All of The Emotions in a Rainbow…

Sometimes, I find myself with (lots of) things to say, but a lack of desire to dig deep and flesh out the thoughts and feelings. I think that has been my biggest reason behind the almost two month absence from blogging. I have so many things I want to say and share, but a pretty distinct lack of willingness to dig it out for others to partake in. Despite the fact that I truly enjoy blogging and allowing others to see things that I am working through in my life, sometimes I want to avoid it in order to not actually have to work through them myself.

Then, a person particularly close to my heart, mentioned that they were journaling, and I was reminded of how much I do actually love blogging and sharing my thoughts.

So, here I am, blogging again.
Unfortunately, there is a swirling chaos of thoughts and emotions, so this post is a smattering of it all:

I got a full-time job!
It will take me back to DC soon, and I am stoked. As in, beyond excited because I absolutely love the place I will be working. I am so excited to get started, and to move back, but I am working not to be frustrated at the slower pace of the hiring process… Especially due to the holidays. (For those that have been asking, no, I do not have an official start date yet.)

Also, people have been asking about my consulting work. I still love consulting work! I will continue to do it even after I start my full-time job. I weighed it all out, and realized that I truly love consulting work, and I enjoy working with the clients I have right now. Plus, what I am doing now is entirely manageable with a full-time job. So, true to form, I am doing both.. And, could not be more excited about it!

I am however pretty stressed because of money and figuring out how to make the move work… Going for little or no income for a year and a half to moving is a pretty big feat. But, I find myself constantly pushing back to focusing on how God has carried me through, and is taking me back to a place I love.. How could He abandon me now? He will not.. It will however add to my crazy story thus far.

Whenever I find myself faced with some exciting possibility, I also have to struggle to not temper my feelings “just in case it all falls through.” I hate it, but I do not want to let myself be too disappointed, so I find it safer to reserve some of my excitement… While at the same time trying to seem appropriately excited. I have had to take control of my wandering mind and re-orient it, reminding myself that God has carried me through, and despite the feeling that “things could always go wrong”, the risk is worth it all. I know that on the other side, I will feel the familiar rush of relief that everything went through and it all happened exactly as it was supposed to… But, until then, prayer is where I am turning for relief.

I find myself really struggling to restrain the antsy feelings. It is a bit like trying to control muscle spasms.. I want to be done with the holding pattern that has been the last year and a half. I want to be busy, because I flourish most when I have more things to accomplish than I have time for… The less I have to do, the more I slip into laziness and apathy; I despise those two things about myself.

My sister and I are writing a book series together, and I am really enjoying the whole process with her. She is so much fun and we find ourselves laughing all the time! Talking through the various aspects of our story, the characters, progression, writing scenes, brainstorming, adding random hints and bits of humor… The whole process has been so much fun!

IMG_0502Also, on an entirely different note, I colored my hair for the first time since my birthday (10 months ago). I am back to red/fuchsia, and I love it, feels like me to have ridiculous hair again.

Love of Social Media…

I love social media.

Sure, there are drawbacks, such as getting sucked into an ultimately meaningless debate and allowing it to drive your blood pressure up.. or taking the 400th quiz just for the heck of it… or spending waayyyy too much time stalking yet more engagement, wedding, honeymoon, baby, vacation pictures of people you haven’t talked to you years.

But, here is the thing, I think social media is not only useful, but something that should be viewed as a perfect medium for connecting with people you are unable to see face to face as often as you would like.

I think social media should have some forethought put into it, and because of that, I have compiled a list of 7 thoughts to share with you:

1. Social media isn’t about you. 
Social media is about us, all of us, the community that we are connected to via the internet; which is why selfies and obscure passive aggressive posts annoy most everyone. So, if we handle social media as though it is about “me”, the “social” point is missed entirely.

No one likes talking to someone in person who only talks about themselves; social media is the same way.

If your posts are about things that others can relate to, find funny, care about, find interesting (even if you are the topic), then your posts invite others to be a part of your life and to have actual community with you.

ii. Social media is actually about staying connected.
I literally cannot count the number of times that I have found encouragement from something that someone I have not talked to face to face in years shared/posted/tweeted/instagramed etc..etc..

Other times, I have found out about life threatening illnesses or injuries that I would have been unaware of without social media. I am unsure about others, but the people I am connected to online I actually really do care about, even if I do not get to see them in person… Which then because of the nature of social media, it allows me the opportunity to pray for them, send encouragement, or show up and support physically.

C. Social media is what you make it to be.
More often than not, I am always blown away, and humbled by the love of my “social media community.”

There are a plethora of instances where I am shocked and amazed at the people who step in and support me when I need it the most. At times, people I have never met in person have rallied on my behalf to fix my car while being unemployed, or sent me care packages, letters, notes, funny videos, or music that I needed to hear… I have been brought to tears by these people on numerous occasions.

But, unfortunately, So. Many. Times. I have allowed my social media to turn into a negative, blood pressure raising, agitating, place that has brought out the worst in me.

Four. Social media can give perspective.
There are more days than I care to count where I have been self involved and focused on my #FirstWorldProblem. However, usually at the exact right time someone will post or share something going on in their life, the lives of people they know, or even world news that I am oblivious to, and suddenly my “problems” are no longer a problem at all. Perspective is given when I can see life through the eyes of those I care about.

And, because I have the absolute widest range of people in my life, I read, hear, and learn about things that I would otherwise have been totally oblivious to. I do not always agree, and sometimes I like parts of the points made, while other times I am fired up passionate about it… But, social media can always provide perspective.

Cinco. Social media is a tool.
I find amazing resources because of social media. I meet fantastic people, and get to see some of the most beautiful or funniest things out in the world. Social media allows for me to see places I have never been or add things to my bucket list. So, saying that it is a tool is probably a huge understatement; but, all tools can be used to create amazing things over a period of time, or destroy them in seconds flat.

From where I am sitting, social media is an amazing tool for me to stay connected. I am able to talk to and share life with friends, family, and clients all over the world; it is pretty amazing.

Lastly. Social media is fascinating.
I realize that I am a “communications person” so social media comes with my field like peanut butter and jelly, but I find it totally fascinating. I will often read up on new platforms, research, demographics, and the effectiveness of various campaigns etc.. I definitely geek out a bit when I get to talk about it, and all the good that can or has come from social media.

So, while social media has its flaws, just like every single other things in the world, I love it. From my perspective, with a few self-imposed guidelines, social media truly can be an amazing way to connect with others, network, and find encouragement or help.

Personal PS side note:
Stop it or make it your rule to never do the passive aggressive posts. They do no one any good and are incredibly annoying to everyone… Even more than selfies!

Single v. Married…

I have been watching an interesting debate discussion lately about the benefits of being Single or being Married.. Or getting married young.. Or staying single longer.. whatever.

It has felt recently as though there are two teams and they are at odds with each other. I think it is a little odd that we seem to be “fighting” or trying to convince others that our current state is the best or correct one.

Here are a few of the articles in the discussion so you can follow along with why I am writing this post:
23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23
The Results of a Closed-Minded 23 Year Old
I Got Married at 23. What Are the Rest of You Waiting For?
Marriage Isn’t For You
Why I Did I Get Married so Young

(There are more, and you possibly have read different ones)

The “conversation” as a whole really just interests me quite a bit. Obviously some of the blog posts are in direct response to one another, whereas others seem to be oblivious to the conversation at large, and are merely adding their thoughts to the world.

I also think it’s interesting that 23 is the number that keeps getting brought up.

Let me start out by saying, I am not loving on or hating on one side of this conversation or the other, merely responding to the conversation as a whole. I think it would be helpful to highlight some things.

Some background on myself so you can be more aware of where I am coming from:
I am a turning 29 years old, still single, never married or engaged woman.
I am not at all against marriage, and not only did I think early on in my life that I would be married by this point in life, I still would like to get married to the right man someday… But, I am content single, actually love aspects of it, and I am willing to wait for the right man because I have seen the destruction of divorce in too many people (of all ages).
I also have done quite a bit of reading of research on Millennials (those born between 1980-2000) because I find people and culture fascinating (especially my own).

Now that my vantage point is known, here is my personal perspective and thoughts on the Single v. Married conversation:

Not everyone who is single loves it.
Not everyone who is married loves it.

Not everyone who is single thinks they have made a better choice than getting married.
Not everyone who is married thinks they have made a better choice than to stay single.

Being single has some major pros and cons.
Being married has some major pros and cons.

Singleness can be hard.
Marriage can be hard.

Selfishness is pervasive among single people.
Selfishness is pervasive among married people.

Some people “do” single better than being married.
Some people “do” married better than being single.

In some cases staying single was the wise choice.
In some cases getting married was the wise choice.

Grace, compassion, and selflessness is common among an astounding number of single people I know.
Grace, compassion, and selflessness is common among an astounding number of married people I know.

Life is an adventure when you are single.
Life is an adventure when you are married.

Staying single is better/healthier than getting divorced.
Getting married is better/healthier than sleeping with someone you’re not married to.

Remaining single “late” into your adult life does not automatically mean you are wiser than a young married couple.
Getting married young does not automatically mean you are unwise or pathetic.

Being single “late” into your adult life does not mean you are against those married young (or older).
Being married young (or older) does not mean you are against those still single “late” into adult life.

Being single does not mean you have purposefully chosen to be so to “get your life together”.
Being married does not mean you have purposefully chosen to be so because you’ve “gotten you life together”.

Etc..etc.. See?

For me, there are days that singleness is just straight up hard, and other times I love the advantages of flying solo. But, from my plethora of friends (married at all ages), there are days that they remind me that being married is just hard too or they love every little bit of the married life…

From where I sit, both have the same qualities, it just depends on the person or couple.

My perspective is that regardless of if you are married or single, you should have goals.. Good goals ones, fun ones, hard ones, solid ones, frivolous ones, and seemingly impossible ones, I think that is how you help yourself grow, and a way to help measure success as a single or married person/couple.

So, please, let’s stop justifying why one is better than the other as if our choice was the right one for everyone… or the perfect decision forever.

If you are single and loving it or wish to be married, that is awesome and good things can and will happen during this season.
If you are married and loving it or wish you had waited, good things can and will happen during this stage of life.