Hi there friends! I decided to start a series called “A good ol’ Chinwag” as a way of writing a direct letter to you, mostly just as a way of expressing myself.
Behind the name:
“Chinwag” is a british word meaning “a long and pleasant conversation between friends” or “an informal conversation, usually about everyday matters; a chat, a gossip”.
The image I decided to use is Minerva, in Roman mythology, or who you most likely remember, Athena, in Greek mythology. Why did I choose her? Minerva is the goddess of arts and crafts, and Athena is the goddess of the outdoors, wisdom, courage, handicraft and war. She also happens to be Zeus’s favorite goddess, and I think that's pretty cool.
For me, personally, when I am reading something or following someone, I like to feel like they are a real person; someone I know. That is why I wanted to start this series, so that I could seem more “human” to you, because I believe above all else that connection is how you make others feel seen, and that’s what I want to do here with you.
For the most part, the blog posts that I write here to begin with are topics that resonate with me in real time. I believe having that compassion and curiosity allows me to be fully present with the topic because I am feeling it! Hopefully that is experienced when reading them! My goal here is to help you live your best life, but added bonus, this work also allows me to help myself too! I think that’s flipping awesome.
Ok, well enough about that. Lets get on with this good ol’ chinwag.
We are in election season, after what seems like the LONGEST year ever, and dang, was it and is it wonky. For me, I had a job up until May, but since then I have been unemployed. For a while, the government was helpful in the way that they gave me money so that I could pay my bills. But now, no more. I am still getting some money from unemployment, but it is not enough, and things feel really scary financially.
I am not new to being broke. There have been a TON of moments in my life where it was really hard to make ends meet (I blame the fact that we don’t get paid well, and the cost of living is so high). But for a lot of people, this is a new experience. But, because of my journey of self discovery and self awareness, this is the first time I have noticed it taking a toll on my body and mind. But I am doing my best to not let it drag me ALL the way down. I am not writing this in hopes of earning your sympathy, but rather to let you know that if this is something you're experiencing, that you are not alone.
Often, in the past, when things were hard and I was struggling, there was a silver lining: I learned to be really creative, and find ways I never thought I would to make things work, to make the most of what I had. I am doing that right now, and for some odd reason, it gives me an empowering feeling. While being unemployed, I have started a podcast, something I never thought I would ever do. The 20th episode is out today, and I am super proud of all the hard work I have put into it, and extremely thankful and grateful for the lovely people who have decided they wanted to contribute to it. It means the world to me. I also dove head first into this blog, creating content for social media, and launched my very OWN health coaching business. Sometimes, it can be hard to keep going because I have no way to measure if my goal (helping others) is in fact working. But I also know that in the past, I have quit things because I didn't get instant gratification. I have since learned that things that are worth doing take time. What do they say? "Patience is a virtue".
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Isolation (for the most part) during this pandemic has allowed me to be SUPER present with myself and really hear the way that I talk to myself. That has been my biggest struggle in the past, so it feels really good AND uncomfortable to work in that area, but I have noticed a big change in my attitude, my confidence, and my mental health in general.
I have connected with a lot of really inspiring and cool people (such as yourself) during this time too! I am just so grateful for that. I have also been able to spend more time with my mama, and really work hard on our relationship, and spent much needed time getting to know her, but also to help her to help herself too, which has been amazing. I have watched her grow so much over the past year.
I also have made it my mission to reconnect with my sister Nicole, and be more intentional about reaching out to my sister Kate too. I know that it is easy to disappear when things are hard, especially for me. I think we think that our problems are a burden to others, or maybe we are too prideful to ask for help, or maybe we are embarrassed that we are struggling. But please know, the people who love you want to be there for you, and they equally want you to be there for them. That is the definition of compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but with practice, this becomes easier, and you will feel lighter.
I also recognize that there are people who are struggling a lot more than I am. I have compassion and empathy for them, and do my best to offer my support in any way that I can (listening, advocating, acknowledging, sharing, supporting, donating, etc). Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed with my struggles, knowing other people are having a harder time. But, that is not helpful for anyone. You just end up making yourself feel bad, but you are always trying to downplay your emotions, and that is not ok. Your struggle is just as real as anyone else's.
That is one of the reasons I find it so helpful to remind myself, and share with the Universe what I am grateful for every. dang. day. I mean it. It helps to remind yourself of the good in your life because then the bad doesn't seem as bad. Sure, shit sucks. But also, there are so many great things going on too. I allow myself to have a pity party for one from time to time because it's healthy to feel what you're feeling, but otherwise, I find it helpful to remember what's good!
I don’t know what you are experiencing right now. I will never fully be able to know. But I just want to say you're doing great considering the circumstances, whatever yours are. I hope that you are feeling good in your body and mind, that you are taking care of yourself (especially your soul), and that you are giving yourself compassion and love. I have hope that we will come out on the other side stronger, smarter, and more loving and grateful. I hope that you find moments of joy each day. I hope that you feel loved and loveable. I hope you have moments of laughter, excitement, and inspiration. I hope you're showing up every day the best that you possibly can.
“Love isn't a perfect state of caring. It's an active noun, like 'struggle.” - Fred Rogers
I’ll leave you with this last note: We don’t know each other (maybe we do?), but: I LOVE YOU AND I SEE YOU. YOU’RE DOING GREAT. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS. YOU GOT THIS.
I am always here if you ever want to connect: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for being here, and I hope you and yours are very, very well.