Category Archives: Identity

Present Over Perfect

So I’m reading this amazing book “Present Over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist and it’s really got me thinking. I was drawn to it because lately I’ve been trying to practice and be in the present. It’s always been difficult for me to live in ‘the now’. I tend to live in the future because I’ve always operated from a get shit done mentality. However, when I’m sad or lonely I revert to nostalgia and my past. 

I’m only a quarter through this book and holy shit I feel like a lot of it was written through me. Ok, maybe not the parts when she references being a mother and her kids and husband but damn. 

Here’s the thing… there was some divine intervention that happened in February. I lost my job and was forced to slow down. Slowing down made  sure the ice that we’ll call numbness melted. The ice was the shield of anything that got in the way of me operating at a gazillion miles an hour. With it melting it made me look at what was left underneath the water of the melted thick block of ice. It truly made me take inventory of where I was currently at. So where was I? Let me remind you. I was lost, scared, confused, lonely, sad, grateful, relieved, stressed. I was all those things and then some. My world felt pretty bleak and so so gray.

It’s now about to be September. I’ve felt even more emotions since then if you can believe it. But where I am now.. presently I’m in a place that feels new and true and challenging and beautiful and bright and authentic and right. This is where I need to be. I’m in a place of acceptance and love and openness and growth and curiosity. I’m digging in deep of the crevices of past hurt that I stifled for so long. I’m grieving. And in doing so I’m cultivating new ways of being. What used to serve me no longer serves me. 

I liken it to the metaphor of a snake shedding its skin. I want to rid myself of all this old skin, these parasites (ideas, behaviors, habits) that don’t serve me. It’s a rebirth of sorts. 

I’m really excited to get back to who I really am and who I want to be. I’m finally ready to start loving myself in all my perfect imperfections and I’m so grateful to be able to remake my life from the inside out and unfold all the goodness along the way. 

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A life I love

Here’s the thing. People have expectations of you. They want to label and put you in a box because it’s easier to understand you. It’s not coming from a mal-intentioned place. These people may truly love you and want the best for you. But it’s hard when people’s own shit (ie their own insecurities, hopes, dreams, flaws, judgement, expectations of your relationship and self etc) gets in the way of how you want to live authentically to who you know you are.

This is more an elaboration on my last post but I’ve been thinking about this a lot these days. I’m starting to really feel like I’m coming into my own. Meaning; I’m practicing daily the person I know I want to be, I’m choosing who and what I want to do with my precious time, and I’m learning the reason why I am here on this earth so I can truly honor and fulfill my life’s purpose.

That’s it. It’s not easy but surprisingly because it’s in my truth instead of labeling this shit hard it’s now a beautiful challenge that I’m enjoying and has allowed me to be at peace with where I am at in my life at this exact very moment. It’s allowing me to be present and mindful.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have moments lacking self love (which btw is really just another name for insecurity but in a seemingly more compassionate way). Being vulnerable can be tough but it’s fucking courageous. For example, the other day I was having drinks with friends and we were talking about my future plans and where I want to move to next and when it would happen. I have some ambiguity around it which can feel like lack of control. Couple that with feeling misunderstood and not truly being heard got me emotional and all of a sudden I’m in this dark place of not being good enough especially not being good enough to be heard and have a voice. It took me back to the root of the very shit I’m working through; having a voice and using it with the intended motivation of love and understanding and acceptance.

My beautiful friends gave me the space to truly say what I was feeling and I actually told them what I was feeling. They gave me permission to cry and be heard. They shared with me their perspective of the situation that just unfolded. These moments are not easy but these moments mean I’m actively practicing what I want to overcome and allow for me to step into my truth. For that I thanked them. They are my sisters. These are a couple of strong beautiful women who make me better. They truly don’t have an agenda. They don’t judge me or get upset if I don’t fit what they need me to be. That’s love.

Every day I do something for myself that brings me joy. It can be something as small as a longer walk for me and Huxley, wearing a bold colored lipstick, buying a beautiful bouquet at the bodega, eating more veggies instead of crap, or as big as spontaneously booking a trip to The US Virgin Islands, South America or Paris. It can be writing here on this blog. Texting a friend I love them. Giving gratitude daily for my cute apt or my weekly paycheck. It can be seeing friends for dinner or listening to a podcast that’s inspirational. It can be anything as long as it brings me joy.

I’m learning to really love myself. I’ve loved aspects of who I am but fuck if I’ve ever really loved myself truly and completely. I’m working on it. And in doing so I’m creating such a beautiful life I love.

Thank you to those who understand and support me through my changes. If who I am becoming is hard for you to understand or accept I wish you well and want to thank you for being a part of my journey. I know I have learned from you and I will be forever grateful for that but I no longer want to continue making space for what doesn’t serve my truth.

Thank you.

TRUST

I’ve had a pretty emotionally charged year and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. I keep being reminded by all the powers that be (ie my coach, my therapist, my friends, the universe…) that I am exactly where I need to be.

Only in the last few weeks have I really felt the comfort in being present. Mind you, I’m still not completely 100% comfortable with ambiguity and not being “there” yet, wherever “there” is. However, I do feel like I am where I need to be. There are things I’m now consciously working on to alter my mindset and the toxic stories I’ve told myself over my lifetime that no longer serve me.

I am now an emotionally equipped adult with the aptitude, the insight, and the wherewithal to make sound moral and healthy choices. I have to tell myself that. I’m not dependent on these stories and beliefs that I learned to survive as a child. I want to be free of these harmful beliefs because I want to be the best version of me. I want more for myself. I know I can be better.

Wow.

This is huge guys. I’m in a place where I am consciously aware and practicing daily how to negate bad thoughts and bring in positive ones. I’m learning how to trust myself, the process, and the universe.

When I started this year I decided my work was TRUST.

It’s so fitting. I’ve made peace with saying goodbye to friendships that no longer serve me. I had to trust in the fact that I lost my job (for political reasons) so that I could make space for something better. That space has allowed me to really look inside myself and start the real work. I’ve been ‘working’ for years on myself. But this shit I’m currently working on is deep. It’s digging through my soul’s crevices and dark corners to bring shit to light I’ve tried so hard to suppress and ignore.

Looks like you can’t really get over anything until you really get into it and fucking feel it. Huh. Imagine that.

When I become present I see the magnificence in it all and I feel more connected. Not just internally. When I say connected I mean connected to the world. To life. To everything that’s bigger than me and us.

I am exactly where I need to be.

With all that I am learning I’m also trying to prioritize myself. That means listening to what I really need. I’ve historically been the doer and the over-extender. The one that made other people feel special to show them the magnitude of how much i really love them. A part of me feels that in doing all these things I will get love in return.

The fact is. People will love me if they want to and it’s completely out of my control.

It’s been exhausting. I kept waiting for my turn while still over extending. It doesn’t usually come and that’s ok. Because frankly, this was my shit. People love me in the way they know how. And if I’m going to be honest I have a lot of love in my life. I choose to act in ways I thought I had to for love.

Looks like I have other choices.

I’m going to put my Self  first. I want to give myself all the love I give out. I know that this will be uncomfortable for a lot of people. For example: when one decides that a friendship doesn’t serve them anymore people will have thoughts and feelings behind it. That’s ok. If these people with these sentiments love you they will respect your decision even if it changes dynamics and status quo.  Ask me if you need more examples. I have them.

It’s tough to feel like I’ve disappointed others. I’m working through this whole ‘prioritizing myself’ thing and all the super charged feelings and reactions I have to things.

Just know that by being a better me I will be a better friend, better sister, better partner, better worker. Trust.

 

To let go; to bring in

As the year comes to a close I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection. There was a night I gifted (well not quite gifted since it’s something we should give ourselves more frequently with zero guilt) myself where I sat down to be with my thoughts while I drank some fantastic wine with a smell good candle lit and Huxley snoozing on the bed by my side. It’s kind of incredible what a treat a night to yourself spent in the way you want to does for your being. It’s so completely underrated. 

I suggest you all give yourself a night immediately. 

You guys, I’ve done a lot this year. And it’s crazy to think I just realized how much I’ve done. I tend to jump in headfirst and boom there’s autopilot. It used to work for me. It was a survival skill I learned very young to help me through life that I now know wasn’t easy, ideal, or to be honest very loving. I don’t want it to sound like love was lacking in my life but the love was conditional and hard. It wasn’t conducive to a child’s growth or mindset.

But what I want now for myself is to be more mindful. I want expansion. I want to be seen. And by doing/having/being I will then create so much more opportunity in my life. 

I’ve learned that what I tend to do is expend ALL energy I have in work, friendships, whatever. And then as fast as I started I’m left exhausted, tired, and heavy with no energy. Ugh. It’s depleting. And it’s not sustainable. 

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past 5 years. And I haven’t done it without help. 

If ever there was a segue to the idea of therapy I’m going to take this as it. 

Therapy is important. It is fruitful to being a well rounded person who can look at their hardships and give themselves love. Love to forgive. Love to accept. Love to take action. 

I cannot stress this enough. Therapy is important. It can have a negative stigma and that’s bullshit. 

Would you ask a sommelier what wine they recommend that pairs the best for the plate of food you’re about to order at an established 4 star restaurant? Did you not have a coach to guide you and challenge your physical and mental strength and capacity for whatever sport you played in school or professionally? Do big wig executives not have a board of trusted advisors to check in quarterly on the roadmap and to advise them of sound decisions to ensure a company is headed in the right direction? 

Then why the fuck as a human being living as an adult do you not have a therapist or life coach who has studied, mastered and understands human behaviors, thoughts, and emotion. It’s imperative as a citizen of the world and if, at the very least, as a person who craves something beyond them, to understand who they are by unearthing what they came from to discover who they want to be. Read that again. Please.

You guys, your ego is an incredibly powerful thing. It can hinder so much of who you are. But by acknowleding and recognizing how and when it shows up and why will allow you to move mountains. 

By any means do I think I am moving mountains but by every fuck out there I have the ability to do so. And there’s a fuck for you if you think otherwise.

I am a better person for asking for and seeking help. I’ve always had a problem asking for things. I had pride. I had ego. I had insecurity. 

Now? Now I have and am still learning love for myself. And compassion. 

I want so much for myself. I know you do too. We owe it to ourselves to give ourselves all the resources to actualize our wants.

This is my life. I have to remind myself that I have time. I also have the skills and resources in abundance. 

So this is me. 

I am so grateful for what 2016 has brought me from experiencing the opera at the Met for the first time, to the travel to far away lands, to all the glasses of wine and bowls of fondue at Murray’s Cheese Bar, to those bartenders at Murrays Cheese Bar who didn’t judge me for all the glasses of wine and bowls of fondue I scarfed  down and instead hooked me up, to my super who unclogged my toilet and gave hux love, to drs appointments and physical therapy for my knees, to all the people that have visited me and shared with me their first New York moments, to the seamless food delivery guys that brought me lunch at work daily, to Huxley’s sweet lovable nature, to being able to surprise my best friend on her birthday, to all the apt cleaning I did resentfully, to the subways that came at just the right time, to my shitty narcissistic boss, to becoming a certified coach, to the friends that I’ve laughed and cried with, to saying goodbye to my brothers, my mother, and Becca who beacame one of my best friends, to the overpriced New York everything, to the Greek guy who reminded me how I want to be loved, to being published in a handful of online articles for work, to my rooftop views, to relinquishing my Cali license, to 2016 and everything in between. 

I let go of stories I narrated to myself that don’t serve me. I let go of the negative ideas and perceptions I held of myself. I thank them for the lessons I’ve learned. I am grateful for everything. I hate the turn of connotation of the word has taken but I will say it. I feel blessed. 

For 2017 I bring in expansion. However that means. I say yes to love, to opprtunity, to life.

I breathe it all in. I expand. 

Identity

I’m sitting here in downtown Manhattan in the middle of a crowded DMV. I’ve lived here for more than 2 years now. I’ve had 3 home addresses. I’ve had 2 jobs. But for some reason renewing and changing my license from California to New York feels more permanent.

It’s as if I’m committing to New York all over again. This time my glasses aren’t rose colored, they’re slightly foggy and vision isn’t clear.

This time there are no expectations. There is only reality.

Frankly, I don’t quite think I’m in the right headspace for this emotional endeavor. I guess I didn’t think it would be such a big deal.

But alas, this is where I find myself. I’m sitting here and a part of me feels like my identity is being stripped from me. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s unsettling.

I am well aware I made the choice to move to New York. And I’m also aware I made it happily. and willingly. and on my own.

So much has happened since I first touched down in New York that hot July day in 2014. So much.

I am still me. But maybe I’m a more refined me. I’ve shed some parts of me while bringing in new layers of skin to help serve as protection and defense against New York’s sometimes harsh, yet (if you can see it) beautiful realities.

I can’t help thinking I may have also lost a little bit of me that I loved. I’m struggling to understand what that may be. I haven’t quite put my finger on it. Could it be the blind optimism I outwardly projected in every circumstance? Maybe it’s the knowing there was an unknown I had yet to discover.  I don’t know..

I’ve been told a lot that I carry myself like a New Yorker and people can’t tell I’ve only been here for a mere 2 years. In response I have mentioned that I’ve toned down the Cali pleasantries. (It’s a real thing.) But it’s more than that. I’m still well mannered and friendly and I still smile at strangers. But maybe a little bit of me has hardened and closed itself off. Maybe the naïveté and beginners luck has worn itself non existent.

I feel like I’m saying goodbye to something I now want desperately to hold on to. My identity is changing here in New York. I’m saying goodbye to California and the life I used to have. I already feel out of the loop with my best friends back “home”. And I know, vice versa. A lot of them don’t even know how I live out here or what a day looks like for me. It makes me a bit sad. I’m disconnected.

This is a goodbye to California. It’s real. And it feels more real since I already have a life here. I’m not starting over this time as I say goodbye. My life here is established. I’m just moving on this time. It’s hard. I wasn’t prepared for this.

I’m at an impasse. My heart is in stalemate and I’m not ready to say goodbye.