Advice, Confidence

I make space for what is next for me

The other day my roommate walked into the living room in a neon green shirt and asked me did I like it.

No. Not at all. Do you like it?

She’d had it in her closet for years and had never worn it once.

I’ve been trying to wear more color.

The brightest color I’ve ever seen you wear is navy. This color feels like you’re trying to be a totally different person.

Just because it’s already here doesn’t mean you’re bonded to it for life. You want to wear more color, my neutral queen? My autumnal goddess? Walk through aisles asking for something to call to you. Just look at what you’ve bought yourself recently, burnt umber, mustard, even right now you’re in a maroon I love.

When we discover we’ve outgrown someone or something, the biggest gift we can give them is freedom. And to use the awareness to seek what is more aligned for us.

Don’t force yourself to go backwards just because they’re here. It is a disservice to the world to dim your light and become resentful.

The kindest thing you can do is to set them free into the world to find someone who gives them the best life possible. Someone who is waiting to love them.

It is the privilege of age and growth to look back at what no longer serves and allow yourself to grow past it, to move on and to kiss goodbye with a fond farewell anything that you part with along the way. Honor the breakup.

I see your value, I release you back into the world, and I make space for what is next for me.

Confidence, Intimacy, Self-Care

I Want to Give Myself the World

Sometimes instagram is just snack food, but sometimes it is the medicine and the messenger of the universe.

…the question should never be ‘What is the least amount of effort I can give to myself so that I’ll stop being a problem?’ The question is always ‘What do I have the capacity to give? How can I give myself the fullness of what I have to offer?’ I want to give myself the world.

@frankiedoodledandy

Now I’m historically not a great cook. I forget to use salt and pepper, I’ll happily just eat an avocado with Everything But The Bagel seasoning and call it dinner. 

But tonight I laid outside and read until I got hungry. And then I looked up what I can make with the half a cabbage in the fridge and I roasted it to sweet perfection. I even made a sauce! With multiple ingredients, that required using an additional pan. And added mustard because I’m worth it.

I treated myself like someone I’m trying to woo like whoa. And let me tell you how loved I feel. The warmth and the sweetness. It felt like a big delicious hug. That was probably the best date I’ve ever been on. It just happened to be with and by me. 

Confidence, Dating

Next Time Around

What was so hard about ending my last relationship was that my intuition knew it was time to leave before my body understood why. So I had this long period of waffling on whether the decision was right, changing my mind, reaching out to him. I think it was really painful for both of us.

Recently I feel a lot clearer about it.

And one of the things that’s really helped is running across qualities that I get to have in my next relationship.

Playful

Adventurous

Silly

Men with these qualities pop into my day and I’m drawn to them like a thirsty fittonia glimpsing water for the first time in years.

Oh, this too can be for me.

And it can. It feels so good.

Confidence

I Can Do Anything

I have a story that I don’t drive.

But you know what,

Driving isn’t like doing a back hand spring or hearing ghosts. It’s not a thing I’m (currently!) incapable of. It’s a choice to do a scary thing and then not quit until it’s complete.

And I’m great at committing to things until they no longer serve me. I’ve proven that.

So this weekend I drove.

I rented a car.

I put my name and my name alone down for the insurance, ensuring that I’d be the only person on the trip who drove.

I drove at night.

I drove on highways and on windy country roads.

I drove with my brights on!

I drove past deer!

I drove in thick white fog.

And you know what, when I got scared I just slowed down and kept going.

I brought myself down to a speed where I could feel comfortable keeping on keeping on.

I got lost.

I got found.

I got me and my loves home safe and sound.

So that’s part 1. Part 2 is that contributing this very specific gift to the weekend meant that it felt easy to not contribute other things. To know that I was doing enough, giving enough, and could choose to take care of myself instead of wearing myself thin. To take a nap before a long late drive even though everyone else was cleaning.

I’m grateful that I had the guts to get a license, to rent a car, to do all the little steps I had been telling myself I couldn’t do.

Because, why?

I can do anything.

Just as long as I don’t tell myself I can’t.

Art, Bodies, Confidence

I Wanted To Take A Bath

So I took off my clothes and started filling the tub.

I set out a few candles around the bathroom; the sink, the window ledge, the toilet tank. I turned off the overhead and lit a match, moving from one candle to the next enjoying the rushing sound of the filling bath.

I turned my back to the sink with its three evenly spaced candles to pick some music for my soak and my gaze was met by curves descending like vines from the ceiling. When I moved they moved. My body, my hourglass, my S curves in triplicate, projected larger than life onto gleaming white tile.

I threw on something slow and watched my body in kaleidoscope. Twisting and turning, one curve turning into another, coming to a point, revealing itself to be a shoulder, a nipple, a hip.

I moved around the room and saw myself on all walls. Here, looking like three backup singers in impressive synchronicity. There, looking like one body as seen by a drunk three-eyed observer, gently rolling in and out of focus with herself.

A non-strip non-tease for an audience of herself plus water and fire. A sister goddess indeed.

Confidence, Feelings

Making Gold

This weeks sermon comes to you from having your own personal crisis in the most seemingly hostile of environments. And living. And learning that you can do that and not only be fine, but better than you were before. Absorbing rejection and living anyway, to realize that you can make it through anything. You can experience your worst fears and get confirmation on your cruelest thoughts about yourself and still wake up the next morning.

And if you are lucky then you get to the next morning and look around at the people who were there with you and you get to be grateful for them and love them harder than before. It may have been your worst day but it still wasn’t the worst day you could have had. Because you didn’t have to do it alone. And the people who supported you are not always the ones you expect. Maybe you have a family you never knew about before. People who help you climb by picking your feet up and placing them where they need to go. And people who listen and give zero advice, just hear and reflect back.

These are the things you learn from having the worst day imaginable in the most hostile environment imaginable.

That you are the strongest you imaginable.

Bodies, Confidence

I’ve Got A Beautiful Head

I shaved my head. Here’s why.

Last year I worked with Eve Ensler, stunning, smart, she wrote The Vagina Monologues and I met her because of her new piece, partially about her battle with cancer.

For purposes of comfort and the show she kept her hair short after her recovery. And you couldn’t get away from her beautiful face, like her eyes took up her whole head. She would jokingly say “I have no hair” and I kept thinking “of course you have hair, I’m looking at it right now. And it’s lovely.”

It was around the same time that I was falling in love with my haircut. I think each person has a perfect cut if they pay attention. Something that makes them feel like themselves and requires the right amount of care. With my undercut asymmetrical bob I found that. It made me feel fancy. I thought,

“Well great, I just need to maintain this forever!”

And then immediately vomited in my own mouth.

I kept thinking about this podcast about lawn maintenance in america, how we plant grass and we don’t let it live, keeping it in an unnatural life cycle, we mow it and mow it and mow it, keeping it in adolescence forever.  Michael Pollen wrote “Lawns are nature purged of sex and death.”

Hair grows. That’s all it does. Maintain this forever? What a chore!

I’d rather use the fact that it grows rather than run from it.

That’s when I started running the idea by a few friends and co-workers, “Is this crazy? Should I stop thinking about this?”

“Well you’re thinking about it a lot, so it sounds like you really want to do it and you should.”

Then the final straw.

My hair finally made it into a ponytail for the first time in years. I looked in the mirror and realized;

I’m going to look beautiful.

And that’s when we got out the clippers.

And I was right. I do look beautiful.

Confidence, Self-Care

Stop The World, I Want Off

Last night I went out with the cast.

Sort of.

I left the theater with the cast.

Walked to the restaurant with the cast.

Did a lap at the restaurant, decided I didn’t want to be trapped behind a table and walked right back out.

Don’t settle. don’t finish crappy books. If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path, get off it.
– CHRIS BROGAN [x]
Confidence, Feelings

Normal, Facts, And Feelings

There are two sentences I keep using to sort through my moments recently. Two questions I apply to situations I’m in, feelings I have, things people say to me.

Is this a fact or a feeling?

Is this normal because it happens so often or is it normal because it is natural?

Lots of things are feelings, not facts.

I’m ugly.

I’m unworthy.

I’m not good at this.

Everyone is looking at me.

Everyone will notice that I’m secretly not qualified to be here.

Lots of things are facts, not feelings.

This subway train is not moving.

The person I’m talking to is yelling.

There are lots of things that are normalized because they are frequently occurring.

When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a ‘rape schedule.’ I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it’s carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It’s essentially like living in a prison – all the time. We can’t assume that we’re safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we’re so used to feeling unsafe that we don’t even see that there’s something seriously fucked up about it.

Jessica Valenti, Full Frontal Feminism [x]

And things that are normal because they’re average, natural.

Toothaches

Puberty

Bodies, Confidence

A Handful Is All You Need

I’m incredibly proud of my relationship with my body, especially my breasts. And why wouldn’t I be? They’re perfect. The left is called “Per” and the right is called “Fect”.

And nothing makes me feel more grateful, not for them so much as for my comfort with them, as this series from The Cut.

The slideshow is amazing.

In a long life breasts are many things to many people. Sexualized, ignored, too much, too little.

It rings so true that even though some of the notes disagree with each other, you can agree with all of them. One may be complaining about them weighing too much, and another can be about them feeling too small, and it’s possible to agree with both.

It gives you permission to feel whatever you do feel about them.

There are so many images of breasts in the world. If you have breasts it can feel like they’re always on display, for comment. Subject to someone else’s lens, typified by their own preferences.

There’s something so different about the only important qualifier being your personal feelings about your own personal body.