the one with all the phobias

To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around it.
-Richie Norton

Back in February of 2015, I was feeling overrun with fear and insecurity. For some reason, I decided I would feel better if I gave my fear a real name. I came up with anuptaphobia, aphenphosmphobia, and philophobia.

Anuptaphobia: the fear of staying or being single.

Aphenphosmphobia: the fear of being touched.

Philophobia: the fear of affection.

All of these irrational fears stemmed from the one that started it all: the fear of being single forever. I was am the biggest hopeless romantic and this only made my sadness of feeling alone deepen. I pored over romantic movies and books and hung on every word of the stories my friends would tell me about the guys they were dating. I thought about this notion all the time – night and day – and would come up empty on why I was still single. To be honest, I thought I was quite the catch and to stay grounded, I would tell myself that all those possible suitors who looked right past me were the ones missing out, but I still felt empty.

I wish I could tell you that as soon as a boy finally noticed me all was well. Little had I known that it was much worse to actually have someone there to backup your insecurities — as soon as it happened I wished that it hadn’t. I would have much rathered be invisible than being told I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, reckless enough, smart enough, worldly enough… the list goes on.

I wish I could tell you that if I had only been patient and waited for the right guy to come along that all would have been well. I truly do not believe that would have been the case. Had I made the choice to say no to the few offers I received in the next two years, I may not have known the good that was my husband or I might have taken his good for granted. I believe that had I not gone through that heartache and confusion, I might not have chosen my husband at all. I wouldn’t say I am grateful for all of the hurtful memories that accompanied dating, but I do think they were worth going through, because I wouldn’t trade where I ended up for anything!

Remember that guy I used to talk about? Then one who not only made me incredibly happy, but also accepted every part of me? Well, we got married! It blows my mind to look back and see how broken I was about being single when this guy was just around the corner. I used to be afraid of being single forever, of being touched, of affection… well I’m living proof that it is possible to put that behind you when the time is right. All of those fears have been stripped away from me and I feel so much lighter now!

| Lauren Grey


Saying Yes to the Dress


I’ve never actually seen the show that dons the phrase, but I know it’s what you say when you find your wedding dress, which I did!! But I won’t lie, the process was exhausting.

As excited as I am about finding the most perfect, elegant dress, by the end of the day I was beat. The wedding dress industry is not made for toothpicks like me. I wrote a post two years ago expressing my opinion on the body image crisis of our society. I see everyday ads and articles about how curvy women aren’t ideal, but I live in a world where curveless woman aren’t ideal. I am a curveless woman and I experience unacceptance and insecurity all the time.

Yesterday, I was on a mission to find a wedding dress. To go to boutique after boutique and try on dress after dress and feel like a princess all day. One thing I was not expecting when I started my day was to find that they don’t make dresses to fit small women like me. I looked around the store and realized that they make dresses to fit curvy and plus-sized women, but none that fit small, short, curveless women. Every store I went into squealed with delight at how “small” I was and they would do everything they could to make the dresses fit me. Another thing I was not prepared for was that I would have to go show-off every dress I tried on a runway in front of the entire store. I had to walk in front of all of these strangers in these dresses that swallowed me. One boutique didn’t even have mirrors in the dressing room, so I had no idea how ridiculous I looked until I got out there. That was so unexpected.

A lot of people don’t like it when thin women complain or claim that they don’t fit in. To them, we don’t have problems, because we aren’t overweight or our thighs don’t touch. Well, I am here to tell you than any woman can have insecurities with their body no matter their size, weight, or height. They don’t have to justify it, but we need to understand that there is no perfect shape or weight, but we need to be accommodating to all sizes and not overlook the extremes.

But I am choosing to take the events and feelings of yesterday and use them as a learning experience. I learned I like smaller boutiques that only cater to two brides at a time, so there was less of an audience and that I would love to be an advocate for small brides, because they deserve to have the same options and treatment as tall and curvy brides.

But in the end I found my dress and my dress makes me feel like a princess!

Little Attacks


I deal with depression. It is not a one and done thing. It cannot be cured.

For almost a whole year it was really bad. A few weeks I would cry myself to sleep every night and then there were a few weeks that would be [almost] good where I would smile or give a laugh. I went to counseling for two months, but didn’t feel that changed much. There were a few times I thought it had reached its peak only to figure out another bad day was just around the corner. During those really bad weeks, I spent a lot of time in my closet. I found comfort there. But it was false comfort; it only lasted for a moment and then it was gone.

Through lots of looking inward, I realized that my depression stemmed from fear of not being good enough and not being accepted. During this time, I developed anxiety and so many new insecurities. There were days I didn’t even want to leave my room from fear of failure and the anxiety of people watching and judging me.

I knew I came off as weird, a little stand-offish, judgmental, and smart, but I just wished that someone could see me as I was: struggling, hurting, spiraling. Not many people wanted to be around me once I started taking a turn for the worst. It was understandable, but it didn’t hurt any less. I felt so alone. I had shoved my religion to the wind and literally felt I had nowhere to turn.

October was when things started to look up. Someone reached out. I found a Bible study, a church, friends, a support system. It was exactly what I needed. Eventually, I stopped having such depressing thoughts. November and December were some of the best months I can remember. I was genuinely happy and excited. I hadn’t felt that in so long and it was long awaited! It wasn’t perfect, but the good days were really good!

The truth, though, is that it doesn’t take much to crack the shell you have been so delicately gluing back together. I thought the next year was going to be the best, but then came my first breakup which rocked me to the core and brought back so much of the insecurities that I thought I had shaken. But this time when I had my meltdowns, I had people there for me. People wanting to build me up and keep me company. This time I didn’t feel so alone.

Well now I am dating one of those people and he makes me so incredibly happy (most of the time). I am so grateful for his patience and silliness, but sometimes those little unwanted thoughts seep back into my ears and I freak out over little things. It happened last night. We had spent basically the better half of the day together: napping, lunch, errands, The Secret Life of Pets; but after the movie he wanted to go home. This was totally normal, of course he is going to go home, but after I dropped him off and got back on the road, I started tearing up and by the time I got to my room, I was sobbing. I had these thoughts that he was getting tired of me and that I exhausted him and that he wanted a break. I told myself that everyone feels this way eventually and it was a miracle he had lasted five months. I sat in my closet and cried. I ignored the text from him and later sent him this overly melodramatic text expressing how much I got it and he responded informing me about how much I didn’t get it.

For some amazing reason, he never gives up on me and I never scare him off. It is incredible how much he understands my insecurities and accepts me for them. Needless to say, the rest of the night went fine and all those thoughts have gone away. But those little attacks can be so scary and so frightening for a person “recovering”, more like fending off, depression.

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
-Ephesians 2:22

I Still Have a Lot of Fight Left in Me

future 1

I have never been so excited to welcome November, but here I am waiting with open arms. This month is all about letting go, moving on, and gaining a brighter focus. I have been bogged down by what-ifs for too long and I am ready to wash them away.

Letting Go

“It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts worse to hold on.”

For awhile now I have been replaying fears and failures in my mind. It’s funny how the things you wish could go in one ear and out the other somehow seem to get stuck in the middle. Embracing the fact that I cannot be perfect is something that I have been really working at. Some days I think I can conquer the world and others I don’t think I can manage to make it down the stairs, but I am tired of letting perfectionism and insecurity rule my mind. Starting now, I am going to be proactive in helping make all aspects of my life healthy and happy.

Moving On

“I feel like I’m waiting for something that isn’t going to happen.”

I have realized that I feel better when I am not thinking about the person I thought meant something to me. I have been hurt and confused by him for too long and I will no longer be a pawn. We have all read quotes about how if things are meant to me, they will be… it shouldn’t rip you apart. I never really believed or understood this until now. I used to always believe that all things take hard work, but now I realize there is a difference between a relationship that takes work (because they all do) and ones that leave you lost and in tears.

“You need to realize that he doesn’t care and you could be missing out on someone who does.”

That sounds harsh, but isn’t it the truth. Maybe he does care a little, but if he isn’t showing it then it’s basically the same thing. In the past couple days I have been reminded that I have options; that other guys find me cute and desirable. I haven’t always felt that way, but I don’t live in a box and there are plenty of cute, sweet guys out there who will treat me right and love me well.

Brighter Focus

“Waiting for someone else to make you happy is the best way to be sad.”

Believing in myself is not the easiest, but if I am constantly looking for approval in the eyes of others (friends or guys) then I won’t ever be satisfied in who I am. I need to learn how to be independent and comfortable in my own skin. When I was younger, I used to be so confident in who I was and didn’t care what anyone thought of me and I knew that the only people worth being in my life were the ones who accepted me for all my characteristics. Somewhere along the way I lost that confidence and I want to focus on finding it again.

I know there is a light at the end of this tunnel and I have recently begun to feel its warmth. There is hope for me– my attitude, my thoughts, my feelings, my future. I am not a dead-end; never was and never will be. I just have to keep trekking and keeping my head up high.

The past three days have been wonderful and I am going to make sure November is full of more days as great as those.

❤ a girl

We Can’t All Be Hourglasses

flat chested

Being confident seems like a catch-22 sometimes.

My personality isn’t really a problem. That molds itself to whatever situation I find myself in and my sass can handle itself, but there are times when I am not confident with my physical self as I am with my mental self.

Let’s just get this straight: I am 5’1 (and a fourth). I am 97 pounds. I have A-cup breasts. I have no butt. My feet are a size 5 and a half.

Now there is nothing wrong with being a petite woman. I can embrace it for the most part and have been ever since I was very little and everyone started looking different than the stick that I am. But it can become difficult to keep that confidence and be proud of your body.

First, you can’t control what you look like. When we get down to it, the basis of what we look like has to do with genes. I have blue eyes and pale skin, plus I am short. Well my parents happen to look a lot like that.

Second, I happen to have a fast metabolism, so I get so frustrated when people tell me I need to “put meat on my bones”… hello! Do y’all just think I don’t feed myself, because I am actually quite the pig.

Third, it becomes an ordeal to see yourself as a beautiful woman and believe that somewhere out there a handsome boy will too, when everywhere I go I get mistaken for a child (as young as 12). I know I will “be grateful for this when I am older”, but honestly no one wants to be told this every day. Sometimes I just want someone to realize that I am, in fact, 20 years old.

Lastly, there is all this talk about body type. It has always been a thing that society tells all girls they need to be skinny and look like models, but I don’t think this is the case all the time. I am all for plus size models and more realistic looking manikins, but people need to understand that there is this fine line. Bigger girls are told they need to be smaller and smaller girls are told they need to be bigger, but there is no perfect size.

We have artists singing songs about how men like curvy girls and I appreciate that they are standing up for themselves, but I don’t feel like we have reached equality in this war between thin females and larger females. We are all beautiful and should lift each other up and encourage one another. We should be proud that we don’t all look the same. I am a skinny, curve-less girl by no choice of my own and I am tired of feeling self-conscious about it one day and ashamed the next.

This all came to me earlier when I was at a lingerie shower (which by the way I survived 😉 ). There were these cookies that one girl had made and they were all of these very voluptuous butts and breasts. It wasn’t a big deal, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is what society expects; big booty girls with breasts to match.

I don’t know why this has struck a chord in me, but I guess I am just tired of the endless hooplah about female body image. I am tired of hearing that society tells woman they should be thin, because I don’t think that is what society preaches anymore. I think society preaches that you should be “just right”, but there isn’t a just right. Depending on what body type you have is what dictates what society tells you. As a female I want to stop feeling inadequate just because I am a small and I want my friends to stop feeling inadequate because they are curvy, plump, or pear shaped.

We are all beautiful and perfect and if you wish to lose weight or tone your body then let that be up to you and not by the people around you.

❤ a girl

P.S. This whole “body pride” thing all started earlier when I was picking out what to wear to the shower. I chose this summer dress that was airy and had spaghetti straps. I realized that it looked super cute on me, but that no one else at the party could have pulled it off. At that moment I was so proud of my figure and decided to embrace my no butt, flat-chest body and work it to the best of my ability.