Chasing The Crape Myrtle Tree

By Jillian Stacia

On my phone, I keep a list of things that I love – things that make me feel like me. It starts with coffee and ends with deep breaths of forest air.

It may seem dumb, this list. Or maybe a little narcissistic. And it’s slightly sad to have to remind myself that I prefer sunflowers to roses, or that naps during sporting events are my favorite way to unwind on the weekends.

But I find myself looking at this list more and more, constantly adding, editing, tweaking.

I’ll catch myself staring down at the numbers, memorizing the content, reading them like a mantra: the sound of rain, library books, reading on the beach. Continue reading

Being Judas

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By Jillian Stacia

On Easter night, I watched Jesus Christ Superstar. I didn’t make it past the first song before I had a startling revelation: holy shit, I’m Judas.

Admittedly, I did not have the strictest religious upbringing – I’m one of those “holiday Christians”. But I know enough about Jesus and the resurrection to know that I really do not want to be Judas. In the whole cast of characters, he’s like, the worst one. You know, the bad guy. The big one. The one who betrays Jesus and is responsible for his death. Yeah, that dude. No one wants to be that dude. Continue reading

My Life Looks Different Than I Thought It Would

My Life Looks Different Than I Thought It Would

By Kate Kole

Sometime during middle school, I picked the house I would live in once I became a grown up. It was a 10-minute walk from my childhood home, quaint and complete with a white picket fence.

I imagined my brother and sister would buy places in the same neighborhood. We’d all get married and have kids. They’d play little league together and we’d barbecue with my parents on Sunday afternoons. Continue reading

The In-Between Time

Living In This Chapter

By Kate Kole

It’s Tuesday, which traditionally isn’t my favorite day of the week. I don’t think I’m in the minority here, as there aren’t a lot of graphic tanks on the market with “Tues-yay” or “Hello, Tuesday!” or “Tuesday Funday” plastered across the front. And we certainly don’t greet each other with “Happy Tuesday!” the same way we might on a Friday morning.

It isn’t a bad day, more of just an in-betweener. It’s the day I’ll start dreaming about what I’ll have as my evening dessert at 9:47 a.m. and making weekend plans – dangling the ‘what’s up next’ carrot in front of my face as incentive to power through whatever tasks my to-do-list hosts. Continue reading

Not This.

Not This.

By Jillian Stacia

Not This.

It rang clear and true while I sat in the workshops, networked in the exhibit hall, chewed my dinner during the Awards Banquet.

Not This, Not This, Not This.

The concept of “Not This” comes from bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert writes, “Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly…which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place.” She goes on to say, “I call this moment of realization: NOT THIS.”

This was my moment of realization. This was my Not This. Continue reading

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

Stop Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

By Kate Kole

Last week, Chrissy Teigen shared on Instagram that her dog had gone to Heaven. Within seconds of seeing her post, I felt emotion begin to rise through my body. The kind signaling that a storm of uncontrollable tears and unspeakable words was coming. I grabbed a roll of paper towels (because I’m classy like that and we rarely have tissues on hand) and told my husband what had happened so that he’d understand why I was curled up in a ball on the other end of the couch crying. (Read: this isn’t our first rodeo of me losing it over random dogs on social media.)

This morning, the tears came again when Teigen posted a picture captioned, “The same day I got you, I told John I was sad. He asked why and I said because one day you’re going to be gone.” Continue reading

7 Things I’ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

7 Things I_ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

By Chelsea O’Neal

In a world where society seems to tell us that we have to be perfect and to do everything with perfection, it’s a breath of fresh air to step back and realize a few things, not only about life, but about ourselves and those around us. That refreshing feeling of coming to place of really appreciating all that there is and accepting ourselves just the way we are.

Here are 7 things that have been enlightening in my daily routines: Continue reading

Good Enough Really Is Good Enough

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By Kate Kole

I love Melissa McCarthy and I really love Ellen DeGeneres, so I was a little bummed when I forgot to record their interview a few days ago. I asked my parents if they’d seen it and immediately knew they hadn’t when my dad responded something along the lines of, “Oh yeah. It was so funny.”

“Okay, so you didn’t see it either.” I said.

“Why do you say that?” He asked.

“Because, you’d say it was just okay,” my mom and I replied in unison. Continue reading

You Will Find Your Way

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By Jillian Stacia

The day I started my first adult job was one of the most stressful days of my life. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. I felt lost, hopeless, like I was drowning in a sea of ineptitude. I was straight out of college where I had graduated top of my class, and I realized for the first time in a long time that I had no idea what I was doing. Like seriously, no idea.

I didn’t know how to use the phone (do you dial 9 and then 1? Or 1 and then 9?), the copy machine, or how to log into my email. I didn’t understand how to log my hours into the timekeeping system, how to set up my email signature, or how to reserve a meeting room. The list of things I didn’t know how to do was long and seemingly endless, and I felt crushed under the weight of it. How was I supposed to do this? Why did I think this was a good idea? I don’t have any idea what I’m doing. Continue reading