Just Listen.

It’s tough to not have all the answers.  We want to have all the answers, to know the next move, the right thing to do.  Unfortunately, we don’t always know these things.  It can leave us feeling helpless. I felt that way twice this past weekend.  I had two separate friends tell me about two separate things they were dealing with and I couldn’t “fix” either of them.

Of course, we are all responsible for our own lives and the only one who can fix your life is you.  And no one comes to me expecting me to fix it for them.  However, I’ve grown accustomed to at least being able to give some helpful advice or suggestions.  But these two instances were such that there was really nothing I could say to make the situation better for them.  I felt as though I were letting my friends down.  That was tough for me.  I was disappointed in my lack of ability to help and thought that my friends would probably feel the same way.  When I lamented this to one of these friends, she wisely told me that “…sometimes we just need to vent…”

Bam.  Just like that.  Hit in the face with some truth.

Sometimes we just need to vent.

Sometimes we just need to listen.

Sometimes that’s all the help someone needs.  Wow.

I learned that while I love it when I can actively help someone with something, part of my role is to just listen.  And that is helping.  It’s even something that I’ve told my husband before:  “Babe, I don’t need you to try to fix anything, I just want to say these things.”  I thought I was asking him to do something simple.  Just listen to me.  Don’t offer suggestions or advice.  Just listen.  He’s a doer like I am, though, so now I see that I wasn’t making a simple request, I was asking for something more difficult.  Even though I’ve been the one who simply needed to vent, I still wasn’t able to just let myself be a listener!

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

So I have learned something about me, and about my journey.  I don’t have to have all of the answers.  I will work on being a listener.

Sometimes it’s enough to just listen.


Fleeting Crazy

I’m not a writer. I love to read. I love to write. But I am not a writer. I have friends who are amazing writers, and some of them are also amazing bloggers.  They can just see/hear/feel something and WRITE about it.  In a way that is in engaging, humorous, honest, and meaningful.  I tend to ramble.  I have realized that I put short bursts of thoughts down, but struggle with expanding on them without a defined end result.

Great.  Another blogger who can’t write.  Just what the internet needs, right? I know! I couldn’t agree more.  The reason I’m taking this leap is that, while I can’t churn out beautiful, deep, thought provoking prose on cue, I can talk to people about their concerns, issues, thoughts, etc. – what I call their “Crazy.”  I have always been a person my friends know that they can come to for honest, no-nonsense advice.  I have referred to myself as the “Crazy Wrangler” on more than one occasion when friends have come to me with their current Crazy and asked me to help them rein it in…or wrangle it.  I can do this; I love doing this.  I want to do this for you.

Therefore, this blog, my blog is at the mercy of you.  Yes YOU.  I can’t do this without you.  I need your questions, situations, drama…I need your Crazy.  I want to help you Own Your You.

We’ve all got a little bit of Crazy in us.  Some of us have a lot of Crazy in us.  It’s all ok.  It’s who we are.  It’s your Crazy that makes you YOU.  It’s your Crazy that makes you interesting.  Don’t be afraid of your Crazy.  Own it.  Thrive with it, in spite of it, or because of it…whatever makes sense for you.

Of course, every now and then, we experience a Fleeting Crazy – a situation that normally doesn’t affect us turns us into crazy, obsessive, over-thinking, over-reacting creatures that we don’t even recognize!  This kind of Crazy is ok, too.  It’s normal.  And I’m here to help you acknowledge it and work through it.

I had a bout of Fleeting Crazy recently.  I generally am fairly confident and try to be positive about things…except when I’m not.  I started comparing some of my work to that of some other talented, and more experienced, people.  Their work is amazing.  I was comparing and found myself severely lacking.  I was feeling very mopey and “woe-is-me” for the better part of a day.  I hate feeling that way.  I acknowledged it, but I could not get myself out of it.  I turned to two of my friends and just told them how I was feeling and why I was feeling that way.  I didn’t ask them to fix it, I didn’t ask them to make me feel better, and I certainly didn’t ask them to shower me with false compliments.  I just said this is what I’m feeling, and this is why.  And, being the amazing friends that they are, they knew exactly what to say.  They did not fill my head with flowery words and tell me that I’m the absolute best thing in the world and there is no one better – they were honest.  They told me they understood, they’ve felt that way before, and they gave me their honest feedback on my work (fortunately they do like my work, so that helped!) and it helped.  I felt better.  I am not “fixed,” I will still have moments of doubt, moments of harsh self-criticism, moments where I contemplating throwing in the towel.  But I know that’s my Fleeting Crazy, and I know if I need help getting through it, help is just a call or email away.

Oh, Crazy.  You do make life interesting.