Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taming the Ugly

Have you ever noticed how ugly people get in bad situations? Whether it is a fight, lost luggage at the airport, a holiday gone wrong, or a breakup...people show their ugliest colors. Why is that? 

Wouldn't kindness help the situation more? Wouldn't your true, beautiful self be more encouraging in difficult times? 

Why is it easier to get ugly, when things get ugly? Because it makes you less vulnerable, and prevents your true, beautiful self from being rejected and hurt. 

It's so sad to watch this happen with other people. People who you know are good, sincere, levelheaded. And it's embarrassing to see it in yourself. To look back at a situation and think, "gosh. I really didn't put my best self forward. That's not actually how I want to be remembered."

After a particularly ugly situation recently, I've decided to be more conscious of these situation, and be deliberate with my responses. I only want my pretty colors to show through, even when everything is going wrong. 

After all, if you stay calm and pleasant during a nasty situation, your positive presence just might be what other people need to feel to get out of their own rut. (Or maybe not. Some people are just ugly.)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Toughen Up & Be Soft

Contradictory title, right? But I feel like that is the message women get from society these days.

Let's look at this in terms of a break up. Because, why not?

At this point in my life, I have been through a few break ups. I have cried over ended relationships. I have talked my friends' and family's and my therapist's ears off over ended relationships. I have tortured myself with the "what if" and "woulda, coulda, shoulda" games. All of this emotionally jarring, and physically exhausting work...just to end up right where I started, back to being single.

So what's the point of letting all of those emotions out? They hurt. They hurt you physically and emotionally and mentally. Why even bother making yourself vulnerable in a break up and exposing the raw emotions that the situation has given you?

Because it heals. It heals your heart, your mind, and your soul. You need to learn to feel those emotions, and then express them, and then grow from them. So go ahead and cry. And vent. And annoy everyone around you until they just stop listening.

And then toughen up. 

You can only feel sad, defeated, broken, and lonely for so long. The emotions are good, they're healthy, you need to feel them. But they stop being productive if you wallow for too long. You need to toughen up, find strength in yourself to move on, and grow stronger as a soft, emotional, tough woman.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why I'm Leaving

I get this question a lot. More often from some than others. But I think it's a fair question, and I feel I have a very reasonable explanation. Even though I don't actually think I need to say more than "because I want to!"

I have fantastic people, relationships and friendships in my life. I have a home here, multiple really. I have a job. I have good connections. 

But...I'm leaving. Why?

I didn't go to Europe. I didn't go in college and I didn't go this summer. It's time to stop dwelling on that and take action. I regret not studying abroad and not traveling when I wanted to. I'm not going to let myself regret not living outside of Wisconsin. 

I crave an adventure. Sure, I can find/make adventure here. But it's still safe adventure. As long as I am this close to home, and to the amazing support system that I have in friends/family, failing is easy. While I have learned a decent amount of independence in the last 5 years, I feel like I hit a plateau, and the only way to get over it is to push beyond my comfort zone and leave my safety net behind.

I feel stuck. Am I happy with life, right here in this moment? Sure. I really don't have many complaints. But like my independence plateau, I feel like I have hit a solid life/career plateau as well. I'm in the middle (exactly!!!) of my masters program, right in between switching careers. I really don't feel like I can reach my potential here. I feel like I will always be held down by some invisible ceiling. Likely built by me. So I need to go somewhere that doesn't have expectations or preconceived notions of who/what I am. And that includes my own thoughts of myself.

It's time for a change, and this just feels right. Do you ever get that feeling? That little voice, flutter of your heart, and peace of mind that tells you 'yes, that is the right path for you'. Yup. I'm following that. It's led me to really difficult places before, but also to really fantastic places. In both cases, it's always turned out for the best, and I don't doubt it will now!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Professional Learner

I just got an email with my application for graduation. A few things come to mind with this little development.

1) HOLY COW. I am half way done with my masters!
2) Even though I'm in an online program, I am invited to be a part of the actual commencement ceremony in Portland, Oregon...sweet!
3) Time to start looking for a doctoral leadership program. Wait, what? Fine. I'll get a job first. Maybe. Can't I just be a professional learner?
4) Um...I still have to do an action research project. And decide what/how/where/when I am going to do my research. But I still get to apply for graduation!