Hi guys, it’s me.
First, a disclaimer. That photo is not to be taken seriously (in case it isn’t obvious). I hope you find it as humorous as I do because I am the world’s worst when it comes to photos. Okay, moving on.
I recently listened to a podcast (literally, if I had a dollar for every time I said that phrase, I’d have paid off my whole freaking student loans – which is not a small number), that got me wanting to share a bit more of who I am. So I’m breaking down 10 things about myself that probably not a lot of you know. Stick with me as I share some honest, funny, and hard things. (Also, I know this picture is large. I’M AWARE. It won’t let me resize it, so here we are. This is what you get. We’re doing good.)
I’m going to just jump right in here and start out with a zinger – I actually have fought this whole “blog” thing the entire freaking time I’ve had it. Do I love it? Yes. Am I proud of what I’ve created? Yes. Does it scare me? Yes. In the best way. But on the complete opposite side of this – I really, really, really dislike the “blogger” title. Like, REALLY. In my experience, it’s a title that is made fun of, not taken seriously, and very “been there, done that.” In my head it screams, desperate and annoying. And to think I’ve willingly put myself in those categories doesn’t leave me feeling… amazing? As I’m sure you can imagine. But I care about what I’m sharing, and I refuse to feel shame in that. I just wanted to be honest and acknowledge an elephant that’s been sitting in my space for far too long.
I grew up in the Catholic faith. Can I be honest? I felt that reconciliation was one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. I remember being a kid and sitting in the pews, evenly spaced out from my classmates, waiting my turn and racking my brain for sins I’d committed that I could confess to the priest. It felt cold, tasteless, and unrelational. And honestly, I think it’s been hard for me to understand grace because of these experiences. The idea of penance (a sacramental rite that is practiced in Roman, Eastern, and some Anglican churches and that consists of private confession, absolution, and a penance directed by the confessor) seemed to tell me that I have to do my part, and God will then do His. When in reality, He forgives freely, and it’s not dependent on the punishing of myself, or me trying to “make up for” where I’ve messed up. I know this obviously wasn’t the intent, but as a kid, that’s how my brain perceived it. It’s been a rewarding process of relearning forgiveness and what that looks like on a daily level.
One more thing on growing up Catholic – it’s been surprising to find myself drawn back to a more liturgical style of church. I’m really grateful for my growing understanding of the holiness and reverence that is attributed to and birthed out of, tradition.
Often times, when I feel the need to write, I most likely will turn on something sad, where it feels like there’s a sea of emotion behind the song, whether through instrument, tempo, or lyric. I have a writing playlist that is filled to the brim with sad, slow songs. I’m super not sure what that says about me, but I’m not sorry about it. I know I’m not the only weirdo out there. I almost always play Black Flies by Ben Howard, anything by Daughter, old Bon Iver, or Sleeping At Last’s Atlas: Year One album.
Sometimes I think I spend more time talking about books, than I do reading them. I still read quite a bit, but I could just as easily watch someone review books on instagram stories, walk around a book store, or get in a deep discussion about a certain portion of a book I read 5 years ago that changed my life. I actually thought about trying to not buy a single book for an entire year. HAHA, I’m dumb. That is a sad life and I want no part of it. Also – It drives me craaaaazy when people skip around in books. It literally hurts my heart. There is order in this life for a reason, people.
I typically hate personality tests. I think people get this idea in their head based off of what a test tells them, and it almost changes who they are as a person. They mold themselves to fit the results of what a test says about them. Obviously I don’t love that, so I don’t pay them much attention. I have legitimately taken the Myers-Briggs test at least 10 times (think 7 years of higher education), and I swear I still could not accurately tell you what my type is. I can tell you that I swing the line of introvert and extrovert. Does that surprise you? The reason I brought up personality tests is because ENNEAGRAM. Sheesh. I’m working on an entire post about why I drank the kool-aid, but man is it insightful. I haven’t even completely dived in yet and I’m still so deeply here for it. It will read your freaking mail. In a different way than other tests. I highly encourage you to look into it. Or stay tuned because I’ll give you the lowdown and all the resources soon!
I feel like I’ve been addicted to sugar my entire life. It’s a constant battle because I LOVE CANDY. And ice cream. But I ain’t tryna have that rule my life, you know? My brain is literally wired to crave sugar after a meal is over, because that’s exactly what happened growing up. I’ve got the best mom who used to bake cakes, pies, cookies, caramels, scones, etc. everyday. DID YOU READ THAT RIGHT? Everyday. Everyday, something new, something fresh! I’ve been praying against bitterness towards her for allowing this demon into my life.
I wanted to share a bit of the dream God has deeply embedded in my heart, if that’s okay. For a long time, I felt the pressure to only pursue a career in counseling, because that’s what you do. It’s a servant-hearted job, completely about the betterment of others. What more could I possibly want, right? Yeah…well… actually, a lot of things. I was living under this pretense that the holiest job I could ever do had to have the word, “ministry” attached to it. And it’s not like I didn’t think other paths were important, necessary, and awesome, but doing something where people inherently heard the name of Jesus was the BEST. I have since then grown and found solace, peace, and freedom in knowing that the holiest thing I could ever do is to go where He leads. I want to stay faithful, listen, listen some more, and then respond. If I do those things, I know I’m not “missing it.”
All that to say – way before I ever thought to be a counselor, I had a dream of working in the music industry. Ask my friends in high school – it was my pipe dream. Now it’s my actual dream. Right now, I’m praying for greater clarity and vision, because I dream of a job that blends music and counseling in a non-traditional setting. I’m not sure of what it looks like yet, but I’m certain that God will exceed my expectations. I’ll take your prayers if you want.
I’m going to try and keep this brief, but here’s another zinger. I am embarrassed that I’m not utilizing my counseling degree right now. I have had to fight off bitterness, confusion, and so much frustration. If you know me at all, then you know that going to grad school was incredibly hard on my heart. I didn’t understand how I fit in the program, and it made being there all the more difficult. So now, having graduated just shy of a year ago, I’m not where I thought I would be – career-wise. And yeah, that’s embarrassing to the “standard timeline” we often see play out in others lives. It’s all in my head, though, I know. Because standard hasn’t really ever been my thing. And life is unpredictable. But we do still have that, “What will people think?” tendency that almost feels like a default. So I thought I’d just call it like it is – yeah, I’m embarrassed, but I’m working through it.
Back-to-back heavy vulnerability. Time to chill. Did you guys know that my guilty pleasure is health accounts on Instagram? OMG I love ’em. I have contemplated starting my own for a year or two, now. I know I would spend all I have to make the account one of greatness. The problem is….I’m trying to like, save money, not spend it all. But y’all (I seriously only say this word for the effect, kinda like a swear word, but not? Yeah.) I could spend a million bucks in Whole Foods. And probably a million years just browsing, too. It’s actually a really great de-stresser for me. It’s pure enjoyment. The store in Nashville actually took my breath away. It’s beautiful. And so big. The one in downtown Minneapolis is amazeballs, too. It’s more market-y, which I die for. My BFF lives within walking distance of it and I’m consistently mad at her about it.
I used to have the biggest fear of praying out loud. I straight up couldn’t open my mouth. Words just didn’t come. I had a deep fear of coming across as inauthentic or ingenuine. I had seen the manipulative side of ministry that felt forced and skewed and I vowed to never let that be me. It took years of continually praying, but the fear lessened. So now I get fired up when people say they are “bad at praying.” UM, don’t. Stop it. I won’t listen to it. You can’t be BAD at PRAYING. I have a friend who sends “voicemails to God” and it’s like my favorite thing ever. I’m thinking one of those christian girl writers (me) could title a book after that. I’ve found that for myself – I like to write out my prayers. My thoughts are clearer and it’s easier for me to articulate what I’m trying to say. If you struggle with prayer, know that you’ve got a confidant in me. Figure out the ways that make you feel closest to Him. I’ve got some revolutionary advice for you (told to me by an incredible leader): you learn to pray by praying.
Okay….well, that’s all. This was long. If you made it through all 10 – thank you. I’m not even sure how many of you read this baby blog of mine, but I really am so grateful that you allow me to share – it means the world. I love you guys.