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!

 

Hello, Old Girl

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Life has been strange and beautiful, and though I’m going to do my best to describe it to you, I don’t know how well my world will translate onto the page, but I’ll give it a go.

As I wrote last week, transitioning back into Vegas, seeing my dad off to Germany, ramping up new work plans, it’s been in intense emotional roller coaster– one of which I’m proud to say I’m riding to the best of my ability.

I’m in a period of loss, so to speak, losing my dad in proximity, and a few other things I cannot discuss yet, it’s strangely drudged up the residue of my first major loss– the death of my Grandma. Though it’s been about 9 nine years since she passed, it’s a loss that has left (or at least I thought) a gaping hole within me.

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My grandmother was magical. My childhood was full of wonder, imagination, and excitement of which she facilitated by encouraging my storytelling, love for books, and card games. Seriously, I was 2 when she taught me how to read. I’ve been reading books like a crackhead in need of a fix ever since. She saw something within me and helped unleash the madness that is Taryn into this world.

Brenda was the quirkiest/kookiest woman I’ve ever known. She laughed at odd things, remembered important dates at odd times, and when I was little, I thought she was nutty. “Crazy like a fox!”, she’d say when I told her I thought she was nuts.

At 27, turns out that I too laugh at odd things, remember important dates at odd times, and am a little nutty. I think I’m beginning to get the hang of this crazy like a fox thing.

Around 16 — I can’t remember exactly– I had this strange feeling to spend more time with my grandma. I can’t explain why, but I felt the need to spend more time with her and to say “I love you”. So each Saturday, I’d stop by her house with a DVD and we’d watch a movie.

We both shared an appreciation for good looking men, and Troy had just come about. “Brad Pitt and those legs,” she’d exclaim. I’m sure I nodded in agreement. The dude had some great legs. On that note, I need to rewatch that film, ha.

This went on for a few weeks, and sometime shortly after, she suffered a stroke on the bus she rode from work. When I first heard about it, it was hard to put into emotion because I was still removed from it. It wasn’t until seeing her in the hospital, in an altered state from the crazy lady that I adored, to a sickly being staring down mortality, that I began to shut down.

I couldn’t bear the pain of seeing my hero reduced to a mere mortal, barely hanging onto life. Though initially she was improving, it was about a year or so later that she passed, right after my first horrifically shitty year of college and some massive changes within my family. Needless to say, 2008 can go to hell for all I care.

As my sister told me the news of my grandma’s passing, I cried for a few seconds, and then I went into an emotional coma of sorts. I’ve always been terrible with feelings but this took the cake. I buried my feelings– deep into an abyss with plans to never really use them again. My world went gray, as the person who first introduced me to the vivid colors of the world was no longer with me. If I’m being frank, I thought the best parts of me died with her.

A semi kind of life

As time went on, I trudged through life, having some decent moments, but never truly allowing myself to experience joy or peace. Granted it doesn’t help that I’m an existential weirdo, lol. Anyway, it’s funny how caring for others will help you eventually learn how to care for yourself, and I’ve got an army of niece and nephews and a not-so-obedient dog to blame for that.

Over the years, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of time in helping bring up my niece and nephews. Changing diapers, potty training, school graduations, awards ceremonies– it’s been a blast. Though there are 7 of them, I can spot their unique identities, what makes them tick, and how to reach each of them on their terms. Looking back, that’s exactly what my grandmother did for me and my siblings/cousins.

So fast forward to yesterday, after spending the day watching a set of 1 year old twins, a 2 and 4 year old, memories of the craziest lady I’ve ever known came flooding back to me. It was odd, as I was walking my dog late last night (90 degrees at 10pm, yay Vegas), I began to think about what she’d say to me about how I’m “doing life”. I knew she’d never want me to live in the self-imposed prison I’ve created.

In that moment, as I was walking Abbey in the suburban streets of Vegas, I spontaneously combusted into hysterical bouts of crying. Man, was it ugly– but also peaceful, freeing, and about freaking time. On a side note, I’m so glad no one else was out, because I’m sure I looked like a mess. Even Abbey kept giving me “wtf” looks from time to time. I wasn’t crying out of sadness or grief per se, but they were tears of joy because someone who I’d hadn’t seen in many years had returned to my life — me.

Not gone, just sleeping

Maybe this is my roundabout way of accepting the loss of a loved one, but it’s nice to be able to resurface from a long slumber. Much to my initial belief, I didn’t leave, I’m not broken, I just came back from playing an unintentionally long game of hide and seek. That’s at least what I’m telling myself, anyway.

I can’t help but to think and smile because though my grandmother is not with me, I’ll always have her. I find her in the things that I do, how I behave, how I think, my work ethic– I find her in me. So as it turns out, I was never gone or broken– just hiding underneath the layers of time.

Today I say hello, Taryn. Glad to have you back, we have a lot of catching up to do.

The story so far

Hi all!

It’s been a minute, I know. That said, much has happened over that last few months– a whole lot of good, some meh, but I wouldn’t change a thing!

I woke up

I’ll be honest, when I first moved back to California, the transition was TOUGH. It was the first time in years that I couldn’t hide behind family/work/friend obligations to excuse my lack of “living” so to speak. I was in a brand new city, which meant I had a lot of time to myself to think. Finally, I realized that I didn’t recognize the person I saw in the mirror and slowly started to change.

I learned how to use my brain

I’ve been considered gifted since I was a child, but I never fully understood what that meant or that it affects how I live. I just thought I was a weirdo because my ideas were so drastically different than those around me. When I was a kid, I was just so terrified of thinking differently than my peers, that I spent a crap-ton of time analyzing people; how they thought, how they talked, their emotional responses, and what they were interested in/etc, just to fit in. If I could describe it, I felt (and still feel) like a robot trying to understand human emotions. Once I realized that the “feelings” I felt were projections of those around me, it changed the game completely! For instance, I love thinking in concepts and how it impacts the world around me.

I prefer to think logically

This is a weird balance for me as I’m both logical and emotional. It’s a balance that I’m working on but I tend to stick with my logic when dealing with myself and I’ll be more emotional with others. For example, I honestly don’t care what I wear, as I find that it’s a waste of brain power (at least for me). I recognize that it’s an art form or way of life for others, and completely respect that. But for me, a t-shirt and jeans are just fine. In fact, if the world wouldn’t lock me up, I’d wear the same thing everyday. Really, I’d prefer to run around in my boy shorts, but indecent exposure and all of that jazz, lol. My thought process is that of efficiency. If it doesn’t stimulate my mind in some way, I don’t value it. Which brings me to my next point, which has also gotten me into a lot of trouble as of late.

Feelings are feelings, not dogma

Somewhere down the child-rearing line, we’ve been taught that feelings are so deep and precious, almost to a fault. One of the biggest things I’ve come to realize for myself, is that though I’m a sensitive being (somewhere on the highly sensitive person spectrum), I don’t put much stock in them as they’re unreliable and irrational. Those who are close to me have said I’ve become cold, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! I feel and empathize greatly. That said, I acknowledge those feelings and allow them to pass. When I held onto every feeling I had, it was maddening! So, just to be clear, I’m not saying feelings are a bad thing. On the contrary, they’re wonderful, but you need to keep them in perspective.

I quit being lazy

One of the first things I discovered was that, I wasn’t depressed, I was lazy. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. It’s true, we have emotions, that said, we can control how we react to said emotions. Instead of sitting around trying to numb myself, I began to volunteer, help others, and work on creative projects. Also, being outside and surrounded by nature is just such a great feeling for me! I’m more inclined to go for a walk or hike than anything else at this point. Interestingly enough, I found that I had an abundance of energy and emotional satisfaction that I had to give up caffeine!

I love tea and I’m hyperactive!!!!

My final experiment (which caused me to drop 60 pounds in 2 months), was giving up caffeine/surgery energy drinks. The detox period was terrible, but what I discovered is that I’m naturally hyper (apparently being gifted and ADHD goes hand in hand). I wake up around 4:30 every morning, walk 5-8 miles with Abbey and then I start my day. I can’t tell you how TREMENDOUS this has been for my mind. In my head, I have about 18 TV screens that focus on different aspects of my life. I blame my parents as they’re both gifted in their own right (Dad: musical genius, Mom: literary genius). It’s no wonder my mind is INSANE! Growing up, my house was constantly filled with music (all my siblings and I play multiple instruments), books, and intellectual/critical thinking conversations, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised on how I think.

Sometimes the world is wrong

I think for me, and those who are like me, living according to what the world expects is just not possible. I can’t work in a 9-5 setting because I complete office tasks within a quarter of the timeframe, and sitting around doing nothing is like Hell on Earth for me. Further, I think more in a compartmentalized manner, which is usually a trait ascribed to men. I don’t participate in a lot of “girly things” and would much rather be involved in my thoughts and projects rather than anything else.  This is frustrating as it leads to me being misunderstood (i.e. cold or obtuse). But meh, I’m working on it. As I venture out into the world with a better sense of who I am and how I operate, life is so much more fun!

What’s next?

I’ll still try and blog from time to time, but I find that I don’t like talking about myself all that much. I will, however, be blogging about freelancing and how to navigate that world a lot more on another site I have. I’m currently reworking it, so be on the lookout for an update come Monday!

 

Strategic Sunday: Terminal Uniqueness

Greetings!

Here I am, returning from the shadows of obscurity. It’s been quite a while. A lot has changed and a lot has remained the same. That was my hipster way of saying that I’ve been running in circles waiting for the sky to fall these last few months. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some great achievements, and I’ve had some learning moments.

Terminal Uniqueness 

First, I’d like to say that no, I’m not a recovering alcoholic (though my mom seems to think so, more on that later). That said, the term “terminal uniqueness”– which is commonly referred to in A.A.– is the belief that the situation the individual is facing is unlike anything faced by other people. Now, if I’m being honest, when I go to my mopey “all hope is lost” place, I tend to think my “isms” are soooo different than what everyone else is facing.

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I mean obviously, no one could possibly understand my life. 2 parents that are still married who are unconditionally supportive of their daughter, friends that care, and a career that is gaining speed? Sheesh, the horror.

As I venture out into the world, I am reminded that my road has been traveled and I don’t have to go it alone. I’m coming to the understanding that I’m not a special little snowflake, and I’m finding comfort in the fact that I’m more human than I give myself credit. Now I am tasked with the pesky chore of connecting with my fellow humans. I’m a little rusty, but I’m working on it!

What’s Next…

So, I’m getting back into the blogging swing of things and I have a bunch of goodies to share. I had an epic 26th birthday in October, killed it in freelance writing in terms of earnings in the last 2 months, I’m “taking pride in my appearance” (again, more on that later), and volunteering at the library. In a nutshell, I’m back! So get ready, because I mean it this time! Happy Sunday!

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I’m not a teenager anymore

Earlier today, I stumbled across an album that meant a great deal to me circa 2005. Upon playing it, I transcended time and was shot back to the days where I was around 15/16. Continue reading “I’m not a teenager anymore”

Babies, Brunch, and an Art Walk

I’m enjoying my last day here in Santa Barbara. It has been an incredibly relaxing and restorative adventure; plus hanging out with my best friend is awesome in of in itself. Now that she’s a mom (with another on the way), it’s safe to say the dynamic of our activities has changed drastically.  Continue reading “Babies, Brunch, and an Art Walk”

Pwning Kids at Chuck E. Cheese

I’ve have the sheer pleasure of having my mommy in town! I’ve been off having all kinds of adventures and fun. One of my most recent adventures happened to involve Chuck E. Cheese. Personally I’m not a fan of going to places with tons of screaming children, however both my niece and nephew made the honor roll, so alas, I must oblige. Continue reading “Pwning Kids at Chuck E. Cheese”

15 Quotes to Soothe the Freelance Writer Soul

Being a freelance writer takes a brave soul. You have to find the courage within yourself to go out into the world as a writer come what may. It’s important to keep your thoughts and mental health in check. The journey is sometimes a rocky one, but for those who trek on the road less traveled, it’s worth the risk. Here are a few quotes to help you on your way. Continue reading “15 Quotes to Soothe the Freelance Writer Soul”

Be Who You Are

I cannot stress enough how important it is for all of us to be true to our authentic selves. It’s tough when that authenticity goes against the grain of “what is normal”.

We often think of life as a succession: go to school, get a good job, find a spouse, have kids, raise kids, retire, then die. . After speaking with many of my peers, it seems like we are feeling disenfranchised because our “life map” isn’t going as planned. Well, sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. There is no order or a certain way to “do life”.

I often try to fit myself into the “box of normalcy”. I never could quite fit into the way I would’ve liked. Now, I’m understanding that the reason why I can’t fit is that I was never meant to fit into at all!

If you aren’t “normal”, it’s going to be ok. There’s a certain type of bravery that comes along with going against the grain, and I encourage you to embrace it!

That said, I hope you set your “box” and expectations on fire and strive to be who you are!

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I See My Name In Bright Lights

So this whole “blogging regularly” thing is quite the task. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, sometimes I just get so wrapped up in the delivery that I get overwhelmed and don’t say anything at all. Well, as a writer, whenever I go through a dry-spell, I become like a backed up toilet; clogged and unable to get the job done.

Honestly, writing is like breathing for me; it is essential to my wellbeing. So that said, I must write!!

Ok, now that I have my craziness/dramatics out of the way, I come bearing some pretty cool news. You know that secret writing thing I’ve been alluding to? Well, now I can share it! Last year in October I was approached to attend the HR Tech Conference by a little publication called ForbesYup! I was totally ecstatic (Also scared shitless, but I digress)! They needed a Las Vegas based writer to cover the conference for their BrandVoice channel and they reached out to silly old me!

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I can’t get into too much of the particulars unfortunately, but the whole experience was AMAZING. Listening and being part of a conference where professionals met to understand the root-cause of talent acquisition problems was fascinating! It was an incredibly humbling and thrilling journey to say the least. It solidified that I love writing and being able to weave into various industries and learn about them. I felt like I was finally finding where I belonged.

In addition, the HR Tech conference hosted Third Eye Blind to play a concert! The first night of the conference, I was standing around with some newfound friends (yup, this introvert made friends, who knew?) in the front row at the House of Blues getting free drinks handed to us while belting out some 90’s alternative gold. It was a hell of a time. While I enjoyed the research aspect of the gig, I did have some learning to do on the editing side of things.

I learned a vast amount working with the editors at Forbes. They kicked my butt, but in the best possible way. I had to stretch my writing skills to the furthest literary mountains possible and get out of my comfort zone to meet their expectations. They’re high caliber for a reason, and the learning that occurred was invaluable.

So after some blood, sweat, and tears I am published and I could not be more pleased. I showed it to my parents, loved ones, and now I’m getting to share my excitement with my blogging buddies!! I’m not going to lie, being able to say that I have multiple bylines in Forbes exhilarating!!!

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  So without further ado, I Taryn am proudly showing off my work, feel free to check it out and let me know what you think! 🙂

http://www.forbes.com/sites/castlight/2014/12/15/4-ways-to-engage-and-retain-millennial-employees/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/castlight/2014/12/29/3-new-tech-tools-that-bridge-the-gap-between-employers-and-workforce-newbies/