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

the long game

I am 31 and have no damn clue what I want to be when I grow up.(And I’ve also discovered I’m way too much of an NF to figure out a tangible life job.)

I’ve been in the early childhood world for about ten years and I’ve acquired so many different skills like the ability to communicate with parents and educators, the ability to be have immense amounts of patience. My leadership style has grown and changed. My capability to read a room helped me as the bible teacher at RFKC. 

And obviously I now have the ability to put 14 one year olds to sleep in under thirty minutes ( RIP teacher Meg and teacher Victoria nap time show).

But, that’s not what I want to be when I grow up. I’m thankful for the jobs I have held, and currently have that have caused me to grow and change as a person, but I’m not sure where this all leads me.

Last week, while curled up on my friend Tiffany’s couch, she asked me what the dream job was. 
Ha.

Can I get paid for writing and sitting and listening to people and then telling them their potential?

Because, one of the other skills that I’ve realized I hold is seeing who someone actually is even when they don’t see it. Adults, teenagers and of course, the tiny humans.

(Though most of the time it comes out in the form of “man up or shut up” or reciting the “but was he a man?” dialogue from the mindy project )

Rewind to the past few months in the two year old room.

Two year olds mean business. And I have a few that are more than a handful. 

I was on the phone with a parent a couple weeks ago telling her about something her tiny human did that day that caused teacher Meg to have a heart attack and she began apologizing for the fact that her tiny human is a handful and is always the one to be the first to test the boundaries.

I stopped her apologizing as quickly as it began.

I could easily see her becoming defeated, so, I said that said tiny human wasn’t a handful (and I will never confirm or deny if this is true), but to think about how when the tiny human is older, they will be able to take risks, and push the boundaries. 

She responded that I was thinking positive.

But I mean, what would happen if we looked at tiny humans like that? Saw the things that may look like not great life choices and find ways to turn them positive and frame them in that way. What would happened even if we looked at teenagers, adults like that? What would that change?

I’ve been watching a lot of Girl Meets World lately. (Sidenote if you are caught up PLEASE CALL ME BECAUSE I HAVE FEELINGS).

On GMW they have a lot of lessons and life wisdom and warm fuzzies and a handful of mentions of the “long game”. The long game is just how it sounds. Being in it not for the immediate results but for what will happen at the end. 
I have kids that I had in day camp that are out of college. I have preschoolers that are in junior high and high school. You don’t work in early education for the short game. Sometimes you get those immediate gratifying moments. But for the most part, you have to just know that at the foundation you are and were apart of that tiny humans life. I may never know what happened with them, but I will know that I will live in a little piece of their present in the future.

I want to live whatever I am doing in the long game. Be it working with tiny humans, or writing or sitting across from people or being in leadership or maybe one day being a wife and a mom. 

Living in the long game is being present with who you are today knowing that it will be apart of who you are tomorrow.  Living in the long game is taking care of yourself and your heart and soul and being so that ten years from now when something comes into your being you are prepared for it. 

I’m 31 and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I’m choosing (attempting) to be present and honest and living with my whole heart. Because it’s for today, tomorrow, next week and next year. It’s for Bellingham now. It’s for Bellingham later and wherever else I find myself.  I’m choosing to live my life using the pieces of life I’m given and wrapping them into gifts I can give.

I’m living in the long game.