All Used Up

Photo by Hernan Sanchez

I wanted to write some sort of flowery feel good post about fall. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love the season of ugly ugg boots and ratty grandpa sweaters? If you don’t love fall I’m pretty sure we can’t be friends. This is the season of cozy, all wrapped up, not going no where for nobody season. An introverts dream. MY dream.

Anyways that was supposed to be the point of this post. But I can’t sit here and lie to my readers. 

Truth is I wanna be cozy wrapped up in sweaters sippin’ hot cocoa til my lips turn blue. But I can’t seem to chill. I want to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Doesn’t make sense I know but that’s how I feel. 

I feel like I write about this over and over but I’ll keep venting to this online journal of sorts until it writes itself away. 

The mind is a very powerful tool, that can also be used as a weapon. Your negative thoughts can creep in and turn your mind against you in a matter of seconds. Once a faithful friend, now a backstabbing foe. The mind maps out his plan of attacks. Laying them on one at a time, day by day. Until you wake up and don't recognize who you see in the mirror anymore.

"Who is that person?" You whisper to yourself. Only to see that the reflection mimics exactly what you do.

That reflection IS you. 

So, you don't like what you see huh? Me either. Which can only mean it’s time to take steps towards some change, towards some good ole’ fashion soul cleansing:

1. Watch what you feed your soul

There is so much darkness in the world. Really there is. You don’t have to search to find it. It crawls through your twitter feed and it’s sprinkled throughout your next favorite Netflix binge. Don’t feed from it though. Don’t let it fuel your day. 

2. It’s okay to take it slow

When there are days you can’t seem to make it out of bed, don’t punish yourself for it. Take care of your body and love your body. Listen to it. Eat when your hungry and sleep when your tired. 

3. You don’t have to be okay all of the time

I’m the best when it comes to faking a smile. THE ABSOLUTE BEST I SHOULD WIN AN ACADEMY AWARD. But seriously, stop. Faking it will make you even more tired and more worn out and more tired of the world you live in. Learn how to be more transparent with the people in your life who are willing to listen (I’m learning this too).

4. You are not on this earth to please everyone.

So STOP. 

5. Make time for yourself. 

Last night I put in a Pixar movie and grubbed on popcorn and jalapeno peppers. I’m more than okay with this and will not apologize for it. 

So this post is a little bit all over the place. But thank you for bearing with me. Thank you for peeking in on a little bit of my soul. Remember to take of yourself.

Remember that when your all used up, there's peace to be found in rest. 

 

 

You’ll Never Be Good Enough, Here’s Why:


Lately I’ve become…frustrated. I guess that’s the appropriate word. However it’s used so commonly it desensitizes everything I’m currently feeling. Like when your mom used to make you go to school even though you swore you were sick. You could’ve been on your death bed yet she’d still say, “If you‘re well enough to sit up and watch cartoons you’re well enough to get to class.” 

Dang school. Did we ever really learn anything? Do I know how to file my taxes without the help of Turbo Tax? No.

Anyways so yeah. Here I am, frustrated with the way things are currently going in my life. The world isn’t ending and I’m not living in a box on the side of the road. But creatively, mentally, I feel that I’ve hit rock bottom. There is a wall that constantly makes an appearance at the front of my brain. Cutting off all thoughts that just might be the saving grace in all of this. But it doesn’t matter, because I can’t get to them. 

I feel. Stuck. 

Like the last kid chosen for the dodgeball team. I would never be good enough to be first. 

not good enough not good enough not good enough.

Everything I’ve been spitting out for the past few months has been trash. I don’t publish it and I don’t tell anyone about it. I just let it sit on my bedside table as it takes up space, slowly rotting.  A time bomb I can’t diffuse. 

not good enough not good enough not good enough.

After being tormented by my half written stories for too long. I finally ask myself. Why aren’t I good enough? Because let’s face it…you can only wander around like this for so long before you go mad. I faced myself in the mirror. Not figuratively, I really did this. Just like in the movies. I examined myself in the bathroom mirror and tried desperately to break down the science of why I was stuck. And my brain started to do that thing it does when it feels threatened. It lies and comes up with excuses and starts comparing my progress to others. 

failure, faker, you’re a fake.

Ah. Comparison. That little bugger could very well be the death of me if I let it. And this summer I almost let it. 
It creeps in and tells you that if Sarah and Allie and Anthony and Jasmine are doing it and they’re all younger than you, then what the heck are you doing with your life? They are so successful and they're pursuing their dreams in ways you could literally only imagine because you’ll never make it that far. They are all doing this NOW and you’re sitting here staring at a piece of paper while you wait for your leftover pizza to stop spinning around in the microwave. 
They are waiting on their private jet to arrive and you are waiting on a MICROWAVE to ding. Of course success isn't measured in private jets but let's face it, this stuff can eat away it you over time.

MICROWAVE.

People. When I say comparison is a doozy. Believe me. Comparing your journey to the journey of someone else’s will slowly start to do enough damage until one day you’ll wake up and completely, totally hate yourself. And the worst thing is. You’ll have no clue why or how it began. You’ll just know that every time you try to do YOUR thing you’ll seem to trip and fall. And each time it gets harder and harder to get back up because you can’t seem to get past the other people who are running miles past you. Jumping hurdles even. What you DON’T see is all the crap they had to get through to make it where they are now. 

You don’t see the struggle. The absolute worst part of their lives. The days they wanted to quit and say this is TOO MUCH I CAN’T ANYMORE. This book I’m trying to write is NOT worth it and only 3 people will read it and I will never make a difference and WHO CARES and SHUT THE CURTAINS and I’M GOING BACK TO BED and all their motivation is gone.

My friends, comparison is just a lie all wrapped up in a fancy suit.

So:

Focus on your journey and YOUR journey alone. Do better because you can do better, not because you think someone else’s stuff is better. Crank out better quality projects because YOU know YOUR standards could be higher, not because Sally’s making a profit on an idea she thought of in grade school. Do without the fear of failing. Do without the need of comparison, and focus on YOU. This is your time to be selfish, because you’ll never be good enough if you’re always looking over your shoulder at someone else’s life…

 

 

Norway stole my heart, again.

Coming to Norway is like seeing someone you love that you haven’t seen in a very long time. Tears fill your eyes when you arrive and you make sure to study every detail of that person. You memorize their smile and the unique sound of their laugh. You take lots of pictures and stay up til 3am talking, exchanging thoughts. But no matter how hard you try you’ll never capture the exact way you feel when you’re right there beside them. And when it’s time to go, you cry because you realize that there’s a part of you that will be missing once you get back home. Everything else will seem like a counterfeit of the real thing. And that hole in your heart won’t be complete until you see that person again. That’s how I feel whenever we visit Norway.

The people we meet quickly become family and when we have dinner at the table, I get a little bit homesick for a place I've never called home,

because I know it'll be a while before I'm back here.

Lamb and potatoes. SO GOOD.

Lamb and potatoes. SO GOOD.

Every table had so much detail.

Every table had so much detail.

Photo of Siggjo Mountain from Wikipedia

Photo of Siggjo Mountain from Wikipedia

Never have I felt so invincible!

DSC04294.jpg
It's official.

It's official.

My Norwegian sis and mum, Katrine and Torill. Love you two so much! 

My Norwegian sis and mum, Katrine and Torill. Love you two so much! 

Home of the best fish soup.

If I woke up every morning to this...

Mama Torill 

Mama Torill 

I held a live crab folks. 

I held a live crab folks. 

If You Sit Still Long Enough, You Just Might Hear God

Photo by Pierre Bouillot

Photo by Pierre Bouillot

I’m never home. I stay out late. With people, or alone. Either is fine as long as I’m not home, in my own room with my own thoughts for too long.

I listen to music. Always.

A podcast.

Something with sound waves. Anything with sound waves.

I frequent cafes for work and friends homes and new restaurants and theaters and church and–

If you sit still long enough–

I surf the web and respond to emails and create to do lists in my head that never go away when I lay down to sleep because anxiety drowns me, holding me captive whenever I want to relax. Good sleep might as well be a dream because it’s now just a figment of my imagination.

If you just learn how to be still.

When I can’t sleep Netflix provides temporary comfort. No social effort required from my end, making an introverted life easy to live but not easy to accept. I should get out of bed I think to myself. But I don’t.

If you would just–

I fidget a lot when I have to sit still. My thoughts make me uncomfortable because in the silence God finds me, asking me the hard questions that I refuse to acknowledge because sometimes change hurts and not changing is easier.

If you would just listen–

But in the silence when He finds me is also the most comforting. In a still, small voice He whispers, I am with you always. And in an instant the fears that have pulled me under go away, and the clouds of chaos and confusion vanish in His presence. In the silence I find peace and despite the absolute craziness in the world I find hope. A real hope that can’t be manufactured or produced, only found.

If you would only be still for just a moment, what would you hear?

You Can't Do It All

I‘m freakin’ superman. Or at least I thought I was until I had a meltdown last week. With boogers in my eyes and a t-shirt that I’m pretty sure screamed I should’ve been washed weeks ago, I threw my arms around my fluffy hotel pillow and yelled into it.

I felt like Lex Murphy in Jurassic Park. One second I’m relieved eating jello, shooting the breeze with John Hammond. And the next, all hell breaks loose as the t-rex I’ve been trying to avoid stomps closer and closer. 

Impending doom.

Jello starts to jiggle and the fear of God overtakes my body. I can hear it breathing now and one second later I’m standing in front of it, staring it right between the eyes. Only I’m not facing a man eating t-rex, I’m looking into the eyes of the life ahead of me. It’s terrifying and it’s ready to bite my head off. 

Okay, I’m being a tad bit dramatic. 

Life is not a tyrannosaurus rex and I haven’t had jello in years. But it is TERRIFYING. 

And when we really have time to sit and think about our lives, our minds tend to place periods at the ends of sentences we take too long to finish. And uncompleted tasks and unreached goals have a way of floating around in our heads as constant reminders of our inability to keep up with our overambitious selves. They whisper to us, “failure…failure…failure”. 

And very often we listen. Buying into the lie that we can’t do it. And the truth is, 

WE CAN.

Just not all at once. Not all today. As humans we always have these long lists to scratch off in our heads and hashtag goals to become and 3 month business plans to accomplish and we start to believe this weird sort of fantasy that everything good in our lives is supposed to magically fall into place overnight. 

NO.

Not all at once is a strategic business plan, attending networking events and meetings over coffee and meetings with strangers and meetings with friends who may become investors and contract mockups and late night conference calls, and traveling with lost luggage and finding someone to design a logo and someone to run the numbers and someone to tell you no you shouldn’t say yes to that price and-

Not all at once isn’t hashtag goals but a dating life that takes time to develop with phone calls and notes scribbled on the backs of napkins and let me pick you up in my car and drop you off before midnight and lets go hiking or let’s do nothing, together. What’s your favorite color and what do you hate the most about the world but what do you love about it too? Finding good in the bad. And not letting the bad ruin the good. 

Not all at once is allowing yourself to have a realistic expectation of time. It’s learning what it means to pace yourself and keep your eyes on the finish line without getting burned out. It’s allowing yourself time to take a break, when needed, as often as needed. Eating ice cream, a whole pint. Jogging in the rain. Getting a massage. Laughing so hard your belly hurts. Going to the movies alone. Seeing the world, one overseas trip at a time. 

You can do it. Just not all at once.