What am I really fearing?

I’m getting back into journaling and this morning, I opened up a notebook that I’d used as a journal in the past and found this:

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… and there’s my trusty, red pen. Not staged. I swear.

I had written this about six years ago when I was in the midst of a big, annoying anxiety attack. I had a lot of feelings of fear and was trying to make sense of it all.

Looking back on this today, I really feel a sense of pride. Yes, I still fear those things that I wrote down six years ago, but I also think about those same fears way less often (thank God!) and in ways that are more helpful than scary. I’ve grown. And I’m thankful for that.

It’s oftentimes hard to see personal growth when you’re in it — living your life every day — but seeing these words on that page was a really good reminder for me that, although I’m not the version of myself I, ultimately, want to be, I’m making good progress in getting there.

33 Things



I wanted to get this post up on my 33rd birthday, but when your 33rd birthday is three days before Christmas, you should just know better!

So, here it is — a list of the 33 most important things I’ve learned (and so many that I wish I’d learned sooner!) as I enter my 33rd year of life:

  1. Live with purpose.
  2. Stand up for yourself, even if you’re afraid of doing it.
  3. Don’t settle.
  4. Take more risks.
  5. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.
  6. Don’t let mole hills become mountains.
  7. Stop trying to figure everything out.
  8. Have faith.
  9. Think about the future, but not too much.
  10. Take time to reflect.
  11. Learn to relax.
  12. Make friends with yourself.
  13. Embrace creativity.
  14. Stop caring what other people think.
  15. Sleep.
  16. Be careful with your heart.
  17. Be careful with your trust.
  18. Read more.
  19. Laugh more.
  20. Laugh at yourself.
  21. Give yourself some slack.
  22. Make exercise a part of your daily life.
  23. Learn to cook.
  24. Never stop dreaming.
  25. Never stop learning.
  26. Never stop loving.
  27. Get out in nature more.
  28. Take advantage of travel opportunities.
  29. Learn about your family.
  30. Practice self-care often.
  31. Know your limits.
  32. Learn when to say “no.”
  33. Love yourself first.

I think most of these things are pretty basic, but they’re still very personal and have to be learned the hard way. I’m printing this list out and hanging it in my work area as a daily reminder of who I am, how far I’ve come, and how I became who I am today.

33, bring it on. I’m ready for what you’ve got for me! I have big plans to work hard and make it my best year yet!


Don’t Ignore The Voice Inside

Ever hear a little voice inside of you?

No, not the kind of voice that tells you to go do something awful/dumb/that could land you in jail. I’m talking about the kind of voice that comes from the heart — your heart. The voice that tells you to choose the purple sweater over the blue sweater. The one that makes you reach for the Strawberry ice cream instead of the boring vanilla. This is the voice that has made you dog-obsessed since you were a kid or has made you gag at the smell of lavender for as long as you can remember. It’s your heart voice and it helps you decide which car to buy, which movie to see, which friends to keep. Your heart voice makes you who you are and it’s the one voice you should never ignore. (Okay, maybe it’s the only voice, aside from your mother’s, that you should never ignore. Always listen to your mom. Moms are always right.)

If your heart voice is telling you that you need to have art in your life, figure out a way to make it happen. Does this mean you should drop your career as an accountant and pursue art as a profession? No. It means you should stop by the craft store on your way home from work and buy yourself a watercolor set, a paintbrush and some paper, and see what happens when you let that voice be heard. Maybe you’ll find that you really suck at painting, but love it anyway. You don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it. Or, maybe you’ll discover that painting really didn’t do it for you, and decide to try jewelry-making, instead — leading to a new found passion and side gig!

Have you always been drawn to the kitchen, but never seem to be able to make anything edible? Sign up for a meal kit subscription, watch some YouTube videos, or practice getting creative with your morning bowl of cereal. Go wild and throw cherries and pistachios into your bowl of corn flakes, instead of your usual go-to, raisins.

Really feeling like you need to work with kids (or animals, or the handicapped)? There are countless organizations that work with children (or animals, or the handicapped) that are in desperate need of volunteers. Find an hour each week or each month that you’d be willing to devote to helping someone else. If you’re looking to become a volunteer, check out Idealist. It’s a great resource and one of my go-to sites.

I think you’re starting to get my drift. Whatever it is that you find yourself drawn to, be sure to allow yourself to feed that need. Just be careful not to overdo it, though — because an overfed heart voice is almost as bad as a starving one. I learned this the hard way. Like most things in life, it’s about balance.

I’m starting to blog again because my heart voice is always telling me to write, and write publicly. I haven’t yet been able to turn it into a lucrative career, but maybe I will, someday (a girl can dream, right?!). For now, I’m okay writing here, for whoever stumbles upon it. And even if that means that my mom and grandmom are my number one readers, I’m okay with that. 🙂 After all, my heart voice is mine — not anyone else’s — and I listen to it to make myself feel fulfilled —  not someone else.

Your heart tells you things because it knows you best. Please don’t ignore what it has to say.

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When did you last listen to your heart voice? What did it lead you to do?