A couple of months ago the seven-year-old girl I nanny was visibly upset and I asked her why. Without taking a beat she said, “If you haven’t noticed, I’ve had a rough year. At least I think it’s been a year…um…but I don’t know how long that really is…but…you know what I mean.”
And I did know what she meant as much as I can imagine how it feels to be scared because your dad was suddenly diagnosed with brain cancer and now has lots of surgeries and treatments all the time. That’s all I can do is imagine and confirm, “Yes, you have definitely had a rough year, sweetie. I’ve noticed.”
During Spring break she was promised a family cruise and a trip to Europe. She. Was. Stoked! She loves to do British accents and the thought of being in a country where EVERYONE speaks that way was completely exciting to her. Not to mention Disney on the sea. Dream come true.
But she was unable to take the trip due to complications to her Dad’s health. She was very upset, but took it like a champ, spending the week with family.
Yesterday was the day. Her parents planned to pick her up from school and whisk her away for her dream vacation and I get to be a part of it.
Before we left I was tearing up. This is going to be the greatest trip of her life that she will remember for a very long time. This sweet, sensitive girl who has dealt gracefully with more than someone her age should, gets to escape for a Caribbean week of fun and fantasy. She really deserves it and I’m honored to share it with her and I couldn’t he happier about it.
P.S. I’m seeing some Mayan Ruins on the trip! Pumped for that.
I know it’s a bold statement and it might seem over done, but I think last week was my best week ever. Nothing too crazy or extraordinary took place per se, but the level of peace and personal satisfaction I felt was unmatched.
If I had to narrow it down to two reasons it would be friendships and work.
Starting last Friday I spent a lot of quality time with an array of friends who are like-minded, supportive, creative and just really, really awesome. I had intense conversations about the deeper aspects of life, our weaknesses and how we are moving forward to create a life for ourselves that has meaning. Lots of truth. Lots of laughs and a huge community of stellar, supportive friends.
I took an amazing course in Atlanta, where a lot of my dearest friends participated and I was able to stretch my heart far beyond any place I had before. It was amazing.
And I couldn’t be happier with my work. I love the kids I nanny so much it’s crazy. Don’t get me wrong, 12 hours a day is hard work, but it’s so fun and satisfying that even the times of mass hysteria or total exhaustion are worth it.
This week, one of the twins climbed onto the arm of the couch, jumped into my arms and said clear as a bell, “I love you soooooooooo much, Kelley!” Heart. Melted. Day. Made. Year. Made.
What I’m noticing most that I’m really excited about is joy in the ordinary. I used to think I needed some crazy circumstances to happen to find happiness. I’m sure to have an exciting life, but I love experiencing joy in the simple day-to-day occurrences. It truly is fulfilling.
I’m feeling really fortunate and I encourage you to experience the joy where it lives - in whatever it is your experiencing right now.
I took this amazing awareness course intended specifically for singles over the weekend and it was truly both an eye and heart opening experience. As I’m decompressing from the course and integrating into daily life I realized everything I learned is applicable to all relationships, not just romantic partnerships. So, I’m here to sell you on the idea of being completely yourself, on all levels in all kinds of relationships, because it’s really too costly to do it any other way. Presenting: Six Reasons to Be Yourself.
1. Not sustainable not to be. It takes a whole lot of energy to show up for different people different ways in order to gain acceptance and it’s very hard to keep that up for any length of time. It’s so much easier to relax into being yourself. That takes hardly any energy at all because there isn’t really any trying in that, there’s just being.
I’ve reached the part of my journey where I’m dealing with two things on a consistent basis: truth and acceptance. Luckily for me these burst of awareness and insight have been popping up all over that place so I haven’t had too dig so deep. However, I can’t control the rate and what is coming up so it’s felt like I’ve been bombarded with all of these aspects of myself I’ve been blinded to for years.
The biggest revelation besides becoming my mother is that I have been a shitty girlfriend.
If I’m being completely honest (which I am on this blog more than maybe I should be) - I started this whole path of self discovery for two reasons. First, to transform my relationship with my mother into something more healthy and genuine. Second, to prevent myself from becoming my mother. It’s so scary to even write that because reading those words must be the most hurtful thing a mother could read, but I’m sharing truth here so there it is.
My youngest sister is turning 21 today and the best gift I can give her is my wisdom that exceeds hers by almost 10 years. So Jackie, this is for you: 21 Things I’d Tell My 21 Year-Old Self as my learnings to maybe make a couple of things easier for you than they were for me. I love you with all of my heart and there isn’t another soul on the planet quite as precious as yours.
Question everything. Not in a “damn the man” kind of way, but be curious about your conclusions and beliefs. You don’t have to change them, but just make sure they are actually yours - from your brain and conscience.
Tell the truth. Even if you think people don’t know you’re lying they sense it. Even if they don’t sense it, you know. Your integrity, whether you realize it or not, weighs heavily on your self-esteem. If you don’t tell the truth for the other person, tell it for yourself.
Stop dieting. Educate yourself. First of all, you’re beautiful. But diets are silly. Educate yourself on food, nutrition and where all the stuff you put in your body comes from. Knowledge will evoke sustainable change which will improve your health and body image.
Purge toxic people. You are too kind to keep people around who don’t make you feel wonderful about yourself. In this case quality is much better than quantity. The sooner you eliminate negative forces in your life, the sooner you will truly love your life.
Today is the last day I’ve committed myself to my dating fast. After the course I’m taking this weekend, I may extend my contract with myself. I trust that I will sense the right thing to do and I will keep you all posted.
I’m really proud of the work I’ve been able to accomplish in the past 95 days. If I’m being honest, the last two weeks have been the absolute hardest. Past heartbreak has resurfaced for me in a major way (maybe I will be able to blog about it soon) and really forced me to confront some possibly very dark unconscious motives and patterns.
It takes crazy amounts of strength to be a step mother.
Women should be called step mothers because they’re stepping into a role that’s highly needed.
They step into the lives of men who are tattered and torn from the aftermath of failed love. They breathe new life and hope into these men, giving them a safe place to open their hearts and believe in true love again.
From my understanding (after 13 years of a Catholic education) Easter is celebrated to recogize Jesus rising three days after he was crucified in order to cleanse the sins of humanity.
No longer Christian but spiritual in nature, I still believe this is a beautiful day to celebrate. If we are lucky, as humans roaming this planet we have several incaranations in a lifetime. We shed bodies and identities that no longer serve us. We experience death, illness, hardship and heartache to ressurrect into a new iteration of ourselves. Hopefully we emerge closer to our soul nature that will bring us straight to God in the way that Jesus ascended to heaven.
This Easter take some time to think of the ways you’ve been crucified, or ways in which you’ve crucifed yourself. Consider ways parts of you have died. Ways in which you have transformed. Ways in which you have figuratively risen from the dead.
As unintuitive as it may seem, be grateful for the purposeful suffering that enabled you to revinvent yourself, connecting even stronger with the you you truly are meant to be. Transformation is a blessing and today it s great reminder of the awesome power of the human spirit to continually regenerate.