I Choose

dark

Okay. Take two.

On 24 June 2018, at 10:31am (Sunday), my longest friend, Holley, died from cancer.

She spent a year battling leukemia.
She had just turned 37 a mere few days prior.
A few days before her birthday, she was given three weeks.
She got nine days.
Nine.
Not enough.

I cannot fathom my reaction if my doctor told me that I had only a few weeks to live (or a few years for that matter). I get this deep gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach and then an overwhelming despair settles upon my shoulders.

Holley had posted a picture of herself not long after finding out. I could see and feel her pain and it wrecked me. It still wrecks me. And to know that she is gone, forever, is still a concept that is hard to comprehend.

Holley and I met in the third grade.
We grew up together on “the mountain”.
She adored life and had a passion for animals. Especially dogs and pigs (the pigs might have been an earlier in life phase).
Holley was the most boy crazy person I had ever met.
She was the one who dyed my hair black promising that it wasn’t permanent.
IT WAS.
She was the first and only person to shave my head.
My first taste of tequila (tequila rose to be specific) was with her.
My first attempt at online dating was a double with her (safety in numbers, y’all).
My first (and last) time clubbing was with her.
We hung out the night before she left for the navy.
She was with me when I got my first tattoo.

The above is only a tiny snippet of memories I have of us. I wanted to write them down in order to preserve them.

It had been too many years since I saw her face-to-face. And now… it will never happen again. This has left me in an odd limbo. Because I hadn’t seen her in years, the separation is already there. However, this past week, as I listened to music, basked in the sunlight, walked my dog, gazed up at the moon, and laughed, I was reminded that Holley will never get to do any of these things again. I am saddened greatly because of it.

An inevitable fact: everyone dies.
We still have a choice to make: To simply exist in this world, or to truly live life.

I choose life.
I choose love.
I choose adventure.
I choose to be thankful.
I choose to work hard.
I choose to change the world.
I choose to appreciate the little things.
I choose to live as much as I can for as long as I can.

field, sunrise and blue sky

 

Holley,

I hope you found some sort of peace in the end.
I truly hope there is life beyond death.

I miss you.

Always,

Kristin

Gone: The Unknown

grief_1350Death.
Deleted.
Cease to exist.
Become nothing.
Exterminated.
Go nowhere.
Black.
Empty.
Hollow.
Gone.

Death was so much easier when I believed in god. I just needed to accept Jesus into my heart as my lord and savior…. Be a good person… help others and eventually, when I die, I’ll go to heaven. Easy as that, life goes on after death.

Damn appealing, right? When things sounds too good to be true, they usually are.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to believe in god. Desperately. Truly.
I want to believe in heaven, whole-heartedly.
I hate (and struggle with) the idea of only existing in memories.

Because memories fade.
Information is distorted.
Lost in translation.
Gone.

Why don’t I believe? I have no proof.

I cannot just believe in something because I want to ease my stress and suffering in life.
I cannot just believe in something because it would alleviate my fears of the unknown.

The unknown.

That’s the thing about death. By the time you know anything, it is already too late.

I’ve been lucky most of my life when it comes to dealing with death:

I lost my Nana when I was seven. At that age, I didn’t understand the concept of death. I lost my Grandpop when I was almost 13. He lived across the country. What bothered me more than anything was my father’s refusal of me going back to see him and say goodbye before he passed (we knew he was sick). I lost two friends/acquaintances a few years back, but we were never close and it never really sunk in that they were gone, just that we didn’t talk anymore. A few years back, apparently my Aunt Karen died to something alcohol related. I hadn’t seen her in almost 30 years and never talked to her in all of those years so there was zero emotion attached to her death. Don’t get me wrong, the deaths meant something to me, I just felt nothing.

I have spent years mastering the art of shoving my feelings back down my throat instead of facing reality and actually dealing with my emotions.

How do you reverse 20+ years of habits? Great question. Nope, I don’t know the answer yet.

My fear is that if I let even one emotion in, it’s going to first overwhelm me, and then consume me. I don’t want to live with this kind of fear, but damn, that is scary.

I’ve been told that everyone processes grief differently. I don’ t know what my process is yet, so for now, I’m just going to write. My words may be aimless for a time. I don’t know how this works, so I’m just going to dive right in.

* deep breath *

Yeah… I don’t know if I can do this.

Kristin

The In-Between

workFriday’s are interesting for me. I have a half day at my main job working from 6am until 10am. After that, I have from 10am-6pm free and then I work job #2 from 6pm-11pm-ish. I have been struggling to make this middle eight hours productive. I repeatedly tell myself, “Well, I work two jobs this days, I can use this middle eight hours to goof off and do what I want,” however, I believe it is truly a wasted potential productivity time.

relaxDo I believe I deserve time to just chill and relax? Absolutely. But how can I organize my time better to be more productive (even by half). For me, it’s setting daily goals. I always work on these the night before. I write a list of all of my must accomplishes (working which job and when, reminding myself to eat, etc), but I also include things that I would like to accomplish (dishes, reading x amount of pages in a certain text, laundry, etc).

When I complete a task and check that off of my list, it makes me feel good. Knowing that I’m accomplishing my goals, it provides a natural high.

completing tasksDo I complete everything on the list everyday? Not even close. But the more I complete, the better I feel. It also gives my day focus in such a way that I want to accomplish these things. I could easily spend the day binge watching shows. That used to be me all of the time, and I no longer want that for my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I do binge watch. I do eat junk on occasion. I do all of the fun things. But I also get far more accomplished in a day than I used to.

Today’s in-between consisted a little more of a rejuvenation day. Working two jobs is tough, but it’s not impossible and I’m proving that. I worked through most of my reading for The Two Towers today, and I took a much needed nap. I was going to play computer games for the next hour before my final job of the day, but decided to write instead. (Yay me!)

Figure out what you want and then figure out how you can accomplish it. It’s amazing how much time we spend doing nothing. And it almost never makes us truly happy.

what do you want

Happiness is my goal. Being debt free is my goal. Tapping into my true potential is my goal.

What’s yours?

 

 

Until next time,

Kristin

Shut Up and Write

suaw

Okay. I don’t actually want to be here right now. I haven’t been writing regularly in several months and getting back into it is torture. I don’t know what to say, or if I truly have anything worth speaking about. What am I passionate about? What do I stand for? What do I believe in? These are all incredibly difficult questions that I simply do not have a complete answer to. So for now, I’m going to write freely about whatever is in my head, and hopefully over time I will discover a passion and a purpose for myself.

I don’t think I’m lost, I just haven’t truly found myself. I know to some that may seem like the same thing, but for me… it’s not.

Since I was a teenager, I would write poetry to express my emotions that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world. It has been few and far between that I have written poetry since those years, but I still appreciate it and hope to go back to it someday.

2018 readingI’ve been working through an incredible reading challenge for 2018. My initial new years resolution was to read 24 books in 2018. I’m approaching 50 now, which is nearly to my second goal of 52 books this year. I have seriously impressed myself on this front and I feel as though I am a better reader and communicator because of it.

badasseryMy friend Alice and I started the Badassery Book Club (BBC for short) earlier this year and we are currently working through the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien (Will finish book 3 of 6 next week) and the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. We’re currently on book two, Shadow of Night. Okay, I’m on book two. Alice is waiting until I’m halfway through to begin her reading, because she reads much faster than I do! After these trilogies, we have another two part book pairing planned, and then I don’t know what else. We will decide once we get closer to the time.discoverylotr

My other New Years resolution is simply this, writing. I have faltered a lot this year, but happy to start getting back into writing, and blogging my thoughts. If you’ve made it this far, HI! You’re the best.

One other major things going on in life right now is that my husband Steve and I are working to pay off all of our debt (we have plans beyond that that include both Europe, and adoption children… in that order). We have both picked up second jobs outside of our full-time work. We’re delivering pizza three nights a week. It is harder than I imagined it would be.pizza

I cannot begin to express how utterly tired I am all the time. ALL. THE. TIME!

ki

 

Kaylee (dog) and Inara (cat) get along great. Inara will be a year next month and in November, Kaylee will be two. Having animals has been challenging and so emotionally rewarding. I’m excited for the mini-humans next!

 

 

Until next time,doctorwho

 

Kristin

PS. I’ve totally started watching Doctor Who (for the first time in my life)!

Big Strong Yes: Badassery

Badassery

Truth and Dare: An Introduction

For anyone just joining me, last week I started one of the toughest journey’s of my life. It is my goal to open myself up and to allow vulnerability in my life. I aim to be open and honest with myself and to others. I am to love myself so that I can truly love others. I do not want to merely exist in this world, I want to make it better. In order to do that, I have to start with me.

ChipperishI am working through the Chipperish Media podcast: Big Strong Yes. The voices inside my head are the incredible NY Times Best-Selling Author, Lani Diane Rich, and my favorite doc Dr. Kelly Brown. If you don’t know these women, you have no idea what you are missing! We will be working through three books: “Rising Strong,” by Brene Brown, “Big Magic,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes.

 

 

 

For now, and the next few months (because it’s hard being honest with yourself and I’m slower than everyone else), I will be working through “Rising Strong”. This week I tackled the second introduction: “Truth and Dare”. Without further ado, let’s get right to it.

dustoff

“The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.”
-Brene Brown, Rising Strong (xvi).

That one statement in and of itself is a lot to take in. The first piece of honest I need to focus on is the fact that falling down hurts. That this process of self-discovery is going to be painful. Truthfully, just sitting here, typing out these words, committing these words to virtual paper is my commitment to myself and to my readers that I am in this. I will write through the pain. I may not always make sense. I may do a hell of a lot of rambling or beating around the bush, but I am not willing to give up. Knowing that gives me purpose, and will help me live out the dare portion of the quote by Brown.

I don’t know what truth I will be searching for. I don’t know how I will fall. The unknown is terrifying, but I am not going anywhere, and for now… that is enough. We will discover together.

Path to JoyThe upside to doing the work here is “vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, and joy.” (Brown, Rising Strong (xvii))

**Gulp** I have been trying to be invisible since I was 12 years old. I kept my head down in school (when I wasn’t being bullied about my weight, my messy and dirty hair, or the clothing I wore). I didn’t participate in class (unless my teacher forced me to). In my attempts to hid, I began losing pieces of who I was. Even physical things like my voice got quiet and meek. To this day I am still trying to get my true voice back.

shadow to light

How does one simply decide one day to be seen after spending 20+ years looking for shadows to hide in? One step to the left and step into the light. You can’t get much more vulnerable than that. Well, you could be naked and doing that, but I don’t necessarily recommend that.

I’ve officially taken my first steps because I am ready to do more than just exist in this world. I want more love, joy, and belonging.

 

The downside to doing the work here is that “You’re going to stumble, fall, and get your ass kicked.” (Brown, Rising Strong (xvii)). Yeah okay. That’s almost a given. If I have the guts to step out into the light to be seen, I can pretty much do anything.

It is not my goal to rush through the hurt and the scary parts. Yes, we all want to hear the redemption stories about how we overcame some obstacle to get where we are today, and those stories are important, but like Brown suggests, I plan to hit the pause button when I fall and really embrace my emotions. We try to rush through the struggles to get to the good place, but there are many important lessons to learn in the times of struggle and strife. I want to “recognize the power of emotion” and not be “afraid to lean in to discomfort.” (Brown, Rising Strong (xviii)) Leaning Tower of Piza reporting for duty!

Brown describes wholehearted living as “engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness…cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets down and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.” (Brown, Rising Strong (xix))

I am enoughI am enough. I’m reading the words, but they haven’t sunk in yet. I am enough. I never think I’m good enough at anything that I do, or that I like to do, especially writing. I am enough. I worry about everything. I am enough. I don’t want to act myself in fear of others rejecting me for who I am. I am enough. I say the words out loud. I am enough. I still don’t believe them, but say them with me anyway. I am enough. I’m not going to lie to you. I still don’t believe I am enough; however, I want to. My current daily affirmation will be just this: I am enough. Logically, I know that I am. I just need to get my heart on board. I am enough.

I am always the first person to admit that I am not perfect. If anything, I say that I’m perfectly imperfect. What does that truly mean? What kind of a place do I need to be in to actually believe that statement. I know that embracing myself for who I am (quirks and all) is a great start. How can I work on this in my day-to-day life? I am going to just be me. I am going to stop apologizing when I am just being who I am. Obviously, if there has been some offense then that is a different story, but if it’s just me… I need to stop apologizing for being me. I need to become proud of who I am. I embrace the fact that there have been television shows in my life that have literally been game changers for me. I embrace the fact that I am not a morning person. I embrace, and will not apologize for not fitting into your cookie cutter expectations of me!

Oh, hey look, that felt good.

Grab-The-Bull-By-The-Horns_03Why risk everything for things such as honesty, self-worth, and being vulnerable? Because “hiding out, pretending, and armoring up against vulnerability are killing us: killing our spirits, our hopes, our potential, our creativity, our ability to lead, our love, our faith, and our joy.” (Brown, Rising Strong (xix)) Well okay then. Thank you Dr. Brown for kicking my ass in the right direction. I’m not ready to give up or give in. I still believe I have something that I can add to this world, and that is important. I am important. I am sick and tired of being afraid, and I am even more tired of hustling for my self-worth. Grab a bull by the horns, anyone?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood.”

-Theodore Roosevelt, 1910 “Man in the Arena” speech.

Every single time I read this quote I get fired up. Think about this one with me for a moment…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Not any of the peanut gallery. Not the critics, no one except for the person is face down on the ground. It’s the people that are willing to work hard, to try new things, to get dirty that are the ones that are going to actually change the world. I can feel my heart racing at this prospect and I cannot wait to keep going.

nashville-game-night-730x411

I have been trying a lot of new things lately. My husband and I finally checked out the website MeetUp looking for local groups in the Nashville area that have similar interests as us. In June we joined a board game community and have been going to that on a weekly basis. After eleven years of being together we have our first official “couple” friends! Do you know how hard it is to find married gamers that don’t have kids? Trust me, nearly impossible! Not only have I been continuing this blog, but about five weeks ago I launched a blog called None Plus Five that is going through and analyzing every episode of Gilmore girls. Keeping the momentum going has definitely been a struggle; however, each week that I complete one of these articles, I feel super good about myself.

For my health and wellness I am going to the gym and my husband and I have transitioned into a Ketogenic diet (lifestyle). I am fostering my creativity (and bravery, and lets be honest, my badassery) through the challenge of consistent blogging. I am choosing to work on me through the Big Strong Yes journey here. I am stepping out of the shadows and I am ready to be seen.

do-you-have-a-victim-mentality-at-work

 

“There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger (sorry friends) is not badassery.” (Brown, Rising Strong (xxvii))

 

Society today seems to have a victim’s mentality and without being overly insensitive, it needs to stop. Living with the “woe is me” mentality is not going to get you anywhere. Everyone struggles. Everyone has pain. Everyone is suffering in one way or another. It’s time to switch your focus. Talk about and think about the things that are going right for you. Think about all of the things you do have instead of what you don’t (or even worse, what someone else has that you wish you had).

own your shit

From there, start asking the right questions. What can I do to change the situation I am in? What can I do to make myself better? How do I go about changing the way I think from being negative all of the time to someone who sees the positive?

I absolutely still struggle with all of these things. It’s easiest to point out the flaws in others before we see them in ourselves. A lot of people live with these unrealistic expectations of how people should be acting and then they themselves don’t live up to their own standards. No matter our age, we can learn. Mahatma Gandhi once said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” You, not your brother or your daughter or your coworker. You. You be that light of positivity. You be the one to choose to be vulnerable and face life and all its ups and down for what they are. You make the choice to rise after you have fallen.

Just remember: every time you rise after a fall, you only get stronger.

makes_you_stronger_by_rajasegar-d2xujde

Big Strong Yes: The Beginning

Rising Strong: Introduction 1:

A Note on Research and Storytelling as Methodology (xi-xiv)

“There are many truths and there are many ways of knowing. Each discovery contributes to our knowledge, and each way of knowing deepens our understanding and adds another dimension to our view of the world.” (Brown, xii)

“The most useful knowledge about human behavior is based on people’s lived experiences.” (Brown, xiii)

“We all want to show up and be seen in our lives. This means we will all struggle and fail; we will know what it means to be both brave and brokenhearted.” (Brown, xiv)

Chipperish Media, run by the New York Times best selling author Lani Diane Rich announced months ago that she and her friend Dr. Kelly Jones were launching a podcast titled “Big Strong Yes” where they would read through and discuss three books: “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes.

As soon as this announcement was made, I knew that I just had to do this along with them. The release date of the first episode came and went. So did the next and the next. I had borrowed “Rising Strong” from the library and barely got 10 pages in. Ten pages is pathetic! At least that’s what I kept telling myself. Little did I know that it was because this book is brutally honest and to get through it, I needed to be brutally honest with myself. I wanted to do it desperately, but every time I would pick the book up, I would put it right back down. Maybe next week, I told myself.

Lani Diane Rich

Lani Diane Rich

Here I am, nearly three months later, still struggling to start. In their Badassery episode (episode zero) of the podcast, both Rich and Jones admitted that the thing didn’t want to do the most was usually what they needed to do. This included journaling. It made sense to me. So, I put my big girl pants on and ordered my own copy of “Rising Strong.” I knew if I was going to do this right, I was going to need to highlight the shit out of my book. Apparently the library discourages such behavior with their book.

Dr Kelly Jones

Dr. Kelly Jones

 

I came to terms that it is going to take me longer than most to get through this podcast series, but in the end it is going to be worth it. I also realized that I too will be journaling. Most things doing come to me quickly, especially learning hard lessons. It’s going to take a lot of words to truly work through my brain in a journey of self discovery.

I want to know myself better. I do not want to live in fear. I want to have purpose. I want to believe in myself. I want to give myself my best chance at life. This is exciting and terrifying. I know I will fall. But that’s not really the point is it? It’s about rising strong after I have fallen. The act of picking myself up, dusting myself off, and continuing to try and better myself is going to make me a stronger person.

Is it going to be hard? Undoubtedly. Will it be worth it? Hell yes it will. Let’s get started…

So, the quotes at the top of this article really stood out to me on my first read through of the first introduction. I was attracted to them, but I am not fully sure why. The best way for me to do this is question myself and work through them to the best of my ability.

What is truth? Who determines what truth is? I acknowledge that there are universal truths, cultural truths, religious truths, and personal truths. Aside from universal truths, I believe each category is quite subjective.

How do we know things? We are taught things by our parents (and them by theirs and so on) and all of the people that surround us. We know things by what we read. We know things by what we observe. We know things for experiencing them (discovering) for ourselves. We learn from our own mistakes, and we learn from the mistakes of others.

who am iEvery single discovery we make contributes to who we are and what we know in this world. There are many perspectives one could take; however, for me, I am on an absolutely terrifying journey of self discovery. Everything that I have ever done or that has ever been done to (or around) me is a part of who I am. I accept this. These experiences have giving me a unique perspective into the world through my eyes.

The third and final quote was the hardest for me to even contemplate. We all want to show up and be seen. You can’t see it, but I have literally stopped and have been sitting here for 15 minutes just thinking about that single line. How can this be true when I have spent most of my life hiding and trying to be invisible?

Am I an exception to this rule or have I been making excuses all of this time. I’m trying to figure out when the last time I was truly present and wanting that feeling of community. Until recently, I believe the last time I truly felt that desire, I was seven years old. My family was living in a duplex in Roebling New Jersey. I had a great second grade teacher where I was thriving. My best friend pretty much lived across the street from me and I had so much family close by.

travelingIn May of 1989 my father got a job in Oregon and my parents along with my younger brother Ben moved across the country. I didn’t truly understand the scope of the move and what it truly meant. I don’t remember saying good bye to my friends. The only family member I remember saying good bye to was my cousin Corinne (we may have been devising a plan to sneak her into the Blazer so she could come to Oregon too). Even that good bye was more of an “I’ll see you soon,” instead of a “its going to be years and years between the times we see each other.”

Between my second and third grade years I was depressed. I turned to food as a comfort. When I was twelve, there was some additional trauma in my life that launched me into a serious unhealthy relationship with food. Little did I know how devastating that was going to be to my life as a whole.

All of this to say, the choices I made and the experiences I had heavily influenced the way I saw myself. I won’t lie. I didn’t like what I saw, inside or out. It took my marriage nearly falling apart in February of this year for me to begin on a path that even allowed me to think that I did actually want to be seen and that I did want to matter. That is a huge self discovery, but I knew it was only the first step.

bloomingn flowers

Has it been easy? Not even a little. Do I think it’s going to be worth it? Absolutely. So here I am, publicly taking my first step. Will I fall? Yes. Will I learn from my mistakes and rise stronger than ever? Hell yes I will.

Just watch me.

Live: None Plus Five

I am so excited to officially announce the launch of my newest blog: None Plus Five: A Gilmore girls episodic blog series! I will be maintaining both sites, I just wanted to give my followers here at She Thinks the opportunity to check it out. Below you will find the introduction to the blog series. If it is something you are interested in (my writing, the show, both), I would be completely honored if you would check the page out and follow if you feel lead! 🙂

 

Much Love, Kristin

NP5

Welcome to None Plus Five: An episodic blog series devoted to all things Gilmore. This blog will cover seasons 1-7 of Gilmore girls and the Netflix revival, Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life. Each week I will watch and break down an episode. I will share my insights and how the show has profoundly changed my life.

Kristin GilmoreA little about me, your tour guide! My name is Kristin, I am in my mid thirties, and have been a Gilmore fan since it first aired in 2000. I own all of the DVDs and before Gilmore girls came to Netflix, I would watch the disc versions each and every year. I have been married for almost 10 years to my own version of Luke (named Steve) and that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee. No kids or fur babies yet, but I could definitely see a Paul Anka in the very near future.

I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in English and Creative Writing in 2013. I published my first book of poetry titled “The Silence Before the Snow” in 2007. I wrote for my college paper “The Advocate” at Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon many moons ago. I have toyed with blogging over the past ten years; however, I could never narrow my scope to focus on. Until now. Until Gilmore. Why it took me 17 years to get to this point, I may never know, but I am here now, with you, and that is what matters most.

How did I come up with my blog title: None Plus Five? That one is easiest explained by this clip (which happens to be the very first speaking scene in the pilot episode of Gilmore girls):

The current, but always subject to change plan (including descriptions of the different categories):

The Facts: Episode name and number. Original air date. Written by and directed by. With each I will also include information about what else they have written for and what else they have directed. I will also collect data as to how many episodes of Gilmore girls they wrote/directed.

The Overview: This one is just like it sounds. There will be a brief summary of the episode being evaluated.

Gilmore’s Can Eat: This will highlight the food that was mentioned or consumed within the episode and where (Sookie’s Kitchen, Friday Night Dinners, Luke’s Diner, etc).

Gilmore-isms: I will research and share as many of the pop culture references that I recognize throughout the episode.

Stars Hollow Books: This is where I will share/discuss the books and author’s mentioned on each episode of the show.

The Hep Alien Review: Music in Gilmore girls and artists/bands that are mentioned will be highlighted in this section with clips from You Tube so you can relive the music in one place.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee: A running total of how many cups of coffee Lorelai consumes in each episode.

Kirk-of-all-trades: Who can keep track of all of the jobs Kirk keeps throughout the series? We will!

The Quotable Gilmore: My personal favorite quote(s) from the episode.

The Good, The Bad, and The Awkward: What I liked, didn’t like, etc. From story lines, to scene set up, bad/awkward/confusing lines, and actor performances.

Episode Rating: The scale will be 1-10 cups of coffee.

**Content Release: My current plan is to put out one episode per week at first. This is the first kind of blog that requires regular scheduling and I am not fully clear on how long the process will take considering I still have a day job in Healthcare, spend time at the gym, and like to spend time with my husband.

I will keep this area updated as changes need to be made.

I am excited to explore the Gilmore world with you all!

If you’re interested in staying up to date with this blog series, please consider hitting that follow button to your right so that you will be notified when new content is released!

Copper Boom!

Productivity, Priorities, and Passion

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I plan most of my days (the night before) with lists of tasks to accomplish and goals to meet. I am full of good intentions until it is time to wake up and get going. Does anyone else have mornings like this? Days? Weeks? Months? I’ll stop there for both our sake’s. I have spiral notebooks that have countless daily tasks to complete and there are usually only one or two things crossed off as accomplished.

I have been asking myself recently “How can I be more productive in my day?”. It has been a challenge to figure out. I of course started out in denial and full of excuses:

I get up early everyday and go to the gym. I have assigned workouts for six of the seven days of the week. After the gym, I shower and start work. I’m working for nine and a half hours. I’m exhausted just thinking about that. I usually follow work up with tidying up the kitchen in the few minutes before my husband gets home from work. By the time dinner (and dishes again) is finished it is nearly time to get ready and go to sleep. Where is my free time? Where is my stress relief? Where is my relaxing time to read? And what about your writing aspirations? Are you too tired or had too long of a day to do anything about it?

I would almost always push my writing to the side with the excuse that I just don’t have the time. I am too tired from work to do more work. I’ll write tomorrow. I’ll write this weekend. I really would like to write a novel someday. That was a nice dream I had once. WHOA! Stop right there. That is a path I can not walk down any longer.

Writing is what I love. I’m not the greatest at it. I could probably use a full time editor for everything I write, but the passion is still there. The only way I’m going to get better is by actually practicing my craft. This not only includes the act of writing, but reading about writing, and listening to others talk about writing.

Somewhere along the way I think most of us got lost. When did work become a drag? A means to an end to survive? Work should be engaging, inspiring, and we should have clear goals and a path to take us in the right direction. Let’s be honest, no one is going to hold your hand and guide you through your passions. You need to carve your own path. It’s all about the blood, sweat, and tears to go from where you are now to where you want to be.

Here is what I have learned and plan on implementing into my daily life:

1) Writing is my passion. When I “work” on my craft, I do it because I want to. No one is paying me (yet, hopefully…) to put the time and energy into this aspect of my life. I am doing this for me and no one else.

2) Set clear and manageable daily goals.

3) Organize said goals in a priority list. What is most important to me to accomplish? Do that first. If I’m only going to accomplish one or two things on my list for the day, they need to matter and have meaning.

4) Stop making excuses. Everyone is tired. Everyone works hard. I am pushing myself because my passion demands it, and I DESERVE it.

5) Stop and enjoy the moment. Relish a little in the accomplishments of your day/week/month/year. Celebrate the big things and the small. You are chasing your dream. That is a big deal.

6) Forgive yourself. Most days won’t go as planned. You won’t accomplish nearly as much as you had originally wanted to. Some days, just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. You will fall. You will fail. It’s a part of life and it just happens. Forgive yourself when they do, and get up and keep trying. You are worth it.

7) Have fun. Challenge yourself. You’re making history. Enjoy.

What are your passions? What are you doing to achieve your dreams?

When Things Go Awry

jumbled mess

If only good intentions were enough to get us through the day. I had good intentions about my physical and mental health going into National Dance Day this past Saturday. I was having my typical introvert arguments with myself about being around gobs of people, but I got dressed for the gym and went anyway.

The dance room was far too small for the amount of women that showed up so the meet up was on the basketball court downstairs. I went into the day mentally prepared for 20-25 people at maximum. There was closer to 75. It was absolutely a great turn out to support my dance fitness instructor Kyya and the Lupus Foundation. She had her children checking people in and selling raffle tickets and all the while more women kept pouring in.

I am aware that I am an introvert and that me just walking up to strangers to start a conversation is probably never going to happen. I’m the awkward tall girl that stands near people and laughs at the jokes or smiles shyly if someone happens to look my way. Once I get to know a person; however, all bets are off.

This was not a get to know me event. This was a loud-talking-humid-filled room and it was overwhelming. I am not a small person, but I did my best to make myself as small as possible as people walked by.

I was approached for two things in the 20 minutes before the class started. The first was a request for me to move so people could put their bags down on the bench beside me. The other was if I would take pictures of these huge groups of friends that were there together. I quietly apologized and moved out of the way for the purse placers, and I became competent at taking pictures for other people. When they got what they needed from me, I was invisible again.

The force was still strong within me, and I knew I wanted to take the class, do my best, and support a good cause. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be doing things for others. Everyone should consider some sort of charity work.

One thing that I noticed immediately was that all of the advanced people (those that have been taking these classes far longer than me) were up front with the instructor. I am still in the learning process of all of these routines, and I struggled immensely to keep up/keep time with the rest of the group. I wasn’t alone in this struggle, as the whole back half of the room was filled with people not completely confident in what was going on. In hindsight, I probably could have (should have?) approached Kyya at the break and expressed my frustration. Instead… I let it get the better of me.

My will was failing me about an hour and fifteen minutes in. I was exhausted. There was no ventilation on the indoor court, so not only was it sticky and humid, it smelled like armpits and wet socks. It was hard to breathe and I let my guard down for a moment and that is why a panic attack swooped in. It’s one thing to deal with these on my own, but in public… let’s just say it is worse.

I left the moment the class was over. My head was down, I was focusing on trying to breathe. I couldn’t get out fast enough. I didn’t stay for the final door prizes and I did not talk to a single person on the way out. I only live two miles from my gym, but I cried all of the way home.

Once home, I talked to my husband who did an amazing job at making me laugh and focus on positive things. I wasn’t out of the woods yet though. I continued my sobbing in the shower and as my hair was drying.

I cannot remember the last time I felt that weak and defeated. My day had not gone at all according to my plans. My positive outlook on life was gone. I was in the middle of a pity party for one and briefly… I was okay being there.

But that is not really the purpose of this post today. The purpose of this post is to talk about what I learned. I learned that some days (a lot of days really) things are not going to go our way. We are going to be knocked down (a lot). The magic trick (which is no trick at all) is simply picking ourselves up again (easier said than done…but it can be done if you put the work in and it is always worth it).

My husband made an amazing point the other day (he does this a lot, thankfully!) about how it is okay for us to grieve when things don’t go as were hoped. Grieve, learn from any mistakes and to move on. We don’t want to be stuck in that wallowing stage (you know the one, where your friends stop calling as often because all you do is complain about how bad you have it and how the world is out to get you) for long. It is not a productive place to live.

This perspective really helped me focus my attention to other aspects of my life. And something even greater happened that very same day. I finally got up enough courage to start on a writing journey that mixes one of my most favorite television shows (Gilmore girls) and writing. In the coming weeks I will be starting a second blog that focus on GG only titled None Plus Five! I was going to try to do them on the same blog, and as much as I would like to, I just don’t see that happening the way I would like so a new one it is.

I have every intention of keeping up with both. This one will consist of all things that go on in my brain, and None Plus Five will focus on an episodic blog series where I will dissect every episode of Gilmore girls from the Pilot to the final episode of the 4-part revival series: A Year in the Life.

I have my work cut out for me and I couldn’t be more excited to get to work on what I love.

Perfectly Imperfect

perfectly imperfectTomorrow at noon I am participating in my first ever Dance Fitness Master Class. It is led by a woman named Kyya at my local gym and it is in support of the Lupus Foundation. It is a $10 class and it will last 90 minutes. A feat that I have yet to accomplish.

I have been struggling recently. I go back and forth with pure excitement and dread when it comes to this event. I’ve never been a huge people person, and I know this class will be packed. I am not a great dancer, which also leads to worry about screwing up in front of said people. I have been told time and again to not worry about what others think of me, but truth be told, it’s kind of a hard habit to break.

Have you ever walked into a room and you just know that people are judging every little thing about you—especially those things that you are most insecure about? I get that way all of the time. I just know people are making fun of my weight, or noticing that giant (but tiny) pimple on my chin, or that my hair is super fine and it looks like that I am losing my hair.

Sure, there may be some asshats out there that actually do that, but the truth is, that voice that is feeding your insecurities is coming from you. I am the one who is most judging myself because of my size. I am the one that is flooded with worry about people noticing a blemish. I am most insecure about my hair, so I would allow myself to tear myself apart. I would feed my own fear and shame flame.

This destructive pattern has to be broken. The more positive we think about ourselves, the more confident we will be in everything that we do. The truth is, everyone is so consumed with self, that most of the time they don’t have the time or energy on focusing on others and their insecurities.

I have to remind myself of these things on a daily basis. Sometimes more often than that. But the more I encourage myself. The more I tell myself good things. The better I feel and the happier I will live.

Tomorrow, I am going to walk into that Master Class with my head held high. I am going to allow myself to enjoy the dancing. I will forgive myself when I mess up or when I cannot keep up with the rest. I will have a good time and I will feel good about myself. I will walk out of that class a better person not just for doing the work out, not just doing something for charity, but for simply being true to who I am and accepting myself with all of my imperfections. The freedom to be myself without fear or judgment or shame. That’s pretty powerful.

Hello, my name is Kristin and I am perfectly imperfect.

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