The truth is, you’re a freaking badass.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Dear friends,

One of the only things that’s getting me through these days is reading stories from other people that are going through similar things, and gaining strength from their vulnerability. I read stories of people who are experiencing fear and hurt and depression and anxiety and shame and loneliness and heartache and hope… and as I read them, I feel both seen and understood. I feel related to, even if the person who wrote that story has no idea who I am.

So that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to share my story. It’s not a very pretty story right now, but my goal isn’t to be pretty. My goal is to show up. Even if that means it’s hard or painful or raw. …


(It’s not just love)

Image for post
Image for post

“What the world needs now… is love, sweet love…”

All the way back in 1965, Jackie DeShannon released that song containing lyrics literally everyone would come to know and sing in their heads even as they read them above now.

Those words will never be less true, no matter how many decades or millennia pass. What the world needs now — no matter what version of now it might be — will always be love.

But even moreso, in this now, I have this incessant nagging in my gut naming that what the world needs now is more people being completely and utterly themselves. People who so thoroughly trust and know who they are that to be anyone else is like an abandonment of all that is good. People who are so in love with themselves, and who so embody their own authentic power, that they can do nothing but say what they mean, and do what they deeply desire to do, and in so doing, change everything. …


How I’ve learned to keep going, even in the darkest tunnel.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mina Ivankovic on Unsplash

“We can do hard things, like be alive and love deep and lose all, because we do these hard things alongside everyone who has ever walked the Earth with her eyes, arms, and heart wide open.” -Glennon Doyle, Untamed

The weird thing about being alive during COVID is that life seems to go on anyway. Regardless of the state of the world, people are still having babies, getting married, losing jobs, gaining jobs, burying family members, creating, destroying, and celebrating life in whatever ways they know how. …


You never know how strong you are until you’re put in hot water.

Image for post
Image for post

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A woman is like a tea bag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

I think it’s safe to say that doesn’t just apply to women. If ever there was a time we were all collectively in a big fat vat of hot water — now is it. …


Home is the place you build for yourself when you’re tired of being in pain.

Image for post
Image for post
@cyrusgomez

The smoke these past couple weeks did me in far more than I anticipated. It reawakened a pain in my chest I haven’t felt since before my divorce, a pain I neither asked for, nor could understand, no matter how much I tried to. I don’t know what about the smoke triggered it, but what I did notice was that, the more time that passed, I began to feel myself believing that the pain was “my fault.” Not because I’d done anything wrong, but because I wasn’t doing something right. …


What a Hogwarts mug taught me about the importance of memories

Image for post
Image for post

I’m sitting with my cat on my lap and warm coffee in my Hogwarts mug. It’s a Friday morning after an 11-hour day at work Thursday, and the caffeine hasn’t hit my system yet, but its heat is soothing.

I look fondly at the four Houses embellished in gold on the black ceramic mug in my hand, and I think of the day I got it. …


Life isn’t fair. But we’re warriors — we’ll make it through.

Image for post
Image for post

Good Lord, this year has been tough, you guys. That’s all I keep thinking — Good Lord, this is a tough year. There’s no way around it. We started with fires at the beginning of the year, and we’ve come full circle before it’s even the end. …


Cultivating authenticity, trust, and habits that will change everything.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Priscilla Gyamfi on Unsplash

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” -Howard Thurman

In the midst of this pandemic, I think we often have a strong temptation to not actively participate in change because it’s too much work. The pandemic can be exhausting, let alone everything outside of it that just keeps seeming to get more complicated and destructive. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Josh Gordon

In his book, Creative Calling, Chase Jarvis says, “To achieve a new mindset and transform your life, you have to believe two things: your situation — whatever it is — is changeable for the better, and you are capable of making that change happen.”

For me, it’s not difficult to imagine the kind of life I dream of living; one where I’m not stressed financially, perhaps one in which I even have savings. One where what I do to earn an income and what makes me feel the most fulfilled are not mutually exclusive. …


And why it can be so tiring.

Image for post
Image for post

Sometimes, doing the right thing can be exhausting. The time it takes to hesitate long enough to sort out the consequences — mentally fumbling through what you know vs what you think you know, second-guessing yourself, fighting your intuition as the temptation to just give up comes in strong — can be incredibly draining.

And that’s just the mental side of things.

The physical act of actually doing the work is a whole other ball game, especially when we have all these other responsibilities in our personal lives we need to take care of. And when we feel like we’re at the end of our ropes, we will act and react in ways we aren’t proud of because we don’t have the energy or the wherewithal to do or say the right thing. …

About

Stories of COVID-19

My name’s Julia. I’m a writer, and these are my COVID-19 weekly letters of encouragement.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store