Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just be.

Forest Gump once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." Well, Forest, I've got to disagree.

Life is more like a litter box, you never know that next time you’ll step on some stinky cat shit.

You read that right. Life. Litter box. Cat shit.

It's not that I think life is inherently bad. I’m a glass half full kind of girl who prefers to seek good even in the darkest of situations because why not? Life's good. God's good. Seriously good. Nor am I anti-litterbox. Because, really, how lovely is it to keep all of your animals' droppings in one convenient location, instead of strewn about the backyard like my dear Hazel’s doo.

But sometimes life throws you for a loop. Or life takes a different course than the one you expected. And in those negative, unexpected times it's like your foot is covered in the stinkiest of shit and you can't possibly manage to wipe it clean. Maybe it's not just your foot, in fact, it's more like stinking sand and life smells worse than a steamer fresh from your dog’s putrid ass.

My shit storm hit at the ripe age of twenty. Dad got sick. The economy tanked. I was at college and missing home deeply. Anxiety set in at a new, obsessive-compulsive level. The scale reflected a weight higher than I’d previously seen. Left, right, up, down: life was shitty. So much so, I lost my desire to look for the silver lining and sat miserably in the pain of it all. The shittiest part of it all: I did so in a void of girlfriends.

Stepping in shit, that’s ugly and painful and disgusting. But doing so within a community of beautiful women who can say, “Yes, I’ve been there. I’ve felt that feeling too. I’ve conquered those demons despite my hopelessness” is so unbelievably redemptive.

The dark moments filled two lonely and longing years of my life, but I know now, they were for this. For me to tell you: vulnerability is right and beautiful. For me to tell you: you have permission to be. Emotional, uncomfortable, downtrodden. You can sit in the shit and process it and feel deeply. But, do it with one another. You owe it to yourself and to that lovely lady beside you.

My deepest of convictions say we were made for one another. Existing in a void, missing out on community, feeling lonely and sad is robbing yourself of life’s greatest joy. So, just be but be in community. Be in this online community or with your high school biffles or your diehards at work. Sit and feel and hurt and clean up the shit, while we, your girls, stand beside you and lift you up when it feels too much.

We need to hold onto those who love us most in the shittiest of times. We need each other to get through this shit. Just be. Still. Clingy. Emotional. Whatever it is, be it here and now.

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This post is in conjunction with Always Ashten's beautiful series of Just Be posts. I'm over there sharing my heart today -giving the skinny on skinny- and you should join in the shit happening there too. Mostly because Ashten is awesome, hilarious and her heart is beautiful, but also because I'm there as a part of her community and have experienced nothing but vulnerable inclusion.


  1. I love this topic, and I'm so happy you wrote about it. I had a similar conversation with my mom about sharing your struggles. I normally don't talk to my friends about what I'm going through, not because I don't trust them or anything but because I just feel like - they're MY struggles. I'm my problem, but I'm also my solution so I can get through it & figure it out, it's not a big deal.

    But on the other hand my friends all come to me with their problems & I gladly listen and doll out advice when asked, but my mom made me realize that sometimes in a friendship I'm doing a disservice by not sharing my bad moment with my friends. Friendship is give and take, and sharing the dark moments helps build trust and helps build the friendship, which in turn I guess helps build a community of support :)

    I hope that makes sense & I'm not rambling like I always tend to do haha. This post was a great morning read with my coffee :) !!!

  2. You know how I feel about you, Boo Thang. You know I love your heart and your ability to open up that precious soul of yours. Thanks for being you. I adore and appreciate you.

  3. Another great post from you today girl! Loved them both!

  4. You are truly amazing! And I would love to sit in shit with you. And dance until 5am with you. I cry crocodile tears with you. And laugh hysterically with you. And pray to sweet Jesus with you.

  5. Damn it Amber, you keep rocking my world. I love reading your posts every day... They are always so well written and so moving. I've grown up struggling living in our society that places such an emphasis on weight rather than other beauty that is way more important.

    I swear when I hear people say "you have such a pretty face" to a girl/woman who may be heavier in weight it kills me a little inside. That is NOT a compliment and I don't understand why anyone would think otherwise.

    The body expectations women are forced upon in this society are sickening and it scares me. I've been lucky enough that I've somehow made it through my most socially vulnerable stage (teenager) not caring enough about societies expectations. I thank God every day that he gave me at least enough wisdom to know it's not healthy...because eating disorders scare me and I am so thankful I never suffered from one. But so many women/girls are suffering or have suffered from those disorders and I want to hold every one of them in my arms.

    Okay, I could keep ranting but I will stop for the sake of your comments section. Again, thank you for your wisdom and inspirations.

  6. EEEUGGHH!!! It's like you're in my MIND you MIND BLOWER you!!


  7. Kathy@Vodka and SodaSeptember 19, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    i believe that your life turns to shit 5 times in your lifetime. whether that's 5 consecutive years of bullshit or grouped together a few years at a time, you will go through painful bullshit 5 times in your life.

    after which, you come out more awesome and STRONGER than the time before.

    it's these times we learn who our TRUE friends are and how strong we really are.

    love this post!

  8. Five shits. Ok. That makes this all seem more bearable. :)

    Girl, the shit going on in our lives has weeded out so many fluffy friends. Initially, I was bitter and hurt. Now, the people who remain are more dear and beautiful to me than ever before. I guess, even in shitty times, there's goodness.


    But really, you know what I mean because you're one of these.

  10. Girl, you know just what shit looks like and the deep dangers of being in it alone. It's easy to step back and be an internal processor, but you're only gipping yourself out of dear friends -be the virtual or physical.

    You're making an amazing community over there doll. I'm lucky to be a part of it.

  11. shitpiles. love. i mean hate them, but love that saying.

  12. Thanks Chelsea! So much to say in so little time! :)

  13. You like my shit girl? Because, if you're lucky, all this shit can co-mingle with your shit. You lucky girl.

  14. Dance till 5 am. Yes. Absolutely, yes. And laughing. And praying. The crying I'll do, though I have a preference for the others! :)

  15. Oh honey, not rambling. Approaching the shitpile with lots to say. LOVE IT. That's why I do this thing: not to speak but to hear.

    I hate being vulnerable. Marriage has been hard in that way: pushing me to share what's wrong -what's REALLY wrong- not what I'm pretending is bothering me. And having someone around to call you on your shit can be terrifying, annoying, and, yet, beautiful. Oh my soul. :)


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I reserve the right to remove negative interactions... This is a space to share, to inspire, to laugh, and to cry - while everyone is entitled to an opinion, no one is entitled to spread hurtful words.

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