Hi there everybody!
Testing, one two… is this on? I am so honored to be a part of the Winter Tribe! Up to now, I have been like you, a regular reader and in awe of the connectedness I feel from every story I read.
I can NOT wait to share with you who I am in an effort to connect with the parts of me that are the same as you.
To begin, I want to start out sharing my favorite quote of all time, that I KNOW, if you’re here, you will resonate with as well.
I am one of the searchers.
There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach; we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.
If I were a betting woman (which I’m not), I’d bet that upon reading this you either thought or said out loud… YES! It’s the searcher in all of us that brings us here. (It’s why I’m SO excited to be here!) The thing is…. James says “There are, I believe, millions of us” but as of the last time I checked, there are BILLIONS of souls in the world which to me, means that so often… we can find ourselves feeling alone and hungry for the connection from another searcher.
I’m hoping that in sharing my posts with you, that I can connect with the searcher in you when you need a reminder that you are not alone in your search and to keep going!
I think I would like to finish up telling you a few things about myself with a bunch of bullets (cause one of the bullets would be I like writing lists!)
:: You pronounce my name as if you were saying two words Keri and lyn, just together – Kerilyn!
:: I am a New Year’s Eve baby!
:: I am a tall drink of water (6′-1″ to be exact)
:: I am the friend/sister/mama to one 17 y.o. orange long haired kitty girl named PEZ who regularly reminds me what unconditional love is supposed to feel like.
:: My favorite kind of music is Reggae.
:: I am an Interior Designer by trade. It’s how I pay my rent while I work on my dreams.
:: I fancy myself a fledgling greeting card designer – See here.
:: I am married to my chef husband Peter. We just celebrated our third anniversary. (Yay! Our wedding was featured in The Washington Post – see here!) While I ADORE being married, and married to my husband particularly, I love that we VALUE how we are different and how that ends up being a cornerstone of what unites us.
:: I am a ICF Certified Professional Life Coach
:: I am the creator and resident life coach of Married to a Chef, a platform of support for significant others in the Restaurant industry (Because most people have NO idea what it’s REALLY like.)
:: I am a new student to the study of A Course in Miracles. I feel SO passionately (bordering on obsessed) to learn how I can embody the principles into my everyday life. *and then teach them to others.
:: As a searcher – I feel compelled to do something meaningful with my life. A life (and a career) with purpose is my mission. Usually that leaves me feeling a bit restless and a bit daydream-y. (A wistful dreamer I call myself)
:: My idea of a wonderful day is a Saturday spent with a mix of being in silence and out doing something that stimulates my searching with a kindred spirit.
:: I am one, among many, who has had the experience of being raped. *I’m not one for the word survivor.
:: I have bohemian and hippie-like tendencies, mixed in with a handful of sophisticated and old fashioned values.
:: I am a sensitive soul, moved quite easily by things that evoke emotion.
:: I am absolutely a planner by nature (not one who takes to acts of spontaneity very well)
:: I live about 15 minutes outside of Washington, DC in Springfield, Virginia
:: I’m a city girl at heart (who also is in love with Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC)
:: I am a Chatty Cathy by nature!
:: I’ve always wanted to live in New York City and Italy.
:: I am not shy to raise my hand and admit that I do have a bit of a potty mouth. Believe in the impact of a well placed F word.
:: I enjoy sending (and receiving) letters and cards in the mail. Wish it was mandatory as a human being to have a pen pal.
:: I absolutely agree with the statement “Glitter is a magical substance that blurs the line between fashion statement and philosophy of life” – Unknown
:: My favorite kind of cuisines are Mexican and Indian. I am also a true believer in the healing power of a bowl of Phở
:: Finally, I love this photo of myself. It was taken by my girlfriend Kyra in the summer of 2009 and I believe you can see the Searcher inside of me. “Not unhappy, but neither content.” Yep, that’s me.
Where you can find me:
Can’t wait to connect with you during the 2012-2013 winter season!! And AWAY we go…!!!
Art by Chatty Nora
The TALL tale of an introvert born to stand out
“Wow you’re tall. Do you play basketball?”
I remember it exactly like it was yesterday. It was a spring day in 1997, I was running down a one way street in Savannah, GA; getting my daily exercise in, when a car pulled along side of me, rolled down its passenger side window and a gentleman leaned out and yelled this statement as I was running. It completely startled me because they came up from behind me which made my standard response of:
‘NO, I don’t play basketball.’
Filled with adrenaline and cortisol. Let’s just say I ran home a little faster that day.
Honestly, this happened often. Even as I am about to turn 38 years old, I would be lying if I told you I don’t get asked this statement/question combination on a semi regular basis. I’ve always been taller than most of the people I interact with on a regular basis, from friends to strangers alike. It’s something that gets blurred into the background until these moments occur, when someone points out how tall I am, that I even remember it myself.
Being 6’-1” in a world where the national average is 5’-4” for women, it can be challenging to hide when you naturally stand out.
Going back, I don’t exactly know when I noticed I was taller than the rest of the kids in the class, I don’t remember where I was, who I was with or what was going on in the moment. All I can tell you is the moment I realized it, I also realized I didn’t like it.
Add to that that I wore glasses since I was 6 years old, had dimples in my cheeks, a pronounced cleft in my chin (think John Travolta) and was on the heavier side of my peers, the fact that I was taller than then everyone around me (I was 5’-10” in sixth grade) just guaranteed that it didn’t matter that I didn’t WANT to be the center of attention, I was going to be, whether I liked it or not. Recalling how I was always last in line when we had to line up in order of height still affects how I prefer to be the last one walking down the hall or out of an elevator.
It’s the little moments that affect us the most, right?
It took quite a while but I finally got to a place where I could start to see the benefits of being tall in my early twenties. I could scan a room easily for the person I was looking for, didn’t have to hold the hand of the person I was with when I was in a crowd (Saying things like “Don’t worry, you can’t see me but I can see you!) I can easily reach items on the top of the shelf in the kitchen (obviously), and as someone who rowed in college, being tall meant being the powerhouse in the middle of the boat.
As I grew more comfortable with it, so did my preferences. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be with someone who was tall, wanting to look them in the eye and find an easy swing rhythm when walking hand in hand, which still proves ironic and admittedly twinges at me from time to time that I married a man 4 inches shorter than me. (Especially when I look at pictures)
In the end, I didn’t marry his height, I married his heart.
I want to tell you that despite those early moments of feeling like the spotlight was naturally always on me because of my physical appearance, always leaving me front and center in a crowd, or in a classroom, or on the gym floor, I’m not sure my natural tendency would have been to choose to be the extrovert of the crowd. I think that was a role that I GREW into as I begun to understand that maybe standing out was PART of my mission and purpose here. The reason why I am here, writing to you today.
I found that because I naturally stood out anyway, that people looked to me to help them with and be their voice. I’m not sure this was a deliberate thing, but a default as I was the clearest (and the tallest) choice when everyone else didn’t want to raise their hand in class. At first, I was not comfortable being chosen as the spokesperson, because as we ALL know, kids can be cruel and I have been the butt of many jokes as I grew up into my role today. But a moment in time, a decision changed all that for me and that’s the topic of my post.
I made a decision, back when I was sixteen years old to STEP INTO the role of extrovert, as a way of being an example of others that it’s not as scary as one thinks. I stepped into being open, and vulnerable and emotional; purposefully exposing my vulnerabilities, while admitting it wasn’t my own natural tendency at the time. Something from within me knew that I could use this body as a way of showing others that it was OKAY to be who you are. I wasn’t consciously aware of it at the time but as I look back at that time, who I am today is directly related to the thought…
“Well if I’m not going to fit in ANYWAY, why not STAND OUT as an example.”
In high school, dresses that fit the girls of average height never fit me well so I decided to figure out what I could wear that would make me happy, even if it meant I would stand out a bit. Choosing to wear a tie and vest to school, vs. those popular dresses, I deliberately chose the role of extrovert as a way of figuring out how far I could go. After a while, my fellow students got used to it, like they knew since I didn’t fit in PHYSICALLY, It would make sense I wouldn’t look like everyone else. It wasn’t always easy but somehow I knew I was helping others, who would see me stand out by choice.
I remember my high school yearbook; someone wrote “I always loved your sense of style. I wish I had the courage to do the same”, and I remember thinking that I knew it was working. Being brave, despite the fact that it wasn’t always easy to do so, made an impact on others and confirmed the feeling in my heart that I was somehow in check with my purpose.
As I grew older, I became more comfortable being the first one to raise my hand, to speak up in a crowd, and to be the one to “Go First”, knowing I could help others SEE that it’s not as scary as they would think. The part of me that just wanted to sit in the back of the room and sink in my chair grew quieter and was replaced by this woman who knew she had a gift she had to share.
I chose to stand out, even though my natural tendency is to fit in.
As I understood what did and did not work, how far I could push myself (and others) to stand out, my energy grew, and I grew more confident in my gift and in turn what impact it could make. I knew by standing out, emotionally, physically and spiritually from the minute I met someone, I could change the way in which someone received me and in turn, received themselves.
I mean, “Even if I stand here, I’m going to stand out anyway, why not put it to good use?” was my unspoken motto, my unwritten rule.
A guy friend of mine told me when I was 21 yrs old that I “Laid my cards down too quickly”,when it came to interacting with others, specifically those of the opposite sex. I couldn’t disagree with him, because I knew that he was mirroring what I was currently experiencing, but knowing that never changed my desire to hold back from standing out, knowing that it would go against what felt right for me.
I stood out. No amount of holding my cards back were going to make that any easier.
I won’t lie, it might not of been the popular thing to do, to be so open and forthcoming with who I was, when it came to romantic relationships, but I just KNEW that the people who decided to stay in my life, were going to benefit from this tall woman, being an example that it’s OKAY to step out of their natural comfort zone in an effort to stand a little taller with where they were in their world.
I know I’m a leader, a pied piper of sorts NOT because it came easily or naturally to me, but out of a response not to let the fact that I stood out naturally, be my demise.
Here’s the kicker. It wasn’t until l was in the throes of coach training, that I began to understand the words used to explain what I was dealing with. I didn’t understand what being an extrovert, an introvert or what a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) was at the time. I spent a lot of time thinking about which one I was, early memories flashed through my mind as I remember how I chose to step into an extroverted role, and it became clear that I am both. I am an extrovert 90% of the time, choosing to live openly and stand out amongst those who are afraid to do so. But I am also an introvert (and a HSP), still honoring the side of me that doesn’t want to stand out, especially when it comes to large crowds of people I do not know very well. I crave the silence, need time alone to decompress after loud and large gatherings, and would rather sit back with one or two close girlfriends than to always be the center of the party.
Who I am is a choice. A choice that I can honestly say I love about myself. I have learned SO MUCH from being a tall woman, SO much about being brave, having courage, to find my style, and not to shrivel or shrink when the world is telling me to do so. It has helped me see when those who are trying to stand out (more like act out) are doing so as a reaction of feeling like they too, don’t fit in. It is my hope that to those I am meant to serve, will feel from me that I see them, REALLY see them, not just the outside, what they look like, how tall they stand, but what actions they take to honor who they are INSIDE.
I am still learning that so many of us have felt like they never fit in, whether it was their financial situation, their body or family situation or if it had anything to do with the outside. Standing tall, and standing out is a matter of finding a way to FIT IN with whom you feel you are, in your core, no matter what or who you were BORN into.