Graphic provided by Alice and Ivory. It's available here. Isn't it lovely?

Are you being true to you?
We have been thinking about this series for months and I have warm fuzzies writing this first installment of our Keepin' It Real Series. This first post is about being real with yourself. This is a topic that is really important to Michelle and I because it changes how you live and breath. And I hope that you sit a little higher after this post. And the next time you see your reflection you say, "That's me and I am awesome." So let's go back to the question, "Are you being true to you?" 
To be honest, there have been many times in my life that I, for one reason or another, did not know and love who I was on the inside and would have to answer the previous question with a "no".

 I am going to start from the beginning. Starting as a normal insecure teenager, I felt like I had to act, talk, and be a certain way to be accepted. Sure I had my friends who knew me. But every once in a while I would be able to put on this face of who I thought I should be and I would make friends who in the end weren't really my friends. Looking back the problem was I was pretending to be someone I wasn't. After high school I transitioned into adulthood and some of those ideas of my self-image stuck with me.
 You may have watched my interview with The Beyouty Bureau. In the interview I mention this topic. I talk about how I wasn't being true to myself. And how I felt I had to be sensual and constantly witty which isn't even a small bit of who I am. Even into my adulthood I often didn't feel comfortable with who I really was and my personality. And I would hide it with a reserved smile. Often after a conversation, a series of dialogues would run through my mind of how I should have talked or phrases I should have said. Being dorky or stumbling over my words embarrassed me. I wasn't accepting who I was and I would put myself down for acting the way I thought I was supposed to.
Through my adult life I also struggled with my identity through life's changes. It's hard to know who you are when life changes so fast. I was a crazy work hard, stay up late, figuring out life college girl who got married young. Once I got married we moved to Utah from Las Vegas, which is culturally opposite, and I had to once again try to find myself. It's embarrassing to say that, once again, I felt like I had to dress and act like what I perceived was the Utah way.
With each life change I have had to scramble to take pieces of who I was and put them together in a new mold to find who I am. As I got married, moved, and then became a mother I had to try to figure out who I was again and how I would act and think. For me becoming a mother was a huge "finding myself" moment and I think that's pretty common. Becoming a mother means you are now responsible for another human being and changes you. Being a mother also meant I would quit working and eventually schooling. I became the hotdog eating, baby book reading, stay at home mommy milk machine and very different than the person I had been just a couple years ago.

 With each year and as each life event has happened I have had to find who I was again. And in life this is going to happen often. We change grow and learn. As I began blogging about a year ago, I had to discover who blogging Natashia would be. How would the blogger version of me act? I saw other bloggers and their writing, personalities, photography, and even dress styles. It wasn't hard to follow people on instagram and think I, once again, had to act and be like them. And then something happened that has changed me. 

After a conversation, I was habitually overanalyzing in my head. I felt exhausted with the negativity within my own mind and it hit me, it is awesome to be me. I am imperfect, silly, happy, fun, goofy, and that is me. I had created this idea of perfection that was damaging and negative to who I really was. So what if I didn't say what I thought others wanted me to? That isn't what matters. What matters is what I think about myself and that I am happy with who I am. And that person is me.

I am grateful that I have met other bloggers and creative who are awesome examples of being themselves. Thank you for being you. Your courage has given me courage to say, "Ok world, this is Natashia. Take it or leave it."
 I am not really the Angelina Jolie sulky type. I stumble over my words and ramble often, so I am definitely not perfectly composed as I, for some reason, thought I should be.

I also learned that part of accepting who you are means accepting all of who you are. You have to accept your flaws. For me this has been really hard. I feel like I try to do things as perfectly as I can. But I am not perfect. I forget appointments, all the time actually. I say comments, sometimes without thinking them through. I am crazy, sloppy at times, loud, interrupting, perhaps a little too aggressive when passionate, short, in your face, and completely me. And while I am trying to be the best version of me possible and am constantly improving, I've decided not to tear myself apart anymore for my imperfections or the ways I act that I thought were imperfections. I have also embraced my positives. I am kind, patient, thoughtful, giving, emotional, empathetic, sensitive, funny, happy, positive, appreciative, strong, and loving.

Some pictures  taken by Heather Bliss Photography

As a blogger branding is really important. A brand is a name, design, or symbol that defines and identifies something from other things within the same category. Today we are going to talk about your brand. Do you know it?

 Part of my struggle was I didn't know my brand. At this moment in my life I am a wife and mother. I am religious and pray, everyday. I love health and fitness and feeling physically strong. I am creative and have no idea at the moment where to even start because I love so many aspects of creativity. I am hard working. I can be so silly at times that my kids giggle, their eyes widen, their lips smirk, and they say, "Mom you're funny." I give really good hugs. And this is me.

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” –Andre Gide

So lets have some fun. I am challenging you to pick 3-5 words that describe your brand. Who are you and what defines you? Seriously, I want you to get out a piece of paper, right now. Alright, did you do it? Ok now number it.






Ok now think. What words describe you in a nutshell. Here's my words for my brand.

1. Family loving

2. Happy

3. Creative

4. Strong

5. Fun

 This journey has been taken by many, and maybe for some of you, you gained this confidence earlier. But for me accepting who I am as the blogger has given me greater confidence as a whole and it has been really liberating. There's something empowering saying, "Hey world and internet land, this is ME!". Its time to stop trying to be someone or something that you aren't. It's not only ok to imperfect, but its part of human nature. So let keep it real with ourselves. Be true to you and love yourself for who you are. Thanks for reading my thoughts and my story. Feel free to share yours. I wish you all the best weekend.

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