The road between hate & life

It was brutal how early I woke up this morning to get into the (Pilates) studio. I (assistant) taught then took a level 2 and now as my arms are a little shaky, I’m writing to you. A lot is going through my mind at the moment, advanced apologies if it seems convoluted.

As I was checking through social media and just mindlessly scrolling, my mind just centered on one thing…Vegas.

We can all agree that the shooting in Vegas was abhorrent. A depiction of the very lowest of humanity. Evil. Cowardly. And the questions that linger… how many times do we have to go through this? Why/how does this happen? What should our response be?

A few of my friends have mentioned they have friends who’ve been affected by this tragedy, one had a friend she knew of that was a victim. She didn’t make it. At a loss for words verbally for how I feel or how I think we should lament on the past couple of days, I’ve decided to write down a few thoughts.

This collection of thoughts can be summed up in a single sentence: In a world where hate is thriving, be a person who lives a life of purpose, value and love.

We’re shown a world full of terrible, no good, very bad things every minute of everyday. Our response can be a choice to make this statement a priority.

We make a million tiny little/big decisions every single day that either mold us into the best version of ourselves or the worst. Humanity at it’s worst doesn’t happen overnight, it’s the culmination of a million tiny little bad/selfish/hateful decisions.

We can do better than this.

On Purpose — Be so resolute about intentionality. We have so little time. Stop wasting it on things that don’t matter, people who don’t deserve it and monotony that’s slowly killing your dreams and desires. Live life on purpose. Daily. Wholeheartedly. Give yourself the freedom to pivot when it makes sense.

On Value — Purpose and value are sort of synonymous. Purpose is the intent of doing and value is the result of doing. Nothing lacks value. It either adds or takes away. Be ever aware of what/who adds value in your life and what you’re adding value to.

On Love — Love is a term so overused and undervalued. It’s just a word that we use as fluff in everyday vernacular. Instead, be more intentional about the act of love. The choice of love. Kindness you can give away freely, but love… that one I feel we can be a little more selfish about.

Love yourself more. Believe all the good things about yourself. When we are full, happy and filled with joy and purpose we add value to those around us. Empty people don’t fill others, unhappy people don’t make people happy. Therefore, loving yourself and making you a priority is not a selfish endeavor, it’s a necessity. And, stop wasting your time accepting all the worst things about yourself. So what, you have bad qualities, do better… evolve. Become the very best version of yourself, you deserve to live that life.

Love others well. Tell them you love them, show them you love them and accept their love. Even when it’s hard. And, the thing that I am so so so incredibly bad at, believe people when they tell/show you how they feel. When people like you, care about you, love you… just accept it. Sometimes I even vocalize it if I don’t believe it, “[so and so] really likes/loves me.” I need to start believing those things too. We need to stop overcomplicating human emotions.

So there you have it, three thoughts on how we move forward. As someone who thinks entirely too much about everything and has a tendency to over verbalize and give unsolicited advice, I’m giving most of this advice to myself. I am so incredibly lucky. Lucky to even have the luxury of being as ridiculous and dark and twisty as I am, feeling anxiety about superficial things is a freakin’ breeze compared to the alternative. So incredibly lucky to be able to get up in a new-to-me house, adorable puppy at my feet, and get up SUPER early for Pilates. I’ve seen things and done things this year I’ve only ever dreamed about, I just did the things. Lucky. So incredibly and unfathomably lucky. And, I don’t ever really appreciate that. I should start doing that.

So, what is my own response? I just want to be more intentionally kind, not nice, actually kind. I want to continue to be obsessive about happiness, mine and others around me. I want to love wholeheartedly and without fear. I want to stop letting fear have a foothold in my life. This means stop putting things off that would make me incredibly sad if I never did them… i.e. write that blasted book! Spend my time more wisely and intentionally, not just be “busy.” Be less selfish. And just allow myself to breath and not spend life moments wasted on debilitating emotions. Laugh more. Give more.

I just challenge you to do the same. In moments of tragedy, where we can’t really do much of anything for those affected, what can your response be? How can we fill the world with a little more light again?

Thank you for reading my nonsense, and sticking around the way that you do. I can’t believe it, but thank you abundantly for spending a little time with me. I hope you find your best life. And, I hope it makes you happy. We need more happy in the world.

 

Inciting Change

Stay in and

I’m currently reading/listening to Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. I love it already. Mainly… I need it. I need to be reminded that my crazy, insane and really full life still has meaning, still has purpose in the midst of all the chaos. I so often fill it with activities, things, or work that has no purpose. To reassess current priorities is something we all often need to do.

It’s easy to be away, to take a step back and say I need to prioritize my life to be more about experiences. That’s easy. (It’s probably why I adore being anywhere but here most of the time.) But in the most mundane of days, weeks, months… priorities become skewed in the search for perfection. I am often guilty of pursing that I forget to be present in the moment. Blame it on so many things… anxiety, fear or the feeling of not “enough-ness” of it all. But I’m afraid that pursuit, that constant doing it all, can also be traced back to heartbreak… at least in my life.

Anyone has the capacity to break your heart. That’s why “guard your heart” is so often given as a warning in works of literature, the Bible, and by various intelligent people who’ve gained the fortitude to be quoted. We often think of heartbreak in the capacity of romantic love. While that is often an intense kind of heartbreak, mainly because it’s a different kind of vulnerability than we give up in any of other relationships, heartbreak comes in many different forms.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about. It’s not an easy thing to acknowledge. You have to lean into it. You have to feel it. And it feels well…heartbreaking. Soul crushing. The most resolute form of “not enough-ness” that you can feel probably comes from grief and heartbreak. The two are synonymous emotions.

So, recently, I’ve been digging into these feelings. You can’t ever really heal until you do. It all started with a few questions that came from a friend, questions that were hard to answer. Things that were hard to think about. I bury things. Well… at least the dark and twisty things you don’t even talk to your best friends about. I shove them way down deep, because not everything has to be talked about. I can be open and honest and authentic without being too vulnerable…right? I digress.

Heartbreak. The idea of crushing grief, anguish or distress. For me it’s come in the form of friends dying too soon, missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime after I’ve spent months praying over it and having incredible anxiety over it only to lose out at the last minute to someone more qualified, it came when the people who were suppose to be there for me in my darkest hour just weren’t, it came from the shaming that members of the church put me through, family that doesn’t really acknowledge so many things about me and yes, the most intense form being a couple of different relationships that were suppose to be, but just weren’t because I wasn’t enough. The “not enough-ness” is soul crushing.

The more people leave you, whether it’s forever or just their presence when you really need them, the more you just expect it. Heartbreak is one of those things in life that is cyclical. You can let it destroy you, or you can let the wounds heal and find the good in the situation.

So, needless to say, when I read this quote today I felt a pang of relief. The idea that all of this heartbreak has purpose. It beckons a call to change. Change your life, change your relationships, change your circumstances.

Losing my friends taught me to live life to the fullest, to periodically check in with myself and make sure that I’m adding value but also enjoying my life. Stop putting things off. Travel more. Knock things off my bucket list, now. Several failed romantic endeavors saved me from making terrible decisions or spending time and energy on people who ultimately are not right for me. Love is a choice. When someone doesn’t choose you, they are not right for you. The situation with the church forced me to reassess who and what I believe in and realize that the church is full of broken and fallible people and that they are not synonymous with who God is. God is love. He gives grace when humans fail to do so in so many ways. I’ve had to give up friends, distance myself emotionally from my family and break up with relationships because of situational heartbreak. I came out stronger. The change it incited made me who I am today. I am strong. I am smart. I am tenacious. I am caring. I am empathetic. I am funny. There are many other things that I am, qualities I would have probably not leaned in to had it not been for heartbreak. And… I learned to take care of myself. To be alone. I am really good at it. Sometimes you have to learn to be alone before you can think about being with anyone else.

While what I want, what my priorities are, and how I choose to spend my time may fluctuate… who I am doesn’t. Growth and evolution have come from these changes. These changes, apparently, can be chocked up to heartbreak. So, perhaps heartbreak doesn’t have to destroy us. It doesn’t always have to suck the wind right out of us. It can lead us into different seasons that we are ultimately suppose to be in.

Heartbreak can be redeeming.

 

 

#28LessonsLearned

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Here I am, another year older and perhaps a smidge wiser. Hopefully. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you might have noticed that I did a series of posts tagged #28lessonslearned. Spoiler alert, I turned 28 at the end of that series. The goal was to eventually tie all of those into a blog post to culminate and further explain all the posts, but I decided against it. Instead, I’m writing this post to catch you guys up on my illustrious life. (exaggerating of course)

This past year I’ve grown leaps and bounds. I’ve put myself through the ringer. I made a promise early on to grow into experiences, not things. I became an aunt for the second time. I became a fur mom for the first time. I dated. I traveled. I wrote. I adventured. And, numerous other things that I’ve lived to tell about.

Amongst all of those things is the one where I learned to love myself. You’d note that in the #28lessonslearned I demonstrate that wholeheartedly. Learning to say no to myself was one of the biggest growing moments I dealt with last year. I had to say no to my version of perfect and accept the present. I had to say no to what unrealistic expectations I had for myself in every area of my life. I had to say no to how I talked to myself almost daily. I learned that no is powerful. I learned that words are powerful. The words we hold within our spirit that are solely meant for us may be the most powerful of all.

In that revelation, the one where I stop being so shitty to myself, I learned how awesome I am. Some days I still don’t believe it. Some days people can tell me that I am the most awesome person on the face of the planet and I will still crawl into a hole as though I am that kid picked last for gym class. Until the day comes when you can accept the good things about yourself wholeheartedly, you will never be able to accept the compliments that people give to you as truth. You are wonderful. I am wonderful.

Real life, real people aren’t perfect. I took this photo the day before my birthday. I hated it and picked it apart and tried to over filter it so it looked halfway decent. My best friend took it and she refused to let me a. not post it and b. over filter it to the point of no return. I took it because I just got my nose pierced, something I had been wanting to do for YEARS. The imperfection of that photo made me not want to share this little victory with the world. I am brave. She said, “Post that photo, even though you don’t like it, it will be good for you.” So I did. I am brave.

Bravery is built in the little moments. It is built in the small mundane things we are afraid of. It is me getting my nose pierced. It is me sharing my thoughts on this blog where the whole world has privy to it. It is me traveling via the ocean to another country, something I was terrified of doing because the ocean is a scary, dark abyss. Bravery comes in small increments. I am brave.

So… in this new year, what will I do? First, I’ll finish what I’ve started. I’ll become a Pilates instructor. I will finish my book. I will write more and more on this little blog. I will write MORE wherever and whenever I can. Numerous people have told me that I’m a good writer, so I will write. I love to write. A great writer was all I ever wanted to be, but I was afraid of it for so long. Being told you are good at that one thing that you’ve always wanted to be but are afraid to do, well it kinda makes your heart explode and it kinda makes you want to do it all the days of your life. I am brave.

Other things I might do… travel to more places on the bucket list. Most notably, Everest Base Camp. Start a business (oh yes, I’ve had a few things brewing for a while now, perhaps I’ll finally get that stuff together). Find my person… hey, one can hope.

Cheers to inspiring yourself. May you find that you are capable of making yourself happy every day of your life.

 

Making SHIFT Happen

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Have you ever seen a worn down old rock in the middle of a river? I found this quote early Spring 2016 and it’s stuck with me since. It’s become an anthem as I persist into things I’ve never done before. It’s become background noise as I become broken down and tired and ready to move on to other things. It becomes the voice inside my head telling me I need to/ can do better. It’s a very important quote in my repertoire of quotes. Because, words are a powerful reminder.

I’ve got a confession to make. I have been slacking. I am a person who feels too much, thinks too much and wants to accomplish too much all the same time. In the event that all of these things coexist together, I shut down. I withdraw.

My routine is no exception to this. If anything it is an expectation, the routine is the first thing to go off kilter when my life gets out of whack!

Can I get an AMEN?

Cue Shift Shop. Today is the first day back with a few of my accountability peeps and we all decided to do Shift Shop together (virtually of course), and hold one another accountable. If you don’t know what Shift Shop is you can read all about it here.

I wanted to be held accountable to all of things I say I want like I’ve done with my health in the last year. So I picked a few friends. I decided on the day. It’s here.

I picked this program because it’s outside of my comfort zone but still looks fun and manageable. The meal plans/shopping lists and workouts are all provided on the Beachbody OnDemand website. You can go here to learn more. Super Super Easy.

Right now, I need easy. I’m coming out of a deep hole of hiding from not just my routine but my goals and expectations for myself.

The last year I’ve changed dramatically. I’ve lost a lot of the weight (physically and emotionally) that I’ve been holding on to for the last decade of my life. It’s also crippling because you never want to go back to that place. Since my routine has been gone, I’ve seen how easy it is to go back to that place. So, I’ve decided to #MAKESHIFTHAPPEN , because this program is all about the physical shift AND the mental shift! I can’t wait to share my days with you all. Also another #goal. Cheers to that!

Want to join me?!?! It’s ONLY day numero uno! I’d love to have you! If you would like to join me, email katefriedel@gmail.com OR go to my website here and I will contact you!

But in the meantime, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS that need a little Shift to happen in order to achieve?!?! I’d love to hear them!

I became a travel writer

What would my life look like if I got everything I wanted the way in which I dreamed up in my mind? I would undeniably complain a whole lot less than I do, have less anxiety about everything and probably be a lot less personally aware. In short, it would be glorious but my life would be boring.

A week and a half ago I found this travel agency that wanted bloggers to help them beef up their online presence. Naturally… being the travel addict and content junkie that I am…I applied. At first, I was rejected because I priced myself above the bracket. I’m new to the whole charging per word sort of thing. I felt like a dunce, but humbly asked them to reconsider and to accept that I normally have an hourly rate and I’m new to the whole freelance world. I.E. I’m a dummy, please give me another shot. They did. They said that my writing style and candor was exactly what they were looking for in a writer for their team. I received my prompts and had them delivered within 24 hours, even though they gave me a seven day deadline. I was a little overzealous. But, I felt really good about the work that I did and I turned it in. I received my first payment within two days.

In a span of a week and a half, I was officially a travel blogger. Though it didn’t look exactly like I thought and I in no way can make a full-time living out of it, yet, I got paid to do something I LOVE. Travel writing is my dream! It melds two things I absolutely adore together, writing and travel!

I’m not perfect at it, I need space and time to grow in it. But, I’m doing it. I’m doing the thing that I thought was impossible, and I didn’t even realize it.

Why does this matter? Why should you care? Because, friends, sometimes the things that we are searching for… the dreams that we’re seeking, they are there. They are in the small opportunities we are granted each and every day. It means we have to let go of what “perfect” looks like…and allow ourselves to pivot. We pivot in a way that gives us margin to say “Yes, this may not be the exact thing I am looking for, but it will give me the opportunity to learn and grow so that when what I am looking for comes along, I will be ready.”

Grow in the small opportunities, in the one’s that don’t necessarily make sense but feel right. Allow yourself the time, freedom and grace to pivot in your own life. Give yourself the fortitude to do big things in small increments… you never know where they’ll lead!

My Anxiety Isn’t Truth

john-towner-117309I have a few friends who come to me with weighty things, well I have a lot people who come to me with weighty things. I am THAT friend. The mom, the listener, the one who can give you sage advice. This is not vanity, I just know that role I play in a lot of my relationships. I can handle the heavy stuff. Sometimes.

You deserve to feel the full spectrum of human emotion. This is my sage advice. This is my mantra. When days get really tough, for no apparent reason, this is what I tell myself. But, even though it is true… I don’t believe it in my bones. I still hide behind falsities of cheer and fake smiles because fake it ’til you make it right?

The past few weeks I have been so inspired by those who have talked about their anxiety in a real and authentic way. So , in an effort to bear more of my authentic life; an effort to make you understand that most people who appear to have it all together don’t; and an effort to let you know you’re not alone, I share my heart.

At the end of the day, a lot of thoughts are still my own…because well, they are crazy. I know that my anxiety is just lies, my depression is just lies and that I can do a lot of things to make it better; but in this moment, in this point of time — before all granola visualizations and prayer — before all of that, this is what I feel. This is my inner monologue. I know it isn’t true.

Anxiety & Leaving the House: I am 5-10 minutes late anywhere I go when I am the last to leave the house. I get in my car, then I realize that I used the straightener and maybe this one time the automatic off switch will malfunction so I go in to turn it off. Then unplug it. Then I make sure I turned everything else off. Did I use the stove this morning? Did I lock the back door? Is Fitz secured in his cage? (He almost never gets locked in his cage.) Does he have a toy? Are there any electronics near the cage? If there are any cords around the he will chew them and electrocute and die. If there is anything chewable around, he will pick it up and choke on it and die. If the house catches on fire, he will be stuck in his cage and die. I should just stay in. Now I’m late to work, oh my gosh did I close the garage?

Anxiety & Work: My boss looked at me funny today. What does a non-smile but smirking actually mean. Oh, I’m getting fired. I have nothing to do today, oh crap, I’m getting fired. In my consulting… I’m really bad at media relations. No one is responding. No one. These press releases are damn good and no ones responding. Fired. I’m going to get fired from everything and end up living with my parents and then eventually on the street, forever.

Anxiety & Coaching: People don’t believe me. I haven’t really lost that much, right? Do you think people thought I wasn’t “that fat” before and so now they don’t really care? I just messaged her, OMG I offended her. She thinks I think she’s fat. She thinks I think she’s lazy. Am I wording this correctly? I’m really terrible at this. Oh crap, I forgot to post today, people think I’m slacking. I really did work out, I really did eat healthy. I really do believe in this. Can’t they tell? What if I’m too overzealous. What if I post TOO many selfies? Omg, I hate selfies. I’m becoming one of THOSE girls. Who are THOSE girls? What a terrible thing to think. Crap, it’s 9:30 and I didn’t post anything today. I’m the worst. Do I really post enough to be authentic? What if I fail? I want out.

Anxiety & Dating: Oh, he’s cute. Oh he looked at me. Crap, I have something in my teeth. AVERT GAZE immediately. Look away. Ok, now you made it awkward. Oh, you like me, you’re asking me to dinner? How in the world can I get out of this? Okay, I’m going to go. I don’t like any of my clothes. Okay I’m dressed. Okay I’m here ten minutes early. That’s overeager. I’ll just sit on my phone in the car. *Checks makeup, checks phone.* Crap, I’m a minute late. What if he thinks I’m rude because I’m late? Oh geez, I’m going to die alone. I. AM. SO. AWKWARD. Oh, this is going great, nothing to fear. I am the best at dating. Crap…long pause. Oh, no I talk too much. He’s bored. What to say? Say literally anything. ANYTHING. Why aren’t you talking? *Panic attack*. This is the worst. Oh no, here comes the check. CRAP. Do we go dutch? Do I pay? Do I let him pay? We’re not dating,there is no expectation of him paying. He pays. Whew. Next time I pay. But what does that say? I’m too independent? No, I just want him to know I don’t expect anything. Crap. What if he doesn’t know thats what I want him to know? Oh, now it’s awkward again. Sheesh, this is the worst.

Anxiety & Friendships: This person hates me because I flaked yet again. I don’t want to go out of the house. I’m going to lose all my friends. They think I’m the worst. They are going to die and I’m not going to get to tell them I love them. I am going to die and none of them will come because I flaked out…yet again. Flake. Flake. Flake.

Anxiety & Traveling: I’m going to forget my passport. I’m going to get Taken. I’m going to fall off the boat and die. I’m going to get lost and then taken. I’m going to forget my credit card and be locked in a foreign prison unable to pay my debts. Plane crash. Tapeworm.

Anxiety & Health: My heart just fluttered, heart attack. *Panic attack about heart attack*. Brain hurts in a weird spot, brain tumor. Forget something, early onset AlZ … I’m going to get this. But when… (…mind plays out diagnosis of ALZ & subsequent life…should’ve kept more journals.)

Okay, I’m going to stop there because my anxiety is making me anxious. These are a lot of the real thoughts that go through my head in some of these situations. I was in college before I realized that the very real debilitating episodes I was having were panic attacks. I remember very vividly being crippled with a fear that came out of nowhere about nothing in particular  and seeing spots and trying to calm an anxious heart. I was stuck in that spot for what seemed like eternity, feeling completely and utterly alone in the world. I’ve always had high anxiety and because I am a creative, the scenarios are very real and thought out to me. I understand now that I am not alone in these thoughts. I also understand that coming out about how I feel doesn’t mean that I also don’t believe I am one badass lady boss. I totally still believe in myself. I know that I can accomplish anything but at the same time, I will play out all the scenarios of defeat before it gets accomplished. Because, insecurity is not the same thing as anxiety.

That it is just part of my *flawsomeness* that makes me, me. Hi, my name is Kate and I suffer from mental illness in the form of depression and anxiety. Much like alcoholism or any other addiction, it can destroy your life if you let it take over. But when we talk about our struggles and we do things to ease their presence over us, like exercise, prayer, personal development and practicing self-care…we can have more good days than bad.

The Glass Is Refillable

If you know anything about me or follow me on social media…this past year has been a season of molting. Like a butterfly, (Cheesy, but I can’t really think of any other analogy on this so please bear with me.) I’ve been shedding the layers that kept me from becoming who I was meant to be. Letting go of doubt, fear, expectations, limits, subconscious ideals…etc. It’s been tough. Once I started coaching in December, I decided that part of this process (scary as that may be) needed to be lived out in the open. I needed to be authentic about all areas of my life if I was going to keep this growing process going. I needed to be real real…not just with myself, but with others.

I am what you would call an extroverted introvert. I am equally both, but as I get older I’ve found that I find solace and rest and renewal in leaning into my introverted ways. It is sometimes exhausting to me to be around other people believe it or not. When I am having a very introverted day, week or even month…I just simple can’t force myself to be excited about being in a room filled with people. It’s daunting and it’s hard and depleting. My inner ambivert also battles with the need to constantly build and foster relationships. One on ones and small groups of close friends aren’t nearly as hard, but sometimes…I really just want to go home and cuddle with my puppy.

I want you to know that this is completely real to me, this whole ambivert, extrovert, introvert thing. Some people have been like oh your just shy and quiet…well, no I’m not and I can for sure talk to a brick wall. But the fact of the matter is that we all get recharged in different ways. Mine just doesn’t happen to be in a party-like setting or out in a large gathering…most of the time. It has nothing to do with the people and everything to do with me.

So, I’m going to level with you. In my effort to continuously pursue my best life and authentically share it in front of you. I am here to tell you that it is really really really really   *BLEEPING* hard sometimes. Can I get an amen here? In my newly found pursuit of the glass half full life and my constant need to grow and give, I’ll be honest with you…that glass gets emptied really fast.

I was on my way in to work Tuesday morning and I hit the lever of our parking garage. I mean, I am not going to tell you I am the world’s worst driver but for real, like for real, I think that I need to just take UBER everywhere or maybe God is telling me to live in a city where I can walk everywhere (cough *Seattle* cough). But, I hit it. Then I forgot to go down and make sure everything was okay so I got paged to do that from work. Awesome. So any of my friends reading this who park in the parking garage that can be fun, you know the one, yeah that big dent was me.

I’ve also been dealing with a crazy sinus infection for the last week that I can’t really seem to get rid of. So, when I decided to cheer myself up on Monday, (before the whole garage debacle mind you) I used my free coffee coupon and I downloaded a free Audible audiobook written by Chip and Joanna Gaines. So I am driving in my car on the thirty minute drive home drinking my coffee, listening to my new audiobook…and I start BALLING.

I listen to the book again on Tuesday (after the whole garage debacle mind you), and I start BALLING. What is the deal?!?! The thing is, I cry now. I didn’t use to. I use to be tough as nails, and bottled that s*it up man…rub some dirt in it. But layer after layer, twenty million self development lessons later…I start to show emotion outwardly now. When I have empathy towards another human, when I’m sad or happy or thankful and when I just love.

I kinda cried a lot the week my nephew was born in February. The new baby smell, the thought of possibilities. Then when I started to pray for him and Jase even this week I started balling asking God to give them loving hearts and make them good men who earnestly sought after him. I pray a lot more these days. I don’t really know how not to. It’s not really a super religious experience , its more me just talking to God out loud or in my head just trying to get and keep my head above water. I don’t know if you get that impression yet or not…but I am constantly trying to keep my head above water. I’ve always taken on too much too fast and lately I’ve had to learn how to reign that in and start saying no, and being okay when the ball gets dropped sometimes. Because life goes on and people forgive.

So this book. It’s really not sad or depressing or tragic, it’s just their story. If you watch the Fixer Upper show that they host on HGTV you know that it isn’t just a home improvement show. The couple are two down-to-earth people who just love out loud and do what they’ve been called to do. They create with joy, persistence and gratitude. That stamp is everywhere in this book as I listen to them tell their story. They tell the story of how they met, fell in love, first year of marriage, etc.

So what is it that makes me just ball every time that I listen? I think it really just boils down to this constant thread that is becoming apparent in my life — pursuit. I am no stranger to hustling/busyness, but what am I in constant pursuit of? I know how to work hard, but what am I in pursuit of? What is my purpose here? Where am I creating and inputing value? Are the people in my life adding value or taking it away? Am I scared of the pursuit of what really sets my soul on fire? Why?

Components of their story really resonate with me. The fact that I see a lot of the qualities of Joanna Gaines in myself, (I know, bold ask. But bare with me.). She is tenacious and caring but at some times can be seen as a stick in the mud for being the straight laced one next to Chip Gaines. She constantly has to take care of things, people and places. She’s nurturing but she also struggled with her identity and trusting God when it didn’t really seem like what he was telling her to do could possibly be what he was telling her to do. She boldly declares that people should be doing what they are passionate about every single day.

I love their candidness and the way that they appreciate little blessings and at the root of their story is a whole lot of grace and authenticity.

Sometimes, we don’t know what we should be in pursuit of. Sometimes, what we are in pursuit of feels right but doesn’t necessarily make sense. I accept a lot of that in my current circumstances right now. I don’t know what the next few months hold but I know that this culmination of change is going to come to a head in my life because I feel it. Something big is around the corner. I feel constantly ill equipped to handle big things even though I am always in constant pursuit of them.

I know this revelation has been all over the place. It’s probably poorly written to some, and to me it would be if I were looking at it through my work lens. But I write in all candidness, like I would talk to you in a conversation. If I took the time to really edit it out I would probably cut a lot of it out, but I know that that would not be the most authentic version of what I am writing and how I want to say it. So that is why I leave the errors and the grammar and all the things at this point in time, because I know it would never get published otherwise.

 

I will leave you with one last thought before I wrap it up and blog again in another month. I was helping some friends of mine set up a photo exhibit the other day. While we were setting it up they had these old crepe myrtle branches that someone had given them to hang on the sides of the photos. As I was standing there holding one of these branches, I noticed it was almost split in two. Yet, it still did it’s job. Our lives are like trees. Sometimes we are planted in shallow soil and we don’t really ever take root. But sometimes, when the soil is really fertile and the water adequate, we become big and giant and beautiful. We have purpose in both places, but we don’t always have substance. A broken branch is still a branch, it’s still part of the tree. Just because the tree is partially broken, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have purpose. It doesn’t mean it isn’t usable. Sometimes, we just need to be replanted. Sometimes we just need someone to come alongside us, uproot us and put us on fertile soil so we can flourish. It’s possible for us to be split in two and be resilient and still be useful.

So, my friends, it seems that life is hard. When you do life with other humans you see that.  When you do life yourself, you feel that.

 

But the tree can be uprooted.

The empty glass is refillable.