Be

the why

I thought about deleting all of my old posts (or at least making them private) and starting fresh again, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. Every single post was at some point in my life something I was feeling or needed to share, and deleting any part of that just didn’t feel right to me. So this will have to be my “fresh start”, years into this blog.

Here’s why I’m blogging — the “why” behind “with a why”, if you will:

  • Because I like to write. This is as simple as it sounds. This is my millionth attempt at blogging and definitely not my last. I enjoy writing and I’m trying to do more of what I enjoy.
  • For my sanity. I’ve noticed that a lot of times I start writing again, it’s because I don’t know what else to do. This time is no exception.
  • To remember thingsThere are so many moments I’ve wanted to capture and so many ways I’ve tried to capture them. I’m adding this to the list of ways because there can never be enough.
  • Because sharing is caring. I’d by lying if I said this blog wasn’t first and foremost for myself, but if someone somewhere gets something positive out of it then it is definitely worth it.
  • To create something real. In a world of posing for Instagram likes and styling pictures of breakfast foods, I needed to create something that was messy and honest and imperfect. Here it is.

This should be fun.

deep breaths


And the highlight reels just keep on coming.

When you’re in a rut, it’s hard impossible not to compare your life to everyone else’s, and unfortunately at those times, the internet make it so very easy to. Social media is tricky like that, isn’t it? When I’m happy, I love to read about all of my long lost friends’ promotions/ engagements/ baby announcements/ [insert other exciting life milestone here]. When I’m feeling not-so-great about my life though, well, that’s a different story. I’m still happy for them, but the joy quickly becomes overshadowed by questions in the tune of “what have I done with my life lately?”

And so, here’s a list of things I am grateful for. Because this is what matters and will always matter.

  1. My husband, who is endlessly supportive and eternally optimistic.
  2. My family, who will never change and is always there, no matter how far away I am.

This is a short list because those are really the only reminders I need of how wonderful my life is. Just those and my faith.

I may be in a rut right now, but I am thankful.

An Instagram a Day

I was mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feed one day, reminiscing on all of the cool and interesting things I’ve done and seen. And it’s true; I’ve done and seen some pretty cool things. But my life is not all trips and adventures and scenic views. Those are just a small portion of who I am and what I do. I couldn’t find my whole self in my feed and that bothered me.
To be honest, it made me a little sad that the only things I found worth sharing were these amazing and rare things. I want to be the type of person who finds wonderful, beautiful things no matter where I am or what I’m doing. And on days when they’re a little harder to find, I’ll try searching harder or create them myself.

I tried, for a short time, to post a picture every day to remind myself of that, but it just wasn’t sustainable. So I wrote this post as my reminder: always love the ordinary days just as much as the special ones.

Happy Earth Day

Yosemite

Yosemite National Park

I remember the day I fell in love with the Earth.

I’m embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t that long ago. Even after years of childhood summers spent climbing trees, skipping rocks, and picking dandelions, I don’t think I fully appreciated nature until my early 20’s, when on a sibling trip to visit my sister in Seattle, we went hiking. The moment I stepped on that trail, I was changed forever.

I don’t remember exactly where we were, but I remember how I felt and that was everything. I was energized and alive. I felt every breath and every breath felt more real than it ever had before. And while my heart was racing, my mind was calm. That’s what struck me the most. Calmness is a rarity for my overthinking, over-anxious mind.

I’m always on the lookout for things that stop me in my tracks — things that calm my mind and soothe my soul. Nothing does this more for me than the beauty of this planet. I am happiest when I am outside, taking it all in. Please keep her beautiful forever.

Simplifying My Life

clothes

I’m currently on a huge closet overhaul/attempt to become a minimalist due to the following factors:

  1. Reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo last year. It’s been all over every blog/Instagram post, but the gist of what I learned? Keep only what you love. And yes, it really is life-changing.
  2. Discovering capsule wardrobes via The EveryGirl. Another blog hit of 2015, capsule wardrobes involve paring down your wardrobe to a set number of mix and match items every few months or so. I was drawn to the concept since I suffer deeply from decision overload.
  3. Necessity. Moving across the country with only the things I could fit in my Jetta has forced me to purge just a wee bit.
  4. Giving up shopping for clothes. After a wedding/honeymoon and busy traveling schedule all last year and a big move to kick off 2016 (all which were 110% worth it), money has been tight. I’m opting to not buy any new clothes for 2016 and so far, it has been pretty effortless. As an incentive (if I make it through this) I’ll buy myself a shiny new laptop for Christmas. Challenge accepted.

I’ll admit, it has been a long and pretty painful process so far. After a trip to Plato’s Closet and countless bags of donations, my closet could still use some work (as seen above). I’ll get there. More to come on this journey and my second attempt at a capsule wardrobe.

Favorite Finds

Soo, I realize it’s Monday and the weekend is over, but I still wanted to share some things I found last week. We’ve had a crazy past few days apartment hunting and spending time with family. We’re back to Chicago today and ready for more moving madness.

BIG NEWS

goodbye

Originally written on January 29, 2016.

There are very few moments in my life where I really stopped to think about the meaning of a word. Today is one of them. Bittersweet — a word I love and hate at the same time, just like it’s meant to be.

Today was my last day with a company I’ve grown with and grown to love. It will always be my first, my home, and my beginning. I picture myself looking back at these times fondly in the future, thinking “this is where it all began…” (I often think of myself as an old lady looking back…it puts things into perspective).

In the near future though, I see myself as an adventurer. In the next couple of weeks, we will be making our way across the country for me to pursue a new job. With a new company. In a new state. Whoa.

I also legally changed my name earlier this week so I am in massive life change overload. I don’t know what having an identity crisis is like, but I think I might be close.

So that’s what’s coming up. BIG THINGS. And I’ll be sharing it all on here.

Life is exciting.

And in this box…

I found a box of memories. It was one of many, but this was different. It was everything I’d written and somehow felt the need to save. It was my heart and soul on scribbled sheets of paper; my mind typed up in graded reports that reminded me how much I have learned. And it was freeing to see and more than anything, freeing to feel.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in intention — to do things for a purpose or for an audience because that’s what you’re supposed to do. But there are times when you need to just be and just do — just because. I used to write and I used to love it. And I don’t want to be able to say “used to” anymore.

So, here’s to every box of memories waiting to be filled.

21 Day Challenge: Phone Down

So I realized I haven’t done an update on this challenge I started. The reason? I failed. Miserably. I think I spent almost 8 hours on my phone one day…yikes. So you know what I did? I deleted the Moment app from my phone. 

I stopped tracking my phone usage and stopped the challenge. I moved all social media apps to the hidden part of my phone and took a moment to just think about how seeing the amount of time I spent on my phone made me feel. Hint: not good.

So the challenge may be over, but my phone will be down. I’m still learning to be present, but I think awareness is the first step.