tonya's diary

what i'm thinking about

Have you ever felt like you wanted to leave something or someone, even though you loved them so much?

That’s how I feel about Denver.

I’ve lived in Denver for over two years now. It was my refuge after leaving a relationship. It’s where I spent most of the pandemic alone.

It’s where I started a whole new chapter.

I’ve built a community here. I’ve made friends here. I’ve reinvented myself here.

Denver is where I really began to build School of Self-Image. I love this place.

And, I’m leaving.

Welcome to the newest edition of The Edit. It’s The Leaving Issue.

As you evolve your self-image, there will be many things you want to leave behind …

Outdated style choices
Romantic partners
Jobs and businesses
Habits and routines

In many cases, these will be people and things you love. And one day, you’ll suddenly realize that it’s time to move on, which is exactly what this issue is all about:

Leaving Something (or Someone) You Love

Allow me to initiate you into the art of leaving in style. Because when it’s time to go, it matters how you walk out that door.

The Thought Edit

A New Thought to Restyle Your Mind

On Navigating Challenging Relationships 

People are challenging. There’s no question about it. You may have a laundry list of ways you wish the people around you would change:

Your mother-in-law should be kinder.
Your partner should be more adoring.
Your boss should be more supportive.
Your neighbors should be more welcoming.

And here’s what I have to say about that:

Spending your life wishing other people were different is the most exhausting, defeating way to live… because other people’s feelings and actions are outside of your control.

When we make someone else the “middle man” to our happiness, we make ourselves powerless, outsourcing our experience of life to someone else.

I love the quote by Byron Katie that says, “No one else can trigger me. Only I can do that.”

What if you could just allow other people to be whoever they decide to be?

What if you could be happy all on your own, no matter how they act? It’s possible and it’s a muscle you can build every day.

That way, when you decide to leave someone behind, you’re not running away, looking for someone else to fix your feelings. You’re leaving because you see a better future for yourself. You see opportunity. You see your truest desires, and you can leave from love.


Ideas for Elevating from Our Members

The Beauty of Quitting
with Krystal Strickland

“I did it! I quit my job to pursue my extraordinary goal: to write for a living. I don’t have a lot of clients. I don’t have a plan B. I only have me, and I have my own back.

The old me was fighting pretty hard to stay comfortable in a job I’d been in for 6 years but I knew it was time to go.

When I went in to resign, my body was freaking out and I’m sure I looked like a ghost. While I’m exhausted emotionally, I know it’s going to be okay. I’m just sitting here, feeling the feelings.

I would NEVER have done this if it hadn’t been for the work I’ve been doing with Tonya. I now believe in myself. I trust my gut, and I know I can do hard things. I’m a different woman from a year ago, and I’m so proud of this new woman I’m becoming.

Today, I have a large copywriting project for an electronics company. It pays my rate and has the potential for more work.

I’m doing it! I’m really living my extraordinary goal.”

A Taste of Style

Making the Everyday Extraordinary

Left in a Clutch 

Last year, I was getting ready for a party and realized that I didn’t have a purse to go with my dress.

Being purseless for parties is a style gap I’m leaving behind this year.

So, I decided that it was time to upgrade my almost non-existent clutch collection.

The best thing about clutches is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money and buy designer to find a really unique piece.

In fact, check out this one I recently bought from Amazon.

Having the perfect clutch is a message to the Universe that you’re always ready for a party. #yourewelcome


Habits for Creating the Impossible

It’s okay for your desires to change.

This week’s Haute Habit is being unapologetic about changing your mind.

In our society, there seems to be a lot of judgment about leaving things, and maybe that’s because we expect people to choose something once and stick with their forever.

But think about that. As your self-image evolves, isn’t it natural for your desires to evolve, too? I don’t think we should feel bad about that. I see it as a sign of growth.

Over the years, I’ve been:

  • A Vegan
  • A Raw Foodie
  • A Sommelier
  • A Country Club go-er
  • A yoga enthusiast
  • A Francophile

The truth is: Life is one big experiment, and I believe that trying lots of things is good for your soul.

When you flow with life instead of boxing yourself in, you’ll find freedom and self-expression as you grow.

Never apologize for your desires,- even if they change like the weather. After all, they’re yours!

In the Bag

Tools for REinvention

These boots are made for walking - away.

Every woman needs a great pair of boots, so in this issue, I figured you might need a pair that’s made for walking. The Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots are chic, walkable, and buttery soft. They never fail me.

The Toast

Your Invitation to Connect & Celebrate

Don’t just cry because it’s over.
Celebrate that it happened.

As cliché as it sounds, life is a journey. Every ending is a new beginning.

People come and go. Experiences start and end. Trends rise and fall. The only thing we can count on is change.

So one of the ways that I’ve made bittersweet things turn mostly sweet is to take the time to celebrate it all. The good. The bad. The beautiful.

Just because something is over doesn’t make it a failure. Whether it was for a reason, a season, or forever, every experience in life has given you a gift.

It’s up to you to receive it.

Because the truth is, no matter what you do, you’ll always have you. So be honest with yourself about what you want, love the others even if they don’t like it, and go your own way.

That’s the ultimate self-love.

P.S. Whatever you find yourself leaving next, I know you can do this. I’ve got your back and so do all the ladies in this community.

You’re never alone.

I hope you’ll take the time to listen to this special episode. You never know when you’ll need it.

Leaving Something (or Someone) You Love

// TheEDIT

A weekly digital magazine by the School of Self-Image