Figuring out life, one story at a time.
Am I a little weird for thinking Mackerel are some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen? Probably. Oh well. ⚓️
“Wouldn’t you rather string together a life of many beautiful moments that must end than hold an endless but banal thread throughout your entire life?” ✨ Click the link in my bio to read the rest of my thoughts on what to do NEXT when you are coming to the end of a beautiful moment in your life. 🌊
“I had taken the risk and then tried taking it back. You’ve taken the risk. Keep taking it.” ^^^ being real about choices... the good and the bad. Want to see me be super vulnerable? To read what I have to say about the #nomadlife #livingabroad #aupairlife trend? How it all went for me? Check back tomorrow, I’ll post a link to my @medium article.
Sundays are for dreams and schemes and Mondays are for #grinding 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 Last night before bed I was feeling so much dread for this week. But how could I not? I had spent all day scrolling through Pinterest and reading articles and doing web searches related to my big, gorgeous dreams that are out there on that horizon. Facing reality, facing the near future- the week ahead, my day job, all the little logistical legwork tasks that would build the bridge across that water to connect me to that dream.... it wasn’t fun facing those things after dreaming all day. But this morning, I got up, I faced it and guess what? It was a awesome day. I was super productive. I kicked ass at my day job. I lived my values fully and I even made a few small steps towards those big dreams. ✨ Reality. Hard work. Keeping your nose down. Grinding. Everyday mundanity. 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻 It sucks!! It isn’t fun or exciting or glamorous or insta-worthy..... but it IS necessary and it IS worthwhile and it WILL move you forward instead of keeping you stagnant.
I don’t need a good career, I need a good life. 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 Therapy realizations! I’ve been so unhappy ever since I began living life in a way that prioritized my career instead of prioritizing beauty and love and joy and passion. But why is having a “career” so important if that career doesn’t bring beauty or love or joy or passion into your life?
Life is good ♥️ I’ve been told this is an out of character statement for me to make. I’d like to change that. Some steps I’ve taken to get to a place where that is my reality, my worldview and truly, honestly the way I think and feel lately: 1. Going to therapy. Even if you don’t think you are “mentally ill” or whatever.... this will help everyone and anyone. I will never not recommend people to find a good therapist. 2. Gratitude journaling: free and easy therapy without leaving the comfort of your home! Seriously, this daily exercise has reversed my negative thought habits. 3. Accepting reality. Knowing what’s real and knowing it’s ok. In a practical sense this usually means doing what needs to be done. Chores. To-do lists. Prep for work. Selfcare. And less “planning” 4. Be present. This rides on number 3 and seems cliche because it’s said so often but it’s SO TRUE. Get out of your head and just be. See the things in front of you, listen to the voices around you, revel in the experiences you are having AT THIS MOMENT. 5. Read dammit. I know this is very English-teachery of me to say. But reading gives you understanding. Reading gives you empathy. Reading gives you depth and strength and grit (at least it’s a good start on all of those qualities, not a full course meal )
If you have ever been to Athens, you know what a Herculean feat it is to capture a photo of an empty Monastiraki Square 💪🏻 Took this while hurrying off to catch an early morning ferry with @evijaelpo to explore Agistri. I never meant it to happen but Athens holds a piece of my heart. I’m starting to wonder if I have any say in the matter or if people and places and things just get to steal little chunks until, bit by bit, my love and loyalty are scattered far and wide across the globe 🌎
That moment when you are posing all cute and such but the ocean has other ideas 🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊 I am Free. More free than I think. I am Strong. Stronger than I think. I am Bright. Brighter than I think. A bird taken to wing. A crashing ocean wave. The sunlight at midnight. 🌞 Powering through my day job today and trying to squeeze more time for my personal projects into the cracks.
I’ve got my eyes on that horizon and I’m feeling ready to see how far I can go. I spent this week clarifying my goals and figuring out what was truly important. Once I did that, I felt spurred on towards action. Knowing WHY I am doing something, why I am learning new skills or working really hard at a task, has made it much easier to stick with that task. My rebel tendency makes it hard to maintain motivation but using strategies like this is helpful. If you have been struggling with motivation lately... try figuring out your 5 core goals and values (they are different things ) and aligning with them everyday and questioning how your daily actions are matching up! For me my daily check ins involve my 6 (I couldn’t narrow it to 5 😅 ) core values that describe the kind of person I want to be and the kind of life I want to lead: Wild Brave Erudite Pure Kind Excellent And also checking in and aligning to my 5 core goals for my entire life... the 5 things that if I do not complete them I will not feel fulfilled: Building a healthy marriage Raising strong, smart and happy children Owning a large piece of land near the water and using the land well Creating and running my own educational program Never stop writing It feels incredibly vulnerable to share those things with the world!! But vulnerability aligns with my values (Brave and Pure! ) so imma keep it up.
Fam Bam ♥️ Throwing back to a beautiful beach on a beautiful day with beautiful people. I can’t wait to see my momma and my sis and my nephew tonight. I am so thankful for a family who always calls me home.
“Resilient people possess 3 characteristics- a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief, often buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful; and an uncanny ability to improvise.” - Diane Coutu 🌈 Do you consider yourself resilient? Do you bounce back easily when you fall? Do you see obstacles as challenges rather than catastrophes? Do you view yourself as the controller of your own fate rather than a victim of destiny? 🔥 If not, that’s ok! Science tells us that resilience is like a muscle you can build and grow with hard work. 🏋🏻♀️ I’ve had ups and downs in my own levels of grit but this week I’ve been in the grit gym every day, doing exercises to build that muscle back up inside me. 💪🏻
Weightlifting gives you physical strength 🏋🏻♀️ Education gives you intellectual strength 👩🏻🎓 Gratitude gives you emotional strength ✨ I am overwhelmed with gratitude this week and I have never, ever felt stronger or more resilient. My journal is filled with paragraphs of me pouring out thankfulness for everything from my job to my damn eyeballs. (I’m super happy I have those! It means I can read books and star gaze 💕 ) I’m also so grateful for my loving family, and especially my amazing momma. So grateful for her generous nature, her soft heart, her artistic talent, her resilience and strength, her strongly held values and beliefs, her relentless patience and compassion.
Accidents tend to work out better than plans. ✨ For me I’ve found this to be true in taking photos (this being a prime example ), finding love and choosing a job (among many other things ). And yet I still find myself obsessively trying to plan things out.... as if happy accidents aren’t waiting around every corner ready to tear down my carefully built preparations.
Got my spoon in hand. Slowly digging a tunnel through my prison cell wall. 👌🏻 Break out of your own ⛓⛓⛓
Looking at a flower blooming feels like getting an affirmation of love from Mother Nature. 🌷 Yes, you deserve frivolous beauty. You deserve pure moments of joy and bright colors and lovely smells. The earth loves you and loves that you exist and loves that you are here, breathing. She gave you flowers to tell you so.
🎶 Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder... 🎶 This is one of my favorite tattoos. When I was little and I was unhappy, my dad would loudly and embarrassingly sing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah until I cracked a smile. At first, when my dad would start to sing, I would get even more unhappy, feeling like he was annoying or fake. But eventually, I couldn’t help but laugh as he pressed on with his terrible singing voice and wide grin. Happiness is like that sometimes. You have to press on, force a smile, sing with your cracked voice and do the work that will bring you to a happier place. When I got this tattoo I was at one of the happiest points in my life. But I had worked really hard to get there and I had endured a lot of loneliness, heartbreak, homesickness and painful growth to get there. I wish that happiness was easier and not often difficult and borderline exhausting. But wishes don’t make life better. Working on it does. So I will keep pushing the rock up the hill. Cleaning the house, baking, washing my damn face and forcing myself to sit down and write.
D✨R✨E✨A✨M I love this illustration because it reminds me my dreams should be the foundation I stand on. The stepping stones i balance on as I work towards something physical, actual. I don’t want my dreams to just be distant or forever stuck in my head, unrealized. For me, my dreams involve storytelling in any and all forms. One day, I’d like to get paid for my stories. Which is why.... eventually... I will learn to commit to a WIP instead of giving up on all my ideas. Thanks to @elliejgrey author for creating the #authorinvested follow loop. Building a strong, flourishing #writerscommunity is so so so important to me!! Comment below and tell me about your WIP!!
Missing that dimple 💕 I misspoke the other day and said that long distance is easy. Long distance is hard AF. But you don’t feel how hard it is when you’re with someone who makes it feel easy. 🥰 My top tips: 1. Save it. Don’t tell them everything over text. Save it for the FT convo (I have to remind myself of this often because I’m bad at following it! ) 🔑 2. Only love. You don’t have time or space for anything else in the miles between you. Anger, pettiness, snappishness.... any of it. In regular relationships there is space for this to exist and still work through it and be happy and healthy. Not in LDR. Only love. ♥️ 3. Give grace. Communication is hard enough in person. From 3000 miles away, different time zones, conflicting schedules, it seems impossible. Don’t assume. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t accuse. Give grace. 🕯 Now when I say these are my “top tips” it doesn’t mean I always follow them!!! I am far from a perfect long distance girlfriend. But these are the things I find being the most connection for us when we feel distant. The things that help us hold onto each other from far away.
This is the cheesin grin of a girl who is starting to discover who she truly is and what makes her truly happy 🌤 this was the first step on my journey to letting go of everything that wasn’t meant for me and everything I only thought I wanted because someone told me to want it. I’m still on that journey and I think I will be for the rest of my life. But it’s a fun one. 🌊
I’m miles away from this moment... the moment where my heart fell for London. 🇬🇧 Now I’m sitting in a log cabin in Western Pennsylvania embracing the quiet, snowy woods. 🌲 I feel like I’m faced with a thousand different pathways and they all lead to joy. I just need to pick one and run with full force in that direction. 🔥
I hope you all have something this precious in your life ✨
Happy Valentine’s Day ♥️ Remember that today is a holiday to spread and celebrate love of ALL kinds. Love each other, love this world and love yourself. ✨
A smile from a sunnier day ☀️ I don’t like to tell people when I’m struggling. I prefer to show them my strengths and my success.... all the smiles and sunshine. But I’m learning that it’s ok to have rainy days too. I’ve got to allow myself to feel my full range of emotions... even the ones that hurt.
Friendship is so important. Women supporting women is so important. 🌺 I am filled with gratitude for the amazing women I have in my life. I wish they weren’t scattered all over the globe so that I could see them more often. But they are there for me, near or far. 💫 Shoutout to the more than amazing @pagebypaigebook who is happy to have weird interests to share with me which led us to the concert in this pic. No one else would drive all the way to PA with me to see bagpipes. 😂💕 She’s off gallivanting in Texas now but we are going to start a long distance writing club together ✍️ I may just have to accept that I will always have amazing friends.... but they will always be long distance.
Throwback to a Monday that was a little more magical. New Years’ Eve ✨ This outfit made me feel like a dark princess 👑 wish I could look like this every Monday but instead I’ll just have to adorn myself with the mindset I had while wearing this. Can’t look like a badass queen everyday but you can act like one 👏🏻
Last night I laughed til it hurt with @iamnotlost_ as we made light of our own ridiculous flaws and took the piss out of our past selves. 🥴 In the process, I realized that although I think it’s a positive quality that I think and feel so deeply, sometimes I need someone to pull me back up to the surface. 🌊 It’s good that I am able to plumb the depths of literature and philosophy and the world around me and my own mind. But if I stay down there too long, the pressure overwhelms and overcomes me. 🤕 I need to allow my friends and family to drag me back up to the shallows and take big, gulping breaths of clear air. 🌈
Friday has finally rolled around and I cannot wait to spend the weekend with my fam bam. This precious bean is in town from San Diego with his momma (my little sis ) and my Auntie instincts are itching to hold him!! 🥰 To copy @gretchenrubin one of my secrets of adulthood that I’ve discovered for myself is to spend as much time around children as possible. Some people might be horrified by this resolution but they help me get out of my own head, stop overthinking, enjoy the moment and be present, find joy and magic in the mundane. They help me play and laugh and love more deeply. ✨
“She looks invincible.” This week has been about binging The Handmaid’s Tale and building my strength and self worth back up. It’s been about being kinder and more gentle with myself but not letting go of my desire for an ever more resilient spirit. ✨ My mom captured this candid of me on our family’s fishing boat in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland. I have yet to visit a place that has a more resilient spirit than that incredible island. I like to believe that I was channeling that resilience in this moment.... and that I can remember and recapture that today and everyday. 💪🏻