New Beginnings

Hello wonderful readers! Happy 2017!

I haven’t posted here very much for a while because I had some major life changes.

As you may know, I spent two weeks in Scotland taking a play that I directed and produced.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see the world and travel. I spent a long time pushing this desire away.

I always told myself that I didn’t have the time to travel, I didn’t have the money, and I didn’t have anyone to go with me.

These are all lies I told myself to let myself keep playing small. And while playing small, I didn’t have to take risks, I didn’t have to step into who I am truly meant to be, I didn’t have to risk disappointment.

I know what to expect from my day to day life when I am at home. I am stubborn and independent and will fight to live my life the way I want to. I will work really hard to be able to keep up appearances and look like I am having a fun, fulfilled life.

But under it all, I have hopes and dreams that are going unmet. And I am tired of trying to stuff those down because I am afraid of failure. And I am finally ready to walk my talk.

I recently quit my day job. It was draining me in all ways. I was trying too hard to fit in to something that wasn’t right for me anymore. My brain was making unconscious mistakes that affected the people I worked for (nothing major, don’t worry)and it was causing me to question myself. I am not careless, so why was I making careless mistakes? Why was I spending all my energy complaining about where I worked and doing nothing about it?

So I decided to leave. It shocked a lot of people, and some (like my mother) were not surprised at all.

I decided to become a life coach. And I am loving it. It is honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I am a Martha Beck Life Coach In Training, and it is the easiest work I have ever done. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard work. But this feels incredibly natural, like I am truly in the flow.

For me, it’s like when I am dancing something really familiar, like swing or anything else that really follows the rhythm of the music. I let my brain go, feel the beat and feel my partner. I just listen for the cues from my partner and I let everything go. The moves flow and I can’t stop smiling. Even when I mess up, I am just so happy to be moving. There is no judgement about how I look or what is “right.” I just keep dancing.

Coaching is the same thing for me. I tap into something else, something bigger outside of me and I let it flow. Since I am still learning, there are more bumps in the flow but it still feels natural.

Part of what really drew me into coaching was that it is something I can do while I travel. I have denied this deep longing I have inside to see the world. The more I think about it, the more I remember being a kid that always dreamed about seeing the world and experiencing new cultures. And I need to honor that and build a life that can honor that part.

It’s all about alignment. (can I get a Hell Yeah for alignment?)

So I went on a solo road trip across the United States for 5 weeks. It was amazingly transformative, and I am sharing my reflections on the travel at my new website that you can find here.

For now I will continue to keep writing here from time to time, and some day I will probably link the two sites. I’m not quite ready to link this site since many of the stories I share are deeply personal and intimate. And there is something that feels ok with being that intimate with all you strangers, but not to all my friends just yet.

If you are looking for support for something in your life, you can also use my blog to get a little information about my coaching and I would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Right now, I am doing it at an unbelievable rate since I am still in training. So if you feel called, or are thinking that “there must be a better way” a coach can help you with that.

Until next time I hope you come follow my journey on my new website and I would love to hear from you about where you have felt a little out of alignment? Where do you think you need to show up differently so you can be more you? And what is one small action you can do to change that?

An Ode to the Men of Scotland

Oh Scottish men, how you make me sigh!

You made me want to never say goodbye.

From the beginning my eye was caught

It left me feeling quite fraught.

I had not anticipated your handsome ways,

(nor did I anticipate you would all have baes).

I thought you would be modest and pale

How could I know you would better than kale?!

With your manly beards on your face

I feared I would lose all my grace.

I was impressed with high level of fitness,

It made me want to shout “Can I get a witness!?”

You each had a charming smile and lovely eyes

I could not stop staring despite all my tries.

Your suits were tailored to a perfect fit,

why don’t American men do the same with it?

I could spend all day singing your praises.

But each time one walks by it causes eyebrow raises.

How I wish one of you would propose, so I can stay

To always admire your amazing Scottish ways.

In all seriousness, meeting people in Scotland was one of my favorite things. And flirting was even better.

It does not surprise me that every Scottish man I met had a girlfriend. These girls know what they are doing. Lock down that handsome man that gets his suits tailored and knows how to treat a women well. Yes, Scottish ladies, you get yours.

I was completely unprepared for how handsome Scottish men would be. I was shocked from the first moment I set foot on the street and started to walk into town. These men would be walking towards me and I would take note of how tall they were. And then you realize they are far more fit than you would have thought (all that Scottish ale, why don’t they all have bellies? I guess the older men do, but that’s not so bad). And then the beards. Oh those beards were so manly and rugged but also well-groomed. Those were the ideal beards right there. And yes, many of the men were redheads, which is attractive to me. But many were also brunette. And then you would get very close and you would notice that they all had these clear eyes. They were hypnotizing.

I could not stop staring.

And it doesn’t help that at lunch hour and around 4:30 in the afternoon they would all come out of work in their suits. These suits were all perfectly tailored. They would have on their wonderful leather shoes and their coordinated suits and I would have to stop from turning my head as they walked by.

I had a few drinks purchased for me, I got to make-out with a handsome Italian man, and went to a nightclub for a night of dancing and flirting. So I did ok. I will tell some of those stories with more detail, because they are absolutely worth telling. But this post is to celebrate the men of Scotland and to just publicly thank them all for just existing. They exceeded my expectations.

And I suppose I exceeded my own expectations by showing up with confidence and going with the flow.

 

Solo Traveling

Doing things alone are often one of the quickest ways I learn about myself. I have no one to hide behind, no one to distract me, no one to make decisions. There is no one to lean on when I get lost or lonely. Just myself.

I’ve traveled alone and gone to the movies, dinner, concerts, the bar, social events and parties, and weddings alone.  Most of the time I do not let my lack of a date stand in the way of doing what I want. I could be waiting forever if I always waited for a guy or a friend to agree to what I want to do (and have the time!). For a long time it was empowering to do what I wanted to do without asking anyone, it’s definitely freeing to not be relying on anyone else.

And now I’ve been doing it for so long, I take for granted how cool it is. Until I went on vacation alone in San Francisco.

I had an amazing time exploring this city that felt new and exciting. I loved just about everything in this city, most especially because it was a lot like Baltimore, my hometown. I liked that it was accepting of everyone’s individuality. I stayed in an Airbnb in the Mission District, which is felt so hip and funky I was a little bit of an outsider.

When I go out alone I rely heavily on Yelp to find places that the locals go to. And when I am feeling particularly adventurous I like to do drinks and an appetizer at one place, dinner somewhere else and then dessert in another different place. I did this twice in San Fransisco, and how could I not with so much delicious food everywhere?

On one night that I went restaurant hopping, I found myself in this funky bar that reminded me of one of my favorite dives in Baltimore. I loved chatting with the bartender who seemed charmed by my willingness to not only go to a bar alone (without any intentions of picking up a man) but to also travel alone. But one can only talk to a bartender for so long because, as enchanting as I am, eventually he gets busy.

I had a phenomenal time, and I went home at the late hour of 9:30pm, before the night’s festivities of Wheel-of-Death karaoke even got started. I was tired, and didn’t want to have anymore to drink. Plus, as a solo woman traveler that walked to the bar in an unfamiliar place I wanted to have my wits about me when I walked home.

I went to my gorgeous Airbnb and watched a few episodes of Girls and went to sleep completely happy. But I had a conflicting feeling that I was missing out on the nightlife of this great city. I justified it as I was making the safe decision. And it’s hard to meet people at a club or even pick the right club when you don’t have friends with you to make it fun. Plus I like to go to bed early, so I would be sleepy if I went out.

Isn’t it funny the way we want things we can’t have? I don’t even like nightlife. When I am home, I prefer spending a Friday night with Netflix and a glass of wine compared to a night out on the town. And when I am traveling I would much rather spend an entire day walking and exploring neighborhoods and local charm and be completely tired when 9pm rolls around.

So it is strange to me that the only regret I hold is that I didn’t go out more. EVEN THOUGH I DON’T LIKE IT.

I don’t pretend to make sense. It’s just how I feel. Conflicted.

I am working through letting go of expectations. Somewhere there is an expectation that when I travel I need to hit all the important experiences: walk local neighborhoods, eat like the locals, check out the bar/nightlife scene, do the quintessential experiences for that city. And somewhere I think I should play into the stereotype that as a young, single woman I should be out partying and making tons of friends and dancing in a nightclub until 1am. But that’s just not who I am.

I like being up early. I like not being hungover on vacation. Maybe I find a yoga class or going for a run. And I just have to let go of this expectation in my head that I have to be and do all the things and be someone that I’m really not.

I’m about to do another solo trip to the Berkshires in Massachusetts this weekend. I have a friend working there for the summer and I will get to see her a little bit, but I am mostly alone. Which is exciting. There is really no nightlife to speak of in the Berkshires, so that inner conflict won’t be a problem. But I can still practice letting go of my inner expectations of who I am supposed to be when I am traveling on vacation and I can just enjoy my time doing exactly the things that I want to do.