This Year, Let’s…

This Year, Let's...

By Kate Kole

I’ve spent so many January 1st afternoons frustrated with myself. Because I already ate the row of brownies I vowed not to indulge in, or I lost the patience I promised I’d keep, or I skipped the morning meditation I resolved to stick to for 365 days. Less than 24 hours in, I’d already lost. Declared myself imperfect. Taken the inflated anticipation of a new year – a sparkling clean slate – and watched and felt as all its hope and all my eagerness slowly dwindled down to disappointment.

It seemed like I’d either a) set standards above myself or b) failed to meet the attainable standards I’d set. And either way, it felt really shitty. I felt really shitty. Continue reading

I’m Done Crunching Numbers

I'm Done Crunching Numbers.jpg

By Christie Page

Standing in the middle of a path lined with wild flowers with the sun blazing unforgiving on my face I took the deepest breath of my life. I inhaled pine and palm, sky and lake. I concentrated on the beads of sweat dripping into the small of my back and acknowledged the pain in my right calf after too many fractures and Achilles ruptures.

I gave thanks to my body for surviving me. I gave thanks to my mind for surviving me. I gave thanks that I was able to stand in this place, at this time and take in that deep breath and I exhaled and forgave myself for the last year, for my failures, for everything I put myself through, because I seem so fundamentally broken at times. Continue reading

Stop Apologizing For Being Yourself

Stop Apologizing For Being Yourself

By Kate Kole

I’m a crier. I cry when I’m laughing, scared, frustrated and sad. I cry over good news, and bad news, and the news on TV. I even cry when I see the 2-minute preview for the upcoming episode of This Is Us. I used to habitually fight back my emotions and I think my body is still making up for lost time.

It’s often during Subaru commercials that move me to tears, or, when I’m reading an article aloud to my husband and start to feel the waterworks welling up, that I find myself apologizing. I excuse my emotions as hormonal, or due to the fact that I’m tired, or simply because I’m just too sensitive. I sheepishly acknowledge that something must be wrong with me, because I simply feel things too deeply. Continue reading

A Reminder For When You’re Feeling Lost

A Reminder For When You_re Feeling Lost

By Kate Kole

My first job out of college was working as a photographer assistant for a school portrait business. Our team of photographers and photographer assistants drove across our Iowa and Illinois region to take yearbook photos. In order to get to schools on the other side of the state before the day started, we regularly had to leave our office well before dawn. On one of our 3:30 a.m. wake-up call mornings, the photographer and I got lost. This was pre-cell phone apps and car GPS systems, so our earliest sign that we’d missed our exit wasn’t thanks to Alexa telling us to make our next legal U-turn, but instead was courtesy of a “Welcome to Missouri” billboard.

Luckily, the state trooper who pulled us over for driving well beyond the speed limit was kind enough to give us directions to where we were going (along with a hefty ticket). And miraculously, we weren’t far away. In our frazzled high-speed chase to capture middle school glamour shots, we’d simply overlooked our exit. Within minutes, we were back on the road and even made it to the school on time to take pictures. All’s well that ends well, I suppose. Continue reading

How Are You…Really?

How Are You...Really

By Kate Kole

I’ve noticed a trend in talking with others recently. Not with anyone in particular or specifically from my mouth or theirs. It’s just been a common theme, seemingly weaving its way across conversations.

It usually starts with a question of how things are going or what’s new. And abiding that some form of the answers “fine” and “nothing really” aren’t habitually given, a real life response often follows. Continue reading

How A Tank Top Mantra Reminds Me To Keep It Real

Be You. The World Will Adjust..jpeg

By Kate Kole

I’m either a ‘gotta have it’ or ‘really don’t need it’ kind of shopper. There’s rarely an in between. The neon need it now: add to cart sign flashed in my mind as I browsed online a few weeks ago. I’d heard of a new-to-me company, Truth Tanks, while listening to my favorite podcast. And when I went to check out the website, I discovered what I’ve now officially deemed my current favorite top.

Written across the front are 6 simple words: Be you. The world will adjust. Continue reading

We’ve Got This. We’re Doing This. Let’s Go.

Can I Tell You A Secret

By Jillian Stacia

Can I tell you a secret?

Sometimes I feel like a fraud.

I feel like a fraud because I struggle with the very same topics I write about. Things like faith and self-acceptance and confidence and loving the shit out of your own life – I struggle with those things – a lot.

And I feel hypocritical sometimes because – who am I to be talking about these things when I don’t even have a handle on them myself? Who am I to be dishing out advice?
Continue reading

Bringing Darkness Into The Light

Bringing Darkness Into The Light.jpg

By Kate Kole

My biggest fear in ever sharing anything deeply personal is that it will be universally unreciprocated. That I will express my darkest thoughts or my biggest insecurities, and then I’ll look to the person sitting across from me for a nod of understanding as they instead gaze back with a bewildered expression. That I’ll lay it all out on a phone call and hear radio silence on the other end. That I’ll dig to the root of what keeps me up at night or disclose what holds me back from going after what I want in life and that I’ll be offered a sort of pitiful sympathy and the number of a good expert to see, rather than empathetic understanding and affirmation. Essentially, that I’ll come to discover my most isolating and unnerving feelings really are as weird, unnatural, and individual as I feared them to be. Continue reading

On Learning to Love & Live The Questions

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By Jillian Stacia

There’s this quote from Rainer Maria Rilke that I’m obsessed with:

 “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps someday far in the future, you will live your way into the answers.”

Now I don’t know Rilke, and this might sound like a particularly woo-woo thing to say, but I know without a doubt that he wrote those words especially for me. Somewhere, almost 100 years ago, a young Rilke was channeling a neurotic twenty something woman when he wrote those lines. Well, maybe not. But isn’t that the thing about great writing? It transcends decades and genders and circumstances and snaps something back into place deep inside of you? Continue reading

Just Show Up

Just Show Up.jpg

By Kate Kole

I love the moments in life where things just seem to click. When a song plays, or a conversation happens, or a piece is published – and right there, in that instance, you could practically swear it was meant for you – like the universe somehow aligned to give you the boost, inspiration, or wisdom you needed to carry on. Continue reading