September: New beginnings and more joy on the horizon

I’ve always loved September.

When I was younger, it was because it signified the start of school. It launched football season for the lifelong cheerleader in me. As a youth cheerleader, it was also the kickoff of competition season.

September has always signified the start of fall (my favorite season), the kickoff to Halloween (you KNOW I love everything about the holiday), and every joyous thing that goes along with it.

Growing older, September became a time when I started new jobs — many of my careers launched in September, from catering to student teaching (I didn’t make it much further than that) to copywriting. It gave me the same feeling as the start of the school year. New people. New things to learn. New everything.

For me, September represents new beginnings — not spring. There’s a freshness in the air that you didn’t get any other time of the year.

I’m not even sure why we feel the need to make resolutions in January. I feel like I’m more apt to start goals in September. Good things happen in September.

Which is why it made perfect sense to tell Brian, in September of 2015, that I wanted to marry him in September. As we had already discussed getting married the following year, it meant that he didn’t have much time left to *ahem* pop the question. (And yet, he still waited until December to propose).

And why it made perfect sense to leave my corporate desk monkey job on this day three years ago.

September 8th is my day. The day I said, “I will not be miserable in a job I hate.” The day I said, “I want to surround myself with people and things I love.” The day I said, “I have dreams, and it’s time to chase every single one of them.”

So today, I am celebrating. I am celebrating me, and everything that comes in a Chrissy-sized package. I’m celebrating the accomplishments I’ve achieved over the last few years and the dreams I’ve realized as an actual reality.

I’m currently working on two (and two very different) novels right now instead of just the one I quit my job to write. Both are about halfway finished, and I can’t wait to see how they look when they’re ready. I may also have a third starting on November 1, because I like to juggle.

I am so close to finishing the Second City Music Program I can taste it (I was one class and a run of shows away from the end, and I truly hope that when this insanity is all over, I get the opportunity to finish it).

I found an improv home, and it’s minutes from my house. I started taking classes at Westside in Wheaton a little over a year ago, and just days before the pandemic shut down, I was invited to join a house team at the theater. It is one of the few standing Zoom calls I have continued since March. That team has truly kept me going through the pandemic, and I can’t thank them enough for being such a bright light in my life. If you want to help my local theater as it braves the continued shutdown, please consider donating a dollar on GoFundMe to help so that when the pandemic is over, we still have a space to perform.

I’ve taken a few jobs as background actor and had SO MUCH FUN getting paid to play pretend on some TV shows that are filmed in Chicago. One of those shows recently ended its series, and another is a brand new series about to air.

I started working on a podcast (about Disney, of course), and I’m so excited to take you on that journey. Podcasting is a lot harder than we realized it would be, but the end product is so worth the time we are putting into it.

I’m still figuring out where I want this blog to go, but I promise you this — it’s not going away. And because September is full of new beginnings, it feels like the perfect time to make a commitment to writing here. To sharing my world with you again. So if you’re already receiving my emails, I hope you’ll stay. And if you’re new, I hope you’ll sign up to receive them. Because there’s a lot coming down the pipeline, and I would love to have you be a part of my journey.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll remember that some of my dreams are on pause and the stress levels are high because *ahem* global pandemic, but today, I’m going to remember how cool it is to live a creative life.

What are you doing to live your best life, even in the midst of a pandemic?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to be a beautiful woman

  1. Be kind. Even to abhorrent individuals who will try to bring you down.
  2. Be able to rise above anyone who tries to tell you that you can’t play on the playground.
  3. Have hope. Because hope makes the world a brighter, more beautiful place.
  4. Know that your face is beautiful because it is uniquely yours. And sometimes you might wear makeup because it’s fun to play with. And sometimes you might not because you don’t feel like you need it or because you’re tired. Or sick. Or you want to see the lines that travel across your face like a map to every emotion you’ve ever had.
  5. Be a feminist. If you want. It’s not required. We’re not pushy around here.
  6. Be angry when you’re angry. You’re allowed to have emotions.
  7. Say what you feel. No one knows what’s happening inside your head or heart until you tell them.
  8. Be you. Always. Unapologetically.
  9. Wear what makes you happy. Allow yourself to be comfortable without worrying what other people think.
  10. Love yourself.
  11. Listen to yourself.

Now, just for funsies, in the comments, tell me at least one (but if you can tell me three, tell me three!) thing you love about yourself right now.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Don’t mistake my highlight reel for real life

On occasion, I’ve been overwhelmingly praised for my confidence. For inspiring other women. For sparking a change in their lives. For helping them feel more comfortable in their own bodies. For being a rebel. For being fat when fat isn’t considered beautiful by the media. By men. By other women. For wearing less clothing than a chubby girl should. For showing off my curves (and my rolls). For not doing what is expected of me. For wearing a bathing suit. In public. And taking a picture.

 

For that praise, I am immeasurably grateful. To be referred to as an inspiration is incredibly humbling. And certainly not something I ever expected to be. But it makes me want to be better. It makes me want to try harder. I want to be an advocate for people to feel comfortable in their skin when they need to most. To put on a bathing suit and go to the pool with your children, to relax on a beach with the love of your life, to wear shorts when the weather is sweltering, to be in the pictures instead of just taking them.

If posting a picture of my yoga body, neither long nor lean, lithely moving in one of my beloved pairs of bright and colorful yoga pants can encourage someone to step on their mat every morning, I’m all in. I’m proud of the things my body can do, despite my back injuries, and the fact that I am now limited in my yoga practice. My body is strong.

plus size yogi practicing a head stand in a sports bra

If sharing a carefully posed image of myself in a two-piece bathing suit or a sports bra pushes someone to strut their stuff on the beach, then by all means yes! I’m your girl. I bought a two-piece bathing suit because I was inspired by others, and it made me feel fucking amazing.

But don’t — not for one second — believe that my highlight reel is anything more than anyone else’s daily existence.

I fight with myself every day. To be the confident girl you see in pictures. To be the highlight reel. And some days, even if it’s only for a minute, I’m that girl. Other days, I’m insecure girl. I’m jealous girl. I’m change-my-clothes-five-times girl. I’m stare-in-the-mirror-and-project-hate girl. I’m paranoid girl. Are they looking at the way my boobs pop out of my shirt? Is he staring at the cellulite on my thighs in these shorts? Is she watching me eat this cheeseburger and thinking what a fatty I am? Do they think I’m disgusting? They’re staring at me, right?

90%* of the time, the answer is NO. It’s all in your head. The other 10%* of the time? Assholes. Go ahead and judge them right back. Or don’t. And be the bigger person.

Do I love myself? Fuck yes. I think I’m fantastic. Some of the time. Do I look at myself in the mirror and think I’m beautiful? Sometimes. It’s all a part of who I am. I like to think if I loved only myself all the time, I would be a complete asshole who didn’t care about others. One who couldn’t empathize or sympathize. I’d be a robot.

Instead, I choose to spread love. And kindness. And passion. To support my friends and join them on their beautiful journeys. To live and love unabashedly with my boobs and cellulite and cheeseburgers.

Does that mean I’ll always be happy with my body the way it is? Probably not. If given the opportunity to have liposuction or a tummy tuck, would I take it? Absofuckinglutely. But…that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my ass waiting for it under several layers of clothing while I hide behind my computer.

Instead, I’m going to create a highlight reel.

My highlight reel on social media helps me boost my own confidence

*I mathed in a fictitious land called, “Chrissy’s World” and make no promises as to the accuracy of any numbers used in the making of this post.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!