Yesterday was the memorial service for Gram. She will be missed dearly. The whole family was there, many who I haven’t seen in a while, as well as friends of hers who it was nice to meet for the first time. The service was just what she wanted (she literally planned it out before she passed away!) We sang her favorite hymns and I read one of her favorites, Psalm 100. People shared delightful and amusing stories of her. Afterwards, there was a slideshow and a collection of photos from her life. There was also some of her favorite foods — ice cream, pie, and candy. And we did the Schnitzelbank in her honor! Her spirit was certainly present through all the laughter and celebration of her life!
Today, I turn 25-years old!
As I reflect upon these past twelve months, I feel I have made a total transformation. I’ve learned a lot and I continue to grow each year. As you get older, you can either get bitter or get better.
You should never judge what the universe has handed you. Everyone is unique and we all experience different situations. You should never compare your life to others, or the life you picture in your head.
You should be grateful for everything that gets thrown your way, everything you experience. The universe gives you gifts and it would be rude to decline or criticize what is handed to you, even if the packaging is falling apart and the gift is not what you pictured in your head.
If you open your mind wide enough, you can be thankful for each gift — without judgment. You were born to live a special and unique life. You were not born to fit a mold or do what everyone else is doing. You came here to get messy, get dirty, get scars — not to be perfect. It takes a lot of bravery to enjoy your life.
Thinking positive or negative is a choice. When you are down in the dumps, just let yourself feel the pain. Let yourself think that your life is miserable and always will be. Ride those waves. You will be surprised to see that it is only a matter of time before you feel refreshed and happy again.
I have thought a lot about expression and how we express ourselves. I realized how much I appreciate genuine emotion, even if it comes out “negative.” I understand why I act the way I do. I’ve thought a lot about how my unconscious actions can affect others, and how I can be more conscious of my behavior. I’ve thought about how we stand up for ourselves and how we draw boundaries. I’ve reflected upon good intentions that get interpreted negatively.
I feel like this is the year that I had to rebuild my confidence, tare it down and start from scratch. I’ve embarrassed myself so many times but I don’t regret it. I’m proud to say I’ve put my soul out there, and I’ve been judged and shamed for it, but I grew through it and learned how to defend myself and value my own opinion over anyone else’s. If you aren’t making a fool of yourself, then you’re not even living. You have to take risks and chances. People will be intimidated at worst, but inspired at best.
I’m ready for a new beginning!
I was trying to brainstorm what I would write for this week’s Throwback Thursday, and coincidentally my old high school buddy, Sam, sent me these ancient pictures of us!
This is us from a senior year class trip to upstate NY where we went on a beautifully strenuous hike. Everyone else was rushing ahead while our group was the slowest because we were taking in the views. I can’t believe how many years it’s been; it feels like just yesterday.
This is us junior year, for my sweet sixteen! We went to Woodloch Pines (where I recently visited with my sister, last spring!) It was a small group of close friends. Good time had by all!
And this is us freshmen year! We were babies! It was at a football game back. We have always bonded over our love of Autumn! Actually, all three photos are from the fall season!
This weekend I flew to Chicago with my family to visit the brother. I have visited a few times before, but it’s been a couple years. The hotel we stayed in was very unique with a lovely minimal/rustic aesthetic. It had a rooftop bar with a beautiful view.
We went on an official donut tour on Saturday morning. We had a tour guide (Mimi) take us around several blocks, making stops at four different donut places for samples. Mimi gave us a lot of fun facts about the city. At the end, there were trivia questions, and I won a “donut champion” sticker!
My favorite place was “Ipsento,” which is Latin for “self discovery.” Their donuts are made with sweet potatoes. Here, we sampled a maple donut and my all-time favorite of the whole tour: the cyanne pepper donut! Sweet and spicy!
Traveling can be stressful and exhausting, but it was a good time! I’m already quite homesick and can’t wait to go back to my cat. 😺
My parents came to visit and we had a fun day doing brunch, walking through the center of town, browsing the shops, stopping for drinks at Starbucks, and visiting the art museum. It was a day full of pleasant surprises.
We stopped at the book store and were given raffle tickets, promoting the release of “Dangerous Kisses, Gruesome Bites” — a horror love story by local author. I was shocked that I won the grand prize! I won an Amazon Fire, notebook, and copy of the ebook! WOOOO!!!
The art museum was really nice! My favorite part was the outdoor section.
We have all gone through times when we lose ourselves. When we try so hard to impress someone that we end up doing the opposite. Because if somebody actually likes you then they will appreciate you for who you are. And you need to be yourself. But this is easy to forget.
Sometimes it’s a really great thing to lose yourself because it makes you truly understand the person who you actually are. You may be fighting hard for something that you don’t even want. Exhausting yourself and not getting any energy back in return.
When you finally do come back to yourself, things make more sense. During childhood when you felt pressured to change yourself and struggle with it, you eventually realize that there was a good reason you were built the way you were. And all your “flaws” people tried to tell you that you had, were actually your greatest threats to them.
Theres so much pressure to please others. We go out of our way to make someone happy, who doesnt even care. And then the people who do care — you take it for granted and take all that stress out on them. One day they will be gone and may never realize how much they meant to you.
Getting too tied up in other people’s energies gives me brain fog. I lose clarity and focus — which is really the exact opposite of who I am. It’s not selfish to pull yourself back or set boundaries. We all need space to recharge — some more than others.
People will get offended when you draw lines. And while that anger may be a valid emotion, it should not be used in a manipulative way to repair your bruised ego. We have all had moments when we crossed someone’s line and let that be a lesson for anyone else who tries to do that to you.
Everyone makes mistakes but not everyone can learn from them. I don’t think it’s ever too late to start over. Also I don’t think there is a limit for how many times you start over. Whenever you are feeling hopelessly stuck, it is the time to make purposeful changes. If you want to see a change in your environment then you have to start with changing from within.
And all of these “changes” are actually the things that bring you back to your sense of self. It was the person you have been all along, before everyone else told you who you needed to be. It is in your core and will never be truly lost.
You need to be the person you are meant to be. It will offend a lot of people — the ones who don’t care, the ones who judge and critique, the ones who wish they had courage to be themselves. But it will open your eyes to who actually matters.
So many people just want things from you. Whether it be emotional energy such as constant validation or ego strokes, or physical energy such as your time or money. It’s not okay to keep giving these things with nothing in return. You don’t owe anyone anything, which may be hard for some to accept, but we have all been on both sides of the spectrum. We know it’s immediately hurtful when people draw lines, but in the long term it leads to respect.
It’s uncomfortable to stand your ground which is why so many choose not to. It takes work to open up your eyes and see your surroundings for what they are. This is what it means to turn off autopilot and expand your awareness. When you sleep through your life, you let the wrong people take from you and you don’t give enough to the ones who genuinely deserve it. Are you just satisfying people’s egos or are you telling them to wake up and see their own souls? There are times when you need to put your own ego at risk of looking bad in order to truly cultivate soul growth, which is exactly what this planet needs.
I am writing this for myself because I need to remind myself. It’s so easy to forget. But I hope that anyone else can understand. If you ever feel stuck then that’s how you know you’ve fallen into a habit of making solely subconscious decisions. We underestimate how much we are controlled by our subconscious and therefore sabatoge ourselves.
If you want to have awareness then you are going to need enough energy to keep your eyes open. I’m not talking about chugging caffeine to make it through the day. I’m talking about the type of energy that comes from your heart, the things that excite you and give you life. Surrounding yourself with people who respect you. If you want to figure out who cares, it’s not those who say it through words — but through little details that you can only pick up on if you care enough.
We all have to make it through the mundane. So when I am talking about excitement, it does not necessarily refer to a flashy and glamorous lifestyle. Life is a heavy thing and all of that Hollywood big city glamour is a distraction and cannot compare to the satisfaction of excitement that bubbles from deep within the soul.
And so, I remind myself that truth is the way. My indecisiveness disappears as I become aware of my surroundings and my own self.
I dyed my hair rainbow! I ordered the kit from Arctic Fox and colored it myself. Now I can finally say that I have tried every single color!
The process was simple. I have wanted rainbow hair for a while but always assumed I’d need a professional to do it. I was browsing Arctic Fox for a new color and when I saw there was a limited edition rainbow kit sale I knew I had to just go for it. I started with my roots and used one dye at a time, with many glove changes in between.