the 7 Biggest Financial Mistakes I've Made as a Single Woman

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today's post is featured on iBelieve.

There's a feeling that many single women get, myself included, as they crest over the delicate balance of dreaming and reality in their day-to-day.

It's envy mixed with pride: a gleeful resilience that comes from knowing we're independent, responsible for our own bills, insurance, groceries and rent. And that many of us have the means and careers to check these monthly boxes all on our own.

If we're being honest, however, there also comes a longing for 

the day when we won't have to do it by ourselves.

Not that we don't value our independence, of course. This is the backbone of our single stamina in our post-college years. We're thankful for the women in our history who have worked so hard to break the cycle of women relying solely on domestication to bring them purpose.

And when pictures of smiling brides and grooms trickle through our Facebook and Instagram feeds, we cushion the blow by telling ourselves that it's okay. At least I do. I tell myself I have my career. My girlfriends and I are just in different life stages. All is not totally lost.

But, some days it really seems like obtaining a Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet would solve all of my financial struggles by bringing in a second income. Even though deep down I know this is a fairy tale thought, on par with "happily ever after."

Read the rest of the article featured today on iBelieve.

photo credit: Adam Tinworth via photopin cc

4 Simple Words to Live By

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 I was alone in my cubicle when I sent my sister the text:

"I've decided I'm giving up. Retreating. Henry David Thoreau style. #Cabininthewoods. Please send wine. And coffee."

ALS challenges, racial tension, radical religion. People up in arms in one way or another about all three. Media consumers trying to speak their way into significance by way of "you're wasting water" and "those people had it coming to them" in the story's comment sections.

My eyes and heart and soul absorbed it all. And I let things I have no control over stress me out more than I should ever give them the power to.

Until I heard a calming voice prickle gently against my spirit. In a good way. Speaking the words it seems we all need to remember through the world's fifty shades of madness:

"There's more to it." 

Even if the world wasn't crazy, even if we were all living in the midst of Thomas More's Utopia, those four words inspire hope.

I would say them to the girl standing on the scale looking down at the number too high for the lead role and a waist too thick for the tutu.

There's more to yourself than what you see.

I'd say it to the girl spending another $7.99 on another bottle of wine.

There's more to healing than a cheap buzz and a long nap.

I'd utter them to everyone on the brink of a failed test. A failed romantic relationship. A friendship fallen by the wayside. A failure with balancing children and careers. A discourse in a marriage.

There's more to it all. From start, finish, up and down.

We all know the feeling. We're phoning our day-to-day in. We're on our backs under our covers, the press of a snooze button and a weak start to the day.

We're tempted to retreat or turn to the easy rather than

the healthy or honest.

And even the most extroverted of us become recluse rather than digging our elbows into sorting the craziness out. Rather than persevering or running the race, we mark it to keep up with our appearances.

A few weeks ago, I sang an Italian song for a music teacher. I was concentrating on the technicality. On hitting the notes. On pronouncing phrases like "caro mio ben" correctly.

And when the song came to a close, she looked at me and told me to start again.

"This time," she said. "Don't just sing the notes, she said. 

Make music."

I drew in a deep breath. Dug a little deeper. And the song, the lyrics, the rise and fall of lilts and crescendos became a part of me. It wasn't scientific. It wasn't planned. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't even pronounced correctly, I'm sure.

But, it was music.

What she was saying to me then was, there's more to it.

There's more to the song than just music. And there's more to life than the scariness and ugliness we witness.

We don't find it by burying or hiding away. We find it by becoming a part of it.

photo credit: Miss C.J. via photopin cc

photo credit: Étienne Ljóni Poisson via photopin cc

I Think, Therefore I'm Fearful

Monday, July 28, 2014

 Hey friends! If you're new here, welcome! I'm so glad you're here!

I've been a little quieter than usual here on the blogfront this summer because I'm getting ready to launch my new (and very first...please be kind!) eBook! I'm about halfway through writing at this point, and I'm so excited/completely terrified to share it with y'all! I've been a little distracted with a fiction story I've been working on lately. Typical. But I'm back in the swing of things and looking forward to giving away a few digital copies and hearing your feedback.

And, of course, I'll be turning to y'all to help get the word out! More details to come!

"You seem a little bitter." 


The truth is always hard to hear. But this truth was particularly difficult--especially considering they were a part of a conversation taking place before I finished my first (of two I need to become a human being) cup of coffee.

The woman who spoke those words into my life over the breakfast table was completely right, though. Not only was I bitter, I was impatient. Even worse, I was defensive about my entire attitude.

In between sips of tepid coffee, I realized that I hadn't lived the last season of my life very well. On the outside it was full and bright. Vibrant cocktail hours, celebrations on behalf of the lives of others. Bouquets, banquets, and bangled jewelry.

But there was a storm brewing on the inside of my heart. Faded, but definitely strong enough to tear down my brave face. The buzz of my own accomplishments post high school and undergraduate was beginning to fade. My perspective was paper-thin and my ability to keep my cool was waning.

When was it going to be my turn to celebrate?

I thought moving forward was a sign of success. I though taking next steps was a promotion, an outward demonstration of all the good in our lives.

Following the same logic, I considered my current life stalled out. Stagnant. After all, an object at rest stays at rest, right? It's the objects, the lives, the careers, the relationships in motion that go forward. I have been living in the same place for four years. Shouldn't something, anything be happening right now?

I really thought life worked that way. I thought that the anti-jealousy game, the one we all play when we compare what others don't have that we do,was enough to protect me from bitterness. And then I realized what was really happening in my day-to-day.

I'm impatient because I'm fearful.

I've been living as though if these things--marriage, children, wedding days, world-changing jobs, life-changing moments-- didn't in my life right now, today, last month even, that they would never happen.

It became a habit to drag, drop, cut and paste the items on the twenty-five year-old checklist I thought I should have accomplished by now. And it was making what should be a joyful season a complete struggle.

If I kept living this way, there would always be a reason to fear. There would always be a reason to be jealous of others. The more afraid I was that I'd never make it to where I think I should be, the more likely I was to make rash decisions.

The more likely I was to be...bitter.

Thankfully, there are people in my life willing to call me out. And to show me what it means to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. And staying in their own lane when it comes to their own life story.

They're showing me what it means to live without fear. Without bitterness. With hope for tomorrow and eyes to see the good transpiring in the here and now. Even if it seems like I'm waiting a little bit longer than everyone else to get started.

photo credit: Daily misery via photopin cc
photo credit: Emanuele Rosso via photopin cc