Saying Farewell to My Dog Maddie

Saying Farewell to my Dog Maddie - SCsScoop.com

We said goodbye to my sweet girl, my sidekick, my dog Maddie this weekend. I have had her for over half my life. I loved taking care of her, and I loved her cheerful, devoted and sweet spirit.

I got Maddie sixteen years ago. I wanted a dog for so long. I wanted a furry companion, but I had no idea that when I met Maddie, I was getting exactly what I needed.

She was with me throughout my teenage years, when I so often felt alone and misunderstood.

She was with me in my bed lying next to me every night.

She was with me, sitting on my suitcase, when I packed for college.

She was with me as I grew up and figured out who I am.

She was with me on sunny days at the beach, sprinting in the sand.

She was with me on snowy days, even when the snow towered over her.

She was with me, riding in the passenger seat when I drove to D.C. to start my first real job.

She was with me in the kitchen, right at my feet, hoping for scraps.

She was with me when I moved into my own place.

She was with me on long walks and hikes, often surprising big-dog owners with her stamina.

She was with me when I lost my job.

She was with me when Will and I got engaged, standing beside us.

She was with me on my wedding day.

She was with me for sixteen sweet years.

Saying Farewell to My Dog Maddie - SCsScoop.comBichon - Saying Farewell to My Dog Maddie - SCsScoop.com

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling the emptiness we didn’t ever know we had.”

Through it all, she has been with me, by my side for sixteen years. It is hard to put into words the value she has added to my life. Now that she is gone it is even more apparent just how big her spirit was. Her love and loyalty was much greater than her 10 lb. body.

Making the decision to say farewell has been one of the hardest things for me, because I selfishly did not want to see her go.

I know her spirit is still with me, but it is not the same. I will forever miss how she greeted me at the door and followed me everywhere. I will miss her sweet, happy spirit, but I am so grateful for those sixteen years.

Maddie was a constant reminder to me to look on the bright side. She taught me that there is always time to stop and smell the roses. She taught me about selflessness and loyalty. She taught me what it means to be a loving friend.

Maddie, you are a great dog and a true friend. You have a heart and soul of gold, and I’m so grateful you were my girl, by my side for sixteen year.

I’ll love you forever sweet girl.

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Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity

Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity - Brene Brown Quotes - SCsScoop.com

Do you ever think about how our decisions and thoughts are influenced by others? We live in a world of filtered social media posts, online trolls and 24-hour news cycles. The advertising, marketing and new industries are constantly commanding our attention, telling us what to think or consume. I question the ease in which we can all make decisions for ourselves and be the most authentic version of ourselves in this world. Are we all just emulating the things we see that we like? These thoughts and questions have sat with me for some time, and they are the initial reasons I was curious about Brené Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness. If you’ve had similar thoughts or feelings, hold tight and know that you aren’t alone. I’m sharing my favorite Braving the Wilderness quotes, my journey to authenticity and what it means to find true belonging.

Now before we get any further, I want to make one thing clear. I don’t have it all figured out. I am on a journey to authenticity. It’s something I strive for, but am in now way an expert in.

Braving the Wilderness Quotes

Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity - Brene Brown Quotes - SCsScoop.com

In Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown shares her personal experience coming to understand what it means to find true belonging. She talks about wanting (and trying) to be a cheerleader in high school in addition to the expectations her parents had of how she would fit in as a child. While Brown shares her journey, she doesn’t share her personal beliefs. I found that refreshing. Instead, Brown points out how we often avoid hearing beliefs that are different from our own. She encourages us to get comfortable talking about our values and beliefs with others.

“When we avoid certain conversations, and never fully learn how the other person feels about all of the issues, we sometimes end up making assumptions that not only perpetuate but deepen misunderstandings, and that can generate resentment. These results are sometimes worse for the relationship than just having the so-called “argument” would be. The key is to learn how to navigate conflicts or differences of opinion in a way that deepens mutual understanding, even if two people still disagree.” — Brené Brown

This is honestly something I struggle with. Outside of my close friends and family, I feel bad sharing personal thoughts because I worry it could offend someone. Now, I’ll never be someone who openly shares thoughts in a Facebook post about the latest headline story. But, as I get older, I realize I cannot hide my thoughts or allow myself  to feel ashamed for a certain belief just because it is not what the majority of people I know think.

Brown talks about how comfortable it is to keep to ourselves, but on the flip side it keeps us disconnected from others.

“Most of us are either making the choice to protect ourselves from conflict, discomfort, and vulnerability by staying quiet, or picking sides and in the process slowly and paradoxically adopting the behavior of the people we’re fighting. Either way, the choices we’re making to protect our beliefs and ourselves are leaving us disconnected, afraid, and lonely.” — Brené Brown

Brown also talks about our current culture and how geographically Americans are living among other like-minded people at a much higher rate than in previous periods of our history. There is a comfort that comes with being surrounded by people who think like us. Often the most common exception we make, as Brown points out, is with our families. Within many family dynamics there is an acceptance and respect for each person’s unique beliefs.

This begs the important question of why we so often judge and ridicule other people when their reaction to a situation or their belief about a certain topic is not the same as ours. 

What does it mean to Brave the Wilderness? 

When Brown talks about braving the wilderness, she is talking about the ability to confidently stand by your thoughts, actions and beliefs, regardless of whether you are alone in them. The key here is that if you are willing to brave the wilderness, you will find true belonging.

Braving the Wilderness Quotes & My Journey to True Authenticity - Brene Brown Quotes - SCsScoop.com

“Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else. If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.” — Brené Brown

Braving the Wilderness reminded me that the feeling of acceptance starts with ourselves. One of the best parts of Brown’s book is her interview with Viola Davis. Davis shares her journey to true authenticity, how she braved the wilderness and what that looks like in her life today.

Personally, I think my journey to true authenticity has just begun, and I plan to share my journey on this blog and other social media channels. While I don’t ever want to focus on just the negative things in my life, I do want to pull back the lens more. I will look for more opportunities to show you all who I truly am, my real life, struggles, recent lessons learned and achievements. There are two main reasons I plan to share these things. First, to get more comfortable being myself. And second, to hopefully inspire someone else to live unapologetically.

I would love to hear your thoughts about authenticity and these Braving the Wilderness quotes. Do you think the increase of technology, social media and  advertisements make it harder to brave the wilderness today than in decades past? Do you have a favorite Braving the Wilderness quote?

Are you on a journey to true authenticity? Do you struggle with not wanting to hurt other people’s feeling like I do? Let’s chat in the comments and share some support for each other.

I’ll leave you with one last simple, but profound quote.

“It takes courage to open ourselves up to joy.” — Brené Brown

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

 

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The Truth about the First 100 Days of Marriage

Everyone said it would fly by and it really did. The special day we anticipated for months came and went in a flash. Now, it has been a whole 100 days since Will and I got married. While it seems like we got married yesterday, we have also accomplished and learned a lot in the past 100 days! Today I wanted to share the truth about our first 100 days of marriage. People often question if marriage really changes the dynamic of a relationship, so I am going to touch on that as well. Here are our honest and personal opinions.

The Logistics

For both of us, married life has not felt much different from the year we spent engaged. I moved in with Will last summer, so aside from us (mainly me!) doing some additional decorating now that we are married, our home dynamic is the same. We still go grocery shopping, cook together and enjoy talking about our days on walks at night. It’s not particularly exciting or glamorous but they are the steady aspects of our relationship we can find comfort in.

"The

Our Biggest Change

We instantly agreed on what the single biggest change is that we have experienced since entering into married life. Now, we have much more free time! We knew wedding planning was taking up a lot of time, even more than I had originally anticipated. But, I didn’t realize just how much it took the focus off our long term plans, something Will and I have loved talking and dreaming about together since day one. Now that we are married, conversations about our future together are back in full force. We have a renewed excitement for where we are right now and everything that is to come.

Since getting married, other changes for us have included a new job for Will and some changes in my career. Will’s new job requires more travel than his previous one, so I have had to (and am still trying to) get used to weeks with less quality time than I’d like! I welcome any and all tips for those of you with a partner who travels a lot.

Level of Commitment

While we agreed about having extra time to think about our plans, Will and I have different views when it comes to the commitment that comes with marriage. Will said today he feels no different about his commitment to me than he did last year. I, however, can’t help but feel like sharing our vows publicly cemented and strengthened our commitment to each other. It is hard to explain, but I have felt an extra comfort and security ever since we exchanged our vows.

I wonder if our difference in opinion is something men and women often view differently. Will, like most men, solidified his commitment when he decided to propose. In contrast, I place a lot of value on words, so I feel like there was a difference in me saying, “Yes, I’ll marry you!” and “I promise I’ll always be there for you. I am yours forever.”

The Truth about the First 100 Days of Marriage - While it seems like we got married yesterday, we have also accomplished and learned a lot in the past 100 days! Today I wanted to share the truth about our first 100 days of marriage. People often question if marriage really changes the dynamic of a relationship, so I am going to touch on that as well. -- Sarah Camille's Scoop - SCsScoop.com

Reminders

The first 100 days have been action-packed and full of change for us. We have a tendency to pack a lot on our plates and do as many fun things as we can. While this is an intention that comes from our excitement to do new things together, we’ve had to remind ourselves that there is no reason to rush. Slowing down and spreading out our plans helps us enjoy each new and individual experience more thoroughly.

In the past 100 days, we have celebrated my little brother’s high school graduation and my grandfather’s 80th birthday. We’ve gotten some beach time with family, had a long weekend in the woods and have enjoyed a hike, kayaking and two motorcycle racing weekends. Looking back, I’m not sure how we did all these things! We were originally supposed to go to Europe the month after our wedding, and due to feeling overwhelmed with all the things on our schedules, we postponed that trip. That might just be the best, first decision we made as a married couple! Hopefully, we can continue to pace ourselves.

The Truth about the First 100 Days of Marriage - While it seems like we got married yesterday, we have also accomplished and learned a lot in the past 100 days! Today I wanted to share the truth about our first 100 days of marriage. People often question if marriage really changes the dynamic of a relationship, so I am going to touch on that as well. -- Sarah Camille's Scoop - SCsScoop.com

Still Learning

When I first met Will, I was overwhelmed by all the questions he asked and just how much he wanted to know about me. Our relationship has grown a lot since that hot summer day, but I’m constantly reminded there are lessons learn about each other and our relationship. We are constantly growing and discovering new things about each other.

Three years into our relationship and 100 days into our marriage and I still wake up thinking, “How did I get so lucky?!” I hope we never stop feeling grateful to have each other. But, just like before marriage, we have our ups and downs, both individually and as a couple. One of the hardest times for me before marriage was losing my job. But going through that experience together gave us a vital lesson. When one of us is down, the person who is in a better state, has to pull the other back up and offer support. Our highs and lows provide us with lessons to make our relationship stronger. We love each other without expectation that the other will magically “save us,” and with the appreciation that being with the other person makes our lives feel completely whole.

“In all the world there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world there is no love for you like mine.” – Maya Angelou

Before marriage, I wondered whether or not marriage can change relationship dynamics, and I have a new perspective now that I’m married. I don’t think a relationship changing positively or negatively after marriage is necessarily the result of the marriage. The quality of a marriage is the result of the continual time and care both partners put in.

Are you married or planning a wedding? I would love to hear if you think marriage changes the dynamic of relationships.

Do you think the level of commitment changes when you get married? Or, do you think marriage is just a social construct and a legal change that doesn’t matter? Let’s chat in the comments.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

The Truth about the First 100 Days of Marriage — PIN ME!

The Truth about the First 100 Days of Marriage - While it seems like we got married yesterday, we have also accomplished and learned a lot in the past 100 days! Today I wanted to share the truth about our first 100 days of marriage. People often question if marriage really changes the dynamic of a relationship, so I am going to touch on that as well. -- Sarah Camille's Scoop - SCsScoop.com

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