Ode to Myself

Learn to be okay with continually discovering yourself.

For 2019, I didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions. Although I did try to be more focused on figuring out who I was. For years I felt like I suffered from some kind of identity crisis. Many things are factors for that (I’ll leave that for therapy) but the short of it is: I let fear control my life. Many of the things I wanted with my life I stopped myself from doing, because of fear. The result of this, was feeling like I had no identity. I didn’t allow myself to live. Staying comfortably complacent was my life. In 2019 that began to change.

As my therapist and I reflected on the past year, I had this moment of awareness where it hit me, “Wow… I really did all that?!”. I felt really proud of myself.

I am writing this post as a way to “pay Ode to myself” for the challenges and the changes I embraced in 2019. For the first time in my life I’m discovering who I want to be and what I want with my life. It may have taken a while but I begin to peel back the layers of fear and see some of the things I wanted for myself. This past year was one of most life changing years of my life. Some of these changes many of you already know about but somethings I haven’t talked about publicly. As I pay ode to myself, I am happy to share my journey through 2019 with you.

Went to and planned a trip Europe

You may be wondering why the “plan” part is even listed right? After all the trip itself is huge. Every aspect of this trip was huge for me because I am an over-planner. When my husband and I decided we were going to Europe for our 10th anniversary, of course, I was ready to plan out every little detail… and make both of us crazy in doing so. However, one significant detail I need to mention is when we decided to take this trip… we had less than a month to plan it out. Old Hannah would have NEVER been okay with that. To be honest, I wasn’t okay with this at the time. I almost canceled the whole trip. But I pushed myself to do it …through all the fear. Eventually I ended up planning what I could and we went with the flow of things.

We visited parts of Belgium and England, as well as Amsterdam, and forever bucket list location, Paris

I’m so glad I let myself that far out of my comfort zone. The trip was amazing and by far my favorite thing that happened in 2019. Even without the “over-planning” we were able to see everything on our “Must see” list and had a wonderful time. Now I have the travel bug and am ready to go on our next trip.

Had Weight Loss Surgery

Almost 4 years ago, I went through the process to get Weight Loss Surgery. About 8 months later, at my last appointment before they schedule my surgery, it suddenly hit me how REAL it was. I was actually about to do this big and very real change in my life.

I let the fear of change get to me and I “missed” that last appointment. It wasn’t that I even weighted out my fears and come to a conclusion of not to do it, I just made excuses, “The timing wasn’t right” or “Try harder”. When in fact I was just scared of doing something so completely for me.Something that would completely change my life.

Fast forward a few years, add several rounds of yo-yo dieting and I was realizing what mistake I had made.

In January of this year, I decided to go through the process again. I’m not going to go into all the details of my surgery here (maybe I’ll do a whole post on that) but from January to August I went through the process of preparing myself for one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

On August 22nd I had Gastric Bypass surgery and even though I was “prepared” I was in complete shock in the weeks and months after. My body was no longer the same. My old unhealthy habits, that felt so comfortable were gone. I had no choice but to put my health first. WLS has been the hardest thing I have ever done.Weeks of liquid diets. Weeks of learning what my body can and can no longer handle. The mental side of it has been difficult as well. The emotional battle of realizing my brain didn’t have surgery and just how unhealthy my relationship with food was.

About 2 month after surgery I started having issues with my gallbladder. A small percentage of WLS patients have this issue and unfortunately I was one of the lucky few. They found gallstones and sludge from inflammation. I never knew a gallbladder could be so painful. I’ve birthed 2 kids… one naturally and I’d rather do that then have another gallbladder flare up. On December 17th I went back to surgery and had my gallbladder removed.

All of this process has been a lot. I’m proud to say I’m 4 months out and If I could go back I would definitely do it again. Not only am I, 74lbs down in 4 months, but I have learned that I am capable of handling so much. I’m also learning to out myself first. It’s so easy as mothers ( and as a “fixer”) to care for those around us and let our-self go. This is what I dealt with for years. My health is now a huge priority in my life again.

Finished my 1st semester of College

Going back to school is something I’ve talked about doing for years. I was home-schooled my entire life and the idea of a classroom situation, I hate to say, gave me such anxiety. (Really it was just the fear of failing) Above and beyond that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go back to school for. I felt like if I didn’t know exactly what I was doing there was no point in going at all. It took me sometime to get over that, and I’m still not entirely over it but I realized that if I waited until I figured it out I would never go. And if I didn’t push through the fear of a classroom I would never go. This was something I wanted to do so just go for it! In the Fall of this year I started taking a coupe of courses and just finished my 1st semester.

I did it. I DID THAT.

I finished a semester in college.

I didn’t fail, in fact my grades are really good. Even though I’m not exactly what my major will be, I’m on the way there. Fun Fact so far, I actually really like it! ( I hope I don’t jinx it by saying that) So for 2020, I doubled my classes for next semester.

Went to my First Protest

I grew up in a very religious, as well as political family. My views have changed quite a bit from when I was younger. I feel like this is something that I really KNOW who I am and where I stand but at the same time I’ve felt like because my views were so loud in the past, that I shouldn’t express my views now. I struggle because I really want to be active in my community and have voice but I just never pushed myself to do that for fear of judgment.

This year I began to change that. I don’t believe in badgering someone who don’t believe the same way I do. I believe we should respect others beliefs, if they are not harming themselves or those around them. But I will not stand by and tolerate hate. If your beliefs are hateful, vile, and want to take away a persons human rights; I will not tolerate nor be respectful of that.

When I found out Westboro Baptist Church was going to be protesting outside of 2 colleges and a High School in my area I decided to actually do something about it and joined a counter protest.

I’m proud of myself for using my voice for something I believe in. I hope in 2020 I can do more then just hold a sign and drown out the hate. I hope to be more open with my beliefs and who I am.

Went to several Concerts

This is probably the most random of all the things on my list but it really makes me happy. I have always loved music and typically when I noticed an Artist was having a concert near me I would think, we probably shouldn’t waste money or the time on something like that. This year I said learned to say, YES lets do it.

We brought the kids with us to see Pentatonix. Went with My Bestie to see Sara Barellies Date night with my husband and saw The 1975 (my favorite!)

Improved my Photography

When I first started therapy my therapist had me write down a list of all he things Hannah really enjoyed in life. I almost couldn’t do it. I was so caught up in surviving that I wasn’t living. I began to see that I had put myself completely last. I desperately need to made time for the things in life that made me excited or that I loved doing. Photography was one of those things that I realized bought me joy. As a kid I would make backdrops from blankets and lay my dog out to try and photograph her.

This year I took time to work on improving my photography. I’m nowhere near to being an expert but I am learning to love the journey of imperfection as I improve my photography.

Some of my favorite shots in 2019

I guess in a way most of what I did in 2019 was just learning to say YES through my fear. I’m proud of myself or that.

I made 2019 a year of finding out who I was by doing the things in life that I wanted to do. Things that excited me. (and scared me) I wish I was one of those people who are unapologetically assured of themselves. I’m learning that it’s okay to be continually discovering yourself. You don’t have to be a perfected person. ( Really is there such a thing?) I think we all are continuously evolving. I know I’m not the same person I was even at the beginning of this year.

I’m Becoming Hannah.

It takes time. Patience. Embracing the fear. Giving myself some grace. Maybe even Failing. But loving myself through it.

I deserve to be proud of the positive changes and things I’ve accomplished this part year.

I’m slowly Becoming Hannah and learning to love the journey.

Which leads me to my last “announcement”. You may have noticed a change in my site as of January 1st 2020, I’m changing over to a new name, Becoming Hannah.

My blog will still be very much about my family and our full life, but I intend to start my 2020 more self focused. I would love for you all to follow me on my journey thought life and things I love as I am Becoming Hannah.