The B-sides of my Mind
I write on a near-daily basis, and so you can probably imagine how few of my tangential thoughts actually make it onto this little blog. Sometimes when I’m experiencing writer’s block I’ll flip the pages of my multiple journals, drawing squiggles and stars next to passages that I may have previously tossed aside for not having the “star potential” to appear on Courage Love Intensity. It’s also not uncommon that I write something down, set it aside and forget it’s content completely until a day like today, when I unexpectedly happen upon it. This post is meant to honor some of my most recent disregarded thoughts, what I lovingly will refer to as the b-sides of my mind.
Thoughts on dealing with those things called emotions
Yesterday, I had a good cry.
It wasn’t for very long, and it wasn’t dramatic. It is what it is. It had been a long time since I felt so off and emotional, I’d almost forgotten what it feels like. There was no particular event that sparked it. The world just felt heavy on my shoulders and I just couldn’t shake off that weight.
I know it’s not a new concept that going into business for yourself and starting brave adventurous in new places can feel lonely. Yesterday, I felt that loneliness through and through. I felt so lonely.
Whereas that used to not be acceptable for me, I now am okay with emotions like these. I know how temporary they are, and how important it is to feel them. I allow pain and loneliness to happen without feeling attacked by them.
That doesn’t mean I don’t get moody or impatient with them. And, occasionally, I’ll cry. But, that kind of ‘processing’ is greeted with deep breaths and self-care. If I feel compelled, I’ll bring someone I love in to see my pain and offer me guidance. That’s embarrassing sometimes, but always helpful. I arm myself with intuitive, amazingly warm people.
Many of the things I stress over are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I know this. But every single one of us has the right to a good cry, once in a while, when things feel too much to handle.
Like writing, crying feels cathartic. It can feel cleansing. Hey, it can even feel powerful. There is strength in vulnerability.
Thoughts on ‘started from the bottom, now we here’ OR Thoughts on evolving from an anxious teen into a competent adult
All I really wanted (subconsciously) was for someone to tell me that all the crazy ups and downs I was feeling as a teen were totally okay. A lot of my anxiety back then stemmed from feeling powerless against my emotions – being upset with how I really feel, and not in a safe enough place to express it.
Something happens when you start to achieve ‘normalcy’ or even greatness as an adult who has previously suffered from anxiety. When you start to make money, get promoted at your job, get recognition for your work, etc… while coming from a place of not feeling all that smart or capable of greatness.
This started for me when I got into a great college. Instead of thinking I deserved it, all I felt was lucky that I somehow got in. As such, I put a ton of pressure on myself to prove my place. I surprised myself with exceptional grades – the kinds of grades I didn’t often see in high school. But they came at a cost – sometimes crippling anxiety. Then, OMG, I landed a job at Google. How the hell did I trick such a selective work place to hire me?! With thoughts like those, of course I once again put a ton of pressure on myself to prove my place there. I eventually developed guilt for wanting to leave a job that I ‘should’ be thankful for working.
The combination of impaired self-perception (i.e. lack of self-confidence) with the self-imposed pressure to be perfect is pretty difficult to maintain. It isn’t sustainable and can end pretty disastrously.
As I started reading empowering blogs by business-savvy entrepreneurs, my sense of self grew along with my confidence. My urge to do something that truly felt meaningful and reflective of who I am literally took over. I went from identifying with my inner anxious teenager to seeing myself as a competent adult and avoided any big disasters by putting hard work into what really matters: myself.
I am where I am today because it’s where I’m supposed to be, and I’m excited to see where I go next.
Thoughts on who I see as the future me
I’m a famous makeup artist, living in Portland but constantly taking off to LA to do makeup for TV shows and films. I also have a beautiful spa job that keeps me full booked, if I want it to. I live in an adorkable house, filled with life and color and quirkiness, with my husband and our dogs. A baby is on the way, and my pregnancy glow is in full effect. I am financially stable, free to be me, and feeling blessed.
Thoughts on modern education
I think the best educational environments are those that honor creativity, allow for experimentation, and apply real-world scenarios. The first way of learning I was introduced to as a toddler was at a Montessori school. That was before pre-school and yet I still have many memories of it. I remember lots of singing, building things, forming friendships with the only two other girls in my class (one of whom I am STILL close with to this very day), and also learning to act independently. It wasn’t until attending college at a Jesuit university – one that encouraged community service, offered study abroad programs, and taught mind-opening classes – that I felt that love for the education system again.
Thoughts on how to become an entrepreneur
1. You know all of those late-night epiphanies you get? Write them down. Entertain them.
2. Connect as often as you can with people who share your interests, as well as people who want to do more and be more (i.e. people who are ready and willing to take big risks, and have already taken a few)
3. Offer to help other people in their pursuits.
4, Don’t just go one way. Pick a few paths.
5. Buy Smiley Poswolsky’s book, The Quarter-Life Breakthrough.
6. Also, read a lot of Seth Godin. Read The $100 Start Up. Read blogs.
7. Meet powerful people who have done meaningful things with their lives and ask them how they did it.
8. Adopt a weekly practice that centers you, like meditation.
9. Get in the habit of approaching the world in a place of ‘enough’ versus scarcity. Find at least one thing to be grateful for every day.
With courage, love, and intensity,
Photo credit: Cyril-Rana!! / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)