I wanted to start documenting things I love about my months, whether that's going on a trip, a good conversation, a thought-provoking event, etc. I wanted to begin to remember the things that were absolutely amazing about February because one day when I need it, I'll be able to look back and see that all moments pass, bad ones and good ones.
I have a lot of internal conversations with myself, which sometimes makes it hard for me to communicate. My internal conversations are worse than when I externally process because I feel like I am trapped within myself and I can't get free.
Most people call this overthinking. And there was a moment this month where I was overthinking absolutely everything about what I was doing. I ended up having a long conversation with my boyfriend about everything I was overwhelmed with, and as always, he reminded me that it was going to be okay, he made me laugh and then told me how much bigger God was in comparison to the waves of pressure or anxiety that try to overwhelm me.
I had been thinking a lot about fear, how for the past six or so months, I've learned how much bigger God is than my problems. I've learned how small the problems are, how tiny the demons really are, and I find myself in a space of realizing that I am bigger than the forces of darkness. Even the tiniest flame of a match is greater than the darkness around it. Its glow stretches beyond itself and overpowers the darkness, and sometimes I feel like a tiny match that's lit with the smallest flame, where I can only overpower so much of what's coming against me.
My boyfriend and I recently were reflecting on how much we've both grown in the last five months of us dating. He said, "When I first started dating you, I asked you what you loved about yourself, and you replied that you didn't know. A few months later, I asked you the same question, and as if you'd never heard me ask it before, you started listing things you loved about yourself as if it was nothing at all."
The funny thing about this conversation was that I had never stopped long enough to realize that this was a huge accomplishment. He was right: when he first met me, my view of myself was nothing but negative, and I hated myself. Now, I don't. There's no animosity that I hold against myself. Sure, I need to forgive myself from time to time, but I don't hate myself, I don't see myself as a failure, and above anything else, I have a value for myself that I didn't have before.
I was spending time with God the morning after we had that conversation and I felt so happy, so thankful, so content. While some days I have my head so far down and am so busy to the point I am no longer present in my successes and it feels like everything is crashing down on me, I look at that and know that I'm more powerful than that because I have a God who is bigger and a God who has my back. I also am surrounded by parents, friends, and a boyfriend who loves and supports me and don't hesitate to tell me when I am wrong but also don't hesitate to celebrate my victories. I overcame something I didn't see an end to. That's a huge deal for me. Overcoming something of that magnitude makes me feel like I can take on the world.
When I face fear, this is what it feels like: I'm looking at the thing I'm afraid of, and I feel a headrush, I feel nauseous, I'll feel like I want to throw up, my tongue falls paralyzed, I feel fatigued, and all of a sudden, my mind is thinking five-hundred-million things and completely blank all at the same time. This is what I felt every time I thought about going back to work as an independent businesswoman.
I overcame another obstacle of fear. After months of not doing anything, I told my business partner that I was thinking about picking up my slack in December. I also told them that if I was going to do it, I needed to ease my way back into it and I needed to do it at a pace I felt wouldn't kill me. I gave myself a timeline: January was going to be a time where I got into a good grove with my new client as their children's director and housekeeper. February I was going to add another ball to juggle: business.
It's only been a month, to be fair, but so far, it's been great. It's never easy getting back into business, and the key to success as a businessperson is consistency and discipline, which to be frank, I have the capability to exercise, but willpower was another issue. I've been using the 5-second rule from Mel Robbins, and it's helped trick my brain to forget the fears and just do it. It's been so powerful for me because I feel empowered every time I accomplish something I am nervous or uneasy about. Consistency and willpower are my weakness, but it is going to become my strength.
My boyfriend and I took a trip with a few of our best friends on Super Bowl Sunday while the Chiefs dominated the 49ers. I preferred this to watching football, especially since the Patriots weren't playing this year.
I enjoy taking my days off to spend time with them because as I've said in the past, they're some of the best people I know and we always have so much fun. Being around my friends and boyfriend has taught me how to kick back and relax, have true rest without my brain always thinking about work. They've taught me how to have fun, how to rest, and that life doesn't always have to be planned out, that it's okay to be spontaneous and enjoy the ride.
I'd think they'd say I've gotten a lot better at this.
We celebrated our friend Chris's 20th birthday and had a blast. The funny part is I just recently found out that a lot of the people in our friend group are around my age, so a lot of us are turning/have turned 20 this year. As wild and crazy as they are, we always have so much fun.
I also got to see my little cousin compete in YAGP this month! She did an incredibly beautiful job and I am very proud of her. It was also a bit nostalgic for me as I performed exactly one year ago from the weekend at the same venue for YAGP, my last time. It was exciting for me to be able to share that moment with her as family, and see her truly dance for the first time!
It was also crazy how she inspired me to want to dance again. My aunt sent me a message about my cousin's process, sharing with me that she'd mentioned that I was an inspiration to her. It meant a lot as if I'd forgotten that people look up to me. So I got inspired and decided to be consistent again in my dance schedule. My cousin inspires me to get better and to keep dancing.
This month we interviewed two incredible people: the first episode being with my incredibly multi-talented sister Kay and with my dear friend Robert, who is making incredible moves in the film & ballet industry.
Kay and I just had a fun chit-chat, two sisters sitting on a bed chatting about life, fun, and hobbies. She is a comedian, actress, animator, incredible artist, young entrepreneur, and an all-around genius. A few takeaways from that episode was to have fun, remember to make yourself laugh first and in turn, you'll make others laugh. We also hear about her heart to "Make money and help people," which is her life goal (and what a life goal at that!). It was so meaningful for me to be able to share this moment with my sister and I had so much fun bringing her on.
Robert and I met at an American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Irvine, California in 2016. I was there when he created his Instagram for the first time (@robertmack1776). He has always been such a gentleman and a sweetheart, and it was so fun to get to chat about his recent successes with his film and what he's doing next. As fun as it was to interview him, it was just as fun and meaningful to me to catch up with him. I am so proud of him and his endeavours as his film SHIFT won "Best Film" at the 2020 Los Angeles Feedback Dance & Music Festival. Congratulations on your current and future success Robert! Hope to have you back on soon!
February felt short, but it also feels like the beginning of the month was forever ago. I'm excited for March, as my little brother will be turning sixteen and I cannot believe in.
What was your favorite part of February? I'd love to know! Please be sure to check out the #JFFpodcast Recap and listen to the episodes if you haven't already! Chat soon lovelies, Ellie.