Some Perspective About Using Your Time Productively During the Coronavirus Pandemic

While I went through my own personal crisis in my late 20’s and early 30’s I learned a lot of things.

Needless to say, I have my own perspective on the state of the world and its reaction to the Coronavirus.

I almost died more times than I can count. I went to the hospital with a BAC a of .6 and was told later I shouldn’t have lived. I’ve been taken out of work functions (plural) in an ambulance.

Yes, I did this all to myself, but it was a byproduct of unresolved trauma and pain. So, I started to work on it. It wasn’t pretty, and new issues pop up all the time. Today I can handle those issues productively.

Would you guess I’m heading to the airport after a 30 day stint in a Mississippi rehab? Probably not, but I started Mindful in Style two weeks later.

I understand there is a universe all order to life. I understand I had a reason to live. So I kept writing, and I kept growing.

Now that we’re in the midst of a global crisis, I can use these lessons and help others. It might not be much, and I may not be able to solve anyone’s health or financial problems, but if I can shed just a little bit of light, then you may understand why I’m so passionate about writing my not-so-pretty experiences.

I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with my perspective, and that’s okay. Since I already stay home the majority of the time I’m not working (and the other is spent by myself or with a friend outside), I intend to spend this time completing my v-steam course, finishing my book, and reaching out to literary agents.

How will you use this time?

Where I See Myself

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“I want to write. I want to write stories that make people feel less alone than I did. I want to make people laugh about the things in life that are painful. That’s what I want to do.” –Hannah, Girls

I am finally finishing Girls, one of my favorite TV shows.  Over the past couple of years I’ve been absorbed in my own life, without HBO (until now) or television in general.  However, it’s a good thing I am finishing the series when I am, because the synchronicities between Hannah Horvath and myself are out of control.

Not only is she an only child from Michigan like me, she moved to New York City with the dream of becoming a writer.  She got herself into ridiculous situations, met a plethora of crazy characters, and even was published in the Modern Love section of the New York Times- yet another goal of mine.

When asked where she wanted to be in three to five years by author Chuck Palmer (who stated how much he loves Traverse City, my hometown), she told him she wanted to write.

The vulnerability of writing is powerful, healing, and helpful to others- and like Hannah, I want to write to make people not feel so alone, too.

I’ve never been good at “jobs;” as a creative person, I’ve struggled in office environments.  I’ve had creative differences with people I have worked for.  I have had a vision, a dream, and a wild streak- something that employers generally don’t value or understand.

Freelance writing is something I am looking to do full-time, yet working on my book is my top priority right now.  In addition to writing two Modern Love stories, I have an outline for a fictional, yet semi-autobiographical book based on my life in New York City and beyond.

We will see where my path leads, but I know who I am, and I know what I am good at.  I know my dreams and goals, and in this chapter, I won’t let sitting at someone else’s desk get in my way.

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Creators Create

Over the weekend I did one of my favorite things- I took myself to a movie.  Solo.

Solitary adventures are one of my most treasured pastimes.  Not only do I have the opportunity to recharge my introvert self, I gain an immense amount of inspiration from mindfully roaming through the city, finding new hidden gems, and taking in the beauty around me.

I went to go to “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” partially due to my love for Cate Blanchett.  I seem to be one of the few who didn’t read the book, but I went in intuitively know I’d enjoy the film.

As I watched a fellow introvert self destruct, I realized an important message:

Creators are meant to create.

I remembered that not only is my precious solo time beneficial to maintaining my energy, it’s crucial to my creations.

With each photo I take, piece I write, and lesson I learn, my creations are keeping me sane.  They’re keeping me grounded.  They’re keeping me connected.

Sharing what I see and what I have learned with the world keeps me going.  Being able to carry a message to another person or using my own experience as wisdom or lessons for others is a purpose I know I was meant to fill.  Self destruction is inevitable when one doesn’t feel a sense of purpose, passion, or belonging- so I am glad to be reminded to live beautifully and create each and every day.

There’s No Such Thing As “Bored;” Creating Your Own Life

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

~Oscar Wilde

As a writer and artist, I’m personally offended by the term “boredom.”

“You’re not bored,” I always think when someone tells me this. “You just aren’t willing to use your imagination.”

As Berry Draper once said to her restless children, “only boring people are bored.” Although this is a little harsh, I agree with Mad Men’s leading lady.

Being “bored” is being blind to all the opportunities around us.

On Saturday, I spent the day walking around Boston. A few people asked if I was going to go visit my friend in Arlington as I did a couple weeks before. “No,” I replied. “I’m going to the Back Bay to have a ‘Kristin day.'”

“Doing what?” they wondered, perplexed.

I just looked at them. “Taking pictures, writing, window shopping. Meditation, relaxing.”

It’s shocking how people think there needs to be a grand reason. It’s also surprising to me how few people enjoy being alone. There’s always something to do, see, think about, or create. Whether it’s admiring the window displays on Newbury Street or taking a walk down Commonwealth Avenue, experiencing the world outside and the beauty all around is much more rewarding than sitting in front of a television.

I’d prefer to write my own story instead of watching someone else’s fictional version on TV.

If you ever find yourself into the “boredom trap,” just think- what haven’t I seen? Where haven’t I been? What haven’t I read? What can I write?

When you create your own days instead of waiting for life to happen, you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Life Through A New Lens: Full Moon in Sagittarius

This morning I watched one of my favorite YouTubers, Melanie Beckler, give her weekly angel card reading for the May 29th Full Moon.  I’ve been following her closely for the past year- particularly her readings and meditations- and it’s been both eye-opening and comforting to see parallels with her guidance.

After soaking in her reading, I was left with a few messages about the upcoming Full Moon and how it relates to my own life:

  • It’s okay to ask for assistance- our guides and angels are here to support us;
  • We must let the past go to step into our true purpose; and
  • Once we understand who we truly are, we will live an abundant life.

In this particular reading, she ended with the Archangel Gabriel card- the angel of communication and creativity.  There has been no doubt in my mind that I have been lead by this powerful messenger angel; although I used to be timid or shy when speaking my truth, something bigger than me has given me the confidence and grace to speak up.  Keeping quiet never served me in the past, whether it was holding back in my writing or going with the values or morals of those around me instead of my own.

I’m just me.  So are you.

I often wonder if I have wasted my time or talents over the years because I did the things other people “expected” me to do.  However, that thought has shifted; each experience, whether valuable to my interests or not, has provided me a lesson to share with others.  I know what it’s like to move across the country multiple times, work a variety of different jobs, call off a wedding, live on hardly any money or material possessions, live with much more than I needed, yet most importantly- I have learned to be comfortable in my skin.

No matter where I am at mentally, physically, and emotionally, I have learned to be comfortable. To honor my feelings. To know I am okay just as I am.

That is the biggest lesson of all.

Situations will continue to appear in our lives until we can heal from the past and let go of the energies that no longer serve.  Even though I have cleared the major “junk” out of the way, there are little triggers that appear out of the blue to test me.  That’s okay; I just have to be mindful not to let those triggers trip me up, get me down, or stunt my growth.

Although Memorial Day weekend is coming to an end, I am relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to see the world through a different lens; a lens of beauty, hope, and optimism.

The past is gone, and now we have tomorrow- and a beautiful Full Moon to enjoy.

Morning Magic

It was 5:05 AM as I opened my laptop and started to type.  I looked at my phone when I woke up, right before making a cup of coffee and settling in under four fleece blankets.  I received a text message from 12:25AM, which I clearly missed.

After eating chocolate chip cookies, working on my sketch comedy homework, and watching a few episodes of Master of None, I was fast asleep by 10PM.  My evenings are filled with reading, writing, and watching relatable comedies involving characters loosely based on themselves… which I know all too well.  More on that later.

This gem popped up on my Instagram feed from Andie Swim– too appropriate. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I love mornings.  Many people whine about them and dread starting their day, but not me.  Nights often involve chaos, hedonism, regrets, but most of all- a constant search to fill a void.  Nights are full of anxiety, fear, and loneliness.

Mornings are the opposite.

For me, early mornings are a time of reflection, ideas, creativity, and wonder.  It’s my time.  No one else’s.  The world is still asleep, no one is bothering me, the drunk texts have stopped, and it’s a fresh, brand new day.

Once you finally “get good” within yourself and are comfortable in your own skin, you’ll no longer feel anxious about what you’re missing at night.  You’ll no longer toss and turn, worrying about tomorrow.  FOMO has slipped away, and you realize the most important thing you need to take care of is yourself.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday morning… mine is easy, just like Lionel Richie’s.

Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?
I’ve paid my dues to make it
Everybody wants me to be what they want me to be
I’m not happy when I try to fake it.

Dream Big, Darling

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve smudged away old regrets, lost dreams, and looked toward everything the future has to offer.  I’m ready to take on 2018… are you?

It’s easy to dwell on the past, old mistakes, or missed opportunities.  For years I didn’t even realize I was settling for less!  Instead of following my heart, I listened to the opinions of people who weren’t in alignment with me, questioned my abilities, or stayed quiet in fear of being misunderstood.  It took several years, a lot of lessons, and some encouragement to discover I didn’t need to believe in anything but myself. 

I hid my talents and creativity for years because I was afraid of being criticized.  It didn’t even occur to me that I may get positive feedback!  As a child, any recognition wasn’t worth the hurtful things I may have heard (keyword: may).  At seven years old I wrote and illustrated an entire collection of children’s stories called “Suey and Friends.”  Suey was a chipmunk who went on all sorts of adventures with her crew.  Each character had a unique personality, often based on dreams I had or friends of my own.  My mom still has those old pieces of paper somewhere back in Michigan… she believed in me and encouraged me to continue creating.  Although it was just a hobby to me, she always insisted we send them to agents or publishers.  Being the shy and insecure girl I was, I never agreed to it.

It’s been 25 years since my last Suey story, but if there’s one takeaway from this all, it’s that life is too short to hold back.

Today I would rather be criticized than miss an opportunity.

2018 is right around the corner, and I’m ready to take on the next steps of my life- whatever they may be.  2017 was an amazing year to focus on myself, develop a solid foundation, and decide what I truly wanted.  Big dreams no longer scare me, and hard work has become second nature.  The key to hard work is to follow your heart and do something you love.

Since moving on from Suey and friends, there’s a long list of things I have done as a middle finger to the people who hurt or second guessed me.  Although I didn’t do anything deliberately mean, I did my best to succeed, stand out, or surpass any doubts or negativity they threw my way.  I called off my engagement with a controlling engineer and moved to San Francisco, started a style blog in my hometown of people who bullied me, and pursued a marketing career in New York.  Things definitely didn’t go as planned, but that’s okay.  Although I am glad the anger and pain inspired my creativity, I learned one important lesson:

You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone but you.

When your intentions are pure, everything falls in place.  My life often fell apart because it wasn’t acting in alignment with my soul: I was simply doing things out of ego.  I no longer hold those old resentments or fear… and I can thank my spiritual practice and support system for giving me the strength to live my life with more love and compassion.

As you reflect on your goals for the future, remember to follow your heart; it will certainly take you a lot further than acting on ego or fear.  When you set your mind to it, you can have anything you want out of this crazy and beautiful life.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.