Growing Pains

I caught myself giving up on myself again today. It's a sinking feeling, a feeling of collapse. I deceive myself into thinking I cannot handle what has been given to me. There's a twinge of defeat when I feel like I can't give anymore, like I'm unfit for the weight of this world. A world that, sometimes, feels like it's given up on me as much as I have on it. 

Changing the narrative from a state of surrender to growth comes with its own hurdles, but realizing that I am not as weak as I think I am, and that these feelings come with the process, is enough to begin with. The minute my brain decides that it's strong enough to handle growth is the same instance I begin to feel capable again.

Leaning into the discomfort that comes with personal growth is undoubtedly difficult, but it's the combination of resistance followed by persistence that reveal, once hidden, determination. It's still wavering, but it's a start. Once I feel I have the confidence, I will persist. While that confidence may take time to culminate, it is always rooted within me. 

With growth, comes doubt. It's a push, and it's a pull. It's wanting to throw myself into the unknown, while simultaneously cowering away. Today, I'm choosing the unknown. Tomorrow may look different, but the opportunity to grow will always be there patiently waiting for me.

Maybe I'm uneasy today, but maybe I'm just growing. 





Holding Up Your 50

There are two sides to every friendship. There is your fifty percent, and their fifty percent. I've recently looked at several friendships in my life and found myself questioning, "Am I holding up my 50?" I think it's okay to be selfish sometimes. I think it's okay to take time for yourself. But there are times we need to be selfless. We need to realize that the people in our lives are there for a reason, and the only way they'll stay is if we put in that effort.

It's easy to become too comfortable within any given friendship. You've taken the time to cultivate it, but it can't be given up on. Time will take it's toll on any friendship, only if we allow it to. We've all been a witness to it countless times, I'm sure. We grow apart, but we don't have to. We don't have to watch what we worked so hard for crumble. Shouldn't we feel the need to fight for what we love?

I've realized that I'm the kind of person who will fight hard for my friendships. You might be as well. Sometimes that turns into absorbing the other person's 50. All of the sudden we're holding 75 or 100, while the other person has dropped everything. There eventually comes a crossroad decision. Will we fight to restore the balance, or will we drop everything in surrender? The difficulty behind letting go of a friendship is a difficulty that is hard for us to accept, but sometimes it's necessary. Unbalanced friendships become exhausting, and sometimes we deserve to rest.

So, what do we do? We evaluate our friendships. We make decisions. We either stay put or move on. We come to terms with what is worth fighting for and what is not. We accept the fact that we're worth fighting for. 

And we realize that we're worth the full 100. 


// Beginnings //

In my head, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. And if there can be a bad feeling behind something, I will feel it. Earlier this week I decided that I need to practice being a "pessimist in progress." Leading up to Warped Tour, my brain has been focused on the negative. The heat, the sweat, the exhaustion, the culture that creates personal conflict. Losing sight of why I am going out on the road is easy for me. And I want to try and change that inner, cyclical, one-sided conversation I have been having so often. 

I like to believe that I love people, and I like to believe that I love them well. Most of the time I come off aggressive and intense and wildly loathing of all people and things.  But damn, I love people. My life is made better by those in my life, and that's what To Write Love on Her Arms is all about. People. Thousands of people will walk into Warped Tour excited to see their favorite bands, hundreds of those people will interact with me at the TWLOHA booth every single day. I want to love the people of Warped Tour, and I want to love them well. I hope that they can walk away from the TWLOHA booth feeling encouraged, feeling hopeful. Maybe they're struggling, maybe my words will be what they need to hear in that specific moment. You never know what any single person is carrying, and it's my job to lighten the load. 

So, I won't sigh deeply when I see boxes upon boxes lined up with my name on them. I won't feel unnecessarily overwhelmed by spreadsheets and schedules. I won't allow myself to lose sight of why I am going on the road. 

For people.

Leaving // Returning

It's here.

In my head, this day felt like a distant dream. It never felt quite real that I was going back out on Warped Tour, and if this blog is going to be transparent, it still doesn't feel real. I've been counting down the months, weeks, and now days, since the day I got back last summer. Is that out of fear or excitement? I really can't tell at this point. Ask me in... 8 days.

This summer is all about redemption for me. Giving grace to last year's experience, and focusing on making this year a better experience as a whole. It's difficult to let go of the feelings attached to last year, to convince myself it WILL be better, but I'm willing to give it a go. In the name of rock and roll or something along those lines.

So, feel free to follow me through this journey of sweat (and surely tears). We both may be surprised by what we find. Bring on Warped Tour 2017.