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.

Honest, washington whimsy

Week 44: my closet is clean.

My closet is a straight up mess. About three weeks or so ago, I reorganized the whole thing, took out all the hangers, all the folded clothes, even folded the dirty clothes that I wasn’t planning on washing yet so it would look nice.

That lasted all of a week, maybe. 

In reality, there is probably just too much stuff in my closet.

Everything needs a place and without that place the walls cave in (or in terms of my actual closet that curtain falls down).

My life currently feels like I just reorganized my closet, so it’s nice and clean and not so messy. For the moment everything has a place, a structure. I finally feel like I have a moment to breath. 

And it feels weird. It feels incredibly still.

A week or so ago I walked outside with my tiny humans and the air felt still. It was that moment where you felt as if you were in the eye of a storm, just before the wind comes back again.

That’s how I feel. Like I am in the eye of the storm, like I am one day away from my closet curtain falling and all of my clothing being spilled on the ground.

2016 hasn’t been the kindest to me. I’ve felt emotional, beat up, less than, among so many other things. I haven’t always responded the most eloquently. 

I’m wanting to choose to believe that something incredibly good can happen. 

I have spent a lot of my life choosing to believe for others. I don’t think that actually will ever change. I’m a big fan of my friends and a supporter of their relationships and dreams and life choices. Ask me about my people and I will give you an earful.

But in this stillness I’m wondering how to choose to believe that this next week will be different than the 43 that preceded it this year.

And don’t misunderstand me: 2016 has had some incredible moments. My closet friends/family had their first baby girl. I got to make cheesecakes to help an amazing couple celebrate their wedding. I had my one year in Bellingham. I got to stand my friends side as they got married.

But I’ve spent a majority of this year knock down, drag out tired, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So, because of this, the stillness scares, the slight organization of my life petrifies me.

Like, what else can go wrong?

And it brings about the real question: why is it so hard to hope for yourself?

I was watching my new favorite show yesterday (“this is us”) and William, wise old grandpa, called out Kevin, handsome Hollywood man, on doubting himself. 

That hit me.

I do that a lot. At work, with friends, in my writing, with people I greatly respect.

I doubt before I hope. Before I believe.

I doubt that the week will be different before I hope that it will or believe that it can. I don’t think that the stillness is a call to rest, but a moment to take a breath before the storm hits.

My thinking has gotten skewed here in Bellingham. 

But for this week, for this stillness before week 44 of 2016, I am going to choose to take a deep breath in it and believe with whatever I have in me that the storm isn’t coming back for now.

I’ve had more emotions and felt more things in these 43 weeks of 2016 then I have in years. All the emotions, all the things, but also all the words.

So, let’s take all the emotions, all the things, all the belief and hope and words into Monday and see just what we can do.