Archive for the ‘taking chances’ Tag
I woke up on Friday morning and just laughed at myself. Actually, I’ve been laughing at myself since then. I can’t believe I did that! Honestly, kids, I really can’t. Here I was, getting ready to leave the bar with my girlies and I pulled another ridiculous, living in the moment move with a boy who I thought was cute when he asked us if he could have our table when we left. Lol. Wow, I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I invited myself to stay at the bar (table) with him his friends. Lol. Oy vey! You can’t take me anywhere these days…unless you want a good laugh.
To be honest, besides the alcohol, I’m not really sure what’s come over me. Maybe a lot has to do with me not caring anymore about taking chances and making a fool out of myself. Or perhaps I just don’t care, generally speaking, so I’m not going to hold myself back from having a good time- and meeting a few guys in the mean time. Whatever it is, I’m having fun and enjoying the laughs that come the next morning when I shake my head and say out loud, literally, “Kristen, what are you doing?!!” All that matters is that I have a huge grin on my face that next morning and not an ounce of regret- usually, at least.
As I write today, not entirely sure what came over me on Thursday other than Liquid Courage, I’m reminded about the other times in my life when I seemed to be livin’ carefree and confident. The summer before my first year at OU, which continued until I fell hopelessly for Casey, was one of those moments when I remember being immune to worries. To tell you the truth, it’s a time that I always hoped to get back to these past 9-10 years because of the confidence that illuminated from me. Confidence: The best accessory a girl can own. It’s so true, ladies. I swear, if I really could have only one wish for life then it would be to never lose my confidence (again). Trust me on this. Not only do you feel A*MAY*ZING, but you will not believe the attention you will attract. It’s like a Love Potion.
You’re worth that adoration, Annie. You’re worth it. And the fact that you don’t believe it has nothing to do with whether it’s true or not. It is true to me, and that’s all that matters. (Happythankyoumoreplease)
If I told you the story of this past week, you probably wouldn’t believe me. You may cynically respond, “How is that even possible? Is there even enough time to cram all of that into 7 days? When did you sleep?” Well, my answers would be, respectively: I don’t know, but it’s true./ Apparently there is./ Ha, I really didn’t.
Without going into the hour-by-hour details, I can tell you that life thrown a few surprises my way this week. I’ve been tested- mentally, emotionally, and morally- in ways that I never thought I’d let myself experience. With tears in my eyes (at times) I struggled between everything I always characterized myself as and the choices I was making- and not making.
But as I write this post, I cannot help but think about those choices that I did make these last few days. For one, I dropped my guard and let a few people see the me that I tend to hide behind a smile and a put-together front. I mean I let one of my best friends (Libby) hear me bawl my heart out instead of ignoring her call. It wasn’t easy at all, but I knew it was what I had to do. Additionally, even though I’ve fought it and continue to, I’ve allowed someone to expose my vulnerabilities and take a chance on me. Again, it hasn’t been easy, but I’ll say that it’s one of those experiences in life that I’ll never forget and always appreciate.
Originally I was going to write about the power of honesty. How by being honest with yourself, you are able to be honest with others. And then, because of this pattern, you allow others to be honesty. To tell you the truth, it’s the only way to be happy. I’m still undergoing the process of applying this to my life, but I’ll admit that I’ve been honest with a variety of different people (over a few different topics) this week and it took some worries away. All I can say is that I feel much better than I did at points last week- as well as this summer. That’s what matters the most, right? Letting yourself face challenges and take chances so that you can be stronger and more comfortable with yourself in the end.
*The title of this post is lyrics from Has Anybody Ever Told You by Ashley Monroe.
In order to write this post to the best of my ability, I must admit that I’ve been watching The Bachelorette this season. Now in mentioning this, it is necessary to remind you that I’ve stuck with my boycott and haven’t watched a single episode of The Bachelor since the Jake-Choosing-Vienna moment shook my guilty pleasure TV-watching world. (Bachelor Boycott Begins post)
Anyways… for those of you who haven’t had the privilege to watch this season of The Bachelorette with me, I’ll tell you that I’m the President of Team JP. Every viewing party can be summarized by me saying, “This show is ridiculous!” and expressing my love for JP: Ashley is crazy if she lets this guy get away. He’s the kind of you always hope to find. Therefore if she doesn’t choose him, then it’s certainly her loss. (Maybe my gain? Wishful thinking…)
Okay, I’m not really love with him; however, this past episode certainly caused my admiration for him to skyrocket. In reference to his previously broken heart, he spoke the most honest words that can only be learned through such a soul-wrenching experience (aka love).
He said, “Unless I completely put myself out there and expose my vulnerability and allow myself to get hurt, there’s no way that we could ever work. I’ve accepted the fact of all of this, if I get completely crushed and heartbroken at least I can walk away saying I gave that everything I had and I was open to everything and it just didn’t work out.”
He’s right, and anyone who has allowed themselves to learn lessons from their heartbreak will agree too. For one, I agree. Now I could come up with a line of my own, but I’m going to borrow Martha Beck’s infamous line instead: “Every instance of heartbreak can teach us powerful lessons about creating the kind of love we really want.” While it takes time and some good cries to figure this out, the ultimate lesson that one learns thru a broken heart is “Take a deep breath, put on a smile and a bundle of confidence, and try again.”
JP’s outlook is one that we should all adopt. Whether you’re going on The Bachelorette (hopefully not), a singleton looking for love (lust) or a rookie in the relationship game, it’s best to have the attitude that you’ll give it all you got and trust that whatever happens, happens. Be Honest with Yourself. Be Open with Others. Live with No Regrets. And most importantly, Don’t Be Afraid to Fall in Love or Have Someone Fall in Love with You.
Yesterday one of my best friends posed an interesting question my way. She asked, “Do you think you were in love with Casey?” I answered honestly and said I believe so because of how much I cared about him- and still do. But that being said, I know that the regrets I’ve had over him are the result of me not putting myself out there. This is also why it took me for-ev-er to get over him. But like I’ve said above, heartbreak tends to be the best way to learn lessons. Afterall, mistakes are the best teacher.
So like my dear JP, I’ve learned a lot from my broken heart. Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot about myself. And while my confidence level still tends to depend on the day, I can say that I’ve been more comfortable (than I ever could have imagined) taking chances and putting myself on the line. I’ve been exposing my vulnerabilities and allowing myself to dabble in situations to which I could get hurt. If we’re being honest here, I’ll tell you that I’ve been a little scared lately- after learning how vulnerable I’ve let myself become; however, I have no regrets. If anything, I’m so grateful that I’ve grown enough to let myself do so. Because like that cute guy on The Bachelorette said, “…at least I can walk away saying I gave that everything I had and I was open to everything and it just didn’t work out.”
The title of this song is lyrics from For You by Angus & Julia Stone.
“You’re pretty confident, aren’t you?”
I responded to his question as honestly as I possibly could, “No. Not at all.” Isn’t that the truth? I spared him from hearing about my lifelong journey of self-discovery and self-love, not to mention my past struggles with body image, anxiety, and peer pressure (just to name a few). However, I wish my reply would have included the phrase, “I’m finally comfortable being me.”
Now if I told you the actual details behind his comment then you, too, may have Scarlet Letter-ed me with a “C” for Confidence, or perhaps a “B” for Ballsy. But let me be the one to assure you that my actions leading up to that moment- and since then- have been mere evidence of Me Being Comfortable Being “Me”. Something that I lost once upon a time and have aspired to get back for a very, very long time now.
After a day of (fake) St. Patrick’s Day fun with the girls, which included two separate conversations with two different couples, I found myself back at home around 10:30 pm somewhat-sober and filled with clarity as I recalled lines that I professed early in the evening:“I really am fine with being single. I’ve been single my entire life, and in all honesty, if anything, I worry that I won’t make a good girlfriend…fiancee…wife.”
In the last six months I’ve had the honor of meeting/connecting with 4 guys who have made me rethink my previous notion that All the good guys are taken. (Note: Three of those four guys are from Ohio which supports my belief that I will end up with a guy from Ohio.) Anyways, last night I let all my guards down- as I’ve been doing more of lately- and admitted the following: “I’d be a fool not to take a chance on some of these guys. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to have any regrets. I’ve been there, done that. So I’m living my life. I’m doing what I want to do. And if I meet a guy who seems worth it, who wants to take a chance on me, then I’ll let myself give it a go.”
Despite being uttered after many drinks last night, I remember these words which I spoke to my friend, Savita, and her boyfriend, Patrick: “I don’t want to be with someone just ‘to be with someone’. I want to be with someone who challenges me and inspires me to better myself. I want to be with someone who understands and supports the (volunteer) work that I do, and lets me live out the dreams I have.”
“I want to be with someone who feels that I do the same for him. Someone who is challenged and inspired by me, and knows he can be honest with me about his dreams and his goals. And if I cannot give this to him, then I know I’m not the one for him nor is he the one for me.”
All of this rambling can be summed up in the following way: I want someone who will Take Me the Way I Am. Someone who likes me for ‘me’. Someone who accepts that I’m not quite myself until I have my first cup of coffee in the morning, and encourages me to ‘write a blog post’ when he senses that I have way too many things on my mind. Someone who understands that, like Carrie Bradshaw, I, too, will always need some breathing room and my girls’ nights out.
A week hardly goes by without someone asking, “Why are you (me) single?” And while I shoot back with some sly remark, with hope to change the subject, my honest (conscious) answer is, “I’m not quite sure myself.” But this whole ‘confident’/self-actualization experiment has me believing that this ideal someone whom I envision is out there. Maybe I know him already; maybe I don’t. Whatever the case may be… he is out there. I believe it now more than ever. And whoever he is, all I can say is, “That poor guy has no idea what’s going to hit him.”
Chuck: Two people that are meant to be together will eventually find their way back.
Blair: Do you really think that?
Chuck: I do.
Blair: So do I.
I found myself watching the final Chuck-Blair scene of Gossip Girl’s The Witches of Brunswick episode last night and rolling my eyes as the on-and-off-again couple recited the lines above. An eye roll during a scene about fate is certainly a first for me, as I’m usually lost in my own little world of fairy tale beliefs that true love and soulmates exist. What happened to me? Where did my beliefs go? How did they just suddenly stop- like POOF?
Why does my past belief in fate, true love, and soulmates make me feel like a fool? How did I let myself believe such foolish thoughts for so foolishly long? What was I thinking? What did I believe? And why? Why did I believe it in the first place?
It’s nothing new (for me) but these past few weeks have been fairly exhausting, and I’m run down enough to feel confused about what day it is and where I am supposed to be & when. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve spent 3 weeks in a row in Ohio and it really isn’t your home (anymore). And on top of that, there have been some additional occurrences that have literally shaken me up just a bit- in both good and bad ways. I’m not even going to waste neither your time nor mine with the bad, so don’t necessarily feel the need to abandon this post and check your Facebook feed. I promise you that it will be there- and possibly even better- when you finish reading this entire entry.
As for the good, well there’s been a helluva-lotta good that has happened to me these past few weeks, mostly occurring during my trips back to Cincinnati and Columbus to visit with friends and my little Hazel & George. OHIO: My happy place, indeed.
This past weekend threw a curveball into my life, to say the least. Between you and me, and only you and me, I’ll admit that up until Saturday night I found myself haunted by Ohio boys wearing backwards grey OSU hats. (I’ll spare you the details here.) They were everywhere and each and everyone brought a mini-flashback to my tipsy little mind. But then things changed. I soon found myself kinda-sorta-maybe-not quite being set up with a great guy and enjoying his company. While I’m sure there were still some backwards grey OSU hats amongst me, my eyes neither saw them nor did my mind see flashbacks of days past. And since then, I haven’t given a second look at a boy in any sort of grey hat. You probably don’t even understand how A.MAY.ZING. that feels for me! If any of you have ever harbored feelings for someone for far too long, you know how liberating it is when the weight you’ve been carrying around in your shoulders, your heart, your mind, and your soul disappears.
In between my go-go-go days of work, commuting, volunteering, and really who knows what else, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly happened on Saturday night. What was it that made 7 years of heaviness disappear? I think it was a combination of a few things that night and the weeks, days, and hours leading up to it, but in essence I know that things changed that night. But why? What really happened there? How was I am to finally breathe again after that crisp fall night at Park Street Patio?
Yes, there was a boy. And a few of you lovely readers/friends of mine know that and even know who he was. And while I know I find myself with a long-anticipated crush on a what appears to be a great guy, I’m not sure exactly that he was the only one responsible for lifted all the weight from my shoulders. I really think that I played a role in that too, as did the lessons that I’ve learned from the choices (or lack thereof) that I’ve made in the past. The past really does prepare us for the future, doesn’t it?
If it wasn’t for a certain fate-filled belief that made up many years in my recent past, I may have felt differently about how things played out on Saturday. With a random mutual friend between us, I may have thought that this new boy was meant to be in my life. Instead I sit here thinking, what a crazy-cool coincidence. Instead of adopting the mindset that if it’s meant to be then it will (just) be, I’ve chosen to take it upon myself and see what could possibly be something more than mere coincidence. So in essence, instead of thinking I am doing; instead of believing I am trying; and instead of waiting I am pursuing.
Afterall, Fate may bring people into your life but it’s up to you to figure out what role they’re going to play.
~ Accept that choice is out of your hands. It’s up to the Fates to decide. XOXO ~
It took me awhile to fall asleep last night, and as Darlene and I say, “Those damn squirrels and bats were running around in my head.” So many things and nothing at all contributed to the many ideas that ran through my mind, keeping me from getting the much-needed rest for a back-to-work MOAN-Day.
Somehow I fell asleep…and then woke up…fell asleep again…rinse, lather, repeat. I woke up again and again last night, and each time I had the same squirrel in my head encouraging me to think: What am I really doing? I woke up to my 5:30 am alarm and that thought was still there. It walked with me to the train station and rode the train with me up to Skokie. Come to think of it, it even accompanied me as I drank my Starbucks. But it was during that cup of coffee that I realized that I may not know what I’m doing…but I know what I want to do.
As I said in my last post, this weekend really made an impact on me and clarified a lot for me. And thinking about Hazel & George only makes those feelings stronger. Working with kids in the Child Life/hospital environment is what I want to do. It what I truly believe I am meant to do. So today I took a chance and followed my heart– in more ways than one. Where it will take me, I haven’t a clue but I know that I’m better taking this chance than always wondering what if.
I’m not a selfish person. I couldn’t be if I tried. But today I put myself first and thought about everything that is important to me. What do I really want? How do I want my life to unfold? Who do I want to be? WHO AM I? Today I answered those four questions by taking a chance on something that wasn’t even a possibility in my tossing-and-turning sleepless hours.
The beauty of life: You never know what tomorrow holds, and therefore, you must follow your ♥.
Song of the Moment: Taking Chances by Glee Cast
As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point. This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School.
Adventure must start with running away from home. (William Bolitho)
June 2007 : My dream of moving to Columbus, OH finally came true! After a year of living in Pittsburgh and selling my soul to The Cheesecake Factory (with I somewhat enjoyed), I accepted an AmeriCorps position in Columbus at a non-profit organization, Children’s Hunger Alliance. Shout out to my CHAers!
Since my friend, Tony, was looking for a new apartment at the time, we decided to live together. Sidenote: Tony and I were once kinda-sorta friends with benefits back in college, but I knew that the roommate line would not be crossed. (And it never once was, thank you very much. Will power.)
Anyways, looking back I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was excited about the job and the opportunity to move to Columbus, just the same. It was my first big girl job, of course I was naive. Working for a non-profit that helped kids sounded like a dream come true to me. It was through this position that I was introduced to Action for Healthy Kids, as my main role was to support the infrastructure of Ohio AFHK. I loved the role and the people who I worked with at CHA and OAFHK.
Everything really came together for me fairly quickly, and that has a lot to do with a few friends of mine. Kristin and Jim, the newlyweds, took me under this wing and showed me around town. Jim also took it upon himself (with encouragement from Kristin, of course) to set me up. After a few blind dates/ set-ups, he learned that it was not an easy task. (Sorry, Jim.) I had so much fun with them tha summer as we ventured to the Jazz & Rib Fest, Rascal Flatts at the Ohio State Fair (after many margaritas and more), Miranda Lambert and Toby Keith concert (courtesy of CHA), and many late nights at Nyho’s and the Arena District.
This lovely girl, Sarah, is another God-sent friend of mine that helped me adjust and enjoy my time in Columbus. There is really not enough time or space to write about Sarah. She’s wonderful! Sarah brings out a different side of me which allows me to just be free. There’s no rulebook with Sarah, and usually there is a lot of alcohol during my times with her as well. We had a lot of fun, that’s all that matters. (Don’t judge.)
Moving to Columbus allotted me the opportunity to reconnect with Julie- thanks to Facebook. Julie, my dear friend from Kent State, was fortunately living back in C-bus with her parents. I can still remember driving to her house the Sunday afternoon of our fateful reunion! In a way I was nervous, knowing how much I’d changed since Kent and worrying if she had too. Of course we had changed! We were nineteen years old back then, but luckily we were able to pick up right where we left off. I’m just so glad I got her back in my life!
While living in Columbus gave me the opportunity to connect with college friends, I was also blessed to make many new friends as well. The summer of 2007 was one of my favorites. I was so happy to be back in Ohio, and Columbus really felt like home to me.
Song of the Moment: It Feels Like Home to Me- Chantal Kreviazuk
Sidenote: If you ever have the opportunity to see Miranda Lambert in concert, GO! Trust me.
June 2008: This summer was a lot different from the one proceeding it, and can be explained best by one simple word: Anxiety. With my AmeriCorps term and lease ending, I was forced to make many decisions. Where was I going to live? Should I stay in Columbus? What am I going to do for income? Where am I going to work? I spent a lot of my non-working hours at work, either doing work work or personal work (researching jobs, apartments, and who the heck knows what else.) On top of all of this I should add that work was insane for me during this time, and I’ll just leave it at that. Those who know me, know the rest.
You know what, I’m not going to ramble on with stories from this time. As you know I’ve been honest about my past struggles and when I say anxiety, I mean cannot sleep-cannot think straight anxiety. It was bad, but at the time I didn’t realize just how bad it was. My friends were worried about me and they didn’t even know the half of it- how I felt. I felt horrible and I looked horrible. I wasn’t me.
My friends, April and Billie, really took care of me during that time. I’m not used to showing my weaknesses but felt comfortable enough doing so with them. (Thank you both.) I’ve just always been used to run away or hiding my pain, but this time was different. I needed someone to be there for me. I couldn’t shut the entire world out. My other friends showed their support but I just couldn’t let them in. I look back and regret it, but fortunately I learned a valuable lesson from my mistakes: If you have good enough friends who want to me there for you in times of struggles and ugliness, let them.
I’m giving you the cliff notes version to help you understand what happened next. As I said, I wasn’t myself during this time. I wasn’t in the right state of mind to get there again. After spending the summer panicking and running myself down trying to figure out just how I was going to stay in Columbus (where I wanted to be), I was introduced to a new opportunity: A job opening at Action for Healthy Kids in Chicago.
Trust me, I thought about this for a day before confiding in anyone else- and only a few people for that matter. I knew I had to take a chance on this, and I really didn’t have a choice. Although it wasn’t out in the open, the recession had begun and 1-year as an AmeriCorps member translated into young and inexperienced. Therefore, I applied and decided to ride this wave as far as it would lead me. Additionally I made my friend Matt promise that he would make sure I said ‘yes’ if offered the position. Well, you know the rest of the story.
Chicago was never in my plans. Maybe part of a daydream about living in a big city but nothing more. At the time I really believed that I’d be a Columbus resident for the rest of my life. Now, two years later, I sit here wondering when I’ll more back there or if I ever will.
Life is unpredictable. That’s just one of the many things I’ve learned when this adventure began two years ago. To this day, I know that I made the right decision in moving here. It may not be perfect, but it’s been something I’ll always hold near and dear to my heart. If I wouldn’t have seized this opportunity, I know that I would have always regretted it, wondering ‘what if’. Do the thing you’ll regret not doing, has become my motto and the reason I made the decision I did.
Why did I just spend so much time talking about my friends? Because they are what Columbus was, and still is to me. These lovely people made my year+ so memorable and they are the reason it was so difficult for me to leave. Like Athens, Columbus isn’t just about the place but more about the people.