Compliments from an avocado loving, messy haired man…

Cue music: Barcelona by Ed Sheeran

Camera pans out from a shopping cart at Whole Foods and goes into a wide screen shot of a blonde, twenty something woman doing her groceries in shorts, a crop top, and a snapback.

Enter a young man–a stranger to our main character–who walks directly to her cart.  Long, messy hair, wearing aviators inside, muscle tank, definitely the kinda guy that loves avocados a little too much.  Attractive, but not our leading lady’s type.

Man: “Excuse me miss?  Hi.  Can I say something that might sound weird, but I promise I don’t mean it to be.”

Me: “Uhhhh…. sure?  Go for it.”

Man: “Again, I don’t mean this to be weird, but I’ve seen you randomly around the store and every time I see you, I laugh or smile.  You are hysterical.  You really seem to be unapologetically yourself.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I don’t understand what you mean…”

Man: “I just mean, you seem so happy and it’s infectious.  You really just are yourself and don’t seem to give a damn what other people think.”

Me: “I gotta say, I’ve never had a stranger say that to me.  You got all of that from randomly seeing me around Whole Foods?”

Man: “Yeah, dude.  I’m not trying to hit on you, I promise.  But you’re really funny.  First of all, you’re literally playing your own music… at a grocery store.  And you dance to it… A LOT.  Like in the aisles while picking your food.  And you’ve smiled at every person you’ve walked by.  And I’ve heard you compliment at least 4 strangers.  And, you’ve started conversations with every employee you’ve walked by–and you’ve left them all smiling or laughing.  At one point, you actually started stretching in the Gluten Free aisle and then laughing at whatever joke you told yourself in your head.  The positivity just radiates off of you.  Your actions show that you genuinely care about people.  And you do whatever you want and don’t care if people are going to see and judge.  The vibes you’re putting out there are awesome.  I just needed to share that, because I believe positivity should be reciprocated with more positivity.  You are seriously, unapologetically you and you don’t hide it.  I don’t see many people do that anymore.  It’s refreshing.”

Okay, I’m done with the script style writing.  This conversation with a stranger was so unique and random, but so descriptive of where I feel my life is at right now, I had to share it.  Only in a hippie lovin’ place like Whole Foods would I find a stranger that would come up to me and say this, but it was everything I needed and more.

I’ve been a new person recently, and it is amazing to hear something like this from a stranger.  Only a few short months ago, a friend and role model was talking to me because she was worried I was suffering from a serious bout of depression.  She was worried by my constant negativity, the cloud stuck over my head, and just worried for my well being in general.  That couldn’t have been more than 3 months ago.  And now, here I am being told by a stranger that my positivity is infectious?  That is wild to me.  But, after reflecting… it really is true.

I can’t really pinpoint when the change happened, or really how, but I know why.  I started focusing on myself and what I needed.  I used to tend to thrive on interactions with other people, and I think I was so wrapped up in the fact that I no longer had much company from friends or family, that I let it turn me into a walking ball of anger and sadness.  I forgot one very important fact–my own company is more than enough.  I learned how to thrive without the constant interaction and reinforcement from my friends.  I learned to love my quirkiness and just let it happen.  If people are going to judge me, that is their prerogative, but if I’m having fun and loving the moment I’m in, does anything else matter? So yeah, I’m weird… and I fucking LOVE my weird.

I will be honest, I hated myself for a while.  I never thought I was good enough.  I wasn’t smart enough.  I wasn’t pretty enough.  I wasn’t funny enough.  I wasn’t working hard enough.  I wasn’t a good enough girlfriend.  I wasn’t a good enough friend.  I wasn’t a good enough sister.  I wasn’t fit enough.  I just wasn’t enough.  Now, I don’t say this because I want a pity party of compliments or anything.  I really fucking don’t.  I actually hate that shit.  I say this because I genuinely thought it was true.

I can’t tell you when it clicked, but at some point I learned to love who I was.  I learned that I was enough for me.  I am happy with myself and the woman I am becoming.   And does anything else matter?  Does it truly matter if I’m not enough for someone else, as long as I’m enough for me? If I’m not enough for someone, then they clearly don’t appreciate my worth.  And, they clearly don’t deserve to be in my life.  I’m finally owning my life.  And with that comes a natural happiness.  A natural joy that forces you to just be yourself–no holding back.  I have never laughed so much in my life, and I can’t imagine going back to being miserable.  I wasted months being miserable when I could’ve been living in joy.

I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m okay being alone.  Being alone used to be a major phobia of mine.  And now, I quite enjoy it.

Now, that shouldn’t be confused with the idea that I want to live a solitary lifestyle.   I still thrive on interactions with others.  I love my girls, I love my friends, I love my family.  It just means I am more selective with whom I choose to share my energy.  Do I miss hanging out with some of my girlfriends who now have hubbies, boos, and busier lives than before?  Of course.  But I can’t focus on the fact that they can’t love me the same way they used.  Rather, I choose to focus on seeing the joy in the way they still love me when they can, the best way they can.  And I substitute self love (and puppy love) where theirs used to be.  Do I sometimes miss the companionship of having a man around?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  But, I’m not going to get into a relationship for the sake of having someone around.  That’s not healthy.  And that was what I was doing before, which is why every single one of my relationships crashed and burned.  Sometimes even exploding in nuclear proportions.

People aren’t selective enough about who they choose to spend their time with and energy on.  As Ed Sheeran says in one of his songs on his new album (clearly I’m a little obsessed with Ed Sheeran), “Human beings are destined to radiate or drain.”  You are truly destined to do one or the other.  Which is it going to be?  I’ve finally chosen to radiate and not drain.  That is a conscious decision that I need to make every day.  It is so easy to slip back into a slump and start complaining and being negative.  But it is so NOT worth it.  At all.

My life feels completely different.  I’ve designed a life where good vibes are the only option.  That started with my own mindset and my own self love.  I know not everyone is there, and everyone gets there at their own pace, but God, do I wish everyone could feel the way I do.  I’m not gloating in joy, I’m just sharing how amazing my life feels now.  Nothing major has changed.  No new job.  Still single.  My dogs are still crazy.  My health is actually in the shitter.  But I’m happy.  Even when I get bad news, I’ve learned to accept it in a way that isn’t going to ruin me and my mood for days. I’m in an interesting place I don’t truly know how to explain.  But, apparently a stranger at Whole Foods can.  Avocado loving, messy haired man, thank you for helping me verbalize what I’ve been feeling for weeks now…

“You are seriously, unapologetically you and you don’t hide it.”

Nor will I ever hide it again.  I will continue to be the girl who plays her own music in the grocery store and dances while picking her gluten free crackers.  I will continue to be the girl who plays the penis game with her girlfriends in any bar we can, no matter how old we get and how inappropriate it might be.  I will continue to be the girl who cries when she needs to, but will do her best to spend double her time laughing and smiling.  I will continue to be the girl who sits on her patio on a beautiful day and writes blog posts.  I will continue to be the girl who flirts with her hot bartender and bullshits with the hysterical bar back–even if the amount of time she spends at “her” bar is probably socially unacceptable.  I will continue to be the girl who teaches while standing on tables and screaming, singing, and dancing.  I will continue to be the girl who cusses a lotta bit too much.  I will continue to be the girl who jams out a little too hard in her car while driving to work.  I will continue to be the girl who dances around her apartment in her underwear with her dogs as her dance partners.  I will continue to be the girl who drinks a little too much whiskey on nights out.  I will continue to be the girl who laughs and smiles her life away.  I will continue to be seriously and unapologetically myself and I won’t hide it.

Sincerely,

A new and improved #chillestgirlalive