Be a Good Person -God

Adulting

I’ve been having multiple conversations about faith, religion, god, and all of the above lately. I’ve chatted with a few friends about it and it’s been a topic of discussion with Kyle too as we plan for the future.

I grew up in the Methodist church and back during my high school days when my parents would drag me there, I would’ve told you it was annoying. But, when I look back now, I am thankful for that foundation and I always left church with a full heart and a comforting feeling.

Kyle has told me that his experience is different. He grew up Catholic and not meaning to offend anyone, but you can imagine what a teenager thought of a traditional Catholic service. Not relatable and something he didn’t find moving or comforting. He said he didn’t take it very serious. BUT, he did love his Catholic High School and the bond he established with his brothers. They went to Mass, had religion classes, as well as the regular curriculum. They held their students to an extremely high standard not only regarding grades, but also behavior. He loved how they had five pillars or something like that, where they were taught how to be men of faith, great future dads/husbands, and to treat everyone with respect.

Because of his memorable high school experience, we are considering having our children go there as well. My only hang up is I do not want my family to be raised in the Catholic church. There, I said it. I don’t believe it’s a requirement if your kids want to attend a Catholic school, but I also don’t know if I want them learning all about the Catholic traditions when that’s not something I necessarily agree with and not what I value in my relationship with God. Also, it’s not what I grew up with! Where I grew up I actually didn’t know a lot of Catholic families or maybe I did and I just didn’t pay attention, but most of my friends either didn’t attend church, were Methodist, Lutheran, or non-denominational.

So, this brings me to the discussion of faith and religion in general. Let’s take out all labels for one second and simply talk about Christianity. First off; I went to Sunday school, I know the main Bible stories, I grew up in church/youth group, and I was confirmed. I loved my experience for the most part and the biggest thing I took away from all those years was that we treat people like Jesus would have treated them. We don’t judge harshly and we try to live like Jesus did with compassion and empathy. The other thing I grab onto is the fact that regardless of what you believe in, there is something bigger than you out there aligning and helping you make things happen in your life. I truly believe in a higher power. I’m a pretty realistic person, but also extremely sensitive and emotional. I know in my heart that something has had my back, because some of the mistakes I made should have brought me worse things and some how I ended up okay. I ended up better than okay.

For me, it’s not about memorizing the bible front to back, chanting the same phrases over and over, sitting in a pew every Sunday, not eating certain foods on certain days, what you wear, or who you fall in love with…it’s about BEING A GOOD PERSON. Just don’t be shitty person. I really don’t think it’s that difficult of a concept.

And those who sit in judgement of others who may not be as “religious” as you…you’re the worst kind of human. Being Christ-like is being understanding of ALL. Jesus walked with the worst of the worst and was there for them through it all. I’ll just bring it back to my favorite quote, “Those with glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

That is exactly what Kyle and I want our future kids to understand…that it’s about being a good human, caring for your neighbor, doing all you can to be empathetic, kind, and loving. I understand that the Catholic church does teach all those things too, but somewhere along the line I feel as though many who attend those traditional services have lost the main point. They get so wrapped up in, “well, it’s just what we do” or “If you want to go to heaven, you just have to do x, y, z.” Like no, I truly don’t believe God wants you to just go through the motions and chant the same phrases over and over again. I believe he wants you to breakdown, cry, and talk to him in your car, because you’re about to lose it. I believe he wants you to ask questions and dive deeper into the meaning of life. I believe he wants you to have transparent and HARD conversations with the ones you love. There’s no way he wants perfection, because it doesn’t exist! I believe he wants us to worship with beautiful, fun music. I believe he wants us to sit and talk about REAL issues of the world and find some answers as empathetic, loving people! AHHH I could go on!

Moral of the story is that I’m re-evaluating what it means to be a “Christian” and what the next steps look like for Kyle and I. The absolute best part about it is that we are very much on the same page. Our values align and we want the same things for our future family, we just aren’t 100% sure what that looks like yet.

I am trying to possibly find a non-denominational church in the Omaha area preferably not too far West as we are closer to downtown, so if anyone reading this has any suggestions please let me know!

Thanks so much for continuing to support my life, my journey, and my thoughts!

Much love,

T

And Then I Came Back to Dance

Adulting, Dance

I tried on some pink ballet shoes, but thought gymnastics might be better

and then I came back to dance

I wanted to be like my friends, but made a shot in the wrong basket

and then I came back to dance

Middle school was tough. “Friends” didn’t want me to make the team. I doubted if I would, but I did 

and then I came back to dance 

Pressures of high school brought me the wrong friends 

and then I came back to dance

Hamstring pulled 

and then I came back to dance 

So many tears. So many hard practices. The crowd roared. We were one of the best in the State 

and then I came back to dance 

The next year was painful. No state visit 

and then I came back to dance

Once again, the pressures of high school weighed on me daily. Started the path of mistakes

and then I lost dance

College was a whirlwind. Depression and drinking.

I had completely lost sight of dance 

Wait. An opportunity approached me. I walked into tryouts with pride 

and then I came back to dance

A fire had been lit. All I wanted was to ignite that same feeling into others

and then I taught dance

A city job pulled me away. Left me empty and after one important phone call…

I CAME BACK TO DANCE

 

Much love,

T

Guest Piece: “The Power of Your Story”

Guest Writer
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The Power of Your Story
By: Katlynn Goodsell
We all have a story. We have experiences that have shaped us into who we are. We have had people in and out of our lives that have left impacts on us that change the way we think, feel, and live. Each story is different, and that’s what makes it beautiful. Sometimes we forget that there are parts of our stories that are still unwritten and only we have the power to dictate how it ends.
As people it is so easy to become tunnel visioned and get into our own minds. We start to become selfish in thinking that people around us couldn’t possibly relate to anything we have gone through, or are going through. We have a difficult time digging deeper. But the more we do, the more we realize we aren’t that different from each other.
Growing up with Type 1 Diabetes, as well as a mom fighting cancer, I often felt alone. In my mind I always thought that no one around me could understand. Deep down I always knew that people did, I just wouldn’t let them. I grew up in a school that had multiple people with diabetes. Although as far as I knew, no one had a parent fighting cancer to the severity that my mom was, there were also people in my community who had lost parents at a young age. I just never reached out and let myself share my story and my struggles with others in order to create that connection.
As I have gotten older and technology has advanced more, I have realized that in some ways we are all much more connected because you are constantly updated on what people are doing. You can feel like you completely know someone without having to have an actual conversation with them. What I think a lot of people are lacking right now though is that ability to actually connect with people. To have meaningful conversations and relationships that go below the surface. We are all so afraid of being vulnerable that we rely on social media to make it seem like our lives are perceived in a certain way. 
The past few years of my life I have struggled more then I have in my entire life. I had a lot of change going on and was trying to adapt to a life that made me feel robbed of all freedom and confidence. People looking at my social media would have had no idea that some of those days were the darkest I had faced in my life. Social media didn’t show the multiple mental breakdowns I had where all I could do was just sob. Social media didn’t show the amount of weight I felt or the nights when I tried to make sense of everything. Social media only shows what we want people to see. It only shows the highlights of our lives. Yet somehow this seems to be the main way that we all communicate?
I have always thought that social media has been a great thing. It may not sound like it but it has always been a sort of outlet for me. I have always been a creative person and I love the way you can share your life with people in a way that reflects your personality. I remember spending hours on the computer in middle school designing my MySpace package and making it feel like my little corner of the internet. So in no way am I here to sit and bash it all because it has so many great benefits. What I am here to say is that we all need to start talking to each other. As hard as it may be we should be talking about the things going on in our lives, or the things that we have experienced that  we may want to avoid. Because if I have learned anything, its that there is something beautiful about the strength that is gained from a struggle, and a power in sharing and connecting with others about it.
I would be lying if I said telling my story was an easy thing for me to do, because its not. It requires vulnerability and a lot of emotional energy. What I have realized though is that the more times you tell your story, the more power it will have. You never know the kind of impact you will have on other people. You never know who might be experiencing something similar to you or who might think until the moment you spoke up, they thought they were alone.
As people, I know we are afraid of exposing the parts of our lives that we might have the most shame around. We think that if people figure us out they might look down on us, or perceive us in a negative way. If I have learned anything though its that whenever I have had the courage to open up, I am for the most part pleasantly surprised by the reactions of the people around me. It always gives me peace to share it after because it releases some of the built up anxiety I have about hiding it or worrying what people will think.
We all have an amazing story to tell. We all have emotions, and we all have parts of us that we may feel shamed of. That’s the thing though, we ALL have them, its what makes us human. Its easy to put other people on a pedestal and think that they have it all together, when in reality none of us do. We all are just trying to figure out this thing we call life and do it the best we can.  Everyone has a power in them, and that power is their story. Don’t underestimate the impact you can have on someone’s life by sharing it.
Xo,
Katlynn
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Thank you Katlynn for these honest, vulnerable, and authentic words. The whole reason this blog was formed was so that I could be transparent about the stories, issues, and victories going on in my life. I wanted to share my TRUTH. Thank you for sharing yours so eloquently!
Make sure to FOLLOW Katlynn on Instagram @katlynnshelly and read more of her amazing words at Forever and Always, Katlynn.

I Do Deserve this House. I Do Deserve this Life.

Adulting

Buying a house, living with your significant other is BIG for anyone. It’s probably one of the biggest commitments of your whole life. I can’t believe that I’m at that point where it’s actually happening!

This year, more than any other year, I have realized that yes, I am indeed getting older. I know I’m not “old” by any means. 30 is the new 20 right? As I am creeping towards 26 it just feels like life is flying past me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel like I’ve had this emotional shift and I’m really looking at every moment differently. It’s almost like the “adolescent” lens is fading into the “adult” one. Very hard to pinpoint my feelings right now, but it’s made me reflect a lot lately on who I am becoming and who I used to be? What have I learned? Have I learned and done enough?

It’s crazy to think about where I am versus where I was 5 years ago. Truthfully I didn’t know if my life would ever look like this. When I was 18 I had the toughest year of my life and then the roller coaster continued on throughout the next 5 years. Having a couple failed relationships and then a boyfriend of almost three years that would not discuss our future, kids, or marriage almost paralyzed me into believing that would never happen for me. Then, after I finally broke off from his abuse, I was negative about the whole concept of marriage. I would always say that I would have kids by a sperm donor etc…just super dramatic! But, I was hurt. Having fun with my friends and finding out who I was again was the priority and then not long after, Kyle came along and completely turned my world upside down.

IMG_1062.JPGI knew about a week in that he was going to change my life one way or another. We went from being by each others side everyday while I finished senior year of college to trying long distance while I worked in Minneapolis. Being that far away from him was not good enough for me. My life without him in it was miserable. I remember telling him, “I can’t wait until we are in the same place working and living together.” I had to make a change, because for me, life is too damn short to live away from the person you love (unless you literally have too i.e., military).

Moving back to Wayne to start my own dance company was the scariest, most invigorating time in my life and with him by my side I felt invincible. We moved back to Wayne together, but still lived separate for his senior year and then we got our own apartment in April of that year and it was so incredibly exciting. When we first moved in we would tell each other every single time we left the room, or if we moved something here or there. We unnecessarily updated each other on everything probably because we were feeling each other out, seeing how the other one liked to live. Thinking about it makes my giggle. I thought the apartment was exciting….but little did I know we’d be moving into a house a year later!

Now, here we are, after long distance, dating for almost 2 1/2 years and we are first time homeowners. It’s hard to find the words, because I feel like I fell into the best second family in the world. I feel like I fell into this amazing life. I feel undeserving at times, because of all the shit I went through. Throughout the last 2 years, I struggled with the idea that my life “wasn’t supposed to be like this” but now I’m coming to terms with the fact that I worked hard to get to this place. I appreciate the people that helped get me here more than ever and I’m learning that even if your life looked completely different 5 years ago, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a fresh start or a do-over. I actually wrote something about this topic for a friend’s blog. Coming soon!

So, if you are feeling undeserving, out of sorts, or you’re just in an odd place remember these few things:

  1. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Whatever religion or god or universe you believe in…let me tell ya the place you’re in (even if it’s shit) is where you are meant to be right now.
  2. Snowballing off of that…YOU are in control of your happiness and contentment. You need help? Ask for it. Unhappy with your job? Make a plan, change it up. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
  3. Say YES. Tell fear to shove it and say yes to things that maybe you wouldn’t have before. obviously don’t overfill your plate so much that you’re completely swamped, but push yourself a little. No one grows emotionally, spiritually, financially from playing it safe.
  4. Be vulnerable. Not like “oh, I suck at cleaning the house sometimes.” Be honest with yourself and rumble (my favorite Brene Brown word) with your emotions. Don’t stuff them down. Feel them and feel them hard. After doing so, have the tough conversations you may need to have. Confrontation doesn’t have to be negative people. It’s necessary in business and relationships.
  5. Lastly, be kind to yourself. I am not perfect. I swear too much. I struggle with laziness. Just because you didn’t get your 250-word checklist done doesn’t mean you suck. Throw the expectations away and as my grandma used to say, “it’ll be there for you to do tomorrow.”

Speaking of tomorrow, our new floors will be finished, we will get our couch picked up next week and we finally will be sleeping in our new master bedroom. We peaked at the first coat of finish today and you guys, the floor is INCREDIBLE! Changed the whole look of the house and we are pumped! Pictures coming soon. Thanks for following our journey and hope my words can provide some of you with a little hope or the motivation you needed today.

Much love,

T

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New House Finds

Adulting

We are less than a week away from closing!! Yay! I can’t wait to live with my best friend. I remember being 21 and day-dreaming about decorating a cute, little home in the city. Everything I pictured is what we are about to have and I feel overwhelmingly grateful, especially for Kyle’s parents who helped us achieve this dream.

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This last month, we have been searching high and low for the best furniture and home decor finds. Our first big purchase was a large charcoal sectional. We were nervous about the size, but realized we want our living room to be inviting, comfortable, with a touch of modern.

Speaking of modern, we love greys and whites. That’s the trend right now and we are totally loving it. Our kitchen is all white with a grey subway tile backdrop and concrete counter tops. Yes, you heard that right…CONCRETE counter tops. Probably my favorite feature of the house. Kyle and I decided to paint pretty much every single wall in the house either a shade of grey or white. In our living room we wanted to play with the contrast of our dark charcoal couch and white features like these tables from Rush Market!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI you must have an account with Rush Market and I am not sure about shipping or ordering online. We went to the actual location in West Omaha. The prices are insane for the quality. we will definitely be going back!

To bring our whole living room together, we chose a lighter gray patterned rug from Ruggable. If you have not heard of this company before…Oh. My. Gosh. you need to check it out. They are machine-washable rugs and they are about the same price, maybe a little more, than your average rugs. The style selection is huge, so you can definitely find one that fits your style. Basically, there’s a big pad you lay down first that sticks to your floor and then the “rug” part lines up with it to create the thick, rug look. BUT, you can remove the “rug” layer and throw it in the wash! We have a yellow lab and eventually, kids (we hope) so it will be great for stains, spills, dog hair, etc.

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6×9 Crosshatch Light Grey Ruggable

The other amazing thing with Ruggable, is that you get a discount for your first order! Use Welcome10 for 10%!

Along with finding the dream house, we bought it from the dream couple! They are leaving a hefty amount of stuff behind for us. To name a few; a ping-pong table, washer/dryer, dining room table, mini outdoor chimney, and best of all…art! The husband is an artist and glass blower. So we will have hand-crafted art pieces that we are using for decorating inspiration. This one is our favorite and it’s the center of our living room. We had this large, gorgeous piece in mind when purchasing all our living room furniture.

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Lamps were a hot topic. We weren’t impressed with the in-store selection at all. Kyle isn’t too keen on online shopping for home stuff, but I convinced him to check out Wayfair with me. Finally, we had a couple we agreed upon and we think the sleek black metal will pair well the white tables and the painting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We thought about having all white tables, but thought that would be a bit much. We also love wood accents. We have a round wood tray that we are going to set on the white table and I’m sure they’ll be more rustic accents throughout the room as well. Because of that we got this little side table that will sit next to a statement chair. We’re in the process of finding a chair with color or patterns that tie into our painting. This end table is also from Wayfair.

Lastly, one of my favorites pieces we’ve found thus far is our bedroom bench. I highly suggest searching your local antique stores for unique home decor. We talked about having a bench at the end of our bed, but it wasn’t a prioity, but then….we stopped at this antique store right by Kyle’s parents house and we knew we had to have it!

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There’s a little sneak peek into some of our finds. Most of these were inexpensive or on sale. I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice that Kyle had some time off before starting his job and I’ve been flexible since summer classes don’t start until July at my studio. We are lucky that we have been able to really search. Way more time-consuming that I expected, but worth it!

Can’t wait to show everyone the finished look!

Much love,

T

 

 

See Ya Later Self-Doubt

Mental Health

Lately, the self-doubt has been eating me alive. I mean, when isn’t it really? In a world where we see everyone else’s successes around us all the time, it’s hard to not compare yourself…DAILY! But, my self-doubt is more centered specifically on my newish business venture with Beautycounter. When it comes to owning, instructing, and choreographing at my studio, I feel confident most of the time. After having almost two years under my belt, I’m feeling comfortable and fully equipped as I continue learning and growing.

Beautycounter has been different. At my studio, I can see results every day in the way my dancers’ grow, in the way my parents communicate with me, and I get a huge sense of accomplishment when watching my students succeed on stage at competitions and recital. With Beautycounter it can be very hit or miss. I will post about a certain product and I will get a ton of feedback as well as some sales. On the other hand, I can run a week-long event that I thought I promoted effectively and achieve no sales at all.

As I watched all the managing directors learning and being rewarded for their hard work at the L.E.A.D conference in Phoenix, AZ I couldn’t help but feel left out and a sense of self-doubt. Am I doing enough to be able to get their next year? Am I effectively spreading my knowledge of safer beauty? Why do people feel the need to judge “businesses like this?” Why am I letting those people, who know nothing about the Beautycounter business, paralyze my progress?

Some judgemental people are actually really close to me and it hurts, honestly. It hurts that they can’t be supportive and they don’t prioritize safer options, but I have to be okay with that. Everyone’s journey and priorities are different and that’s why being human is so fun. Everyone’s got something to teach and something to learn. I find that I also create fictional people in my head. I think that people are going to judge me for trying my best to use safer options. I feel like they think I’m a dramatic or I need to “relax” or “everything causes cancer, so who cares.” These “what-ifs” flow through my mind way too often.

Caring about people is such a dichotomy. On one hand, I care about the way people perceive me, because I never want to offend or push anyone too far. On the other hand, the reason I started my Beautycounter adventure was BECAUSE I care so deeply for people and I want them all to be free from harmful chemicals, so they may live long and feel amazing! I want everyone to be their BEST SELVES!

The toughest thing for me has been people not understanding that Beautycounter isn’t like the other hundreds of multi-level marketing companies out there. In fact, we are not considered multi-level marketing at all. We’re a direct retail company, meaning we offer a product through multiple channels including a network of independent consultants, through our e-commerce web sites and through strategic partnerships. We are structured like any other company. There are teams with team leaders that help coach and mentor us. I am currently a mentor to one person who happens to be my beautiful mother and she can absolutely surpass me if she outperforms me.

The thing is, my job isn’t to convince every single person that Beautycounter is an amazing company. My job is to be a safer beauty advocate and this role, for me, is bigger than just my Beautycounter business. It’s not just about selling our safe products. It’s about creating change and regulations in an industry that hasn’t changed anything in over 80 years! It’s starting the process of regulations, so that my children wont have to worry about toxic chemicals. Why can we go into a store right now and buy basic beauty products that are filled with fragrance that cause irritation and allergies? Fragrance isn’t regulated by the FDA. It could be composed of 3,000+ stock chemical ingredients! Why can we buy shampoo, body wash, and foundation that’s filled with parabens that can alter hormone mechanisms in our body? Why can we buy lipsticks, diapers, and creams that are packed with BHA and BHT? These are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and could cause liver damage! AHH! And that’s not all!

Why is it that the U.S. bans only 11 chemicals when places like Europe are banning thousands? 11. Really? We should be questioning this and we should be passionate about this. 

All-in-all my passion and the people who support me will be my focus, and the rest I will simply not have time for. I will grow this through this journey with a full heart and by always staying true to myself.

Much Love,

T

P.S. Thank YOU so much to those who supported my business throughout the 15% off sale! Wow, it was amazing how many of you decided to start or continue your safer beauty journey. Love that you are prioritizing your health!