Seeking Permission. The Key to Failure.

Humans are complex creatures. We all have different internal makeup and that is what sets us apart from others. Hallelujah! Amen! Praise the Lord for that!

There seems to only be two types of people on this planet though. The ones who truly do not give a fuck about other’s opinions and well you guessed it, the ones who do. It is either one or the other. There is no in between on this topic.

If there is an in between, it is because people pretend to not give a fuck. Which seems easy to do. However, when push comes to shove, the person unveils the real truth, that they do need constant validation. Seeking permission from others, is the guaranteed key to failure. Don’t believe that? Well, what were some things that you’ve asked or shared with others that you never achieved?

The key to failure, is seeking permission. 

 

There is certainly a reason why the quote “don’t tell people your dreams, show them” is very relevant and truth filled. I mean what is it about humans, that makes seeking other people’s validation so important? The only thing in this life I need validating me, is that parking lot at the Starbucks. For real……For real….

So after some time dissecting theories on why we do this to ourselves, it actually wound up being clear as day.

Drum roll…..

We seek permission because…….

  • We are looking for validation.
  • We are looking for a reason/excuse not to.
  • We are looking for someone to motivate us (never a good idea.) Keep waiting.
  • We are looking for someone/something to blame when we do not follow through.

The ironic part about seeking permission is that it actually scorches our motivation more often than not. I will break it down, into one tiny explanation. Whether we are hearing positive or negative responses, humans are certainly afraid of failure and rejection, which in turn causes us to feel fearful. We are scared of potential failure before we even start. That sounds a little backwards, don’t you think?

The fear that humans face, triggers a response naturally in our bodies (three cheers for our Amygdala.) I mean we all know how the body reacts when we face something scary, the body is smart enough to want to avoid these feelings which is both a positive and negative.

Pro: We stay safe.

Con: We stay safe. 

I mean think about a time when you were truly scared or frightened, it could be about anything. How often do you actually want to feel that way? I know for me personally, I do not want to intentionally make myself feel fearful/unsafe. I mean who would? It is safe, to stay safe. I get that.

However, that is the only reason we seek permission from others, we want to play it safe. We want to avoid the fear involved with having to follow through. You know exactly what I am talking about. The type of fear that makes us feel so uncomfortable, that you might puke or shit yourself at any moment. I mean no one looks cute when they puke or shit themselves, so I totally get it.

 

 

You literally have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk, like so many of us do. This conjures up fear in so many individuals that I meet. The amount of ideas my crazy mind generates would leave people exhausted, if I chose to tell them. I keep all things to myself until execution time. I have learned and now I know that seeking outside permission will get me nowhere, fast. Validation from others is not welcome or needed in my life.

The point is anyone can say they want to do something. I mean I would love to be a millionaire goddess, who is a  permanent fixture at a Hawaiian resort but if I say that is my goal, people are going to be waiting.

Crystle said that she’s going to be a Hawaiian goddess at some resort.

They are going to be waiting for me to get there or they are going to be waiting for me to fail. It truly depends on your audience.

“That’s just crazy.”

“I knew she wouldn’t”

“Oh my God, she is a Hawaiian goddess.”

“I knew she would.”

I mean you already know who your audience is. If you are still stuck, I would bet money that it’s because you keep asking the wrong person for permission. There is only one person you need to be asking permission from. Yourself.

 

 

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs. 

 

What’s There to Learn? 

 

It’s funny that every single experience I have in my life, I always take something from it. Always. Whether I have wanted to or not, I will never refuse the proverbial “party favor.” – The life lesson.

So, in my experience, it doesn’t matter whether the event has been good, bad, small or large, there’s always a lesson if you are willing to see it. Clearly, I’d want it to be a good lesson but there are certain things that we have no control over. So as we accept our loss of control, we might as well open our eyes and minds to take the most from our life events.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been hit hard. My entire family has, as we mourn the loss of my grandpa. That most unfavorable part has been realizing,  that I am “physically” not going to see my grandpa for “now”. Which also means I will not hear his voice, feel his hand on my shoulder as he hugs me and all of these realizations have really weighed on me. It has literally opened a space in my head and heart leaving a significant void.

I mean at my age, I am fortunate because  I’ve never experienced this type of pain in my heart. I’m grateful for never experiencing pain like that obviously. However, it doesn’t make this experience any easier. What makes the mourning process difficult is the never-ending thinking that is married to it.

I’ve learned that enduring the loss of someone you love makes your mind run wild. Like all day, never stops, all night, never stops, type of wild. I am thinking about time mostly. Dissecting how my time was spent with my grandpa, what time I didn’t spend, the time I should have spent, the list goes on and on. It has all been about time. Let me explain.

As we all know our time is very valuable. We all feel the constraints in regards to time. It almost seems as if there is never enough of it. Add into the mix the normal crap, like work, kids, errands the “adult” stuff and time is just sucked away. Sometimes we put people, tasks, whatever the case is on the back burner because there is always that one vital thing that takes precedence in that moment. Sometimes, we learn the lesson that it just was not as vital as we believed it was at the moment. That is also part of the lesson I am digesting at this point too.

The question is why do we care if the house is clean, whether the laundry is done, the food shopping is done right away? I mean I have realized how meaningless these tasks are. Quickly, after my grandpa passed away, I was smacked in the face with the fact that I literally was supposed to see him the very next day. Yet, it was too late. He was gone. I missed seeing him by one day and there was nothing I could do to change it.

One stupid fucking day. Ugh, that feeling sucks big time.

Why, couldn’t I make it over the day before? Even the day before that? What did I have going on?  It was probably something so stupid too,  because I don’t even remember why.  The only positive is, I know I was always there and present and this helps me to forgive myself about not seeing him one last time.

The lesson though that materializes from this deals with compartmentalizing and the fact  that I put things off. Way too much. What is my problem really? Why do I always put important things on the back-burner in exchange for something that will still be there the next day? I mean I can’t be alone with all of this, right? The house will always need to be cleaned, dishes needing to be scrubbed, kids taken for a haircut, food shopping all of these things will never leave us.

What does leave us (physically) is the people in our lives. Yet, a large majority of us put our relationships with people last. Our lives are busy, chaotic, what feels like non-stop at times but we still invest valuable time in things that are always going to be there. Leaving less time for the people who won’t always be here. It makes little sense, when you break it all down.

However, I am so guilty of this. I “have to” have my house clean, food shopping done, laundry done, but why? Why do these things begin to consume our lives, so much so, that we put off something important? I have learned the value in compartmentalizing things because of this loss. The value of rating things by importance. What can wait, what can’t is a newly introduced set of questions in my life because of all of this.

In the past few weeks I have utilized these two questions to help me decide what I need to be doing that is more “important.” I have to tell you, things have significantly changed because of this. Odds are, you will probably see a messier house, unfolded laundry, dishes, an emptier fridge because nothing should be more important than the valuable moments we have with our loved ones. Nothing.

I am making a choice and very determined to turn my personal loss, into a personal gain. I know that I need to be more present with the important pieces in my life. In the blink of an eye, life changes, making us change. Hopefully as we define our new normal, we continue to accept the lessons that life presents us with. As Pema Chodron says, “Nothing ever goes away, until it teaches us what we need to know.”

Image result for life lessons

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

 

Just Doing Life 

I have always had this nagging feeling in my gut which has continuously told me “keep moving Crystle, you’ve got something more to give.”

This feeling had pained me for a very long time. One of the first times that I had felt this way, was years ago. The sad part is, I let my mind run me over with the question, what do I really have to give to others? STOP.  Can you believe, that I  actually believed that shit?

For years, I had a difficult time accepting that I actually had something to give. I truly thought that I was destined to ignore whatever this feeling was, for the rest of my life. Deviating from the plan I was on would be so “silly” “stupid” “foolish” bla bla bla.

I chose to listen to other’s opinions spewing out of their mouths like hot diarrhea sandwiches, rather than just listen to the only person that mattered, myself. Has that ever happened to you? I am thinking it probably has at some point or another.

It was like the universe was screaming at me, bitch, just believe in yourself already. We don’t have time to spare. Thinking back on all of this, I realized that I was not ready myself, that was actually the big problem. How could I help others when I still needed to help myself?  So I continued pushing these thoughts back into my mind. The strange thing is, the thoughts always fought their way back. Continuously, nudging and nudging me, until I was ready to accept what I was supposed to be doing.

For the past few years I’ve had a strong desire to help unite women. Mainly because I feel we treat each other and ourselves like shit. One of my womanly pet peeves, is the lack of solidarity in the female community. We should all be besties and exchanging BFF charms by now, I mean it is the twenty-first century for God’s sake.

It is like some of us have it ingrained in our DNA, to road block each other.  I still do not want to admit what I believe, but I know that it stems from jealousy and insecurity. No lie, it is because we are not where we want to be ourselves. Which in turn cultivates these monstrous feelings inside of us.

As I encounter more and more women, it is easy to see that it is indeed the green monster rearing its ugly head. The only thing we are doing though is stalling ourselves, as we allow jealousy and insecurity to win over and over again.

The perfect picture includes us getting to the “top” ( whatever that means for you) and lifting every other woman up with us too. Yet, it does not work like that. It is women at the top wrestling one another, trying to the throw the other off. Like seriously, there is plenty of room for everyone. So the greater question is, why do women do this to one another?

I see the decline or lack of self-confidence as a big factor. This has been something I have paid a lot of attention to. When women enter my clothing truck, they just dog themselves left and right. It starts almost immediately. I sometimes do not even want to listen to the instant bashing of oneself or even worse, other people.

  • I’m too fat.
  • My thighs are too big.
  • That won’t look good on me.
  • My hair is gross.
  • My nose is big.
  • I need to lose weight.
  • Ugh, if only my ______________ was smaller.

It does not stop there either. They can’t/won’t even  give their friend a compliment when they like something or look pretty. Coming out of the dressing room and the lady who is trying things on, makes the mistake of opening the window for instant criticism.

“What do you think of this? “I love it.”

The response goes something like this.

” Nope, nope totally not you.”

IMMEDIATELY

“Ya, I guess you’re right.” “I totally didn’t notice how big my stomach looked.”

Meanwhile, I didn’t see the same thing as the friend and I’m not just eager to make a sale. I’m eager to make this type of interaction extinct.

At this point the other woman sinks down a notch and the entire mood shifts. This nonsense shows me that there is a need to help other women. I want to help them get to where they need or want to be with themselves, so if anyone ever throws shade at them, they can remain in the sun. Know what I mean?

However, as time passes, I have found this is a huge task. It is a massive task because the person just can’t move past, what others believe about them. It takes time, I know that. The strange thing is I literally could give two shits less what other people believe they know about me at this point in my life. I want others to start living that way too. No one will ever have permission to run my life with their judgements or thoughts about me.

I mean, it is so weird how common it is to let others navigate our lives. OUR LIVES, not theirs. We are so guilty of constantly being consumed by what other people think of us. Even when we claim we are not, it always sneaks out at the weirdest times, revealing our insecurities at some point.

Anyway, when we do this, it means we need to repair ourselves and because everyone has a different story, we all require a personalized repair plan. For me having kids was where this pendulum shifted, I am not sure why. I literally felt like I woke up and said bye, bye, to anything/anyone who felt they could put their unwelcome opinion into my life. It has been the most liberating experience to let go of that type of heaviness.

The fact of the matter is that giving a shit about what other’s think puts this insane amount of pressure on us. We have to play pretend and make-believe to force ourselves to fit in and that is just pure madness. If at this point I do not fit in or someone is talking shit, I just vow to release it all. Leaving more room to focus on the people who do love and support me. Life is much easier when we focus on the goodness in our lives. Trust me.

Making this shift, is how we change our own life. It is time for women to demand their fucking chutzpah back and help other women after we reclaim ours.  It is time to start giving up caring what people think about us and our own personal evolution.

Releasing the worry and focusing on stealing our real self back is VIP. I mean we naturally lay our own desires on the back burner, because that’s what women do. We sacrifice and put everyone but ourselves first. So why do we need to add the stress of worry to the mix as well?

Meanwhile as we do all of these things we make our lives even harder by continuing to give a fuck with what other women might think of us. There is over seven billion people in this world, there are good, supportive, kind, intelligent support systems out there. It’s time to find a balance. The good news is, there is a balance to this insane pendulum.

The bad news is the balance is created by YOU though. That is the delicate part. If we do not create what we want, we can never have what we need. As my own life has progressed, I realized quickly that I listened and cared about what others thought about me for way too long.

Eventually, I became a lost version of myself. Being lost is not really a good look on anyone. I know in those moments when you finally realize how consumed  you are, that is the moment you know that you need to find yourself again. That is the moment we finally listen to the universe as we let it naturally guide us to where we need to be.

I urge you to finally let yourself reclaim your chutzpah. It is time to live your life the way it is intended to be lived. Free yourself from giving a shit about what others think. Start caring about what you think.

Remember I am a firm believer, that worry is a misuse of imagination. Do not let yourself down any longer. The only place you need to be going, is up. On your journey continue to invest in the people who encourage you to move and grow into the person you want to become. There is no room for anyone who continues to keep you down. No excuses. No bullshit. Ever.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

 

Keepin’ Shit Real.

Have you ever just looked at someone and thought how the fuck have you gotten this far in life? Not because of anything superficial or things like that but because they are such an asshole? Come on be honest, I know you have. The type that you usually think, I wish I could smack you. Yet you don’t, because you’re a grownup and violence is not really encouraged. That’s your girl/guy. 

Any interaction with said “A-noose” is unpleasant, tense and it typically leaves you aggravated yourself. After your third eye roll you can probably pinpoint the asshole if you haven’t already.

 It’s the person that thinks it’s okay to dump their world on you. Complaint after complaint. It’s the person that you overhear talking to others like trash. Maybe you’re lucky enough to avoid their lashings, but most likely you’ve received one too. That person that just sucks. King or Queen Asshole continues to rule the world because we don’t overthrow them.

I mean when I encounter someone like this, I typically wonder what makes you such a douche? Like, I am  genuinely interested in peeling back your asshole layers and trying to find at least, a semi beating black heart, filled with ice or tar. 

I mean, the asshole is such a fascinating creature really. They are skilled at creating wonder and confusion wrapped in one. For the rest of us we deal with you reluctantly because you’re an asshole.

For instance, I overheard a phone conversation and the person who was not the Queen of England (although there might have been some identity issues) was just ripping someone up on the other end. I mean it leaves me seriously wondering who she thinks she is and also why do you think this is okay? For her sake I am glad that reaching through the phone and getting smacked isn’t a possibility yet. She escaped for that day anyway.

So, I have realized that you can get a good read on a person’s true self when,

A. They believe no one is watching: this is when the real asshole shows itself.

B. How they treat the waitress/waiter when they are out. – Get me this or that……..with no please or thank you.

C. How they respond when you call their name: look out for “what.”

D. How they greet others who aren’t friends/family: This could be more telling if they treat friends/family badly.

These four indicators have always given me a true and accurate reading on realizing who is an asshole and well who isn’t. It may have taken some longer than others, to show their true colors but give it time because one always reveals themselves.

Now, the hard part about dealing with people who suck, is sometimes we might need to make life changing decisions. For instance if it is your boss, you might have to move positions or resign. If it’s a  parent you might have to emancipate yourself (just kidding, don’t do that.) but you will have to set boundaries and limit your time with them. The point is we always have choices when realizing who people truly are. Believe them when they show you the first time. Please.

Regardless, of how painful it is to move on, if you are not an asshole yourself, don’t surround yourself with one. When you hang out with people who suck, people assume you suck too. It’s as simple as that. The whole birds of a feather, flock together deal, well it is usually pretty accurate.

Make sure you are true to yourself. If something someone does or says doesn’t sit right with you, speak up and release it. I have learned that unless we set boundaries or let people know our expectations, we inadvertently give them permission to unload on us.

If we want a different life, filled with goodness we need to design that. We are in control of where our life goes, no one else. It is time to realize that time is precious, especially our own time. The people in our lives should be precious too. If they don’t make you happy or light up your face when you see them, that is a perfect indicator, that it is time to unload the shit. Bye, asshole, bye.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

Bye, Bye, Baby. A Mother’s Bittersweet Tale.

I am the mother of three children. I have an eight, six and two and a half-year old. Now, with each child there were always the “lasts” that officially graduated them from “baby” to toddler/child.

You know what I am talking about, putting away the high chair, the walker, taking the crib down, transitioning to a big boy/girl bed and finally no more diapers! Officially, releasing you from the twenty pound, mobile dresser, which we know as the diaper bag too! :::Small cheers:::

I have to tell you though, that I never really struggled or felt too emotional with any of these transitions, with my first two children. I guess it was simply because I had “theoretically” planned a third. So I knew there would most likely be more firsts. Presumptuous on my part, I will admit.

So now as my husband and I have met the last of the “official lasts” with our daughter, I am really quite emotional. It is emotional and conflicting because I know our household is evolving  for the positive. I feel a sense of sadness mixed with selfishness in regards to releasing the final “baby” evidence strewn across my home. The high chair, is long gone. The gate, is long gone, the walker, is long gone. You get the idea. Yet, I am struggling with a lot of things that clearly go deeper than saying goodbye to the dirty diapers, bulky high chair and the baby gates.

There is just something so final about knowing that you won’t experience the fresh scent of your own newborn again, sleep training someone, watching first steps, all of those firsts with Ryan were also tied to the “lasts.” That is such a bittersweet feeling.

I know, I know, I am lucky and blessed to have three healthy children but it doesn’t mean it does not sting my heart just a little. The fact of the matter is, that as we progress through life, the goal is to always meet and conquer milestones, so I am thrilled that my daughter is doing just that. Don’t get me wrong.

The sad part is associated with the fact that this officially closes a chapter in my life, where I will not be a mother to a “new” baby again. It’s a strange thing to describe feeling emotional about or even saying out loud to people, because it’s almost like there is a stigma attached. The stigma involves the fact that I am blessed with my children but there isn’t always room to feel sad about no more pregnancies or babies, when there are bountiful blessings. I get that.

Needless to say, this is something that I think women should be allowed to say out loud without worrying about people feeling like they are being silly or ungrateful. I have already met a lot of moms who utter a similar sentiment. Maybe it has to do with the fact that in a strange way, we mourn the fast days and normal progression of our beloved babies.  Realizing that the time literally goes by in the blink of an eye. Whatever the case is I have no qualms with admitting I am sad to let it all go.

As my daughter masters potty training, I officially say “goodbye” to the last baby item that will be in my home. With that goodbye, I say hello to new beginnings and a different stage of parenting. I look forward to that stage, but not before I let out a few tears. Tears that come with the toilet flushing and my daughter sweetly proclaiming, “bye, bye, poopy!” It leaves me with two questions, did she really poop or is she calling me a piece of shit for crying…..Just kidding.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs. 

Hello? Female Solidarity, Where are You?

Females know that life is not always roses and butterflies. This is especially true when women railroad other women as they travel on their personal journeys.

Women face a lot of adversity and there is no debating that.  The tragically sad news is, that most of the adversity we face stems from our female counterparts. If you’re in agreeance with me, it is safe to say you were once in a similar predicament.

The challenges begin around the age of eleven or twelve (middle school.) As females, we know that the  subtle shift in the “female” relationship, occurs when the cattiness and claws start to make their unwelcome appearance.

Potentially, someone may be silly enough to blame it on the fact that girls are dealing with raging hormones (this is the pathetic go to, for women acting all cray.)  I promise, I  won’t go there. However, we do know that it has something to do with the transition from childhood, to pre adulthood. At this age we see girls starting to compete with one another too. Unfortunately, it is not healthy competition either (remember cattiness and claws appearing.)

The competition, if you ask most girls, typically begins with crushing on the same boy or something silly like that. Whatever the case is, the only explanation is that it seems to get worse, as women get older and older. Cue dramatic music, mixed with scary movie music and we pretty much have the soundtrack for lack of womanly solidarity.

Now, it sounds like this is a soap box presentation and well maybe, just maybe it is. I mean people in response to this topic will literally answer “That’s just what women do to one another.” NO, NO, NO! We should not be okay with this type of answer or response.

Women don’t just “do this”, they learn it, they observe it, it is cyclical. We don’t have to accept those half assed excuses anymore. The a-m-a-z-i-n-g news is, we can change our behaviors. It doesn’t have to continue. It shouldn’t continue. We can’t let it continue.

First of all, it begins with the fact that we need to start changing our mindset. Our strong desire to be competitive, is always welcome. What is not welcome, is our desire to harm another woman while getting to where we want.

I mean It doesn’t matter if we’re twelve and we both like the same boy. The solid response should be cool, you can have him or maybe we can just hang out together, we don’t need him!

Maybe, we’re in highschool and two women are both fighting for the spot as valedictorian. First of all congratulations, second of all, you both clearly are smart enough to know that you need to help one another, not harm each other. Only one person can fill the spot so you might as well be graceful about it all.

It continues into adulthood too. At this point though it just continuously snowballs into more vicious attacks. This woman is a “slut” because she went out with the cute guy from the office. Meanwhile she just went to dinner and went home, ALONE. So slutty.  She got the promotion because the boss probably hooked up with her. Whatever, the scenario is we know there has to be a more supportive response. Please tell me there is a more supportive response than slut, whore, bitch. I mean there has to be right?

We need to unite as a gender. There are no debates, there are no excuses, there is absolutely nothing that can excuse another woman standing in the way of another woman, unless it’s to interfere on a drunken text, but hey that’s a different story. I can totally accept that as a one time solidarity breaker.

The fact of the matter is, that it all boils down to jealousy and insecurity. We are unable to push others forward when we don’t see the capabilities, that we actually hold ourselves. There is no doubt that once a woman is secure enough, she feels good enough to start pushing other women forward.

 When women are on the same page and they find one another, that’s when you get this reciprocal and powerful bond. That bond is what it takes to carry both of you to the proverbial top. It’s not as common as it should be, yet we can and will change that, as we change ourselves.

So as we vow to make shifts in our own personal lives, we will slowly see the power disperse unto others. The potential that is about to be uncovered in female solidarity, is so massive. So massive, that maybe, just maybe, that is why other women are scared. The jealousy and insecurity again, rears its ugly head, blocking any potential for networking gold.

Uniting for a common good is never a loss. Stop worrying about losing. The only one who loses when we can’t support one another, is you. Stop losing. Stop missing potential opportunities to receive beautiful, kind, intelligent, supporters in your lives. I promise, that you will regret not opening your heart and mind, enough to realize that other women are incredible too. We all have so much to offer one another if we are willing to receive, instead of disbelieve.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

It’s Always the Season to be Kind….

So, I was  listening to grown people (unbeknownst to them) complaining and ripping another (not present) adult to shreds not long ago. Not one single ounce of empathy or compassion was oozing from their veins. Jesus, what the hell is wrong with people? :::release huge sigh::: 

As immature as this makes me sound, it’s just mean and unnecessary. Actually, it makes my inner five-year old want to throw myself on the ground while screaming, stop being stupid heads. Yet, I didn’t, which was probably for the best.

The fact of the matter was that after it was all said and done, I was so pissed at myself for not making myself “known” and telling them to STFU (again, real mature). I acknowledge the fact that I was just as guilty at that point too, which pours salt in the wound. I should have spoken up.

In all honesty, I felt let down by this scenario for other reasons too. This includes every other similar situation I have encountered, over my life as well. I never could/can understand why people hurt innocent people. It leaves me feeling deeply concerned and disappointed in humans, in general. Like hey, empathy feel free to come back now. We miss you. 

So what occurred that day in particular, concerns me for many reasons. The first is the fact that not one adult present decided to opt out of the conversation. Yap, yap, yap is all I heard. While the next person added a yap in between the other’s yap. Leaving the collection of yaps quite bountiful, as each person continued to throw theirs into the mix.

The second reason has to do with the fact that the person they were ripping up, isn’t exactly strong enough to handle anymore cruel treatment from others. I mean this person that they were speaking about is so weak that kindness and a helping hand, would probably  seem like a godsend. Yet we just fuel the fire in other people’s lives, as we pour our nastiness on like gasoline. Enjoying the show as we chomp on our heavily buttered popcorn. Yum, being unkind sure does taste good.

It disqusts me when people continue to prey on the weak. Why would anyone want to hurt someone at all? It just doesn’t make sense. However, the fact is that we are hurting someone who is already suffering, and that just speaks volumes about you. If you love the thrill of beating someone while they’re down, you probably should join the WWE or MMA. That way you could/can do as much beating as you need, to feel better about yourself.

Everyone travels on a different personal journey. We’re all dealt a hand from the same deck. The cards we are given, we might be able to play and some we just can’t. When we can’t, we decide whether we need to fold or not . We need to help the people who are ready to fold. Some people endure things, that would break another person within five minutes. Remember that, next time we decide to not choose kindness.

Again, thinking about the heaviness of it all, it frequently leaves me wondering why some are dealt blow after blow.  Why is it that some people just can’t catch a break? Especially, because we know some people really deserve a break, that’s why it’s difficult to understand. It’s in these moments that make life seem a bit unfair, as one person may travel with a brick on their back and some are just buried by them. Don’t help bury people.

I’m not by any means a perfect individual, yet I will never add a brick to someone’s life intentionally. The thought of destroying someone with my sharp tongue would really eat away at me. I can’t even fathom sitting there talking shit, like my own shit didn’t stink. I mean newsflash, our shit stinks too. That is both literally and figuratively speaking of course.

It’s imperative that we remember being kind to one another isn’t hard, it takes little to no effort actually. Whether the person is weak or not, you could seriously make a positive difference in their life. Start making a difference.

Kindness is free, yet some of us act as if it cost a million bucks. When we don’t show kindness we are acting selfishly which might be part of the problem. Being generous with our love has never killed anyone and it might actually improve your day too.

Take a moment to look around, wherever you are. Count the blessings in front of you and thank whoever is upstairs for your blessings. As we reflect and remember how lucky we are, I encourage you to take the time to make someone’s day brighter. Start small. Buy someone a coffee, tell them they look nice, offer help carrying a bag for them. It doesn’t matter what it is. Whatever you do decide, just don’t be a shit storm for others, be their sunlight.

Adding genuine love to your life and other’s lives, with zero expectations is what helps cultivate kindness. Just be kind. You might need the favor in return one day.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

Holding America Down, One Student Loan at a Time.

You know I am the first one to admit that I absolutely love this country. I am grateful for the opportunity and the freedoms provided for us, just because we are Americans. I mean honestly, I could not be more proud to be American but there is just something not quite right going on. I am pretty sure the over 20 million current college students, in America, can relate as well.

So here’s a little history for you all. I am a person that literally never wants a door to be shut in my face and for this reason I have found myself in a little over achieving predicament.

I completed my bachelor’s degree back in 2007, which is a starting point for many fresh-faced students and immediately found employment as a teacher. In 2009, I decided I would like to continue on with my education so I went for my masters degree and completed that in 2011. After that, I went and got a post masters certification in Supervision which was a few extra credits. In 2015 I decided that I wanted to get my administration degree so I earned my second masters degree in 2017.

Now, I am not trying to boast or brag it’s just to give you some background on where this is all going. As the degrees accumulate so does the $$$$.

 

Fast forward to today. I am sitting at the counter as I open a new student loan bill. GULP.

Hey, Crystle, what’s up girl? Guess what? You just worked so hard, we want to charge you more money! A small gift to you because we don’t care. So take two steps back, even though we know you are trying to move forward, joke is on you. We’re still friends, right?

I feel exactly that way, as I look at the request for $386.55 per month which will fit right at home and leave my grand total loan payments equaling a whopping $811.55. Nice right? Funny thing is, with all those degrees, my math skills still suck big time. When I quickly did the math in my head, I thought it was a little over 7 hundred dollars. Silly me. BTW, just a FYI I am not even a surgeon, lawyer or anything high-profile.

:::insert laughing or sobbing::::.

Now, this may be viewed as a complaint and perhaps about 8% of it is. I believe this is a crisis. It’s almost like a form of suppression. There are millions of people out there who are unable to commit to school, bettering themselves, seeking opportunities because that money that they will have to pay back is just not available to them. Especially, in a job market that is just stabilizing, it’s a serious gamble.

The opportunities are almost non-existent because we make it nearly impossible for a large majority of people to be encouraged to chase opportunity. I mean when I was 18 years old and if someone came up to me and said hey, Crystle want to give me $811.00 a month? I’d be like WTF go away. That’s exactly what I would like to say to Sallie Mae, Navient and the Department of Education. GO AWAY. They promise to after 2023, “if” I successfully make my payments, that is. Small miracles.

With working my normal job as a teacher, I also run a business (shameless plug Styles for Miles Mobile Boutique- find us on Facebook and Instagram.)  I am finding this payment to be like a thorn in my side. If I did not have my business I would NEVER be able to afford this payment. That to me is unacceptable.

You see, the bigger picture is this. We are stalling the future’s of people and that is a problem. This is America. The land of opportunity but I can’t help but think the opportunity is only attainable for the people who are going to work more than one job. How else would you ever be able to make these payments? Why does any student have to commit to working multiple jobs, just to stay afloat?

Sure, we can say well you didn’t have to return to school. Sure. Absolutely right. One for you, zero for me. However, that’s just not a fair statement. So if a decision is made by any human, where they have to put their lives on hold due to money, we are seriously facing an epidemic.

 Everyone should be given the chance, the opportunity and not owe some exuberant amount of money for fifteen plus years, just to “make it.” Make it, to take it, is more like it.

Yet, we wonder why people lose their homes, can’t afford to stimulate the economy with purchasing items, can’t purchase homes, still live with their parents (no shame in that btw), are going to food banks and facing huge mental health crises and so much more.

It’s not rocket science. It all starts and ends with the fact that American colleges and universities are promising opportunity but the small print,clearly reads, after your loans are paid off silly.

P.S. –

I will accept any loan donations if you can get through the Sallie Mae guards on the phone.

(I am not joking)

My mother’s middle name is Mary

(I am definitely, not joking.)

I will give you any other pertinent information if you are feeling generous.

(Guess what? I’m not joking.)

Cheers !

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Start Your New Chapter…

I have had a lot of eye-opening experiences lately. The type where you really just peel back the layers of yourself and reevaluate who the hell you are, where the hell you’re going and who you need to be.

You know, the type of thoughts that are hard, ugly, make you so self-aware that you either cringe or smile. I have to tell you that I smile. I smile because I have found out a tiny secret. Do you want to know what it is?

Our lives are filled with certain experiences. Some good, some not so good. These experiences mold us into who we are. Hopefully, we are taking the good pieces and working with that but at times we pick some of the shit up and it kind of takes us into a different direction than we had imagined.

So some of my recent experiences have made me put things into perspective and realign my own life because of it. I’m not afraid to look at myself in the mirror and examine what I need to do, to be okay. At the end of the day we all just need to be okay. If you’re not, listen up.

I have found that humans have certain ideas and expectations of others and this is where it gets tricky. It’s tricky because sometimes the expectations you set, just can’t be met. The ironic part of all of this is that we have choices. Sometimes when we are let down, disappointed or just frustrated with others, it is very painful. We have all been there.

Depending on the situation and how it weighs on you,  we need to know that nothing heavy should stay. When something weighs heavy, we have a choice to make.  The good news is only you need to make the choice. The bad news is, it might hurt a lot. So is it time to let go of something heavy? Should we keep holding on? The answer is simple because we already know that it needs to be released. We hopefully are in tune with our innate ability to know what we need to feel physically, spiritually and emotionally well.  The beautiful thing about OUR life is we always have the choice.

There have been many times in my life where I have felt like “WTF” when facing something less than delightful. During these times I never allowed that feeling, to close off the fact that I was able to make a choice.

Life, seriously is our own open book and as cliché as it sounds we do actually write our own story. I am a firm believer in knowing that certain people, experiences, and things come into our life for certain reasons and times. The chapter is hopefully filled with goodness, happiness, life lessons and so on. Sometimes the chapter needs to end and if we are lucky enough it might continue until our story is over.

Sometimes, these lessons we endure, provide us with what we need to move forward. If we truly listen, it may be one of the most painful things you face. I want to tell you a story about one of the hardest choices I have ever made in my life.

My mom dated a man, (I will leave his name out for privacy reasons.) this person became a father figure in my sisters and my life. He took on a roll that he did not have to and stepped in to take care of three children that he “technically” didn’t have to step in for. I will forever be grateful for his decision to help my mom and guide us while doing so. The lessons, love and support he gave me have always been a piece of my puzzle. The piece that helped shape me into the person I am today.

During my childhood years there were so many memories. These memories were always happy. One of the things I enjoyed the most was the fact that it was important, especially as we got into the teen years to have Sunday dinner together. This became a tradition that I grew to love because we all kind of reconnected and shared the important pieces of our lives. The love felt at these moments is one of the things I miss the most.

Around the later teen years my mom and him parted ways but he still continued to take care of us in a “fatherly” way. He attended important events like birthdays, graduation, Christmas morning, weddings, even walking me down the aisle,  births of some of the kids things like that. There was never a thought in my mind that this wouldn’t last forever, yet somehow this is how life plays games with us, both people need to feel that way. Otherwise things fall apart.

So, in my mid twenties things started to slowly change a little bit. Eventually, shifting more and more. One night we went out to dinner to celebrate my twin and my birthday. It was a nice meal with good conversation but something was a little off. Towards the end of the meal he finally said he wanted to tell us something. The something was that he was getting married. GREAT! That’s awesome! We were genuinely happy for this news.

Until, he said we weren’t invited. It wasn’t the fact of a missing invite, it was what followed.

I will never forget the words either.

“It’s just really intimate and _____________ wouldn’t be comfortable with you guys there.” At this point my sisters and I just felt a little shocked. The feeling of sadness washed over me like a rough sea hitting the shore. I was married at this point and I could understand not wanting to feel a certain way at your wedding. Maybe it could still be okay but I knew this was the beginning of the end.

You see we knew that he wasn’t fully honest with where he was going when we had dinner etc. because his (now) wife was very jealous. That was at the time part of the “deal” and it was, what it was.  I mean it looks from the outside view very strange to have a relationship with three adult girls that aren’t “yours.” I get it and tried to place myself in those shoes. It all kind of boiled down to the fact that he did not convey the importance of this relationship, which I acknowledge and I am sure would have been a difficult topic to discuss. There are certain things in my own life that are nonnegotiable. That relationship “would have” been one of them.

After he got married we were still able to meet here and there for dinner but it just felt so “gross.” Like some dirty secret. You all know what I mean, where you have to lie to hang out with someone. There’s always this weird elephant hammering on your chest. The conflict of it all causes this strange discomfort. The difficult part is addressing the pain associated with ending a strained relationship.

Sadly,  months later, his father had passed away. Although, this was unfortunate on a lot of levels it also meant he had no more excuses to be in our area. It felt like the proverbial “game” was over.  So, it was shortly after receiving that news that I had to make a very difficult decision. Did I want to continue onto the next chapters, with this person in my life?

I found that the past half-dozen or so times, that we would all meet, well there was this negative emotion attached to it, the days leading up to our plans and for days after meeting. I was miserable, sad, and angry.

I can share with you, that it almost felt like you knew someone was dying. Yet, you had no clue when. A total mind fuck. It was associated with death in a sense but just the death of the relationship, not the physical person.  I knew those feelings weren’t good. The fact that they were hitting me so hard meant only one thing. When I was truly honest with myself, I finally knew the chapter needed to end.

I needed to move on from this relationship because of the fact that it caused this perpetual sadness for me. I owed it to myself and my family to finally realize it was time to stop and move on.

It was strange, because for months and months after severing these ties, I felt this overwhelming sadness. However, the pain I faced, ironically lifted this weight off my shoulders. I realized there was a sense of relief attached to it all. That made me feel hopeful and finally realize that I did the right thing for my future self.

I wound up learning a lot over that period of time. I learned about the importance of letting go, even when our hearts don’t want to. I learned that it is important to value the time that we do have with people. I learned that sometimes, someone might be there for you during a period in time. It’s usually when you truly needed them, but they don’t always stay forever. I learned that if you feel a certain (negative) way about a relationship, regardless of what part of your life they occupy, it is time to move forward. You owe it to yourself, to move forward so you can keep your life healthy and happy.

If we are not honoring ourselves in this way, it is time to step back and take a look. Is there something you need to release? Be honest.

I am very candid about the fact that the pain was immense. I am open about the fact that there is still a piece of me that misses the relationship that once existed but not the one that made it end. I am open about the fact that my family deserved only positive energy from me, in our home and that is why I knew it was time to start another chapter.

Don’t be afraid to close chapters.

Don’t be afraid to erase pieces of your story and revise.

Don’t be afraid to start over.

Nothing in life is worth holding onto, if they’re not holding on, too.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

 

Moms, Please Stop……

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I know we all like to scroll through Facebook and Instagram, right?

How many times have you scrolled through and saw the cutest little picture of someone’s kid or family posted?

Probably like a million times, I would say. I mean little kids could brighten almost anyone’s day, but you know what doesn’t?

The constant explanations, we provide in our captions. Let me explain.

“Look at little Sally, looking so cute in her car seat!”  

PS*** The buckles not clipped, but don’t worry we weren’t driving. 

“Look at little Timmy at his swim lesson, my little guppy!”

PS***Don’t worry he had a life vest on, there were 8,000 lifeguards and the pool was exactly 82 degrees. 

“AWW, my little Agatha, just so pretty!”

PS**** Don’t mind the mess! It’s been a busy week! Will clean tomorrow! 

PUMP THE BRAKES LADIES! It’s time to stop explaining every single thing. We are stealing the joy from our precious moments. Focusing and worrying, about what others will think of us, just kills any enjoyment. This applies to all aspects of life.

“Oh, but I don’t care what others think!”

Oh really?

Could have fooled me, with your explanations under every picture.

If we are so convinced, that we didn’t care about whether other people are judging our every move, than why are we so quick to persecute ourselves? Why do we find it important to explain the decisions we make? You don’t have to tell Facebook why your house is messy, unless of course it’s a contest for a maid service, then you absolutely should win that shit!

It seems as if women, mothers in general have fallen into this vortex of constant explaining. We always feel the need to defend and explain what we do with our children and families. Why is this important to so many of us? Why do other people’s judgements and misconceptions matter so much? What’s God’s username and why isn’t he my Facebook friend?

The thing is, anyone who is going to judge us based on where our kid is sitting, swimming or the way our house looks is going to do so anyway. It makes no difference whether we acknowledge it too. Judgemental people don’t falter.

The sad part is by us focusing and worrying about other’s judgements we inadvertently let them steal the joy from the moments we are posting about. So next time you decide to post your sweet little babes online, do so without fear of what people are potentially going to think, because you know what? They are going to think what they want anyway. You already know you’re a great mother and that’s all that matters. The way the house looks, how tired you look,  the junk the kids are eating, that’s all small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. None of that proves anything important.

The love, your kids show you, is the only judgement that matters.  It is time to leave your explanations and fear behind. Continue posting away.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.