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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tomboy Soul Co

Hi all! I've been meaning to put up this post for a while, but have been shying away from doing it. There is something really thrilling and completely frightening about crossing a threshold. But that's how we grow - pushing ourselves to grow by crossing threshold after threshold. Suiting up, showing up, and doing the work.



The Tomboy Soul Co online store is now open. My goal is to list two new soaps each month (including restocking those that sell out - there are a couple I can barely keep in stock because they sell out at work so quickly!)

I hope you'll pop on over to check it out. XO

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//existential angst portion of post//

I have been asking myself why it's been so hard for me to put this little shop out into the world. I've had it ready to go for months and hadn't pulled the trigger until recently, and even then, I did so in secret because a friend was selling my soaps at her pop-up shop and my interim website (www.tomboysoul.com) was printed on the back of them. Even though it was semi-secret, I've already had a couple orders, so the Universe isn't allowing me to hide. Now that I have the packaging/shipping thing squared away, the only thing holding me back was fear.

I'm not afraid of what people think about me/the store/soap/etc. I'm not afraid of fucking up or making something people don't want. Not even close. I'm afraid of where I eventually see this going, and it's a bit all-consuming. I know once I open the door, I am saying yes to something larger than myself. And while seemingly overdramatic, the fear is that once this is out in the wild, it is going to have a life of its own. After all, future tripping has always been my favorite pastime.

It's not just about soap.

When I was thinking about a name for my company, I knew I wanted something that encompassed me and my personality and could be used for more than just soap. And from that, Tomboy Soul Co was born. I'm currently selling only soaps under this label, but I continue to have a vision that this is more than just soap. I'd love to talk about it more, but right now it's still incubating. All I know is that there is this idea that's bigger than me brewing, and in this lifetime I'm just the vessel for its creation.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Not This Year, Motherfucker

I was really productive this weekend. So much so that I even surprise myself sometimes.

Moved patio furniture out back
Mounted my vacuum to the wall
Laundry
Went to pet store
Cleaned Monty's litter box and moved to a different location
Fixed bathtub faucet
Watered front lawn
Washed sofa pillow covers
Bought sewing supplies
Washed/ironed said supplies
Ironed sofa pillow covers
Installed landscape lighting out front
Cleaned up front walkway
Mowed and edged front lawn
Used blower to clear driveway
Went to Home Depot
Adjusted spring on internal garage door so it stops slamming

I'm sure I forgot a couple things...

I was reminded today that this time last year, I couldn't get off the couch or out of bed. And before that, I was too tired or sick to do anything for years. It was demoralizing for a long time that I couldn't be productive in any way, and I look back now and wonder how in the heck I even lived by myself and managed to go to work, let alone feed myself everyday. I have more energy today than I've had in a long, long time. When I compare today to how I used to be before getting sick, I think they're pretty close. Always progress.

The thing for me about being productive is it makes me feel like I am living and moving forward with things. There is something innately self-caring about taking care of odds and ends when you're a homeowner. I was incredibly overwhelmed this time last year, as excited as I was to own a home again, and I fell into a deep depression. Deeper than I think I'd ever been before. It was scary. And headed into what has historically been my worst season (winter), I was terrified.

Last winter was the best winter I've had in ages (I kind of forgot and it wasn't until I went through some old posts that I realized it). This summer that things really clicked into place for me. My meds are working. I'm eating again. I'm getting up early to exercise during the week. I've been happy for almost a month everyday which is kind of unheard of. Genuinely happy. I had no idea I could feel this way.

When I put up my patio furniture and umbrella (ella ella ay ay ay), I posted it on Instagram with the caption:


Not this year, motherfucker. 

Late last winter I learned about the Danish concept of hygge.

There is no English translation for the word. I asked a coworker who is Danish what it meant to her and she said being cozy, bundling up, being in community. Given that it is now August and it's been obvious during the last week that fall is on the way, I've begun focusing on things that bring me joy and how I can bring the concept of hygge into my life.

I'm starting with my home.



More hygge posts soon...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Obliteration

As I read this excerpt from the book Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood, it made me realize that I have built a life that I no longer wish to escape from. Even if I may joke about it sometimes, there is nothing I want to run away from. I’ll consider this a huge accomplishment, because when I was married with an insane mortgage and desperately putting off the kids I didn’t want, this was me.

The idea of faking your own death and running away from it all has appeal, certainly. When you feel trapped it’s easy to construct an elaborate way out, if for nothing else than to occupy your mind with something hopeful. The truth is far less sexy: if you feel trapped it means you have given your power away and don’t think you have choices.

You make one decision. And then another. And another. All decisions lead to your freedom.
Or don’t.

You can absolutely change your life by obliterating the one you have now, one decision at a time. The trouble is that this is a lot of work and involves a lot of mental fortitude and bravery. By expressing your truth and your true desires, you will hurt the ones you love. People will say that you’ve changed, but it’s only to try to get you to keep living their way. Messiness is inevitable. But settling for a mediocre life that is dictated TO you by ghosts of your past/society/obligations rather than dictated BY you is an easy way to die and then wait decades to be buried.

You are living your own funeral.

This is the choice you are making. You are not a victim of life or your circumstances. The only thing you’re a victim of is your own shitty choices. (In your defense, those shitty choices are the ones everyone makes because following the herd is societally rewarded. Opt out instead.) The sad realization is that it is an equal amount of work to literally disappear from your life, so why wouldn’t you choose the path that allows you to live freely, authentically, and without having to look over your shoulder at all times? One way is full of hard-won lessons, another way is the coward’s way out, and yes - staying in your own funeral is also a path.

This is not an indictment as much as it is a call to arms for what it is that burns in your soul.

As a good friend told me, “you can only hold together a life you were never meant to live for so long...”

I obliterated a life that wasn’t meant for me, or rather, the obliteration began without my permission as I kicked and screamed and fought against it. I was uncomfortable for a good six years. Those years were fucking hard (as evidenced *gesticulates wildly, points towards blog*). I often felt lost in the wilderness of my own life, no breadcrumbs to guide me home, wherever “home” was. I felt ungrounded. I spent a lot of time and money in therapy. I spent hours upon hours sitting in uncomfortable chairs in recovery meetings. I cried myself to sleep so often that it now seems strange that I don’t. I read and fixed and did and thought and struggled until one day I popped out on the other side of the struggle. PAST TENSE.

I know exactly when it happened: I was in Montana hiking in the pouring rain, soaking wet, grinning like an idiot, filled with an intense gratitude for my life today. And I had equally powerful gratitude for what my life is NOT.

I am not a mom. I am single and 35 with nothing on the horizon. I am not suffocating under the weight of my constructed to keep up with the Jones’ life. I drive an almost seven year old truck with no plans to buy a new one. I live off a dirt road in the county. I live a comfortable life in a town I never thought I’d live in with friends I couldn’t have imagined having doing work that is more fun than it isn’t.

That said, my life is FAR from perfect. I’m often anxious about holding it together all by myself. I’m oftentimes lonely (though I will say having a cat/pet helps tremendously in this regard). I have to give myself permission to live A LOT. It’s ok to buy premade food, as long as you’ll eat. It’s like negotiating with a toddler which can be maddening. The weeds in my backyard are taller than I am. I’m human, I fuck up. I trip, I get up. (You should see the bruises on my shins right now as literal proof of metaphorical things.)

But, no bullshit? I’ve never been happier or more content. I’ve never felt freer or lighter than I do at this very moment. And this is because I obliterated my life, one decision at a time. I’m not special, you can do it too.

May the odds be ever in your favor.