We all know a Cowardly Lion

We often think of a lion as being brave. That is unless you think of the cowardly lion featured in The Wizard of Oz. When you think of that lion, you might even think of someone you know who is a cowardly lion. For those of you that don’t know, the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz has a big bark, but when it comes to facing something difficult, he is scared and full of fear.

I think we can all even think of times when we have been cowardly lions. There are times when you come across like an intimidating person, someone who knows everything.  People might even respect you, but when it comes to doing something hard, to facing something that is a difficult decision, you avoid it.

One time a friend of mine was a cowardly lion. This is a girl with a bubbly personality and a strong spirit. Someone who you think probably never cries. She was dating a guy and she really liked him. She saw a future with him. There was only one problem, timing. She was just not ready to get serious. She did not want to lose him, so she kept him at arms length, but when she thought he was going to do something that would make her have to make a decision, she avoided him. This hurt him, badly. By the time this was said and done, she had ruined even the chance of a friendship with him. The sad thing is that about 4 months after they quit talking, she realized what a huge mistake she made, but it was too late. She had avoided him one too many times and he got fed up and moved on.

This was someone who you would think would face problems head on. This is a person who you would think would never do this, but she did. She was a cowardly lion.

It can be easy to be a cowardly lion. You are faced with a hard choice in life, so you just avoid it. You hope it will go away and you won’t have to face it, but it never does and you might even ruin it.

As I said earlier, we have all had times we have been cowardly lions. I would like to think that we could learn from these situations. Many times we do, but there are times when we don’t and it is just too late. My advice to everyone is don’t be a cowardly lion. You may think you are strong and you like people to think that, but avoiding hard issues is not good. You need to face them head on.

My friend actually talked to the guy about their situation, yes four months later and he was kind of seeing someone else. You know what, they got together after all, but it took time. This was time that they could have been together, but instead it was like starting from scratch and there were some trust issues. So the four months apart, the few months when they were talking and she was scared and the other couple of months to work it out, that is a lot of wasted time that could have been avoided.

The next time you feel like you can’t face your issues and that avoiding them is the best way to handle it, think about the other person. Think about their feelings. Think about how you feel about them and the damage you might be doing to the relationship. Think about these things and then man up and say what is on your mind. I can guarantee you if you do that, you will have much more success than avoiding it.

Being Cut From Sorority Rush Should Not Feel Like Rejection

This week was sorority rush at most of the colleges in Alabama. This can be such a stressful time and most girls get their first taste of “rejection” during this time. We are talking about girls who have probably never heard the word “no” in their lives. Now, this is not true for all of the girls, but it is true for quite a few.

As I was scrolling through Instagram, I was reminded of my own sorority rush experience. To put it quite honestly, it was terrible. I was from small town Alabama and my mom did not rush and was from up north. Let me just tell you, I have two strikes against me right there, because my mom knew nothing. She had no words of wisdom to pass down to me to help me get through this treacherous week. Plus, I went to a country high school, where hardly anyone went to college, must less rushed a sorority.

In preparation for rush, I had gone and bought some of the best dresses. I went to Pappagallo and bought one that I knew would just be a real “attention getter”. It was a pretty floral chintz. It was one shoulder, hey they do say styles come back around! It looked like a couch! But it was what was popular back then. I wanted to make sure that I had the best accessories and that I was ready for this rush experience. I had a dress picked out for each day of rush, that was 7 days. We had 6 days of parties and then bid day. I was ready.

I got to Auburn and I was excited for rush. I had been told that you have to act happy everyday of rush. You cannot act like you don’t want to be there, even if you really don’t. This was okay for the first two days, but by day three I was exhausted. I was so tired it was not even funny. I just could not fake it. We had ten parties that day. That was ten times telling people your major and all about your hometown. I was over it.

The next day we went to get our parties for that day. We were supposed to have eight. I just knew I was going to look on there and be excited. You see, before I came down for rush, I knew the sororities I was interested in and I was pretty sure they were interested in me. I opened up my party list and I had four. My heart sunk. Now out of the four, I did have my top choice, but the other three, they were not even on my radar. I cried a thousand tears and I really should not have, because I had a party to go to right away. I remember sitting in the lobby and I just could not stop crying and a girl looked at me and said, “I have seen many tears this morning.” I am sure she had. I went to the party and then had a two hour break, because I did not have all eight parties and I ran home and called my parents, bawling. I even remember a friend of mine saying, ” I had such a hard time because I never got cut.” You know, just what you want to hear.

Let’s go back to how I felt opening up the party list. My heart not only sunk, but the rejection completely bit me in the behind. I had been told “no”. I had people tell me I was not good enough to be in their group. I went from being someone who was in everything to flat out pushed aside. That feeling stunk. Who were these girls to tell me I was not good enough to be in their group? Why did they think they were better than me?

Now as the years have gone by, I realized more and more that this was not rejection. These girls did judge me based on a 20 minute visit, but it was not actually “judging” me. They just did not get to know me, the real me and they had to make a decision based on that quick amount of time.

You see, there are only so many sororities and only so many spots in them each year. Sure it would be great to take every girl that wanted the sorority, but that just would not work. You see a sorority is a sisterhood. You form a bond with these women over your four years at college. These women do become your lifelong friends. If you had say, three to four hundred in your pledge class, you would never form these bonds. It would just be too hard. So, this is where the cuts come in.

I saw a lot of tears cried this year by girls who did not get what they had their hearts set on. They did feel rejected. I read an article tonight and it said that at Auburn, 34 girls were completely cut out of rush. They did not get anything. I thought how they must have felt to be told you did not get one sorority to pick you. The hurt and heartache they felt, especially those that it happened to on bid day.

I want to tell these girls that you are not being rejected. It does feel that way at the time, but you really are not. It is kind of like a job interview and you are being told “no” and directed into another direction. You might be directed to a different sorority, one that you did not even think about before. One where you could really stand out and be beneficial. You might not even be directed to any sorority at all. You might find something else that interests you where you can better donate your time.

For me, I only had the one sorority that I was interested in and that turned out to be a blessing. You see, if I had a few that I really liked, I might have had a hard time choosing and whow knows what would have happened. I feel like I ended up exactly where I was supposed to be. I have heard others in similar situations say the same thing.

So for the girls who maybe heard “no” this week. For the girls that cried many tears and had their hearts ripped out. You were not rejected, so I hope you never feel that way. You were redirected. You were put on a path that will take you straight to where you are meant to be. So hold your head up high and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Don’t let anyone make you feel embarrassed or bad. You remember all that you have to offer and get ready to take it on your new journey. And who knows, you might end up becoming friends with some of the very people who didn’t give you that chance the first time around.

Why does getting rid of clutter make us feel guilty?

Clutter, clutter, clutter. I think we all have it in one way or another. Some of us just have a little junk drawer, this contains clutter, but really not a large amount. There are those who just have a large amount of an item and really nowhere to put it. While there are a small group who belong on the television show Hoarders, they are so bad!

Am I really guilty of clutter?

I like to think that I am not guilty of clutter, but one look around my house, well, in my drawers, closets and storage areas, and you will see I have clutter like everyone else. Mine fit in the category of “closet clutter”, you can’t see it in person, but it is hidden, like in a closet.

Recently, I discovered how bad my clutter was. The house I lived in before I moved, had a closet the size of a small bedroom. I managed to fill this closet to the brim. It was so packed, I had to move some clothes and my coats to other closets in the house. Clothes were everywhere and that did not stop me from adding to it. Let me add, it was not just clothes, but shoes, purses, jewelry, everything. Just all of the things we women love, except I owned them in multiples!

Moving was a discovery

When I began to pack, because I was getting ready to move, I thought this is when I would begin the cleansing experience. Anything that I had a question about I would try on and make sure the clothes fit good and get rid of those that didn’t. I even vowed to get rid of the clothes I was saving “just in case.” You know the ones I am talking about. The ones that you are waiting to wear when you lose those last ten pounds or the ones that have good memories attached.

Four hours one evening and I had 8 garbage bags of clothes to donate to charity. I used to consign and sell on Ebay, but they were a pain, so I figured since God blessed me with the money to shop in abundance, I would donate to others. It was a good feeling to know that I had gotten rid of so much! That was, until the move.

The day of the move

On the day of the move, I was loading my car with the clothes and I ran out of room! Now, I do drive a smaller SUV, but who runs out of room for their clothes. Not to mention, the day before, I had filled my SUV full of clothes and dropped them off at the house. Now, I did forget to say that in my new house my closets are quite small, so I made a decision that one of my bedrooms was going to be a closet. As I began unloading the clothes, I was running out of room.

The honesty of a friend

The closet/spare room looked good. I had set up a vanity and it was just what most women dream of! Then a friend came to visit. This friend was bluntly honest with me about how I had too much clothes. She even said, “it’s not the fact that you have too much clothes, it is that you don’t wear half of them!”. She was right. Facing these facts was next for me.

With this I decided it was time. It was time to get rid of the clothes that I truly never wore, even though I was saving them. Yes, I tried to get rid of them before, but there were some I had such high hopes for. So, on a day when I had nothing going on, I got rid of even more clothes. This time, I got rid of everything I had no intention of wearing, ever. I piled up ten more garbage bags of clothes and took them home for my family and friends to enjoy.

Now, I bet you are wondering what took me so long to do this? I wish I had the right answer for you, but I don’t. The truth is, guilt is why I did not remove these clothes. It wasn’t that I enjoyed seeing my closet bulge open with clothes, it was plain old guilt. Guilt for the clothes I bought and wore one time and just hated on my body. Guilt for the clothes that still had the tags attached and I just never go around to wearing. I just could not part with these clothes for the guilty feelings I had, until now.

Others must feel this way

I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. There are others out there who probably have guilt associated with their clutter. They know that it is time to get rid of these items, but they feel so guilty about getting rid of them. Guilt consumes them so much so that they feel that they just cannot part with these items.

For me, I had to push past the guilt. I had to realize that even though I might feel guilty, getting rid of these excess clothes was the best thing to do. They would make others happy and I had to keep telling myself that in order to get rid of the guilt.

It can be hard to try to push past the guilt. I know people who still hang onto things and can’t get rid of them at all. These are more your “hoarder” type people and this is when things become a bigger problem. You have to face the fact that you need to get rid of the clutter and just do it. No-one is saying it is easy, but removing this excess from your life, makes things that much better.

It actually felt good

I can honestly say that it is a good feeling to get rid of those clothes, shoes, etc. The only problem is that I made room for more! That problem is another post for another day! In the mean time, I will just enjoy my clothes. And did I mention, I am starting a fashion blog? More details on that coming soon! I guess you could say I am getting to use my fashion degree and shopping addiction in more than one way. But don’t follow my example and get rid of the clutter. Get rid of it and do not look back!