Bloom Where You’re Planted

Photo Cred: Julie Livingston Photography 

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of avoiding obstacles like “if I close my eyes, it will go away”. Yeah, me too.

I’ve been talking about change for the past few posts, and as exciting as it can be, it can also be a little scary.

Since moving to Charleston, I’ve felt ready to become more involved in the blogging culture here. I’ve been fantasizing about having fashionista girlfriends that wear flower crowns and post filtered group shots of ‘The Crew” wearing them on Instagram. I pretended that there were already so many bloggers here that it didn’t matter if I wasn’t one of them, so…I wasn’t one of them. But, then one Friday night, I decided to buy some new preset photo filters and was determined to install them on my phone, even if I wasn’t sure what the heck that even meant. And I did. And then I started following more bloggers and commenting on their posts.  And then other bloggers started reaching out to me and inviting me to events. And then I signed up for a flower crown-making event and found out some of my new blogging friends would be there. And suddenly, I’m with new fashionista girlfriends in a filtered group shot on Instagram.

After being involved in the Interior Design community in Philadelphia, I’ve felt ready to be more involved in the close-knit design community here in Charleston. I’ve been craving the kind of creative girlfriends that meet up at a new hotel just to touch the flooring to determine if it’s actually reclaimed hardwood or a fab laminate. So, I pretended that I didn’t work here anyway and all of my reps are in Philly, so these contacts aren’t helpful now. But then, my projects started wrapping up at work and the opportunity to start building my career in Charleston opened up. And then I contacted a group on social media to become more involved. And then an architect sent me a message saying her team could use some help with new projects and ‘could I send over some of my work?’ And I did. And then I signed up for the group’s networking event this week at a reclaimed wood vendor. And suddenly, I’m with creative women who are meeting up downtown to touch reclaimed wood flooring.

I moved to Charleston because although my career was in full swing,  I was ready for the rest of my life to begin. And now that it has, I’m ready to really blossom and bloom where I’ve planted myself.

 

 

My Top 5 Weirdest Beauty Rituals

Have you ever been so in your own head that you do something really bizarre around someone because you felt so comfortable you kind of forgot they were there?

Anyone?

OK, so, since I’ve given up dairy, I can’t have cheese (insert sobs here). My new boyfriend (insert cheers here) was kind enough to help me get rid of some leftover American by consuming several slices at a time. He assured me it tasted terrible and that I wasn’t missing out. While sulking in the kitchen, I suddenly remembered I had a dairy-free chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk in the freezer, so naturally, I burst out a guttural Louis Armstrong/Bill Cosby/happy Frenchman sing-song sound, roughly written as “mmm mmm mmm”. This caught the attention of the BF and he laughed out loud witnessing my pure, unhidden joy while I devoured the remaining treat. After we both cracked up, I realized that in my euphoria, I forgot I wasn’t alone! #againstcensorshipofjoy

The pint is, I mean, the POINT is, that we all have weird things we do that become so natural to us that we stop thinking they’re weird. This goes for beauty habits too. Here are my Top 5 Weirdest Beauty Rituals:

5. Must be fully nude while drying my hair

I’m pretty sure this stemmed from realizing that I shed like a golden retriever in summer and my hair will stick to any clothes I’m wearing like Velcro. So, Birthday Suit it is!

4. I have a strict shower sequence

Rinse, Shampoo, Wash, Condition, Shave. If I don’t follow this routine, I feel all out of sorts. It’s been rumored that I get my best ideas in the shower, so it’s likely I’d get in The Zone and forget to do one of the steps if I mixed up the order. So, for everyone’s benefit, and to prevent myself from being the main character in a novel entitled “The Girl with the Unshaven Leg” I’ll stick to what I know.

3. I use 2 mascaras

This isn’t weird, right? You need one “worn in” mascara that’s slightly dryer to create a good volumizing base, and then a “fresh” mascara that’s more liquidy for length. Disclaimer: These can be two separate brands/types or the same

2. I put Chapstick on my eyebrows to “hold” them in place

This often raises some eyebrows. Yep, lip balm is not just for that sassy mouth of yours!

1. I wear vinyl gloves to put on my foundation

This is definitely the one that gets the most quizzical looks. No, I’m not performing a surgery. No, I’m not trying to murder you. No, I’m not conducting a top secret experiment. I just don’t want the stay-forever foundation to get all over my hands and take-forever to wash off. May be my most practical thought I’ve ever had! Probably had it in the shower…

Do you have any unusual beauty habits? Please share to remind me I’m not alone. Not that that would stop me from squealing in delight, apparently…

One Thing Led to Another and…

…I’m pregnant.

With change! I’m past my due date, so an emergency birth is scheduled for…NOW!

What I’m trying to say is that I manifested 8 pounds, 6 ounces of the exact change I knew was coming by just writing that last blog post. Because of that, I’m writing one right after this called “I’m a Billionaire”…

But really though, I should. I’m the only one that’s limiting myself. I see all of these bold, kickass women and I feel like I belong in that Girl Gang. If I think too long about it, I second guess myself, but when I don’t give myself time to over-analyze, I envision myself right next to Rachel Hollis, Glennon Doyle, Jen Sincero, and soon, Ashleigh Renard. Woah. I feel like the Universe is illuminating like the Vegas strip right now. The signs are flashing “Yasss”, “Welcome”, “Hey Girl”, “Right Path”, and “We Knew You’d Arrive”.

This is the kind of time in life when everything changes – like the sort of pivotal point where you know these next decisions will impact the trajectory of your life as you know it. Heavy shit. Good thing I work out.

 

 

 

The New Normal

I’ve got a thousand incredible things happening to me now. Yet…the past few months I’ve been feeling uncomfortable, as if I’m shedding an old skin that doesn’t quite fit. “New patterns, new patterns”, I keep repeating to myself, “This is good! This is healthy! If you’re feeling anxious, it’s because you’re on the verge of change!”

This past Christmas, my younger brother said to me sadly, “It doesn’t even feel like the holidays. Is it always going to be like this now?” You know what he means. While the kids have all grown up and moved away, the traditions have diminished and faded out with them. New traditions with new family begins to emerge, but it takes a while for these new things to feel like old traditions.

On the eve of my 30th birthday, I sobbed into my pillow. This might not seem surprising, as it’s extremely common for women to “turn 29” multiple times, but I was actually really excited for what was to come in my thirties. Yet, I couldn’t help but mourn the loss of my twenties and all of the things I wished I had accomplished during that decade. And then – once that was over – I felt fierce.

I recently met an incredible man who is all of the things I’ve ever asked for – witty, handsome, intelligent, romantic, adventurous AND committed, thoughtful, hardworking, respectful, handy, emotionally intelligent, masculine, introspective, amusing, responsible (except for earlier this week when all of my banana pudding that I accidentally left in his fridge mysteriously vanished…lol), good listener, practical, easy going, close with his family, wants to get married, wants to have children, and insanely laugh-until-you-cry funny. Meeting him has got me all kinds of excited for what could be.  He makes me feel calm about moving forward, not scared or nervous. I trust him. I knowww – this is kind of a big deal for me *squeal* If this is really what I’ve been waiting for, it’s time to kiss goodbye every man of my past and any other that could be a man of my future.  If this is really what I’ve been waiting for, it’s time to slow down the momentum of “Are we there yet?” and coast into “It’s happening now!” All this joy has just got me reflecting on where I am now and respecting what’s got me here.

Work has always been the one thing that has been consistent in my life. Whenever the rest of my life was incredibly amazing or incredibly unbearable, my job has kept me sane. Since our company is growing, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take on more exciting projects. With that comes new challenges, some of which aren’t as as easily hurtled as I would have hoped. I know that getting out of your comfort zone means that you’ll make mistakes, and be stressed out, and be critical of yourself. And I am all of those things. But, I’m trying to be nicer to myself while I’m learning, more constructively critical of myself while I’m improving, excited while I’m experiencing the opportunity to learn, and grateful while having a knowledgable team surrounding me. But, yeah, its uncomfortable while I’m figuring out how I fit in here.

When I moved into my beautiful Southern home, I had 2 neighbors with apartments in the same house. One had been here for several years and we bonded over our creative fields and the removal of rogue lizards in my apartment. The other moved in a week after me, and we met when I invited him into my bedroom…to dispose of a cockroach at 1am. These were the first people that shared my space when I moved in to this new town, and they both moved out this week. I don’t know them well enough to keep in touch, but I knew them well enough to feel a sort of emptiness when they left.

My family just experienced the loss of a loved one, so that has been weighing heavy on my heart. The feeling I have knowing that people I love are hurting is…hollow. I just talked to my cousin today and she said it would “take a while before everyone is comfortable with the new normal.” And I couldn’t have said it better.

That’s exactly what this feeling is – getting comfortable with the new normal. It’s big, and exciting, and sad, and scary, and fun, and uncertain, and exhilarating, and reflective, and melancholy, and new, and all of those things. Yet, we have to embrace it, but not too tightly, because as soon as we get used to our new skin, we’ll shed it again.

 

Fishing on the Right Side of the Boat

Can you believe that the whole time I was abroad, the writing bug alluded me? Why is it that other obligations – like a full-time job – cause divine inspiration? I’ve never been more compelled to write than on a Tuesday morning at 10am when I have 3 projects on my desk…

With this spring weather, I’m feeling all of the intense anticipation of the season. You know when you were in school and it started to get warm, and all you could think about was summer break? Well, this past weekend it was almost 80 degrees, and I’m ready for the sun, the beach, and anything else the warmth brings. I can’t help but feel like some awesome gifts are coming my way and I’m ready to make some adjustments to allow all of them to flow into my experience.

This Sunday’s sermon was about “learning to fish on the right side of the boat”. What you’re used to doing is your way, not God’s way, and often the results are “fish-less”. But, once you give it up to Him, and move to the right side of the boat, your nets will be breaking with the abundance. I still go back and forth about my faith and what I believe to be true, but I will say that no matter what you believe, you can probably identify with the idea that if you’re doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then you’re just…insane. You have to be willing to do something you’ve never done before in order to achieve something you’ve never achieved. So, with this in mind, I’m making a seriously conscious effort to rid myself of patterns, people, and thinking that no longer is serving me. Its 2019, the Year of Adventure, and I’m feeling the happiest I ever have and I am SO excited for what is already mine, and just waiting to be gifted to me.

Happy Spring!

❤ Sarah

 

 

May the Road Rise to Meet You…

Well, the road certainly rose to meet me for this “adventure”. As soon as I said I wanted to go to Europe, the whole Universe conspired to make it happen. Around Christmastime, I casually mentioned  to my aunt that I wanted to visit Europe, namely Italy…or France…or Spain. She soon informed me that a First Class flight experience topped my 90-year old grandmother’s Bucket List, and that my uncle was able to cash in his flight points to make it happen, but that no one in the family was able to take her anywhere far enough away to make the flight worthwhile…

A few months later, on Valentine’s Day, my “cousin” – a silly formality for a woman who’s closer to a sister – birthed a sweet, red-headed Irish lass in a Dublin hospital, where her and her husband now live. I wanted to meet our new addition so badly, but I’d have to wait until they came to the US in June. Unless…My aunt asked – Would I be able to take my grandmother to Ireland, in exchange for a free luxury flight whenever I wanted? Umm, YES!

The “hitch” was that we had to fly out of Philadelphia, where my grandmother lives. Now that I live in Charleston and work remotely, I visit my Philadelphia office every 6 weeks. Luckily, I was able to schedule our Europe trip right after heading to the job site for a few days. That got me “back home”, so my super cute Nanny, Mary Ann, and I could hop onto an international flight from PHL to DUB.

I’d been to visit Ireland before, so this trip wasn’t about wearing the most fashionable clothing while traipsing around the Cliffs of Moher. It was about taking a thousand pictures of a child whose parents don’t want any of them posted on social media. It was about spending time with my “sister” and catching up on all of the loving insults that we share. It was about laughing at the joys of being a caregiver for the first time ever. It was about having tea with way too many sugar cubes in an Irish country manor house. It was about going shopping in downtown Dublin by myself, only to realize that I’d much rather get back home to that cute, cute baby. It was about getting flipped off by my Grandma when I told her she wasn’t allowed to save leftover First Class snacks.

I posted a few photos of my journey, wore a few outfits more than a few times, and laughed until I had tears coming out of my eyes. Although it wasn’t necessarily the Mediterranean vacation I had originally planned, Ireland sure made me feel lucky.

 

 

365

Happy Saturday!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this past week, as it’s been 1 year since I decided to move to Charleston for real. It seems like yesterday since I was sitting at the Pineapple Fountain feeling like my whole life was waiting for me here, and I just had to finish tying up the loose ends in Philadelphia. No more double-life! Well, now I’m totally immersed in it and I’ve never.been.happier. I know I’ve made a few questionable choices over the past year, purely for the enjoyment of a single moment. But, when I made my mind up to move, never once did I question that choice.

So, I just wanted to take a second to revel in the calmness I felt then, and the happiness I feel now, knowing that I can trust myself to do what’s best for me!