Noticed: Salty Foods and Feeling Free

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A faded red hatchback waiting in front of me at a stoplight. A girl in the back with a Burger King crown, reaching to pull back the bag of food being passed from the front. It looked like summer break, I could practically smell the fries. The light turned green and they moved forward. Despite the food bag transfer they pulled into Taco Bell. Maybe the first bag didn’t hold enough, maybe this summer day was one for a fast food mission of epic proportions. I wanted to be there, in that car…I wanted my own crown, sitting in the back seat between my friends, listening to the song of the hour, passing salty foods and feeling free.


Post Revisit: Permission Granted

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Permission Granted
Back in March I wrote this awesome post and I didn’t even really appreciate it at the time. In the moment I felt it but then I forgot about it and it is so worth reading over and over again, as a reminder. I had given myself a break, for a millisecond, I remember that break well. It felt wonderful. But it didn’t last long. The perfectionism grabbed on again and I went back to playing roles and attempting to make my life closely resemble movie montages.


The things I wrote in that post, they are still true, and a good portion of them are the exact things that keep coming up as I started exploring the unhappiness that I had been trying to fight. So here they are again, another reminder, I have permission.

Permission Granted:

to be exactly who I am.. even if that means being a little snippy, even if that means being down in the dumps and withdrawn. Even if that means totally excited about the weirdest shit. Whatever it means, permission granted.

to take a nap when my body is feeling tired, when the sun is shining in just right and my bed looks like a wonderland.

to speak up – and do it often. I’ve been so scared of hurting people’s feelings or asking for things that “I don’t deserve” that I’ve stayed quiet. I’ve talked myself out of deserving things before anyone else has a say. Time to speak up. Even if it’s quiet at first. Even if someone thinks I don’t deserve what I am asking for. Be respectful as much as possible, and speak up.

to eff up. It’s going to happen. Push past my dear.

to believe that the life I want is absolutely and totally possible. The pay I want is achievable and more than reasonable. The experiences I want to have are not unheard of. The places I want to go are easy to reach. The people that I want to meet exist. Believe when it seems impossible, believe when it seems maybe possible. Believe either way.

*to take breaks from self improvement books, blogs and other such reading materials. Sometimes they just add to the noise and give fuel to the critiques. Choose those types of reading materials carefully and sparingly. Everybody has an opinion, it doesn’t mean they are right.

*to stop being happy to make other people feel better. No more pressure to be happy to please other people. Forced or faked happiness is not happiness. Learn to feel the emotion you are in, happiness will make an appearance, especially if there is no pressure or expectation for it.

and, most importantly:

Find time to believe that life is an ultimately positive experience.


It’s Okay

Monday, January 18, 2016

i choose tears

I’ve been taking pretty good care of myself lately by getting some counseling sessions in, doing some horseback riding lessons, signing up for a personal trainer to kick my butt and binge watching all six seasons of Parenthood in a little over a month. But I know that sooner or later there will be something that makes me sad, and tears will come. Part of the reason I’ve been feeling so good lately is that when those times come I don’t get mad at myself anymore.

We’ve come to a place in society where we don’t want people to feel sad so we try to bully or “inspire” them to choose happiness instead. Happiness can definitely be a choice, and sometimes you really do just have to keep pushing on, but I think that in pushing on all the time and “choosing happiness” we have forgotten how to acknowledge, respect and process all the other, less pinteresty emotions. Those emotions are just as important, they are just as necessary and they are just as valid as happiness or joy.

Bullying people or glossing over that they don’t feel good isn’t getting us anywhere. Reminding a friend or a loved one that other people have it worse than them doesn’t make the pain go away. I searched on Pinterest for anything that bucked the trend of “I choose happiness” but there wasn’t one thing, so I made it.

Sometimes we really just need to cry. Sometimes things don’t feel good and we aren’t ready to feel better about it. Sometimes we wallow, and the better we are at accepting, feeling (not feeding) and allowing the emotions the space to exist, the better off we’ll be. That can seems scary, sometimes it feels like looking into a black hole***, sometimes it feels plain lazy and lame… especially with these perky, “I am in charge of how I feel…” memes popping up all over the place… but I have found that the more I acknowledge and accept, the more I allow and don’t fight, the easier it is to choose to be happy another day.

So if today just feels like a huge suckage and the guy (or lady) you like looked at you funny and your soup tasted like crap and someone cut you off and all you can think to do is cry, go ahead. Or even worse if your pet is sick, or something you tried really failed, or if your world really feels like it’s falling apart despite your privilege of not being a starving child in China, choose tears. I don’t blame you at all.


***if it really does get too scary and you feel like facing it could be detrimental to your health or living, please, please, please reach out, there are options other than hiding/ forcing or ending. Get a helping hand to guide you through.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Schmidt & Cece - my faith resI wrote this post at about the same time as Fixed if that’s any indication of the variations of feelings I go through in any given week (okay, sometimes in a day… hour?)

Is it sad that I got all calm about my future for a second after watching the season finale of New Girl? Maybe. But I did. I sat there and watched my favorite couple finally do what they’ve been needing to do since the beginning and I realized, that’s just how it goes. It’s absolute crap and people are pulling you back and forth and sometimes you don’t even resist, and then life gets hard and sometimes harder but then, every once in a while, or sometimes all at once, things get better, and something totally right locks into place.

The characters in New Girl are all in their 30’s, all living with roommates, all questioning their careers. They are all still figuring it out. They are blissfully and sometimes painfully true to themselves and yes, they are all written that way, but still it’s about the most honest portrayal of late 20’s early 30’s I have seen in a while. Besides the loft in LA with the wages they probably make… that’s a stretch.

But the point is, I’m going to be okay. It may seem like a mess right now, I might seem too close to 30 for where my bank account, job, and relationship status are. I may be nothing like what my 12 year old self imagined I would be, but I’m going to be okay. I will find a job I wake up totally excited for, I will eventually watch as someone I love gets down on one knee (I’m not hunting for a ring, just like to believe it’s in my future), I will have a cat or a dog or a horse if I want one.

It’s going to be okay. It doesn’t feel like it now, but one day, it’s going to be okay. I just have to keep going and be (sometimes painfully) true to myself in the process.



image from here


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Burn out. Burned out. Going through chunks of the day forcing myself to focus, wondering what in the hell I am doing. I feel like I keep pushing with all my body weight but I only get an inch further after hours and hours of exertion. My body isn’t fighting what I need it to fight for several months now. Reason: Stress.

When I start to get burned out I try to find answers and solutions, I try to find where I am putting too much in and getting very little out, I try to find where I could work smarter, not harder. I look outside, at jobs (because I often have more than one), relationships, monetary obligations. I find things to blame and then investigate, is that the truth? Or is that just easier to be frustrated with than whatever the truth is.
I was feeling incredibly burned out this past week month, like don’t-get-me-out-of-bed-but-wait-I-can’t-sleep-anyway kind of burned out. I’ve tapped my resources, I’m coming up just a little over empty. I thought I knew what it was, I poked and prodded at the situation in my mind, I felt justified and fed up. It couldn’t possibly be something in me, look at all that I was doing, making doctors appointments that I had long put off, getting my medications in line, starting probiotics, seeking people in similar situations, finding different options than the dreaded tinder, making plans, reading books, gaining knowledge…it had to be this one thing, right? It just had to be.

And then I was forced to face what I felt so justified against, my scapegoat, the thing I thought was leeching my energy.

I may have been at least partially wrong.

I spent the weekend after asking myself questions, trying to figure out what’s really going on and what I want to be asking for. I had more information, but still not many answers. I made sure to take some more time out, got a shift covered so I could go to a dance class I have been wondering about. I agreed to a date, I allowed myself to look for some clothes to add to my limited wardrobe. I added a little bit of fun.
The dance class was amazing, I went into the date with little expectation (necessary when dealing with dating apps) and was wonderfully surprised, made cinnamon rolls for some fellow workers, and still, after those good things, I found myself burned out again yesterday.
I was having a long conversation with a friend covering many topics I don’t like investigating, a conversation that, to me, highlighted all my broken parts, all the areas I don’t feel sufficient. He was trying to be helpful and offer suggestions and all I could say is, “I’ve already thought of that” and “I’ve done/tried that too.” I was irritable and sad, burned out on myself and how much there seemed to be left to fix. I felt like I’ve been working on changing the way I think for years now, that I’ve been trying to train my brain and wrestle it into submission since I first started battling angst at around 14.
The wrestling, the submission, that’s the burn out. The thinking I need to be fixed and there’s just so much to do…

It needs to stop.

I left my face-in-hand burn out posture and got in my car to go from one job to the next and I thought about the words I was using to describe myself. I had to be “fixed” in order to be happy. How awful is it to feel constantly broken, in need of tweeks and tape.

I’ve been able to pretend from time to time that I don’t think that I need to be fixed anymore, that I am enough, as is, demon/baggage/perfectionism gone. I’ve kept this up for months at a time, usually when I move somewhere new. Byeeee excess baggage, you can stay in whatever city I left. But that’s just another wrestle. The “you are lazy” plays alongside the “you aren’t fulfilling your potential” tape softly in the background, so soft that I don’t even realize it’s there until I find myself staring at a computer screen, forcing myself to work while holding back tears I don’t understand.

I’m tired. I want to work with myself, not against myself. I don’t know how people let themselves off the hook. I’ve tried, I’ve read affirmations, I’ve said affirmations out loud, I’ve talked to people who think I’m pretty decent wonderful, I’ve thought I was pretty decent awesome for hours at a time. But it still in the back ground it softly plays, “time to do some more fixing if you want xyz”.

Despite the burn out I soldier on. My work gets done, I laugh and cry and keep going through the motions. I look for new things to try. Reasons, explanations, and probably quick fixes.

I’ve sat on this post for a while, I don’t want people who are just getting to know me, or who don’t know me at all to think that this is all there is. On the other hand I do want to write my truth, I don’t like pretending that everything is sunshine and roses when it’s really a little gray and tumultuous, and also, I hope that it’s  helpful for other people in 20’s wondering if they are alone in their burn out.
I don’t get to hid behind/escape with alcohol and bar crawls, fancy food and laying out in the sun, my body basically forbids it. I’ve decided that this is prevention for a mid life crisis, that when I really figure out my voice, my needs and wants, and get through the cyclical burnout, that I’ll have made a really incredible foundation for the rest of my life. No red corvette needed.

I need to decide what works for me, and stick to that. Is that a start? Can we call it something other than a fix?


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