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Finding Myself

a post of vulnerability

With each of these blog posts, my goal is to share the funnies that come along with each of my worldly escapades.

I am a Dowd, so it's just in my blood to hold a love for telling stories; and I am very lucky to have endless types of stories to tell.

My second goal out of these stories, is to share what I have learned from each of these moments. Some lessons harder than others; some lessons that need to appear more than one time just so that I can get the hang of it all.

The older I get, the more I've realized that there is something that can be learned from every encounter we are confronted with.

This specific post is one of the most vulnerable posts that I have shared yet.
It is something that I do not share often, perhaps ever, but it is something that I hold with me each and every day. It is something that has been highlighted more and more in our day in age as I am incredibly grateful for, but it is something that we have much more to learn about, and much much more to improve on.

Mental Health is becoming a bigger enemy, problem, opponent than any other physical competitor we face up against.

While we spend hours on top of hours in the weight room lifting heavy plates, and in the gym perfecting our arm swings, we spend Every Hour with our mind. Now when you think about it like that, the mind being surrounded by our thoughts 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week, shouldn't we be putting just as much training into the mindset portion of our craft?

My Current Competitor: Happiness

So, two months ago my husband and I got married in the incredible Maui, Hawaii located in West Hawaii, Wailea Beach.

We were spoiled with the presence of both of our families and friends from literally all over the world. We had loved ones flying in all the way from California to Luxembourg to Puerto Rico to the Netherlands. It was incredible. 

A group profile that we never thought would all come together to live under one pin point.📍

It was the most powerful trip that curated unbreakable hope and trust for our future; I was ready for whatever was about to come next.

...Then the next came. We all flew home.

It was time to fly to Luxembourg to start another volleyball season ending my second retirement decision, and starting my first mental breakdown. 

Gilles and I came off of a summer of a lifetime. We had coached some camps, gotten all the love from the babies, and partied a 10-day Hawaiian trip away into an endless ocean of love. I was on top of the world. Then I got to Luxembourg and realized that it was time to get back into what I knew: volleyball. Only something was missing: happiness/passion/identity/my world.

You see volleyball was my world. It was my everything. For 10 months out of the year we literally choose to put this sport above anything that could ever mean anything to us: weddings, birthday parties, the birth of a loved one, the passing of a loved one, first steps, family dinners, holidays, the opportunity to find the love of your life etc. We all sacrifice this, for volleyball. And at the time, it's worth it. We choose it for a reason. It's not like we're signing million dollar contracts here. That unfortunately is not as common in the volleyball circuit as it is in the NFL, MLB, NBA market.

So we're all here for a reason. Even when things started getting really serious with Gilles, what's the first thing that I told him? "I have to be real with you, volleyball is number 1. I can't go and visit you, I can't be expected to prioritize you when we are in season." Volleyball was above family. Ohana. THE MOST important thing to my heart.

So it was confusing to me to be going back to play volleyball when it no longer was number 1 priority. 
I'm still trying to figure it out in my heart as we speak.

The biggest problem, was I just couldn't find my happiness.

It was soooooo there these past months! Like sooooo there! I didn't even need to search for it because it was just like soooo there! And now, everything looked different. The scenery looked different, our day to day schedule looked differet, there were people and babies that I was so used to be seeing every day, and all of a sudden they're no there, and now volleyball was here but it didn't look like it normally does/ what I understand it to look like.


- Enterrrr a lost soul

I'm Not Okay

The moments that we're not okay; yeah they're good to have. Good to give ourselves the space and time to just not be okay. But then what. When does the day come that you're all of a sudden just, totally okay.
I feel like just getting to the point of saying that you're not okay out loud is a huge step in itself. Like nearly the final step to becoming, not okay. So what are you in the space and time it takes to get to that point of being, not okay?

The world crashes, the moods sway every 30 minutes, irrational choices get made, it just becomes a big fat mess. And then the big crescendo comes that finally leads to you admitting that you're not okay. 

But then what

How long is it gunna take until I'm not, not okay? I mean, I knew that I wasn't okay the first month that I was heree. I knew that I wasn't okay through the second month that I was here. And now I feel that I've finally accepted that I  wasn't in a happy state. I just wasn't happy. I wasn't. I was comparing every other second, I was grieving the end to an unworldly trip with my entire family and friends, and I was fighting going back to a job I've had as a true lifestyle for the past decade, but in a worse fashion. 

Here I am, still trying to find happiness in that job. Pretty positive that this job is the source of 90% of my unhappiness, but I need it because I need money and to build a future with my husband. So more on that later as to how I'm gunna find my happiness in volleyball. Spoiler alert, I haven't got a flippin clue.

But let's go back to the mindset mentality mental conversations shall me.

I had a wonderful day. A wonderful conversation with my husband ultimately about happiness where we shared how we were feeling/our mental and emotional states. He said he can't feel me; he's searching for me. I think I can't feel myself; I'm searching for myself. Makes it a bit difficult to connect with your husband when you can't even connect with yourself.  Nonetheless, we had a pretty eye opening, profound conversation leaving the both of us in pretty grounded spirits.


Kichechef Couldn't Shake Me

We then went on an errand to our local Kitchechef to fulfill a voucher gifted to us last Christmas. Walking around, I felt numb. Absolutely numb.  A place where I usually can't get enough of, a place that leads me to countless diy fantasies and interior decorating motivation, here I felt nothing. 



Why to I continue to come back to a state of numbness or unhappiness when I Know that I have the potential, the wiring to be the MOST happy, opposite of numbness human being!! What is wrong with me. What is going on with me. Why can't I shake this dark cloud hovering over me.

I have everything I could have ever wanted. I have my health; I have my loved ones' health; I have loved ones; I have a comfortable roof over my head; I have delicious and healthy food nutritioning me every single day; I have talent and opportunities within and ahead of me. What can I be feeling so down and out for!? Seriously it just doesn't make sense!

Gilles then said the most beautiful thing to me. Use one of your spells. Don't let that dark being inside of you win. You gotta fight it.

Fight It.

It made me think; do we have good and evil sides inside of us at all times? How are the energies within us wired? Has my subconcious only been tapping into the evil side? Is it because it's the easier side? Because it feels so comfortable to answer to the unhappy part of me; to the self deprecating side of me. Is this why affirmations are so important for us in the morning? Is it giving more power to the happy side within because the the evil side has been given so much power all these years?


Sometimes you just gotta Choose to be Happy

Happiness is a choice.

Okayyy so in the times where all you wanna do is cry because you hate what you see in the mirror, you think yourself as a total loser who has all the potential in the world but can't figure out how to harness onto it and makes something out of yourself and now you're watching yourself live out your greatest fears because you are a witch with the abilities to create your own reality but the powers within are apparently too weak to create the prosperous future that you hope for so now you just end up creating the reality that you dread.

What, the hell man.

I do choose to be happy. Look at today; I chose to be happy and give myself patience with my eating disfunction.

I chose to have a safe conversation with myself and realized that I can't Look Good to Feel Good, I must Feel Good to Look Good.

I chose to really live in the conversation that I had with my sugar today about our relationship, growth as a couple, a team and how we're gunna continue to live in joy and fortitude. I was real about that. That happiness was real. That gratitude was real.





Then a couple hours later with a reflection in the mirror doing yoga to burn off the grilled cheese sandwich and two slices of banana bread followed by a bowl of chicken adobo to offset the munchies with some protein, I realized that I'm just a waste. I'm here doing yoga to cancel out the fact that I ate, dinner.  A pissed off Lindsay's reflected back at me because I didn't have the discipline to not eat when I came home from practice after 8pm.

And I'm more disappointed that that meal was a failed homesick remedy of a grilled cheese sandwich, so I add some chicken adobo for protein but then hollllld on you no self-control worthless piece, you ate moreeee food late at night. Look at those biceps go awayyyyy

Looook at the circumference of that waste just exploding out of your yoga pants.

Loooooook at the shadows of a once chiseled body leave you for good.


It's harsh. But this is actually what's going on inside my head. Every day.


I went from depression because the world physically looked different around me, to depression because those thoughts of sadness then worked their way into my world within. 

Finding my Rainbow

I don't wanna be here like this. I have too much to live for. Too much that I do in fact love about this world.

If I heard one of my nieces or nephew speak like this to themselves, my heart would break for them. I just want to give them a hug and let them know that they are worthy of the world itself. That they are talented beyond measure and there is true, genuine magic that lies within them, powerful enough to move a mountain.

I would want to instill endless barrels of self love and confidence to wash away any inkling of self doubt or disgust in side. And as I write this, I realize that these are the words that I myself need to hear right now.

You are Beauty.

You are Loved.

I love you my dear.

You are Human.

And being human is really hard at times.

When there is so much magic inside, it is harder to take control of. But you will.

You will find yourself again.

You are Beauty.

You are Loved.

You are Bigger than you ever thought you could be.

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