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Be honest, Be real, Be you.....

One of the most important lessons I've learned in my life is being strong enough to just be me. To pursue what I love, to help who I can and to trust that even if I mess it all up, somehow in the end it will all work out. And if you want to to achieve your best life you have to start with you! We all make mistakes and take wrong turns in life. And at some point we all have to stop, decide what kind of life we really want to be living and what the correct course of action is to achieve that life. The first step in achieving that life is being honest with yourself. Honest about who you are and who you want to be. Honest enough to own up to your own mistake and stop blaming your parents or others in your life for what your life looks like right now. I'm not saying they had no part in making your life more difficult but at some point you have to choose to either be crippled by that past or empowered by it. Choose to overcome it and use it to help others out of similar situations.

The next thing you have to do is be real. Real with yourself and those around you. If you are in pain don't act like you are okay. Reach out for help, find someone to lean on. I know better than most what it's like to be there for everyone else but have no one to go to when you are in trouble. To go through everyday feeling totally alone. After years of that you will break and you will break so deep that being there for anyone including yourself will be something you are unable to do for years. It's not pleasant so trust me, don't go there! Not everyone of course wants to be there for you (some are simple not capable of it and other's just don't care) but most do care about you and honestly do want to listen to you, cry with you and support you however you need to the best of their ability.

The third thing you need to do is be you. "Find out who you are and do it on purpose" - A Walk To Remember. That is one of my most favorite quotes because you can never life your best life if you ahve no idea who you are! What is that you love? What makes up the essence of who you are? What makes you cry? Laugh? What scares you? What inspires? Dig deep and find the answers to those questions. Some of those answers might surprise you! And some may be hard to digest.

Being me has been a little harder the last several years. Chronic illness can change you, for me that illness was Lyme disease and it wrecked my life. But I am slowly but surely putting the pieces back together. I'm a goofy person always have been and I'm sure always will be. But for a long time my smile faded into tears and being curled up in a ball on my bed in so much pain I could hardly move. It turned into crawling to the bathroom because I was in too much pain, too sick and too weak to walk. My laugh turned into begging God to just let me go home because I couldn't take living like that one more day. But you know what, I did survive! And even though I have had to deal with a lot more illness and secondary infections and complications I have learned to be happy again. I've lost touch with so many people over the years who mean the world to me. It finally came down to me having to put my health first and that was the hardest decision of my life. I enjoy people and love them dearly but my immune system since Lyme disease has made being around people difficult. It's been very easy for me for to get sick so my entire life has changed. I go to movies when no one else will be in the auditorium. I shop online or so early in the morning that no one else is there and everything has just been cleaned. And I hardly see anyone from November to March! Once the weather gets nicer I am able to step out and enjoy life a little more. When you are battling with chronic illness it's hard to get people to understand why you have to constantly turn down invitations (even one's you really want to go to) but it's stay healthy or go have fun. Until I get my immune system built back up, I stay in the safe zone. I've learned to keep in touch with people via cards, letters and texts messages, and of course social media.

My point is don't isolate yourself no matter what you are going through. I write to stay in touch with the world and text to stay in touch with friends and family. Find a way to connect and plug in. And one brick at a time create your best life!

Be honst, Be real, Be you

Bobbie De Leon

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