Categories
empowerment self discovery

Where I See Myself

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“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.

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Categories
mindfulness self care self discovery

You’re Not Responsible For What Others Think Of You

As I walked through the Harvard Coop the other day, I passed the self-help section for inspiration.  Per usual, something stuck out:

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Just when I needed it, this book struck me (and now I’m #1 on the waiting list to check it out at the library… more thoughts on it to follow!). 

Over the past few months I have been working on setting healthy boundaries, staying in my own lane, and speaking my mind without cowering down.  Not only have I been attracting people who have been in alignment with my values, people at a lower vibration haven’t been approaching me as often.  Some people in my life have even thanked me for my honesty; I’ve shared things they may not have said themselves and have helped to inspire them to be a little bit more transparent.

Although I’ve never thought of it this way, it’s a courageous act to put an end to relentless people pleasing.  As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”

If I were to walk into a room with 10 people, there would be 10 different opinions of me. Do I need to take each one to heart?  Do I need to conform to please each and every one of these people?

Of course not- that would be silly.

One of the biggest freedoms I have found is being happy within my own skin, independent of what the outside world has to say.  One of my biggest joys is to connect with other people on a deeper, meaningful level, but it’s not possible to please everyone.

First, you must be comfortable within your own truth.

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Categories
mental health

Living With Grace and Grit

I’m still coming down from all of the creative and inspirational energy I took in from my last trip back to NYC. Wow! From the moment I saw the skyline to the feeling I had while driving out of the city, the weekend was nothing but magic.

It felt like home again.

One of my favorite moments from my trip back to New York was when I arrived at Queensboro Plaza and noticed all the synchronicity around me.

From the number “7” (which had been following me around all weekend) to the purple color of the train line, it seemed like everything was a sign.

A sign I’m on the right path. A sign for my next steps. A sign telling me I am fine as I am.

After my trip, my perception changed; not just about the city, but about my own life. It occurred to me that I wasn’t living up to my own potential because outside voices have been holding me back. As a result, my dreamer (and sometimes grandiose) nature has second guessed herself, creating her own negative voices inside her head.

So, I stopped listening.

My path has been anything but traditional, and although I’ve attempted to go the “traditional route,” something has always blocked me from fitting in. It used to be my own self sabotage and issues with self esteem, alcohol, and emotions- however, as of the past year, it’s been because I have been standing up for what I believe in.

I came to Boston to fearlessly look in the mirror and step into the person I am meant to be- without distractions- so the last thing I will allow in my life is someone or an institution to cause me to step backwards.

Most recently, my passion for helping people and inspiring others to see life through a new lens has caused quite a bit of discontentment with the “3D world.” Our society as a whole isn’t quite ready to see life through a new light, but I know there is a place and purpose for me to share my story and strength.

Some people just want to sit in their own misery, though.

This brings me to the whole theory of the “imposter syndrome.” It makes me wonder how many people wake up in the morning, put on their suit or shiny heels, and honestly can go in thinking they’re a “professional.” As if putting on a show and acting for the sake of a paycheck is any way to live. To think living for the weekend or retirement is the only way to live.

Sorry to say, boys and girls, but that’s how our society is programmed. It’s pathetic.

Personally, I would rather live a short life that is full of, well, life. A life of purpose, not routine.

How many of those people feel restricted? How many of those people know they have better ways to spend their day? How many have talents to give but never will, all because society is telling them their dreams are silly?

I have no idea, but I’m done pretending.

I wasn’t given the gift of a grit-filled past with a touch of grace to simply keep quiet.

My story is meant to be shared.

What’s my next step? I’m not sure. However, I am confident my work will be of use to many people- so I am done holding back.

I am ready for my answer, and my next big adventure.

Categories
empowerment mindfulness

What Inspires Change?

Last night’s book club was a success!  Although I took the wrong bus to Arlington (silly me), I serendipitously got off at Spy Pond, a place I often frequented when I lived in the neighborhood.  It was a good omen to remember how far I’ve come this past year, and how much has changed- inside and out.  The sun shined on the bright blue water, and I legitimately enjoyed my mile-long walk in the freezing cold.  Ah, what a time to be alive.

Once I arrived, I was greeted by Clarissa the cat and a basket of slippers. “The Nest,” my first home in Boston, is lovingly referred to as “the house of healing hearts-” and it lives up to the name.  There’s no warmer, cozier house full of hospitality and love.  Brenda certainly makes anyone in her home feel like it’s their own, and I will forever be grateful for The Nest being one of my first Massachusetts experiences.

Brenda was cutting up veggies and cheese when I arrived, and soon after April strolled in.  An all-around inspiration, April is an emotional health consultant and author- and after reading her book last year, I became much more aware of my own shift in consciousness.  One of her Facebook posts even inspired me to write this piece last summer.

One by one, ladies showed up to discuss the very appropriate book of the night: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck.

Although we didn’t have many negative things to say, some of the ladies felt it was repetitive, a bit entitled, and wondered why someone our own age was at liberty to give us advice.  I played devil’s advocate, however, and chimed in:

“Isn’t it better to learn these things now than much later in life?  Think about how many people in this world who will never learn these simple concepts.  They carry on, miserably, forever giving far too many fucks.”

Most of the girls agreed with me.  Sure, much of the book was full of common sense, but as many of us know, common sense is not so common.

We discussed the ornery coupon queen to the narcissistic serial entrepreneur who never accomplishes anything.  We talked about how the smallest things, such as a 30 cent coupon, could ruin someone’s entire day- because the coupons are what has meaning to that particular person.

Then, we carried on to discuss what has enough meaning in our lives to make the suffering worthwhile.  That was a very interesting question- what is worth fighting for?  What isn’t worth giving a f about?  Why would make ourselves suffer due to things that don’t even have meaning in our lives- such as traffic, a coworker giving you a weird look, or what your third cousin thinks of your new boyfriend?  Why do we search for problems when everything is perfectly fine?

My favorite quote in the book was this:

“Suffering is nature’s agent for inspiring change.”

That’s a very interesting thought.

Two years ago, everything was seemingly fine in New York City.  However, shit hit the fan very quickly- I watched it all crumble within a couple of weeks that July.

If my life would had been as wonderful as I hoped for it to be prior to moving to Boston (I think I was in denial that it ever was wonderful in New York), I never would have ended up here.  Had I not struggled, I wouldn’t have had the courage to make that big life change.  Had I not failed at what I thought I wanted, I never would have been lead into a completely new direction- one that gives me purpose, inspires passion, and has meaning.

Finally.  Meaning.

Prior to moving, I didn’t just have discontentment with my outside situation- it was mostly within myself.  As soon as I began to take ownership of who I was- not who I was trying to be- things began to get better.  Sure, I suffered through the uncomfortable moments of being myself- which inevitably pushed people who weren’t in alignment with me away- yet once the suffering was over, my life began to clear, and I was able to begin building again.

Thinking about the first few months of writing this blog is truly mind-boggling to me.  I was feeding myself a plethora of information- from self-help books to endless YouTube videos, I wrote every single day during 2017, still trying to figure myself out.  I blogged, I journaled, I painted.  I created a couple of other websites and came up with new ideas.  I worked a few different jobs.  I spent the year re-learning who Kristin is.

Although the growing never ends, I’m glad my suffering has.  Sure, we’ll always face both minor and major struggles along the way, but the hard part- the caterpillar trying to break out of the cocoon- is over.  I’ve finally broke out of the trap I created for myself, saw the light, and found my wings.

Returning to The Nest brings back all kinds of old feelings- relief, a sense of acceptance, feeling loved, and most of all, starting to finally love and accept myself.  The “house of healing hearts” certainly helped me get back on my feet, and I wholeheartedly agree with Mark Manson- “suffering is nature’s agent for inspiring change.”

Categories
mindfulness

Giving Too Many F’s

Tonight I have Book Club- the first Book Club of my life that I willingly decided to go to.

My friend and old roommate, Brenda, coordinates a monthly gathering with a group of her friends.  Like any book club, they chat about life, nibble on snacks, and discuss the book, of course.  Last year, when I was still new to Boston, I was hesitant to join groups or get involved with activities while I was “figuring things out.”  It took me a long time to feel like meeting new people; it’s never fun to chat with a group of seemingly together human beings, all while thinking, “what the hell am I doing with my life?”

A year has gone by and I’ve been feeling better than ever.  Honestly, too- no more putting on a happy face for the sake of appeasing others.  I’m no longer insecure about where my life is headed, and I’m no longer shy about expressing what I want out of life- even when it’s drastically different than the norm.  As I meet new people, my honesty gets bolder and bolder, and like Brenda would say, “there’s no such thing as too much information.”

That brings me to the book of the month: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”

Now, what does this have to do with me and my sudden change of heart about Book Club?

Everything.

When I moved to Boston I gave too many fucks.  Too many f’s about what people thought about me, too many f’s about whether I was happy with my job or not, too many f’s about whether I should go out with that guy on Tinder.  I gave too many f’s about whether or not my family approved of me, about the things I did when I drank, how I looked in that picture someone posted on Facebook, or whether or not the blacks in my outfit matched close enough.

I gave too many fucks about everything.

When I started this blog, I didn’t have much.  I didn’t have the job I have now, the apartment, the friends, or the peace of mind.  But I did have one thing- fearlessness.

I had enough ups and downs, mistakes, failures, and embarrassing moments to be shamelessly vulnerable.  So, with three packed bags and nothing to lose, Mindful in Style was born in my little Airbnb.

A couple of days later, I got my first job in Boston and met Brenda.

It didn’t take me long to get back on my feet, but it definitely took some time to feel comfortable in my own skin, even though I was putting my heart and soul into my blog.  I still questioned myself as I pressed “publish” and second guessed myself quite often along the way- but I kept writing.

But today, I really don’t give a F what other people have to say.

Things will fall into place no matter what- the difference is, how are you reacting to life in the meantime?  Are you giving too many F’s and putting your energy toward things that don’t really matter?  Are you following the crowd even though it doesn’t make your heart happy? Are you worrying for the sake of worrying? 

Needless to say, things in my life have changed a lot- but it began with my mindset.  Would life be as great today if I had continued to give too many F’s?  Nope,  I don’t think they would be.

So tonight I’ll head back to my first Boston home- The Nest- and share my own experience with giving too many fucks, fearlessness, and the power of vulnerability.  Today, I’m no longer shy to share my experience with new people; in fact, I am excited see who connects with my story.  Book club is no longer something to avoid, but something to embrace- just like my own vulnerability.

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In other news, it’s the Red Sox Opening Day! I’m wearing my Sox gear to work to support The Jimmy Fund.  I may be a Giants fan, but I still can love the Sox (and why would anyone give a F? 😉 ).