Embrace the beauty in living life unfiltered.

Thank you for reading my stories, laughing along, and being brave enough to share yours! 

keep going

“I bet you were a cheerleader in high school.” A comment I’ve received more than a few times in my adult life.

Excuse me? You don’t know me.

Simultaneously I’m offended and understanding of their assumption. Cheering and motivating others is one thing. Coordinated routines (or coordinated anything for that matter) are another. Plus even at the young age of 15, I would have had quite the problem working my butt off to then only cheer for boy’s sports games. Cheer squad out.

Growing up in a household with a father who was understanding of no one and an overcompensating mother who accepted and encouraged everyone created an empathetic and motivating woman, who on occasion, gives off former high school cheerleader vibes.

Whether it’s talking with others about goals, struggles, setbacks, or successes, I try to be understanding of the whole life of a person; who they were, what motivated them to be their present self, and how their current choices are either working to keep them stuck or are catapulting them into the life they’re seeking.

Understanding and encouraging others comes easy. It’s my baseline. My cup runneth over and I am fulfilled in the work. Though infrequent, it happens – I get tapped out. My cup runneth nothing. And when that happens I can’t even understand or encourage myself.

I can often see it coming. I become terse in conversation, agitated by things that typically roll off my back, and suddenly throwing in the towel seems like the next best move.

Excuse me, where is the exit? I’d like to get off this ride. The operator of this thing’s got a real sense of humor-tilting us sideways unexpectedly. It’s making me nauseous. The person behind me won’t shut up. That group up front won’t put on their seatbelts despite me repeating the safety precautions. 7 Goddamn times! So as I said I’d like to get off. Now please!

If I had an apple watch, this is where I would be instructed to breathe.

Recently, I recognized the need to refill.

I reached out to friends whom I trust. I woke up early enough to work out with my friends at November Project (a former morning habit regretfully broken). We hugged. I was goofy. It was fun. I tried all my little tricks and while the cup began to fill- baseline I was not.

Feeling frustrated, I forced myself outside in the cold for a run. Of late, a run, let alone in the cold, had been atypical for me. As many steps as it took though, I knew placing one foot in front of the other would eventually lead me exactly where I needed to be.

I was moving at quite the clip to make this efficient. Think turtle crossing the road heading east with strong westerly winds kind of clip. A few miles in I start feeling the need for a Hail Mary, both for the run and for the cup analogy bit.

One foot. Then the next.

Ahead I see a group of early middle school aged students corralled on a corner, waiting for a bus, perhaps wrapping up a field trip.

As I move forward, one student turns my direction, hands cupped around mouth to amplify his sound, and he starts cheering. “Go, go, go. C’mon!” I smile as his gesture catches like wild fire. Instantly, about twenty 10 year olds are cheering for me to run my heart out.* A couple of students crouch down, fists drawn tight, as if begging for a strong finish, while two more jump up and down, all screaming their encouraging words, “Go, you got this! Keep going!”

As I pass I lift my arms in the air like a champion tearing through a finish line, smiling from ear to ear. I see the teachers smiling, too. I kept running, unable to wipe the grin off my face. This incidentally made me look less like a champion and more like a crazy person to the next group of strangers I passed. O well, you win some, you lose some.

Whatever you need, keep going- you will find it. Sometimes in the most unlikely of places.

*Regular turtle pace, sans wind.

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