I knew leaving high school that I would write this book one day, and true to myself, it was my first novel. I wrote it for the scores of us who navigated those tenuous waters, and for those navigating it now. While I love to hear from any reader, it's especially heartening to hear from young women in high school, like this gal. You can change the decade, you can change the clothes, you can change the music, but adolescence doesn't change much. And the same scenarios live on in high school, and will forevermore.
If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece or young woman in your life, please consider buying her this book.
Get it here.
Maybe that’s all there is
I have lofty ideas about human interaction. I tend to crave deeper conversation than what you had for dinner last night, how your air conditioner is on the fritz, or that you’re binge watching Game of Thrones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to listen to all of that, but if our relationship is to have meaning, we’re gonna need to go spelunking to greater depths.
Some of us will, and some of us won’t.
I’ve learned many don’t, or won’t, go there, so I get pretty excited when I find someone who can and will. I get practically giddy when they are enthusiastic about it and we can forge enough trust to have conversations many would find too personal or expose vulnerabilities.
I sometimes have expectations for people along these lines. Especially people I believe I am “supposed” to share a higher quality of relationship with…like family. Shouldn’t they be the ones who want to take a deep dive based on your shared level of love and intimacy?
But about those expectations. I learned decades ago they are just resentments under construction, so having them tends to lead to negative feelings. By having expectations, I create the ideal, dark, murky environment for resentments to grow rich in, so it’s on me. And yet, have them I do, because I enjoy banging my head against the same wall. (In my defense, I do actively work not to have them, or be judgmental or participate actively in a few other shortcomings that like to weasel their way in.)
But I heard The Best Thing in the last seven days that’s made me rethink this idea about folks. I assumed the reason people might not go deep with me—and I refer to people I’m close to, (not just strangers because duh, why would they?)—is because they don’t trust, respect or like me enough to do so or their own comfort level is so low, they avoid getting personal. But maybe it’s because…ready for it?
THAT’S ALL THERE IS.
Maybe they don’t really have deep thoughts or feelings. Maybe shallow waters is where they found their comfort zone and they’re gonna keep wading in it. Maybe they have defense mechanisms learned in childhood. Maybe they’re scarred. Maybe they’re scared. Maybe they’ve never been introspective. Maybe they’re happy on that surface level. Maybe what Jerry Seinfeld once said regarding what men think about (“nothing”) is true. Maybe…truly…that’s all there is.
Just something to think about.
(And remember Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements? They pretty much apply here—and everywhere. 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take any thing personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions and 4) Always do your best.)
Read my short, funny microvella yet? You can for the price of a cuppa coffee, and finish it before your coffee, too!
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Need a perspective shift?
I just finished reading EDUCATED, and wow—it packed a hell of a punch, literally and figuratively. Aside from peering into an upbringing very different than my own in terms of religion, distrust of government and modern health care, and a reckless self-reliance, the book spoke to me about family dynamics and the oft-brewing madness that many of us experience. Very potent read, and one that likely has helped remind many to feel grateful. I am also watching MAID on Netflix, and it’s gripped me from the very first dramatic can-this-really-get-any-worse (yes, it can) episode. It’s also a view into another world, one I don’t want to inhabit, but do want to cheer our intrepid girl to transcend. It’s never a bad idea to broaden your scope outside your own realm.
Review of Fifty, Four Ways
Here's a blog post for writers and something I've noticed as a big obstacle among us. After seeing it in myself, finally, I started doing something about it.
New cover for Falling!
I am so excited to share this new cover of Falling! When Amazon changed it's policies and removed ads based on the current cover being "too sexualized," I went to work finding a new image to replace it. But with self-publishing what it is today, all the images that drew me in were being overused by other authors in my genre, so I found a teen couple (who were a dream to work with!), photographed them myself, and gave the cover a fresh, new look. I am absolutely thrilled with it, and can't wait to get it in circulation.
I have a guest blog post on Revision Division today, helping writers see the value of an online editing program. Take a peek if you want to know why this author tool is your BFF.
I am standing at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC. It’s a magnificent structure high atop a hill overlooking the field where their historic first flights took place. The memorial features strong words etched into its surface. Words like “dauntless resolution,” “faith” and “conquest.” I am waiting patiently for tourists to vacate long enough to take photos, and I watch a family snap some of their own. The husband wants his wife and very young daughter to stand at the base of the memorial while he does his best to try and capture the moment.
The wife and daughter get into position but before the husband can take one photo, his wife says, “Do I look fat?” The husband shakes his head no, and gives her an encouraging smile. She yanks on her shirt, repositions herself, clasps her arm over her daughter’s shoulders and the two smile while the husband takes several shots.
Afterward, the mom says, “I am the least photogenic person I know! I look terrible in photos! That’s why I take the photos. I don’t know why I did this!”
The husband says something to her I cannot hear, but the daughter takes her mother’s hand and says, “I love you, Mommy.”
This transaction was almost painful to watch, but I imagine it happens around the globe every second.
I felt empathy for all parties:
1) The wife who is uncomfortable in her own skin, feeling her size or perceived flaws are unflattering and not worth photographing, missing the joy of the moment and most likely, not loving herself for all the wonderful things she is.
2) The daughter, who is learning it’s “normal” to find flaws with one’s self and put herself down if she believes she’s imperfect, and who also perhaps could not find joy in this moment upon hearing her mother’s angst. I don’t know whether to love or cry at her efforts to help her mother feel love as it feels like a role reversal, with the daughter so young.
3) The husband, who must likely battle his wife’s perceptions of herself that do not match his own, and for whom it may never feel like a battle he’s winning.
This example is precisely why I threw myself into the topic of self-loathing and produced The Self-Loathing Project. The constant verbal and non-verbal assault women (and men) have with themselves is pervasive.
Perhaps you have similar feelings when a photo is about to be taken. Perhaps this will help you see things from a different perspective. You really are fabulous just the way you are. With some effort, you can believe what others do, too.
Pick up a copy of The Self-Loathing Project for a little help and perspective with that—or any number of resources that now exist on the topic.
#theselfloathingproject #selflove #loveyourself #authorkatherinecobb
If this book was required reading for girls and women, we might have a shot of truly doing the fulfilling prophecy of lifting each other up. Molly Galbraith isn’t just a mouthpiece for the “lift each other up” movement, she is providing tangible, thought-provoking exercises to help you find your way. That turns this book into a passive self/humanity-help book into one of action. And I love me some action.
When I think back on my relationships with women, there are so many words: friend, conflict, ugliness, caring, bully, partner, meanness, champion, envy, gossip, competition. I think that last one is the crux of the problem: women always feel they are competing with one another, whether for love, jobs, fame, popularity or whatever. It creates the idea that there’s not enough to go around, which makes it pretty hard to live in harmony.
I’m not the only one who found it easier many times to hang out with my guy friends, who seemed less complicated and certainly weren’t competing WITH me (although sometimes, admittedly, for me). Not to suggest men don’t come with their own set of complications and issues.
But women have also been the powerful forces in my life—guiding me, shaping me, and loving me. So I truly have come to believe we must lift each other up. And this book helped me with some of the bumps in that road I’ve had (with one of the best bits about forgiveness I’ve come across), as well as challenged me to verbalize my core values.
I highly recommend!
Molly Galbraith is the cofounder of Girls Gone Strong and the author of Strong Women Lift Each Other Up.
#mollygalbraith #strongwomenlifteachotherup #lifteachotherup #women #girls #womenempowerment #womensupportingwomen #benice #bekind
A collection of columns, articles and general a-musings.