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.

Alive Again

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Back in July 2016, as I was packing up my New York apartment and shipping boxes upon boxes back to Michigan, I had no idea what direction my life was going.  Vodka in hand, soul empty, and nerves on fire, my heart was broken.

I had officially failed at my life in New York City.  It was the only thing I ever wanted; to work in fashion.  To live on the Upper West Side.  To mingle with famous writers, actors, designers, and socialites.  To have a drink at lunch without judgement.

Then, I got it- and I ruined it.

Sure, most of those things are silly; but the career part was what hurt the most.  For some reason, however, at the time I didn’t realize I didn’t ruin anything.

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June 2016, 59th and Fifth.

I just took a break.

What I didn’t realize back in 2016 was that I didn’t need to purge all of my stuff to become “mindful.”  I didn’t need to abandon my love for style just because I needed to step back and work on myself for a while.  I didn’t need to drop my #OOTD pictures just to be a happy, confident person on the inside- for my fashion is no longer my mask.

It’s an expression.  

What used to be a shield of protection is now a bridge to connect with others.

Style connects.  Style speaks.  Style inspires.

That said, I have been thinking lately about starting on a few new projects on my off-work hours, and perhaps I’ll even start painting in color- not just gold.  🙂

Life is too short not to do the things you love- and it feels wonderful to be alive again.

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She’s back. June 2018.

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. 🌸