we might be in a different month but i am still obsessing over “more than enough” by elaine welteroth. i find myself referencing gems from her book over and over again in session with clients.
most recently, i was working with a young woman who apologizes quite frequently. she apologizes when she is voicing her opinion. she apologizes when she disagrees with someone else. she apologizes for simply being who she is. we have been doing a great deal of work to explore where that comes from. what exactly is she sorry for? who does she find herself most frequently apologizing to? the answer was simple: she is sorry if anyone is perceived as being uncomfortable or inconvenienced and she most frequently apologizes to her father (and any other authority figure). i had to read her this line…
“women aren’t taught to get comfortable with making people uncomfortable.” -elaine welteroth
in hearing it, she was stunned. there was this realization that her father would not even consider apologizing when necessary, much less because someone else was slightly uncomfortable. why had she been conditioned to do so? she put getting more comfortable with making people uncomfortable on her summer to do list. as she preps to leave for college, i couldn’t think of anything better.
as the end of another school year draws near, the number of students requesting sessions has increased. while typically, the two most discussed topics during this time are stress around final exams and worry paired with sadness around starting somewhere new without their closest friends, the topic that has come up again and again in the last couple of weeks has not been either of those.
there have been countless discussions around family dynamics and what is acceptable treatment from a family member. i often pose the question of what is acceptable treatment in general. it is often met with confusion – almost as if there is a separate rule book for family and one for everyone else. that can be a slippery slope and for many of my students, the end result has not been positive. especially for my seniors, we have been doing a ton of work around setting boundaries that feel good to them. i came across this quote recently and read it aloud this week in multiple sessions. for many, it brought them to tears.
“simply because someone is related to us by blood and may have even been the one to birth or raise us, does NOT give them a pass to be cruel and harmful to us.” -therapy for black girls
who have you given a pass to? what message are you sending by giving that pass? what is the long term impact on you and your spirit?
that was part of a text i received from my dear friend melissa at the start of the week. she knows how may tends to weigh on me and something i appreciate is how she doesn’t shy away from the dark and twisty shit life throws our way. and you know what? she is right. grief management is never ending. today marks four years since we lost grammy. on some days, it feels like it’s been a decade (with all that’s transpired since she’s been gone). on other days, it feels like it has been 10 seconds because on the days where i need a voice of reason, i almost feel like i cannot breathe without her.
for the first couple of years, there was a lot of learning to simply exist without her. four years in, i have certainly learned how to exist without her even if i am missing her terribly in the process. in the last year, it seems like my grandfather has aged a dozen years. it is difficult watching someone who is fiercely independent need help and guidance. it is even tougher knowing the person he would love to lean on most is the love is his life when that isn’t an option. lately, i have found myself asking: what would grammy do? she might have only been five foot two, but her presence was that of a giant.
“sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” -alphonse de lamartine
even without melissa never having met grammy, the quote she sent me above highlights just how well she understands what my grandmother meant to me and grief as a whole. to honor her this year, i want to lean into being my most unapologetic self and remember that life is nothing without the balance of the people and things you love.
for those of you struggling with your own grief, especially around mother’s day, just know you are not alone. sending you so much love.
can you blame me for reminiscing about being on vacation after a 12 hour work day? while i normally love swim separates, this one piece from asos caught my eye in the fall (back when i thought i’d be spending the week before christmas in kauai).
it’s fun, it’s flirty and can easily be paired with a skirt or some shorts to create a little outfit.
i tend to gravitate towards swimsuits with wire/structure. while this one doesn’t have that, it does have this black belt that loops around just under the bust near the natural waistline. definitely adds a little something extra.
because i was more concerned with cocktail time than thinking of photos for my blog, i have included a couple from the actual website so you could see the suit in all its glory.
since this number is sold out, i have included a few of my favorite one pieces from asos.
it is no secret that i typically dread the month of may as i consistently feel overwhelmed with grief between the anniversary of my grandmother’s death paired with mother’s day. sometimes, it can feel all consuming. i am fortunate to have friends that make a conscientious effort to check in during this time. one that has done this consistently is gracelyn. this could be because she suffered a significant loss of her own a year prior (also in may). it could also be because she is one of the most empathetic humans i know. nonetheless, today, i am thrilled to share something with all of you that has already made my may a bit better – the grief workbook!
the grief workbook is something i know i will be filling out for the entire month, especially when i want to carve out space to reminisce about my grandmother. oftentimes, people are unsure about how they are feeling or don’t have a safe space to discuss their grief. this workbook is helpful with feeling exploration and is something that is as sacred as you want it to be.
i laughed. i cried. i smiled. i hugged a pillow. it is not lost on me that i am filling out this workbook from my late grandmother’s home (where papa still lives) while seated in her spot on the couch. may is typically an emotional rollercoaster. the page about a mixed bag of emotions helps to identify what those emotions are.
with me being such a music buff and grammy being someone who directed the church choir, i especially loved the page about creating a grief playlist. i am actually going to add this exact lineup to a spotify playlist this evening. it will be the theme of may.
sometimes, it is crazy to think of all that has happened since she transitioned. the page below really made me pause and give myself a pat on the back. the last four years haven’t been easy but they have certainly been filled with plenty of accomplishments i know she would be incredibly proud of.
have you thought about what your grief gold stars would be? do you carve out space to grieve at all?
with mother’s day being just around the corner, i know it can be a triggering time for many. rather than dodging the topic, i’d highly recommend getting this book for fellow grievers. you can find the book here.