Growing into


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Ever-changing, constantly evolving: that’s what I aspire to be. And it’s not a hard thing to achieve, it’s just a hard process.

All of the things in our lives can shape us, if we’ll let them. The key is to be willing and open to those changes. How much we fight against them determines a lot about our own personal stress levels.

I was reading a devotion/meditation this morning that talked about how unique we all are and how we are not so much growingfrom as growing into, as in growing into, or becoming, our true selves.

I found these words very comforting as I sat with them for a while and as I’ve been reflecting on them throughout the morning.

There is so much pressure on human beings, especially in western culture, to attain. To make and meet goals. To acquire. To succeed. I have spent the last 20 or so years of my life pursuing the “right” lifestyle. The “right” career. The “right” physical appearance. The “right” kind of relationships. Most of the time, not even conscious of the fact that I was, in fact, pursuing someone else’s ideas of “right”.

Until recently.

When I finally realized that the only “right” was what was right for me.

I don’t think truth is subjective, but I do think we have a responsibility to ourselves and the One that created us to know ourselves and be as authentic as possible. And when we do that, what is right for me, may not always look like what is “right” for you.

Part of my struggle was the theology I heard growing up, that I needed to be “in God’s will”, seeking “God’s will” for my life. Praying fervently over every decision and not making one until I was sure I was in “God’s will”. But what if God really doesn’t make mistakes? And what if He created me to just be me? And what if, by trying to live my life in the image of Christ, I was already doing all I really needed to do to ensure that I was “in God’s will”?

I think our protestant theology is very damaging to young kids in teaching them some of the things I was taught. I’ve seen the same kind of struggle and anxiety evolve in other people that were raised in that mentality within the church.

All I can say with certainty at this point in my life is that I spent so much time fretting about what “God’s will” for my life was, that I didn’t just live the life He gave me and tried to, flawed as I am, be as much like Jesus as possible. THAT, after 30 years, is all I know for certain about what God’s will looks like. For anyone who calls themselves a Christian. It looks like Jesus.

I think, somewhere along the way, things got very, very complicated for me. And I felt like if I wasn’t feeling illuminated about every single decision, then I was making a bad one. I think we forget that, even if we make irresponsible choices, if we really believe God is big enough to do the things we think He can, then He’s also able and willing to get us to any destination that He wants to get to. That He can make even horrible choices pour out in blessings. I mean, have you even read the Bible?

I don’t think those stories about Jonah and David and Abraham and Moses and Peter and Paul are all there for nothing. Obviously we should try and refrain from making bad decisions. Live in the light. I think the aforementioned stories are God’s way of reminding us that He knows we stray. And some of these moments are necessary in order for us to become the people that we are supposed to be. Each one a unique creation from the Potter’s wheel.

Maybe it’s been the depression, forcing me to take hard looks at some things. Maybe it was something else. Whatever it is, I’ve been in search mode, and I’m finally feeling like I have at least a few simple answers, in addition to finally being at peace with some of the flawed theology from my past.

First, I’m leaning on my heart a little more. My intuition. Which isn’t as easy as you might think.

My impressions of people have been very wrong at times. My heart crippled by trusting those that ended up hurting me very badly. After working through some of that in therapy and just on my own, I feel like I can trust myself and my gut more and more. I’ve finally learned how to trust myself deeply for what I know I need, and to be cautiously trusting of others, getting to know them slowly.

This leads to the business of setting real boundaries, something I’ve not done in my life very well. But I’m getting better and better at it all the time. It has taken some drastic measures, and will continue to require some, but I’m already feeling the effects of peace from marking some very clear lines in the sand.

The beauty of setting boundaries is that the action alone tends to do a lot of the hard work for you in ridding toxic people from your life, but then there is the business of tending those fences, as it were. Not easy, but definitely easier than trying to be all things to all people.

Trusting myself also means taking some risks. Not anything necessarily meaningful to anyone else, but full of meaning to me. Just like my recent road trip. Taking on the challenge of driving that far away from familiarity, alone – was just something I needed to do. And it won’t be the last time.

With every mile I drove, I felt like I was, as my meditation suggested this morning, growing into myself. And with every decision I’m making right now, I feel like I’m becoming more of who I was meant to be.


Why I Quit Facebook, and yes, I’m okay


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Blogging is it’s own form of social media, I suppose. But I don’t really think of it as one. In my opinion, it almost sounds…..”dirty” to even put something like WordPress into a social media category.

But whether it is or it isn’t, I did something this past weekend that I believe is going to make me a healthier, happier person.

As of 3/17/18, I deactivated my Facebook account.

For good.

I quit Facebook for the same reason I quit smoking: it was killing me.

Not literally, and not obviously, but I knew, in my heart of hearts, that it had become unhealthy for me.

People, in general, are assholes on social media because they can get away with it. They aren’t held to any standards of behavior.

They can hide behind their keyboards. I know, because I’ve hidden behind mine.

They can use passive aggression in ways never before seen until the age of the “like” button.

I’ve been guilty of being the bad guy. The sarcastic one. I’m not above reproach. But I did try to maintain some level of civility. And kindness. And encouragement.

I tried unfollowing those who did not, even unfriending many.

I tried simplifying.

But I came to realize, after giving 10 years to this….thing….that it wasn’t giving me a whole lot in return.

And I’m getting to a point in my life where I am learning how to end one-sided relationships with people and things that don’t think enough of me or have enough to offer back to make the relationship worthwhile.

Where mutual give and take is absent, so is satisfaction.

Yes, there was the ability to keep up with people I don’t see often, if ever. But there’s Instagram for that. And I’m keeping that circle extremely small.

There was the ability for connection. But I have that here, and in my day-to-day life.

I seek validation as much as the next person, and really, that’s all Facebook is designed to do: Hook you up with people that will validate you.

Your most recent vacation.

Your marriage or relationship.

Your newest hairstyle.

Your parenting.

Your politics.

Your religion or lack of it.

And after 10 years, I’m through, either consciously or subconsciously, seeking validation this way.

And I’m through giving it.

I’ve written before about being a HSP, or Highly Sensitive Person, and my struggles as an INFJ personality.

Facebook, I think, was as good as it could be for me for as long as it could be. I’ve had people just look at me incredulously whenever something I’ve read or seen on Facebook has gotten under my skin to the point that I actually got fired up and angry, or even hurt my feelings.

Whether you understand that or not is not up to me, nor is it my problem. I want people to understand, but I’m done trying to explain myself to those who think I either take things too seriously, or need to “lighten up”.

There is a saying, “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.”

And maybe I can’t, but more to the point: I just don’t want to anymore.

Besides, I like porches.

As I get older and know me better, I am giving myself permission for a lot of things that used to be hard for me.




It is finally okay for me to be alone with me.

That used to scare the shit out of me – being alone. I haven’t gotten to the bottom of that yet. But it’s becoming less and less of an issue. In fact, the more I’m alone or with only one or two others, the more I like it.

I’m okay with being removed.

I’m okay with being different.

I’m okay with being misunderstood about it.

I’m okay without Facebook.

I’m okay with saying “No.”

I’m okay with pulling away (when I can) from that which causes me to feel stress and unhappiness.

I’m okay. I’m okay.

1600, 60, 5 and 1…continued (Part 2)


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After soaking up Friday morning’s gift of a sunrise, I set out to see a couple of nearby “touristy” things before I had to make the 4.5 hour drive to pick up my daughter.

My first stop was the Angel Oak.

Words do not do justice to this wonder of nature. I would have really loved to just sit in silence for a few hours beneath the limbs of this gorgeous giantess, but time was in short supply.

There were a lot of people visiting the Oak that morning, but I’m kind of glad they’re in my pictures. It helps give contrast so you can see just how enormous this tree actually is, in person.

The Angel Oak is estimated to be between 400 and 500 years old. More information here.

Reagan had a book when she was a smaller child….The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado. Lucado has always been one of my favorite inspirational authors and his storytelling has a way of giving me goosebumps on my heart. This tree reminded me of that little story I used to read to her. The potential that lies within all of us if we will accept ourselves, embrace our own unique qualities, and become who we were meant to be…..

The morning was soon over and giving way to lunchtime so I grabbed a drive thru meal and headed to my next destination.

I actually made my way through part of downtown Charleston to reach my next stop and it definitely whetted my appetite enough to want to go back and spend some time there. It appears to be quite unique and the bits and pieces I got to see from the road looked very inviting.

The only downside to traveling alone, that I can find, is that there were lots of things that it would have been handy to have a second person around to photograph. I crossed this monstrosity of a bridge and SO WISHED somebody had been there to snap a few photos. It was spectacular!

When I got into Mt. Pleasant, I made the short drive over to Boone Hall Plantation.

My reasons for wanting to visit this particular site were simple: it was in several movies including the North and South miniseries and The Notebook.

I didn’t really care for The Notebook, but I have a sort of guilty pleasure love of North and South because I’ve been in love with Patrick Swayze since forever. To this day, he’s one of only 2 celebrities I’ve ever dreamed about. (He rescued me from a burning house, btw, so, we are close like that.)

Anyway, giddy schoolgirl crushes aside, this still-operational farm is a beautiful estate.

The Avenue of Oaks leading up to the house canopy the driveway and immediately set this place apart from any other historic home I’ve seen.

The house itself is the 4th one to stand on the property, and was built in 1935. So, it’s not as “antibellum” as one would think upon first glance. The first house, which burned, was built in the 1600s and the last farmhouse to stand on the property before the current structure was a “simple” 3,000 sq. ft. home that was demolished in 1935 to make way for the home I toured.

Oak flooring from the original house was used in this home, as well as some of the paneling for the walls. The bricks used for the house and walls were recycled bricks, made on the once 4,100 acre plantation.

As tours go, this wasn’t one of the better ones I’ve experienced. But the beauty of the grounds made up for it. I always think of Julia Sugarbaker talking about the rude guests touring her home on Designing Women, with their “overflowin’ rubber thongs, Big Gulps, Slurpies, Misties, and Frosties!”

I saw a few of those on this tour, but there were a few snobs from Ole Miss there also, superiority radiating from them like heat. I saw another fellow Mississippian NOT dressed up like they were visiting the Kentucky Derby try and speak to the two couples from Ole Miss and watched as the wives exchanged disapproving glances at what the young woman was wearing. So much for state pride solidarity when traveling. I just watched in amusement and made my way toward the beautiful gardens beside the house after the tour ended.

The tour guide told us to pay attention to one of the pine trees when we left the driveway as there was a Bald Eagle nesting there for the 2nd year in a row. If you look closely, you can see the nest in this photo:

That Avenue of Oaks though….THAT was my favorite part of the entire place. So what? I drove to SC to see the beach, the ocean, and some Oak trees. Don’t judge.

I left Mt. Pleasant about 1:30 and arrived in Asheville about 5:30, but traffic stalled out and I didn’t get to hug my baby girl until after 6 p.m.

My ex advised me to not travel to Chattanooga (our stop for the night) through Knoxville. I listened because, (1) he travels that way more than I do and (2) they’ve been doing road work in Knoxville since God was a baby.

The “shortcut” took us through Nantahala Gorge, which was fine since it was still daylightish. I was glad to not have to drive it at night, though. I’d love to go back and explore the National Forest and the scenery throughout North Carolina was nothing short of beautiful.

We drove on. And on. And on. And then, approaching 9 p.m. and pitch blackness, we entered more, and unexpected, winding mountain roads. Reagan kept saying, “I don’t think that was all of the curvy roads we usually take….” but she is directionally challenged so I ignored her. Turns out, she was right, and the timesaving directions her Dad had given me included more mountain travel. Hairpin after hairpin IN THE DARK, not knowing if I veered off the road whether I would hit a bubblling stream or plummet down the side of a ravine and RACING FAST DRIVERS riding my bumper, PASSING ME….y’all, it was harrowing.

But at 10:00 p.m. I pulled up the Hampton Inn, made the sign of the cross, and parked my GMC for a nice, long, deserved rest.

Reagan and I slept in the next morning and, after brunch at Cracker Barrel, headed over to McKay’s books in Chattanooga. We visited back in December and fell in love with the place. Row after row of used books, movies, games, collectibles. We spent over an hour perusing the shelves and ended up with two sackfuls of happiness for our troubles.

I think there was a bit of a recurring theme to my selections….

The trip home was uneventful, but quite beautiful. The mountains are still not quite ready to put off their full spring plumage, but the Dogwoods, Bradford Pears, and especially the Redbuds along the road, and up in the rocky terrains were very pretty.

I wish I had some photos of them to share, but my co-pilot was battling heavy seasonal allergy symptoms and slept a good portion of the ride home.

What a whirlwind trip! Facing fears. Seeing some spectacular scenes of nature. Going to new places, both literally and figuratively.

I’m exhausted.

And I can’t wait to do it again.

1600 miles, 60 hours, 5 states, and 1 introvert (Part 1)


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There is but one cure for wanderlust: to wander.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve figured out ways to scratch that particular itch. Even on a tight budget.

I don’t have the time or the money for long or exotic vacations, but that’s the beauty of just wanting to see different scenery – you don’t often have to go far.

A couple of years ago, my daughter’s father moved out of state. He’s now residing in North Carolina, a good, one-way, 9 hour drive.

Reagan generally spends her spring break with him and her step-family. This year, I decided to go pick her up when it was time for her to come home. And I planned my own little getaway around this decision.

I started to spend a night and day in NC and go the The Biltmore Estate, which is on my bucket list. But since I was sick on my recent beach trip, I felt like I had unfinished business with the waves.

I left home at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, an hour later than I intended. But that’s the beauty of traveling alone: ain’t nobody waiting on ya.

When I turned on my radio, this was one of the first songs I heard:

Seemed appropriate.

I made a couple of pit stops and took a detour for lunch right outside of Birmingham.

I will stop here and say that if you’re looking for information and photos of delicious travel food, you’re going to be disappointed. I do love to explore some local eats when I travel, but that wasn’t a priority this trip. For one, I am on some new meds that have seriously killed my tastebuds. For 2, I was on a budget so I ate on the cheap. So let’s just move along….

I rolled into Atlanta about 1:30 and was a little unnerved by the whole experience…..

For the next several hours, I felt like I was going nowhere. The scenery didn’t look any different than what I see on a day to day basis. I was tired. My head was throbbing. And I just wanted to not be driving anymore.

And that’s when I finally got into Folly Beach, South Carolina.

As it turns out, this beach was closer to Reagan’s Dad than any of the NORTH Carolina beaches. In some ways, I was a bit disappointed in that because I’ve always wanted to see the beaches of NC. The lighthouses, maybe some wild horses. But I just couldn’t justify what would have added another 4 or 5 hours driving time to my already tight schedule.

Even so, I was not disappointed in Folly Beach whatsoever. Not even with the drunks in the next room who were obviously enjoying their spring break with all 12 of their closest friends.

The Tides at Folly Beach reminded me a lot of a casino hotel, but it’s been recently renovated and was very clean and bright. Airy.

The best feature, of course, was the spectacular view of the Atlantic, which was the whole reason I went to SC. I just caught the last bit of sunlight when I arrived to check in.

I ordered a pizza from Woody’s, which was right up the street, but I had it delivered anyway. When I say I was tired, I mean I was TIRED. And the wind was whipping at a brisk 30+ mph. Staying in seemed like the best option.

The food was nothing to write home about. Probably would have been better served straight from the oven because the dough was really tasty and homemade, but it was pretty soggy by the time I got it.

This was my one and only food splurge (not counting Starbucks) of my trip. The rest were chains, and uninteresting.

I slept with my balcony door cracked open and let the waves drown out the noise of the downtown bars which were close enough for me to throw rocks at from my hotel room door. The wind being what it was, I didn’t hear anything but air and waves until the partygoers started rolling in to the adjacent rooms.

But they weren’t hurting anything and I was cozy and content, eventually drifting off into a pretty deep sleep.

I set my alarm for early Friday morning. I only had one sunrise to watch over the ocean and I wasn’t going to miss it for all the sleep in the world.

The beach was all but deserted, and I wrote about my experience here already, so I won’t recap except to say that it was absolutely breathtaking. One of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

More on the rest of my adventures tomorrow….

Here are few more sunrise/beach photos.

(Love the reflection in the sand here)



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“Make it as fattening as possible.”

My response when the barista asked if I wanted whipped cream on my frappuccino.

I’m pretty sure I was in the beginning stages of hypothermia, having been on the beach in flip flops on the 51 degree morning, but I wanted a breakfast as rich and sweet as the sunrise I had just experienced.

I’m used to white powdery sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Scavenging for shells bigger than a quarter.

We get used to what we get used to.

Perhaps that’s one reason I’ve always wanted to make a trip up the eastern seaboard. To watch how the beaches change along the way.

Here on Folly Beach, SC, the sand isn’t white. It’s…..well, sand-colored. Bits of gray and black mixed in.

The morning tide at sunrise wasn’t hurried or harsh. Water moving as silk, washing delicate but heavy foam ashore.

I have been blessed to see a lot of sunrises. Some from the woods, along a creekbed. Some from my parents’ porch.

Some from my own patio.

Some from the road, traveling or on my way to an Easter morning service.

Some…..from beaches.

Many times…..most times….I’ve watched those sunrises alone. In solitude.

As close as I feel to Divinity in those moments, all I can think to say is, “Thank you.”

I sit or stand in the presence of Artistry personified, and can only offer gratitude.

Because I know how foolish it is to speak anything else.

Anyone who puts that kind of detail into a sunrise, something precious few people rise to see or pay attention to, surely loves me.

And that is enough.

Love is enough.

The sun rises higher, breaking the horizon. Night is officially over. Gulls are awake now, hunting their breakfast.

They chatter like old friends as they roam the shoreline, loudly proclaiming and exclaiming along the way.

The brave and sober souls that made it out at first light are about to have their reward. Cameras in hand, we all try to capture the perfect moment in permanence.

How appropriate that we should try such a thing at a place called Folly Beach. For it is folly, to try and capture a perfect moment and hold it forever.

But, as it turns out, there are no bad photographs of this sunrise. And the only folly would have been to miss it.

I just needed to….


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I got married for the first time when I was 17 years old. I went from that marriage straight into another relationship and subsequent marriage.

I have never been “alone”.

And I think that’s been one of those “what if” things for me for a long time.

I don’t regret my daughter. Or even my first marriage. I don’t regret my current marriage. The fact that I wonder about how my life might have been different does not somehow diminish the life I have or have had.

I’m learning how to live in a mindset where ideas are not always mutually exclusive. Binary. And that has set me on a much happier path.

When I got in my car this morning, I felt a nervous anticipation. Almost 700 miles, alone. It was challenging to my stamina, my nerves, and my mind.

Because I’m still fighting this depression thing. Hard. And I wasn’t sure if I should go through with this plan that I knew was going to exhaust me so much.

By the time I made it through Atlanta, my nerves were shot from the traffic. My head was throbbing. It seemed like I was stuck in time, driving on a treadmill.

I pulled over outside of Augusta and grabbed some water, a sugar fix, and some flip flops (because I forgot mine). I took some Aleve, turned off the radio for the first time all day, and just drove. Alone with my thoughts.

Slowly, the scenery began to change. It became obvious I was entering coastal territory. When I stepped out of my car at the hotel, the wind nearly knocked me over.

I made my way to my 7th floor view, went straight to the balcony door, pulled it open, and drank in what I drove 11 hours to see. The Atlantic Ocean in all her unencumbered glory.

I’m laying here now, on the bed, listening to the waves.

I sat here in silence for a while. And I was moved to tears.

Because I faced some fears today. Some I can’t really explain, but this experience was about more than me just taking a long road trip by myself to prove I could do it.

I heard one of my old favorite Reba McIntire songs today. One that left a lasting impact on me when I was a kid. It became a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy for me when I went back to school several years ago.

Today, when I heard the familiar lyrics, it made me smile:

She’s always lived for tomorrow,

She’s never learned how to live for today.

Oh she’s dying to try something foolish, to do something crazy, or just get away

Something for herself for a change

Is there life out there?

So much she hasn’t done

Is there life beyond her family and her home?

She’s done what she should, should she do what she dares?

She doesn’t want to leave, she’s just wondering is there life out there.

East bound


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I like to think of myself as independent. Self-sufficient.

And then I have to laugh.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

My family, my friends, my faith. All of these things sustain me.

In fact, introverted as I am, and as much as I need space, need to be removed from people occasionally, there are not many things I fear more than loneliness.

Because I have been lonely. Even within relationships. And there is nothing quite so miserable.

But, truth be told, we often have to face what we fear the most in order to overcome it.

Tomorrow morning, I’m rising before the sun and driving east until I can’t drive any further. It’s part of a personal pilgrimage I felt I needed to make.

When I planned it, I decided to go alone. And then I started to panic. And I began to backtrack.

For various reasons, the usual suspects that would oblige my whimsy were not available as shotgun riders. And I didn’t ask but a couple of people. Because I knew.

Deep down, I knew.

I needed to make this 48 hour-or-so journey on my own.

A few years ago, Reagan’s dad moved out of state. 6 hours away turned into 9. He makes it back here when he can, but I know those are long trips for him. And while it was his choice to move, and he’s never asked me to come get her or bring her to him, I’ve just been itching for a road trip.

I just took one, of course, to the beach with some of my female relatives, but I was sick the whole time. And I’ve never traveled alone. And spent some time at my destination, alone.

For many reasons, I think I need this.

I need the introspection.

I need the inspiration.

And, weary as the driving might make me, I feel like I will get some level of recharge from the experience.

I’m looking forward to writing about the experience, which just shows me how much good it’s already done me and I haven’t even left yet. Because it’s making me look forward to writing. And I haven’t been feeling much in the way of creativity these days.

Hopefully this short but lengthy journey will provide the spark that I’m needing right now. Sometimes stepping outside of our routine and comfort zone provides the remedy for a creative, mental, and emotional rut.

So, bring on the adventure. Life is going to happen whether we’re moving or standing still. I’d rather be actively seeking life than just waiting for it to come to me. Who knows what lessons the journey has in store? There’s only one way to find out.

Boundary Lines


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I grew up being taught about land ownership. Trespassing was something that, to this day, will make my Dad see red. Leisurely crossing boundaries without permission of the landowner is not only illegal, it’s disrespectful. And I have spent my life understanding that concept and living by it.

What I wasn’t taught, growing up, and have had to figure out, is how boundary lines are often necessary in our lives, in our hearts, in our minds – as well as our physical space.

And I’m just now learning how to draw some.

I was raised in a Christian household, and the concept of “turning the other cheek” is something that I remember being impressed upon me from an early age. The concept of forgiveness, mercy, and second chances. I definitely believe in all of that. I have to. I believe that I have been shown more measures of grace than I can even begin to recount.

I also believe that when Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and pray for those who spitefully use us, he didn’t mean that we had to allow them to be closely involved with us. I think there is such a thing as loving people with a healthy measure of distance.

I don’t consider myself a weak person, I just know my own limitations. I know my own sensitivities. And I know when certain relationships aren’t worth the effort it takes to either pursue or sustain them. I am not a bottomless vessel. So I’m learning how to draw boundaries.

I draw them because my very sanity now depends on it.

Maybe it has something to do with getting older. Or wiser. Or both.

I will be the first to admit that, sometimes, my first impressions of people are incorrect. Sometimes, I end up being very close with someone that I didn’t see me having any kind of connection to.

But when my gut has been consistently telling me something for years and years, and nothing has proven true otherwise – it’s time to listen. Draw that boundary line.

Doing that isn’t as easy as just saying, “This is as far as I will let you into my life.”

Sometimes it’s about certain behaviors you will no longer tolerate.

And with any type of resolve to change these types of dynamics, there are always consequences. That’s one reason why they are so hard to implement. The inevitable fallout can result in the entire destruction of relationships that you only intended to have a more respectful and/or realistic dynamic.

Just like prosecuting someone for trespassing tends to make them a little bitter toward you, even though you are well within your rights to do so.

Power shifts within relationships either result in changed behavior, or bitterness. Sometimes there is anger, then change. But you never know what the outcome will be until you draw those boundaries and begin to enforce them.

For me, it requires a lot of expended energy to do this. But much less, in the long run, than I would spend trying to sustain or pursue relationships with people that are not bringing something valuable to my table.

There is enough pain in life that cannot be avoided. It only makes sense to avoid the pain we can.

Things change.

People change.

Life changes and you have to make a decision.

You can adapt, or you can stagnate.

You can accept, and go through the stages that go along with acceptance, or you can sit down and refuse to accept the reality.

But with refusal comes bitterness. Anger. Unhealthy habits to cope.

It is very, very hard to accept what we want to change but cannot.

No one likes to admit that there is something beyond their control.

But that is the harsh truth.

And sometimes it isn’t fair, that reality that we don’t want to accept and fight like hell to ignore.

Until we can’t.

Self-awareness, self-discovery, growth, change….all of that good stuff – for me, it starts with my instincts. My gut. My intuition. The still, small voice within my soul.

That’s where it begins. And sometimes… stalls out.

Because my brain…..sometimes it wants to step in and play Devil’s advocate. It is the filter through which I sift whatever is pressing on me emotionally.

Sometimes the conflict is so strong and difficult to process that it makes my head hurt. It makes my heart hurt. And it freezes my intent.

I can never carry on in that way forever. It only serves to make me miserable. After wrestling with decisions and the pros and cons, I always, always, always feel better after one is made. The guesswork is gone. If there is going to be pain, at least then I know to what end and how I should prepare and deal with it.

It’s that in-between space that is so miserable. That place where nothing makes sense, but something has to happen.

It is in that limbo that I feel I’ve lived too much of my life.

Scared of making wrong choices.

Feeling responsible for the feelings of others.

Thinking I had to have some level of peace before each decision.

But the truth is, even my wrong choices have had a way of leading to good things.

And I’m not responsible for anyone’s feelings but my own.

And sometimes, most of the time, peace doesn’t come until after the decision is made.

I’ve been here many times, afraid to make the choice that I know has to be made. Weary before I even attempt to settle on a decision. It’s the anticipation. The knowing.

But then I draw the line. Set the boundary. It is then, and only then, I can finally breathe again.



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Life doesn’t stop when you are struggling physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. It doesn’t stop when you’re grieving someone or something. It doesn’t stop when you have someone or many someones to care for.

The world keeps spinning. People still have to eat. Still have to get haircuts and get to doctors appointments and have clean clothes. Things and people still need and demand your attention.

We are women, and we are expected to do it all. And do it well. In heels.

We are expected to do whatever it takes to get our jobs done, but not to the point that it makes any man uncomfortable. Or overshadows him in any way.

In addition to our jobs, we are expected to set the table and order the food and make sure everyone has what they need for the meetings.

And clean up after.

We are expected to make sure we always look polished and put together. Even though polished and put together can be twice as expensive for a woman than a man who can pull off that look with 2 pairs of pants and 5 different shirts or ties.

We are expected, in general, to go along and not be too vocal.

Not push too hard (because then we’re nagging).

Not feel too deeply.

Not initiate, but always initiate.

Be strong, but not emasculating.

Be pretty, but not overdo the makeup, oh more than that though.

Have children.

Don’t have children.

Have one child.

Have lots of children.

Let everyone give you their opinion about that decision and smile when they not-so-subtly hint that your biological clock is ticking.

We wait 20 years for promotions that men can get in 3.

We show up early, stay late, and still have to go home and go from professional to domestic. No time to stop. No rest until you’re dead.

We are mocked when we stand up for things. Blamed when we are the victims. Judged when we we didn’t file the charges. Or report to HR. Or speak up when it happened.

Even though we’ve been talked over or shushed all our lives. Told that our worth lies in our looks. And if we promoted our looks, we were asking for it.

Our justice system has demonstrated over and over again that we should just try and “work things out” with that abuser.

Because we talk too much.

If we’re confident, and stand firm, we’re a bitch.

If we don’t speak up, we’re weak.

We can’t win.

Or can we?

On International Women’s Day, I work toward and strive for the day when my daughter doesn’t have to work in a world of double standards, and prevalent harassment, and unequal opportunity and pay.

When she, God forbid, doesn’t have to worry about her marriage ending up being a trap she can’t get out of with a man from whom she can’t protect her children.

And if my speaking up makes me a bitch, I guess I’m a bitch.

And if my writing about it makes me misunderstood or judged, those have everything to do with the reader, not the writer.

With every passing year I develop less and less tolerance for the double standard.

For the weakness of men to rise up beside us.

Women are finally realizing that we’re stronger united than divided.

The conversations are changing.

We’re finally the ones doing the talking.

And people are being forced to listen.

Many of them don’t like what they hear.

It makes them uncomfortable.

It doesn’t line up with the bubble they’ve been living in.

But it’s real. We are real. We’re not going away. We’re not going to shut up.

And, man or woman, you can walk away and shake your head, or you can join the conversation and do your part for your sisters.

But we’re not going away.

We’re celebrating each other today.

Every day.



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The more I read on social media, the more I hate social media.

My sister told me last week, in a moment of her famous, brutal, big sister honesty, “The next time you do a Facebook purge, just do it. Don’t announce it. Just do it!”

As I’ve kind of contemplated that statement, I’ve considered some other things as well.

Social media is fascinating because it shows just how desperate the human race is for validation, support, and connection.

And yet it very, very rarely provides any of those things for the average user.

And it gives us what we think is a snapshot of society. But I really hope that’s not true. I really hope, and have to believe, humanity is so much better than what I see on my newsfeed. I have to believe that.

And so I have decided that I am left with two options: I can delete my Facebook (which I have been encouraged to do by a friend who says I won’t miss it) or I can be fierce. I can post positive things.

Beautiful art.

Authentic writing.

For now, I’m choosing the latter. If my current mental state declines any further, I will probably just step away from Facebook and call it a good run.

For the overthinker, Facebook is kind of a nightmare. I’ve been guilty of overanalyzing things that should not be given more than a moment’s thought. In that way, I’m having to train my brain to not do that. At least not in regard to Facebook.

This curious little app causes me many frustrations, so, instead of wasting my time in political arguments or wondering why certain people are so damn passive aggressive, I’m trying to be the positive change I want to see. And just ignore or unfollow the rest as best I can.

For now.

And, if that doesn’t work, there’s always Instagram. 😊