Taryn digs deep

*WARNING: It’s about to get all Dr. Phil up in here.

I’ll be blunt, working through your feelings is annoying, tedious, frustrating, necessary, healing, and all of that stupid stuff. I get that it’s crucial because it helps you grow and mature as a person. But dangit, it’s hard.

Admittedly, I love/d being numb. It allows me to float through life and not feel. Avoiding things/feelings means that I don’t have to try or put any emotional “skin” in the game. To that end, my subconscious has been dealing with me in that even when I try to “go numb” it has this precarious way of forcing me to confront with what’s going on with me.

I’ll give you an example. My dad puts out daily devotionals of which I edit. I also help edit and format them into books. I don’t mind doing it, especially since what he has to offer is quite beneficial for readers. Today, as I was going through his latest manuscript, I couldn’t help but notice how he phrased the dedication section. Normally he lists my siblings and me chronologically. This time, he grouped it by kid and spouse. While this seems innocuous on its own, the salt in the wound stems from my Dad’s bias towards marriage and family.

I just finished a stint in Vegas visiting my family. It was a great time as I love seeing my family. My brother recently got re-married to a wonderful woman whom I also share a birthday with. I could not be happier for him, especially since she is a great person and her family is pretty awesome too. This new edition to my family has gotten my father to reignite his “marriage and family line” diatribe.

I will wholeheartedly vouch that in terms of parents, I hit the jackpot. I couldn’t ask for more supportive and loving parents. That said, my dad loves his family. So much so that every conversation usually has some lowkey marriage, partnership, and children slant. Seriously, the man does not shut up about the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing. Now, I don’t have a problem with either of the two. But, as of right now, I don’t want either. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know if I will ever want them.

So back to the dedication and my reaction to it. Thanks to my recent sobriety stint and leveling up in self-awareness, I realized why it bothered me. While my dad has always told me he loves me and he’s proud of my accomplishments, it’s no secret as to what he values the most– marriage and grandchildren. I’m 0 for 2 with no signs of changing the score anytime soon.

Even though I’m happy with my choices and am stoked about where I am headed, the Ego in me feels incredibly inadequate and pissed. So much so that I’ve been unconsciously avoiding my dad’s calls.

I mean, I’m kicking butt and taking names. I’m in a position where I can focus on my art, my craft. I have my autonomy and I know how to use it. Why isn’t that enough? Why does it feel like the only goals worth bragging about are getting married and popping out children? It wasn’t until I saw the dedication page that I figured out this was bugging me.

This isn’t my dad’s fault, it’s mine for internalizing this feedback. Admittedly I am quite guilty of putting people’s opinions above my own. I can’t change people’s perspectives or views. I can, however, change how I react to them. I’m learning how to accept my choices and be proud of them. I can’t live my life for others. While part of me wants to go back to living with my head in the sand, I can’t help but admit that I feel better chipping away stuff in my head.

So, that’s it for this post. It’s weird being this transparent, especially to myself, but I suppose I won’t get to where I need to go if I don’t dig deep. On a side note, I will be posting my first podcast episode this week. I didn’t realize how much time I’d need to learn GarageBand. That and I’m being a “precious perfectionist” about the quality. Anyway, stay tuned for an announcement this week!

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 is Go

Right now, I’m currently in a Starbucks in Eugene OR  feeling excited, terrified, and cautiously optimistic. Today marks THE first day of a three-month hiatus from “everything but Taryn”. I will be solely focusing on my creative endeavors, growing as a human, and just enjoying some time doing new stuff with my crazy mutt, Abbey.

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Must Create!

I’ll admit, I am terrified because I am literally without excuse in terms of producing and being consistent. Accountability and I have been in a complicated relationship for some time now. I suppose I need to rekindle it. That and the idea of not pitching/working is horrifying too. As a self-employed person, I’m never not working, pitching, prospecting, etc. It’s a constant hustle. I’m grateful that I can afford to take this sabbatical, but my “hustle or die” radar is out of control.

 

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Bottom line, I know this fear/hesitancy is exactly why I must do this. At the end of the day, I can always find work. I can always re-enter the rat race. So I will calm my nerves (by drinking a triple shot espresso, counterproductive, I know) and will enter my hyperbolic time chamber to hone my artistic endeavors. Hopefully, I’ll come back out in Vegeta form.

 

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Shout out to all of the Dragon Ball Z fans that read my blog

I will be finally writing about the places I’ve visited in the last three months. Also, my first podcast is slated to air this coming Monday! I’ll be sure to leave a link here. If I can leave a piece of advice to my fellow creatives out there, lean into your fears. It’s by far the best thing I’ve done for myself. Happy Thursday!

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 is not a good blogger

It should go without saying that I am TERRIBLE at keeping up with blogging on a consistent basis. To be completely honest it has everything to do with my work. I’ll explain…

Creative Constipation

As a freelancer, I spend my time using my creativity to bring my clients’ marketing dreams to reality. It’s an awesome gig, I can’t complain. While my creative ‘genius’ knows no bounds, I only have a finite amount of energy/stamina to harness it all. I have all the time in the world to create, but mentally I’m spent after expelling that creative energy on my work. It’s an annoying conundrum. To be honest, I used to be so hard on myself about this, but then I learned to put it in perspective. Art is not for the faint of heart. You are literally turning a blank page into something amazing. Art is probably the closest form of magic that we have.

 

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Flip It and Reverse It

So in light of my desperation to be creative and express myself, I am taking the first 3 months of the new year to solely work on my own creative pursuits– one of which will be a podcast. I really want to dive into that medium because honestly, I think telling stories in an audible format would be WAY easier/interesting than blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to blog, but I want to diversify. Plus I want to work on my manuscripts, so I really want to compartmentalize how/when I’m writing. I promise I will finally update this thing on my recent travels. So far I’ve spent time in Oregon, Seattle, Montana, and I’m off to Idaho tomorrow! Stay tuned for more updates! In the meantime, here’s a picture of Abbey in Missoula MT. watching some dude kayak.

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Taryn got her groove back

Hello!

 

It’s been over 4 weeks since my last entry. A lot has happened… like me witnessing an old lady taking a sh*t in the forest.

 

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I’m not kidding!! I saw EVERYTHING!!! EVERYTHING!!!!!! I am now in desperate need of therapy or that Men in Black tool that makes you forget, lol.

 

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I fulfilled my final bridesmaid obligation at my friend’s wedding! AND, it didn’t end up with me blackout drunk accosting a groomsman… (one day I will find the words to tell that story… one day)

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I finished up my time in Big Bear. Made my way to Glen Ellen (near Napa), and now am chilling in a hipster coffee shop in Eugene.

 

Sunset in Big Bear

Glen Ellen A.K.A wine country

The Wandering Goat in Eugene Oregon

 

 

Ready to set the world on fire

 

Somewhere in between watching an old lady poop in public and when a police officer illegally towed my car and stole my legally purchased car tags (more on that later…), a lot of my old characteristics began to resurface, with memories and ideas I had long ago.

 

Long story short, it’s been nice to resurrect parts of me. I suppose I spent so much time in survival mode, I shut down to just get through it. Now that I’m out of crisis mode, I’m back in full effect! That and I realized that my vacation from my appearance needs to DIE. I’ve been putting the HOME in homely for some time now. I’m 29, not 92, though you wouldn’t know it based on my oversized knit sweaters and old lady garb.

I’ll be perusing Eugene today and a little bit tomorrow, then it’s on to Seattle for a month! I’ll be updating photos and all that jazz regularly, promise! Anywho, here are some farewell photos of Big Bear Lake. On to the next adventure!

 

Taryn and the Bear

So I’ve been slacking. This is in part due to work, preparing to head out for the last wedding, and having to cope without Abbey (Only for a few days due to the wedding). So I’m going to do a little housekeeping:

 

I’m 29!

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I turned 29 last Wednesday. Celebrating my birthday isn’t something I put much effort and energy into. This year was a little bittersweet because I normally spend the day with my rents, but they’re on different continents living their best life at the moment. They’re the ones who spearhead the shenanigans, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t bother, ha! I’m not a huge birthday person and haven’t been since I was 11. But since I didn’t want to be a complete abstainer, I did get a small cake and a mimosa for good measure. See mom, I did something! I did have fun though. Abbey and I went on a trail, hung out by the water, and just relaxed (and worked a bunch).

 

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

My nightly routine usually involves chilling in the jacuzzi and listening to some tunes. The townhouse that I’m renting has the perfect blend of “cabin-feels” without the cabin maintenance– I love it!

 

Anyway, I was outside and I had happened to take out my contacts because they were irritating me. As I was adjusting the temperature of the jacuzzi, I looked up and like eight feet in front of the gate, I saw a dark blob on the grass next to the fruit tree that generally isn’t there. I thought to myself, “huh, that blob isn’t usually there,”. I squinted to get a better look and the blob moved! It grabbed a piece of fruit, and that’s when I realized, it was a FREAKING BEAR!!!!

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My reaction, obvi.

 

You’d think that would run back inside and wait for it to pass on by but noooo… like the village idiot that dies in dinosaur/crazy animal films, I went inside to grab my camera and take photos of it. Fortunately, when I came back outside, it was further away, so my idiot self felt even more confident. As I was snapping away (with my flash on, like a genius), I guess the flash annoyed it as it made a fake charge motion towards me. Needless to say, I was pretty scared, but I was literally a step away from my door, so I squealed and ran back inside.

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What I thought was going to happen

 

There’s nothing like a little bear lunge to get the adrenaline running. As I said, it wasn’t super close, but close enough for me to rethink my bravery level. So, my takeaway is, if I can snap photos of a hungry bear, I can handle anything. That, and I’m likely the first person to die during an “animal on the loose” type of situation. 😉

 

I told my brother and my parents and they all said “So that’s why Big Bear is named that”, ha! Leave it to my family to be more excited to see the bear than disturbed by the fact that I was dumb enough to stick around for a photo shoot. Perhaps that’s why they’re my family, haha! Enjoy some shoddy quality bear photos!

 

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 tries Keto

So yesterday was my birthday. I turned 29. I was going to write about it (and will, probably tomorrow) but I feel like a total POS because I spent the last few days off of Keto and I’m miserable!!!!!

It started with a trainer

A few months back, I decided to not only get a gym membership but to also get a personal trainer. After all, I was staring down being in two weddings six weeks of each other, a girl’s gotta look good. Anyway, my trainer (who I absolutely adore and miss terribly) made me switch my dietary habits and told me to try Keto. I’m not going to get into the specifics of Keto, but it’s basically a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. I was skeptical and annoyed about how expensive and mindful my shopping had become, but I’d be lying if I didn’t see how much of a difference it did for me mentally.

 

My brain with superpowers

The biggest change (well one of them) for me was my brain processing/mental state– whatever you want to call it. My ability to focus, power through mundane tasks, and just my overall emotional resilience went THROUGH THE ROOF! At my pique performance, I was going to the gym 5-6 times a week, eating a Keto diet, and just loving life. Like seriously, I HATE administrative/repetitive tasks, but I found myself not only being more productive, I didn’t mind as much. I could go on and on about how my diet also improved my gym recovery, etc, but for the sake of this post, I’ll stick with my brain. Anywho, fast forward to this past week. I decided to “treat” myself and ate all kinds of tasty and horrible food.

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Hello darkness, my old friend

When I ditch my Keto diet and eat crappy food, I AM SO MISERABLE AND DEPRESSED, it’s not even funny!!! You’re probably thinking, “Taryn, c’mon, it’s not the food.” Oh, but it is! When I eat poorly, I’m sluggish, foggy, cranky, and just downright depressed. Fortunately, I’m very cognizant of my mood and the causes of my changes in behavior. I am glad that I’ll be fine in a day or two, but man it is gnarly how food can really alter your mindset.

 

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You are what you eat

I’m not advocating that everyone go on Keto– it depends on a few factors. That said, the difference of cutting out sugar, bad carbs, and processed foods is astounding! Do I miss bread? Sure. BUT, I LOVE how I feel when I eat healthily and exercise on a regular basis. It’s worth cutting out the crappy stuff, hands down. Anyway, that’s the end of my dietary rant. I will be back to normal in a day or two.

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!