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
conscious living mindfulness

Soul Connection or Nah? Recognizing the Difference Between Bonds

It’s happened to the best of us. We meet someone and are instantly drawn to them- but why?

Sometimes you have a deep and undeniable spiritual connection with another person, while other times your intuition can play tricks on you, making you think there’s a higher connection when it’s really a lesson in disguise.

If you feel a strong bond with someone who is trying to change you, guilt you, or make you feel you’re not enough, that’s not a soul connection. From my own experience, it was always a narcissist looking to feed from my spirit.

Has anyone else experienced this? Have you met someone you were instantly drawn to, only to realize later the outcome wasn’t what you expected? Did you keep trying to find ways for them to accept you? Did you constantly feel you weren’t worthy?

Oh yeah, me too.

As I reflect on the past four or five years, it’s clear to me how I’ve met people I’ll forever share a bond with, people I’ll keep from a distance, and people I will never talk to again, but will always value the lesson they taught me.

Whether it’s a business, family, or a personal connection, it’s important to recognize the role people play in our lives- and that it isn’t our job to change them or the nature of the relationship.

It is what it is.

Categories
self care

I’m Not Ignoring You, I’m Just Living In The Moment

Each minute of every day, we have communication right there in our pocket (or in my case, a Henri Bendel handbag).

From texts to calls, our phones never cease to ring, beep, or buzz.  We receive social media alerts, Tweets, and comments.  Since it’s so easy to get a hold of one another, people sometimes forget that we all have our own lives, obligations, and self care to attend to.  It’s not necessary to respond to everything we receive right away.

In this day and age, it’s crucial to take the time to go “off the grid” to focus on what’s right there in front of you.  Whether it’s spending face time with friends and family, reading a book, or enjoying time in nature, it’s so important to put down the phone and be in the moment.  Embracing what is right in front of you is what life is all about.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why it took you a few hours to respond, nor do you need to feel obligated to check your Facebook feed every hour.  It’s important to remember that life is happening around us every minute, and although the virtual world can be fun (and important for staying in touch with our loved ones), being mindful and in the moment is the greatest gift of all.

So, put down your iPhone and do something that takes you back to your childlike joy.

Your mental health will thank you.

Categories
empowerment

Stop Telling Women To Smile

A week ago I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop, notebook in hand and a coffee on the table.  I pulled out my mirror to see if I had anything on my face, quickly fixing my concealer that was out of place from my oversized sunglasses.

“Your makeup looks fine!” a stranger next to me declared.  I looked over, laughed, and continued to set up shop at my seat.

He didn’t stop there.  “You know, most men would say women look best without makeup.  It’s Sunday!  Don’t wear makeup!”

Newsflash: I wear makeup for me, not you.

I love to dress up, wear red lipstick, and don my Karen Walker shades.  Not looking for validation, on most days I simply want to write in peace; the last thing I want is to have strangers approach me to give me unsolicited advice or flirt poorly at a coffee shop.

Nevertheless, whether or not it was meant to be a compliment, it was still suggesting I change who I am or what I do.  That never sits well with me- flirting or not.  It’s manipulative, and it’s unwelcomed.

Here’s a comprehensive list of things women don’t need to hear from a man:

  • How to wear our hair
  • What clothes to choose
  • How long our hair “should” be
  • When to wear makeup
  • That we should smile

Maybe some women need the words of the opposite sex to gain their confidence, but I am not one of them.

“The sexualization behind telling women to smile is alarming. It makes women feel that we are only meant to be happy and pretty and it’s a passive way to engage into an unwanted conversation.” –

I’ve had ex-boyfriends try and dress me up in the shortest of skirts, 6 inch heels, and cleavage revealing attire.  That’s just not my style.  I’ve even had an ex ask me if I was going to a funeral because I was wearing all black.  Didn’t you know black is slimming and chic?  Just look at Audrey Hepburn.  I doubt she cared what other people said about her little black dress.

The guy at the cafe went on to later tell me how our meeting was “serendipitous,” in which I immediately rolled my eyes.

No, you just sat next to a woman and started telling her what to do and not to do.  Also, I have no interest in a divorced 50-something who was thumbing through his “Plenty of Fish” app.

Women can have it pretty rough out there, but as long as we hold our own and stick to our laurels, we will be just fine.

Just don’t tell me to smile.

Inspired by Stop Telling Women to Smile, a street art project addressing gender-based street harassment.

Categories
self discovery

The Beauty of True Friendship

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It’s clear that Traverse City has beauty, charm, and so much to offer.

Since moving home last Tuesday, I have loved strolling the streets, revisiting my favorite spots, and snapping photos of the new art.

But the best part about being home are the relationships I have been able to have once again.

I had no idea how much my friends cared over the years- and how worried they were about me as I bounced from city to city.  They knew I hid my loneliness.  They were concerned about my alcoholism.  They were sad to learn I spent holidays by myself.

I didn’t even realize I was missed- but now I do.

I’ve had some of the most priceless experiences with old friends this past week, meaningful conversations, and re-connection with people I have known since I was 12 years old.  I have filled my calendar with coffee and lunch dates, received hilarious Marco Polo videos from one of my best friends navigating motherhood, and have bumped into former coworkers.  Wanting to help me in any way they can, I have felt more love this past week than I have in years.

These are the people who knew me before I thought I had to put on a mask.

My mask of strength was a tool to keep me safe from the world- and to keep me from getting hurt.

Today, I finally know who I am- and that I don’t have to hide from good friends.  I don’t have to hide who I am here in Traverse City- I can simply be me.

Taking a deep breath of relief, I am beyond grateful I could fly home and show my face- and what is in my heart.