Failure. Imperfect. Lazy. Worthless. Fat. 

These are the messages that have been subtly creeping in my head repeatedly, bouncing around aimlessly; not serving me.

Perfection does not exist, but that does not keep me from working hard to achieve it. I am, and always will be, a goal-setter, and when I don’t achieve my goals; when I fail in my own eyes, I take it very hard. There’s a part of my personalty that is both a blessing and a curse to me; I am hardworking, driven and determined, yet sometimes my hunger to succeed and achieve causes more anxiety and trouble than it’s worth.

I am my own worst enemy at times.

I think that sometimes people are surprised when I get really vulnerable via my blog. “But you’re so positive and happy all the time!”  I may exude positivity, self-love, and worthiness, but I would be inhumane if I didn’t have feelings of shame and insecurity at times. I also am a REAL girl; one who struggles, falls down, and fails. I get angry, cry, pity myself, and then get over it. I struggle just like all of you, and things are not always perfect.

Lately it seems that I’m in a constant race with my life. Have you ever had that nightmare when you’re running a race and trying so hard to beat your opponent, but time is moving in slow motion? Or your feet are submerged in quicksand? I feel like I am always in a race with the clock. There is always a nagging to-do list, and sometimes 24 hours in a day just doesn’t seem enough.

The summer months have always been my favorite time. I love warm weather, and we only get so much time of it in Wisconsin, so I don’t take it for granted. I was reminiscing the other day of how my summers used to consist of working at the ice-cream shop, hitting up the movies every weekend, sleeping in till noon and tanning outside. Not a care in the world. Now, my summer is filled with grad studies courses, making money, resume-building, keeping up with my house, wedding planning, and essentially running a small business with the fashion portion of my blog. I love my life, and my intentions certainly are not to complain.  Life is just very different compared to what it looked like 7 years ago.

Adulting, in a sense, is what happened.

Lately, I’ve had many high expectations for myself that have failed, essentially. And like I mentioned above, I don’t take failing very lightly.

-I wanted to write a book this summer, and I am struggling finding the time to do it.
-I wanted to lose 7 pounds by this summer, and instead I’ve gained 7 pounds.
-I wanted to take a blogging e-Course this summer, but that hasn’t happened.
-I wanted to attend a Girlboss conference, but don’t have the time or money.
-I wanted to get a huge amount of wedding planning done, and I’ve barely touched my planner.
-I’ve had my Nikon since Christmas, and still haven’t set the time aside to learn how to use it.
-I’ve had to lower my number of blog posts per week due to my highly intense grad program.
-I wanted to spend some time volunteering this summer, and I haven’t yet. 

Just writing down that list makes me feel like shit. They are failures in my eyes, and it feels like someone just pounded me with a ton of bricks. But see, friends, that’s the thing; these really aren’t failures. They are SHORTCOMINGS.

I am not a failure. I love with my whole heart and have a wonderful support system of family and friends. I am a graduate student. I make enough money to support myself (barely- LOL!! But besides the point.) I reach thousands of people with my blog daily. I am healthy. So why do I still think that I am a failure? Because I currently don’t have the income I desire? Because I’m not stick skinny? Because maybe I don’t have enough Instagram followers as I want? Because I don’t have my dream job yet?

I wrote this post to remind myself of something important, and to remind you all who, like me, feel the effects of “failure” when you don’t achieve everything that you hope.

We are not defined by our shortcomings.

My main gal Brené Brown says it best, “You are imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”

You know, maybe I won’t finish my book this summer, or hell, in the next 25 years. Maybe I won’t ever be 125 pounds. Maybe I will never find the time to attend a blogging conference. But guess what? So far this summer, I’ve read 6 books. That’s more that I have read for pleasure in the past 5 years combined!! And the time that I could be spending writing my book, I will instead be traveling the West Coast, and making memories that will last me a lifetime with my fiancé. This summer I will attend a total of 4 weddings and celebrate the love of my friends. AND, after this summer, I will be 3 credits closer to obtaining my Master’s degree. These are all accomplishments, but not ones that we readily praise.

We like to define our worth and base our happiness off of achievements, which can be self-destructive.

I am busy, not a failure. I am not defined by my limited self-constructed idealism of who I SHOULD be, rather than who I am in this MOMENT.

This post was painful for me to write at first, but it feels really great to get that all out in words. Now tell me, what do you feel has been your shortcoming lately? Let’s encourage, support, and love one another. Have a great week, babes!