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.

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. 🌸

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.

Keep Shining

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.

Those Spring Feelings- Starting Fresh

Although today’s temperature in Boston would suggest otherwise, it’s the first day of spring.  Emotionally, this year feels like it, too- although I’m still wearing a heavy coat and there’s a winter storm warning, it’s the start of a new, fresh season.  It’s a time to wake up from the winter months, reemerge, and blossom.

It’s time to shine!

This past weekend was the New Moon in Pisces– a dreamy, go-with-the-flow vibe.  Representing strong, feminine energy, Pisces floats in at a time where we can embrace the new season by owning our strengths, taking chances, and welcoming new opportunities.  Saying goodbye to this last chapter, the New Moon is a time to turn the page and start with a fresh, new piece of paper.

Speaking of new opportunities, I start comedy class tonight.  Laughter has always been one of my ways to cope with life, from telling stories to making not-so-funny situations into something humorous.  Although I’ve thought about comedy writing for over eight years, I kept talking myself out of it.  First, the classes at UCB were full.  Then, I didn’t have the money.  There was always an excuse!

There’s been no doubt in my mind that sketch comedy would be something I’d enjoy- and even be good at- but for some reason, a little voice kept causing me to procrastinate.

That negative self talk is what has kept me from doing a lot of things- but this past year of healing, writing, and getting to know myself has given me the strength to go forward and give it my all.  What do we have to lose, anyway?  I’ll tell you- opportunity.

You never know unless you try.  This goes for relationships, career, and life- you can’t judge the outcome of your future by the mistakes or events of your past.

It’s important to heal and let go of the blocks that have prevented you from taking risks- especially if your heart is telling you that the thing you’re afraid of is right.

Happy Spring, and I hope you’re able to take chances, have faith, and go with the flow- you never know what people or opportunities will float your way.

Ups and Downs- and Getting Back Up

I was so excited for 2018 to begin.  I made a vision board (two, actually), rang in the new year with good friends, and went back to work.  Things were good.

Then, something happened.  I hit a wall.  Or, if we want to be poetic, I fell down.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been in one of the biggest lulls I can remember- one of those lulls where I couldn’t even muster to write.  This was probably one of the worst things I could have done, since writing is extremely therapeutic for me.  There are many things that triggered this downfall- the snow days, the time off work, finances, breakups, issues with friends, and winter depression- but then I realized: I’ve also been kind of a jerk.

I’ve been hard on people as I have been going through this “spiritual awakening,” and I think I’ve been more depressed than I wanted to admit.  So, as a defense mechanism, I’ve pushed people away and sat in my own misery.

As a “lone wolf,” I have insisted on handling situations by myself, spending time alone, and cutting people out of my life when things didn’t work my way.

But I can’t play the victim any longer.

It’s been no one’s fault but my own.  There was a string of events that happened since the end of the year that continued to build up- one after another.  Sure, some of the guys I dated hurt me, friends and I have gotten into arguments, and people have looked to me for support when I could barely support myself.  However, that is no reason to be selfish, cut people out, or avoid support.

It’s time to put on my big girl pants and own up to my side of the street.

This isn’t easy to write… but I have recently started to learn that it’s okay to let people in.  To really, truly let people in- not avoid phone calls, resist love, or decline invitations.  I know I have written about relationships and support time and time again, but instead of just writing about it, I need to own it.  I’ve learned over this past week that people are genuinely good, and do care about me.  Nobody is perfect- and I am definitely not either.

We all have more similarities than differences. 

I am confident that this hermit streak and wave of depression was placed into my life to make me even stronger for what is next.  I’ve been so stubborn for so long that I couldn’t even see it until now.

I am sincerely sorry to all of the people I may have hurt, and I hope to become a better woman thanks to this lesson.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me and checked on me these past three weeks.  I care about you and am forever grateful for helping to pick me back up.

Life truly is beautiful.

Struggle Brings Strength


Sometimes you need to step away from the life you’ve been living and reset yourself for the future.

It can be a lonely journey while you’re aligning with your true self.  Letting outside influence has blocked me from truly following my heart, finishing projects, and doing more meaningful work.  Doubts and fear have changed my path repeatedly over the past decade, but thanks the struggles, I now have strength to stand still.  Just like the moth, we have to struggle to escape the cocoon- our old self- to become what we are meant to be.

Over the past year I’ve been shedding my old beliefs, behaviors, relationships, and limitations.  It hasn’t been easy learning to act and view things differently than I have in the past.  I used to be defensive and took everything personally; now I’m trying to avoid attaching these negative “stories” to meaningless events.

We are all going through our own struggles, but one thing I have learned: happy people aren’t mean.  Love isn’t selfish.  When we align ourselves with our true beliefs, heart, and soul, compatible people and opportunities begin to appear.  I’ve experienced this many times throughout my life- the right people always come to me at the right time, the phone rings after I’ve been thinking about someone, or a job pops up out of the blue.

If you’ve been feeling confused about why you keep repeating the same patterns, it’s likely that you haven’t learned your lesson yet.  Despite moving to a new city last year, I still held on tightly to  resentiments and the people who hurt me in the past.  Unknowingly, I let my old mistakes and pain limit me from reaching my potential.

No matter how difficult your path seems now, try not to give up.  There have been many times this past year I have wanted to; I’m used to running away when life is hard.  Just three months ago I felt absolutely helpless- I learned I needed to find a new apartment with two weeks notice and didn’t have work lined up.  Figuring out how I could pull off finding and funding a new place to live seemed impossible.  Not knowing what else to do, I nervously sat in the park day after day drinking coffee, making phone calls, applying to jobs, and listening to positive messages from thought leaders like Wayne Dyer.  I can look back at those horribly uncomfortable days now and laugh, but back in August all I could manage to do in my spare time was pace the streets of Boston or sit by the ocean in between my legwork.

One day after writing and meditating at the beach, I was on my way to the library to do more work when the phone rang.  I never answer my phone while on the train, but for some reason I did.  It was a phone call about a work assignment for the following day.  Just when I had exhausted all of my worrying and felt like giving up, I saw a little bit of light.

Ever since that day, I have kept following the light.

Life may not unfold exactly how you expect, but that’s what is so exciting.  Living your authentic life for yourself- not for someone else- will lead you on the right path.  Keep shining… life will get brighter.  Enjoy the magic and surprises along the way!