People who are close to me will tell you, I'm a ride or die kinda girl.
My friend is having a baby? Cool, I'll plan the baby shower, be there when you deliver, babysit and teach him to read.
Coworker's daughter is a Girl Scout? Awesome, I will single-handedly organize her cookie sale to make sure she sells the most in her troop this year!
These things are all well and good but the problem is, I start a lottttt of things and then I have a hard time letting myself quit them. That sounds weird, doesn't it?
It seems like we've always been told that quitting is a bad thing.
Nowadays, it's like you're praised for however many things you can juggle at once and seen as lacking ambition if you're not juggling enough.
It's okay to quit sometimes. Your responsibility is to wake up in the morning, take care of yourself and your loved ones, do your job, treat yourself and others kindly... that's pretty much it.
You don't have to cure cancer or start a mentorship program. No need to become an entrepreneur or run a marathon every month. It's okay to just be.
This is something I've been working on because I never feel like I'm doing enough. Planning my friend's baby shower makes me think about how many single moms are struggling. Buying cookies from a Girl Scout reminds me of my childhood and the things I wish someone had taught me back then.
Instead of just acknowledging these thoughts, I always feel compelled to take action. To make waves, spark change, kick off a whole damn movement. But here's the thing: when you try to be everything for everyone else the person you end up giving the least to is yourself.
Many of us end up half-assing a bunch of things instead of committing to a few with everything we've got. So moving forward, I'm giving myself permission to quit sometimes. I'm giving myself permission to just be sometimes.
That doesn't make me a bad daughter, sister or girlfriend, in fact, it makes me a better one. So if you have too much on your plate right now, give yourself permission to quit sometimes. Give yourself permission to just be.
It's time to stop half-assing it and commit to a few things with everything you've got.
I get it, Valentine's Day is cheeeeeeeesy. A holiday created by greeting card companies to make us feel like we have to tell people how much they mean to us on one day of the year.
But you know what? I don't care.
Because there have been people in my life who left suddenly. There have been people in my life who didn't make it to Christmas or their next birthday. There have been people who didn't get to watch me cross the stage at my college graduation.
So if I can take a random day in February to buy my boyfriend a heart-shaped container filled with Starbursts and a silly card, I will.
If I can take a random day in February and Venmo some of my best friends to treat themselves to coffee on me, I will.
If my mom wants to give me a chocolate rose every Valentine's Day, I will gladly take it and eat the whole damn thing.
How often are we going through life when our to-do lists start piling up? And doing something special for the people we love drops to the bottom, if not off the list completely?
Let's face it, we all could use another reminder that we're loved and appreciated.
I guess what it comes down to is this: Does it really matter why we tell the people in our lives that we care about them... as long as we tell them?
So no matter what your relationship status is take today to show someone how much you care about them. And you know what, it's perfectly okay if that person is YOU.
Happy Valentine's Day, friends!
In my family, my sister has always been 'the smart one.'
Not taking a dig at myself whatsoever, but the girl is scary smart. Like getting her PhD from Vanderbilt in things I don't even understand type of smart.
It always rolled off of everyone's tongues that she was 'the smart one' in our pack and, trust me, they aren't just being complimentary. She is brilliant - I just proudly shared her first published scientific research on Facebook (with the disclaimer that I don't know what any of it means).
We're both incredibly lucky to have two parents who didn't put any caps on what we were capable of or what we should do with our lives. This is something not everyone has and I realize what a contributing factor it has been to our successes.
The bar is set high in this family and while it's overwhelming, I'm grateful for it. We have always been surrounded by incredible role models - from female executives to entrepreneurs to our dad who decided to go get his Bachelor's degree at 50 (and is currently finishing up his Master's).
I'm not going to wake up one day with the all of the answers in quantitative and chemical biology and I'm okay with that. Because I eventually realized that my sister being the smart one doesn't mean that I'm not smart.
I think at some point in my childhood, I decided that if she was 'the smart one' that meant I had to be something else. Anything else. I tried the funny one, the outgoing one, the athletic one, the compassionate one, the strong one, the leader - to name a few.
Keep in mind that no one in my family ever told me I wasn't smart. Ever! But in my mind, if someone else was the brains of the operation that meant I had to take on a different role.
It wasn't until my early twenties that I realized I never needed to try to be anyone else because there's really no 'one' of anything. There are thousands of Olympic athletes, hundreds of brilliant scientists, millions of strong leaders.
There is enough room for all of us and what you do takes nothing away from the person next to you. So from now on, let's focus less on comparing and more on supporting each other.
Do you have a brilliant sister? Pick her brain on a complicated work project. Is your college roomie a marathon runner? Ask her for tips on self-discipline.
Because no matter where you are in your life, there are things you bring to the table that you can teach others. And there are just as many things that others can teach you too.