Beyoncé was right. We (girls) do run the world.

Women can be so powerful. I suppose for good and bad reasons (but really only for good reasons).  Nothing feels better, or is more powerful than having so many successful and strong women surrounding you in life.

Growing up, I was a tomboy and the girlfriends I had depended on who was on my softball team that summer or who was in my class during the school year. I did have a girl group throughout most of middle school, however that dissipated in high school.  My entire life, I felt it was easier to be friends with boys.  Throughout my high school years and college years, most of my best/closest friends were boys .  No, we didn’t have romantic interests, but girls weren’t people that I felt I had anything in common with.  I also didn’t have the best luck with girlfriends growing up either.

I’ve had best friends in the past. Best friends that you tell everything to, you do everything with, you cry with and go through some emotional traumas with.  You consider these friends your family, and you would do anything for them.  Unfortunately, these friendships aren’t meant to last sometimes and if one person is not in it as much as the other, then it is not doing you any service.  I truly believe people are put into our lives to teach us lessons – and the friends that I had added something important (good and bad) to my life and these people constantly mold who I am today.

There is this thing with emotional journeys, whether it be a cancer diagnosis or a death in the family (I had both…) that brings out the best and brings out the worst in people. Through hard times is when you end up connecting or sometimes re-connecting with people who are meant to help you through life.  The people that aren’t fit to join you on your journey will end up leaving, which is okay.  If they aren’t meant to stay, then they aren’t for you.  Remember – “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”.  Although it hurts to lose people that mean a lot to you, it’s going to hurt more if they stay in your life and keep disappointing you.  It takes time, but you will see that letting go is the best thing that will benefit you in the long run.

It may have taken a long time get over some lost friendships, but when you meet the right people; you just know it’s right and these people are lifelong friends. Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, you need one!  Boy, did I need one and my “tribe” got me through the absolute worst times in my life.  It only took through my second cancer diagnosis for me to find my tribe of women.

The women in my life are amazing. These women know who they are.  I am so incredibly lucky that I have such an eclectic group of women who are all individuals in their own right.  I learn something different from each and every one of them.  I think I woke up one day and realized how many WOMEN I am now surrounded by and was so enlightened about how life has changed.  I love connecting with each and every one of them.  I am BEYOND thankful for these people and what each connection means to me is more than I could ever say.

This year I set out to become more mindful. This meant that I was about to do some soul searching and do some lifestyle changes.  I am constantly working on myself to become more positive and do things that will only benefit myself and have people in my life that will only benefit me.  I believe that you only need to stick with the people in your life that only pull the magic out of you and not the madness.  How amazing is it to grow with people and for those people to appreciate your changes?   It is amazing that I may be in a different place in my life or a different age than others, but I still get to celebrate all of the milestones along the way with each of my girls.

There is so much hate in this world and so much to be sad or worried about. Find your tribe and find people that are YOUR people.  “Real queens fix each other’s crowns.”  Don’t waste your life on people who are not going to appreciate the person you are.  Find the people who give you only GOOD feelings when you see their text messages, or you get to see them no matter how long it has been.  As women, we need all the help we can get, so why do we need to constantly tear each other down?  Work on finding a way to support one another and if it doesn’t serve you well, then leave.  Imagine if we all supported each other; how crazy good each day would be.

Thanks for listening!  I would love to connect with you and collaborate on stories that have inspired you or celebrate your personal triumphs.  Look for @laughalwayswithlo on Instagram, Laugh Always Facebook group, and Laugh Always Facebook page.

 

~”Be somebody who makes everyone feel like somebody.” ~ “Here’s to strong women, may we know them, be them and raise them.” ~

Now introducing…

Laugh Always.

Original title right? I figured I needed to introduce this term first and foremost. Why this title? What does it mean to me? Read on to find out! (Please!)

I’m not going to bore you with details and a long and dramatic blog post; but here is the start! In 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I have been extremely healthy and active my entire life so needless to say, it was a bit of a shocker. As far as family history, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is not a genetic disease and the cause of this particular cancer is unknown. This diagnosis also came after both of my parents had passed away over the previous two years before. Needless to say, it was a rough couple of years.

I give credit to my upbringing, family and friends that molded me into the person I am today. Of course, my diagnosis was such a blow. I’m the type of person that doesn’t want to ask for help or have people worrying about me. I have “oldest sibling” syndrome and I have a tendency to worry about everyone else first. I quickly had a mindset of “I don’t want people to worry about me”. I had two choices; either to stop fighting and give up or go through it however I possibly could. 

My attitude for the most part was to laugh, at jokes, at my bald head, at the many pills I had to take, even at myself because that is how I chose to deal with it. I didn’t know how else to get through it. From looking at the bright side of things (I don’t have any weird spots on my bald head!) I was able to get through these times as best as I could. All of these doctors, treatments, experiences were all new for me.

Laugh always came about because of these reasons – Laughing at myself, laughing at life, laughing at my best made plans, etc. “Laughter is the best medicine” after all. Life sucks sometimes; but you CHOOSE how to react to life’s horrible situations. You may not have complete control over situations in life, but you have full control on how you handle and react to each situation, and how you react may be the key to how you get through your journey, regardless of what the situation might be.

I was 23 when I was first diagnosed; without my parents and without any assistance. I barely knew how to live on my own, let alone how insurance works and what all of these treatments were going to be. I was barely an adult. Since then, I have had another bout with cancer and how I CHOSE to accept my fate and accept the journey was beneficial to me in the long run. Mindset is everything! Being a young adult in a situation like this has inspired me to help those who are just like me. I don’t mean only having a cancer diagnosis, but losing parents at a young age or any kind of early adult trauma. “Laugh always” keeps coming back in my life and now I intend on keeping in the forefront.

I hear words like “you’re inspiring”, “your attitude is great”, “I could never do what you did”. I never set out to be any of those things and at the end of the day I feel like I went through this journey as anyone else would have. I have been told I could write a book about my life and my experiences. These things may not be what is in store for me, but I do believe that my journey can help people and help them get through tough times. If anything, my journey would be worth it if I am able to help one person.

My goal for this blog is to create a space to reflect on positivity, on life changing events and stories of hope. I have some big goals down the road, but what is the forefront in my mind is wanting to give hope to someone or give support to someone who needs it. There are so many people who need the “Laugh always” attitude or even just a daily pick me up. I want to create that space.

So I welcome you to my “laugh always” space. I hope you follow along and are excited for what I have in store. 

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