Verbal Picking

I realized this weekend I am a picker. An emotional picker. A verbal picker. It’s the social equivalent of picking at a scab. Leave it alone and everything is fine. Pick at it and you could have a bloody knee. Or for a less graphic comparison, it’s like picking at a loose thread on a sweater. Leave the thread alone and it’s fine; pick at it and you have a hole in your shirt.

I am a picker.

And it’s awful. I fully realized it this weekend when I stopped for some gelato with my boyfriend. Greg mentioned to our friend how he prefers sorbet to ice cream as he does not like creamy foods. Greg’s reasoning is he does not like milk. I pointed out he eats yogurt. Greg said the consistency and taste are different. I pointed out ice cream’s consistency and taste are also different than milk. Greg then matter-of-factly stated that I’ve known him for more than 3 years and I have always known he does not care for ice cream, why was I making a big deal of this now?

That’s when it hit me.

I was picking at a subject that didn’t need to be picked at. If I had left things alone we would have enjoyed our gelato in peace. Instead I made my boyfriend annoyed, for what purpose? To point out inconsistency in his logic behind not liking ice cream? Why do I care? He doesn’t like it, that’s his prerogative. That just means more ice cream for me!

It truly was an eye opening experience. Certainly there are bigger issues or ideas that can or should be picked at. But basic things like dessert preference or footwear or wall color or book choice should not be picked at. Because picking creates unnecessary strife, annoyance, hurt, confusion and so many other uncomfortable emotions. Not just for the person I am picking, but for me as well. I truly would have been happier and enjoyed the afternoon more if I had not picked at Greg and his sorbet preference. Instead I soured a perfectly lovely afternoon for the both of us.

Now that I am so aware of my picking habit I am trying to be extra careful to stop myself from doing it. Let it go and enjoy the moment. Because little moments truly are what add up to a wonderful life. If I don’t appreciate and enjoy those small moments as they happen, I will soon see my life pass me by.

Are you a verbal picker? Do you have any other bad social habits your are trying to break? I would love to hear about it so I don’t feel like such a bad guy!

Homey

Lately I’ve been thinking about my future home. Not necessarily a house, but just my home. About a month after I graduated college I found a job with an apartment company and moved into my own one bedroom apartment. It was not nice and that is putting it very kindly. But with the help of my family and boyfriend and especially my mom who acted as my own personal designer, I was able to make that apartment my home. The design felt like me (with a few minor tweaks here and there). It was not glamorous, but it was home and it was mine.

When I moved to DC in the middle of the summer, I moved into a house with a few roommates I found on Craigslist. The house is really nice, no horror stories about mold, mice, or bugs. But it doesn’t really feel like mine. My roommate has put her design touch on most of the common spaces and although it is lovely, it doesn’t really feel like me. I’ve tried to make my room feel like my own, but since the space is so small there is only so much I can do with it.

Which leads me to think of my next home. What it would look like? How I would design it? How I would feel inside of it? What activities I would do within my home?

I like to imagine my living room (or more likely living space as my next home will be an apartment) having a gallery wall of my favorite art prints. I imagine growing herbs in pots on my porch or terrace (dreaming big here). I imagine baking muffins in my kitchen while listening to my favorite music. I imagine my little kitty cat Ollie roaming our home as he pleases. I imagine cozying up under a warm blanket and drinking peppermint tea while reading a good book. I imagine using plates, cups and bowls from Anthropologie (my ultimate dream). I imagine walking into my home and just saying ahhhh because it feels like an extension of me.

One day I’ll get there. It will take some time and I will need to stay where I am for a bit, but I will get there one day. And for now I can always dream.

sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Finding My Aesthetic

Recently I have been reading on a few blogs about finding their “aesthetic.” I immediately associated aesthetic with fashion. Images of models, high fashion magazines, runways, and couture all flashed through my head when I read the word aesthetic. Aesthetic was a concept for only the fashion obsessed, people who worshipped Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld, people who loved fashion week. Basically people who were not me.

But for some reason the word aesthetic stuck in my mind. I thought about the concept more. I quickly realized aesthetic doesn’t need to be confined to just the fashion world. It’s about cultivating a life that is beautiful, pleasurable, pleasing and all around enjoyable to you. It’s figuring out what style you have, not just in clothing, but in home décor, in writing, in cooking, in routine, in life.

Because if you’re like me when your desk is cluttered, so is your head. When I have papers, folders, paperclips, pens and post-its strewn all over I feel off my game, confused, and just plain overwhelmed. Now apply that same concept to my life. When I am trying to pull myself in a million different directions, when I try to be the prep, the surfer, the intellect, the hippie, and so many other things, I feel extremely overwhelmed and unsure of myself.

The idea of an aesthetic, for that reason, is extremely pleasing to me. To feel as though I have some guidelines to work in when it comes to my personal style of anything. My aesthetic doesn’t need to fit perfectly in one category. Yes, I may be fascinated by surfing and enjoy learning about the sport, but that does not mean I need to fit the “surfer girl” mold to a tee. I can discover and enjoy the things and activities that make me happy, and it’s okay if there are other things that don’t fit into my Kelsey aesthetic.

Now just with my personal definition, my aesthetic is ever growing and changing. It can morph and is not rigid. As I experience things and age, my aesthetic will evolve. As of right now I have identified some words that I think fit pretty well with my personal aesthetic.

  • Simple
  • Romantic
  • Fresh
  • Lovely
  • Descriptive
  • Breezy

In my mind, my aesthetic looks like an Anthropologie store. I’m still working on all the kinks, but I like the start of this!

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Happy Autumn!

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for all year: the first day of Fall! Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. Basically September to the end of December is my happy time. The air this time of year has its own particular scent. It is a combination of crushed leaves, burning wood, cinnamon and nutmeg, and something altogether unique to fall and pretty indescribable.

I may be the only one, but I love when the tips of my fingers are a bit chilly and I am forced to pull on my favorite pair of gloves. Or wrap my soft infinity scarf around my neck because of the autumn chill. I love the warmth my chai tea latte against my palms. Putting on my wool socks and riding boots is a favorite morning routine. Sipping hot apple cider while cuddled under a cozy blanket on a cool night is a little luxury. Attending a bonfire with friends and roasting marshmallows. Going apple and pumpkin picking with my boyfriend. Taking long evening strolls through the local park to see all the beautiful colors. Hearty autumn meals such as roasted butternut squash, pumpkin ravioli, and pear and cranberry salad.

I could seriously go on and on. Instead I’ll let the magic of these pictures do the rest of the talking for me.

source (my tumblr dedicated to autumn)

Distance and The One

I am so happy to say I am in a loving, supportive, and committed relationship with my boyfriend. I love Greg with all my heart and I cannot imagine my life without him in it.

photo

I mean just look at that cute little face!

It may surprise some of you to hear then that when I made my move to DC a few months ago, I moved further away from Greg and not closer. I am 24 years old and many of my peers are moving closer to their significant others, moving in with them, and even getting engaged and married. I certainly feel like I’m going against the norm by increasing the distance in my relationship.

Moving to DC was a personal decision. It was an independent decision. It might have even been a bit of a selfish decision. But it was all my own. I knew I needed a change in my life. I knew this was the time to make it happen. And I knew I wanted to be in Washington, DC. Even if that meant I was further from Greg.

Leading up to my move and even since settling down here I’ve questioned this decision more than a few times. Was I sabotaging my relationship? Was I being too selfish? Should I be on the marriage track? Should I have stayed in Philly/Delaware to be with the man I love?

Those questions certainly haunted me, but ultimately I know this is the best thing for me. For the first time in my life I have the self-confidence to blaze my own path. For the first 20 or so years of my existence I questioned every move I made. I was shy, scared, and frozen by the possibility of failure. But in the last 3 to 4 years I have grown so much and learned truly what I am capable of. I had this dream and this goal of moving to a city I loved in order to continue to expand my sense of self. I had to allow myself that opportunity and could not let myself stay stagnant, even if staying stagnant meant being with the man I love.

The most amazing thing about all of this is Greg. His ability to support me and lift me up even when I doubted myself. Of course he had his fears, his worries, his doubts, but never once did he tell me “don’t go.” Never once did he say my move would spell the end for us. We have stayed just as committed, if not more committed, to each other and this relationship than ever before.

It is my firm belief that, especially when you are young, you need to have some independence in your romantic relationships. If that person you are dating is truly The One, they should be able to support you in your endeavors. When you believe in a mission with your whole heart, mind, and being, The One will support you in that mission no matter what, even if that means you two will be further apart. If you want to go to Africa, or move to Seattle, or work on a farm, The One will say, okay we can make this work. If your significant other responds to your dreams with don’t go (or more than that, I refuse for you to go), then maybe you should reconsider if they are The One.

Because my One let my find my own path and it only makes me love him more.

Living the Beautiful Life

luxury
source

So Zoe from the What’s In Between completely inspired this post for me. She wrote a post yesterday about indulging in the little luxuries in life. Her list is so spot on (I’m definitely going to try using lavender oil on my pillow from now on!) so I thought I would try to create my own list of little luxuries.

  1. Splurge on unique foods. I love food (who doesn’t?). And I really love trying different types of foods. Unique products that have a sense of romance or whimsy to them particularly make me smile. I’m slowly starting to realize how happy it makes me to purchase a jar of homemade pumpkin butter or a bottle of elderflower presse. These items are a little pricier than the normal food I buy, but the little luxury of biting into a salted caramel truffle is worth the extra few bucks.
  2. Infuse my water. I have no idea what it is but putting a few sprigs of mint into my glass of water or a couple slices of cucumber makes me feel oh so elegant.
  3. Display items in cute jars. I like to save the pretty glasses and jars my candles come in. Once the candle runs out I remove any excess wax and reuse the jar as storage. Right now I have my makeup brushes, q-tips, feminine products, and pens all stored in old candle containers.
  4. Buy fresh flowers. Having fresh flowers strewn around my apartment makes me abundantly happy.
  5. Invest in nice clothing. I am not a shopper. Period. But I’ve slowly taken on a new shopping mantra. Buy pieces that I love, that are classic, and that will last. I am willing to spend a bit more on clothing that I know will get a ton of use and will last me a super long time. Last fall I purchased a $100 sweater from J.Crew. I was hesitant about spending that much on just one piece of clothing but I am glad I did! It has quickly become my favorite sweater ever and I know I will have it for years to come.
  6. Enjoy tea. I have always enjoyed tea more than coffee. The calm process of making myself some herbal tea on a quiet evening and sipping it out of a teacup or mug is so relaxing.
  7. Take care of my skin. This is a new one I have just recently gotten into. I have never been a beauty guru and there were a lot of nights I skipped washing my face (whoops). Lately though I’ve been exploring different skincare treatments and routines. I recently purchased Lush’s ocean salt scrub which I love! I’ve also been better about applying lotion after showers and buffing out the callouses on my feet (disgusting I know, but the results are magical).

What are some ways you create luxury in your own life? What things do you like the splurge on because they give you joy?

Grabbing the Reins

I’ve heard time and again the power of positive thought. Think positive thoughts and good things will happen to you. Think negative thoughts and bad things will happen to you. Your thoughts attract similar energy so positive thoughts attract positive events, actions, rewards, opportunities, everything.

While this is a grand idea and I do truly believe in the power of positivity, positive thoughts aren’t what make things happen. You can sit on your couch day in and day out thinking positive thoughts until you pass out, but until you get up off that couch and start making things happen, those positive thoughts will leave you with just that: thoughts.

I will freely admit I don’t really buy into the whole Universe thing. The idea that there is this ultimate force guiding us through our lives and making things happen for us. It is much more appealing to me to think about the power of the individual. The idea that I have all the tools I need to shape the course of my life is empowering! I can do anything I want if I am willing to work for it! This is where my idea of positivity plays in. If I am negative, I often will give up when a small roadblock appears. I think “I can never do this. Look I’m already running into problems. I should just give up.” When I am in a positive frame of mind however I am able to push passed the roadblock. I think “This is a problem, but I can think of a solution. I may need to make a few sacrifices, but I will be able to rectify this situation.”

In this way and in my view, the Universe is not eliminating these roadblocks for me or giving me opportunity after opportunity. It is me, as an individual, shaping my path, making decisions that are good for me. With my positive frame of mind I can take on anything. It will take blood, sweat, and tears, but I’ll be working toward my dreams.

It is comforting to me knowing I have complete power over my life. Life happens. Problems will arise. I will experience loss and pain. I will be hurt. I will feel stressed and burnt out. But for me, there is no outside force that will shape the way I deal with those events. It’s me. I am in control. For a long time I felt helpless. I felt worthless and my life felt out of control. But now I truly feel like I can grab the reins and say “this is my life and I determine where it goes!”

That, my friends, is a really amazing feeling.