Hey, Vulnerability. Let’s be Friends.

Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when you have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.

-Brené Brown


Okay, real quick let’s just talk about how many times I’ve tried to sit down and write this blog. Probably at least like ten different times over the course of the past four months, and up until this point, I have pretty much gotten nowhere. I haven’t really had true inspiration to write. I have, but it has been very scattered, leading me to become frustrated in the face of it all, causing me to shut my laptop and walk away from it hoping that something will come back to me on its own. Because that’s how things work, right? However, this isn’t the only place that I’ve felt these feelings.

I think a lot of my persistent frustrations in life come from a feeling of inadequacy, shutting the door on whatever it is, shutting it out, walking away, and only briefly touching on it again when I feel is appropriate. However, I’m not sure that’s the healthiest way to handle things. In fact, I’m pretty positive that it isn’t. And I’ve caught myself doing this in many aspects of life. Working on a new blog, learning or writing a new song, work, relationships, dealing with personal feelings. You name it; I can probably pinpoint a time that I have walked away from something in frustration. I’ve become so used to a newfound feeling of happiness and relief from constant stress, that with anything that suggests trouble, I want to immediately block it out. I want to resist an opportunity of being vulnerable, an opportunity to expose myself to feelings of failure, disappointment, feelings of not being ______ enough. Not being good enough, right enough, strong enough, confident enough, whatever it may be, those things still loom over my head. That was such a constant part of my thinking for the better portion of the past year and a half due to personal circumstances that I was in, that anything that wants to pose that on me again, I want to get rid of it.

But the reality of this is, I can’t actually do that. The reality of life is that I will always encounter things that challenge my thinking of self-worth, self-confidence, and happiness. And you will too. (But holla at ya girl if you’ve figured out the secret on how to avoid these things.) But what I’ve come to realize, is that the only way to work through these feelings, is to recognize them. Confront them as they come, and deal with them. I have the choice, I have the power over how I let a situation affect me, and the more power I give to these feelings of negative self worth and poor self esteem, the less power I have over my happiness and confidence. Which seems to make super obvious sense when I put it that way. But sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m giving them power. However, the more I run away from it, the more it looms. It leaves a heavy thought of the potential of failure because I left a thing half done. I didn’t finish it. I didn’t give it my all, and therefore, the possibility of failure hangs, simply because I don’t know how it ended. And through that, I am giving myself less power over my happiness, less potential of seeing something through, less potential of feeling a sense of relief. Maybe in the end all I’m looking for is a sense of relief. A sense of a clean ending, whether it’s a “happy ending” or not.

Still though, getting to that point is the challenging part. Sometimes, depending on what it is I’m trying to work through, it can take a pretty solid amount of time to really sift through all of the nasty, hard, feelings that make vulnerability and confrontation so difficult. But I’ll tell you what. Sometimes, yeah, it can take a long time to really get vulnerable with yourself, or with anyone else/any other situation. But sometimes you have to really give all that you can to a situation like that to really come out stronger on the other side. It isn’t glamorous by any means. Sometimes vulnerability, and the process of it, can be exhausting. It can sometimes take true dedication and commitment. And sometimes, all of that can be really difficult when thrown together at the same time. BUT, when all is said and done, sometimes it’s better to be on the other side of that anyway.

So now, let’s challenge ourselves to get vulnerable these next few weeks. Confront whatever we’re running from and see if it works itself out. Remember, give yourself time to work through it. Be friends with the vulnerability. Be forgiving with yourself. Be patient with yourself! (We’ve talked about that before!) It’s going to get hard. It’s going to challenge self-esteem, happiness, self worth, self-love, everything. But see it through, and even if it shows something that maybe you really didn’t want to feel, have, do, see, whatever, at least you saw it through. Now pat yourself on the back that you didn’t walk away in frustration, but rather pushed through to the end.

Also, random side note. I finally finished this blog after three months of working on it, and before posting, my brain goes “this is probably only my problem. No one will read this. No one will relate to it,” and then I almost erased the WHOLE THING. HELLO UGLY VULNERABILITY CHALLENGING MY SELF WORTH. It happens. It happened for four months writing this blog. But I did it, finally. Maybe this is my first step to overcoming my challenges with being vulnerable. And I’m using all of you as my witnesses to hold me accountable. People need other people. Remember?

So I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.

 

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Dealing with the Tough Stuff

Sometimes, people need help with the process; sometimes, we need help with regaining our foundation. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. In my journey of self-love, figuring out my process, and putting it all together, I have found myself back in counseling. I’ve gone to counseling on and off since 2013 after I lost one of my closest friends to suicide. I’ve talked very openly with friends and family about it, but never publicly on the internet; in the same respect, I have no problem sharing my stories and experiences with anyone who may be interested.

I’m not sure why, but counseling, therapy, and mental health treatment overall, has a very dark cloud hanging over it. This cloud has a large stamp of “weakness” on it. I think it’s time to start a conversation about the not so glamorous side of taking care of yourself. I’ve talked in the past about letting love in, creating goals to stay rooted and happy in things that are true to you, having patience, going through the process, and keeping our feet deep in our foundation.

I don’t understand why the world has created this stigma that getting help for something is considered weak. As a child, I was taught to always ask for help when needed. Why is that any different now? I have had people insult me, or try to, because I told them I went to counseling.

“Yeah, says the girl who needs to go to counseling to keep her life together.”

I laughed when I was faced with that comment during a conversation in which I tried to offer advice. I laughed because targeting someone for something like that, I believe, makes them weak; I also laughed because they actually thought that would insult me.

Y’all… I am a Music Therapist. I truly believe in the power of therapy to help and heal people. How can I be an advocate for my profession, of helping and healing, but not be one for my own therapy and healing? It wouldn’t make sense; it wouldn’t be right. Therapy, counseling, support groups, they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Fear of judgment or rejection, or being picked on and insulted, should not stop you from seeking help, if you need to. For myself, going to my counseling appointments when they’re scheduled makes me strong, NOT weak. Getting out of bed and making myself eat on a particularly hard day makes me strong. Admitting that sometimes, no, not everything is okay, makes me strong. Singing on days that I feel like I can’t give even the smallest amount more of myself makes me strong. And frankly, I think that writing about it, talking about it, sharing my “not so glamorous side” of taking care of myself, makes me strong.

While a majority of people probably wouldn’t go blasting on the internet that they’re in therapy or counseling, I write this blog and start this conversation because, simply put, I think it needs to be talked about. We all carry different loads, and many of us have different ways of handling those; however, just because we carry them differently doesn’t mean that any one person’s way of balancing is better than another’s. I went ahead and asked some friends what they think makes them strong on their not so glamorous days, and what they do for help, and here are some of their answers:

“Getting through the day without crying.”

“Crossing things off of my to-do list.”

“Being honest, and telling someone how I’m really doing, if they ask, instead of giving a socially acceptable answer of ‘ok’ or ‘good’.”

“My mom.”

“Walking my dog.”

“Going to my weekly Christian based support group.”

“Counseling.”

“God.”

“Waking up and doing my day as planned.”

“Eating pizza after a particularly rough day.”

“Not withdrawing from others.”

“If I don’t push through, I’m just letting my dreams slip.”

“My faith… praying out loud to state all my stressors. I meditate and pray in silence. I need to talk about my problems.”

“The confidence that others have in me gives me strength.

“My ability to think logically and focus during tough times.”

“Admitting to others that I’m having a shitty day. Bottling things up makes me be harder on myself about it, and I end up feeling so much better after telling someone about it.”

These are answers collected from about ten people, so this is merely a SAMPLE of the possibilities of answers that could come if I asked every single person I knew, and if you asked every single person you knew, and etc. Finding these sources of strength from some of my closest friends and family members was actually the coolest part of writing this blog. I learned entirely new things about some of these people.

Everyone has their own way of being strong, their own way of dealing with the not so glamorous, and no one held back, was afraid to talk to me, or felt ashamed about it. Maybe that’s the key to it all. Just asking. Maybe the other is just talking. Maybe it isn’t that simple for you. Whatever it may be, know you are not weak in any single way for dealing with the tough stuff in the only way you may know how.

On the opposite side of that, if you are struggling with dealing with the tough stuff and haven’t reached out, do not be afraid to reach out to a friend, a family member, a counselor, a therapist, your God, me, whomever. I’ve said it before and I will say it over and over again: people need other people. Don’t let people tear you down for taking care of yourself and being strong in the only way you know how, even if it isn’t in a way that they consider to be acceptable.

So I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.


Once a week, every year in September, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) recognizes National Suicide Prevention Week. SURPRISE, we’re in it. Tomorrow, September 10th, is National Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s campaign is based off of the words of author Matt Haig, “and so I kept living,” from his book “Reasons to Stay Alive.”

Take a read of some of their blog posts from this week, included at the bottom of this blog, highlighting other’s reasons to stay alive, or maybe even what made them stronger. If you, or anyone you know, is struggling and needs help, here is a link to TWLOHA’s “Find Help” page, linking resources to local hotlines, treatment resources, and support groups.

*I am in no way connected to TWLOHA, I am just a very large supporter and believer of their message and cause.

For the Not So Strong Swimmers in the Strongest of Waves

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I recently started following a new account on my Instagram called SoulScripts. The account is run by a woman in her 20’s, named Jordan, that, to my understanding, wants to support, encourage, and enlighten other women through the light of Jesus Christ. I happened upon it one day while mindlessly searching, but I am so very thankful that I did.

About two or so weeks ago now, she posted something that sang to my soul. She wrote,

“To anyone going through something really hard or wanting to give up:

Tonight I ran into red flag waves (aka super dangerous) during an engagement session to get the best picture my human capacity allowed. The waves nearly knocked me down over and again. But I stood my ground. I planted my feet and kept my stance wide. I fought the current with more determination than I knew I had.

And the photos were totally worth it.

My little battle with Mother Nature reminded me of the daily battles this world hands us. And sometimes the forces that surround us knock us off our feet and lay us out flat on our back.

So if the current of today is dragging you down, if the waves are really big and you’re losing strength, let me just say this: don’t quit fighting. Plant your feet firmly in His Word and cling to The Rock. Promise if you do, the picture of your life will turn out exactly how He intended it: beautiful.”

Sometimes when we get hung up in a hard time, when the waves are knocking us left and right, doing the best they can to take our feet out from underneath us, it’s almost easy to just let them win and sink our head under. But what is that worth? Giving up the fight for a moment of relief, to only have our lungs filled with water that drags us down further. So instead of giving up, instead of letting surrounding forces knock us off our feet, we need to plant our feet deeper into our foundation, like Jordan said. Jordan here refers to her foundation being in Jesus. She is not alone in that. However, even if your foundation does not lie there, dig your feet into whatever gives you the strength to fight back against the unknown.

We will always be faced with hard times. Life will always try to knock us off of our feet. Maybe that’s some of the fun of it. In reality, we can’t hide from the potential destruction that life threatens on us. We also cannot let it win. There will be times that regardless of how far down we dig our feet, our foundation can still crumble. But we have to be so sure of ourselves, so strong in our fight, that building our foundation back will be the easy part.

I reiterated a lot of Jordan’s original post. However, that’s just how much it moved me. I’m dealing with the transition of post-grad life. AKA adulting is hard and I’m a broke college grad scrambling to get back to work and find my balance in life again. I’m dealing with the tough stuff of life every single day as of recently, but this time, I’ve fought harder against it as to not let it steal my spirit. I’ve dug my feet into the sand I have below me, and have let those waves hit me face on. I’ve been doing more of the self-care I’ve talked about. And while I may have waivered a few times, while the waves have been cold and hard and painful, while the sand under my feet has started to slide away, I still believe I have been made stronger while I’m standing up against them. That’s the goal, isn’t it? To come out of our struggles standing stronger, taller, and swimming harder than we went into them. Otherwise, we’ll be dragged away with the current. Don’t let the current take you. Dig your feet in, keep your eyes on the shore, and keep fighting for that picture you’ve always wanted.

Find some people who can help you in your fight. Don’t only find people who will carry you from the waves when they knock you down. Find those who will stand next to you, find those who will hold your hand and help you fight. Some battles are very lonely, but not all have to be. And even if yours is, find comfort in knowing that there are others fighting battles, too. Remember, people need other people.

So I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.

“When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.”

-Isaiah 43:2

Waiting on [Yourself] to Change

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Everyone talks about how patience is a virtue. Not a “golden rule” necessarily, but it might as well be for the number of times I’ve been told to practice it in my lifetime. Because of that, I have practiced patience with others probably every single day of my life after I learned the concept. However, how often are we reminded that we need to practice patience with ourselves too? Whether we want to believe or not, we often set very high expectations for ourselves. When expectations are not met, it is very easy to become frustrated. So why is it that the one thing I’ve been taught to use daily since I was old enough to understand it, is one of the hardest things to implement for myself? Some days, practicing patience with myself is entirely unheard of.

I usually write about things that I want to work towards. Things that are important to realize, but I may not actually be at the point that I can practice them day in and day out. After writing my first blog of this year about taking care of myself, I realized that wouldn’t be possible without the presence of self-love. And now, since I’ve sort of developed poor habits of self-care and self-love, I have realized that patience is the next most important thing in all of this self-journey stuff. I’ve talked frequently about the things I’ve been riddled with in the past. Self-abuse, low self esteem, unhealthy relationships, etc.. These things developed hard, rigid, patterns about how I went about my days. I think everyone reading this can agree that old habits die hard, right? It takes time to find a really good way to go about breaking a habit. It also takes time to develop a new one.

I’ve been trying day in and day out to change my habits of resorting to self-hate at the end of the day, or not always putting myself first. But something I am very presently realizing, is that it is not going to happen overnight. Oh and how I wish it would! But even when I remind myself daily that I am worth my own self-love and care, unfortunately, it does not always happen that way. Through that happening, I become frustrated. I think to myself “I’m sitting here writing about it, and telling everyone reading my blog to go and do these things, and I can’t even do them myself.” Which at times I think is fair. However, as I mentioned once already, I write about things that I want to work towards. Things that I am in NO way a master at. But because of this, I am using you, whoever you are, and the very public Internet, as a means to actually practice what I am preaching. Otherwise, I would probably allow myself to chicken out, and back down to myself way too often. After all, we are our own worst enemy.

So in all of this, I’ve come to realize that I can’t expect these things to happen overnight. In a way, some of these changes in my life are HUGE. Therefore, practicing patience with myself is also huge. Let’s be real, practicing patience with anything is huge. I think we can all agree that there have been many things in life that we’ve had to be patient for. Or that we’ve had to “take time” for. Healing after a breakup, healing after a death or loss of someone dear, when wanting to break habits, when needing to confront something difficult, when looking for love, looking for answers, etc. There are so many things in life that take time; so many things that will not change or get better overnight. We need to start realizing that “taking time” also means “having patience” WITH YOURSELF. Battling ourselves, and constantly pushing ourselves to feel ready for something that we’re not, is not beneficial to our growth as people. This process of patience and waiting is uncomfortable. It is not immediately gratifying. However, life is not designed that way. I read a quote that said, “the most pivotal part of growth is discomfort.” How true is that? Do not allow discomfort and frustration to prevent your growth, rather, let it foster your growth. Remind yourself how important patience is to balance out these struggles, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Find people that you can talk to. Find someone that understands your frustrations, that understands your reservations, as to maybe why whatever you’re working on or waiting for is taking longer than you originally anticipated it would. Like I’ve said many many times before, people need other people. Embrace that.

So I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

-Proverbs 3: 5-6

 

The Battle of (self) Love and Hate

I’ve been trying to write this blog now for almost two weeks. I’ve struggled a lot with getting my thoughts in order because there is so many things I want to talk about at once that mostly go hand in hand, but realistically they cannot fit into one blog post. So I’m going to try to narrow it down into what I feel is most important in my head these days.

As I previously wrote before, taking care of yourself is so important. And while in my very strong attempts to succeed at that, there are many days that I fall behind. While attempting so hard to take care of myself, and make sure that all of my ducks are in a row, there are times that I’ve failed myself as well. Or I have felt like I have. And unfortunately, feeling like I’ve failed has sometimes become my default at the end of the day or waking up in the morning. I struggled a lot in my transition from full time student to full time intern, while working a second job, and figuring out how to put myself first. Sometimes convincing myself to get out of the bed in the morning to take on yet another twelve-hour day seemed nearly impossible.

As some of you know, I am currently on a music therapy internship, and I am also teaching music lessons. I began struggling to balance the concept of exerting all of myself all day long for the health, happiness, and education of others. I began worrying about if I was providing enough, or if I was adequate enough as a person to even help them. The anxiety of those thoughts became so heavy on my mind. I couldn’t let myself understand at the time that in order to help my clients and students, I need to be at my best self, and I couldn’t be at my best self if I was letting feelings of failure and overbearing anxiety take over. Waking up every morning, self-doubt was my default setting.

I recently read an entry from the To Write Love on Her Arms blog entitled, “When Hating Yourself is the Default.” (Which is also why I’m using the word default so much). Unfortunately, it resonated too much with me. I highly recommend the read, but I’ll talk about it a little right now. The author talks about how in her classroom she has a policy against self-belittling. They are to “never apologize for [their] art or [their] human.” Wow. Can we reflect on that for a second? Never apologize for your human. Meaning yourself. Never apologize for being yourself. Never apologize for your human. Especially to yourself. How often do we remind ourselves that?

I resonated most with the paragraph that reads

“See, it’s not that I don’t understand my student on Twitter. I do – Too much in fact. My own history is riddled with self-abuse, whether manifested through self-harm, unhealthy relationships, or self-loathing brought on by bouts of deep depressions. For years, hating myself was the default. I did well and easily at that.”

Again, wow. I’m not the most proud to say, but equally not ashamed either, that my own history is as well riddled with some of these things. Riddled with these and sprinkled with a few others as well.. Low self esteem, anxiety, constantly seeking for validation that I am in fact “enough.” But the more I settle into those things, the more I am allowing my self-hate and self-doubt to become my default setting in the way I go about life. The more I have allowed myself to settle into bitterly unhealthy relationships, self-loathing, constant belittling of myself and the allowance of others to do the same, and not being confident in the fact that as a person I am in fact, fully and wholly enough regardless of what anyone tells me… The more I settled into those things, I began putting hate first and love in a very far away second.

However, in this new push to take care of myself, I’ve realized one very large and hugely important thing. It is time to let the love in. It is time to embrace all of the cracks I have in my foundation and realize that instead of thinking that they make me weaker, they actually make me stronger. A house with creaks and cracks is still a house. It still provides a shelter, a warm and inviting place to be. It may have a few dings, but it does not make it any less of a house. Maybe it just adds a little more character. It adds some stories behind why the fourth floorboard creaks, or why the stone at the bottom of the stairs is broken. Our soul is our house. It is the home of our innermost desires, goals, dreams, being, and self. We will doubt, and we will sway. Our soul will bend, and it will most definitely break. But it is time to let the light within us shine through those cracks, rather than try to cover them with bandages and tape and belittle ourselves about it the next day.

We are so truly blessed to be alive and to be given the chance to turn our page into tomorrow and begin to write a new page on love, not on hate. You can grow flowers from where dirt used to be, and every day can be a new beginning. We will change with the seasons and our gardens will run dry again some day. But we need to realize that we have so very much to offer to this world, and we need to embrace that daily. We need to stop living in fear and shadows of anxiety, self-doubt, and sadness. “Never apologize for your art; never apologize for your human.” Embrace your being. Let the love in.

Find the things that are best for you. Find the people that are best for you. I’ve mentioned it in the past two, and I will say it yet again. People need other people. Embrace that as well. Do not be ashamed of what you have been through to get to where you are now. Your story is important.

So I don’t know, maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.

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While I was sitting in the park writing this piece, I looked to the right of me on the bench I was sitting on and this was stuck there. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not. Happy Thursday!

Take Care of You: 2016

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About two years ago around this time is when I started this blog. My first post was about what I learned in 2013 and how it affected me, which led to a very long, slightly dramatic, entry.. oops. Now it’s 2016 and we just wrapped up the New Year celebration. This entry is going to sort of have the same (cliché?) theme; what I learned from 2015. But I’m going to try to be more straightforward about it all, yeah?

2015 was a very interesting year. It was a short year. I feel like it flew by abnormally fast. Faster than a usual year goes by. However, a lot happened. One of the most important things being that I finally experienced Disney World and Universal Studios and recently have mentioned about six times this past week alone that I need to go back. They don’t lie whenever they say that it’s the happiest place on earth.

Aside from being interesting, 2015 was a year full of changes. Good and bad. I left one job only to stumble into one entirely too wonderful. I finished my last regular semester of my undergraduate career. I secured a wonderful internship that I will be in starting in just one short week. I lost a pet, my best little furry friend. I accomplished my long time goal of making dean’s list every semester in undergrad. I put together and completed my senior voice recital. For the better half of the year I was in, and recently got out of, a very difficult relationship. I lost sight of who I was. I realized I was sometimes better at messing things up than I was at fixing them. But in the midst of that, I fell in love with music all over again. I have begun to fall in love with God again. And finally, I am rediscovering myself, and I’ve begun to fall in love with life all over again.

Stay rooted. That is what I’ve learned from this year. Stay rooted, keep your eyes and head focused, and never let anyone steal the light you offer to the world. There are a lot of people in the world that will try to kill your spirit and knock your crown off of your head. Do not let them. The only way to get through this world, to get through each and every day, is to stay true to yourself and your roots. I very easily got swept away in something that was incredibly difficult for me to figure out which was the best path to take. It became so easy to be focused on anything other than what was best for me. I became such a people pleaser over the past two years since my very first blog entry on here. Doing that led me to put my priority into everyone else and my priority no longer rested in myself, or in what was best for me. There are times to take care of others and their needs, but there are also many more necessary times to take care of yourself. My mom frequently tells me, “Take care of you.” Probably at least once a week. But it’s a reminder that I need daily. I think it’s a reminder we all could use daily. Write it on a sticky note and put it on the mirror, write it on every page in your planner, make it the background to your phone. Anything to help us remind ourselves that it is 100% okay to take care of yourself, and to do things for yourself.

Some may take this message as conceited, self-centered, self-absorbed maybe. But it isn’t. If we don’t take care of ourselves and our own needs and desires, no one else will. There is not one person that has a responsibility to our wellbeing besides ourselves. I truly believe that once I begin to take care of myself every single day, and stop living my life to please everyone around me, that is when I will truly be able to help others. Once I find happiness and joy in every aspect of my life that is when I will be able to truly offer everything I have to the world. My life will become fuller, and much more profitable for myself, and anyone else around me. So rather than resolutions for this year, I’ve made simple goals for myself. Goals that help me take care of myself and stay rooted in myself.

  1. Be outside more.
  2. Be more active.
  3. Be intentional and accountable with words and actions.
  4. Write three times a week.
  5. Sing, play, and practice every chance possible.
  6. Drink more tea.
  7. Do not be afraid to ask for help whenever possible.
  8. Be more honest about what it is I want.
  9. Take every experience, good and bad, as one to learn and grow from.
  10. Have fun, and enjoy every second possible of life.

If you’ve made resolutions already, good for you! Stick with them. If resolutions aren’t your thing, that’s cool too. They don’t have to be. However, make some goals. Most of mine don’t have measurements to them simply because I am going to be ridiculously busy with an internship, a job, and being 22. But these are still goals to refer back to whenever I may be slipping up, or loosening my roots. Telling people about my goals also creates accountability now for me to keep up with it. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again; People need other people. And while we shouldn’t live to please other people, it is important to realize that we all need help every now and then.

So maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.

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I sat outside this morning while writing this, drinking tea infused with joy, and added a very important note to my planner every week in January. Happy Monday, everyone!

When the Winds are Changing

This first segment was written December 18th, 2014.

“There are a fair amount of things we cannot change in life. A fair amount of things we have to accept and do with the best we can. Even the littlest things, the smallest things that don’t go right, can throw off an entire plan.

I went to Dallas this past week to visit my wonderful big sister. We were both so excited for me to come up. We had so many plans and no matter what they were going to happen. No matter what.

Sister and I have had a fairly reoccurring history of travel disasters, and I was trying my absolute damnedest to make sure those did not happen. Everything was fine! I got through the airport fine both ways (which at the time was miraculous for us), and all was well. Until my tonsils became the size of golf balls and I was “presumed” with strep throat. I felt pretty darn miserable. Lousy, actually. I could only afford to swallow soup. Even then, that hurt. THEN early Wednesday morning, I threw up for two hours straight and caused her to be awake for a full two hours earlier than her already early call time for work. Disaster found us, and was very much upon us.

But somehow, it happened, and it passed. We still did all of the things we planned to do, and we still had so much fun doing them. She took care of me, I cleaned the apartment, we moved on and had a great time together. Done and done.

On my last night there, we watched “The Vow.” If you’re someone who knows me, you know I hate that movie. It is miserable to watch. However, in the movie, they get in a car accident and she loses her most recent five years of memory. She loses all memories of her husband and current life. Gone. Disappeared into thin air.

They tried to make it work. They wanted to make it work. And in the end, it did. Just a year or so later, on different circumstances, and she still with no recollection of her life before.

I said to Megan, “gosh that sucks. To have to accept that there’s a whole portion of your life that you just have to accept is not there anymore and move on.”

And she replied, simply, “yeah… but it’s kind of sweet.”

And maybe that’s all it took to realize the unexpected things in life, the ones that throw us off our track, make things disastrous and miserable for the time being, turn up to be the sweetest ones in the end. It may have never been in our plan, but maybe it was in someone else’s. And maybe that’s what makes it sweet. The things we don’t plan make us who we are. It builds character and gives a little spark to life.”


I wrote that a year ago tomorrow in the airport whenever I was flying home. I just recently found it on my phone, and maybe at the right time. I’ve been thinking a lot about change and the unexpected things in life. The sweet little nothing’s that throw life off balance. How beautiful it is to embrace that.

There are highs and lows in life. Sometimes during our lows, nothing changes. We have average days, average nights, we have a routine and we’re okay with it. Then sometimes we have highs where everything is changing. Every day is different, every night the winds change again. Our routine has been messed up, in turn, making that our new routine. Make sense?

Change is always happening. Whether it’s slow or quick, right or wrong. But whatever it may be, whether it be a boy miserably broke your heart, finishing college, moving home, starting a new job, or maybe all four at the exact same time, change fits into our lives whether we want it to or not. Sometimes it is just downright miserable to try to cope with. However, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and watch the world happen for us. The more we resist change, the less we’re allowing ourselves to learn, the less we’re allowing ourselves to grow.

So rather than fighting change, fighting the temptation to try to control every aspect of our human existence, why don’t we just embrace it?  Embrace the beautiful mess life is giving us. We are being given a chance to turn a new page rather than being stuck on the same one. And that my friends, is how our books get written.


I wrote all of this, the combination of the two blogs, earlier this week whenever I truly believed everything that I wrote. I guess I’m in one of those high times where every day is different, and now I’m having trouble fully embracing the words written above. I want to resist what’s happening in my life because I saw it as being something different. Because of this, I was going to wait to post this blog. However, now I realize because of this, I needed to post it. I now have you, whoever you are, as my witness, to help me enforce this mindset. “People need other people” to help each other through the highs and lows of life, and it’s always ok to say that.

So maybe you disagree, maybe it doesn’t make sense to you at all.  I may even be wrong about all of it, but it’s just my view on it.

“… I realized that I was holding on to something that didn’t exist anymore. That the person I missed didn’t exist anymore. People change. The things we like and dislike change. And we can wish they couldn’t all day long but that never works.”

-Sarah Ockler, Fixing Delilah