Category Archives: Vulnerability

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.

 

Like Sands Through the Hourglass

I had a beautiful birthday after my incredible trip to Morocco. It was perfect. I did exactly what I wanted to do and I felt zero guilt for doing it. I did have a little work hiccup where I found myself typing furiously on my humongous tablet looking phone in response to a passive aggressive email from someone who really gets to me. But with that said, I woosah’d and got over it and happily went about my perfect day.
4 years ago on my birthday I adopted a sweet tiny lil pup named Kona in Cali. He is my first and only dog. Today he is a happy healthy 4 yo lil guy named Huxley who lives in New York. He’s the best. On my birthday I celebrate Hux as well. I never knew what it meant to have an animal. It’s amazing. This lil’ one has helped me get through some tough times as well as some big life changes. I’m so grateful. 


Suffice it to say Huxley got extra love on this day and lots of treats (human food included).

I took him to the dog park so he can get in his favorite pastime of fetch on. It’s funny. He gets so focused on playing fetch he has no time for other dogs. 


After the dog run we walked through Washington Square park.


I then dropped Huxley off at home and went about my morning. I wanted to grab a sourdough bagel from the only bagel shop I know of that serves them in the UWS.


It was delicious. 

I continued through the UWS and stopped by a nail salon/spa where I treated myself to a manicure/pedicure AND 30 minute massage. It was blissful. 

From there I meandered into Central Park. It was a beautiful day and wanted to spend as much of my day off outside as I could. 



While at the park the bestie called to wish me a happy birthday. It was so great to hear her voice and talk about my day and trip. I realized then exactly how much I miss my people. 


One of my favorite things about New York are all the street performers. I was able to truly stop and listen and appreciate so much talent. 


This dog was really enjoying himself. He wouldn’t budge although his dad was ready and waiting. 


Love all the music.

I found a nice spot on a bench to sit and read and relax. 



I was super immersed in my kindle when a man approached me saying he was an artist and if I could please sit for him as he drew me. Funny enough earlier I had walked by someone being drawn by another artist and had a fleeting thought about how nice it is to capture a moment in time in that way in Central Park. 

I asked him if I could continue to read my book since I was really into it. He said please no I need you to look at me. Would only take 15 minutes. I was thinking how much it must suck to want to show your talents and be creative but not have any takers so I agreed. 


His name was Jacob and he was Armenian. He had a little portable radio playing classical and opera. I told him it was my birthday. Coincidentally, Pavarotti a little while later played on his radio and the dj made mention of it being his birthday. I take all these little beautiful signs and coincidences as the Universe reminding me that it’s here and paying attention. 

My “15 minutes” took about 30. I can tell you how awkward it is to sit and stare at someone for that long while they turn you into their art. It’s pretty vulnerable but with any vulnerability there’s something truly beautiful about it. It’s the feeling of someone “seeing” you literally and figuratively. 


Jacob gifted me with his art and I thanked him and let him work on his next subject as a crowd began to form when he was almost finished.

I found my way to another bench with the intention to finish my book but instead took in my surroundings and enjoyed more performers.​​​

Writing this and sharing with you I feel like I’m reliving this day all over again and it’s putting me in such a great mood.

I started to make my way home. When thinking about dinner instead of going someplace fancy and getting an expensive meal I decided Chinese food in bed with Netflix on was more the day and my speed. 


Thank you all for the birthday love and the best wishes and good vibes. Huxley and I both had a truly wonderful day.

It’s going to be an incredible year. I feel it in my bones.

Vulnerability

Think of this word for a minute.

Vulnerability…

This is a scary word for most people. For me, it’s quickly become a value I’ve learned to hold very dear to my being.

I used to live my life in false bravado. Meaning, I thought I had it. I had moments of vulnerability, moments of joy, of silliness, of contentment, of longing, of reflection, of love, of pure survival. I thought that was it.

This was my life. These moments. These feelings. They are familiar. They are consistent.

Then there was a shift that I experienced. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened. It was around 4 years ago. I decided what I had wasn’t enough. What I felt wasn’t all I could feel. Who I was wasn’t all I could be. I wanted to explore how I got to where I was; and really just more of who I was because of situation and circumstance that was beyond my control. I also wanted to open a door to who I had the potential of being.

I consciously took action and sought out therapy. I’ve always been interested in the psychology of the mind and how that plays out in behaviors. I’m a big believer in therapy and what that world can provide to people if they only opened themselves up to it.

I can’t say that I realized at the time what was happening to me. I can’t say there was a defining moment that was the catalyst of change either. I think honestly what happened was that I became bored of all I knew and I was cognizant that there was more to me. That how I showed up every day to the world wasn’t necessarily how I wanted to present myself. But to change how I presented myself I needed to understand myself. To do that is to be vulnerable and compassionate with yourself.

The shift happened subtly although the work and reflection was tough and is still an ongoing process. Trying to understand things that came about in my life while living in the bias that is myself and my life is really strange and so existential I kind of had to look at it from a new mindset. Like holy fuck, heavy stuff. What I’m grateful for is the ability to do so. All of a sudden things weren’t enough. All of a sudden my passions started to present themselves to me. All of a sudden I had a fire in me that burned through me waiting to erupt like a volcano and I wanted everyone to be on my level.

It had me vexed.

What happened next was enlightening; my ideas and my perceptions of myself expanded. I was trying to process so much of what I was learning from my past and what got my to where I was. Throughout that time of self awareness the relationship I was in no longer became the relationship that fulfilled me. I was made to be aware of things I wanted that my man was incapable of giving me; to no fault of his own. He saw that before I did. I saw potential. He saw truth. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and with that I felt my heart break in ways I never thought possible. I thought that because of the place I was in, my expectation was that everything would ‘work out’ because of timing or that I made myself vulnerable to him or whatever the fuck have you.  I had never been in love like that before. Shit, I had never truly been IN love before. He taught me that. My relationship with him taught me that. I think that because I was in such a place of transformation and self reflection already and I fell in love during that time everything was magnified with such propensity.

Through the time of feeling completely gutted, broken heart in a million bloody pieces laid out on the table in front of me; I shed my soul. Literally and figuratively. I reacted in ways I never would have been able to before. I shared with whoever would listen about my heartbreak. I talked and cried and wrote through it. I had to look at myself, really look at myself and what I had become. I continued to go to thearpy. I asked my friends and family for help. That one was tough for me. I could never ask for help before but I did it in all my broken glory. For the most part my request was received and people supported me and held me in such a loving supportive safe space. In a couple instances it wasn’t but there were lessons there that I also value and learned from.

Through my heart break I was still learning of who I was and who I wanted to be. I decided then to be vulnerable. Vulnerable in my pain and my heartache. The people that showed me love and time helped me understand what it meant to have a tribe. There were a few other times in my life I was tested. When that happens people step the fuck up and show you who they are and what you mean to them. It’s a beautiful thing. Through my brokenness I was able to recognize that. It helped me get through the pain. I will forever be grateful for those that showed me kindness, empathy and love. Compassion is huge. It comes from vulnerability. It should never be underestimated. That shit moves mountains.

I have such a hard on for learning and I am addicted to TED Talks. Do yourself a favor and watch the Ted Talk Brene Brown gave on vulnerability below. She is amazing. Then spend your day listening/watching other talks. Expand your mind and learn something. It’ll make you feel good. I promise