Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fight for yourself.

Here I sit on this quiet night, my journal open in front of me to an entry I wrote this same day last year, just after Christmas and before the new year. It tells of a darker time: "...I feel drained, empty, hurt, angry, frustrated, confused, helpless, worthless, cynical, jaded, hopeless, afraid, anxious, exhausted, insincere, disconnected, apathetic". And I had ended the entry with "sleep, the reprieve".

It was rough, and a crippling cocktail of feelings. Honestly I had been stuck in a melancholy for as long as I could remember. Easy to gloss over during the day, but not so much at night when it's just you and your thoughts. It was so steady that I felt it to be the norm...it wasn't severe enough to be too alarming, but I knew it wasn't how I was supposed to feel.

In the new year, I decided some things. I was going to break the melancholy once and for all...however I could. My New Years resolution? To fight for myself, and fight to do lovely things for myself. Because it is only then that I could give to others how I should and view others as I should. I wanted to recognize myself, love myself, and choose my side instead of the lies that creep in all too often. Because if you're not on your own side, what else do you have really?

There have been pivotal moments this year that have been the agents of immense growth in my life. But they came in the form of conversations and books, laughter and new people. I'm still at the same job and in the same apartment as last year, and it's been comforting to know that you can still change while remaining still in other ways.

To start off the year I had a conversation with a close friend in which she told me that she observed my melancholy triggers to be guys and social media. I knew this, but it was something about hearing it from her that clicked with me. Since I could control one of those things, I began a 9-month break from Instagram and Facebook that left me feeling instantly lifted and present.

My behavior changed. I no longer put myself down. If I started to have a thought that was self-degrading ("I shouldn't have said that, that was dumb", "I don't look good today", etc), I stopped myself mid-thought in my mind and never spoke it out loud. I graciously accepted compliments. If I caught others putting themselves down the same way, I would tell them not to. After time you become so much kinder to yourself, and it's a beautiful and restoring thing.

Another thing that helped me was a bible verse, Jeremiah 31:4. This was refreshing because I have been in a dry spell with the church and my faith has taken a much different shape than church every Sunday. But it was just after the new year, and the pastor at Bloom gave a sermon on limping into the new year instead of skipping. I really connected with it, and I took from it this verse:

"You will build us back up again, and we will be rebuilt". 

We will be rebuilt. This gave me a simple peace that I was craving, and became my mantra for the beginning of 2015 that ended up framing my whole year.

Another main one was a book that I read in March, called The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. It completely shifted how I view the world and my own thoughts, and I became less controlled by them in tangible ways that allowed me to have more energy and feel lighter in life.

There are many other contributing factors, but those were the main ones that allowed me to rise above the mainstay melancholy that I had grown accustomed to. I am so grateful for this year and for growth. It has opened me up to meet some amazing new people who have also shaped me, and to continue to connect with the current people in my life in healthier ways. 

I am genuinely excited for 2016, and I hope that you can say the same. And if you feel like you're limping into the new year instead of skipping, it's ok. I hope that you can find the courage to fight for yourself and seek what you need.

Cheers, friends! <3

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The more you do, the less you know.

It's been awhile, friends. I've been thinking about a lot of things lately. And I'm realizing that the more I move through life and experience things, the less I feel like I know.

Can you relate just off of that one sentence?

I know it sounds contradictory. It's not to say that I haven't learned and gained wisdom from my experiences, but these experiences have taught me that you never know what you think you know. I've been trying over the past 8 months to change my thinking and how I live my life. Big shifts have led to new philosophies, new people, and new experiences that I am so grateful for. I have been untethered, but in an exciting way. Untethered but rooted in parts of myself I hadn't known...and it's been both painful and rewarding.

A big part of this has been letting go of everything I think I know about things. Relationships, friendships, work. It's almost as if up to this point I had been working with formulas in my mind of how things should be made up in order to equal what I needed.

Dating relationships, for example. I thought I knew what it involved for the most part...even especially so watching so many friends in their relationships and with my previous dating experiences. Not to say that I understood it, but that I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and how I was going to act in one. Well, wrong. Dating has shown me that everything I ever constructed about what this all would feel like was essentially flawed by the fact that no matter how I'm acting, the person I'm with is not going to fit into my formula. Everyone is different. Thank God, really. But it has been one of those tough yet rewarding experiences that is continually shaping me.

Friendships. Here, I am learning the ebb and flow of friends in my life. I was off of social media for the past 10 months, and got back on last week. What I found was that people's lives had just kept going (weird, right?), and there was much to catch up on. But at the same time I was grateful for that time away because although I am interested in the updates of those people's lives, I knew that I had stayed up to date on the lives of those closest to me without social media while still maintaining a sense of space in my own life. This is a season of appreciating those friends, and focusing on fostering those friendships.

Work. My job has surprised me by morphing into what I need right now. I've shifted my thinking from the future to right now, and I think that's made all the difference. I'm trying new things, excelling, and overall enjoying the relationships and knowledge I've gained there.

The pieces of our lives sit so delicately balanced from day to day, and sometimes it doesn't take much to throw it all into turmoil. It is because of this that I am trying to be more present than ever before, and not live in fear of the future but in awareness of the present. When my mind is racing at a thousand miles an hour, a new, calmer voice responds...let it go. Whatever will be, will be. For me remaining in this awareness takes a lot of laughter, deep breaths, yoga, good company, some occasional tears, and a good amount of wine and/or good beer. It's not easy, but it's been worth it so far.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Adult Goodbyes.

It's almost 10:30pm as I start this, and I have 22 minutes left on my laundry timer. I want to sleep, but more importantly I'd like to stop this swirl of emotion and thought in my head. I'm thankful for the time to write.

Now, I am challenged to put my words from my guest post to action: to see the beauty in the not yet beautiful. This last week I decided to essentially end a friendship I had with one of my closest and best friends. Why, do you ask? Well, because I couldn't just be friends, and that's all that he wanted to be. There comes a point where you have to value your time enough to know that you shouldn't spend it with someone you like who's not interested in you. Seems obvious, right? But also regardless of how close you are or how much fun you have together. That's the tough part.

I'm slowly learning the meaning of what I like to call adult goodbyes. And what I mean by that is, not every goodbye needs to be dramatic, impulsive, or negative. Or final, for that matter. Previously I've had friendships that disintegrated after an explosion of aggression that was kept passive for far too long. I've had dramatic cold turkey cut-offs. A lot of my friendship endings (and there haven't been a ton, thankfully) have been drawn out and emotionally draining. So when I first starting thinking about ending this friendship, my mind went to one of those scenarios.

But then I realized that this was different. The main difference being that this was a friendship that had developed into an open line of communication and support. We met to talk, and we were able to have an honest, respectful and validating conversation where we truly wanted what was best in this situation. The problem is, what's best? There is no cut-and-dried approach that makes everything easy. Is there a way to keep this valuable friendship in some capacity? I didn't have an answer. But regardless, I knew that right now I needed space. So we're currently in that period of space where we're not talking or hanging out for awhile, and we'll see what comes of it.

It's easy to write, but it's extremely hard to untangle the roots that others have left in you and your life. There are little and big reminders every day. But each day is a step, and ultimately this will lead to something better. Life can be messy and one big gray area and that is what makes it equal parts terrifying and beautiful.

Monday, June 15, 2015


I am so excited and honored to say that I have been featured on my dear friend's blog, 52 Beautiful Things. It is a wonderful blog that focuses on the spectrum of beauty, and how to find more beauty in your life. I hope you go and check it out! You can read my guest post here.

Thanks friends!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Becoming more...me.

I will be the first to admit: I am not good at keeping up this blog these days. That's ok, though. It does not mean it will always be like this, nor does it mean it won't always be like this. Is just is what it is right now. Most of the things in life are what they are right in this moment, if you think about it. 

One thing I've been learning and trying to practice is to stop myself from going down the analysis path of everything. Not only am I prone to analyze everything because I love analyzing, but I am also acutely aware of others in every interaction. Instead of being self-conscious, it's purely others-conscious (technical term, obviously). It's about how someone else feels in the interaction and how I can make it the best possible interaction for them. If someone makes a joke, I'll usually laugh. Mostly because it's funny but also because I know the feeling of when you make a joke and no one laughs, and I don't want someone else to experience that. That's just one example I can think of. Honestly, it's exhausting when not balanced properly. And when typing it out just now it can sound mostly ridiculous.

I am notorious for taking smaller things and interactions and creating analyses. Sometimes a glance or a smile or a brief conversation is just that...a glance or a smile or a brief conversation. Does it have a meaning? Not one that's necessarily worth mulling over unless it leads to further action. Some things just aren't worth analyzing the crap out of, and that was a seemingly obvious concept that was an epiphany for me. I just want everything to have meaning! I'd say to myself. Analysis equaled meaning for me. But, some things can have a meaning to you without an in-depth story behind it.

All that to say, I've been learning some stuff. For all of the analysis I've done on myself to try and figure myself out over the years, nothing has been more impactful for me than the last few months. I decided that I would start living life for myself, and not in a selfish way, but in a "there's no time to waste!" way. Friends, job, relationships, family...all went under the lens. I realized that all of these years I had been living a path set out for me: elementary school, middle school, high school, college, job, marriage, house, kids. Honestly, that thought of such a linear path is suffocating to me. Where's the adventure?! I realized that I had to take matters into my own hands, and own both the life I have lived up until this point, and the life I will live after this point. Do they have to be drastically different? No, but the fact that I am owning them makes all the difference. No one is dictating anymore; I am choosing my path regardless if the next steps are completely visible or not.

So far I haven't made any drastic changes...I've talked about them, and it makes me excited, but I also need a bit more of a push and am not going to do something unless I have some sort of something outlined. I am trying to give myself grace in this crazy period. But even though the stars haven't aligned and I don't have those next steps yet, I've never felt happier about myself :) which is truly a gift that I am grateful for. So here's to adventure and next steps, friends!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Thoughts from the bus.

You know those thoughts that make you smile randomly, making people around you wonder what you're thinking?

Today, that thought happened while listening to Journey's "Any Way You Want It"...what if I just stood up on this bus seat and started lip-synching and playing air guitar? Without a second thought as to what people would think?

Hope you have a great Monday friends. Listen to some good oldies, or whatever else makes you randomly want to break out in song or dance. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015


Happy New Year! I hope you all had a beautiful start to 2015. I find that most New Year's Eves are usually anti-climactic, but I think it's because my expectations were never set to anything grounded in reality. It's usually like "this New Year's Eve I'll go to the party of my life with a bunch of close friends and I'll have a giant epiphany that will make everything click and make sense in my life!" Never mind that I never reserved a spot or ticket for said party, or talked to said friends. Mainly it's just a plan in my mind that I expect to unfold regardless of me actually doing anything. This year, however, I actually set realistic expectations...and once I expected my New Year's Eve to be low-key, I was satisfied. I even fell asleep 5 minutes after midnight. Sleep in the new year!

Anyways, let's talk resolutions. I've never been one for really laying out concrete resolutions...more like guidelines for how I want to shape my life each day. This year, my resolution is resolution. Daily resolution. I love the musical definition of this word the most, which is the move of a note from dissonance to consonance. In other words, the shift of things or elements from unstable and disharmonius to stable and in harmony. Isn't that a lovely thought? When it happens in music, you can feel it. Like a sigh of relief.

I know that dissonance creeps in, but I want to make sure that I'm not dwelling in that or focusing on that more than I need to. I drift into that mindset and often get stuck there, so my resolution is to strive for internal harmony amidst the external dissonance that happens in life.

I recently came across an Annie Dillard quote that I want to think on each morning: "I wake expectant, hoping to see a new thing." I really like that. I also like this picture that I found when looking up definitions:

What caught my eye most was "a simple, sincere and serene life." A great thought to start the new year with.

Cheers, friends!