Category Archives: Brain Dump

Hey you! Come sit down with me for a minute and let’s chat. I think there is something you need to hear.

I have some good news and I have some bad news.

The bad news is that you cannot fix everything. No matter how hard you try to make any given situation better, it just won’t happen. The adage “you can do anything if you try hard enough,” is pretty much just a bunch of BS.

The good news is that you cannot fix everything.

Wait a second…

I know what you’re thinking: not being able to fix everything strongly belongs in the bad news column. The reality is, that it belongs in both.

You’ve spent so much of your time doing whatever you can to help make things better, but I know you’ve realized that it was all futile. You cannot help those that don’t want to be helped. You cannot teach those to listen that don’t want to learn. You cannot help those to understand when instead they just want to hide.

So, you’re going to set some boundaries. You’ve already started to do this in other facets of your life, but this last one is the hardest. This last area is where life as you know it began. This is where your heart will break.

People don’t usually like boundaries when they’ve never had them before. You will be the bad person. You will be the mean person that doesn’t like anyone. You will be impatient, judgmental, and distant. It will be your fault.

Then again, it has always been your fault, so you’re used to that old trope.

Your boundaries won’t be seen for what they truly are: protection. Protection from deeper heart break. Protection of what positive memories you have. Protection of the child within your heart.

So, while it is bad news that you can’t be The Fixer for everything, the good news is that not being The Fixer can also set you free.

Actually, I Don’t Need Your Opinion

Is it too much to ask for you to stop telling me what I should be doing to “make my partner happy,” or “erase the damage” I inflicted on myself while growing up?”

I used to think these articles were fun to read and sometimes provided a little something to think about.

Now I think they are downright annoying and completely unnecessary.

I think it all started years ago when I was reading the last Glamour magazine I’ve ever purchased. On one page I read an article about being empowered and loving yourself. The very next article outlined all the ways to change yourself to attract a partner.

F*ck that.

I have a hard enough time not being super critical towards myself. I don’t need help from the media.

You want to know what I think we should all be doing right now?

  • Not buying into the thought that we need to change from head to toe.
    • Unless you derive pleasure from seeing others miserable. You may want to change that ASAP…
  • Recognizing that life has a tendency to be one big shit-show, and that is okay.
  • That some days a Coke Slurpee and a nut roll are the only thing that will make a day better. Wait, or is that just me?

At the end of the day, we are all doing the best we can and not a single person has their shit together. Might as well enjoy the messy ride while we have the chance, right?

 

Dear Teenage B

Girl, get ready for a ride.

Seriously, the life you think you may have isn’t going to happen. I mean, some of it will, but not most of it. And those things that do happen, will not happen in the time frame you are planning.

The boy you love and think you’ll marry? It won’t happen. You’ll have a misunderstanding and spend years thinking he doesn’t want to talk to you, only to find out he thought the same thing (and you were both wrong). While you’ll be unable to rekindle your relationship, you will both acknowledge the depth of adoration you share. The boy will will grow to be a man, and he will suddenly pass from this life on his favorite holiday. When you find out, you will feel as if someone punched you in the stomach, and you won’t be able to breathe. You’ll go to his viewing, hug his family, and upon seeing him in his casket, your heart will break all over again.

In true Utah fashion, you will marry young, and be convinced that love conquers everything . Unfortunately, the marriage won’t last, and you’ll divorce. The split will be amicable, and you’ll remain friends, but the sorrow will stick around for years to come.

You’ll marry a second time, but only after some serious convincing. You believe everything changes after you get married, that those things that were good before will no longer be okay. That’s what you learned the first time. This time, however, you’re promised that won’t happen, and that promise is kept. He will be your rock, and you will be his.

The kid you never thought you’d want will come. You’ll have a gut reaction to the idea of never having kids, and that will be your sign that maybe you actually do want at least one. When she arrives you’ll feel as if everyone that is supposed to be here has arrived. She becomes your “one and done.”

As far as a career goes, you end up in project management. You like it, but you don’t love it. You get the feeling you’re surrounded by people who have given up on following any dream, and instead look and act as if they are simply accepting this lot in life and will drift along. You will also get to a point where you no longer feel like moving the mountains you once enjoyed moving. You’ll feel like they broke you; that they broke your spirit. Because of this, you resolve to be vulnerable. You decide to rewrite what you thought would be your story and begin blazing your own path. It’s not going to be easy, but you’d like to think it will be worth it. Plus, you know it is better than drifting along.

You’ll retain some of your friends from your childhood. These women will be some of the strongest people you know. You will celebrate their wins and mourn their losses. You will be reminded of just how amazing they are.

The friends you make in adulthood are unlike any you thought you’d meet. Sure, there will be some that make you think being social is one big shitshow, but there are others that you will consider family. And they will feel the same way.

I know that right now you may feel a little alone, and unsure about yourself. I’m happy to say the certainty about who you are does come, but not until your 30s. However, when it does come, you’ll know you worked hard to get there.

One last thing: you’ll spend a small fortune on therapy, trying to figure out what is wrong with you, and why you aren’t ”enough.” The kicker will be that you won’t arrive at any epiphany in a shrinks office, instead it will be after you watch “The Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood.” I shit you not. You’ll get home and end up on the floor bawling your eyes out, knowing it wasn’t you. You were caught in the middle of three adults that didn’t have their shit together. It will be one of the most therapeutic moments you’ve ever had.

I know, I’ve only given you the highlight of the highlight reel. Typically in these letters we tell our younger selves, “Don’t be so hard on yourself,” or “Don’t worry so much.” See, I know better than that. I know you won’t listen, and that worrying is practically in your DNA, so I’m saving my breath. Instead, I will just acknowledge what I do know you’ll do: you’ll always try hard and you’ll do your best. In the end, that will be the only thing that matters anyway.

Love,

Your older, more fabulous self

P.S. Okay, fine I’ll give you a few pointers: First, stop tweezing your eyebrows. While you never really had thick ones, all the tweezing isn’t doing you any favors. Second, stop taking life so serious. I know you feel the world rests on your shoulders, but I promise it does not. Finally, don’t bother trying to get a degree in Business. You hate it, and no matter how hard to try to like it, it’ll never happen.

P.P.S. Sorry, last bit of advice: You are enough, and you always have been.

Losing My Voice

It is fairly accurate to say that up until about two years ago I had a very idyllic view on the world. I knew bad things happened, and that the good guy didn’t always win, but I had never really been in a situation where I was on the receiving end of the injustice.

Then, suddenly, I was.

I was in a situation where I once felt safe. I felt as if I could be myself, and that I didn’t need to water myself down for anyone, or anything. I love to banter, and I love to give people a hard time. I’m also very straightforward, and I’m a fairly transparent person. You know if I don’t like you because I can’t fake like I do. It’s just not how I’m wired.

I had learned that there was a time and place, and certain types of people I could banter with. I mean, it pretty much comes with the territory of having my personality. I’m an acquired taste, and some never quite catch on. Not everyone can handle a person that doesn’t back down and is more than happy to go toe to toe matching wits the entire time. Not everyone can handle someone that calls it like it is, either. Or a person that refuses to be a yes-man, and also refuses to back away from sticking up for themselves (I affectionately refer to this as “refusing to eat shit,” because that is what it is to me).

The details regarding the moment I realized the good guy doesn’t always win is not the most interesting. Let’s just say, a person that acted like they could handle my personality, suddenly couldn’t. Perhaps they figured eventually I’d come to their inner circle and be one of their minions, and when they realized that wasn’t my thing, they turned. Either way, it was horrible and hostile. It was people questioning my audacity to speak up, and me telling them I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It was painful and it was discouraging. It changed my perspective on everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

Soon, I got over it.

Life moved on, and I was lucky enough to never really have to see this person any more. Things had finally started to calm down.

And then, I choked.

I mean, not literally. I was bantering with someone I don’t know all that well, but knew well enough to know I could joke with them. However, in the midst of the banter, I panicked. Suddenly, it was if I had forgotten how to speak.

I had lost my voice.

Again, not literally. But, it could have been. I thought I could be “me” again, but suddenly I was shown that I wasn’t able to be. No one was holding me back, or telling me that I had to be quiet. It was all me. I started to relive the hostility. I was starting to feel discouraged all over again. I started to water myself down.

Weeks later I notice this watering down BS bleed into other facets of my life. I’m angry now. I’m angry because I’m afraid. Afraid that if I am myself, I won’t be liked and that people will no longer want to be my friend. Angry that I even care.

So, here I am, pounding on my keyboard hoping that by pouring my heart out on this computer, I will somehow find the answer to make it stop. To make me stop watering myself down. To make me stop caring if others like me, and wondering if I need to change who I am.

I just want to stop.

I want to end this post with a nice, warm fuzzy, filled with all sorts of sunshine and rainbows. Sadly, it’s not going to happen.

Instead, it will end with a type of declaration:

I will stop watering myself down. I will start to trust people again. I will not change who I am to make anyone happy. I will embrace those who choose to be around me, both professionally and personally, and be thankful that they are there. And to those that think they have broken me? I will continue to live in such a way that each time you see me succeed, it will be as if I am sending a gigantic “F*CK YOU” your way.

I will find my voice and I will not lose it again.