Come Hell or Highwater: Part Two

It was at that point when a small voice in my head began to whisper, “You can’t do this, Jamie. You’re not going to make it. You’re just not strong enough.”

Shortly after that first time I felt myself thinking those thoughts…the idea of opposition came to mind. Isn’t that how life works, after all? There is always an opposite force at work; a balancing force working to keep everything in this world in motion.

Years ago, one of my oldest friends, Esbie, shared with me the saving grace to her sanity. She told me, “Jamie, what I have found is the key to balance is the ability to say ‘No’, and to be able to do it without the need for explanation. To implement boundaries with the people in your life, and with your own thoughts, is what can keep you sane when we’re all only a hair width’s distance away from insanity.”

For years I thought about that on and off, what it meant and how it affected my life. For whatever reason…it was that very idea that pushed me over my tipping point. I decided in those first days of feeling helpless, hopeless and caged in my own life…that it was my own lack of boundaries that was caging me. I decided to start saying, “No.”

At first it was, “no” to little things that distracted me from the goals I had set for my life, primarily finishing college. Small situations, invitations I didn’t have time for, financial insecurity, television, late nights out with friends. This gave me the time to start taking classes again.

After awhile, I found myself being able to say, “no” to bigger things…and found a change beginning in my life because of it. I was beginning to be able to say, “no” to intangible things now too. Drama, negativity, excuses, and laziness.

Slowly, the courses I thought I’d never take, began to come and go…each credit hour driving me closer to the final goal. Some courses were online, some where face to face…some interesting, and some ridiculous. By the end of 2010, I was one semester away from being able to participate in commencement and two away from graduation.

Through saying, “no” to the things, people, and time traps that kept me from my goal, I was also able to also find, once again, the opposing force.

The “yes“.

Because of “no” I was able to begin to say, “yes” again. This time, in a positive and healthy way, that would eventually show me what truly served my life. Yes to opening my heart up again, yes to confidence, yes to contentment, yes to being the best mother, sweetheart, and friend I can possibly be, yes to hard work, yes to healthy living through Fitness and Nutrition, and most importantly, yes to the things that serve my life, and my friend’s and family’s lives, in a positive way.

Being the wrong kind of  “yes” woman nearly ruined me, whatever me there was left to ruin. All of our lives all full, most of them full to the top. But what is the quality of that fullness? We may have a large quantity of things in our life: obligations, materialistic things, ideas, emotions…but what is the quality of these things in our lives? What positive purpose do they serve? My desire has become to be full of positive quality, not a bunch of quantity. The only way for me to do that was to weed out what was there simply as quantity, and replace it for quality.

On December 14, 2011, I sat down to take the last final of my undergraduate education. Later that evening, when my grade had been posted, and I knew I had achieved my goal, I wrote the following as a Facebook update.

Dear voice in my mind that’s whispered, “you’re not going to make it,” when times got tough,

F%*k you! Today, 10 years after I set the goal of finishing college, I’ve learned that I can do anything…and because of that, it will be easier for the Bean to learn and believe that SHE can do anything.

You’ve got nothing on these gals…and come hell or highwater, we plan on spreading the joy!

Love, (although I won’t be hearing much from you anymore)


Whatever choices you are facing, or fence you may be on…your fears are paper tigers. The paper cuts hurt like hell, but they heal, and if you chose to be…you are left stronger, more capable.

The choice is yours. Cue Your Life.

2 Comments to “Come Hell or Highwater: Part Two”

  1. Thank you so much for that inspirational entry. Just what I needed. I’ve started fitness only the day before yesterday, and it was so good. So now I need to keep pushing and working hard.

    I don’t know if you have seen the latest piece about my search”? Happy New year too!

    I wonder if I can ask you a question, as I can see, you’re hosted on Do you have the option of back-up’s?

  2. I like that you talk about the value of saying no. When you set a priority, that means that you have to say no to the distractions and speed bumps along the way. Congrats on finishing college! It’s a huge accomplishment!*

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