Friday, September 25, 2015

Faking it: My Decemopment

I can't adult today

I'm too busy having a decemopment.



Decemopment? That's not a word.

Yes it is. I made it up and defined it yesterday after accidentally mistyping 'development' and autocorrect saying "I got nothing."

Decemopment:noun (des-eh-mop-ment) That moment when you've gotten so emotional, you need a mop to clean up the mess.

It could be a happy or a sad thing. It would really apply to those soldier videos where they surprise their family members and everyone turns into a puddle of tears.

Or it could happen when you find out your boyfriend is cheating on you and you break all of things/burn all of his clothes before dissolving into a puddle of tears...




Either way, tears are probably involved.

Today I'm fighting my own decemopment. It's been a rough month and a half and my psyche is fighting all the upheaval.
Long story short, everyone is gone. Long story a little bit longer...my best friend moved away and now my Brosef (the best brother that ever lived) is gone for 5 weeks in the boonies where I can't talk to him. *pouts*

Top that off with other drama (divorce, broken hearts, health crises) and I am pretty sure the zombie apocalypse is about to happen.
Maybe that's just me.
Or maybe that's because Walking Dead will start again soon. *Shudders*

Either way, I'm totally faking it today. Smile. Nod. Rinse. Repeat.

Any of you having a decemopment moment? Sound off in the comments. Ten points for Gryffindor if you use decemopment in a casual conversation today.

If you were curious:
Adjective: Decemopmenty: "I'm sad and decemopmenty today."
Verb: Decemope: "Can we decemope together? I'm having a rough day."
Adverb: Decemopely: "He sniffled decemopely, tears streaming down his face and leaving tracks in the dirt smudged on his cheeks."

Thank you to Katie Cross for unintentionally creating the verb form of this word. Let's all band together and get it in the dictionary! Hey, Twerk is in there, why can't our word be in there, too?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hufflepuff Haters Can Go Hug a Basilisk

It's a popular thing among the Harry Potter fandom to put Hufflepuff down as the "leftovers" house, simply because Helga Hufflepuff said she would take the lot and teach them just the same.

Know what Helga Hufflepuff wasn't?
Prejudice.
Stuck up.
Arrogant.

Look, I'm a Ravenclaw--the house with the greatest conglomeration of intellect--does that mean all smart individuals or ONLY smart individuals go to Ravenclaw?

Heck no.

Hermione is proof of that.



In fact, Ravenclaws, while proven to be the more studious, bookish crowd, are often also the weirdest/quirkiest. From Luna Lovegood to Padma Patils. 

Not all Gryffindors are brave. Helloooo Peter Pettigrew. 
Not all Slytherins are wicked. Thank you, Regalas Black, Severus Snape, and MERLIN is even rumored to have been a Slytherin (depends on whether or not the net is right).

So while the Slytherins and Gryffindors (and yes, even some Ravenclaws) hate on the Huffs, I'm here to stand with them and defend them:

Tonks was a Hufflepuff.
Cedric was a Hufflepuff.
Newt Scamander, Pomona Sprout, and many Ministers of Magic!

GUYS! Zachariah Smith is a Hufflepuff! The snarkiest, creepiest punk that ever did walk the halls and NOT be a Slytherin! That right there shows that they aren't all dotty, simpletons like they're treated.

Hufflepuffs are strong and loyal as hell. They'll stand beside you until the end. They're brave and wise and yes, even cunning.

And excuse me, but do you realize their house symbol is a badger? Badgers are dangerous AF! Don't you know why we say Honey badgers don't give a damn? Because they don't. 
THEY EAT COBRAS!
Watch out, Slytherin.





Maybe Hufflepuffs aren't the leftovers, but the ones who don't go to the other houses because they aren't just ONE THING. They're so much more than that!

Rowling herself has called this year the Dawn of the Hufflepuff.

Let's not have her fans disappoint her by hating on our fellow students and alumni. If Harry had been sorted into Hufflepuff, would we be saying this about one of the other houses? Stop the #Hufflehate.




Shape up and shut up. United we stand against the dark arts in this world. Don't make the fandom a negative place. 

Embrace a Hufflepuff today! 



Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Stolen Kiss Cover Reveal

MY BOOK HAS A COVER!

IT'S REAL!

MY BOOK IS GOING TO BE IN PEOPLE'S HANDS THIS WINTER!

GAH!

*dies*

Okay. Love it? Good, because so do I.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oh, the Pain (Ode to the Smushed Toe)

Picture this:

There is this beautiful chaise lounge at Costco...it could fit 2 people on it (hello cuddlefest) or a person and a dog (which will be me and Tobias, let's be honest).

It's perfect. So, of course, I buy it. The problem is, it's heavy and awkward and now I need to get it into my house and downstairs where I want it to reside. 


PIVOT!!!
Credit: Tumblr

Did I say problem? No problem! I have a Brosef with muscles to help me carry it.

New problem: Box won't fit through door.

NO PROBLEM! I will cut it out of the box like a genius!

So I begin cutting. Cut. Cut. Cut. I'm wearing flip flops, because shoes are important while moving furniture. Cut. Cut. Cut...
Randomly lose my balance and launch my foot into the corner of the box.

Commence stream of unintelligible yelling on front porch, to which Brosef says "Kelsey, shhh...you have neighbors."
And I reply, "DON'T CARE! TOE AARRRRRRRRGH!"


Because 1 Friends GIF is never enough
Credit: Tumblr

Now, in pain, I've triumphantly cut the chaise free. I'm hella pissed and fired up to get this thing taken care of.

Mission complete. Chaise is in place. I return up the stairs and see...

Blood, gushing from my toe.

You see, I didn't just stub my toe...I tore off the pretty little toenail that resides upon it. OUCH! (See, Brosef...I totally had a right to shout it loudly from the porch, despite the neighbors.)
Credit Tumblr

It's funny how stupid things in life can become metaphorical revelations.
Sometimes we want something, are willing to work for it, put time and effort into it...we slave away and do things most people would say scrawny little blondes could not do (or is that just me?).
It's so worth it. We have what we wanted. The Chaise is in place and it's the best seat in the house. Life. is. Good.


Except there's always a cost. The chaise cost me money, sure, but what it really cost was days of stupid limping. 

We work hard for things, but we don't come out unscathed. Whatever it is you're working for--writing, music, job promotion, family...it doesn't matter. You aren't going to go through all of that effort and walk out without any bruises.
Or any broken toes.
Or noses.
Or glasses maybe, I don't know. Things break.
Credit: Tumblr

The point is, despite all of the pain shooting up from whatever or wherever (likely heart pain. Sorry guys. It's going to suck), we keep moving forward (Hey! Walt Disney!). 

We don't stop.
We press on.
We push past the pain and defy the odds by carrying the damn heavy chaise down the stairs and into the proper place.


In the end, it's so worth it. In the end you forget the pain required to succeed. You're ready to do it again.


Game on, life. I can take whatever you want to throw at me. I will win.


Credit: giphy


But in the future? Well, I'll wear close-toed shoes. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Effing Sadness

I just saw Disney and Pixar's Inside Out.

Disney Pixar's Inside Out - Photo Credit: Disney and Kelsey Keating
Deep. Stuff.

Like, beyond children deep. This movie might be a cartoon and might have funny, happy, kid-centric things in it, but the writers at the core are deep thinkers. They're playing hard ball and the adults will all see it (older kids might too).

The core that I walk away with (that isn't a spoiler) is this: Sadness is important.

In today's world, you shouldn't be sad. Sadness isn't welcome. Don't be a downer. Don't share your feelings. Don't ask people to see the darker parts of you and still love you.

Sadness isn't welcome.

Be happy! Show off all of your best parts. Post all of the great things that happen to you in a day online to let everyone know how great your life is...even if that's only 1/10 of what your world is really like.

Don't bring anyone down. Depression is a state of mind. Get over it.

How much damage are we doing when we teach people this concept? When we raise children to believe this and they turn into adults who can't cope with the hard parts of life?

This is destruction.

Part of being an effing swan means accepting your whole self. Being a swan doesn't mean you're always happy, confident, and perfect.

Being a swan is being imperfection. Being a swan sometimes means being a mess, being sad...embracing your emotions. Real effing swans feel, and feel deeply.

The feels! Credit: Tumblr and Kelsey Keating

You should never have to apologize for how you feel. Sometimes you may have to apologize for how you ACT when you're feeling deeply, but that's on you for your behavior ;). If something makes you sad...if something makes you happy...if something makes you angry...if it's rational, than no one should make you feel wrong for feeling (obviously if you're being irrational, I can't help you...but we've all been there).

Today I just want you to know that. I want you to know that you aren't alone. If people are telling you to "just get over it" or "change your outlook" and it isn't working...I've been there. Sometimes you have to be there.

Sadness can heal. Sadness can bring people together. It keeps you from bottling dark emotions that will only eat away at your gloriously beautiful soul. Sadness is important. It's okay to feel it.

Embrace your inner swan (and outer swan). Embrace your rational emotions. Get the help you need or gather around with the people you need. Just know that the Original Swan is with you. We aren't alone. We aren't weird (okay, maybe we are but being normal is vastly overrated).

We are human. We are beautiful.

Welcome, swans. You are beautiful.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

One Pissed Off Swan

Today I am vexed. 

I never know what's going to ruffle my feathers, but when it happens I'm ready to be on a rampage. The problem? Well, I'm not much of a verbal rampager. I'm far more adept at putting my purge on the page. 

So, today I am vexed.

I am vexed by my own swanitude. It's hard to change your whole outlook and still have those around you treat you like the old you. 



What does it take to have others see the value you see in yourself? How long do you wait for them to see it? 

I've been reading the most AMAZING books lately. The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker, and Bon Bons to Yoga Pants by Katie Cross. Both books are about identity and understanding that maybe you're awesome all on your own.

If you haven't read The Choosing, I need you to stop what you're doing, follow the link and buy it for your own reading pleasure.

Credit: Rachelle Dekker

As for BBtYP, that one is a serial novel FREE on Wattpad and already has 30+ chapters.

Credit: Katie Cross

Lexie Greene is an overweight college student who wants to lose weight to get hot for her handsome Facebook friend Bradley. Along the way, though, Lexie is learning that maybe she shouldn't be so worried about being a size two, and instead concern herself with being healthy for herself and herself alone.

Lexie is in the early cygnet stage, but she's slowly realizing that she's a swan without a man. The reason I love BBtYP is because I know how it feels. I've never dealt with my weight the way Lexie has, but I have hella dealt with my worth. 
I (and many other young women) have felt the "I'm not hot enough for a guy like Bradley" or "no one could like me 'as I am'." 

Today, I am vexed on Lexie's behalf.

There's something so empowering about figuring out you are not an ugly duckling, but an effing swan. It's such a great experience that I hope all of you have had or will have soon. 

It's also easily lost.
Finding your swanitude isn't a one time thing. You don't suddenly have permanent confidence as you rock the world with your greatness.

No, you struggle with it. Sometimes daily, hourly, or by the minute.

Today I am vexed, because today I am struggling. I'm struggling with others not seeing my swanitude. They treat me like I'm not worth their time, and they make me feel like that lie is true.

Know what? I'm more than worth their time. I'm not worthless, nor am I forgettable (even if they forget me). 

I may have a hard time remembering this today, and maybe I'm tired of others acting like I'm not worth their time, but that just proves it's an uphill battle.

It's an uphill battle for Lexie, who, if I knew her in real life, I would like to tell is beautiful as she is. If the man she's been dreaming about can't see that, then she needs to tell him he isn't worth her time and move on. 

There are days where I need to tell myself that, as well. I am beautiful, even if others treat me like I'm still the wallflower who belongs in the role of 'quirky best friend' and not 'leading lady'. 

This is a reminder to all of the Lexie Greene's out there...you're beautiful. You're an effing swan. If someone makes you FEEL like you are WORTH LESS...maybe it's time to cut ties.

You're worth so much more.
Surround yourself with people who see your beauty (in and out). End the vexation within my soul.

Oh, and go read The Choosing and Bon Bons to Yoga Pants

Monday, May 4, 2015

Why I'm Defending Meghan Trainor

Lately I've been seeing posts about Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass", casting it in a negative light and calling it "skinny shaming." 

I'm here as a skinny/scrawny young woman (just a touch older than Ms. Trainor herself) to tell you that I find absolutely no offense in the song.

In fact, I'm going to defend it.

The Argument:
Meghan Trainor's song is a diss to young skinny women everywhere, perpetrating the idea that curvy is better than skinny and all girls should strive to be bigger. Ms. Trainor mistakenly thinks she's promoting positive body image when she's actually destroying anyone who was born naturally skinny.

My Thoughts:
My first thought is "Wow. get over it. It's a song." Now, that's my first reaction and then I have to step back and remember how people can be emotionally connected to songs.

So that's when I started to dissect "Bass" and figure out how I felt about it as a skinny, not-so-curvy woman.



Here's what I realized: People are taking one song's lyrics out of context and allowing the one song to make them feel like they (or maybe, just going on a crusade on behalf of someone else) aren't worth enough.

So the problem is still the question of worth. 

The lyrics that are called into question are:

1. "Yeah it's pretty clear I ain't no size 2,
but I can shake it, shake it like I'm supposed to do."

The first lyrics in question are specific to Meghan herself. She's not a size 2, but she can still shake her body the way it was meant to shake. Know what? So can I.  It looks different, I'm sure, but it doesn't change that we can "shake it" (that is, work out bodies, live our lives) the way we're meant to. 

It wouldn't be healthy for someone of Meghan's body type to starve herself in order to get to my body type. Nor would it be healthy for someone like me to try to achieve Meghan's shape. We weren't built that way. We aren't going to obsess about being like someone else.

We're going to be our beautiful selves.

2. "My mama she told me don't worry 'bout your size.
She said boys like a little more booty to hold at night." 

The lyrics, again, are specific to the singer.  Know what? My mama tells me things about my body to help me see my own beauty, too. That's what mama's do. The song's mama is telling her daughter she's beautiful as she is and it's not going to keep her from finding love if she wants it.

Mom loves you. Always. 


The same can be said for me. There are guys who want a curvier girl. They like a little more to hold onto. Other guys like a girl who's a bit more petite. Maybe he himself is more on the petite size and he likes a girls that fits (or is shorter than he is). 

Let's flip this...would it be wrong to think that girls like different kinds of guys? Some girls like bigger guys, be it muscle bulk or teddy bears. Other girls like the leaner man, be he lean a built or a little more gangly. To each her own, right? Are we going to fault men for liking girls who have a little more booty?
I think not.

3. "I'm bringing booty back,
go head and tell them skinny bitches that."

This one seems to be a REAL BIG issue. Because, of course, to call anyone a skinny bitch is rude and skinny shaming and how dare she, right?
Wrong.
For one, I like to think of "A Diva's Christmas Carol" when Ebony Scrooge calls Kathy Griffin's Ghost of Christmas past a "skinny bitch" and Kathy's response is .
"Gasp! You really think I look skinny?"

(Is bitch the nicest word on the street? No, of course not. Much like other slanderous words, it's used to reference a certain type of person. In this case, women. I'm not going to focus on whether or not music and TV should use offensive language to reference someone in their own group - like the n-word or bitch etc)

The whole line isn't being referenced.

"I'm bringing booty back.
Go 'head and tell them skinny bitches that.
Nah, I'm just playin' I know y'all think you're fat.
But I'm here to tell you every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top."

When you fill in the rest, I find it hard to believe someone can be offended. Meghan is saying "We all have issues, but you're just as beautiful as anyone else."

4. "No I won't be no stick figure, silicone Barbie doll.
So if that's what you're into just go 'head and move along."

This is the other hot-button lyric. The argument that "Bass" is dissing skinny girls and calling us Barbie dolls (which is apparently very offensive) and insinuating that we aren't real (silicone). 

Nope.
I've never once felt like this lyric applied to me. Not once. 

I, personally, have always felt this lyric focuses on the societal expectation of what women should be--the photoshopped, airbrushed image that no one actually can live up to.

Look at any magazine. The women in them are stick figures. They look like Barbie Dolls. They don't look real. 




Society also makes women feel like they need augmentation to be beautiful. The silicone effect, if you will. You aren't good enough if you aren't super skinny WITH large boobs. You need the perfect nose, the perfect hair, the best teeth.

"Bass" is asserting that this image won't be met. Meghan is going to be Meghan, and that's not going to be in line with the airbrushed image. She's not going to be what society demands of women.
And if you're into that airbrushed thing? Well you can move along.

Same goes for me. If you expect me to have the perfect waist, no cellulite, firm thighs and perky bust just because I'm skinny, you can keep on going. I'm not going to starve myself or have surgical implantations made in order to look like a Kardashian or a skinny model who never eats. 
You can just keep moving. That ain't me.


Despite being a very different body type from Meghan Trainor, I feel "Bass" still applies to me. I can completely agree with the idea behind the lyrics, even if I am not "all about that bass" in my own body type (admittedly I'm still "no treble"). 

I think throwing Meghan Trainor under a bus just for singing a song that led her to fame and called curvy beautiful is an ugly thing to do. When a woman finally stands up and says she won't take on the burden of "bigger is ugly or wrong", and other women call foul and tear her down? That's not sisterhood. That's not beautiful.

Meghan Trainor, you're an Effing Swan. There's no ugly duckling syndrome here - except perhaps, in the women who feel the need to taint this young vixen's rise to fame. I take WAY more issue with One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful."

As for me and my skinny self? I'm going to keep rocking out to "All About that Bass" whenever I feel like it. And probably "Title" too. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Glitter Globe: HEARTLESS Release Day Party!

The Glitter Globe: HEARTLESS Release Day Party!: S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe Today is Release Day for HEARTLESS A Shieldmaiden’s Voice ! I’m throwing an impromptu party....

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Effing Swan: A.J Priest Guest Post

Hey friends! With the #EffingSwan movement taking flight (har har), there are others who have expressed interest in joining the cause and blogging about their own anti-ugly-duckling revelations.
Today I have the honor of A.J. Priest guest blogging here at Life Unpublished. Short, sweet, concise, and charming as ever, A.J. gets straight to the point on where her inner swan comes from. Take a look.

Yes I am an #effingswan. Know what? You are too. The problem with being an effing swan is that we’re used to the skin we’re in. 

We’d like nothing better than to have her hair or his abs, anything other than what we have now. But here’s a secret - those people you’re looking at just might be looking at you and thinking the same thing. 

I know, it’s hard to believe. But it’s true. I remember middle school, how much I wished I had blonde hair. Until the day one of my blonde classmates (I’m talking perfect honey golden ringlets blonde) told me how much she wished she had my so-dark-brown-it’s-black hair. Talk about a shock! Then just the other day I happened to mention to a fellow swan that she has the kind of figure I’ve always wanted. Guess what - she felt the same about mine.



But here’s the thing: even if no one wants to look like you, no one ever calls you beautiful, no one even looks twice at you - you are still a swan. Know why? ‘Cause God says so. God created man and called it good. God is the one David was talking to when he said “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God created you. Your identity belongs in him, not the praise or recognition of others who are just as insecure as you are. And God says you’re an effing swan, too.








A.J. Priest writes flash fiction that showcases her love of humor, healing, redemption, and the stories of people’s lives. She is busy trying to figure out this thing called the Internet and how to use it to connect with people that want to read what she wants to write. Her latest forays have her building her own website and email list with the help of Kevin Kaiser, google, and copious amounts of chocolate. Her website’s coming soon page can be found at www.ajpriest.com. Or connect with her on twitter @ajpriestwrites.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Now I'm a Believer - Swanitude Part 4

Currently humming The Monkees "I'm a Believer"

For my other posts in identity click here (part 1) or here (part 2).

IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE POST BEFORE TODAY'S GO READ THAT NOW! By clicking this sentence. 

Continuation of my journey into the lies of my identity. I just talked about cutting others down to avoid them knowing what I think about them.

I want to go deeper into that.



Somewhere, along the way when I was young, I was taught to believe (by my peers and some teachers) that my opinion wasn't wanted. I can pinpoint several instances when:


  • My opinion on books, movies, or music wasn't worth a damn. I was a fool who didn't know good taste.
  • My feelings about individuals was against the norm (you can't like them or be their friend! They're weird!)
  • My affections towards members of the opposite sex were unwanted (ewwww gross! Kelsey likes you? Ewwww!)


My opinion was met with rejection. I found my value in other's thoughts on MY PERSONALITY!  I put my stock in how they saw me and conformed to what they wanted to see!

It stemmed so far into my being that I truly believe(d) that my feelings, affections, self, aren't wanted. No man could ever want my affections and all friends would pity me because I am 
A) not pretty enough
B) not sexy enough
C) not funny enough
D) not worth enough



ALL LIES!
Now, I know this in my head.  The head is a great thing that can contain so much truth, but sometimes our selves..the emotional beings that we are (our hearts, if you will) can't connect with our brains.

My brain knows I'm awesome, because God made us all awesome. My brain knows I would be a blessing (and let's be honest, occasionally a curse) to any man. 
My heart can't get on board.  My heart can't fathom why anyone would love me, because how could I be worth loving? I was told (by people who I shouldn't have been listening to) when I was young that I wasn't what a man would ever want or what anyone would want as a friend.

So now when I sit across the table (or across the room) from a beautiful man, I can't express to him my appreciation of his:
A) Beauty
B) Kindness
C) Humor
D) Nerdiness (is this one only super attractive to me? I didn't think so. Stand up, nerdy girls)
E) Worth that God sees in him (and God has shown to me as well)



Now, no man needs MY approval any more than I need a man's (or a woman's. We've got God's and frankly that's all we need. Believing it, again, is the trick. I know, broken record. Sorry)

I have been a cruel person because I have been so low on myself.  I have brought others lower because I didn't want them to know how I truly felt. 

I've crushed dreams. I've broken hearts. I've hurt people.
All without meaning to.
All without realizing it.

All because I wasn't capable of seeing I was worth something or that my words could hurt. That my opinion could crush someone just as much as someone else's opinion once hurt me.

It's a journey, and I'm not the only one on it.

It's my identity, but I'm not the only one who doesn't know who she (or he) is. 

In my own little bubble, I've knocked others down. I haven't pointed out the glory in others. I haven't told my brother every day how much he amazes me in his kindness and social prowess (he can make friends with anyone and make them feel good about themselves).
I haven't told my mother how selfless she is in her giving and how her heart is what draws other people to her.
I haven't told my niece that her boisterous energy might earn criticism, but that she shouldn't ever lose her love for life because her joy brings others joy.

I haven't told my best friends that they are beautiful...good moms...talented...worth every breath.
I haven't told any man who has an affect on my heart that his ability to listen and care for others is worth an elephant's weight in gold...nay...one thousand elephants' weight in gold. Seriously, that's so important and I wonder if he knows it about himself. 

I haven't told these people, because I've been so consumed in who I thought I was, that I didn't realize part of who I am is reminding others who they are.
Because you are me.
(I know, it's confusing, I'm still embracing it myself).

We're all on the same journey, but when we focus solely on ourselves we miss the hurting people around us and hurt each other.  When we focus on our lies, we don't listen to the truths others are giving us, and instead we spew more lies without meaning to.

I am the swan, not the ugly duckling.
I will bless (and curse) a man someday should I find one who walks the same path as me (run the race, equally yoked. All that jazz). 
I will bless my brothers and sisters with the truths about them, so that when they are dealing with the lies, they will have little nuggets God wanted them to have in their brains...little whispers that sound like my voice reminding them that THEY ARE LOVED. 





I will remind you, if you need me to, that you have so many amazing qualities...and so many lies that you're believing.

I will spend the rest of my life getting rid of these lies in order to believe the truth God wants me to have. Come with me.

Now tell me...what lies are you going to stop believing?Shout out to all of my fellow Swans. Tweet if you can relate using #Swanitude (because it's fun and funny and true).

Guys, something AMAZING is coming on May 19th called The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker. It's all about identity and figuring out where you belong and the lies we listen to.
You've already been chosen. You are already loved.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I Think I Love You - Swanitude Part 3

I love that David Cassidy song lyric "I think I love You...so what am I so afraid of?"

Hopefully you've already checked out "Stop Lying!" and "Ew!" and know that I'm taking a few blogs to talk about identity and the lies I've believed.

Next lie has to do with what I touched on in the last one.

Boys.



Okay, so now that I'm adult, we call them men.



Here's the deal, I don't interact with males well. It's like I'm this awesome, funny, quirky (oh my goodness the quirky) nerdy individual that everyone says "Oh you are seriously so awesome, why are you single?" 
But when it comes to men I turn into this mute, blank faced little *pardon my french* bitch who can't play the game.

My darling Brosef has always been my biggest help and hindrance. Let's dive deeper.

"Kelsey, you have to play the game." (Brosef after explaining how a girl calling a guy "friend" can actually be inspiration to make him try harder)
"I don't understand what 'the game' is," I said, throwing my hands in the air. "I thought I wasn't supposed to friend zone a guy I like."
"Well, in the game, you make him want you because he thinks he can't have you. I always work hardest for the girls who act like they don't care when I know they do."
"Let's break this down." I sat in front of my brother, insistent on one of us understanding the other. "I don't do small talk. It's a foreign language to me. I can't participate.  I don't have the confidence level to say something that, behind it, means 'I'm awesome and you know you want me but you can't have me.' I feel like I should just be able to be interested in someone and find worth in them and that should be enough. Why isn't that enough?"
Brosef studied me for a moment as he processed what I said. "You know what? Don't play the game, Kels. You're above it. You're too mature. If a guy's going to be good enough for you, then he should want you for who you are and what you just said."

Now I'm loosely quoting an actual situation for two reasons:
1. I'm a writer and I can make what we said clear, easy to understand, and sound awesome and 
2. I can't remember the conversation 100% accurately, so Brosef, forgive me for any words I put in your mouth.

Thing is, in my head...liking guys should just be enough that I think he's worth something. I find value in him and I see why the world would be a darker place without him.
Isn't that somehow romantic? Right? My world is better with you in it. Doesn't that make you feel special?



But I don't understand why it doesn't work both ways. Perhaps it's because I still have to remind myself that I'm the swan.
I'M THE EFFING SWAN!



When I forget that I'm the swan, I see the beautiful women around me and I start to compare myself.
"No way will he ever find me beautiful when he knows her."
"She's so much better at being fun and flirty than I am."
"She's better than I am."
"I'm not good enough for him."

Those lies just creep in, starting with a sentence that seems harmless ("she's beautiful") and ending in something detrimental ("He could never see worth in me").

It's even harder when he's beautiful. Let's be honest (are you ready?) I know some beautiful men.
Beautiful.
I have a friend who is so drop dead gorgeous that I forget. I actually FORGET how good looking he is, because my mind's eye and photos don't do justice. Truly. I think I know what he looks like and then he walks into a room and I have a moment of "Holy crap" because I'm reminded just how good of a job God did when he made my friend.
(Note to everyone...we are ALL This beautiful. Someone who will see you the same way I see my friend. You take someone's breath away. Take a moment to be awed by that. It awes me).

Oh but here's the crux.
My friend is gorgeous.
I can't say that to him.

Here I war with myself.

Me - "Wow. He's breathtaking."
Scaredy cat me -"Yeah but don't you dare say that to him."
Me -"But he deserves to know!"
SCM- "If you're that good looking, you know it."
Me -"Um, not true, and even if it IS true, you don't stop saying 'that's a good movie' just because the movie KNOWS it's a good movie."
SCM - "Don't care. If you tell him, he might think (or worse, know) you like him and you can never ever tell anyone your feelings ever because rejection is the ultimate worst thing that could happen to you."
Me - "Well, yeah. Okay, rejection is seriously a total fear of mine. But still, it can't hurt to tell him he's good looking, can it?"
SCM - "He'll think you're a loser and you can't handle that. In fact, instead of telling him he's good looking, cut him down. Insinuate that he isn't. Don't want him to get a big ego after all."
Me - "oooh good plan! Let's insult him instead!"

Now, for everyone who is thinking WTF on the scenario above, trust me. I know.  In the moment I listen to the liar (the scaredy cat) and completely fall prey to CUTTING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING DOWN in my own fear of him rejecting my observation that he's beautiful.

What the hell!?

Now you all know why I'm single. You asked, here's the answer.

The lie inside me is that the rejection...the risk..taking the jump off the cliff to flip and dive into the water...that's not worth it. It's the end of the world if I do. Heaven forbid you tell someone they are attractive...heaven forbid you (much worse) insinuate that you could have FEELINGS for someone!
And don't you EVEN FOR ONE SECOND think that you could be worth anything to them. You are their pity project.
So sit down.
Shut up.
And if you have to say something...say something that cuts them down so they don't know how you feel.


To all of those who have been on the end of my barbs...know that you are probably just beautiful. I'm so sorry I ever made you feel otherwise. Maybe I was just secretly in love with you and was so afraid you'd call me icky or make me cry that I ruined your day with an unkind word. 

The lie is that the rejection...the risk...is too great to tell people how I feel.

Don't let the lie become your reality. Don't let the scaredy cat dictate your worth.

Did you forget? You're a Swan!

Do you ever say the opposite of what you mean in order to hide your feelings?

Shout out to all of my fellow Swans. Tweet if you can relate using #Swanitude (because it's fun and funny and true).
Pay attention! The Final Part will be happening next Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ew! - Swanitude Part 2

In Part 1 (Stop Lying!), I talked about a friendship that I recently realized (thank you ReWrite 2015) was super abusive and started a lot of the lies I believe today.

"I'm the pretty one. You're the funny one."



That sentence set me up for a world of failure because in the moment my friend (whom I truly don't blame...she had her own lies that led to this) said this to me, I believed it.

This conversation was in regards to boys. Boys liked my friend (because, let's be honest, she is beautiful. That will never change nor should it) just from first meeting. As an extrovert, she also had an outgoing personality that interacted well with the opposite sex.

I, on the other hand, was kind of the ugly duckling. Awkward, didn't love having to wash and dry my hair, gangly, and buck-toothed. I was the funny one. The friend. Boys didn't like me, they considered me one of them.

I grew up, but I never stopped believing that I was still that little duckling. I never saw that, along the way, I'd turned into a swan.

I can write this today because - despite the lies that still try to drag me down - today, a handsome young man reminded me of the truth I already know.
I am the swan. I HAVE TO remember this, because no man can teach me this. I have to know this for myself.
It's a truth I'm trying to accept for myself, and sometimes people can help you accept truths.

Today I went to lunch with one of my best friends, Esca (or Rachelle, but I call her Esca).  Let me tell you how amazingly beautiful my friend is....wait, no, just look at this photo.

Photo Credit: Kelsey Keating 

There, now you KNOW how amazingly gorgeous she is. Because she is!
We went to grab a quick lunch at Five Guys and a handsome young worker took our order and interacted in a friendly could-have-been-flirty-if-we-had-more-time way.
But it wasn't just directed at the modelesque Rachelle.  I was included.
Because I'm a swan, too.



In that moment, I was reminded that I grew up. I'm a grown up, lovely woman. Why do I ever have a hard time believing this?
See, even as I type it, I have to stop that lie that says "Don't be vain. You're hardly worth looking at."

That's the voice I'm battling every. single. day. As if thinking well of myself isn't being "humble".

Are you kidding me?
My Brosef is a humble human being. He doesn't waste his time using vanity or puffery.  He just is awesome and is humble in his amazing accomplishments.
Does my brother walk around calling himself ugly or lowly because that's "humility"?
Hell no!
My brother knows he's a handsome guy, friendly, awesome, and worth knowing. He knows he's worthwhile and that isn't vanity.

He tries to tell me I have to think the same way.
I'm working on it.

This is my struggle. This is what I'm facing.

I'm facing me.
I'm facing the "Who I think I am" and knocking her on her ass.
She's not me! She's an impostor!
It will take time, and it's going to be a hard battle, but when I win...

I'll love me as much as I'm supposed to. I'll know me.
I'll know who I am, my identity.
It's a journey.
Half the battle is realizing that there are lies.
I'm already there. I just have to start believing the truth and not faking it.
I am my Father's daughter (the God who is your father too. You are me) and I am beautiful.
Maybe if I say it every day, I'll realize it's true (isn't that like a rule somewhere?)

So to hell with the lies. I'm the beautiful daughter of my Father God, and he doesn't screw up. He made me beautiful.
You don't think I'm beautiful? Well what the **** do I care what you think?
That's right.  That's part of the truth to work on.

My worth isn't found in you.

YOUR worth, isn't found in me.

So tell me (if you're brave enough)...do you ever forget that you are beautiful?

Shout out to all of my fellow Swans. Tweet if you can relate using #Swanitude (because it's fun and funny and true).
Part 3 is coming March 11 - stay tuned and thanks for joining

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stop Lying! - Swanitude Part 1

When I think about my greatest weakness, I think about failure. I think about my own low self-esteem, about failing, about never being good enough.

Who am I not being good enough for? I honestly haven't the faintest clue. There's no one to be good enough for. I am who I am and there's no way around that identity.  I am the daughter of the greatest King, the highest of Highs and the most beloved sister of the Prince of Peace.

That's who I am.

So who am I afraid of being "not good enough" for?

You.

Isn't that weird? Who am I to you? What am I? If I put my identity in you, I'm lying to myself. You can't give me self worth. The whole point is SELF worth. You can't give me self ANYTHING.

So why do I feel the need to be good enough for you? Where does this all stem from?

It stems from my dark place.

You know, the way we see the world, it's the BIG things that we assume are the dark things. After all, death of a loved one, parents getting divorced, a relationship ending, or a violation against you (physical, mental emotional...rape, assault, attack) - these are the things we KNOW will hurt/change us. We know that.

Yet so often, it's the little things that can leave deep scars we never even knew existed. Little things can cut open a piece of your heart, slip a lie in, and sew up the opening without you ever realizing it was made.

Little things can become big things.

A little thing I didn't notice has created a lie that feels so insurmountable it consumes me some days.



Once upon a time, I was a little girl in an abusive friendship (amazing how something so short lived can cause such lasting damage).  I don't think either of us realized it was abusive. I honestly see, as an adult, that this friend had people in her life that put impossible standards on her.  Standards that compared this person to me, because we looked different.

Unbeknownst to me, I was the method of abuse used by ANOTHER person to my friend. It may have never been said out loud. My name may never have been used, but when this other little girl was told she wasn't enough, in her head I think she thought I had what she lacked.

And so, that little girl would put me down, make ME feel I'd never be enough. She would find ways where she was superior, and I think she did that because she felt inferior.

Unfortunately, I didn't know what went on in her life, I only knew that she was (I believed) superior to me. She was better than me. She was prettier, and smarter, and better liked.
I was funnier, but hey, she had to let me have SOMETHING.



Working through my own identity, especially in the wake of my parents divorce (because part of my identity was always who I was in my awesome, whole, perfect family), I've believed the lie that I am nothing.

This is an introductory post. It's a little depressing, but sometimes the hero of the story is in a dark/contemplative place when she embarks on her noble quest.

If you're willing to come with me, we'll talk about identity and who the hell we are and the lies that I am working to stop believing.

How many of you have had toxic relationships?

Stay tuned. Part 2 is coming Wednesday, March 4th.

Friday, February 13, 2015

14 Movies of Valentine's Day

Still on track with my movie lovin' this month of February.

Truth is, I'm a TOTAL romantic. Can't help myself. I love love. It's honestly the world's biggest shame, because I've never been able to participate, but it doesn't stop me from snuggling up for even the sappiest chick flicks at times.

So without further ado, here are the Romance/Chick Flick movies I can't live without in honor of Valentine's Day! *

*Note: The Holiday and While You Were Sleeping will not be listed here after being listed in the Christmas edition...just know they are also a part of this list.

1. You've Got Mail

  • There's nothing like hearing those three little words....You've...Got...Mail.  Ugh, this movie so encapsulates the 90s AND it's just wonderful. I love it. So. So. So. Much. My favorite Meg Ryan Tom Hanks film.


2. Sabrina (the Harrison Ford version)

  • Do not get me started on that "other" version. I don't care if it came first. At least the 90s Sabrina had likable characters.
  • Harrison Ford changes it up, no longer being the sexy Indiana or smouldering Han Solo...instead he shows his nerdier side as he falls for Sabrina fair. I can watch this movie over and over and over again.



3. He's Just Not That Into You

  • I think this movie gets me because it's the world's biggest hypocrite, but it has a lot of great acting during the process.
  • What other movie tells you the whole way through "Everything they tell you in romance tales is just creating a fantasy that will never happen to you"
  • and then they have all of those fantasies happen...
  • "I thought I wasn't the exception to the rule." "You are my exception."
  • "I never want to get married. I don't believe in marriage." *20 minutes later in film* "Will you marry me?"



4. Pride and Prejudice

  • Whether it's Keira Knightley or BBC...I love them both. Then again, I've always been an Austen girl (book wise)
  • Austen, forever ruining women. "Where's my Mr. Darcy??"



5. Austenland

  • If you love Austen and haven't seen this movie yet...DROP EVERYTHING AND GO NOW! One of the greatest, funniest, most charming films of all time. ALL TIME! (okay, Kanye...sit down. Nobody asked you)



6. Princess Bride

  • All right, if we're talking amazing romantic comedies...we know this one (also) takes the cake. It's the most quotable movie I have ever seen. It's not only a wonderful movie, but an amazing book.
  • Anybody want a peanut?
  • He's mostly dead.
  • Mawwaige. 
  • RUBBISH! PUCE! MUCK! SLIME! BOO!




7. Decoy Bride

  • Hilarious. Scottish. Mixups. David Tennant (and I'm not even a Dr. Who fan). It's all good when watching Decoy Bride. It's on Netflix Instant. Go now.



8. Ever After

  • No list could be complete without some sort of Cinderella tale on here.
  • Realistic, as if an actual happening of the fable. 


9. French Kiss

  • "You people make my ass twitch."
  • Nuff said ^
  • PS...it's hard to find GIFs for this one. Don't go searching. So much yuck.


10. Clueless

  • Because who doesn't love a satirical look at society while rehashing an Austen story?
  • Like, as if!
  • Plus, early days of Paul Rudd



11. Jane Austen Book Club

  • Again. Austen. This time a group of women (and one man) reading her books and having their own love stories along the way.

12. 10 Things I Hate About You
  • This time a Shakespeare rehash...
  • A funny one
  • With the Late Heath Ledger and young Joseph Gordon Levitt
  • And funny
  • Did I say funny?



13. Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  • One of my all time, favorite movies. So it should really go on all lists that are applicable. Seriously. Top 5 material here.
  • Kristen Wiig is delightful in a different kind of role for her.
  • Ben Stiller is amazing as both director and actor
  • Scenery is TO DIE FOR
  • And it's more of an adventure story...so there's that.
  • Oh! And the soundtrack is amazing.

 14. Star Wars


  • Another one of the greats (three of the greats?). This trilogy is a fantasy wonderland and has one of the best love stories ever...
  • A princess and a smuggler? Not terribly original...
  • A kick-ass princess? Getting better.
  • Who knows how to get under the guy's skin? Okay.
  • And the guy is actually noble? Love it.
  • I love you.
  • I know.
  • Also I might be in love with Luke Skywalker (and Han. So what!)




Honorable Mentions:


Sliding Doors



Sleepless in Seattle



Sense and Sensibility