I’m ALL about that spontaneity

I just said to my mom the other day – “I have to have spontaneous adventures! It can’t be the same all the time, or I know I’ll get bored…”

Her response – “You need to make sure whoever you choose as your partner knows this.” *drops mic*

Fast forward a week, and a certain guy has got me all figured out, without me even mentioning this. He started out planning things he knew I’d like, and then quickly suggested instead, “let’s just go and see what inspires us.” #thanksforgettingit

This goes for my writing too. As a professional blogger (which I’m not…yet) it makes sense to give your readers/followers content that they can count on.

“It’s Friday, I’m SO looking forward to what Sarah’s been craving this week!” (I totally get it)

“I can’t wait to see what The Huntress bought on sale this Saturday!” (Right, yes, yes, me too)

But, as a writer who focuses on being real, I struggle with consistency. I don’t want to write every Friday because there’s something new I want (even though I said I would). Maybe I’m trying to cut back on my spending, (which I am), maybe I’m trying to be more happy with what I already own instead of buying all of these things to make me happy, (which it does, temporarily, hence Retail Therapy posts…) maybe I’m trying not to compare myself to other bloggers (which I have been).

Case in point – I got a DM from a blogger who is hosting an Influencers Night at Apricot Lane, a local boutique.  I’ll post more about this in my stories next week at the event (I promise I will). And I imagined the other bloggers that were being invited. Charleston bloggers, with literally THOUSANDS of followers.  But, as soon as I got all excited, like, “OMG! I got asked to go to this event, how cool! I can meet other fab women who are killing it!”, my second thought was, “OMG! How can I show up to this event with less than 150 followers and pretend like I’m influencing anyone to do anything?” Cringe. I wanted to be excited, I really did, but everything was telling me that I didn’t deserve to be there, and I thought about the kinds of conversations I would have –

Them: “Oh, hey girl! What’s your account, let me follow you!”

Me: *mumbles* “@thehuntressblog…yeah, um…it’s just sort of a side thing, I mean, like, I just have a really serious full-time job, and so I just…kinda…post whenever I can…” Double cringe.

I KNOW I need to invest in some filter presets. I KNOW I need to be more consistent. I KNOW I need to find a photographer to take photos of me in the most picturesque city in America, instead of grainy selfies in my messy bedroom.

And if all of that self-consciousness thinking wasn’t enough, I suddenly realized that I’d have to find something to wear…the level of anxiety that came along with this really cool opportunity was making me less and less excited. (Sometimes I wish I could punch myself).

I’m not really sure of the point of this, other than to say that my instinct is to post when I want to. It isn’t to get followers from doing tons of tagging/following loops (even though that might be the best way to grow a business). I’d rather have quality followers who actually are interested in what I’m posting (doing the right things always wins, right? Yeah, right…) So I’m caught between, ‘How do I get followers?’ and ‘How do I keep it real and write when I’m inspired, instead of making up trash content, just because it’s Friday and time for an On the Hunt post?’

So, help me out here.

-Are you reading because you look forward to certain posts and wish there was more consistency each week?

-Are you reading because you like my random approach and are excited by whatever it is I’m putting out there?

-Are you reading because you know me and you’re super supportive of whatever I want and I’m the luckiest girl ever to have you?

In the meantime, I’ll either be posting photos on Instagram OR taking a trip to Europe. Like I said, I’m ALL about that spontaneity.

Y’all Need Jesus

OK, so I know I didn’t post the past 2 weekends, but it’s not because I wasn’t writing. It’s almost like I had too many ideas. But I think the one that stood out to me most was my current experience with God. If you’re about to be like, “Ugh, bor-ing. Not reading…” I promise you, there might be something you find interesting. Or at least chuckle.

I was raised Catholic – I attended the same Catholic grade school AND high school that all 3 of my aunts did. My grandmother goes to Church every day but Sunday. I cried when the water baptized my tiny head. I wore a beautiful white dress at my First Holy Communion. I freaked out debating what sins to disclose while waiting in line for Confession. I rolled my kilt (I chose the “natural-looking” once fold, not twice, which always looked like foul play was involved) I even studied all 132 questions and answers in “The Packet”, in case Cardinal Bevilacqua – who apparently enjoys “buxom blondes” – pointed his staff at me for a response. But yet, something wasn’t vibing.

One of my earliest memories of questioning my faith was after receiving my score on a 3rd grade Religion test. The question was: When the priest consecrates the bread and wine during mass, it is a symbol of Christ’s body and blood. TRUE or FALSE? For those of you that said FALSE – Congratulations! You must have also gone to Catholic school and know that it’s not a symbol, but it actually becomes the body and blood of Christ. For those of you who said TRUE, it’s a symbol – Welcome to Camp Sarah. 24 years later and I’d still answer the exact same way. It will never reconcile with me that because a man whose studied God’s word says a blessing, that bread and wine become flesh and blood. Do I think it’s a beautiful symbol? Yes. Do I think that maybe there’s some miracle stories in the Bible that are true? Probably, but maybe with some exaggeration for emphasis. Do I think that miracles happen today? Of course.

By the time I reached 12th grade, I felt less like a Catholic, but more Christian. I had wonderful teachers who really spread God’s word in a way that teenagers could understand AND apply. If any high-school/college student is reading this and has the chance to go on a Kairos Retreat, GO!! This was one of the most wonderful, unexpected, life-changing spiritual experiences I’ve ever had. I think that’s when I really began to see Jesus as the kind of guy that was right next to me in prayer, rather than far away in a magical cloud. I also had lots of opportunities to implement what I was learning. For example, I signed the Chastity Pledge for Prom Night. It probably helped that I went with friend, not a boyfriend, as handsome as Jimmy was…

In college I was too busy figuring out romantic relationships with men, social relationships with friends, and spatial relationships with furniture to pay attention to my relationship with God. I said small prayers, here and there – “Please don’t let me get caught for underage drinking!”, “Please make this guy kiss me tonight!”, and things of that nature, but that was the extent.

I walked along that path until 2014. When I started my Solo-Journey-of-Becoming-a-Badass that year, I didn’t turn to God the way that most do during a crisis. Maybe because He wasn’t ever in my Top 5 Call List? I don’t know…I just knew He had my back long-term, so in the meantime, I needed something to DO. So, I turned to The Law of Attraction ft. Abraham Hicks *insert album photo*. I could go on for days about how much she helped me (and I have in this post, this post, and this post…) She gave me back some control in a time where I felt powerless. I went to see her live last year, and I continue to listen frequently when I need to calm my mind. So, basically, every day.

Fast forward to 2016 when I met my spirit-friend Abbey, who introduced me to Seacoast Church. I had never felt more welcome in a social place! Everyone there was happy, kind, and…gorgeous. Yeah, let’s stay here. So, when I finally moved to Charleston in 2018, it felt like I was coming home. Seacoast has been an incredible place to meet friends – surprisingly, they’re totally human – they drink, swear, and sleep with their boyfriends *gasp*. But, they also love A LOT. They check in, they encourage spiritual growth, they recommend books, they inspire me to become more involved, and they get me excited to LIVE! It has also been a great avenue to get involved with mentoring teen girls – since I seriously missed teaching my college Interior Design students. If any of you are reading this, I still think of you girls all the time!

Just because I love the feeling that I have while attending services, doesn’t mean I’m totally High on Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve closed my eyes and put my hands up during the worship songs, but I still have my questions. And I think I should! And as I just said aloud yesterday – “If you have questions, it does one of two things – it either strengthens your belief in one thing, or strengthens your belief in another.” Or makes you have more questions…so three things. Or makes you more confused…so four things. Anyway, you get the idea.

The Law of Attraction basically says that you are responsible for everything that happens to you. I can see evidence of that in my life. But, no pun intended, Dear God, thats’s a lot of responsibility! There are times that I can’t do it alone. And I don’t want to do it alone. I’ve really come to find peace in knowing that God has a plan for me, but that I get to figure out how I’m going to get there.

Peace and Love,

The Huntress ❤

 

I Love Me, I Love Me Not

You try too hard.

You’re so needy.

Nice cellulite.

You don’t look like you have a personal trainer…your stomach isn’t even flat.

You’re not as pretty as you think you are.

He could have literally anyone. Why would he be interested in you?

You’ve never been skiing and you’re afraid of the water…good luck finding someone adventurous.

Even the guy who you thought loved you, didn’t want to marry you.

Ouch. That last one stung like a Bee-tch. Mean, right? I’m saddened to admit that I’m the one that’s said these words. To myself. WTF? I know I’m not alone when it comes to having insecurities.  Lauren Daigle wrote a song about it. Hailey Bieber did an Instagram post on it. Kylie got camera shy about it.

I read and re-read all of those nasty things I say to myself. And do you know what feels even more believable than all that? These other things I know about myself –

You go out of your way to make people feel included.

You’re so loving and playful!

Your arms look incredible!

I can tell you’ve been doing your squats.

Your nose is so cute!

You radiate confidence. Also, you’re a badass.

You’re really independent.

Wow! He’s a total idiot! Whoever marries you is going to be the Luckiest Man in the Whole World!

If you’re like me, it’s easy to give give give love to others. It’s time to give the love back to ourselves this Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Asked For It: Dating Wisdom

I’ve been finding myself in a few dating situations lately where I’ve managed to really stand up for myself, reflect on a part of my life that wasn’t clear before, or even help friends with their dating struggles. One of my friends told me that I should write about it (why didn’t I think of that?!) And so, because I felt so inspired today, I’m taking her advice to dish out some advice of my own.

Now, you may know how I feel about advice, if you’ve read this post, which talks about how I’ve been trying to stop asking for advice and follow my own intuition. Maybe “advice” isn’t the best word. Maybe “wisdom” is better? Overall, I just want to share some situations that have happened to me and what I’ve done to get past the obstacles and keep moving forward.

SITUATION 1: Guy asks for first date at 7:30pm days in advance, yet on the day of, sends intermittent texts from 7:30-9:00, then trails off without actually confirming plans

SOLUTION: Respond by texting, “I’m thinking that tonight isn’t going to happen, no worries. I have a couple of other things I would like to do tonight, and waiting for you to respond isn’t one of them. Have a good night!”

BENEFIT: You get to go on a date with someone else instead, write a blog post, fold laundry, call your best friend, watch Dateline, paint your nails, cook a fantastic dinner, or stay at home without wearing pants. But mostly, you get to stand up for yourself and make it light-hearted. No, you’re not going to throw yourself on your bed sobbing yourself to sleep, but you ARE letting him know that you have higher standards and that you are a highly sought-after commodity who doesn’t accept that kind of behavior.

 

SITUATION 2: Sober man at party is catcalling, making inappropriate comments, and being offensive to you and your friends

SOLUTION: Walk over and say POLITELY and SINCERELY, “You have been extremely obnoxious this whole evening while I’m trying to have a conversation with my friends.” *Look in their eyes, so they can see that you’re talking person-to-person* “It’s really inappropriate. So, I’d really appreciate that for the rest of the party, you can tone it down, OK? Have fun, but please respect us.” This only works if you’re actually sincere. You can’t have an attitude while saying this. You need to rouse feelings of remorse rather than defensiveness.

BENEFIT: You’re standing up for yourself when most women would put their bitch-face on and curse this guy out. That’s what he’s probably used to. By approaching this head-on, you’re catching him off-guard, and likely to get an honest respect.

SITUATION 3: New (or old) relationship is feeling a little “off”. You talk all of the time, but it feels like there’s no communication. You try to do nice things for him, but it’s like all of your actions are going unnoticed.

SOLUTION: Ever hear of the The Five Love Languages? Yeah, well, once I started reading about them, it pretty much blew my mind. You often do for others what you’d like done for you, but if you’re not speaking the same love language, there can be so much miscommunication, when there doesn’t need to be. There I was showering my partner with texts and notes gushing about how much I loved him (Words of Affirmation) and letting the dishes sit in the sink so we could spend a quiet night together (Quality Time), when what he really needed to feel loved, was for me to offer to cook dinner (Acts of Service) and pick up a little something for him when I was out “just because” (Receiving Gifts). What’s funny is that often you don’t even think about this, you just realize that something’s missing when it’s not happening. This man was not a material person, yet, he liked small presents.

BENEFIT: You FINALLY get to “talk” to your partner in ways that mean something to THEM.

 

SITUATION 4: Boy you’ve been dating for several months goes out to a bar with you and blatantly flirts and exchanges numbers with another woman right in front of you, completely humiliating you in front of his friends. Then asks, “Are you mad?!”

SOLUTION: Talk to this man-child about the situation once you have a chance to be alone. The fact that he’s asked you “Are you mad?!” indicates that this is a “prepared response”, meaning he’s done this before and is used to self-sabotaging relationships by creating situations where the woman breaks things off, so he doesn’t have to. Similar to Situation 2, most girls would probably slap him in the face, call him a f*ckboy, and maybe even throw her drink at him. But not you, you Glorious Goddess. By having an adult conversation with him in private, you are handling this like a woman. You are forcing him to man-up and face an action that was more embarrassing to him than it was to you. You could say something like, “If you are still looking to date around, that’s totally fine. You should do whatever and whoever you want then! But that kind of behavior is really unacceptable to me, personally. I have higher standards that need to be met, in order for me to invest any more time in someone.” I can report that this interaction caused this particular guy to:

  1. Apologize
  2. Open up about a whole bunch of other deep-seeded issues he was facing
  3. Tell the truth
  4. Turn off his defense mechanisms
  5. Self-reflect about his behavior
  6. Tell me he loved me
  7. Continue contacting me after we both agreed the relationship was over

I do believe that some people have different capacities to love, and that one person’s 100% still may not be enough. Not a bad thing, just not the right thing. Whether or not the constant contact is behavior typical of today’s 30-something male who loves staying a “text’s distance away” is highly debated amongst my friends, however, it’s proof that you can still show your worth and he won’t run away (but with that behavior, who cares if he does!) They seem to like knowing that you’re holding them to a higher standard, even if they don’t attempt to achieve it.

BENEFIT: First, you get to move onto a man who can’t take his eyes off of you! But for your own pride, you’ve stood out against other women by behaving like a woman, not a girl. This guy won’t ever be able to forget you. You might just turn his whole world upside-down by showing him that there is another way of handling things. That’s not guaranteeing a lasting relationship, but certainly creating a lasting effect. #illtakethehighroad

SITUATION 5: After a few dates, you realize that the nice man you’re seeing (you know, the one who’s TOTALLY into you) is not The One, and you aren’t reciprocating the feelings.

SOLUTION: Thank him for the time you spent together, say you weren’t vibing, and keep it light. Inevitably, this type of nice guy is going to ask you “Why?” To which you will ALWAYS respond again (paraphrasing your orignal sentiment), “I didn’t feel like we were vibing the way we need to, in order to continue” or “I’m looking for chemistry that I didn’t feel was there.” There might be a couple of other quirks, or beliefs, or traits that combined with pages and vibes weren’t working for you. But, if you feel final in your verdict, be final in your delivery. Leaving it open ended can cause huge amounts of hurt and confusion, where the man tries to find the loophole to get you back in that instant.

BENEFIT: Ugh. Why do they always want to know why? NOTHING, and I mean, NOTHING good can come out of answering this question more fully. Think about it this way: What if you asked a guy that you were super into why it wasn’t working, and he said “You know, your family is just too loud and opinionated, and it was too stressful for me to be around them.” Ummm, guess what? It’s possible that you end up feeling a little self-conscious about introducing your new man to your loud, fun Italian family because you’re afraid that he’ll leave too. Meanwhile, that same new boyfriend has been hoping, wishing, praying that he’d meet a crazy fun family that would make him feel like one of their own. And now, you’re making him miss out, because of some other bozo who wasn’t right for you. Don’t make a man self-conscious for a trait that YOU weren’t into. The next woman might be looking for exactly that.

Hope that helps! I could really go on, but until we have more situations, this will have to do!

❤ The Huntress

 

What 4 Years and Some Sunshine (and palm trees) Can Do…

Hi Y’all!

I FINALLY made my move to Charleston! And I’m that happiest that I’ve ever been. The kind of happy that’s not because of anyone, but because of the peace I feel inside. I went grocery shopping today – like, maybe the most mundane errand ever- and as I was unloading my cart, I thought about how freakin’ happy I am, even to be putting bags of food into my car. How fortunate am I that I can live my idea of a dream life? How happy am I that I worked really hard to be exactly where I am. Right now. In THIS moment.

Today marks 4 years since my life changed forever. It became a turning point, to which all other events in my life either fall “before” or “after”. There was a time when I thought I could never be myself again. How could I, when I didn’t even know who that was? I felt hollow. I felt like I lost all of my identity. I had no idea that I was just beginning to find it.

Many people told me stories about someone they knew who lived through the devastating loss of a “forever” relationship. They told me the ex-bride was doing well. I asked how long ago it happened. They said 2 years. I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure if I could make it 2 hours, let alone 2 years. And here I am today feeling like it happened to an old acquaintance. If someone recorded me telling my story and played it back to me now, I would honestly gather their hands in mine and tell them I can’t imagine the pain they feel. It’s like your mind goes into preservation mode and makes you forget, so that you can keep going forward. A few weeks after John left, my aunt gathered all of her friends, my friends, and our family and asked them to write me beautiful letters of love and encouragement. I still have them in a little box, and I pull them out occasionally to remind me how much I’m loved. There was one in particular that always has stuck with me. My aunt’s friend wrote, “Just as shattered glass is used to make a beautiful stained glass window…one day dear Sarah…one day your own shattered glass around you now, will come together as a magnificent window.”

Wow.

Hopefully that gives you a better idea of the kind of window I am now. Made of tiny pieces of shattered glass: sharp when I need to be strong, colorful when I need to brighten someone’s day, bold enough to speak my mind, soft enough to filter harshness, clear enough to spread light.

If you are going through something that seems impossible, I can promise you that it does get better. Let me shine for you and tell you that I am proof of the colorful light at the end of the tunnel. There is so much joy to be had. Every day is made just for your enjoyment!

❤ The Huntress

Thank You

Happy Valentine’s Day! As I get older, I have the benefit of experience to make sure I am attracting only quality people into my life. Sometimes they don’t stay as long as I’d like, but yet, they really leave an extra large imprint in an extra small amount of time.

This is a huge Thank You to those who have shared their kindness, their time, their insecurities, their humor, their kisses, their dreams, and their honesty. You have filled my heart with joy, laughter, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of love.

 

 

 

These are a few of my favorite things

I had a wonderful Christmas filled with great family time. Of course there were lots of gifts, but two that really tugged at my heartstrings.

My Dad and Barb know how much I love nostalgic memorabilia, especially when its personal to my own childhood. I grew up on Spruce Street, so Barb found this beautiful metal Spruce Street street sign on eBay.

When she looked a little closer, she saw that it was made in Pottstown, PA. And there’s only ONE Spruce Street in my town, so this was the ACTUAL street sign on my street growing up. Since it was made to fit on a pole, my Dad made a sweet wooden stand, so I can display it in my home. And it brought out *all the feels*

Just when I thought I couldn’t get any luckier, I opened this beautiful gift from my Mama:

Word of the Year necklaces! She had each charm engraved with my words and their year:

2014 Love

2015 Grow

2016 Present

2017 Trust

2018 Welcome

2019 was left blank, so I can engrave it with whatever is coming for me next! You can read more about my words here.

Tears.of.Joy! Every time I wear them, I feel like I’m wearing badges of accomplishment for getting through the hardest and most fun years of my life. AND they’re in gold, silver, and rose gold. DI-vine!

It was a Merry Merry Christmas 🙂