p.s. enjoy this song. if you're in the mood.
and trust me, you are.
Though I am a hopeless romantic myself, (dreaming of the perfect moment, with an unknown Him, under a starlit anything) I can’t help but write about a different kind of love today.
This kind of love comes from saying no; it comes from showing up alone; it comes from dashboard drumming and kitchen dancing; it comes from knowing you can and showing you did. This kind of love is for numero uno, it’s self-respect, it’s faith in you, and it’s a won confidence.
My eyes have recently been opened to just how many people struggle with this concept. For example, I may see a girl that’s proficient at keeping her cool, kicking up her feet with hip new jeans and straight, white teeth. Come to find out, that when the only breath in the room is her’s, “cool” is an adjective she never thinks. She spreads her job, her money, her body, her friends, and her intelligence across the floor, setting them ablaze with flammable words like, “I’m not good enough. They need more.”
She performs for the masses and breaks down in the dark. I couldn’t tell…If only I had known.
Human beings are sometimes creatures of comparison to a fault. Who has the best style? Who has the best swing? The best smile? The best SATs? You can wager and weigh until your blue in the face, but it will most likely not make you a better you.
I’m passionate about this subject because everyone deserves to feel worthy. So, to anyone who has metaphorically or literally burned their life into embers…to anyone who just doesn’t feel good enough, here are a few reminders:
No one has it all figured out.
The grass may not be greener.
Your quirks and habits belong.
Your opinion matters.
Show yourself you can do it. You CAN do it.
Please, don’t try to please everybody.
Feel good in that custom skin.
Smile at your reflection.I am the first to admit that I can’t sing, I make funny facial expressions, I’m slightly awkward around that really cute boy, and I know little about fashion. I also know that if you push me in the dirt, I’ll get back up, I can sink a solid three pointer (or two or three), I laugh at dorky jokes, but most of all, I’m still learning this life. Everyday, I’m more and more comfortable with the me that’s showing up for life. I want that for you too…
and trust me when I say that you are you and that is what’s cool. Nobody knows the difference.
you can visit erin's lovely blog here.
Trusting, hoping and believing in someone or something. Yes, faith is involved in religion, but it also encompasses so much more. It is the knowledge that after a cold, depressing winter… flowers will bloom and icees will reign over hot chocolate once again. It is faith in yourself, in others and in something bigger.
I remember a time, not so long ago, that I claimed that my happiness was over. I was scared of my boyfriend leaving, of moving to a new place and even my unsure future. After a dental school acceptance, marriage to said boyfriend and an exciting mid-west life I realize my flaw. I lost faith in myself. I had tunnel vision of the past and had lost my future’s telescope. From this I am learning to use the heart cookies of the past to give me the courage to focus in on the future. When school is stressful and I just want to go back to my love sac in Provo… I look and see my future degree, future house and future family. I guess mostly I want to say that you can change your future, and to have faith that it will be better than the past.
There are certain people that hold reservoirs of my faith. I believe in my mom making everything better. Through cards, calls and visits she fixes most any of my problems. Her charity and talents astound me. I believe in her. My husband. Still kind of getting used to that adjective, but all the same I have faith in him. Even when I act a little crazy or forget that he has a family too, he’ll still love me. I know he can remind me of my faith in myself and in us. I love having faith in the man he is and the one he will become. I have faith in my friends of past and present. I love that even a thousand miles away I can still count on them for late night food binges and phone call advice. My faith grows in myself because of the people they are. Beautiful, ambitious and witty… the perfect combination for heroes. My family, while not perfect, I have faith in the people they make me and the people they are. I have faith in others, but these are the ones that come to mind.
Now something bigger. My choice for faith in something beyond myself is through religion. I know many object to such a belief, but I hold faith in my religion. I include this only because I know of its importance. I have seen those with faith lose it. I’ve seen the sadness and hatred take over their lives. It does not have to be in God. But I think it’s important to believe in something to reduce fear of tragedy and encourage the desire to do good. If for nothing else than to know that bad things are for a reason and good people will be rewarded for being good.
These are my thoughts on faith. I will admit my chosen naivety on the matter. It makes me a happier person to believe in a better tomorrow. Even on empty glass days I hope for a better tomorrow. My advice? Work on faith in any one of these areas. Learn to have faith in yourself, or contemplate the “faithfull” people in your life or even look to the stars to imagine something beyond this world.
So many of the posts this week that Kristen featured relate to love. The hope, the desire, the need to be loved – something that has occupied days, weeks, months of my life in thoughts, in prayers, in experience, in every part of who I am. I am not the expert in love, but I have found it, and just celebrated one full year of being married to my husband Kevin. After one full year of marriage and having seen every season of being married to Kevin – I understand love better now than I ever have before, and have some words of encouragement for those of you are searching or hoping for love of your own.
I met Kevin as a camp counselor in New Hampshire, and knew within days– that I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. People hate hearing that, because it seems to them that it came so easily for me. I should let you know though, that I had my fair share of heartbreak and struggle before Kevin, and not everything was so easy and simple the way it was with him. I think people see those who are married and feel envious because all they are looking at is the end result. They can’t possibly see the ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, the pain of heartbreak, the months of healing that ensue. They see the happy result, but love cannot be measured by one result. Love can never be a single event.
The truth is, before I met Kevin I was in love with someone else. I wanted to marry him for years, but things never worked out. We would break up constantly and every time I felt this suffocating blackness, that things could never work until we were together again. We could get back together and I would cry because it wasn’t what I wanted but the hard thing was that I didn’t know what I wanted. Our relationship was toxic for both of us. Even knowing in my heart that it was not right, the hardest thing I have ever done is say goodbye to him. I knew I had to, but I couldn’t bear the thought of living in a world where he did not exist with me. I cried for months.
For years I knew only that love, so when I met Kevin, it was as if someone had flipped on a light switch. He was funny, so funny that I would gasp for air, so funny that on a scale from one to hilarious he was more than I could handle. He knew how to tell me how he felt with abandon – he was not afraid of a return, or reciprocation. He loved without symmetry. He was so good, too, and I think his goodness is what made me fall so fast. He was so gentle with me, with my feelings, with my love as if he knew too that this was something so precious and rare.
We fell in love under a giant willow tree in New Hampshire. We would lie on our backs and look at these enormous branches and leaves, bowing to the wind, sifting the sunlight as if through a sieve. We held hands for the first time under that tree. We had our first kiss in a hammock by the lake. He said I love you for the first time when we were saying goodbye. He proposed under a sea of stars in the middle of nowhere. We were married and covenanted forever, agreeing in our hearts that we would never stop trying. Last weekend we celebrated our first anniversary in Vegas with a drunken man playing the flute in the hallway outside of our hotel room and more love in our hearts for each other than we ever had before.
It is impossible to know when love will come, but I believe that the first step has to be letting go of what is not right, even if it means more pity parties and “Girls Night Outs” and ice-cream than we can stomach. It takes so much courage to tell someone you love goodbye, but it is so necessary. It is better to be completely alone, than with someone who you are not yourself with. It is important to learn to be your own friend, to love yourself because when we don’t love ourselves we are far too reliant on the love of another. We use any form of love we can as reassurance, as proof that we are lovable. But as humans, as individuals, we are too important to settle for less than the right kind of love - We need the kind of love that will make us whole, not desperate.
Whole love is the kind of love I know after one year of marriage. And those are my words of encouragement.
My nephew is the most darling thing that has ever lived. I'm not even remotely exaggerating. (Kris back me up...)
Ever since he was an infant he has sought to be completely comfortable at all times. He would stretch his stubby little arms behind his head as soon as he figured out how to use them...and took long naps while everyone wished he would wake up and play. Now he takes his two fleece blankets, that's right two, everywhere he goes and burrows his baby soft, blonde haired, blue eyed, two year old face in there gentle embrace instead of the hardness of your shoulder. Even on the long drive to California, with the car's air condition battling the oppressive heat of Las Vegas (and losing might I add) he still insists on both blankets being wrapped around him, face read and hair damp. But he has his two blankets so he is happy.
He seeks to feel warm, secure, and comforted.
The way I feel when I read To Kill a Mockingbird in my back yard in alpine, on a not so hot but not so cold day, in the shade of those huge cotton trees that gives everyone allergies in the spring, but their shade is so perfect you forgive them. Or when I play badminton with the family in the back yard on Summer days after church; trash talking Justin even though his team has never lost, and kinda thinking I am still going to win despite the widely know fact that you have horrible coordination.
How I felt when I would go visit my Great Aunt Margie (my idol) on Catalina Island and even though she was sixty she would swim with me all day, buy a big olaf (a giant waffle cone with a sundae in it...so yum) with me and I would wake up with the ocean breeze blending flawlessly with her coffee heating up in the kitchen.
Like living with three of my best friends in all the best apartments Provo has to offer. Spending my days doing everything I possibly could to keep Erin and Jessica from leading their overly responsible lifestyle (to the point of wrestling Jessica over the temperature of the heater) and occasionally going on stalking adventures with Kristen (I'm not talking about facebook here...and Kristen honestly has a gift....taco tuesday 2008). And of course.... heart cookie (or should I say the cause of all our future heart attacks cookie).
The times when I was sitting in a young women's lesson and I decided I wanted to be really good...and it didn't even seem like it's going to be hard.
It's those moments of calm simple happiness that I want to put in a tupperware, stick in my freezer, and gobble up when life gets a little too hectic, like the time smoke came billowing out of the front of my car while driving down state street, or when I drank three energy drinks in an effort to stay awake during finals week and fell asleep anyway. Yes Shakespeare can be just that boring.
Yes mam, I will take one scoop of unconditional love.....actually make that two scoops.
Add some whipped blissful happiness and sprinkle it with carefree laughter and Elise's chocolate chip cookies!
Now let me put on my sweats, pull back my hair, and kick up my feet because who cares what I look like, I feel no pressure to impress at the moment.
It's those times where I successfully disregard worries and insecurities that I feel like little Willy Will with his two blankets. Holding on no matter the heat. Holding on to the two things that give him the most comfort. That make him the most happy. I think when you can hold on to your serenity, your peace of mind, your testimony, your inner happiness (whatever you want to call it) that tightly...you have arrived.
You become the kind of girl or boy that people like even though they don't really know why...you're just always (or mostly, anyone who is always anything is just faking it) happy, and that's refreshing.
For starters, I'm not a writer. Most my English teachers could tell you that but I have learned a thing or two this past year about having hope for love. So Kris, this is for you babe.
A year ago next month you wrote this post for me.
You taught me a lot about life and what to gear up for...but i will never for get what you taught me about love.
You told me not be afraid to fight for love and to love with all my spunky heart, because it is worth the fight.
You told me I'd be the source and the victim of heartbreak, but through it all love is worth fighting for.
I can't tell you how many times i've read that blog post over and over again.
It got me through my highest highs and lowest lows in Hawaii.
And every time i read it, it becomes more and more true. There is something to say about hope..hope for the world...hope for people...hope for the stars...hope for peace..
but most of all hope for love.
The topic of love is among the most fragile delicate of subjects that there is. And i can't say i know much about the topic except that I am 100% head over heels in love with the idea of being in love. I also know that I have never been more afraid of anything in my life. (I know I try to act like I can take over the world without a fear but fact is i have lots of them.)
Unconditionally loving is something we all aim for.
We dream of love, pray for love, and hope for love. Some of the things in life I was born to love. Others I have learned to love. Most of all loving unconditionally is something I strive for...scares me to death...but one day I know my heart will be open to loving with all that I am.
We put up walls, trust less, and lose hope.
At first it seemed I was the only one who put up walls when it came to love. But when we are being completely honest, these walls come from any love being lost...from anyone...at anytime.
I have hope for the day that I meet him and when I know. I will never need anything but him to make me perfectly happy. And I have hope that love will work out for all those who it has not yet graced.
So this is a hope for all of the hopeless out there.
Don't be afraid to love.
Love what you do.
Love where you are.
Love who you are with.
Love what surrounds you.
Love what your passionate about and love the world around you. Because all of it is beautiful...every single tiny inch of it.
Loving is the purest form of happiness.
Allow walls to fall. Trust in loving and unconditionally love. Love is the greatest hope we can have.
So give a hand to the world.
Give a hand to the people.
Give a hand to the stars.
Give a hand to peace...and give a hand to hope and having hope for love.
That is my hope to all the hopeless.
I’ll be honest. Being a guy is tough. Being a gentleman is even tougher.
The fact that I have two very distinct chromosomes means that throughout my life I will be known by many girls (roommates, sisters, and mothers) as “the jerk” or “the heart-breaker.” I can try my best to be sensitive, kind, and compassionate... but sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and suddenly I’m branded.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the “jerk” thing just comes with the penis. You just learn to live with it.
My chromosomes got me stuck with the job title of The Pursuer, The Provider, and The Protector.
Because I’m a guy, I’m in constant competition with other guys... even when there aren’t women around. We live in a world of alpha males and douche bags who are always trying to size each other up - you know - assert their dominance. And when you don’t play the game, it’s assumed by most that you’re submitting.
The peacocking is so overrated... and yet I live in a world of booty calls, and one-night-stands where the plague of the Douche Bag runs rampant. I spend my weekends sifting through an ocean of trite, empty-headed, shallow 20-somethings who want nothing but a free drink, or a night of self-indulgence with minimal attachment or expectations...
It gets frustrating, because that’s not what I’m looking for... yet often times it seems like that’s all that’s offered.
I’m searching for a girl... my problem is, I don’t know who exactly she is.
I do know that she exists. She’s just elusive like the Sasquatch or Bigfoot.Maybe that’s not the best comparison... but the point is that I, and most guys like me, have a secret...
In the spirit of honesty, I’m going to open up the kimono and let you in on this little secret.you may never hear a guy admit again, so pay close attention.
We’re not as tough as we make ourselves up to be.
We like to be in love.
As a matter of fact, we love it.
And, sometimes, just like girls, we get our hearts broken.
We feel alone, and hurt. We just don’t like to talk about it. At all.
We don’t get the chance to curl up in our PJs with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, and watch a self-indulgent chick flick where everything works out in the end.
We don’t get to call our moms and go get mani-pedis, as we talk over a mountain of french fries and extra large Diet Cokes.
We don’t even get to cry.
Standard protocol is to “suck it up.”
Be a man!
In worst-case-scenarios, a broken heart calls for a Guys Night full of mind-numbing sessions of Halo, while chugging Mountain Dew and eating cheap $5 pizza.
The only real conversation on nights like this (other than the profanities that only Halo can inspire) revolves around you friends smack-talking the girl you held so dear to your heart, and encouraging you to do the same.
Deep inside, what we really want (and when I say “we,” I mean “I.” I can’t be alone in this.) is that simple, storybook kind of love.
You know the kind I’m talking about.
It’s the love where I can’t sleep through the night, because I keep waking yourself up to make sure she’s still there and that I weren’t really dreaming... because it feels like a dream to have her there next to me.
It’s the kind of love that has me running out the door after work just to get home and smother her in kisses, and present her that bouquet of wildflowers that I hand-picked on the side of the freeway because they reminded me of her.
I’m trying to find the girl who can talk to me about books that we read together, and not who got cut from The Bachelor this week.
I’m desperate for the girl who pushes me to pursue my dreams... and a girl who has dreams of her own.
I yearn for the day that I come home from work to discover her in one of my baggy t-shirts, and a pair of old, tattered jeans with paint on her exhausted face and hair pulled back into a simple ponytail.
She explains to me that she woke up that morning and thought the living room just needed a change.
I want to spend my weekends waking up early to embark on scavenger hunts at farmers markets, garage sales, and music stores... watching her hunt for the perfect little treasure that will complete or inspire her next big project.
I want to open her doors, hold her hand, travel the world, and run to the store late at night to buy her tampons.
I want to watch romantic comedies, and have her realize at the end that I’m her prince charming, or her knight in shining armor. And together, we’ve got it better than any fairy tale.
I want to dance in the kitchen at 2:00 in the morning, and kiss her flat on the mouth after telling her I’m sorry for proving her wrong. Just kidding... she’ll never be wrong.
I want to be in love. You know... that can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, world-series kind of stuff.
And I don’t want to be afraid to tell her... because it’s true.
I love her.
And I always will.
And that’s the honest truth.