**This blog is dedicated to all of the family and friends that have known me the longest. I have been hiding behind your expectations, hardships, and love for far too long. No one person is at fault. No one person could have known. I encourage you to read this post and understand that we each have our own junk. This is mine. Out in the open. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for your support in my growth. May you too acknowledge your roller coasters and begin to use them for your good. **

I am an overthinker. My thoughts spiral out of control. I am often paralyzed by anxiety that leads up to an experience and follows me for days after.

I am not searching for someone to fix it. Only God can do that. I am asking to be understood.

Understand that: My mind is like a theme park. Each ride being a thought process. I twist and turn with them, become afraid of them, and hang the framed picture of them. Most are created by others that lead to a series of expectations that were never truly established. Some are created by myself; leading to self-doubt and a sense of unworthiness. Only a few created by God; leading to truth, peace, and fruit. Some of these dangerous roller coasters are now under construction.

Understand that: I am picking up what you're putting down. I have always had this ability to pick up on mood and tone of people. I guess to hear what they are really saying. Most of the time, this as a way to get me to do what they want instead of what I want/need. For so long I have said no to what I feel, want, or need. I have convinced myself, because I was told for so long, that I am strong enough to carry the weight of situations that ultimately are not my situations. I do not disagree with my learned and gained strength but I am now making time for me. I am proud of myself for that.

Understand that: Roller coasters are suppose to be exciting. No matter how many twists, turns, ups, downs. The fear of the unknown and lack of control is what births true freedom. I believe this because once we give full control to God and live by faith in Him, this is exactly what we are doing. He gives us freedom in the release. In these moments, just like real-life roller coasters at theme parks that you may have experienced before, there is a rush of adrenaline. Except this type of adrenaline leaves me exhausted and fearful of what is to come. Certain relationships, demolished. Certain experiences, devastated. Roller coasters were not meant to leave you or your hopes and dreams in ruins.

Understand that: I have noticed that as I have neglected the art of forgiveness, I have in turn placed expectations on others that are not attainable. I am putting in the work to stop this vicious cycle. It is hard. It is confusing. It is necessary. It is changing me from the inside out. It is and will continue to be rewarding...for me and everyone in my life.

Understand that: I am still available but I am now governed by a new set of standards. I may not say yes. I may not respond at all. I am in control of what gets my yes, my energy, my emotions. I am still your friend. I am still the same person..just reinvented, recharged, living by personal and spiritual revelation.

Understand that: I love you and I now realize that I can love you better and the way that God has called me to if I first love myself. Loving myself means choosing myself. That will now look and sound different than it has. For 31 years, I have had it all wrong. Forgive me.

Understand that: I am seeking mercy and grace in each day. In each experience. In each conversation. I believe that as I walk this journey and others see the new found freedom and joy in my life, they will too, maybe even you, let go of things that are holding them back from living their true purpose. Thank you for loving me. For doing your best. For understanding. Looking to the future has never felt so exciting. I can breathe. I can dream. I am more productive than ever..but not dismayed if I want to take it easy, too. I can just be me