Categories
empowerment self discovery

Being Your Own Partner

The other week at work I told a friend of mine that this would be the summer I would meet a guy with a sailboat.  She looked at me and replied, “you need to find a guy with a dog.”  I looked at her, gave a puzzled look, and said, “I’m more of a cat person.  I’ll go with the sailboat.”

Truth be told, I don’t want the guy.  I want to go sailing.

Society makes us think we need the guy- but guess what? We don’t.

This morning I was messaging with a friend who lives in NYC who mentioned there’s a sailing school on the Charles River, which I had looked into when I learned about the community sailing program.  Sounds like a happy medium to me- the perks of sailing without the baggage of the guy.

Funny enough, over two years ago I went on a date with this friend; yes, he has a sailboat, and no, I am not interested in him.  However, two years ago I would have hung out with him purely for the boat.

This Kristin would rather hang out alone.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about partnership.  How many people do you know who are in unsatisfying relationships?  I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of these people.  Sure, some people are scared of being alone.  Some people are extroverts.  Some people want to settle down.  Some people like the security of having a “plus one.”  However, I see absolutely no reason anyone should feel obligated to settle down with another person.

To me, a man would only hold me back- unless he was extremely strong.

The one and only time I am certain I was in love ended after this person told me he didn’t want a partner- ever.  This shook me to the core.  He was one of the only people in my life I could just sit in a room with, fall asleep next to, and sing old Chicago songs with.  He was only time I ever got “the fuzzies;”  I didn’t even know what “the fuzzies” were until I met him the very last night in June of 2014.

Nevertheless, it ended, and it has taken me four years to finally realize he wasn’t perfect, either.  He would sit on his phone all morning, go to Brooklyn and hang out with his old Harvard friends without me, and was the most self-deprecating person I had ever met.  Still, I loved him.  A lot.

But since he left me, I learned to love myself.  In fact, now I love myself enough to not let another person bring me down.  If a guy were to tell me my sunglasses were too big, my lips were too red, or my hair was too short, I would laugh at him.  If a guy suggested I wear shorter skirts, tighter tops, or send suggestive photos, I would run.  Fast. 

Sexism, misogyny, and objectification have no home here.

The old Kristin didn’t stand up for herself, so she fell for everything.  Yes, that is cliche.  However, what I didn’t realize was that I was attracting the wrong people because I was insecure.   I know this is partially because I grew up without a male role model; and the things I did hear about women were negative, judgmental, and, well, mean.  

They say women get their loving side from their mothers, and confidence from their fathers.  Not all of us have those blessings.  In a society where women are mean to each other, men treat women like playthings, and the media forces mixed messages down our throats, what are those girls supposed to do who have no role models at all?

This is why I write.  This is why I let my vulnerability out after years of holding back.  Maybe, just maybe, I can help one other woman realize she is worth so much more than her label, her view of herself, or what the world says about her.

So, I’ll leave you with this: my friend at work also told me there is a “lid to every kettle.”  She is probably right.  Whether or not I do meet my match one day, I will be fine- because I have the best partner of all- myself.

Categories
conscious living self care

Self Care and Balance

I used to find myself focusing on one area of my life, whether it was work, a hobby, or a relationship. Balance wasn’t something I was used to; when I liked something, I really liked it.

This will ultimately lead to burnout, though. Learning the concept of “balance” over the past year has been extremely helpful, but also something I need to remember on a daily basis.

I’ve been feeling a little drained lately, so instead of trying to push myself, I’ve given myself some personal time to relax, sit by the water, write, and read. Instead of being on the go-go-go as I feel like I “should” (which is a dirty word), I’ve given myself permission to relax.

Sure, I still have daily obligations. But, I woke up early this morning to enjoy coffee in the park, music as I get ready for the day, and a little journaling to reflect on everything I’m grateful for.

Life sure is beautiful, so be sure to remember to take a little time out for yourself. 🌸

Categories
conscious living

Easter Lily

Well, I’ve officially kept a plant alive for over a year now.

It’s pretty hard to believe.

I’ve fondly written about my peace lily, a little gem I picked up when I worked at One International.  I initially bought the lily for my desk, but since then, it’s seen three apartments, survived public transit on multiple occasions, and has been brought back to life several times.

She’s a little champ.

So, knowing that I can successfully care for a plant (first a plant, then a pet, they say…), I decided to get another one.  This actually wasn’t my idea- my mom mentioned it when I showed her a picture of a new trash can I bought to match my soap dispenser and comforter.  Of course, I need to find something cute to do with a trash can, right?

I entertained her by putting my peace lily in the trash can (that sounds terrible), but we agreed it needed something taller.  I continued to use the trash can as a, well, trash can, until last night- when I spotted a lonely lily at CVS.

Leave it to me to find the lone plant marked at 25% off.  Dry and looking sad, I picked up the lily without question and headed to check out, along with my red lipstick, face masks, and popcorn.  Hey, it was Friday night- and Friday nights are meant for vegging out.

Once I got home, I put everything away, gave my new lily some water, and set her in her new home.  It was perfect!  I read up on Easter Lilies and learned they’re known as joyful symbols of elegance, beauty, spirituality, hope, and life.  How appropriate.

Even if we’re lost and lonely somewhere, there’s a place we will fit- and I feel that way about Boston.  I’ve not only found myself, but I’ve started to be able to care for other things, too- and I have my two lilies to prove it.

Categories
mindfulness

Keep Shining

Categories
self discovery

Living the Life I Choose

Throughout my life I’ve struggled with fitting into the “norm.” One of the earliest examples is when I invited my imaginary friends to dinner at my grandparent’s house next door- place settings and all- thinking (and truly believing) my friends would show up.  Maybe they did. Anyway, I much preferred what was going on in my imagination to people in the actual, physical world.

I’m still that way a lot of the time.

As an only child, my days were filled with art, drawing, and imagination- not social interactions.  I often fall in love with ideas, with feelings, and with inspiration.  Sometimes, and this has happened more than I can count, I fall in love with what I want something to be, not what it actually is. 

Perhaps this is one of the reasons I’ve done so well in long distance (or even unofficial) relationships.  It allows me the freedom and time, yet also fills that “companionship” void.  No daily obligations, no unrealistic expectations.  Shouldn’t life be all about going with the flow and having fun, anyway?  Life is so serious on its own- let’s not complicate it more than we need to.

This brings me to the “expectations” part of my train of thought.  Society tells us how a typical family looks, from nightly sitcoms to fairy tales illustrating living “happily ever after.”  We think there will be a meet cute, some drama, and in the end, we get swept off our feet… but there’s a finish line.  Marriage, family, kids.

People rush into things because they think it’s what they’re supposed to do.

There’s no right or wrong, but I honestly can’t see myself living that life- and even if I did get married and have a child, I’d probably live in a city apartment on the East Coast, not out in the ‘burbs with a list of household chores and yard work.

Sure, I turn 34 this year and people tell me “there’s time,” but what if I don’t need time?  What if I know what I want?

I’ve thought about this time and time again, and I’ve tried to warm to the idea of going home to a house full of people, jam packed weekends with activities, and taking care of others.  Call me selfish, but I don’t want that.  At all.

It’s okay to want what you want. While I’m not writing this to put down the choices of others, I want to make it clear that it’s okay to want something different than what others expect of you. Life should allow you room to grow, explore, and to follow your heart- not the “norm.”

Live the life you love– I promise, it will all fall into place if you listen to your gut, take chances, and step out of your comfort zone.  You’ll only regret the chances you don’t take.