16 October 2014

Be Confident

In this day and age a lot of focus is placed on ourselves. We post little snippets of our lives on social media, convinced that our friends really truly want to see a picture of the food we're eating or what we look like in that new outfit. Selfie posting becomes a daily ritual.

All of this serves to make us appear more confident than we actually are. Everyone struggles with fears of how they fit in and everyone wants validation. It becomes especially apparent when we share a detail about our lives that isn't validated by the people we think will validate it. We announce a new job or a new house or a new relationship and when people fail to be appropriately excited for us, it hurts.

However, even when our friends and family are supportive it can still be difficult to be confident in our decisions or dreams.

We become our own worst enemy when we allow ourselves to listen to that inner voice that screams at us that we can't while drowning out the whispers from ourselves and others that say we can. It holds us back from accomplishing great things and pursuing our passion.

When I left the military many years ago, I was equipped with computer skills that allowed me to further myself in a career that was financially rewarding. By the time I was 25, I was clearing 6 figures...but I was absolutely miserable. When I finally ditched that career to pursue my passion, it was hard and still is. I don't make near as much as I did in computers and I probably never will. It has been hard to not return to computers when I log into my bank account and freak out over the balance. However, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I am so much happier and more fulfilled in my new career and there is no amount of money that replaces that.

I like to joke that money can't buy happiness but I'd rather cry in a mansion but it isn't true.

At the end of the day I am exhausted and underpaid but sometimes I feel like I make a genuine difference and that makes it all worth it...if I had listened to that voice that said "you can't do this" I would still be absolutely miserable.

So go confidently in the direction of your dreams...because nothing replaces the feeling of becoming who you were meant to be.

Be kind. Be supportive. Be fearless. Be confident.

31 July 2014

Be Supportive

So many people I run into in my work and personal life do not have a clear understanding of what it means to be supportive or to request someone else to be supportive for that matter.

There are some people who think that being supportive means agreeing with everything they say or do. If you disagree with their method they are quick to say "You are not being supportive". It is possible to be supportive while at the same time disagreeing with someone. For example, you can say "it isn't what I would do, but if you think that's the best thing for you to do, I support your decision to do that" or you could say "I'm not sure it is wise, but I'm behind you 100%". If what they are doing is completely off base, feel free to say "I'm sorry, I cannot be supportive of this, I don't agree with it, but I hope it works out for you".

Even more difficult for people it seems, is to set themselves aside and actually BE supportive. I know you all know that one person that manages to turn every. single. thing. that happens to you into something they've gone through, are currently experiencing, have been through worse, or know someone who knew someone who met someone at a wedding who knew someone once ten years ago who went through something very similar.

Those kind of people suck.

Even better are the people who will ask you about something while already forming in their minds how they are going to turn it into some problem or issue they have with you. So while you're down at your lowest point, they're kicking you in the face doing even further damage by bringing up some wrongdoing you may or may not be guilty of.

Seriously? NOW is the time for you to bring this up? You suck.

Being supportive is an important skill if you hope to gain support from someone further down the road. Hell, even if you don't, it is still a good skill to have if you hope to find, make, and keep relationships.

It amazes me how many times I will see or hear someone being an absolute jerk to someone they know doesn't have the time or energy to deal with their issue.

In my personal life, this has happened no less than three times this week alone. It boggles the mind.

If you cannot be supportive, or you're unwilling to be supportive, try staying silent.

Sometimes it is imperative that you set yourself aside, let it be about someone else for a change, and simply offer a word of hope, a hand of friendship, or a warm hug.

Trust me, it WILL come back to you.

If you are reading this, take a minute to think about times you've been less than supportive of someone around you and imagine how it would feel if when you really needed someone, they completely failed you. Then make a promise to try your hardest not to be that person.

That is all.

Be gentle, my people. The world is missing a lot of gentle these days.
Be kind.
Be supportive.

22 April 2014


In one breath we say "You can't judge a book by its cover" and then in the next we'll say "You never get another chance to make a first impression". While both statements have merit, they contradict each other.

As people, we are quick to judge other people we come in contact with, often without knowing anything about them at all. The person you think looks scruffy on the street may have been sitting bedside by a dying person and not had the chance to shower yet. Or maybe they worked a long shift and are headed home to shower...or they could have woken up that day and said "I don't feel like taking a shower today" and headed off because they don't expect to be judged by their appearance.

Yet we all judge by appearance....without knowing the background story or even if there IS a background story. Maybe that person you just met is quiet because they have social anxiety, or maybe they just got really bad news, or maybe they are in pain, or maybe they're introverted, or maybe they just don't have anything to say at the moment.

You can't know a person until you take the time to get to know them. Really get to know them. It is more than first impressions, more than what you've heard about them, it is taking an interest in what they have to say and how they say it. Ask them questions, watch how they act when they think nobody is looking.

If you don't take the time to understand a person, truly get to know them, you are doing them a disservice and yourself. You are only looking at your perspective and perception of what is going on with them, and not taking the time to find out if what you are assuming about them is true.

When you don't take the time to get to know someone, you could be missing out on an amazing connection. It is true, you could get to know them and absolutely hate them, and that is okay, but to instantly judge and dislike someone you don't even know causes you to miss out.

That person will continue on, making friends, having relationships, being a member of a family, without you. You may carry on without them, but you may be missing out on the opportunity to make a good friend, have an amazing relationship, or enjoy a great family member.

Be open to new people, they may come in an completely mess you up, but they may come in and completely amaze you. Isn't it worth the risk?

13 April 2014

Let it go

The one thing I truly suck at is letting shit go. I am always searching for the solution, resolution, or answer why. I don't know why I can't I just can't let it go.

It causes problems for me, my constant cycle of searching for answers to things that sometimes have no answers...people get tired of hearing about it and want me to just move on but I can't.

So I search and lose people in my life because it is exhausting watching me obsess over something and not move on.

I am committed to dropping shit I can't control and can't change.

I'm tired...tired of dragging along shit that weighs me down and keeps me stuck in a rut that doesn't help me.

Moving on. Harder than it sounds.

11 April 2014

Not perfect but I'm perfectly me

Perfection in human beings is not possible. We cannot be perfect. We will make mistakes and we will learn important lessons from those mistakes. When people cannot accept those mistakes and love us anyway, they fail to return what we are giving them. (If we are giving them that kind of love and acceptance)

Loving someone isn't loving them because they are perfect, it is loving them because they aren't.

When I truly love someone, I find their imperfections acceptable. Yeah, I get irritated, just like anyone else (because I'm not perfect bitches) but the good outweighs the bad and even on days when it doesn't, I make the CHOICE to love that person anyway.

This is why I have the 18 month rule. If I'm not going to remember why I was pissed and still be pissed 18 months from now, it is rarely worth getting pissed over today. (Yes sometimes I fail to apply that rule, lol)

I'm not perfect. I don't want to be. That's too much pressure. Sometimes it is nice to just be balls to the wall crazy (not psychotic crazy, like a kid on cake crazy) it is nice to say something so completely inappropriate you laugh hysterically at the idea of it coming out of your mouth.

But when it is especially nice to not be perfect is when I can show weakness and vulnerability. When I can curl up in my closet and lose my shit over the shitty week I've had and the voice on the other side of the phone is telling me all the ways I can get through this...and all the ways I already have. When I can break down and have someone else pick me up.

That is when I am reminded that I don't have to be perfect. There truly are people out there who will love and support me regardless of the gap in my teeth, the blood clot in my chest, and the fact that I'm not 150 pounds. People who don't mind that I cry sometimes for no flipping reason and lose my temper because I got cut off in traffic. People who don't expect perfection from me because they know they aren't perfect themselves.

I am not perfect. I don't want to be. I am perfectly me though. I am kind and gentle and caring and beyond generous. I am fearful and insecure and have a trigger temper. I will be dramatic and whiny when I'm sick (and sometimes when I'm not). I'm okay with that. If you're not...you know where the door is honey.

Be gentle. Be kind. Belong. Be forgiving. Be imperfect :)

01 April 2014

Letting go

Sometimes there is nothing harder than letting go. We are born into families that are not always healthy and are not always supportive but we are raised to love our family and put them first in our life. To turn our backs on that is a betrayal of our blood and in some families, to turn your back on your family is a sin.

While it is true that sometimes we hurt the ones we love the most, it doesn't have to be. We don't have to be jealous and mean and cruel. Sometimes loving someone is a choice made deliberately despite being angry or hurt.

Sometimes we get to the point where loving that family member means not loving ourselves. It means allowing ourselves to be caught in a constant cycle of abuse that only ends when we love ourselves enough to say enough.  Sometimes you can't love someone enough without not loving yourself enough.

When that happens, it can't be a healthy relationship because only one person is being allowed to be authentic.

Then a choice has to be made...lose yourself or save yourself.
This week I'm saving myself. I can't love my family enough to make them love me back. I can't stop being the person they force me to be. I can't love myself and them at the same time because they don't want me to be lovable. They want me to be bitter and angry and miserable.

I'm not that person. So it is time. Time for someone in my life to finally stand up for me and say enough...and that person has to be me because there is nobody else willing or able to do it for me.

So today I am letting go...and moving on. I'm sad and so very sorry that I can't bring them with me but they don't want to come along and that is their choice.

Be gentle my people. Be kind. Be loving. Belong...and be willing to let go.

12 March 2014

I belong

Belonging is something I feel is a basic human need. I'm not sure that everyone would agree with me on this, but this is my blog so what I say goes bitches. (insert maniacal laugh here)

I've never felt like I belonged. I suppose when I was younger I might have, but I don't have many memories of life before 4. When I was 5, I was summarily dropped off at my aunt's house for her to deal with while my parents went to prison. My aunt and uncle were older, and their collective children were grown and out of the house. Along comes three children they didn't sign up for and they didn't hide their disappointment and frustration at being saddled with three kids. Unfortunately, the byproduct of that was that I didn't feel loveable or wanted and by proxy, I didn't feel like I belonged to them, with them, or in their house.

When I became an adult, actually throughout my entire childhood, I thought that once I became an adult, my life would be in my own hands, I would carve out my own destiny and people would treat me the way I treated them. If I loved someone enough, they would return the favor.

Then reality crashed in like a 90 year old woman behind the wheel of a Lincoln. I found that people will abuse you, use you, destroy you given half a chance.

Added into this was the internal struggle I had with my own sexuality and my external struggle to be "good enough" for my parents to finally love me.

By the time I have reached the ripe old age of 37 I have been convinced by the people around me and my own automatic negative thoughts (GO GO DBT Training) that I don't belong anywhere.

Recent events (which I have promised myself I will blog about when I'm good and ready) have led me down this winding path of self discovery and avoidance that is only worthy of a trained social worker who should know better.

So I say to my girlfriend that I feel like I don't belong to anyone and she says "well you really only belong to yourself" and I looked at her like she had three heads and was completely failing to pat my leg and assure me that my life truly sucks. (Which was really what I wanted in the first place)

Now that it has been nearly a week since she said it, and I've calmed down and thought on it I realized she is right.

I've been looking for someone else to make me feel like I belong when really I haven't let myself feel like I belong all along.

So today I've decided. I belong to me. If someone else wants to come alongside me and share the ride for awhile, good on them. I don't have to worry if I belong somewhere because I do...because wherever I am, I belong.

Be gentle, Be kind, Be forgiving. Belong :)

23 February 2014

Two sides to every story

I know we all know that there are two sides to every story, but where we all come up short sometimes is remembering this when we're attempting to sift through stories to ascertain the truth....and where we really seem to fail is remembering this when the story is our own story.

Every single person comes into each situation with their own ideas, perceptions, past experiences, personal bias, fears, insecurities, etc. All of these combine to color our memory of conversations, past events, present events, etc. When we fail to recognize, acknowledge and even sometimes challenge these things, we do ourselves injustice, but most importantly we can fail the people we are interacting with.

We are sometimes so quick to assume or draw conclusions about the motivations, behavior, or words of someone else, often without asking simple questions that could enlighten us to what is actually going on in the minds of the people we are drawing conclusions about.

For example, we may assume someone has ignored a text or an email and they may not have received it, may not have noticed it, or may not be anywhere near the device that receives these things. This can lead to assumptions and drawn conclusions that are completely off base, just because we didn't call and ask that person "did you get my email" or "did you get my text".

This weekend, I've encountered this twice. Assumptions made about me or something I may or may not have said, done, thought...without the courtesy of a question allowing me to state my case, make my side of the story known, or explain whatever it was that is being assumed.

One incident will likely resolve itself and if it doesn't, then so be it. The other situation is impossible to fix because the people involved quite simply don't want to fix it. A story has been told, and believed, without the opportunity for me to even know what the story is in the first place.

It is frustrating...to have been judged unworthy without so much as a trial. Without being able to testify on my behalf. Without even the courtesy of a question "did you do this?"

Rather than spin my wheels in frustration, I am choosing to take this situation and remind myself that I have done this very thing to others in the past and remind myself that this does damage, sometimes permanent damage.

I will use this to remind myself not to be guilty of this in the future. To always seek an answer to the question why even if I don't like the response. Conversely, to always allow myself to be questioned if nothing more than to determine what my motivations are.

I vow to always remember, there is more than meets the eye, there are a plethora of factors that are being applied to each and every single situation and it is seldom what you think since you (and by you I mean me) are bringing your own crap into every situation.

Be gentle! Be kind! Be open! Be honest! Be fair.

14 January 2014


Fear and anxiety are a part of life. If anyone tells you they have no fear, they are lying. Which means they either have a fear of vulnerability or of telling the truth ;)

Fear, and the anxiety that usually walks hand in hand with it, causes us to do a lot of terrible things to people that probably don't deserve it. We will strike out at people, push people away, use people, hurt people, and leave people, all because of our fears. I'm guilty.

Very recently several people have allowed their fear to cause me hurt, harm, and may cost me things I can never replace.

It has been difficult. Processing someone else's fear response, trying to forgive them for things said about me, assumptions made about my motivations, acts of violence committed against me and my character has been at times downright impossible. Partially because if these people would have taken the time to share their fears with me, I could have alleviated them, but mainly because their fear reactions have caused my own fears to be triggered as well.

Fear that I will be rejected, left alone. That I will lose someone I love dearly and that I will lose my livelihood.

My motivations are simple...I want to love and be loved. Basic human need. I want to heal hurts, change lives, make a difference in the World. I want to leave a legacy. I want my daughter to look at me and think "I'd love to be compared to her when I grow up". When you boil it all down though, I really just want to be loved and be able to love those people who love me in return.

A friend recently texted me that she is so afraid of being hurt by falling in love. I replied that in order to experience the thrill of loving and being loved, you have to be willing to risk being hurt.

Fear stops us from being authentic, from being perfectly us, with all of our imperfections. Our attempts to hide those imperfections, our fear that we will be found lacking, they cause our imperfections to be highlighted.

There is good fear, healthy fear. It causes us not to break the law, because we are afraid to go to prison. It causes us to lock our doors so we are not robbed, to avoid unsafe areas. Fear kicks in our self preservation and can be very healthy...

But when we let fear take over, when we allow it to stop us from being authentic... When we are too afraid to ask for what we need...we lose out. We aren't ourselves and how can we love and be loved if we aren't willing to be ourselves??

Who pays the price for our fear? Sure, we may strike out at someone, we may drive them away, we may keep ourselves from being hurt...but we may end up alone, miserable, untrusting, bitter, angry, trapped in a cage we created because we were too afraid to step out in fear and say "I need to be loved". In the end, who pays?

We do. Be gentle my friends. Be forgiving. Be fearless.