Honest, hope is a verb

living again

I got to hug my friend Joanna today for the first time in I don’t know how long and we both cried.

Joanna is someone I’ve known for almost 6 years and she’s a human being that I adore more than I can even describe. Joanna is a friend that is home to me. She tells me hard things, laughs with me and always reminds me of who I am; especially when I forget (this can also be copy/pasted to her husband who I let sit in my personal space today so that says a lot).

Moral of this story is everyone needs a Joanna.

But, the point of this is that I got to hug my friend Joanna, we cried and it reminded me that I’ve missed living.

I wrote the following words while sitting in church today.

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived.

I function. I survive. I move.

I exist.

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived.

I show up. I smile. I laugh.

I am here.

But I’m ready to live again.

I don’t what It looks like or what it feels like. I don’t know what it feels like anymore to live outside of surviving. I don’t know how to be myself outside of aggressive positivity.

I just know that I’m ready to live again.

To take a deep breath.

To try.

To be ok with feeling like I’m failing someone.

To be ok with letting someone down.

To be ok with not being enough for someone.

To be ok with all the things I have no control over.

I am ready to live again.

So that was a big woof.

I know it’s true. Between work and things happening around me and exhaustion and bad dreams I’ve been on autopilot. Attempting to aggressively encourage myself into life.

Knowing that I can, and I will do the damn thing. I will keep showing up.

I will keep moving forward.

But, sometimes, that doesn’t feel like living. Having to amp yourself up to do all the things. Having to push myself to keep my feet moving forward.

Desperately wanting the season I’m in to end so I can just catch my breath.

I’m just honestly tired of having to catch my breath.

I want you to know that living isn’t all flowers and hope and margaritas on a patio.

I want you to know that I know life isn’t always easy.

But, I want you to know that you are allowed to start living again even if you feel, like myself, that you aren’t allowed to do so.

I don’t know if someone has told you that or you have told yourself. I don’t know if you’ve lost the ability to live life each day because everything you must do gets in the way.

I also don’t know what living means to you; or honestly, to myself.

But, I’m going to keep moving forward and picking up the things that bring me hope and joy. I’m going to sit with the people that bring me life and remind me of who I am.

I am going to rest.

I don’t know if you need help living, I don’t know if you get a taste of life and then feel like you aren’t supposed too.

I don’t know if being hopeful terrifies you.

Or if choosing to live terrifies you.

But, I’m here with you. I’m an almost 36 year old who isn’t close to having any answers, but I’m just going to keep trying.

Just take a deep breath, make a list of things that bring you life and go from there.

Let’s show up for ourselves and see what happens.

Honest, hope is a verb

this ends with hope

I’m sitting here on my bed on a cloudy Sunday feeling a little foggy brained. I’m having one of those days in which I feel like I’m between so many thoughts, that I have emails I should answer and should write. I have laundry to do and trash to take out and lesson plans to write.

But I also feel like I have something to say.

It’s something I’ve said before and honestly, it’s something I say quite frequently. I’ve been realizing it more for myself recently and it’s starting to effect how I treat myself.

Here it is:

You matter.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: yah so? Or you’re thinking: what does that mean?

I spent a lot of my life/adult life believing the follow ‘truths’:

  1. My emotions aren’t valid.
  2. I could/should handle something on my own.
  3. Someone always has it worse so who was I to grieve or complain.

And if you’ve never lived like this or experienced this I just have to say that it is fricking heavy.

It’s heavy to believe you aren’t allowed to have feelings or that you don’t have space to process through a thing because someone has had a worse life.

Then throw in some incredibly toxic religious gaslighting about depending on God and to put things at foot of the cross and you never feel allowed to struggle.

I remember when I was going through some of the worst depression I ever had been through (About 12 years ago). It was the worst because I had never gone through it and also I believed something was wrong with me because crying at the cross every Sunday and praying for God to take it away wasn’t working.

I felt like there was something wrong with me and I had an inability to make it go away.

And because I had to fake happy and chipper because someone always had something much worse happening.

It was extremely hard for me in all facets of my life to believe that I mattered.

That was exactly what led me in the time frame to contemplate suicide. I felt like a robot. Like, what was the point of doing any of this if I just felt like I was being the shell of the person I was.

What was the point of talking about my feelings if they didn’t seem to matter to others or to God.

What was the point of talking through it if all I heard back was that I just needed to trust God.

What was the point of being alive if I felt that I was just put on the planet to help other people and be a shell of a human?

Thankfully in that season I had an incredibly good therapist who helped me answer some of those questions and gave me tools for battling through when it felt like I didn’t matter.

I have gotten so much better at boundaries and taking time for myself. I don’t do well with guilt, I don’t do well with people telling me to do something or to give something to God and it will go away (because spoiler alert: that’s not how God works).

Honestly, I usually don’t do well with people telling me to pray about something.

Let’s be honest: I can usually feel when I am being ridiculous. There is a twinge in my spirit that tells me “Just stop meg”. I also, thankfully have friends that tell me those things as well.

But the joy of being an elder millennial and an elder millennial who spent years in youth group and at a Christian college is that we spent a lot of time being emotionally manipulated and then told when we had those feelings that they were because we were sinful or had “opened a door” to something.

Essentially, we were told that we as humans, didn’t matter.

And if we don’t believe that we matter, then why should we think other people care or truthfully, why should we think God cares?

And if that’s the case: what’s the point of it all?

Well have no fear because I’m here to tell you some things to end this on.

You fucking matter.

You are loved immensely.

No matter what.

Your emotions are created, not a burden. They are for you but not the manipulation of others.

Your brain can sometimes be a douchebag and that’s not your fault.

You fucking matter.

Your story is needed.

It has a point.

Don’t compare trauma.

Take time to grieve.

And if you are around people who don’t give you space for that?

Leave.

Because, once again, you fucking matter.

And also; less aggressively so:

There is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, hope.

That’s all.

That’s it.

With all the love and belief in your belief in yourself,

Meg

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it’s not a participation trophy.

I’ve lived most of my life thinking that I am too much.

That I am too sensitive.

That I am too much of a burden.

That I take up too much space.

That I talk too much.

That I’m around too much.

That I’m needy.

The list goes on and on.

It’s an aggressively hard thing to balance.

Being too much and also being not enough. That feeling that being who you are is too much for another human and that at the same time also not being enough to measure up to whatever hypothetical thing they have in their heads about who you should be.

I’m pretty proud of the woman I’m becoming. I speak my mind, I am a good friend, I can be slightly terrifying, I’m a hard worker and I’m constantly in the process of expanding who I am and what I believe.

But lately it seems like every corner of the world is responding back to my actions with either “You are too much” or “You are not enough.”

And if I’m being honest; I’m getting damn exhausted from it.

I know that there are probably some of you reading these words and maybe, just maybe, want to tell me that Christ should be enough. Or try to tell me that I am enough.

Or you’re reading this and you want to tell those who communicate to me that I am not enough to fuck off.

It’s not that simple.

We currently live in a world of boxes. Boxes we do or don’t fit into too. Molds that aren’t accessible.

To do lists that will never be fully checked off in a 24-hour period.

Jobs that can never be put to bed.

Shame that is so subtle no one would ever know it’s shame.

Constant reminders that rest and vacations cause problems and working 40 hours a week isn’t enough.

And guilt that we aren’t allowed to stop.

I guess I wanted to write all these words on a page to feel less crazy. Not that I want to give the voice in my brain power to continually tell me these things, not that I want to sit in that emotion.

I want to say them, type them because I know (beyond a shadow of a doubt), that I am not the only one that feels this way. I know that I am not the only one who feels like they have to shrink down sometimes or who feels as if they will never be enough to get into the secret club.

I want to type them out, for you, whomever you are, to remember that you are not alone.

That you ARE enough.

And that you are exactly you are supposed to be.

And that sadly to some, you are too much, and you aren’t enough.

But, that’s a them problem, not a you problem.

And if right now, in this moment, you don’t feel enough for yourself I want you to write 5 things you like about yourself.

Here; I’ll go first:

  1. I love really well.
  2. I’m a caring teacher.
  3. I’m an epic cheerleader of the humans in my life.
  4. I’m a hard worker.
  5. I’m flexible.

See. That was only slightly cringe inducing for me; but I did it.

So please, write a list. If you know me and need to share said list with someone- send it to me.

If you need a reminder that other people don’t define your enough-ness or aren’t in charge of the space you take up- holler at me.

This isn’t about participation trophies and getting accolades. This is about walking in exactly who we are- whomever that may be. And choosing to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are that person for a reason.

That’s it.

That’s all.

With love and an aggressive attitude towards your belief in yourself and your self worth,

Meg

Honest, tiny human teacher, To dream

A letter to my future children

To my future children,

I don’t have you and I’m going to be completely frank: I don’t really want you.

I have struggled on Mother’s day in the recent years. And each year I find myself thinking of you- of the fictional children that people believe I so desperately want.

But back to that honesty; I have no desire to replicate myself at all.

I don’t really want you.

I know you are wondering why I am writing this letter to you and what’s the point of me telling you I didn’t really want you-I’ll get there, I promise. Just stay with me.

Over the course of the last 15 years I have taken care of, pastored, mentored, coached, taught over 1,000 kiddos from all ages. I’ve worked for preschools and churches and non-profits. I’ve known a lot of kids. I also know all the names I will NEVER call you and the ways I will and won’t raise you.

But, you don’t exist and that’s ok.

I have changed diapers, cleaned cuts, cuddled toddlers with 104 fevers. I’ve been puked on, pooped on, peed on, bit, hit, cussed out.

While I have the ability to go home and drink a glass of wine in silence every night I still have voices in my head and worries and stress from so many different kids.

And that’s why the last few years, especially on Mother’s day, I’ve been stuck between worlds. The world of feeling like a mom but not being one. The world of wanting to take care of my own tiny humans and the world of having absolutely no desire to do so.

Not to mention the fact that as I write this letter I am almost 36 and have no possible husband material in front of me.

(And before anyone reading this says I could have children on my own, please just don’t)

So, back to the point:

Kids, I don’t want you.

(Here’s the but)

BUT

If you are actually reading this, as my daughter or son 15 or 20 years from now, you need to know something desperately important.

You are so loved.

The fact that you are alive means that something occurred in my life that was incredibly lovely and possibly surprising.

The fact that you are alive means I have gotten the chance to see how I am as a parent. I probably got frustrated that my nap techniques didn’t work or felt relieved that I’ve given the Heimlich to toddlers more. It means I was sufficiently grateful for all my knowledge of child development and that children are far less breakable than we think.

The fact that you are alive means I’ve met a love I’ve never known.

But, if you aren’t reading this, if you don’t exist, If this just stays on the internet to read by random strangers who pass by my corner of the internet, I want the random stranger to know that I am not less whole because you don’t exist.

I don’t feel as if I’m not leaving a legacy.

I don’t feel as if I’m not giving all the love into the world I can.

I guess, my point it, my dear non-existent future children is that you are whole.

No matter what relationship you are in or not in. Whether you want children or not.

And I just ask, that out of that wholeness, you give something away, you create something, you love something.

Figure out how you are going to put yourself out into the world.

Figure out how you are going to leave your footprint on the world.

How you are going to love yourself despite what the world may or may not say you need in order to do that.

To my future children,

You are already loved- even if you don’t ever exist.

With love,

Me

Honest

you didn’t do this to yourself.

It’s a thundering heart, shaky hands, trying to avoid looking at my computer screen kind of Sunday, so let’s just go.

I had a dream on Thursday that didn’t set in that I had had it until I was walking to work on Friday. The dream was I was in this mall which was half a trendy mall and half an indoor southeast Asian marketplace (if you know, you know).

I’m in this mall FREQUENTLY in my dreams. It’s not a real mall, but I always know cognitively in my dream that it’s the mall I’m always at, be it in the SE Asian street market area or the trendy area.

This time, I was wandering in the mall by myself when I felt a man’s hand on the small of my back. I froze and glanced over as he pushed me forward and told me to hand my phone to someone and he just kept pushing me forward.

We ended up in a food court area sitting in a corner, he had his back to the wall and mine was to everyone else and he just kept telling me how this was my fault; that I must have wanted this.

He repeatedly told me the following:

“You did this to yourself.”

Over and over and over.

And I just sat there. Letting those words wash over me. The loud sounds of the food court became muted and I just heard this guy telling me that I had chosen this. I had been complicit.

I had done THIS to myself.

When I remembered the dream while walking to work Friday, I physically stopped, took a deep breath, and shook it out of my brain. When I was telling my roommate about this dream, I didn’t truly realize how much those words hit me. And when he got Pastor Benjamin with me, I was tired and didn’t want to feel how much they hit my heart.

“I did this to myself” crosses so many lines in my life, so many places, so many choices.

It pushes into my belief that people will leave. It pushes into my belief that I’m not enough. It pushes into my belief that I’ll always be alone. It pushes into my belief that I’m not capable.

It pushes into me.

I’ve come a long damn way in the last five years of my life.

I do my best to not allow toxic influences in my life, I have leaned into who I am as a human, not caring if it goes against what people think of me.

I try to brush off the bullshit and not let myself anxiety spiral into oblivion.

It’s just hard sometimes.

And it truly does feel on some days that I did this to myself. That I allowed words to hurt and actions to sting me.

It feels somedays that I’m not strong enough.

A week or so ago I was working in the kitchen at my early learning center. It was a chaotic day, my classroom was full and I wasn’t there, I was attempting to prepare 2 other meals separate of the one for that moment and a little voice wormed it’s way into my brain.

It said, “Well maybe you just aren’t a hard worker if you can’t do two jobs at one time. Maybe, you aren’t good enough for this.”

And I stopped cutting bananas, set my knife down and stepped back.

I gave my brain a harsh, ”Hell no.” and I kept working.

Because it’s literally ridiculous to think, specifically in that moment where I was doing a job that isn’t in my job description and also my own job, that I wasn’t a hard worker.

I’ve been told that I’m lazy, that I don’t work hard and those things stir up every once in a while to tell me I’m not doing enough.

Those words I feel like I brought on myself.

I let them stay.

I let them happen.

I let them bring me pain.

I did it to myself.

Some days it’s harder to grapple with than others.

(and here’s the “but”)

BUT, damn, watch me keep moving.

Watch me keep remind you that we can get through this.

Watch me remind you that you are stronger than those voices in your head.

Because you are.

We are.

And that’s exactly why I share the words that sometime feel cringy or too much to share for me.

I want you to remember you aren’t alone.

That you can stop chopping bananas and tell that voice in your head that it’s a liar.

There are days the memories and the voices and the words of my past are too much. There are days that there is practically a skywriter following me simply with the words above me telling me that I did this to myself.

That I made the choices to believe lies for so long that now they are just a part of who I am.

And that if I don’t hold it the fuck together than it’s all going to fall apart.

I became the glue myself.

I did it to myself and I must live with it.

And that’s just not true.

It’s not true for me, it’s not true for you.

There’s a lot of noise these days, a lot of people around us telling us to be more. A lot of comparison and a lot of measuring up.

There are a lot of people telling us what’s wrong with you and that whatever it is; we did it to ourselves and they are the only ones who have the magic formula to fix it.

I’m here to tell you that’s not the way it works.

I’m here to tell you who you are.

I’m here to tell you that you bring good into the world.

I’m here to tell you that you’ve been resilient and sometimes it was hard but look at what you’ve done.

Look what you can do.

We got this.

Tears and all on a Sunday morning.

With love,

Meg

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faith is not ikea furniture

I’m currently working on a fiction story.

I’ve been working on it since 2014 when my faith and the church around me felt like it was crumbling.

I had just come home from the World Race which was this intense year of life where I pushed through things that I probably shouldn’t have just pushed through. I was carrying stories in my backpack that I didn’t need to be carrying.

I didn’t know how to start processing through the things I was carrying. I didn’t know what I felt.

All I knew is that my faith felt broken and I needed to figure out what to do about that.

So, I started writing.

My story begins with the end. It begins with the main character Vera, walking away from the church. Filling up boxes and moving away from a life that she had always lived because she realized that all it had done was hurt her.

She packed things up though because she wasn’t throwing everything away. She knew that there were parts of her that had been made with that life that she didn’t want to get rid of. She wasn’t going to throw the baby out with the bath water, but she was going to for sure change the water.

I wrote that story more throughout my time in Spain and over the years I’ve revisited it here and there.

This past three weeks I’ve worked on it every single day.

And it’s been bringing up stuff that I didn’t realize I held onto.

Here’s the bottom line: I didn’t realize the depths of my church/religious trauma.

Because this is the thing about writing fiction (at least for me); the story comes from the places deep inside that need to be made sense of. They come from the places that are twisty and the only way in which I can untwist them is to put them outside of myself and start writing.

Then, like the lights that you put on your Christmas tree, they slowly start to become a string of lights and not a tangled mess.

And you begin to see what lights are out from the last Christmas, places where the garland wouldn’t untangle or even maybe remnants of last year’s tree.

You can’t discover those things unless you sufficiently detangle the lights.

Sometimes you don’t realize something is broken until you put it next to something that isn’t broken.

Sometimes you don’t realize something hurt you until you start talking about it in a fictional sense and realize that you feel deeper about it.

When the storytelling begins to not be storytelling anymore.

I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do with the stories I have that feel heavy or who I might need to talk to.

I know I have situations and people from my past that I need to let go of. I know there are people I need to write letters to that I will never send.

I know that there are spaces where I was told to be quiet and I was and I still am.

There are things that I believed to be true, that aren’t.

There are words that have shamed me into believing I wasn’t enough that are all the way from when I was a teenager in high school youth group.

Or moments where they sat high schoolers in a room and had them watch a terrfying movie about “the rapture” so we lived in fear of not living up to a standard that was even there.

There are farfetched relationship ideals that I don’t believe I can ever reach too.

There are intense shameful parameters around sex that have warped my brain.

There has been church leadership that never supported me and told me to just listen to God.

Spiritual “authorities” that told me my depression was sinful and that I didn’t trust enough.

Men who told me I shouldn’t speak, or that I didn’t hear from God and that I should just stay in women’s ministry or children’s ministry.

And sometimes these things make me angry. Not all the time, just sometimes and in very specific instances.

But I’m choosing, as I chose for my main character, to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I just need fresh water.

Because there are things that I want to keep and hold.

And things I just don’t need anymore.

So Vera and I are walking this together. When I write out a scene I go back later and meet with it.

I see if we have anything in common. I see if it hits me between the eyes. And if it does? I sit with it. If it doesn’t? I still sit with it because it came from somewhere.

So that’s where I am today. I wrote this at the end of watching church from couch and I currently have worship music playing and it isn’t causing a reaction within me.

Do I still ferociously scroll past jesus tiktok? Yes. Do I swipe away from men who talk about ‘Jesus’ in their dating profile?

Also yes.

My faith has dramatically changed since Meghan the high schooler who sang on the worship team and went to youth group every Sunday night and went on mission trips to Mexico on spring break, and attending Christian concerts and music festivals.

I’ve been on mission trips to 13 countries and attending a Christian university, I’ve worked at three churches at one time.

And even though parts of those things hurt me and changed pieces of me in ways I might not get back, there are moments that I don’t want to give away either.

The beautiful thing about something breaking is that when you put it back together again you can choose different.

You can choose to see the pieces in a different way and create something new.

Faith is not a piece of Ikea furniture.

You can get creative.

So, this is where I live now. Continuing to write a fiction story that is helping me unearth and replant things, that’s help me to clean up and see the beauty in certain places.

Emptying my head of the Christmas lights to find out which are broken and deciding which strands can be fixed and which need to be tossed.

If you’re on this journey and need to throw all the lights out and start fresh- do it. If you need to be like me and replace the broken bulbs with new ones- do it.

There isn’t a science to building up what was broken.

Once again; faith is not a piece of Ikea furniture.

Be creative and kind to yourself.

With love,

Meg

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a slightly aggressive love letter

I have to admit when I got this idea this morning I internally rolled my eyes. Because as a single human on Valentine’s day it feels incredibly cliché.

But, sometimes the most clich’ things are the most true things so like…here we go.

A love letter to myself.

To the badass that is Meg Reeve,

Wow, honestly wow. I am having trouble articulating how far you’ve come, how much more comfortable you are in your own skin.

How, shockingly so, the last year has been a game changer.

I know you’re sitting there, alone, in your cozy chair with a mimosa that holds a half a bottle of champagne and you’re contemplating what takeout you’re going to treat yourself to, as you ponder the words you’re saying to yourself.

But man, look at you.

You’ve come a long from the girl who didn’t really know who she was in college, who was constantly questioning her worth inwardly, who just didn’t really know how the fierceness she held.

And I know. I know that comparison is a rough game. I know it pops up more than you’d like it to. I know sometimes that the comparison game hurts your soul.

But, man. You’re doing it.

I know that your closet is filled with clothes you’d never even thought yourself capable of wearing. You have own more two piece bathing suits then one pieces.

You are truly living up to the “wear what makes you feel good” mantra you came into all those years ago.

You’ve surrounded yourself with people who never cease to hype you up and cause you to be the self you never thought capable of being.

I’m proud of you.

And I adore the woman you’re becoming.

I know you’ve spent a lot of years saying you don’t need xyz, but not truly believing it. I know you’ve spent a lot of years choosing to be stronger than you have the capacity to be.

And even though you are still rolling your eyes at typing these words out something in you is so hoping that they won’t just be for you but for someone else who needs hyping up and a reminder that they are all they need.

You’ve taken a long time to come to that headspace. You aren’t perfect at it (but who is).  You’ve had points in your life that have hindered who you are and you’ve been fighting to get those pieces back.

I know that it hasn’t been easy. You’ve had to prove to yourself that you’re worth getting those things back.

Spoiler alert: you still are worth getting those things back.

So keep fucking going.

That’s all.

I love you more than I can say.

(and I know that hasn’t always been the case)

Now order yourself some fancy take out and watch the third “To all the boys I’ve loved” while curled up in your bed.

With love.

Always,

Meg

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This is who I am.

Sometimes being a single mid-thirties woman is really, really hard.

It’s funny. Before I could even type that sentence, I had to scroll back through my previous words and make sure that this is something I hadn’t said recently.

Because to talk about being single as a single person, is sort of taboo.

You can be seen as complaining or whining. People have all sorts of advice if you talk about it ever. They tell you all the things you should try (even though, they as a married human they might not have had to try said things to find their human).

Or they tell you that you are so lucky that you get to be single and wow look at all the things you can do.

Sometimes, (more than sometimes in my case) they tell you to lose weight and maybe that will help.

Or you get the person that tells you to trust Jesus more.

Or to not be so picky.

What I’m trying to say is that people have opinions.

And I’ve been realizing how much those opinions have caused me doubt and caused me to not believe in my self and caused me to step away from parts of who I am because it felt like too much.

Do I believe that there is a man out there for me who is going to open my doors because he knows it pisses me off and is going to force me to drink water and actually eat food because he loves me?

Yes. Absolutely.

But, if for some reason I don’t meet him for another ten years am I going to be ok?

Yes. Absolutely.

I’ve spent most of my adult life on the outskirts of other people’s relationships. Combined over the course of the last 14 years I have probably spent an entire wedding budget on weddings and baby showers.

I’ve dealt with, re-dealt with and dealt with again that currently I am no one’s first choice (this isn’t a bash to me, it’s just what it is.)

I’ve been hurt by men, I’ve been stood up, walked away from, made fun of.

I haven’t always been able to trust.

(I still don’t super trust, but those are other words for another day).

I am a self proclaimed strong independent woman who don’t need no man.

Yes, this seems like a stereotype and maybe it is. Maybe I come across as closed off and unwilling to get hurt again.

Maybe.

But it’s also just who I am. Not single, not out on a man hunt, but just a woman who gets up each day and takes care of herself and when her head hits the pillow she gets to lay across the whole bed and use all the blankets.

I’m grateful for the humans in my life who walk with me. For the ones that continually build me up. For the ones that remind me who I am despite how I sometimes speak to myself.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to an Instagram account called “The Naked Pastor” and he’s been talking about singleness in the church and one of his posts was about microagressions directed at single women. And one of them hit me in the eyes:

instagram: @nakedpastor

And I’ve realized how frequently in “the church” or in ministries I’ve been involved in that my singleness was because I was too much. I was too independent, too heavy, too busy. I’ve been told that I am/was single because I am too caring. That I give too much.

I’ve been told I was single because I don’t need to be in a relationship (and well, yes, that’s true- it’s just not up to someone else to decide that.).

I understand that this isn’t the only phase of life where people have opinions. Marriage, houses, babies. But, this is the one that I can obviously commentate on, so here I am.

I want to ask you that if you’ve ever told someone one of those things, it’s ok. If you’ve ever told me one of those things, or given me your opinion on my singleness: it’s ok.

We’re all human, we all at some part of our being just care.

And if you are a single 30-something women (or man), I want you to know I see you. I raise a glass to you.

You’re doing the damn thing.

PS: To everyone out there, please, for the love of God- don’t call my singleness brave.

Honest, I choose champagne

I miss writing in bars.

The title really hasn’t nothing to do with this blog. It’s just really true.

And I’m tired.

And I’m kind of sick of saying that.

Now, before you come at me with SO MANY obvious ways I could have more energy-I want you to know that I know them all. (please don’t come for me MLMs)

My tired isn’t a physical tired. (I mean it is. I am physically tired and no amount of espresso helps that.)

My soul is tired. My insides. And I know I’m not alone.

I don’t state I’m tired, or that I’ve had a long day, week or that 3 year olds are depleting the Miss Meg magic out of me for sympathy.

I state it because all I’ve wanted in my adult life is for other people to know that they aren’t alone.

That’s honestly in my unwritten mission statement that you, my friend or whomever is reading this, is not alone.

I spent a lot of my growing up feeling incredibly alone.

I was made fun of and picked on so much it was honestly easier to just be alone. If I had my 7th grade year book with me I could take a picture of a picture inside. I had on an oversized polo, my probably slightly permed hair was in a pony tail and my bangs were shaggy over my face and I had big glasses on and I was holding a book at lunch. I decided after too many lunches of feeling outcast from the people I knew from youth group that it was just easier to have a book with me from the library and find a quiet corridor that didn’t have a lot of people that normally passed by and eat my lunch alone.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve obviously come out of my shell more, I’ve gained and lost friends and gained some back again. I have beautiful people in my life from all walks.

But, every once and awhile that lonely feeling cuts through me and I see that 7th grade girl who was never anyone’s first choice. I see a someone who lived as a perpetual third wheel. I see someone who was never enough.

I see someone who has this tiny voice in the back of her brain that tells her that this will be the thing, this is the thing where they leave. This tiny voice that reminds me that I am not the first choice. I am just good old reliable single Meghan who will always be there.

And once again; I don’t say for sympathy or for “oh that’s not true” (I know it’s not true, it just FEELS true in my brain sometimes).

I say it, for the reminder that whatever narrative plays in your brain from past or current situations that you believe states something about who you are is not who you are.

You are not the lies that come from the actions other people have done to you.

And I know.

I know believing those lies is so much easier than forcing them away.

Believing that you were hurt because of not being enough or because you did something to cause that person to act that way is so much easier.

Believing that people will run away like the girls did in fifth grade and will talk behind your back in high school is easier than getting hurt again.

Believing that we can never be more than we are is easier than trying to be more than we are.

Believing you are alone or single or without is much easier than allowing yourself to be loved.

And being invisible is much easier than being seen.

So…what do we do?

This morning my pastor brought up questions. Questions we ask God, questions we ask ourselves, each other- etc. But he also asked what questions is God asking you.

Now, I’m going to be honest, my moments with God and time in prayer is few and far between. I’m a questioner, a challenger and many other things in those conversations. I struggle with having a hope for a God that people use for hate. Because, that isn’t my Jesus and it’s something that’s a current ongoing conversation in my brain and heart.

But, clear as day, this morning I heard. “Well, will you keep going?”

And I thought for a moment- maybe it’s in terms of current life. Maybe it was my ability to keep doing the damn thing, day in and out. Even when I don’t feel like a badass preschool teacher. Even when I don’t feel like I have any Miss Meg magic. Even when I feel like I’m doing everything but my job.

As I began writing these words that apparently had a life of their own, I heard it again: “Well, will you keep going?”

Sometimes (a lot of the times) I feel as if I am too much. Like, people don’t want to walk along this with me and people know they aren’t alone and I should just stop wasting words.

So, will I keep going?

I can see myself not always being a Miss Meg.

I can see myself not always being in Washington.

I can see myself (this is a stretch) not always being single.

But, for the life of me, I cannot see myself choosing to bring myself to a place where I stop reminding people they aren’t alone.

I cannot see myself coming to a place where I stop putting pieces of myself out there in an effort for even just one person to know they aren’t alone.

And I can state without a doubt that you have things inside of you that you’ve stepped back from or though t was too much or didn’t want to do anymore because you felt it has no point.

It has a point.

It’s who you are.

It’s as simple and complicated as that.

So, I guess I pose my question from God to you.

Will you keep going?

And I really, really hope you do.

With love,

Meg

back to the barre, Honest

Dear 2021: No, I’m good, thank you.

I’m sitting here plopping back and forth between two very distinctly different topics. One a soap box and one more personal.

Because ye gods, it’s been a frickin week.

I have a lot of anger, hurt and sadness. It’s not just from what’s happening in our world, though that’s a part of it. But, I think that I’m going to back away from the soap box and let that simmer a minute.

I had a moment this week where something happened in what felt like an instance and I’ve now had in the back of my head since said moment a couple tricky little sentence that used to haunt me much more than they do now.

I’m sure you’ve heard these sentences, these questions. I’m sure they have danced around your brain once or twice.

It’s “Did I not do enough?”

And then the follow-up: “Was what I did, what I do even worth it?”.

I’m a feeler, I’m a listener. I’m someone who tries to extend more grace than I think I’m capable of.

I desire for others to be better for themselves and I want people to know they can succeed. I want to encourage those around me. I want to help them find ways to show up for themselves.

I want to step back and watch them do all the things for themselves.

So, after this week, I had to take a moment to ask myself why.

And I as I sit here comfy on my couch, thinking about it and what I’ve learned in my life, and thinking about my word of the year (shift). I realize that this is one place I need to shift my thinking.

Shift is for a lot of things honestly. It’s a little aggravating, it’s a little bit empowering.

It’s active.

It’s something I can put into motion from a lot of different places.

I get told frequently; at times weekly that I need to have the amount of grace for myself as I have for other people.

I get reminded to “take care of myself” and to “rest”.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been told repetitively to believe in myself like I believe in others.

Believing in yourself is a weird thing.

So, in the summer of 2020 I applied for a job.

It was a remote job that involved writing content for a company that deals in early childhood development. The job ad literally flew off the screen at me with the qualifications being a BA in English and early childhood development experience.

Umm, hi. What?

I submitted a resume and a cover letter and felt hopeful.

This job was made for me, right?

I had a phone interview the day before we went on our summer family vacation and I was stoked to leave on vacation after this interview because maybe that would cultivate some hope that I was lacking.

After the 30-minute phone interview I felt no hope. I felt like I had no writing experience, that all my EC knowledge was trash and that I wasn’t good enough. They asked me to write a spec, but before I could send said spec in, they let me know that I didn’t need to and they were going another way.

The light, the momentary spark I felt was gone.

I had a moment of “this is why we can’t have nice things”.

“This is why I don’t believe in myself.”

And I KNOW that sounds incredibly dramatic for one job, one time, one moment.

But, in all reality it’s probably something that holds me back more than I’d like to admit.

One of the things I’d like to do is shift back to believing in myself.

I still want to believe in others like I do. I still want to choose to show up for other people in a way that reminds them that they can do the damn thing.

I just think it’s time to remember that I can do the damn thing.

And just maybe, that will proof to other people that I can do it.

Take my bestie Tori. She is CRUSHING that taking care of her body thing. And each week, with each small victory she has, I am also reminded that I can accomplish things that feel hard too.

Her choosing herself reminds me to do so.

I want to choose belief in myself to remind others they can too.

So, even though this week I was hit with a dump truck of “you didn’t do enough” I am reminded that I did what I was supposed to do. I chose belief and encouragement and grace.

I am choosing to shift back from what I maybe didn’t do, to what I know I did.

And I’m choosing this year to believe I can do the damn thing.

And not just to believe, but to do it.

At the end of this year, I want to look back and see a sea of words that reminds me and shows me that I believed in myself.

How will you believe in yourself this year?

(And please, remember that believing in yourself is a daily choice. And it’s choosing to be active in that belief.)

For me being in active in that belief is as hard and simple as choosing to be words on a page in the form of a story that’s been in my head and scattered on papers for 7 years.

That’s how I’m going to believe this year.

That’s how I’m going to shift.

We can do it.

I believe in us.

And, most importantly, I believe in myself.