Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne

my 2020 confession

I have a confession to make which should surprise no one who knows me at all.

I am a doormat.

And, before you stop what you are doing to text me (if you know me, don’t text me if you don’t- how do you have my number?) I want to say, I don’t say this in self-hatred or belittling. It’s just true.

I sit here grappling with a quote I’ve heard and read over and over again:

“You are what you tolerate” or “What you allow will continue”

(I’ve tried to find some original sources for those, so if you have them let me know- mostly I just find them as a Michael Scott quote where he quotes himself quoting Wayne Gretsky.)

I want to talk to you about what goes on inside my head when I am a being a doormat.

I believe that people who aren’t doormats, who don’t understand what it’s like to be a doormat, what it’s like to have the trains of thought running in your head of what you might want to say or do versus what you actually say or do. I want people to understand that this is sometimes an hourly battle in my brain.

I also want to note that I am a 2 on the enneagram- not an excuse but just a note to remember. Twos are the helper. They get fulfilled by being needed (obviously not always healthy). Twos build resentment easily when others don’t meet the needs that they don’t ever verbalize. They also on the flip side don’t want to be a burden or allow others to help them.

My brain is a tangled web guys.

For instance, last week, I was sitting on my couch texting my work wife/ love of my life Victoria. And at one point as she told me some hard things that I needed to hear, I said that I loved her for dealing with me.

(This was the wrong thing to day to Victoria and she immediately called me out on said statement).

So let’s say someone asks me if I will help them with something that will take all day on a Saturday. But, I am exhausted, tired, burnt out and also just don’t want too.

The following is my circle in my brain:

“Well, they helped me that one time..”

“Well, what if I’m the only one that can do it…”

“Well, they are probably more tired then I am..”

“Well, they are going to be mad if I don’t..”

“Well what if no one helps them..”

“What if I say no and they think less of me..”

I would like to say that’s the end of it. But it’s not. It just keeps going and going. And as it keeps going, my anxiety builds (as it is right now writing these words).

It keeps going and going until 8/10 I help with whatever the person needs. It keeps going in my head until I talk myself out of taking care of myself and I help the person and say yes.

And I know…you’re probably sitting there thinking…just say no! It’s not that hard!

I’m sorry to tell you this random person reading the blog, but it’s actually very, very damn hard for me.

I’ve gotten better at saying no in the last five years. I have a sufficiently small amount of FOMO (I’m really good at saying no to going to events or going out on the town.)

But, I am still, for all purposes probably more of a doormat than I should be.

And it’s starting to get to my heart.

(Also known as me, crying silently on my couch on a Thursday night, while watching Chopped).

And I am starting to realize that people do in fact treat me like a doormat because I let them. I have allowed people to know it’s ok to step on me and use me for my yes, even humans I would deem as friends.

That’s a really damn hard thing to grapple with.

I guess I wanted to write this for a few reasons.

One being, I wanted people to understand, people who love me and don’t know why I don’t stand up for myself more often how fucking hard it is to talk down the circles in my brain about how I’m a horrible person if I don’t do x, y, z.

It is in no way, shape or form easier to be a doormat.

I also wanted to write this because committing words to paper helps me truly think where I’ve come from and where I’ve been and how I’ve gotten to where I’m at.

And I’ve come farther friends than I give myself credit for.

And lastly, and honestly why I write most words and put them up for people to read- I want you to know that if this is you- you are not alone.

If you are a human that questions stating your needs because you feel like a burden: I’m here for you.

If you are human who on those odd moments that you do say no feel like you’re a horrible person: I’m here for you.

If you’re realizing the people stepping on you are doing it because they know they can: here’s a rag to clean off the dirt- I get it.

I believe in us.

I believe we have the ability to shake off guilt that we create, to be able to help out of a healthy place and to stand up for ourselves and not feel bad about it.

I also believe we have the ability to stand up for ourselves, not feel bad about it and not succumb to the guilt that others try to use on us because it’s always worked before.

If I’ve learned anything in this damn year it’s this: what used to work doesn’t anymore. What used to heal wounds just makes them worse and words that sounded like love have become band-aids over cuts that probably need stitches.

To my fellow doormats;

I see you. I get you. I’m here for you.

Even if you just need someone that you can say;

“Hey, I’m a doormat too- and I’m trying to change”

With love,

Meg, a doormat, who is trying to change.

Honest, hope is a verb

I am not going to change the world

I am only one human.

I am not going to change the world.

The words I write via Instagram or Facebook or twitter maybe really reach 100 people. I do not have a book deal.

My job does not involve writing.

My words, these days specifically, feel like they fall pretty damn short.

I haven’t felt over the past five months that I should write because when I do my words are filled with anger.

But, when it comes down to it- I am angry.

I am angry because I lack the ability to communicate the experience I am having. I am in the midst of my walk up hill both ways in the snow story and in all honesty I’d rather just walk up hill both ways in the snow.

I am angry because it feels like I’m living through a season of life where I’m an essential, but also looked down on. Where my anxiety is causing me to hold on to every single emotion and my ability to feel for others has caused me to short circuit.

I am angry because I feel like nothing I do is actually helping.

I am angry because people keep telling me how to do my job that have never done my job.

I am angry because the fact I don’t have the appropriate degree causes me to fall through the cracks.

And I am angry because so many people have an opinion about what I do.

I am angry because it helps me feel.

And I am tired.

And that’s why I’m not writing.

I got excited about something a couple weeks ago. The emotion was welcome and needed. The exciting thing didn’t pan out and then I found myself lacking again.

But, a friend told me the other day that she though I should right this weekend- so I thought I’d try.

So, that’s why I am writing.

Because, I know for a fact, I’m not the only one feeling a cluster of emotions and also the inability to feel them.

I’m not the only who does something that causes them to smile (like listening to live music last night) and forgot that smiling shouldn’t have been cancelled.

I know I’m not the only one who is tired- but doesn’t feel allowed to say it.

I know I’m not the only that needs to remember that emotions are good because it reminds us that we are human.

 That anger reminds us of passion.

That tiredness reminds us to rest.

That the tears that are falling from my face in this moment reminds me that being a human who puts herself out there so that other know they aren’t alone is something important to me.

I am not going to change the world.

But, I can change MY world.

My audience isn’t immense.

But it’s filled with people I care about or care for.

I am only one human.

I am Meg.

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne, it takes a village

We are stronger.

2020 has quickly become the year that I don’t write when I should.

Today, after church, I had pulled our couch covers off of both of our couches because they desperately needed a wash. I was going to wait to vacuum the floor til after I reput the couch covers back on (we have molting couches) but, instead I sang a little ditty.
“Sometimes I clean to hide from my emotions…”
Whoops.

I cleaned, I made lunch, I laid in bed scrolling tiktok. I took a nap. I woke up foggy and cloudy. I ordered dinner and then decided to just sit at my computer and stop running from the words that were attempting to topple out of my brain.

I’ve hinted at this a couple of times in the few blogs I’ve written this year, but I’ve basically been crippled by anxiety on multiple occasions in the past four months.

It’s ebbed and flowed. It’s caused me to stay in bed and hide, or not hang out with the small group of humans that I’ve surrounded myself with.

It’s caused me to cry a lot.

Talking about and posting about anxiety in the way that I want to feels like putting myself out there in a way that feels like people are going to worry- they don’t need too.

I think talking about anxiety and the causes of it and how it feels is so incredibly important.

And it’s so different for everyone.

Just because I go to work every day and function and have a smile on my face doesn’t mean I’m not a high functioning basket case of anxiety. Just because I show up doesn’t mean my skin isn’t crawling or that I physically have to force myself to stay present for the kiddos in my room. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t had to run into my storage closet at work and rip off my mask.

It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes try not to fall asleep because then I have to wake up again and keep going.

I’m a person who shows up for other people.
But sometimes, I realize that is something I just can’t do.

The past few weeks were exceptional hard. I’ve been overcome with a lot of sadness for my camp kids. I took a few days off because I had to use vacation time and it was really hard and I spent any moment alone in tears.

And in the week leading up to July 4th, I just battled daily voices in my head telling me I was failing or no enough or not worth it and then to add to that I had some really haunting memories crawl out from under the bed.
It just made me so damn tired.

I realized when I woke up on the 4th of July, I didn’t want to go to the small barbeque I was invited too, I didn’t want to people.
My heart hurt.

I think I was tired from the anxiety, I was tired from the sadness.
I was tired of all the memories that come up around the weekend of July 4th.
So I stayed home.
And that was a good choice.

I cried I slept, I watched food network.
I took a lot of deep breathes.

I’ve come a long way in my journey through dealing with and having anxiety.
This journey started about 11 years ago. It involved hitting rock bottom, not knowing what the hell was wrong with me, going into therapy and getting on incredibly strong antidepressants. It involved weeks of not sleeping and literally living in life in fear of being a burden or not doing something correctly.
I literally stopped going to work. I was crippled by darkness and anxiety. The voice inside my head was winning whatever game it was playing.

My journey included grappling with suicidal thoughts and sobbing on the phone to my therapist in a parking lot and terrifying myself in the process.

I came to the understanding that my brain just was a little out of wack and the meds I was on needed time to settle.
The hope in my life wasn’t gone- it was just very dim.

2020 is not 2009.
But 2020 is a game of its own.
I’m stronger now and honestly just more stubborn.
I have facts in my head that I can list through when I’m feeling especially out of wack.
And I live in a lot less shame from on me from those around me that say my anxiety is because I’m doing something wrong or I’m not “close enough to God” (yes, that’s a thing).
I’m less prone to listen to someone who says my anxiety is shameful.

If I’m being honest, in 2020 my anxiety has shown me how damn far I’ve come.
It’s showed me I can keep moving forward.
It’s reminded me that I can listen to my body and know when I need to stop or when stopping would be detrimental.
It’s reminded me that crying is ok.

I want to remind you that just like me, you’ve probably come a lot farther than you think you have.
Just like me, you’ve gotten stronger.
And just like me, it’s ok that your battle isn’t over.

I wanted to sit here and write these words and admit to the sadness and the thoughts the run through my head sometimes because I wanted you to know that you have nothing to be ashamed of when you feel like you aren’t winning the battle with those things.

And honestly, the world is not making it easy for those of us who have feel as if they have no control over the balance in our brain spaces.

You’re doing better than you think you are.

I am doing better than I think I am.

Let’s keep fucking going.

royal family kids camp

For us. For the kids.

To my beautiful Royal Family,
I just spent about 2o minutes going back and reading all the letters, like this one but so, so different, that I’ve written to you over the years. This is my 7th letter and would be my tenth year going up the mountain.

I sat here for 20 minutes and read over the lessons and stories and laughter and tears we’ve had. I gave a few “oh I forgot about that!” (mainly about last year and the coaches FINALLY FIGURING OUT THE POOL SYSTEM and also #RIPVarietyshow). I teared up thinking about each and every one of you and the impact you’ve had not only in the kid’s lives we serve but in me and in each other.

You can ask any of my friends in WA as we’ve been dealing with COVID and as I’ve been working day in and day out: every time something got canceled, like the musical I was in or the outdoor summer events, or theater we were going to see, I would say, “That sucks, it does, but at the end of the day I just care about camp”.

As I watched the way my sweet 3-5 year olds were responding to what was going on around them, all I could think of was our kids. Wherever they may be, not in school, and having to deal with the world around them.

And if I’m being honest I just couldn’t think about it too long. I even at one point avoided texting or calling Tyler and Priscilla because I didn’t want to accidentally glean any bad news that they might have had. I got at least a text or question per day from my friends here asking me about camp.

Then we got the news and I couldn’t sleep and I cried a lot.

I just had to stop thinking about it at some point because I had to keep moving forward and keep facing every new moment that this world is bringing these days and I had to show up for the 3 year olds in my care.

Then, this last week, my body knew something was up. Normally my week before camp is a chaotic spree of packing, shipping things to the Choi’s, prepping sub notes and projects for 7-8 days in my classroom and really not sleeping til I get on a bus to go to the airport in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday or Friday.

I felt so off all week and I had one night where I just cried. I cried for our kids, who were laying in beds with no light at the end of the tunnel, I cried for all of us staring at calendars and camp supplies we have dotted around our home.

The one thing I try to do with all of my heart at camp is to remind the kids who they are. Day in and day out. In whatever setting we are in.

I’ve done things at camp that I wouldn’t have done had it not been at camp. Like playing Haman, on a days notice. (new camp hashtag by Vanessa #hamanforthekids). Or being a coach and choosing to spend long hours in my bathing suit (which in reality my WA skin thanks me for my base tan every year). But, doing things out of my comfort zone at camp is important to me, because at the end of each day, I do those things for the kids, I do them so I can have another moment to interact with them, another moment to remind them who they are.

And because of that, what camp does in return, for all of us, whether we realize it or not, is remind US who we are.

So, even though we can’t be all together, I still, with everything in me, want to remind you who you are.

You are a people, that say yes to things, even if it feels hard, even if at the end it might feel as if your heart will break, you say yes to a week for the kids.

You are humans who chose joy, who choose to stand up and sing a Jana song at the end of the day even though you are exhausted because it’s for that camper sitting next to you who has refused to stand every other time, but right now, they are standing. You stand for the kids.

You are someone who will eat camp food for 5 days straight. You eat iceberg lettuce salads for the kids.

You are among a group of people who takes whatever gifts and talents you have and you lay them on the table and say, “here take these”. You give from what you have for the kids.

You are a person who takes a week off of work, who steps away from their family for a week, who shuts their phone down. You disconnect for the kids.

You are a human who wears sunglasses all of Friday. Because you cry for the kids.

We’re a family who is brokenhearted this week. Because we love our kids.

We do all these things because it matters to even just one of the kids.

And if you don’t remember who you are this week. If you feel lost, sad, tired, anything: know you aren’t alone.

And lastly, I want to share a photo with you.

3E0441C3-E338-4D59-AD3D-CDA6BAC93A82
This is a picture of my best friend Victoria hugging me on Saturday night ( yes night, it was like 930- welcome to summer in Western Washington near Canada.) Anyway, I had been crying after listening to Becca’s live on Facebook and she (and my other friends I’ve been introducing myself back too) came out to hug me.
She made me turn and look and see that this double rainbow had shimmered into existence in the filled directly behind us.
And she just said two words, “That’s Jesus”.
And it’s true.
That’s Jesus. Reminding me, us, that he has our kids. His kids.
They’ll be ok. We’ll be ok. We’ll side hug them again. But, as the light mist fell all around us, I was also reminded that it’s ok to cry.
To my Royal Family,
You are in my heart.
Our kids in my heart.
Let’s keep remembering who we are so we have even more to give them the next time we see their faces.
With love,
Meg
(and obvs, Junapera as well)

back to the barre, I choose champagne, ramblings

a beginning

Every year around this time of year I start to look back on the past year of my life and start to take into account things that happened, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and maybe who I think I’ve become over a year of life.

I turned 34 in California around my Orange County family. I turned 34 with some weighty statements inside myself that I carried from the new year.
I turned 34 with margaritas and sparkles.

I’ve been trying to, amidst all that is going on in the world and in my head and outside my front door, spin up what I’ve learned this year.
And really I just don’t know.
Honestly.

I’ve been trying to figure it out. I’ve been trying to read over past words and letter board statements and everything in between.

Here are some things I know:

I know without questions I have people that love me.
I know, with maybe some question, that I am really good at what I do because I do my job out of exactly what I am.
I know, without question, that I still face disappointment and failure and heartache.
I know, without question, that I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.

I think the funny thing that happened during 34 is that I’ve learned even more who I am and what I am about and where I should place my time.
I think I’ve gotten harder on myself in 34. I think I’ve called myself a failure this year more than any other year. I think I’ve felt the weighty heaviness of comparison much more than I ever have.
I think that ironically as I learned who I was even more and felt so comfortable in who I am, during 34 I’ve dealt with not feeling enough and have second-guessed friendships and relationships and my place among all of it.

I don’t say all this to sound depressed and sad. Because I wasn’t. Those aren’t the right descriptors.
And, because I needed 34.

Glennon Doyle posted a tweet today that rang so deeply in me.
She said, ” I have not written a word during quarantine. Just a reminder to worried artists- there are times for creating and times for becoming the person who will create the next thing. For many of us, this is a becoming time. Rest and become. Love you.”

I think in some way- 34 has been a becoming time for me. Yes, I have created and I have more firmly planted my feet and I have used my voice even while it shook.
And man, I’ve cried.
I’m going to another letter to myself of all the things that happened this year, of all the events and the laughter and the rose’ vodka.
But first, I take a deep breath and remember that I am still going. I am still moving.
I am still becoming.
And so are you.
Dear 34,
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Meg

 

Honest, I choose champagne, ramblings, tiny human teacher

a simple update

Once every season I send out a newsletter to my preschool families. Just a few categories about what’s going on in our classroom. Learning, working on, loving, what’s up ahead and reminders (which 9/10 is to clean out their kiddos art folders.) It’s an easy way for me to communicate and make sure that I cover all the bases.

Some newsletters are a little longer, some are one sentence per category.
While I was cleaning the bathroom today, I started to think about the week and what was going to be new and what was going to be happening in my life.
So, in order to organize my life and thoughts here is a newsletter update on Meg in the season of whatever the hell this is.

What I am learning:
Woof. With my preschoolers, this is always easy. It’s always the easiest thing to write, and I have pictures and images in my head of what they are doing each day.
For me? It’s kind of a blur. Right now I think one of the big things I’m currently learning is a lesson to still believe in myself, a lesson to slow down while I am still going and I’m trying to learn that I am not less of myself.
I’m learning that my friends and I are rule followers.
I’m learning that old anxieties can come back even though they haven’t been around in years. I’m learning that I’m much more passionate about things then I thought I was.
I’m learning that I love the routine of cleaning and cooking (even the simplest of meals).
I’m learning that I really miss hugs.

What I am working on:
I’m working on getting 8 hours of sleep.
I’m working on brushing off the shame of not accomplishing things. And I’m working on being proud when I do. I’m working on making my room a place of peace.
I’m working on not feeling guilty for feeling like a horrible friend. I’m working on being more reflective.
I’m working on playing more with the tiny humans.
I’m working on being ok with tears.
And also, I’m just…working.

What I am loving:
Weekly Antler Baking deliveries.
Rest.
Talking to people I haven’t in awhile.
I’m loving my daily conversations with whomever is manning “I Wana Moka” when I get my afternoon red bull spritzer.
I’m loving people waving.
I’m loving my shower I take when I get home every night that gives me space to breathe.

What is up ahead:
I have no idea. And I think, at this moment, that’s ok.

Reminders:
You’re doing just fine. I think I’m desperate for you to know that. It’s so very rare that we come upon things in life that no one has any idea how you’re feeling. There are events and moments with similar experiences but now, we are literally living this step by step together. And even in that, we are all having such different experiences.
People that are working 40+ hours a week, people who have kids, people who live along. We are all walking forward in such different ways.
AND THAT’S OK.
We all have ups and downs.

This morning I got teary-eyed at the thought of missing some friends I haven’t seen in a month. I’ve been grieving the ability to visit and meet babies who have been born.
Today would have been our closing show of the Music Man, but instead, I cleaned the bathroom.

We just have to keep fucking going.
However, that looks.
You’ve got this. You do.
With love,
Meg

Honest, hope is a verb, it takes a village, ramblings

How do you hope?

I’ve been contemplating these words I’m going to write since Friday.
It’s been a hard thought process because I feel like they are uncharacteristic of me, but in the same breath feel very tangible and real to me. And weirdly important.

On Friday (which mind you, I had to scroll through and see if it was indeed Friday, because who knows what day it is), Katie, Victoria and I were texting, as we do, and Victoria said the following phrase which struck something in me.
She said, “because hope feels dangerous”.

And as I’ve been thinking about that phrase and talking it through, I’ve come to truly realize that hope is a word that fits most parts of speech.
In this, the word hope feels like a descriptive word. And the word it’s describing is danger.

Now, don’t stop reading, I know that feels weird. It sounds like I’m fearful and hesitant to expect hope to be good. And in some ways I am. But I am also someone who adamantly believes that peace is not easy and doesn’t necessarily feel “good”. It just is that: peace.

I guess I should explain a little more. Even as I think about typing the words I’m writing I can hear the rebuttal or the explanations of what I am doing to make hope feel this way, but I need you to know that even when hope feels dangerous I am trying my damnest to walk in dangerous hope.

Hope feels dangerous because the other shoe keeps dropping. My floor is littered with them. Now, that sounds defeatest and victim I realize. But, what feels more tangible to me is seeing that something bad won’t maybe happen, it probably will. In my life, in the lives of my friends.

That’s not saying I don’t see the big, beautiful good things in my life, I do. If I didn’t I would absolutely without a doubt in my mind, be laying in my bed in darkness right now, not sitting in a bright room. I wouldn’t have tears rolling down my face thinking about how much my crew has stepped up for each other and watched out for each other.

If I didn’t see the beautiful, good things I wouldn’t be able to function at work right now with the anxiety I feel.

Because I’ve been there before and I know what it’s like to live without hope.

Right now though, I’m not living in bright shiny hope. I’m not living in the hope that the world will be bright and shiny and I’ll get everything I want.

I’m living in a hope that hurts a little. I’m living in a hope that I hold onto with tears running down my face. I walk to work every day, a little tense, but knowing that even without trying I can be hope to some.

I’ve realized over the last two years, hope is not easy.

I didn’t learn about this hope in Sunday school, I didn’t teach it in Sunday school. I didn’t learn about this hope in Bible classes. I wasn’t able to see this hope around the world because I hadn’t lived in this version of it.

Hope to me used to be all or nothing.

Hope was never scary.

But, like my lovely work wife said, hope feels dangerous.

It’s dangerous because choosing to hope, with the knowledge that it probably won’t look like what you thought.

Choosing to hope anyway, is choosing to walk through a season knowing that you won’t come out of it the same.

I know, I know, that’s literally any season ever.

But right now, feels monumental. And it feels more unknown than anything I’ve personally walked through.

Hope feels dangerous because I really don’t know what I’m putting my hope in. And as I typed that the hymn lyric “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”.

And once again I KNOW.
HOPE CAN STILL BE HARD.
HOPE CAN STILL FEEL UNKNOWN.

I think right now I am holding on to the dangerous feeling hope for myself and giving the hope that’s light to my tiny humans because in all honesty they need and deserve it.

I am holding on to dangerous hope because I believe it will teach me to be able to hold onto the lighthearted hope again.

I’m holding on to dangerous hope because in all reality out of everything flying around it’s the one I can grab.

I think I wanted to write these words, push back or not because they struck such a chord in me that I knew they were important.

I think I wanted to write these words because I wanted to vocalize that even though hope might feel dangerous and even scary and wrong, it doesn’t make you any less than.

I wanted to write these words even though I’ve literally been crying the entire time writing them because I am not less than or less of myself or less of someone who believes in God.

It does not make me less than.

Whatever you feel, however you are coping, whatever feels like or doesn’t feel like doesn’t make you less than.

But what I want to ask is that you write it down. You need tell someone. You need to speak it out loud.

You name things you don’t need and toss them out.

And however this looks, please for the love of everything, find some way to show up each day. However, that make may look.

Dear world,
My name is Meghan.
I miss my people more than I can even say.
I am more tired working with 6 kids than 15.
I am grieving things that may never happen.
And hope feels dangerous.
But I am going to try to hope anyway.
And keep fucking going.
Sincerely,
Meg

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne, tiny human teacher

I didn’t want to write this

I don’t really know where to start.
It feels like a little over a week ago the world started crashing down. And it feels as if its been at least 3 weeks since then.
I haven’t wanted to write. I haven’t wanted to look for hope. Not because I didn’t want it but because I am tired.

And I specifically haven’t wanted to write because what I am feeling and going through seems petty in the big picture. BUT what would happen if we all chose to share how we are actually doing?

So, I’m gonna take a deep breath and try.

I’ve been trying to eek out some hope and positivity each day- especially at work. Yes, I’m still going to work each day, caring for tiny humans. But, that’s another story for another day.

A little over a week ago on a Thursday, we found out that our production of the Music Man had been canceled. We joined so many shows across the globe who have been working for months on end to share some joy and love and theater with the world.

We had a lot of tears that night. My two besties and I curled up on the couch after all working that day and we cried. We cried for the Saturdays spent rehearsing, for the moments we wouldn’t get. We cried for the parts of ourselves that felt dead and for what theater had done for all of our mental health.

At some point in all of our tears, I called my mom to tell her.

And the following is what I want to share with you guys.

I found out that my parents, who live in California, who don’t fly or really travel much were going to start driving on Thursday the 26th to be in Mount Vernon for the Saturday night showing of Music Man.
(I’m getting teary-eyed right now thinking about it).

For those that know my mom, you know that this is a huge, huge thing for her.
On the phone that night my mom told me she was doing this for two reasons:
1. She’d never missed a show I’d been in so she wasn’t going to start now.
2. She wanted to come to Washington to prove to me I could do anything.

My mom was going to do a very hard thing for me to prove to me that I could do anything.
I can’t confirm or deny that all of the baeby sharks were crying at this moment.
But right now, even with tears streaming down my face, because I can cry on the weekends, is that we are going through a hard thing.

And please don’t comment that we’ll be fine. We will. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. We are allowed to say things aren’t ok. That we aren’t ok.
That the world feels painful.

But!

We are going through a hard thing and it’s going to prove to ourselves that we can do anything.
What are those anythings?

Some of them are small. It could be being more kind, or checking in on a neighbor. It could be staying put when your anxiety keeps you moving.
Some are big. To some parents homeschooling is hard. To some working at home without human interaction is hard.
The list goes on and on and on.

My anxiety is larger than life right now. It’s amped up and tangible. I am watching movies with my phone upstairs, I’m cleaning and I’m leaving my window open. I’m giving grace to myself for showers and naps and tears.

The world is a lot right now.

But I want to leave you with the words from Patt Reeve again slightly changed, who was going to come to watch a play two states away.

We are doing hard things right now to prove to ourselves we can do hard things.

And if your hard thing is getting out of bed right now. That’s ok.

Get out of bed and take deep breathes.

Shoot me texts if you actually know me or find me on Instagram @megmagnolia or just comment with what your hard thing is right now.

You got this.

Keep fucking going, however that looks.

Honest, I choose champagne, relationships, smash the cardboard

I did this for me.

I just deleted about 500 words.
500 words of a spiral into not being enough. To being an island. To feeling lonely even when surrounded by people. To wanting a person for myself. To being a burden for the people around me.

I had reasons and lists and slips of paper in a piggy bank of every situation and action of others and myself that proves that point.
Sometimes, I wish I could be more vulnerable and open. I wish I had the ability to truly share the depths of who I am.
To eek out that last 20%.
I don’t like to write when I don’t have anwsers. I don’t like to write depressing collection of words that lack hope and movement and color.
I don’t like to let on that I’m not as strong as I come off.
I don’t like to write things that cause my friends to think that they’ve done something wrong- they haven’t.
I don’t like to put that on anyone.
But, I do like you, whomever is reading this to know that you aren’t alone.
I want to remind even one person that your struggles and battles and moments of insecurity don’t make you weak.
And I do want you to know that you are capable of changing parts of your story.
I want you to know that you are capable of being vulnerable and someone out there is willing to listen.
I have this friend who I’ve ironically only met once in passing, but due to the weird lives we’ve both lived and the fact that we are both Garmon birds, we have become really good friends.
Her name is Amanda and she lives across the country and we are the same person.
I never feel bad about texting Amanda about having a lonely moment. She knows most if not all of those. We send each other novels back and forth and sometimes it’s just for the knowledge that someone else knows.
She’s a person who gets the 20% of my story that not a lot of people get.
That this screen usually doesn’t get.
Because (as my friend Patrick will tell you) I hold on to that 20% with a tight, tight fist.
So, that comes down to the point of all of these words.
I believe I’m deconstructing a brick wall right now. I’ve been given that image by multiple people and I’ve seen it for myself so I know it’s true.
Each brick is a story, a moment, a hurt, honestly even a victories that I’ve placed on this wall.
Now, it’s time to dismantle it.
And some of them have been like ripping off a bandaid and others have reopened a wound.
Today, on my way here I decided to take a certain brick off.
Eight years ago on February 9th (a Thursday), I was hit by a car. I can still see it, feel it and typing these sentences have taken me at least three minutes.
Today I decided that February 9th is no longer going to be the day I was hit by a car.
The brick though weighty and full of a lot of hurt and anger and emotional trauma no longer had a place in my wall.
Febraury 9th will now be a day I decided to take a different path and a day while sitting there bruised and beaten eaten cinnamon toast crunch out of a mixing bowl, it became a day that I decided to take a leap and start living.
Am I terrified to give that brick up?
Yes.
Am I scared what might come through the hole in the brick wall?
Yes.
Am I afraid because I believe the wall is the only way to protect myself?
Yes
But, am I choosing to believe that light is going to come through the hole in the brick wall?
Yes.
I don’t know what parts of your story you don’t tell. What parts you don’t see clearly and what parts still bring you pain. I don’t know what parts of your story you hold onto with a tight fist and what parts you’ve made a wall out of.
What I do know is that somewhere along the way we’ve done all of this to protect ourselves from something.
And honestly, at some point, we probably did need protection.
But, at some point, what I’ve come to realize is that the armor has to come off, the wall has to come down and we have to take a step out and know that we are safe, even though we might get hurt again.
I want you to know that I believe in your ability to do that. I’m choosing to believe in my own.
You got this.
Let’s all just keep fucking going and see what happens.

I choose champagne, ramblings, smash the cardboard

145,659 + these words

I just spent a good 20 minutes scrolling down my blog. Scrolling through the 200 posts and almost 146,000 words. I’ve gotten a little teary. I’ve felt some rage. I’ve seen where I’ve come from.
I’ve felt kind of proud.
I’ve also backspaced a lot in the last hour. I’ve written what I’ve now realized are disclaimers and excuses. (They are also full of my eye-rolling a lot which I’ve been told to stop)
Because the bottom line is that the words flitting through my brain all have to do with identity.
The words flitting through me all have to do with me peeling labels off of myself and remembering that I am more than.
I’m working on getting out of a box I placed myself in and figuring out ways to do that.

I am more than.

I am more than a Christian.
I am more than my stamps in my passport.
I am more than a preschool teacher.
I am more than the single friend.
I am more than the friend that says yes.
I am more than a two on the Enneagram.
I am more than a doormat.
I am more than the youngest.
I am so much more than the lack of a ring on my finger.
I am more than a strong independent woman who needs no man.
I am more than all the things I feel I owe my friends.
I am more than a plus-size female.
I am more than my inabilities.

I am more than.

This list could keep going and going.
But, what I’ve realized is for every box I’ve been put in by someone else I’ve also put myself in probably the same box.
Just because I’ve decorated it with word art and pictures of my friends doesn’t mean it still isn’t a box.
This year I’m working on remembering I’m worthy enough to take myself out of boxes.
Because the thing about a box is that eventually, it’s gonna break down. It’s just up to us whether we are the one that does the breaking.

I don’t 100% know what all these words are for. I don’t know what is springing out of these reminders to myself.
But, I do know that we have the ability to move. We have the ability to choose to believe that we are more than.

And it’s fucking hard.

It’s hard to live in a world that tells you that you belong in a category to not believe you belong in one.
It’s hard to live in a culture that makes you check so many boxes so that they know how to deal with you.
It’s weird to live in this world and not do it to yourself without even knowing.

But, I’m deciding today it’s going to be possible.

I’m deciding that I am going to do my damnedest to not stay in the boxes I’ve put myself in.

They aren’t my whole identity, they color and highlight parts of who I am and they are beautiful and heartbreaking parts of my story.

But, I am more than them.

You, human reading this, are more than something too.

If you’re feeling brave, shoot me a comment or a message on Instagram (@megmagnolia). Take a picture and post it with the hashtag #smashthecardboardboxes
Let’s remind each other that the people who put us in boxes most often are simply ourselves.

Let’s remind each other that we are more than.

Let’s smash some cardboard boxes.