Celebrate Your Wins!


I told my self August was going to be my month. I told myself I am giving myself till the last day, my birthday, to take some huge steps forward. I kind of put in my head nothing was going to stop me and my fear of it all was just going to fuel me, for real this time. As you all know I’ve tried to go down many paths and majority of those roads I’ve taken have become dead ends due to having Crohn’s Disease and the unpredictable and unavoidable complications it can produce.

Well, although there were a few disappointments this month (you know, life happens) the few good things that have happened completely over shadowed them. The month started out with my car breaking piece by piece. I’ve never been approved for loans or anything on my own, my parents always had to cosign or sign for me. I have never owned anything myself.. Mostly due to not being able to hold down a good job to make enough income. But, I’ve been working hard for the vodka company and getting enough hours to help me out. I’ve also been working hard to build up my credit and it definitely paid off. I was able to sign a lease for a brand new 2016 Toyota Corolla Sport August 2nd! As soon as the sales woman, who was awesome btw, told me I was approved I wanted to jump out of the chair 😀

That week I decided to finally give a potential mentor in the real estate world a call. Needless to say, I can’t wait to work with her. She isn’t only awesome at what she does, she’s a suuuper nice person. The next step I took was signing with a Real Estate company in my town, Real Living. I had my first little session tonight after signing all the papers with the manager and I can’t wait to get going! This is a job that does take a lot of persistence, time, and discipline but I honestly think it’s the perfect job for me. Having the freedom being a real estate agent gives me, I don’t have the fear of being fired or missing work because I’m sick. I can work from home if need be. I couldn’t be more excited for my future! Oh, I also got approved for my second piece of investment property! Time to flip a house!! Woohoo!

I’m not telling you all of this to brag, at all, I’m very far from where I want to be but simply because sometimes you just have to celebrate your wins in life. Actually, you should do it all the time. As many failures as I have I’ve never really looked at them as failures, it was kind of a normal thing for me (in the least depressing way possible lol), I’d just say to myself “on to the next” and picked up and moved on. Now that I’m really working towards something I really love, I’m humbled but excited.

Never be afraid to share your successes with family, friends, and even the rest of the world! Not only will it keep you on your path to success but it may even fuel someone else to pursue something they love as well. And always try to find the opportunities and possibilities in your failures, because I promise you they are there! It is though, time to get back to work 🙂 Happy Tuesday friends!




Okay, so my title was a little dramatic. But why not. And this isn’t a negative response, it’s actually a liberating one. Why do people think so much, why do people care so much what others think, why not just live your life how YOU want it. I think that is the only way to ultimate happiness. Recognizing this for me has been a big step. People are so afraid of disappointing others, they’re so afraid of what “might happen”. The only person in life you should be truly worry about disappointing in your life is yourself. It is inevitable you will disappoint important people to you, there is no way around it. But they will get over it. Freaking live your life and stop being so afraid. Go back to school at age 50, go for that interview you didn’t think you’d ever have a chance at, talk to that handsome/gorgeous intimidating guy/girl you see everyday at work or in the gym, stand up to that prick boss of yours. If you don’t do it, you will never know. And you know what’s worse than a potential rejection, the constant wonder of “what if”.

Don’t be afraid to fall in love, take a chance, risk everything, go for it. If it doesn’t work out at least you tried and you can move on without wondering. Work towards a goal, set your mind to something. Don’t let life make you it’s bitch, make life YOUR bitch. Do with it what you want and if someone doesn’t like that then they can go back into their little hole of content. We all want to be content with life, when we all should be striving for ultimate happiness. Of course, life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies but it’s what you make of it that matters.

I have recently noticed my whole life I have been looking for something or someone to make me happy. When my key to happiness was right in front of me, sounds corny (well it kind of is, but I like being corny sometimes), and I mean it wasn’t literally in front of me but it was me, myself. You can’t find happiness unless you find it in yourself first. I’ve read a lot of blogs and a lot of articles and a lot of all that stupid stuff on Facebook everyone reposts about how awesome it is finding love a boyfriend and yadda yadda and it all brought me to this conclusion. If I can’t be happy with myself, I won’t be happy with anyone I don’t care who it is no matter how much of that shit I read.

I’ve never had set priorities and goals in my life that I acted on and I often blamed it on my disease. Not that it hasn’t caused me a substantial amount of frustration and made me put my life on hold at some points. Obstacles are inevitable with such an unpredictable disease, in fact life in general you will always have them. I have always laughed about having Crohn’s and stayed positive about it but I have let it control some of my long term goals. I was afraid to go back to school and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get through nursing school without getting sick. I was ultimately afraid of success because there was a chance of failure. I wanted it, but I was too focused on the risk and not the potential reward. I have reached a point where I have real goals and I will reach them, even if it takes me longer than most. Yeah it’s nice to hear someone tell you they are proud of you, but an even better feeling is confidently being able to say “Yanno what, I’m really proud of myself”.

I have never been so happy with myself as an individual, ever. Yeah things go wrong but when they do me being happy with myself allows me to get over it and continue on. I’m not saying my life isn’t pretty frustrating right now because it is but I’ve accepted the fact even when it is there’s still no reason not to be happy about something. Right now the most important “goals” in my life are school and sounds mediocre but staying fit. This is one thing I know I can have control over and it is really an awesome feeling, especially doing this while battling a chronic illness. My quality of life right now, in this moment, is all that matters and I know I can optimize that by staying physically fit.

But anyways back to WHYYYY (lol). I just don’t understand it anymore. Life is one big leap of faith. There’s no need to complicate life. If you want to say something, say it! If you want to do something, damnit, do it! Stop hesitating. Don’t do something if you don’t want to. Be a little selfish sometimes. Put your trust in someone, they might surprise you. Hell, you might surprise yourself! But also on a side note, never forget the little things in life. Do something nice for someone else, compliment someone, make someone smile. We feed off of each other’s energy, and don’t you feel good when you’re the reason someone might be a tad bit happier today? Just let go and stop being so concerned with what bad might happen, because you never know it might just end up being the best thing that has ever happened to you.


Annnnd that’s a wrap on my corny, inspirational, venting sesh. Take it for what you want 😉


Attention all athletes!

I was going through old articles and pictures from when I was a dancer, gymnast, and diver. I found this article which I had completely forgotten about and thought it’d be something really good to share. Never let this disease take you down or hold you back!

I copied and pasted the article so it was easier for you guys to read rather than clicking on another link. It is from masslive.com. This article was written by a local reporter, Russ Held, and picture is by Dave Rowback of Westfield, MA.

Michelle Strattner, Westfield High school diver, to other Crohn’s Disease Sufferers: Don’t Give up


Westfield High School diver Michelle Strattner wants others with Crohn’s disease to learn how to cope with affliction as she has.

The last thing Michelle Strattner of Westfield wants to make is a splash.
Not as a second-year diver on the city’s high school swim team.
And not as a 17-year-old high school senior – battling a chronic disease – who just wants to feel normal.
Strattner is one of the leading contenders entering Thursday night’s Western Massachusetts High School Diving Championships at Springfield College. The boys and girls competition begins at 7 p.m. at Art Linkletter Natatorium at Springfield College.
Making a splash while diving off the one-meter board could spoil her hopes of improving on last year’s sixth- place finish at the championships.
The bigger splash, or impact, she may ultimately make will come from being a role model to others.
Strattner suffers from Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. Excruciating abdominal pain and chronic fatigue are among many symptoms.
“I just want to be normal, to feel normal,” Strattner said. “The fatigue is so bad some days, I can’t even get off the couch. I’m 17 but I do feel like 87 some days. I really have to push myself just to do what everyone else can do.”
Few people – only some friends, family and teammates – know her battle. But Strattner has reached a point where she is comfortable sharing her story, hopeful to help others.
“I’d hope that others who have it, don’t give up,” Strattner said. “It’s really, really hard, but they can be normal. I just want to be normal.”
Strattner was diagnosed with Crohn’s as a seventh grader.
“I’ve had problems all my life. It was really bad in elementary school,” she said. “It was a relief to know what it was, but it was very scary too. It’s not really a disease people know about or understand.”
The condition can be hereditary, and Strattner said she recalls that her late maternal grandfather underwent four surgeries.
“That was the scariest part, knowing he had the surgeries and that it might be that way for me,” Strattner said.
Strattner battles Crohn’s, with no known cure, primarily with medication and rest, “and just trying to take care of myself.”
“I have to be smart about what I do,” Strattner said, “But it’s frustrating, to always have to deal with it. I have to give myself shots, and it is extremely painful.”
A late weekend night or overexertion can take it toll on her energy level for days at a time.
“I am usually run down for the next week,” Strattner said. “A lot of people ask and wonder why I have to miss so much school or why I have to sleep as much as I do.
“I have some really rough mornings. It’s a process every day. It doesn’t really get better. At points I have given up for a while.”
But through it all, Strattner has remained upbeat, knowing that “a lot of people have worse things to worry about.”
Westfield swimming coach Tom Lewis describes Strattner as humble, an inspiration and leader by example.
“The other kids see her as a role model,” Lewis said. “And if you told her that, she’d probably feel embarassed.
“She’s a young lady with great character. It’s rough enough being a high school athlete, let alone the challenges she faces. She always has this phenomenal smile on her face.”
On the diving board, Strattner said her senior season immediately exceeded her expectations.
“I thought I’d be rusty, I hadn’t done it since last season,” she said. “I thought I’d come in so-so and work my way back to where I was. But right away I did very well.”
Strattner holds the second- highest diving average (188.03) in the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference, behind only Lauren Weiner (193.0) of Agawam.
She broke a 15-year-old school scoring record at a single meet. That score of 226.95 ranks as the highest, by 5.55 points in the region this winter.
She started diving on a whim, less than 18 months ago, when a friend asked her to try out.
Strattner had been a top competitor on the high school’s gymnastics team, helping the Bombers win two Western Mass. team titles through her junior season.
“The same ability you need in gymnastics translates to diving … the technique, a lot of it came naturally to me,” she said.
She was named to The Republican’s All-Scholastic second team in gymnastics as a sophomore and junior.
“It was pretty hard on my body and I was a little burnt out on it … so I did not compete as a senior,” said Strattner, who trained and competed in dance for eight years.
Strattner said that if she is well-rested Thursday night, her physical condition and mental focus for a few hours Thursday night should not be affected by Crohn’s.
She’ll just be a normal teenager trying not to make a splash.