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!

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Segment: Retail Therapy

source

There’s a couple of things I really like to do, and there’s a couple of things I’ll admit that I’m good at. If I had to get those things down to their empirical form, they’d be:

  1. Finding good deals
  2. Brightening other’s days
  3. Telling boring stories in a humorous way

So, it’s no surprise that as I get to know myself better, I become more prolific in all three of these categories. But today is when I merge them together, in a new series I’m going to call Retail Therapy, or, more commonly known as What I Bought When I was Sad AF.

It’s not that I’ve never wanted a pet, I just don’t really know what to do with one. My mom was one of six kids, and my kickass grandmother raised all six of them with the help of her mother, after my grandfather was killed in the military. Half of my aunts/uncles went on to own animal friends, the other half went petless. I was one of those households. Currently, my mother has been in a 16 year long “discussion” with my step dad and brother that “it’s me or a dog”…we’ve yet to welcome a Husky into our home.

I say this only so you know the seriousness of our “No Pets Policy”.  I should say that somehow, around ’99, we acquired a brown bunny for Easter. I was told it was a FAMILY pet, but it was only ever me that cleaned her cage, walked her (yes, she had a leash), lovingly cuddled her, and carefully fed her (even when she got so mean she would attack anyone who went near her.) It was also me who cried her eyes out when we had to send her away to my aunt’s Rabbit Rehab, so she could live a more free life – which she never got to experience, as she had turned an irreversible hormonal corner, bit my cousin, and had to be sent to Bunny Heaven.

In 2012, me and my boyfriend at the time were moving into an apartment building that my company was renovating. During construction, doors and windows were left open, which allowed for all kinds of furry friends to visit. As we walked through the barren basement, I heard a noise that I couldn’t place. “What is that?” I asked. I started scanning the dark, empty rooms off of the hallway. The sounds got louder. “I think that’s a cat! But where the hell is it??” “Sarah, don’t move,” my partner said. I froze in a hunched stance. I looked at him, and he pointed up. I let my gaze follow his direction, and there, perched on some narrow pipes was the skinniest, cutest, loudest kitten I’d ever seen. “Oh my gosh! We have to save him!” So, off I went to grab a can of tuna, while my boyfriend assembled the necessary rescue tools. Once I got back, we coaxed the baby kitten onto a shovel where an open can of tuna was waiting, and then lowered him to safety. We played with him, fed him another can of tuna – which he happily devoured – and then tried to figure out what to do next. “First, we have to name him!” We decided on “Cinco”, in honor of the Cinco de Mayo holiday on which he was found.

Cinco proved to be very independent, and did not appreciate the cardboard house we made for him. He sprang out of the box, ran down the hall, and burrowed back into the hole in the wall, which had been his “home” for the past few weeks. No cans of tuna were luring him out this time. “We’ll come back to get him tomorrow and take him to a shelter,” my boyfriend said. So, the next morning, we went down into the basement and as soon as I started calling out “Cinco! Cinco!” the familiar little face scurried along the pipes and practically jumped into our arms!

Oh God, was I a cat person now??

We drove our beloved baby to the shelter, where we found out that “he” was actually a “she”. We filled out the paperwork, said our goodbyes, and left. We were heartbroken. “I’m just going to…uh…call and see if Cinco found a home…” my boyfriend would mumble, while he held the phone up to his ear. Day after day, she was still homeless. We finally decided that if we called the next day and she was still there, she was coming back home to be a part of our family. The following day, our hearts pounded as the shelter’s phone rang. “Calling about Cinco again?” the shelter volunteer laughed. “Well, you’re in luck.” My heart was bursting. She was ours! “She was just adopted today!” Our hope came crashing down, hard. My eyes welled up with tears as I mourned the loss of the pet that was never mine. “It’s OK, ” my boyfriend purred as he pet my head, “she’s off to a wonderful home where she’s going to be loved and grow up to be a happy little cat!” “But she was supposed to be our happy little cat!” I wailed. The sadness resurfaced the next day, when I saw her tiny paw prints in the dust of one of my storage spaces at work.

And now, the purpose of this long, gut-wrenching story. No, we didn’t go back to the shelter and rescue Cinco before her new owner could claim her. No, we didn’t go back to the shelter and adopt another happy little cat.

We went to Marshall’s and I picked out 2 new dresses for summer.

The point is: Once I found those printed maxi dresses, I felt better. Although they could never take the place of my sweet, sassy Cinco, they still brought me some joy. Retail Therapy is a real thing, at least for me. I’m willing to bet that half of my closet was gained through the devastating loss of a lover, cancelled plans with a fickle friend, or a disappointing call about the apartment that got leased out from under me.

So, here’s to the cats that become dresses, the missed brunches that become bracelets, and the missed hikes that become heels.