You Alone Are Enough

Hey guys!!

I find myself writing this post at 2am- a hour that I am not proud to be up at debating life’s biggest struggles- but yet, here I am.

The past few weeks have been some of the best of my college career but also the heaviest for me.  And by heavy I don’t necessarily mean “bad” but more that they have weighed a lot, I have felt a constant weight pressed on my chest to be the best, to make everyone happy, and to not crumble under pressure of that weight.

Today, I realized where this insecurity and weight has been originating from and I am sharing because I feel that a lot of people may also be wrestling with a similar struggle.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by phenomenal people.  Whether it be my family, roommate, boyfriend, best friends, sisters, club members, fellow hokie lovers- they all constantly amaze me with their ability to be difference makers on our campus and in the world.  These folks push me every single hour to be better, to reach further, and dig deeper.

I have a crazy amount of appreciation for these people but I also have a constant, ongoing struggle with comparing myself to them.

At every turn, at every second, I am weighing myself up to the people that surround me on a daily basis.  I ask myself how will I ever be able to be as cool, as fun, as faithful, as dedicated, as smart, as pretty, as outgoing, as intentional, as involved, as genuine as these folks throughout every interaction.

Unfortunately, for those of us who struggle with this comparison monster, it is the result of by being surrounded by great people.  It is incredibly dumb, and every second these thoughts are swirling in my head I know that I am acting irrational, but I still feel that I am in no way “enough” in comparison.

So, here I am sitting on my suite couch at 2am, and I am ready to be done.  I am ready to stop comparing myself.  I am ready to stop measuring myself up to my best friends and peers.  I am ready to stop telling myself that I am defined what is or is not on my resume .  I am ready to stop presenting this “perfect” front and  I am ready be vulnerable and admit my glaring imperfections that really show through while writing a blog post while also feeling torn up by self- inflicted, unnecessary torture.

So if YOU, whoever you are, are also wrestling with this, I want you to know that you are not alone.  I also want you to know that you are so valuable as a human and so important to those that surround you. You bring something to every room you enter simple because you are you.

If you are anything like me, and have way too many doubtful thoughts rushing through your head at 2am, and you may even find yourself vigoriously typing on a computer about it, please know that you are not alone. You are so not alone in this.  

And although you are not be alone in this, you alone are enough. You alone are enough. We alone are enough and because of that simple fact we can let that heavy comparison weight go.

Duck Pond

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {happy hc}

 

“If I just get this ONE thing…”

Happy Monday, everyone!  

Just last night I was sitting in Starbucks with one of my best friends Lizzie.  She is one of those friends that you know every time you talk to each other it will be the best conversation you will have had in a long time.  We get deep in Starbucks, y’all.

Anyways, we started chatting about involvement at Virginia Tech.  Whether that involvement be in dorm life, working life, classes, Greek life, or Virginia Tech’s amazing Hokie organizations it seems like a lot of our friends find a lot of value in plugging in with this amazing community that we have found in Blacksburg, VA.

I started telling her about a small realization I had a few hours after I found out that I was going to be an Orientation Leader at Virginia Tech this summer.  For months I told myself “If I can just get this ONE thing, I will be happy, content, and won’t apply for anything else- if only I get this one thing.”  Does this sound familiar to anyone? I have told myself this at least a dozen times since coming to college.

“If I can be in this ONE organization, get to this ONE place, be friends with this ONE group of people, I will finally achieve all of my dreams and be happy” is a statement I find myself muttering all the time.  

So, after several weeks of the application period I found out that I will be in serving that position this summer- and to say that I am excited would be a massive understatement.  I truly am ecstatic about this opportunity to love future freshman Hokies but within one hour of getting this email I found myself walking around campus wondering why I didn’t feel inherently “happier.” I was incredibly excited and honored, but I didn’t feel any more content with my overall life than I did earlier that day.

You are probably catching on to the “things don’t make you happy” message, but right now I want to talk about how organizations and groups of people will not make you inherently happier or  more satisfied with your life either.

This has been on my heart a lot recently as my sorority sisters and I have been preparing for Spring Recruitment, which is actually starting in a matter of hours here at Virginia Tech.  Before going through Recruitment last year as a freshman I found myself saying the same old line that I have been saying my whole life, “If I can just be in _________, I will be finally be satisfied and happy.”  If you are going through Recruitment, there is a strong possibility that you have found yourself thinking that same thing and you can probably fill in that line above yourself.

We as humans buy into this lie that if we can just get to this ONE place we will finally be satisfied and all will be right in the world.  But if there is anything I can reflect on in this college journey it is that the statement above is completely false.

For the girls going through Recruitment- you will find some of the kindest, most generous and loving women in your future sorority.  You will find girls that make you incredibly proud to wear your letters, girls that you brag to your parents about being friends with because they are that awesome, and girls that push you to be your best and so much more.

But, that does not mean that one organization will make you intrinsically more content, or will make you genuinely happy for all the days to come.  We put an incredible amount of pressure on ourselves to get to the next step, to reach the next level, and surely THERE we will find that unknown “thing” we are looking for.  “Maybe in that organization or in that group of women I can find the happiness and acceptance that I desire- I just have to get there” was the thought in the back of my mind last year at this time.  

I am just now realizing how toxic this truly can be.  We set ourselves up for disappointment at every turn the more we stake our “future happiness” on the things that are so of this world.  So, if you are about to go through Recruitment, or just someone who struggles with the “I just want this ONE thing…” mindset I want you to remember one thing as you go into this week.

Your inherent happiness and fulfillment in life is going to come from inside of you.  It will never come from anything outside- no matter how beautiful, appealing, or fun it may look.  YOU are enough.  These groups are phenomenal, they help bring out the best sides of you, they help you achieve your dreams and goals, they push you to make a difference, but one organization, one job, one success, cannot make you happy in the end.  That has to come from inside because you never know how the “things” on the outside will change- you can never rest all of your hopes for future happiness in one single thing or you will end up disappointed.

So, as you enter this week I want you to remember that your inner satisfaction, confidence, beauty, and happiness has to be found in you before you enter in new and exciting things. You are enough to find this inherent happiness.  YOU are enough.

things

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {happy hc}

 

Settled Hearts

Happy New Year!

The past few weeks have quite possibly been the most refreshing weeks of the entire year of 2015.  It has been quite the crazy year- and I certainly wasn’t expecting ANY of the craziness January 1, 2015.  2015 was definitely the most transformative year of my life, some of the sweetest, most rewarding, memorable experiences happened this past year but it also held times where I sat outside of dorm/house and flat out cried because I felt trapped and confused.  

My hardest cry, I promise this post is not just about crying, happened right at this time last year when I arrived back to Blacksburg. I began 2015 with one of my greatest memories from this past year- Formal Recruitment! But that week began with me bawling in my third floor bathroom of PY because I was torn apart about having to leave home, a place that I love dearly, to go back to school, a place that I also love dearly.

Just writing out that last sentence reminded me of the life I am so blessed to lead.  But nonetheless- there I was, crying in my bathroom after my mom dropped me off in Blacksburg because I felt so incredibly unsettled.  This “unsettled” feeling is something that I have really wrestled with the past three semesters.  I find myself wondering before I go to sleep at night “How can I be so happy in both of my ‘homes’ but feel so disconcerted when I have to leave one to go to another?”.

I think as human beings we long to feel settled.  And I don’t necessarily mean that in the typical way we think of “settling down” and getting married/starting a family- but more that we long for a feeling of settledness in our hearts.  We long to have settled hearts when everything else around us is moving and shifting so quickly.  We want to have stability dwelling in us, we want to love where we are, we want to feel like we can BE somewhere, literally and figuratively, and not worry about leaving.  We want to BE at peace, regardless of how many times you drive up 81 to get to school and back home in a given semester.

As I gear up to leave Thursday morning for another season of Formal Recruitment and for my fourth semester at Virginia Tech (the fact that I have 2.5 years left before adulting makes me feel ill) I can say that the unsettled feeling still pops up in the pit of my stomach at times.  But, what I try to remember when this happens is that I, as Hadley Carter, should be “settled” in more than my just physical location.  

YOU, whoever you may be, have more to you and more invested in you than just where you are physically located or the people currently around you right now.  You, as person, are meant to founded in MORE than the things of this world that surround you at this moment.  

You are so much more than unsettled feelings in the pit of your stomach.

I hope 2016 puts you in situations that take you out of your comfort zone, situations that grow you more than you ever thought you could be grown (Hello 2015!), situations that make you laugh harder than you’ve laughed before, and situations that bring you to your knees in tears.  But I hope through all these situations you strive to possess a settled heart.  A heart that is based in more than what part of the state, country, or world you are currently located and a heart that knows regardless of the situations life throws at you, you are grounded in so much more.

Sunset

Here’s to no more “unsettled” tears in PY bathrooms! Happy New Year, y’all!

Much Love,

Hadley Carter {Happy HC}