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, 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.

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

The grey purse is still in reach

Here’s the thing:
I should be writing my Christmas letter right now. I should be writing it and compiling all the addresses I have and preparing to literally ship out the cards the minute they come in the mail.

But, I’m not ready yet.

I feel as if most of my thoughts lately have not been suitable for audiences. As if the thoughts in my head are somewhat inappropriate and also a little mean, mostly to myself.

What I’m trying to say, in the words of my work wife, is that my brain has “no chill”.

My brain doesn’t realize it’s Christmas fully. It doesn’t know that I need to be wrapping up my thoughts on 2019 and attempting to piece together what feels like failure in order to close this chapter.

I normally love the end of the year. I love reminiscing on what happened and where I went and what I accomplished.

I am trying with every damn fiber of my being to not throw everything of this year into a dumpster and light in on fire because I feel like I failed myself.
Because, to be honest, this year brought so many good things, and people and food and trips and self-realization.

But, instead of focusing on those things (which will happen, but first I gotta get through this week) right now, I am focusing on this simple phrase that I wrote last week that has been coursing through my blood for most minutes of the day since.

I’m NOT over yet.

Just because we’re leaping into a new year and decade, just because I can no longer admit I’m in early thirties doesn’t mean I’m done or over or don’t have more beautiful life to live and relationships to have and adventures to go on and more songs to sing.

Folks, we’re not over yet.

I think I spent a lot of this year believing I was. I think I spent a lot of 2019 standing behind those who were winning at life and applauding them and cheering them on and lifting them up and celebrating each and every monumental occasion. I think that caused me to believe I had no more victories until I had certain victories happen.

And it makes me think of my perpetual list of things I want. Back in I think about 2009 or so I desperately wanted a grey purse. But I’m picky and knew that not just any purse was going to cut it. I spent months and months looking for a purse. I had a color of grey in my head and a shape and a type of strap and pockets.

And I had a really hard time buying anything for myself until I found that purse. And then one day, at a Kohl’s in Huntington Beach, I found a Vera Wang grey purse. It was like it had been created for me.

2019 has felt like I’ve been looking for a grey purse again. I have a specific purse in my brain, that’s really abstract to describe and I feel as if I don’t find it before the clock strikes midnight on December 31rst then I will have failed miserably.

But, that’s not how it works.

It’s not over yet.
I still have more stores to go to.
I haven’t failed.
I still have victories and celebration left- they might not look like I want them too- but they are still there.

So, if you’re feeling that right now. If the build-up of everything ended and beginning again is too much for you.
If you feel like you haven’t had a win in a while I just really need you to remember that you aren’t anywhere near over yet.
You aren’t alone.
You aren’t over.
You can still find your perfect grey purse.
2020 is a new decade and year but January 1rst doesn’t make dreams and desires and pain go away.
All we have to do is keep fucking going.
with love,
Meg

Honest, I choose champagne

2016.2017.2018. Let’s just be who we are.

I am sitting in my favorite bar, as it becomes increasingly more crowded than normal on a Sunday early evening. Most are in pairs, or groups. I’m the sole solitary human, sitting at my favorite table tucked in the corner. My back is against the window and I am directly next to an outlet and the exposed brick.

I am pretty comfortable sitting by myself in most places. I am fine shopping by myself, I’ve traveled across an ocean and been alone in the Istanbul airport more than any other airport in the world.

I almost always get slight amounts of anxiety right before going somewhere by myself or to an event with a large amount of people. But here, and a smattering of coffee shops, public transport and airplanes- I am always good.

This year, I believe, has been about being as home as I possible can be in my own skin, in my own identity. It’s been about being where my feet are.

I don’t always do well at this.

But, I am trying.

And now, it’s the end of the year. Now, for me personally, 2017 has been eons better than 2016. But, as my work wife has pointed out, 2017 hasn’t been all confetti, champagne and sunshine.

In reality, I said the F word more times this year than last. I lost more faith in people than I ever have. I have had more anxiety and more moments of being alone.

I haven’t been as constantly exhausted but I for sure have hit more walls of “all done friends”. My schedule has been more busy than I think it has been in a long time.

And that isn’t going change when the clock strikes midnight and turns the year to 2018. Last year, I remember sitting, shortly after midnight, in my sparkly gold dress, barefooted, on the porch of my friend’s house, watching the snow fall with a glass of champagne that slowly became mixed with the tears falling down my cheeks. All I wanted was for the world around me to feel different.

I tried to believe it did- but it didn’t.

So I became busy in 2017. I did a lot of things. I rarely had a week go by that didn’t involve at least 3/5ths of the weekdays being filled with something, be it working at my church, hanging out with someone or having an event or organized group situation.

I think part of my reasoning for becoming busy was that busy equaled full. That my life could be classified as full because it was busy.

I could say that my life was full because my laundry had piled up to overflowing in my closet and didn’t even care that there were dishes in the sink.

Busy meant not being able to stop to hear what I needed to hear.

Back in August, a part time job popped up at a different church. It would have been 10-20 extra hours a week being a children’s director of a local churches smaller downtown campus.

It would mean a lot of things: extra income, no free time, getting paid to do something I know I love (and am good at), having no social life and not getting to go to the church I adore.

But, I had done that exact same thing before so I knew I was capable of that schedule.

I had a random day off in August, the day after the ad had been discovered. I had coffee with a good friend, lunch with my roommate and obviously talked to both about it. I headed for home to work on my cover letter and resume.

Because of applying for this job, I ended up having a very honest conversation with one of the pastors at my church. Through the conversation we had, I realized that I was running from being known. She, of course, called me on all these things, as she should.

I didn’t end up interviewing for the job. In all reality, though I want a job like that, but working 60 hours a week and moving from the two places where I feel like myself in Bellingham was not the best idea.

In reality, most of this year I’ve been running. I’ve been running from stopping, from thinking and from pushing in.

I have in certain places and situations. There are friends in my life with whom I can never run from my problems around. But I have reached that place here in Bellingham where I am known and that’s terrifying.

So, why have I said all of this?

It’s simple actually.

I want to encourage you not to make resolutions.

(What?)

I just want to encourage you to step more into who you are everyday. No matter what.

I spent this year trying to busy everything so far away, in the name of my resolutions that I forgot parts of who I was. When those parts were awakened they felt like hope, when in reality they should have just felt like me.

December 31rst and January 1 are no different from today and tomorrow.

There is symbolism in the changing of the year. It is a new book in your life. But it’s not a separate book. It’s a continuation.

So, as the holidays kick in full force and as my kitchen get covered in flour and coconut sugar. As we celebrate the year, the now and the yet to come, I want to remind you that the changing of a calendar doesn’t change who you are.

I want to encourage you to hope for more, but not put the more on a new year.

Don’t run from who you’ve become in all the things. Grab who all the things have made you.

Right now. Today.

Here, in this bar, where I am the only solitary human, I am being where my feet are more than I have in a long time.

Right now. Today

washington whimsy

To those I love in Bellingham: a letter


Today, for the first time in I couldn’t tell you how long, I left my house on a Saturday. Not to go somewhere or do errands or meet someone, I left my house with my ipad and journal to go sit at a coffee shop.And I was walking in the crisp, bright, winter air I looked at the downtown skyline which has become one of my favorite views- the mountains created a back drop to the herald sign, the red museum creating a stark contrast to the blue skies. Beauty in unexpected things. It reminds me of the beauty I found in Beira, Mozambique when we had to live in the city, or the beauty of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Finding beauty where your feet are.

But, as I was contemplating that I was hit with a thought that welled up some tears in my eyes and caused my heart to race. So here it is:

To my people in Bellingham:

Growing up,my mother’s kitchen table always had Diet Coke, at least two remotes, some form of baked good and a hodgepodge of people. The doorway of our house was crossed by humans from lots of different walks of life, ages, journeys, people in the highs and lows.

It’s part of the reason why I love inviting people over and meeting people where they are at. And I think it’s why I’ve always had and been comfortable in so many different groups of people. And why I am friends with a handful of people I’ve never actual met or have only known in person one or two weeks of my life.

But I believe I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you people, those I interact with on AT LEAST a weekly basis (if not daily) here in Bellingham are the most eclectic group of humans I’ve ever encountered.

And man do I love you guys.

And what’s funny is that I only interact with people here that are somehow connected to one of two places: The Y or A Life. My job and my church.

But what a difference it’s made.

The realization I had, the thing that finally hit my heart even though the knowledge has always been there, even though it’s a truth I love to remind people of, is that knowing all of you guys, specifically in this time in my life has caused me to know more of who I am then I ever thought possible.

As I said, that tidbit was in my brain, the knowledge was there. Every conversation, interactions, the laughter, the tears, all those things stored together from people have been building blocks. It’s normally not something you truly realize until you are in a high emotions situation or a situation when you are around the same people day in and out where you begin to realize bits and pieces of yourself through them.

You guys have been the most wonderful piece of self discovery.

Because of everyone of you I’ve not only learned more of who I am, but more of who I want to be.

And I believe every time I said I wanted to run it was because all of the things I was learning and feeling and desiring were becoming far too big for the life I had been living. All the ugly surfacing were dreams and desires and hopes I had buried long ago for fear of getting hurt.

Before I moved here, I would, here and there, struggle with comparison and jealousy and loneliness and lack of identity, but the last year and a half all of those things have been stirred up, multiplied and fleshed out.

And that has made me want to run.

But not you guys.

Everyone of you has kept my feet planted.

Because I think, I believe, I know, that there are aspects in each and everyone of you that have caused me to want more, desire more, be more.

That all became too big for my heart.

You guys believed in me when I didn’t think I had anything to believe in.

You chose more for me when I thought I was done with more.

What a beautiful thing.

And it causes me to think of the people I had and still very much have before here, that encouraged me to get to this place, and the people before that and that.

My life journey is filled with people. Beautiful, lovely, whimsical human beings from all places and countries and backgrounds.

My desire in life is to be so wholly myself that it causes others to see more of who they are.

And Bellingham has been a shocking, surprising, not always welcome huge step towards this very thing.

Bellingfamily and Yfamily and all those connected to the two, I need you to know that I’ve never wanted to run from you. I’ve wanted to run from the life that was getting too beautifully big for the box I had. I wanted to run from the emotions that all of that was bringing up that I’d gotten supremely used to ignoring.

But you? Never you.

PS

Find people. Find multiple groups of people. Find people you agree with. Find people you disagree with. People who live life differently then you and those who walk the same road. Find people who worship the same and find those who believe differently. Sit across tables from them, break bread them, clink glasses with them. Laugh with them.

And learn, even if it’s just for a night.

Learn who they are, where they come from, how they make a sandwich.

And when you wake up, I guarantee you will have found more of yourself.

In the similarities, the differences and the universal truths.

Let’s choose, daily, to bring the people around us to more of who they are.

back to the barre, stateside

So please, WRITE

I always want my words to be profound.

I want them to hold something to have meaning.

I want to write things that incite conversation and promote action.

I also try too hard.

I sit in front of my computer every 4 days or so to post a new thought, a new revelation, a new truth that is rippling through my spirit.

And I erase a lot.

To the point where I am surprised my delete button still works on my computer.

There are a lot of words I haven’t said in my life and many of them come in the form of the backspaced words on word documents. If only there was a way to put all of them together.

On second hand let’s not.

Then I think of all of the words that go unsaid or unwritten.

Or all the words that go unread.

(And if they are unread are they really written? Just kidding…not going there)

There is something about profound insightful thoughts that cause us to move. I love reading words my friends have said and reading what they are going through and their insights. My email is crammed with blog subscriptions and the ability to see the world through others eyes. It’s crammed with group emails from friends about ramblings and stream of consciousness thought processes.

But now I think, I know what I HAVEN’T said. What haven’t THEY said? What moments of brilliance have been backspaced away or crumbled and thrown in a trashcan.

And it’s also kind of funny because we live in this crazy world where there are so many platforms to be heard; from 140 characters on twitter to creating your own website to podcasts and blogs and everything in between.

So with all of that ability to be heard; why are so many of us still silent? Why do we throw words in the trash and decide we don’t need to say them?

Some I’m sure think there are too many words out there so will their words be heard. Or maybe they are afraid of the comment section.

Or even just too afraid of what one singular person will say.

And so we delete or backspace or walk away from a thought because it is too honest or too real or too much of the person you actually ARE as opposed to the person who people see.

The last blog I posted entitled “Real” took everything in me to press publish. I really just wanted to delete it all and pretend it didn’t exist.

I think when I choose to delete something or send it to a friend rather than post it on my blog it’s mainly because I think it might be too much. Too vulnerable, too spiritual, too Jesus. Or sometimes it’s because it shows my flaws or my fears.

But when, in reality, it’s just my thought process, how my brain works.

It’s true sometimes I tie a spiritual lesson to an episode of Vampire Diaries and it’s inevitable I will talk about therapy, or the lessons from Spain or Cambodia small eye or getting hit by a car.

But it’s what’s in my heart.

It’s where I come from.

So I will write.

And I want you to as well.

So very badly I want to read the words you have written. I need them actually. They cause me to think and to write and they inspire me.

So push past the comment section, push past the vulnerability and the fear and put words to paper. Quit hitting delete, quit crumbling the paper and throwing it aside.

People need your words, they need you at your broken or your whole, they need you at your happiest, your angry and your giddy. They need you at your real, your teenage self who loves vampire shows and your adult self who has treasured things in your heart that need to come out.

So please, WRITE.

Here are some blogs of people who’s words I treasure, find humorous and lovely and adore reading. Some of them have been MIA for a moment but take a second to go back, read the archives and find some inspiration. None of them are “proffesional” they may have gotten paid once or twice for their writings, but mostly it’s a heart thing. It’s a pouring out onto paper of what’s inside.There are so so many more I could post or brag about. so many more words I read on a weekly basis. There is inspiration out there. You just have to choose to read it, see it, use it, and be it.  (and if you have a blog or a favorite space to read words comment and let me know!):

Patty~ Patty is one of my best friends and someone who has influenced my writing more than anyone. Her words are timely, poetic and beautiful.

Tiffany~ This woman called me to write and be truthful. She has been calling me into my story for over two years.

Abby~ Another member of my hometeam. She is currently on an adventure leading a World Race squad and she has beautiful words and truths.

Allan~ A crazy worshipper I met and got to do life with in Spain. Check out his Euro journey and all that entails.

Helena~ I followed her blog while she was on the race. She empowers women and has a hysterically lovely view on life

KellenWhitney ~ a couple whom I treasure. Their words inspire like none other.

Casey~ a longtime hometown friend who blogs about her adventures in dating.

Sarah~a truth speaker, bringer and a lie crusher. soon to be on another amazing adventure. 

Lauren~ from my orange county neck of the woods. her words are witty and intelligent and everything in between.

Glenalyn~ a fellow adventurer, wanderluster and tribe member.