Archive for the ‘trust yourself’ Category

breathe and trust. silence those fears.   2 comments

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It’s interesting how a new guy can make you realize the doubts and insecurities you have.  It may take a few days, call it the new crush honeymoon period if you will, but then all of a sudden your mind starts playing those darn tricks on you again.  Why hasn’t he texted me?  When will I see him again?  Does he really like me?  Boys.  They are put on this earth to drive our already-crazy minds even crazier. 
No, but seriously, what’s up with me?  I was many hours (and drinks) into Sunday Funday and had no expectations going into the date he proposed.  But now, after having a fantastic first date, here I am struggling with all those troubling thoughts that have scarred me over the past several dateless years.  GRrrr…come on girl, get yourself together!!
After mentioning my successful date to a dear friend of mine, she responded, “Breathe and trust.  Silence those fears.”  To be honest, when this message came through I was feeling ridiculously confident and still high from the amazing kissing that concluded our date.  (Yes, I kissed him on the first date.  Actually, I kissed him before our first date, but that’s a whole different story.)  But I found myself thankful for her encouraging words when those fears started surfacing the very next day. 
Breathe and trust.  Silence those fears.  That’s what’s keeping my anxious mind (and heart) from falling victim to the worries.  Between you and me, I’ve let my fears hold me back for a very long time- much longer than I’ve ever admitted to on this blog- but I really feel like it’s time to trust myself again- and maybe learn to let myself trust someone else too. 

if you ask me there’s a moment in everybody’s life when you’re helpless; just helpless with hope and trust.   2 comments

If there was a caption to this photo, I’d like to think it would be the following: {here is my heart. put it back together again if you dare.}  Or maybe: {i’m letting it all go.}  Yeah, that’s what it would read.  One of those two.  So, which one is it for you?  For me it’s the latter.  Especially today.  Today I really am letting it all go.

Things with “Cleveland” are officially over and even though I’ve had a hard time with it, we both know that it’s for the best.  I may need a few glasses of wine until I really believe that, but then again I really have known it all along.  But I had to let it go, once and for all; and I needed to know that he was letting me go too.

Tears unexpectedly filled my eyes yesterday- which is something I was’t going to admit to, but guess that just changed.  I don’t think they were tears of sadness.  I don’t think my heart was broken, because, to be honest, I never let myself be completely vulnerable with “Cleveland” for the simple reason that I couldn’t.  (I always knew it would end.)  But instead they were tears of hope and trust.  Hope that better days are ahead for both of us, following this decision; and trust that within ourselves we uncovered that it was truly for the best.

I cannot say that I’ve ever been in a position like this before.  I was literally fighting myself every single day between what I knew was right and what I wanted.  Somehow, I mustered up the strength- or perhaps ignorance- to be selfish and give myself what I wanted.  I let myself take a chance on something I could never have; and while I hate saying it, I don’t regret it.  I don’t regret having this knowledge and experience.  I don’t regret taking a chance on him.

So with hope and trust, I’m letting it go… once and for all.

fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.   2 comments

I’m worried that if I don’t write this post tonight that I will cave in(again) tomorrow…which could lead to the day after tomorrow too…and so on.  Therefore I’m going to write this tonight.  Bear with me, okay?  Like these last 11 weeks, it’s been a long week.  Seriously, why did I ever leave California? 

Sure I regret leaving California, but it’s not like I had a choice.  Yes, it felt amazing to put life on pause and escape to the exquisite beauty & serenity of Wine Country, but unfortunately, like all good things, I knew it wouldn’t last.  Just like I always knew my affair with “Cleveland” wouldn’t last.

To be fair, I liked him.  Okay, I still like him.  But I’ve (finally) gotten to the point where that doesn’t matter.  To put it simply, I cannot play the role of a fool anymore.  I simply cannot keep fooling myself believing that things are going to change; that everything is going to go back to how it was in the beginning.  It can’t.  It won’t.  So I cannot keep letting myself believe that it will.  Even if he didn’t do anything wrong, per say, I think the message is finally completely clear that it’s just time to walk away. 

I know some of my friends are reading this and asking, “Didn’t you let him go a while ago?”.  Well, to be honest, the answer is, “Yes…but no.  However I am now.”  I know I should have let this go a while ago.  Actually, I never should have let myself get to this point at all.  But like I said, I liked him and therefore, I let myself take a chance on him.  Maybe I shouldn’t have done that but I did, and I really don’t know if I regret that too much.  (Though I should.)  Oh well, whatever the case may be I’ve learned a lesson- or two, maybe three- from this experience.  And tonight, as I write, I know that I need to let this go once and for all.  So, if you’re reading this, I must thank you for bearing with me.  I really needed to get this out tonight to serve as a reminder for tomorrow.  So again, thank you, my witnesses.  Don’t let me fall off the wagon tomorrow, okay?

goodbye, twenty-seven: it’s been quite a lessons learned-kinda year.   3 comments

No one wants to spend their birthday at work and in a classroom, but this full-time employee and full-time graduate student didn’t have a choice.  Memories of my 28th birthday will have to be just that, as well as the abundance of love that I got from friends, co-workers, and family members today.  (Thank you all so much!)  It’s fine.  I’m not one for celebrating birthdays anyways, nor do I really like attention drawn to me.  Quite frankly, the best way for me to celebrate my 28th birthday is to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned this past year.

Twenty-Seven Lessons Learned as a Twenty-Seven Year-Old

1. Never underestimate the therapeutic powers of a long walk.  One of the best decisions I’ve made since moving to Chicago is not buying a car.  Besides numerous trains and buses, I’ve relied on my walking shoes to get me around.  Whether it’s my walk home after volunteering, babysitting, or a night out on the town, the cool night air really helped me gather my thoughts these last few months.

2. There are people out there who recognize your potential.  I’ll never forget reading an email from my friend, Linda, while at my parents’ house this past July.  Her kind words hit me hard because 1) I didn’t expect them and 2) I didn’t know she saw me that way.  “Don’t worry, Kristen.  We know good people when we see them.”  So many people have said such sweet things to me this past year, making me realize that good deeds and an altruistic heart aren’t taken for granted.

3. It’s never too late to go back to school and/or pursue your passion.  Grad school was never in my plans, and honestly it never crossed my mind during undergrad.  But life is unpredictable.  Becoming a Child Life Specialist became my goal and if that meant going back to school then so be it.  So here I am, spending the last days of being 27 as a grad student. 

4.Your parents really do want the best for you- even if they have a hard time showing it.  My mom claimed she was playing devil’s advocate to make me think about my decision to enroll in grad school and accrue more debt.  Sometimes I went days without talking to them because I hated knowing that I didn’t have their support.  But now I know, that I had it all along. 

5. Babies and toddlers are always an instant happy pill.  Between volunteering and spending time Max, and sometimes Keira too, my worries always seem to go away as soon as I’m around kids.  And not only that, I feel happy.  Perfectly content.  Like there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. 

6. Sometimes you just need to let yourself cry it out.  Plain and simple, this year I’ve realized that sometimes you just need a good cry to get you back on track.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Sometimes you just need to cry. 

7. There’s nothing wrong with saying “No”.  What can I say, I’m one of those people who carries a lot on her plate.  I like to keep myself busy and help as many people as I can.  On top of it, I’m lucky to have very good friends that I like to be there for.  But this year, under the coaching of many friends and family members, I’ve learned that I can’t always do everything and be everywhere.  Sometimes I just have to tell myself “No”.

8. Every girl needs a best guy friend- or two, or maybe three…  I’ve always been a girl who has guy friends.  In fact during my teenage years, most people told me that I needed to make some girl friends since all I seemed to do was run away with boys.  (It isn’t as scandalous as it sounds.)  Nowadays, I run with mostly girls around the streets of Chicago.  Though I consider myself lucky to have my guys a mere phone call away.  While girl friends are wonderful, sometimes it helps to have a guy’s laid back, go-with-the-flow perspective.

9. Come up with a fake bar name.  Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.  This is definitely one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned.  I’m sure Lana, Addie, Jordan, and Mitchell, DTF agree.  Not only does it protect you from creepers and potential stalkers, but it can also prove to be a lot of fun.  XOXO Kendall

10. No matter how much the truth may hurt, closure is the best medicine.  This year, after 7 long years of  self-inflicted suffering, I let him go.  I got the closure I needed to move on, once and for all.  It may have hurt to learn what I needed to know, but in the end it was all worth it.  Moving on was worth it.

11. A little country music and a cute pair of boots will always make you feel better.  Whether singing around to Taylor Swift’s catchy lyrics or soothing my heart with Lady Antebellum, country music has a special place in my heart.  Paired with a flannel short, cut-off shorts, and some faux-cowboy boots and there’s no reason not to have a smile on your face.  Whether at Houndstooth for country night with friends or taking in one of the hottest summer tours, I’ve commonly use country music to ease the funk that hit me these last few months. 

12. You are never too old for day-drinking or a good old-fashioned bar shuffle.  Let’s just say that I’ve enjoyed some amazing days/nights out with friends these last few months and caused my share of trouble while making the rounds in Chicago.  If I can provide one piece of advice based on my own experience, never turn down a bar shuffle for charity- especially if it involves a mustache.

13. Always let your friends be there for you. True friends will never judge you no matter what situation you find yourself in.  This is a lesson that I keep learning, but one that was especially apparent these last few weeks.  To cut to the chase, I lost my trust in people back during my teenage years and never fully got it back.  But this past year, with the support and encouragement of many fantastic friends, I’ve learned to trust again.  I’ve learned that it’s important to let your friends be there for you, especially in cases where you think you’re better off alone.  The truth is, if you have wonderful friends then you’re a fool if you don’t let them in. 

14. Confidence is indeed the best accessory a girl can own.  I could tell a story or two.  Okay I may be able to tell four stories, actually five or six about my confident escapades this past year.  Yes, they all take place at bars- in both Columbus and Chicago.  But the stories don’t matter too much, it’s the message that proves to be the important factor here.  On each of the nights, between the shots and adventures, I mustered up enough confidence within myself to appeal to someone of the opposite gender.  While four of those six scenarios resulted in a kiss, the confidence that I exhibited is what I remember the most.  Well, it’s at least a tie in some of those situation.  PS.  Confidence always works well outside the bar scene too.  

15. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.  I swear I didn’t mean to put this next lesson after the last, but because I did I won’t indulge you in any story telling.  Instead all I’ll say is that I took a few chances this past year and made the first move.  Gosh, I even pulled out a few (ridiculously direct) lines in doing so.  My point is that there is nothing wrong with making the first move and in fact, it may be the only chance you have since guys don’t seem to be doing it too often these days. 

16. Some Facebook stalking is okay.  It just is, and if it isn’t then I guess we’re all guilty of a felony.  After all, if you meet a cute guy at a cupcake shop, you’ve got to see if he’s on Facebook.  Right, Jenny?  And come on, how many of us have to do some stalking on that guy we ‘accidentally’ made out with at the bar?  Admit it, we’ve all been there.

17. Be guarded, but not too guarded.  Okay, I have issues.  I’ve said that from the beginning and all along it’s been one of my motives for creating my “free therapy” blog.  Now blame it on my lack-of -trust issues or my last-relationship-was-a-friends-with-benefits-‘situation’ issue, but whatever the case may be I am guilty of being very guarded with my heart.  However, this year I’ve learned that being too guarded has you running the chance of missing out on an opportunity worth taking. 

18. Whatever is holding you back, let it go.  Two of my friends said this to me this past week and it really hit me deep.  Foolish me thought I’d be letting things go for a while now, but I trust that they can see that someone is still holding me back.  I’ve shed a lot of baggage this year and taken some risks in an effort to live fearlessly, but I guess there’s more to do.  I guess this is one lesson that will definitely be carried into my 28th year.

19. Be a mentor for those younger than you.  Life is tough and they could use someone to look up to.  And on that note, let your older peers serve as a mentor to you.  After graduating high school, my cousin, Becca, and her friend, Kenna, flew to Chicago (from Atlanta) for a weekend full of excursions.  While I’ve always recognized that importance of looking after those younger than me- especially girls- I’ll admit that my weekend with Becca and Kenna definitely opened my eyes to its importance.  Unfortunately I didn’t have an older sister nor an older female role model to guide me through those dreadful teenage years.  Because of that absence in my life, I know how beneficial one is.  So if I can play that role in at least one younger girl’s life, then I’ve fulfilled a responsibility that is special to me.

20. Do something that scares you.  So this may sound really strange to some, but I’ve always been scared to go to the movies by myself.  For years I’ve tried pumping myself up to just go and get it over with.  FINALLY, earlier this year, I took myself to the movies.  Me, myself, and I- as well as approximately two dozen other singles- took in the 11 am Saturday morning showing of Blue Valentine.  I swear I left that theater feeling like I could do anything.  (Silly, huh?)  Since then I’ve seen another movie by myself (One Day) and I promise there will be others to follow. 

21. Be patient.  Good things really are worth the wait.  This is one of those lessons that I’m still working on applying.  Patience is certainly not my forte.  Both of my parents will tell you that.  My patience has been tested A LOT this year and while it’s never easy, I do agree that certain things are worth the wait. 

22. Always be as honest as you possibly can- especially with those closest to you.  I’m a horrible liar… and that’s why I don’t lie.  A few weeks ago I kinda-sorta lied to one of my best friends because I was afraid of losing her friendship over a situation I found myself in.  Not telling her killed me and therefore I ended up telling her the truth.  Because she’s fantastic, she accepted what I saw as a flaw- to put it gently.  And more so, she made me realize how beautiful of a person and friend she really is by making me understand that I can tell her anything.  Moral of the story: If you think you have to lie to your best friends about “it” then the situation/circumstance probably isn’t the right one for you.

23. Being single is not a bad thing.  My friend,  Michelle, has really opened my eyes this year and brought some clarity into my always-thinking mind.  Our talks together sometimes revolve around the theme, ‘Enjoy the Now and Don’t Worry About What You Don’t Have’.  As a mother and a wife to two very handsome boys, she appears to have everything a girl could want.  She knows she’s lucky but she doesn’t take anything for granted.  Instead she tells us that we’ll have it too, but enjoy the freedom life has bestowed on you.  Enjoy knowing that you’ll find it once day. Isn’t that enough to keep one taking chances and exploring all that life has to offer? 

24. Believe you are beautiful.  I had to include this on here even though I’m hesitant to address it.  The truth is, I know this is a very important lesson; however, it’s still one that I haven’t been able to master.  Being a girl isn’t easy.  Trust me, I’ve been trying to tackle it for the last 28 years.  I’ve made progress, but this is definitely a lifelong journey of mine.   

25. It’s okay not to always be okay.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons this year, but this may very well be the one that I (need to) value the most.  For someone who unconsciously overlooks her own needs, I’ve run myself down for years.  But this year under the coaching of several friends and a family members, I’ve gotten better at taking care of me.  There have been days when I cancelled plans- which I hate doing- because I either needed a time-out for some ‘me’ time.  All in all, this is a lesson I wish I learned years ago, but later is better than never. 

26. There are good guys out there.  I met one in September, and then another in November.  Then there was one really good one in February, and I like to think I met one again in August.  Anyways, my point is that there are good guys out there.  There really are.  A lot of my friends are either dating, engaged or married to some of them, and I, myself, am friends with them or others.  So don’t lose hope that they all disappeared down some black hole.  There are some good guys out there.  Just don’t give up.

27. Trust yourself.  Dina said this to me in an email once and I’ve thought of this line every day since.  “Trust yourself.”  So simple, yet so important.  For a long time I relied on others’ input to help me make decisions.  But this past year, I learned that the only opinion that matters is my own.  I was the one who had to decide to attend grad school.  I was the one who had to turn down my family vacation because it was too much with school and work.  And I am the only one who can decide who I like and want to take a chance on.  All of the decisions I make, for my own mere benefit, are made because they’re best for me.  Whether it’s following my heart or trusting my gut instinct, I have the responsibility to do things for myself.

It’s been quite a year for me and these 27 lessons are just a portion of what I’ve learned and experienced as a 27-year old.  It’s been a crazy/beautiful year for me and I fully embrace every opportunity I’ve been granted.  I’m extremely thankful for the people who have helped me learn, grow, and live up this past year.  Without them, I wouldn’t know half of the things I know now.  So a special thank you to all of you.



these last two weeks.   Leave a comment

They say When it rains, it pours.  Now I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but I’m quite certain that ‘they’ came up with this line to foreshadow these last two weeks in my life.  To put it best, and figuratively, it just hasn’t stopped raining.  For the last fourteen days, life has thrown everything imaginable at me- and more.

Ironically, it all began on a rainy night… which included a rooftop kiss that I’ll probably never forget.  And that same kiss is one that probably never should have happened…but it did.

I wasn’t going to tell anyone about that kiss.  It was my plan to keep it between the two strangers that shared it.  No one needed to know about it.  Neither one of us even needed to remember it.  We were drunk.  We saw something in one another.  We got caught up in the moment.  We let the other feel something (again).  It was only going to be the one night.  We were never supposed to see one another again.  We weren’t, but we did.

Last night I walked home from dinner as the raindrops fell amongst the street lights.  Ignoring the umbrella in my purse, I recognized that part of me just wanted to feel the raindrops on my skin and the other part just wanted to feel something.  Each pitter-patter embraced a memory from the last two weeks.  Whether the first meeting outside of the bar, the romantic rooftop kiss in the rain, the texts and calls that followed, or our reunion two days prior, I found myself holding onto pieces that should have been forgotten and/or nonexistent in the first place.  And more so, I questioned why I haven’t fully been able to walk away.

I’ve been struggling to make sense of everything these last two weeks.  I’ve tried recalling the events of that Saturday night and how I let things happen as they did.  I’ve kept my guard up instead of getting caught up in the rush.  And above all, I’ve forced myself to be honest- with him , with friends, and with myself.  All I can ration is that in situations like this, people meet for a reason.  Maybe he entered my life to teach me a necessary lesson, or perhaps I came into let him feel something he hasn’t felt in a while.  Whatever the case may be, I just wish I knew because otherwise I cannot help but wonder if every rainy night is going to elicit memories of that romantic rooftop kiss…and all that has happened since.

it’s not always fireworks and shooting stars; sometimes it’s a simple spark within that whispers, ‘you’re on your way’.   Leave a comment

As fireworks lit up the Chicago skyline on Monday night, I laid in my bed falling asleep to the sounds of my city as memories began flashing through my mind.  Alone in my apartment for the first time in ten nights, the booms from the finale reminded me that another Fourth of July had passed- and somehow it was my third in Chicago. 

In early July 2009, I sat in my friends’ apartment on a hot summer afternoon and had my tarot cards read (for the first time).  At the time I was struggling to find my place in Chicago and therefore, hoped to find some ‘answers’ in my reading: Stay in Chicago or Go Back to Columbus?  With an open mind and optimistic heart, I shuffled the deck and awaited my fate.  (Well at least what I believed to be my fate.)  Two years ago, I was a girl with a broken spirit and broken heart trying to figure out who I was and where I belonged.  I was lost in a big city and lost within myself, struggling to hold onto what made me ‘me’ and adapt to who I (thought I) needed to be.

Despite looking for every reason to flee, I made the decision to stay in Chicago because I felt (within that) my time wasn’t over yet.  I whole-heartedly believe that day was the turning point for me.  Not only did I Trust Myself, but I also Believed in Myself for the first time in a long time. 

Last Thursday night, nearly two years after my first reading, my same friend entertained me with his tarot cards again.  This time my question was different.  Much different.  This time I knew that Chicago was where I wanted to be, and I was much more confident in who I am in comparison to two years ago.  Therefore, I sucked up my confidence- and maybe took another sip of wine- and asked a question that I wanted to ask.  A question that has been on my mind, and perhaps the only question I really wanted to know an ‘answer’ to.

Well, like before, the cards aligned fairly well to tell the story of my past & present situations.  Yet, two things really stood out to me.  The first was this: The thing you desire the most is also the thing you fear the most.  Right away I knew what that one thing was because there’s only thing I desire the most; and coincidentally it just so happens to be the one thing I fear the most.  LOVE.  The only thing that terrifies me for the vulnerability it exposes yet is the reason I keep myself going. The reason I keep searching for answers.

As he summarized my cards, these final words brought along my answer (in the form of clarity): You’re on your way.”  To tell you the truth, that may have been exactly what I needed to hear.  Isn’t that all we really ever want to know?  That all the effort we put in, each and every day, is worth it?  That all the stress and tears are making us stronger?  That each person we meet, and those we love, are guiding us along our journey?  Isn’t that the only answer we’re searching for in life?

When I made the decision to stay here in Chicago two years ago, I had no idea what to expect.  I still only knew a handful of people and my job was still completely unfulfilling.  There were no fireworks nor shooting stars making my decision for me.  Instead, I trusted the spark within that said, “You’re going to be okay.  Just keep trying.”  And I must say it was the best decision I’ve ever made because of all the things it’s bestowed to me these last few years. 

Most times when we feel a feeling, that spark within us, we have no idea what it means.  But don’t worry about figuring that out just yet.  Simply trust that feeling and let it guide you along way.  Because one day, perhaps two years later, those you’ll finally see those fireworks in the sky and gain a clear understanding of why you felt that spark in the first place. 



~This is one of those times when your brain kicks in and tells your heart, ‘Good things are worth waiting for’.~

i know that i am nothing new. there’s so much more than me and you.   4 comments

I can honestly say that I’ve never been so impressed by a guy in my life.  That alone makes it obvious that I’m crushing on someone- oh gosh, I even got weak in the knees before seeing him once.  Anyways, he’s pretty fantastic.  Better than any fantasy my imaginative mind could concoct.  Certainly one of those guys that you can’t let get away.  One of those rare finds that you know you’ll never get a second chance with.  Despite knowing an array of good guys in my lifespan, I swear I’ve never met anyone like him before.

And while I can say that about him, I’m not sure he’s able to say the same about me.  As humble as he’s proven to be, I’m far from his first admirer.  I’m one of many in his fan club.  I know that I am nothing new.  Therefore, I must also admit that I’ve never been so intimidated by a guy either.  And that being said, I’ve never been so cautious with my heart either.  It’s not that there’s anything to lose… it’s more that there is so much to gain. 

With his absence this summer, I find that all I can do is let it go.  I always knew it was what I had to do.  Always knew it was for the best.  However, it hasn’t been as easy as I assumed it would be.  Too many times I recall the second part of the infamous line that Alisha reminded me of: … if it comes back, it’s yours. 

Even with my doubts, maybe I just can’t ignore the possibility that it will come back?  Maybe I’m just not sold on the notion that this is another crazy crush of mine?  Yes, I know that it’s a big world out there and many temptations in high heels on those New York City streets; however, an ounce of jealousy hasn’t encompassed my body- at least not yet.  And you know why?  Because a tiny part of me believes that, to him, that’s nothing new and that I am quite possibly something he’s never seen before.  A girl can at least dream, right?

In deciding what to say next, this song came up on my playlist: One and Only by Adele.  Somehow it was the first time I’ve heard it despite Adele being a staple in my life these days.  While the inspiration isn’t coming to me yet, I can promise you that I’ll be using its lyrics in a future post.  Til then, XOXO.