weekend with him after I graduated and before I headed off to my next station. I also got to see my Meeko for the first time since leaving for basic training. It was such a short short weekend, but I was so grateful for the time I did have with my little family.

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I got station here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. I was pretty excited about this assignment because I have always wanted to visit the beautiful state. This made me realize that it’s pretty cool that I get paid to travel. I have only been here for a couple months, but so far I’ve gotten to visit Seattle (which has become one of my FAVORITE cities EVER), I’ve gone on a few hikes in some pretty quiet and remote areas, and I got attached to an infantry unit. This means means that I get to go out on field missions with the infantrymen, which usually lasts for weeks.

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As exciting as all of this was, something just wasn’t setting right for me mentally. It could have been the complete change in environment and lifestyle. It could have been the fact that I was no longer surrounded by my friends. It could have been that I was no longer a training soldier and now I was expected to really preform my duties. My depression and anxiety had escalated very quickly. I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t even handle being around people. I couldn’t handle responsibility. I couldn’t handle being alone. One Monday night, I had thoughts of taking my own life. I had the pills sitting out on my desk, and I started doing some research what an overdose was like. Honestly, it sounded absolutely miserable, and it could take three to four DAYS. I don’t want DAYS, I thought to myself, I want instant. That’s when it really hit me that I needed help. I immediately got up and drove myself to the ER. I spent a week in the mental health ward. Once I was out, I made the decision to separate from the army and to go home back to Ohio and start a new life, and I was very dead set on that decision.

However, something STILL didn’t set right with me. I started my weekly sessions with my therapist, but one appointment wasn’t like the others. She asked me to explain what would happen if I stayed in the army. She said from listening to me talk, I have very low self-confidence, and no esteem. She said she has talked to my command, and they all talked highly of me and my performance as a medic. We ended up talking about how I never really finish anything I start. I always quit whenever I get a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t know really what happened, but all of a sudden I was thinking about how I wanted to stay in. I didn’t want to quit this time. I want to feel self-satisfaction when I actually finish my contract. I want to gain that self-confidence. I want to change the way I view myself.

And its amazing.. Ever since I made the decision to stay in the army, I’ve been so at peace with myself. And it feels like good things keep happening. I keep having good days, I’m finally making friends, and my whole role as a medic is about to change. It’s like this is God’s way of showing me that I’m on the path He wants me to be on.

I finally found a little church to go to. It’s pretty small, but the energy inside is so alive. David will be moving up here in less than 12 months. I have a list of people who are making plans to come see me. And I’m planning a trip home for Christmas.

My life has been such a roller coaster the last two months, but I really believe that everything is turning around for the better, and I am keeping a positive outlook. I have hope for the future.

♥♥ Keera ♥♥

 

From Civilian to Soldier

Hello, followers, old and new! It’s been almost three months since my last post. Most of you know that I’ve been at basic training these last couple months. I’ve been bombarded with messages asking me how it was and how I’m doing. 

I was very nervous before I got there. I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t know how I was going to pull this off. I am literally the world’s biggest baby, and here I am putting myself in an environment where I’m forced to swallow any kind of emotion and fear. My husband has been my anchor, and I chose to separate myself from him to do this. I’m sure if I was watching myself from the outside, I would’ve thought I was freaking crazy for taking me out of my comfort zone. 

And, boy, was I way out of my comfort zone. As soon as I arrived, I had to turn in everything I brought with me. I couldn’t have my own clothes or anything. No trace of where I came from. Because it didn’t matter. They replaced all of my belongings with issued clothing and gear. They locked up any piece of who I was in a closet, not to be accessed again for 10 weeks. 

I’ve been making my own decisions since the age of 18. But all of a sudden, at the age of 22, I had no choice in anything. Every minute of my life was planned out for two and a half months. I was told what to wear everyday.  I had to ask permission to do things like use the restroom. Any mistake was followed by “corrective action”, which was usually a physical activity. 

I got to do things that I never thought I would be able to do. I completed obstacle courses that required strength I didn’t even know I had. I even got stronger. I couldn’t give up just because I got a little tired, like I was used to doing. I had to push pass that wall I always hit physically. I am now aware of what my body is capable of doing. 

I am trained to kill. Me. Like I would never see myself as someone who was capable of being threatening at all. And if the time comes to where I have to sacrifice my life for the people I love, I won’t hesitate to do so. I’m actually anticipating for that time to come. I didn’t join the army in vain. My first duty is to be a soldier, no matter what my actual job will be.

I had to live with 60 other females. And you can only imagine how that was. My patience has improved tremendously. My tolerance for chaos has increased. And my social anxiety has gotten way better. To where people would never even guess that I had it. I even made lifelong friends. I have joined a brotherhood where I’ll always have someone there. I will never be alone.

Three months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what confidence was. Now, I can feel myself walk with it. Everything I have accomplished up to this point has shown me that I can do anything. I really can. I can do things for myself. I am a part of something way bigger than myself, and it’s an organization to be damn proud of. And this is something that absolutely nobody will be able to take from me. I did this on my own. It wasn’t handed to me. I have earned it. 

This has been the best decision I have made. No doubt about it. And I can’t wait to see what my future holds. I will be successful, and I will make everyone proud. 
❤❤Keera❤❤

To My Husband Before I Go..

Hello, my love.

           I know we didn’t expect this day to come up so fast. We’ve been talking about it for months. Those months turned into weeks. Now we’re down to just a couple of days. I know we automatically put our smiles on and tell everyone that we will be okay, and we even just tell each other we will be okay. Which, we will be. I have no doubt about that. However, we don’t have to act like it won’t be hard. You are my other half, and being apart from you is going to suck so bad. You are that thing that can always make me feel at ease when my anxiety gets the best of me. You are my sunshine when my depression kicks in. You are my best friend. I can come to you about everything. You are the only person who I feel 100% comfortable with. I can’t even begin to tell you how awful it’s going to be when I can’t even talk to you. When I can’t listen to your voice to calm myself down. When I won’t be able to feel your skin to feel like I’m home.

And it won’t even end after basic. For two or more years, we’re only going to see each other a handful of times. We’re going to have to compare schedules and try to fit in times to talk. Communication is going to be more important now than ever. It’s going to be hard to keep each other included in every detail of our lives.We have to remember to not leave each other out. It’s going to be extremely hard. At first, at least. It’ll take a little bit for us to get into the swing of things.

But you know what, we got this. When I think about everything we’ve already been through, this is nothing. A cake walk. Sometimes I wonder why I even worry. The main reason why I feel like we can do this is because of you. You reassure me whenever I need it. You never make me doubt that you love me. You show me that you are going to do whatever it takes to make this work. I know I am not in this alone. I won’t be going through this marriage by myself. And that is such an AMAZING feeling. There are people who live with their husband/wife and all of the work is one-sided. We’re going to be living in different states and we both are going to be putting 100% in. I am the luckiest woman in the world. God has blessed me with you.

I can’t wait to see where we go from here. We have so much ahead of us. So much love, success, adventure, growing. I love you.

Love, your wife

I Keep Living

I have been told that I see to be a bright, cheery person. That it looks like I have everything together. I’m always so positive and inspiring.

Well, as much as I love being viewed that way from the outside, I am about to shatter that view. I feel like this is something very important for people to talk about, and if it’s something that changes people’s minds about me, then so be it.

I have been living with anxiety and depression since about the age of 14, if I remember correctly. If it was before that, I didn’t really notice the signs about about that age. It was just little things at first; I didn’t really like that socialize, the few friends I did have I clung to in a very weird way, I never seemed happy, I always had a bad attitude. Typically, family thought it was just a teenage phase, and even I thought so too. But there was something very odd about when I had those episode.. They didn’t feel like I had any control over them. It was like someone else took complete control over my brain and the rest of my body and they were saying and doing things that I didn’t approve of. I still have episodes like these to this day. I always know in the way back of my mind that I shouldn’t be acting like that. But I can’t, and couldn’t, stop.

My self-harm began around then. Whenever I felt super emotional or lost control of myself, I would find whatever I could to break skin. At first I was cutting my arms, until a friend of mine caught a glimpse once when I was taking a selfie of us and my sleeve slid down enough for her to see. After that, I left them on my thighs and hips. I used anything from scissors and razors blades, to broken plastic and sharp metal pieces you could find on new clothes. I did this for years. You can still catch some of my scars when the sun hits them right. I never really stopped until my freshman year of college, and my only explanation for that is I was in a new location where nobody knew me, so no one knew anything about me nor did they have to.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes I still think about it. I still get those thoughts about hurting myself, and I have tried different things to get them out of my head. I’ll share what has helped me a little later.

On top of self-harming, suicidal thoughts also flooded my brain. I even became obsessed at one point, planning out exactly what I would do, what time of day, and where. As bad as I wanted to use a gun, I didn’t have access to one. Slitting my wrists just seemed too gory, and I didn’t want my family to find me that way. So I settled on pills.I was going to do it right when everyone else fell asleep, so then I’d have the whole night to let the pills kick in before anyone could figure out what happened and try to take me to the hospital. When everyone woke up in the morning, they would just think I was sleeping. Obviously, I never did it. However, those thoughts continue to sneak their way into my head every now and then. I’ve even gotten as close as staring down the bottle of Ativan that the doctor prescribed for my panic attacks. But something stops me every time.

Some people must think, “you’re healed then!” But you cannot be healed from these mental illnesses. It is a constant, every day battle. But there are some things that make it way easier. The chains can be broken, to where your life isn’t dictated by it anymore. I have always wondered who the other voice was in my head. I had one voice telling me to hurt myself, that I don’t even matter to anyone and everyone would just be better off if I didn’t exist. But then there was always the other voice. A loving, warming voice that told me how loved I am and how I have a purpose in this world. That voice always won, from when I was 14 to now that I am 22. I just never realized who’s it was until very recently.

“He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay.
He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.” Psalm 18:16-19

It took me eight years. Eight years to realize who was saving my life every single time. Who was telling me that I am loved. Eight years before I realized that Satan was the one snaking into my brain telling me all of these awful things about myself and trying to get me to kill myself.

It’s kind of funny how you don’t realize that you’re crying out to the Lord until it hits you smack on the head. He has been saving me all of these years. He has a purpose for me. He wanted me to live so desperately so I could live in His glory when I finally came to my senses. I am so filled with emotion because of His love for me that I am crying while typing this, guys. He makes me want to live. Someone who was so set on ending everything, suddenly would hate to see it all end.

“As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.” Micah 7:7

He hears me every single time I have these thoughts again. He hears all of us when we cry to Him. His heart aches for us, because He cannot stand it when we’re in pain. He will come to your rescue, even if you can’t tell right away. He’s that hero who will NEVER let you down. Nobody can stop Him. And that’s why I do not fear my mental illnesses anymore. That’s why I changed the title of this post from “I Kept Living” to “I Keep Living”, because I am still living for His glory. Every day I am shown how much He loves us all and I see how wonderful He is. I have never felt so full in my life. I don’t have any emptiness inside of me. Christ has filled me. And I have no doubt anywhere in my mind that I will continue to live, because He hears me. He loves me unconditionally. He forgives me for all of my issues I still have. Satan will never win my battle. I will not listen to him.

“I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Psalm 16:8

My story doesn’t end here. God is still using me. He is still having me serve my purpose.

And I CANNOT wait to see why Satan didn’t want me to live so badly.

♥♥Keera♥♥

How Does One Really “Prepare” For This?

Are you going to stay married?

What’s going to happen with you and your husband?

I don’t understand why you’re doing this when he’s already in.”

These are all questions/statements I have gotten from various people this past month or so. Some people know my husband and I, some don’t (but still wanted to make comments). There are some people very close to us who I feel like don’t have faith in our marriage, so they try to get me to go reserves or not enlist at all. I have even gotten the, “Does your husband approve of this?

David is 100% supportive of my decision to enlist. He’s heard me talk about it for years. Of course he doesn’t WANT me to leave. But he understands. He’s even been the main person pushing me to follow my dream, since my anxiety was holding me back. So if anyone would like a copy of the permission slip he signed, hit me up.

Even though this post is going to be about me preaching that David and I will be just fine doing long distance no matter what anyone says, I just want to start out by saying that it doesn’t necessarily mean we haven’t had doubts.It’s human nature. Worrying about the other person getting lonely, or getting really close with a coworker, etc. IT IS NOT A TRUST ISSUE. We know that one person wouldn’t do anything unfaithful to the other. But humans also can’t help their feelings. With us both being active duty, there’s going to be loads of schedule inflictions. Field ops, deployments, time zones, training, etc. It’s not going to stop for the next four or more years. There are going to be times where we won’t talk for long periods, or we will each be so busy that we don’t have the time to show the other the attention we would like. David plans on getting a second job after I leave because he can’t stand sitting at home by himself, doing nothing.  And stress like this can take a huge toll on a relationship. I’m sure we’re going to argue. We’re going to get butthurt when the other one is too busy to talk. We’re going to feel a little jealous that something else is taking up all of the attention of the other. It’s going to be extremely ugly at some points.

And that’s okay.

I don’t know why people think that a couple arguing or going through a rough patch is such a terrible thing. If you’re going to be with someone for the rest of your life, then you can expect to not get along sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing long distance or you’re together 24/7, 80 years is a long freakin time to be with someone. I actually think it’s impossible to get along with ANYBODY 100% for that long. Stop thinking that you have to put on this perfect facade of your relationship. Just stop.

David and I know all of this. We know that there’s no telling when we’ll be living together again. There are a couple of things that we need to plan still.

But we are confident. We’ve done long distance before. We have to go back to facetime dates, holiday planning, leave dates, the whole shabang. And we are okay. We don’t want to be separated, but we’re staying positive. We talk about how exciting it’s going to be to have weekend visits again, to really appreciate our time together. We talk about how we’re going to deal with certain feelings coming up. Certain situations. We talk about how we need to improve our communication skills, so we’ll be A1 once we’re thousands of miles apart. We talk about all of the cool things we might get to do or see, since we’ll both be in different places.  We even talk about our post-military life. The house we want to live in for the rest of our lives. Our future children.

There is so much adventure in our future. Some we’ll take on together, some we’ll experience apart. And we are so excited for the other person. Frankly, I’m happy David will get to live the next two years without a wife who constantly wants him to be home. Who is a total homebody and kind of forces him to be a homebody too. He’ll actually be able to go out with his friends or whatever without having to worry about spending enough time with me. He’ll get to grow individually. And for me, I will finally learn how to be on my own. I am 22 years old and I have never been on my own. From living with my family, to a college dorm with an awesome roommate and boyfriend who I was with 25/8, to being back at my parents house, to now living with my husband. This is my opportunity to grow up. To push out of this little bubble I’m in.

I’m sure that all of this radiant positivity we have will change as soon as we start missing each other. But all we have to do is remember everything we talked about. If I decide that I want to stay in the Army for a few more years and he wants to stay in Ohio and work, then we’ll get through that too. I have no doubt in my mind that as long as we stay focused on the bigger picture and keep God in our marriage, then we will be unstoppable. We will shock the haters, the doubters. We will continue to show others that it is not “impossible’. That it’s not about statistics. It’s about love. Determination. Courage. Commitment. Forgiveness. God. Faith. Hope.

When someone asks us how our marriage is holding up in a year or five, we will confidently say that we love each other more now than the day we got married.

♥♥Keera♥♥

Four Years Too Long

“Ahh, so you want to join the service. Did you just graduate high school?”

Actually, I twenty-two and married.

“Why are you just now enlisting? Are you running away from something?”

I guess you could say that.

About my junior year of high school, I had this nagging feeling about joining the service. I can’t explain why I had it. I have never been a physical person. But there was something about picturing myself in uniform. That feeling of pride and self-fulfillment, as well as saving other soldiers.

The medical field has always intrigued me as well. That’s always been something that everyone pictured me doing. I really cannot picture myself doing any other field. So combine that with my desire to be in the service, and bam: I want to help service members. Save those who are saving us.

Having anxiety, I didn’t really want to share this with anybody, because it wasn’t the same plan that was planned for me. The assumption was that I was going to go to nursing school. It wasn’t a terrible assumption, I was still very excited about nursing school and eventually getting my license and working in a nursery. I accepted this idea, because it was an exciting plan.

My freshman year of college, the university I went to had an ROTC program. I was really excited about this! I don’t remember the exactly what the program required, but after a couple years of ROTC, you had to enlist for a couple years. It was just the way it worked. I was more than willing to do it. However, somebody who had tons of influence on me at the time was completely against it. Not in a controlling way, by any means. Just because that person cared about me and didn’t like the idea of me being gone.

I transferred schools after my freshman year due to financial reasons. David and I have been dating for a few months. I haven’t really thought about enlistment for a while. I was in an associates program for nursing, so I was going to finish in just a couple years. That next summer, David left for boot camp for the marines. I found myself feeling a little jealous, because I felt like that was supposed to be me just a couple years earlier. While he was gone, I was talking about getting my bachelor’s in nursing and then enlisting as a naval nurse. And I was talking about it more openly this time. It was going to be a couple years before I got my bachelors, but I was still excited nonetheless.

But wait! Another event to postpone this plan. David and I got married, and I couldn’t stand the thought of staying in Ohio to finish school. So I moved out to California to be with my husband. As months went by and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with school and getting a good job, something occurred to me.

What was stopping me from enlisting now?

David and I talked about plans, situations, ideas. He knew that I’ve been wanting to do this since before we started dating, so he was (and still is) 100% supportive of my dream. So here we are! I’m going to be a medic in the United States Army. I am very very excited. I know that being away from David is going to be really tough, but we are going to make it work.

So I guess you could say I’m running away from something. I’m running away from my comfort zone. I’m running away from this feeling I get that I’m not worth anything or not capable of accomplishing anything. I’m running towards self-fulfillment. Towards self-confidence.

Towards the me I’m supposed to be.

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♥♥Keera♥♥

Weight Conscious..

We see it everyday. Tweets, posts, stories, pictures, etc. It’s so motivational, isn’t it? Seeing all of these different people working so hard to accomplish feeling good about themselves. To feel beautiful or sexy. It’s amazing! It’s also so wonderful seeing people getting so much support. It seems like everybody has a million people right behind them. It makes taking on a weight loss journey look like this cheesy movie where everything goes right for someone. That somebody just wakes up one day and looks comepletely different than the day before. One big happy story with a great ending.

However, that’s not really how it goes for some people. Some people work for months and get no progress at all. Some people starve themselves in hopes of seeing some kind of difference in the mirror. Some people feel like they’re doing absolutely EVERYTHING right and it’s still not good enough. Then some people actually do see progress, everyone else sees it, but it’s still stopping them from a dream.

I’ve recently just have a reality check, if you will. I have been working on my weight for months now, and I have definitely had some progress. I was feeling pretty good about how far I’ve come. However, it hasn’t been good enough…

I’m still too overweight to enlist. 

It’s only by a couple pounds, but that’s not the point. I have been working so so hard. At the gym, before work and after. If I have time to workout, I take it. I’ve never been a skinny girl, ever. I have always had a body type that I didn’t want. But my weight has never gotten in the way of something before (other than becoming a super model). I became so discouraged. All of this hard work and it wasn’t enough. I was broken. I had to hold back tears as that sergeant was breaking the news to me. He told me that I am going to have to work even harder this next week. 

Harder..? How can I possibly work harder? Realistically, I know it’s possible. But I have another voice in my head telling me I’m worthless and can’t accomplish anything important. 

And I know that I’m not the only one who has gone through something like this. Maybe not even with weight, but with anything in life that makes us feel like we can’t accomplish something or what we’re doing isn’t good enough. Somebody else reading this needs to hear what I have to say next.

Don’t give up. I know how cliche that is, but it’s solid. I know how hard it is to keep having faith in yourself over and over again. But God gives us trials that he knows we can make it through. He shows us that we can accomplish anything. You can overcome whatever it is holding you back. I WILL lose those pounds by Wednesday. I WILL see joy on my recruiter’s face when he sees that I made it. YOU WILL make it. YOU WILL beat this. YOU WILL surprise yourself. YOU WILL make yourself proud. Because that’s what matters. How you feel about yourself. Self acceptance is key. 

And I know this seems sort of hypocritical, since I haven’t been showing any kind of self acceptance lately. But I am determined to change that. I want to continue to inspire people. You can inspire. Just believe.