Single women, society and social media.

Last week, on December 16th I got the most likes I've ever gotten on a post, 407  to be exact. I changed my status from single to in a relationship and it seemed like everyone I know took notice.

Social media and I have quite the strange relationship. It's one of my favorite things because of the way that it gives me access to my friends and family that are scattered all over the globe as well as to ideas and concepts from people that I may never meet.

I love posting pictures on Instagram and posting blog updates and life updates on Facebook and reading the updates of my friends and family. It's cool to be able to update a bunch of people at once about what's going on, especially when you don't have time to call or text all of them individually. What I don't love is the way that it can be used as an avenue for hate and discord and how it has the ability to give us a false sense of community and connection.

This week I found myself waist deep in some feelings that I didn't really expect to have. This year I've been so excited to post about different things that are going on in my life. In March I got a new job with Goodwill and I've been loving every minute of it. I moved into an adorable little carriage house in a suburb of Denver and started adulting hardcore. I helped plant a church in Denver in September and it's been one of the most enriching and out of my comfort zone experiences of my life so far.

None of that got anywhere close to the attention or likes that Patrick and I's relationship update got and that kind of made me feel a little weird.

I've talked to a few people about this, my dad, Patrick and a few of my coworkers and it's so interesting the value that is put on a female getting into a relationship, getting married or having children. When so many people commented on my relationship status, I was excited but it also made me feel like none of my other accomplishments compared to this one.

Am I reading too much into this? Or is there a real issue with society and the way that we view and value the accomplishments of single women?

I loved being single. I was happy, fulfilled, content and so driven. I didn't start living when I got into a relationship, it has definitely added to my happiness and I hope that it will for years to come but it didn't create it.

I'm not annoyed that so many people reached out when I started dating Patrick, believe me I totally get it, but it did force me to reflect on a few things.

As I write this, I realize that I'm guilty of everything that I'm blogging about. I've called and congratulated friends about engagements and baby announcements and sometimes have only liked or even over looked posts about graduations, or new jobs or life ventures. I haven't always been the feminist and supportive friend that I've hoped to see in the world and for that I feel bad.

So I'm sorry if you're a female and my friend and I haven't congratulated you on all of the milestones that you've reached in life. If I didn't reach out after you bought your own house, finished graduate school, paid off your student loans or did something that was truly amazing I apologize.

You're more than your relationship status, that's apart of your story but it's not your ENTIRE story.

So yes, I am in a relationship. I'm beyond excited about Patrick and the potential that I see in what we have. I'm more than open to talk and share about the relationship and I'm also really excited to talk about everything else going on in my life.

This post isn't meant to condemn anyone. If you reached out to me recently about what's going on in my life, please know that I appreciate you. What this is meant to do is to just be a space where I can be open and authentic about what I'm feeling and how recently in the midst of a really happy moment I found myself feeling strange.

So there you go, those are my thoughts for this week. They're not so pretty this time, a little rough around the edges but they're real and I hope that's good enough.

Until next time! Xoxo.

Lessons and lessons and lessons.

Things I've learned in the last month...

1. Vulnerability is key to starting, building and sustaining healthy relationships.

I struggle with being vulnerable. It's so easy to write out my feelings and thoughts on my blog and then kind of walk away from it. People read it and they might even comment but we're not having a face to face conversation so it's easy to be removed from the things that I'm saying and what they're learning about me. Brene Brown, a researcher and a story teller, has a fantastic Ted talk about vulnerability and I highly recommend it. I watched it and it put words to what was going on in my heart, learning to be vulnerable is freaking difficult but it's key in building healthy relationships and that's what I want.

2. When you learn you change and if you haven't changed than you haven't learned.

I've kissed a lot of frogs in my life and despite my desire to find better it wasn't until recently that I learned that you'll never find a prince in a swamp. I had a conversation with one of my dear friends the other day and we talked about women and our standards. I know so many people who settle for less than they deserve in relationships and romantic encounters and I was definitely one of those people, until I wasn't. I learned that lust is very different than love, if they'll lie for you they'll lie to you, a kiss is not a commitment and if they want to play games, hand them a controller not your heart. This is especially for my beautiful, talented, intelligent and queen lady friends: if they're not calling you, not wanting to spend time with you, not introducing you to their friends, not taking you on REAL dates, not praying for you, than they're not worth your time. When you know better you do better, it's time to do better.

3. Even the smallest acts of courage can be inspirational.

The other day I had someone tell me that they thought I was brave and when I asked why they mentioned a series of small moments that I didn't think anyone noticed. Moments where I stepped out of my comfort zone to participate in an event or accomplish a small goal and unbeknownst to me someone was watching and they were inspired. So I guess this lesson was two fold in the way that it showed me that people can be inspired by the little things and also it reminded me that everything counts. You have no idea how your today can affect someones tomorrow, so give it your all kid!

I could go on and on but I think three lessons is enough for today. This month has really impacted me and it's not for any reason in particular but rather it's all the small moments and encounters, all of the encouragement to do and to be better, all of the thoughtful choices that led to a month of so much growth. Life is fun, so much fun, but a year ago I made the decision to be more than just happy, but to be intentional about my journey and it's made all the difference.

Until next time friends. XO