I was sick for the majority of this week so I haven't quite caught up in normal life which really means I've been wracking my brain to think of this week's blog subject. And then it hit me, my fabulous little Instagram feed hit the one year anniversary point. Almost like a whirlwind first year of marriage... So fabulous yet so damn turbulent that I couldn't forget about it even if I tried.  And so here I am with a sappy recap. Ha! Just kidding.... We all know I hate sappy. So let's go with sassy and a bit jaded. Yes, perfect. 

For those of you who have recently discovered the random musings of beYOUdesignsut, you most likely don't know that it really started out as an experiment.  In my former career I was a small business banker and almost every meeting I had with clients the subject of social media would come up. Naturally, me being a woman of 25... I mean 30-something, my clients generally assumed I was a SM (social media) expert. Well, not really. I had a private Facebook page and a private Instagram page, but for the most part I kept it pretty simple. And all the nonsense about hashtags and "at" signs were just that: nonsense.  At the same time I had a number of people that would consistently ask me about my outfits and where I bought them and how I came up with them, etc.  And certainly last but not least I was pretty sick and tired of seeing all these websites and IG feeds with rail-thin chicks who you know are mostly air brushed and sans personality and making those of us with curves and flab in all the wrong places feel like shit.  And then the experiment was born. 

In the beginning it really was all about the fashion. I made a few idea boards and then would post my personal outfits. The picture above reflects some of my first posts (minus the bottom right photo).  It was a really good coping mechanism for me as well because I was going through some rough emotions due to some failing relationships and my job was turning out to be hell on earth. Everything was happening for a reason. 

I had NO IDEA how blessed and watched over I would soon become because of this little experiment. One day I stumbled on an absolutely incredible declaration of a gorgeous woman in the UK who, with IG as her witness, made the promise that she wasn't going to let the looming thoughts of self-hurt win the battle and that she was going to overcome her struggles. I tear up just thinking about it because it was powerful. So powerful that I sent her a message and we are now the dearest of friends and we are international sisters. My Lottie. She was because of a hashtag search. 

And then there were my kiwi girls. I don't really know how we all found each other, but I know that it was absolutely no coincidence. These brave, beautiful, snarky and incredible women are fighting the vicious battle that is eating disorders. Oh how much I have learned from each of them and I am truly amazed at their courage and sass and ninja skills in a world that is just downright terrifying.  

And remember how this was all about the FASHION? 

Then one day I found Simone. A stylish instagram shop owner who became an instant friend because of her infectious love of thrifting and a long list of other things. She is by far one of the most creative women I have met in all of this. And she is an incredible mom, even though I know she thinks she's not on most days. 

And remember how this was an EXPERIMENT?

Throughout all of this I found that I was not only changing the shift of thinking for a few, but I was healing and mending too! Because believe it or not my self esteem has taken a beating a time or two or ten. It is NOT easy being a woman in Utah. Ugh. Let's not get on THAT tangent. But, I was also dealing with some unresolved mourning and the journey with that alone went hand-in-hand with my "experiment." 

In February I decided to do a fashion feature during the week of Valentine's Day about loving the body type you were given and how to dress it to flatter it, not to hide it. In the midst of all of this I found my dear friend April. She is an Ogdenite extraordinaire and a true foodie and a fighter of fights that need no explanation. I absolutely adore her and her little family. They have become dear friends who I appreciate so much. And her husband may have been the final straw of convincing me to learn to ski this year by his compelling sales pitch for the learner's deal at Snow Basin. Damn him and his sweet sales skills. 

There are so many things that I have learned in the last year. But I think the one thing I've learned the most is this: there is not a single damn one of us who is not fighting a daily battle of some kind. And if you think you aren't then look in the mirror and have a serious chat with yourself. Additionally, our nationality, religion, sexual preference, marital status, number of children, number of shoes we own or fancy purses we hoard does NOT define us. What defines us is the beating heart in our chest, the lungs that breathe the air around us, the brain that thinks and the two feet that carries us to our next destination. We all still want the same things: to be loved, revered and respected. 

God be with each of you who have made it to the end of this post. You are not alone. Fear not to be YOU.  And if your biggest fear is saying I love you to the one who you've loved for months, don't worry....you're not alone. I promise. I understand. 

The moral of the story: everything happens for a reason. And thank God for that.

Until next time, my lovelies.


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