It’s Ok to Ask For Help

I hate cold water. Loathe it.  That sudden jolt, dear heaven above! I don’t know if I can completely convince you of the depths of this cold water hatred – you’ll just have to believe it’s an extreme hostility.

Last Monday, my boyfriend and I went with some friends to Lake Mead to go wakesurfing.  And I truly didn’t want to get into that cold water.  It’s not that I didn’t want to get wet or try wakesurfing, I just didn’t want to freeze.  And let’s be real.  I had never tried any form of balancing sport in my entire life – skiing, surfing, snowboarding – nothing.  I heavily considered allowing my dislike for cold water and my fear of potential failure to get in the way of trying something new. Alas, I could not.  Because:

1. I preach too much about my motto: Feel the fear; do it anyway.  And there’s nothing I hate more than those who don’t practice what they preach.

2. Women should not be sideline sitters – watching life happen, but not experiencing it for themselves.

I jumped into that freezing water and I tried.  And… I couldn’t get up on the board.  I did get lots of water up my nose though!  It was like a Lake Mead Netti Pot going on up in there!  I needed more skill, more time, more practice, more strength… and this quick afternoon trip didn’t offer me enough time for any of that.  But I was in that darn water, and my body had grown accustomed to it, and I knew I needed to surf those waves.  I mean, I had already jumped into (the Arctic Ocean) COLD water, I had already failed a few times – I had given it the old Girl Scout try.  And I wasn’t going to just give up.

So my boyfriend jumped into the water and together we got up on that board.  And I did it!  I surfed the waves!  With him.

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I don’t think the fact that we sometimes need to ask for help should ever stop us from not being proud of ourselves.  We all need help with something.  It’s ok to do things together; it’s ok to ask for help.  It’s better to experience something new with help than to miss out on it entirely.  It’s ok to let somebody you love and trust jump into the water with you and help you surf the waves. …especially when he’s cute… 😉

Despite the fact that I look ridiculous and scream that “I’m falling,” eventually we found our groove and went quite a while before dropping into the water.  I was grateful for every second.

(I feel like I must confess… in case you were wondering… which you probably are… the water was in the low 70s.  To me, that’s one step above hypothermia.  To others, I’m a wimp.)

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
When In…Valley of Fire

When In…Valley of Fire


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My stress level has been high the past few weeks.  Too much going on.   I was definitely in need of some disconnecting time.  No homework, no blog, no internet, no researching.  Luckily for me, Sunday was my boyfriend’s birthday.  And really.  What is a boyfriend’s birthday for other than giving his girlfriend an opportunity to take a little day trip?  (Not really, but totally really) We went to the Valley of Fire, 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

I’m a Vegas local and had never been to this state park.  Sacrilegious, I know.  It was beautiful and refreshing.  We drove in the Jeep with the doors removed.  The weather was warm, the sun was shining behind the perfect amount of scattered clouds.  It was the day I had needed.  A little adventure and a lot of fun.  It’s amazing how a little time spent outside can be so inspirational.

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The sand was truly incredible.  It was as fine as flour.  Our socks were orange by the time we got home!  We had such a fun time hiking and exploring.

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Above you can see me falling.  An act that my boyfriend felt compelled to document.  Because he is a true artist.  And one does not sacrifice art to save a girlfriend.  :)

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The above two pictures come from the last stop you can make driving.  We almost didn’t get out of the car, and that would have been a crime.  It ended up being one of our favorite stops.  There was a balance of white/yellow rock with red/orange rock.  Truly beautiful.

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If you look closely enough, my bronzer is everywhere, my lips are chapped from riding in a Jeep with the doors off, and my hair is a fretful rat’s nest.  It’s all just proof of good living.

Valley of Fire

4 Reasons Why It’s OK To Wait for Marriage (and I don’t mean sex!)

4 Reasons Why It’s OK To Wait for Marriage (and I don’t mean sex!)

4 Reasons Why It’s OK To Wait for Marriage (and I don’t mean sex!)

Most of the Millennial generation (born 1980 – 2000) are postponing nuptials far beyond the generations before them. 20% of Millennial-age adults were married in 2010, a sharp contrast to 59% in 1960.  Instead of spending our 20s in “wedded bliss,” millennials are pursuing higher education, entrepreneurship, travel, social justice, and creativity – with many of us living lives that look more like gypsies than homemakers.

Millennials are using their twenties to benefit and enrich their own lives before adhering their lives to someone else.  They’re learning it’s okay to wait for marriage.

Marriage had its time of necessity. Men needed somebody to take care of the home and kids; women needed somebody to provide. But gender roles are blurring in today’s world. Marriage right out of high school or college is no longer mandatory. We don’t need it anymore. If we don’t need marriage, we have plenty of space to wait until we want marriage.

Yet it seems that the pressure to tie the knot hasn’t gone away with the same vigor. Millennials are still hearing from parents, family members and friends: “When are you going to get married?” or “A year together, start expecting a ring!”

Then there is religious pressure. In Christian culture there is still a push for early marriage, as being married is set up as the absolute ideal. Many churches do not hire unmarried staff members (despite the fact that Paul, a man who wrote the majority of the New Testament, and Jesus were unmarried). And whether people like to believe it or not, the “Save Sex for Marriage” talks are being registered in young adult’s heads as “Let’s hurry up and get to the wedding night.”

Millennials, I’m here to offer a few reasons why it’s OK to stick with your generation on this one. Sure, there are successful young marriages. If that’s the burning desire in your heart, go for it!  But young marriage is not in the cards for everyone.

4 Reasons Why It’s OK To Wait for Marriage (and I don’t mean sex!)

1. Marrying later allows you to learn about yourself 

The amount of mental, emotional, spiritual, and sexual growth that happens between late teens and early twenties is huge. We begin to experience life as adults.  That experience brings about change – it’s ok to be patient while you ride that tide.  Take time to learn what you love and hate and what you’re passionate about.  Try new things, find out how you like to spend your weekends, discover what you want in a partner, learn your travel preferences, etc.

2. Marrying later allows you to learn about your partner 

We all know it takes serious time before we can actually know somebody else.  You might know what their hobbies are, how they talk to their mom, and what makes them tick. But do you know how they deal with death or job loss? Do you know how they will treat you if you’re sick in the hospital? Unfortunately, we can never be sure about someone (how could it be when it’s even difficult to truly know ourselves?)! But giving yourself plenty of time to see your partner in many varied situations – good and bad – is priceless.

3. Marrying later allows you to explore now

I think the older generations got something backwards. Those before us worked hard, waited until old age to retire, and THEN explored the world.  But there are no guarantees!  Exploration and adventure can happen before retirement. Travel – or even move if you want to!  This can be a good time for career exploration.  If you get a degree and find out you hate your career, you have more flexibility in changing your mind when you don’t have a spouse/family relying on you.

4. Marrying later allows you to have more sexual experience

I’m prepping for the hate mail, but I feel it must be said: every human being has sexual preferences.  Not every partner is going to be a good match simply because they have sex organs. We each desire certain things from our sexual partners.  When you don’t rush into marriage, you have time to figure out what you want/need from a sexual partner. Books that say sex just figures itself out don’t tell the whole picture – that is the case for only a lucky few.  Sex matters.  Marriage is a lot of nights in the same bed with someone – enjoy the sex.

Marriage is a big deal – financially, mentally, emotionally, sexually (all the “-ly”s!) – so there’s no need to rush.  We have freedoms in today’s world; we can slow down.  It is fully ok to take advantage of that – it is ok to wait for marriage!

In Which I Take Myself on a Date to the Theater

In Which I Take Myself on a Date to the Theater

Early in 2014 I was freshly single.  I wasn’t interested in new men, but I was still interested in doing fun things.  So I took myself on a date to eat Indian and go shopping. Then I wrote about it, as writers tend to do, in “Table For One: Why Sometimes It’s Better to Date Yourself” which originally appeared on Unwritten. I wrote about the myth of “The Gap”: when single, you often feel like there is a huge gap needing to be filled, often by another partner.  I explained that this Gap isn’t real.  We are always complete without another person.

Then in May that article went up on The Huffington Post and did well.  Ironically, I had just started dating a great man when it ran.  Even though I was seeing someone, I took with me the lessons learned from dating myself as a single woman: it is important to spend time alone doing what you love.  After all, the only person guaranteed to be with you always is yourself.

Now it’s January and I am joyously content in a healthy, loving relationship.  And you know what?  Same story applies.  I am still my own person even though I’m excited to share my life with another.  So I took myself to the theater.  Ticket for one!  A kind woman in my life offered me a single ticket to the fabulous theater in Las Vegas, The Smith Center, to see the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I heart musicals.

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I dressed nicely, arrived early, bought myself a drink and some M&Ms (more of my favorite things!), and enjoyed a night to myself.

It’s important not to get lost into somebody else.  I can love fiercely and loyally, share my heart and time, and make room in my life for another.  But I must continue to invest time into myself and love myself.  For me, doing something I love without the boyfriend (and without girlfriends!) is crucial.  I must remind myself that I am already complete – a fact that allows me to WANT somebody else, instead of NEED somebody else. By the way, it’s so unfair to expect somebody to complete you.  That’s way too big an expectation to put on another human being.

This quote came up on my Instagram recently, and I couldn’t agree with its sentiment more.  It beautifully wraps up my thoughts:

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