Honest, hope is a verb, ramblings

Nice is different than good

I’ve realized that lately I’ve gotten really bothered when people give a situation more credit than it is meant to have.

I’m a words person (obviously) and I believe in the power of assigning meaning to something that doesn’t merit that meaning.

Like chaos. I used to have an assistant in my classroom years ago who would say every moment of every day was chaotic. I finally stopped them and reminded them they needed to change their meaning of chaos or a simple transition gone slightly awry was going to wreck them.

I also realize I have a high capacity for stress (which I understand is not always a beneficial thing) but it’s also helped me realize that frustrating does not equal hard or rough.

I think in the last few years I’ve worked at trying to describe things in such a way that I can understand them.

Giving a blanket statement to something and assigning it a word that has no descriptors isn’t helpful.

(As an example one of my PET PEEVES in working with children is the use of the word “nice”. It means nothing to a a child. Telling a three year old to “be nice” tells them nothing what you want their actions to do.)

When I started pondering these words this morning I had a Sondheim lyric in my head “Nice is different than good”.

A frustrating situation is different than a hard situation.

A stress-filled situation is different than a stressful situation.

Choosing to start to understand what in the situation is actually hindering us instead of just giving a blanket statement and walking away.

It’s work that feels hard.

(And work that feels hard is different than work that feels bad).

I’ve come to a realization that will not be brand new information to anyone that knows me well: but I’ve allowed my capacities for stress and hard work and chaos get so big they very rarely phase me.

And when they do it’s probably already too late.

So, right now, I’m trying to pull my bubble back.

I’m trying to redefine what all those words look like and I’m trying to reframe how I see them for myself.

It’s lot of work and it will involve boundary setting and it will be hard and also good.

(See what I did there?)

So if you needed a reminder that you are allowed to change sometime at almost 37 that you’ve operated in most of your life you are absolutely 100% allowed too.

Deep breathes to your toes 💛

With love,

Meg

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne, ramblings

I don’t actually know how I feel about this

I’ve been battling with technology for about 40 minutes. I’m currently in possession of two computers-one won’t work and the other I can’t find the charger too and then my ipad was refusing to open a new document and I just kind of wanted to give up and go about my day, with some banana bread making, Guinness float drinking and watching “A discovery of witches” season 3.

But then my Microsoft word opened and I realized I probably actually needed to talk about the thing that I’ve been dancing around talking about for a few weeks.

Hope.

I’ve mentioned it here and there. Alluded to it in instagram posts and tried to come to terms with the fact that hope wasn’t going to bite me in the ass.

This morning I wrote the following words while at church and they hit me a bit and came with the footnotes that I needed to chose to have hope in myself again and hope in life.

Hope in its noun definition is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”.

What if hope has been so hard because without realizing it we’ve been so far on the other side of hope that we’ve been hoping for the bad things to happen?

What if we’re so focused on the fact and the truth of life that bad things will happen that we don’t free up any space in our brain for the fact and truth of life that good and beautiful things will happen.

Now, please don’t read that as we are somehow a part of the awful things in our life happening. (Well, we are sometimes but that’s a different story). What I’m trying to say is what if we’re putting our hope in the fact that bad things will happen so might as well not hope for the good and because of that we’re choosing to place our hope in the bad.

I always joke that my brain is so full of children’s worship music and choral music from my whole life that I frequently have a “no room in the inn” sign up.

I think we do that with experiences that prove to us we shouldn’t hope that the good and the beautiful will come.

I started my new job on September 7th last year and 4 weeks later I was starting to feel alive again.

4 weeks and one day later my mom told me she was sick. And five weeks and 3 days after September 7th she was gone.

I had started to feel hope again. Started to feel like I was able to breath. Started to feel like I could focus on things that brought me back to myself.

And then it all came crumbling down.

But, I think that that was a turning point for me.

I could have truly chosen to believe and file that away as another time where hope failed me. Where the good was coming and the. The other shoe dropped and knocked me unconscious.

Where hope looked me in the eye and said “pass”.

I think I’m in a frame of life where I’m desperately trying to change the way I see things about hope. I’m trying to be an active participant in what is looks like to hope for movement and good and things being built and an active participant in showing people that the only person who is fit to walk out their story is themselves. And whatever cards they’ve been handed they can pull something from them if they’re just willing to try to live a life wherein hope is for them too.

I don’t what your level of choosing to be hopeful these days. For me, some days it’s just choosing to hope I won’t wake up at 345 and will be able to go into the day rested.

And I know that the world doesn’t feel hopeful right now. I know that the concept of being hopeful for yourself feels trite and small.

And I know some days it’s a no bones day and hope is not only impossible but unhelpful.

And I know what it’s like to feel like hope hasn’t been in play for awhile.

I just want you to know that I’m here trying to figure it out today.

And if you need to borrow some hope from me; I will willingly share it.

With love,

Meg

Honest, hope is a verb, notes on grief

My moment one.

Today while sitting in church, I went down a supreme tears rabbit hole. It is something that happens frequently when I allow myself to be still. And I’m not ashamed of my tears or my sadness or grief, it’s just that my modus operandi is to just keep moving forward and to save my moments of tears for when I’m alone and in my own space.

But grief really doesn’t care.

A favorite photo of my mom and I

Last week we talked about our word of the year for 2021. Mine was shift. And shift I did. I quit my job, shifted away from relationships, shifted I deemed important.

The big one, obviously, was quitting the job I had, had for over six years. I didn’t know why then I was pressed to quit- nothing major had happened, I didn’t leave on bad terms, I just had this feeling that I needed to make this change for myself. I needed to walk away from something incredibly stressful.

Five weeks later my mom died.

So, the reason for the shift I didn’t really know until that moment. I knew it was for me, for my mental health and stress levels, but I didn’t realize that the reason I need to walk in a period of stress relief was because the stress was going to hit incredibly hard in ways I hadn’t felt before.

That leads me to my word for this year. At the beginning of 2021, I read Hannah Brencher’s book “Fighting Forward” and there was a passage that hit me then and today it came back to me. In the book she is discussing her new years words and what that looks like and she quoted a scripture from Jeremiah and this phrase popped out to her, “The city will be rebuilt on her ruins”.

And I started to think about how heartbroken I am, my family, the people around my mother were when she passed. I started to think about how much it might feel as if the lives of those she left behind are in ruins because of her leaving this earth.

But then, I started to think about how ruins aren’t always a bad thing.

Ruins can be the start of something good, something new, something more beautiful than before. Ruins are apart of the restorative process. You just have to sift through all of it and find what is yours to keep.

All I want in this world is one more phone call, one more time for my mom to nag me about my eyebrows, to ask me if I’m warm enough. One more, “I love you my sweet girl”.

Instead I’m left sifting through the heartbreak and ruins to see what can become of them.

To see what parts of my mom I’m carrying to use to rebuild.

I always get a little nervous when it comes to finding my word of the year. That may sound silly but for someone such as myself who finds deep hope in words, it’s always something that truly ends up meaning something in my life.

As I sat with what it might mean to rebuild ruins I wrote out words, that popped into my brain and sifted through synonyms. Begin, embrark, start, innovate.

Until I wrote the word “create” and something settled inside.

It might seem silly for me, as a writer, to settle on the word create. But as someone who has been standing on ruins for a long time, someone who has spent a great deal creating from a place of pulling myself up over the ruins, I believe it’s time for me to create something out of them.

I have so much hope in the word create.

I ended 2021 feeling like I was a bit out of hope. I stood on my porch after midnight holding a glass of champagne (barefoot in 20 degree weather) and it felt a bit like I was look out into an ocean- you know the vast feeling of looking out over the water at night not knowing what is sky and what is ocean. And it felt incredibly overwhelming.

But today, I wrote the word create and I felt something that felt light. Not new. But me.

I don’t know what ruins you’re building on from this past year. I don’t know what heartache or grief or anger you’re walking through.

I don’t know if you need to walk away and rebuild away from the ruins, or if like me you need to find the beauty in the ruins.

Whichever it is, I want to remind you that you’re already on the other side of something. You’ve made it to a shore (even if it’s a small island amid an ocean).

We can rebuild whatever we may need too.

This is my moment one.

Let’s see what happens.

with love,

Meg

Honest, hope is a verb

That’s not love.

I have a barometer for myself that I think I’ve had for a long time.

I am someone who comes off as giving a lot of her story away. I read as an open book and will mostly share everything that is going on in my life or that I’m unpacking.

There’s that 20% though. I tell 80% of my life to 100% of the people around me. But there is that 20% that’s limited to barely even a percentage. I give that 20% to those who I have deemed safe and for the most part that I’ve deemed safe back.

I’m honestly unsure if this is a 20% moment but I think it’s something that needs to be said.

I’ve realized probably in the last year (honestly thanks Tiktok), that I have a lot of trauma and unpacking to do from my late 90s early 2000 youth group.

And a lot of instances and experiences and moments that in no way, shape, or form line up with the character of God that I know.

To start, I would like to say that I am not an advocate for throwing the baby out with the bath water. I have so many experiences and moments and memories that I am so grateful for.  I learned about worship singing on my church worship team, I laughed pulling pranks on our youth pastor my junior/senior year, I can still smell the tortillas in the park in Mexicali.

But just because you have beautiful memories with something doesn’t mean there can’t be things that don’t settle.

I think I should begin with the fact that I never felt like I belonged. This might be less a youth group thing and more a small hometown thing, but I didn’t. I felt like I was too loud, too big, too much. I felt like I was never going to be the first choice and that I just didn’t fit.

But even though I didn’t grow up going to church I quickly felt the incredible pull that I had to be at church on Sundays. I had to show up. I had to have my bible. I remember getting shamed once for not having it. (Sword drills anyone?)

I would feel guilty if I didn’t show up at church.

Then, there was the fear. I remember watching the rapture movies of the early 70s-80s and being told that America wasn’t mentioned in the book of Revelations, that we didn’t know the day or the hour. I remember not sleeping for weeks because I was so afraid. I remember each morning I’d wake up slightly relieved.

There was the IMMENSE purity culture. Being modest. Saving yourself for marriage. Splitting up the guys and girls to give them separate talks and the girls almost always talking about how we needed to “protect our brothers”.

Now as an adult realizing that we were essentially being told to take all the responsibility for the boy’s thoughts. And without saying it to not take up space.

Now, if you know me, you know that I can be aggressively stubborn. I’ve yelled at more than one guy for opening my door or walking on the outside of the street.

But, when I was in high school, I didn’t feel empowered to yell. And yes, I was in high school- I get it. But I’m realizing more and more that I wasn’t empowered by the mostly male leadership. I didn’t think I should have a voice and when I did- I felt looked down on.

I’m realizing that the part that was hardest was that it didn’t feel like I was supposed to be empowered. I’m trying to think of all my time at my church in high school (besides youth Sundays or “missionary” Sundays) if I ever saw a woman preach. I’m pretty sure a man always lead worship (with a few exceptions- and I was on the worship team too).

And that, I feel, was standard for churches in that time frame. I know that wasn’t just my church- but it was in a lot of places.

Now, a bottom line, the reason I want to say all this and the reason I’ve concluded that I have trauma from it is that none of it- none of the shame, the fear, the purity driven culture, the male lead teams and the not belonging- none of that is the Christ I know today.

The Jesus I knew in high school was damn small. He was mean. He was terrifying. I could never do enough for him or be enough for him.

He thrived off fear and forcing people to look and be the same.

That. Is. Not. Christ.

I have a quote from Andrew Shearman that I will honestly never forget. He said once that God didn’t create earth to fill hell. And I believe that with my whole heart.

I believe God is so much fuller of love than anyone can comprehend.

And God doesn’t keep score.

He doesn’t have a white board or a checklist.

God doesn’t care that I like crop tops or that I have authority. (He made me for authority so there’s that)

Now, I’m not here to get into a theological debate or have you tell me the 100 reasons why your youth group was great. If it was, man, I am so happy for you. But our experiences don’t have to be compared.

I’m going to leave it at this: I’ve concluded in my now almost late 30s- almost 20 years out of high school youth group- that at the end of the day; if it doesn’t look like love it isn’t Christ. So, I’m going to say thank you to the experiences that aren’t Christ and love for what they brought me too and then I’m going to not kindly ask them to leave.

 That’s all.

With love,

Meg.

(And as a PS. Something I am putting in the Facebook, Instagram captions. If you want to ask me a follow up question, I’d ask you to not put it in the comments but to shoot me a message. Thank you. This is a space where I honor my own story and I’m putting a lot more out there than I might normally.)

Honest, hope is a verb, ramblings, relationships, smash the cardboard

Untangling some yarn

I wish I were braver.

I wish I had the ability to say exactly what I wanted to say and to do exactly what I wanted to do.

I wish I could just jump.

I wish I could push past the anxiety and the insecurity and throw myself exactly in to the thing I needed to do.

I wish I could fully comprehend my own capability.

(Those statements above have very little to do with the words below and normally I would delete them but they felt important regardless of their connection.)

I was scrolling my email today when I say a newsletter from the “Naked Pastor”. He’s someone I follow on social media who talks a lot about deconstruction and ‘controversial’ topics in the church. Today he wrote something that I realized is something I’ve been thinking about a lot.

“We’ve been trained to stay on the straight and narrow. But when we stray, we are terrified because of all the bad things that will happen to us that we were warned about.”

Woof.

I remember being in church when I was in high school and even in college and hearing things that terrified me to my core.

I went to a Christian university. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things.

(Spoiler alert: I did MOST of the things I wasn’t allowed to do).

But, it gets me thinking.

 When I taught one-year-old kiddos, I had a new tiny human come into my classroom and her dad worked downtown and would visit a lot. And he was a little intimidating.

I was outside with all the one-year-old kiddos and I was talking to the dad and his tiny human was in a push car and was going to fall off the deck. It was maybe 4-6 inches. I caught the car and pushed them back up.

But the dad said to let them fall next time.

The funny thing is if the dad wouldn’t have been standing there, I would have let the back wheels fall and let the tiny human plop down.

I knew they were safe, but the presence of the dad caused me to react differently.

The presence of someone I deemed with more authority than me (which in that case it was kind of true) caused me to react differently.

I wonder though; how frequently have I acted differently or had a different response because of deeming someone with more authority than myself.

I’ve discussed this next topic in my life a few times. It ebbs and flows out of meaning and out of my own personal reality.

I have a very strong reaction to men who are in authority or “authority” in my life (and yes the quotations are two different types of people).

It stems from a lot of years and a lot of men in and out of my life deeming themselves someone who had the power to tell me what to do.

(And this isn’t just inside the church).

But, because of the people with “authority” in my life, basically the ones who don’t have it but assert it anyway, I have truly lost a lot space to actually give people with more wisdom, life and what have you the ability to speak to me.

 And also, because of that, I sometimes feel that I have lost the space.

Because of the ways other people have hindered who I am and what I’m about, I have lost the ability (sometimes) to believe I can be that person.

It’s funny how different life can be when we live in the verbiage of what we can’t do versus the verbiage of what we can.

I know that I come across as an extraordinarily strong independent woman. I come across as someone who knows what she’s about and does what she needs to do.

And even saying all of the things I said in this collection of words, I still believe the sentence above is who I am.

But that doesn’t mean that sometimes it isn’t a battle to move past the giants that like to wake up from sleeping and stomp around and shake the trees.

Here’s the thing about me:

I’m going to keep going in spite of all of that. I’m going to keep showing up and choosing to speak even when I feel things around me want me to be silent. I’m going to ask for help from people who are a little wiser than me (men and women) when I know they are safe in my knower even when my brain hasn’t caught up yet.

I’m going to try to the best of my ability to not be an island.

And I’m going to try to not be afraid of what is or isn’t off the path.

I’m not little red riding hood and I won’t mistake grandma for a wolf.

If you’re afraid of things that people have told you to be afraid, if you have been told you aren’t the right person and you don’t say the right things, if heaven forbid you’re a woman who’s been told you are less than- I want you to know that I’m here for you.

I’m with you.

Let’s do the damn thing.

hope is a verb

Let hope.

Hope seems to be one of my catch phrases right now.

And if I’m being honest, I kind of hate that about myself.

I’m searching, aggressively for hope. Something tangible, something I can hold. Something that might do the job of pulling me out of the pool that seems empty of it.

But, also, here’s the thing: I used to look at the search for hope as finding the end of something. I used to look at hope as the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am finding that it isn’t the case. Hope isn’t the end- it’s the beginning. Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s stepping into the tunnel and seeing the light.

At church yesterday I wrote some words that I shared, words that seem to spill out about hope as I tried to roll my eyes and write at the same time.

Hope is here

It’s in the wings

It’s waiting.                     

It doesn’t need a clean spot or for your laundry to be folded.

Hope doesn’t need your calendar to say the right month or for all the cups in your room to be in the dishwasher.

Hope just wants to be invited in.

Hope just wants you to choose it. It doesn’t even care if it’s not the first choice.

Hope stays.

It percolates.

It gets better.

Hope won’t be ignored.

Hope can be built upon the ruins. It WANTS to be built upon the ruins.

It doesn’t need you to have it all together.

Hope just wants you to seep in.

So let it.

Let hope move in.

Let hope fill every corner.

Let hope persist.

Let hope Live.

Let it build on what you thought was ruins.

Let hope move.

Let hope.

Hope is a buzzword for me these days.

And I kind of hate it.

I’m continuing to choose to believe it exists.

I’m choosing to believe it’s for me.

I’m choosing to believe it’s not the end of something but the beginning.

I’m choosing to let hope do the damn thing.

So; watch this space for when I meet hope.

And if you ever forget- hope is for you too.

With love,

Meg

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

Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne

It FEELS like a lot.

I’ve realized lately it feels as if my anxiety is winning.

I know it’s not, but it FEELS like it is.

And I’ve been trying to figure out why that is. Why does it feel for every five steps I move forward the sucker punch takes me back ten?

Why does it feel as if I can do 9 things right but the 10th time puts me underwater?

And I’m wonder do you feel the same?

Do you feel as if you are unable to get ahead or celebrate the small victories?

Do your joys that you experience feel like things you can’t share because everyone around you feels like they are losing battles?

Are you the friend that’s losing a battle?

I’ve had a few friends have some really exciting things happen over the last week and it makes me PUMPED when they share it.

Because we can’t find celebration for ourselves these days unless we see celebration.

We can’t figure out how to find joy and hope unless we see it.

There is a shouting match happening in the world right now. 

And it’s exhausting.

It’s like with my tiny humans. If I have a staff who tries to just get louder to shout over the kids who are being loud I let them know it doesn’t work.

And it’s gonna drive you absolutely insane.

I had something happening the other day where there was loud chaos, no one could pick a place to play, I was just trying to clean up and I realized me cleaning up the mess wasn’t helping.

So, I used my loud teacher voice and stated “I AM GOING TO READ THIS SPOOOOOOKY BOOK” (my tiny humans are all about spooky books right now).

I sat on the floor of my library and at first just started leafing through the book.

Then one tiny human came over and I started reading it.

By the end of the story I had 7 of my ten kids in the library. 

Then we finished the book and I re-asked them where they wanted to play and they chose an area, I pulled out some new toys and we went back about our day.

There are a lot of things that need to be said right now (#govote). There is a lot of energy in the air that isn’t helpful.

There is a lot of the inability to feel as if we aren’t allowed to be joyful.

But damn, do we need it.

And joy isn’t easy.

And it sometimes feels like succumbing to anxiety is easier.

But sometimes we have to stop yelling at the chaos and we have to sit down and read a spooky book and let the chaos settle.

And yes, sometimes we have to fight.

I think right now we are more prone to fight.

I know I am.

If I don’t fight I feel like my body might just give up on me.

But I also know the more that I hear others celebration and joy I get more ability to fight.

I think we’ve stopped sharing joy because it feels wrong.

I think I’ve started feeling like anxiety is winning because it feels like celebration is losing.

It feels like we are shouting at the chaos when instead we just need to tell a story. It can be someone else’s story or even a spooooooky story. 

Stories don’t have to be celebratory but the more we speak out our own darkness the more it isn’t able to stay because we keep shining light on it. 

So, what I want you to do is (if you’ve gotten to the bottom of these words) to share a joy, a celebration, something exciting that has happened this week no matter how small it seems to you.

And lastly: if it feels like anxiety is winning, if depression and darkness is winning- I get you and also,

No, it’s not.

I can promise you that right now.

You are more than it.

It’s still valid, it’s there- but it’s not winning.

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.