So this is the New Year…

“Ring out the false, ring in the true.”  -Alfred Lord Tennyson

I realize this post about the New Year comes about 5 months and 30 days tardy, but I always arrive fashionably late so deal with it.

Writing is hard.  Like once I start going for it, it becomes this easy thing like breathing and it just flows out of me.  What I mean when I say it’s hard is that it’s raw, it’s naked, and it forces feelings to come to the surface that let’s face it, we as adult humans get really good at setting aside.  I want to try my hardest not to do that so often and I have been working on it, trust me…just haven’t so much been writing about it.  Writing for me is one of the most vulnerable things I do…and it’s been hard for me to allow myself to go there for awhile.

(Truth time: I started writing this post shortly after the new year, then again in March…it’s July tomorrow…just sayin’.)

Let me give you a little recap of what the last year was like in the life of me

I’ll just lay the disclaimer right out there on the table: 2016 was literally the HARDEST WORST F*CKED PAINFUL ETC. year of my whole damn life.  Not exaggerating, not emphasizing for dramatic effect, this is just a fact people.

I began 2016, well, 9 days into last year, by getting my ass kicked.  Physically, yeah…that happened.  Assaulted.  Shoulder grabbed, yanked down to the ground, kicked, hair pulled, drug through the dirt, personal space violated, and expensive technology stolen, by a couple of females.  I won’t go into more detail than that, but it was some scary and eye-opening shit.   I came out of it fine other than some cuts and scrapes, a really bad hair day, and some new emotional baggage to work through oh and a residual shoulder injury that still gives me a really hard time to this day.  Things could have been a lot worse and I am so grateful that it’s all behind me now.  Moment of gratitude to thank the people who helped raise me, who gifted me the ability to see perspective in a tough experience, take the hard, and turn it into empathy.  Being able to look at situations of adversity from the other side is not an easy mission, but it is sometimes the most important piece.  I didn’t just have to take time to heal through that experience for myself, but for the young women who’s lives have brought them to a place where taking that kind of physical action as opposed to using communication is their way of life.  Perspective is power…that was lesson 1 last year.

Some of you that have been following along my random adventures over the past few years know that I spent last summer in Portland, unemployed/FUNemployed (most days), and that I headed back to Seattle late last summer to start fresh in the city I have called home for most of my adult life and second home the rest of my life.  Making Seattle home again wasn’t a decision that came easy or one that was written in the stars for me like I expected it to be.  Since returning to the states, it’s been a long time coming actually.  I couldn’t be happier to be back though, settled into my little cottage oasis in the city that has changed so much over the years, and be working and doing life near my friends and family again.

Fall came in hot with a new nanny job which I LOVE, closing a door on a REALLY f*cking tough love (yeah, that old chestnut FINALLY dropped from the tree for good in October-stay tuned…that vulnerability is coming), and a newfound sense of freedom and self love.  When people say that finding your balance in life is a journey, they’re actually not even a little bit kidding.  And what an adventure it’s been…

I’ve always been fiercely independent, strong willed, and SO open hearted…and truth be told, despite A LOT of heartache and disappointment, it’s NEVER steered me wrong.  With all the trials and tribulations that 2016 brought me in personal health and wellbeing, emotional stability, heartache, mistakes, trust, listening, being heard, self-care, relationships, all that life shiiiiiit,  I have never learned harder, the value of following your own gut instincts…yeah, that was lesson 2.  Now that I’ve (almost) mastered it (real talk, I’m always going to be a work in progress and what brilliant work it is!), I am living a really great version of my life and coming out on top of all the bullshit I survived last year, is a feeling of raw empowerment like I’ve never known.

Through that empowerment, I had to make some really difficult decisions and cull some relationships in my life that were providing me with nothing, but toxicity and draining my heart and soul.  I’ve written about how friend break ups are some of the hardest we experience in adulthood, the factor that makes that one the most challenging, is having to do the work to forgive the people we have to let go of…even when they don’t say they are sorry.  You guessed it…lesson 3, forgiveness.

I chose to disconnect from a 12 year friendship with someone who seemed to be dead set on walking the path towards the pool where Narcissus died.  I knew my love of Greek mythology would be forever, but I didn’t know until last year how painful it could be.  I let go of the BIG love of my life or more brutally, it walked out on me and slammed the door.  Where pain, ego, secrets, insecurities, passion, trust, empathy, unconditional love, fear, were present and thriving and also drowning.  The demise was a long time coming (as you’ve likely gathered), sadly ending an almost 7 year best friendship in its wake.  Freshly reeling from this loss, in the same 72 hours, I had to set hard boundaries with a soul friend who has been a love in my life, but who I felt I’d started enabling; a rapid spiral where love and lie gets so brutally blurred.  I’m not sure where this one will end, my heart remains so hopeful that the shadows can find the light again and if not, the love I have for this person will never cease and the forgiveness work has been done; it will always run deep and eternal.

So in review, 2016 brought a physical ass beating and then continued to mentally and emotionally kick my ass ALL. YEAR. LONG.

12 months. 356 days (yeah that’s 365 minus those first 9 days that seemed so bad ass)…of some hard damn times.  But, being ever the optimist that I try daily to be, those days were the most character building of my life thus far.  Even more so than my backpacking days in the land down under, more so than my crazy college times, more so than any other time life prepared me to survive and thrive through some serious shit storms.  I have come into 2017, a new year, so much stronger, so much lighter, more empowered, more focused, more in love with myself than I’ve ever been and the momentum keeps building.

I have a strong feeling that the final days of this year will be some of the greatest I’ve known, because…really, when all is said and done, when all the false and heavy has been laid to rest, it is the truth we have to live for.  The truth is what gives everyday the chance to be our new best day.

Hoping 2017 has brought you all happiness and health and that the coming days are some of your best!

Cheers,

h

Catch Up Post: The Guide to, YOU…

*Catch up post from June 2016…this is getting shameful*

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire…” –Unknown

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I don’t know about the rest of you {now} 30 something’s, but entering a new decade creates this profound need for reflection.  Looking back into the pool of my roaring 20s lately has me reeling with lessons learned, pieces of my heart and myself lost and forgotten or lost and found and forgiven.  It’s a time to be fearless, grab life by the balls and figure out who the hell you are and who you want to be in this amazing adventure we call L I F E.

This past decade has been one of the most challenging and crazy, beautiful times I can imagine.  Your twenties seem to be where a lot of the hard lessons are taught and hopefully learned; we make a million and one mistakes and try to fight hard to become better and not bitter throughout the hurdles that get in our way.  There are so many metaphors and memes and quotes that apply to and can inspire us through this time of growth, but the most important thing we can take from it all is our sense of self.

I am a single,  30 year old who has been happy in relationships, been sad in relationships, been happily single and lonely single, been in good jobs, bad jobs, awesome places and dodgy places.  I’ve moved from a small hometown to a small college town to a big city to a foreign country.  I’ve lived in more apartments and houses than I can probably count now, I’ve acquired furniture to fill those apartments and houses and sold all my furniture to fill none.  I’ve attended a lot of parties; college ones, birthday ones, engagement ones.  Then comes the day when parties turn into showers; bridal kinds, baby kinds, etc.

What I’ve learned in attending all these parties and showers, planning my days and nights, outfits and paychecks around the amazing humans I have in my life, is that there comes a day, when you just have to say no.  Sometimes, it just gets to be too much.  You can’t do it all, even when you’re out here, trying to be Super Wonder Cat Woman.  Recently, I’ve had some hard lessons thrown at me…my guess, 29 just wasn’t quite ready to let me off easy as time brought me closer to my birthday and the big  3-0.  Remember that sense of self I listed above as being the glue that sticks all those hard times together?  Yeah.  I really should take my own advice more often.  Part of our sense of self is our intuition; that gut instinct that tells us whether something is feeling right or wrong.  We’re told from childhood that we should trust it, that we should listen to that little voice in our heads that tells us when something doesn’t feel good.  The reality is, we don’t always follow it and that usually gets us into trouble.

Speaking from experience, I now know how crucial it is in my personal development, my true sense of self, to follow my gut instincts and tap into my deepest desires; as my grandpa says, “get that fire in the belly back in your life!”  I’ve learned how important the power of saying no is as I get older and grow deeper into who I am meant to be.  Although difficult and at times heartbreaking, it’s been a definitive highlight in my process of getting older.  It’s tough to lose lovers, but one of the hardest relationships to lose is with friends who you’ve had for a long time and who you thought would be in your life forever.  As I continue my journey, I’m discovering just how life altering it is when you weigh quality over quantity.

So as I continue to learn and grow, rise and fall, I will exhibit my power of no, to parties and showers, to outings, to bad energy and I will continue following my intuition, to set my soul on fire.

For you, I wish you will find the same.

xx,

Me

Catch Up Post: A Historical Monday

*Another August 2016 catch up post*

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.” -Paulo Coelho

Biking with my 4 year old Portland housemate, her mama, and my cousin…a wolf in boy form approaches us howling, quite convincingly I might add.  I am shocked that we weren’t swarmed by a wolf pack or at least by several neighborhood dogs.  His call of the wild is legit.

And thus commenced one of the best conversations of my entire existence…

Me: What’s your name, buddy?

“My name’s Otter.  I hate it though.  I’m changing it tomorrow to Johnny X!”  (I can’t make this shit up, people.)

Otter: Doctor Calico has one green eye and a slot where his pupil should be in the other. (Random transition, but does it matter?)

Me: Can you put a coin in his eye slot?!

Otter: No!  (gives me a look of pure horrification) If you do, he puts lasers in your mouth!

Me: So this Doc Calico isn’t really a helpful doctor is he?  More like a Mad Scientist?

Otter: Yessssss! (Rolls eyes to the high heavens) he is bad.  VERY bad!

Like, duhhhhhh, Hallie.  Everyone knows Doctor Calico.

Did I mention that Otter can run really fast?  Don’t believe me?  Just believe me.  Or ask Usain Bolt, they’re no longer on speaking terms.  The Flash can also vouch for him and he knows ALLLLLL about The Flash!  I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t question superheroes or to be honest, 5 year olds…they know things.

Otter is also a time traveler.  The little dude has not only seen dinosaurs, he’s eaten right along side Mr. Mondosaurus.  Who according to Otter is the largest dinosaur, like ever…(which for those of you that weren’t obsessed with dinos as a wee one and who didn’t watch The Land Before Time-the original-x1,000,000, isn’t a real thing.)  According to my 4 year old-albeit dusty-knowledge, Spinosaurus was the largest predator that ever lived…occasionally munching on T Rex for snack time.  But I didn’t want to ruin Otter’s Monday, they’re hard enough as it is.  Another fact about Spinosaurus, he was the first swimmer to roam the earth…move over Michael Phelps.  You have competition because a dinosaur obsessed, wolfboy is also on your flank…Otter can swim.

As my evening went on, hearing more mind blowing stories from my man Otter, who I’m quite certain is the first human I know to actually be named after his spirit animal, I couldn’t help but wonder…why are we here?  What does it all mean?  I started questioning my entire existence.  (Aren’t you?)  What is our purpose?  Why do we know things?  Why hasn’t Ellen met this kid or Oprah given him a book deal yet?  What even is time or gravity or truth?!  The mind reels.

If we’re friends on Facebook you may recall a post from this last winter where I babysat a 3 year old who held such wisdom in her that my life was forever changed.  She informed me that we all get not only a favorite color, but a best color as well.  Like, seriously?!  Mind = Blown!  I have never been the same.  I can pick two?!  Life is SO good, guys!

If you know me outside this blog world, you know I adore children.  I’ve worked with them since I was one myself and interacted with all kinds.  Being one who’s always been pro storytelling, I feel like Otter is my latest and greatest soul mate find.

As we ended our night, gearing up for the ride back home, Otter’s parents came over to collect their kids-yes he has an equally adorable and clever little 3 year old sister who has a dolly named Paddy O’Dean (Patty O’Green to be exact)-they thanked us for taking the time to talk with Otter and listen.

I don’t know where life will take Otter, maybe he’ll become a Mad Scientist of the Doctor Calico persuasion, or the kind that cures cancer, or a paleontologist who finds the missing fossils and completes the Spinosaurus skeleton.  Maybe he will break the time continuum and travel back to the day we met, or more interestingly when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.  Regardless, I have no doubt, he’s meant for great things.  And if I ever have doubts in life, I know I’ll smile remembering the certainty, curiosity, and the imagination of a very impactful little boy.

Because for a little spell, a child can share a bit of magic and alter your universe forever…even on a Monday.

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Catch Up Post: #GirlBoss…

*Catch up post from February 2016…late to the party, I know*

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“The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.”  –Mohadesa Najumi

I read in a book once…”The mistress of self-reinvention…”  And I’ve decided I quite like that.  She is me.  I am her.  That fickle little mistress of self-reinvention.  Always wondering and wandering through my mind about my next best move.  Geographically and mentally, physically and emotionally…where will I go next?  What will I do?  Who will I be?

The beauty of life is being in control of your own fate.  Securing your own destiny.  We are always, in every minute of every day, just one choice away from a different path.  How brilliant and empowering is that?!  Even when the current shifts universally and a situation is out of our hands, we still get to control our choice on how we react or respond.  Lately I’ve been getting naturally high on the idea of female empowerment.  Obviously an idea that has overcome serious peaks and valleys over time, but always relevant.  I feel in my veins this need to be a woman of empowerment who empowers others…specifically women.  Somehow it’s been growing fiercer inside of me in recent months and I’m not certain if that’s due to the fact that I just turned 30 and with this new decade, I feel a fresh sense of enlightenment and a drive to do more or if it has to do with what I have overcome and experienced in my life which has inevitably lead me to this point…either way, I’m owning it.

In 2016, thanks to the amazing women who fought and died for our legal and social equality, we have a serious “girl power” movement happening.  Front lined by women in power, of opinion, on platforms of fame and so on.  Although it seems that the road is still bumpy at times, it’s paved more than it ever has been before, with some potholes to keep things interesting.  This brings me to this concept of the Girl Boss.  I’ve had some battles with this term for awhile now and I’d like to explain them here which I hope will ignite a dialogue because I’m always looking for feedback.

On one hand…

I think the term Girl Boss is bullshit.  There I said it.  I think it’s f*cking lame and stupid and we should throw it out.  Why?  No, it’s not because I’m a traitor to my own gender.  It’s because I think we should ALL be bosses of our own damn lives.  Why make it a “girl” specific thing?  To me, that just gives more man power to the existing term “boss”.  Sometimes we forget to fight for ourselves, to be the leading lady in our own lives.  We lose sight of our balls {which let’s face it ladies, are more intact than most of the dudes we encounter-am I right?} from time to time and need a reminder to grab life by the pants and get back to being the boss.

On the other hand…

The term Girl Boss is legit.  Because in any situation of oppression, there is profound power in owning the very thing that is attempting to hold someone or a group down.  Women have been quieted, pushed back, been told to stand still and look pretty, be the Susie Homemaker and perfect mother aka superwoman for centuries.  I do think that coining it specifically to girls/women gives an even stronger voice to the concept.

Two ways of looking at it, maybe even more…but the thing that truly matters, is that one of the great things coming out of this year so far is female power.  If you haven’t found your inner lady boss b*tch, I encourage you to spend some time finding her…I assure you, she’s a warrior, a passionate woman, a force to be reckoned with…and she’s screaming to get out.

Xx in warriorhood and #girlbossing,

Me

My So-Called Life Right Now…Part II

***This is a long overdue catch up post from August 2016 as a follow-up to My So-Called Life Right Now… re-read it for clarification***

“Entry Level Job Opening: Hiring Recent College Grads

Requirements: 5 years of experience, 6 Olympic Gold Medals and superpowers.”

Dear People Who Thought My Last Life Post Was Readable,

I’ve been using my free time away from job hunting to work on my fitness…

I almost have a six-pack.

Like in my fridge.

Since I’m broke, I’m sort of just collecting one at a time until I have a full set…it’s like Pokemon Go, “gotta catch ’em all!”

When I’m not sunning myself and hydrating, I’m practicing my teleportation skills.  So far, I’ve only been able to move from the house to the yard.  I have my sights and mind spidey powers set on Australia though since that seemed to be the last time I felt like life made sense.  Stay tuned, I feel like a breakthrough isn’t too far…

The biggest goal I’d say I’ve accomplished this far into summer is…wait, I know there’s something…hold on, OH! Yep, still a tan.  Mostly just a tan.

A highlight this summer has been driving 6 hours to my hometown to work at the boutique, yes that is how desperate times have gotten.  I have to drive and spend over 1/3 of a long weekend’s pay on gas, thank you America.

The best part about all of this…my life is seriously amazing.  STILL!  Yes, I’m stressed and I just spent my last quarter on a gum ball to re-live my childhood because adulting is rough.  BUT, I am always finding reasons to wake up happy and be SO damn grateful for everything I have.  I challenge you: if you’re ever in a bind and money is tight (or non-existent) and you feel like you have nothing and you get wrapped up in or on the brink of that “woe is me” crap, it really helps to take your last bit of pride, a couple of dimes or dollars and pay them forward to someone who needs them even more than you do.  Also, don’t forget to notice the amazing support system around you because let me tell you, if I didn’t have the people in my life that I do, I’d have already been working at an establishment in the strip club capital of everywhere.

Perspective is power, people…and I’ve gained a WHOLE lot of it this year.

More catch up posts to come…

Yours in laughter to hide the tears!

xx,

Me

My So-Called Life Right Now…

“When life hands you lemons…just say f*ck the lemons and bail…”

Dear People Who Read This and/or Care for An Update,

Yesterday I created my own spin on this quote whilst sunning myself.  Since life has handed me some serious bushels of lemons lately, I decided to make a wine spritzer (or 5) and reflect on my life.

I’m still unemployed in Portland.  Over the past 3+ months, I’ve sent out countless resumes, worked with a recruiting agency including 3 different types of recruiters at said agency, been on interviews, had phone interviews and even FaceTime interviews-I find the key is turning into a living mullet for those…business on top, party pants (or bikini) on bottom.  I have done all these things for jobs both here in Portland and in Seattle.

I spent all last weekend working on a 15 question email interview for a luxury travel company in Seattle and thought I nailed it…I got a rejection email Monday, which brings the tally of “no” emails this week to 2.

I somehow have not become an alcoholic yet, likely due to the fact that I am a broke ass ho that also refuses to earn money for my fix on the dirty streets.  Life has also not gotten bad enough for me to seek employment in the strip club capital of the Pacific Northwest…stay tuned, things change quickly around here.

Ummm, I’m currently trying to plot how to get paid for being utterly ridiculous.  I’ve gotten really good at it.

I made myself into an emoji the other day.

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Which means two things:

  1. I really need a f*cking job 
  2. My life has reached a serious low point.

In other news, I’ve gotten an excellent summer tan as I’ve laid in the sun 2 hours a day for the past 6 days and before that spent an epic wedding weekend in the Chelan sun.

Hmmm…

That leads us to yesterday.

Where I found myself reading in my yard.  Where I finished a bottle of white wine before it was 5 o’clock somewhere (YOLO!) and where I started the 3rd book I’ve begun in 3 weeks…

Feel free to judge me or laugh immensely at me now.  OR, relate to me and tell me I’m not alone in my FUNemployment adventures.

Either way, read this while drinking a strong beverage…I find it helps!  Also, I hope this makes you smile.   Although life is proving challenging for me this year and especially in the recent months, I’m always finding a reason to keep on keepin’ on, you should too.

Yours in humor, smart assism, and warriorhood!

xx,

Me

Days like this…

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”–Gary Snyder

I took a walk today…

A walk not impressive by distance, but impressive by nature.

As I stood on this mountain I work on in my daily grind, I gazed out at the 360* views that take my breath away.

This valley, I am fortunate enough to call home…

Where roots grow deep among the aspen groves and tall pines.

Where burn scars linger and smiles don’t fade.

A place where community is the river that runs through, connecting these rural towns as one.

As the winter sun beamed on me, I relished in the fading slices of winter chill, watching streams flow down the hill as snow melts into what will soon be spring.

I remembered days like this in my youth…

Days of crisp air hitting our faces as we went outside to embrace the sun like a race against time.

Longing for the grass to appear and for lunch breaks to be taken outside once again.  The anticipation of the coming season.

I closed my eyes and saw images of myself twirling and playing shadow games.  Of hide and seek with my giggling brother, our dog chasing us around and getting in on the fun.

That sun, high in the sky, beaming bright as though a beacon of my past and a portal into my future.

I took a walk today…

I remembered distance matters little…when the journey has been long.

Days like this…I breathe in gratitude.

I am thankful for the sun.

Written Leap Day, 2.29.16.

*Disclaimer: Irony came in the form of white powder as I awoke this morning to all signs of Spring erased, this valley I so adore, covered in fresh snow.