Monday, January 27, 2020

A lesson in being myself.

Empathy. Learned as a young girl in a large, chaotic, varied family. Words weren't really given to emotions, so I had to watch and observe. Smiles and laughter = good. Frowns, yelling, tears = bad. Without much context I filled in the gaps, and honed that over the years until it made me really good at imagining, anticipating and predicting how people might feel in certain situations. Almost too good; I often fill in gaps that aren't there and create stories in my mind that can cause more emotional distress than it is sometimes worth. But overall I'm thankful to be empathetic.

The one thing I didn't count on was how much I learned to factor myself into that context of "good" or "bad" in others' experiences. Whether in a friendship or relationship, I like to think that I'm contributing to that person's overall quality of life in a (hopefully) positive way. That's what I look for in my friendships and relationships, at least. So when I'm spending extended time with someone (dating, for example) and they're unhappy, it's really hard for me not to take that personally. For me, the person I'm dating has a direct impact on my mood, so I can only assume it's similar for others. Even if I'm not the cause of a negative mood, I'm clearly not helping make it more positive and that makes me feel pretty useless.

I read a quote the other day from Will Smith that was a good reminder for me:

"You cannot make a person happy... You can make a person smile. You can make a person feel good. You can make a person laugh. But, whether or not a person is happy is deeply and totally and utterly out of your control."

I wish I could say that I've figured out the magic formula that enables me to be completely neutral in these situations and create the perfect emotional distance while still being a great friend and partner. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm wired that way. Even as an adult I still get caught up in needing to watch and observe in order to say the "right" thing to avoid the "bad". But what I'm trying to do is prioritize myself more in relationships, anticipate/predict less, and focus more on my happiness and well-being instead of letting it be dictated by others' actions, interests and moods. Because life is too short to bend over backwards for people that would not do the same for me. It's too short to scramble for the scraps of emotion, empathy and investment that others will throw out occasionally. Better to put that energy into the other awesome people you're surrounding yourself with.

G'nite, friends.

Friday, January 17, 2020


This is what I am grateful for today.

- Anticipation of new albums coming out that are made by friends
- Sweet texts
- A good hamburger
- Good family time
- A delicious beer
- Caring friends reaching out
- A puppy snuggled on your lap (meet Willow below! Not mine..but so cute.)
- Oat vanilla lattes
- Getting work done before the deadline
- A catchy song
- Compliments
- Feeling good about your outfit
- Sushi!
- Seeing good friends
- Fridays

Welcome to the weekend, friends :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New year, new you.

Happy New Year, friends.

I've been trying to post on here for the last month and have about 100 drafts. Or maybe 6, but still. Half-finished poems, entries and thoughts. But I wanted to write something for the first day of a new decade. 2019 is over and 2020 is here. Wow. Looking back not only on the last year but the last 10 years has blown me away. I decided to reactivate my Facebook for a hot second and look through old pictures. All I can say is...damn. What powerful, visual reminders of who I was, where I've been and where I am now. I had visceral reactions to those photos.

The last 10 years have marked my college graduation and foray into the real world, the beginning (and changing journey) of my career, 99% of my dating history, my struggles and victories with self and body image, my faith journey, and more. The biggest visual for me was realizing that 10 years ago, I would photoshop most of my pictures because I didn't like how I looked. In the picture on the left below, I did exactly that. And I look at that girl with tenderness and am just so incredibly thankful not to be in that headspace anymore. I feel more "me" with each and every year, and I'm really liking how it feels. I'm excited for what 2020 will bring: more of unfiltered, un-photoshopped me.

That's it for now. Keep an eye out for some drafts to be posted. :)