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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I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

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No man is an island– though I’ve had to consciously remind myself of that as of late. As someone who spends a lot of time in her head, it’s nice to come down to planet Earth and speak to my fellow human beings– especially if they are people I’m very close with. So I’m happy to report that I had the awesome opportunity to have a quick coffee with my dear friend Toni, and her boyfriend Vince.

I’ve known Toni since high school and I consider her to be one of my closest friends. We’re incredibly similar in the fact that we’re both pretty independent, outspoken, and hate texting consistently. Unfortunately since she’s in SD and I’m in Vegas, we only see each other about twice a year– her visiting after the spring semester, and I make a trip usually around August . So it was such a great treat to have a coffee before her flight.

My favorite aspect about our friendship is that we don’t have to be in constant communication with one another to know that we’re still close. In fact, when we get together, it’s like picking back up where we left off. Plus, knowing each other as long as we have, our conversations are more frank and honest– which makes for hilarious times.  Also it doesn’t hurt that her boyfriend is such an awesome person and actually contributes to the conversation. Their personalities compliment each other so well, so I couldn’t be happier for the both of them.

While I’m sad it was a short visit, I’m glad we made it happen as it was like a charge to the emotional batteries. I feel rejuvenated– like maybe I’ll hit the gym or something (or something, ha). Anywho, I have to get back to work, I have a ton of cool projects I’m working on at the moment and I’m incredibly stoked! Also be on the lookout for more Freelance Friday posts tomorrow. (Don’t worry I’ve already written them, so they’ll be up). Happy Thursday peeps! 🙂

The Perks of Snail Mail Pt. 2

A while back, I talked about writing letters to my best friend back home. As it stands, it’s still something I continue to this day. In fact, I’ve expanded my little operation to a few more friends in Cali and Hawaii. Continue reading “The Perks of Snail Mail Pt. 2”

The Perks of Snail Mail

It’s no secret that I love writing. There’s something about putting words on paper that is just the bee’s knees for me. While writing is a great love of mine, getting a handwritten letter in the mail is equally just as awesome.

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Melissa, best friend of 13 years (that long already?!) and I rarely ever talk to each other these days. She’s off in Santa Barbara playing housewife and mom while I’m in Vegas causing all kinds of shenanigans. One of the best things about our friendship is that though we don’t talk very often, we always pick up where we left off and it works. I suppose when you’ve known someone for more than half of your life, you understand each other incredibly well. Anywho, since we both are terrible at communicating on a regular basis, we decided to start sending snail mail.

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Melissa and I many many moons (6 years) ago.

I LOVE getting letters in the mail. It’s right up there with birthday presents! Sadly in this day and age, getting snail mail that aren’t bills doesn’t happen enough in my opinion. I received my first letter from her yesterday and I was such a happy camper! Maybe it’s just me, but ready a tangible letter is much more inclusive and more awesome than in an electronic format.

What I’m like when getting the mail, lol.

Writing snail mail has so many intrinsic values to it. You can connect with someone who is far away from you. You have a reason to skip to the mailbox (I totally got caught by my neighbors but I didn’t care). Plus it takes away the static and distraction that electronics provides and allows you to communicate with your fellow people. Really, I could go on and on about why writing and receiving letters is the best thing, like ever.

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To the mailbox!

So now that I’ve shared my love of getting mail, I’m off to write my letter and send one her way. Since I’m in the penpal spirit, I may look into sending letters to different countries! Does anyone else love snail mail as much as me? Let me know! Until then, happy Tuesday! 🙂

Live Like It’s the 90s

Ever notice how difficult it is to commit to say, anything?

Remember when you made plans with friends to meet up at the movies? Well back in the dark ages, there was no way really communicate with your friends, your parents just simply dropped you off at the theater and you all magically showed up. What a concept?! I’m sure this practice seems archaic to younger folks, but back then, when plans were made, you kept them, because there was no way to back out.

The one thing I love about technology is that we can instantly get in contact with one another. It also allows us to be flaky little sons of guns as well. Since we can easily talk to each other and make plans, it ultimately gives us the option to say no right up to the event itself. Why is it that we don’t follow through with plans then turn around and complain about not having reliable friends? It’s like a never-ending conundrum.  Let’s be honest, how many times have you made plans to only bail on them at the last minute? I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit. Interestingly enough, I was talking about this with a girl I met at the dog park today and she admitted to being in the same boat as me. So in an effort to live more organically, I’ve decided to opt into a more 90s kind of life.

When I make plans with friends, I’ve decided that unless I’m having a dire medical emergency, I’m following through. I’m going to pretend as though my phone does not exist and that texting has not yet been invented. Why? Simply because if I “don’t have the means to communicate” I have to assume that the other person is waiting for me therefore making me obligated to show up. I’ve actually done it a couple times, and dare I say, I’ve enjoyed my outings. So here’s to a little personal responsibility and enjoying each other’s company “IRL” 😉

Have you ever bailed on a friend for whatever reason? Let me know 🙂

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Why Interpersonal Communication is Dead

Today, I was going to write about my fondness for admiring older men (another story for another time), but I find myself baffled by the complexities of topics such as harassment and the like. I wasn’t going to talk about such subjects because as a woman, it appears that I may have differing opinions on the matter as opposed to the masses. However, after watching some troubling YouTube videos and reading about scary moments when a member of the opposite sex tried to strike up a conversation; I have become to believe one thing. Interpersonal communication is dying among Millennials.

What is Interpersonal Communication?

 Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages: it is face-to-face communication.

 

Obviously I don’t mean that everyone under that category cannot speak to one another, but as we all become so engrossed with our precious technologies, we seem to have forgotten how to talk to our fellow man. When was the last time you talked to someone you didn’t know who was within 10 feet of you? Furthermore, if someone approached you offering casual conversation, would you accept and engage? I’m not talking about the cat calling weirdness that sometimes happens, but if a person poses a legitimate topic, would you write them off?

I ask this because all too often, I’m seeing/hearing people complain about harassment when the question was harmless. Since we seldom interact with each other in a spontaneous fashion, it seems as though our ability to do so has diminished severely. What I mean by this is that, communication/interaction is like a muscle, if you don’t exercise it from time to time, it will become underdeveloped and essentially useless. I grew up in a small  town in Southern California, where if you were in a long line, it would be completely normal to strike up a conversation with the person standing next to you. Nowadays doing that same action results in the recipient either thinking you’re weird or are trying to hit on them. Even more so, that one encounter becomes the cornerstone argument that harassment is a real and rampant thing that is oppressing the female gender. One Youtuber even went as far as saying that a woman’s #1 fear is rape. Uh, my biggest fear is snakes…so… yeah. I’m not saying harassment does not exist, it does. Has it happened to me? You bet. However, I do not live my life in fear because of a few instances. What’s even more frustrating is that hashtag movements have become a soap box for individuals to talk about the one time they got hit on at the bar by someone who was either incredibly nervous or could have been a jackass.

Let’s be honest, going up to a stranger and starting a conversation is hard, for everyone. It requires one to muster up the courage to speak with you in the first place, which seems like a miracle since we’re so distant from each other anyway. We’re already so closed off from the idea of talking to others without it coming from a cellphone, it’s not even funny. So my next question is, if talking to someone in a line, at a bookstore, or in a bar is so taboo or considered harassment, how are we supposed to connect with one another? Personally, even as an introvert, if anyone offers something interesting to say, I gladly welcome the interaction. Why? Because I appreciate the effort of a person wanting to interact and be human for a minute. What’s not human is being glued to a device as your only means of connecting with the outside world. Also, I find it entertaining as some of the very same people who are for this “movement” are the very same folks who complain about having trouble making friends or meeting potential partners. Well those types of interactions require you to speak to one another. It’s not rocket science.

To be clear, I am not downplaying anyone’s plights or dealings with harassment of any kind. I believe that everyone has the right to feel comfortable and safe. My problem is with the growing few who interpret a book recommendation as a scary experience thus deeming someone creepy. Guess what, not everyone is trying to sleep with you. Sometimes it’s nice to speak to someone new using your voice and not your thumbs. Let’s turn off our phones and get to know each other in the old fashioned way. So, with that being said, I’m off to go to a new coffee shop and speak to a stranger. I encourage you to do the same. 🙂

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How to Have a Successful Introvert/Extrovert Friendship: From an Introvert’s Perspective

For those who know me in the “real world”, you know that I am a total chatty Kathy. I love talking to people, especially on topics I’m interested in. Strike up a conversation on something I love, I light up like the stars in a night’s sky and will gesture with enthusiasm. While this is very true and I love being in the presence of others, I need time to recharge my social batteries. Yup, I’m an introvert. I tried to deny this for some time because stereotypically, we associate introversion with some atypical shy person who cannot carry on a conversation to save their lives.  That may be true in some cases, but I assure you it does not fit everyone. Chances are, your introverted friends are the ones who are great listeners and dispense some pretty solid advice. You go to them for emotional support. Since introverts operate in an internal manner, these functions can be pretty draining.

I have all types of friends who all have different personalities (it makes for great stories). Interestingly enough, I have a tendency to be drawn towards people who are extroverted. I’ve been fortunate enough to have become close with people who pretty much get my M.O. so it’s been great. Sometimes there is a disconnect between friends when one wants to communicate more frequently than the other. Problem is, if you don’t give me time to gear up for the next adventure, I get a little overwhelmed and become unresponsive. It’s not because I’m trying to be rude, it’s simply the fact that I need time to chill. So in light of recent events, I’m listing a few points on how to keep a meaningful introvert/extrovert friendship going.

1. Be Welcoming 

The myth is that introverts will not talk to strangers. That is absolutely untrue. Just today I was at the grocery store buying syrup and a lady mentioned how it doubled in price since last week. Since she was pleasant and friendly, I had no problem chatting with her about different grocery items that have surged in price recently. Conversation can be intimidating for introverts, but if you start off with a congenial attitude, you’d be surprised by the outcome.

2. Be Patient

I like to have time to think about things. Very seldom (if ever) do I go through with a plan that has not been thought out. So if you’re introverted friend seems a bit hesitant about anything, give them a chance to process and they’ll eventually come around. Unless it has anything to do with snakes, then I’m out. No exceptions.

3. Give Them Space

I love hanging out with my friends, I really do. At times if I’m out and about for extended periods of time, I have to have some off time. Usually I’ll unwind by reading a book, crocheting, or going on walks with Abbey. So it’s fair to say that I’ll check out for a little while. It’s mostly a day’s time and then I’m back in the social saddle ready to ride off again. Point is, quiet time is important for introverts to get back out into the social scene.

4. Don’t Push

Here’s where some challenges can occur. If I don’t get the space that I need, I go AWOL socially. Which means I don’t answer texts, calls, or anything in between. I get that this can be seen as rude to some, but I assure you it’s not meant maliciously. The reality is that when you invade an introvert’s space, it can be seen as overwhelming. Of course that’s not the intent but it’s how the receiver can feel. Case in point, if I get a bunch of texts while I’m trying to unwind, it’s overwhelming. I cannot  maintain that style of constant communication, even if it’s on something I’m interested in. It’s like a tidal wave of communication coming at me all at once and all I want to do is throw my phone into the trash. At that point, I won’t respond and will need a cooling off period before I can engage. Later on, when I’m feeling up to it, I’ll get around to responding. If you have a friend who gets a bit standoffish, chances are, they’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Let them take a beat and they’ll get back to you. If you keep pushing, all they’ll do is prolong responding.

5. Don’t Take it Personally

I love my zany outgoing friends. They push me to get out of my comfort zone to do things I wouldn’t do on my own. With that being said, I still need my down time. If your introverted friends don’t want to hang out, most of the time it has nothing to do with you. It just means that they are mentally relaxing and getting prepped for the next awesome hang out session. Once you understand the method to their madness and give them the opportunity to reach their social equilibrium, they’ll be back out in no time, ready for the next adventure.

So those are some quick tips for extroverts on how to get along with their introvert pals. I do have some advice for my introvert cohorts as well.

1. Be Receptive

A general misnomer is that introverts are shy. That’s not always the case. If a person is offering you a “social olive branch” try your best and meet them halfway. A little growth never killed anyone

2. Ask For Time

If you take some time to make decisions, tell your friends what’s up. Don’t feel pressured to just blurt anything out. Chances are that our extrovert counterparts don’t operate in this type of mindset and that’s ok, but make your intentions clear.

3. Ask For Space 

I straight up tell my friends when I’m going “off the grid”. Telling people that you need space is not rude, especially if it’s crucial to your wellbeing. We’re all different and may not see eye to eye on things, so communication is key. Just send an “I’m currently checking out” message to your friends and get back to them when you feel up to it.

 

4. Set Boundaries

If you have a well meaning friend who doesn’t seem to get the message, after you’re done with your hiatus, have a heart to heart with that person. Explain why you need your space and make sure that you get it. If they care for you at all, they’ll respect that. If they don’t, well that’s on them and they clearly are not respecting your need for space.

5. Let Them Know You Appreciate Your Friendship

It’s tough to hear that your friend wants some down time, so it’s important that you let them know how much you enjoy their friendship. I try as much as possible to let my friends know how much they mean to me. It helps them understand that it’s “not their fault” when you need space.

Honestly, if I try to be social when I haven’t had time to recuperate, I’m kind of an ass. It’s like a 5 year old who hasn’t had their afternoon nap; they become cranky and emotional. Once they wake up from that nap, they’re back to being the sweet kid they once were; it’s the same for introverts. So that’s my take on how to maintain a legit friendship between an introvert and extrovert. Introverts on the webs, do you agree? Also, all the extroverts out there what do you require for a friendship to be successful? I want to hear your opinions. 🙂

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I Forgot My Phone

Here is a short video by Charlene deGuzman about smart phones. I was blown away by how profound it is. I think we as a society are so invested in capturing “the moment” that we fail to enjoy it while we’re living it. We then look back at pictures and video clips with pangs of nostalgia never having fully experienced that reality. And we wonder why we can’t connect with people anymore. I for one am going to get off my phone and talk to the person next time me more often. Life is too short to be glued to a phone.