Insta Blog by @DannieMarieOfficial

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Welcome to my Insta Blog (connected to my Instagram - @DannieMarieOfficial)! So as it turns out ... I don't just love writing songs ... I have a love affair writing BLOGS! WARNING: This blog does not contain content regarding my music career, because let's be REAL ...there' s so much more to life than trying to climb the laDDer and write hit songs. This blog is where I get REAL vulnerable, open up and share about my LIFE. The good the bad and the ugly. Because we all have baggage, and I want to unpack mine for YOU to see, in hopes that you will be encouraged to EMBRACE who you were MADE to be, and to know that you are NEVER alone. Cuz you can (always) sit with me. Scroll below to read my latest blog ! Click the Photo to visit my instagram <3

You can (always) sit with me”

— Me, I said that. Because quite frankly I was an out cast most of my life and still feel like one at times. And i never want you to feel like that. Pull up a seat. And stay a while.

No one has arrived // No. 10 // 

You’ve spent years trying. 

Pursuing. 

Striving. 

Dedicated. 

Self-educated. 

Or students loans.

Practice-makes-perfect strung out. 

 

And you didn’t get your big break that you THOUGHT you were going to get. Yet. 

Or you DID and it doesn’t fulfill you like you THOUGHT it would. 

Or maybe you genuinely don’t know what you want to “do” with your life. You feel overwhelmed with the number of paths you could take and not to mention, all the pressure you feel to just hurry up and choose a path. 

I’m no certified professional, but NO ONE has “arrived”. 

The girl who has worked tirelessly since college to open her own law firm is now 35 and is struggling with finding a husband to start a family with. 

The mom of three who put her dreams “on hold” to raise a family is now 35 wondering if she’ll ever get to pursue her passion. 

The girl who just won a grammy is depressed because she feels too much pressure from too many people and she feels like she can’t TRULY be herself. 

The girl with a bunch of friends and a great support system just WISHES she could make progress in her career and move up the ladder. 

No one has it all. No one has “arrived”. 

We're all little crumbly Mrs. Field's oatmeal cookies just looking for the other half of our crumbled cookie.

So if you’re having an “if only” moment, we’re ALL “if only-ing” over here. 

Once you hit 25 you start to realize that things just aren’t what you think they are, or how you expect they’re going to be. Not in like a “my glass is half empty” kind of way, but like in a “Wow, I don’t have very much control over this thing called life” kind of way. 

SOOOOOO - 27 has hit me with those crows feet son of a b, but gosh dang it I’m TELLING you, no one has arrived even if their Insta bio says so. And, the REAL key to arriving is THIS- finding and creating joy and gratitude in ANY situation - Promotion or not, you’ve ARRIVED ‘cuz you know your worth lies in who you are not what you do - Husband or not, you’ve still got that gratitude because what defines you is who you are not what you HAVE - Recognition or not - no shame here because you are not what others say or think about you, you are who God says you are. And he says YOU’RE STRAIGHT ROYALTY, BIATCH. 

I’m proud of you, baby girl. Keeping digging for truth and discovering who you REALLY are, and not just relying on the BS answers that this crazy world gives you. Remember - ROYALTY.

I want the God thing // No. 9 // 

I want the God thing.

There are just SO many things in this world. Like ALL THE THINGS, right? 

Where do I go eat lunch today? 

Am I going to be single for forever

What do I wear tonight - is this outfit too slutty

What college do I go to - um did I choose the right degree? 

Why do I feel so fat all the time? I just want to be happy with myself

Ashley has been ishh talking me lately - should I stop being friends with her? 

I REALLY want to open my own clothing boutique - will it be successful

I could move to downtown or I could stay here and rent this room, where should I be? 

I kinda wanna go more blonde but then my boss won’t take me seriously - should I even care what he thinks

I’ve been wanting to start a Bible study at my house, but I’m like hella busy all the time. I don’t want to be overwhelmed but I know it’s a good thing. UGHHH help??? 

I can either study for my test or get coffee with my friend who’s passing through town. Which is better

Just so many things, right? We have about 80,000 thoughts a day, a lot of them are innately negative and a lot of them are questions which can cause anxiety about the little decisions in life - AND - the not so little decisions. Like … 

Do I marry this guy

Do I take this job in NYC

Do I buy this house

Should we start trying for kids? 

Should I break up with him? 

Gosh, really - how DO we even make these decisions

Well, I will say, living on the road full time now for three months in an RV with my husband and having to dig deep and make SO many decisions and have so much time to think and navigate through my emotions and dreams, I have come to this conclusion - 

I want the God thing. 

I’m a HUGE dreamer and emotional AF - like you’d think I was pregnant AND on my period simultaneously. **hand over face emoji. BUT when you’re in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in Montana sitting in a RV feeling a bit isolated, wondering why you’re not on tour opening for Kelsea Ballerina (or at least a millionaire by now), you have NO CHOICE but to dig deep, embrace the bugs and the heat and get quiet. My mind was swirling with “When are we ever gunna get to Nashville?”, “What do I pursue first when I get there?”, “What should I be doing now?”, “Have I made the right decisions leading up to now?”, “Will I ever reach the success that my heart desires?”. 

And over the next few days, time after time, moment after moment, I was reminded of just HOW MANY little paths there are to take in life, and how you NEVER know which way any given path will ACTUALLY take you to the place you want to end up at- even when a path looks “good” or promising, it could actually turn out completely opposite of what you THOUGHT. I mean, did Hannah THINK she was going to end up engaged to a liar and then come out of the Bachelorette single? Absolutely not. The path looked promising, but the destination was COMPLETELY opposite of the desired outcome. Let's just put it this way - she probably NEVER wants to see a rose again!

So, I’m really thinking that the best approach to this whole thing called “life” is to just throw my hands in the air like I’m on Space Mountain and just say “Jesus, take the wheel” - because God DOES know how each little path will turn out - He DOES know if that decision that looks so itty bitty will actually have a huge impact on your life. He knows if that path will actually bring us joy and fulfillment or will just cause us to keep looking for different paths. 

And here's THE thing - when it's a GOD thing, it can't be taken away. It can't be shaken. It won't be that " Well he MIGHT break up with me, Idk", that " I'm not sure if I'll even get this job", "I kinda feel like this might be IT" - No, it will be that guy that turns into a forever spouse who leads you and commits his entire life to you. It will be that " Congratulations! You got the job - we SEE your value and we'd love to have you as a part of the team!", It will be that RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME kind of a blessing - not because you're cool and life just comes together sometimes - but because it's THE GOD THING. I want that - those beautiful, fulfilling, permanent, planned-out-since-beginning-of-time blessings. You? :) The God Things always > than the human thing <3 

When the OLD You Comes Knocking at Your Door //No. 8// 

Triggers. They suck worse then having to wear wet bathing suit bottoms under your tight jean shorts. Am I right? 

I like to think that I’m strong and that I’ve worked really hard to overcome a lot of my obstacles and “wounds” that I’ve experienced. I am a lot more confident and happy than I used to be. 

But sometimes, out of nowhere, like a hurricane, a trigger hits me and I straight up fall prey to it. I’m talking like a bunny to a mountain lion status. The emotional blood starts gushing and I just can’t control myself or my feelings

Yesterday, already feeling little off, we went for a hike. Okay guys - - I hope I’m not ruining anything for you but I am NOT a camper/hiker chick. I don’t think I’d been camping once before I met my husband. And somehow, I’m now a full-time RVer, and my life is one big outdoors fest. I’m not good / talented at being a camper and woah is there a learning and a comfort curve. Side note: Isn’t it funny how sometimes the very thing that makes us uncomfortable ends up being where find ourselves spending a lot of time? I think that’s God way of helping us expand our comfort zone and teaching how to grow. 

Anyway, TRIGGERED I was. First, it was 100 degrees and our air wasn’t working super great. Then I was bloated AF and not happy about putting a swim suit on. Then, I was hungry. Then, Jake knocked me in the ear on accident and hit my mother trucking new cartilage piercing. OMFREAKIN’G I lost it - I burst into tears right there in the trail-head parking lot. I threw my backpack on the ground along with my water bottle and my portable fan - in good ole fashioned Dramatic Danielle style . I couldn’t stop crying. My ear hurt like hell, it reminded me of all the reasons I wanted to cry earlier in the day, it was so hotoutside, and SUE ME but I am not a hiker. Unless there’s a beach involved or something. 

THEN. The biggest trigger of them all walked right in front of me - a flawlessly tan, 6 packed model looking chick came into my line of sight. Looking happy as could be, while flaunting her model bod, she floated past me on a cloud of unicorns and perfection. And just like that, my mind reverted to its old ways: 

“I hate myself” 

“Why don’t I look like that” 

“All Iv’e done for the past 10 years is TRY to look like that and she just effortlessly does. Why the f%*@! ?” 

“I wish I looked like her” 

I wish I was THAT girl” 

Followed by more tears. And deep hurt. 

WOAH. Where in the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS did THAT come from? What did I just say to myself? How harsh, how cruel, how BRUTAL. That can’t be right. That can’t be accurate. That can’t be TRUE. Thoughts and beliefs I have worked so hard to un-do just took over my body in less that 5 seconds. 

We ALL have these moments. We ALL get knocked down and don’t know how or when we’re going to get back up. No one is “above” these terrible pitfalls. Yes, we can work hard and take the right steps to choose TRUTH over lies and reprogram our brains, but we ALL have moments of failure. 

As the hike went on, it turned out to be my favorite “discovery” of our entire road trip. We found this beautiful waterfall with a swimming hole. The water was just right. It was my kind of paradise. I jumped in without a thought of what my body did or didn’t look like. I was lost in the moment, overflowing with joy that we had found THIS type of H20- treasure in the middle of this 100 degree desert. It didn’t matter that I was pail and not feeling my best. I was able to fully enjoy every bit of that experience. 

Which is A LOT more to say than how my “old” self would have felt. I would have been miserable the whole time, defining the moment by what I “looked like” instead of the beauty of the moment happening around me. The self-hate I used to harbor would override the happiness of the experience that I was in. It was terrible and I felt like that for so many years. And I know some of you feel like that too. 

Sometimes its “scars” from childhood - I was bullied and made fun of and felt like SUCH an outsider because I was heavy and had frizzy hair and crooked teeth and a shit load of freckles. As I think about it now, I cringe remembering how alone and “unaccepted” I felt. I failed at so many things that I tried when I was younger. I was “too heavy to pull myself over the bar” in gymnastics and auditioned for musical theater shows for about three YEARS until I finally got into one (all of my friends had been getting cast since their first audition). Sometimes its things that people comment on your Instagram post. Sometimes its something a family member said or did that made you feel less than. There are SO many things that you may harbor in your soul that affect how you feel daily

All this to say, I think sometimes, as a whole, we feel things and we react to situations and we get very emotional - which is OKAY. But, if no ones ever told you - there’s a REASON for it - you aren’t broken or defective - you aren’t a failure or worthless - you’re a beautiful, capable human who’s been hurt and scared and you’re just doing your best to be the best human you can be. 

We live in a world where perfection is sought after and worshiped. I mean that would be dope, but the only problem is…  perfection isn’t actually real. Like, it’s not a thing. Regardless of what Instagram post you read or what Pinterest photo you saw. My whole point in rambling about a painful ear piecing injury gone wrong, is to remind you that you’re not the only one feeling this self-hate. This inadequacy. This failure. We all have our THING. Even the 6 packed model looking chick, she’s got her thing. Don’t let your moment of weakness try to lie to you and tell you you’re your “old self”.  Keep moving forward, knowing that your mess is is not bigger than anyone else’s, and it WON’T hold you back, as long as you CHOOSE so. It was a bad day, not a bad year. And hey, if it was a bad year, let yourself know that the rest of 2019 is gonna be a GREAT one. I believe in YOU.

OF COURSE We Hate Ourselves // No. 7 // 

Of course we hate ourselves. That statement is a little bold. But my intention is to break it. To dissolve it. To deactivate it. Let's take a look at the big reason we (of course) hate ourselves. For once we identify the cause, we can neutralize the weapon.

If you’re someone who has really struggled with self hate (like me) you know that self hate stems from guilt. And FEELING this guilt only perpetuates the cycle of negative thinking, which leads to even more self loathing. GUILT whether obvious or hidden, is the root of self hate. We blame ourselves for not being the right weight, for not being as successful as the next girl, for not BEING everything we feel like we SHOULD be.  

If only we worked out harder, we’d look the way we WANT. If only we put in more hours, we’d make more money. If only we had studied more, we’d be better at our craft, and therefore further up the latter. It's OUR FAULT we are not succeeding.

WAY false, Babe.

You work very hard, you put in the time studying and you go to the gym just as many times as you should to be a healthy human. 

So WHY do you feel this way? WHY do you feel so guilty? WHY do you have so much disappointment in yourself instead of love? 

It’s them. 

Who? 

THEM.  

Society. The cyber world. Them. 

Just look around, for a sec. 

The cyber world of perfection: Picture a movie where there's only happy love scenes with beautiful people where nothing bad happens to them and everyone is so madly in love and they never fight and they all drink 1,000 calorie frappicinos and eat gourmet pizza yet they have perfect bodies and they are all very successful by the time they are 24. Sounds super unrealistic right? 

Well, welcome to Instagram. You’ve heard Instagram is just a “highlight reel,” but do you believe it? Even though we are aware of that, our brains have a way of convincing ourselves that those highlight reels are actually someone's REALITY.  

So, HOW COULD WE NOT hate ourselves??? Look what we’re up against. A cyber world of perfection, often heavily edited. People buying fake followers. People flexing with sports cars that aren’t even theirs. People editing the cellulite off of their butts and using photo shop to give them a six pack. I’m not hating on these things, I’m just aknowleding the fact that our brains are comparing our non edited - naked in the bathroom bloated selves who can’t make rent this month - to these “make believe” images. OF COURSE WE ARE MAD AT OURSELVES. Of course we feel guilt for not having abs. Of course we have eating disorders. Of course we feel inadequate. THAT'S ALL WE SEE. We are living our ordinary indie film lives and subconsciously comparing them to major motion pictures

So take a second right now, and forgive yourself (out loud) because all you did was just look around. And you shouldn’t be punished for that. 

NOW that we've acknowledged what we're up against, we must fight.

If you're going into battle, first you're going to check what kind of weapons the opposing side will be using, so you can be prepared to demolish them right? And most importantly, to WIN. The same goes for our minds. When we clearly see the weapons that are being used against us, we are able to COMBAT the negativity that floods our mind.

Right here, right now, is where you can take a moment to pull out your mental sledge hammer and chip away some of that guilt you are carrying around like a dark cloud. For YEARS I carried the heaviest emotional weight regarding my weight. I would literally wake up feeling guilty and go to sleep feeling guilty. It stemmed from a lot of things, but one of them being that I am in the entertainment industry and their standards of beauty, that I was "supposed" to, were not realistic for me. And it crushed me. I held my lack of success against myself. But what I needed to do was GENUINELY give my self permission to release myself of meeting those standards, because MY standards are based on a God that loves me and made me perfectly, not based on an industry based off of perfection and strife.

So whatever is may be that you hold against yourself, take a look at WHERE you're getting that "lie" from. That, "I'm too heavy". Or that "I'll never make it". Or "I wish I could look like her". AND then crush the lie like you've been crushing the gym for the last week. Remember that your indie film is so much more beautiful that "their" major motion picture because your film is real, unique, intentional and it's YOU. Which is all you need to be. Give yourself some slack next time you see an Insta-image that triggers negative feeling towards yourself. If their grass looks greener, it's probably just AstroTurf, AKA: not the real sht.

FOR THE LOVE OF YOU // NO. 6 // 

For the love of YOU. 

To: All the girls that are stuck in the middle. 

The Middle: You haven’t found “the one” yet. Maybe you're single and waiting for the one wondering if he’s even out there. Or maybe you’re with the wrong one until well, you find the right one. 

Been there, girl. But gosh dang it, I learned that that’s not how it works in the world of love ; A little 'love life’ hack to keep close: You can’t be with the RIGHT person while you’re still with the WRONG person. Doesn’t that suck a tad bit? We always think  “Oh, this guy is okay .. for now”. But what we fail to calculate is all of the damage and baggage we are accumulating while consciously choosing to be in a relationship that we know is wrong. And even worse, we risk missing out on our dream guy. 

Before you get discouraged - DON’T. This is not a message of fear, but rather a love note of assurance that yes, in fact, you CAN CHOOSE to save your heart for your dream man. And it's NEVER too late. I repeat: NEVER. I can promise you he’s on his way, will you choose to wait for him? If you feel like you’ve run out of second chances or like you no longer DESERVE your dream boat, you’re wrong, in the best way possible. God never runs out of blessings to give you, and you what you see as your last resort, God sees as the perfect opportunity to bring the big blessing into your life. 

A little bit about my story: A few years ago, I was madly in love. He was the first guy I had ever been IN love with, and boyyyy was I on a high. A few months into dating, I knew in my soul that the relationship wasn’t right. There were some core things we didn’t agree on, but more than anything, i just had overwhelming feeling that dating him was wrong. I remember having one of those moments, where time froze and what my heart had been feeling was actually put into words - I’ll never forget it. We were sitting in my living room having a conversation about “us” and at the exact time he said something that didn’t line up with what I believed, a portrait on the wall jumped out at me. It said “Be True To Who You Are’. This might sound cheesy, but I FELT it in my SOUL. Being with this guy was contrary to who I was. And that’s dangerous. 

But instead of listening to my gut, I continued to date him. For two years. Don’t get me wrong, we had some great times and we were very in love. But some things were OFF. And when your relationship is off, EVERYTHING is off. And then things got real, and before I knew it, I was an emotional wreck every other day because of how he treated me, or rather the lack of “choosing” me. He left me with some very deep wounds. You see, he was not always the loyal kind. He was not always the truthful or honorable kind. He was fun, but not always faithful. It’s like my initial gut feeling was warning me of what was to come. Instead of trusting my gut and bailing at the beginning, I ended up riding an ‘on and off’ roller coaster for two years. 

BUT HERE’S WHERE IT GETS GOOD. About two months after I (FINALLY) ended that relationship, not only was a weight lifted off my heart and soul, but something amazing happened.  

A guy named Jake Szetela commented on my photo on Instagram. And then pursued me like I’ve never been pursued before. And this time it was right. And he was everything I’d ever wanted. Everything I had wanted in my dream man had suddenly SHOWED UP.

It’s funny because I spent two years being so emotionally wrecked and the moment I chose to end that relationship, something amazing was brought in to my life.  

BUT, what I really feel like I need to tell you, is that it’s okay to end a relationship just for THE LOVE OF YOU. You don’t need any other reason than the fact that you don’t feel right about it. We should love ourselves enough that when we started getting our phone calls declined and stood up, that we end it. Even if he shows up the next day with flowers. Flowers don’t mean anything if they are an apology for something that happens over and over again.

I truly believe that when you step out in faith and end something you know it not right for you, THEN the blessing will show up. Into your life ,out of nowhere. It might be two weeks after, it might be two months later, it might be two years later. I'm not sure of your love timeline because all of our love stories are different. And that's a GOOD thing. If all our love stories were the same, there wouldn't be a Jasmine and a Belle and a Sleeping Beauty and a Cinderella. There would only be a Jasmine, and c'mon! We would have missed out on all of those other beautiful love stories.

So, be excited that your love story is awesome and is going to get better every day. And your love story has more to do with YOU then with anyone else. No matter what you feel like you need to do in your life today, make sure it's FOR THE LOVE OF YOU, and know that you are WORTHY of every GOOD THING.

 

XOXOXO 

D Marie

 

Reading your comments make me so happy, leave one if you can :)

WHY YOU SHOULD WALK INTO CHRISTMAS DINNER LIKE A CELEBRITY // NO. 5 // 

Why you should walk through those doors into your family’s Christmas Eve celebration like a muther friggin’ celebrity - - Well there’s quite a few reasons, and you should be stoked.

But first... ISH TALKING DISCLAIMER (to the haters, not to the lovers): THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME OR MY FAMILY. So please don’t manipulate what I’m writing to make it into something it’s not. Just trying to encourage people out there like the ones that have been pouring their heart out to me lately. I hate that I even have to put a disclaimer but the haters have not been taking any naps lately LOL <3

Back to you. Being a celebrity. This Christmas.

I’ve been talking with so many friends lately who are dreading today’s holiday family gathering because of the (spoken or UNspoken) judgement they get. It makes me so sad that I know so many people feeling this way.  I’m driving to see my family and I can’t wait. And I want you to feel that way too. . Let’s go ahead and fix that - you deserve the Christmas of a lifetime.

That judgement ... You know what I mean ... Aunt Nancy with the eye roll because you’re 31 and you walk through the door single. Family friend Sue quizzing you on your future plans (career and family). Your siblings judging your life choices like they’ve got there ish together more than you do. Everyone peeking out the window to see what kind of car you arrive in. She’s vegan? EW. He married HER? He could have done way better. This stuff is so CLICHE. But dang, it’s so true.

But here’s what you’ve got on your side that you’ve forgotten about. Here’s why you’re actually and secretively ahead of the game. Because of WHO. YOU. ARE. Wait that punch line didn’t hit you hard? You thought I was going to tell you a BETTER more PRACTICAL reason why you should have the confidence of a celeb this Christmas? No my darling, it seems you must have forgotten how uniquely awesome and wonderful and set apart you actually ARE. That your heart is beautiful enough to jaw drop the whole damn room. LISTEN UP: You don’t have to walk around carrying the identity they they’ve placed on you - you can wear your crown instead.

You think I’m being dramatic? Read on.

No wonder we can feel like “less” when so often criticism and judgement comes from people we love. BUT NEWS FLASH: People truly love to throw rocks at things that shine. Even your loved ones. Such a bummer, huh? I think it’s AMAZING that you’ve chosen to be bold and follow your dreams and do something so different with your life. They probably feel low key jealous that you have the balls to do something spectacular & out of the ordinary. You’ve gained 15 pounds and you don’t wanna be seen eating a slice of pecan pie because you don’t want judgmental looks? Girl, I’ve still got Christmas Cookies stuck to my thighs from Christmas 2012 ** Let’s just say it was a bad break up year. Feeling behind in your career? Welcome to the damn club. I think I might be president of it.

But guess what y’all.

A heart of gold that is kind in the face of un-kindness doesn’t happen when you get a college degree. You stopping to visit a lonely neighbor during this time of year doesn’t happen because you’re a CEO. Unconditionally loving those around you isn’t a product of owning a nice car or a two story Pinterest home. Lighting up the room when you walk in isn’t because you’ve finally found the right relationship. It comes from WHO YOU ARE.

And girl (or dude), you’re the BEST. Why you may ask??

Ya see GOD MADE YOU. And he also made your time line for your life. And God’s way more obsessed with our hearts and our character than WHERE we are in life. It’s WHO we are, not WHERE. And there’s so much beauty in being proud of WHO you are.

Could you imagine if people took as much pride in their character as they do in their desired reputation? I tell ya what - the people that I’m in awe of, that I’m obsessed with, are the people that ask me HOW I am, not where I am. The people that give me a hug, instead of a judgmental look. The people that pray for me when I am down, the people that smile too much, the people that GLOW from with in. Because they’ve just got that special something. That unconditional joy. They know what they’re WORTH. And their worth is completely Unrelated to any social status, accomplishment, or mansion. Their worth is THEM. Their soul. A child of God.

True Wealth isn’t measured in things or status, it’s measured in JOY and LOVE. So if this Christmas you’re feeling a little low on “worldly wealth,” confidently know that you can brag on how truly blessed and happy you are, no matter if think you live up to their standards or not. Wrap your damn self and then go lay under their tree - You big ole’ gift, you ;)

LOL If someone actually does that and posts a photo and tags me i'll Venmo you $5. Cuz I'm crazy.

So, Jennifer Aniston. Or Channing Tatum, (if you’re a dude). You’re famous is God’s eyes. He knows you, and he’s constantly watching you like He’s your biggest fan. He’s got bigger plans for your life than the amount of corn bread you’ll eat, and His love for YOU is more than all the presents under the tree. Even if you don’t have a tree, like me. In fact, blow everyone’s minds and treat them all like THEY’RE the celebrity this Christmas. Maybe what they need it just a little love too.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you I love you guys so much.

 

XOXO

Dannie Anniston LOL JK JK

 

*Psalm 37:4

I WANNA FAIL // No. 4 // 

A recent rekindling of a relationship in my life has lit me (mentally) on fire. Let me explain. This woman is similar to a goddess. She is that "boss babe, absolutely killin' it, self-made success" kind of girl. Ya know, the kind of girl that actually DID it, instead of just talk about it.  And I'm like, "I work hard too, wtf??" Ya know what being in her presence did to me? It made me HUNGRY. Or shall I say HANGRY. I found myself literally getting mad that I wasn't hustling as hard as her. 

Just to clarify, it's not a jealousy issue. It's a "Wow, I could actually work HARDER" issue.

I've been through so many seasons the past few years of my life. I went from being an 'LA girl' as my man would call me, who worked on her phone 24/7 and was 'strung out' on getting things done. Ever since I was a child I've worked my tail off, at least compare to the other kids. When the other girls were on the swing set, I was sitting on a rock writing songs to the melodies that played from my Barbie alarm clock. When they were talking to boys I was taking voice lessons. When they were at parties I was driving to LA from SD for classes and auditions. Working toward a goal has ALWAYS been in my blood.  But at some point it had STOP. At least for a bit. I really was strung out on always working towards something. I didn't realize THAT until a simple guy from NorCal who was hell bent on always enjoying life, pointed that out to me. And then I fell in love with him. And in love with just BEING  alive. He taught me there is (a whole lot) more to life than hustling, and I loved it. So I took a step back from my crazy rat race. Thank God.

But HERE'S THE THING. At the same time as all that goal chasing was happening, I was learning what TO do and what NOT to do. With singing, acting, eating, exercising, writing and plain ole' living. I was learning how to "make it". I was trying to figure out how to be a success story. And ya know what I'm realizing??? My brain has become so aware of how not to fail that I'm subconsiously keeping myself from taking risks that could potentially lead to failure. I'm not CHASING like I could. I'm not PURSUING like I could. I'm not LIVING like I could. My brain has become so accustomed to doing everything it can to keep me from failing - to make me "successful". And it's causing me to be stagnant. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working hard, I'm still chasing my dreams but gosh damn it I could tearing this ish apart and GOING for it. I WANNA FAIL. I wanna fail so hard if it means I TRIED my absolute hardest. I wanna stub my toe and bonk my head and get a cut if it means I'm RUNNING my best and fastest race. Maybe I'm a lame Instagram influencer writing a blog for my damn self. Or maybe you're reading this KNOWING that a bitter sweet chord has been struck inside of you. You're chillin' in the luke warm pool but you KNOW you COULD (if you just WOULD) jump in that fiery hot tub full of everything you've ever dreamed of. You could do more, but in the best way. Not BE more, you're perfectly enough as you are. But you could chase more. Follow up more. Show up more. Believe in yourself more. Say yes to opportunities more (that you FEEL under qualified for but they are actually sick of all the pretentious a$$ holes they've hired that ARE qualified and now they're just actually looking for someone who is KIND and JOUFUL and can figure out how to get the job done and that's YOU). 

So yes, at 26 (I thought I'd be famous or successful by now) but instead I'm going to retrain my brain and I want to fail. And to be okay with failing hard. Because that means I'm going for it hard. Time to get some major fails under our belts so we can have some major SUCCESSES.

THE #1 REASON WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP // No. 3 // 

I know, I know. You've been working hard for YEARS and you haven't seen the success you thought you would have by now. Guess what? SAME. In fact last week was pretty dang discouraging when I started facing some serious vocal issues. Like I'm moving to Nashville in a couple months to be a country SINGER. This can't be happening right now, can it?! Why yes, yes it can, and yes it is. But ya know what, I have a feeling that I'm around, let's say, chapter 4. 

Chapter 4 of what? Oh, my life.

I'm not at chapter one when I started singing and my voice was the strongest it's ever been because I was in vocal lessons EVERY week for YEARS. I'm not at chapter two when I was touring with my band, or on my nation wide radio tour, or playing Country Thunder (life highlight). BUT, I'm also not at chapter 19 where I am 55 with 6 children and getting ready to go on a cruise with my newly retired husband. My point is, MY STORY IS NOT OVER YET. And neither is YOURS.

Have you ever noticed that a story is never amazing until you TELL it? But in order to TELL that story, there has to be have a beginning, a middle, and an END. Or as I like to call it, a happily ever after. So if you find yourself sitting on your couch eating some cheese puffs thinking, "Dang, this really doesn't make sense. Like I'm ALMOST there. I feel like there's supposed to be more to this. I'm supposed to succeed. I know i am. I feel it. I'm hungry for it. I don't feel like I've made it yet. And I know deep down, I HAVE to."...if that's you - - YOUR STORY ISN'T OVER YET. You're probably on chapter 4, too! Or maybe even 6 or 7. But your story hasn't ended yet! Which means all you have to do is KEEP GOING.

Incase the world has you thinking otherwise, there is no such thing as an overnight success. Those "over night successes" worked their tails off for years but it's just in a blink of an eye that the rest of the world recognizes who they are and what they're doing. "Household names" would have been "no-names" if they would have quit when the rest of the world told them their time was up. And we all know this, but Thomas Edison didn't have lightbulb success until after 1,000 times of working towards it. Picture that for a sec... have you heard "no" 1,000 times? Have you been rejected 1,000 times? Have you failed 1,000 times? Good, you're in the company of genius's. 

Out of all the classes and seminars I've attended through out my life, they say that when it comes to achieving success, there is always ONE thing beats TALENT, looks, connections, skill, intelligence and money. The ONE things that trumps all of that is NOT GIVING UP. Perseverance. That's good news for me. 'Cause I'm not the cutest or the smartest or the most talented but I sure as hell can stay in the race longer than most. Here's to never giving up, babes! I KNOW from the bottom of my heart that your biggest & wildest dreams WILL COME TRUEJust keep swimming ;)

 

 

 

 

WHY I DON'T POST FITNESS PHOTOS // No. 2 // 

Hi babes <3 If you're part of my Instagram family, you know that I never really post about fitness. But  maybe you don't know that I work out almost EVERY dang day. The gym is a huge part of my life ... my husband is a personal trainer for goodness sakes! And I am so stoked that I am the official female model for A.R.M. fitness apparel. But every single time I go to post a gym selfie or my new work out routine, I just don't feel right about it. A little alarm goes off in my spirit .... this got me thinking WHY do I feel that way??

First I just want to clarify - I love seeing my friend's gym posts and I do follow a couple of fitness accounts. NOTHING wrong with gym posts. I just don't feel it's right for ME to post about the gym. And I've figured out WHY.

Although fitness posts can be super inspiring, the can also have the complete OPPOSITE effect; they can make us feel like we're not DOING enough (AKA I need to get to the gym ASAP even though I have so much on my plate right now), make us feel like our bodies aren't good enough ('cause let's be real ... I'm probably NEVER gunna look like those six-pack chicks floating around on my popular page) and they can make us feel straight up DEFEATED (no matter how much I hit the gym and work out I'll never be a size 2). AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, I have learned that being TRULY healthy is SO much more than fitness and eating right. And guess what? The gym CAN actually be very Unhealthy. Basically, the gym is NOT the answer. But guess what? I DID find the answer to loving my body (and it has nothing to do with what you THINK) ...

Now if you're like me, you've tried every diet under the sun, and you've spent too many hours on a treadmill to see the results you wanna get. And you didn't get them. From eating disorders, to hating my body, I've dealt with it all. Being an actress, singer and model (especially during my time in LA) I was told I needed to lose 10 lbs more times than I can count. And yes, they said that ish to my FACE. It took a toll on me for YEARS. Every thought consumed by how much I weighed, what i was going to eat, and most of all GUILT. I felt so guilty. Because in order for me to succeed in the entertainment industry, I had to be skinnier. And I just couldn't get down to 100 pounds. So it was going to MY FAULT that I couldn't succeed. Damn.

ONE DAY, it all changed for me. Yes, in a single instant. Years of destructive thinking and bad eating cycles - GONE. A little golden nugget of truth struck my soul like lightening. And it worked better than any supplement or fitness influencer or diet program could - - Ya know how often times we are told that if we have unforgiveness or bitterness towards someone that it actually does more harm to US than to them? It is scientifically proven that harboring resentful emotions towards someone weakens the immune system and can make you physically and mentally ill. Well no one talks about it, but what if you're harboring bitterness towards YOURSELF? Can you imagine how much those detrimental symptoms of bitterness are AMPLIFIED?? 

I was in a conversation talking about nothing health related, we were actually talking about my parent's recent divorce. The gal asked if I had forgiven my parents, and I responded with a genuine yes. Then she proceeded to ask a question I had NEVER heard before - "Is there anything you're holding against yourself? Is there anything you need to forgive yourself for?" And at a that moment, for some reason, I KNEW. I had been mad at myself for so many years for not being thin enough. I had been so angry that I was being sent home from auditions because I weighed too much. I was so upset that even though I spent a minimum of an hour a day on the treadmill and counting every calorie that I still wasn't the size I "needed" to be.

And at that moment, I knew in my soul, that it was OKAY. It was all OKAY. That if I was SUPPOSED to be a size 2, then God would have made me a size 2. That it if I was supposed to have thin legs, then I would have those, too. I'm a complete advocate for eating healthy and exercising, but those can only get you so far. You're still going to look like YOU, not a retouched human in an ad, not a skinny gal that God made that way (God bless her), not an actress that gets paid to work out and has a personal chef, and not a model who does cocaine or starves herself to stay as thin as her modeling agency needs her stay. I am not making assumptions, I am making observations from my time in LA. I was suddenly FREE, because it was no longer my responsibility to be someone else, my ONLY responsibility now was to just be ME. And that God created me the way he wanted for the purposes he had for me. So I COULD succeed, after all.

I'm not sure if this resonates with anyone, but that day my life was changed. And I was finally able to love myself. And something crazy happened when I started loving myself - my eating disorder vanished. I want to be sensitive because I know that eating disorders can take YEARS to overcome. And yes, I had mine for years. I'm just sharing with you what happened to me, and I want you to know that you are invited to be OKAY, too. And that you can forgive yourself for anything and everything. If God FORGETS our sin and separates it as far as the East is from the West, then we are FREE to forgive ourselves INSTANTLY too. Oh and I need to paint a complete picture here; to this DAY I struggle with my weight. I work on being healthy and achieving my fitness goals by taking one step at a time. It's a daily battle. But it's a battle for HEALTH over WEIGHT. And I am continually learning to be gentle with myself and have GRACE for my mind and my body. Because NOBODY'S perfect. I promise. If you want to talk, leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @DannieMarieOfficial. TTYS <3

 

WELCOME! // No. 1 // 

From here on out, my blogs will be RIGHT HERE! Ahhh! Thank you so much for stopping by to see where our new home is! I appreciate you <3 My first blog will be HERE tomorrow!! Please comment and share below what YOU would like to see my write a blog about!! xoxo