Thursday, February 20, 2014

Journal Day #1

Everyone has a time in their life they view as a crossroad. Sometimes you can see it as it's happening, and you're able to choose one way or another. Other times you may not realize you're there until you look back, and see what a turning point it really was. This week, write about a time you view as a marker in your life; a distinct place where things changed, for better or worse. 

H for Henry

Sometimes when I think back to this time in my life it seems fuzzy, like I'm just waking up and it's way too early, and I'm squinting and straining to read the clock across the room. It's hard to remember a lot of it, but if I commit to the memory, if I sit down and really focus and go back there, it becomes clear again. It's hard to talk about times in our life when we aren't at our best, and even harder to talk about them in a public setting like this, but for the sake of being open and honest, here goes.

I was in college when I first discovered what calories and nutrition labels meant. It's weird; until then I had been living in a state of blissful ignorance, never caring and never having to care, because all of my time was spent playing sports. But later in college, when I wasn't on the soccer field or the track day in and day out, I started to notice other girls paying attention to fat and calories and carbs and bites. So I did too.

And I could go on here about so many details. I could talk about how for awhile it was no big deal, the counting of the fat and calories and carbs and bites. And I could then talk about how over that Christmas break I was introduced to diet pills, those crazy kind of diet pills before they were ever regulated, and how I lost close to 15 pounds during those three weeks, which was a lot for an already small girl. I could talk about running for miles and miles in the morning and then working out for hours at night. I could tell you all about my favorite meal of choice- a plain can of tuna and baby carrots, or I could talk about how sometimes when a particular Dashboard album comes on I am taken right back to that elliptical machine and spending over an hour on it every single morning at 5am feeling like I was on crack. There are so many details I could go into, the restricting food and the over exercising, but as time has passed it's all kind of fused into one solid memory that's attached to a million feelings. Sadness, happiness, pain, and even nostalgia, which is weird to say. But that's part of it, for sure.

And I could also go on about a particular day when my best friend at the time took me to dinner and laid it all out. Told me what she saw in my behavior, talked about what I was doing. At the time it was so shocking to me, because I was surrounded by so many other girls doing the same thing that in a way it hadn't been a big deal at all. But Liz saw something else, and she was right. And I was lucky enough that although I had been engaging in self-destructive behavior, I was able to just stop. It sounds weird to explain it that way, but it wasn't hard to make the choice to end the bullshit. I stopped being obsessive about working out, I started eating normally, I refused to engage in the weird behaviors that some of my friends were, and my friend made me accountable. But of course, it never really goes away. And this isn't what I would even consider the turning point for all of this, although it was definitely the moment where things began to get better.

Fast forward all the way to a day in May 2010, when I was standing in front of the mirror looking at my stomach that had a baby growing inside of it. Henry. I had spent the past five years or so going through periods of feeling really good about my body, and then other times feeling quite the opposite. But I remember that afternoon- it was a half day at school so it must have been a Wednesday, and we were in that tiny house on Carleton Street. I had a cheap full length mirror propped up against our bedroom door and I was standing there just looking at that bump. I realized in that moment that I was done and so tired of not loving myself. There I was, with this baby growing inside of my body, MY BODY. My amazing fucking body, and I still had the audacity to give myself a hard time because my thighs touched. It was in that moment something in me clicked, a flip switched and my mind made itself up that I was done with the self-loathing crap. Sure, I felt good about myself a lot of the time, but those other times, when I ate a nice big dinner then guilted myself out of enjoying it later, that was not okay. And sure, I enjoyed working out a lot of the time but sometimes I made myself do it because I had eaten cheesecake in bed with Hank the night before. Not okay. So I made a promise to myself on that Wednesday afternoon. I made a promise to myself and that baby and my body that I was done with all of it. I'd come a long way since the days of over exercising and under eating but it still wasn't good enough. I still didn't love myself unconditionally, and as conversely simple and hard as it sounds, I made up my mind to just accept all of myself as I was then and as I would ever be.

That was my biggest crossroad and turning point to date, and I haven't looked back since. And sure, there are days where I feel down and out, or days where I could take a million photos and hate every one, but I won't ever let myself get back to that point, or even close. Food is delicious and exercise is fun, and that's where I'm at, and that's where I will stay. I'm 31 now and although I figured it out a few years ago, it still feels good to say it today, and say it proud:

I love me.

So, that's my response. How about yours? If you'd like, leave an excerpt from your response below, along with a link to your post. I can't wait to read it.

Read more about my Journal Day project here.
Read previous Journal Days here.


  1. Well – two interviews later and I got the call. I was being offered a position to go to California and train at their headquarters, and then head out on the road with a few teammates, live out of a van, and speak in cities across the country spreading awareness and mobilizing action.

    Now here was the choice – Go home, to a city I knew with people I loved, go back to the job I enjoyed, make decent money, maybe be able to reconnect with an ex-boyfriend and really fall back in to a comfortable routine where I knew I would be relatively happy, but more importantly, I would be safe. Or, pack up everything, fly across the country to a place I’ve never been, work with strangers on an issue I barely knew anything about, doing a job I still barely understood for no money and anything but comfort.

  2. YES! I relate to this 100%. I didn't feel fully confident with my body until I gave birth to my first son. Then with my second, came to see myself as being beautiful. Motherhood is such an amazing rite of passage and I am so honored to have been initiated.

    Here's my excerpt and link:

    "This was never something I wanted or a place I saw myself in- a mother of two, a wife, a home owner. I grew up thinking that I would be a career woman, too busy for a family. Too independent to fall for a man. But now that I am here, “mommy” and “sweetheart” are the words that make my heart swell most. Of all the crossroads that led me here, I would say one of the most important happened in 2011, when a breakup was looking like the best option for me and Ben. We weren’t married then but did share a house, and most devastatingly, a child...."

  3. Wow, such a great turning point. Unconditional self love shoud be one of our ultimate goals, as we waste so much energy berating ourselves all the time. I've been working hard to get there, but it's not an easy path. I stopped being hard on myself most of the time, but there are still days where I struggle to embrace what I see as physical flaws... Operation Beautiful's book was a great companion at the time when I took the decision to be gentler with myself.

    Thank you again for such a great prompt. Journal Day this week took me back to the biggest crossroad of my life, the one that led me where I am today. "My career (I'm a book translator) and my love life might not be what they are today if I hadn't met a bunch of writers one afternoon of February 1999." If you wanna know more about that meaningful encounter, you can read my response here:

    Can't wait to read the other responses!

  4. And this is mine...

    "I can find absolutely precise time, place and circumstance in which I became an adult.

    Twenty years later, with the patina of time has softened the edges of the event and painful maturity that allows me to accept the inevitability of our every moment on this earth and in this life, I can see clearly in the death sudden my father the opportunity to throw in the world, survive and become just me."

    If you'd like to continue reading

  5. love this idea and wanted to take part. thank you for the opportunity, danielle! your story really spoke to me - i'm definitely still working on self love.

    i'm a peace corps volunteer serving in the south pacific, to learn about my "crossroads" moment you can read about it here:

  6. Gorgeous story Danielle.

    All it took was one little article. One little article that was written in a way, the right way, that changed it for me.

    My crossroad moment:

  7. Thank you for starting this Danielle,

    Here is my excerpt...

    "He briefly introduced himself and what his role was before saying to me "Tell me how things are going for you?". That well constructed, well thought out question opened the floodgates. Almost unaware of myself I started to cry, unable to even get words out he just let me take the time I needed until I managed to barely whisper "Not so good"."

  8. Thanks for sharing this story to us :)

    Here's mine:

    "I was in my first year of college. I enrolled to one of the best schools in the country. I had new classmates, met new friends, and made a lot of memories. But I took up a major that my parents chose. After two failed attempts of going to the school (and major) that I wanted, I gave up in choosing my future..."

  9. This was great. I've been there (minus the pregnancy part) & I'm still on my journey to self-love. Thanks for sharing.

    An excerpt from my post:

    "But then I realized, life isn't a race. There's a quote that says something like -- "All of us share the same goal in life; death". I like that quote because it reminds me that while I'm alive it's never too late to do what I want. I'm allowed to have my own personal goals in between."

  10. This is a great, honest post. It seems so easy to love others but so hard to love ourselves. Why is this?

    My crossroads was when I read "a return to love" by marianne williamson in 1993. It changed my whole way of thinking from fear to love. I'm a work in progress but the basic idea of looking a something with love and not fear is one of my basic mantras.

  11. Oh my. My experience with learning to love my body mirrors yours in so many ways. Mine started in high school (I did what you did in college, and oddly I was able to "just stop" too). I began loving my body, really loving it, after I gave birth to my twin boys. My body will never be what it was, the skin on my torso is stretched and wrinkly, my abdomen forever a bit poochy, but all I have to do is look at those two boys and I'm in awe of what my body was able to do.

    Here is my excerpt:

    "Something within me shifted and I pushed my food aside. It was entirely possible that she was calling to say that my blood work was fine and to make a follow-up appointment with the doctor should we have trouble once we started actually trying to get pregnant. But I knew this wasn’t the case."

    Can't wait to read everyone's journal posts!

  12. That's a great crossroad... I still haven't reached that point! I'm so stoked you're starting this whole Journal Day thing.

    Here's my excerpt:

    "That Autumn in Austin just seemed so... cold. I had never lived so far from the beach, and I longed for it. I longed for bright green mountains and crystal blue water. I longed for warm waves. I longed to be with him again."

  13. I can relate to your story so much, and I appreciate your honesty in sharing that with us, I have always struggled with weight and body image so I can understand what it is like to feel the way you did.

    I took this in a completely different direction and used this post as an opportunity to talk about my daughter's birth story and my thoughts on being a young mother. I really enjoy how one journal prompt can inspire people in such different ways. Here is an excerpt from my post:

    Honestly, I was upset when I first found out. I was 22 years old and did not feel like I had the qualifications to be a mother. Madison was so encouraging and excited from the beginning that it didn't take long for my attitude to change. From then on it was all about our little girl. We did our best to prepare for her arrival.

    If you would like to read the full story, the link is below:


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  15. Such a beautiful story! Self love is always important! : )

    Here is mine:


    My excerpt:
    "Getting married is another part of my journey and definitely a crossroads. Marriage is not for everyone, but that doesn't mean they people in relationships don't commit to each other even if they don't go through with the ceremonial/legal parts. For us, marriage was what we wanted to cement our commitment to the future. Taking a literal plunge (into a pool) at the end of our wedding ceremony was a fun symbolic way for me to cross over into a new life with my new family."

  17. I always wondered why people said that their 30's are the best years. Reasons like the one you wrote about makes it clear why that is sometimes true.

    Here is my Journal Day post:

    An excerpt:
    "It's clear to me now that I mistook drama for passion and I was addicted to the up and down roller coaster that was my previous relationship. Getting off that ride, and taking a chance with Josh was the single most distinct moment when my life shifted from what it once was, to what it was meant to be."

  18. My crossroad was learning how to come out of an overemotional state and be the confident person I should have been all along. Glad the prompts are back, Dani! <3

  19. You had the most adorable prego belly! :) I can't speak about that, I don't have any children but I'm glad you found a love for yourself.

    An exerpt:
    "I always knew that I wanted to go to college. Neither of my parents completed college. This was something that I wanted for myself. It was the summer before my freshman year that I decided I wanted to do something different. I put aside my childish ways and made a fresh start for college."

    Journal post #1

  20. Such a beautiful turning point! Self-love is such an important thing and can take so long to fully get there. I'm so glad to hear about your journey.

    My excerpt:
    "So, I guess in a sense, this is another crossroad for me. It's another new pathway. One with challenges and speed bumps and a-ha moments. But the greatest thing about this new pathway, is the peace it brings. To know without a doubt that I'm on the path I'm meant to be on."

  21. Your story is great! I really enjoyed reading it. Self-love is something that I (with many others, I'm sure) struggle with regularly.

    My excerpt:
    I think that I have encountered two very distinct crossroads in my life that led me to where I am right now (albeit many other decisions/turning points).

    The first of these was when I felt a strong pull to move to Nova Scotia to attend university at St. FX.

  22. Hi again, it's so special to read about your crossroad... ok, I'm from Chile, remember? so my blog is in spanish, but I did my journal too, so, I'll let the link below, and if you don't want to translate the hole thing, I let you know, that my crossroad, was a few years ago, when I decided what kind of person I wanted to be, I was really depressed and I decided to leave my country, for 5 months I lived alone in Argentina. Somehow I learn about my self, about sacrifice and about love, I went back to Chile, being a completely new person, knowing that I was enogh and that I was made for do it everything... Since then, never look back, I've made my life always thinking that I can do it all.

    Thanks :)

  23. I loved your journal day entry, I think it's something a lot of women can relate to in one way or another.

    Here's a taste of my entry:

    I suppose we are smack bang in the middle of our crossroad right this second. Too far away from the past to go back but not close enough to the future to know exactly what it will be and when it will happen. Time to just keep moving forward.

    You can read the rest at

  24. I love this! It brought tears to my eyes because it's something I always struggle with- you care but you know you shouldn't, and it makes you feel worse knowing how much you hate the way you look. I've decided that in 2014 I'm going to focus on how I feel, not just how I look!
    Good for you, Danielle!!

    Here's the link to my crossroad- when I found out I was pregnant with my son when I was 18, a freshman in college, and had no idea what to do.

  25. Self-love can be so difficult - and I'm sure it's especially difficult to share such an emotional story with a bunch of strangers! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Here's my post:

    ...and a little piece of it!

    " I was exactly halfway through grad school in the spring of 2010,enjoying what I was learning, but had the nagging feeling that I was not meant to continue in this path – at least professionally. I hemmed and hawed and prayed and tried to figure out what was best for me, while slowly realizing how in love I was with photography."

  26. Loving your body can definitely be a struggle and there can be a fine line between being healthy and obsessive sometimes. It's amazing what being pregnant can do, though, and how it can put so many things into perspective.

    Here's my post:

    "And then we came to it – a major crossroad. Josh had decided that he wanted to move home to Minnesota from our current location in Colorado… where I had spent the majority of my life, and he wanted to know if I would come along."

  27. Excerpt: "I haven’t gotten through it yet, or even made a substantial trek down the road I am going to choose, but if I had to pinpoint which time in my life is the most influential I would have to say I’m in the midst of it."

  28. Thanks for sharing your experience, and for this great idea!
    Here's my excerpt, full post found at:

    Might have been is a phrase I sort of hate. My inner Buddhist rejects the notion of what might have been and instead always wants to focus on what is. My not-so-inner worry-er usually wins and then my worrying Buddhist is fretting over how I could have made different choices but is also feeling very Zen about it.

  29. So,
    I'm separated from my husband.
    It's weird to write the word husband. I've been without him for the last four months.
    The word really has developed into a mere technicality.
    Our divorce is in process.

    The thing that I feel like I need to share about today is why I
    "let my marriage go"

  30. Danielle, thank you for sharing, and for the prompt! <3

    Without further adieu...

    Then something important happened. The boy pulled a blue and white box out of his pocket and asked the girl if she would marry him. They knew they were committed to one another, could be happy with each other for a very long time and longer still, but... this would make it official. There was nothing she wanted more, than to spend the rest of her life with him and be his wife. She said yes, of course, and they took their time getting back to solid ground, practically floating down that scenic route of a winding, rocky trail.

  31. Thank you for sharing. I can totally relate. I was very heavy in high school and then after I graduated I started taking birth control to regulate my period... the hormones made me very sick and I was throwing up every day. Every one started commenting on how great I was looking (because I was basically puking everything I ate all day), so I decided to stop eating. I can look back and not even remember eating all day, but I do remember taking diet pills. Those made me sick as well. I've lost 55lbs in the last year since my daughter was born and I've got another 25 to go before I am at a healthy weight for my body type. I feel disgusting every day and it's a battle.

    Here's an excerpt from my Journal Day:

    "If I had made the choice to stay in that relationship, there's no question that I'd be miserable. I would probably still be with that abusive ex and I probably would have had a few children by now who would be witness to such hurtful and unhealthy things. The only other path in that situation (if I would have stayed) is I would be dead.. by his hand or my own."

  32. That's such a blessing that you were able to just drop that habit of not eating healthy and exercising right there on the spot....and it's amazing to hear your choice of just choosing to love yourself..have it be decided and go with it! I love it!

  33. "I was having a mental breakdown. I denied it for a little bit because I felt like only troubled people have breakdowns, and I thought I was a good person. I was an independent adult, working full-time, going to school, and even volunteering as a youth leader at my church. But that was the problem. I had too much going on, and I was pouring out in so many different areas. I quickly realized that my mental breakdown was leading me straight into depression. That word scared me so much. That is when, with the help of several close friends, I decided I was going to see a therapist. I was so fearful of what was going to happen, and what we were going to discuss in our sessions."

  34. Thanks for making me think introspectively! I'm loving this journal day project so far!

    "It made me realize that I never wanted to feel the way that my friend must have felt, like no one would understand her. I didn't want to feel as though I didn't have someone to talk to. Maybe a person wouldn't understand exactly what I was feeling or why, but as long as I had a person who would listen, or even just be there, that should be, would be, enough. Above that, I didn't want my parents to ever go through what my friend's parents had to go through. I wanted to be happy."

  35. "I said goodbye to the person I used to be so I could make a better life for the little boy I had just brought into this world. "

  36. Thanks for the prompt!

    When I first graduated from college I had a choice- to move across the country and start a new life, or to stay right where I was.

    find the rest here-

  37. What a beautiful, honest post. Hindsight is such an incredible thing and I think it's amazing to be able to look back at things and see just how far we've come; it really is one of the most rewarding things, to see how we've grown.

    My post is taken with a big dose of hindsight and I think that's the best way to view things, here it is if you want to have a read:


  38. I love this response, and I might just have to join this fun discussion after all :). Thanks for always being so open!

  39. I relate with your story so much, Danielle-every day I have to choose to love myself and my body. Here's an excerpt of my story that you can find at

    I didn’t want to admit to being wrong. I was here, and regardless of why and how I got here, I had to figure out how to make it work. What kind of life did I want?

  40. I love this. And I love your journal prompts. I might have to make some time to do some writing myself.

  41. My biggest crossroad was the decision to attend Sewanee for college. It changed everything...

  42. i love this journaling prompt so much!

    "even more exciting than the hustle and bustle of being in our nation's capital during an election season was the experience of living on my own. we go from our parents house to a college dorm and not really knowing how to live on our own. i remember one of my roommates in DC teaching me how to clean a toilet..."

  43. this prompt really hit home for me!

    "I woke up early on August 10th 2012, hungover and groggy, and took a pregnancy test that I picked up on a whim the day before."

  44. It was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had in my life. I don't like to let people down and I learned that with crossroads comes letting someone down.

  45. Great post! I too started to really love my body once I was pregnant, even though I wasn't happy how it looked at the end, I knew it was doing its job.

    Here is mine:

    I am really feeling conflicted with this. I know I have to work at least part time. Jeff will receive a stipend but it is about half of what he makes now, meaning I need to help make up that other half. I am somewhat excited to have a break from the kiddos, but I really don’t want to work full time. I also feel guilty that I was able to stay home with Leland full time but not with Eldon.

  46. It also weighed heavily on my mind what was I going to do once Claire came? Would I still work and find a babysitter? Would I cut down my hours and work during night shift as a nurse aide when Brandon could take care of Claire? I was at a loss for which path I should take.
    Well Claire decided to make that decision for me about what to do after she came, because at 7 months pregnant towards the end of June 2011, I took a walk with my mother in law. I walked often throughout the pregnancy so that was nothing new, but this time sharp, shooting pains started coursing down my side. It got to the point where I could no longer walk through the pain.
    Thank you Dani for your inspiration!

  47. What an inspring post, thank you so much. I was needing a boost and this gave it to me.

  48. great post :) and feels awfully familiar. i'm still working on it, but i hope to get where you're at one day.
    very inspiring :)
    xo, cheyenne

  49. Such a wonderful post Danielle! I'm sure a lot of people can relate, including myself.

    Here's a link to my post...

    Excited for next week's prompt!

  50. I really enjoyed reading this post, Dani. It isn't easy to share such private details -- I know. But there becomes a point when we stop feeling ashamed about our past and start thinking of it as a source of pride -- pride for surviving it, for escaping it, for letting the negatives ultimately shape us into something more positive. I am similar to you in that when I decided to stop using drugs, it was literally a single moment in which I decided "I'm done"...and I was. I just...stopped. I wrote a post about it a few weeks ago, and while my post doesn't align perfectly with this prompt, it definitely relates to it.

    An excerpt:

    "January 2009. I was 22 years old and the only workout I ever got was dancing my ass off at the club. But even that was rare because whenever I went to the club I mostly just kicked back at our private table and drank bottle after bottle of champagne in between trips to the bathroom to partake in whatever *ahem* “party favors” were on hand. And by “party favors” I mean drugs. In case that wasn’t clear.
    Back then my life was a little bit like that girl Piper’s, the blonde chick from Orange Is the New Black; I was dating a girl who pushed product for a supplier who had operations on both coasts (and, I suspect, south of the border, although I never found out for sure)..."

    The rest of the post:

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Loving taking this journey with everyone. Can't wait to read others' crossroads.
    My response: "While the choices weren't optimal, I feel like I eventually made a decision and set my life on a better path filled with endless opportunities."

  53. Bravo for you! I know exactly how you feel coming to terms with your body and embracing it wholly. Journaling has helped me with so much in my life. In my latest post I share how it helped me begin my healing in regards to releasing shame around motherhood.
    My post is here:
    Thanks for beginning these journal posts. I'm looking forward to sharing more.

    1. At the age of 17 during a rougher than should have been teenage stage of being sexually abused, an airforce brat moving every couple of years…..

    here's my first one. having a hard time getting back into writing but I'll keep trying :)

  55. Danielle, thank you! Your story is beautiful and something I can definitely relate to. I'm still learning how to love myself unconditionally, and my essay touches on an aspect of that: being comfortable with who I am as a person.

    "We adapted to the wilderness, but the true test was how to brave the wilderness within."

  56. "But the more I live, the more I'm convinced that it's not the big "crossroads" moments that determine the course of one's life; it's the everyday choices we make along the way that determine who we are and set the tone of our lives."

  57. love the journal idea :)

    "at that moment i was so grateful for my journey that got me standing right there. right then. humming that song with my sisters by my side.

    friendships {no matter how you find them} are good for the soul."

  58. Thanks for this idea! I've loved your blog for so long - it's inspired me. :)

    When I look back at this point in my life, I’m often in awe of the bravery and courage I must’ve had to decide to listen to my gut and not return to England, especially because this is so uncharacteristic of me. I am a poor decision maker, even when it comes to the most simple of decisions - I often can’t even decide what to eat for breakfast! And this decision was going to change my life, I knew it. Somehow though, I just knew that returning to England was not what I was meant to do. Of course, I doubted myself constantly, and I asked whatever god existed (cause I still don’t know about that) to please show me a sign that I had made the right choice. Just some kind of sign.

  59. Thanks so much for this series. I'm looking forward to the next one :)
    "Usually when you think of a crossroad you think of choice. A good choice or a bad one, there are two paths and you pick one of them. My crossroad was the place where my dreams separated from reality."

  60. Wow, that really really touched my heart, thank you so much for sharing about your turning point and such an emotional journey that leads! Interestingly enough I wrote a post that follows along the same lines as this topic (loving yourself) just a few days ago. Please check it out if you have some time! :)

    On Loving Yourself

    "I like to consider myself a fairly level-headed, loving, other’s-minded girl. There is one thing, however, that I keep being reminded of–I need to be better at loving myself. No, I’m not striving to be a narcissist, I just want to be nice to myself and make my own self believe I am worth it. I’m worth the relationships I have, I’m worth having a job I like, I’m worth chasing the things I love to do."

  61. This is so, so good. Real and honest and refreshing as heck. Thanks for sharing this part of your story.

  62. Love your realness. Here's a bit of mine:

    " I was 19 years old, in a period of my life where I was awake, alive. My junior college courses were stimulating and meaningful, I was coming into my own as a woman, and I was so eager to pursue my interests and passions in a world outside of high school and my small town. I also desperately wanted to fall in love."

    xoxo, Anna

  63. Love your post! It was real and beautiful.

    Here's an excerpt from mine:

    "The stairwell was cold. I sat on the top step staring at the gray cement wall. It was Day 2 of the World Series against the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants. My guy friends thought it cruel that I broke the news to him during the game, especially when that morning he offered me a ticket to watch it live. But, I knew it was his way of apologizing for giving me the silent treatment the night before after I refused to go to the market to buy him a bottle of Pepsi. He could never say the words "I'm sorry." Instead, he bought me gifts we couldn't afford." - Mae

  64. I'm so glad this series is back! I am thrilled to share a little piece of mine

    When I left high school even though I had been accepted into university I knew it wasn’t for me. I just could not face another three years of education. I had no clue what I wanted as a career so I saw no point in committing to something I probably wouldn’t see through until the end. Sounds like when I faced that crossroads I actively worked my way out right? Wrong ...

  65. Dear Danielle,

    You struck a cord, that post is beautifully real and very well written! I admire your courage to be so truthful and honest! No wonder so many of us are coming back here every day. I was going over all the comments, it's surely a testimony to your talent that you've motivated all these people to write and share here! Kudos to you.

    I had less courage than you, but I wanted to try something, here is an excerpt:
    'I left childhood behind over a decade ago but in this dream I always am a child. When I look at my feet, I see sandals and white toes peeking from under a few leather straps. I’m standing where the sidewalk ends and suddenly I feel so cold. I shiver. '

    Kind regards,

  66. I am already loving this series! And I love what you wrote!

    Today, I am writing about my journey in competitive fitness. How I got started and why I had to stop.

  67. I love this. Thank you so much for doing this! Here is a little excerpt:

    I didn't feel like I could tell anyone about this. The only person I wanted to talk to was basically on the other side of the world who I could only communicate with one day a week through email. I just felt lost and broken. I felt myself getting dragged deeper and deeper into this depression that I had no reason for being in. Then I met a boy.

  68. Thank you so much for sharing, Danielle! I relate so much to your story.

    Here is an excerpt from my journal entry:
    I’m walking away from a huge part of my life. I’m in the process of leaving a church that I have called my home since I was 9 years old, filled with great people, and some who I considered to be my closest friends.


  69. Loved your entry. This project is going to be fun. I got mine up today:

    I stepped off the train in Rennes, France in 2005 exhausted, excited, & completely unprepared for everything that would come that semester. I was entering my third year of University still very much a child & found myself an ocean away from everything & everyone I knew. Everyone says travel changes you; I just had no idea how much it would change me or that it would begin that very moment.

  70. I can completely relate to your struggle with food, exercise and body image. It's an issue that I've struggled with for many years now. I appreciate your honesty!

    Gabi and I shared our crossroads on our blog. Myself about my time spent living in Victoria, BC, and her about a failed relationship. It's found here:

  71. This was great - I'm beginning to see more and more that many people struggle with body acceptance and self love. I would almost say that it is kind of the norm, which makes me sad. I am in the middle of a shift on perception of that myself. Bodies are awesome and we shouldn't spend much time nit picking them!

  72. This is why I love "30". I have a stronger acceptance of my body after two boys than at 20 when I didn't need to exercise. Love this post.

  73. Thank you for the prompt! I love this idea so much.

    "That break-up was a huge moment because it changed my life trajectory. It made me become my own person. I was no longer the other half to a relationship. I became myself. "

  74. THANK YOU for sharing. I have a similar story and my turning point (not there haven't been relapses and daily struggles) came when I found a support group in college. Something about talking with people who actually live with the same issues really helped...and the more people continue to share, hopefully more will be helped. I also was never more proud than when I gave birth to a very healthy (and big) baby. Being strong is so much better than being weak physically and emotionally.

  75. "The marker in my life, that distinct event that changed everything, was the first time my mother tried to kill herself. I was beginning my sophomore year at the University of Maryland College Park and it shook everything about me, my life, and my family. I lost myself before I even got to really know myself. It was the one truly important promise my mom ever made to me: that she would never do to me what my grandmother did to her. And that promise was broken for the first time when I was 18, and then again at least once a year until I was 24."

  76. I'm 36 Danielle & I still don't feel ready to say that, but I haven't been through the extremes a lot of women go through. Unfortunately I just don't think that we're encouraged to love ourselves, so well done, and thank you, for writing this post.

  77. This is such a great post, and I love the journal prompts! I am behind on this boat, but I got on my blogging now and have written about my crossroads! It is all about my husband and I's decision to move to Europe this past June, and how our lives have changed since. Thank you so much for the journal prompts, and I look forward to more! Here is my link:

  78. I love this idea. I am a little behind in the game, but better late then never, right?

    "Sitting where I am now, to look back at what has happened in my life, I can clearly see all the crossroads that I have encountered on what I feel comfortable calling my crazy journey of life. Of course, in the moment, they did not seem like major turning points. They always felt like something that I just had to get through, to make it another day, to get to the end, to get to the next chapter, the norm. They did not scare me, for in the moment, when I need to get something done, nothing scares me. I go into the zen like place where I become the bravest of them all and I do whatever it is that I have to do in order to move on with my life. Now, sitting here, looking back, holy crap some of the things that I went through ..."

    I hope you enjoy!

  79. I totally like this blog its very unique.

  80. I'm a bit behind on the project but I'm excited to join in and catch up!!

    "Now that I'm well into working full time at the university where I very recently attended classes a few doors down from where my office is, I'm starting to really reflect on whether or not this is exactly what I want. I don't think I'm at the crossroad yet, but I can feel it coming. That moment where I have to decide if I want to keep doing what I went to school to do, or pursue my other passions. I've fallen in love with blogging and sharing. I love design and creating things. I can do that at my job now, but there is a huge chance that my boyfriend Alex and I will be settling down in another state once he graduates in May. This may not be my job for much longer and I really need to think about what I want to do and how to prepare for a potential big shift in career direction."

  81. I just found your blog and I love this idea! I have some catching up to do, but better late than never, right?


  82. I've just started blogging again and I'm going your prompts to help me get back into it. Never to late! :p

    Here's a bit of my post:

    "Going to university has been the absolute making of me and writing this post has driven that home completely. I’ve never really sat here and thought about it so much detail. I often find myself fixating on all the negative aspects of myself and experiences and I forget just how far I’ve come. I’m doing this – life – and I don’t suck at it."

    The rest is here:


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