How 10 Words Can Inspire You

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I attended a blogging conference in St. Louis last weekend hosted by The Sits Girls. I was hoping to learn some good tips about blogging, sponsorship and the dreaded Facebook (my nemesis). I never expected to walk away with a revelation. All of the presenters that day were amazing, but the one that spoke to not only my mind, but my heart was Danielle Smith.

At the end of the conference, after learning some great tips, they spoke about balancing things in your life. What Danielle said floored me, lifted a weight off of my shoulders and brought tears to my eyes: “Balance is Bunk.” I made a New Year’s Resolution this year to find more balance in my life, and now I find out there is no such thing. It sounds crazy, but I think it is pure genius.


1. I can be everything to everyone, just not at the same time.

2. Balance is really about giving up something to get what you want.

3. For my sanity, I’m letting go.

I work 50-60 hours a week at the job that pays the bills, I am a wife, a step-mom, a blogger and a freelance writer. I feel like I am being pulled in several directions given the day. I don’t like that feeling, in fact, I hate it. It starts to eat at you. The constant worry over what I should be doing in my “free” time. I started this journey of travel blogging/writing as a hobby because I enjoy it. I don’t ever want to feel as though it’s become a job. Sometimes I worry when I don’t publish enough content. Sometimes I forget to put the clothes in the dryer right away. Sometimes I lose my focus, but at the end of the day, I have to be okay with what I have accomplished. And you know what? I am okay with it. No one else is walking in my shoes. I am going to stop judging my accomplishments against others. I AM LETTING GO.

The other revelation I had at the conference came when I saw a quote Danielle put up on the projector. “If it’s not a hell yeah, then it’s a no.” This really spoke to me. Life is too short to settle for mediocrity. Life is too short to worry about what others think. Life is too short, period.

I have 2 beautiful step-kids that I love dearly. I have enjoyed watching them grow into the people they want to be. I have tried to teach them that life is about making memories because it’s the one thing no one can take from you. I shared my experience at the conference with my step-son. He is 15 years old and wise beyond his years. His dream is to attend the Air Force Academy and become a pilot. I know, you are wondering where I am going with this, right? He works extremely hard in school and he puts a lot of pressure on himself. He is easily stressed. He is also one of the most caring people I have ever met. With the end of his freshman year nearing an end and finals looming, he is overwhelmed. I shared this quote with him and he said he really liked it. I told him life was too short to waste time on maybe, possibly or even yes. It has to be HELL YEAH.

Look at what I found when I went in his room the other day:


He told me he put it on all of his school binders as a reminder. Smart kid, right? It brought me to tears thinking that I influenced him in a positive way. B, when you read this, I want you to know that I am one of your biggest fans. Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Why? Because life is too short.

Have you ever come across a quote or saying that resonated with you? Are you capable of letting go? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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8 Responses to How 10 Words Can Inspire You

  1. Dale says:

    You are the most amazing woman I have ever known and am thankful you are my soulmate and partner in life. Couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do it without you! Words cannot express how much you mean to me and to the kids…

  2. You have officially made me cry. Thank you so very, very much for this. I am beyond moved that anything I shared helped even the tiniest bit, but to know that it was worth sharing with the people you love – and that it can help to center them? It makes my day, my week. I hope your step-son is able to hang on to those words – and I hope you are as well. They direct me daily – they keep me focused and remind me to let go of the things that aren’t right for me, the things that are taking me away from my true purposes. When I can say ‘hell yeah’ – I’m heading in the RIGHT direction. I so cannot wait to keep watching your journey. XOXO
    Danielle Smith recently posted…The Truth About Community and Stolen Content: A Lesson from The St. Louis ObserverMy Profile

    • Valerie says:


      I hope your tears were happy tears because I know mine were! I can’t express enough how much your words and your wisdom have influenced me, and hopefully my family now too. You were brave to share the things that you did, and I admire you for that. I am excited about my journey and I will never forget you!

  3. Letitia says:

    Well your blog post made me cry right here at my desk. Who am I really in a race against? Only myself and why would I want to do something like that. Your statement “No one else is walking in my shoes” is freedom. Freedom to stop judging myself for what I may see as failures or bad choices. Freedom to dream big and do everything in my power to make the dream happen. It’s all a part of the journey. Life is indeed short but long enough to make a difference to someone in a positive way and to figure out that I am good enough. One more thing, I’m one of your biggest fan too.

    • Valerie says:


      I hope they were happy tears, tears that washed away any doubt that you are good enough and you deserve to go for your dreams. I am still reeling from this revelation and plan to keep it in my mind everyday. Everyone deserves a chance to make their own way in this life. My hope is for you to find your way too.

  4. Hi Valerie. What can I say??!! You hit the nail on the head! We are, at times, our own worst enemies because we push ourselves to achieve. When my husband got sick a couple of months ago, I had to come to terms with how I spend my time, too. Families are everything and time with them passes too swiftly.
    shelli @ writtenFYI recently posted…Cave Creek, Arizona; One of our favorite close get-awaysMy Profile

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