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 sees red

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

 

 

Royally Pissed

 

 

Guys, I’m a rage monster today. 

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

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But on the inside, I’m like this:

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WARNING: Actual sighting of Taryn. Beware

 

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

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

 

The Upside to Anger

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

 

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

 

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Taryn Sets Boundaries

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

 

Fairy Godmother syndrome

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

 

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The first step is admission

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

 

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Out with the old, in with the boundaries

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

 

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Taryn’s got a brand new bag

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

Taryn 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.

Back from the…

ok, I get it- I suck at blogging regularly.

Hello friends! I have been busy… with life! While I can’t pour my heart and soul into this post, I’ll give you a few quick bullet points on the life of Taryn as of late. Continue reading “Back from the…”

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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What if something bad happens?

I’ve experienced some awesome growth in my writing career. The fruits of my labors are blooming and I am very ecstatic for what’s to come. While I am over the moon, I can’t help but overanalyze the future.

As someone who’s experienced loss on a deep level, it’s tough for me to allow myself to be truly happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a positive person, but on a scale of personal fulfillment, I go up to 75% and then crash and burn. Like a fail-safe switch, I begin to self-destruct once I’ve reached my optimum level of mediocrity. After spending some time soul-searching, I’ve come to realize that I’ve taught myself to stop trying. After all, you can’t get hurt if you weren’t expecting happiness to be the end target right?

My point is, the mind is an incredibly scary place to get trapped in. Understanding that I have to actively deconstruct these mental barriers in my brain on a day to day basis is daunting, but worth the effort. I want to take the world by storm and really be happy and proud of my life. And, what if something bad happens? I’ll just pick myself up and get back on this horse called “Life”.

Whether I’ participating or not, life is happening. Just because I avoid it doesn’t mean I freeze in time and  press play when I’m ready to get back out there. I don’t want to one day find myself old and miserable because I was too scared to make an effort. So to all of my fellow bloggers/readers, take care of your mind and do away with the negative thoughts that cause you to freeze. Life is for the living and we should cherish the time we have on this beautiful planet. That said, I hope everyone has a beautiful week!

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My Writing Inspiration Happens Best When I’m…

OUTSIDE!!!!!

As someone who writes quite a bit, it’s easy to endure writer’s block. Being plugged into technology 24/7 makes for a very frazzled Taryn. There are times where my brain is clogged with words like a backed-up drain in need of some snaking. Well, my mental Drain-O is the good ol’ outdoors. Continue reading “My Writing Inspiration Happens Best When I’m…”

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”