Archive for the ‘WonderWoman Has Issues’ Category

WonderWoman Has Issues [Independence]

Posted by krystamasciale on July 18, 2012  |   6 Comments »

Here’s a little secret for you:

I like it when the hubs takes care of me.

Sure, I’m obsessed with being in control and border-line addicted to being self-sufficient. But, I’ve found that being taken care of feels really freaking nice. I like not having to stress about bills and money. I like it when things are planned out for me and all I have to do is show up. I’ve totally come to terms with the fact that I’ll be that 80-year-old lady who can’t write a check or balance my online bank account.

Being taken care of is awesome. What’s not awesome is that I find myself going back and forth with whether or not I’m comfortable with the amount of vulnerability and submission it requires. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that strange pull between wanting to be self-sufficient and wanting to be taken care of. And I’m not sure it’s so much of a choice between one or the other. In fact, quite the opposite. I find myself wanting both. Yep, I want it all. And I want the hubs to know when I want to be dominant and when I feel like being a good little house wife. Husbands are supposed to read minds right? Pretty sure that was in the agreement.

Simply put, I think the modern woman suffers this battle of wanting to be provided for and wanting to contribute at the same time. It looks different for all of us and manifests itself in different areas. I wonder sometimes if it’s something we grow out of … this need to be so dominant. Or if we find ourselves at some point completely exhausted from trying so damn hard and give in to being loved and adored by our men. Either way, I think I’m reaching the point where there’s a healthy dose of both. Where, in my home, the hubs can rule and I can relax and in my business I can get all the control freak twitches out of my system. I think it suits me (and others) well if I have both. It makes me stronger and more compassionate. It may even take a bit of the edge off.

I’ll let you know if I ever figure this whole independent woman meets housewife thing. Until then, anyone else out there have the same struggle? Or am I the only one?

Personal Style [Brand New Woman]

Posted by krystamasciale on June 29, 2012  |   5 Comments »

You may or may not remember a post I did in January about needing to focus more on how my personal style (or lack thereof) has a direct impact on my personal brand. If you don’t want to read the whole post … here’s the gist: I made a lot of excuses about why personal style wasn’t important. Those excuses communicated something about me that I didn’t feel was entirely accurate. So I committed that 2012 was going to be the year where my wardrobe wouldn’t be a distraction from the message I was trying to communicate about who I am and where I’m going.

For those of you who haven’t grown up reading Vogue and spending your allowance on clothes, I’m going to give you some tips. That said, I claim by no means to be an expert on fashion or style. What I do claim, however, is to now feel much more confident that the way I ‘package’ myself is much more indicative of how I feel inside.

First things first. Hair.Despite how high-maintanance it is, I’ve committed to red being my color again AND I got bangs. That little double feature forces me to keep tabs on the locks of love. As for the rest of my head, I make sure to curl my eyelashes and wear red lipstick as often as I can. It forces me to bring the sass while feeling elegant at the same time. Here’s an example of how this has been going down so far:

 

I also committed to shopping. I’ve never been much of a shopper. I LOVE my Target runs, but thrifting, malls or any other trendy clothing oriented activity stress me out. Then I met Pinterest. I was able to find looks that I felt were “me” and began pinning them onto my “2012 New Look” board. I’ve gotta say, it gave me just enough knowledge of what I like to find consistencies in the combinations that served as great foundational pieces to add to my wardrobe. Here’s a taste of my board since you last saw it:

As you can see, I tend to gravitate towards black, love business casual and have no qualms wearing a pointy black pair of pumps every day. I find most of my inspiration comes from the life of a New Yorker, which is where I’ve come into quite the predicament in the last 6 years. Since I moved to L.A., I wasn’t quite sure how to dress (ok, fine. You win. I’ve never known, humor me.). First of all it’s warmer here, so some of the pieces I love so much (jackets, pants, boots) don’t get as much attention here. And since I don’t connect with the super west-coast hipster vibe, I found myself at a bit of a loss. Until recently. I pretty much said, “Suck it L.A” and made the decision to bring an east coast flair to the sunny and oh-so-beachy city of angels. Here’s a look at some combinations I mustered together this month on my little experiment to find a personal style.

 

 

 

 

The first half is obviously more formal, the second half is definitely more west coast casual. I’m hoping there’s a flair of the Hampton’s in there that keeps it from being too predictably L.A.

So. First step, hair/makeup. Second, figure out what words you want people to associate with you. Third, build a style board that you feel represents who you are and what you’re about. Fourth, identify stores you feel can help you get the look you’re going for. For me, it’s H&M. I may graduate some day to thrifting, but that makes me nauseous just thinking about it right now. Gotta ease into this whole style thing.

I’ll be posting a few more tips I’ve picked up so far this year. Until then, anyone have suggestions/comments/questions about how to figure out what you’re trying to communicate with your style? Hit me up!

Wonder Woman Has Issues: Guest blogger Sarah Willett

Posted by krystamasciale on April 18, 2012  |   2 Comments »

I just realized I have two Sarah’s in a row as guest bloggers. One has an “h” and one doesn’t so they might as well have two totally different names. I met THIS Sarah in Mexico where we were spending the holiday with our then boyfriends and their families. You see, the hubs and his family are BFFs with Sarah’s man’s family. They do holidays, vacations and all sorts of crazy things together. The hubs and her boyfriend have known each other forever and she and I were the new girlfriends on the annual family trip to Mexico. We bonded over being the newbies and stayed friends because we realized how much more we had in common. You are so lucky she used her Spring Break to give you her perspective on being a woman in 2012. Give her some love!

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The beauty of being a Gen X/Y woman is the gift of choice.

I am in my mid-late twenties. I am educated and employed. I am not married. I do not have children. I can be whoever it is I want to be.

Women in the twenty first century have the power to decide what role(s) they’d like to take on. Businesswoman? Homemaker? Sure!

For modern women, the choices are seemingly endless. Could I explore the world as a jet-set executive? Do I want to raise children? Why not both? Herein lies the problem. The burden of choice leads us to believe we can and should have it all.

I am young. In no way am I qualified to give advice. As stated previously, I am not married nor do I have children. What do I know? I know that as a young woman I have made decisions that my male counterpart has not. I know that the reality of the burden of choice means I must sacrifice. I can’t have it all.

When I decided to become a high school teacher, it wasn’t because I loved teenagers. Sure, I loved my subject. I love telling the stories of history to future generations. However, my decision to become a teacher was more complicated.

During high school and college, I sincerely expected I would eventually do something in the business world. My mother was a teacher. My grandmother was a teacher. My aunt was a teacher. I was going to be the one to break the mold. I wrote an essay in high school explaining how I would be bi-coastal, with penthouses overlooking the Pacific and Central Park (there’s nothing quite like teenage delusions of grandeur). After graduating college, I found a job in an industry I was passionate about. I had a cubicle in a small office space and occasionally traveled around the southwest to recruit students for study abroad programs. It was less glamorous than my high school essay had described.

Two years went by and I began to consider teaching. I was 24, and can vividly remember driving home from work in the rain one evening. I started to think about all the other women stuck in traffic heading home to their families. How did these women spend any time with their children? How did my mother do it? That’s when I realized the beauty of being a teacher.

At first, I felt as though I was giving in. I was going to be the one to break the mold…remember? I knew that I wanted a career, but I also knew I wanted a family someday. Teaching seemed to be the greatest compromise.

Teaching has been the most difficult and rewarding choice I’ve ever made. I know that I won’t ever be rich, but I do get to laugh every day and believe that my work is of value. In exchange for those two penthouses, I also know that my future children won’t be waiting for me as I sit in traffic on a rainy Tuesday evening. Like my mother, teaching will allow me to have both career and family.

When I think about how long I avoided becoming a teacher because of my perception of success, I realize how foolish I was. Success is not a view of the Pacific or Central Park. Success is self-fulfillment in whatever choices we make.

My personal story is not unlike those of my friends. The twenty something Gen X/Y women have choices to make (gift or burden). It may not be possible to have it all, but each one of us can choose to have what is of value (in whatever shape that takes).

Wonder Woman Has Issues: Guest Blogger Sara

Posted by krystamasciale on April 2, 2012  |   3 Comments »

You guys are so lucky that my awesome friend Sara Garza from Dallas is here to drop some wisdom on you today. I met Sara last fall via Twitter/one of our B!G DEAL BRANDING TH!NK TANKs. She and her husband Rocky are supreme bad asses. Makes me super sad they don’t live closer. Like most of my guest bloggers, Sara has massive cajones for being such a small girl. She quit her job as an architect a few years ago to pursue her dream of self-employment by way of wedding photography. Not long after that giant life change, her hubs did the same thing and joined her in their new adventure of working from home, loving on people and changing the world. I love Sara because she gave up what she was “supposed” to be in order to become what she was created to be. I think you’ll dig what she has to say about being a modern woman. If you’re pickin’ up what she’s puttin’ down, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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I am from a small, west Texas town of about 10,000 people.  Let me tell you, I wouldn’t change a thing of how I was raised.  It was much more simple, slow paced than living in the city, one of the number one reasons I love going back to visit my mom and dad. My parents are from an even smaller town in Texas, and my mom was the best homemaker you could ask for.  She had a full time job, but still did all the cooking, cleaning, sewing, and gardening.  My dad worked hard, a very ‘manly man’, builds furniture and remodels homes perfectly.  The common idea in a southern small town is to go to college, get married, and then start your family. There is NOTHING wrong with that! I just wasn’t ready for that life.

I always felt a calling out of my hometown, I wanted to get out and see everything I possibly could.  My parents raised me to be independent, and encouraged me to go and do whatever I wanted to do. I went to college, moved to the city, and did get married to my best friend about a year after I graduated.  After we got married, the immediate thought was, “Well, I guess the next thing to do is buy a house, have a baby, and quit my job?”  Not that those things are bad or have a negative connotation at all, but then and right now, it is not the ideal for me.

I began to realize that I had dreams, passions, and desires that I wanted to pursue, and I could be a great wife and do those things at the same time.  Rocky and I own our own wedding photography business, and we are together every single day of every single week. Our marriage is a little different in the fact that my husband, Rocky, loves to cook.  Seriously, he amazes me.  He makes us breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day, and he can whip up anything from whatever we have in the house.  How do I cook? I follow recipes, and my specialties are casseroles…a little discouraging when I compare that to how he cooks.  He also likes to clean and go grocery shopping.  Wait…this doesn’t sound right. I am the woman, and I don’t cook or go grocery shopping? Although it’s totally different from how I was raised and from what I thought going into marriage, it’s taken a me a while to realize that is how our marriage was designed, and I now find freedom in that. This has also manifested itself in other ways – we love to travel and want to keep traveling, which means we probably won’t have kids for a little while.

Again, I KNOW my parents are so excited to have grandkids, but they have been amazing to not pressure us into it, or ask us every time we are around them if we are going to have babies soon.  They love that we are traveling everywhere and getting to see the world.  Although it is difficult at times, I just have to continually remind myself that I have freedom to pursue the lifestyle I want to live.  If that doesn’t fit into the mold that everyone else lives, or thinks we should live, it doesn’t matter.  It’s about pursuing what it is that makes YOU happy.

I am not the stereotypical woman – does that even exist anymore?  I am excited to see so many women that are breaking out of the mold to pursue what they love.  I am beginning to think that the mold is starting to disappear, which not only gives me encouragement for my life, but brings me hope for my future children, that they will live fully into everything they will be created to be.

JOY

Posted by krystamasciale on March 23, 2012  |   3 Comments »

I’m not an expert on happiness or joy. In fact “angsty” and “irritated” are words that have been more descriptive of my personality over the last few (or 20) years

I’d like to blame it on birth control which, ladies, let’s be honest, could totally be a contributor to raging hormones and failed attempts at inner happiness. But I think the real reason is that I was spending most of my time in that weird “I don’t know who I am” funk and the rest of the time bitching about everything around me that was clearly holding me down. If that isn’t a sure-fire way to keep happiness out of your life, I don’t know what is. Sound familiar?

Anywho, as a someone who has been living in pure joy for the past 7-ish months, I’ve started to see things a bit more clearly:

1. Birth control is evil. 

2. You’ll get more of what you put out there. 

I spent YEARS complaining. The church was messed up, my boss was incompetent, my family was dysfunctional, my boyfriend didn’t ‘get’ me, my friends were negative. And the people I hung out with all seemed to have similar issues with similar crap in their lives. Coincidence? Notsomuch. The thing that brought us together was our shared frustration/angst/insecurities. Quite the thing to hang relationships on wouldn’t you say? The obvious observation is that it was us all along. It wasn’t the world around us … it quite simple “we” who were holding “us” down and I think we knew that. We just didn’t know how to get out.

When things started looking up for the hubs and I, it was an awkward transition both personally and socially.

There was guilt: Do we talk about how awesome our lives are? Or will that make people feel bad?

There was a tinge of fear: We don’t want to say too much because we don’t want to seem too arrogant or jinks anything.

And then we realized how stupid all of that is. I mean, seriously. This is GOOD. This is what we’ve been working so hard for. This is actually something worth talking about.

I’ve realized there’s no use hiding the fact that things are going well for you for the sake of sparing someone else’s feelings. The world has enough bull shit to sift through, a little light at the end of the tunnel should be welcomed.

I know this stuff ebbs and flows. I know there will be more seasons of sacrifice, risk and wondering if we’re going to make it to the next phase of our dream. But I’m trying to learn something from the goodness of right now: celebration. The hubs and I are trying so hard to celebrate every single day of this part of our journey because it’s a reminder that we’re on the right path. That we ARE supposed to be chasing this thing after all. It’s also a reminder that when we’re back in the trenches, our friends need us to celebrate with them when things are going well. There is nothing more awesome right now than people who are genuinely jazzed for us and fully supportive. And I really hope I don’t forget that when it’s my turn to be joyful for someone else’s success even if I’m not experiencing my own.

The truth is, there are enough things in this world destroying hope & joy. I don’t want to add to that … ever.

Wonder Woman Has Issues: Guest Blogger Bree

Posted by krystamasciale on February 20, 2012  |   1 Comment »

As most of you know by now, I’ve spent a great deal of time struggling to find this happy medium between being a bad ass business woman and award-winning housewife. I feel, for the first time in female history, my generation has the privilege to choose the path that best suits them — yes, even being a stay-at-home mom (feminists). That choice comes with its own set of emotions that make any sane woman seem like a bi-polar nightmare. And that’s why “Wonder Woman Has Issues” exists. We’re smart, capable, talented women who can pretty much rock ANY career we get our hands on. But there’s an equal piece of us that wants to raise a family, be good wives and host killer parties with the cutest 50s apron we can get our hands on. In generations past, it has either been one or the other or worse … a feeling that we should do both at 100%. There’s a group of us that feel neither of those options is for us. That, perhaps, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. That, perhaps, we’re going to have to create a path that works for us as individuals.

My friend Bree is doing just that. She’s right there with the rest of us … wondering what the hell it’s going to look like in the end. She’s there grappling with the same internal dichotomy of craving a successful career and desperately wanting to raise a family with her husband. I met Bree when I first moved to L.A. She was a student in the MBA program I worked for. My initial reaction to her: “I need to move out of this girl’s way, let her take the lead and then follow her like a little dough-eyed puppy.” She’s powerful. Influential. Kind. Generous. Ambitious. And she’s here with us today! YESSSS! Say hello to Bree in the comment section and give her some love will ya?

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(photo credit: MarieSam Sanchez Photography)

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar… I am Woman, Try My Braised Short Ribs  

I am woman, hear me roar is the first verse to Helen Reddy’s hit song from the mid 1970s. Helen said there were no other songs about how she felt to be a woman at that time, so she decided to write one. As a 20-something year-old woman I am still figuring out my song because I’m not sure if I want to roar or if I want to bake.

As Krysta puts it–I am badass. I own my own business with my mom and sisters and have a growing career as real estate broker. Our business roars! I think I am or at least still claim to be a newlywed…You are a newlywed for three years, right? My amazing husband and I will be celebrating our two-year anniversary in April. I love my role as a wifey and secretly can’t wait to pop out a baby or two, but I also love having my own career and my own identity in the big bad world of business.

Coming from a family of all sisters, my parents told us to leave the boys alone, get an education and become a professional, so that is what I did. Oh wait…did you feel that? The feeling of being torn in what seems like two different directions. As I got older and into my womanhood things started happening in my life and the inner battle between roaring woman and domestic diva started to bloom.  I always knew I wanted to be a wife and a mother, so when I thought of a career I always weighed what that would be like when I got married and had children. I remember having quite the breakdown in college when I told myself that I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too. I talked myself out of going to law school because the life of an attorney plus mother seemed too hard for me. I told myself I could not be a Gloria Allred or Condi Rice if I also wanted to be a full-time mother. I dealt with the choice by deciding to choose one over the other, and not both.

Fast-forward 6 years and the inner battle is still pushing me around. Now that I am married I am really looking forward to children and staying home to nurture them the same way my mother stayed home with me. On the other hand, I am building up my career as a businesswoman and enjoy finding ways to impacting my community and building my company up to be the powerhouse it deserves to be. I don’t see myself stepping down from my businesswoman podium so easily anymore. Now I see myself attempting to do both or some form of both by creating a personal balance. Luckily my career path allows me to work from home, so there is a post-motherhood option. Another option is to hire a full-time assistant to relieve me of the time consuming tedious parts of work. I think about these options pre-motherhood, but I have no idea if it will work and still weigh giving it all up.

Every once in a while I ask myself, “Self, are you willing to say okay career, you were real and you were fun, but I have short ribs to braise and diapers to change?” Yes…No…Yes! Even though my new plan is to try to keep a career while starting a family, every yes means I am ready and every no means I am not ready. Right now I am not ready. I am close, but not quite there yet

When I do pop out my twin babies (kind of hoping for a two for one deal) I will just take it a day at a time. I will practice my own unique balance of life because we all realize there is no perfect manual to balance being a woman. Plus, just as the times have changed any manual would also change or be oh-so out dated.

I make amazing food, I have a knack for decorating and entertaining and I’m hoping I’ll be a pretty awesome mother. I also love my job, know a sales contract like the back of my hand and can put any buyer or seller at ease during a roller coaster transaction. So for now I press on feeling like anything is possible. For now I will just have to bake that cake and eat it when I can. We are woman and we roar with different tones and volumes, but all the while we remain strong and we remain ferocious.

 

Book Club | January 2012

Posted by krystamasciale on January 30, 2012  |   10 Comments »

Well, hello there ladies and gents.

I’ve been kickin’ ass and taking names on my quest to read more. Gotta say, it feels SO good to have my nose back in both the paper and digital varieties. Reading fiction is good for my imagination, non-fiction is good for building awareness, perspective and knowledge and reading in-general is great for becoming a better writer. I’m convinced of it!

A few books I’ve tackled in the past few months:

Bossy Pants — Tina Fey

This book is so delicious on so many levels. If you appreciate her witty (and often abrasive) sense of humor, you’ll eat this book up like a fat kid in a candy store. 

Syrup — Max Barry

My good friend, Korey, loaned me this book so I knew it was going to be worth my time. If you’ve ever worked in advertising or marketing, you need to read this book. And I hear they’re making it into a movie, so get it before Hollywood ruins it for all of us!

Re-Work — Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

If you’re a leader of ANYTHING … this book is a game changer. For real. As god of all things awesome  says, “Ignore this book at your own peril.” 

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels — Ree Drummond 

We all know Ree as the famous blogger, The Pioneer Woman. I got hooked on her blog because of the series she ran called “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.” What’s not to love about a self-proclaimed city girl who falls in love with a cowboy?

Bitter is the New Black — Jen Lancaster 

Jen says what we’re all thinking, but have the decency not to say (yes, even me). The story is fun but not a total page turner. In short,  you can have a life AND read this book at the same time but it won’t change your life. 

The Hunger Games — Suzanne Collins 

I know, I know. This trilogy is like the new Twilight or Harry Potter. I’ve stood strong in my resistance to the other two, but totally caved when I my friends started reading this one. Peer pressure is real people! Anywho, this book changed my freaking life. No joke. I mean, The Help was a damn good fiction book. It was the first one I had read since public schools made me 15 years ago. I always thought, “If you’re going to spend precious time reading, why would you ever read fiction? Read something that’ll help your business or make you feel more spiritual!” Oh how the mighty fall. I realized, after the first book in the Hunger Game series, that I was a fool all along. My poor imagination has gotten the shaft in a major way. I’m convinced The Help and The Hunger Games have ruined recreational reading for me in the future. After I’m done with book 3, my life will be spent sifting through shit fiction in order to find another story as compelling as these guys. But it’s worth it. Because a good fictional book takes you to a completely different world that’s SO worth exploring. I’m a few chapters away from finishing book 2 and 3. I’ll let you know how they go in my February update! 

If you have favorite books you think everyone should read, leave them in the comment section. I’m all about starting a virtual book club if any of you crazy fools are interested! Let me know! BOOK NERDS UNITE!

Misfits and The Cool Kids

Posted by krystamasciale on January 25, 2012  |   No Comments »

I’d love it if everyone woke up tomorrow without the desire to try so hard to fit in. I’d love for all of us to wake up, sit back for a second and take a look at what’s really happening in our lives … and then … decide whether or not we actually want to be a part of it.

For a long time I wanted to belong. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I still totally want to belong. Doesn’t everyone? Isn’t that on the human hierarchy pyramid of needs or something?

The problem is — I didn’t want to just belong anywhere. I wanted to be in the cool kid club. Whether that was the cool kid club at church, work, school or even in my family … I wanted to be there. I wanted to have a click that I ran around with, you know … like a real-life Friends episode. And, until recently, I banged my head against every wall trying to figure out how to “get in.”

Here are a few things that changed:

1. I started my own company. To put it bluntly, I don’t have as much time as I used to to kiss people’s asses. As a small business owner, I can’t keep altering my story just because I think that’s what you want to hear. I’ve come to find you end up confusing a lot of people and you find yourself doing work you hate. The cool kid club in every area of my life wasn’t worth not paying my bills and working with crappy clients.

2. The cool kid club isn’t as cool as I thought. The fact that they’re every bit as insecure, confused and human as I am was a total buzz kill.

3. I wasn’t giving myself enough credit and chances are you aren’t either if you’re still trying to get them to notice you. What I started realizing is that the world doesn’t need another version of the people I’ve spent my whole life trying to impress. Does that mean I get on my high horse and prance around like a tool? Don’t be ridiculous. What it means is that I have a little more respect for myself. It means I don’t need other people to validate my worth. [note: most days I suck big time at not caring what other people think of me. So don’t give up if you find yourself acting a fool just to fit in. There’s always tomorrow!]

It’s hard to press on and pave a path that’s right for you … especially when the party seems to be elsewhere. But I’ll tell you what happens: The party will follow. And it’ll be better than any party you’ve ever been to because you’ll be able to be yourself.

Try and wake up tomorrow owning who you are … even if it feels a little awkward. If not for you, remember there’s nothing that gives someone else permission to do the same than someone like YOU leading by example. Take one for team misfits will ya?

Nothing Is Impossible

Posted by krystamasciale on January 20, 2012  |   5 Comments »

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about dreams and how most of us could probably stand to dream a little bigger. I still fully believe that … most of us don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we’re actually capable of accomplishing.

Since that post, it seems as though this whole “follow your dreams” conversation has been coming up a lot lately among my friends. Maybe it’s just because it’s January and everyone is in goal-setting mode for the new year. Maybe it’s because we’re all at that stage where we’re supposed to have ‘arrived’ and most of us don’t know where to go beyond here. Either way, the conversation is starting to overwhelm me. A few things are making this whole dream-new-dreams-life-stage a little awkward:

1. I’m currently living the dream I’ve been carrying around since I was a pre-teen. When teachers would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say, “I’m going to live in a big city and run my own company.” Imagine a frizzy-haired, scrawny little white girl from Derby, Kansas snapping back with that answer. Since I need to get a new answer for the first time in 20 years, I’m having a difficult time figuring out where to start.

2. I feel like I should be allowed to “live the dream” for a while before someone asks me “what’s next?” So I use the “I’m living in the present” as an excuse not to tackle the answer to that question.

3. I feel pressured to come up with a dream so impossible it not only terrifies me, but the people around me. My old dream held a sort of shock value … what if I can’t think of something as compelling? On the same note, things become less scary after you keep taking bigger risks. You find out it doesn’t kill or completely ruin your life and you start to feel like, no matter what, things will be OK.

And in the middle of #3, I realized something …  I don’t actually think anything is impossible. 

WOAH. Hold the trolly you crazy bat!

I made that realization out loud (as most extroverts do) when I was talking to my BFF Alice the other day. My brain couldn’t believe my mouth (again, a total extrovert problem) and instantly fired back with the following accusations:

  • What A-hole says they don’t think anything is impossible? 
  • That’s so arrogant.
  • Wow, talk about first world problems. 
  • Who do you think you are? God?
  • Speaking of God, what room is left for Him if you think you can do it all yourself?
Let me explain something. When I say I don’t really think something is impossible, I’m not saying things aren’t extremely difficult nor am I saying accomplishing big dreams don’t require a massive time commitment. And by time commitment, I’m talking … years … perhaps the dedication of an entire lifetime. I’m also not saying I have any interest in tackling a dream on my own. That would be completely dumb and uber boring. As for God, I read once that “With God, all things are possible.” And I believe God is with me (not because I’m cool, but because hanging out with me is surely His form of comic relief). So. Where does that leave me?

Exhausted from sitting on a perfectly decent dream.

I’ve been listening to pastors, leaders, friends, and visionaries my whole life. Most recently, I’ve been using their thoughts on dreaming bigger as my reason to stay inactive. Example: Since I haven’t found a dream I’m terrified of or feel is next to impossible, I’ll ignore the ones I have and sit around hoping for a bigger one.

There are a lot of things wrong with this world. Things that are way bigger than I am (in theory) but that could be solved over time with little bites at a time. In fact, the only dreams that seem near impossible, to me, revolve around issues/industries I am either unfamiliar with or totally uninterested in.

Look, I don’t think I’m God’s gift to humanity here. But I do think the dreams I have in my head for how to leave a mark and bring hope are important. I think they’ve been occupying space in my heart and my brain for a really long time for a reason. And instead of waiting for a bigger, shinier, more heroic dream to come along, I think I’m going to start making the one I have a priority. Who knows, at the end of my life, maybe I’ll look back and think, “Holy crap. Had I known that little dream would turn out so colossal … I would have shat myself in fear before EVER committing to taking that first step.”

I believe everyone is capable of greatness. Truth be told, I finally believe that applies to me too. So when someone tells me their dream for humanity or their career or their life, it doesn’t shock me anymore. What DOES shock me is seeing someone actually lace up their shoes and start marching towards that goal … one step at a time.

Emotional Boundaries

Posted by krystamasciale on January 18, 2012  |   No Comments »

I have a few things I’d like to say about setting healthy emotional boundaries.

1. It’s going to be a long road to emotional health if you are dependent on other people to validate your worth and existence.

2. It’s going to be a long road to emotional health if you’re worried about what other people think of you.

I should know … I’m talking from experience here. (Ask the hubs, he’s the one cleaning up the mess)

Now, I’m no therapist, so what I’m about to say is purely based on my own circumstances and where I am so far in my process of becoming a healthier person — emotionally.

For a little context, you should know my parents are divorced. I grew up living with my mother and my step-father who I refer to as my parents. My grandparents also helped a great deal in raising my brother and I. My biological father was an alcoholic who made the noble decision of getting sober in 2001 when I was a senior in high school. In fact, my brother and I got out of school that day because we were chosen to drive him to a court hearing. The judge’s decision that day could have sent him to the slammer again … this time for long enough to make anyone weak in the knees. I guess that sobered him up.

While I’m so grateful he began to make healthier decisions for his life, the damage of growing up with a father who consistently chose himself (or beer) over me, was already pretty deep. — Cue the sad trombone for another child with daddy issues. — He recently resurfaced in my family’s life and I about lost my marbles. Part of me was so angry that he got to decide when he chose to come back … shouldn’t that be up for discussion? FAMILY MEETING! Part of me was scared for my family that they would be hurt again if this just happened to be another seasonal addiction. Part of me was hurt that I was the only person he hadn’t made amends with. And part of me was certain that the decision I made years ago to keep my distance was the healthiest thing for me … even if it stings a little.

That’s the tricky thing with boundaries: You can’t be mad if someone honors them.

In this particular situation, I have to be super careful not to let my inner 5-year-old make decisions for me. It’s that inner 5-year-old that made me break down in my kitchen when I realized I hadn’t been chosen … again. It’s that inner 5-year-old who needs to be validated by the person who played a role in creating her.

The present day me knows better. And she’s the one I need to keep in check to make sure bitterness doesn’t creep back in. She’s the one who requires reminders that we’ve already forgiven … that there’s no need to protect 5-year-old me anymore.

I wonder if I’ll always live in that tension with this issue. The tension between wanting to have my dad like me and wanting to stay as far away as possible. That tension of forgiving, genuinely, but wanting so badly not to forget in fear that I’ll get hurt again. Most days I live in the middle where I’d love to have a cup of coffee with him, catch up, talk about music, the Harleys and business. Most days I really hope he’s happy. Most days … I have a decently level head about the whole situation. But until the piece of me goes away that craves his validation, my boundaries of having a limited relationship with him (and letting go) are absolutely essential to my emotional health.

[For the record, I’m well aware of the gazillion things I need to be doing in my own brain to replace existing destructive behaviors of my own … it’s not pin-my-problems-on-dad day. My therapist gave me a list of items to tackle and I figure it’ll take me until I’m 90 to get anywhere close to the last item. So be patient. Not with me, but with anyone else in your life who may be trying to break free of something this heavy. This shit doesn’t just vanish overnight. For me, I could dwell less on the past. That’d be super helpful. Some days I’m a freaking rock star at it. Other days I hold onto it like it’s the only thing that’s left of my identity — those days are rough and usually fall around the time I’m PSMing. My guess is that happens to other people too. Try to be understanding.]