Jessica and Ethan – 11/29/2015

jess and me rainierTwenty-eight years ago, the universe gave me a gift.  I was given the privilege of being the mother of an amazing daughter. Since the moment they laid her in my arms, I have adored her.  We are so different in so many ways, it was always a mystery to me how she understood the things she did with no help from her mother.  I am a tomboy, makeup confuses me, and I am totally devoid of any ability to be stylish or match colors together.  My daughter is the exact opposite. She is stunningly lovely and from the time she was a small child, she picked out her own clothes, styled her own hair and had a special affinity toward shoes and purses.  A dancer, cheerleader, interior designer, my daughter is very feminine.10445221_kv434_259

The challenge for me as a parent was to let her be who she was and not try to make her into me.  I am a very linear, direct thinker.  My daughter’s thought process is like being on a tilt-o-whirl.  Her mind goes from one idea to the next, it is something to behold and I wouldn’t want her to be any other way. My prayer while she was growing up was to always let her have the space to find her own way and to always accept her for who she is.

jess design

Emerging Designer of the Year

She is one of the most creative human beings I have ever met.  Whether with a paintbrush, a CAD drawing, or her own feet in dance, she has always had a way to see things in her mind’s eye that I could only imagine and she is able to portray those images through whatever artistic medium of her choice.  She is brilliant and I have always been amazed and sometimes intimidated by her.  She is beautiful, successful and a wonderful person.

With the birth of a daughter, at some time a parent’s thoughts will turn to the future and the day she will get married. I don’t know why it is that way, but it is. I am no different. I remember that moment, looking down at this beautiful baby, hoping that I would one day see her wedding day. I remember wishing for my daughter that her wedding would be everything she wanted it to be: a beautiful bride, a heartfelt ceremony, a wonderful husband, a sunny day, surrounded by people who love her.  All those things have come to fruition for tomorrow is my daughter’s wedding day.ethan and jess wedding certificate

There are so many things I want to tell her, so many things I want her to know. There are things I have told her over and over, but she doesn’t believe me.  As she gets older, I hope she will someday see herself the way that I see her.  My daughter is beautiful, capable, fierce, independent, intelligent, and creative.  She has a presence that shows an understanding and awareness of the world around her that I have never had. She lights up a room when she walks into it, she makes everyone feel welcomed.  She is gracious, charming and elegant.  She is a force to be reckoned with and a joy to behold.  She is a steel magnolia.  And tomorrow she becomes a bride.

ethan and jess swingWho is this man she has given her heart to?  He is kind, generous, compassionate, caring, funny, smart, and he looks at my daughter with a love that is tangible. I could not have envisioned a better mate for her.  He believes in her and encourages her to reach for her dreams. He lets her be exactly who she is and does not try to change her into something that would destroy her amazing spirit. He is a wonderful human being.  Like my daughter, my son-in-law is also a creative person.  His paintings are so poignant, so thought provoking, his talent takes my breath away.  Together, their lives will be filled with emotion, beauty, color, freedom, spirituality, and romance.

So on this eve of their wedding, the joy in my heart overflows.  Tomorrow, I get to watch this child that I have loved with all my heart marry the man that fills her heart to completion. It will be an honor to see them pledge their lives to each other knowing that they are stronger together than either one is separately.  Regardless of details, their day will be perfect because they get to be married to each other.

first communion jessica~So to my wonderful daughter, I want you to know that all I have ever wanted is for you to be happy and have a well lived life.  I want you to believe about yourself the things I know about you.  You are unique. There is no one like you.  I want for you to not be afraid to give your whole heart to the man you love, it is the key to being happy in your marriage.

~ethan and jess seahawksTo Jessica and Ethan, here is my practical advice.  Love each other. Treat each other with respect.  Dance around your apartment. Talk to each other. Listen. Compromise. Remember how you felt at this moment.  And if you ever have a dispute that you can’t seem to resolve, get naked.

And always remember that I love you with all my heart. It is an honor to be your mother.

Happy Wedding Day Jessica and Ethan!



Passion and Pixie Dust…

The other day, I clicked on my memories in Facebook and when I did, this old blog came up. When I read what I wrote two years ago about the person I wanted to be, I had to be reminded that I am that person. I have the characteristics I admired in my friends, I have grown and allowed myself to become what I wanted to be. However, just like with many lessons in life, sometimes things need to be revisited.

woodinville house

View from the porch with the fog rolling down the valley

A year ago, I came off sabbatical, got a fabulous house, moved into a fantastic new job that challenged me and had the thought of “I have arrived”. Hmmm, it is almost like I regressed and forgot all of those lessons I learned. I have been in this “stuck” headspace, feeling something deeply lacking in my life and divorced from any sense of community. I have been on autopilot. So I realized it was time to renew the blog, and write another manifesto for where I wanted to go now.
Recently, someone pointed out to me that it is my spirit and passion that draws people to me, not my intelligence or sense of adventure. It reminded me that my friend Matt once said, “Robin, you have this beautiful carefree spirit that you put walls around by intellectualizing. Let that spirit out. It won’t appeal to everyone, just the people who want to be in your life.” I think I need a little more practice on that area.

So I started writing the manifesto and asking myself some questions like, now what? Where do I go from here? Where am I going in this life next?

The first words I wrote on the page were that I want to live my life with integrity and transparency, honoring the strengths that I have found in myself and not making excuses for the weaknesses. I want my words to match my actions in everything I do in life.  Two years ago, I set out on a journey that made me focus inward and that journey was successful in helping me to be the person I am today. Now, having met all those goals, in order to move on, I have to focus outward. How am I giving back to the world that has given me so much? What am I doing to make my community better; personally, professionally, locally and globally? And how do I allow that spirit and passion to be infused in everything I do? Because to live with integrity, I have to let that spirited, passionate woman come out in all the areas of my life.


Software designed to help people learn math.

Professionally, I have a pretty well articulated vision of what I want to do and who I want to be. With the help of a great group of colleagues from around the country, the vision remains crystal clear and I have no problem striving toward it because it flows from my passion. I want to be an integral member of a department that is willing to take pedagogical risks to research and find the best practices in mathematics education for all students for the 21st century. I don’t want mathematics to be a gatekeeper, weeding people out of STEM disciplines. I want it to be a gateway for any student who chooses to walk through the gate on their way to whatever career they desire. I don’t believe we will solve the problems of the world by doing the same thing over and over again. We need new ideas from places we haven’t thought of for humanity to move forward. That means more scientists, engineers, computer programmers, mathematicians that are from underrepresented groups in those fields. I want my voice to add to the conversation of how to make that happen.

me and brody

Nana and Brody dancing in the kitchen

girls baking

Baking Easter Cake with Brooklyn and Charlotte

Personally, I haven’t had as clear a vision. I just know that I have been feeling a soul-sucking lack of community lately. The only time I feel that I am fully connected and being myself is when I am around my grandchildren. With them, I am this carefree spirit, willing to take personal risks of looking stupid or failing, in order to achieve real connection with them. A whole continent separates us, so I don’t want to spend our precious time together having to peel through layers of social constraints. I am present with them, in the moment, and in the moment we don’t care what our hair looks like, how fit we are, or what our bank balance is. We are just there.



I listen to what their dreams are, take into account what they want and need, and then allow myself to be outrageously myself while I try to meet those needs in ways that encourage their growth. And through their failures and successes, I listen to their laughter which, in turn, floods my soul with happiness. We dance around the kitchen, bake cookies, go to the library, play in the park, look at nature, pretend we are horses and gallop around, we make mistakes and celebrate tremendous successes. The word that defines how I am with them is carefree. I am a Nana who is doused with pixie dust that I want to spread al over them.

Climbing Seminary Hill during the 7 Hills of Kirkland Ride

Climbing Seminary Hill during the 7 Hills of Kirkland Ride

I want to find a community in which I can be that way, where I can let that spirit and passion be present and be accepted. Matt is right, to find that, I have to be that because people who will accept me will gravitate toward it. So my personal manifesto is to embrace my crazy. I want to be that person that lets her spirit and passion be first and foremost in her life. In looking outward, it is that carefree, passionate part of me that will impact my local and global community the most. There are lots of people in the world who are more intellectual than I am, who have way more financial resources than I do, who are more beautiful, more fit, more creative. But there is no one that has my unique spirit.

coffee ride

Rachel riding a coffee ride with me. I know I have made as much of a difference in Rachel’s life as she has in mine.

So who do I want to be? I want to be a Pixie Dust spreader. I want to be this carefree person who uses her passion (for adventure, art, cooking, travel, cycling, mathematics, learning, people, and whatever else happens to interest me) to engage with other people, especially those who have not had the same opportunities as I have, not for my own self-gratification but to give back to a world that has given me so much. I want to be a person who asks about other’s dreams and goals, who listens to what they need, and then who helps in whatever way I can as they make their dreams come to fruition. I want to be supportive when they struggle and I want to celebrate with joy the accomplishments of their hard work and watch as they thrive. I want to be a person who commits my time, resources and passions to people that are willing to try, to risk, to live. I want to give back to the world to honor all the people who did that for me.

“Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers.” ~Howard Thurman

Begin with the end in mind

I have always found transition times to be challenging. That includes good and bad transitions. It is hard to believe that I ever had the courage to go on sabbatical this past year or to take many of the leaps of faith I have taken throughout my life. So many people think I am this free spirited adventurer. I laugh at that a lot. What no one sees is what is going on in my head.

As I finished sabbatical, I have been blessed with no only a year of amazing adventures, but from many things that have happened to me in the last month alone. I have to admit, I am a little overwhelmed. I have a new grandson who I got to hold before he was even an hour old. My lovely and talented daughter is getting married and I got to see her try on the dress that she will get married in. I have a beautiful new home, a new office and a great new job. I love my students. So why am I overwhelmed?

It is a transition time, and for me, my life has been filled with a lot of negative changes. I can handle those. I expect those. It is almost harder to handle the positive ones, to step in and feel deserving of the wonderful life I have now. I have been in a funk, almost paralyzed to get anything done. Today, I am attempting to change my paralysis and get back to my routine and taking care of myself. In order to do that, I realized, I have to start somewhere, so I am going to start at the beginning.

Over a year ago, I filled 8 boxes with my treasures. Those boxes, my gear, a few clothes, and a rock where the only things I had left. I had given up all my other possessions: house, furniture, dishes, all of it. I stored them in my office and now they are in my garage. Today, right now, it is time to unpack those boxes and face my life. It is time to get unstuck.

Lesson Five: Be who you want to be

One of the best things about writing this blog has been all the responses I have received from people around the world. Some said “thank you for sharing so openly, it has helped me realize I am not alone”.  Some have told me their stories. Others have asked for advice, questions such as “I am over my head in debt, how do I pay it off” to “I am not happy in my life but I don’t know how to change it, can you help”. I am not qualified to give anyone advice.  I can only tell you how I dealt with similar problems.

10294969_698382016907659_7457378898519029271_oOne of my greatest take-aways from sabbatical is that I don’t just have to be who I think I am.  I can be who I want to be. All my life, I have wanted to be this adventure girl. I wanted to be joyfully spontaneous and just willing to try things on a whim.  I wanted to be athletic and participate in adventure sports such as mountain biking, kayaking, skiing off-piste, paragliding, climbing… you get the idea. I also wanted to be the sophisticated urban dweller and world traveler. I put those dreams aside when I had children and raised my family.  I was responsible, a great high school teacher, a good university professor, a decent mother and wife. I took care of everyone. When I got divorced an moved to Seattle, I was a frumpy, middle class, 44 year old housewife from a small town in North Carolina, and I thought those kind of adventures were behind me.  If you have read this blog, you realize that moving to Seattle was when I met Matt Tony, Ken, Rachel, Shaun, Deloa, Melinda, Rachelle, Keri and so many more great friends.. the list goes on and on here as well as all my friends from the Lounge and my own children, Patrick and Jessica who have cheered me and encouraged me every step of the way.

10569073_10101954846563833_1474996086184191579_nMy friends opened my world and my mind to all the things that were possible, regardless of my age, weight, marital status, debt, … none of that matters.  Those were all excuses to keep me paralyzed to whatever dysfunctional fear I happened to be harboring at the time.  The one single thing I needed to learn was that all I had to do was try.  I didn’t have to be perfect or even successful the first time, or the 27th time, I just had to keep trying.  It didn’t matter if I was laughed at, judged, or taunted. I have learned that those kinds of limiting comments from other people aren’t about me, they are about the shallowness and fears of the person who is uttering them.  I don’t take those kind of comments personally anymore.  I am a different person.  I am the person I have always wanted to be.

I set out on a journey to carve out a new identity.  I thought that meant discovering who I am. It didn’t. I realized that it meant creating who I am.  It is funny, as I have been reflecting on sabbatical and all the years since I moved to Seattle, my train of thought started with “I didn’t”, and “I am not” until about a month ago when trying to write this blog post and I asked myself, “so what HAVE you done?”. It was a perspective altering question.

418994_10101134467475103_715478501_n1397721_10101421659884213_539633773_oI have rolled a kayak, climbed mountains, and jumped off those mountains in both a harness and with a wing on my back.  I have skied through powder, down fall lines, under chairlifts and on glaciers. I have ridden bikes on several continents, in varied conditions with incredible people.  I have ordered great wine and decadent food in restaurants all over the world.  I have met new people everywhere I have gone and listened to their stories, learned about their lives, and shared the fires of the passions that light up their souls.  I gave away all the trappings of my former life, my furniture, clothing, and emotional baggage. I have lived without a home or safety net to return to.  I have fed endangered vultures from my hand both on the ground and while gliding in the air looking out over the Himalayas.  I have traveled alone, with no plan and no itinerary, going where I wanted, seeing what interested me, meeting new people.  I have faced loneliness, fear, isolation, sickness, different cultures, ostracization, and just about every human condition you can imagine.

385537_10100701118874173_1615401034_nWhen I read that list, what is clear to me is that I am not the person that I was anymore.  I am strong, courageous, adventurous, athletic, urban, classy, loving, compassionate, giving, open… in other words, I am the person I have always wanted to be. How did I, a non-athletic, frumpy, boring, small-town, middle-class housewife do it? How did I learn to roll a boat, ski off-piste, order great wine, solo travel, talk to strangers, and give up all my possessions? The answer is simple, I tried.  I set out on a course that was hard and just kept going.  Overcoming obstacles, wanting to quit (many, many times), I learned and grew.  I refused to stay in the dysfunction I was in and did the work necessary to have the life I wanted. Even though that sounds simple, it was the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. I have no regrets.

10338864_10203972469536322_8787165062454257996_nBefore I left on sabbatical, I had a chance to change course and stay in Seattle to be able to get the perfect house.  I wanted that house so badly, I almost didn’t go on my journey because of it. The house was just an excuse to hide my fear however. Instead, I listened to my advisors and went on sabbatical anyway knowing that there would be another perfect house when I returned. I have thought of that house many times while I lived my homeless, nomadic life. In the last couple of weeks I started house hunting again.  Guess what?  THE house, the same one, was available and now it is mine.  So for all my worry, I took the chance anyway and walked away from the safe choice. Now I have a house again or at least I will on Sept 15 and not just any house but the house I dreamed of. Until September 15, I am hanging out with my beautiful granddaughters waiting for their brother to come into the world any day now. So at the end of this incredible year, not only am I a new person but I will have a new home, a new job, and a new grandson.

It makes me happy to know that I am setting a great example for my grandchildren that life isn’t about limits, it is about challenging what limits us. Our biggest limitation is believing that we can’t change who we think we are.

Lesson Four: Order is Important

Everyone is different.  Some people may thrive on chaos and lack of scheduling.  Those people aren’t me. Maybe it is the mathematician in me, but I like order, I like planning, and I thrive on having a schedule.  That doesn’t mean I am not adventurous or spontaneous, because I am certainly both of those things.  There is lots of room in my life for flexibility and changing plans.  But I enjoy the planning also.

One of the things I have been most influenced by on this year of self-discovery, is coming to understand that I like things orderly in my life.  I like to get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, I meditate, make my bed, exercise, and then make coffee.  Every day.  If I don’t, I am kind of floundering all day long, and nothing seems to get accomplished. It is like I didn’t shut yesterday off and I am still in it.  I have to have a way to start my day with a routine, no matter where in the world I am. It works for me. It is kind of like resetting my life to a new day.  The mistakes of yesterday are past, today I am starting anew.  I reset my compass and then embrace the new day.

I also have realized that, although I am not a neat freak, I like order in my environment.  As I start owning more possessions again, it makes me anxious.  I am looking forward to having a house of my own again, at the same time, I am terrified of having to purchase furniture and decorate it.  Clutter makes me crazy.  There is peace in order.  There is peace in having a small amount of possessions so that I know what I have and where everything is when I am looking for it. At least that is true for me.

One of the major lessons I have learned this year is that I want my life to be about simplicity  That goes for the amount of possessions I own as well as where I end up deciding to live.  When I lived in a high rise condo, it made my life difficult for the things I love to do.  Just getting my bikes out was a huge chore.  They were either in the storage unit or in the middle of my living room on the 7th floor and we weren’t allowed to take them in the elevator.  Thus every time I rode, which was every day, it was this ordeal.  It took a huge commitment on my part. Same with skiing, kayaking, etc.  I want my life to be simple.  I want a garage where I can work on my own gear, a small townhouse where I don’t have to do yard work but with outdoor space where I can have a container garden.  Someplace that is easy to access the roads l love to ride, the water I love to paddle, and the mountain I love to ski on.  I haven’t found it yet, but I am closer.

This year I learned that I want to spend less time and resources of my life taking care of “stuff” and have more to devote to taking care of myself and the people I love.  Every day I want to practice mindfulness, letting go of attachment, reducing suffering (my own and others) and increasing happiness. I want my life to be about kindness and compassion.  For me, I can’t do any of those things from a cluttered environment filled with a bunch of unnecessary stuff, and that includes both physical things as well as intellectual and emotional ones.

So I have this cleared out life.  I cleared out my physical possessions, challenged the places where I was emotionally stuck, and got a new job to challenge myself intellectually.  Now, how do I put the pieces back together again in a way that is conducive to how I want to live the last 1/3 of my life?  That is the question.

Lesson Three: Take Bigger Steps

P1060845In Madrid, struggling to figure out who I was and what to hell I was doing in Madrid, I texted Matt and said I was taking two steps forward and three backwards. Matt’s answer, “take bigger steps”. At the time it made me laugh and I thought he was just being funny. I had no idea how profound those words really were until much later.

My plan after leaving Madrid was to travel around Spain and I was just stuck as to where to go and what to see. I hadn’t left the US as a tourist but as a traveler and there is a huge difference. People kept giving me advice as tourists. (go here, see that, do this) but traveling with no definitive itinerary and no plan isn’t the same thing as being a tourist. So I was floundering. Matt’s next words to me were “come to Nepal” P1070237which is where he and his lovely girlfriend Amanda happened to be at the time. Lonely and ready to see someone familiar, I threw my stuff together, left Madrid and flew to Katmandu. What I didn’t realize at the time was, I just took a much bigger step. It was a step which, eventually, would propel me forward out of floundering in a major way. My time in Nepal was magic. It was a catalyst for healing my soul, developing my identity, fueling my passion for life, and getting in touch with my spirituality in a profound way.

himalayasI didn’t realize how much Nepal had changed me until I got back to Seattle months later. Coming down from the mountaintop experience where I had clarity about my life and all I was seeking, I had to then return to my actual life with its challenges and opportunities. Trying to integrate the new growth with the old life was probably the most difficult period of all of my sabbatical. From January to April, I struggled more than I can ever remember. I would use the word depression but I wasn’t sad, just stymied. I couldn’t figure out where the girl I had left on top of Sarangkot, the girl who did yoga and mediated every day and then climbed mountains for fun, I couldn’t seem to find that girl again. And that is the girl I wanted to be. Instead, with no structure to my days, I was on the couch in my pajamas at 7:30 pm after never even getting dressed all day. I was again moving two steps forward and three back.

DCIM100GOPROIt was mid April and I realized I had to take bigger steps. Movement is life and I had to start moving, physically, mentally and emotionally. The next day, I was up at 4 am for meditation, to greet the day, and was at the gym at 5 am. I have started my day the same way on the majority of mornings since. And guess what? That girl that I left on top of Sarangkot? She’s back.

When you are stuck and you feel like you are doing the right things to be on the path you want to walk but you don’t seem to be moving anywhere, take bigger steps. It is funny how that is actually true in so many things. Physically, I had plateaued in my fitness. I added Tabata training to my regular working and that propelled my fitness level upward. Intellectually, I needed a challenge so I changed jobs and jumped into a visualization project that is totally stumping me and, even though it is frustrating, I can’t put it down. It is a huge intellectual challenge for me and I am loving it. Emotionally, pushing myself to go back to therapy after I swore I would never trust another mental health care professional again, was a giant step forward. All these things have helped me get to a place where I am stronger in all those areas than I have ever been in my whole life. It is a great place to be. I feel integrated and whole, that my internal view of who I am meets the external life that I display. It is a pretty awesome place to be.

You don’t have to jump off mountains or get up at 5 am. But you do have to keep moving, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Whatever your challenge is in your life, wherever you feel stuck and can’t figure out what to do, take bigger steps. Do something that will defibrillate that area. Challenge yourself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Movement is life. Live it.

Lesson two: Sometimes a woman has to let her garden get out of control to see what sticks

P1100291Once, when I working on my yard and garden, I apologized for it being a little out of control with new plants springing up everywhere. I am used to gardens being orderly rows, not a chaos of wildflowers growing up everywhere. My friend Deb said “sometimes a woman has to let her garden get out of control to see what likes growing there, to see what sticks.”. And that is sabbatical lesson number two.

My friend Matt has never given me a tangible gift in the 7 years that we have been friends. He has paid for dinner a few times, he tried to pay for a paragliding lesson once but I paid him back, but he has never given me something that I can touch for a present. Simultaneously, he has given me the best gift I have ever received in my life.

1930132_577478386628_7110_nFor most of my life, I strove for perfection. I had goals and expectations for my behavior that were ridiculously high and I met them. There was no space for spontaneity, no time for emotion, no allowance being out of control. People would have described me as dependable, stalwart, and driven. Then my life got divided by zero and life as I knew it fell apart. Throughout the next year as I tried to Band-aid it back together with marriage therapy, I grew more spontaneous, but slowly, in a planned controlled way. I didn’t really understand truly letting go, to not be constrained by standards of polite society. And then, I met Matt.

One of the first times I ever allowed myself to loosen the grip on perfection around Matt was after a Sunday morning kayaking pool session. Matt wanted to go to brunch but I didn’t have any hair ties to contain my wild “Albert Einstein mad-scientist” hair. He said don’t worry about it, just come to brunch. Since it was a new friendship, I was torn between wanting to spend time with my friend but worried about him rejecting me or making fun of me. I decided to trust him and see where it all fell out. So we are sitting at a nice restaurant, outside in the sun, with all the other well-dressed Sunday brunch goers. I am dressed in a t-shirt and shorts and have wet hair. As my hair dried, it got crazier and crazier and I got more and more self-conscious until one moment Matt looks over and says, “you’re hair is so wild, it is awesome”. Gotta love that kid. Hundreds of times in our friendship, that same type of scenario played out. He watched and encouraged me to engage in some of the most outrageous behaviors. And I was always rewarded with his unconditional acceptance.

One way I am outrageous is with all my “woo-woo” theories that I am always coming up with. My friends just roll their eyes when I get started on a new one. For example: I believe in using all of my senses as I walk through life, one of which (often overlooked) is the sense of smell. My theory is that perfume and cologne can kill a relationship. When we get to know someone, one of the things we filter them is through their scent, for example I loved the way my ex smelled. I believe that the problem with perfume and cologne is that they mask our natural scent.  But when you get to know someone and like how they smell with fragrance on, what happens when they aren’t wearing any? Will that change the way you feel in a subtle way?

398075_10100938615998033_716093949_nThe cologne is an example of something we use to mask who we really are. Whether with cologne or outrageous behavior, this is the lesson. I only want people in my life who want to be with the authentic me. I don’t want to have to keep putting on airs or living a farce to be included as someone’s friend. What I have learned is to be myself, to be wild, crazy, and unrestrained. Those who want to be in my life will gravitate toward me, whether I am “perfect” or perfectly crazy. They have to want the whole package. If they don’t, then I move them to the outer periphery. There are only be a few people in my life who can handle my “crazy” and my crazy gives them the freedom to let their vulnerability show in return. Those are the few people I want to find and keep. The rest need to be let go.

Your “crazy” is a filter, it filters out those who want to truly be part of your life from those who only superficially want to be there. We need both kinds of people, but we give our hearts to the people who accept us as we are, authentically in all our crazy glory. I believe there are many people who never allow anyone to be that close to them in their whole lives. They never can give up the control and worry over what society will think of them if they allow their true selves to show. They are too hung up on being criticized and rejected.

One of the great aspects of this lesson is that I have learned not to take rejection personally anymore. When a relationship ends, I can hear Matt’s voice say, “it just wasn’t the right fit, try again”. I realize that not everyone is going to gravitate toward me and that is okay. Let them go be free to find the people they can be authentic with. My self-esteem will still be intact.

201836_965318866313_7885418_oThe gift Matt gave me is in allowing me to see what life looks like when we do let someone in that close. Life changes when we live with that kind of authenticity and whole-heartedness. It is richer, fuller, just more vibrant in every way. I now have a small core group of friends who truly know me and who I can be absolutely outrageous around. I wouldn’t trade them for 1000 superficial friends. I trust my friends love me and care about me always.

So let your garden get out of control and see what sticks. The joy and beauty of your life will open up in ways you never imagined.