Magical Spring Air

There’s something magical about the smell of spring air.

Listening to the birds chirp, the sound of the waves, and the warm breeze hit the leaves takes me back to the same feeling of wonder and excitement as I did growing up.

During this reset, I’ve been looking back on the person I was before I let the world start to shape me. How did I feel on those warm spring days playing along the bay? What excited me to get up and run out to the backyard in the morning?

In the days before cell phones and the internet, we learned how to have fun on our own- and we had a lot less anxiety.

As I look back on a simpler time, I can’t help but wonder, why not always live this way? Why not incorporate more balance into everyday life even when the world starts up again?

Although we have the world at our fingertips, we will miss what’s right in front of us if we don’t pause to see it.

A Time to Reflect and Create

Traverse City may be a ghost town, but it’s no different than the rest of the world right now.

I’m so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, full of inspiration and serenity, especially during this time. There’s no need for entertainment when you have the peace inside yourself and the beauty all around you.

My heart goes out to everyone who is out of work or experiencing loss due to this pandemic. Please continue to take care of yourself, because there will be brighter days ahead.

Continue to create, inspire, learn, and grow. We can all take this time as the collective to look within and determine how we want to move forward with our lives. 🌿

Gossip is a Form of Connection… and I Don’t Want a Part of It

A couple of years ago I heard a group of people making fun of me after I left the room. In a fury, I started writing a short and not-that-sweet blog post about it- a post titled “Gossip: It’s Low Vibe Energy.”

I often write about the things in life that irritate me, and almost immediately felt better afterward. I’ve written about the things in life that are painful- heartbreak, my experience in treatment, depression, and trauma. I’ve revisited stories of high school bullies and people who pushed me out of their life. I’ve talked about my alcoholism before people could start whispering about where I had been for a month or my poor behavior in the past. I’ve tried to own my side of the street, and took back my narrative before others tried to construe the truth- or think their words would break me.

I’ve noticed how gossip isn’t necessarily meant to be malicious or cruel toward other people, though. As a person who used to have a habit of taking everything personally, I was deeply hurt when people gossiped about me. Whether it was a flat out lie or laughing at my misfortune, I withdrew from connecting with people out of fear. For years I kept to myself and avoided interaction whenever possible.

This all began to change when I moved to the city. In San Francisco, being quirky was widely accepted. In New York, it was encouraged to drink during the day. In Boston, well, people were more concerned with themselves than even giving you a second glance, let alone gossip.

Now back in my hometown of 14,000 people in the city proper, of course gossip runs wild. Whether it’s school board scandal or frowning on changes in the community, people thrive on the dirt. They feed off of it.

I’ve learned an important lesson though- one even more pertinent than owning my narrative:

A lot of people use gossip to connect.

They talk about others to feel heard. They whisper about people behind their backs to gain some sort of validation from their peers.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Connection is a powerful thing, but a lot of people aren’t comfortable with sharing their own truth. They connect based on other people, shallow aspects of life, and material gain. They judge other people by what they have or what they’ve accomplished, but not what’s inside their soul.

Today, I connect based on truth.

I’ve been invited to meet old friends and I’ve received messages from acquaintances who are merely curious about my personal life. I’m aware not all of these people truly care about me as a person, but they do care about what sort of drama or problems I may have.

It’s okay, though- I’ve beat them to it.

I’ve already shared what’s really going on with me throughout the web, and I hope to have more opportunities to share my story with the world. Whether it’s public speaking or writing, I know my experiences have helped people learn they’re not alone in their struggles.

My own struggles have brought me strength, for I have overcome them. Gossip may still be low vibe energy, and it’s not something I will participate in today. I wish the best for those who have snickered behind my back or tried to watch me fall; because today, I continue to rise. I hope they find their own way of doing so, too.

Where I See Myself

74481241_10108073371051708_2024974000848896_n.jpg

“I want to write. I want to write stories that make people feel less alone than I did. I want to make people laugh about the things in life that are painful. That’s what I want to do.” –Hannah, Girls

I am finally finishing Girls, one of my favorite TV shows.  Over the past couple of years I’ve been absorbed in my own life, without HBO (until now) or television in general.  However, it’s a good thing I am finishing the series when I am, because the synchronicities between Hannah Horvath and myself are out of control.

Not only is she an only child from Michigan like me, she moved to New York City with the dream of becoming a writer.  She got herself into ridiculous situations, met a plethora of crazy characters, and even was published in the Modern Love section of the New York Times- yet another goal of mine.

When asked where she wanted to be in three to five years by author Chuck Palmer (who stated how much he loves Traverse City, my hometown), she told him she wanted to write.

The vulnerability of writing is powerful, healing, and helpful to others- and like Hannah, I want to write to make people not feel so alone, too.

I’ve never been good at “jobs;” as a creative person, I’ve struggled in office environments.  I’ve had creative differences with people I have worked for.  I have had a vision, a dream, and a wild streak- something that employers generally don’t value or understand.

Freelance writing is something I am looking to do full-time, yet working on my book is my top priority right now.  In addition to writing two Modern Love stories, I have an outline for a fictional, yet semi-autobiographical book based on my life in New York City and beyond.

We will see where my path leads, but I know who I am, and I know what I am good at.  I know my dreams and goals, and in this chapter, I won’t let sitting at someone else’s desk get in my way.

75241213_10108067731633148_2065469851618508800_n (1)

The Beauty of True Friendship

75481882_10108051213894828_4068440954053328896_n

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.

Take Time To Yourself While You Can

There’s no “finish line” of life.

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.

Quick, Curious, Playful, and Strong

Clinch Park Marina, Traverse City
2013 ShopStyle Campaign
Cherry Capital Airport
img_6004
Central Park Stroll
Remembering Kate Spade

Thank you Katy for all of the moments of style and inspiration.

May we continue to live colorfully and curiously. 💞✨

February 22, The Master Builder, and Guidance Through Angel Numbers

Ah, 2/22.  For as long as I can remember, 22 has been my favorite number.  I get excited on the “22” days every month, and never fail to see my birthday, 12:22, on the clock- or any other 22 for that matter.  Not only was I born on December 22, I was raised on West Bay Shore Drive, also known as M22 (Michigan highway 22).

22 holds a special place in my heart.  Known as the “Master Builder,” 22 is the most powerful of all numbers.  Confident and diplomatic, courageous and charismatic, 22 is also known as insightful and intelligent.

Sometimes 22’s can be scared of their own talents and gifts, but listening to love and continuing to spread their art is important for them to truly feel happy and fulfilled.  I know that can be the case for me- I’ve held back from sharing my work with others in fear of rejection, but I’ve learned to focus on the positive, learn from the critiques, and know I’m serving a purpose by sharing my stories.  It makes me so, so happy when I get messages from women telling me they relate to what I have written.  If I can make just one person feel like they’re not alone, I have done what I came to do.  We all need to feel connected- and 22 is also a very powerful number of connection.

You can hone in on the ambitious 22 energy and learn more here.

10441165_10102312147300288_8553281833605547512_n

Angel number 222 signifies balance and harmony, encouraging you to follow your heart.  It’s also a nudge from the angels that you’re on the right track to discovering your purpose and following your passions.  If you’re feeling down or doubting your dreams, know that 222 is reminding you to keep the faith- the Universe will deliver when it is time.

Maintaining a positive attitude and acknowledging everything you’re grateful for is essential to manifesting more blessings and synchronicities in your life- for me, when my vibration is high and I’m feeling energized, my life begins to flow and following my path is effortless.  22, or 222, is powerful for manifesting your desires and dreams, so make the most out of this special day.  If you’re in need of raising your vibration, check out a post I did about ways to uplift yourself when your vibes are a little low.

Writing out a gratitude list each morning, choosing a few favorite mantras to lift your spirits, and journaling are amazing ways to help put your life in perspective, set intentions, and manifest a life you’ll love.  You hold more power than you know, so focus on what you want- not the things you don’t.  It works.

PS- hello from Denver!  Anyone who asks if I’m here to ski definitely doesn’t know I’m one of the least athletic people on Earth.  However, there’s a heated pool, hot tub, and endless coffee (which is a little more my speed).  Let me know if there’s anywhere I MUST check out while I’m here!