I don’t know how to make friends

I remember being excited to start college because I could be a different person. As a highschooler, I fell into the common traps that can snare anyone in their attempt to belong. My faith and convictions were strong, but that didn’t stop me from gossiping or being mean to someone. 

Stepping onto campus that first weekend, I thought I was ready. After attending a cookout between dorms, I realized just how wrong I was. 

I was wrong because I assumed I would start college, make friends, and be the shinier version of me. Now it wasn’t that I couldn’t be this person, only I didn’t know how to make friends. 

Growing up it’s easy to lose sight of how easy everything is. For example, I graduated with 62 other kids. Even better, I’d been in classes with the vast majority of these people since KINDERGARTEN. Yes, for 13 years, I was essentially sequestered with the same group. 

My core friends growing up were mostly girls who were in “Gifted” with me. Not only did we have our usual classes together, but we had bonus time half a day each week (the best week had two gifted days because of the schedule). Other friends I met playing summer softball or high school sports (yes, I was an athlete. I lettered in Marching Band). 

Years of intense proximity forced us all to be friends. I didn’t have to think about being friends with people, it just happened. It was magical. Also, at this point I want to be clear that even though I didn’t really choose my friends, they were lovely, and I love seeing their life updates. 

At 18, I was thrown into a world where nearly every class featured an entirely new group of people, where many may be older and already have established friend groups. To be fair, my college was relatively small, but to me that “small number” meant one class (freshman, sophomore, etc.) size equaled my entire high school. 

It didn’t take long to feel overwhelmed. After my first week of classes, I went home. And I kept going home for most weekends my freshman year. 

Randomly I’d hang out with girls on my floor, but it was all just quick interactions. It was probably this time when I got more into social media because I could engage with the community I knew instead of building something new. 

Finally, in the spring, by God’s own divine providence and nothing else, I made a real friend. She became my third roommate and we lived together until the end (and then some more after that). Since we had the same major, we did our class schedules together. It was wonderful. 

Except now that I had one friend, I didn’t really make other friends. 

I felt community, so my desire to get in with other people started to wane. Yes, I would occasionally hang out with other people and there are people I would call friends, but outside of my roommate, there is only one person I’ve intentionally seen after I graduated. 

Writing this is hard. I can’t even tell if I’m being cohesive because it’s a flood of emotions as I face it myself. I’m online friends with people I went to school with and I like their photos, but I’m not traveling to see them or posting reunion photos. I’m engaging as an outsider with a shared experience. 

Even now, nearly 10 years since I graduated, my one friend and I aren’t close anymore. 

The hardest part is knowing it’s all your fault. Relationships are hard and take sacrifice. As a kid, being with the people I’d known all my life, it didn’t feel like that. I loved playing Wii with them on a school night or having another sleepover for the third weekend in a row. I loved my family, but I couldn’t be with my friends enough. 

As an adult, I wake up, go to work, and come home. On Wednesdays I have dinner with my sister and her family. Every other Thursday(ish) I have my life group. Like once a month I go out and have dinner with one of my friends. 

That’s it. 

Living alone, it’s easy to ignore the loneliness. I mean, all my life I wanted to live alone at some point. I’m a nester by nature, so I love building the spaces I inhabit to make me feel safe and warm. My own place allowed me to make an island designed only to please me. You get used to the quiet and solitude, and as a mostly-introvert, I prefer it. 

But lately the weight of everything is catching up. After I got back from vacation with my mom and sister, I stepped into my apartment alone, and started crying. I realized this is my reaction after any extended period of time with other people. Once it’s just me, I cry. The difference was this time, I heard the voice I’d been ignoring telling me how lonely I am. 

Now I can’t stop hearing it, but I don’t know how to fix it. I literally googled how to meet people in your 30s because that’s my life. My church is wonderful, and I have a great community there, but there’s still a hole. I have a great family and I’m so close with them, but there’s still a hole. 

I have friends, people I randomly text and send birthday cards to. I attend weddings and showers and potlucks. They’re great, too, but it’s not the same.

I was so ready to leave my hometown and start a new life that I took for granted the gifts I had there. A world where I was known and loved and a part of something. I imagined my life would be the same as everything you see on TV, a world where you keep your high school friends forever and pepper in new friends as you meet them. 

I am here, and it’s my fault. I want to get better. I want to have meaningful relationships. Heck, I’m mostly sure I’d like to get married someday. But right now I just feel like I’ll never have any of it. 

This is a post written out of emotion, and I can’t wrap it nicely with hope. My brain knows it could all happen for me, but I don’t feel the optimism. Not in this moment.

When you aren’t good enough


Just reading it conjures up past feelings, doesn’t it? We think of when we didn’t get into our first choice school. Or maybe it’s that job you wanted but it went to someone else. Could be the time you loved someone and they decided you weren’t it for them. 

Whatever it is, rejection SUCKS. I know there are better words, but let’s be honest, it totally sucks. Because even if the person is explaining why you’re good too, the message is always clear: but you aren’t good enough. 

That’s what it comes down to, I think. It’s one thing to know something is out of your league, like my dreams to marry Zac Efron and work a high-profile marketing job. Sounds nice, but I know I couldn’t hang in either scenario. Because of this, I don’t think you can really feel rejection because you don’t have hope in the first place. 

But when you want something, and feel like it’s attainable, you experience hope that maybe this could be your life. Maybe this is your path. Maybe everything is suddenly clear. 

There’s a brief moment where we feel good enough. Small encouragements slowly build us up and we feel better. We feel confident. We feel ready. The voice of self-doubt quiets down because we’re so filled up with what we can do, we forgot to listen to the lies of what we can’t. 

And then it happens. We learn we actually aren’t good enough. 

Employers will say you were a strong candidate, but they found someone else who better aligned with their organization. Schools will let you know your application was impressive, but they are passing on you. People will say all sorts of things, but the summary is always I don’t choose you. 

It’s easy at this point for a cloud to form, kind of like in a cartoon where someone is sad and it’s raining on them. Except in this metaphorical example, the cloud is watering your seeds of self-doubt until they grow and overtake all the positive energy you’d been enjoying. 

“See, they didn’t choose you because you actually aren’t good enough. Told you.” 

This is on my mind because recently, it happened to me. I did all the right things, received the right responses, and thought I saw the end of the story. Only, the call came, I was applauded, but not picked. Immediately the flood began, seeping into other areas of my life. 

I didn’t feel good about anything. I cancelled another opportunity because I wasn’t qualified so why try? I started doubting personal relationships because why could that person actually be interested in me? Maybe, the voice tells me, I need to just settle for my life. 

Who would choose me, anyway? 

This is the point where my faith and humanity collide, because at my core I know I’m chosen. In Ephesians 1:4 it says “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ.” What a powerful statement. It was always God’s plan to love and choose me. He knew, before creation, who I would be and what I would do, and He loved me anyway. 

I know that these earthly disappointments are nothing compared to the goodness of God; however, knowledge doesn’t always extend into feelings. 

It’s kind of like anxiety. I can tell my brain logically there isn’t a volcano in Buffalo, but my anxiety is like “lol we don’t care LET’S PANIC.” I can remember that I am deeply loved, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I can just eliminate the bad feelings. 

I think that’s important to remember though. I can live in the truth and still experience the human emotions. Just like I can accept that God’s plan is different than mine and still mourn for the life I wanted. 

Some people will probably disagree and quote scripture I don’t know telling me I should never experience a negative emotion when I have the joy of salvation, and maybe they’re right. Personally, though, I believe in a Savior who came and experienced all of humanity and definitely knows a thing or two about rejection. 

Especially when you think about Jesus in Gethsemane. He was in agony praying and asking God to not make Him go through with the crucifixion. He knew the rejection He was about to face and He didn’t want it. He wasn’t smiling and cheery despite His circumstances, yet He followed and trusted His father. 

If that’s the example Jesus set, why can’t I do the same? 

They key is, of course, that I can’t stay in the garden crying. At some point, I need to get up and walk toward what’s next. Lean on God to fully reaffirm my value and not let one company ruin my entire life. 

This week, I am disappointed, which is okay. A line from one of my favorite worship songs is “Friday’s disappointment is Sunday’s empty tomb,” meaning right now I don’t know what’s happening, but God’s plan is bigger than I can imagine. So I will walk in that instead of my own sorrow. 

Rejection will come for us all, probably our whole lives. Be sad when you need to be sad, but find your worth in something permanent. The successes of the world are fleeting, but being chosen and loved by God is eternal. Remember (and I preach to myself), I am not worthy of His selection and yet He would choose me every. Single. Time. 


Listen, I’m a digital marketer, and even though I’m sure Meta is from the devil, I can’t do something without a hashtag. Which means my plan for self-discipline is called #chelseaontrack with no other variations. 

In a different post, I wrote about how I got here, in this place. It’s aptly titled “Six years of bad decisions” because my routines have been chaos since moving to Buffalo. At some point, all of this made me start feeling less like myself. But, like the line in Bridesmaids, I’m my problem, but I’m also my solution. 

I know if I want to be disciplined, I have to pursue discipline. I won’t just wake up one morning with everything all set and ready to go. I need to build on habits and routines that get me back on track to being the Chelsea I want and can be, even though it’s hard. 

So, without further ado, here’s #chelseaontrack:

1 Week: Wake up to my alarm without snoozing every day

Dates: April 18-25

While this is a habit I want to be my norm beyond a week, I read an article that said starting with shorter time spans makes it feel easier, so why not? To get out of the snooze cycle, I have to set a real alarm clock because even if I can’t reach my phone, I’ll snooze the Apple Watch. 

I’m going to set it across the room so I have to physically get up. Oh! I also bought a smart lightbulb (which is a thing, apparently) so I can have it turn on when my alarm goes off to help get me out of sleepy town. 

The other trick is making myself excited to wake up. Instead of focusing on the comfort of bed, be genuinely excited for the day ahead. I want that kind of positive energy starting my day. 

One thing I won’t do is get a less comfortable bed. That’s a real tip I saw, but wow, no.

1 Month: Exercise at least 16 times (4 times a week preferred)

Dates: April 18 to May 18

Because my three month goal involves running, I’ll start the Couch to 5K app (again) as well as take my little loaf on walks and do yoga and strength training through Peloton. These are things I enjoy and only take 20-30 minutes a day, so I really need to break out of my laziness. 

3 Months: Reach goal of being able to run a 5K again

Dates: April 18 to July 18

Couch to 5K is an 8-week program, so I hope the buffer of a month helps me even if I start to struggle. My goal would be after I get to 3.1 comfortably, I keep running these small distances regularly. 

6 Months: Down to one credit card with ample savings account

Dates: April 18 to October 18

I can’t have a list of self-discipline without talking money. Now that I’m in a position that pays me enough to live and I don’t need to have a million side hustles, I want to be smart and put myself in a better financial position. Especially since my goal is full-time ministry and God literally knows it won’t be the answer to my financial woes. 

9 Months: Weight down 10 pounds

Dates: April 18 to January 18

This isn’t a huge goal, but I wanted it to be more about the progress than the destination. Would it be great to lose more? Duh! But it’s about leveling myself out over time and getting back to a place where I’m comfortable (and a lot of my favorite clothing items fit me again).

1 Year: Bangs grown out and hair reasonable length

Dates: April 18 to March 31

Okay, this one might feel weird, because it is. The most intense relationship in my life is with my hair, and earlier this year, I broke its trust and got a terrible haircut. Granted, I wasn’t going for the cut I was given, but that doesn’t change what happened. I threw away two years of growth for a poorly executed cut and I am still mad about it. 

While on vacation, my sister, sick of me talking about my hair, bet me $50 I couldn’t get it to a certain length in a year and grow out my bangs. GAME ON. 

This is silly, for sure, but it also is a reflection of self-discipline. My hair is really nice when it’s long, but it’s also cute short, and since I cut it all off eight years ago, I haven’t had it long. 

I reach a point where it’s stuck in the middle and I decide to chop it back to where it’s cute. Only the last two times, it’s been terrible. When will I learn? Hopefully this time. 

At the end of this and through the different stages, I want to build up the routines that make my life feel like mine. I know once they start to become a natural part of my life, other things will too. They can help me to slow down and stop feeling like I’m spinning through each day. 

That’s all I want. 

Relax, take it easy (for 2022)

I’m a resolutions person. I look forward to the rest start of a new year almost more than Christmas. Even when I’m like, no, this year I’m not making resolutions, they’re always there in the back of my mind. Heck, I’m sure I’ve written about them before and potentially even included a similar introduction.

But why verify and find out I have to think harder about how to start this post.

The past two years have revealed a lot in my life. A lot of the cracks started to break down further and my mental health got away from me. I tried to same things I always did, looking for the instant fix, and I just felt worse.

See, that’s always been one of my biggest problems. I want the solution that will get me out of debt in a month. I want the plan to lose 20 pounds in two months. I want the montage version of my struggle so I don’t have to deal with the in between.

While I’m sure that level of dedication works for some people, it does nothing for me. I’m still overweight and in debt. All that happens is I fail within three days and fall back into old habits.

The solution seems simple, I realize. Relax, Chelsea, take it easy. That mental advice is as helpful as telling me to not worry so much as if that will solve a lifetime of anxiety.

This need to speed through relates to a larger issue, which is how exasperated life makes me. Let me explain. When I think about the fact that every day, for the rest of my life, I’ll have to do certain things, I just feel exhausted.

For example:

  • Realizing my chipping nail polish will plague me forever
  • Realizing my morning routine featuring devotional time will be with me forever
  • Realizing to some extent I will always have to be aware of what I eat and being active
  • Realizing at no point while I alive will I be done toiling on this earth

Dramatic, I know, but it’s the way my brain works. It gets to a point where everything feels pointless and the anxiety of life weighs me down.

It became clear I needed to slow down and enjoy the ride. Basically, I need to realize the journey takes time and be patient along the way. Instead of trying to rush to the end, be here now.

This year, I knew I had to set different goals. I couldn’t wake up January 1 and try to radically overhaul my life with diets and HIIT workouts. I wasn’t suddenly going to see an influx of cash. I needed to be in it for the long haul.

So what did I do? Set reasonable, yearlong goals for myself that I started working on BEFORE the new year. I know, it felt crazy.

The first area is my weight. I understand the importance of body positivity and while I’m not unhealthy, I know I’m not treating my body right. Instead of finding a diet to adhere to or counting calories, I wanted to focus on mindful eating. Yes, the simple concept of listening to my body.

It sounds simple, but I’ve been counting calories FOR A DECADE. When I look at food, all I see are calories. It’s warped so much of my thinking when it comes to eating. I also had to look at how much I eat. I always have this problem of worrying I won’t have enough, like ordering fries with my sandwich because I don’t think the sandwich is enough.

It’s not like I grew up without enough to eat. I’m not sure where that particular issue came from, but I have to remind myself now what it actually takes for me to be full vs my unwarranted concern I will be hungry, somehow.

So far it’s going okay. I have some days that are better and some days that are worse, but overall I’m better at not joining the clean plate club if I’m full before it’s over. I’m also being more active, starting with taking my dog for walks. It’s not intense, but it’s helping me move more.

The connection to my money comes from eating out. The amount of money I spent on food deliveries last year is OUTRAGEOUS. Plus nearly every delivery featured way more food than I needed. This vicious cycle kept me craving restaurant food and kept me further from my physical and financial goals.

I am my own worst enemy.

Fortunately, DoorDash was my problem, but it’s also my solution.

After realizing I had to stop ordering food so much, I know I had to deliver more. I love my nonprofit job, but it doesn’t always pay the bills, so I Dash on the side. The problem is I have to motivate myself to get up and going. I started really strong in October 2020, but as 2021 progressed, it became more and more of a burden.

I set down and looked how how much I wanted to save, what extra I needed for my spending, and how much I wanted to pay down on my credit cards each month. Turns out, that amount is fairly reasonable for Dashing. The key is recognizing it’s not as big of a commitment as my brain tells me and it’s the key for me.

So here I am, four days into the year, and I’m taking it easy. I know what I want to achieve and I’m learning to be patient that all of my goals are yearlong, meaning they aren’t expected to be reached until December. The challenge is not trying to speed up, but making the small changes that become a part of my lifestyle so they’re maintainable.

If I let myself get overwhelmed, I’ll fail, and if I lose sight of being patient, I’ll fail. But if I take it one day at a time and make the small decisions with big impacts, I’ll finally do it. For the first time in all my years of resolutions, I’ll actually hit my goals.

I want to be better and build habits that are sustainable for me. I want to take life slowly and appreciate all the steps and stop trying to rush to the happy ending.

Here’s to 2022, fam.

Here for the moment

It’s been more than a year since I’ve written anything personal, and that was the first time in basically two years. This season is really representative of that I think. Meaning back in those days, when I was writing, I thought I should do it more. Just like at church I used to think I didn’t have enough volunteers and now some weeks I’m the only person on the team.

Anyway. The point is we can get caught up in everything we wish and don’t have to the point that we realize we have it pretty good. That’s not the point of this, but I wanted to mention it.

Actually, I’m not sure there is a point to this. I just wanted to come back. I felt ready.

In 2018, I decided to take a year off from social media until I turned 29. I planned to keep up my writing and even had a few months of emailing people. But then I got really self-conscious about putting myself directly into inboxes and it felt forced. Instead of writing when I was compelled, I would sit down and search for words that didn’t want to be found.

So I stopped.

And the last three years have been weird.

Not just because, you know *gestures wildly at everything wrong with the world*

Recently though, something changed. For people dealing with mental illness, you can probably relate. It’s like I came out of a fog. I didn’t change my routine with medicine or start therapy. I haven’t been active or eating well. I just feel better and it’s weird. But amazing.

Do people take feeling like themselves for granted? I know I do until I get back again.

I’m laughing again. At so many things. I have energy to do things instead of binge watch TV all night (not every night, at least). It’s a million little things that are different and they all add up to me feeling good.

The other side of mental illness is the realization I probably won’t always be this way. The fog may return and cloud my brain into forgetting all the me things, but that’s okay. I will live here, right now in the moment, and hope I can stay somewhere close to this even when things get crazier.

This is super rambly. I’m on a train coming back from NYC and enjoying this life I get to love.

Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I’ll check in soon.

Let’s talk about the ancient history of racism

Racism is ancient history if you define ancient as a clear and present enemy in our world. We learn about the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement in school as definite moments; there is talk about the pushback, but overall they are sweet victories for equality.

As a white kid in a 99.9% white area, this is where it ends. We’re told we’re all equal now and shown black and white photos of a time long ago when we weren’t. We’re encouraged because we live in a better world where color doesn’t matter. We all have the same opportunities. It’s a beautiful thing.

Except this isn’t true. Acting like all of this happened in the long ago past is damaging to our progress today.

Some important dates: The Emancipation Proclamation was signed September 22, 1862 and became official January 1, 1863. The Civil War officially ended May 13, 1865. It took until June 19, 1865 for the message to reach everyone.

This all happened 155-158 years ago. While it was more than a century ago, the first African slaves arrived to the colonies in 1619. That’s an enslavement period of 246 years, nearly a century longer than freedom.

Based on that, we as people living in 2020 are not as far removed from slavery as we think. Especially when you consider the North winning the war didn’t solve everything for the African Americans.

There was the Reconstruction period that lasted 12 years, but then it ended and the Jim Crow era began in 1877 and ended in 1968. The Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964, so there were four years where freedom was granted and yet some states still enforced segregation and other racist laws.

Essentially, we’ve only been “equal” for 56 years. That is not that long ago. My parents are 58 and 56, so it is technically in their lifetime. But let’s step away from the timeline to a specific moment.

The 16th Street Church Bombing in Birmingham happened 57 years ago today, September 15. Now a bombing in Birmingham at that time wasn’t super noteworthy given the presence and enthusiasm of the KKK, but this one stands out.

On a Sunday morning, a group of white supremacists planted 19 sticks of dynamite on the east side of the church. Bomb threats were received, but again, these weren’t uncommon at the time so they were ignored.

Carolyn Maull was 14 and had just left five of her friends in the women’s bathroom when she went to deliver the Sunday school reports as they changed into their choir robes. She heard the phone ring in the office and went to pick it up. A voice responded to her greeting with “three minutes.”

Less than a minute later, the dynamite exploded.

Four of her five friends in the bathroom were killed in the explosion. The fifth was seriously wounded and spent two months in the hospital. Addie Mae Collins (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Carol Denise McNair (11) lost their lives in a senseless act of hate.

The 16th Street Church was an active part of the Civil Rights Movement, and a few months prior to the bombing, a children’s march was organized there. Carolyn Maull had participated and been sprayed by a firehose that ripped hair out of her head.

People hated the idea of integration and equality so much that they turned firehoses on children and bombed a busy church on a Sunday morning.

This happened 57 years ago. That is not ancient history.

The point of sharing this isn’t to make people feel bad and get stuck in white guilt. Or lash out and say we aren’t the same anymore. I’m only trying to say it didn’t happen that long ago, so it isn’t suprising we still have issues today.

For more than 240 years, African Americans were seen as lower because of their position as slaves. One document freeing them didn’t change generations of reinforcement. By the time civil rights rolled around, we’re hitting nearly 350 years of bias.

If we expect that 50 years can erase 350, we will be disappointed.

Now, this doesn’t excuse people who only know these beliefs based on how or where they’re raised. It doesn’t allow white people to live in a privileged, colorblind world that ignores the truth. We all have the opportunity to learn and grow and change, and that is a beautiful thing.

We have to accept that dismantling the system takes time. We can’t get defensive and claim equality without reading the statistics and doing our research because we think the world should be better.

The four men responsible for the 16th Street Church bombing were known Klansmen, but didn’t face convictions until years after. The first was sentenced in 1977, two in 2001-2002, and the fourth died before he was charged.

These men, and the thousands others like them, terrorized Black people simply because of the perceived superiority of white people. Many of them are still alive today, the same age as our grandparents.

What this means is hate at that level isn’t a part of our past; it’s a very present threat to our reality. People who planted bombs in homes, lynched Black men and women, and dedicated their lives to the “law” and locking up as many Black people as possible are still alive, living with those beliefs.

They are still alive today.

I’ve read accounts from Nazis who were appalled at what they did, and others who stood by their actions based on their own beliefs. Logically, we can assume the same is true for our own racist terrorists. Even with a 50/50 split, we have a lot of people believing what they did is right and teaching younger generations the same.

Younger generations like our parents and our peers.

What is our responsibility? To be aware and to see the facts. To not be lulled into a sense of complacency because we don’t experience what’s happening directly. We can listen to the struggles of others and stand with them. White guilt is not the goal, because there’s no action there. It’s also not about living in shame about what our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. may have done.

Don’t deny what the protestors say because you don’t think it’s true. Don’t focus on the looting and forget what is compelling people to anger. Don’t cling to institutions over human lives.

Act in love, always. Recognize you can say Black Lives Matter and not be actively endorsing the organization or hating the police. Research what it means to defund the police before you get mad.

Stop seeking out stories that reinforce your own beliefs so you can be comfortable.

Racism is uncomfortable. This fight is uncomfortable. But it matters so someday we can say all lives matter and it be truly represented in the treatment of everyone, regardless of who you are and what you look like.

I spent my life doing everything you shouldn’t because I was raised to believe in equality and see that if Black people are imprisoned at higher rates, it must be their fault. That is what the world teaches without active conversations about race. I wanted another side to the stories because I couldn’t believe they were true. I know what it’s like to realize I can’t live in a comfortable world anymore.

Now is the time for this fight to belong to all of us so when we reach the 100th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we have a real reason to celebrate.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Racism isn’t political.

This shirt is not a political statement. I am not wearing it because I’m a liberal snowflake who hates the police. I wear it because I am a human being and more importantly, a Jesus follower. 

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God and then love others as ourselves. Remaining silent right now because it makes us uncomfortable or we don’t think racism exists is not an option. 

The millions of people protesting around the globe aren’t doing so on a whim. Maybe you’ve heard a few voices from POC who tell you it isn’t an issue, and those voices reaffirm your belief that the rest of us are wrong. Let me be clear, you are on the wrong side of history. 

I remember learning about the Civil Rights movement when I was younger and asking myself an important question – would I have marched? You want to believe you would, because equal rights shouldn’t be up for debate. It was, or at least should have been, an obvious argument. 

People in this country didn’t receive the same treatment because of the color of their skin. They decided to protest and fight for their rights. Slavery had been abolished for a century and yet some Americans still didn’t enjoy the basic rights that we are all supposedly entitled to. 

This is the time when I can confirm teenage Chelsea’s suspicion that yes, I would protest. Yes, I would speak out. There are people hurting in this country. We may technically have Civil Rights laws, but we all know a law doesn’t change a heart. 

Making something legal doesn’t make people accept it. It doesn’t mean a person has value to someone else, only that they should in court. This gives people the freedom to continue the trend of racism even if they don’t believe they are actively contributing. 

Trust me, I grew up in a small town with few POC. Since moving away, I’ve had to dismantle a lot of racist beliefs I didn’t know I had. I still have to search myself and recognize these thoughts that ever put me higher than someone else in my own mind. I have to check my privilege willingly because I want a better and more loving world for everyone. 

Jesus himself fought the system and sought those rejected. He didn’t ask to talk to the Pharisees to get both sides of the story. He wasn’t trying to validate that the religious people weren’t that bad. He sought the lost, the hurt, the broken, and He loved them.

I believe wholeheartedly that police officers are heroes. I do not believe they are all racists. But like a lot of systems in our world, something is broken. Crying ‘defund the police’ doesn’t mean get rid of them but exploring different funding options to help communities instead of militarizing.

You can cry ‘Black Lives Matter’ and still believe in your police officers. One doesn’t eliminate the other. This fight is to create a better future for everyone. Don’t get caught up in the polarizing nature of BLM and ‘defund the police.’ Focus on the real evil in this world.


Now is our time to make a real change. I don’t just mean legally, because again, laws don’t change hearts. They are important, but we need to look at ourselves first. We need to recognize what’s inside of us and how we contribute to the problem. We need to be brave enough to stand up to racist comments and jokes. We can be difference-makers.

This fight starts with the individual. If you and I don’t change, racism will persist. 

Write something.

Today I decided I would write something. What exactly, I wasn’t sure, but I woke up knowing I had to try. Every day I think about writing. My inner monologue thinks as if I’m writing, but the words never leave my brain.

I could write about my mental health and personal issues, but who really wants to read that? Maybe a commentary on racism and the political divide in our county? No, I don’t have the right words to conquer such a subject. Oh, I could try some sort of devotional, except I don’t know the Bible that well.

The rejection I face from my brain keeps the words from ever even trying outside. Every idea I have is shut down by one simple thought: I’m not good enough. It’s the root of how I don’t know enough, meaning I don’t really have anything to offer.

So instead of writing anything, I let my brain become overcrowded and continue starting posts in my head that remain unfinished. I fall asleep thinking about what I could say, knowing it won’t happen.

But today was different. I decided I would write something. I would take the time so the words couldn’t figuratively fester in my head. Because that’s what they do.

I actually just looked up the word fester, and it’s great. You can think of it like a wound that gets really gross, or food that becomes rotten. Whether it’s an emotion, tiger scratch, or an old clementine left in the fridge, things fester. They get worse and gross and harder to deal with. Those are the feelings in my head.

If you know me, you know I don’t like to figure out my problems alone. I need to talk through my feelings and whatever I’m facing. Tonight I was mad at my family for not talking to me about painting my apartment. This is because I have a lot of ideas and feelings and after awhile people drown me out. I’m not mad, I get it. I have a blog called Seemingly Good Ideas for a reason.

The point is, I know I need to express my feelings. I know my words need a place and I know there’s a limit to how much my friends and family can handle. Plus, when I take the time to think through something in writing, it’s like I’m releasing it. Or better yet, I’m taking care of a rotten wound.

Unfortunately this one something isn’t releasing everything I’ve had trapped in my head, but it’s a start. Today was hopefully the start of several things, including the practice of writing something.

If I can provide any help to someone reading this, if anyone has stuck through my rambling until I found my point, I would say this: do something. Revolutionary, right?

I know I’m not alone in waiting for the right moments. I’m waiting for the perfect alignment or plan before I move forward, but when has that ever happened or worked out? We can spend our whole lives waiting for a moment we’ll never see. Or we can do something. Anything.

Your first step might not be good. It might be as clumsy as this post, but you took it. That’s the important part we all miss. Spending time to get the path straight is nonsense; all we can do is focus on putting one foot in front of the other and following where we’re led. If we’re too busy looking at our feet, unsure of where they’ll take us, you’ll never get there.

Start with a day when you tried. You did something. You made a small move. I don’t know what it is you need to do, but you do. Stop waiting and go. If you fall, which you probably will, pick yourself up when you’re ready and try again. What good does staying on the ground saying ‘I knew I would fall’ do?

Build something. Say something. Try something. Change something. Break something. Lose something. Find something. Write something.

Whatever your something is, today is the day. I believe in you.

My plan to find love, or what I learned from Hallmark Christmas movies

Like most Christmas lovers out there, the Hallmark channel becomes a favorite during the season. Sure, the plots are predictable and 100% of the couples find love in the end, but they so innocently represent the goodness of Christmas it’s hard to look away.

The more I watch them, the more I think I realize why I’m single. It’s not because I’m unwilling to compromise my high and important standards, oh no. Hallmark Christmas movies have shown me that it’s because I’ve never ended up in a Christmas-obsessed town two weeks before December 25.

So this is my plan to find love.

Next year, or maybe this one depending on how long it takes to find the right kind of town, I’m going to mysteriously wind up in a small town with a lot of heart. You know, the kind of place where everyone knows each other and everyone frequents the same restaurant/inn/bakery/cafe.

I don’t have to plan much after this because I will undoubtedly run into an unbelievably attractive man within five minutes of entering the town. He might be the handy man at my hotel or maybe the person I need to do business with (not that business, not yet).

Initially we probably won’t like each other, because either he’s a grump or I’m a grump. I haven’t quite worked out my character yet. Either way, one of us will help guide the other one into experiencing the magic of Christmas.

There will undoubtedly be a tree-lighting we attend where we’ll engage in some light bantering and maybe we don’t hate each other as much as we thought.

The next time we see each other, we’ll have a romantic moment and almost kiss, only to be interrupted by a parent or small child and instead of being adults and admitting we have feelings for each other and following through on the kiss, we’ll awkwardly separate.

At this point, we may actually decide to go on a date. Unfortunately, it will go one of three ways:

  1. One of us gets tied up and can’t make it, proving the other’s point that we’re unreliable
  2. Our date will be interrupted by someone causing trouble and it will go awry
  3. I will get called back to Buffalo and decide going back to my life is the right choice instead of looking for love

No matter what happens, we will be pulled apart and then they’ll be a montage of how sad we are apart yet too proud to admit our feelings. Insert unimportant side characters who try to advise us to follow our hearts or something.

The good news is on Christmas and/or New Years (depending on the length of my trip), we’ll dramatically show up at the same party and realize we’ve been foolish and it’s time to just be together.

And we will live happily ever after (not in that small town though, he will move back with me obviously).

My future husband is just waiting in a small town with nothing do all year until Christmas happens. I’m sure of it. Soon I’ll go and have the change of heart I need to finally let love in and open my heart and remember love makes the world go round.

It’s foolproof. There’s no way 5,576,483,839 Hallmark Christmas movies could get it wrong.

My November #ootd Challenge

I imagine I’m not alone in my daily routine of standing in front of my closet, staring at my clothes, and deciding I have absolutely nothing to wear. I mean obviously there are items I could put on my body, but it feels so limited.

There are the items that just barely fit, so do I want to put them on and be uncomfortable all day? What happens if I get a little bloaty? Then I look at the items I deem as “reserved” for some magical perfect occasions, aka I will never wear because I’m too afraid it’s not the right time. Finally, I see the same five pieces I wear on the reg and decide to go with one of them.

Seriously, for three weeks in a row I wore the exact same outfit to work on Thursday. I called it my Thursday outfit. Even worse, it was a navy fleece pullover and black dress pants because I was too lazy to find something that matched.


As much as I love my routines, this one is tired and I hate it. Every day I go through it and I never do anything to change. For most of my life, I thought this feeling would go away if I had the mythical “enough” looking back at me from the closet, but I’ve learned it’s not about quanitity.

You see, I’ve always loved shopping and new clothes. I mean, who doesn’t? Every new item is a chance to express yourself and show the world who you want to be. There are few feelings better than finding the perfect dress or shirt or pair of shoes. When you have the right outfit, it can feel like you’re one step closer to being the person you’ve dreamed of since you were little.

At least, that’s how it feels for me. Only I didn’t have the money for this material search for self-actualization, so I charged everything. It didn’t matter that I was worsening my financial situation if, for a moment, I felt complete.

The sad part is I ran up my debt for pieces of clothing I was too afraid to wear and “waste” them on a non-important day. Clothing that eventually I would just donate before replacing with new items that in the store felt like something I couldn’t live without.

I look back at photos and see jackets, dresses, shirts, and more and wonder what happened to those items? Why did I get rid of them? I honestly don’t have an answer for myself. Maybe it was just to make room for new things, or maybe because I never wore them, I thought I never would There are even times I’ve donated clothing that still had a tag.

This is a problem.

Despite vows to get better and be better with my money, it wasn’t until the end of 2017 I knew I couldn’t continue like this. My credit cards bills had spiraled and I could barely make the minimum payments. At the rate I was going, it would take years and years and years and years before I could pay everything off. I couldn’t run from my debt anymore.

My way out was a consolidation loan which I wouldn’t recommend for everyone, but in my case it gave me a lower monthly payment than paying the cards individually and even with the interest from the loan, I’ll get everything paid off faster. But when you suddenly have empty credit cards, it can be so easy and tempting to fill them up again.

I knew the loan wasn’t enough. I had to make a real change – only buy things I need. This meant when I was having a bad day I just couldn’t go get something new at the mall. Wanting something wasn’t enough to actually buy it. Basically, I learned to tell myself “no.”

After a year, this became my norm. It’s amazing how a decade of habits can disappear with a year of self-control. By the time 2019 rolled around, I never seriously considered buying new clothes or just going shopping. What was supposed to be a year of living wiser turned into a lifestyle. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want things, just that I’ve learned to curb that.

More than just not shopping, this journey has been about being content, something I’m not good at. I’ve had to stop looking for new things I needed to somehow round out this vision I thought would lead to wholeness. It meant settling for pillow cases that don’t match and wall art that isn’t trendy and shoes that aren’t the latest in style.

It meant realizing clothes, as much as I love them, could never make me truly happy or whole. Sadly this enlightenment didn’t take away the “I have nothing to wear syndrome.”

Perhaps I just assumed that forever I would stand in front of my closet thinking that, or maybe I would lose weight and have money and be able to build the perfect wardrobe (note: these aren’t the keys to happiness, Chelsea). It never occurred to me to fix my current situation because I’m a goober.

It took a friend doing a 30-day closet challenge to realize hey, I can do something. It started when I saw her #ootd (outfit of the day posts) and thought that’s an interesting thing, but then her story clarified the why and I realized with a resounding YES this is what I needed.

Basically, it’s all about this journey I’ve been on: being content and grateful. Instead of thinking I have nothing to wear and allowing my mind to think more is what I need, I can force myself to use my closet to its full potential.

Thirty days. Thirty different outfits.

Honestly, I love the idea because it meant I would plan all my outfits a month in advance (!!!!). For an obsessive planner like myself, this was a dream. I started by inventorying my clothes to have a working list and then sat down to make my plan. IT TOOK HOURS.

The biggest issue I faced wasn’t worrying about the weather or repeating – it was not wanting to schedule an outfit for a “wasted” day.

Can I just have a minute to talk about what a bogus thought process that is? I’m giving more value to days where I’ll be more visible. This is a much larger issue in my brain because I don’t give my best to days I view as unimportant. AND I’m placing all my value on wearing the perfect outfit and thinking I need them for the right occasions. Every day is a freaking miracle and I love looking my best! Why do I treat days differently? Whatever back to the point of this.

This November, I’ve decided to have no wasted days. Every day is going to matter because every day has an outfit that I’ve carefully selected. I technically started this the end of October and so far I’m obsessed. It’s so nice to wake up and just know what I’m going to wear.

Granted, I’m just getting started and so far I haven’t woken up wishing to burn down everything in my life and just run away. So we’ll see how those days go. Either way, I’m excited to actually wear my wardrobe and not trap myself in the same comfortable items.

Obvs I’m going to share and keep everyone updated. Just what you wanted, I know.

Here we go.