We each of us leave an imprint on the people around us.
The people we touch are forever altered by the touches we mark them with.
You get to decide, my friend, the X you leave behind – that mark that says you were there.
Did you speak words of kindness, gentle whispers brushed lovingly across a beloved’s ear, or did you rail down criticisms and complaints shattering spirits and wrecking hearts?
Did your touch trail down your lover’s spine sending tingles of adoration and anticipation, or did you ball your fists and smash holes in the walls of a home lovingly built?
Do the people you’ve met gently cradle the memories built with you as treasures, or lock them into boxes in an attempt to forget them?
You’ve left your imprint, of this I guarantee, even if you were but a temporary visitor.
We can all think of kind words spoken by a stranger at just the time when we most needed them.
The woman in the grocery store who had to stop you and tell you what beautiful energy you have.
The elderly gentleman that thanked you for your beautiful smile and told you that you’d made his day.
The barista who asked how your day was only to have you burst into tears, and instead of acting shocked and embarrassed, asked if she could hug you.
The teenager who told you that you were easy to talk to.
The man who asked how you were able to get him to share so openly.
You choose the imprint you leave.
because X marks the spot that says you were there.
Your Trusted Friend ❤
Friend, so much of our ability to remain patient depends upon our ability to practice being hopeful, to believe that in everything there is a reason and that all detours, setbacks, and heartbreaks are – in reality – preparing you for something better.
I am not the most patient person.
Nope, I’m the kind that wants to read the last page of a book to see how it ends.
Not just fiction, but real life as well. I can admit that I’ve pushed many relationships to the breaking point by trying to rush to the finish line.
To push to define what we are, and where we are going.
This doesn’t just happen in my personal relationships, but also when I face any obstacle. There is this almost desperate need to know why.
Where is this leading?
To push through the difficulty as quickly as possible and to reach the finish line, to learn the lesson, earn the prize, and reach the next level.
For our growth does not come in the calm, it comes when we are under pressures.
Perhaps, friend, we need to stop, breath, and take notice of these situations more – instead of, like me – trying to barrel our way through them?
It’s been a lesson to learn to feel all the feels, to let sadness just like happiness flow through me and to have equal respect paid.
This same lesson could be applied to life experiences as well, to give respect and time to dishevel, disruption, and destruction.
For these times tear us down.
They break us, and then we build brand new.
This understanding, that hard things create and mold us, will bolster us, friend, and provide us the patience, grace, and strength that we need to preserver and – just maybe – the ability to savor these moments for what they have to teach us.
All of this requires our patience, to not always try to rush and escape the hard stuff in order to get to the good.
Friend, the good IS coming, trust that, but right now we have to sit in the bad and not try to skip through to the end of the book.
Your Trusted Friend ❤️
Sexiness. A quality that I have striven to dominate and make my bitch since a boy told me, “Miranda, you’re just cute.” My initial reaction was to think, “I’ll show you!” My fist raised in my mind’s eye in defiance. Why I didn’t just accept the compliment of being cute, I’ll never know… perhaps it was because it was accompanied with that word, ‘just’; indicating — in some way — that being cute wasn’t enough. You tell me that I am not enough, hint at it in any way, I am going to see that as a challenge — one that I can’t refuse.
So, I set out to become sexy, friend, and, I am going to be honest, my initial attempts at being sexy were ridiculous, and more of a cause for ridicule than anything else. I watched the women around me who I thought had ‘it’.That spark, that thing that made them ooze sex appeal. The way they carried themselves with aloofness, flipped their hair, and looked alluringly down their noses under their eye lashes. The casual sway of the hips, shoulders back, chin up.
These small things I saw and attempted to emulate. When a man approached me while out and about I fluttered my eyelashes and tossed my hair, eliciting the reaction, “Is there something in your eye?” The eyelash fluttering was partially caused by my previous hair tossing, which resulted in whipping myself in the face and then a profusion of eye watering. Hair flipping should come with a warning label.
The casual sway of my hips looked more like a limp, the result of some unfortunate accident and my alluring gaze made those around me think I was trying not to fart. In addition, I tried to do a sexy crawl, bite my lip, and casually moisten my lips with my tongue. All met with laughter, by the way.
With these failures in mind I knew that serious measures had to be taken. I went so far as to visit a ‘gentlemen’s club’ with two girlfriends. My goal was to observe these women… the way they moved and carried themselves. Perhaps, somehow, I could find some lesson here that I could take, make my own, and finally make that crossover from ‘cute’ to ‘sexy’.
One performer caught my eye. She was wearing a sports bra and boy shorts, knee socks and tennis shoes. One would assume that with the fact that she was wearing much more clothing than the women around her that she would receive the least attention, yet the floor around her was littered with green bills of various amounts and the stage around her had an audience cramped around her.
Her signature move was tossing her body down onto the ground and, in effect, humping it. Every time she did this move it was met with whoops and cat calls, and a plethora of dollar bills rained down upon her. Rationally I thought to myself, “A-ha! I think I can do that!”
Now, I am not one to assume I could do such an advanced move without practice, especially with my previous hair whipping fail… or without getting my best friend to watch and evaluate my attempt at being ‘sexy’. So, I practiced in the safety of my home. Turning 80s and 90s music on full blast, and prancing around my apartment. Once I felt I had sufficiently mastered the move I asked my gal pal if she wouldn’t mind observing and giving me some feedback.
So, one Friday night, after steeling my nerves with copious amounts of wine and girl giggling I was ready to turn up some tunes and show off my new sexy move. I started to dance. I do not claim to be the best dancer, matter of fact I’m fairly certain I look like a mix of Napoleon Dynamite and Elaine from Seinfeld. These impressive dance moves were punctuated by me tossing my body onto the ground and proceeding to bounce my hips up and down, up and down… over all of this were the squeals of my NOW former best friend’s laughter which only ended when she fell off of her couch.
I hate her. Okay, no, I don’t. That’s a lie. It was ridiculous. I know this is retrospect. TRUST ME, lesson learned. I failed to consider the usefulness of this new ‘move,’ or how, where, and when I would actually use it, a slight oversight on my part. Can you just imagine me… at a coffee shop? I spy an attractive man ordering an espresso, logically; I toss myself onto the ground and start humping it.
Looking back I realize how futile these attempts at sexiness were. It was silly. However, I can appreciate the laughs I had and the ridiculous moments with friends. One thing I have learned about sexiness is that it isn’t an article of clothing that you put on, I did buy a fabulous pair of black vinyl/plastic pants… those are particularly difficult to get off and on. Nor is it the moves you memorize and perform, or the tossing of your hair in slow motion. Sexiness is none of these things.
Though it could be.
Let me explain, friend. Sexiness is in your attitude, the way your personality, body and mind blend together and are exuded to the world, in the way you carry yourself with confidence. This was why little sporty spice had a standing room only crowd around her. It had nothing to do with what she did or didn’t wear, or even that she was humping the ground. It was in HOW she carried herself.
Sexiness is living your life without apology of who you are, radiating a self-love that makes others love you too. They just can’t help it. And when you have this, it doesn’t matter if you are goofy or nerdy… or cute,like me, you are also damn sexy.
Your Trusted Friend ❤️
Friend, relationships are difficult.
They require work, whether that is picking up the phone to chat, planning and spending time together, or settling in to have the hard conversations…
…they, relationships, require effort.
Additionally, we all have triggers, pasts, and ‘imperfections’.
The closer you get to someone, my friend, the more likely these things will reveal themselves.
When they do, will you have the conversations, will you be willing to see someone for who they are and still say yes?
Will you be able able and willing to stand with them and hold space for them?
Will you be able to allow these things, when they rise up, to run their course while you remain centered, focused and confident?
And, what if – friend – you are?
You’re a full body yes, but the one you’re with is indecisive about whether or not they can stand with you?
What if, the one you’re with, when your triggers, past, and imperfections rise up, is unable to stand and hold space for you?
What if, instead, they show you who they are by yelling, fighting, or running away instead of remaining centered, focused and confident for you?
Friend, you choose you.
You love yourself the way you want to be loved and you let go.
You cannot force or coerce anyone to be ready to jump into the deep end of a relationship.
Real relationships require a scary amount of vulnerability, honesty, and transparency to both see and be seen completely, and it isn’t always pretty.
We carry with us scars, and while it’s no one else’s job to fix us – it is their job to choose us by holding space with us when the inevitable happens and we let the ugly bits loose.
Often we are too scared to let people this close, going into freeze, flight, or fight, as our bodies are geared to protect us from the unknown.
As our brain senses the danger of vulnerability, of possible hurt and rejection, it triggers those same urges as when faced with a bear.
We need people who will face down the bear with us.
Who when scared by vulnerability will, instead of running from the ugly bits, sit down with us and create true intimacy and connection as we reveal all of who we are.
That’s the reward, and it has to be worth it for both if you.
If not, choose you, because there is no relationship in which you can face the bear alone and ALL of you deserves to be seen and chosen.
Your Trusted Friend ❤️
Who has society told you to be, friend?
Has it whispered lies to you, forcing you to take a form that isn’t quite right, making you feel you’re supposed to play a role that isn’t meant for you?
Have you sawed off the bits of you that don’t fit, stuffed the unseemly parts away, and hid away the parts of yourself that you’ve been told are not acceptable?
Do you contort, twist, and shrivel, making yourself small, shrinking down to fit into a role that wasn’t made to fit all of you?
So often we look outside of ourselves to decide who it is we are meant to be, plucking the roles like overripe apples and gobbling them down without checking for rot and worms, assuming that since everyone else is eating – we should too.
It is only when we get sick, squirming at the ill fit of the role and the cancer of discontent and unhappiness that has grown inside of us, that we realize we had fallen prey to poison.
Some people will ignore the itch to pull of the costume they’ve donned, say that they just need to get accustomed and used to it – be content with what they have, where they’ve ended up, who they are – never waking up to the fact that the dream they’ve thought they created is actually a nightmare in disguise.
We are all, every human being on this planet, as unique as a fingerprint and as diverse as snowflakes, because of this there is no common role, costume, or off the rack disguise, that will fit each of us.
So, when we look outside of ourselves to decide who it is we are mean to be, how we’re supposed to behave, what we’re supposed to do, what the right answer is for us…
the answer we find, my friend, will always be wrong.
Nothing we pick up and try on will fit the way it should.
The only place you can look for the right answer is within.
There is no one way to be, no one way to live, no one place to find answers.
There is only YOUR way.
I tell you this as someone who tried, for a very long time, to do all the ‘right’ things and follow the prescribed path laid out before me and I happily stuffed myself into the role society dictated for me…
Graduating high school, attending church, going to college, getting engaged, waiting for marriage for sex, beginning my career, and settling into the role of wife and caretaker.
When my husband left after only three years together there was no warning.
There was no painful downfall we walked to divorce. Instead, it was a shocking exodus executed while I was out of town, one that left me broken and aghast as I’d DONE everything ‘right’.
I’d looked outside of myself and put on all the things that I thought I was supposed to, paying no heed to the fact that nothing fit quite right.
My life, many of my relationships, hobbies, my marriage, was like poorly put together IKEA furniture.
It looked good from afar and was easily affordable, but don’t move it, and definitely don’t test its fortitude under stress or duress.
It wasn’t until I went through my divorce and was forced to take a good, long, hard look at myself that I realized how ill fitting the life I had created for myself was.
You see, when I learned that my husband had left… my first reaction wasn’t heartbreak, it was a sense of failure and a wondering how I would tell and face people again.
This was such a fear of mine that the taking of my own life seemed a preferable option.
The role I’d squeezed myself into was ripped to shreds. The pieces left to decay around me. I was naked without it.
To have your reality forcibly shattered is hard.
Growth is always hard, but to have it thrust upon me felt impossible.
Being able to stretch into the roles that fit me, ones that I determined and decided was not easy, learning to to trust myself as I make these choices for myself is still an ongoing battle.
Change hurts like a motherfucker – but it’s worth it.
I was invited to create my own reality, instead of stuffing myself into some cookie cutter role that I thought I had to fill, and I picked up all the shreds of myself and I put them back together into a design of MY choosing.
Not everyone wakes up to the nightmares that they’ve forced themselves to live based on what society has dictated and told us life is…
But if you do wake up, if you’ve asked yourself why your life doesn’t seem to fit, why you feel you’ve had to shrink yourself, cutting off pieces of yourself, and – while you have done everything ‘right’ – nothing FEELS right…
Follow that call inward and find out what YOU want, who YOU want to be, how YOU want to live.
Throw the damn IKEA furniture away and build your own damn palace.
Tear the ill-fitting costume off, rip it to shreds, then pick the pieces up and make a role perfectly crafted and created by you, for you.
This, my friend, is what we are meant for.
To forge our own paths, figure out who we want to be as we exist in the world, and create our own staring role.
As long as we attempt to force ourselves within expectations we will always feel trapped… we were not meant to conform to roles.. like an animal trapped in a cage… we were meant to be free to write and create our own.
Your Trusted Friend ❤
Ever since my divorce at 29, after a very short lived three year marriage, I have struggled to find love…not because it hasn’t been there, but because I have not felt worthy.
When you don’t feel worthy of love, and yet you’re out on the hunt, it doesn’t bode well for your success.
What you search for, what you feel worthy of, you find.
Returning home to the apartment I shared with my husband to see it empty, cleared of all of his things without warning, created a story in my head of who I was and what I was worth.
I answered the question, “How could someone leave me like this?” by assuming that it must be my fault, there must be something horribly wrong with me.
I must be unlovable.
These are the truths the voice in my head said again and again… there was something wrong with me.
My solution, friend, was to try to be good… to be perfect.
The outside world shows us women who and what we are supposed to be. We’re supposed to be thin, mysterious, alluring, sexy, capable, and secure… but not too much of any of these things, we have to leave space for a man to swoop in and take care of us.
So, I embarked on a journey – sometimes a subconscious one – to be and do all the right things in order to earn the love of a man.
Maybe if I was pretty enough, mysterious enough, thin enough, alluring enough, sexy enough I would meet someone who would stay, someone who wouldn’t abandon me in the middle of the night, someone who wouldn’t run away from me.
I believed that there was something about me that forced people away, a repellent of some sort that deemed me unlovable.
My role was to be a lesson, a stepping stone, a distraction, a rumination on the way to someone and something better. These were the roles I was comfortable filling, for they protected my heart and proved my story to myself, that there was something wrong with me that would force people to leave.
The thing with a belief system is that if you believe it, if you think about it, it will become your reality.
So I made this story true, again and again and again.
Heartbreak after heartbreak, each carefully created, tended, and designed by my own hand.
What a revelation that was.
At some point you HAVE to stop and take long hard look at yourself. You have to look at the life you’re living and those lessons that keep presenting themselves to you over, and over, and over.
If you don’t learn the lesson, you will continually find yourself in the same circumstances again and again, just as I did with the relationships I found myself in.
Because I felt unworthy and unlovable, I chose partners who were either physically distant or emotionally distant. I chose partners who were not a match for me in some way… either intellectually, emotionally, or physically.
Because I felt unworthy, I believed that I would have to continually work or try or fix myself or a relationship in order to BE worthy. I had to choose relationships that were lacking in some way, so that I could do the work, earn the love, prove my worth.
What finally woke me up was a devastating breakup of a relationship that I tried so hard to make work.
I knew that there were problems, red flags that I pretended I didn’t see.
There were the harsh words that I brushed off, the unexplained late nights that I felt guilty to question, the little bags of white powder hidden around the house, the lies told to explain phone calls, pictures, and text messages that I convinced myself to believe.
The sad truth, friend, is that I didn’t wake up on my own to see these things. I persisted in not staring straight at the truth before me. Instead, I purposelessly unfocused my gaze so that I would see only that which I wanted to.
Until his daughter whispered the truth to me.
Until his daughter apologized with tears running down her face, in a voice that kept catching in her throat, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. He’s seeing another girl. She stays the night when you’re not here. The walls are thin. I’ve heard it all. Dad ruins everything,” and then she flung her arms around my waist and hid her face in my shoulder.
In that moment my whole world came into focus and it struck me, almost taking me off balance, that I was teaching this beautiful young woman a lesson in what women should accept in life and love. I was showing my own daughter the expectations she should have of how she deserves to be treated. I was helping to model how men treat women they love to his son.
The life I’d settled into. The life I was accepting as ‘good enough’ for me, wasn’t what I wanted to show the children watching me.
I wanted to teach a better lesson.
So, I said that I loved her and her brother very, very much and that I was so thankful for them and how she, in particular, looked out for me. I told her that I was sorry that she had to be put in the role of caretaker and truth speaker, that I should have been taking better care of myself.
So I have, friend.
Finding love has to first begin with learning to love yourself, with facing down all the ugly stories that you tell yourself, and demanding better.
Recently I was told that it sounds like I am trying to convince myself that I am a ‘big deal’…
and it’s because I am.
In my heart I know that I am worthy. That who I am is good enough. This is a truth I know in my core.
However, I’m still rewiring that old story that was on a loop in my head for so long, the one that had me convinced that no one would ever love me because I was inexplicably deficit and flawed.
So, my heart is demanding and doing better, it’s doing the work to convince my brain that who I am, as I am, is a ‘big deal’ – and it’s going to keep repeating that mantra until in drowns out the old story and the brain believes it and acts on it without even thinking.
That is the reality that I am creating for myself now, because we all have a choice in the realities that we create and this one is mine.
I AM A BIG DEAL,
and so are you,
and so are we all.
Your Trusted Friend ❤️
I am someone, not somebody.
The distinction is important.
This isn’t a grammar lesson, it’s a lesson in how you allow yourself to show up and be in other people’s lives, and what you accept into yours.
We as humans crave and desire intimacy, yet it is also one of the most feared aspects of human connection.
We want someone to see and know us, yet we are so afraid of being rejected, abandoned, and left that we often fail to fully show up or to give all of ourselves. We keep parts in reserve, hidden.
Instead, we settle for being and accepting somebody to satisfy the craving.
Somebody who maybe isn’t quite right for us, isn’t quite ready for us, or who doesn’t quite fit us.
We settle for the almost, both in giving and receiving, because the almost is good enough and really rather okay. If the ‘almost’ rejects us we can dust off and walk off knowing that we didn’t reveal all of us…
so they didn’t really reject all of us.
They just rejected somebody.
When we allow ourselves to be, instead, someone special, our unique selves completely and fully, when we receive love and acceptance of this caliper and allow ourselves to be someone special to someone else we are courageously vulnerable….
We have to be if we want to be open to love, acceptance, partnership, and truly being seen, and not in the ‘good enough’ kind of way…
Good enough is someone to keep you company. Good enough is someone to stave off the loneliness with. Good enough is a distraction. Good enough is the easy button.
Good enough is settling to be just a somebody…
Instead of waiting for someone and letting yourself be someone.
Someone is being seen for all of your quirks and habits and being accepted and chosen for everything that you are, “by someone that would never let you be anything less than your beautiful and sometimes flawed self” (@momentaryhappiness).
When this happens, this is the kind of love that will wake up wanting to learn you every day, want you, need you, love you in slow motion because you know that you have forever to grow, to learn, to change, to inspire, to adventure, to discover, to become again and again and again…
and it won’t be just “good enough”, it’ll be everything…
it won’t be somebody to fulfill the craving for intimacy, it’ll be the someone you crave because they brought your world alight… when you never knew it’d been in shadows.
If you feel you’re just somebody that is being used to fill time in order to chase off the loneliness, that you’re ‘just good enough’… cut them loose, because we don’t have time or energy for halfway anymore.
Your Trusted Friend ❤️
“Hungry people make poor shoppers”.
We’ve all been the person in the grocery store, grabbing all the things we don’t need because we are shopping hungry – leaving the grocery store with chips, cookies, pastries, and all the sweet and salty goodies we crave when we go too long without properly fueling our bodies.
The same is true when we are hungry for love and approval.
There is danger in not tending to our own hearts, investing in our sense of self worth, and when we fail to fill the voids in us and – instead – look for for validation from external sources.
We ‘shop hungry’, settling for crumbs of attention, bits of time, and limited connection.
Instead, we should wait for the whole meal… but when we’re hungry… we don’t always make the best of choices.
We grab the crap and gobble it down.
When we crave love we will settle for scraps, permitting people to treat us poorly, often even making excuses for them out of our deep longing
Maybe we even try to fix and repair ourselves, hoping that the end result will be the love that we so desperately crave.
Because when you shop hungry, you buy crap.
How do we ensure we’re not looking for love and approval in the wrong places…
Thinking that the bare minimum of respect is sufficient, making excuses for all the gaps and leaks in the facade, ignoring the red flags?
We tend our wounds. We learn to love and accept ourselves… and, maybe, we seek professional help to teach us and guide us when we’re lost and floundering.
If you’re full of self love and aware of your own worth you’ll pass on the crap, you’ll pass and wait on something truly delectable.
You’ll recognize that the junk isn’t good for you, and you’ll make better choices.
Your Trusted Friend ❤️
Our hearts, our energy, and our time are valuable commodities. We need to be particular about those people who we let share space in these golden spaces, because the people that we invite in become a part of us.
When we invite people who are unwilling to meet is equally, we diminish our own worth. We settle. We allow breadcrumbs to be enough.
Friend, do not go all the way in with someone who is only willing to go part way.
During this time it might be easy to settle for bread crumbs, as at least we have something… someone. It’s easy to put aside what we desire, want, and need when there is uncertainty regarding its attainability.
However, friend, if we do settle, we give a part of ourselves away. We allow the deepest parts of ourselves to be viewed and observed by someone who isn’t able to fully appreciate the magnificence of the view.
By doing so, we only serve to injure ourselves. Settling for mediocre isn’t worth the pain, when all we need to do is wait.
Wait for someone who will go all the way with you, and for you. You deserve nothing less than that.
Keep opening your heart, don’t fear taking risks, continue feeling…
but, friend, be ready to say no to maybes, to indecision, to anyone only coming part way, and to anything that is less than a hell yes.
Your Trusted Friend ❤