Cat Lady Thanksgiving

When I first started my blog shortly after moving to Boston, I compared myself to Holly Golightly, alone in the city, having a Cat Lady Christmas.

At the time I felt misunderstood and lost, but I explored the city for comfort, gazed inside glistening windows, and treated myself to a bachelorette holiday, complete with pizza and shopping.  It sounded pretty good at the time, but since that week in 2016, I’ve grown leaps and bounds… and have come a long way.

When I started Mindful in Style, I began to accept myself and share who I really was.

It wasn’t an easy three years- I struggled with anxiety, letting people get close to me, alcohol, and pains of the past.  While living in Boston, however, I learned to let people love me, to feel comfortable in my own skin, and to be vulnerable.  While it used to be easier to keep others at arm’s length, I’ve learned the power of connection- and how embodying my authentic self attracts people who appreciate the true person I am.

Since moving home, I’ve been filled with gratitude for the person I became while living in Boston, and I’ve forgiven myself for the mistakes I have made.  Even though it was a wonderful experience, I know I’m right where I belong- and I finally became ready to buy some furniture and give the cat a name.

This Thanksgiving I’m extremely thankful to be with family, to have a home of my very own, and to have the newest member of the family, Ollie, to share it with me.

No longer feeling misunderstood and lost, I know I am right where I belong.

Check On The Strong Ones

You never know what someone else is going through.

Last summer, while living in Boston, my life seemed fantastic. I was working at a law firm downtown, living in a cute studio, and smiling for photos.

I visited friends in New York City, went to museums, enjoyed baseball games, and wore designer clothes.  I spent days in the Public Garden and wrote inspirational blog posts- yet what most people didn’t know was that I was on the verge of the unraveling of my final year in Boston.

Society spends so much time comparing our own lives to other people- but we only know part of their story.

We check Facebook to see what our friends are doing on vacation, we compare our jobs, and we make up stories in our own minds as to what someone’s life is truly like.  We see people and their seemingly perfect families, adorable kids, and handsome husbands.

This is a reminder to check on those who seem to have it all together- the strong ones who may not seem to need help at all.

I never wanted to admit I needed help, that I was lonely, or that I was unsure of where my life was going.  Thankfully, I realized that I can’t write a story that wasn’t meant for me.

Now that I am back in Michigan, I can reflect on the good times, the bad, and have immense gratitude for surviving (and thriving!) through everything I experienced.

Remember to check on those friends who seem like they have it all together- because each story has its own twists and turns.

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.