NYME

 

NYME (supposed to be cleverly posted on NYE but...life).

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I guess I've started a tradition by doing this last year. You're a friend if you read this, I'd understand if you didn't. It’s about a 7 minute read, (I know because I googled it).

2015 was all about Me.
I started the year surrounded by married couples as I sat alone with a red bull. I was single, jobless, and the designated driver.

A month later I got offered my best career opportunity to date. I'm now a User Experience Designer and Consultant at a firm I'd place higher than any acronymed consulting firm in history.

I increased my income two fold, I didn't have to look at my bank account before buying chipotle anymore.

For how grateful I was, I was still anxious, then depressed, then numb. 

I lost myself.

I wondered if maybe I wasn't so special, if I'd peaked in college, if I wasn't meant to be successful. It sure didn't feel like I deserved what I'd gained for how sad I was, I felt sick. I went to bed at 7 and talked to stupid people who didn't ask hard questions. I checked out. 

I was late to everything under the guise of “stress” which, I’ve found, it’s just a word for improper planning. 

I was over indulgent, selfish, and, at times, irresponsible.

So I kept being selfish. I decided to take care of myself again, to love myself, and figure out what made me happy. I was on a ruthless journey to happiness, and I decided I was going to do exactly what I wanted to do, regardless of what everyone else said.

Do you remember who you were before the world told you what you should be?

I was a west Texas girl who liked to draw horses and dogs and play alone. I was the nerd who taught herself photoshop and code so she could spend her weekends making custom xanga layouts for her friends. I was a Harry Potter freak, a reader, a political guru, and philosophical, future-forward thinker. I was a writer, a debater, and total tomboy in the head. I loved my family and believed I'd find true love but it's not what I dreamed about at night.

So I built what I did dream about. I moved out of my frat house disguised as an uptown apartment, and into my own place complete with stained concrete floors and massive ceilings. 

I found the perfect desk to create at. I found bar stools the that look like tractor seats (because Midland). I showcased all of my Dirk Fowler posters and design books. I hung my diploma because Texas Tech is a damn fine school.

I found a futon at Walmart, because my life isn't about naps anymore.

I had two men who are like brothers to me build the most beautiful bed I've ever seen. I found a big white rug that tricks you into thinking you took ecstasy, and no one appreciated it as much as me…until...

Well, I found myself sitting on my patio reading "A Brave New World" under a hot July moon (did I successfully get Strawberry Wine in your head? You’re welcome) on a Friday night in Dallas, TX. I was fully content and completely alone. I realized I’d found myself again.

*Ding*. A text from Jamie Sarten, a long time Lubbock friend, inviting me to a pool party at her boyfriend's parent’s house.

Enter Richard Carrizales II

I can't write much about Richard because it might become a manifesto. 
If you know us, you kind of get it.

But I will say, I've found someone who knows me and gets me, all of me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. He loves it all.

I've been shown love and grace and gratitude. I've become more humble, more loving, more selfless. I appreciate what I have, where I’m from, and where I'm at a million times more.

Richard has been a catalyst of positive change that has rippled down into the rest of my life.

I’ve always found joy the little things, noticed what others didn’t, got excited over efficiency…and I thought that made me weird; but my counterpart is even weirder, so now it’s a party. Thank you, Richard.

I love Dallas.
I love Texas. I love my family and that extends far beyond blood (you know who you are). I love design. I love people. I love the weirdos. I love innovation that matters. I love Jesus. And I love myself. 

I figured out that following "God’s Plan” for you doesn’t necessarily mean shipping yourself overseas as a missionary. It’s simply going after what you actually love, not what the world tells you to love, then doing that with a humble heart and His guidance.

I’ve found out that adulthood is all about figuring out how true cliché phrases are. They’re so empowering when you understand them.

Be yourself. Love yourself. BE SELFISH.
If you have not taken the time to be selfish and determine what your dreams, goals, and passions are, then you aren’t any closer to helping society. I mean it.

It’s okay to be figuring it out. I understand myself better everyday, because knowledge of self only leads to more knowledge.

Are you still with me? Thanks.
This is me, being over indulgent one more time. Talking about me, one more time. But it’s all to say, that…

2016 is all about YOU.

I’ve done the discovery phase that I need, I know my passions, my strengths and my goals, and I’ve aligned myself with the right people to help me. Because it’s all about people, just like my father said when I told him I can do everything alone. It is ALL about people.

So in 2016, you’ll be seeing a little less of me. Literally.

I’m quite pretty, I wear some neat outfits and I go to cool places in them. We get it. Enough about me. 

Let’s discover some new things together. Let’s aspire to create some things that matter.

I’m going to be doing and listening more and talking a lot less.

I'll be designing, reading, traveling, learning and writing.
I’ll keep you updated.


Please Reach Out

If you feel more similar to how I did at the beginning of 2015, if you’ve lost yourself, please reach out to me. My honesty in this blog is my vow to not judge, nor share. I know some tips that might help now, and I’d love to share them with you.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
— Too lazy to google who actually said that, because usually the internet is wrong about quotes. Doesn't Matter.

It’s great to be alive again. Let’s go do some good.

 


No Body Cares

 

That’s a picture of me – eating what I hope is a bucket of ice cream and not sour cream, but who knows, I was a freak of nature who was allergic to colored foods – and my sister as children. Remember when you were a kid and your body was just a thing that held your skeleton so you could run, jump, talk and laugh? I miss that blissful ignorance so much that I have to look at photos to remember it ever existed.

That’s a picture of me – eating what I hope is a bucket of ice cream and not sour cream, but who knows, I was a freak of nature who was allergic to colored foods – and my sister as children. Remember when you were a kid and your body was just a thing that held your skeleton so you could run, jump, talk and laugh? I miss that blissful ignorance so much that I have to look at photos to remember it ever existed.

No Body Cares

This is a post about my body and how I don't care about it as much anymore.
So let's just all take a moment to bask in how clever the name of this post is…that being said, it’s not that I have NO body cares; I guess you could say I have SOME body cares, and usually some is better than none.

This isn't the kind of post where I'm going to bash all the people who compete, or love running, or meal prep. Because one, I love all those things too and two, I live and let live - you do you…or a different version of you named Caitlyn. I mean, whatever works.

So what do I mean by no body cares?
I just mean I've stopped dedicating so much energy to hating on/loving on/perfecting upon, and overall focusing on, my body. This wasn't something I intended to do...and this all might very well change the second the summer sun (finally) rears it's beautiful head and shows off that cellulite dimple on my thigh. But for now, I don't really care that much.

I know what you're thinking, "OMG Stephany! No! Don't let yourself go!!"...I'm not. I lost a healthy amount of weight over a year ago and I've successfully maintained that weight for over a year. I still work out 3-5 times a week and, if I have the amenities, I even meal prep. I try to stay away from simple carbs, sugar, and dairy on the weekdays because those items don't make me physically feel good. 

So it sounds like I do care. And I do care about my body in a sense of health, and if it functions properly, and if I pretty much like how it looks. But, right now, I'm not nit-picking beyond that. 

You know that skinny friend who always rags on her body and you can't listen to her for a second longer or you're going to snap her stick thin arm in half (because you literally could)? That's what I started to see my inner voice as. And I got to the point where I was annoyed.

Am I stick thin? No.
Have I ever been? No.
Will I ever be? No.
But am I overweight? Nope.
Does anyone else notice the body "flaws" I claim to have? Nope.
Do I have any health issues that should cause concern? Nope.
Does my body function as it should? Yes.
Do I meet the minimum requirement of what men typically like in a women's body? Yes.
Does any of this even matter in the grand scheme of things? Nope.
So shut up already, self. NO BODY CARES.

Believe me, my inner-self still tries to get at me and tell me I'm not good enough and I'm over here like, “hey yeah, I hear ya, things aren't as awesome as they could be in the abs department…but did you hear what I accomplished at work today?”

Or: “Okay, my delts aren't as rocking as Cameron Diaz's...however, did you know my friend just got engaged and it’s her day not mine?”

And: “You're right, my thighs do touch sometimes, but did you know that ISIS is beheading people for their religious beliefs?”

A Million Billion Trillion Things
I still have a passion and love for health and fitness. If you know me at all you know I love working out and a quest bar over a real cookie any day. But I'm just finding the older I get the less I see my body in parts. I'm tired of saying "my triceps/glutes/thighs need work". No. They don't need work. I am a body of work and at work. There are a million billion trillion things going right about my body. Why would I spit in the face of its creator and complain? 

The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
This has become a mantra of sorts for me: I am whole, I am healthy, I am complete just as I am. I accept my body for how it is in any given moment of any given day. 

I have more to offer to the world than a bundle of flesh and bones.
This thing I've been obsessing over is just a temporary shell given to my soul so that I might live out what God has called me to do. It is a high end, luxury model of a machine and I've learned to take care of it enough to keep it running smoothly. So I'm choosing to put my efforts and focus on building the inside: my thoughts, my talents, my mind, and my heart so that I can serve my purpose to the best of my ability. 

I truly think EVERY body is a miracle. I see so much beauty in every body I encounter. Let's stop scrutinizing our miracles and say it all together: "NO BODY CARES."

2014: Endings, Beginnings & Pizza Crumbs.

2014

I ended a 3 year long relationship...on New Years Day. 

I lost 20 pounds...or something like that. 

I saw the sunrise at least 100 times because I never slept my last semester. And if I did it was on a velvet, fuchsia-colored couch in the Mass Communications building...because I am fancy.

I helped lead the Texas Tech Ad Team to 1st place in District, and 3rd place in the nation.

I took a $30 shot of whiskey, lost my wallet on 6th Street and sang songs with my teammates on a private beach in Boca Raton. 

I went to New York City and three of the biggest advertising and design agencies in the world. I entertained the idea of working at one, but in the end I didn't have the balls (or money). 

I got cheated on by a guy I wasn't serious about in the first place...and laughed. 

I completed my portfolio: stephanybradford.com.

I discovered my true passion in life: perfect eyebrows. 

I graduated college from Texas Tech.

I moved to uptown Dallas with my oldest friend. I said goodbye to my house/home of 17 years when my parents moved to Wylie.

I became a small child person's aunt.

I downloaded tinder.

I missed my family, especially the ones in heaven. I wanted to ask them how to...adult.

I went on 8 interviews, worked for a start up, met the most wonderful people, made a new best friend, and got a job as an art director.

I found a man I'd give my life for...his name is William Barrett Ward and he's 6 months old.

I deleted tinder. 

I turned 23 and magically started caring a lot about my skin and decided I actually hate uptown bars.

I fell in love hard, truly, madly and deeply...with pizza and brunch.

I found a new church and my old Bible. 

I struggled a lot, I got a lot of things I never deserved, and a lot that I did. I saw God's grace. I became an adult.

It doesn't take a new year for endings and beginnings, they happen every day.