“Heart on My Sleeve” (for So Worth Loving)

Hey gorgeous people! Today I had the lovely privilege of posting over at So Worth Loving — my absolute favorite lifestyle blog & community. (go check them out!) Take a look at an excerpt of my piece below, and head over to the SWL site to finish it off :)

Heart on My Sleeve

THERE ARE DAYS WHEN I WANT TO RIP MY HEART OFF MY SLEEVE AND TUCK IT INTO MY POCKET.

To hide and protect it from curious eyes and judgmental fingers that stare and poke like my feelings and heart and soul are here for their amusement or pleasure.

Perhaps it is better to feel nothing at all?

But you never feel nothing. Even in the darkest times there was always a whisper of a feeling that threatened to yell and scream if I gave it the attention it wanted. They worked beneath the surface, I could feel them just under my skin – pulsing and itching – desperate to be let free.

Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, we’re told. Don’t give someone the chance to yank it off and toss it around like a beach ball until it deflates or is torn to pieces by the cynical or realistic or cold-hearted or jaded.

Don’t be vulnerable. Don’t trust. Don’t give someone your feelings so they can fashion them into weapons to be used against you…

keep reading!

No longer the cynic.

One word I’ve always used to describe myself is cynical. It usually accompanies other words like passionate, impulsive, romantic, and empathetic. I am nothing if not a random assortment of clashing thoughts and feelings that God somehow brought together in my heart and soul and mind. I love all the pieces of who I am; they make up the woman who is a writer and artist and friend and daughter and partner. If I was to lose just one of those pieces, I wouldn’t be the same.

But my cynicism never seemed to match with the rest of who I was. Something about it didn’t fit; a jagged puzzle piece trying to force itself into a gentle curve. The cynicism painted my world in dark colors, blacking out the good things, refusing to allow me to enjoy them because I couldn’t quite trust them. That is the problem with cynicism: it’ doesn’t lend itself to trust or happiness or enjoying the moment. It refuses to see the good, because it assumes it will be accompanied by the bad. I never really liked that world, my cynical world. I didn’t belong there, but I chose it anyway, because that was easier than being disappointed.

Lately, however, it’s been harder to hold onto that cynicism. Continue reading

I won’t change for you.

I never dated in college (or high school…or after college…or ever…) and I assumed that was because something was wrong with me. I was convinced something about me made me undateable, because what other explanation could there be? I watched my friends date nice guys and not so nice guys, and I waited for my turn. I had crushes, of course; there were a few young men who turned my head and brought a little smile to my face. But nothing happened, because nothing ever happened. Not to me.

So it was easy to stand in front of a mirror and tell myself that if parts of me were different then I would find love. I was the common denominator in my non-existent romances, after all. Maybe if I was skinnier or taller or had green eyes then I would find a man. Maybe if I was more of a party girl and less of an academic. Maybe if I was more religious or less reserved and quiet. Maybe if I had more tattoos and piercings or cared less about my family. Maybe if I watched different tv shows or read different books. Maybe if I wore shorter dresses or tighter pants or heels. Maybe if I didn’t wear glasses or a purity ring then love would find me. Maybe maybe maybe… Continue reading

For the Ladies.

Hello my dears.

It’s not always easy being a woman. I’m sure it’s no picnic being a man either, but I can’t really speak to that. But I know what it’s like to be a woman. To be told by society and church and people what you’re supposed to be, how you’re supposed to act, what you’re supposed to do, and how you’re to live your life. It becomes a cacophony of endless noise. So much to process. So many lies and half truths to wade through.

Sometimes the best advice is the simplest and the easiest.

These words are for all the good women who are trying to figure out life as best they can; some thoughts on men, life, and love. I hope they give you something to smile about, a bit of encouragement.

On Men…

Wait for the man who will never hesitate to tell you how beautiful you are, no matter the time of day or location or occasion. Wait for the man whose eyes light up when he sees you, whether you’re wearing a sexy black dress, jeans and a sweatshirt, the sweat from your workout earlier, your pajamas, or a mud mask you put on with a greenish hue. Because you are absolutely beautiful in every one of those moments and deserve the man who will recognize it.

Wait for the man who doesn’t tell you that you owe him your body, or that he’s been patient long enough, or that if you really loved him you would sleep with him. Wait for the man who doesn’t use your love as weapon against you. Wait for the man who doesn’t look at you and see all the things you can give him, ignoring the gorgeous, wonderful soul standing before him. Never settle for a man who demands what you aren’t ready to give. Never believe that by saying no you are missing out on your only chance to find happiness. Because happiness exists when your no is heard and your hesitance is respected. Wait for the man who will wait with you.

Don’t wait for the “right guy” or the “nice guy” or the “perfect guy”. Instead, wait for the man who is good, the man who is flawed like you and has his own past and baggage and bad days. Wait for the man who will share that with you, letting you see him for exactly who he is, not for what you imagine he should be. Wait for the man who will be himself with you; the man you feel safe being yourself with.

Wait for the man who will encourage you in your pursuits, who supports your dreams. Wait for the man who will dream those dreams with you, who believes in you even when you begin to doubt and second guess. Don’t wait for the man who tries to fix you, but for the man who makes you better simply by loving you for everything you are, faults and scars and all the good things.

Wait for the man who will be a true partner in every sense; for the man who believes you are worth pursuing; for the man who loves you and never hesitates to tell you.

On Life…

Take chances. Every day do something that freaks the hell out of you. Because the things we regret most later in life are the things we never did. Never let fear hold you back or convince you that you can’t do it or you shouldn’t do it. And just maybe the chance you long to take is the one that will change your life.

Be yourself. Be as weird, quirky, odd, awesome, nerdy, fashionable, sarcastic, passionate, creative as you want. Never apologize for being you, for doing what you love. Never believe that you have to tone down what makes you you in order to be accepted by those around you. Embrace who you are and share it with the world.

Laugh often. Because I think we’ve become far too serious these days. The world is a sad, desolate place, and we’ve let that seep into our bones and weigh us down. And that’s a shame, because there is so much in our lives that we can smile and laugh at. And sometimes we do stupid, ridiculous, embarrassing things. Laugh at those things, and remember them.

Travel wherever your heart takes you. We get comfortable in our little corner of the world. But there is so much to discover when you take a trip; when you hit the open road and drive until you can’t drive any farther. Until you reach happiness. Go somewhere new.

Know you are beautiful. There are days when you may not feel lovely or pretty or stunning or gorgeous, but even on those days, when you look in the mirror and can’t meet your own eyes, you are beautiful. You might not be perfect, and that’s okay. You are only to be yourself, completely and imperfectly. And every part of you – your body, your mind, your spirit, your heart, your soul – all of it is beautiful in every moment. Finally believe it.

Be kind – to yourself and to others. Life has a way of beating us up, and if we beat ourselves up in the moments in between, we never give ourselves a chance to be happy. So when life is hard and you feel defeated, remember you don’t have to always have everything together. It’s okay to be a mess, because you will always be strong enough to put yourself back together.
And be kind to others. For if you are fighting and struggling in your life, chances are that those around you are as well. Show kindness and grace rather than frustration and rudeness. Show compassion always.

Go after what you want. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of the things that we dream about, the secret passions of our hearts. We think we don’t deserve them or we’ve been told that we don’t. But you do. You deserve to chase after your dreams. You deserve the happiness that comes with making them come true. And perhaps it’s hard. But the best things in life will make you fight to keep them. So never stop pursuing the things your heart longs for.

Create things. Anything. Write, draw, paint, take photos, knit, make movies, sculpt, dance, compose music, scrapbook. Be artistic. Whatever it is that brings a smile to your face and joy to your heart, make it come to life. Because when you create you are making beautiful things and bringing to life a piece of your soul. You are making something special and wonderful that only you can make. You are bringing something into this world that wasn’t here before, and maybe you can bring joy and healing to someone else through your art.

On love…

Love yourself, because you are worth loving. You are an amazing, talented, lovely daughter of God. You are the only one in the entire world who is like you. Love yourself for all the good you bring into the world; for all the happiness and light you share with those around you. Love yourself because God created you and loves you. Love yourself because you deserve to be loved by the one who knows you best.

Love others, even when it’s hard. Everyone needs to be loved, to be told they are loved. We were created in love, and we crave that. So share that love with those around you, with friends and family. Love those who are like you and those who are not. Love those you make you smile and make you scream. Love those who seem unlovable, because they are the ones who need it most. In loving others, we better learn to love ourselves.

And lastly, I want to remind you that you are lovely and worthy and amazing even in the darkest times. You are strong. You are an inspiration. You are enough and you are good. And you are allowed to believe it.

Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter >> @cassiclerget.
I’m pretty entertaining.