Like most people, I spent my summer evenings binging a lot of Netflix shows including the ever-so popular and possibly unexpected hit, Stranger Things. At first glance I wasn’t sure if this eight episode, sci-fi seeming, show would be my cup of tea but it turned out to be one of my new favorites. Aside from the wonderful acting and intricate story line, I was really drawn to how the character of Eleven was written. Although characterized as a bit odd and at times, frightening, Eleven embodies strength, resilience and extreme loyalty to a group of boys that haven’t yet put their full trust in her. Her bald head signifies fearlessness and when she’s on screen with her male counterparts, she steals the show. About halfway through the series, the boys decide to dress Eleven more like a “girl” with a pink dress and blonde wig. Although she plays along with it, you have the sense that she will not conform and stays true to who she’s been all along.
We learn that Eleven was taken away from her parents or was a lost child (I think). Although she was held captive and tormented by her “Papa,” I feel as though her personality is still very much in line with who she once was and who she continues to be. Eleven doesn’t apologize for who she is and her character teaches us that we shouldn’t either. It’s important to be an individual and to stay true to who we really are. As the meme says, “in a world of 10’s, be an eleven,” and I couldn’t agree more!
The title of this blog posting, I realize, is totally cliche. It’s like one of those inspirational posts on Instagram that you come across and think hey that’s nice but you don’t necessarily follow these words of wisdom throughout your daily life. When my favorite boss left my previous job a few years ago, she gave me a card with “Do Something Everyday That Scares You” on the cover and it didn’t have the same effect that the title of this blog does now. Her words within the card were deep and what you would expect from someone that was invested in you as a person and your future career. Although I wouldn’t say the card and her words were the driving force behind me embarking on a new career and life, they did continue to resonate with me when I tried new things.
This simple motto, although not so simply done when you have to take action, came into my mind when I was at the gym this weekend. Now I know what you’re thinking, how can you do something big at the gym that scares you enough that when you do it, you feel accomplished? Well for me, it happened.
I’ve been lifting weights for a while now and have slowly transitioned away from my years of being a cardio queen. Although I still have work to do, I have watched my body transform and my overall strength increase. There’s nothing more empowering as a female than to walk in the gym and be able to lift heavier weights than some of the men. It’s nice to make them feel insecure for once 🙂
This weekend’s workout called for dips either assisted or unassisted. I’ve always used the assisted machine because I was nervous about failing in front of people. The assisted machine was safe and tucked in a corner so I could get as much assistance as I needed without anyone really paying attention. That theory changed though and I gathered up enough courage to approach the regular dip bars. To my amazement, I was able to pump out about 8 dips, maybe 5 actually looked good but overall I was able to do them on my own.
Moral of the story? You should do something that scares you, even if it’s something small. If I didn’t get out of my own head, I would have never attempted to do those dips and would be selling not only my workouts short but my confidence. There are so many other things in life that I want to try and I’m slowly dipping a toe in the water to see how far I can get without retreating. For now, the next thing to tackle in the gym is unassisted pull-ups. Those will come in time but I know the risk is definitely worth the reward.
Many of us go through it. We stay in a relationship, a friendship or a situation because it’s comfortable, convenient and maybe we don’t know who we are without it. Looking back, now wiser, I am disappointed that there were many opportunities to walk away from toxicity and I did not. Has it shaped me as the person I am now today? Sure. Although I truly think I would have been much stronger if I actually walked briskly through the exit door instead of taking delicate steps to get there.
The reasoning for this reflection was the news of someone very close to me getting divorced. It was shocking and sad but once the true reasons why the relationship was ending came out, I was no longer somber. Although I won’t reveal the specifics around this decision, it was clear that a Facebook picturesque family was not so what it seemed. A marriage that seemed happy and cohesive on the outside was not always consistent behind closed doors and it took the female in the situation to finally break away. The “I will change” and “It won’t happen again” song spewed from her spouse’s mouth and for most of us it’s just as common as the same old tunes on the radio.
She stood her ground. The answer was still divorce.
Seeing this woman be a strong mother and advocate for not only herself and family but the life that she deserves felt so empowering to me. She was walking away from the person she had been with for a long time and had children with but had the confidence that she was going to be okay, even if she didn’t feel that way in that moment. It will be hard on both of them, their children and their extended families but at the end of the day it was the right decision.
Sometimes you have to let go of the balloon and let it fly free. The longer you have it on your wrist, the more it weighs you down.
As I sit in my windowless office, I am in need of solace, distraction and beauty. This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is to convey the word “Pure” through an image and I thought it was very appropriate to help satisfy my current need.
When I think about the word Pure, phrases come to mind like “innocence,” “untouched,” “calm,” “original,” and “free.” I often find myself feeling this way when I am out walking among the trees and nature with my soon-to-be 12 year old Papillion.
This photo was taken in late May when the first real hot summer weekend had made it’s debut. This two mile walk through the woods was not only peaceful for me but I felt my dog become more in-tune with her surroundings rather than the hustle and bustle of daily life. I love how she took a moment to pause on this dock bridge and take in where she was. My dog represents that feeling of purity and innocence and when I am with her during these moments, I feel a natural calm and safety.
I remember during my high school days when those Tifanny heart chained necklaces were all the rage. Did it portray wealth? Being on trend? That you were spoiled by your parents? Nevertheless, it was the accessory to have back in the early OO’s. I was never one of those girls though and to this day, I’m still not. Don’t get me wrong, I love accessories and I’m pretty sure I have inherited my grandmother’s compulsive behavior of having to have that purse or that ring when I see it but it’s not about how it looks, it’s how it makes me feel.
In a previous blog, I talked about coming into my own at 30 years old and really finding out who I am. I often find myself feeling empowered by the stories of others and how I can make some small change in the world. About two years ago I stumbled across a small non-profit now small business that embodied my love for jewelry and my desire for hope, kindness and change, it was called The Shine Project. I encourage you to read their backstory but the short of it is that the founder Ashley LeMieux started a scholarship project to help send inner city youth to college. As the organization grew, Ashley taught herself how to make bracelets and began employing inner city students. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with this organization and quickly ordered a necklace that has become a staple in my daily wardrobe.
Feeling inspired by wearing a piece of jewelry with a story and a purpose, I magically found through Instagram, another similar organization called The Giving Keys that employs those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make key necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. Again, how could one not want to get involved in such an empowering project? I am happy to say that I have purchased 5 keys and given away 4 over the last year with the recipients completely enthused about the idea behind it.
What inspired me to write this blog today? The necklace around my neck and the bracelet on my wrist. They serve as a constant reminder that everyday we should all think about how we can make change and empower everyone around us. It’s not about looking good but feeling REALLY good!
A few months ago, something strange happened. It came upon me quicker than anticipated and left behind a monumental moment of realization – 1/3 of my life has already been completed.
That’s right, I officially entered the “dirty 30” club and there is no turning back. I didn’t anticipate the impact that the big 3-0 would have on my current outlook on life but it did and with good reason.
There is a lot of pressure on women when they enter this age. Questions arise about weddings, babies and the purchasing of a new home; all of which I don’t nor desire to have – well, a big house would be nice 😉 Aside from these stereotypical pressures, I truly believe 30 has provided me with a new sense of empowerment and fierceness that I never once had as a bright-eyed 20-something. It is an amazing feeling to know you have come into your own and have paved your own path.
The word to highlight here is “own.”
I have entered 30 the way I wanted to and for the first time I feel so confident in the woman I have become. I’ve learned to evaluate and know my worth while cutting away those who no longer fit into this mindset. I have taken more risks, I guess you could say educated risks, now that I have the knowledge and experiences of what got me to this point. Most importantly, I have learned to balance being selfless and selfish. In my 20’s, I was always selfless, which is not a bad character trait to have but at times would take my full focus off of myself. I put the needs, dreams and desires of others before my own and it really took its toll. Being a bit selfish has helped me change gears and devote more energy into my own mental and physical well-being. It’s like they say, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you are able to help others.
Regardless of the 3 and 0 and the expectations that come with it, I am more appreciative of life than I ever was before. Maybe one day I’ll have what everyone thinks I should but it will be on my terms, no matter what age because I’m still Kristin and have 2/3 more of life to live.
“Heroes get remembered but legends never die,” so the story goes in the triumphant ending of The Sandlot. Sports and heroism fuse together as Benny risks it all to retrieve that Babe Ruth signed baseball from the irritable dog known as the ‘Beast.’ Does Benny ultimately become a legend after successfully outsmarting the beast dog? In the world of 12 year old boys spending summers in a dusty baseball diamond, yes. The legacy of Benny Rodriguez will remain the talk of the baseball diamond for future generations and it won’t be about how he made it to the majors rather, how he took a risk that summer and saved the skin of his best friend, Smalls.
Why can’t every athlete have some sort of legacy like that…..and don’t for a second say that Kobe does!
The last few weeks leading up to “Mamba’s” retirement has been a whirlwind in the marketing sphere. One of the greatest basketball players was about to play his final game and leave behind shoes that even Lebron may find hard to fill. We’ve seen it before- black and white video montages, commemorative jerseys and athletes across all sports showing their love and appreciation for the one, the only, the legendary, Kobe Bryant. But really, what is his legacy?
I seem to recall a press conference years ago hosted by Bryant and his wife; a very strategic PR move to downplay a serious sex scandal that the all-star Laker was involved in. A moment in time where fans and endorsers took pause in the investment they had in their basketball hero but it didn’t last long. As the lines of the controversial events got blurry, Bryant continued to play, win back his endorsements and lay crucial groundwork for a long lasting legacy in the sport. Sounds like Tiger Wood’s team took great notes if you ask me!
Kobe Bryant is not and will not be the only athlete with some controversy – Tiger Woods, Adrian Peterson, Bret Favre, Ray Lewis are a few that seem to come to mind. The interesting thing is though, they all have recovered quite nicely as their dominance in their respected sports has become the saving grace for their bad reputation.
The more and more this seems to happen, the more clear it is that an athletes legacy can come with scandal and controversy as long as they produce significantly. Remember when Tiger had a list 0f 17 women he was unfaithful with? Now the ‘buzz’ story is that he may have to retire early due to back pain. We are talking about the same guy, right?!
Heroes get remembered but legends never die. Where is Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez when we need him?