Taryn makes a habit

I’ll be honest, I used to hate the dreaded ‘S’ word. And by ‘S’ word, I mean schedule. Reflecting on this, I suppose it’s because of my control issues, but I’m working on those. I think. On my birthday — about 3 weeks ago– I decided that I would make a new habit

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Tale of the two journals

I keep two journals. One is my journal that hashes out my personal thoughts, day-to-day musings, etc. The other, is a prayer journal of sorts. It’s one where I chat with God, ask questions, ask for forgiveness, ask for help, and pray — so to speak. Both are incredibly personal and brutally honest. But, I suspect, God appreciates it when we come to Him honestly and openly.

Journaling regulalry does a mind good

I’ve journaled or have written things ever since I could read. Consistency has never really been my strong suit. This blog is a testament to that. I mean I have around 250 posts and we’re coming up on 7.5 years; yikes! Anyway, I’ve committed to writing every day for the last 3 weeks and boy, what a difference it makes! My headspace is a lot nicer. Who knew decluttering your mind would be so helpful?!

Habits aren’t so bad

I’ll admit, the first few days, it was a will-power of sorts that forced me to put pen to paper every day. Now, I can’t wait to spill my guts, happily sharing what’s in my brain with God and myself. There is so much peace when I rely on Him instead of my harebrained schemes. I’ve also found, that in the stillness of reflection, that He does answer my questions and prayers. I’m grateful for that relationship as it governs my relationship with those I regularly do life with. So now, I begrudgingly yet happily admit that I plan to continue my journals as the benefits far outweigh the discipline I need to maintain consistency.

On the road again

Speaking in the name of consistency, I’m happy to report that the third installment of the Taryn was here series will come out again on Monday on schedule. This coming week, I get to share with you my time in Missoula, MT. I do have more pictures that aren’t just of espresso cups, I promise! I didn’t stay long– about 3-ish days, but I did manage to pack some fun sightseeing while there. So stay tuned as we travel to Montana. Cheers!

Taryn was here: Eugene, OR

*Note from the writer:

Toward the end of 2018, after a much-needed nervous breakdown, I decided to embark on a nationwide trek across the country. This series will serve as a recollection of the shenanigans I experienced throughout my travels. These are my stories (dun dun *Law & Order chime)

By Chance

After the world’s worst wedding duties (I was a slave of honor and bridesmaid within a month of each other), I was ripe for change. Spending two months in Big Bear– where I met a literal bear and enjoyed the mind-scarring visuals of an old lady pooping on a trail— I knew adventure was right around the corner. Doubling-down on my cliched writer’s journey, I set my sights on Seattle, WA. But, in order to get there, I had to make a few stops along the way and Eugene, OR was one of them.

A Brief Encounter

Originally, I had only planned to spend 2-ish days in Eugene back in early November of 2018. But upon arriving, I knew I would have to come back (There will be a part 2 to this story.). At the time, I felt a kindred spirit in the weird town of Eugene, and my Airbnb was a few steps from the Willamette River.

Traipsing around town

Maybe it was because I was so desperately looking for belonging and nursing a massively bruised ego, or maybe it was the quirkiness of the city that I related to, the 2 days I spent in Eugene were fun and restorative in nature. Abbey and I walked about town, enjoying the gorgeous and moody scenery. I even ventured into the local bar in Whitaker to what the Portland/Lakers game.

The Airbnb that I stayed at was this really cool tiny house behind this neat property in the Whiteaker neighborhood. I would eventually come to be friends with the owner and spend an extra 4 months in Eugene in early 2019, but more on that later.

Fun in the impromptu

I was really grateful for my knee-jerk decision to go to Seattle. By proxy I found Eugene, which later plays a major part in my travels. If you’re wondering why there wasn’t a profound aha or learning moment in this story, it was because there was none. In hindsight, I was very wounded (and reopening the wound) at the time looking for solid ground. Now, I’ve come to appreciate those moments of healing. They taught me the importance of slowing down and taking care of yourself. In order to conquer new territory, rest is needed, and I was able to start that process in Eugene. There is more to the Eugene saga, but for the sake of continuity, I will share my travel stories in the order that they incurred. Up next is Seattle. I’ll see you there!

Taryn gains perspective

It’s amazing what time and reflection can do to the senses. As I continue to remove the cobwebs of this blog (there are a ton, ha!), it serves as a time machine of sorts, jettisoning me back to 2018, when I first began my travels. Boy, was that girl in a state! I can say that now, with a high degree of empathy and understanding. It was a hard year, which incurred a ton of loss. However, now that I have the gift of time and perspective, I completely understand why I needed that growing phase and how it’s changed me for the better.

Life requires growth

Being the incredibly sensitive person that I am, change of any kind is particularly jarring. When things got hard, I was hard-pressed to combat the enemy (change) with a huge dose of comfort. This usually came in the form of my surroundings (people, places, and things). But, what happens when the change you so desperately need is counterintuitive to your comfort zones? It blows up. And blow up it did. Ironically of the things I lost, the growth it inspired within me gave me so much more.

Growth is in the eye of the beholder

Granted, when I was going through it, I thought I was being punished or penalized in some sort of way. But now, I realize that God was shaking me loose of the things that were stagnating me. I couldn’t rely on my patterns of thinking or behavior to get me out of the situation. I had to develop new tools and systems to pass my tests. These days, when I’m working through discomfort, I try and find the lesson to be learned instead of reacting like my world is ending. Shaking the victim mentality was tough but incredibly necessary and oh so worth it.

Perspective is everything

With this new perspective, I’ve gained a lot more empathy for my fellow man. Everyone is going through something, and life is incredibly messy. I am grateful to be tethered to the One who created me as that relationship gives me perspective in ways I could never have understood. There is a lot of brokenness in this messy world, and people are going through varying means to find comfort. I say all of this to say, that it gives me the grace and space to give to give others as they work it out. If I could offer advice to anyone, it would be that reflection is so necessary for growth. Take stock of who you’ve been, who you are, and who you’re trying to be. Be kind to yourself in that journey and give people the space to reflect for themselves.

On a lighter note

This was a lot more introspective than I had intended, but hey, I’m going where my hands on this keyboard are taking me. I’m currently digging up the photos and stories of my traveling days (I got to every state except 7, and I made it to Canada!) to share with you. I plan on sharing one each week, sharing the fun and sometimes absurd shenanigans I found myself in. On that note, happy Sunday!

Taryn Gains Reentry

Hello and long time no see!

I’m Back!

Pardon my abrupt 4-ish month hiatus. Turns out, I needed a leave of absence to get my bearings. Admittedly, as I was beginning my 3-month “vacation” it was clear that I had some internal work to do. Thankfully after a few (tons) conversations with God, I made peace with a lot of things, learned to rely on His wisdom and not my own, which set me free in so many aspects of my life. It’s been a pruning period, to say the least. I will say that I am much better for it and am thankful for all of the experiences that have led me to this point thus far. So here are a few things that I’ve been up to in my absence.

Taking Responsibility

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In January, I was mentally/emotionally in a chaotic state, not dealing with my “things” very well. Fortunately, I could tell something was amiss, and though I was committed to doing the “work”, I needed some help. Faith really played a part in my healing process. I began to ask the questions, “how did I get here?” and “in what ways did I contribute to this mess?”. Funny thing is, if you do ask God these questions, you’ll get an answer, though it may not be what you want to hear. In short, in asking the tough questions, I realized that I needed to take responsibility for the relationships I engaged in and how I spent my time. The truth is, I had a habit of hanging out with insanely damaged people. When I realized that the baggage I was carrying was 98% not my own, it radically changed my view and perception about myself and the world I created.

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Killing My Ego

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a Texas-sized ego. I’m smart and not only do I know it, I have no problem demonstrating it. It’s an issue I’m constantly managing, ha! I LOVE problem-solving. My spatial reasoning skills are quite amazing. There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy ego, but when you begin to believe that you are indeed Superman, therein lies the issue. Maybe I hung out with the wrong people because I believed I could fix them. Maybe I hung out with broken folks because it made me feel superior in some messed up way (also I hate admitting that, but it’s true). The problem is, birds of a feather flock together, so I would either change the people I was with or eventually become just like them.

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Obviously, the latter happened. Of course, if you keep mentally trying to divide by zero, your brain will begin to shut down or explode. On a subconscious level, I knew something was awry, but I suppose at the time, it was easier to numb myself than to make changes. One of the worst things that I had to own was that I easily accepted the nonsense and beliefs of others without questioning or checking in with my own perspective. Friends, that is such a vile way to live! If there is one thing I hope that people could embrace, it’s to not allow other people’s perceptions of you rule your worldview. Once I began to question what people were saying and look at what they were actually doing, I began to realize the truth: a lot of people are hypocrites and blindly live according to societal standards or damaged value systems. Upon realizing this, it freed me to pursue the life that I want for myself, devoid of acknowledging the opinions of others.

Freedom in Being Yourself

After getting off of the “people-pleasing” rat race, the fundamental elements of Taryn came back, which I’m so thankful for! I now understand what I think, how I view myself, and what works for me to sustain a happy and meaningful life. Currently, I’m in Brian Head, UT with Abbey, enjoying the peaceful solitude of mountain life. There’s like 5 people up here, which is awesome! I do, on occasion, venture into the nearby town of Cedar City to people watch and do grocery shopping. To be honest, I can only last down there for about 3-4 hours before I become increasingly annoyed with the townsfolk.

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I don’t know what it is, but one thing I’ve observed in my newfound “awareness” is that a lot of people are asleep at the wheel, merely going through the motions, and not fully aware of what it is that they’re doing. Seriously, I’ll have conversations with people and I will gently posit questions and 100% of the time, there’s a lightbulb going off in their minds. I don’t say this to come off as superior or judgmental. And maybe I’m able to see it because I too was once in this state. This observation honestly makes me want to go out and hug people, and tell them that it’s going to be OK. To me, seeing folks in this light signifies that there is something profoundly wrong with society.

Back to Creating

Anyway, this post wasn’t meant to be so existential, but then again, this is literally how my brain works. So, I will own it. I do want to share that I did end up making the podcast! The first episode airs in like 15 minutes, which you can find here! Is it perfect? No! But, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished, even though my audio-engineering skills leave a lot to be desired. Feel free to take a listen and share your thoughts! The whole podcast is meant to be humorous and I do not take myself seriously, so I hope you can get a laugh or two at the mis/adventures I will share on it. With that, I’m going to go outside and watch Abbey play in the snow. Until next time!

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Taryn unpacks her bags

Metaphorically speaking. My actual bags are still a beleaguered work in progress.

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I swear this post isn’t the pilot to my new “Taryn’s Anatomy” series, I’ve just had a lot of time to focus on me– for better and for worse.

A major part of why I decided to abandon ship from the real world was because I have the propensity of focusing on the lives of others rather than my own. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed a few tragically hilarious situations (which I will be sharing in my upcoming podcast!!) that forced me to change course. The beauty of traveling on my own is that I get to focus entirely on myself. The curse of traveling alone is that I get to focus entirely on myself. It’s certainly a red pill/blue pill situation.

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Silence is LOUD

Traveling alone is awesome, especially if you don’t have to worry about your basic needs. It’s just me, my dog, my adventures, and my thoughts. Thoughts can be exceptionally loud when you’re unable to hide from them.

 

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Starting out, it was rough. There were no external situations or people that I could blend into. There were a lot of painful moments/feelings that I wanted to drown out with alcohol. Eventually, I got tired of the morning after, trying to piece together the night before, and dreading to find out if I had sent embarrassing messages to people. That and I got tired of digestive tragedies that occurred after (alcohol sh*ts are a real thing, yo).   So I’ve ditched the booze, for good and got comfortable with the uncomfortable.

 

Enjoy the Silence

Contrary to my early diagnosis, silence can be a beautiful thing. During these reflective moments, I’ve discovered some false truths and beliefs that I had to let go. I also learned that no choice is still a choice and being intentional is important. Most importantly, I learned that you don’t have to accept the status quo or the way of the world. Beating to your own drum is best.

It’s easy to hold on to your worst moments, your shame, your guilt, and build a construct around them. But, if you’re willing to let those things go, there is freedom and possibility on the other side. I’m not saying I’m the poster child for emotional wellness (that would be scary for the world, ha). I am, however, learning to appreciate the good while chucking the bad. Slowly but surely, I am lightening the load, leaving the unnecessary luggage behind. So on that note, I’m going to go walk Abbey. But I will leave you with this lovely little number. Cheers!

 

 

Taryn sees red

I always try to have a positive/funny vibe when I write, but today I’m going to keep it real and try a little rage/humor.

 

 

Royally Pissed

 

 

Guys, I’m a rage monster today. 

I’m a cranky, annoyed, frustrated, grumpy Taryn right now. I’m seeing red and wanting to do something about it. I’m kick-a-bunny angry.  Trip-a-kid angry. Punch-an-old-person angry. Yeah, I’m a hot mess. The funny part? On the outside, I look like:

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But on the inside, I’m like this:

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WARNING: Actual sighting of Taryn. Beware

 

Here’s a quick rundown for my anger (in no particular order):

  • Bank of America and their shady savings account fees
  • Clients that aren’t on the same page internally and are giving contradictory feedback, wasting my time
  • Having to walk on eggshells because a person whom I’m stuck spending the next few days with changes her mood every nanosecond (technically this is my fault. I booked a hotel and then canceled. Idiot)
  • Las Vegas drivers
  • Feeling creatively stagnant (not for long!!!)

 

The Upside to Anger

There is a beauty to my rage-ness. Anger tells me that I’m feeling! As someone who typically struggles with identifying how I feel, this is a positive. I’m also able to identify why I’m angry. Anger also confirms why I left Vegas in the first place and why I have to keep going, in spite of being uncomfortable with entering unchartered territory. Anyway, I’m less angry now. I’d say I’m more in the range of ambivalent/annoyed with a side of hopeful. Who knew that writing was more beneficial than alcohol?!

 

Well, hopefully, you enjoyed my little rant. I will be posting about my travels in the next few days. In the last 3 months, Abbey and I have been to 9 states! It’s been a blast, but I will be taking a quick break in Oregon for a few months. Traveling is a blast, but honestly, I need a quick chill pill to keep on keeping on with my journey. Until next time!

 

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Taryn Sets Boundaries

Ok, so I know I still need to write about my birthday. However, I left my camera and I wanted to upload a photo for the post, so it’ll happen sometime soon! Anywho, I’ve recently made the unsettling discovery that I’m not always the best advocate for myself when it comes to respecting my time/boundaries. In fact, I can be a bit of a doormat both professionally and personally.

 

Fairy Godmother syndrome

I don’t know exactly when, but at some point, I made the choice to help other people with their goals, problems, dreams, etc. If you needed help with something, I was your girl! Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, I’d turn on my neurotic superpowers to make sure whatever you needed appeared as if all I had to do was wave a magic wand. Sure, that sounds like a nice character trait, however, I went way overboard, leaving very little in the tank when it came to taking care of myself.

 

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The first step is admission

Maybe focusing on other people’s stuff was easier than admitting that I was avoiding my own stuff, but, fortunately for me, I had a painful experience during a recent wedding where I had to be a maid of honor, forcing me to take a good hard look at how I prioritized myself and others in my life (One day, I’ll sit down and fully explain, but I’m letting some time go by for processing purposes). To summarize quickly, I had overlooked my own personal needs to uphold someone else’s unrealistic expectations. Like a hand backslapping you on a cold winter’s day, I was confronted with an unsettling truth: I turned myself into a doormat and I have myself to blame.

 

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Out with the old, in with the boundaries

I’ve learned how to assert the word “no” and it’s been glorious! At work, I’m refusing projects that are either too low in compensation or when the project is too demanding. I’m no longer answering emails that are outside of my working hours or arrangements I’ve made with clients. Long story short, I’m doubling down on my worth. I have noticed that it makes me less agreeable (something that I used to covet), but it has weeded out the emotional soul-sucking aspects of my professional life. Setting boundaries also helped me to discover that when I was dreading or avoiding something, it was actually my subconscious trying to let me know that my boundaries were being disrespected. Now, when my gut is telling me to abandon ship, I listen.

 

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Taryn’s got a brand new bag

I have to admit, asserting boundaries have been so helpful in my crazy little world. I’m learning to put myself first, hence my traipsing across the US. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that initially, this process felt very alien to me, but with a little practice, I’m improving over time! It is a work in progress, like a muscle I’m exercising to build endurance. Creatively, this opens me up to really hunker down and work on my projects. With that being said, I am enjoying the changes I’m making and am looking forward to the process, uncomfortable or not!

Taryn Lightens Up

As much as I hate to admit it, I am a recovering sympathy addict. As I’ve mentioned, the last year was certainly not an easy one and everyone I knew was quick to sympathize and validate how crappy my situation was. Somewhere along the way, not only did I agree with them, I started to view myself in a victimized sort of fashion. I HATE admitting that. But, in order for me to move on and grow from this learning experience, I suppose honesty is the best policy.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to

I’ve been in Big Bear Lake nearing three weeks and as much fun as it’s been, I spent the first two weeks licking my wounds and throwing the ultimate of pity parties.

 

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Seriously, I’m embarrassed to admit that I was high on my “I’ve gone through traumatic experiences” vibes, that I was failing to see all of the awesome blessings and opportunities that had fallen on my lap.

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Life sucks, poor me. Lol

 

Just because you’re right, doesn’t mean you’re right

Sometime last week, a voice that I hadn’t heard in a while popped into my head and asked me when I was going to be done feeling sorry for myself. For the first time in a while, I started to realize how my frame of view was biting me in the behind. In short, I was pouring salt in shallow wounds, not allowing myself to heal. Basically, I was fighting myself for no apparent reason.

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I can look at this in one of two ways. I can either:

A: Be upset at people and situations that were really messed up, putting a damper on my worldview. Or…

B: Accept what happened, forgive people, and enjoy life as God intended rain or shine.

 

Lighten up and move on

So, I’ve chosen the latter, and my my my, what a difference a shift in perspective makes! I am acutely aware of how blessed I am. I have my health, my family, a career that I enjoy, and the opportunity to try new things and visit random places. I don’t want to waste my time wallowing in self-pity or ruminating on the negative stuff. Nope, I want to live life with the glass half-full.

I’m not denying my trials and tribulations. I’m choosing to accept that they happened and quick frankly, I may be a better person for it! I would be remiss if I didn’t credit God and my time reading the Bible for helping me in the healing process. I’m no saint, and I’ve realized that if I’m forgiven for my shortcomings, it’s high time that I did the same for others.

Anyway, I’m off to finish up some work and then I’m off to my knitting class! I’m learning how to make a scarf, so far, I’m learning rather quickly and I am having fun sitting in with the local crafters up here. Happy Tuesday!

 

Eat, Pray, WTF…

Hi there!

I’m going, to be frank, this past year has been a total shitshow; for better (totally!), and for worse.

I’ve experienced a ton of growth, but not without having to go through some very extreme losses. I suppose this is what the good Lord meant by pruning. Without getting into the specifics, this year has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve learned about my good habits, my bad habits, and the habits that well, we’re gladly abandoning.

The really cool thing about going through messed up situations is that it teaches you about perspective. Funnily enough, even though I’ve learned some painful lessons, lost some relationships that I thought were on solid ground, etc. I can’t help but thank God for the experience.

Ok, I swear I’m not crazy or a masochist, but this year has taught me sooooo much, I would be a fool to consider it anything else but a blessing. Which leads me to explain why I’m finally back on my little blog.

Same weirdo, new direction

In light of my new outlook, I’ve decided to abandon my sense of normalcy and hit the road. I’ve gone AWOL. I figure since my parents are out of the country, there’s no one to protest my departure from the norm. That said, Abbey and I are going to take some time to travel around the US. Currently, we are in Big Bear Lake recovering from matrimonial hell (more on that later). My goal for my travels is to learn new things, try stuff that normally makes me uncomfortable, and finish these dang novels that have been percolating in my brains for SO LONG!!! This isn’t one of those I’m going to “find” myself trips. I know who I am, I just really want to explore before I get too old and hate myself for not doing anything scary. Also, hence the name change of this blog. 😉

 

Anyway, that’s what’s up with me. Stay tuned for more shenanigans. In the meantime, here are some photos of my trip so far. Cheers!