Trust yourself

Since I graduated college, I have worked seven different jobs. These jobs have ranged from freelance work to slinging espresso in a café. I am hoping that someday when I am fulfilling my purpose through meaningful work (I can dream), I can show my good friend my job collection and say “this is what it took for me to get here.” For now, I’m just quitting my current occupation (again) and organizing my shell collection (again).

Next Thursday is my last day working at Pratt & Larson. I haven’t written about it much, but for the past seven months, I’ve been painting tiles in the polychrome department of a major tile factory.* On paper, it has been the most consistent, hands-on, and art-centric job I have ever had. In reality, it has been the most isolating, dehumanizing, and disheartening job I’ve ever had.

Crazy, right? Anyway, due to health complications** and overall good timing, I finally made the move and put in my notice. I have nothing lined up and I’m waiting for the Holidays to simmer down before entering the “job market” (again). Should I be nervous? Yeah. Am I? Nope. Why?! Pretty much for the first time in my life, I am really listening to my intuition. Translation: I am doing what I want without having to make excuses for myself. That sounds so selfish (trust me, I cringed while writing it) but it is the beautiful truth.

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As someone who was raised in a traditional Christian household, the idea of “trust yourself” seemed like a cardinal sin. I was taught that as a flawed sinner, I needed to trust in the Lord my God and lean not on my own understanding. After having a textbook “Crisis of Faith,” I honestly did not know who or what to trust in and spent the better part of this year bitterly confused. Since I began really searching for God again in October, I have felt empowered by diving more and more into the notion that God is not only in me, but is me. I’m not saying I am the Creator of stars and music (I’m literally envisioning Fantasia), but I am a divine channel of that Creator. Therefore, I need to trust myself.

Now, the idea of “trust yourself” is extremely calming, empowering, and important. Trusting myself is what led me to quit a job that I am immensely unhappy at, told me to start going to church again, caused me to get serious about getting well, made me call my sister, and twisted my arm into getting more intentional about doing things that make me feel alive.

The wonderful thing about trusting oneself is that anybody can do it. Should everybody? I don’t know. Outside counsel is helpful and some people are crazy. However, I feel pretty confident in suggesting you try it out. If you are a seasoned human who is smarter than me, you most likely saying to yourself “maybe try the wise counsel, first.” But if you’re a barely formed adult like myself, hell! Give it a try. Trust yourself. You’ve got the potential of vast intelligence and judgment and the highest vibrations of Spirit in you. Make some decisions!*** Later on in life, we can compare our boxes of old postcards, jobs, boyfriends, and artistic endeavors and talk about how glad we are we learned this lesson together.

*Fun fact! P&L did the tiles in Robert Downey Jr.’s new vacation home! Sad fact. None of them were painted by me.

**Nothing super serious. Long story short, I might be allergic to everything and can’t really eat like a normal person right now and that makes me hungry a lot and have weird energy levels. So cool…not.

***Don’t hold me to their outcome, please and thank you.

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Body talk

It’s been a while and honestly I dislike saying that every time I blog so I vow that this is the last time that I will say that. Period.

It’s been a while.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I am starting training for an adventure race in June (that I will not miss) and I am starting a new job in a couple of weeks. Spring might actually be springing here in the PNW (!!!) and there are big, cool things in the making. All that said, one of the most lovely developments lately is my relationship with…myself. (please don’t stop reading) (just kidding) (but not really)

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Going through training for my last race and being so dedicated taught me a lot about what my body can do.  However, I still find myself faced with the challenge of accepting how my body looks. For some reason, I am able to completely separate the shape of my body from what it is capable of. I have read so many articles about body-positivity and loving yourself and etc. that you would think I would’ve gotten the message by now. But honestly, it wasn’t until reading this post by Kelly K. Roberts that it dawned on me-I have been doing an incredible disservice to my body by hating on it. When I started running again last fall, I felt slow and heavy and unsure.  Every time I ran, I would get discouraged by how different my body moved and looked than other runners I passed (let’s get real, mostly they passed me). Luckily, I was running in the winter, so I found comfort in covering myself with loose sweatshirts and (most often) rain jackets. The real test happened a couple weeks ago when the temperature rose.

I was on an easier run with David and the sun was out and I made the decision to run in just my sports bra and running tights. I was completely unaware of the liberation that would ensue. Growing up in a (super well-meaning and wonderful) conservative household, I was taught to cover up. I can still hear “modest is hottest” and other such sayings in my mind. I never felt suffocated by my upbringing and carried a lot of the principles of modesty into my adulthood. However, while I was running with David, I felt so fast and so free. More importantly, I felt beautiful. By “uncovering” my body, I was embracing my own strength.

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I’m not telling you to run in your sports bra because that will fix all of your problems (LOL what if I was just telling you that.) I am telling you to give your body a chance. Don’t make excuses for it, just love it as it is and be proud of how it is shaped. I am still working on giving my body the admiration it deserves and that journey might never end. But I am fully committed to being a part of the #sportsbrasquad (weather permitting) and I am never looking back.

P.S. As an exercise this week, I wrote an objective love-letter to my body. I honored it for its hard work and beauty. I told it that I love it. Not “I love you body, no matter how you look.” Or “I love you body, even though you’re not the way I want it to be.” Just “I love you body.” I made myself look at myself how others see me. I wrote thank you’s to every part. It felt narcissistic and weird, but the discomfort was worth the healing.