A Letter To All The Moms Who Raised Me

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When I reflect on people who played key roles in ensuring my successful entry into adulthood it is full of smart, loving, inspiring faces. One of these people I am especially thankful for, because without her I would not even grace this planet, I call Mom. While my Mom gave me life and taught me a lot early on, she wasn’t the only woman I needed.

The woman I am today is a direct reflection of a group of moms. Some people might refer to this as a “village” but most of the women I am thinking of didn’t know my Mom personally. These women were aunts, friend’s moms, a stepmom, a high school yearbook teacher, and a college professor. I’m proud to be a collection of women, my Mom included, who offered advice, picked me up when I stumbled, showed up when it was important, and instilled some important core beliefs into adult me. So this post is an ode to all of the knowledge these women imparted. Thank you for your patience (especially during those teenage years), love, and being on my team.

Happy Mother’s Day.

It Is OK To Be Selfish (Sometimes)
From early ages most women are taught to do for others before they do for themselves. I believe in living life with as much empathy and gratefulness as possible but I am so thankful I was also taught to be selfish when it really mattered. The idea of being selfish is more about looking out for yourself and putting a buffer between you and physically or emotionally harmful situations. Confused? Being selfish with my heart meant knowing when it was time to walk away from romantic relationships. Being selfish with my time meant only quality people or causes made my social schedule. Being selfish with my future meant leaving my friends and family to move to California, because I knew that is where I was supposed to be. Being selfish with my dreams meant I could tune out anyone who told me that I was crazy or that some task was impossible.

Being Alone Doesn’t Mean You Are Lonely
For those of you that haven’t been reading this blog for very long you should know  I was married before the husband I currently have. I don’t talk about it a lot because it honestly feels like a lifetime ago, and there isn’t really a lot to say except not a right fit for either of us. He’s a good guy, I think his parents read this blog sometimes and they are great people I am still so happy to know, I hope he lives a very long and happy life with someone. When we split up I went from having an entire established life with someone to living in a studio apartment in a different state where I didn’t know anyone. This took some adjusting, I had a lot of alone time. I cried, was mildly depressed, contemplated moving back home, and talked to my stepmom regularly. She told me I had to give it a chance and that being alone didn’t make me unlovable, it just gave me more time to figure out who the hell I really was.  I remember she also told me I could always come home if I was really, really miserable. That was 8 years ago and I am still a proud resident of the Golden State. She was right, about all of it. Having time to myself made me a more confident person, forced me out of my comfort zone to meet people, and was actually quite liberating (eat what I want, watch what I want on TV, pants optional ALL THE TIME). My advice to every person now is get comfortable being alone, like really alone without a phone or internet or TV. Spend some time with yourself and say yes to new experiences. I mean, how do you think this blog got started?

Be A Woman Who Supports Other Women
This one took me a little while to learn, but I am so glad it clicked. If you are a young (like under 25) woman reading this let me be the first to tell you that the most important relationships you can make in life are with other women. They will pull you through the dark when you can’t see, they will help you throw small pity parties and then just as quickly tell you to get your shit together, they will show up with champagne to help you celebrate the victories,  they will watch all of the Magic Mike movies with you, and they will love you exactly the way you are forever and always. Be a woman who is open, supportive, loving, encouraging, honest, and always willing to help pick a girl up (or throw her in a cab if she needs it, thanks Jules). Women who compete with you over men, social status, designer bags, or body type are not your friends but the good news is that there are millions of other women who would love to be your friend. This goes back to being selfish about time, be careful who you give it away to!

Get Uncomfortable
In college I took a few performance studies classes that led to me participating in a live stage performance in front of a small audience. My performance studies professor was always encouraging us to push ourselves and “risk,” and now I understand why. Fear is a bully that keeps you from risking, and so many people let it control their lives. Fear keeps you from applying for that job, or speaking up in a meeting, or moving to that place, or talking to that person you find interesting, or telling someone they hurt you. Fear is safe, most of the time you know what the outcome of a situation will be. Alternatively risking is terrifying, you never know what will happen when you make the leap! This also makes risking insanely freeing, because even if the situation doesn’t turn out the way you expected you confronted fear, and that is the best feeling ever. Every time I have decided to risk I grew a little bit more and learned life was not as big of a deal as I was making it out to be in my head and most people are worried about themselves, not me.


Now it is your turn, what did your Mom teach you?




2016: Reconnecting With My Why



Once a month I meet with a group of self-employed women and we discuss wins, losses, and frustrations we encounter while running our businesses. These meetings typically consist of coffee, swear words, laughing, and sometimes tears. One topic we come back to regularly is connecting back to the “why” of our business.

The idea of finding your “why” comes from a Ted Talk by Simon Sinek where he explores how inspirational leadership can be a powerful tool for success. The idea is pretty simple: people invest more in companies with a clear purpose and strong beliefs. The product or service a company is selling must also be good, but the initial conversation leads with the “why.”

This sort of thought process has been extremely valuable for me as a small business owner and a blogger (sorry/not sorry I didn’t want to write a sponsored post about your diet app) so in 2016 I’m applying the same process to my personal life. I’m using three of Sinek’s key takeaways to help define my personal “why.”

1. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
OK, I’m not going to lie this is a tough one to start with. It requires you to dig deep and get uncomfortable. Formulating my ‘why’ took a lot of listing, scratching out, crumbling up of paper, cursing, and wondering why I ever thought this was a good idea in the first place. But like any difficult task I felt a surge of self-confidence once it was completed. In no particular order here is the foundation of my personal ‘why’ :

We’re all in this together – as in be good to each other, speak kindly, hold doors open, smile, and take deep breaths before you respond to that email/text/Facebook post that really pissed you off.

Forgiveness is the only way forward – gossip, anger, grudges, and animosity are such energy sucks and can distract from all of the great things going on in the world. I forgive for my own sanity, closure, and to move on with my life; not because I think you are right.

Have fun– somewhere between building blanket forts as a kid and paying bills as an adult we forget about fun. In 2016 I want to acquire experiences instead of things, laugh at least once a day, and refuse to grow up. My Dad does all of these pretty well so I am hoping it’s genetic. Anyone that is not on board with fun can just read on to the next point.

2. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.
It seems pretty simple, right? It’s not really though, people (including myself) are scared of looking like an asshole in public so we edit ourselves. For professional purposes editing is very important, for personal purposes it seems ridiculous. This is the part where I talk about how much I love social media because you can post content that reflects your beliefs and find your tribe. For me this involves posts about cute animals, food, beer, and wondering when (if?) I will ever feel like a grown up. All the people who follow me have mentally said “I see what you’re about and I’m into it.” I love interacting with people who get my ‘why’ and who, without social media, I might have never met.  Real life friendships work the same way so don’t be afraid to be your glitter, unicorn, bold patterned self who might have a sailor mouth (oh hey, thats me!).

3. Think, act, and communicate from the inside out.
Now that I have my ‘why’ nailed down, it is time for some action. I’m ready for a year full of new friends, experiences, challenges, and a lot of impromptu dance breaks (because fun, remember?!). I feel slightly relieved to have a reference sheet for when life gets messy and I feel lost in the forest, because those times are unavoidable. It wasn’t anything I didn’t already know about myself but there is something special about having my ‘why’ posted where I can see it every day.  Here is to a magical year ahead, thanks for coming along for the ride.

Hey Girl Summer To-Do List

Summer officially started this week and I feel like I owe the season an apology. I never appreciated you when I was younger, I would say things like “I’m bored!” or “there is nothing to do!” Now I know better Summer, I know that with those extra hours of daylight there is so much more to do and I intend to take full advantage. Even as an adult Summer still holds the feelings of slowing down, relaxing, and adventure. While work to-do lists are great for productivity they are boring so I made a Summer to-do list that covers all the fun I would like to accomplish during my favorite season. Make sure you follow me over on Instagram to see what I check off the list. Do you have your own Summer wish list? Let me know what is on it in the comments.


Summer To Do