I’d like to think that it’s fate that my birthday this year falls on the same day as the Love Yourself Linkup. A lot has changed for me in this past year and so it’s crucial to fight the usual bouts of disappointment I typically associate with this annual event. I am officially closer to the age 30 than the age 20 and instead of feeling like my youth is slipping, I need to look at this birthday as one year closer to happiness.
The lure of admitting defeat gets stronger with passing time. As I begin to hear the biological clock ticking away, I often wonder how much longer I can keep this up before having to succumb to my greatest fears in order to sustain my hopes for a family. But as much as I’d like to fall in line with the crowd, I know that happiness is still out there. The yearning I have for it is more palpable than ever and as the desire for stability grows, so does my resistance to the currents of practical living.
How do you keep swimming when you have no idea what direction the shore is in? (Yes, I’m going to try to keep going with this ocean metaphor)… You just do. There is no answer other than what your basic survival instinct is telling you to do: keep your head above it all and continue searching.
I’m sad to say that I’ve been guilty of not writing to the fullest. And this is mainly because I haven’t been living to the fullest. With the pending move and the shape shifter that is known as my income, I’ve been happy to even keep my head above water. When going through times of change, decisions get that much more difficult to make given how much is riding on them. I know now that the decision I made to begin this blog was a landmark for my personal and professional growth, so continuing to move forward with it is just as important, if not more so. Despite feeling like I don’t have any beauty to give right now, it’s also important that I participate this week in the Choose Beauty Linkup – in order to remind myself that there has to be something left inside to push forward. There just HAS to be.
One of the obstacles I face every day (particularly lately because I’ve been on so many job interviews) is projecting the shiniest and best, most optimistic version of myself. I wear carefully curated outfits, I meticulously draw on my lipstick and my smile, I speak confidently about my erratic and yet fulfilling journey.
For this week’s Choose Beauty Linkup, I was able to convince my best friend Liz to write an article for Tide & Bloom. I am extremely grateful to have someone like her on my side; she’s been a steady force in my life since high school, always supporting and loving me through all my crazy periods of growth. It’s no surprise to me, or anyone else that knows her, that she turned to therapy as her career path – making it her life’s goal to help others. I’ve been begging her to write something for me because she has too many great things to share and I knew this series would be something right up her alley.
When I began this entry, I did not know exactly what I wanted to say or where it was going to end up. I knew I wanted to focus on the power of nature, as I have been using it as a personal self-care strategy in my life. Christina and I had discussed the idea of me guest-blogging many times before, but I have a lot going on in my life right now having just moved to a new city and began a new career. In the midst of that, she still wanted and believed that I had something to offer in writing a column. I felt many doubts run through my mind… “I can’t do that, I am too busy,” or “Ugh, what do I have to offer to anyone anyway?” The irony of that last statement is that I am a therapist, a mental health counselor who helps people for a living.
Some may wonder, what is it like to be a therapist, to deal with people’s problems all day? It is true that in my professional life I deal with the entire spectrum of human emotions. I see people at the lowest of their lows, as well as hear about truly horrific events and situations they have experienced. It is crucial that I have ways to protect myself in order to have an escape from all that trauma, hurt, sorrow, abandonment. One of my current rituals is taking time at lunch to step back and be with nature. I work in an office with no windows so by lunch time, I am craving the sunshine and open spaces. I am fortunate to have beautiful outside spaces surrounding me. Although I do not claim to be an outdoorsy person, the research, along with my own experience, shows how powerful communing with nature can be. Within minutes of being outside in the open air, I feel a shift in my being.
Right now I’m going through somewhat of a tough time. The instability that surrounds me feels like it will close in at any moment and I’ll crumble right along with it. And so in an attempt to try to be my own happiness, to be my own best friend, I am going to write a letter to myself (and hopefully it’ll resonate with you too).
You’re turning 26 soon and let me tell you: you are exactly where you are supposed to be. It may seem like everything’s been for naught, like everything feels like a waste of time. But I promise you that it is not. I promise you that you are going to make a difference to someone, somewhere… and soon. The things you create and the ways you love are limitless and there is no reason to keep that from the world.
Catch-up dinners with close friends are a wonderful thing. Sometimes they are just casual and fun and other times they become some of the most inspiring and motivational conversations you’ll ever have. Last night I had one of the latter kind with a friend who’s known me since the beginning of college. She’s seen me be everything from ridiculous to amazing and seems to always understand the beauty in the things I do. Pretty priceless, huh? We got into a discussion over our current states of restlessness, almost drowning in our desire to make our dreams manifest into reality. She read aloud to me Linda Holmes’ article on NPR, Hey Kid: Thoughts for the Young Oddballs We Need So Badly. I highly suggest you read the entire thing, but here are a few of my favorite parts.
The fact that nobody is doing what you imagine doing is the beginning of your idea, not the end. People want to read things that haven’t been written, see things that haven’t been made, and hear things that don’t yet exist. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t see yourself reflected in what’s being shown to you, let alone what’s being heavily marketed to you.
Everything worthwhile has a strong feeling in it, which means if you’re going to make great stuff, you’re going to have strong feelings. This is part of why people associate artistic types with moody outbursts or temper tantrums or lying around saying, “Oh life!” And it’s sort of true.
Out here, we are already waiting for you. We are already anxious for you. Out here, we want to see your stuff. Don’t get me wrong — some of us will disappoint, reject, confuse, misunderstand, mislead, or even exploit you. (Not the good ones of us on those last couple. But some.) But we want to see your stuff. Keep going.
UGH. That is SO good right? Of course after reading it, I’m thinking “I wish I had written that,” but more importantly I wish I had read that when I was younger. The world is prime for our individuality to shine if we allow it to. If we believe in our original thoughts/ideas/creations and put them out there and exercise them, who knows what will happen. And the beauty is in our possibility, our potential. We – meaning I – need to stop trying to arrange ourselves to be reflections of icons of success or cultural importance and instead place priority on becoming a genuine and unfiltered reflection of the inner creator.
As you can probably already tell, I’m addicted to media. Thanks to technology and ever-present social media, I have endless sources for inspiration to chase after my dreams no matter how defeated I convince myself into feeling. One of the best resources for my inspiration is none other than the every day addiction we know as Pinterest. I have two accounts – a personal one and one for this blog – but T&B gets pinned on way more nowadays. Below you’ll find some of my favorite recent pins. Be sure to follow Tide & bloom on Pinterest to see more of my daily obsessions!
on taking chances : pin // source
elephant ceramics for milk farm road shop : pin // source
One of the biggest mental setbacks I have is the fear that I’m not as great as the people I admire and aspire to be like (artists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc). Those beautiful creative professionals seem like they have everything together so effortlessly and they continue to surprise me with their ability to stay fresh, relevant, and inspirational. Despite knowing that they all had to start somewhere, I always find myself feeling so far behind with so much left to go. Why do I feel like I have to start big and so close to the end?
I keep forgetting that you don’t begin a success. You become a success.
Now that I’m an “adult”, I no longer have school assignments leading my art practice. This is liberating and terrifying. Without any limits, how do you chose to represent yourself? Wait, I’m wrong. There are definitely limits – the limits of self-doubt, financial resources, physical space, mentor support. I’ve been slowly and painstakingly inching towards finding imagery from within. While I could very easily just draw from life (and sometimes I do), my true self is only revealed in abstract gestures. What you see here is a small series from my sketchbook that I’ve titled “Lock”. They’re all 14 x 11 inches and done in Micron pen.
I envisioned these in my mind laying in bed one night, thinking about how to distill my mark to a pure form. They end up looking a lot like feathers or hair (hence the series title) and I love – yes, I love – how delicate they ended up. The movement in each line is subtle and sometimes strained, but always organic. It’s really difficult to take accurate pictures of my drawings, but I edited them to the best of my ability.
I decided to share this series as a part of the Love Yourself Linkup because the act of exposing my drawings is an act of self-love. It takes everything in me to be proud of myself. If you know me in real life then you know how ridiculously true this is. I’m terribly self-conscious about speaking about my work or showing my work – even more so if you’re my friend or loved one. So here I am, allowing myself to receive whatever reaction may come… including praise.
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and become a part of the Love Yourself Linkup!
Every few weeks I tend to experience an identity crisis. I have the awful plague of being a creative and ambitious individual which means nothing is ever good enough, including myself. In order to pull myself out of this hopeless hole, I have to do something that will lead me back to remembering who I really am. Sometimes it’s rambling on to my boyfriend about how I’m too far behind to do anything worthwhile in my life, to which he usually responds with reassuring words about how everyone loves everything I do. Other times it’s chatting with best friends who usually tell me how much they admire my strength and courage.
Today it happens to be that I’m reminded of who I am by my birth date. Everyone loves reading descriptions of themselves and their potential futures, in hopes that their own self-image and desired goals will be confirmed as what destiny had intended for them. While I do believe that we are in control of our own lives, I also think you can’t get anywhere without knowing thyself.
My life has been riddled with fear of failure and self-doubt of my talent, despite all the evidence of my success. But thanks to divine luck, I have a best friend slash life coach who has a never-ending arsenal of encouraging words of wisdom. During my visit to see her graduate, she was actually the one giving me source for life inspiration. She handed me three books by Sark and asked me to choose one of them, as a gift to take home with me. I chose The Bodacious Book of Succulence: Daring to Live Your Succulent Wild Life.
For this week’s Love Yourself Linkup, I present to you my favorite excepts from this motivational read paired with pictures from a study abroad trip I took to Ireland about five years ago (I still yearn to go back).
A succulent is a plant that gets its nourishment and water from the inside – it replenishes itself.
I wish for you the ability to self-replenish, to be juicy, ripe, filled to over-flowing.
We deserve to be the caretakers for our spirits and dreams, and this means truly sensing and listening for our most alive route.
Step back into the light of your creative purpose even if you’re not sure what it is.