It all started with Taylor Swift. Something about that evening sparked a desire for growth. For coming out of my shell. I made a commitment after that to put myself out there. To stop playing small. I stepped way out of my box. There were moments where I didn’t feel like myself. Where I felt small and faraway - unsure of how to show up. But I showed up anyway. I tried.
The end of the school year was an enormous sigh of relief. School was over and I did it. I freaking did it. The impossible. I wanted to stay there in that feeling of relief. But life doesn’t really let you stay places long.
Because then some of the things I stepped out of the box for didn’t work. And wow isn’t that a reality check when that happens. This terrible wave of shame visited me the first night I was home in New Jersey. I felt the way shame can grab you and pull you into it.
But just like I always do, I reached my hand up and held onto whatever was there. I pulled myself up and out. And I did it quite quickly. I reduced the amount of time of the transition. I didn’t stop the transition from happening - I just made it shorter. I found ways to be present through the buzzing of my mind.
I was watching a baseball game with my mom and dad. The coach made a move to preserve a player for a future game. My mom said “no…you have to win the game in front of you.” I took that to my heart and won each little battle that visited me (everything is a lesson if you find it).
I learned this summer that when you’re working from a place of passion, everything is easier. Because most of what I’ve been doing for the last five years of my life has been passionate, beautiful work. But while taking a grad class this summer that didn’t feel exciting or engaging, I remembered what that type of struggle is like. I stuck my foot in my mouth as I finally realized why some people would be drawn to AI generated work. I stayed true to my values as I slugged through to write my own papers - papers which were totally out of my comfort zone.
Staying true to values…it’s a big thing. Learn who you are and what you value, then live by it. So simple yet so hard. The hardest is when you know you mess up, and you have to deal with the shame of it.
But you can’t let that shame eat you alive. Keep reaching out. Keep finding the people who make your soul sing. Keep searching for those values, that purpose. It’s all there for you, the only question is how hard are you willing to work - how long are you willing to wait - to find it all. All things in good time.
And now, a bold move. Excerpts from my journal this summer. Starting at Taylor Swift, going through mid-August. Remember, writing can be inspired by the tiniest and biggest things. It can be things you've experienced or things others have. It's whatever touches your heart, you just write it down as it comes to you.
Take what you need, leave the rest.
My heart is with anyone who has found themselves in an impossibly messy situation.
You gotta find those few people and things that will support you. You gotta not let the comments about your past pull you back there.
You are human. You are a feeler. Instead of thinking “I deserved that” think “that’s in my past”
If you doubt the safety within a moment, find the safety within yourself.
When it feels like others are not with you - forget them. Keep doing you. You deserve to be loved by yourself. You should not be influenced by the energy in the room, but rather be the energy.
It’s not your job to manage other people’s insecurities, it's your job to be yourself. Being yourself is the best way to build your confidence and bring the best into the world and the other person.
There’s a fierceness to love when you can do it for the whole person.
I only ever want to operate from a place of strength.
The end is in sight. I just have to push through.
I’m afraid to show you
The real me
(they always leave)
I have to promise to meet myself here. Because something didn’t feel right and I'm not sure what. Meet yourself here, everytime.
Meeting myself here.
Had a low moment before teaching yoga.
I haven’t been on my own side with all of this. Probably because I don’t know how.
The thing is - this is teaching me. And you know how I love teaching. Every hard thing is giving me the opportunity to meet myself on a new level.
I so desperately want to be seen and understood but no matter how much I share it feels like I can never share enough.
They always say “you’re so strong” and the thing is they don’t even know the half of it.
There was a moment this evening where I felt an overwhelming feeling of shame. It lasted maybe 20 minutes. I didn’t know exactly how to get out of it, but I did ask my mom to take me on a walk through her garden and the whole Windswept property. We walked with the dogs - I tried to breathe and move through all of my feelings. Besides that I’m trying to distract myself with reading and such. But sometimes my heart just gets so overwhelmed.
Of all things, freedom is the most important. It’s always what I want to feel. It has to be protected at all costs. We put ourselves in cages. Let go.
My love, you are strong and free and everything you dreamed you’d be.
Life doesn’t give you second chances but sometimes it does offer a fresh start.
We were not made to play small. I say it to show you how much things can change.
There’s separation when we believe we are different from anyone at all. There is always a little part of us that is like someone else. Forgive that part of you, and forgive that person’s too.
I may not appear to be the biggest and strongest but here’s the thing about me - I will choose my worth every time in the end. I know myself better than anything in this world and I refuse to live quietly or softly or less than.
If you think you can’t do it…you can.
Stop running away from things - what are you running towards?
There is beauty in what’s happening even when you can’t see it yet. One day you’ll look back and say damn I was strong.
What’s meant for you is coming, but it’s so great you gotta wait.
You have to win the game in front of you - my mom.
All that I can offer the world is my truth.
Change comes in a thousand tiny decisions, some of which will break your heart.
How quickly can you turn around your feelings of lack...how quickly can you bounce back...decrease the time between transitions.
To find your power you must never rely on someone or something else.
Bad things will happen but do not let it take your spirit. You show up, you smile, you be the change you wish to see. This will be the strongest thing you could ever do and your strength will multiply because of it.
When the hurt feels big enough to tear up your whole heart. Ripping through like a chainsaw. It’s this. It’s everything that came before. It’s your whole god damn life.
That’s why you show up everyday and give it your full attention and energy. You check your own problems at the door to be in the service of others.
Normalize not needing to be thanked or appreciated for what you do.
That heartbreaking feeling of showing someone a piece of your heart only for it to be met with perplexed eyes…
Everytime something bad happens, mold it into a step to advance yourself. Don’t let any situation happen to you that you don’t turn into gold and a stepping stone for yourself.
(when bad things happen) just keep being the best person you can be because that has to count for something.
The world is bigger than what you’re thinking at the moment.
You didn’t deserve for bad things to happen to you.
There is more to the story than you can see right now.
You haven’t met all the people that will love you yet.
No matter what happened - you are human and you have worth.
Tears are coming. But they’re tears of relief. For all I’ve worked for. For how far I’ve come. For the softness in my heart.
The Summer I Turned Wise.