my-cat-marty
Aug07

Missing

This is going to be raw. I don’t know how else do talk about this.

Five days after I returned from my time in Atlanta and Tennessee, I had to say goodbye to my sweet cat, Marty.

He was such a fighter and so stubborn at times. After the vet discovered the lymphoma, they gave him a month to live. Marty gave me 8 months.

I’ve had trouble writing lately, because I want to write about him. But when I do, I cry hard. I miss him so badly and it still hurts.

His loss has made me think about those other lights I’ve lost. So today, here’s what I’m missing:

mornings on the porch, sipping tea, watching Marty explore the yard

the way he dipped his paw into milk to drink it

Marty’s stare in the middle of the afternoon, when he was ready for food

how he licked my little cat Cami clean when my mom brought her home

the way Marty curled up between my legs at night so we could sleep

the wrestling fights he and Hugo would get into

the moments where all he wanted to do was be next to me and sleep

how I kissed his belly hundreds of times after the surgery, wishing for a miracle

watching the transformation as Marty went from a scared cat from the pound to a trusting loyal friend

I wake up some mornings and still can’t believe I arrived here, that he’s gone. He was the glue in my little family of human plus three cats.

I’ve been thinking of all he taught me — to take time, to slow down, to love unconditionally and fiercely.

My heart is broken, but I am so incredibly grateful for all the time we did have.

UplevelLive2015-ChristineKane-BrandiBernoskie
Jul21

Uncommon Commitment

When I go in, I go all in.

That’s the way it’s been with things I’ve been passionate about in my life.

I’ll admit, the unfortunately typical manifestation of this commitment could most clearly be seen in my string of serious relationships with men. But I’ve done it numerous other times with classes, studies, and adventures as well. In December, I signed up for my mastermind group and decided that I was going to go all in here as well.

Uncommon commitment brings uncommon results.

And I’ve had some great results. Numbers have gone up each month. I’ve hired a team of amazing people to support and work with me. My business is growing (fast) and forcing me to expand and grow as it does.

One of the real highlights came last week, when I was asked to speak as part of a panel at Uplevel Live in Atlanta, a three-day business conference hosted by Christine Kane and her team at Uplevel You.

It was awesome to be able to sit onstage and share with other entrepreneurs what I’ve done, so they might see what’s possible for their businesses.

Every moment teaches you something new.

While I had fun on stage, I also realized that there were pieces missing to my business and life, elements that I need to develop and work on.

I discovered that truly knowing your story is incredibly powerful and empowering.

I realized that in order to play bigger, I need to manage my energy even more, so I’m constantly fueling myself, rather than nearly running on empty at times.

My moment on stage wasn’t about finally arriving, but rather uncovering a new point of expansion and growth for myself. And yes, it’s really uncomfortable right now, but I’m recommitting to going all in once again.

fiddleheadfern
Jul09

Your Life Is Made Up of a Billion Little Moments

I notice this more when I’m traveling – the strange, small, beautiful moments that make my days up.

The curtains being drawn on a restaurant as the night comes to a close.

The brewery smell drifting down the city streets at night. It is quiet and the scent is rich.

The texture and curve of the wood furniture in the coffee shop.

The scone that you would call a biscuit except in the UK biscuits are cookies, and they drive on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car.

The way the light refuses to ever really leave, even in the middle of the night.

The sound of rain on the fabric of a tent.

The discovery of a fiddlehead fern, unfurling slowly.

The taste of white hot chocolate with lemongrass and lavender.

The camaraderie of people who have known each other their whole lives, but still invite you into their world.

I love falling into this beautiful life over and over again, in the subtlest ways.

Stocksy_txpc7b2dd37PcT000_Small_664498
Jun30

Hitchhiking on Someone Else’s Dream

A few weeks ago, a friend told me of a business he wanted to start: an online archery shop.

I wanted in.

It was easy to imagine myself in charge and building an incredible company. More than anything else, I imagined all of the content I could create for the world, particularly for young girls interested in archery. I had such good ideas.

But the dream wasn’t mine. I was hitchhiking on his dream.

It wasn’t the first time I had done this. I’ve lost myself in teachers’ plans for me, the requirements of companies I worked for, the expectations of graduate school.

I remembered standing in my graduate advisor’s office, as he told me that I needed to give up my hobbies if I wanted to be a philosopher, that I needed to dedicate more time (subtext: all my time) to this career. It was then I decide I was done trying to please other people.

I left grad school, got a job, and started working. I tried to excel but there was no place for initiative. I tried to fit in but I felt entirely out of place in a company where everything was wrapped in red tape. I was told I wasn’t quite meeting expectations. It was then I was done with not being myself.

I wanted freedom – to travel when I wanted to, to dress in a way that expressed who I am, to live wherever I’d like, to take time off when I need to, to be myself – my full, vibrant self.

I considered what working on this archery shop would look like for me. It wouldn’t be mine, not properly, and there would be new expectations. So I asked myself,

Why hitchhike on someone else’s dream
when I can dream something even better for myself?

Precisely.

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