Some days, I’d like to give my intuition a big middle finger. Today is one of those days, but I’ve worked too hard to do that. So instead, I’ll listen. I might not make the right choice, but I’ll listen.

You know the feeling when your heart and your head are at odds? Most of the time this manifests when I have a choice in my life. Quitting a job. Leaving a relationship. The big decisions are the spots where my head tries to nudge my emotions right out of the picture, but my intuition effects everyday decisions too, and they might be just as important. That’s what I’m tangling with today.

When it comes to decisions, practicality should win. Like when you’re leaving a job you should take into account pay and vacation. Benefits. All very adult-like things. The same could be said for the small things. Where to spend your time and energy. When to speak up and when to stay quiet. Trust. I call these things small, but they’re not small at all. In fact, they’re all-encompassing and while they don’t have the drama of a quitting or an ending, they can just as easily change the course of your life.

Does anyone watch Star Trek? One of the reasons I love the series so much – right from the very beginning – has been watching Spock wrestle with his human (emotional) and vulcan (practical) sides. I’m no vulcan, but I feel that. In fact, in the past, I’ve leaned into being hot headed. These days I fall to my practical side, but neither has left me in alignment. How to I balance my heart and my head?

That’s where intuition comes in, and man oh man… have I been cursing it. It’s been pushing me to not only step out of my comfort zone (you can do it), but to make choices and leaps of faith and trust that my head wants to protect me from. My head, my practicality, my vulcan side… they all want to protect me from being hurt, but they sometimes protect me at the cost of not feeling anything at all. At the cost of not taking risks. Not doing anything. Sure, that will prevent me from being hurt. But it will prevent me from soaring, too. It will prevent me from feeling. It will prevent me from being seen.

I’ve hidden behind that practicality for so long. I still don’t like to be seen. I’m a risk taker (ask my hiking friend Amy!) but only so far. I put myself out there, but only to the point where I can get hurt. What lies beyond that point, I wonder? What risks do I have to take with my writing, my heart, my very soul to go beyond that point? What must I put on the line? My intuition knows. It’s been pushing me and pushing me past that. It’s been pushing me to make decisions I don’t want to make and take risks I don’t want to take. I’m so afraid of what lies beyond them, but that’s where my heart is. If only it could take my head along for the ride.

Not everyone is ready for this level of risk. It’s taken years of meditation and seeking to even tune into these intuitive feelings, and in most cases I’m still not ready to take the leap. Thanks, but no thanks, right? Right now, I’m just listening, and it’s okay. But the more I listen, the more I realize I might be ready to take these leaps. Be gentle with my heart when I do.

Sometimes the biggest risks come with the best views

In dreams

Do you keep track of your dreams?

I do. I think they mean different things to different people, but mine are messages for sure. They’re veiled. They’re metaphorical. My mind is an f’ed up place, but I can usually make sense of them.

For years, I had dreams about high school. Often it was the first day of school and I was lost. I didn’t know where my classes were or my locker was… I lost my homework… I couldn’t find my friends. Super typical anxiety dreams. It wasn’t until I figured out what they were trying to tell me that I stopped having them.

What would you make of those? It took some hardcore digging to realize all the metaphors hidden in those dreams, and it was tough even for a writer who adores metaphors (maybe a little too much.) I thought maybe it meant I’d lost my path somewhere when I was younger, and I did. My dreams were trying to pull me back.

I suppose deep down I thought my past journey was a mess. The school I was dreaming about was my life. It wasn’t until I got serious about my path and my goals and my direction that I just stopped having that dream. Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of other messed up dreams. (Dinosaurs, anyone?) Usually they’re trying to put me back on the right track, too. That track is a hard place for me to stay on. Alignment doesn’t come easy to me. In fact, it hurts sometimes.

I mention this because I had a similar dream last night where I found myself in the halls of my old high school, and I thought ‘oh no, not this again.’ But this time was different. It was the last day of school, not the first. And everyone was cleaning out their lockers. I started with the same anxiety, but this time when I couldn’t find my locker, I plum walked right out. I remember pushing open those doors (they were blue) and the feeling of relief that came with it. I remember being followed by my friend Amy’s daughter Kylie (sorry, honey I think you are a manifestation of my past self in this dream! haha). She said “aren’t you going to come back and clean out your locker?” And I said “No, thanks!” and walked away.

While I appreciate the validation from my subconscious, I don’t think I’ve entirely walked away from everything I need to. I still struggle – greatly – with being a people pleaser. I still try to be everything to everyone and put myself last. I’m learning, and maybe that’s what this dream was trying to tell me. The path isn’t sticky. It’s not something I can put myself on and stay there, like the rails on the Epcot monorail. Like the trails I frequent in the woods, it’s easy to lose my way because I’m distracted, or see something interesting, or maybe, sometimes, because the path isn’t well worn and won’t show itself to me. Tests? Maybe. Some I’m going to fail. Some I already have failed, but with the help of dreams, I’m finding my way back.

My path ❤

Facing myself

Taking myself off social media this week was a bandaid, but it gave me time to think about what my real problems are. It turns out those aren’t easily solved in a week, not even with a lot of silence.

I didn’t realize until I tried to take some selfies today just how much I’ve been beating myself up. I’m not hung up on my looks. In fact my physical trainer, Angela, has to talk me into watching my form at the gym. It’s not that I particularly don’t like looking in a mirror… Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t particularly like looking in a mirror, and especially at the gym. I’m there for health reasons, but for health reasons it’s sometimes important to make sure you’re lifting correctly. Watching your form is, of course, not a matter of vanity. That was never my problem. My problem is facing myself, and yikes, have I been slacking on that.

I’m not sure why the first thing to go when I’m feeling down is self care. I suppose it feels self indulgent to take care of myself when I have a busy schedule. And after giving pieces of myself away all day, I have none left for me. I’ve been making an effort to get to the gym, but I haven’t been eating right. I haven’t been drinking water. I haven’t been sleeping, and I’ve worn the same Stevie Nicks concert shirt for three days. In fact, my entire diet this month has consisted of a combination of fast food, coffee, and alcohol. Crikey, no wonder I’ve felt like crap. It’s easy to spiral out of control, and I have. I knew my mood was dumpy, I just didn’t realize it showed so much on my face.

It’s not that I think I look bad in these selfies. If I showed them to my friends, I’m 100% sure they’d lift me up. My age has never bothered me. My weight has never bothered me. I am who I am. My real power is on the inside. But what bothers me is that I know I can be better. I can feel better. I can tell in these pictures how sunken in and tired and crappy I feel. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these pictures say: “girl, pull yourself together.” No further words are needed.

I wish I could blame this on a time management issue, adjust my schedule, and go on my merry way, but it’s so much more than that. I talked in my last blog about the physical/mental connection and it has me wondering… am I not taking care of myself because I don’t think I’m worth taking care of? Do I think I deserve these sunken in eyes? This constant fatigue? These negative voices beating me down? It’s definitely a possibility, because I do feel those things sometimes. Which came first, the physical or mental blues? They’re so tied together, I’m not sure I can tell.

I blamed my lack of self care on a busy schedule and poor time management. I didn’t realize until I was off social media those weren’t my problems at all. Am I a little more productive off Facebook? Sure. But I’m also a little more lonely. Is that a trade off I’m willing to make? Sometimes. Last week, it was a tradeoff I had to make for my own sanity. But other days? I’m not sure there’s anything to do on those other days but buckle down and do the hard work of putting myself first. Oof, that was hard to type, especially for a giver. But so often being a giver turns into being a doormat, and the difference between the two has a lot to do with that self care I’ve been neglecting.

Even though I know how much it will make me feel better, I can’t promise I’m going to wake up tomorrow fresh faced after getting eight full hours of sleep and immediately change all my habits. I can maybe promise to change one thing though, (one thing besides that concert t-shirt!) I can promise to take a step. And maybe that step needs to start on the inside. Maybe that step is believing I deserve to feel better. Maybe that step is just looking at myself in the mirror, all of myself, and accepting me for who I am. And from there, just drink some water 🙂

Frustrated with selfie taking, but my hair looks good!

Left behind

The world is going on without me

It’s a strange feeling to be offline and outside the current. Do people miss me? Do they know I’m gone? You can’t create value somewhere when you’re absent, but my absence has me wondering if I ever created value or just simply took up space. Did all the pieces of my heart I left all over the place mean anything? Anything besides the holes they left in me? 

I suppose that’s the plight of the empath, right? To help. To heal. Even when no one acknowledges you’re there. That makes me sound like a martyr. I’m not. I’m not a fan of the spotlight. In fact, I shy away from it. I’d rather help from the shadows. But sometimes I wish someone would just look at me. See me. 

I know I have to see myself first and that’s what I’m doing. Acknowledge myself. Love myself. I’m getting there. It’s true I have so much more time without the timesuck of mindless scrolling. I’ve almost finished writing a book. I’ve written three of these blog posts in three days. But in turn, I’ve also considered quitting this blog and taking it down. The silence has given me a lot of time to think. Sometimes the fact that no one misses me turns into why bother. What’s the point? 

I also accuse myself of attention seeking, though erasing yourself is a funny way of going about that. I actually don’t think attention seeking is a terrible thing, if it’s done the right way & not self sabotaging. This would surely quality as the self sabotaging kind, but I’m not sure I know anything else. 

Am I, like a petulant child, stomping my feet to tell everyone how much they’ll miss me? There’s a line in Terms of Endearment (one of my favorite movies) when Jack Nicholson breaks up with Shirley MacLaine’s character and she says: “you don’t even know how much you’re going to miss me.”

Is that what I’m hoping? I’m a little bit like Shirley’s character in that movie (maybe more than a bit) in the way that I’m giving but I’m also a lot sometimes. I’ve done some soul seeking this week. I don’t think I’m attention seeking. I don’t think I’m begging to be seen, but I am sad. I am working some things out. And for me, the best place to do that is in silence, even if it’s lonely. 

Where I like to work things out
My horoscope 🙂


How funny that today – Mabon, the autumn equinox – is all about balance because I have been so, so out if it. 

I’m not just talking mentally (although that’s a huge component), but there are some quite physical manifestations. Yesterday, at the gym, I couldn’t stand on one leg. I was so shakey I just couldn’t do it. I came home to try my yoga video and for someone who’s (pardon the pat on the back) usually expert at standing balances. I couldn’t lift my leg without falling. 

What is happening to me?  I’ll tell you. My mind and body are so connected. When something throws me out of alignment, or I’m trying to hide my feelings, my body goes into overdrive to correct it. It’s not just being shakey. I’m not sleeping. My stomach hurts. I’m tired all the time. My motivation is in the tank. I just can’t bring myself back. 

I’ve been off social media this week. I thought disconnecting for a bit would help. Sometimes it brings clarity, but sometimes it brings loneliness. This time it brought a little of each, I guess, but what it didn’t bring was alignment.

Sometimes the online world is a lot, but sometimes the inside world is a lot, too. I thought with the energy of Mabon I could bring myself back online, and thus, back into alignment. If light and dark can do it, surely I can, too? But it turns out it’s not that easy. Perhaps the autumn energy is here to teach me something besides balance. Gratitude, maybe? Letting go. I’m sitting in silence for a while… in loneliness… while I try to figure it out.

Credit: the Healing Collective
Balance ❤

In hiding

I have a blog I’m sitting on that I never posted. I have one I posted and took down. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little over exposed. A little “why bother?”

This feeling isn’t contained to my creative life. I have times when I feel that way in my job or in my relationships. Hell, in my whole life. The risk of putting everything out there is that everyone can see you. And when everyone can see you, you can bet they’re going to judge you. Is anyone judging me right now? No. But that doesn’t always matter. I’m judging me.

I’m not like other people. I don’t “fit in.” I don’t follow. I don’t always make sense, least of all to myself. One of my good friends calls me the biggest paradox he’s ever seen. I usually wear that as a badge of honor, but sometimes…

Sometimes I desperately want to fit in. I want a tribe. I want to belong.

I’m aware that’s middle school Amy talking. I’m usually much more independent. Much stronger. Much more accepting of things that come into my life and things that leave. Welcoming of that, even. Everything has its season and so on. And let’s be honest, I don’t want people in my life that don’t explicitly want to be there. I’m not proud of this but sometimes I make them jump through hoops to prove it. But no matter how many hoops I make people jump through, seasons are going to change. I can’t stop that, no matter how many knots I bend myself into trying to fit in.

I worry, though, that I’m speeding up that process by being “too much” me. While I know in my head you can’t be too much of yourself, somehow that message doesn’t always make it to my heart. In the last week I’ve accused myself of being too loud, over sensitive, annoying, tiresome, and a loser/failure/nobody. No wonder I don’t feel like being creative. No wonder I don’t feel like being exposed. Sometimes, just the act of being me feels like being naked in front of a crowd. Sometimes I am that middle school Amy, just begging people to like me. It sure doesn’t make me want to take risks. It doesn’t make me want to be seen. In fact, I’m struggling not to hide.

I shut down my social media pages this week, but it seems the struggle is more internal than external. I’m here, working it out in a blog that I may or may not have the courage to share. I’ll get back to being me in time, I hope. I usually do. I’ll get back to recognizing that those things I accused myself of actually make me the quirky and unique person I am. Maybe I’ll even like those things about myself? This blog post is a step, but the social media pages? They might have to wait a little while longer. The process of accepting all of myself is a slow one. For now, I’ll just have to settle on sharing a little part of me until I’m ready for the world again – or maybe until the world is ready for me.

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Part of being uniquely me is that I put up a Halloween tree this week

Bar = raised?

It’s been a couple years of zoom calls. I’ve met many of my best friends online, and I even have a business I conduct mostly there. I try to put my best foot forward, but sometimes I suppose I get tired of trying to look my best. Of makeup, and having my hair just right and lighting – oh, lighting. Sometimes that incessant shine of the ring camera gives me a headache, and my favorite meetings are the ones I can have in the dark.

Like my dreams, there’s a metaphor there. One of not being able to show your real self in the light. Of hiding. I’m guilty of that. Quite guilty. It doesn’t even need a metaphor to show itself. The face I put on in the daytime isn’t the real me. I hide things. I suppose we all do. Maybe I’m just exaggerating when I feel like my shadow self is heavier than other peoples. Maybe yours is heavy, too? Maybe we all walk around carrying these heavy shadow versions of ourselves? Maybe, even, mine is comparatively light? But I doubt it.

That makes those dark meetings, those real meetings, so much more important. I like to say I’m fortunate in the people I have around me but I don’t think that’s quite true. I’m mindful of the people I have around me, as much as I can be. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I think there’s a strong argument there in terms of the conversations you’re part of and the visions you’re exposed to. The energy. My five people are solid, if dark.

My last dark meeting was with my accountability partner. If you’ve followed me for a while you know that accountability is a broad term. We don’t just keep each other on track creatively, but Lisa has helped me when I’ve veered so far off the tracks I don’t even know where the tracks are anymore or what they look like. Sometimes it’s because those tracks weren’t right for me, so we make new tracks. Or, sometimes, we just sit in the dark for a bit before finding our way back. Sometimes, accountability is just keeping going. And so far, I’ve kept going.

But sometimes, accountability is raising the bar. Stay with me. Accountability can be scary.

My expectations for myself are pretty high, you might say unreachably so. Sometimes that’s more than okay. Dreaming is important. Visions are important. But sometimes I put that bar unreachably high so I can beat myself up for not reaching it. I’m good at that. No matter how high the bar is, it’s not good enough. Lisa has helped me realize that raising the bar might actually mean readjusting it. I’m not using the word “lower”. Self care isn’t lowering the bar. Not at all. But recognizing what I’m capable of? Organizing? Planning things out? That might be important.

The other part of raising the bar, (actually the whole point of this blog) is realizing when you raise your own bar you raise it for other people, too. I can’t control other people. I can control what I accept from them – and if you think I’m being flippant, or I think that’s easy, I’m not and it isn’t. I’ve lived my life as a doormat. It’s my baseline, and no matter how hard I push back I have the tendency to revert to it. Here, let me lie down flatter so you can walk on me some more. Oof. Raising my bar means getting up, and I’m not lying when I say it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn to do.

I can’t tell you how. Raising your bar is going to look different than raising my bar, no matter how heavy that shadow self is. Mine? Well, it’s part fighting the urge to withdraw when I have any kind of feelings. I’m learning to let myself feel them. Letting myself express them might come later, but it will come. I hope, anyway. This is a work in progress. This week, in particular, I’m fighting whether to express myself or hide. There’s not a lot of middle ground. You probably think as a mental health blogger this comes easy. It doesn’t. You’ve probably had the experience of having your feelings invalidated. Maybe it made you hide? Maybe it made you develop a pattern of hiding? Maybe that pattern took over your life until it was suffocating you? In that case, raise your bar. However that looks. Maybe it’s changing the 5 people you’re around the most. Maybe it’s changing yourself. Maybe it’s getting yourself a Lisa and getting back on track. Or just sitting in the dark.

On the top of my journal page that day I wrote bar = raised? You’ll notice the question mark. I’m not quite there yet. But my bar is higher than it was last week. Hope you can meet me there.

My light was off last week

In dreams

I have the most beautiful and terrible dreams sometimes. 

They tell me things. Things stuck in my subconscious. Sometimes things I don’t want to think about or look at.

 I’m not just talking nightmares. Last night I dreamed I blamed someone for something I’d done. I don’t even know what that something was, only that it was bad. And an innocent person was taking the blame for it. 

I spent a few minutes after I woke thinking about it. Maybe I’m feeling guilty about something? Maybe I pushed something off on someone else? It wasn’t until later in the day when my sleep fog wore off & coffee kicked in (there was some meditation involved) that I realized the thing I’d pushed off – that terrible thing I was hiding – was myself. 

It seems like a leap and it’s not. It seems sad, and it is. I wasn’t trying to push off some terrible thing I’d done. I’m a pretty decent person. There aren’t a lot of terrible deeds in my closet. There’s a lot of shame, though. That shame circles around who I am. I can’t always explain it, but there’s a reason I let people walk all over me. There’s a reason I quit things before I truly try. There’s a reason I don’t let myself dream or think I’m worthy. There’s a reason I run. I just don’t always like me. 

It would be so much easier if, like in my dream, I could push off those feelings onto someone else. If I could blame someone else for feeling insecure or unconfident or sad – more than sad, even. But the truth is those are my feelings and I own them. If I push them off on someone else, or blame the outside world for what I’m feeling inside, I’ll feel worse. Because those people are innocent. Of this, anyway. Have people done some shitty things to me? Yes, indeed. Am I responsible for how I handle that? 100%. 

I haven’t always handled those things well. I’ve blamed people. I’ve ignored things I should have addressed. I’ve internalized. That’s an unholy trio that results in a lot of issues I’m still dealing with. It seems like ignoring things should be a lot easier than looking in the mirror and facing your shit, but trust me when I say your shit catches up with you. Sometimes in your dreams. Or nightmares.

I don’t know how to tell my subconscious I’m ready to take ownership of my bullshit. I don’t even know if I’m ready to take ownership of my bullshit, but I think it starts with feeling it, and maybe that’s what my subconscious was trying to remind me. I don’t doubt I’ll have more of these dreams, maybe even a little more scary and intense. There are a lot of rooms in my subconscious to sweep up, so to speak, and I’ll be honest. I have no idea how to do it. It’s a lifelong process. But I appreciate the guidance, even if I’m scared to follow it.

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In other news, I have gone curly for the summer

Seasonal depression

I tend to go hard in the summer. With plans. With concerts and days out and fun. It’s because I know my mood sinks when the weather takes a turn. There’s science behind it, something about sunshine and vitamin D levels. All I know is it effects me. And if I can start autumn off on a high, I always hope I can coast through winter. 

But I might be lying to myself about how the summer effects me, too. It’s not that I don’t love it. The freedom. The long days. The weather. Here in New England I appreciate not having to drag out a coat and hat and boots every time I step out. That time is coming. But summer has me wistful, too. 

As easy as it is to blame Mother Nature, I don’t think all my problems are seasonal. In between all those fun plans, I’ve done a lot of work on myself. I know what it takes to stay mentally (& physically) healthy, I just don’t always do it. Why? There’s a time crunch, for sure. There’s a seasonal component. But the real reason? The layer behind all those other layers? I don’t make myself a priority because I just don’t see myself as important. I’m a secondary character in my own life. I always have been.

I know what you’re thinking. Not this again. I’m thinking that, too. How many blogs am I going to write about worthiness? A lot, maybe. It’s not something I can turn around with just a few essays or counseling sessions. It’s not just that these beliefs are deep seated. It’s not that they’re seasonal. It’s that they make up the core of who I am. Maybe who you are, too?

It’s not fun to confront that part of yourself. In fact, it feels a little self indulgent. Who has time for this new age bullshit when I should be cleaning my house or working? Writing, even. Writing something less esoteric. Maybe something that could conventionally sell. I could be making something of myself. I could be making money. Or I could be watching tv. The world is literally made for you to prioritize everything else and avoid these hard questions. But if there’s one thing I can’t shut off about myself, it’s my curiosity. I’m going to open doors and ask hard questions, even if I don’t have answers to them. 

So what are those hard questions? It goes deeper than why do autumn and winter make me blue? (Though a worthy question to pursue, for sure). It even goes deeper than why is my self worth in the gutter? It goes right to the heart of worthiness. 

I don’t have an answer for how to make myself feel more worthy. Gosh, if I did that’s what I would be writing! But I tend to believe confidence goes a long way. In fact, when my kids are trying out for sports or interviewing, one of my best pieces of advice is ‘confidence is everything’. But I’ve never been able to internalize that. I’m not sure it’s something you can just tell yourself, but I also don’t think there’s any harm in trying. 

This morning, I’m writing down my goals through March. Some of them are concrete, involving health or writing. Some of them are, well… esoteric. Some of them are everyday goals to keep me on track. Some of them are lofty enough I’m not likely to reach them in this lifetime, never mind this winter. Some are even out of my hands, but there are steps I can take, and a confidence I can have not just in myself but the big picture and the plan and a higher power, if you believe in such. I do, though sometimes I forget. 

I’m hoping that keeping my focus on these goals will hold me steady, not just through this autumn and winter but beyond. It’s not going to rebuild my fragile sense of worthiness. I’m still working on that. It’s one of my goals, actually. But I hope that knowing I have steps to take, and believing in a big picture will keep me anchored through the colder seasons. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long winter.

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Some of the fun I’ve been having over the summer.

Red flags

I’ve been missing the sunsets. I’ve been missing journaling. I’ve been eating like crap. Sometimes it takes the bottom of a spiral to even realize you’re in one, and the view looking up isn’t always pretty. In fact, it feels like there’s a weight pressing down, keeping me from getting up. I believe technically that weight is called anxiety, or possibly panic attacks. It just feels like a weight. The weight of sadness.

I have this fun thing I do when I’m in that place where I reexamine every word everyone has ever said to me and play them over and over. Especially the ones that were hurtful. The ones that tweaked my insecurities. It’s a real party.

I always thought this was a toxic trait, but lately I’ve been trying to lean into these annoyingly depressive states, and I’m wondering if obsessing about these thoughts is trying to tell me something. Something more than just the sadomasochistic desire to beat myself up, which I am quite familiar with. I actually think somewhere deep down I’m trying to save myself more grief. Maybe, in some cases, I’ve lowered my standards too much? Maybe I’m around the wrong people?

I know you can’t hold everyone to every little thing they say. Some things are off-the-cuff, or said in jest, or without thinking. But some? Some hold a shard of truth, one that’s sharp enough to cut you again. And again and again if you don’t pay attention. I’m the type of person who believes the best in people until they go for the jugular. Even then, really. Here, let me slice another vein for you. Let me dig the knife in deeper, it’s not quite piercing my heart yet. A little to the left… It’s been 45 years of that. I don’t suppose I have to tell you how deep those cuts go. They’re still bleeding.

The better time to think about this is probably when I’m not feeling like trash, but it’s a cycle I’m having trouble breaking. Down and down and down we go.

You know those comments people say in jest? The ones you laugh at, but they’re not funny? I think they’re meant to be veiled insults. In the past, I was so desperate for connections I might have ignored these kinds of red flags, or blamed myself. You know what? They’re right. I am kind of weird/loud/annoying. I should just shut up/fit in/delete all my social media posts/go away. I probably don’t need to tell you, but that’s a pretty insidious way of thinking. And middle school, to boot. I’m too old for that bullshit. I can’t entertain “going away.” Not anymore.

I’d love to say I proudly wear being weird/loud/annoying, but I don’t. The things that make me stand out still make me insecure sometimes. A lot of times, really. And when someone tweaks them? Ouch. That can send me into a spiral, especially if that someone is a friend. But is that someone a friend? I know you can’t hold everyone to every little thing they say (can you?) but thinking back, I’ve never heard those comments from people I consider my good friends. That’s a small circle, for sure, but it’s a tight one. They’re the people I trust so much that if there’s something I need to hear, they’ll find a kind, tactful, appropriate way to bring it up and not a dig.

Those people who dig? Maybe you need me to tell you this – I know I sure need to tell myself – they mean it. It’s hard for me to entertain even veiled cruelty because I just don’t understand it, but they mean it. They know it tweaks your insecurities and they say it anyway. Why? For a reaction? Because of jealousy? To make themselves feel good? I don’t know. That’s sure not how I make myself feel good. And it’s not someone I want to be around anymore. I no longer need the connection that badly, at the cost of myself. I’m just learning it’s okay to pull away. It’s okay to shut doors. It’s okay to be weird or loud or annoying. In fact, it’s kind of awesome.

Those red flags are there for a reason, and it’s not to beat myself up about my perceived inadequacies. I’ve done that enough, thanks. It’s to help me figure out who gets a place in that inner circle, and who doesn’t. It’s to help me learn to value myself enough to close doors to places (& people) that aren’t serving me. And it’s to know I’m good enough, and worthy enough, to raise that bar. When I do, the right people will meet me there. I’d like to say I won’t worry about those little comments then, but I probably will. I am who I am. I forgive easily. I care deeply and I give too many chances. I won’t let the world change that, but maybe protecting my heart isn’t such a bad thing, either.

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My idea of a good time is visiting Stephen King’s house in Bangor. Sadly I was not invited inside 🙂
Sara gets me through these spirals ❤