Archive of ‘Love’ category

Things I Love

imagesSometimes I forget to think about what makes me happy. I spend day after day doing things for other people. So do you, more than likely, if you’re a mom/wife/woman. It’s in our DNA. We don’t mean to completely forget to think about what WE love, and when we remember it’s usually when we get a manicure or a haircut. That stuff is all great, but it’s predictable. We don’t think about the simple things we love (unless it’s our children…when they’re sleeping). We forget to notice what makes us smile. I’m going to start to remember. Here’s my first list:

I love seeing people smile while they’re driving, especially when I have no idea why.

I love surprises. Real, honest surprises.

I love seeing people with problems who try to solve them.

I love watching kids’ faces change when they recognize their parents’ car in the car pool line.

I love the way my dogs wiggle when I get home.

I love laughing so loudly that it’s inappropriate in public.

I love friends who send me random jokes or memes.

I love getting a manicure when no one talks to me, including the manicurist.

I love reading a super juicy book in bed.

I love imagining what my daughter would look like if I had her.

I love watching people get married.

I love when I get my eyebrows right.

I love mowing the lawn. I just do. I can’t explain it.

I love cooking dinner when I go to the grocery store to buy the exact, perfect ingredients.

I love flowers. Wild ones. Ones that people buy me. All of ’em.

I love when a stranger looks me in the eye, smiles, and says hello.

I love watching TV shows about love. Reality TV. Comedies. Dramas. Not movies. TV shows.

I love singing along with Bruno Mars songs and pretending I’m at a big party with a bunch of people who cannot beLIEVE how much I sound like him.

I love finding a craft on Pinterest and devoting an entire Sunday to it.

I love organizing everything.

I love traveling alone and listening to books or podcasts.

I love finding a quote that I feel like I could have said myself.

I love remembering what I love.

 

 

Things That Bother Me

I let my son watch TV.
He watches TV, he has an iPad, he hears bad words, and his parents are divorced. So if you’re already on your tippy toes ready to tell me about how he’s gonna be pregnant by the time he’s 16, stand down. This is how we’re doing life and Imma let you do yours without my judgement, ok?
But here’s where I judge…
Commercials.
They bother me.
My son sees television commercials and he immediately pauses the TV and comes to give me a recreation of the commercial, complete with pros, cons, and comparisons to similar, inferior/superior products. Because he mostly watches Disney and Nick Jr., a majority of these recreations involve toys. And today…I just about told him that I was shutting down all the electronics in the house and never driving past another billboard again because advertising is soul-poison.

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This. My son told me about this. It is a corset mom or dad puts on so that their children can RIDE them. LIKE HORSES.

I’m going to curse now so stop reading if that offends you or gets your children pregnant at 16.

YOU FUCKING CREATED AND ARE SELLING A SADDLE FOR PARENTS TO WEAR?
And for the low-low price of $24.99, I can walk on my hands and knees with my 45 pound 6-year-old on my back (because I’m assuming my 12-year-old agrees that this is utterly ridiculous) since he put a SADDLE on me. LIKE AN ANIMAL. You realize that this is the perfect physically manifested metaphor for our lives as parents, right? “Here, mommy! Put this on so that I can CRUSH YOU. Just so I can have fun!” We’re already wrestling with our parenting on a daily basis between “don’t watch TV” and “don’t get vaccines” and “only eat organic” and “take showers everyday…” Now we have to literally let our child ride on top of us. Whatever happened to the pony CHAIR or the pony BENCH or the pony JUST FUCKING PRETEND THE PILLOW IS A PONY?!?!
Because of your commercial, with a bunch of people I can only assume are acting their asses off for a paycheck or have never been asked to slowly break their bodies in half by giving “pony rides”, my son thinks your product is a good idea and it is now my job to explain to him why everything on TV is bullshit.
This bothers me.

Like Glennon Doyle Melton.

She bothers me.
I watched her book (Love Warrior) come out and I watched Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert and Oprah and all my favorite women sing her praises and freak out about how amazing she is and I just got more and more pissed off.
Why?

It took me until yesterday, shortly after my son re-created a commercial about “a new kind of playdough that never dries out” (to which I reminded him that I freaking MADE him 6 bags of homemade, colorful, organic playdough that he NEVER PLAYS WITH) to realize why I dislike her so much and don’t want to read her new book…

Because she’s me.

She’s doing and being and EXPERIENCING the life that I set out to live, and when life hit me in the face, I stopped…and she didn’t.
She wrote the blog honestly. She wrote the book openly. She told the truth heroically. She’s still telling it.
And I stopped.
She bothers me because she’s a reminder that I’m not what I thought I’d be at 35, and she’s what I want to be at 40. And that’s only 5 years away.
She bothers me because I feel like I missed the boat. Like I’m unqualified. Like now what I wanted to do has already been done and so I’m going to have to keep writing and working for other people.
She bothers me because she’s me. Little and cute and well-spoken and honest…only she’s on Super Soul Sunday. And littler. And cuter. And honester. And more well-spoken.

I stopped.

I don’t want to stop anymore. I don’t want to think about my books, both written and unwritten, as a “someday” thing. I want them to be a now thing.
I don’t know how to do that.
I don’t know what to do first.
But I know that the signs and people won’t appear on my path unless I start admitting what I want.

Glennon,
I only just started your book, but thank you and I’m sorry. Thank you for reminding me that I can do this. And I’m sorry for letting my own insecurities get in the way of my accepting of you, my fellow woman doing her thang.
Love,
Erin

Nobody can judge me, bother me, or break me better than ME. I’m 35. Maybe it’s time to just go for it so I can’t look back when I’m 45 wishing I’d gone for it.
Good lord it’s terrifying.

 

I’m That Friend

I traveled Tuesday-Thursday, which means I had no idea what day it was for even one single day this week. I only just realized it’s Friday.

I was thinking on one of the plane rides about what kind of friend I am, mainly because I am so blessed to have so many friends who check on me. I was only traveling for three days, and on the third day I had five text messages checking in on me.
“Hey, are you home yet?”
“You get back safely?”
“Let me know when you get in!”
635959413922308181-1923414383_doryI thought to myself, Self. I fail to remember most major holidays until they’re a week away. How do my friends remember things like my birthday, my anniversary, and the day I’m arriving home from a three-day work trip??
I started feeling like a shitty friend. I don’t buy birthday presents. If I do, I never get a birthday card. I’m terrible at doing nice little things for people like, “I saw this and thought of you so I just had to get it!” I see something in the store and think, “Aw, that reminds me of Allison. She should buy that.”

So, what kind of friend am I? I couldn’t really think of any qualities that make me a good friend until, about three hours before I was due to land back home in Jacksonville, I realized I’d forgotten to schedule myself a ride home from the airport. (Remember when I mentioned before about the whole major holiday thing?) I texted my girlfriend O during my layover in Nashville.
“Hey. You can’t pick me up at the airport at 2, can you?”
“Sure! I’ll work it out. Just text me when you’re taking off so I know you’re on time.”
Just like that, I had a ride.
Would I do that?
Yes. A HA! Yes, I would be that friend who can show up in a bind. I’m the friend who takes your frantic phone call when you need to vent and cry. I’m the friend who responds to your long email with an even longer email. I’m that friend who will play voicemail tag for two years if that’s what it takes, and I won’t care. I will not plan your bridal shower and I will probably forget what day the birthday party I RSVPd “yes” to until the day before. But if you text me, “I need you,” you better believe I’m there. Hands down.

I can work on those other qualities. For sure. But more importantly I’m working on liking and acknowledging the parts of myself that I already know are great. I’m a really good friend. I didn’t remember the wine I told you I was bringing, but I sat at your kitchen table and listened until 2 in the morning because that’s what you needed.
What makes you a good friend? Hint: the traits that make you a good friend probably come the easiest to you. Pat yourself on the back for those!

My ride showed up 10 minutes after I landed and then she went to bootcamp with me. I love her for that. She also consoled me when I found out we lost sweet Alanna this afternoon. Her battle with cancer has ended and now she gets to fly like the glittery angel she’s always been. Talk about a good friend…her Facebook page (hell, my whole feed!) is littered with pictures of her and love for her. Anyway, I thought you should know she cheersing Noel on the other side tonight. Leaving behind the legacy of “amazing friend” is about all anyone could ever ask for.

6 Years – Smile even though it’s breaking…

The “Hurricane Party” is a well-known event in South Florida. I was evacuated nearly every year on my birthday (9/1) growing up. When I got old enough (-ish) to drink, I partied during every hurricane. We got word Hurricane Matthew would likely be the first organized storm to hit Jacksonville in more than half a century, so naturally we stocked up on whiskey.
I received a gabillion texts and phone calls leading up to Matthew’s big punch, all very much concerned that we weren’t evacuating. I got one text from a dear friend who moved to Jax from Ohio about 5 years ago. “Should we be evacuating? I mean, we’ve never done this before.”
“No,” I texted back. “We’re inland. There’s nothing much you can do. It’s why we have hurricane parties. We don’t know if the storm will strengthen and hit us dead on or if it will turn at the last second and sweep out to sea. Instead of worrying and guessing, we just enjoy ourselves.”
And even the most prepared of our friends, complete with an in-ground generator ready to power the house for more than a week, found themselves the only ones on the block without power two days after the storm and…you guessed it…a broken generator.

You can’t predict it and you can’t control it.

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Noel having a fancy moment.

Today is six years since Noel died. I write about him every year because his death teaches me a new lesson every year. This year, it started off as a reminder to enjoy the ride. If we’re going down in a hurricane, we might us well bring the Fireball with us (or the Goldschlagger, as he used to have me believing was “good for shots”). He wouldn’t have done a damn thing differently in his life, or in this hurricane, and I don’t recall him ever panicking or worrying about much.
Then, just as I prepared to write his annual blog, I got word about another friend from college…

When she walked into the green room at our theatre for the first time, she looked like a little pink bubble. Petite, blonde, gorgeous smile, infectious joy…I hated her. She was the cuter, kinder, prettier version of me.
I gave up a role for the first time in college to her. I’d literally landed every other role I went out for, but the little pink bubble walked into her audition for 1940’s Radio Hour with a little soft-shoe number she’d choreographed and memorized and her hair curled in a way that I couldn’t dream of replicating. And not only that, she was a better singer. Ace in the hole.
Quite an ego-check for a senior.
Of course, I couldn’t resist her darling charm and nurturing attitude and we became friends. She knew more about makeup than me and helped me a dozen times to do something about my hair. I’m pretty sure we didn’t have a big dramatic goodbye when I graduated, mostly because we weren’t dramatically close friends. But we kept in touch via Facebook when it became popular. She never gave up the performance dream (or the perfect makeup and amazing hair). It was fun to watch her rise.

There was never once a chance we thought she wouldn’t beat cancer when we found out she’d been diagnosed. Never once. “We”, the collective vision of everyone who knows her, just assumed she would fight like a sparkly little warrior and show us all how it’s done in the most adorable way possible. Never a chemo or a surgery without pink lipstick.
She did that. She did fight fucking hard and she wore pink lipstick. And fabulous wigs.

Of course, no one thought we’d lose to Noel to cancer either. If you were going to choose two people from our theatre department at Rollins College who you thought might die from cancer, they wouldn’t be the two.
She’s taken a turn these past few days, and they don’t expect she’ll share our physical planet with us for much longer. Which means Noel is waiting with a shot glass and a bear hug as soon as she decides to fly, and that gives me so much peace.

You can’t predict it and you can’t control it.

You can’t be well-enough prepared for a hurricane, you can’t predict the cancer, you can’t control life. But you can pass out Goldschlagger shots, you can sparkle around every corner, you can have a party in the face of a storm. My tears continue to fall and my chest will ache for a while thinking about how unpredictable life is. And I’ll probably try on some pink lipstick, just to see what it feels like.

Noel, thank you for the annual reminder that we don’t know when or how it’s going to happen so it’s TOTALLY worth two more shots before the cast party starts.
Alanna, you are joy manifested into physical form. When the traffic backs up or the friend cancels dinner plans or the electricity goes out, I’m going to giggle loud like sunshine. For you.

Smile, though your heart is aching.
Smile, even though it’s breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by.
If you smile through your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow,
You’ll see the sun come shining through
for you.

Outside of our Comfort Zone

You’ve got your reasons. Everyone does. What part of “Prince has died” gut-checked you today? Even if you weren’t a fan of his music, you understood the massive influence he had in so many other musicians’ lives. He made it ok for an album to have rock, pop, R&B, and dance all strung together between 12 songs. He convinced you doves can cry. He was a short, effeminate (let’s be honest), black man who women absolutely THREW themselves at, and who he loved right back with intensity and fervor and oh those eyes! But none of that is why my bones ached after I saw that he had passed away…

It’s commonplace for artists to set themselves apart. They must continue to do that in more and more ridiculous ways in order to maintain an “image” or to be “original”. Anymore a woman can show up to a premiere naked and disparaging her own country and it’ll be on the 6 o’clock news as being groundbreaking or empowering. What I loved so well about Prince was that he simply had absolutely, unequivocally, zero fucks to give about what people thought…
I don’t think this zero-fuckedness came with a sense of superiority or an air of resentment towards anything in his life. It wasn’t rooted in an intention of being better or bigger or more. It was a man deciding that, with this one life, he was going to do exactly what he wanted to do. If it meant assless chaps, if it meant doing a cameo in a Dave Chappelle skit, if it meant ordering spaghetti and orange juice (which he often did), he just…well…did it.
He offended people. He bothered people. He was rude sometimes, occasionally so strung out on ecstasy that he couldn’t maintain a sense of reality for stretches of time (though it was the 70s). He would challenge you to a game of pickup basketball and he would probably beat you. He had houses full of unreleased music…a lot of unfinished ideas…
He was also a human being.
There was no hiding mistakes, no glorifying successes. There was just a whole big life lived entirely outside of the comfort zone we all know and love so well. He stayed there, outside the squishy circle, and maybe even trusted that it was all going to go down as it should so he may as well have a fun time while it’s happening…

I didn’t think about what it feels like to step outside my comfort zone, like REALLY step out of it, until yesterday. Even having Abe and getting divorced weren’t really “stepping outside my comfort zone”. Those were things that happened to me (and with me); not exactly things I chose to do altogether on my own.
It occurred to me earlier this week that my constant craving or concern for financial stability is an issue I have laid at Bear’s feet. I hitched my wagon to his star and then said, “Great. Thank you. Now pay the bills.” But, in honesty, I have a degree. Two of them, actually. I have experience and skills and talents and gifts…Why don’t I go out and find a job that will help this family relax a little bit? So I decided to start sending out cover letters and resumes. But not without intense trepidation.
Why?
Because what will people think?
I spent all day yesterday pouring over a cover letter, ensuring it was just right, just enough, full of information but stripped of too much detail that no one cared about. I literally agonized over sending this letter, pacing in front of my computer, reading it over and over and over again…
I finally pressed send and then had a damn near panic attack wondering if they were going to think I was an insane cray person for even suggesting I was worthy of a job?! I haven’t worked outside my home in 5 years! I don’t own work shoes! Why would they even consider me?!?!
Oh, and then wait. Other people.
Will they think Bear can’t provide for me? Will they wonder why I want to get out of the house?! Will they think I mismanage our money or that Bear is a closet gambling addict?!
Most of the day I thought about all the things that could externally affect the direction my life will go next.

Today, though…I understand a little piece of life in a different way. I can worry. I can wonder. I can analyze. I can OVER-analyze. I can even panic. But as we are all-too-often reminded, we don’t know when it’s going to be over and then what will the point of proofreading the cover letter 20 times have been? Today, I would rather send my music out into the world, slap on a pair of assless chaps, and know that this is all going to go down the way that it should anyway.

 

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Thank you, Prince, for the magic, the way my chest fills with what feels like glitter when I hear one of your songs, and for the hundreds of times my mom and I sang, “Little Red Corvette” together growing up. Thank you for truly sharing your gifts, your love, your talent with us all in an effort to make us better in your own special way. Thank you for following your own path so fervently. I am honored to have shared the planet with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey. You’re In a River. Flow.

This idea of being in flow with life is CONSTANTLY coming up for me this month. A recent episode of Super Soul Sunday, a TEDtalk, speeches given by CEOs and others by pastors…it’s been mentioned everywhere! “The flow.” It’s moving with life, co-creating with God, feeling the pull, however you want to describe it. And when you fall OUT of your flow, you know it.

When I’m personally out of flow, I feel fear. Other people have different red flags: extreme anger, addiction (alcohol, work, porn, shopping, etc.), and sometimes acute depression. Those are all basically God’s/The Universe’s/Life’s way of saying, “Hey. You’re in a river and you’re swimming in the wrong direction. You’re swimming against the current. You know how I know? Because you’re not going anywhere, you feel like shit, and nothing’s changing.”
That’s not to say that being IN flow is without its frustration. People will think you’re CRAZY for doing what you’re doing, or you’ll feel totally out of your comfort zone, but you’ll still be flowing. You’ll still have drive, direction, and that intuition that you’re doing the right thing.

Flow changes, too. You can head in one direction for a while and suddenly, that thing you’ve ALWAYS done that ALWAYS worked doesn’t work anymore. The flow changes when it’s time for you to grow or when it’s time for something in your life to adapt. What’s important is when you notice the flow changing and go with it. People spend YEARS fighting against a change in the flow of life, only to eventually be FORCED into the change (and it usually ain’t pretty).

Going with the flow can literally mean destroying what you know to be true. In the moment you accept one of life’s changes it can feel like a death! A divorce, a move, a job lost, a friendship ending…it’s awful! But if it’s a natural part of the flow of your life, and that pain will end. (I promise. I know.) The pain of continuing to try and force life to go in the direction you want is far worse than the pain of letting things naturally end and begin again.

Flow. I’m trying to get into a new flow right now. I can feel life changing, I can feel the call to try something new. I’m not completely sure what it is yet, so I’m just trying new things and listening. It’s exciting! Kind of terrifying. But mostly exciting!
So, my question to you is, where are you going against the flow of life? Is there a new flow nagging at you??

Who Did You Vote For?

I literally couldn’t care less who you voted for. I just wanted to get your attention and then completely distract you from the primaries tonight.
I haven’t been bloggin’ too much lately because my blogging time has been taken up by something else…

…book writing time.

That’s right.
A few months ago I started feeling the urge to write a book. But every time I sat down to write, a new story starting coming out. The whole point of the book changed weekly, and while I do believe eventually a book will reveal itself if you continue writing, I started getting frustrated.

On one particular day I sat down to finish one story and as it turned into another one, I gave up and wrote a to-do list. Bear was gone for the day so i was determined to finish the list.
Go through my closet and bring my clothes to a consignment shop.
Go through Abe’s closet and bring them to a kid’s consignment and then buy him some new shorts.
Get my eye brows waxed.
FORGET WRITING. I’M GOING TO GET SHIT DONE.
I packed my car full of clothes and started for the first consignment shop. It was lovely, one I hadn’t been to before, and maybe even a little snooty.
“Hi! I have a car full of clothes and I was wondering how you consign?”
The woman behind the counter was…better than me. Automatically. The look on her face. Her hair. Her accessories. Everything was better than me. So I smiled REAL big.
“We don’t buy on Saturdays. There’s a sign on the door. You can read it.”
Yeah. I can read.
It.
“Oh no! I have a huge bag of clothes in the car!”
“Yeah. Soooorrrry about that.”
No you’re not.
All I wanted was to get through this to-do list. So before I drove to the kids’ consignment store, I called them to be sure they were open.
They were, but there was a two-hour wait to sell clothes. What should I do with these two hours…
Write the book?

NO!

No, no. No. I’m going to consign these clothes. I’m going to get my eyebrows waxed. I am going to do these things and not write today!!
As I made this announcement to myself, in my own head, I looked up at the sign in the shopping center and saw…a new kids’ consignment shop sign! RIGHT THERE IN THE PLAZA! It was opening TODAY and I could go sell Abe’s old clothes IMMEDIATELY and then I could buy him SHORTS and then I could get my eyebrows waxed! YES!
I drove across the giant plaza to the new kids’ consignment shop.
I walked in and there was a huge sign. “Not yet open for sale.” But I was INSIDE the store, so i figured there must be someone here. There must be some way I could buy something. WHY IS NOTHING WORKING?
Just then, a woman walked out.
“Oh hi! We’re not open for business yet. We’re still stocking our shelves.”
“Ohhh. Darn. The door was open so I thought you were consigning…”
“I can still buy clothes! Do you have clothes to sell?”
“I do! And toys!”
“Great!”
“Great!”
GREAT!!!
I went to my car and lugged two baby bath tubs, a swing, and a garbage bag full of clothes to her counter. I filled out far too much paperwork. I waited a very long time looking at clothes I couldn’t buy. But that’s OK! I was checking something off the list!!!
“Ma’am? I’m all set!”
Now, at the kids’ consignment store I usually go to, they pour over my stuff, they take about 50% of it, offer me VERY little money, and then I donate the rest to Goodwill. At this consignment store…
“We did find one pair of pants we are willing to accept. These other pants, they have some threading at the hems. And these shirts all have a little bit of fading, this one seems to have dirt on it. This baby tub is dirty and would need to be cleaned before we could consider it, and the swing is very faded.”
“Ok. So…you don’t clean anything? Here? At the consignment store?”
“We just don’t have the time or the manpower to clean everything as it arrives, you know?”
“Oh. Ok. And, so, out of all this, you want one pair of pants?”
“Yes.”
“You don’t want the tub because…Can you wipe it out? I mean I could go wipe it out?”
“If you want to completely clean and sanitize it, we could buy it.”
“Ahhhhh ok.”
“And I can offer you $2 for these pants.”
It was EVERTHING in my power not to turn around and leave all my stuff in her store and drive away. But I didn’t. I picked it all up, along with my $2, and hauled it back to my car. I shoved it into the back seat, along with ALL my clothes I was trying to sell. All that was left was to get my eyebrows waxed.
I drove to my favorite little waxing salon and…you guessed it. The chick that does my brows was on vacation.
I officially completed NONE of my to-do list and my book was shouting at me. WRITE ME! WRITE ME! I drove to Goodwill and dumped everything out of my car in defeat. Next door to the Goodwill was a Starbucks, so I walked over and got an iced green tea and a protein snack. I sat down. Three people around me were sitting down.
And writing.
FIIIIIIIINE-UH.
I walked back to my car, got my laptop, and sat down in Starbucks to write.
For four hours.

This stupid book is screaming at me to write it, and I have no idea what it is yet. But I’m going to keep writing to see if eventually it comes together into something interesting other people might want to read. It might take years. But I’ll finish the darn thing. And I’ll publish it. And then all of you can say, “I remember when she wrote that blog about voting…”

When I Lose My $hit a Little Bit

124ac84a6a5e37083381b3f984427489For the past two years, I’ve watched my Bear work his butt off. He works 8-10 hours a day and then goes out at night to run cornhole tournaments (his personal passion). I’ve honestly never seen anyone with the work ethic he has.
So when I found out someone suggested he’s anything but the most ethical, honest, and hard working man I’ve ever met, I tend to lose my shit a little bit. The mere suggestion that he would lie or be anything but giving (you can’t outgive God, but this guy comes close) causes me to consider things that are illegal.

Of course, as usual, all that anger got me thinking. What is it that causes people to assume, make up stories, or share half-truths in the shadows? Why would ANYONE want to hurt someone else’s livelihood without first sitting down and having a human, grown-up conversation?

And the only thing I could come up with?
Fear.

Actions based in fear are the slippery slope; the beginning of the end for so many people. We fear we might not have enough and so we hang on too tightly. We fear we might not be enough and so we try to take someone else down. We fear we won’t be loved enough and so we love so hard it depletes everything we have.
The results of fear usually involve us ending up alone and wondering how we got there.
But the root of fear…that’s a different story altogether. Every shrink and scientist and wise old grandmother can give you a causal factor as to why fear is so physiologically ingrained in us. But here’s what I think: I think the human experience can be so vast, so awe-inspiring, so overwhelmingly, breathtakingly beautiful, that we begin to think it’s not possible we could mean anything. For Pete sake, God keeps the PLANETS spinning in perfect time. How could our one, single life make any difference at all? And if it doesn’t…then we are meaningless.
And that’s scary.
Instead of focusing on the root causes of fear, we can address them by going out and being positive, graceful, nurturing both to people and about people. Because if we don’t let the fear win and we love to our fullest potential of loving, we could find out that we are far more important than we ever knew possible. So necessary, in fact, that our vastness leaves our range of control.
And that’s even scarier.

One of my top 5 favorite quotes in the entire world is from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Talking smack, even behind closed doors, EVEN IF YOU THINK IT’S TRUE, is playing small. We’ve all done it. I have. Sometimes it’s mean-spirited and sometimes it just feels good to have someone agree with you. No matter the motive or the excuses you give yourself about why it’s ok, it’s playing small. It’s the smallest version of you. You were made to be something better, to do something better, to say something better. You were made to grow.

So grow bigger.

Grow more forgiving.

And grow more graceful.

You’ll want someone to do that for you one day, too.

 

Nurturer Shmurcher

pie_3248297kI am not the nurturing type. If you go by my Jungian Archetype, I’m a Jester. I like to laugh, I like for people to be entertained by and with me, and I like to make people feel good by listening to them and caring about what they have to say. I like to encourage people, which literally means “to put courage in”. And I might just do that with a pie to the face.
That being said, I was sharing with a client today the fact that I’m not a very good nurturer. I explained to her that I will probably not censor my feelings or opinions as we choose colors and images and fonts for her brand. I will point out when she’s being dramatic and make note of the fact that she can do that somewhere else. I will not cater to her feelings of overwhelm, nor try to talk her out of self-doubt. I will show up consistently and fully for her to help her reach her desired goal, push her past her fears, and make her laugh a lot throughout the process. Maybe with a pie to the face. Because that’s funny.

And this is me.

This is me with my partner, me with my son, me with my friends. And I’ve often felt really badly about that.

I shared with that same client today that I envied her nurturing side. I envied how romantic and feminine she could be while I was wearing the same sweatshirt as I was on Tuesday. I can empathize and care about another person’s feelings all day. But I will never like pink. I won’t enjoy talking for hours and hours on end about feelings. And I won’t rush with imperative concern to my son’s side when he trips and scrapes his knee.
I will tell him to get up.
So her response made my ears perk up:
“It’s funny to hear you say that you are not a nurturer. I have felt SO nurtured by you, SO supported, and I just adore you. If that means I have to have a pie ready for when I meet you in person, so be it! You’re the best.”
You hear that? I’M THE BEST.
But beyond that, pie-to-the-face and all, she felt nurtured. I had never thought about it this way, but it would appear that even without the typical hallmarks of a deeply loving supporter, I actually do nurture in my own way. And other people notice it. They even like it!
There has been so much in my life lately that has made me question my own worth. Not being the woman I think I should be, the mother, the partner, the right size, the kind of friend…we all go through this, but when I’m going through it, it’s way worse than when you go through it. I’m sure of that. It has to be! Because so few other women share the feelings of utter despair they feel when they don’t measure up. We just keep smiling and doing the dishes and hoping eventually someone notices we’re nearing the end of the rope or maybe When Harry Met Sally comes on TV and turns it all around for us. And then, out of the blue, we find out that for just one person, one CLIENT even, we’re enough. More than being enough, we’re enough just the way we are. In my mind they’re like little life preservers God tosses to us so we can get over the next wave.
I thought about throwing you all a life preserver today, but then I decided that would be kind of nurture-y and that’s not my thing. So I want to encourage you to BE a life preserver today. Toss out a little truth, a little love, a little hope. Maybe no one needs it today. Or maybe someone REALLY needs it today. And do it in a way that is honest to you. Whether that’s a sweet compliment or a pie to the face, I promise that the person on the other end will understand what you’re trying to do.

 

When you know…

IMG_4261Today is the two year anniversary of our first date. I wrote about it last year, that day I nearly discounted some really “cocky” guy. And since then, Bear asked me to marry him, I said yes, and we bought a house (with two surgeries, two moves, and two new jobs in between…). While chatting with my girlfriend today, I was reminded of that old annoying sentiment, “When you know, you know…”
Now, I’m not claiming to know anything God doesn’t know. And I’m not claiming that a bolt of lightening struck me and left “IT WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME” on my forehead when Bear asked me to marry him. I’m 34-years-old and I’m about to be on my second marriage. The US Census reports that an average of 60% of second marriages fail.
Yeah. Hi.

60%.

I’m a statistics kind of a gal. I like to know my odds of winning the Powerball and my odds of falling off a cruise ship and my odds of living past 70 based on my family history. That looming 60% definitely catches my attention. So, being the human that I am, I do have to look myself in the mirror occasionally and ask myself, “What makes this time any different?!”
All I can say is, when you know, you know…

I know that Bear chose me. We didn’t just date long enough for him to feel obligated to propose to me. I didn’t ask him to ask me. I didn’t even know he was planning on it.
I know that I chose Bear. I decided when we moved in together that I wasn’t leaving, and that choice was made not out of fear or desperation, but out of a certain maturity I didn’t have 10 years ago.
I know that he makes me madder than a wet cat. He makes my blood boil like no one can. And in a way, I like that. He triggers something in me that no one on the planet ever has, and that makes me learn and grow because of it.
I know that he loves me harder than anyone ever has. It’s relentless love. And I know that I love him so much it’s almost frustrating sometimes.
I know that I really can’t even explain the amount of intangible points that make this the person I want to grow old with…

It’s at this point in my life that I think compatibility, physical attraction, and common interests are nice, but they don’t predict much. After all, I never would have picked Bear out of a line-up. I am positive, though, that something far bigger chose him for me. I stuck around long enough to figure out what God was doing, and it was the best decision I ever made. Whenever we get married, January 14 will always be the day we just knew.

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