andi and eric

a diary of colors and anniversary

My second grade teacher liked to ask us,
“How do you feel today, on a scale of one to ten?”
Ten always meant I’m super, thank you
and one was always not today, Mrs. MacAuley, not today.
But I never liked numbers, they would always
twist and rebel against my mind so I chose
to speak in colors instead.

January third – I am the color
of mint chocolate chip ice cream
but I’ve eaten all the chocolate chips.
I am calm.

February seventh – I am a bruise of
blues and violets today. I think it would
be best if I sat by the window.
These are unhappy colors.

April eleventh – I am turquoise, I am magenta,
I am every color in the rainbow.

April thirtieth – I am gray, I am silent.

May first – I am orange, the color of melting
creamsicles on a beach in July.

June twelfth – I am as yellow as the school bus
that will bring me home to summer. I am free.

Twelve years later, I still use colors.
The winter makes me feel cobalt blue, the ocean
turns me a seafoam green. Violets and purples
leave me uneasy and scarlet is a fever of fury.
Some nights I drown in shades of navy, denim,
and cornflower but other nights I meditate in forests of
harlequin and shamrock.

But you,
you leave me a blinding white followed by a soft yellow:
the color of sunlight after a period of darkness.

— Kelsey Danielle, “A Diary of Colors”

august marks one year with this guy and i couldn’t be happier to have such a fun, encouraging and loving life adventurer with me.  this poem/story always reminds me of him. meeting e {at a music festival which led to a blind-ish first date} was one of the most surprising and cool things that has happened in my life and such a cool reminder that God’s plans are waaaaaay bigger {and better} than my own. xo!

comparison is the thief of joy

envy and instagram

I’m the first person to admit I LOVE Instagram. I love sharing photos from my big and little life moments and following other people on there – whether family and friends or bloggers and celebrities I like.  I have caught myself feeling envious of other people by looking at their Instagram (or blog or tweets or whatever)  and comparing what they are doing with what I’m doing. More than I’d like to admit, scrolling Instagram or reading blogs often makes me feel ‘less than’ and that my apartment/clothes/cooking/whatever else isn’t quite as amazing as everyone else.

It’s important to think about the stories I tell myself about my life – and the stories I put out there on the Internet or mobile apps about my life. It’s even more important to focus on living a life of full of joy and peace in REAL LIFE LIFE, not just in Instagram or social media life. Hope you get as much out of this article as I did! xo

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If we’re living a real life, we’ve gained the understanding that getting more doesn’t always lead to feeling happier. In an Instagram life, we’re instead focused on making it look like we have a better life than everyone else. But even as we take our own pictures and apply filters to our world, we’re flipping through other people’s photo streams and feeling envious about what we see. We ask, “Why isn’t that our life?” It’s a hard cycle to break because, as my friend pointed out, someone will always come along at some point and be better than you.

Thinking we have enough is also rare if we’re leading an Instagram life. It comes in large part from the stories we tell ourselves that feed the envy.

“If I only had a little more money…”

“If I only had a nicer car…”

“If I only had a bigger boat, then I’d be happier.” But that’s the problem.

They’re only stories. Let’s say all those things happened. By making these stories our focus, we’ll never be satisfied. There will always be something else we don’t have that someone else does, and our envy becomes a trigger for all the bad behavior we’re supposedly trying to avoid. After all, it’s really hard to focus on saving as much as we can and sticking with our financial plan if those things get in the way of having what we think we want right now.

Do we focus on building a real life that makes us happy or do we attempt to live an Instagram life and pretend that it makes us happy?

full article via NYT hereimage via Pinterest here

 

thankfulness

thankful for the ordinary

happy monday! i shared this photo and quote on my instagram last week and i wanted to make sure i shared over here on my polish my crown as well.

we pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. – dietrich bonhoeffer

this quote has turned into one of my favorites. it’s so easy to be constantly thankful for the big things – living in san francisco, having a loving family, boyfriend and friends, my health, my job. it’s easy to let days slip by without actually noticing the small: the crunchiness of fall leaves, picnics, the first sip of coffee in the morning, bouquets of flowers, rain hitting the window, a new day beginning. these small things really aren’t small at all and instead, fill up life all around the obviously big things.

ps, this print is actually a rifle paper card that i framed and the pencils are from this etsy shop!

counseling and sadness

on counseling and sadness

I read this story from Micha Boyett on Ann Voskamp’s blog and immediately got the chills. It was such an important reminder that sometimes it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to have bad days. That second one is hard for me to remember. The story also talks about counseling and how there’s this weird feeling/assumption that counseling is for really confused, lost, messed up people. But it’s not. It’s for you and me and anyone and everyone who needs to share what they’re going through and who needs someone else to listen. It’s for the terrible, heartbreaking situations and the confusing, I-don’t-know-what-to-do-next moments and the simple ‘I need help’ days. When I went through a really difficult time in high school, my counselor was a saving grace of encouragement, thought provoking wisdom and love. When I was in a funk and felt off in college, I visited a counselor who reminded me simply that everything is going to be okay. I’m thankful to have grown up in a family that respects and encourages counseling {my mom is one!}

Bits and pieces from the story are below – I hope you get as much out of it as I did! xo

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Despite the ease and sweetness of my life, I was internally cold, overwhelmed, sad. I found myself on the couch in my pajamas day after day, crying about unreturned emails. I felt weak and helpless and incapable of fixing myself. Going to counseling is one of the bravest and wisest things I’ve ever done.

I realized then that I had always had an assumption about therapy: It was for the Really Messed Up People.

I assumed that you went to therapy because there was nothing left to do. By the time I finally went to counseling, I’d been in a dark tunnel for a long time.

I didn’t know how to hold the depth of my own fragility. I didn’t know how to tell a true story without hurting myself in the process.

And when the old sadness came creeping in, I found a counselor immediately. Not because I was at the end of my rope, but because by now I’ve learned I no longer have to live there, at the end of my rope.

It is a beautiful thing to seek help, to ask the faithful to teach me wholeness.

My counselor shared this passage with me from a book called Practicing the Presence of People by Mike Mason: “Sadness is one of the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed [or in some translations, ‘Happy’] are those who mourn, for they will be comforted’ . . .This suggests that sadness is very, very close to happiness . . . there is no true happiness without its wistful tint of divine sadness…and no sadness that does not stand on the doorstep of happiness.

I love the kindness of this idea. I love that Jesus’ words are, Happy are the sad people.

Maybe the sad people are the healers and the prophets. Maybe the sad people have been given a gift to see the world as it really is. And when we see the world, when we see ourselves as we actually are, we understand how desperately we need God to come and bring healing.

We don’t have to pretend anymore. We get to need God. Only that kind of sadness can lead to happiness.

Full article here. Image via here.