Coping with the Ebb and Flow of Life

Let’s have an utmost moment of truth, shall we?  Life isn’t always as picture perfect as it may seem and if you’re anything like me, when hard times hit and emotions build up, you tend to internalize those and try your best to focus on the good and the people in your life rather than your own struggles.  While I’m not denoting how great that is to have an optimistic mindset and a selfless one at that, the older I get the more comfortable I become with who I am and consequently continue to realize that it’s okay to not be okay.  Sadness, heartache, anger, flaws, failure – it’s what makes us human and in a twisted way that’s the beauty of life.For seven years I worked towards a goal I wanted so badly to achieve.  As the years progressed, my dream and desire grew immensely with every opportunity I was provided and each person I was able to meet and impact with my story and life passions. Then, just two months ago that dream came to an abrupt end in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  In my preparations, I fully went into Miss Wisconsin 2017 week with the mindset that I wasn’t coming back to La Crosse (the city I’ve called home the past six years), as I felt that was an important mentality to have in order to go “all in.”  Needless to say, it’s been difficult to re-adjust and cope with the reality that I am back, that I’m not Miss Wisconsin, and that the current stage of life I’m in holds a lot of uncertainty.  There’s been days when I just want to curl up in bed and watch Netflix, moments where I feel utmost despair in relation to my job (come on, I know you’ve all been there), and other times when I completely question decisions I’ve made; but there’s almost always a moment of reflection or clarity that follows.

My sister recently got married and in my Maid of Honor speech I touched on how there are many defining moments in our lives: graduations, new job opportunities, marriage, etc.  Through the trials and tribulations those milestones throw our way, there’s always constant figures that stand by our sides.  Relationships may dwindle and change, people most certainly come and go, individuals you think care deeply about you vanish in a flash without looking back; but through it all there’s a core group of people — our family and our closest friends that will never leave us.  The older I get, the deeper sense of appreciation I gain for that core group and the undivided support they provide me during the good times and the bad…even when I don’t want to disclose information or how I’m feeling about a certain matter; like Miss Wisconsin.  It’s no surprise I’m extremely stubborn and sassy, I’ve been that way practically since birth.  So when Miss Wisconsin came and finals passed by, it was easiest to internalize how I felt and push forward like the strong, independent woman I learned best from, my mother.  However, after receiving kind comments (repeatedly) about how I seem to always have it together amidst my career and social life, I felt it was important to point out that no, I do not have it “all together” or on most days partially together for that matter and again…that’s okay.  In fact, if it were not for coffee on most days I’d be a complete train wreck.  I am typically rushing around getting ready in the morning, barely having time to pack a lunch before I run out the door for work and the rest of the day seems like a blur.  By the time I get home and finally get a chance to lay down I consequently feel like I got nothing accomplished that I meant to during the day, anyone with me?

People don’t share the daily craziness and occurrences of their life on Facebook or Instagram because that’s not typically exciting.  Social media, although it’s a great forum to share positive memories and edited photos, it’s not always a plausible representation of someone or their life on a regular basis.  Instead, it’s a highlight of the good and it’s important to take that with a grain of salt.  Personally, there are plenty of elements of my life at this very moment in time that are unknown and others that are frustrating.  Whether it be college loans, the desperate need for a new vehicle, or not knowing what my next move is — remember that everyone is consumed by their own demons and obstacles.

If you’re coping with a difficult situation or dream that has slipped away from you know, trust in God’s timing.  His plan and purpose for you is much greater than you can imagine and you have to trust time to guide you down the path you are meant to be on.  On that note, please go vote for our Miss Wisconsin, McKenna Collins for America’s Choice at Miss America in just a few weeks.  She’s been doing an incredible job representing our state and needs your support now more than ever!  You can vote once daily, voting is free!

Vote for Miss Wisconsin, McKenna Collin’s for America’s Choice: VOTE

Lesson to be learned in this heartfelt message — listen to your heart and your gut when they’re instinctively trying to tell you something.  Don’t push emotions aside when you’re upset or discouraged about something, but rather reflect on those feelings and acknowledge that they are absolutely valid.  Finally, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and always attempt to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before being quick to make assumptions about them.  You never know what battle someone is facing and a simple compliment goes a long way.  Also, be optimistic about life and laugh in the face of hardship, a simple moment of joy can go a long way.  That is all

On a lighter, tighter and more humorous note there’s also the ebb and flow of when you put weight on (or as I like to think packed on some gains) and none of your shorts seem to fit you, aka me this summer. After maintaining a vigorously healthy diet and exercising more than usual leading up to Miss Wisconsin, I’ve provided myself a little more leeway the past couple months.  Now don’t get me wrong, many of my shorts didn’t fit prior to that week – they just sat in my drawer as I chose and choose to wear jeans most days instead or yoga capris  when I’m not working (who wouldn’t want comfies instead?).  After trying on my shorts recently, I realized that with the changes of life I’m SO over short-shorts and quite frankly I don’t know why I ever wore them.  PSA-they’re not the least bit comfortable, I’d rather not have tight fabric riding up the front and back of my body (no, thanks).

I recently posted a handful of my shorts on Poshmark, an APP that allows you to buy and sell clothes, of which I’m obsessed with as of recent.  I swear whoever invented it was sick and tired of not getting the money they thought they deserved at Plato’s Closet (we’ve all been there).  Please check out my listings and take them off my hands if you’re interested, I’ll be posting more very, very soon.

SHOP MY Poshmark Closet Here: Tianna Vanderhei’s ClosetP.S. This entire outfit was purchased at TJ Maxx.  The high waisted, relaxed fit denim shorts were less than $20 and are super duper comfy and the top falls into the same satisfactory category.  In fact, I pretty much feel as though I’m wearing pajamas when I style them together!

  • GAZE Ruffle Bell Sleeve Top from TJ Maxx, ONLY $9.99 – Reasons this top is fabulous: (1) It can be dressed down for a casual look with jeans or shorts  (2) You can jazz it up with dress pants or a skirt for a work environment  (3)  Adding accessories and heels can transcend it into the perfect look for a night out on the town.  Even better?  The cotton material is super soft and flowing.



Other flowing, classic black shirts you should check out:


Stay stylish and optimistic friends,



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