Categories
empowerment

Sometimes You Connect, Sometimes You Don’t

An interesting trend I’ve noticed these past few months is how I’ve almost, like magic, repelled people who aren’t in alignment with me.

In years past, I attracted a variety pack of narcissists, fu*k boys, and energy vampires (often times rolled into one). I attracted men who wanted me to be their arm candy, mold me into a Stepford wife, and toss my opinions out the window.

Being me, I always resisted these efforts and would flee shortly after realizing the situation I was in.

As my energetic vibration rose and I let go of my old ideas of being unworthy, my confidence increased. I began to speak up without fear of being judged or misunderstood. I stopped worrying whether people would connect with what I was saying or what my values were and continued to live my life- which is how life is meant to be lived.

As I began to change, the people in my life did, too.

I stopped trying to connect with the people in my family who judged me. I didn’t look at them for validation any longer- and I stopped caring what my peers thought about me, too (not that I ever did).

My bonds either became closer or they fell away. Many people who used to know me no longer connected with me as they used to. Guys who ask me out to coffee drop me off at my front door without trying to come in.

At first, I wondered-

Is my haircut really that bad, or is it because my energy has radically changed?

Jokes aside, I know it’s not the hair.

~

A woman I met through work asked me if I was single about a month ago. I told her yes. Giddy, she exclaimed how I absolutely needed to meet her colleague. I agreed for her to pass along my info, and immediately, the guy found me on Facebook. A few days later, we met up.

The conversation was fine. I had a good time. However, I already knew he was the type of guy I used to go out with- the kind who flashed his smile and colorful socks as he stepped out of his Jaguar on his way to an advertising meeting. That guy. Not the kind of man I’ve been attracted to since going through my own awakening- he was the kind of guy fashion blogger in New York Kristin would have been seen out with at a West Village restaurant. Then again, I also hung out with artists who lived in their run-down Tribeca studios and out-of-work writers who drank with me during the early afternoon on the Upper West Side.

NYC Kristin was still pretty laid back, all things considered.

Needless to say, we didn’t talk after our date. When the woman who set us up saw me afterward, she busted through the door with apologies. “I am SO sorry about that date,” she expressed with sadness in her eyes. I blankly looked at her, smiled, and shook my head.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m used to city dating where you go out, have fun, and it isn’t a big thing. Don’t worry,” I said with a laugh.

Then, she exclaimed once again.

“He just doesn’t know what he wants!”

That’s what really got me. He doesn’t know what he wants?

I know what I want, though- and it isn’t him.

This double standard never fails to make me laugh. As much as I wanted to declare how shallow and materialistic this guy seemed, I didn’t. I just glanced at my boss, who quickly added, “sometimes people connect, and sometimes people don’t!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Obviously, it’s human nature to wonder “what did I do wrong?” In this instance, I simply couldn’t. That just would have been my ego. It’s too obvious that I’m seeking connections with more depth- and I’m not just looking for “a” partner. Despite what society says, I’ve never been convinced I am built for monogamy or a traditional lifestyle, but having friends and companions who fit into your life at different periods seems to make sense to me.

I’ve never been a fan of labels, yet I don’t think we are all built to partner with one person for life. I’ve made some amazing connections with men throughout the years, many of them people I wasn’t “in a relationship” with. It’s clear we had a relationship, though- just not one defined by society standards.

I may never be the woman who comes home to her husband and kids in the suburbs, but I do know I won’t settle for anything less than someone who connects with my spiritual side. After all, that’s the true Kristin- not the one who buys her identity and finds her value in money, things, and status.

A similar situation happened over the summer- see Far From the Shallow.

Categories
self discovery

Lessons I Would Teach My Younger Self

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As I write this evening, I wonder, “What did I need at 14, 15, or 16 years old? What didn’t people tell me that I would have told my younger self?”

Back then, I didn’t know I wouldn’t marry the guy I met at the Cherry Festival or that it didn’t matter that I chose to sit in the library at lunch instead of with kids I didn’t want to have surface conversations with.

I didn’t know I could go to school for art or writing and actually make a living doing it.  I had no idea the internet would create opportunities to connect, learn, and share, and I certainly didn’t expect myself to document my journey living in seven different states this past decade online.

I didn’t know I would become an alcoholic who would ruin a lot of opportunities, only to realize those opportunities weren’t meant for me anyway.  I had to mess up a lot of things to return to the person I always was- the writer who liked sitting in the library.

So, as I write, I just simplified my process.  A lot.  This book has been daunting, like a project I will never complete, yet now it makes perfect sense.

~

As I write with purpose, the words seem to flow and I can feel my energetic vibration raise as I type.  I can envision girls who had similar dreams as me feeling hopeful.  I have no doubt the power of others benefiting from my mistakes, closing the book with more confidence than when they opened it.

I may have taken a lot of wrong turns and detours, yet each twist lead me to exactly where I needed to be- and that is to continue to write.

Intuitively, I knew at an early age I wasn’t meant to conform or play by someone else’s rules.  It didn’t feel natural to “fit in;” yet living in places like San Francisco and New York made me feel “normal” for the first time in my life.

I think about the girl who fearlessly flew out to Tuscon to visit her boyfriend at 17, who graduated high school a semester early, and who skipped out on her senior year events to follow her own dreams- not anyone else’s.  The guy from the Cherry Festival would eventually meet his future wife the following year, and I would make an entirely new group of friends at a college where I knew no one.  I wouldn’t end up with a college sweetheart and I wouldn’t go through with a wedding I almost had, but I learned more about myself living in seven different cities than I ever could by playing it safe.

I had a blank journal with endless pages to fill- so I did.

Since going on my own journey, I haven’t looked back.  Although it feels as if I’ve come full circle, I’ve returned with a newfound love and appreciation for myself- and what the next chapter of my story has around the corner.

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Categories
mindfulness self care

Enjoying a Quiet Life

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As I sipped my morning coffee and watched the rain fall, an article from Elephant Journal appeared in my news feed:

It’s Okay to Want to Live a Slow & Quiet Life.

How often do you question if the life you are currently living is the life that feels most authentic to you?

One of the biggest questions I’ve mulled over the last eight months is, “What kind of life do I really want?”

As I pick through the versions of the lives I’ve lived over the last 15 years, what I keep coming back to is a life founded on simplicity. The life that resonates the most with me was a time I lived on a 50-acre vineyard and farm. My days felt like molasses—a slow, steady, and sweet flow.

It was a life of less in many ways but full of so much more richness because I was away from the busyness of life that is easy to get caught up in. I had time to experience the slow beauty of what was around me, the warm, summer breeze weaving between the apple trees, the distance cries from my flock of sheep, and green grass as it tickled my feet when I walked in it.

Amanda Whitworth

As I read the author’s experiences and journey to simplicity, I resonated with each word.  Being present is a beautiful thing, and could never be beat by bright lights or fast-paced glamour.

The reaction I usually get when people hear I moved back to Michigan is usually “wow, what a change” or “you must be bored.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even in Boston I spent a lot of time to myself and in quiet reflection.  I enjoyed days in the park writing and walked thousands of miles, just snapping photos and listening to music.  My life didn’t have any of the luxuries I was taught would make me feel “complete.”

I embraced what was right in front of me.

Although I used to spend my time going out, dating, and finding chaos, I couldn’t imagine living my life that way anymore.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than going home to a quiet apartment, reading a good book, or finding solace in nature.

Simplicity has become a big part of my life, and taking on the “less is more” mentality has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

It doesn’t take much to be happy when you’re happy within.  That’s the best gift of all.

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Categories
mindfulness self care self discovery

A Mindful Weekend

Every Monday morning, people ask, “did you do anything fun this weekend?”

They usually expect a grand answer.  With the exception of my old party days, my weekends are always pretty quiet.  I wake up early to explore the city, take pictures, write, and do a little shopping.  I indulge in coffee, see a few new spots, and do a lot of walking (Saturday alone was 12 miles!).  

My weekends are sacred to me; they’re my time to recharge, reset, and do the things I love.

I’m the rare breed of human who loves solo dining, going to a movie by myself, and exploring alone- not only because I am comfortable in my own company, but because I can truly be in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me.

I used to think I had to change to fit into other people’s lives, but I have finally realized that they’re the ones who need to be able to fit into mine.

I’m grateful to have wonderful people in my life who do fit- and these days, I don’t have to go to a major event or fill my time with activities just so I don’t feel alone.

I am already home within myself.

Categories
mindfulness self discovery

A Few Good Friends

I’ve always been the type of person who kept her circle small.

Growing up, I had one best friend- we were both artists who shied away from the more rambunctious children.  We didn’t participate in the gossip, nor did we play rough.  We spent time drawing, chatting on the swing set, and using our imagination to create a magical world around us.

As I got older, my habits stayed the same.  I wasn’t invited to parties and I didn’t sit with the popular group at lunch- nor did I try to.

I’ve always done my own thing- but I have been fortunate to always have a few good friends.

Friends who always “get” me.  Friends who have my best interest at heart.  Friends who encourage me to be my best self- and who see the beauty within that I may not recognize on my own.

As an adult, I realize that I won’t be liked by everyone.  I wouldn’t want to be!  Not everyone is on the same path- and that is okay.  We are all on our own journey.

Today, I don’t have to take other people’s criticism personal, and I don’t have to engage or acknowledge their drama- because I know that the people who do matter to me are all I need.