On love and fear

Current status: body brought to you by cheese. Can I get an amen from all my comfort eaters out there? Most recently it was because I was on my cycle and I feel like I need to comfort my dilapidated uterus with food, but after that upheaval is over the cheese cravings still remain.

I wanted to finish my latest series on love with this post: on love and fear.

I’m an emotional eater. When I notice my eating patterns changing I have to step back and reassess some of the mindless emotional decisions I’ve been making. Needless to say, it’s happened recently. So what emotions am I leaning into a lot lately? Love and fear. Because, don’t the two always kinda go hand in hand? Let’s dig a little deeper.

I think love is one of those universal concepts everyone wants to experience. It is both a feeling and an action. It’s both tactical and abstract. It’s the anomaly of feelings. And, there happens to be several different types of love. From platonic to deep romantic in love love. It’s a scale.

The antithesis of love some might say is hate. That’s not incorrect. But, I believe it to also be fear. Fear keeps us from bravely leaning into love. Fear keeps us from action. Fear tells us we are both too much and never enough. Fear imbeds in us the deepest of all insecurities… we’re not worthy of love.

I’m not a very insecure person anymore when it comes to certain things. I don’t mind being naked. It doesn’t bother me to speak in front of crowds. I’m not afraid of talking to strangers or trying new things or dancing in public or looking silly in really any way. But, for as much as those insecurities don’t exist, some very real ones still do.

I was at lunch with a few friends today and while we were chatting someone asked me why I think so and so acted a specific way. I responded with my opinion that he’s insecure. And then, the quietest and eldest one of the group calmly chimed in, “aren’t we all insecure?” Boom. Yeah, yes we are. And while I can talk about insecurities for a whole separate post… I’ll just say they are the bastard child of fear and vanity.

As I drove home I began to think about the past couple of months and how both my relationships and my life have changed. Drastically. And where change is, fear closely follows.

I love aspects of my new job and concurrently my new life, but I also fear I won’t be able to keep up this hectic schedule much longer. I fear I won’t be able to teach certain classes well, or worse, injure someone because I’m bad at it. Or, with all this cheesy laziness I’ll start to look less like a Pilates instructor and more like an Oompah Loompa and they’ll know I’m a fraud. Not doing things well… that’s an underlying insecurity that keeps me up at night.

Rounding third and heading home… why you’re here. Love and fear. My relationships have been a disaster lately. The romantic ones come down to one main folly…fear. It motivates me to be an idiot. And, sadly, the more I love you the more of an idiot I’m going to be. I’ll be insecure. I’ll start to second guess everything about our relationship. And then, I’ll start to make things up in my head and believe them to be true. All of this is because of fear. Especially when it comes to dating.

This week I decided to lean into the fear instead of running from it. To figure out the main issue and what it is that I’m really afraid of. One of those things being that the deep feeling of loneliness that I’ve had looming over me the past few months will never go away. I’d been filling my time with dates or new friendships that I don’t really have any investment in. And, none of those things really affected the loneliness at all, instead I just ended up wasting time with nice guys that’ll be nothing more than just nice guys. Fear that I’m not able to like anyone else because I already love someone. Fear that I don’t know what that looks like, don’t know if he feels the same, perhaps he’s just wasting time with me to feel less lonely. Fear I’m his nice girl. Fear that no one really ever loves anyone. Fear of running out of things to say. Fear of saying too much. Fear of being too much, just the way I am. Fear of being alone. Alone.

So what’s a girl to do? I started by deleting all my dating apps. All three of them… no judgment. I politely declined the invitations of dudes both new and old this week to go out. (Especially after one particularly scary first date we’ll get to another time! ) And that’ll continue, I’m trying to be more greedy with my time. It’s valuable… because I’m valuable. I think I lost that part of myself. It’s back now. I have very high self worth but it doesn’t mean fear doesn’t compromise that every once in a while.

I’ll also continue to lean into fear. What’s the worst that could happen? You’re never completely alone I tell myself, you have great friends. So what if your vision for your life doesn’t come to fruition, maybe that just means a better story is being written. If someone doesn’t love you the way you love them, that’s okay. Perhaps they just can’t. Perhaps they needed you more than you need them. Unrequited love is not going to kill you. And, it always makes for a great story. Silver linings. You are enough. I am enough. Fill your life with things and people that bring you joy and make your life full. But, don’t neglect the fact that without things and people you are not incomplete. They don’t fulfill us. We are complete on our own. They compliment our lives, make them full and bring us joy.

I hope you have found some value in my ramblings. That you’ll lean into fear and be brave. That you’ll love harder and stronger and with fear but that that fear will be the idea of losing out on something great because you didn’t try. I hope you try. Take chances. And, if it doesn’t work, you’ll leave having loved hard and fearlessly.

That’s my hope for all of us. Love well, the best you can, while you can. None of us are getting out of here alive.

On soulmates

This month I wanted to write about love. Honestly it’s a topic that’s come up rather frequently in the past couple of months. I really decided on this series when I had a chat with my friend. She’s been married for like ten years and when I asked her how she knew she was in love, she said she didn’t know if she’s ever truly been in love.

So I continued to ask questions. How did you/do you know that you’re in love? Is it a feeling that you’ve met “the one”? Is the one out there? Do we all have a soulmate? I need answers. So I sought them.

There is an overwhelming majority that believes in the existence of soulmates. Some even went as far to say they knew for a fact God existed because they were brought together with their soulmate. Many argued that their relationship was easy from day one, so obviously they’re destined. That was just the commentary in favor on my Facebook. Online there’s a whole heap of literature arguing for the existence of soulmates.

Some say soulmates exist in two different forms: romantic partners and platonic friends. The actual definition regards a soulmate as someone ideally suited for another as a close friend or partner. One of my friends believes our souls are little pieces scattered everywhere and those pieces live in other people and when we meet them we feel instantly connected because they hold a piece of us.

One of my friends thinks that soulmates exist because, science. But, this same friend also thinks we’re destined to never find our soulmates because it’s mathematically improbable. Bleak.

I’m not going to dismiss people’s hopeful ideals of love, but I will say that I don’t believe they exist. I believe love is a spectrum and the choice is ours how far we’ll place someone on that spectrum. Love is a feeling but also a choice and an action. The idea of soulmates often negates the idea that love is action.

I was watching a Netflix movie today. The whole premise of the movie was this guy going back in time to alter his relationship with his friend he has a crush on. Regardless of what he did he’d wake up three years later to find his life altered and her to be with the same guy she’s in love with from the beginning. By the end he realizes they were never meant to be but that the whole time it was actually her best friend he was in love with. Point of that movie might be that her soulmate was first guy and their destiny was to find each other. I think the point is that sometimes we’re so busy chasing a feeling that we ignore what is good for us and is almost always already present in our lives. We ignore the reality to chase the fantasy.

So, no I don’t believe soulmates exist. I think you have to put real work in. I think that we meet people of significance in our lives and we immediately know it. Time will tell whether that significance is good or bad and that feeling doesn’t negate the fact there will be work.

I’ve always been keen to significance in my life. I almost always know immediately whether someone will be important to me. This feeling has been the mark of several very important friendships and a couple of romantic relationships. And just because someone is significant doesn’t mean they’re going to around forever.

All of my significant romantic relationships have been the result of this “feeling” in the beginning. But, ultimately if that person doesn’t choose me back, if they hurt me, if they neglect me, if they treat me like I’m nothing… not a feeling in the world will make me stick around for that. And ,that’s the problem with soulmates too. People are afraid to leave. They’re willing to put up with mediocrity because of the sham that they’ve met their soulmate.

Relationships are hard. People are hard. But, people are worth loving and it sucks to be lonely!

I’m in favor of special people in our lives. I think we should love hard and fiercely and without fear. We shouldn’t be afraid to tell people how we feel about them. We should show them through action and not just words. Love people who love you, without fear, without hurt, without excuse. Those are your soulmates.

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!