Best Case Scenario

Hola friends. I’m practicing my Spanish for when I go to Spain for my 30th birthday, so you may experience a few different greetings over the next year as I start to practice more. Starting off simple.

This week I have been feeling really strange… Like not bad, but not good either. A middle of the road feeling of uncertainty is how I might describe it. I don’t know if it is the changing of the weather or the idiotic time change thing we do that disrupts our sleep patterns or the political climate or the corona virus or that terrible finale of the bachelor- things just feel off. Recently, was discussing with a co-worker how we, as empaths, need to take care of ourselves. Basically, empaths have the ability to absorb energies around them. So, you can imagine the amount of anxiety that is being absorbed at the moment. All I know is that it is a lot to handle and I think my body is just like “what the f*ck is happening?”

My answer to that is I really don’t know. I don’t know what is happening and that feels scary. Yet, it is just a part of life, right? We never know how things are going to turn out. What’s around the corner? As Pocahontas so beautifully sang, “just around the riverbend,” ya know? As I’m writing that though I’m thinking that it doesn’t have to be scary. When I was a kid watching that scene I remember thinking how she was full of adventure and wonder and unclear if she should marry the man her father chose for her or take her own path. She was excited about things that could happen, about her story and how it might be written. And hey, it didn’t turn out great, her boyfriend was shot and all and her father almost beheaded him, but like they got through that. So yeah, maybe around the riverbend is something not so great, but also maybe it is something worthy of the movies. I’m trying to learn to explore more of both of those sides. That doom and gloom auto thinking is a hard habit to break away from. So, I’d like to put it into practice exploring that exciting side. How maybe just around my riverbend is something really beautiful. “They” say the best way to get what you want is to put it into the universe. Can’t hurt to try:

I leave this Starbucks today. The weather is perfect, because “it’s not too hot, and its not too cold, all you need is a light jacket” (Name that movie! *cough Miss Congeniality cough*) Due to this fantastic weather, I decide to go for a run. While I am running, I realize I don’t feel tired. In fact, I want to keep running. I meet my three mile goal today. I feel unstoppable. On my cool down, I see a dog and give it loves and the owner says ‘wow, she is usually not this friendly with people, but she really likes you.’ A compliment of the highest honor. My serotonin levels are soaring at this point. I then decide to keep walking around the neighborhood. While walking I see people holding hands, and birds are singing. I can’t help but smile at the way people are scared but still living their lives as best as they know how. My smile makes my serotonin levels even higher and I feel as though I am floating on a cloud. I finally go grocery shopping and get all the groceries I need, under budget. I put the extra money I saved onto one of my credit cards. My credit score goes up and I’ve finally made it into a new bracket. At 5pm, I post my blog. People are loving it. It’s relatable, its kitschy. My blog goes viral, but I don’t find this out till the next morning because I decide not to be obsessive about how many people are reading about what I wrote. I go to WW and we talk about our highs and lows of the week. We all lean on each other for support and encourage self-compassion. I then go get drinks with a friend. We have a lovely time talking about work, life, and all the things in between. Is my socializing over? Not quite. I then go on a date. He’s sweet. He buys me a drink and says that he likes the way my brain works. I like the way his works too. At the end of the night he gives me a goodbye kiss that is magical and I leave thinking ‘wow, I don’t know where this is going, but I am excited to see him again.’ I get to bed at a decent hour and wake up to find out that Ellen would like me to come on her show. I’m honored, blessed, grateful. I start writing full time and continue to do social work part-time. Now, it’s ten years into the future. I have published 2 books, with a third one on the way. I have two children, without a third one on the way. My partner is amazing and supportive and loving and snores too loud and I never let them forget it. We go for our yearly flu shot and corona virus vaccines as a family. Michelle Obama is our president. Betty White is still alive. Life is still scary sometimes, but every week I explore what good could be around the riverbend. My kids think its a weird practice and they tease me by saying “okay, millennial”. Then we laugh and laugh as our pet pig Petunia the second is resting by our feet.

Okay, that was way more fun than I thought it was going to be. It was also surprisingly easy to think of all the good things that could happen. I really tried not to limit myself, because yeezy knows I never do when I am thinking what bad could happen. I have found myself in some pretty dark holes, so it was really fun to be in really bright spaces. However, those bad thoughts didn’t shut down while I was doing this exercise. I still found myself saying, but also what if no one reads this and what if my date goes horribly, but for everyone of those thoughts I had a positive one to combat it with. It’s okay to explore both, but I know I need to be better at exploring more good. I can always tell you worst case scenario. I am really good at it.

If you find yourself always going to that space, I encourage you try this out. It’s really fun to think about what good can come your way. Plus, without restrictions you could marry your celebrity crush if you write your story that way. Then, according to “them”, the universe will provide. So, like I said, can’t hurt to try. Also, we have enough of the worst case scenarios just from turning on our TV’s. We deserve more best case scenarios out there.

You’d really be helping an empath out.

A[wo]men

i

can’t predict,

can’t guess,

can’t know-

how

exciting.

-what’s next?

Brain Exercises

Here’s the deal, if I would’ve decided that my blog days were for Mondays, you might be getting a very different post. Last Monday, I felt jaded and cynical and basically wanted to go live under a rock. It is always interesting to me how quickly our thoughts can change. How, just one sunny day can make a difference. Lucky for all of you, today’s post is the culmination of good ass television (that’s the technical term if you didn’t now), sunshine, MY FIRST WHALE SIGHTING, and youth. There are other things I could sprinkle in there, but those are the main mood changers. Of course, for the purpose of this blog, I am mainly going to focus on that good ass television. As y’all know, I can’t discuss the good without the bad. (This could be the most dramatic blog yet.)

There is a lot of bad television I could write about on here. I am basically the queen of bad TV. I watch these TV shows knowing full well how toxic they can be. Case in point, The Bachelor. The Bachelor is drama gold. All you really need for drama is to put a bunch of strangers in a room and boom there will be drama. BUT THEN you have them all start dating the same person. Pure. Gold. Many of you may or may not know that The Bachelor received some heavy backlash at one point because it is super white. Like whiter than an Irish person in the middle of winter (I’m Irish, so it’s okay. PS Happy St. Patty’s Day). Then they got Rachel Lindsay as the bachelorette and she was a queen and, coincidentally (not really), the first black bachelorette… on the 13th season. It took bachelor nation quite some time to own up to their lack of diversity, but once the conversation started they couldn’t put it away. We were then graced with Rachel. Even though, I disagreed with her decision, she made a great bachelorette. #teampeter4life. Now, there is a new conversation I would like to start with bachelor nation.

It may surprise you when I say I want to go on the The Bachelor. I can’t think of anything more exciting than trying to find love in front of the nation. Plus, like bomb-ass dates that you can’t really get anywhere else. I also figured if I can’t find love the good ole’ fashion tinder way, I could try my hand at that. Of course, the thing that plays over and over in my head is that I don’t think there has ever been a bachelorette on the show that is over a size 4. I am sure you can see where this is going. “If I lose weight, I can find love!” Apparently, all really is fair in love and war. I guess it’s fair that I didn’t feel worthy because of my size and wanted to change everything about me. I guess it is fair that only thin girls should get a chance on the bachelor. What guy would pick the bigger girl anyhow? WHAT A CROCK! **Catch that Three Men and a Little Lady reference**

I had these thoughts all last weekend, dancing around in my head. Wondering what the scale would say on my next weigh-in day. Did I lose 100 pounds this weekend? I sure hoped so. “I wish I wasn’t fat.” STOP. “I wish I felt worthy.” STOP. “I wonder what I will look like with less fat.” STOP. “What if I lose the weight and I still feel unworthy?”

STOP.

Then it happens. Tuesday. I wake up with the same thoughts, but end the day with a completely different head. “Why?” you might ask. That’s right, more television. I have cable now, okay? This show, unlike the bachelor, reminded me that I am more than that damn number. In fact, I am a human being. SURPRISE! Not a robot. So, if you aren’t watching This Is Us, I urge you to catch up. They just ended the second season, so you have plenty of time until season 3. You’re welcome. *Minimal spoiler alerts ahead* This last episode was about Kate (played by the ever-so-lovely Chrissy Metz) and her wedding day. Honestly crying just thinking about it. That’s how you know it is some damn good writing. For those of you that don’t know, Kate is plus-size. Here I am ruminating about how I need to lose weight to find love and then I see this beautiful women in this beautiful wedding dress and I started to cry. Representation matters. I know it’s a fictional show and Kate is an actress and she wasn’t really getting married, but it made me hit the breaks. It stopped my toxic bachelor thoughts dead in their tracks. It turned my “I need to lose weight to be on the Bachelor” to “LET FAT WOMEN GET A CHANCE AT LOVE.” Maybe we could start it trending? They had #bachlorsowhite last time, so I’m thinking #bachelorsothin? Open to others though.

On the most recent season of the bachelor, Seinne Fleming, a black woman, shared that as a kid she didn’t see women like her find love and that impacted the way she saw herself. It made me think about the plus-size women I have seen find love on TV. I could only think of one, Sookie St. James, played by Melissa McCarthy, on Gilmore Girls. She wasn’t the leading role, so I tried to think really hard of a main character. Fat women, when I was a kid, weren’t the leading roles. I am happy that we are seeing a change in this category, but it is still nowhere near where it could be. The lead roles need a diversity makeover, IMHO. However, as I was watching Kate get married I thought to myself, some young girl is watching this and is being told that she can find love. That her size does not determine what she deserves in life. What we ingest, not just through food, but through everything we see and/or feel,  shapes how we see ourselves. Our reality is subjective. We are influenced every day, in a million different, little ways. Honestly, I am glad I had those negative thoughts because it is so easy to fall into those patterns of hate and self-loathing. What is not easy is turning on those thoughts. The more I have those thoughts and the more I can interrupt those thoughts, the stronger my brain becomes.

I often remind my clients that we are apt to think of the negative before the positive because back when we were cave women and cave men it saved us. Every day we were on the lookout for danger. Now, these thoughts are the danger. It takes a lot of effort to say STOP to those negative thoughts. It takes even more effort to challenge them. Just like running a marathon, the training is slow and steady. Each time you challenge them your brain muscle does a little “the beach is that way” flex. When TV and books and friends challenge us, it only makes it easier for us to do the same. (Oh, and please note that when I say challenge it is the literal opposite of trolling.)

I also get the pleasure of working with youth, so I can encourage these brain exercises at a younger age. I feel lucky to do that. I also feel lucky because in a time and place where the news creates these negative thoughts, (i.e. will there be a nuclear war?) I get to go into work. I am reminded that the future is sitting in front of me and they make me feel so safe. No matter the terrible political climate we have now, I am so hopeful for a better future.

I encourage all of you to go find those things that challenge your negative thoughts. Find evidence to the contrary. And if you’re anything like me, the best way to suck the venom out is to breath first, think later.