... of a creative drought ...
Actually that's not entirely true - it was more along the lines of being creatively silent. I have continued to post oodles of photos on my Instagram account and have had more ideas and topics to share but I became overly self-conscious about presenting my most authentic self.
At some point in our highly filtered and edited lives we have become convinced that the stripped down versions of ourselves aren't good enough.
That was the entire point of starting a blog - my life is wonderfully out of control. I mess up on a regular basis, I embarrass myself nearly every single day of my life, I don't like the way my clothes fit, I say stupid things, I self-sabotage, I psych myself out and let other people define my limits, I look to others to validate my worth, I don't always do the right thing ... etc.
I'm a complete shit show on a certain level.
And that's entirely OKAY because that's entirely who I am. I also happen to really like who I am.
I created the blog as a creative outlet but I also wanted to share aspects of my life that aren't always package nicely and wrapped up with a giant perfect bow. I then became worried about how it would be perceived.
Over the last several months I have come to realize that's neither my concern nor something I can control. I write for myself and at the end of the day, I have no interest in writing fiction.
I know this makes it seem like I'm about to share an incredibly salacious story outlining the last few months of my life, I'm not. I have been trying to perfect my macaron recipe which is no less awesome, I might add.
Outside of making more macarons than any one household should ever have on hand, I have really been working on myself on several levels and even though there are moments where my progress gets lost amongst work and other people and their lives and issues, I am really proud of how I have been able to refocus myself on the things that matter the most to me.
I gave a presentation at work this past week on a project that has been faced with more issues and challenges than any other project I have ever worked on and I framed my presentation by saying that we didn't come this far just to come this far. Yeah a shit ton of work has been done but really that was laying the foundation for what has yet to come.
I sort of feel that way about my life and focusing on my personal progress. Projects are easy right? You have requirements / scope / a roadmap - stay on that road. Deliver what you say you will. Don't let anyone change that scope - protect it.
We should certainly do more for ourselves than we would for a work deliverable. Just like a work deliverable - there will always be critics and people who want more - that's okay. Be proud of your efforts in whatever form they take! Celebrate milestones and take your wins where you can as it's important to stop and appreciate progress not just fixate on what you think the end product will be. Restated: don't fixate on what others think the end product will be.
I have anxiety, usually social but performance based anxiety sneaks in from time to time as well.
That said, I will go through extended periods where nothing really hits my radar.
I'm typically able to blissfully navigate my days worry free by focusing on the things within my control and letting the things outside of my control run their course.
When I do experience anxiety, it feels almost like a current in the air around me. My body reacts to it - I feel staticky
I became, over time, really good at mitigating the risk of becoming anxious. As a result, I could easily avoid the situations that had the potential to trigger my anxiety.
I feel like my anxiety, much like the first fish with feet, has evolved. It's no longer an ocean dweller - it's on land now and it has fast little legs.
Think of my anxiety as Usain Bolt and my brain as a chubby 2nd grader and we're competing against one another in a 50 yard dash. Even if you're not sure who that is - all you need to know is he never loses a race, not ever. My brain however is in the corner eating a croissant with its shoes untied.
For me, the onset of my anxiety is a very visceral sensation, like that moment where you think something is wrong right before the hairs on the back of you neck stand up. Some sort of evolutionary "oh shit - you need to go" feeling.
What is so ridiculous is it usually seeps into areas of my life that I'm most proficient in - so clearly it never strikes me when I'm at the gym or in my personal life - it's always work related ... or related to things I'm doing on a BoD or on certain committees, etc.
I do certain things incredibly well - I am a phenomenal speaker and I lead meetings, regardless of content, better than most anyone I know. I'm good at it and I love it.
Lately, however, I have been feeling tremendous anxiety before meetings. I have no idea why my anxiety is popping up in this space as even with me dreading walking into the meetings, the second they start I'm back at 100%. I don't stumble, I don't bumble around trying to sort out my messaging or delivery - the meetings go incredibly well, they flow & they end well.
But every day, when I open my calendar that static / that electrical charge begins to swirl around me and I become very aware of this heightened sense of dread ... I become anxious and want an out ... I want someone to tell me to move it or cancel it.
The good news is I know what's going to trigger my anxiety the bad news is all I do is sit in meetings which apparently is the trigger for my anxiety.. As of late, I feel like someone who is absolutely terrified of fire yet gets a job as a fire eater in a carnival.
Every single second of every single day, I'm planning a meeting, leading a meeting, prepping for a meeting, prepping for a meeting to talk about an upcoming meeting, being pulled into meetings unexpectedly, when I'm not in a meeting I am thinking of my next meeting ... it's never ending. It's literally never ending.
I shared with my manager, whom I'm crazy about, that I feel a bit stranded - like no one is helping or stepping up on some very large and critically important initiatives. So I go through the motions, I'm plugging the holes, and spinning the plates but I honestly feel as though someone dropped kicked me out of a helicopter into the middle of a shark infested ocean and I know no help is coming and I have no life preserver, and for some reason I'm dressed as a seal-pup. There's no doubt, I'm about to get ripped apart by sharks.
Above: Me at work.
I'd like to think that seal went on to live a very charmed life after receiving a much deserved promotion.
Anyways, I know how I'm feeling is causing my anxiety to grow legs and it's really starting to creep into other areas of my life.
A few things happened today that was really rather remarkable though. I kicked off my day with an email war so out of the gate my anxiety was growing and then someone I can't stand, like I literally HATE this person, called and left me a 3 minute voicemail.
Just think, for a moment, how long a 3-minute voicemail is ... I saw him call, while I was in a meeting obviously, I sent him to my VM and 3 minutes later the notification came through.
By this time my meeting had ended so I sat there and stared at the VM screen for a few minutes. My logical brain assumed it was nothing but my anxious brain had a "hold my beer" moment and flooded my mind with: Why did he call me ... What does he want ... What could possibly take 3 minutes ... What horrible things will this person say to me ... Is he suing me ... Is he threatening me ... why after all this time would he reach out ... did he reach out to anyone else or just me, etc.
I happened to talk to a friend a few hours after the VM came through who also knows this person and I told him that he reached out and how I can't bring myself to check the voicemail. I shared that it was really stressing me out and I couldn't listen to it. Immediately, he told me to just send him the VM, that he would listen to it and let me know if there was anything I needed to know.
First of all - I had no idea you could forward a voicemail ... Secondly - I have never had someone just so effortlessly take over a situation that was creating anxiety for me. It was such a small gesture on his part but in an instant, my anxiety went from an 8 to a 2. Someone casually stepped in and removed the stressor. I didn't even care what was in the VM at this point.
After being incredibly stressed out, enough to mention it to someone else, enough for someone else to jump in - it turns out, there was no VM. When I sent him to VM I think he thought he disconnected so it was literally 3 minutes of listening to nothing. Just background ambient noises. It could have been an unintentional phone call - who knows really.
What I'm finding is that my anxiety is really rather rooted in feeling like I'm solely responsible for something (a project, the success of something, my home, etc) and anything that threatens my stability or how I define myself or something as successful, it sends me reeling.
I don't mean to imply that I'm alone or actually solely responsible for absolutely everything (it's a lot though) - I have amazing friends, amazing family, amazing people who support me, amazing relationships, a great job for the most part, etc.
Today I realized 1. it really easy for someone to step in and disrupt an anxious cycle I just need to ask for help and 2. anxiety (for me) has no basis in reality - it's just my mind running wild identifying countless worse case scenarios when the reality is, it's probably just 3 minutes of static.
I feel that perhaps I have a lot of static that maybe I just need to acknowledge and confront head on so i can get back to enjoying each and every day! Life is too short to give anxiety a lot of care and feeding - it's exhausting and it has worn me down over the last 4-6 weeks but today something shifted a bit ...
The next few weeks will be stressful with meetings and large projects but my hope is that I can be a bit more like water than rock and let some of it roll over me versus trying to force something or trying to stop the unstoppable.
For Christmas someone gave Scott a Zen Calendar and I found it on a counter and took it. This thing turned out to be an absolute goldmine. So thanks to whomever didn't give me a present, I LOVE it so very much.
Oh man - I just found out that was not a present for Scott - it was a gift for Finn. I stole a Christmas present from my child. I'm sure Finn would have loved it, if he had known about it.
((best present ever))
I feel like I would have written these after many glasses of wine and an extraordinary amount of sleep depravation. Today: "I like a view but I like to sit with my back to it" - why would you do that? That was written by Gertrude Stein by the way ... and it makes no sense to me.
While many seem like they were written by someone who moonlights as the content editor over at "Demotivational Posters" every so often I come across one that resonates with me on such a profound level.
This happened to be the first of many. Until I hit my 40's I was absolute consumed with the approval of others. It was something that I chased after on a nonstop basis. The thought of disappointing someone gnawed at me and would linger in my thoughts for all eternity - just reliving over and over again the moment I embarrassed myself or let someone down.
Ridiculous moments just stuck on a never ending loop playing over and over again in my mind. It was a fairly terrible way to live as other people's opinions became more important than my own. Other people's voice became louder and more influential than my own.
It wasn't until I had enough distance and enough time alone with my thoughts to really begin to shift which narrative I listened to. Which me was my most authentic? I had no idea really because historically speaking I based my decisions on what I thought other people wanted me to do.
I think, somewhere along the way, I realized that if I'm living my life based on what someone else wants, then I'm really not living MY life at all.
If you're like me - stop apologizing for who you are and certainly stop seeking approval that who you are is acceptable. It is ...
I'm not sure how I have changed so much over these last few years but I have. I feel different, I look different, I feel at ease, my stress is at an all time low and I'm finding joy in just being exactly who I am at this point in time.
It also made me realize how fun it is to just be ... to just exist. The people who are drawn to that - to me as my most authentic self are the people who should be in my life and they are. It's effortless.
So if you find yourself scrambling for one person's approval in particular, maybe it's time to ask why that is. What makes how they see you more important than how you see yourself?
Nothing. Nothing does.
Get that tattoo, find a new job, cut your hair, become an artist, do something new or unexpected, find a path you love, start a blog that no one reads (there is so much freedom in that),surround yourself with those that bring you happiness ... do whatever it is you want to do for no other reason than you want to.
Tip: if anyone gives your child a Zen Calendar - just take it ... 1. they won't notice and 2. you may find someone put pen to paper and expressed exactly how you're feeling and that's a pretty amazing thing.
This past January, during a 2-week business trip, I decided to become a bread baking powerhouse.
I have found, if a work trip spans more than a week, I mentally teleport back to a time when moms stayed home and baked amazing things with one hand while making a perfect gin martini in the other (in heels / while vacuuming). I'm then consumed with guilt and come up with a MP (Mom Project).
Here we are - I'm a baker now, since that was a 2-week trip.
Even though, I knew nothing about baking bread and had no idea how to feed a starter - I bought a tiny bit of an old sourdough starter.
A few days after I returned, the smallest little jar with the smallest little bit of starter showed up on my doorstep. That little bit eventually grew into something amazing that has made countless boules and loaves of bread now!
It was just a little blob with amazing aspirations.
I took my itty bitty bit of starter and added luke warm water & AP Flour. By the next day, it had grown substantially, was bubbly & airy and had the most amazing smell.
I kept 4 oz and the rest became my discard. I fed the held back 4 oz, with 4 oz AP Flour and 4 oz Luke Warm Water. Once mixed it will look like the photo on the left.
The next day, I had a fairly ripe starter but instead of using it, I repeated the process above by holding back & feeding. I did this because you need to have a good bit of starter to be able to bake something and have enough left to feed.
This past Saturday, I made bread so Finn would have it, even with me out of town. I'm only gone for a week this time so I won't come back with a new MP which is great as I am really enjoying becoming a good baker!
I absolutely LOVE making homemade bread. I just wish I knew people that actually ate carbs as my bread making is limited to just a few small loaves a week otherwise they'd go to waste!
I only eat a single slice, each Sunday, due to maintaining a Keto Lifestyle. The way I eat and what I like to bake are slightly at odds but I'm working on a bunch of Keto Friendly recipes as well. Stay Tuned For Those!
Until this past weekend, I never really stopped to think how amazing it is to make bread.
I just felt so completely in awe that with next to no ingredients I can make something to feed my family.
This starter has contributed to the baking of countless - literally countless loaves of bread.
Its origins are from the late 1800's.
When people discard - they often give portions of it away to other homes where it is fed and discarded to another home and then that gets discarded and goes to another home. It's endless, the cycle continues literally forever.
Since having mine, I have given portions to a handful of friends and several of them have given portions to their friends which is just is the coolest thing ever to me.
While I really have a long (LONG) way to go in terms of perfecting my bread making - I am so very taken by the process and found a shit ton of ZEN in my kitchen!
You can bring simplicity to your life while making something timeless, wholesome, preservative free and shockingly delicious. The first bakeries popped up in Greece 2nd century A.D. and honestly - we're still using the same 3 ingredients (yeast, water, flour). Not much has changed.
Something so simple has created a new tradition our home. Every Sunday, our home fills up with the smell of baking bread, it brings us together around the kitchen island where we laugh and talk about our upcoming week - it's just the coolest thing of all.
I love that my son's memories will include such moments.
Oh! Discard - that doesn't mean toss it out. You can make waffles, biscuits, pancakes, etc. That's also what you can give to friends so they can make their own!
I'm a little waffle factory and I make a massive batch for my son as part of my meal prep on Sunday mornings. Just let them cool and store them in the fridge (or freezer).
On school days I warm them up in a buttered cast iron pan. They become buttery & crispy within just a few minutes. To have something easy that a teen will sit down long enough to eat is a massive win.
If a toddler were to challenge me to an arm wrestling contest, I'd lose.
I'm not talking about a highly agitated toddler - I'm mean ANY toddler could beat me.
You may be thinking to yourself that perhaps I should stop challenging toddlers to feats of strength. By doing so, this could easily become a non-issue.
But the issue is, my most favorite thing on Earth is Pilates Cadillac / Trapeze work.
This is my Stott Cadillac / Trapeze table. This was the photo from my table's listing.
I have to use the photo from when I bought it as when I try to take a photo of my table, in my dark unfinished basement, it looks like I work for the Spanish Inquisition.
I don't, I just aspire to the the most upside downiest girl ever.
Inversions are wildly fun and physically challenging. My trainer and I spend a good bit of time working on them.
I love that I can work with her in the studio and bring home new routines and practices. These practices keep me busy for weeks on end and at this point, I actually have a pretty sizable collection of things to practice on my own.
Back to my baby arms - Inversions, especially certain ones require a great deal of upper body strength.
For me to start in the position on the left doesn't usually work in my favor unless I extend one leg backwards to the top bar for leverage
That's not me, by the way. There isn't anything this woman can't do - she's the most amazing practitioner with an insane amount of control and upper body strength. I love her work. Check out her video here
The thing is, I have never had upper body strength - I actually remember in middle school having to take a PE physical where girls were tested on how long they could hold a "Flex Arm Hang" ...
I was 12 years old - my coach grabbed me by waist, lifted me up to the bar, removed his hands and I immediately came right back down with him.
After staring at me for a moment, he grabbed my waist, lifted me up, told me to stop messing around, removed his hands and I immediately came right back down.
I had to run laps until all the other girls were done because he didn't believe I couldn't do them. I actually think I was the only girl with a 0 second score.
From his perspective, he knew I was incredibly athletic. Every single year, I held the school record for Hanging Leg Raises - I could hold them out forever - I could hold that position until they told to me stop, without batting an eye or breaking a sweat.
I received 0 seconds on the Flex Arm Hang and ran an extraordinary amount of laps every single year until I moved onto High School. Thankfully humiliation came in other forms at that point. I don't think I could handle another Flex Arm Hang assessment.
Those days are over - I am officially kicking off a program to build my upper body strength.
My goal is to be able to do 15 Pilates reverse pull ups and 15 Pilates hanging pull ups by my 46th Birthday. I don't mean in total over the next 4 months either - I mean at ONCE on my 46th Birthday.
Let me just put this out there as well, upon my 46th Birthday, no toddler will ever be able to beat me in an upper body challenge of strength again ...
Except maybe for this one. I'm fairly sure that's a medal around her neck.
I was straight up Pizza Shamed the other day - not by a fitness blogger, for me it was a male colleague. I didn't even know that there was such a thing but then I found the above referenced Twitter War and I didn't feel so alone.
Perhaps not many people have experienced this form of shaming, it certainly seems to be a lesser known form of shaming. Think of it like the second cousin of body shaming, tart shaming, parent shaming, mommy shaming which is like parent shaming only it comes from other woman who are hyper critical of other mothers in particular. Especially of those mothers that have a 14 year old that wears athletic shorts in the middle of winter, etc.
Anyways - Pizza Shaming is slightly different - perhaps not something many people can relate to but I'm here to tell you it happens and it's upsetting as 1. everyone loves pizza and 2. no one likes to be shamed for any reason, especially in front of a group of people.
I was sitting in a meeting that spanned several hours, spanning over lunch time. They brought pizza in, which was great - I usually scrape my toppings off onto a plate and eat them sans crust.
This day, I cut myself an itty bitty slice of actual pizza - crust and all. As I went to get another portion as I wanted to pick at the toppings, a male colleague said, "Oh my god, you must LOVE those carbs - are you really having another slice?!?"
Not entirely knowing what I to do, I ignored him. Thinking I didn't hear him, he repeated it, only much louder this time which halted the entire meeting as people looked at me to respond.
Understand, we weren't taking a break from the meeting. We just happened to have food while discussing one of the company's highest priority projects.
I actually had to stop contributing to the actual work effort to say that no one has to be concerned with what I was eating - that maybe we could shift our efforts from my lunch to the topic at hand.
I was absolutely seething and I ended up throwing the food away untouched.
In that moment, I felt reduced from being a significant contributor in a meeting to feeling as though I needed to defend myself and my food choices.
I immediately went from being a thought leader to just a woman who was being scrutinized unnecessarily. As I was trying to refocus, a negative narrative starting running through the back of my mind completely sidetracking me.
I shouldn't have eaten that...
I need to not indulge in such things ...
Maybe I should intermittently fast for a bit ...
How long will it take me to work off that pizza ...
How many calories are in 1/4th slice of pizza ...
I'm so annoyed that it got to me in such as way.
The real work is trying to understand why I'm so critical of myself - why my internal narrative flips to breaking myself down versus building myself up so easily. What should have been an innocuous comment seeped into the cracks of my armor and sent me reeling. I didn't eat dinner that night and I went to bed hungry and angry.
Such perceived scrutiny is apparently my trigger and it's mine to own and process. I realize that but as an open letter to all who read this - maybe you can just STFU about what other people are eating and leave them to it unless you're asking where they got it because it looks so incredibly delicious.
There was an interesting article on the Huffington Post about Public Food Shaming - a lifestyle coach said - woman already feel guilty for eating cheat foods as we're held to very different physical ideals than men - so when someone says something along the lines of "are you sure you want to eat that? You can lose your figure" it will typically reinforce the thought that women should always be dieting or watching our weight.
Which is so completely bonkers ...
Life is hard enough - sometimes a girl just wants a slice without fear of being pizza shamed.
January was an absolute crap month for me - I was dealing with deadlines, travel and being so overwhelmed with my daily life that I wasn't able to do my typical meal prep / planning. I didn't work out, I didn't spend anytime on my pilates practice and my morale was in the crapper.
It's no longer January - the month of bad decisions ... It's February which means I'm back to my normal routine. Thankfully.
Meal Planning & Prep is a huge component to my success but I don't have a ton of free time so I need easy and delicious go-to's that I enjoy and keep me on track.
Nothing is easier or yummier in terms of creating easily portable and Keto friendly meals than Egg Cups.
Most Sundays I make different versions of Egg Cups as I find if I have them at the ready, come Monday morning, I can just grab a portion and head out the door. This reduces the chance I'll grab a ketosis killing snack at the office.
Anyone that works for a software company is familiar with the typical start up company kitchen - they are always crammed full of pop, snacks, sweet treats, beer, etc. Combined with lunch being brought in many times a week - there's temptation at every turn.
With a bit of planning I can stay on track - these are one of my favorite items to have on hand.
Today I made Sausage & Ricotta Egg Cups:
Place in a preheated oven (375) and bake for about 30 mins.
You'll know they're ready when they have risen, are firm to the touch, and the cheese is a beautiful golden brown.
For those of you that have shared that I use too much cheese - I think you may need to take a step back and really evaluate your life through a critical lens. Something is wrong. I'm worried about you.
If anyone has ever seen me in public before 8:00 am on a weekend - my criteria for being publicly acceptable is really rather forgiving.
This weekend, I met a good friend for breakfast at 8:00 am.
I got out of bed at 7:25 which gave me plenty of time to wash my face, brush my teeth, throw on some chapstick, and finger comb my hair. I couldn't even brush it because my son stole my hairbrush the night before. A pair of jeans, hoodie and favorite sunnies later I was well on my way to breakfast.
As we sat there having coffee and chatting, a waitress walked up and with the biggest smile and said "I love your sparkles" (referring to my gray hair) and how she can't wait to see it progress over time.
Those few words absolutely made my day! To have someone I have never met compliment me with a giant smile is something I think we can all do with a bit more of.
It was unexpected and genuine.
Over the last few weeks I had been spending a good bit of time thinking about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who elevate you, people who make you feel pretty even in the moments where you finger comb your hair, people who support your ideas and vision, people who challenge your beliefs and make you a better person, people who will be by your side in the most amazing of moments and in the darkest of hours.
It's so easy to make someone's day - one kind sentiment shared with a stranger can linger in their thoughts and maybe even inspire them!
After breakfast, I had an appointment with my stylist and decided to go back to a heavy bang which I think emphasizes my gray in a lovely way.
I love my sparkles too!!
I think the more positivity and support for one another that we put out into the universe the better we become and the better we feel about others and ourselves. It certainly beats the alternative!
Last night I was reading DailyOM's facebook post on Overcoming Body Stiffness.
The image they posted with the article was inspiring - The woman was flexible, gorgeous, graceful, elegant, but most importantly healthy & active.
Her body was strong and clearly had an amazing range of motion.
I just loved it - I had a significant personal connection to that pose in particular so I was incredibly moved by it. I'll circle back on why after we take a slight detour on why people suck.
Here's my issue - I happened to glance at the comments and I immediately noticed the body-shamers were in full force being horrible humans as usual. Most disappointing was that most of the shamers were woman. Woman online shaming other woman instead of building one another up.
Comment after comment ...
With all the things woman face from society why can't our messaging to one another be supportive or uplifting?
The messaging is clear you will be found lacking no matter what you do, how hard your try, what you look like, where you live, what you do for a living, how much money you have (or don't have), etc ... and these attacks will come from mostly other women.
Shame on the women who shit on other women for no other reason than they feel empowered to do so behind the safety of their computer monitor. Shame on the women who work on breaking down other women as opposed to building them up. Shame on the women who feel threatened by other women or who feel better by shaming another (woman).
Woman are most amazing and we're even more so when we stand shoulder to shoulder.
Don't be assholes ladies.
Anyway, a year ago, I was barely able to walk and some days I couldn't at all. I was living with excruciating pain because of my knees. I was often on crutches, had leg braces, was in and out of walking casts, & could barely stand up some mornings. I was suffering greatly and had been for an extended period of time.
As a result, my back would seize up in spasms, my hips were out of alignment and my SI joint dysfunction was uncontrolled.
Stiffness set in on an holistic level because I wasn't very mobile. In March, I turned to yoga - Yin style yoga to help stretch and elongate my body. Yoga helped me gently transition areas of my body that had seized up to being more mobile and loose. I would hold static poses, despite the discomfort, until I found a release. I found, without exception, my muscles would eventually surrender to the poses.
The pose she's holding on the DailyOm post is actually the one that I held the most. It was the one that brought me the most relief and gave me the most hope as I knew when I could stay in that position my body was healing and becoming much stronger.
To be clear, this did nothing for my knees. BUT I found the most amazing orthopedic surgeon who was able to completely fix my right knee. He didn't just give me relief he gave me the opportunity to reclaim the things I love most about my life. Things I had long abandoned.
In July I spent a few weeks hiking through Iceland & Ireland - I zoomed through rocky canyons, down steep terrain to sit alongside waterfalls, I climb to the top of Slieve League and down a slippery stone path to the Giant's Causeway, I wandered through remote forests until I couldn't go any further without losing my way and I swam in lagoons as storms rolled over the Icelandic sky.
In the span of 6 months I went from barely being able to move to being able to explore the limits of what my body can do. I have found my way back to pilates and can be found in my basement most days working on my practice.
I'm also figure skating again! I was a competitive figure skater when I was young - it was something I absolutely loved. There's something about standing in the middle of an ice rink alone - just you on brand new ice where the only sounds are from your blades cutting through the ice, it's just magical.
We ended up leaving Pittsburgh to move to Newport News, Va - as a result I stopped skating. I didn't watch it on tv and I never wanted to skate again quite honestly. But here I am at 45 skating again! This time last year I was limping through life - literally.
As I was skating this afternoon I realized how comfortable I felt on my skates, my legs felt strong and sure, & my confidence growing exponentially. To think of where I'll be a year from now is really rather mind blowing.
I think it's sheer perfection - where I am is perfect albeit humbling, it's perfectly humbling.
I find myself with a great deal gratitude because it's easy to roll over and surrender or complain about how things suck but to find something inside of us that allows us to pull ourselves out of that darkness is really rather amazing.
Imagine what we could do if people were supportive and didn't take to social media to rip one another apart. If we navigated life elevating one another perhaps we'd go on more adventures or feel confident in trying new things ...
I'm going to do just that! I'm sort of a solo adventurer of life but when my path crosses with another I try to be kind ... I do no harm ... & I certainly don't break other woman down.
You do you and I'll be cheering you on!
I announced I was going gray 15 months ago. Woman have to announce such things as people will become concerned that we have abandoned all self care if our roots become too long.
So, this was me - 15 months ago on the day I announced I was going to just let my hair go gray.
By this time my home had been chemical free for years - I make most of my cleaning supplies yet I was still coloring my hair, religiously, every 3-5 weeks.
I didn't go in for just touch ups - I went in to go from black to gunmetal gray or to color the underneath layers a bright color such as pink / blue / green, etc.
I loved changing my looks, I loved how it made me feel, I loved people's compliments & reactions. I always loved how a new look could make me feel fresh and new when perhaps things weren't going so well and I didn't much like certain aspects of my life, at the time. Color is like the "Break Up Hair Cut" only not as hard to grow out.
That said, I was having a really hard time reconciling how uncomfortable I was using chemicals in my home but I was still slathering them all over my scalp / hair. It just seemed like I should be more concerned with what I put on and in my body than what I used to cleaned a toilet.
I made the decision after thinking about it for a bit so I texted my hair stylist Jenna and we came up with a plan!
Once we had a plan, I shared my plans on a few social sites and with people at work. I found people were very divided on the topic.
Here are some of my favorite comments / concerns:
Few concerns aside, I found most everyone to be super supportive. Strangers stop to tell me how much they love it. A few days ago a guy stopped me in a stairwell to tell me how great my hair looked - he thought I colored it! On the way to Boston a woman at Starbucks ask how long I had been growing it out and I could see her working those numbers in her mind so perhaps I'll bump into her in 15 months and we'll be twins!
I do get a good bit of "I'd love to do that, but ... " and I always ask why there's hesitation. If you love it - do it. Many just say that they can't ... maybe they are worried about not being found attractive or maybe they don't want their gross troll husbands to be repulsed?
Girl, Go Gray If YOU Want.
Anyways - here I am as of today - I was standing in a bathroom with the harshest light ever and I looked in the mirror and I had a moment where I realized just how much I love my hair.
I love it. I love the way I look, I love how gorgeous the silver and white bits are. I love how it all blends together and looks as though I have strands of Christmas tinsel woven into my hair.
Best Decision Ever ... AND ... I have saved nearly $4000.00(WHAT?)
Viral Gray or Light Blue
That's it! I hope if you're considering making the leap - this helped a bit. I'd love to hear of your progress!!