Home is Where the Heart Is

As I drank my morning coffee, James Taylor came on my iTunes.  Reminding me of a note I scribbled on my boarding pass, these lyrics spoke to me:

You can play the game,
You can act out the part,
Though you know it wasn’t written for you.
Tell me how can you stand there with your broken heart,
Ashamed to playin’ a fool?

I gave Boston everything I had- I reached deep into my soul looking to find home in the city, not realizing I had been avoiding love from those who mattered most: my family and friends in Michigan.

You can run but you cannot hide,
This is widely known,
Now what you plan to do
with your foolish pride,
when you’re all by yourself alone?

Today, I no longer have to hide in a big city, put on a facade, or be alone.

I have been showered with love, and since I finally am learning to accept that love, I am showering the people with my love, too.

Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Things are gonna be much better, if you only will.

False Strength: Coming Home

Three years ago I took a one way flight to Boston.  Seemingly fearless and free, my eyes were wide open and my heart was full of hope.

Although my life on the outside was often beautiful, I still had a hole within my soul.  I did anything I could to fill it- healthy friendships, meditation, sobriety, spirituality, nature, crystals- you name it.  Even the best supports, jobs, or material things left me empty.

What could be wrong?

Looking for fulfillment, I moved all over since 2008- San Francisco, Austin, New York, Chicago, Boston- anywhere I could to live that “city girl” persona.  I spent holidays alone, navigated new cities by myself, and thought I would be happiest single.

I didn’t think I needed love, family, or support.  But that was what I need the most.

It may have taken me over a decade to realize I didn’t have anything to prove to other people- because I know in my heart who I am, what matters, and what I have to offer the world.

Thank you for three beautiful, turbulent, enlightening years, Boston. You helped me learn that I no longer have to run from those who love me, but most importantly, from myself. ❤️

Grateful for this next chapter.

Nothing Will Go Away Until It Teaches Us What We Need To Know

Running away from my problems used to be my favorite coping mechanism.

I can still fall prey to this old bad habit; I’ll hope people who bother me will disappear, or I will leave situations when I’m uncomfortable.  However, every time I do this the same people pop back up, and the same situations manifest in a different way… over and over again.

It’s a fact.

I could write about endless examples, but there’s one I have in mind which was so bitterly uncomfortable that I’m still surprised I got through it.  When I had a difficult roommate, I obviously thought the solution was to move.  To run away.  Despite receiving the silent treatment for weeks, I didn’t leave- and get this:

I was kind.

I still said “excuse me” when we would pass each other in the hallway, and I still tried to be considerate despite her obvious distaste for me.  Although I really had no idea what I had done wrong, I didn’t cower or run away- but I did later learn she had been secretly drinking.

It wasn’t even me that was the problem.

Old Kristin would have run away to avoid the feelings of rejection, discomfort, and anger- but New Kristin dealt with the situation, stuck to her guns, and now has a much better living situation because she stuck with it.

Completing things you started can be difficult- especially for someone like me who hates to be uncomfortable.  If you were to ask me in an interview today if I am a “team player,” I would probably stop lying and tell them I work best independently.  The truth is, I’m not a team player- I’m one of those kids who got frustrated in school and did the entire project themselves.  As a control freak and type-A person, I kept trying to do everything myself, over and over again, and do it MY way.

But those bad roommates will keep coming along, and so will team assignments.  It’s up to you to choose how to handle them today.

Maybe I do work best independently, and I look forward to the day I don’t have roommates anymore.  Nevertheless, as long as I remain teachable and willing to put down my ego and learn to live life differently than I used to, I’ll be just fine.