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


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


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?