My Constant Companion, The Darkness.

The big ‘D’ word no-one wants to hear about, and yet we all fight the same battle just in different forms… meet Depression.

It feels like you’re numb all over.

One of the best ways for me to describe how I feel when my good ‘ol friend depression comes to visit me is numb. It’s the oddest feeling. My whole body is numb, but my brain feels fizzy. It’s like when you eat pop rocks. You can feel and hear the fizzy sensation/noise that it makes in your mouth. Now imagine all of that going on inside your mind.

I call my depression The Darkness. When I feel it creeping up I try and get ahead of the game: I buy groceries, wash up all the clothes, clean the house, wash my hair, shave my legs, everything I can think of that I know without a doubt I’m not going to want to do. The Darkness and I are old friends so I know how it plays out, or how it usually plays out. It never fails. You can’t stop it.

Once, a couple of years ago, he hung around for 2-3 weeks. That first week I remember sitting on my couch looking down at the floor. I glanced over at the clock and it was 11 am. When I “blinked” it was 3 pm that fast. I have literally been staring at the floor for 4 hours and I didn’t even realize it. It was as if I blacked out and time was never a factor. I had errands to do and responsibilities to uphold. The Darkness didn’t care.

Before 2020 I could work out harder, increase supplements and water intake, or schedule some days off the go somewhere. All those steps helped me build up my weaponry to fight The Darkness. And it worked… a lot!

But than 2020 happened.

And not just the ‘world is ending’ part. I sold my business, moved from the South to the North for a relationship, adjusting to the relationship and lifestyle (and the weather), stepdad passed away, trying to help run the family business without him AND being 700 miles away, raising a teen, and with all that going I found out that I couldn’t transfer over my massage licenses to my new state. My career, my livelihood, the essence of me, and everything I worked hard and sacrifice for, gone.

That’s where my old friend comes into play. I was able to defeat him up to the point of me not being able to massage. Then he got me. I folded like a delicate, old piece of paper. So here I am. Faking the smile, going with the flow, wishing, and regretting things. I know The Darkness will get bored and let me loose again, but this time it will take a part of me with him. And I am afraid that part is not recoverable. We’ve been friends for 22 years if not longer. I have defeated him, but never got rid of him. Thanks for another one 2020.

Until next time my constant companion.

Things To Be Thankful For In 2020

No matter which pieces of your life that 2020 has taken away, there is always something to be thankful for

  • After the loss of my stepfather this year, I am more thankful for my family than anything. When you have someone who was considered a pillar in your family taken from you it makes it a little harder for a family to continue to stay close. I am thankful that we fought, argued, cried, laughed, and grew as a family together. We as a family continue to honor my stepfather through how we handle our ups and downs. He would not allow us to “act any less”. For that, I am thankful.
  • I am thankful for nature. There is something therapeutic about the world around us and the act of discovering nature. Rather if you are taking a weekend hike or a Sunday drive, the scenery that surrounds you is truly breathtaking if you take a moment to allow yourself to breathe it in. It reminds you that there are still things in this world that are pure and untouched. There are things that still hold value and worth escaping to. It reminds you that there is more to life than the everyday stressors that we have become accustomed to. I am thankful for the constant reminder that nature continues to provide us.
  • I am thankful for my faith. My faith has been my constant companion during life’s hardest and brightest moments. My faith has kept me going and believing that there is something ‘just over the mountain’ and to not stop working towards it no matter what is happening around me. My faith has kept me from stressing over things that I cannot change that seems to consume and torment others. My faith has kept me grounded especially during these troublesome times 2020 has dished out. Without my faith, I would have fallen deeper into the dark areas of my mind.
  • I am undoubtedly thankful for my daughter. She has been – on more than one occasion- my pillar to stand on. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be her mother. I am thankful for her sense of humor, view on life, her contagious laugh, and her ability to know when I just need a hug. She has pushed me harder to be the best version of myself without ever knowing it; to never settle for less than. I am thankful for my daughter.

2020 has not been fair to any of us. It has taken more away from us than we can imagine. Not only has it taken pieces of our life away, but it has also given us a gift. It has given us a gift of true self-discovery that without the quarantine, we would have never taken the chance to have. I am thankful for this crazy year and Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?

4 Morning Habits To Help Put A Little Pep In Your Step

Forget hitting the alarm multiple times. Try this instead!

1) No more “beep…beep…beeeeep” for you! Switching out your typical alarm beeping for some music is the route to go. Let’s think this through, you know you have to wake up the next morning and you know that dreaded alarm is going to sound. When it does go off, you automatically are put in a bad mood and not ready to face the world.

By switching it to music that not only mentally persuades you to get up, but also waking up by music puts you in a better mood. A better mood equals happier thoughts and happier thoughts equal creativity and happiness. Sounds like music to my ears!

2) You don’t even have to leave the bed for this one if you do not want to! One of the best and easiest way to start your morning is with Child Pose. All you’ll have to do is throw the covers over (or get on top of them) and stretch.

It’s an easy stretch, that can be modified, that gentle stretches out the muscles in your back. It’s also a great transition from sleeping to waking up. Talk about Rise and Shine!

3) Wait, but first… not coffee! I know, I get it. I’m a coffee LOVER. I drink it daily, sometimes a couple of times a day. Fun fact though is that I never finish a complete cup. Weird, right? Back to the habits- drink water instead.

I think it’s safe to say that some of us know to do this, but almost all of us never apply it to our morning routine. Not only is it refreshing, but it is amazing with flushing out toxins. It also helps with the morning blues aka fatigue. Goooooood Morning 6:30 am!

4) Hot or cold? That is the question! I’m a fan of washing my face with a warm cloth in the morning. It’s like a mini facial-ahhh! But cold water is the way to go! Washing your face in the morning with a cold cloth not only helps you wake up, but it also does wonders for your skin.

It helps reduce puffiness, helps to close your pores, but also reduces wrinkles. Let’s be honest, if it helps reduce any wrinkles I have then you don’t have to tell me twice! So basically you get QUADRUPLE the benefits of washing your face with a cold cloth: helps wake you up, reduce puffiness, helps close your pores, AND reduces wrinkles. Yes, please!

7 Things That Other Dog Owners Forgot To Tell New Dog Owners.

Just like being a new parent, it’s hard to be completely ready for your new pet. Hopefully this will come in handy!

1) YOU’RE GOING TO CRY and it’s ok. There’s a difference between wanting a new dog than actually having one, rather if it’s a puppy or not. It’s an emotional rollercoaster between the nonstop barking, the 10 pm zoomies, or them just being so darn cute after raising hell. And you are going to second guess your decision. So let it out and cry. It will all be ok.

2) THE FUR! If there is one thing I was not expecting was the fur EVERYWHERE. I found it in my bra, on my coffee cup, in my gym bag, everywhere. And yes some dogs don’t shed and some dogs shed more. That alone will drive you insane. Just invest in a really good pet cordless vacuum and stay consistent. Keyword: consistent.

3) THEIR PERSONALITIES: My pit bull-Aspen- personality can be overwhelming at times. If he was a man he would be that really cute guy that’s funny, adventurous, charming, but also a jerk. You know the type. So be prepared for the diversity in personalities. Some may be ‘an Aspen’ and others may have an old soul. I would even suggest looking online for dog personalities to help you gain a better understanding of your dog.

4) SOCIALIZING YOUR DOG: Oh man, this one is important! Pit bulls get a bad rap naturally so I made sure to socialize him early -since he was a puppy-and often by going to the dog park. He was able to be a dog and ran and play. It taught him to develop positive social behaviors around other dogs. Since he has an alpha personality, it also humbled him to realize he wasn’t the top dog. I also took him for walks on trails, my neighborhood, downtown, and even to a doggie daycare. Invest the time. They’re worth it.

5) TOYS, TOYS, AND MORE TOYS: You might as well just go ahead and invest in PetSmart. You’re going to be that dog parent that buys a toy every month. Especially if you aren’t able to be at home throughout the day, toys keep their minds busy. We want that! Busier the mind, less bored they become, less destructive they are. Toys!

6) THE FARTS: I want to prepare you for this one. I knew dogs fart, BUT what I didn’t know was how bad it was and will get with age. They can literally clear a room! It also depends on diet, age, health, etc. There also seems that some dog breeds are gassier than others as well. So be prepared for that “I’m sorry. My dog just farted” line for your guest because it’s going to happen.

7) THE BESTFRIEND: If there is anything about owning a dog that you didn’t truly prepare for it would be the unconditional love your dog will have for you. At first, you might not see it depending on how difficult the start was, but it will come. It did for me. Just know that you will not have a better friend or bond than with your dog. Make it a point to spend time with them, to understand them, make memories with them. That’s how love is formed and earned.

No matter what type of dog you decide to get or have, be patient. It would make things a lot better if you and your dog’s personalities match, just like in any relationship. But once you found ‘your dog’, enjoy the rollercoaster ride of adventures in loving that dog. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.

What’s you dogs name and breed? Would you agree?

Aspen ❤

Mornings With My Mama: Cup of Coffee and Unwanted Advice

Having a typical cup of coffee had to be reinvented for my mama and I, but her Southern advice is still painfully the same!

“You just have to let it go like water on a ducks back.”

Mama

If I wanted to talk to my mama now, I would have to call her. But before I moved out of state, I would go see my mama. She would either have sweet tea or a pot of coffee ready to drink along with a ‘plate of food’ to eat. Our conversations would start with laughter, but always ended with her giving (not offering) some sort of unwanted advice.

And she never failed at delivering!

One morning while I was visiting her I was explaining how upset I got by what someone had said a few days prior. This person and I were discussing the differences in our upbringing. She was from the North and an only child. She doesn’t like sweet tea, used words like ‘pop’, and wasn’t really close with their aunts/uncles/cousins. The idea was never really pushed on her to have that type of relationship with them.

That blew my mind!

I have both a sister and a brother, and I literally have over 25 immediate aunts and uncles. Most of them I have spent summers with and saw them frequently. We have family reunions once a year on my mama’s side. And what is pop? It’s called coke all day long. And sweet tea is a must in the South. If you don’t like it, something is wrong with you as a person according to ‘Southern logic’ 😊.

I was enjoying the conversation comparing and contrasting, and laughing about our differences until she said- “I guess it’s true about you guys being slow. It’s taking us 30-minutes to have a 10-minute conversation”- came out.

Say what again?!

Now, before I continue I think it’s important to note that I am half Native American and Puerto Rican. My mother is Lumbee from NC and my father is from Puerto Rico. I’m also an Army brat. So when she made that comment, I instantly felt my Lumbee-Rican blood BOIL. As I’m telling my mama this story and what happened next…

My mama laughed, hard!

Everything just stopped and all I could do is stare at this woman. What is happening right now? Is she laughing?

” Mama! What’s so funny?! “

” Nothin’. Keep going “- now she’s just smiling.

” Mama, It’s not funny. Did you hear what I said she said? “

” Yep. ” She starts laughing again.” She’s got a point though. “

My mouth dropped. All I could think was ‘of course my mama would not only laugh, but agree with what was said.’ I started shaking my head because, at this point, I don’t even want to finish the story. I’m upset! So I walked to the kitchen to put my cup of coffee in the sink, grabbed a glass of sweet tea instead, and sat back down on the sofa. It definitely turned into a sweet tea kind-of-conversation.

” Now Metia. ” (Mee-tah) is a nickname my mama calls me.

” No mama. You didn’t even let me finish my story. How are you going to laugh and then say ‘she has a point’? “

” I know. I’m sorry. Finish your story .”

” I don’t want to now! ” At this point, I was feeling like a whiny teenager who didn’t get her way, but my mama was letting me play the part so I kept it up.

” I can’t believe you said that. She was in the wrong and she took it to the next level. She didn’t even smile or laugh after she said that, so I know she was serious. All we were talking about was the differences in upbringing and the North vs the South. Then she had to say what she said! “

At this point my mama is sitting all the way back in her chair with her long legs crossed over each other, tapping her coffee cup with her fingernails, staring at me patiently listening.

I stopped talking.

You see, at 35 yrs. old I’ve recognized that body language and that silence. We’ve had many conversations similar to this one for as long as I could remember. Sometimes it follows with the conversation being agreeable on both sides, sometimes with it turning intense, and one time with me just leaving her house-ok, maybe a couple of times with me leaving. So I waited in the awkward silence

” You done? “

” Yeah-Yes ma’am.”

” You feel better now? “

” I feel better. ”

” Can I talk now? “- This women is relentless. Playing that guilt card like a pro.

” Yes ma’am. “

” All I said is that she had a point. I didn’t say she was right. You sitting over there a huffin’ and a puffin’, getting yourself more worked up over nothin’. Sometimes Metia, you just have to let things go like water on a ducks back. “

You see, I knew what my mama meant. I have grown up on ‘Southern logic’. It’s advice that isn’t over-explained, isn’t overly complicated, and a lot of the time not direct. It can leave you pondering and asking yourself, come again?

My mama is full of advice like that. The thing about advice like that though; It always makes sense at the end and 9/10 times it’s exactly what you needed to hear. You just didn’t realize it yet. Oh, and you won’t forget it either!

” Just let it go and keep on going. You ever considered that she didn’t realize what she was sayin’? That for her a 30-minute conversation could have been a waste of time since you guys were at work compared to a 10 minute one? “

” No, I didn’t think of it like that. “

” Well, it ain’t her fault darlin’. Sounds like she just doesn’t know how to have a decent conversation. You know, with her being by herself her whole life. Ain’t her fault she’s a boring person, ” Than my mama proceeds to take a sip of her coffee.

And just like that, my mama had me laughing so hard that I forgot I was ever upset in the first place! After that, we both laughed and kept on going to the next topic of conversation. It’s never a dull moment with that woman. When you think you know what is about to be said or happen next, she turns the table on you.

I miss visiting with my mama whenever I wanted to, but I am so thankful for technology. She’s never a phone call or video chat away. I got to say that I may miss her Southern logic as well.

Leave a comment and tell me what advice did your parents give you?


Not Feeling Confident About Your First Massage? I Have Advice For You That Will Help

The Do’s and Don’ts for Receiving Your First Massage and What to Expect Told by a Massage Therapist.

I DID NOT enjoy my first session.

I was 28 when I received my first massage and I was completely unsure what to expect during my session. I decided to go back to school to become a massage therapist and by doing so I had to receive a massage as a requirement. It was not for me! In some areas, she massaged too hard and in other areas, I could barely feel her massaging me at all.

Not to mention that I had a terrible headache right after.

But I didn’t know what I could have done differently: should I have told her that she was hurting me here but that I couldn’t feel her massaging me there, that this was my first time getting a massage, that I did not like my feet being rubbed in any form or fashion, or that I was cold the whole time? It was not what I thought it would have been.

Luckily for you, I am here to spare you all of the heartache of you second guessing your massage decision!

  • The first thing you have to DO is ask yourself what type of massage are you wanting to receive? Are you wanting to have a relaxing session, are you wanting to focus solely on a specific area of your body (shoulders, neck, knees) that you are having problems/pain with, or maybe a little bit of both? When you decide what type of session you are wanting then it will be easier for the therapist to mold the session to fit your massage needs.
  • If you are receiving a massage for the first time DO tell the therapist. A really good therapist will take the time to explain what you should expect and to help settle any nervousness you may have. We want to make sure that you are comfortable, secure, and that you have a good first session.
person holding babys foot
  • DO tell the therapist if you do not like your feet, face, or scalp touched. Trust me, if you do not it WILL BE MASSAGED. And it is ok if you do not like those areas to be touched. I personally hate my feet to be touched. I understand the benefits of massaging them, but it ain’t happening! So yes, please let your therapist know.
  • It is completely ok if you DO fall asleep while you are receiving a massage. Honestly, I consider it a compliment because you trusted me enough to allow yourself to be that relax to fall asleep. PS: if you snore, you snore. It truly does not faze a therapist at all!
  • You DO NOT have to be completely undressed to receive a massage. The choice is yours. I will tell you this though that if you do decide to leave your shirt or pants on, for example, those areas more than likely will not be massaged. A typical rule of thumb is that if it is covered, it will not be massaged. So if you are wanting your back massaged I recommend undressing for that. If you are still unsure, just ask your therapist.
  • You DO NOT have to shave your legs for a massage. You will be surprised how many women apologize for that. I get it, trust me. My legs are shaved depending on life at that point. For us therapists, it is not a make it or break it kind of deal.
modern businesswoman in casual outfit talking on mobile in office
  • DO NOT not show up for your appointment. If you know you are not going to make it or be late, let the therapist know. We know that life happens. A lot of time they can fit you in later that day or that same week. Appointments are how us therapist makes our bread and butter. Communication is always key.
  • You DO NOT have to tip. Yes, you read that right. Actually, it is not required for you too, but it is expected. Depending on where your therapist works can depend on how much you tip. I tell my clients whatever they think that the session was worth, tip accordingly. It’s your session!
  • I would consider this as a “DO and DON’T” point and to be the most important one. Just bear with me. Please be respectful of your massage therapist. We all know that massage in general does not have a good reputation historically. Unfortunately during both World Wars, most massage therapists had to resort to prostitution as a form of survival during those times.

We no longer live in those times. Massage therapy has regained its rightful reputation/place in the healthcare field as another form of pain management and alternative medicine. We do not consider the term “happy endings” as a joke. It is an insult.

With that being said… if a massage therapist ever makes or insinuate any inappropriate/ sexual gestures or remarks, there are steps you can take. First, let the therapist know that you are uncomfortable. A therapist may not be aware that a certain comment or gesture – like not securing the sheet tighter- made you uncomfortable.

We are still humans and make mistakes not realizing it because as therapists we get stuck/comfortable with the flow of our routine. If that does not work, let their manager know. You are protected as clients. Worst-case scenario, if appropriate actions have not been done by the manager or supervisor, contact the Massage Board of that state.

I know that last point was intense, but I believe it needed to be pointed out. You would be surprised by what clients say when they are either extremely nervous or just completely unaware. It happens to the best of us and when you don’t know, you don’t know. What it all boils down to is your massage therapist making sure that you have a great and safe first massage session.

two people shaking hands

So please take these insights from a massage therapist, share this post, and book yourself a massage session! Any questions or comments you have, let me know. I would be more than glad to answer them. You deserve to be treated well and to enjoy your massage session to the fullest!


	

4 Top Ways to ‘Escape from Reality’ Without Traveling Far.

Grab your keys, your sunglasses, your drink of choice and lets go!

1) “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. -John Muir”. Go explore the world around you. Find a trail at a state or local park and just go. I can personally tell you that there is nothing like losing track of time and escaping on a nature trail. Enjoy the the world around you the way is was intended to be. The world was created for us to discover its mysteries along with its beauty. And it literally is at the tips of your fingers.

2) “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”- Bob Marley. There is truly nothing in this world like escaping into the world of music. When you throw on your headphones and block out any and all outside noise… pure bliss. It washes that day, that week, and that months stressors away. You are sent back to a time where life was simple, you felt free, and nothing in the world mattered. Escape and relive that moment.

3) “A good weekend starts with a positive attitude and a great massage.” When the weight of the world is unbearable and you can feel it physically in your body, nothing like getting a really good massage. As a massage therapist myself, I have seen the complete difference in demeanor, attitude, and stress levels with clients after receiving a massage. Escaping with a massage is the most beneficial ‘getaway’ yet and you deserve it.

4) “Really in a mood for a long drive with no real destination”. Nothing like grabbing your keys and just going for a drive. We all have that one road that we are consciously curious about with where it goes and what’s at the end of it. Even if that road offers nothing but perfect views and a sense of wonder, what better way is there to escape than succumbing to your own curiosity. Some of my best moments start with, “I have no idea where we were, but it was gorgeous and much needed.” We all need those kind of moments.

With the uncertainties of tomorrow, it makes it harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 2020 has not failed us in the sense of it providing an on-going series of hellacious events one after another. Where you are in this world, take advantage of your surroundings. It does not have to be an all day adventure. Go and escape until you feel that weight lifted off and that deep breathe finally comes easier for you to take. Leave a comment. What’s your perfect way to escape from your reality?

12 Ways to Selfishly be Positive Without Feeling Guilty.

The only thing to feel guilty about is not putting yourself first!

1. When you are tired, stressed, and don’t want to do a task… SAY NO! One simple, freeing, yet powerful word.

2. When no one is around, EAT THAT LAST PIECE OF CHOCOLATE. Actually, just go ahead and eat that piece of chocolate anyway.

3. CUT YOUR HAIR SHORT. Despite yourself or whomever else thinks that you can’t pull it off, yes you can. Be brave and bold with the new you!

4. BUY THAT DRESS. It fits you like a glove and hugs your curves just right. You deserve it and you know it.

5. When you walk into the kitchen and the sink is full of dishes, keep on walking. WASH THE DISHES TOMORROW.

6. TAKE AN EXTRA 30 MINS for yourself in the bathtub. Use all the hot water on yourself with zero remorse.

7. TURN THE MUSIC UP. Who cares who hears it? Not like you blast it every day anyway. Turn it up and enjoy your favorite music.

8. DON’T ANSWER THAT CALL. Just because “they” are calling you, doesn’t mean you have to answer right now. That’s why you have voicemail.

9. You know that you have a Target addiction and girl I don’t blame you! So BUY YOURSELF THAT PURSE you’ve been eyeing.

10. Every time you think of it, it puts a smile on your face and fills your heart with joy. GET THAT TATTOO just for you!

11. DON’T SHARE YOUR SODA! Enjoy every last drop of goodness without the kids, husband, and even the dogs.

12. ORDER THAT STEAK. Tonight is the night that the prices don’t matter. Tonight is just about you!

There is nothing wrong with being selfish a time or two. Especially when it’s done to boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, or to make your world a little brighter. Most importantly, don’t forget to put yourself first. You are important too. In what ways would you be selfishly-positive?

Hot Towel or Not to Hot Towel? When in Doubt, Do!

Is using a hot towel necessary during a massage session or does it just feel good?

When that ‘awww’ sensation takes over…

That’s a hot towel to the body! It’s equivalent to you holding that hot cup of coffee between the palms of your hands when you’re chilly and you begin to warm up. ☕

I caught myself using a hot towel for almost all my sessions with my clients. Rather it was in the beginning, mid, or towards the end of the session, I was using one. But I wondered if using a hot towel really necessary? Or do therapists use a hot towel just to use one?

The answer is yes and yes.

What are they?

Prep work makes the dream work!

Using a hot towel is extremely beneficial to a client during a session. It helps ‘prep’ the area that the therapist will be working on. Let’s say you have back pain and wanted your therapist to work it out; a hot towel will warm up the soft tissues and muscles for you. It’s easier to treat any area warm than cold.

It’s kind of like mixing chocolate syrup in hot milk rather in cold milk: You spend less time stirring and it mixes better together. That means any soreness you may have had will not be as significant due to warming your back first by using a hot towel.

Relax the mind, you can relax the body!

A hot towel relaxes the mind. There is not one session out of the hundreds I have done that a client didn’t let out the biggest sigh of relief AFTER I placed a hot towel on them. In that sense, we as massage therapists just have to wait and let the body do its thing, sorta say. In a way, it does our job for us. If the mind ( the control center of the body) can relax then the body will follow, literally! It is truly amazing how much the body can respond when the mind is ‘shut off’ and how massage affects each of the systems of the body.

It just feels amazing!

Plain and simple: a hot towel feels AMAZING! You get a sense of relief that just washes over your body and in a way it feels like a security blanket. It just makes your massage session even that better of an experience. There is no wrong or right time to use a hot towel during a massage session, but if you rather not even bother just let your therapist know. No problem!

Rather if you like a hot towel or not during a session is all up to you. Let me know what you think! Are you a hot towel kind of a gal or guy?

Don’t Lose It, She’s Just a Mini-Version of You. An Emotional, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Version.

When your daughter ‘suddenly’ grows up and you are faced with a person you don’t recognize and barely like

One day your little girl is looking up at you with the biggest, roundest, and brownest eyes ever. She is asking you 20,000 questions about the sky, trying on all of your jewelry so she can “look like you mama”, asking about the -what if’s- of the world.

Than it happens:

Puberty.

Your little girl is now 13 and the only thing she is asking you is when dinner is ready and if she can go to a friend’s house.

What makes it all sting a little more is that your kisses no longer make things better. You singing along with her favorite song is no longer cool. Your jokes sound more like -dad jokes- than them actually being funny. If you try to help her pick out any outfit, God forbid if you do because your style is -outdated!

But how did her turning into this 13 yr old person happen so quickly? Wasn’t she just losing her first tooth or stuck to your hip while you two watched a movie together on the couch? Wasn’t she randomly crossing her arms and legs with each other as she was reading a book with Teddy by her side?

What happened to that girl? Better yet…

What person replaced her?

She looks like your daughter, but now she is eye-to-eye with you. This person smells of B.O. because they refuse to use the hundred and one bottles of deodorant you bought them. And this person argues and cries at a drop of a hat about the most minute things: a video they watched, the calm and collective way you thought you told them to do something, or if they have ‘nothing to wear’ when their closet is still half full.

Who ARE you and what have you done to my daughter?

It all happened so quickly and without warning. You literally just tucked her into bed, gave her kisses, said your prayers, and then it was as if ‘IT’ woke up in your sweet daughter’s place instead. The Mr. Hyde to your Dr. Jekyll.

Never in your life have you wanted to put someone in their place. Maybe even knock someone so badly, but you can’t. Legally you can’t because it’s your daughter and you know you still love her because she is still standing in front of you- back taking. Or trying to backtalk, but she even knows better so she is trying to backtalk without back talking you.

What kind of an emotional rollercoaster of a person did you create?

Where did you go wrong?

The other worse thing about this hand you have been dealt with is that person standing in front of you reminds you of someone. Oh, you know who! The way they cut their eye at you, or the way they say ‘huh?’ when asked the same question over and over, or the way they try to give you a hug and a -I’m sorry kiss- after an argument. Yeah, It’s you. They are a mini-version of you.

How do you win against that?!

When all seems lost with your new ‘roommate’, something out of the blue happens. It is as if the skies parted and for a moment this person does the unthinkable…they smile… on purpose because they wanted to. Then they laugh WITH you because you were funny. And when you thought that your heart was full…

She gives you a hug before going to bed.

She literally, at her own accord, came downstairs to give you a ‘just because’ hug. Then there she is, your little girl. Even for a brief moment, she emerged. Now you know with all the craziness of her growing up and you finally accepting the fact that she is growing up that you two will be ok. You two still have each other’s back and you need each other. That you two will still be close, but just in a different and better way.

Do you agree?