Real talk

Sometimes you read things for class and you just feel it in your bones. this. This. THIS. Thankful for my friends who allow this mutual give and take–CBIT, CEDMM, AMB, SLB, CSL, EJH, ALBW. Beyond words.

Your Feet’s Too Big

I wrote this last night but didn’t want to post it back to back, so I’m posting now:

There are times that you just need to rest. Things begin to feel like too much. You just need to breathe. First, it’s okay to admit the need to slow down, recenter, clear your head, and disengage. Second, it’s important to identify what is yours and what isn’t.

When I don’t do a good job of checks and balances, it’s easy for my HSP heart and mind to get overstimulated. I value being present for my friends and family–but sometimes I take in too much of their emotions (oftentimes unintentionally). So I have to process and set aside what aren’t actually my emotions. I just finished a book about empaths and that’s something it suggested–to know your boundaries and be clear about what is yours and what isn’t. Tonight I felt feelings that weren’t mine, in processing through a loss and grief of a friend. It sat heavy. But I had to remember that I can show up for her without taking on her feelings–and in the long run that is better for the both of us. And this doesn’t make my presence and my support any less.

I also felt plenty of my own feelings today. Responses and gut checks associated with a specific situation that has been repeatedly brought to light over the last two weeks. Sometimes there are feelings or situations we’d rather not have to recall. But we don’t always get to control that. And so it’s good to have mechanisms in place to guide us through those times. For me that means owning what I’m feeling, and sharing with a very small group about those feelings. Vulnerability is important. And having people you trust to share with is also key.

These paired together made the evening feel heavy. It makes sleep look really great. It makes the start of something new tomorrow–a new day–feel promising and exciting. Some moments can feel like too much. Recognize it, embrace it, and then work through it and get to the other side (whatever that looks like for you). Take care of yourself. Listen to what you are feeling. And don’t be afraid to be selfish and stubborn and protect your own needs.

She Speaks…

You’ve always been early, so it doesn’t surprise me when I wake ten minutes before our witching hour. 3:50 a.m. and my instinct tells me there is something you are trying to say, though I’m sure J don’t always get it right. Advice wasn’t like this before–I wasn’t really one to ask for it, and generally you didn’t just dole it out either. But things are different now, and I think all too often about what you’d say in certain circumstances or how you’d react to what’s happening in my life (really in any of our lives). You are speaking and I know there is something I need to hear.

Maybe it’s your reaction to the wonderful chaos of the last ten days, maybe you’re screaming your presence with us as we prepare for family photos, maybe you are reminding us that not everyone was raised like we were and it is okay to set our own boundaries as we need them.

Maybe it’s a reminder to be fierce in the face of adversity, to show grit and not back down when things feel uncomfortable or a little bit off, to allow ourselves to shed our skin when words and phrases make every part of that skin crawl.

Perhaps you are telling me to be patient (though that lesson usually comes from dad). Are you softly saying that I need to start sharing more of what I know so others don’t feel left out or left behind? I know your thankful for the time we created with two of your dearest friends–who both think of you often and might miss you as much as I do.

It’s a reminder of your pride for each of us. For our academic pursuits and other accomplishments. For the way we hold onto and hold each other up. It’s a recognition of your love for Sweeps and the joy he brings to us all. It the reassurance in the moments that I doubt and worry–about who you won’t meet or what you won’t see–that in fact you will and you do. Just like I reassured you. Your presence is here in large and small ways–and sometimes I just need that reminder to see, to feel, to listen, to know.

Don’t Forget to Stretch

I’ve been running three times a week. It’s a good practice to get back into, my body feels better when it is moving, but boy is it rough some days. I was commiserating with a friend the other day about how my legs hurt (okay, I ran two days back to back). Their words of advice, “don’t forget to stretch”. I hadn’t really thought about that any more until today when I watched my sister stretch before she went for her run this morning. How often in our lives do we forget to stretch?

One of my dear college friends gifted me a book several months ago. She recognized all the work I’ve done on and for me in the last year. (Boy, does it feel good when people actually see me and get it). I’ve started reading it and spent some time with it this morning as I sipped my coffee. One theme, you don’t need much to take the plunge and be brave. But you do need some framework–you can stretch yourself into it. You can do it, with passion and drive. Don’t forget to stretch yourself.


When I was little I always wanted a little brother. I can remember dreaming of it, and mentioning it to my parents, and I even remember their side glances that I didn’t understand (that actually read as “sorry kiddo, not physically possible”). I thought it would be wonderful because all of our initials were alphabetical and so he could be “SOS”. But as I got older I realized it wasn’t in the cards.

My first year at camp at my now job, for some reason my name got jumbled on the sign-in sheet. My last name got superseded by the surname below me alphabetically. And so it became a joke that I was a part of that family. They had two boys who were in my youth groups. And they became my “brothers”. At the end of the week we even took a “family” picture together (I’m sure much to the enjoyment of me and the mom, and the chagrin of the boys). But whenever I see those two (no longer) boys, I get a wonderful sense of pride. They aren’t actually my brothers, but it makes my heart swell.

Friends and I talked about going to get drinks at a local brewery where one of my “brothers” works. I immediately texted him to see when he works and found that his schedule wasn’t necessarily ideal, and then he said something that tugged on my heartstrings, “if I’m free I can meet you there”. It’s the little things, am I right? He’d spend his time off hanging out with me at his place of employment? Well that’s just cool. It’s wonderful to see the seeds you plant grow. It’s wonderful to see the respectful, considerate, genuine people your kids grow into and the ways they still reach out to you (and each other).

Hopefully I get to take him up on his offer soon!