Sometimes life is confusing. I’m doing laundry & crying because I’m not enough. I don’t cook enough, clean enough & I leave my clothes in the basement too long so they smell musty & I have to wash them again.
My coworker was talking about her brother the other day… She was venting and having emotions because he has ADHD and she just kept calling him lazy. He didn’t do his homework because he was lazy. He didn’t go to college because he was lazy. He was really smart, but lazy. And I know she wasn’t talking about me but it felt like she was talking about me. Because that’s what people think. I don’t do homework because I’m lazy and I don’t finish school because I’m lazy.
And sometimes it just feels like too much. Like what am I good at? What is the point of anything? I want to be a writer but I don’t have anything to say and I don’t have the focus to… Say it anyway.
So. Idk this is me. Being real. And kind of boring.
I’m a big planner. I love to make goals. Put together routes. Figure out the game plan. And that is great and awesome. But sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned. In fact, it rarely does.
With this blog I had great intentions. I was going to blog twice a week. I was going to be consistent. I was going to be disciplined. I was going to finish. But then life hit. I went through a funk in February and then had some pretty big disappointments in March.
During this I realized that I had also been focusing too much on a brand. Instead of writing what I wanted to write, I tried to make Candidly Chloe a thing. I created an instagram account. I took an iphone photography class. I went to instameets. I was trying to create and put forth a persona. I wrote because I wanted to be heard. I wanted to be relevant.
But that’s not what I had planned for this blog. I started this blog because I wanted to practice & because I wanted to help people. But I only want to do that if I’m going to be authentically me.
So this is me stepping back up to say Hi, I’m Chloe, and I’m here. I can’t promise I will blog twice a week. I can’t promise I will stay on track with my goals. I can’t promise that I won’t get distracted again. I can just say I’m trying. I’m here. And I’m taking little baby steps towards my dream.
As I stated about a week ago, when I get into new things, I jump all in. Also, apparently January is the time I get new obsessions. 4 years ago it was knitting and within a year I was approaching SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy). 2 years ago I discovered the Timberwolves (hello, NBA) and I went to 9 games that year. The next year I went to 20. My newest thing is Yoga. I love it. I bought an unlimited pass and made a goal to attend a class everyday for a month. Unfortunately, I have not been successful with that, but I am still getting there 4-6x a week. Now to segue into yet another post about thoughts that come from a yoga class.
One of my yoga teachers, Shelley, has been focusing on the subject of Discomfort. She hs posted the question, “How do you deal with discomfort?” whenever she puts into…uncomfortable poses. It’s funny because as I pay attention to how my body deals with discomfort in class, it definitely relates to how I deal with discomfort in real life.
When I get uncomfortable, I tend to lean in. I like to feel the pain a little bit. For a little while. And then… if it doesn’t go away, or get easier, I give up. Thankfully I tend to come back and try again fairly quickly, but sometimes I miss out because by the time I come back, we’ve moved on. And that is how I am with my writing too. I get very eager to try something new and write. But then it gets hard, or worse, boring. And so I take a break. And usually by the time I come back, I’ve moved on to another shiny idea. I think this is definitely part of the reason I have trouble finishing (as noted in the last entry).
While we look at flaws in our own character, I believe it is important to view them as challenges. So while I am becoming aware of my tendency to “take breaks” whenever I face discomfort, I want to challenge myself to press in & see what kind of awesome things I find.
So team, how about you? What do you do when you face discomfort? Do you think it is helpful in achieving your end goals, or do you think it is an area that you could challenge yourself more?
My Yoga teacher has been talking a lot about Sankalpas lately. She explains Sankalpa simply as a one word the encompasses your intention or direction for the next period of time, whether it be 6 months, 18 months, or longer. It is similar to a resolution but simplified and meant to be more encompassing.
As I’ve pondered my goals and resolutions, I landed on the word Finish. Finishing is hard for me when it comes to my personal life. I’m great at beginnings, I adore planning things, but actually finishing a project can be a struggle. I put so much effort into initiating ideas that I simply run out of steam before the product comes to fruition.I can blame my ADD, my busy-ness, so many things, but it really comes down to the fact that I do not put the discipline into finishing.
The interesting disconnect is that I am excellent at finishing work-related projects. If it is for my job, I can hustle through until the end. I give it my all and love to complete everything in a timely & excellent fashion. I find this important because it shows that I can finish projects.
So this year, 2016, my Sankalpa is Finish. Not finish strong, or well, or perfect, but just to get to the end. To complete the goals I have for myself & wrap up my just for fun projects.
In the last several posts we have already heard my goals for the year, so now I’m wondering, what is yours? What would you like your Sankalpa to be?
Or weeks, I guess.
This has been a week full of me not being brave.
I suppose I should back it up a little bit and explain. Last June I decided I was just going to start doing things. I wanted to experience life. I wanted little adventures. I wanted to be brave. So I did. For my birthday we went to an all night event called Northern Spark. A couple days later I went to my first Girl.Creative event. I went to parties alone, started volunteering, made new friends, tried new things. I got my budget together (mostly), started the blog, jumped into yoga. I did lots of things.
Fast forward to this week. I just have not been feeling it. I’m not feeling brave. I’m not being brave. I skipped yoga twice. I was all pumped to go to a networking event on Wednesday and I got cranky, so I bailed. Then this morning… This morning I was supposed to go to Creative Mornings. I went last month and loved it. But I didn’t know anyone going today. So I got scared. And bailed. I literally got all ready, did my make up, wore contacts (like woah). I even painted my nails. And then I ended up at a coffee shop instead.
I wanted to share this because it is real life. It’s not great, it’s not the end of the world, it just is. Somedays we are too scared. We don’t need to coddle ourselves and say it’s ok, but we don’t need to beat ourselves up. We just need to accept it and move on. Tell ourselves that tomorrow we will be brave.
PS Here is todays coffee shop selfie, because why not?
I currently have a goal to go to yoga every day for a month. I purchased a 31-day unlimited pass and looked up all the schedules. Anyone who knows me well knows that when I get into something, I am all in. So my first week I decided I obviously needed to attend the 6:30 AM classes to make sure I got all my days in.
The night before the first early class, I had second thoughts. I debated. I hemmed, I hawed. And that evening I ultimately decided I was not going to go. I still set my alarm for 6:00 am so I could be productive, but I didn’t get anything ready.
Well. 6:00am rolls around and I’m like, I’ve gotta go. So I rush. I am getting dressed, getting work clothes, eating yogurt, brushing my teeth, you know the drill. And I get out my door by 6:13 (side note, 6:13 is my favorite time). Impressive, right? I drove to my yoga studio in South Minneapolis and am getting out of my car, lugging all my stuff in. Because, of course I have my laptop & productivity bag that I can’t leave in the car (not a safe neighborhood), then I also have my purse which has my work clothes. And I parked too close to a snowbank so I’m climbing over ice mountain, trying to get into the passengers side.
And then, someone hollers at me. It’s -1 degrees, still dark, 6:28am & not the safest neighborhood in Minneapolis, and someone is trying to get me to talk to them. I am so startled I almost drop everything. Across the street there is an old beater car with a man yelling out the window. I almost ignore him, but, #classicchloe, I go to see what he has to say. Thankfully the man was not alone. In his car with him was his wife. They had also planned on attending the yoga class, but apparently the teacher had texted them to say she was sick. So, no yoga class for me. They start to drive away, & thankful for the information, I head back to my car.
But then… they stop. And I stop. And they invite me the Y. In Midtown. For the walking track. And, because I’m me, I say yes. I did have a little wisdom, and drove my own car. The whole way there I was a little freaked out that I was following them to an abandoned lot where they would murder me, but I figured, it really couldn’t be that bad. I did snapchat Kylee (and only Kylee) my the story in case I disappeared.
We got to the Y & parked. They finally introduced themselves as Rick & Jo. Into the YWCA we went. They got me in on a guest pass where I had to sign in & write down who I was with. It got a little hairy because I had already forgot their names, so I just scribbled something in that box. We went upstairs & I walked the track with Jo for a couple laps & talked about our jobs & yoga practice. Rick re-joins us and tells us that there is an hour long yoga class. We decided to attend, but I mentioned I needed to bounce right after to get to work.
The class is slower than I am used to, but it was good. I enjoyed it. At the end of class I said a quick goodbye and rushed out. Which is where we get to the last hiccup. Because I had come in as a guest, I had to give my ID to the front desk. The front desk filed it away under Rick’s name. The problem was, I had never learned his last name & I had apparently decided his first name was Craig. The front desk man was super judgey when he informed me the kind strangers name was actually Rick. I then jetted out of there and went on with my day.
I wouldn’t say I learned anything from this experience, or had a transcendent moment, but I did find joy in spending time with every day people. Just another simple, every-day experience that shows the kindness of people.
I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering lately. What is suffering, why do we have suffering, what is the difference between suffering and hard things. If you have spent time with me in the last couple weeks, we have probably talked about it and you are aware of my mental wrestling match. If you continue to follow my blog, you will probably see more of that subject come up in the future. Truthfully, I wanted to have a lot more processed before I wrote anything on the subject because it is a heavy and serious subject that I do not want to take lightly.
However, I do want to quickly offer some encouragement for those who are in the midst of suffering: Remember To Look Up. I know it sounds simple and possibly cliché, but there is truth in it. So often when we are dealing with hard things, we get stuck in looking down at ourselves and our hard things. I urge you to be intentional at least a couple times a day to look up; look up to God, to the sun, to beauty in nature or design. Take a moment to find peace in what is around you.
Hopefully, you may find the more you look to something bigger than yourself, the smaller your hard thing becomes.
There are so many voices out there competing for attention, I feel hesitant to add mine to the clamor. In fact, when I began to get serious about starting this blog, I tweeted “Blogging is the new Hollywood.” It seems that everyone is turning to this new venue, starry eyed & with dreams of fame or recognition. And the truth is, almost none of us will “make it big.”
That being said, why am I doing this? What do I have to offer that others don’t? What am I hoping to accomplish?
First and foremost, Why: I love to write. I find great joy in putting my thoughts to paper. I love processing my emotions, thoughts & opinions through writing. Since I’ve been a child I wanted to be a writer (along with a family court lawyer, photographer & President), and I want to actually do something about that.
What do I have to add: A deep, joyful & realistic commentary on life. Also dramatic escapades that are hilarious. I think a lot about things & also have weird things happen to me.
What am I hoping to accomplish: Part of it is obviously selfish. I want to grow & stretch myself. But deeper than that is I want to encourage people. To give hope. New perspective. Be a catalyst. I’ve had a journey that was hard and painful, but I’ve come a long way. And I want to be able to encourage others who find themselves on a similar journey. Because we’re not alone & it is going to be okay, and sometimes we just need to be reminded of that.
So, I would like to invite you to join me on this journey. Thanks for reading. 🙂
I like planning. Make lists. Preparing mentally. Taking the time to weigh all options and come up with the best plan.
New Years Resolutions are hard because I like to choose the perfect list. I want the right balance of achievable but difficult. I don’t want too many, but I still enough. There should be challenge but not impossibility. They should be appropriate & acceptable, and not boring. Needless to say, New Years Resolutions generally take me a lot of time to commit to.
This year I am going to try something different. I gave myself 3 minutes. I didn’t overthink it. I just chose what I wanted to focus on this year. And it’s not perfect & a little stupid & probably boring, but it’s something to start with.
- No Alcohol [I’m actually still on the fence with this one… I just bought a good bottle of gin yesterday, so, we’ll see]
- Write Every Day
- Budget Better – Dreams Don’t Happen By Accident
- Implement Health Routines – Yoga, Walking, Strength Training
- Intentional Kindness
- Start Somewhere – Stop Looking For The Perfect Beginning
- Love Well
And you know? It’s good enough. It’s a start.