For Your Convenience

Now that we’re all indefinitely confined, you’d think I’d have tons of extra time to write. But, that’s the thing about writing, the urge never comes when it’s convenient. This isn’t the first time I’ve said this: I feel the most inspired mid-day, mid-week, mid-work project. And, this is why none of my musings get recorded once my daily task list is complete. Interestingly, my career requires me to be creative at the drop of a hat. I don’t get to choose when I feel like designing. Luckily for me, I’ve trained myself to go into work-mode and crank it out successfully. But, that’s probably why at the end of the day, I have no more creative capacity to blog. On a broader scale, this got me thinking about how nothing is ever convenient. I promise I’ll get to the upside.

The elephant in the room – the state of the world – is in total panic. I choose to protect my physical health by social distancing, washing my hands, and limiting my exposure to the public. I choose to protect my mental health by turning the channel when the news does an hour segment on how Everything Is not Awesome.*

*Also helpful: CBD.

We just renovated our office and I was looking forward to enjoying that new space. Inconvenient.

I already feel lonely and was just starting to be ready to socialize again. Inconvenient.

How is anyone supposed to keep up their fitness goals when everything is closed? Inconvenient.

When I really thought about what’s making me so anxious in all of this, it’s that I don’t have access to all of my typical coping mechanisms – let’s be real: distractions – to stop me from worrying about what’s going to happen next. For example: Going shopping for clothes, trying on clothes, spending money on clothes.

I’m forced to think about things I usually try to avoid. I saw a meme this morning and it so accurately captured my current state:

I laughed, and then had a calming thought. Maybe it’s The Universe saying, “For your convenience, I’ve issued a mandatory retreat. Please use this time to carefully think about where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how incredible you’ve been at imagining an amazing life.  And don’t forget to enjoy your creations along the way. Thank You.”

It’s lovely that I get to work from home in this beautiful apartment all day without having to shower! Convenient.

Zoom and Skype and FaceTime and WhatsApp were created for this. I’m actually spending more “time” socializing with my friends because we’re making time to be together! Convenient.

Stress is lessening my insatiable appetite and those YouTube ab workouts are really good! Convenient.

Now, those are some thoughts I can enjoy waking up to.

 

 

Word of the Year: 2020

Just when you think you have it all figured out, God intervenes. In this post, I said:

“…it’s time to slow down the momentum of “Are we there yet?” and coast into “It’s happening now!”…

*Sob* I really thought my table was set. The menu was serving all of my favorite things, the plates were so beautiful, and I didn’t even have to ask for silverware…but while I was deciding, the restaurant closed for the night. And I don’t know if, or when, it’ll reopen.

It’s like you’re so hungry that you’re on the verge of reenacting The Donner Party, being super picky about what you want, after perusing your options, you happily choose Chik-Fil-A. As soon as you decide to go, your mouth starts watering. You start fantasizing about the indescribable mix of flavors that would result in the best satisfaction, ever. The combination of salty and sweet, a little spice…and that crushed ice – which you didn’t even know you needed until you tried it, makes every other ice pale in comparison. On the way, you pass McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and even Taco Bell, but you know what you want. No Frosty or Crunchwrap Supreme could tempt you. The whole ride there you are envisioning your satiation of FINALLY getting to bite into everything you’ve ever wanted. But, as you excitedly pull into the lot, you sickeningly realize it’s Sunday – The Lord’s Day – and He says:

God: No, not today, this place is not going to satisfy you.

Me: (Hangry and shocked) But, I WANT it!

God: If you really want it, then you’ll have to wait.

Me: (Hangry and yelling) But I don’t want to wait…I want it NOW.

God: Do you really want it now? Or do you want something today that will nourish you longer?

Me: (Hangrier) Ugh…

God: Come on, take my hand.

Me: (Takes it, faithfully trusting that He’s taking me somewhere like Hall’s…)

Get the picture? I don’t want this to be my relationship story. I’d like to write a new book called “The Feast”, where I actually get to fully indulge in what I’ve been fantasizing about. A whole novel about the joy when I can finally finally finally bite into it, and taste it, and savor it, and still have more left over…that would be…amazing. So, I thought about that in December. And this brings me to my Word of the Year: 2020…Prepare.

God’s been saying to me, “If you want a real lifelong partnership, then let’s get you really ready for it. Let’s get you really hungry. Let’s let you sit with the pangs and be OK with just the water for now. Because I have what you’ve been after, and it’s taken a long time to simmer. But it’s ready – I’ve called ahead and your table is waiting.”

I know He’s been working on me for a while. Like, years. Like, a really long amount of years. Like, when you’re a kid on Christmas morning and you have to wait an hour before you can open your presents. A Christmas morning hour is basically equivalent to 14 years.

The first time I realized I was truly in love was November  2006. So, as of today, that’s (roughly) 6,955,200 minutes that I’ve been waiting to feel like my love is reciprocated. Seven MILLION minutes! My head just exploded. Now, I’m being *slightly* dramatic (and you’re not the least bit surprised…) I have certainly felt like love has been given back to me, but never in a way that was reciprocal. I’ve been longing for the kind of love and care that has felt like it’s equalled, or even exceeded, what I’ve felt for the other person. That’s not to say that I haven’t been loved, but I mean that I haven’t felt that the feelings were evenly matched from the giver and the receiver. Maybe this is the curse of having a big heart – where is The One who can match it? I literally hear God saying, “Umm, yeah, hello?? It’s me. I’m The Only One who can match it.” Still hard for me to comprehend that kind of love, but I guess I need to start there if I’m to believe that it’s possible to receive from anyone else.

This is my prayer tonight: Prepare my heart for the love I know I deserve. Prepare me to have all of the necessary tools and experiences to be the best teammate for my partner. Prepare my partner’s heart to accept the love they know they deserve. Prepare them to have all of the necessary tools and experiences to be the best teammate for me. And allow me to trust that You will bring us together when we are both fully prepared, and not a minute before.

 

 

 

Under the Southern Sun

“Do you know the most surprising thing about divorce? It doesn’t actually kill you. Like a bullet to the heart or a head-on car wreck. It should. When someone you’ve promised to cherish till death do you part says “I never loved you,” it should kill you instantly. You shouldn’t have to wake up day after day after that, trying to understand how in the world you didn’t know. The light just never went on, you know. I must have known, of course, but I was too scared to see the truth. Then fear just makes you so stupid.” – Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun

I remember hearing this once and imagining the pain. Then I remember hearing it again and understanding the pain. Then I looked it up to post it and could physically feel the pain. The ending of any relationship you weren’t ready to end should kill you instantly. When people ask how you are, you can’t even begin to describe the way your insides feel. You can’t articulate that you don’t want to stay home but you don’t want to go out, you don’t want to talk about it, but you have to talk about it, you don’t want to be alone, but you don’t want to be with friends. You just want your best friend…

I’m swimming in my current hurt wondering how I survived my previous hurts. Literally thinking, “My God, how did you make it? Tell me, so I can live through this.” And my answer is you have to feel the desire for what you want MORE than you feel the pain of what you don’t have. 

I’ve been listening to TONS of Abraham Hicks on various topics…maybe some include, “How to Get Your Lover Back”…but, in an Abraham way: You’d have to believe they left in order to get them back…which brings me to another story. My mom visited me in the fall and bought me the most unique earrings from a local artisan at our farmer’s market. They both reminded us of my Aunt Cindy who passed away over 20 years ago. Every time I wear them, I think of her, and my mom and the love she has for me. So, 2 weeks ago, I packed them in a bag to wear for the weekend, and when those plans – and what felt like the rest of my life plans – totally fell apart, I lost all consciousness and, as a result, lost the earrings. If I didn’t already have enough to be devastated about, I now added the loss of my mom’s gift to my list. I kept thinking back – I remembered trying to figure out where to put them so they’d be safe while I was traveling and I tried various places before settling on one…which was still unknown to me. I checked all of the pockets of my pants, my purse, my coat, my car, my gym bag, my makeup bag, my work bag, and got excited when I felt something in a small jewelry bag, only to realize it wasn’t them. I’d been listening to Abe to help cope with my relationship status, and kept hearing, “If you keep thinking the relationship is lost, then of course you’ll never find it” and “You have to get into alignment, then the inspiration will come for the next step.” Hmmm…I wondered if I could apply this to the earrings? If I already knew they were there, then I could relax and allow the inspiration to take me to them. One morning at the gym, I was feeling good about my workout, had just taken a relaxing shower, and was getting dressed for work, when suddenly, I remembered there was one pair of jeans that I hadn’t checked. As soon as I got home from my office, I opened the drawer, reached into the pocket…and there were the earrings. I smiled, kissed them, and said knowingly, “I knew you were here somewhere!” You may think that’s silly, but I don’t care. THAT’S how you build your confidence in knowing that you can trust yourself. That’s how you build trust knowing that God and the Universe has exactly who and what you’re looking for, you just have to allow it. God would not have brought you this far to leave you hanging. He loves you too much.

Listen to what YOU know and what YOU feel. You get to love whoever you want! Giving yourself that permission is really wonderful, even if it’s painful. At this point, I can’t begin to imagine seeing any other face besides the face of the one I love. I replay every good thing that ever happened over and over while it feels good, and then stop when it feels bad, cry it out, and then start over. Who cares if I want that good feeling back? If it’s meant to be, then it will come back, and it will be improved, because of what has grown from the situation. If you want a relationship that’s 100%, then you have to let it be 100%. That means loving yourself even when it’s hard, that means someone else even when it’s hard. That might mean that you get hurt, that might mean that you take some time apart, that might mean that you both need to sort out your priorities separately so you can come together stronger. And if it’s not with that person, it will be with another person who is just as wonderful, and if they’re not, then they’re still hiding in the pocket of a pair of jeans.

 

It’s All Going Accordian to Plan

I have a good friend, Chris, who has this phrase tattooed on his arm, surrounding an abstracted accordion (obviously). I couldn’t help but think of how pertinent this mantra has been for me lately! Life has been really unfolding quite nicely recently. In fact, one of my coworkers said, “as soon as you started going to church, life really got good!” It did, didn’t it 🙂

In my usual vein of full disclosure – right after I wrote all of those posts about impending change, everything changed. My projects at work were wrapping up and my boss approached me and said that they loved me, but if I wasn’t planning on moving back to Philadelphia, then I should start building my life in Charleston. I have to admit, I was totally upset. I knew that I had been wanting this change, willing it, even, and I’d talked enough about being ready for the next step in my career, but when it was happening I didn’t feel prepared. In all of this emotional confusion in the morning, I met up with the wonderful man I’m seeing* that same afternoon for a work event his company was hosting.

*Side Note: I’m considering calling him The Soldier (named aptly for his current Civil War hairstyle that, oddly, I’m extremely into,…still debating due to our Union-Confederate backgrounds lol)

Anyway, as I was saying, after The Soldier totally calmed me down and got me excited for what was coming next, we made our way to the event. On the way, he asked me if I would like to make our relationship official. Squeal! Of course, I said yes! I had to laugh, because for YEARS my job has been the one thing that has remained constant, while my relationships have had a high turn over. And then the SAME EXACT DAY when my job ebbs away, I gain a boyfriend. Oh Universe…you certainly have a sense of humor 🙂

I’m so ready for this relationship to grow. Being with a man who treats me like a priority, balances friendship with romance, makes me laugh for hours, shares the same values and goals, and wants to spend quality time with me, make me genuinely excited for this new life that is blossoming for me in Charleston.

In other incredible news, through a series of networking events, I was informed about a job opening that could be a perfect match at a firm I had been eyeing for years. I applied on a Wednesday night, got a call from them on a Thursday morning, they set up an interview on a Friday, and sent me an offer by Tuesday. And I consequently cancelled an interview from another firm the same day. Talk about a memorable Memorial Day weekend!

So, now I have a boyfriend, and a new job, and incredible friends, and as an added bonus, this is all coming right at the tail end of my 32 years, and I’m SO excited to ring in 33 next week for my birthday with all of these joyful gifts pouring into my experience!

How has your month been?

❤ The Huntress

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!

 

Accepting Reality

Chris Harrison: This is the most dramatic post ever written on The Huntress Blog.

As I watched Colton get his heart broken by Cassie on The Bachelor, I unexpectedly felt tears stream down my face. I was familiar with that pit in his stomach, that feeling that “This is not actually happening to me right now. It’s not real” running on repeat through your mind. But it IS real. The love of your life (or your life as you know it up to that point) is walking away. And to be honest with you, the feelings that remind me of this are much closer than when John walked away almost 5 years ago. I’ve definitely been falling in love after that. Thankfully. *Hair toss*

Today, I felt Colton’s pain so raw like it was happening to me. Sometimes, I actually feel like I’m living my own Bachelorette series. There’s fewer than 25 guys, but that’s almost easier, right? It’s much harder when there’s only a few and you really start making connections. When you know their siblings names and how they broke their first bone. Like Colton, I think one of my greatest fears is being in a relationship only to realize it’s not being reciprocated. A relationship where I’m more in love, or one where I’m not able to match their feelings for me. Both are equally unsettling.

If you’re the one giving more, and your partner decides you’re not for them, the feeling can best be described as someone hollowing you out, removing everything that’s kept you alive, made you feel, allowed you to think, and just letting it sit there next to you. “Here’s good.”

On the flip side, the feeling of being in a relationship that’s just “nice”, makes you feel like you’ve let yourself down. That you might never find that fire that you’re looking for. I’ve had the fire. I know what love feels like for me. I know how it feels for me with different people. And I know when the wick has been sparked. I can tell that I’m going to love someone long before I actually love them. And I can tell when the match isn’t striking.

I’ve been in Colton’s shoes, where you just cannot stop thinking about someone. Every day you put your makeup on in hopes that your paths will cross. When you hear a joke, you feel like you’re bursting at the seams until you can tell your person and laugh together. When something awesome happens or when you’ve had your least favorite day ever, all you want to do is feel their presence in the same room, even if it’s a silent touch. That feeling of being terrified and safe, excited and comfortable, planning your future and enjoying your moments, laughing uncontrollably and seriously understanding, feeling dolled up and naturally beautiful, sharing physical electricity and complete mental immersion, approaching life as adventurous and committed, giving confirmation and receiving confirmation ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Well, shit. If that doesn’t feel like love, I don’t know what will. That doesn’t mean that’s what love IS. It needs to be all of the things love IS and feel exhilarating. Amen!

The most crazy part about all of this, is that when you’ve experienced “it not working out” enough times, you can breeze through your longing bravely. You’re not moping around under a dark cloud, you’re singing, and laughing, and looking freakin’ fabulous, and enjoying every delicious piece of joy that God and The Universe is handing to you. Maybe that’s the Denial stage…but I’ve found it’s really quite helpful refusing to believe that you are where you are, because once you’ve come to terms with your reality, you’re already on to what’s next for you. If the only thing that being “in love does”, is remind you how you want to feel, then, maybe that’s enough? Just thinking out loud here…

I thought about censoring this, because “you never know who’s reading”, but then that would really defeat the purpose of me writing honestly, wouldn’t it? I mean, this is my gift. I am a woman who speaks her mind in voice and in typed words. I get inspired and I need to get.it.out. NOW. And yes, if we’ve gone on dates and there’s been a connection, I’m going to write about you, tastefully. That’s what I do, that’s who I am, that’s another part of me to love. Will it be in a short blog post? Maybe. Will it be in my inspirational book that has an undisclosed release date? Probably. Curious? There’s still time to get your own chapter – I haven’t handed out my final rose.