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.
The one thing they don’t teach in school is that you aren’t supposed to know where your life is going when you graduate at, say, 22.
Sure, it’s important to have some sort of direction, but how do you know after two decades of life what you really want?
Ten years ago, I was living in San Francisco, working as an office manager at a tech company. I had a boyfriend who worked in finance and usually hung out with his group of college friends from UC Berkeley more than him (they were more fun). I lived with two roommates down the street from said boyfriend in Russian Hill. My life was one big routine, the day in and the day out, so I found other ways to entertain myself.
So, I began writing.
Whether it was a Yelp review or blog post about an event I went to (I did a lot of events and promo work in my 20’s), I was happiest when I was sharing with the world.
Nevertheless, underneath the surface I thought my relationship had to “go somewhere.” I thought my job defined me and my success. I worried my Central Michigan University degree wasn’t good enough compared to everyone in the Bay Area with more impressive degrees than me. I constantly compared myself to other people and their success.
My boyfriend and I broke up that summer of 2010 and I quit my job in the fall. Back to square one, I continued to write, struggled with finances, and drank too much, but I knew I was closer to what I was supposed to be doing than sitting at an office desk five days a week (minus the drinking).
Through a lot of experiences, trial and error, and life lessons, 10 years later I still don’t know what direction my life will take. That’s the beauty of life- the unexpected surprises.
I’ve spent the past month spending a lot of time working on my coaching business, starting a new job at a wellness center, and writing, of course. Unlike my decisions to quickly find a job that looked good but wasn’t fulfilling, I waited to find something aligned with my overall goals and vision for the future.
My own experiences and lessons have lead me on a path of helping other people live a healthy, balanced life of purpose and joy, especially young women. However, whether you’re 20 or 70, it’s never too late to make a positive change in your life.
I’ve talked with and interviewed various women these past few months, learning what fuels their own passions. One woman left her corporate job at 55 to open a bakery. A friend of mine from Connecticut lost her stomach at age 17 and later channeled her energy through art, writing, and theatre- and even created her own one-woman show off Broadway (which I got to see back in 2014).
The common denominator between all of the people I have talked to is how their own experiences shaped their decisions- and because of these experiences, they were able to contribute something to the world. Something they couldn’t have contributed had they not experienced what they went through.
So, you really can’t tell me that you’re supposed to know where your life is going at 25.
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.” –Fabulize Magazine, HuffPostContributor
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.
Sure, life will come to an end at some point, but we never know where our journey will lead.
We don’t run the show as hard as we may try. We can’t finagle our own little plans and designs to go our way, because the Universe already knows where we belong- and when pieces will fall into place.
While sitting at my favorite cafe, Brew, I chatted with one of my dearest friends who I met in 7th grade. Both bullied, we bonded over the years due to our struggles and strength. Today, she’s married with two kids, a house, and a lot of responsibility.
“Take time to yourself while you can,” she told me.
“I tell my sister the same thing.” Her sister, also a friend of mine, is beautiful, strong, and sophisticated- and single.
Lately I have been feeling lonely (obviously- I left Boston to return to my hometown), thinking I want a partner. I have been thinking about all the guys I have met, wondering why they didn’t choose me- and why people I know have partnered up and I haven’t.
Then, I realized:
I’m not quite ready.
Loving myself, spending time with friends, and embracing my family is where I am at now. I’m becoming the most authentic version of myself that I can be, and I am no longer willing to let someone try and change me.
When he comes along, he will come along- and he will be strong. He will love me for me. He will encourage me to be thrive. He will be ready for me, too.
But for now, I’m taking time to myself while I can.
Every Monday morning, people ask, “did you do anything fun this weekend?”
They usually expect a grand answer. With the exception of my old party days, my weekends are always pretty quiet. I wake up early to explore the city, take pictures, write, and do a little shopping. I indulge in coffee, see a few new spots, and do a lot of walking (Saturday alone was 12 miles!).
My weekends are sacred to me; they’re my time to recharge, reset, and do the things I love.
I’m the rare breed of human who loves solo dining, going to a movie by myself, and exploring alone- not only because I am comfortable in my own company, but because I can truly be in the moment and enjoy the beauty around me.
I used to think I had to change to fit into other people’s lives, but I have finally realized that they’re the ones who need to be able to fit into mine.
I’m grateful to have wonderful people in my life who do fit- and these days, I don’t have to go to a major event or fill my time with activities just so I don’t feel alone.
Self-love has been a huge theme in my life these past couple of years.
Ever since I started this blog, I’ve written about my inward journey of self. From the first few posts, I’ve expressed self awareness- pretty or not- exploring topics such as being a loner to my fear of commitment.
I’ve put my thoughts and feelings out there for the world to see- if there is ever any question about how I think or what I stand for, there’s usually “a blog post for that.”
I’ve experienced ups and downs in all types of relationships, from family to coworkers, and at times I have questioned what I already knew about myself. I’ve listened to the feedback or opinions of others and doubted myself. I’ve taken comments to heart and taken the blame for someone else’s bad day.
I’ve forgotten to look at all the positive things I have worked so hard for and let someone else tear me down; someone else who probably hasn’t even done the work for themselves.
Today, I love myself more than I liked any of them.
Why is it so easy to take everything to heart? Why can’t we just let someone else’s snide comments roll off our back? Why would we take the feedback of someone we barely like and beat on someone we love?
This is a reminder to continue to be true to you, and to listen only to love. This is a reminder to stop letting other people bruise your spirit, and to continue to heal any pain you’ve experienced in the past.
This is a love letter to you- never let anyone take your power (and this serves as a reminder for me, too). Keep shining.
I’m continuously baffled by the things that come out of other people’s mouths.
You can keep your opinion, but I don’t need it.
I’m talking about the small, petty things- things that are meant to critique others, bring them down, or to question themselves. I won’t get too deep, but I’ll give a few examples that I heard in the past week:
“You should grow your hair out.”
“You should go without makeup.”
“You should wear more color.”
You know what I have to say?
“You need to stop shoulding on me.”
I struggle to recall times I’ve given such annoying suggestions to people. I’ve never urged someone to change their style or to do something different with their appearance. It’s just petty and, quite frankly, mean.
If people try and change the person you love (YOU!) then I would begin to question the people you surround yourself with. My real friends like me for me- and those people love me for my black wardrobe, blonde bob, and pink lipstick.
Just when you thought you loved yourself, go ahead- love yourself a little more.
We are all conscious creators on this planet, but many of us fail to realize the power of our thoughts and feelings. Our society encourages us to take action, to see progress, and to quantify our successes, but no results can take place if you don’t truly care for yourself on the inside.
Be your own biggest fan.
The world quickly changes when you realize your greatest success is fearlessly loving yourself.
Life will effortlessly fall into place when you care for, love, and respect the you that you were born to be. Everyone will have an opinion- but what is your own opinion about yourself?
Look within and listen to your heart.
Who do you want to be?
Once you know and embody the true you, you’ll see a change- a change within, a change around you, and a change in how you are treated. Once you treat yourself with the loving kindness you deserve, remarkable things will shine through.
Here is a great manifestation video from Aaron Doughty- 2019 is a powerful year for attracting what you desire. Get into your passion frequency, but first, it all starts with self-love!