Monday, October 12, 2015

My Next Thirty Years....

Over the weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday. A birthday I have been dreading for quite some time. I had spent all of last week in a funk. I couldn't help but fixate on the fact that my life doesn't look like I had always thought it would when I turned 30. I guess I just always thought I would have a lot more accomplished by now.

I am an over thinker, by nature. I observe, I review, I analyze. This can kinda make me a cranky asshole sometimes, but it's who I am. After much of the above listed occurred, I finally decided that my life isn't anywhere close to where I pictured it and, ya know what...Who the hell cares? I am happy and I am fulfilled and I am loved and that is all that matters.

I could list for days all that I haven't done but what about all I have done...


I learned early on that laughter is pretty much the key to anything. I have laughed lots, and for long periods of times, and since about the 8th grade with a distinctive wheeze (if you haven't heard The Wheeze, you are certainly missing out).  I have known sadness but even more so I have known happiness.  Humor draws you to people and vice versa. Life is all about the ride-might as well make sure it's fun.


I consider myself forever lucky to be surrounded by some of the very best people who have ever walked this Earth-You are all my greatest blessings. I am better because of you.

I have experienced what it is to forgive and to also be forgiven. I am lucky enough to know what it is to be loved without conditions and to also bestow that same love upon others. My love, along with my trust, has never been something I have given away easily and I may not always like you, but once I love you, I love you. That shit's probably not going away.


Every single day, I live.  In the whole scheme of things, 30 years is not long at all. I have packed a lot of shenanigans into a short time. I have experienced what it means to truly live, not just go through the motions. I have been present when new life began and also when it ended. I know just how valuable life is and am fully aware that not everyone is given the luxury of living a long life.

When you are 20, you can't even fathom that you will eventually turn 30. I feel I should have put more thought into this, perhaps I would have treated my body a little nicer had I taken a little more consideration. While I turned 30 my liver felt like it was celebrating it's 60th birthday. All jokes aside, if it were all over tomorrow I'd have no regrets. No regrets that's what I always say...that any everybody Wang-Chung tonight.


I've known loss. I wear scars. I have scars on my body and scars in my heart. I think the deepest scar is the one I choose to wear over my heart. I look down and am reminded that life is fragile. That sometimes there are no do-overs, no second chances, and sadly, sometimes there are no tomorrows so you have to live the hell out of today. You've got to know sadness to know what it's like to truly be happy. Trust in the process. Perhaps, the hardest lesson in life is that sometimes when you lose, you also gain. Regardless, I know that there is nothing I'm not able to make it through because I am stronger than I sometimes give myself credit.

As for the next 30 years-here's to keeping an open mind and an open heart...I've got a lot more lessons to learn.

Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

And This Is Who I Am Today.....

My life is changing. I am changing. Faster than I could ever imagine. I am happy. I am terrified.

 I feel like I have spent so many years seeking out answers but it seems that I wasn't even positive the questions. Turns out that the answers in life are the easy part; it's the questions that are difficult. They are what will keep me awake at night ....wondering...wanting....waiting.

The best things in life are those that you never saw coming. That appear out of the blue and uproot your entire way of thinking. That blindside you. The type of things that remind you that regardless of all the bad in this world, there is still a whole lot of good. Remember to hold on tight to that good. It is rare and beautiful.

I have always been comfortable in my little corner of the world. For me, comfort often means the easy way. The way I am accustomed to...simple, if you will. Don't get me wrong, being comfortable is okay. Nothing wrong with that but comfort doesn't necessarily equate extraordinary.  Truth be told, my extraordinary is going to look a little different than yours....that's okay, too.

What I have always thought I wanted has always seemed so concrete, so trite. I am a walking contradiction. A proverbial hot mess-those things will never change. I don't think I would want those things to change. However, I am learning that what I want is a far more fluid concept than I had ever imagined. Turns out my life is turning into everything I never knew, I always needed. And with that I have to being willing to adapt and look beyond my little corner of the world and see someone else's.

All of our future's hold so many unknowns. So many questions without answers and answers without questions. I could sit here and worry about every thing that is changing and everything that could go wrong. What I am going to do it just sit back and enjoy all that life has to offer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Life Lessons By Lou

My name is Laura Louise Whitesel. My life if not a Bruce Springsteen song. Let's all take a moment to acknowledge and mourn this news.

Moving on....

I have come to realize that life can be best summed up as a series of lessons. As you all may very well know, some lessons are more pleasant than others. I think it is no big secret that I have always marched to my own beat. A little weird, a little quirky, a little discontently content with the mundane mechanics of the world, kinda a Hot-Mess Express...basically, a walking shit-show

I don't have a lot of expectations out of this life. I have no desire to change the world. I don't want people to read about me in history books or recognize me walking down the streets but what I do want to do is LIVE. I want to truly live in both the simplest and most complex meanings of the word. I want to experience things that scare me, that move me, that make me question everything that I believe in...things that possess the ability to change me at my core. I want to be challenged. I want to love, as freely and as fearlessly as possible.

What better way to channel all my misguided nonsense than to offer a series of life lessons...I could either be your hero or your cautionary tale. I'd probably choose the later.  Hold on to your britches, my's about the crazy up in hurrr.

Life Lessons By Lou

Lesson # 1: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Guess what? Your life probably looks at little bit different that everyone else's. It's okay. Your career, your relationships, your finances, your goals...THEY ARE YOURS!!! They belong to no one but you. Stop feeling bad, stop trying to fit your life and yourself into unrealistic standards. Let me share with you something I've learned along the way. The people whose lives appear to fit into a perfect cookie-cutter mold, typically are overcompensating for issues far beyond my scope of practice.

Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid of Waiting

Trust me, I am the queen of impatience. I want things to happen. The best thing I can tell you is to not be afraid of sitting back and seeing how things play out. Sometimes life will surprise you. Sometimes life will piss you off. Either way, everything will work out the way it's supposed to.

Lesson # 3: Don't Be Afraid To Be A Little Crazy

You cannot take life too seriously. Act how you want. Say those ridiculous thoughts. Mix things up a bit, yo.

Lesson # 4: Surround Yourself By People Who Make You Laugh

Be around people who make you laugh. I learned a long time ago that if you don't find a way to laugh at the hard stuff, you'll spend a helluva a lot of time crying. Life is hard enough as it is. Sit back and enjoy it as much and as often as possible. If you have friends who you can share inappropriate stories about body functions or a guy who isn't afraid to ask the cashier at Taco John's if the food we just received was authentic, then in my book, you just about have it all.

Lesson #5: What Would Lou Do?

When faced with a daunting decisions including but not limited to: 1) Should I wear glitter eye shadow to work 2) Should I have ANOTHER piece of pizza? 3) Should I have Taco John's for lunch, again? 4) Should I run for Congress even though I have no experience in anything political?.....If any life altering decisions should arise ask yourself :What would Lou do?  And then proceed from there.

Stay tuned for another fun-filled life lessons fueled by nothing more than my meandering thoughts...

Monday, February 2, 2015

An Open Letter To An Asshole

Dear Young Sir:

I wanted to take the time to address the question that you so boldly asked about myself to your teammates this evening while I was getting into the pool that you were training in.

How did I let myself get like this, you ask?

Well, first off, sir, I am fat not deaf. Those are two entirely different conditions. You would think spending over $100,000 on your college career, you would know the difference, but that's just my state education speaking.

To answer your question, I am not entirely sure how I let myself get like this. Maybe I'm lazy? Maybe I don't have any respect for myself?  Maybe genetics just aren't on my side?  Maybe I have an extremely unhealthy relationship with food? Maybe I suffered a loss so profound that food was a tool I used to not feel empty inside? Maybe I'll always feel empty inside? Maybe I have always been fortunate to be surrounded by people who love me unconditionally, fat or thin?  Maybe it's a combination of all the above listed....the one thing I know for certain is, it's none of your damn business.

When I was your age, I knew just about everything, too. I was so certain of my convictions and my place in the world. I think the term I'm looking for is entitlement. Lucky for you and for me, as well, life has a way of humbling us all. And humble you, it will, my friend.

My prayer for you is that you find your way. That no one ever speaks to or about you the way that you spoke about me or even worse, that no one ever speaks to your children that way. And if they do may all of you have a foundation sturdy enough to know that words are just words. Words do not define an individual but they do have the ability to hurt. I hope you don't have to learn that the hard way.

In closing, I want you to know that we are all fighting battles. We all have our crosses to bear. And being an ass hat, does not help anyone.

By the way, sir, shame on you.


The Fat Girl At The Pool

P.S. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps I was swimming in an attempt to better myself or did you think that I thought I just looked slamming in my swimsuit?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cliche This

I fully realize that this is going to come off as the obligatory, cliché, "New Year, New me" post that you have a heard/seen a billion-thousand times (trust me, it's a real number) since the New Year rolled in.  Let me assure you, things are not always as they appear.

I can Yo-Yo diet like it's my job. Here's what it kinda looks like: Crash diet until I hit my goal, act bat-shit crazy because my body and brain are starved, look smoking hot in needed situation, a month later gain all those pounds back and all those little bastards typically bring a few friends along with them. Vicious cycle.

 I am tired.

Tired of this cycle. Tired of being unhealthy. Tired of feeling terrible all of the time. Tired of being tired.

No more.

I want to get healthy.

I know what you're thinking...Same song different verse, Laura. You've all heard it all before.

This year, however, I turn the big 3-0. I absolutely refuse to turn 30 unhealthy. Not doing it. No thanks. Not me. Not this girl.

In all honesty, my body couldn't take 30 more years of my treating it the way I have. It probably couldn't handle five more years of my blatant disregard for myself and I got too much of the world to change to die. The truth is cruel and hard to accept but it lingers around me all the time.

Healthy not skinny.

Back to the basics today.

Meal prep, working out. Baby steps....

Slow and steady.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Million Little Thank You's

Families-the people we turn to, to both lose and regain our sanity. The craziest people on the planet. The steady promise that love exists that does not bear conditions.

Families are proof that God has a sense of humor. They are the people who stand by your side. They are a reminder that you don't have to carry all the burdens of the world alone. They are the ones who cheer you on during your moments of triumph and they will hold your hand during the bitterness of defeat and whisper in your ear, "Together, we will get through".

Your family will see you at your absolute worst and your absolute best. They won't ask you why you haven't washed your hair in four days or even mention that you may have wore the same sweatpants and hoodie for an entire weekend, straight. They tell you if you're in desperate need of an eyebrow waxing. They keep your extensive Barbie collection a secret. They love you regardless of the fact that you can kinda be a whiny asshole.

Your family will fight with you. They will tell you how it is. They will call you on your bullshit. They will do everything in their power to help fulfill your hopes and dreams. They will sometimes say awful things to you that they don't necessarily mean. They forgive. They don't judge you when you call the cute little old lady that cut you off in traffic obscenities that would make a sailor blush. They know your quirks- the oddities that would otherwise cause them to commit homicide if they didn't love you so much.

Their pain is your pain. Their happiness, in turn, is also yours.

Their love is all encompassing.

A beautiful disaster.

A glorious mess.

Just because someone shares your blood, does not make them family and just because they don't, doesn't mean they aren't. Your family consists of the people who choose to be there for both the good and the bad.

So on this Thanksgiving day, a million little thank you's to my family. Every single day, you are all my greatest blessings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We Fight To Hold On, We Fight To Let Go.....

On October 29th, 2008 Ethan Whitesel's life ended.

On that day a piece of my soul died right along with him.

Six years have passed. How in the hell have six years passed?

It seems like both a lifetime ago and just yesterday.

Somewhere in the midst of grief and anger and sadness and despair, I have found something that I never thought possible. I have found peace.

I have made peace with the fact that he is gone. I still hate that fact but I do accept that a higher power had better plans for my brother and I have to trust in that. That is what gets me through the toughest of days.

The funny thing about peace is that it is, at times, fleeting. Finding peace is not an all encapsulating sense of enlightenment.  I still question why Bubba was taken so soon. There are days that I am still mad as hell about it and days where his death seems so senseless but I have also discovered that, that's the good thing about it. God can handle my anger and resentment. He can handle my questioning His reasoning. He can even handle when I turn my back on Him. So in finding peace I have also been able to reestablish my faith.  Even in death, Ethan helps me find my way.

He was my best friend, my mentor, my advocate, my cheerleader, my rival, my frustration, and my hope.

I miss him every day. That will never change.

He taught me to be a better person. To be a little reckless. To forgive quickly (I suck at this one). To see the best in everybody (I also suck at this one). To say what's on your mind (I don't suck at this one).  Most importantly, he taught me to live the hell out of today because we are promised nothing in this life, not even tomorrow.

Never forget to tell people you love them. Take the time to laugh. Look at something and see its true beauty. Get excited about the little things. Leave the dishes in the sink and go do something fun....they'll be there when you get back. Drink some Crown Royal. Find your passion and indulge it. Read a good book. Live in the moment. Sing...loudly and off tune, if at all possible. Make sure you're friends with some weirdos-these are the people that make life truly worthwhile.

People are going to remember you for your spirit and the way you lived your life.......Make sure you're living it right

On October 29, 2008, Ethan Whitesel's life ended.....His story did not.

Rest Well, Big Brother, Rest Well.