Creating Your Place In the World: Thoughts on Finding Your Tribe and Building Your Empire

Creating Your Place In the World: Thoughts on Finding Your Tribe and Building Your Empire

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Hello, World.

I recently participated in Hilary Rushford’s How to Make the Right Dreams Happen in 2018, which was a workshop she put together designed to empower people to work hard and reach intentional goals in 2018. I also came across a post on Carly the Prepster where she talked about the beginning of her blog and the somewhat wonky road she took to become who she is today. After participating in the workshop and reading the post, I was thinking a lot about the uncertainty that is all too familiar in the life of a student. Being a student is difficult because a lot of life seems temporary and unclear. For example, I chose to go to law school in Virginia. This was a choice that I made. Yet, after one and a half years in Virginia, I know I don’t want to build a life here long-term. I would say I don’t have anything against the state, but I miss the west coast and I’ve realized I prefer the northeast (hello, New York!). Still, I know that this chapter of my life is so important.

But… uncertainty remains. It’s hard to know what’s going to last and what’s relevant right now but may be less relevant in a month, six months, a year, five years. I read a book recently that said something along the lines of, “you tell yourself it’s temporary. But then you get a job, and you meet people, and you love where you are, and you become a regular at the coffee shop down the street and know the names of the cashier at the grocery, and suddenly your life is here. It’s not there.” As a student, life is often up in the air. So, how do we create a firm place for ourselves in a pliable world? Well, we create it.

You may then ask: how do we create our place? I believe that finding your place happens when you feel secure, confident, and comfortable in your life. So, this involves the people you surround yourself with, the places you live, and the way you approach the day. When I got to law school, I felt really lost. I’ve discussed this at length previously, but essentially I was not one of the people who immediately fell into a rhythm and felt like I fit perfectly in the environment. So, I took steps to figure out why. I realized part of the issue was I wasn’t finding my tribe (this is ironic, since my school’s mascot is, literally, the tribe). I started being strategic and selective about who I surrounded myself with, which meant finding people who built others up, who supported me, who made me laugh, and who I felt a connection to. It took time but I finally felt fulfilled when I hung out with people and not sad or drained.

So, how do we find our tribe? Hilary Rushford’s brand is built on community and the idea of finding your tribe. I love that concept and I think it’s so important that we find people who complete our lives by adding value to it. I’ve had many friends over the year who were fine, but never really added to my life. That’s not to say they weren’t great people, but I think it shows why they ended up being temporary. My closest friends are the ones who I can text or call and it’s easy and we’re there for each other and we support each other and we laugh and feel like something is missing when we haven’t heard from them in a while.

Creating your place can look different for different people, but I think the crux of it all comes in the form of being strategic, selective, and confident. If you know the person you are and who you want to be, and you feel out of place in certain contexts, that implies a lack of fit. That’s not your place, so don’t get discouraged because there’s another one waiting for you. Finding your place in life is similar to finding a good college. You need to feel it in your very being that it’s right for you. Some campuses are pretty and offer good opportunities but don’t feel right for you. If you can’t find your perfect place at the present time you can focus on yourself. Read novels, go to yoga classes, run outside, work on yourself. Work on being happy and confident in yourself. The better you know yourself, the easier it will be to recognize the people, places, and things that complement you.

Truly,

Callie leigh

Celebrating Without Gloating: Thoughts on If It’s Possible & How to Celebrate Your Successes

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Hello, World.

Have you ever had a friend who constantly gloated? Have you ever been that friend? People often get annoyed when people celebrate their own successes, and it’s a fine line between celebrating our triumphs and being the “gloating” friend who stops being invited to things because she’s too self-involved. I’m of the belief that women should support women. We should champion our friends and encourage their dreams. We should be happy for them when things work out and celebrate when they take a major step in their careers. However, there does seem to be an unspoken rule about the line that separates celebrating and gloating. When does a friend relishing her own success turn into gloating? I’m here to share my thoughts on the topic and offer a little advice on how to celebrate yourself without coming off as self-involved or narcissistic.

To begin this discussion, I think it’s important for me to acknowledge the first time I thought, “ugh, how many more times do I have to tell her congratulations before I can stop hearing about this?” I will say this didn’t happen in high school. Sure, I had friends who were a little conceited, but I was usually happy for them and I never felt annoyed by their comments about their own successes. However, in college, I did have a friend who was constantly making comments about how smart she was how she did this well or that, etc. Again, most of the time it rolled off my back and I just nodded, internally rolling my eyes but thinking that eventually, the self-centered comments would subside. In law school, I’ve noticed that being happy for other people is limited. Law school, for better or worse, is a competition ring. Sure, higher education doesn’t have the same formalities as the Roman Gladiators, but there is a constant undercurrent of competition. Suddenly, someone has a great first semester, and there’s a quiet, steady rumbling of dislike directed their way. Or, the guy that sits next to you is constantly asking you and those around him to stroke his ego (that’s not a euphemism, some people really just need positive reinforcement).

However, there are other people who do well and succeed and we applaud them without hesitation. This double standard, where we eye roll and ask “when will it stop?” about one person’s success but congratulate and admire another’s – I’m not sure what the root of the inconsistency is, but I have a strong feeling it has to do with the person’s actions. How someone handles their individual success is informative for how those around them will respond. As soon as someone begins saying, “I mean, I got all A’s. It’s not that hard,” you can cue the collective eye roll of their peers. If someone doesn’t say a word, but suddenly graduates Order of the Coif, we’re all thinking, “she’s humble. Hell yeah! Congratulations.” When we hear, “I got another interview, ugh,” those students who haven’t gotten one are going to feel resentment. The actual person the resentment is aimed at doesn’t matter much. The fact of the matter is this: people feel annoyed with people they feel are purposely bringing up their successes purely so they can talk about them. Therefore, whether you get the eye roll or the praise boils down to how others perceive your intentions.

If people perceive you as arrogant, you get the eye roll. If people perceive you as humble, you get the praise. If people perceive you as a know-it-all, you get the eye roll. If people perceive you as genuine, you get the praise.

However, how you’re perceived probably had a lot to do with the insecurities of the other person. In all honesty, I believe that people perceive someone as more arrogant when they are insecure about something. For example, if someone is upset that they’re not doing as well, they may take someone’s comments about their own successes far more personally than if both people were confident in what they’re doing. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are just flat out arrogant a**holes. The type is easily recognizable. Look for the person who doesn’t have many friends, who people who hardly know they person refer to in a distasteful manner, and who pursues other people’s dream just to prove they can do it even if it means nothing to the person. That is the person who will, no matter what, get the eye roll. However, sometimes well intentioned people get placed in an arrogant box. This is rare, but it does happen. When this happens, I attribute the placement to the fact that whoever perceived them as arrogant, gloat-y, etc., may have just taken their actions a little more personally than necessary.

So, if you want to celebrate your successes, tell your support group the exciting news, get dinner or drinks, relish the moment, then keep it to yourself. Write in your diary. Go for a drive where you blast your favorite song and sing your praises. Then let it go. While it may suck that people may not be super happy for you for an extended amount of time, the chances of being classified as arrogant will likely decrease. Also, those who truly matter will continue to be happy for you. Those who believe you shouldn’t be allowed to express your excitement about your successes are probably temporary.

Truly,
Callie leigh

December Daily Week 2

Hello, World!

Today I am happy to share December Daily, week 2 with you! I seriously love this project, just as much as I love the holiday season. I was also really proud of how my album turned out this year because I was able to dedicate time each day to it. I used the album as a study break, a creative outlet in the midst of finals season! Hope you like my pages.

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In case you missed week one, click here.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Tea Talk: Long Distance Relationships (friends edition)

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Hello, World.

Remember last summer when I wrote a post about long distance relationships? Well, things have changed since then. Almost every couple I wrote about broke up because the distance got to be too much, and people that were close to one of the people in the couple got too intriguing to ignore. It turns out, long distance relationships are harder than I thought. They usually involve a series of quietness, when people are beginning to understand the relationship is hitting a wall, and it continues until the fateful phone call or encounter that ends it all. So, in light of this discovery, I decided to write a post about long distance relationships with FRIENDS. As a college student, I am cursed with spending nine months with my close friends, then having to go home and not see them very much for three months. People can change so much in three short months, but friends are really good at staying close despite the distance.

Friends, and I mean true friends, are able to go months without speaking, and as soon as they’re reunited, they pick up as if no time passed. I realize this sounds cliche, but in all honesty, it is one of the biggest truths I’ve learned in my experience thus far. One of my closest friends from home, Rossy, is the friend who constantly checks in with me to make sure I’m surviving, and she bugs me about when I will be home next (which I greatly appreciate). I love friends who keep in touch, and I’m not so hot on friends that, well, don’t. This year is fairly easy as far as staying in contact with my friends because all but roughly three of them live within walking distance of my residence hall. Next year, however, will be a bit of a difficulty for various reasons.

First, I will be a Resident Advisor on campus, which is time-consuming, and means I will be living in a first year residence hall. I am so excited to hold the position, and I feel so blessed with the opportunity. This position simply means my friends will be a little farther away than normal, though I go to such a small school its not a big deal. Anyway, I will be busier next year, and  I want to make sure I am maintaining my friendships while being the best RA possible.

Second, my best friend on campus, Holly, will be studying abroad in London during Fall Semester, which is completely awesome, but means there will be an ocean between us. In this regard, I have to make sure facetime is always working, and that the art of letter writing is picked back up because I want to make sure we are staying in consistent contact. I’m not sure how it’s going to be not living with her anymore, but I’m excited for her study abroad experience.

Third, a few of my friends are moving off campus, which will signify the first time any of my friends aren’t living on campus with me. It’ll be an interesting adjustment, but I plan to make sure I still go on coffee runs with them between class, or invite them over for dinner on nights I’m not on duty as an RA.

Most people don’t have to figure out how to actively maintain friendships until graduation, when you will not be physically with your friends for extended periods of time. My friends and I have to figure it out halfway through our college career. It is an interesting adjustment, but my roommate and I keep discussing it, and we believe it’ll be the time when we really figure out which bonds are worth working for. I love my friends, but busy schedules and distance can test people more than any written exam in a classroom. I want to make sure I am keeping in contact with them, and hanging with them whenever possible.

I feel long distance friendships are 100 times easier than long distance relationships, but I think both take work on the parts of both people. Friends who truly care about one another never stop putting the work in because the bond is slightly stronger than being in a relationship, or maybe there is just less pressure, I’m not sure. Regardless, friendships are important, and friends make people happiest, so in the next year I want to make sure that distance makes the heart grow fonder! Keep in mind that once college ends, people are going to be leaving for jobs, graduate school, programs, etc., and you want to make sure your bonds are strong enough to withstand the distance. With the amount of technology permeating today’s society there are really no excuses for NOT keeping in contact with the people who are important to you.

“True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” -anonymous

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Top Movie Nights Picks

Hello, World.

Today is Friday, and at my college that usually means a few things. One, people go out because it’s college and that happens. Two, people go to dinner then rent a bunch of movies and sit around talking about how great or terrible their week was. Or, three, watch a movie and eat junk food as they discuss the possibilities of their future. For my best friend, Steven and I, tonight is the dinner, movie, talking combination. So, in light of this monumental event, I thought I would take a little time to share my top movie night picks. These movies are appropriate for girl’s nights, deep conversation nights, or “I don’t know where I’m going” nights.
top movie night picks
1: Sixteen Candles is a classic 80s film, that I feel is just necessary to see. It’s a film that is authentic, shows the craziness of families, and includes a love story. I know that most people have probably heard of this film, and may think it’s a little cliche, but it’s not. Seriously, this film is better than most films released these days, and has a sense of authenticity that most popular films lack.

2: Dead Poet’s Society may sound a little (or a lot) morbid, and while it has some darker undertones, it is an amazing film. For any person who likes English lit, poetry, Robbin Williams, or education, this is the film for you. It has humor, friendship, grief, loss, but most importantly, it challenges the idea that education should be regimented, and that the teacher should be an absolute authority who holds all the answers. My dad insisted I see this film a few years ago, and I’m so glad I finally watched it. This is a great pick for rainy nights when you order takeout, and are feeling inspired.

3: I am seriously one of two people I know that actually enjoys Something Borrowed. Most people claim they hate this film because a friendship was ruined, and there is a cheating aspect. Interestingly, the cheating is something I can get past, even though I in no way condone it. For me, I think the larger picture of this film is that toxic friendships are not actual friendships, and when you find the person that is write for you, you should cling to that no matter what. Spoiler alert: Also, I would like to point out that Dex and Rachel only betray one person: Darcy. Darcy, on the other hand, betrays Dex AND Rachel by her actions.

4: Sex and the City is, in my opinion, the best girl’s night film. This is the film for true friends, for friends that are intense, unfailingly loyal, and compassionate for one another. This film is not for the superficial friends, or the petty friends, or the friends that cannot be happy for one another or support one another. This film reminds girls what a true friend looks like, and reminds us that sometimes we just need our girl friends to be happy and make it through things that feel like you’ll never recover from. So, grab a few blankets, a few of your closest friends (here’s looking at you, Rossy), and some cups of tea as you laugh, cry, and laugh again in this film.

5: Chick flick ALERT, The Notebook did make the cut. Feeling a little unloved? OR like you’re just never going to meet the one? Make it even worse by watching a Nicholas Sparks film in which every guy you encounter after will never be Noah. ;) Okay, I’m kind of joking, but really, Sparks’ wife is the luckiest woman, and I’m sure she goes home to roses and diamonds constantly. The romance is unreal, and yet I find myself constantly going back to this film no matter my mood. (Yes, I was that person that watched this on repeat with a gallon of soy ice cream when I was heartbroken. Don’t judge)

6: Now, for the lovely ladies who love a guy with a good body, Magic Mike is the pick for you. When I first saw this movie, I was kind of surprised that it had a lot of serious content. I was expecting constant dancing, constant removal of clothing, and constant just…magic? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I read a few interviews that Channing Tatum did when the film was released, and I was pleasantly surprised that he pushed for a more serious overtone within the film. He didn’t want it to just be a romanticized version of male stripping, but he wanted to show that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, and that sometimes men get put down a path that is made of Molly and Cocaine.

7: Speaking of stripping, let’s segue into prostitution, and talk about the film that is Pretty Woman (I really didn’t plan on this post being so dark. Whoops). This film is awesome, and I just love Julia Robert and Richard Gere’s chemistry. So amazing. Also, did you know the scene with the necklace was improv? Don’t know what I’m talking about? GO WATCH THE FILM.

8: If you want a comedy you can watch one time and quote for the next week, go with The Hangover because it’s just perfectly humorous. I wasn’t a huge fan of the second or third films, but the first installment in the series is my favorite. It’s hilarious, and will keep you laughing the whole way through.

9: For those girls that love fashion, or feel connected to it, or maybe they don’t currently but they want to eventually, watch The Devil Wears Prada. I love Anne Hathaway and this film will always be a favorite pick of mine. When I first saw this film, I was convinced that I would be the next Miranda Priestly, and that I would make a billion dollars sipping lattes and designing a magazine. I don’t think that’s going to be the case with my future, but the idea is still fun to play with. I think this film also shows that there is a danger in changing who you are to fit what others think you should be. If you’re not a fashion guru, you don’t need to be. If you aren’t a size two, well, then you’re another size, but what that size is doesn’t matter. A number should not control women’s lives! So, for this movie I recommend going to your local grocery store, buying more junk food than you could possibly eat, and eat and converse while you watch people use Crisco and fishing line to get into a dress.

What are your favorite movie night picks?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

These Days.

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Hello, World.

So, in the spirit of finals… I am taking a moment to procrastinate (kind of), and post a quick ‘these days.’ A lot of things have been going on in my life lately, so I thought I would post a little catch up post.

Drinking:  A peppermint latte, trying to stay warm in the insanely cold weather that has consumed my town lately. I love a good holiday drink, and I’m kind of a holiday-flavor junky. It makes me really sad when come January it seems odd to order pumpkin or peppermint or gingerbread.

Weather: It’s currently 48 degrees in town, and I’m freezing. Also, it snowed in Chico last night and I am quite devastated that I missed it. Seriously, I waited for four years of high school for it to snow at least once, and it never did, and then the one time I’m away at school it snows. Weather is a fickle little thing.

Reading: Bible homework. My Biblical Literature final is on Monday, and the study guide is five-pages single-spaced. Can you imagine what I am doing?

Thinking About: All the things I have to do between now and Thursday. Talk about stressful. Also, life happened this week, and so I didn’t get as much done as I originally hoped, but something that is nice is that I finally have some closure in my personal life, which is always a good thing. So, now for all nighters….

Excited About: Going to Livermore today, to my best friends house to help her family decorate their Christmas tree, get cheap Chinese food, watch Christmas movies and study. I love her family, they are so welcoming and hilarious, and its nice to know that I have a family close to school when my family is still three hours away.

Missing: My mama, my dad, my sister, sleep, and the ability to just be. Stress has gotten the best of me this semester, but today is a new day, and despite that its now finals, I know that things are looking up, and that in just a few short days, I will be able to cuddle up next to the fire with my dog, a book, some tea, and my family.

Addicted to: I thought about not including this section for this ‘these days’ because I’m really not addicted to anything at the moment, but then I realized I am kind of addicted to happiness. I feel like happiness is always the goal, and I’m addicted to finding it. So, maybe I’m addicted to adventures, or doing things the hard way because I want to figure out what will make me happy, but in the end, I just want to be happy, and I just want the people I care about to be happy. And I hope everyone knows that even when you’re surrounded by confusion, as long as you have faith, happiness will find you.

Truly,

 Callie Leigh 

The Color of Friendship.

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Hello, World.

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. When it comes to friendship, I consider myself to be a bit of a chameleon, meaning that I can usually get along with most people. I rarely dislike people, and I try my best to avoid conflict. Friendship can be hard though, because being a chameleon has advantages and disadvantages. Despite the fact that I get along with a lot of people, I’ve always been someone who has very few close friends that I spend a majority with my time with versus a ton of people I hangout with. Maybe because I’m an introvert I have  hard time really connecting with friends.

In my lifetime, I can count on two hands the people I felt I truly clicked with, and whose friendship and opinion I really value. Something one of my best friends and I have in common is that we often have fallings out with friends, and this can be really upsetting. When your friends with someone you invest so much time getting to know them, sharing your life with them, sharing memories, and then suddenly, something shifts and you look at the person and can’t help but think of the quote, “we’re not friends. We’re strangers with memories.” Losing friends is one of the most depressing things, and although my mom tries to cheer me up by saying that if you lose a friend over something other than murder, significant other stealing, or lying about something huge (i.e., I’m actually a con artist who is only friends with you to steal all your money), they weren’t really your friend to begin with. But regardless, it’s hard to accept someone vanishing from your life.

When I entered college, my Resident Advisor was a girl named Charlotte, and she was the sweetest, kindest person. She offered a lot of people similar advice about college friendships, especially during freshman year, and it went something like “you may think you really know someone because you’re spending so much time with them. But usually around January or a little later secrets can come out, and it’s either exactly as you thought or different.” This advice was welcomed, but to be honest, I kind of took it and then didn’t really pay attention. But then, as the year went on, I noticed friendships changing. Friendships where people were inseparable suddenly became separable and then some. There were times when people disliked each other suddenly started getting along. And friendships where you loved the person’s company at the beginning of the year, but then it suddenly felt like spending time with a stranger.

I’m not saying all friendships change, but people do, and that little fact changes everything. Friendship, true friendship, should be judgment-less, and each person should always want to hear about the other person’s life without trying to knock their spirit, or make some rude comment. Friendships are not something that should be superficial.

Friendships that have jealousy or hard feelings cannot be everlasting friendships. Trust me. And friendships should be natural, always. My best friend is someone I only see once in a while, and although we don’t hangout every minute of every day whenever we do see each other it’s like no time has passed, and we never have this awkward tension that I felt in other past friendships. She is always happy for me, and always has my back, which is something I both appreciate and love about her. I saw a quote once that I adored, and it said, “Friendship isn’t about being inseparable. True friendship is being separated and nothing changes.” This, my friends, is what I think is the mark of friendship. If you spend a little time away from someone, and when you try to hangout again they seem mad at you, irritated, or act like you’ve changed, maybe it’s time to revaluate why your friendship feels that way.

In my personal opinion, friendships that lack the natural, loving, open feel should be cut off. When do you cut off a friendship? When you lose all hope that the person you became friends with is the person you’re currently friends with. Or when life happens and two people change and go in two very different directions. Now, I’m not saying that friendships can only happen if two people never change or grow, but a true friendship allows the person to grow, doesn’t ridicule the changes, and doesn’t feel weird around the person because they’ve changed. Change is inevitable, part of life, and so it shouldn’t be something that is absent from friendship. However, you sure as hell better bet that if someone starts doing something I don’t do and they make me feel guilty, alienated, or unwanted because I’m not “cool” like them, they won’t be on my friend list for very long (and I don’t mean my Facebook friend list, although I have been known to delete people when they irritate me. I’m human?). Friendship gets people through life. It is a form of comfort, assurance, love, and happiness. We want friendships that will last, and we want friends who love us for who we are, who we will become, and who are willing to stand by us through every hurdle we face in this life. But something that should constantly be a little gem in the back of your mind is that it goes both ways.

In order to have friends, you have to be a friend. I’m not a perfect friend by any means, but I try to get as close as I can. I’ve recognized that some friendships are pointless, which explains why some people aren’t in my life anymore, but I’ve also failed to try with some friendships and lost people I wish I could still call on some days and just talk to. The important thing is that you recognize which friendships can be let go with nothing lost, which friendships you should work at, and which friendships will remain steadfast through everything. Another thing that makes a strong friendship is commonality. I think in many cases, opposites can attract, but in order for friendship to last I think two people should have similar moral codes. I think morality is where the basis for friendship lies, and although it may be overlooked for a while, in order for a friendship to get past the initial, getting-to-know each other stage, each person should have a similar sense of morality.

We could discuss friendship from now until the end of the world, but everyone is going to have some input on what makes friendships last, and what makes a good friend. For me, there are ways of recognizing a true friend, and those are: time doesn’t change the friendship, there isn’t jealousy or competition, each person loves hearing about the other person’s life, honesty with one another, and acceptance of differences. There are also, I’ve noticed over the years, ways of realizing which friends aren’t your friends and those are: jealousy, one friend has no desire to hear about the other, dishonesty, lying, getting really distant and angry when one of the friends brings someone into their life that the other doesn’t like (or boyfriends/girlfriends), and time does change something.

Your thoughts on friendship?

Truly,

Callie Leigh