Taryn Gets Robbed

I wish I were joking, but it’s true. Some lovely person broke my driver’s side window and stole my laptop bag, wallet, and guitar. The laptop was on its way out, so I’m not totally broken up about it. Plus I have an iPad, so I’m still able to get my work done, thank God!! I am bummed about my bag, however. My mom got it for me in Turkey and had my initials put on it. It was such a cute leather bag, everywhere I went I received compliments on it.

Wait, I’m on the East Coast?

I should mention that I’m in North Carolina. Charlotte to be exact. I had every intention on sharing how I went from being in Arizona 2 weeks ago to ending up in NC, but this robbery happened, and I figure I’d talk about that first. I will, guarantee that I will go more into detail about my recent travels. I’ve been to Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. This week, I PROMISE, I’ll share photos and my shenanigans. Anyway, I should explain how I got robbed.

On a Hike

As I’m nearing 1 week of being in NC (I leave tomorrow), I’ve been indulging in the beautiful trails that are all around Charlotte. Honestly, I’ve had such a wonderful time here. Anyway, this morning, I decided to go to a new trail instead of the 4 mile trail that I’ve grown to love. I decided to take my laptop as I was going to sit in a coffee shop after my hike to do some writing. I get to the destination, and on a stupid whim, I decided to leave my wallet in the car, because I didn’t want to carry it*

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* Friends, never leave your ID, cash, valuables in a car.

I know, it was dumb. So anyway, I spent about 2 hours on the trail, enjoying the beauty all around me. I decided to leave my camera at the house I’m staying in (thank God). As I was walking back, feeling super refreshed and in good spirits after the hike, I was greeted by a park ranger who asked if the vehicle she was standing next to was mine. I was about 50 feet away, so I could barely see her, and the car was out of my line of sight. At first, I thought I was parked in an unauthorized spot, but as I got closer, she explained that someone busted the window and opened the trunk.

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Enjoying Life’s Curveballs

To be honest, after the year I’ve had, having my car broken into didn’t even phase me. After taking the information in, I sighed, called the cops, and inspected the vehicle. The thief even stole my earbuds case, which is also its charger. What’s stupid is that I had the earbuds with me, so all they got was a case, and now I have no charger.

To add to the mania, the park ranger legit hit on me. She low key dropped the “did your boyfriend buy you that jacket” qualifying question, to see where my orientation leaned. I laughed, because who in their right mind thinks it’s wise to hit on someone who’s just gone through a burglary? I sidestepped the question and told her I prefer to be alone and that my dog was all the company I needed. After 20 minutes or so, she left, and I waited for the cops on my own. I didn’t mind, though. After dealing with the officer (I swear, both the ranger and officer were as cliche as can be), I removed the glass and drove back to the house I was staying at.

 

This may sound weird, but I’m incredibly thankful for all of the ridiculous things that have happened as of late. It’s really made me grow closer to God and to keep things in perspective. I’m safe, Abbey wasn’t there so nothing happened to her. The window  isn’t going to cost a lot to replace and will be fixed tomorrow. Aside from losing some cash, my ID, and some gadgets, it’s all well and good. I am annoyed that I will be having to go to the DMV AGAIN as I just got my license replaced in May. Also, I had just purchased some amazing InkJoy gel pens and a really adorable pen case which was in my bag. If only you knew how much I LOVE my pens. Oh, and my journals and manuscript notes were all in there. There were years of ideas and notes about my books. So, that’s a tough loss. Oh well, such is life. I’m thankful that I have parents that were kind and helpful through this ordeal. I’m grateful that everything taken is replaceable.

Motivated to Make it Happen

If you’re of the Christian faith, you know that opposition and setbacks occur as a way to discourage you from growing closer to God. I find that when you’re cultivating that relationship, expect some weird stuff to happen. So, rather than discourage me, it’s making me double down in my faith, and be who He’s called me to be. These crappy moments just make me want to sing His praises even louder. So with that being said, I’m going to finish packing and getting ready for my next destination. That and I’m going to write more and with an increased gusto as I will not be deterred in being who I am. On that note, happy Monday and I hope it’s a good one!

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Taryn is free

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I had plans to post the final part to my “Creepy ass White dude” saga today, but I had an interesting change in relationship with a toxic family member and I wanted to rejoice in my newfound freedom. Out of respect to my parents, I won’t name the person, but I will talk about the relationship and how I allowed it to muddy the waters of my state of being for so long.

Undetected Virus

When you are asleep at the metaphorical wheel of your life, it’s easy for toxic people to infiltrate your mind, setting up a host of nasty Trojan horses to gain control over you. For years I allowed this person to prey on me because I was so oblivious to my own needs and rights as an individual. As such, I allowed this person to drain me of my resources— time, money, help, support, etc.— under the guise that they were family and that trumps everything. Well, if you’re family is consistently hurting you or making you feel like you’re the problem or that everything is your fault, RUN!

Subtle Infiltration

The problem with emotionally manipulative people is that they are subtle in how they get their hooks into you. Problematic behaviors don’t just manifest overnight, they take time. The person can make seemingly harmless comments to you or about you under the guise of “trying to help”. They’re good at twisting your words and putting you on the defensive to destabilize your emotional wellbeing. If this happens over a decent period of time and you’re not doing anything to establish boundaries, they will control you.

A Tricky Blind Spot

It’s funny, looking back, I really was out to lunch. I think one of the biggest reasons why I didn’t see it was that she’s family. You don’t expect your loved ones to use and abuse you. That and she leveraged children. This gets trickier when little ones are involved, so I was able to reconcile the shitty behavior for their well-being. Ironically, it was this relationship that helped me see how messed up Brett was. Once you’ve experienced “Bat Shit Crazy” it’s way easier and faster to spot. Interestingly enough, both of them suffered some form of abuse one way or another. I really believe that at one point they were victims. The funny thing is, there’s a very fine line between victim and aggressor, and if you don’t seek help or deal with your trauma, you’re likely to become the monster you once feared.

Aiding and Abetting

I’m not going to go into every detail about my relationship or interactions with this person because a) I’m lazy and it would take forever to recall details, and b) I’m at a point where I’m happy to move past stewing over the garbage encounters with that person. While I’ve set my own boundaries, my family is still entrenched and sweeps this person’s behavior under the rug. I’ll admit, the last encounter— the 4th of July— nearly got the best of me because of how fake everything was. There was a time where I felt like Candace from Phineas and Ferb (yes, I’m referencing a children’s cartoon). But, instead of trying to expose fun science projects, I was hellbent on proving that this person was indeed the root cause of a lot of problems. Needless to say, this tactic provided me with more anguish than solutions.

Since my parents are out of the country and I’m a nomad, we have to do family occasions at this person’s house. This means we all get together, pretending that they aren’t a manipulative narcissist. For the most part, I can hold my tongue as I generally focus my time and energy on all 7 of my niece and nephews. That said, I’ve come to the point where pretending like nothing is wrong and sitting on the grenades this person lobs in my direction, is over. If my parents want to continue in that cesspool of dysfunction, I can’t stop them, but I’ve served my time into that mental ward and I’m checking myself out. Now that I’ve had a week to think about things far away from the situation, I initially wanted to call this person out and distance myself. However due to their snooping ways, they did the heavy lifting for me.

 

Cat out of the bag

Yesterday, I was having a chat with my father— a thing we do several times a week— and we were catching up on things. He stays with that person in question, and how he does it is beyond me. Just to give you context, we talked for an hour and that person had come up, because of a gaslighting conversation they had with my Dad. I know this because of how my Dad was speaking about the situation. The words he was using to describe his actions had a negative and malicious vibe to them. I asked him why he was talking in that way because the one thing my father is not is negative or malicious. It turns out, these were the words the other person assigned to his behavior. This tactic is not unfamiliar and I was quick to shed light on what she was trying to do.

Toxic people will do anything to shift any type of blame onto their opponent. They assigned intent on your actions even if what you’re trying to do is benign or benevolent. They do this to make you feel insecure, thus depending more on them. This made me furious. It’s one thing to treat me like shit. But if you do that to either of my parents, we have an issue. So anyway, we talked about it and I gave anecdotal evidence to highlight her manipulative behavior. It wasn’t more than 8-10 minutes of our conversation, but it turns out to be the best thing to ever happen.

Breakup Email

Last night, as I was drifting off to sleep I got an email titled “This Morning…”. I opened it and it started by the person admitting they were eavesdropping on the conversation with my dad and heard all of the names I called her. She then talks about how I trashed her family, and how I’m no longer welcome in her home. After reading it, I laughed out loud. First of all, I did not call her any names. Second, what I said was the truth, if she has a problem with that, she should definitely self-reflect.

To be honest, I’ve never felt more happier about being “broken up” with. The funny thing is I know she was trying to hurt me, but truthfully, she set me free! Thanks to her, I no longer have to play into her crazy mind games and manipulative tactics. I feel like the last year has prepped me to handle these types of situations with ease. I have to give God some blame because my relationship with Him has really impacted how I see myself, the world, and how I move around in it. I’ve come to learn how to control my mind, thoughts, and feelings. Balancing those things are so important and disciplining myself to do the work has been well worth the discomfort!

Free to do what I want

So in a nutshell, I’m free of the dysfunction and nonsense that once plagued me. Prior to this, I tended to take a long-suffering, obligation approach to certain family members. Not anymore. This experience —along with many others— has shown me how to remain calm in even the most turbulent of storms. I didn’t share this story to crap all over my family member. No, I still love her and hope she gets some help. I shared it to shed a light on dealing with toxic family members. So here are a few takeaways:

-Be present in your life, take care and value yourself

-Don’t take the blame for what manipulators do, this isn’t your fault

– You are not responsible for anyone but yourself

– How others perceive you is their problem not yours

– Don’t allow others to assign intent to your actions

– As long as you’re not hurting others, be yourself!

 

With my newfound freedom, I am writing more than ever before. My creative thoughts are buzzing and I could not be happier. The last thing I will share is an article— which you can find here —about manipulative people, how they work, how to spot their tactics, and what you can do to set boundaries. I was going to share it with the final “creeper” piece (I probably still will), but it’s just such an excellent read and does a wonderful job explaining the shit-show that is a manipulative person. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the reading! I’ll finish off the rest of the “creeper saga” next week. But before I got, I want to leave you with this little number to enjoy. Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 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!

 

 

 

I got outted

 

No, not that kind of “out”. I still have a healthy appreciation for the male species. 😉

I am referring to a relationship, however, and that is with Christ

Closeted Christian

Up until recently, I’ve always kept a lowkey position about my faith. Not because of shame or embarrassment, but rather out of humility. Today there are so many fake Christians, touting superiority and judgment, failing to see how their behavior is not only abhorrent but a true disservice to what it actually means to follow Christ. For me personally, I always tried to let my actions speak for my faith. Helping those in need, being a light, while trying to live according to how Jesus lived.

Seeing the light

Last year, I went on an epic journey that not only confirmed my belief in God, led me on some epic adventures. I swear my life was like some adventure movie, it was pretty crazy. I was so hooked, I was giving away my stuff to the homeless people in my neighborhood, feeding people whenever I could, it was amazing.

Enduring hardship

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that the more you begin to follow God, the more you’ll face different types of opposition. At first, I didn’t think anything of it as last year things were practically falling out of the sky. This year, however, has easily been the toughest year since 2008. I literally experienced loss at every level. Work and relationships were obliterated in the process out of the blue. This wasn’t like I dropped the ball in being accountable, quite the opposite. In fact, this year, I poured more love and hard work into every aspect of my life and like rain in a blistering dry desert, all of my resources evaporated.

I’ll admit, I got a little frustrated. At one point, I was asking God, “What gives?”. I was spending so much time helping others and turning the other cheek, and I was still getting drop-kicked in the face. Eventually, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and decided to really closely follow the Bible, which funnily enough has detailed accounts of every single experience I’ve gone through. Even now as I’m still going through the wilderness– though I feel as that is coming to an end– I can’t help but feel overjoyed with gratitude. In the midst of my struggles, I’ve received mercy and kindness from the unlikeliest of people, and through it all, I’ve wanted for nothing.

Being accountable

So back to the outted part. I’ve been editing my dad’s blog over a year now. It’s a Christian blog that gives anecdotes of biblical wisdom with a chapter of scripture at the bottom. We publish each day. This past week as he’s been in Switzerland, the responsibility of creating content has fallen on my shoulders. At first, I was just going to ghostwrite as I didn’t want to put my name out there. Again, not out of shame, but honestly because I feel like I’m just a snot-nosed young person. What kind of wisdom do I have? Still, I felt compelled to put up something and as I began to write, I realized that I did have something to say. Plus since I was publishing under his platform, it wasn’t like anyone I knew would see it. Man, was I wrong.

Funnily enough, I configured my dad’s blog to share on his Facebook page. Unbeknownst to me, since I was writing under my account, the posts were being shared on my page too! Upon learning this, I was horrified. I was so scared of what my peers would think. I didn’t want anyone to mistake the work for arrogance or that I felt my life was superior in any way. I also didn’t want the responsibility of having to step my lifestyle game up. More to the point, I didn’t want people to judge me when I fall short, which will happen because I’m human.

In fact, my life is a bit of a whirlwind right now, but I say that without shame. But then I realized, that as a person who follows Christ I can express my faith without pretending to claim perfection. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. My experiences have exposed my flaws and I’m working on being the best that I can be. I’ll always be a work in progress, but I don’t need to hide that.

Stepping out in faith

I won’t always be writing on my dad’s blog, but I’ve decided that I want to start reblogging his posts here for anyone who may care to read them. May they encourage you in your journeys! Happy Thursday, everyone! 🙂

Tabula Rasa

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My mom always says, “We plan, and God laughs”. Boy does that statement resonate with me more than ever.

I’m at a pivotal point in my life where I’m learning the art of resilience and looking at life’s challenges as opportunities rather than signs of doom. It’s no secret that change and uncertainty are two things I’ve come to dread, but now I’m finding that the unknown is slowly becoming an old friend that I can depend on.

With that, I’m exercising faith that by stepping into new endeavors, things will workout, whether I can foresee the outcome or not. So here’s to embracing the curve balls and alternate endings of life and to all the new adventures they will lead us to. 🙂