Should I cut holes into my new Lululemon leggings?

Disclaimers: I adore the 2 studios that I mention in this post, and think it’s worth mentioning that I also appreciate Lululemon’s commitment to building community through their free events. This piece is primarily an exploration of friendship, belonging, my own internal narratives, capitalism, and how they all intersect.

Chapter 1 // Why Lululemon.

The other day I was in class at a yoga studio that I go to, and a funny thing happened.

Idk how to say this. I suppose I accidentally became a middle schooler again. 😏

When I say middle schooler, think: tween who just discovered that UGGS / Hollister / Abercrombie are in, so begs her mother to take her to the mall so that she can buy said brands immediately, so as to increase her status in the eyes of the popular girls.

It all started when I was stretching on my mat before class began. I happened to notice that nearly everyone in the room was wearing Lululemon leggings (an athletic clothing brand, known for being high-quality + pretty expensive).

For some reason, when I saw the sea of Lulus, the middle schooler in me decided that I simply must get some Lululemon attire of my own.

Keep in mind, I’m usually a thrift store girlie. I’m not much of a brand bitch. Or else, I haven’t been since I really was in middle school.

So naturally this prompted some self reflection:

Why the sudden need for Lululemon, Bibs?

Are you into the look of Lululemon leggings? (Not particularly).

Do you genuinely need new leggings? (No).

Are your current leggings not meeting your legging needs, whether in quality, comfort, or style? (No, no and no).

Well why then? I asked my inner middle schooler.

Sigh… I’m going to keep it real with y’all. The answer feels vulnerable, and part of me would much rather pretend these things aren’t true. But alas… I cannot tell a lie. And also we’re all human, so why am I being weird about this anyway?

The reason I wanted to buy clothes like everybody else’s is exactly the reason you’d expect from a middle schooler: I wanted to fit in.

Better said: I wanted to belong.

It turns out being a person in your 30’s, trying to build a life in a new city, after 2+ years of staying indoors as an already socially anxious person, looks remarkably similar to being 12, manipulating your appearance externally, in hopes that the popular kids will let you sit with them at the lunch table.

The point is, as someone that is still very much in the beginning stages of building out my community here in Chicago, I’m looking for more places to belong.

And buying Lululemon stuff felt like a way I could help myself do that. So… I did it.

I bought a new wardrobe, full of Lululemon clothes.

I’ve been wearing them to every yoga class I go to and around town. And ever since, everyone I encounter perpetually tells me how much they love me and adore me and want to be best friends with me. I hang out with people all the time. And I am so so grateful I listened to my capitalism-driven urge to buy expensive clothes, because it has given me my soul family. 🥰

Y’ALL. IF ONLY, am I right?

In all seriousness, it’s worth clarifying: the people at this studio seem cool and kind af. They’ve only ever made me feel like I DO belong; and not because of what I wear. So this pull towards shopping to ‘belong’ was very much an internal one.

Once I realized this desire for Lulus was simply a desire for belonging (and a result of some really good branding and marketing on Lululemon’s part), I of course reminded myself of the reality:

Clothes don’t make you cool. And clothes don’t make you belong—not in a healthy community, anyway. Real belonging is based on shared intimacy and human-to-human connection. And anyone interested in those things isn’t going to give two shits about the brand of clothes you’re wearing on your body (just like the people I’m closest to have demonstrated).

So actually, I didn’t go shopping…

I didn’t buy any Lululemon leggings.

Instead, I asked a couple of people at the studio if they wanted to get coffee and go for a walk, to try to foster real community and connection with them. This way, I’d be building authentic connections and moving towards deeper, truer belonging, rather than seeking any illusion of fitting in through shopping. 🖤

Again…. IF ONLY.

I don’t know why I keep writing these fake-out paragraphs. I suppose I’m stalling.

What really happened was:

I bought a couple of Lululemon sets.

All while knowing that doing so would not give me the deep friendships that I longed for.

I felt weird about it. I still do, to be honest. I knew it wouldn’t solve any of my problems. So why did I still give in to the urge to buy these overpriced, silly little leggings? Especially as someone that’s made ‘shitting on capitalism’ a significant part of their personality this past year. 🙃

I’m still unpacking the answer. It’s complicated, I think. When immediate belonging (in the way we desire it) isn’t available to us, it’s natural to gravitate towards the things that will make us FEEL like we belong more—even if we know it’ll only goes skin deep. Or in this case, fabric deep (lol, yikes). After all, connection is such a real and valid human need.

I guess I hoped that buying them would also give me the illusion of belonging enough (just internally-speaking), such that I’d feel more confident to actually make moves towards making some of those realer connections I want and know are out there.

I wouldn’t say it worked, necessarily. In a lot of ways, I’m still that insecure, socially-anxious middle schooler, who struggles to put herself out there. But in other ways, I’ve grown and learned a lot. And I continue to try to connect with new souls.

And not just by going shopping. 😅 I downloaded Bumble BFF this week. So that’s good! And I’m nurturing the relationships that I already do have in the city (which I am so grateful for!). I’m also making it a point to say hi and learn people’s names when I’m out and about (including at the studio). And you know what, the leggings aren’t half bad either—it’s been fun to have something new to wear to class.

Chapter 2 // Obtaining the Lululemons.

Pretty Woman the movie, except in real life instead.

When I walked into the Lululemon store the first time, I went in with the intention of just trying things on. I didn’t want to make any rushed purchases. And I didn’t think twice about what I looked like when I went to run the errand.

I went in my worn out winter jacket, with my hair in a tiny fountain ponytail (like so), and wearing my not-at-all feminine sweatpants and boots. (Not the sweatpants in this pic though. ^ That would’ve been next-level bold).

Sidenote: I’m suddenly realizing it’s situations like this that explain why I do have fears around not fitting in.

Immediately upon walking into the store, I felt different. Part of this was just my own insecurities—I own that. Some of my experience could’ve also been due to a fluke, or busy-ness, or a number of other reasons.

Nonetheless, I swear the employees could sense that they weren’t going to get money out of me that day.

I got no greetings, or assistance.

When I was waiting for a fitting room, I had to go out of my way to get help, while I watched others around me get approached and assisted with a smile.

The next weekend, after I had time to think about if/what items I wanted to buy, I went back to the store to purchase them.

I was going to spend money this time. I also decided to make an experiment out of my trip back. I wanted to know: would they treat me differently if I presented wealthier?

I wore my finest wool coat.

I wore nice clothes and fancy boots, and clipped my hair back in a way that I thought would be more in-line with the general Lululemon aesthetic.

And lo and behold…

The store was equally as busy. But this time, I was immediately greeted by a manager at the door.

When I told them I was a yoga teacher, they took down my name to offer me a discount at checkout.

As I was gathering clothes to try on, I was asked right away if I needed a fitting room.

I swear… I was rewarded with the illusion of belonging (!!), in exchange for presenting as someone ready to spend.

To be clear, NO HATE towards Lululemon.

Overall, my experiences both times were absolutely fine. No one was mean to me. Again, I’m sure some of it was in my head, and some of it chance/circumstantial. In fact, they do a lot more to foster community and belonging than most other brands I know out there (they offer some stellar free events).

And at the end of the day, what they’re doing is what every other business in America is doing: trying their best to stay afloat in the way they know how, in a late-stage capitalistic society.

Money is what keeps companies alive. It makes sense that they might gravitate towards the people that appear to be able to offer them more promise of survival, than the people who don’t.

It all just got me thinking though. Like DAMN. Capitalism has us all in such a chokehold, doesn’t it? Or at least it’s got me in one… Convincing me, a 30-year-old, to buy expensive clothes that I don’t even need, in hopes of getting love in return. When I claim to hate capitalism, to boot!

Money can’t buy you happiness, folks. That’s the main lesson (re)learned for me from this experience.

Chapter 3 // Contemplating cutting holes in the leggings.

Should I? Or shouldn’t I?

The holes! I almost forgot to share the resolution to the main teaser I posted on my Instagram stories! On there, I explained that I contemplated cutting holes into my new leggings, shortly after buying them.

The backstory: the neighborhood I live in in Chicago has a very particular aesthetic. Put together, coordinated, polished are all words coming to mind. And Lululemon kinda fits that bill, hence why I imagine they do so well in the city!

I spent last month in San Diego. I went to a new yoga studio while I was there, and decided to wear one of my new Lululemon sets. The middle schooler in me was sure everyone would love my fresh, clean-looking style. I’d be a popular girl, for sure.

And then I got to class. And you guys. There were so many different styles happening. Not much Lululemon. Plenty of old and worn stuff. One guy was wearing Christmas tree pajama pants. Another a ripped pair of shorts.

I was feeling less and less cool by the minute, as I saw how vastly different the ‘in’ aesthetic was in this part of the country.

And then? The yoga teacher walked in. The yoga teacher was clearly very beloved (very cool, if you will, by the standards of those in the studio) and not only was she not wearing a name brand of leggings, but….


A hole! Right on the thigh. Right in front. There, for all to see. And she was cool. Confident. Talented. Radiant. (Much like the people at the studio I go to in Chicago).

In that moment, my inner middle schooler felt silly af for wearing her pretty little Lululemon set. I wanted to take a pair of scissors to my outfit, cut a couple of holes in ‘em and shout, Look at me! I’m just like you! Would you like to be my friend?

Instead, get this. I bought a (thrifted) t-shirt that has pre-cut holes in it and wore it to class the following week. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU. Check it out. 👇

When I saw the shirt, I thought, ‘Cute!’ And got it. It wasn’t until I got home that I thought, ‘Hang on, did I just buy a hole-filled shirt, to subconsciously try to fit in with the holes-in-her-leggings yoga teacher?!’

Yes… Yes, I believe I did.

Evidently… the work continues. 😂 You gotta laugh at it.

Lessons (re)learned from this experience:

‘Cool’ looks different, everywhere you go, so best not to try to fit in.

Instead, ask yourself, What do YOU like? Go do/wear that.

Your people will love you for who you are, not what you wear.

Things I’m grateful for:

Both yoga studios, in Chicago and San Diego, and all the humans in them that have made me feel like I belong, whether they know it or not.

My Lululemon leggings, as well as my non-brand-name clothing.

The privilege of being able to buy clothes.

The ability to contemplate all of these noticings.


My commitment to being gentle towards myself and others.

My chosen family and soul sisters, both in outside of Chi town.

Being alive.


What are you grateful for, or noticing today? I’d love to hear from you.


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10 (Really Deep) Conversation Starters for Anyone who Hates Small Talk // 2019 Edition

A couple of years ago I wrote a post with 10 conversation starters for anyone who “hated” small talk. After another couple of years of listening to podcasts, reading books, and watching content (mostly centered around question asking), I’ve come across 10 more questions I’d like to share.

This is for all of you who love to dive into the deep, the intense, the joyful, and sometimes the messy when it comes to conversing with people you care about. The next time you’re hanging with close friends, out to dinner with family, or want to throw a new acquaintance for a loop, try throwing one of these questions into a conversation and seeing where it leads. 🙂

10 (Really Deep) Conversation Starters for Anyone who Hates Small Talk // 2019 Edition

1. What’s one thing you know for sure?

2. What is one thing you are afraid people will find out about you? (Something you avoid telling people, at least at first)

3. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make (to fulfill your destiny)?

4. How would you describe your childhood?

5. What keeps you up at night?

6. When is the last time you cried?

7. What is one thing you like doing that makes you feel the most free, alive, or full of joy?

8. How do you like to play? What are your hobbies?

9. What is your dream job? Or what is one thing you want to accomplish before you die? How are you pursuing that?

10. What makes you angry? What makes you cry?

Once again, thank you to the original question-askers who inspired this blog post (Oprah, Rob Bell, Liz Gilbert, Laura McKowan, Meadow DeVor, Lewis Howes, and others I am sure I am forgetting right now!).

Happy Chatting. 🤓

xo, Bibs

Photo by Laszlo Kiss on Unsplash

10 things to consider if you’ve just started working remotely

I started working remotely full time about 4 months ago, and I’ve only recently found enough time has passed that I’ve been able to find my groove and really find a new normal that feels good and sustainable to me.

Remote jobs seem to be all the rage lately, especially amongst us millennials. Remote work was “the dream” for me for a long time – and still is! It’s such an amazing way to be able to earn your living and I feel so lucky to be able to have the incredible remote job that I do. I can honestly say I love it.

With that said, there are a LOT of things I wish I knew before starting to work remotely. As awesome as it is, it does not come without its challenges or without calling for some major life adjustments. I’ve been keeping tabs on the changes I’ve made in my life and lessons I’ve learned as I’ve adjusted to the “digital nomad” life, and I’m sharing my top 10 with you today.

If you recently started working remotely, or if you’re considering going remote, (or even if you just want to reassess how you’re feeling about your onsite job), I hope you’ll find these helpful in some way.

1. Working remotely will not solve your problems. It will give you different problems.

I don’t say this to be a downer. I say this to be real with you. As much as working remotely may alleviate some of the stresses you experience working in an office, working remotely will come with its own shit sandwich, just like everything else does. As Liz Gilbert talks about in Big Magic, you just have to ask yourself which “shit sandwich” you like eating more – in this case, do you like the “shit” that comes with working in an office or the shit that comes from working remotely better?

2. Your social life matters, now more than ever. (I’m lookin’ at you, Introverts).

Hi, I’m Bibs and I’m a raging introvert.

For a long time, I wanted to work remotely because the thought of not having to be around people all day in an office didn’t scare me like it did my extrovert friends… it actually kind of intrigued me. (No offense to my past coworkers. So much love to you all). But one thing I discovered REALLY quickly is I start to go a wee bit nuts when I’m alone for too long. I think most people do.  We are meant to have consistent, meaningful human interaction, and even though it’s possible to have 2-sided conversations with yourself and your alter ego…… trust me. It’s no replacement for the real thing.

I’ve been surprised to discover that as someone who used to need at least a few days to myself each week when working in an office to “recharge,” I now can only handle one, maybe two, nights a week where I don’t have plans before I begin to feel a sense of isolation and general stir crazy-ness that borders on unhealthy. So fill up your calendars, people! And find what kind of social life feels healthiest for you. Friends are a beautiful thing. (And if you don’t have any friends, or enough friends, great news! It is actually possible to make new ones!, exercise studios, and spiritual homes can be a great place to meet people).

3.  Eat lunch when you’re hungry. Go to the bathroom when you have to. Shower every day. In other words: take care of your damn self.

Don’t forget that while you are online for work, your boss understands that you are a human being, who needs sustenance to be able to work well, and who has permission to relieve him or herself when nature calls. When I first started my job I may or may not have gone a day (or three) too long without a shower, and waited to go to the bathroom until I was about to burst. SMH.

Basic self care, man… It’s a good thing.

4. Having a remote job does not mean you get to chillax all day every day. Working remotely is a hustle.

Of course it depends on the company you work for, but at least working remotely for a startup is a hustle. This is something I knew going into my job – it’s one of the reasons I applied for my job actually. I love the hustle. But it’s something to keep in mind. If you’re looking for a relaxing job, you will not necessarily be better off remote.

Another challenge is getting friends and family to understand this concept. Be prepared for people to think that work for you looks like lounging around in your pajamas on your computer all day. And be prepared to tell them that even though working does usually involve comfortable clothes in some capacity, there is seldom much lounging involved.

Btw get dressed in normal clothes sometimes. It can even be comfy clothes, but don’t work in the same clothes that you sleep in… there should be some level of differentiation between work and sleep. It’s just good practice.

5. Make it a point to meet with the people on your team regularly for remote coffee or remote lunch.

Recreate the water cooler chatter, the happy hour conversations, and the random office interactions by asking to hop on quick 15 or 30-minute calls with people on your team. Getting to know your team on any kind of deep or personal level will not necessarily happen just through weekly team meetings, but it’s so important for feeling that sense of connectedness and camaraderie that makes work so enjoyable.

6. If you’re not sure how you’re performing, ASK.

Don’t stress yourself out by assuming you’re not meeting your boss’ expectations and getting on yourself to hustle harder (especially when you’re already hustling as hard as you can without burning out). And on the flip side, don’t assume you’re doing amazing if you haven’t been told so. Feedback is your friend. Ask for it when you need it.

Also, know who you are and how you work. If you tend to be the type to overwork yourself and convince yourself you’re not doing enough, RELAX. Take a chill pill and remind yourself you’re in this for long-term success, not short-term burnout. And vice versa, if you have a tendency to just kind of coast and do the minimum amount of work you’re told to do, put markers in place to give you the accountability you need to get moving and to really reach your full potential.

7. Spend your non-working hours somewhere other than on a computer.

If your method for relaxing after work is screen-related (Netflix, gaming, scrolling through FB) then — how should I say this —

Find a new way to relax.

Pick up a book, get into podcasts, join a gym or community that gets you out of the house, phone a friend. Your eyes can only handle so much computer time before going cross-eyed. (I realize this is ironic, as someone who is blogging for fun as we speak, but still, find hobbies that are primarily non-computer-related).

Btw for the times you are on the computer and have to be, get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Zenni Optical and Swanwick have some great ones. Another thing I’ve noticed helps a lot is keeping my computer at or slightly above eye level, that way you’re not craning your neck and eyes downward all day.

8. Make time to play & exercise. Preferably at the same time.

If you follow me on IG you know that, after a brief 11-year hiatus, I started doing gymnastics again.  If there’s some physical activity you used to love doing as a kid (dancing, running, some other sport), look for groups (of adults) in the area that are doing that thing and join them! It’s so easy to get into a “no-nonsense, all business” mindset when you’re online for work; not to mention all the other aspects of life that call for seriousness. You deserve to have fun, too. Carving out a little time each week or even each month where you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day responsibilities and can channel your inner “kid” is so liberating.

9. Check in with yourself (and adjust) often.

I’d say this is a good life practice in general, but this is especially important if you’re working remotely. It’s crazy how easy it is to get stuck in unhealthy habits if you’re not consciously trying to change them. As Liz Gilbert says, if you’re not actively creating, chances are you’re actively destroying. For me, I was surprised at how easy it was to get sucked into the vortex of the interwebs. If I don’t set clear boundaries for myself around when I’m on my computer, both for fun and for work, I can easily spend 10 out of 12 waking hours online in some capacity.

Wake up: check my phone. 9am hits: sign into slack & other work apps. 5pm hits: turn on Netflix.

Do not let this be your life, because it gets real old real quick. Boundaries are a good thing here.

Beyond that, ask yourself regularly how you’re doing. Do you like your life? Are you happy? Do you like where you’re headed? Do you like who you’re becoming? If the answer is no to any of these questions, ask yourself why, and try to tinker with how you’re living your life to improve things. You deserve to live a life you love. But it won’t happen without you taking the time to check in with yourself and adjust accordingly.

10. CELEBRATE. And take advantage of the perks of remote life.

Working remotely is freaking awesome. And it’s a significant accomplishment! As much as remote work is becoming more and more popular these days, remote jobs are still not super easy to come by, and it’s a big deal that you’ve landed one and/or have crafted your business to be able to do it! Honor that accomplishment.

And also don’t waste that accomplishment. Take advantage of the flexibility. Take the time to travel when you can, even if it’s just staying over at a family member’s place a few towns over. Work in the cafe down the street, instead of staying cooped up in your home. Work outside if the weather’s nice! Do the things that you said you’d do “if only you could work remotely” before you actually got your remote job. You deserve it, and you won’t regret it.

If you work remotely: did any of this resonate with you? And if you work in an office: did this make you want to work remotely? Or make you never want to work remotely? 🙂 Let me know what you thought!

Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

Why do we do the things that we do?

Hello reader friends 🙂 Here’s what I’ve been thinking about this month:

Why we do the things that we do? Namely, why do we do good things?

 More specifically:

Why are we nice to people?

Why do we work really hard at our jobs?

Why do we do favors for people we love?

Why do we (in general) do what we say we’ll do?

Is it because it’s the “right thing” to do?

Because we want to prove something?

Because we want something in return?

Or is it because we don’t need to prove anything,

and we don’t expect ANYTHING in return

but because we experience the overflowing grace that comes from believing and accepting that we ourselves are loved unconditionally…

and it’s from this place that we inevitably need to give back some of the love that we have because we just know that this love is a love that’s meant to be shared?

A lot of times – more times than I care to admit really – I’m driven to do good things because I’m trying to prove (to myself or others) that I’m good and/or because I’m expecting something good in return. I forget that there’s nothing I can do to earn my way to “good,” because we’re all equally valued in God’s eyes.

Here’s what I think: if we believe that we’re loved unconditionally, at our core, by our creator (and I mean REALLY believe it), then we could hypothetically quit our jobs, throw out any and all goals, sit on the couch, eat potato chips, watch TV, and do absolutely nothing good all the live long day, for the rest of our lives… And STILL be loved by God JUST as much he loves us right this very minute. We actually have the freedom to do that.

The ironic thing for me is as soon as I remind myself of this,  I’m suddenly driven more than ever to – you guessed it – do good things. Only I’m compelled to do them from a very different place now. Not because I’m trying to prove anything, or because I need anything, but because I actually have so much more good than I could ever need, and I don’t know what else to do but put it to use and try to give it back to God and his creation in some way. I’m compelled to do good because “my cup runneth over,” as they say.

A friend of mine recently shared a Rob bell quote with me… You guys probably had no idea I like Rob Bell I never mention him on here or every single day of life. Anyway, the quote went something like this:

“Everything you are striving and fighting for, you already have. So often we are working, sweating, clinging, grasping, striving to feel worthy enough and the fundamental good news, the gospel, is the announcement that you are loved exactly as you are. You don’t have to do anything.  You are already a daughter of the divine. ‘You are always with me and everything I have is yours.’”

So with news like that… the question is: what sort of place will we live from in the days ahead?

A place of fear or love?

Of seeking value or adding value?

Of conditional or unconditional love?

Of lack or overflow?

The choice is ours (so I hear).

Have a great weekend, friends 🙂

I love a good comeback.

All good stories end in a comeback. Alright alright, maybe not all. But a lot of good stories end in a comeback… some form of someone losing something (money, a game, a bet, health, life), and at the last second turning things around for an unexpected win.

Random examples: Michael Jordan. The Backstreet Boys. Beauty & the Beast. Ross and Rachel.

I often wonder why these types of stories are so intriguing to us. Sometimes I think it’s because it reminds us of the story of Jesus… the ultimate comeback story: a man who was despised and hated and abused and eventually killed, who lived out the biggest plot twist of all time by literally coming back… and saving the universe to top it all off. It really doesn’t get better (or more absurd) than that when it comes to a comeback story.

I’ve been thinking about comebacks in relation to my own life lately and I’ve come to realize something… the thing mainly being that I really do love them. So much so that I will actually go out of my own way to create my own comeback story, no matter how seemingly big or small.


1. I will let my apartment get disgustingly messy, just so that I have the satisfaction of cleaning it up. We’re talking dishes piled high, clothes everywhere, soap scum in the shower… (EW BIBS TMI!) and then I’ll devote hours to scrubbing it clean, from ceiling to floor, so that it looks IMMACULATE by the time I’m done. Sometimes I’ll even take before & after pictures, I won’t even lie.

2. Sometimes I’ll go a month without working out, and then the next month I’ll work out almost every day, just so I can tell my friends, “You guys, you wouldn’t believe it. I was such a lazy ass last month; I didn’t work out at all. But look at me now! I’ve been working out every day for the past few weeks and I’m running a 5K next week and I think I might even have actual abs now! (Is that amazing or WHAT?!)” And I’ll do the same thing with food. I’ll eat sweets and candy and carbs galore one month, and then I’ll “eat clean” the next month and talk about the huge life-altering changes I’ve made.

3. Same thing with school work. I’ll wait and wait and wait to study, I’ll do poorly on my first few exams, I’ll let my grades drop, I’ll complain to my friends about how “I’m going to fail out of this class I just know it” and “there is just no coming back from this.” And then I’ll bust my butt the second half of the semester, ace the rest of my exams and pull off a good grade come summertime. “I should have failed….” I’ll say, “but I DIDN’T! I made my way from the bottom all the way to the top!” What a great story of triumph! [Please note sarcasm]

It may sound silly, but there is a noticeable pattern of this in my life… of slightly (or sometimes significantly) sabotaging an area of my life, JUST so that I can fix it. As much as I may not always admit it, I kind of like cleaning up a good mess. And I especially like cleaning it up when I’ve created it. Let’s face it, messes are always easier to clean up if you’ve made them yourself, because you know where things went before you moved them around. It’s satisfying.

It’s also incredibly stupid though. Because the energy I use to make messes and subsequently clean them up could be used to NOT create any messes to begin with, and just to continue improving things for the better from the start. Instead of going back two steps then forward two steps, and bragging about my “comeback” to the people around me, I could just go forward four steps, and use the same amount of energy.

Instead of letting the dishes pile up, I could just do them at the end of each day. And instead of not caring for my physical body one month and then whipping it into shape the next, I could just work out a few times each week. Instead of digging myself into an academic hole and then digging myself out at the end of each semester, I could just study a little bit each week.

What revolutionary concepts! Less glamorous and not as riveting, sure. But it allows for a lot more true progress and forward momentum in the end, right?

I’ve been thinking about it and I do think I’m drawn to comeback stories because they remind me of the Jesus story. I think there’s a difference that I need to be aware of though – a key difference between the Jesus comeback and the other more typical comeback stories I gravitate towards and create.

My comebacks involve me losing something (cleanliness, health, grades) and then “winning” them back at the very last second.

Jesus’ comeback involves him appearing to lose throughout his lifetime up until the very end, but in actuality, revealing at the last minute that he was actually winning the whole time.

Jesus never “lost” and then won. He was always winning… he just looked like he was losing based on the standards of the world he was living in.

I think real winning means stopping the game of trying to make yourself look like a winner, and actually being willing to look like a loser, for the sake of true victory.

And as a good friend recently reminded me, real winning also means looking to Christ as the ultimate victor and as our victor, giving him the credit, and recognizing that any comebacks that do manifest in our lives are made possible thanks to the power and the grace of His very existence. Submission to God’s love and opening our hands and hearts to receiving his desire to propel us forward is the key to unlocking future growth.

Not ego. Not pride. Not determination…

But dependance, gratitude, & surrender.

Alas, I’m making it a point to break up with my love of the comeback. At least the kind of comeback I’m used to. And I’m slowly falling in love with the Jesus comeback…the real comeback… with being okay with looking like I’m losing and taking on the appearance of not keeping up with the world’s standards, of not subscribing to what society dubs as “success,” all with the hope and trust that doing the hard and unglamorous and sometimes loser-ish things are actually compounding in victory overtime.

So cheers. To the losers who are actually winners who sometimes look like losers before revealing they’re winners…


P.S. Have you ever created your own comeback?

3 Questions to Ask Yourself before you do Anything Stupid :)


I’m 24 today – yay! Here’s a blog post to celebrate.

Sometimes I do dumb things…

And then I’m like, “Hey look at that! I just went ahead and did that thing… which was really dumb… Why’d I do that? If only I had thought for half a second first!” 😀

So. I’m going to try to do less stupid things this-coming year, and I’m going to do it by asking myself these 3 questions before I act.

I hope these help you do less stupid things going forward, too! (Oh god… Not that I’m calling you stupid! Or think you do stupid things! In fact, you’ve probably never done anything stupid in your life! I love you! …Ugh…)

1. What are you Trying to Prove?

Sometimes I do things just to try and prove that I’m something… that I’m good enough, or that I’m pretty, or smart, or caring, or successful, or deserving 

Anyway, I’m going to do my best to not waste my energy on trying to prove things this year, because here’s the thing: if something is actually true, then I really don’t need to waste energy on proving it… it’s true, so it just is… truth doesn’t need to be defended like that. And the other thing: if it’s not true, then to try to “prove” it would be to essentially lie by putting up a false front. Last thing: trying to prove things usually just makes you look desperate to prove said thing… and consequently makes everyone around you doubt the validity of said thing.

So yeah. Less of that this year.

2. What are you Running Away From?

I am a procrastination QUEEN. I am so good at avoiding things it’s not even funny. I HATE dishes… that is, unless I have homework that I’m avoiding. Then I LOVE dishes!

I also hate going through unread emails I’ve fallen behind on… unless I have laundry to do… then I LOVE going through old emails.

You know what else I hate? Wasting time watching re-runs of shows I’ve seen a million times… unless my bathroom needs to be cleaned… then I LOVE watching reruns!

You get the point. It’s actually absurd how so much of what I do is to avoid doing something else. Asking this question will force me to determine what exactly I don’t want to do, and allow me to more quickly be a big girl and just DO IT, because sooner or later, let’s just face it, the toilet needs to be cleaned.

3. What would happen if You Didn’t do That?

As much as I don’t do things that I should do, I also spend quite a bit of time doing things that I shouldn’t do (or don’t need to do). And a lot of the times it’s just because I don’t take the time to evaluate why I’m doing something, and do it simply because, well it’s just what I do! Asking this question will help me evaluate if something I’m doing is worth my time, or if I should ditch it.

Case in point: I’m going to NY this weekend, and yesterday I spent a BUNCH of time trying to figure out the best possible way to get there:

Do I take the bus?

Do I take the train?

Do I leave my car at home?

Do I Uber to the bus station?

Do I park at the subway station?

But then I have to pay for parking…?

Do I ask to park at my friends place in Cambridge?

Do I buy my ticket home now?

Do I wait until later?

What if the tickets sell out?

Do I forget the trip and not go altogether?

…… AGHHHHH you get the point.

So I finally stopped for a second and asked myself: What would happen if I DIDN’T agonize over these options and just PICKED one, knowing that there isn’t one perfect way? The sane part of my brain was like, “UH, you’d be done with this whole thing a lot faster and could probably put that energy you’re wasting towards that homework sitting on your desk due tomorrow,” So I stopped what I was doing, made a decision on the trip, and dove into my homework. That little question put a stop to a whole lot of madness!

Side note: this question can also serve as a great reminder as to why I do continue to do certain things. For example: I workout. If I ask myself, “What would happen if I didn’t do that?” The answer would be, “Well, I’d probably get sick and die young,” So… YEAH, I think I’ll keep working out.

Anywho, hope these were helpful, and I hope all you New Englanders are staying safe out there 🙂





10 (Really Deep) Conversation Starters for Anyone who Hates Small Talk

So, I have this problem when it comes to small talk – mainly that I tend to feel like I’m a floundering fish out of water every time I have to do it.

It’s funny because if I’m talking one-on-one with someone about strange, confusing, existential topics that I care about (strangers and friends alike) I am ALL ABOUT IT. That is my happy place. I’m into it. (My friends are all nodding their heads going, “Yup, sounds about right.”)

And even when it comes to speaking in front of other people; if I’m asked to talk about something that matters to me in front of a crowd, I’m also all about it.

BUT if there’s a situation where I’m expected to just casually chit chat about work or the weather with people I don’t know, or if there’s a situation where I’m (God forbid) required to…… MINGLE (I’m shuddering just thinking about it) that’s where we have an issue.

Now it’s not that I can’t do it, or that I absolutely hate it… I just… kind of hate it. No I’m kidding.

I’m exaggerating, but I would rather talk about the deep stuff.

Rest assured, I’m working on this. When I started my last job I didn’t set foot in the lunchroom for the first four months because I was so freaked out by all the small talk and mingling that I heard happening in there every day. (Lol true story). I share this knowing this is not something to brag about.

I also know that just because I’m a raging introvert (that undeniably has a little bit of social anxiety to work through), that doesn’t mean that small talk is bad or that I have an excuse to try and bypass it altogether.

Small talk is vital, in fact, because as great as deep conversations are, let’s be real here: not everyone likes being asked what they think will happen to them after they die before they’ve even been asked their first and last name.

So I’m working on it. Nevertheless, I do still love asking people hard questions, and over the past few months, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites (some from me, but most that I’ve borrowed from others).

So for anyone out there that’s about to embark on a long road trip with a close friend, or who likes to risk freaking strangers out by asking them obscure questions like I do, I hope you find these helpful:

1. What are you most excited about right now?

2. What question is really consuming you these days?

3. What do your inner voices/inner critics say to you?

4. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made, or way you’ve failed, that’s taught you the biggest lesson?

5. What do you like most about yourself?

6. What has been your greatest positive impact on the world so far?

7. What breaks your heart?

8. What do you want to be known for when you die?

9. Tell me one thing I don’t know about you, or the world.

10. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Thanks to Jonathan Fields, Liz Gilbert, John Maxwell, Lewis Howes, et al for (unknowingly) contributing to this list.

Happy Conversing!



3 Words for 2017 (that all happen to begin with C)


You know how sometimes you wake up in the morning, you blink, and then the next thing you know you’re in your pajamas, staring at yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth getting ready for bed? And then you think, “What even happened today”? It’s like, we get so comfortable in our routines that we go on autopilot the minute we wake up and don’t turn it off the whole day. 

We manage to get ready for the day, drive ourselves to and from our jobs, do our thing at work, say our “Hi, how are you”s at the appropriate times, eat 2-3 meals a day, maybe go to the gym, and even brush our teeth before bed, but by the time we get ready to go to sleep, we can’t even really remember anything that stuck out from the day. 

I don’t like that. I don’t think that’s how life is supposed to be. Not all the time. Not every day at least. This year I have a challenge for myself. Feel free to join me if you wish. This year, I want to live from a place of curiosity, instead of obligation, and a place of intrigue instead of necessity. 

In the mundane tasks, instead of being bored out of my head and thinking, “Same thing. Different day,” I want to ask, “How can I make this thing or situation better, more efficient, more exciting? What is this thing teaching me about the way that I am?” 

And in the new or unexpected situations I find myself in, instead of thinking, “Dear god get me out of here. Get me back to my routine, where it’s boring and comfortable and safe,” I want to ask, “How can I bring value to this situation? What can I learn from this person? How can this propel me forward, into growth and increased understanding?” 

How cool is it that everything and everyone are opportunities to learn if we allow it? Rob Bell says that one of the biggest tragedies of life is clinging to the belief that tomorrow will be just like today. 

What if we cling to the belief that tomorrow will be different than today? What if we make it different? 


I am amazing at worrying. Seriously, one of my biggest talents. In Brooklyn, Liz Gilbert spoke about the root word of the word “worry” versus the word “concern,” and it was so interesting to me.

The root word of “worry” is “to wring,” as in, to wring one’s neck.

The root word of “concern” is “to sift,” as in, to sift through, “This is my problem… This is not my problem. I can do something about this… I can do nothing about this.”

In 2017, I want to live from a place of concern. Because let’s face it, it just doesn’t do me or anyone around me any good to wring my neck. If anything, all that wringing just inhibits any ability I might otherwise have to do something productive about whatever I’m worrying about. 

To sift through what situations I actually have a level of responsibility for and can change though… that would be helpful. Let’s do that.


Lord knows I’ve talked a lot this year about how I’ve spent the larger part of my life lacking confidence, so let’s not talk about that again, shall we? But I do just want to say that I’m excited, because since 2016 was becoming aware of insecurities in myself, I’ve set 2017 up to be a year of actually DOING something about those things. You can’t improve a situation until you know there’s an opportunity for improvement, right? I feel like I’m on the path to improvement now.

I’m not 100% confident in myself, or overly confident (I hope), nor have I obliterated any and all insecurities from my life, but the place that I’m coming to is one of much greater confidence than I’ve ever been to before. 

And I think it’s a unique place of confidence I’m heading towards. I don’t want to be confident in everything (I want to be confident, not arrogant, you see). Really simply, I just want to be confident in what I know and what I don’t know. 

Maybe what I really want is just to be confident in the fact that I’m not always confident… I want to be confident that I will never again pretend to be confident in all things, which is what I thought I was supposed to do for so long.

Here’s what I want: 

I want no false confidence in things I don’t actually like about myself, no pretending to be an expert in things I’m not, no making it look like I’m solid on what I believe in when I’m not… just God honest confidence in what I do know and what I don’t. Ugh, that sounds like freedom to me. 

So these are the words I’m going to come back to this year, to help move me in the right direction. I hope some of you find them helpful, too.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to a year of greater curiosity, concern, and confidence in hopes of a life of greater Love and freedom for each of us.

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