Explore Us: Episode 10 feat. Sami @ She Laughs - Self-Discovery


I have something PARTICULARLY SDFGHJKLKJH AWESOME for y’all today!! For episode ten of our Explore U.S./Explore Us series, my fantabulous and brilliant friend Sami from She Laughs is here today!! I’M FREAKING OUT, because this girl is awesome. EVERYONE GIVE HER WAFFLES AND A HUGE WELCOME. She is SUCH an inspiration to me in everything – but especially in being multi-talented and embracing the idea of exploration!! Thank you again, Sami, for being a part of this!

01. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY EXPLORING?

SELF-DISCOVERY. Figuring out who I am. I don't want to just fall in, blend in, be like everyone else. I am continually haunted by this question: Who am I going to be?

Going on the adventure of self-discovery means figuring out what fits into my soul, and taking out what doesn't. It means that playing piano, writing, blogging, travel, communication (ha), people watching (like, trying to figure out people and how they tick...not the creepy kind where you sit in the car in the grocery store parking lot and just watch) (although i do that too.), photography, specific deep relationships since I'm not good in big groups but I love one-on-one conversations, deep and sad movies, and stopping to notice detail – all these got to move into my soul. It's like one big continual episode of Friends.


02. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT EXPLORING SELF-DISCOVERY?

I love figuring out what works for me. I've started a system for myself. (I've very inside the box like that.)

Basically how it works is this: I try something. Maybe I try it twice or even three or four times. And then, I get to say yes or no, within 20 seconds.

YES: I like it.  I might even love it. It's not cluttering my soul.

NO: It doesn't fit. (Not just uncomfortable because sometimes uncomfortable is good. More like not fitting: a pair of shoes that is three sizes too small.)

FOR EXAMPLE:

Travel? YES
Mango? NO (unless it's sorbet or a flavoring in green tea)
Waffles? YES
Pancakes? ALSO YES
Metallic colored clothing?  NO

And it's fine to change your mind. It's fine to have exceptions to the rule and it is TOTALLY AWESOME to like and not like simply because you like or don't like the thing.

It can mean saying "no" to things that everyone thinks you should do. It can mean saying “yes” to stuff that doesn't make sense to anyone else, but it makes sense to you. Sometimes – oh – sometimes it's totally bonkers and you know it, but it also feels right. Not the kind of right that you say to justify an action that's going to get you into trouble, but the kind of right that is real and urgent and convicting. Sometimes you don't even know what IT is.


And I'm just gonna leave this thought here: I think our world feels dictated to about who they should be, how they should act, what they should like. For example: certain careers are not considered to be a "good job choice". How many kids say "I want to _______ fill in the blank with something that isn't ATTORNEY, DOCTOR, SCIENTIST" (not that those aren't good things, it's just that they aren't for everyone) and then that dream gets crushed because it isn't a good job choice? I've come to the conclusion that people, especially young people, need to figure out who they are in life. And that might take them awhile. They might need to go through 7 jobs and three continents and a truckload of ice cream before they feel confident with themselves. But hey, at least they'll know who they are.

So say yes, and say no, and don't feel guilty about the answers that you pick. People are afraid of living well and not having everyone else's approval when they do so. What a nice segue to the next question...


03. HOW DO YOU REACT TO PEOPLE WHO "DON'T APPROVE" OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING?

I've been told by people that I'm living my life wrong. Sometimes these people are my loved ones (they usually get a pie in the face) and sometimes they're complete strangers with mouths too big for their faces (so I don't want to throw a pie at them because then they would just get enjoyment because all the pie would go into their mouth). Either way, their judgment ALWAYS trips me up. It makes me hesitate, and blunder, and – let's be honest here – I basically blubber and sniffle and shuffle around my house for three days until I remember this:

It's my life I'm living, not theirs. And they're not living my life; they don't have my brain or my body or my opinions and emotions. If they're not me, then how can they be telling me that I'm living my life wrong? And why should I let it bother me?

So, I don't do a lot in the evenings, and I don't have killer Friday evenings. So I don't have a lot of friends and I don't have a boyfriend and I don't have a life plan other than I know I'm going to school in the fall for that one semester and then I have no idea.

So my life is different from theirs. I don't care. If I threw every conclusion I've come to on my journey of self-discovery away, I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT. Doing life the way everyone else wants me to would drive me nuts.

So for those who think that they know how to live my life better than I am – here, here's your nose, I found it in my business. And the door's behind you. It's the wooden thing with the knob.


04. DO YOU EVER FALL SHORT OF SEEING LIFE THIS WAY? HOW DO YOU GET BACK ON TRACK?

Every single morning when I wake up:

First thought: I really need to go back to sleep.

Second thought: What on earth am I doing? Why don't I just fall in and live life like everyone else?

Trying to get back on track is tough. You do the maybe I can nap it off thing. (Which sometimes works.) You do the maybe I can procrastinate with coffee and Pinterest and a run-away imagination thing. (Which definitely works at not moving yourself forward.)

And then, you do the well this life isn't gonna live itself thing because really – IT ISN'T. You have to get out there and do what you're gonna do. If you're gonna be the world's greatest tea-maker THEN DO IT. If you're gonna be a web-famous blogger and travel the world and take great pics THEN DO IT. If you're gonna figure out how to do a front flip on your sister's trampoline THEN DO IT. If you're gonna go to college, or learn to bake, or be an attorney, or whatever you're gonna do THEN DO IT, AND DO IT WELL BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE CAN DO IT LIKE YOU CAN. JUST DO IT.

(Someone stop me. Please. I'm starting to sound like a Nike salesperson.)

We all have our bad days. Have yours. Maybe you'll even have a bad week. But wake up knowing that it's a new day and you have a full 24 hours to keep going with your life. So, yesterday was awful. That doesn't mean that today has to be.


05. WHAT IS THE 'EXPECTATION VS REALITY' OF SELF-DISCOVERY?

Expectation: I will always have new and exciting things to say and since I'm so inventive with my self-discovery spiel then everyone will love everything I say and do. I am myself enough to be an inspiration to all that come in contact with me.

Reality: I just opened up my mouth and said something really stupid and possibly offensive even though that was NOT my intention. Let me just go flush myself down that toilet. JESUS PLEASE HELP ME I THINK I DID A WRONGY.

I tell myself to try to SAY ALL THE THINGS. BE ALL THE HAPPY AND ENCOURAGING AND INTERESTING AND NEW. And then I fail at it. I screw up. And reality is that yeah I can be pretty awesome (#modesty) but I can also be quite the little downer.

Reality is that I am all over the board, emotionally. I go from Cranky the Death Human to "Hi! Welcome aboard Sami's emotional roller-coaster! We're on round three of I-should-have-been-a-comedian! Would you like a unicorn?" in about .7 seconds. Don't ask me how because I don't know.

Reality is that reality is scary with me. I would love to be consistent in being me: that's my expectation. But reality is that I'm a human and yes, I have an emotional roller coaster that takes Thursday's off so we can sit around and specifically NOT be inspirational.


06. NAME THREE PEOPLE/THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU TO KEEP EXPLORING THIS:

UM. MY MOTHER. Duh. She'd kill me if I decided to jump off the I-am-a-unique-person jet and go with the flow. She'd kill me because I've come a long ways and she's been there to support me THE WHOLE WAY. *waves* HI MOM.

People that go with the flow and have no motivation. I realize that that may be their thing – WHICH IS TOTALLY OK – but I am a motivated person. I take pleasure in the fact that I know I am doing what I should be doing, and that I have that motivation. I was built with that – other people weren't. But I've figured that out, and I'm living as I should. So other people who show me where I don't want to be are a huge motivation.

God. (I probably should have put this one first.) I can't tell you how many different career paths I considered before I got on the midwifery thing: chef, journalist, RN, journalist again, RN again, editor, travel guide, waitress (don't judge. My tips would have gone wholly towards my travel fund. Hello, Paris.), lawyer, paralegal, microbiology, chiropractor...I considered a lot. Nothing ever worked out.

God said "WAIT FOR IT" and I did, and now he's like "MIDWIFERY" and I'm like "WAAATT?????? OMG I LOVE IT." God is my inspiration because he makes the mixed-up make sense – and that gives me peace.

Knowing that God had something better – it was like someone saying you could eat the cookie dough, but it had to be mixed first. (And how could cookie dough NOT be inspirational?)


07. WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN EXPLORING SELF-DISCOVERY?

A.  There is nothing wrong with temporarily not making sense. (In the literal sense, it's actually REALLY fun to walk into the kitchen and start talking gibberish. Your family's faces: PRICELESS.) In the metaphorical sense: it may take a bit to piece together a plan and people will think you are CA-RAZY when you tell them that you actually don't like that song, and you disagree with them on that subject, and OH MY WORD HAVE YOU HEARD THAT SONG ________ ... Simply put - you won't make sense to people. Sometimes you won't make sense to yourself. And that is okay.

B. EVERYONE. IS. DIFFERENT. People don't get that. Have you ever said the phrase "I'm weird like that."
Or maybe "sorry, I'm talking too much." "why don't you smile more?" My personal favorite: "go do something fun for once!"

People don't get that everyone is different, and they will try to stick you in a box. But you know what? Some of us were made to fit into spheres. So don't let other people dictate to you.

You can search out wisdom. You can look for what is right for you. (And when I say "right for you" I mean that there's a difference between the right-vs-wrong Right and right-because-it-fits-into-your-personality-and-likes-and-dislikes Right.)

C. God should be A HUGE PART of your identity. This one isn't negotiable. If He isn't part of you, then something is wrong. That grafting process is not an easy thing to do as, ha ironically, it involves self-sacrifice. Sometimes there are bits of yourself that you have to get rid of because God asks you to. Let me tell you though - IT IS WORTH IT. If God asks you to do something, you will NEVER EVER EVER regret doing it. Being in touch with him and letting him guide you and shape you is the perfect way to figure out who you are, because it will be God showing you what to work on, whether that's building up or tearing down. He is perfect, and everything he touches turns out the same way.

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Thanks Abbie for the invite to guest post! This was super fun and your questions were incredibly thought provoking. I can't wait to see what the rest of the Exploring US series is like!




don’t leave this blog until you show sami some love in the comments, people!

xoxo,
abbiee

19 comments

  1. I love this! Like, I don't even have any more words. Thank you, SO SO much, Sami. You are incredible. Never stop doing what you're doing! ♥

    ~Megan <333
    (megans-journals.blogspot.com)

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    1. RIGHT?? I DON'T HAVE ANY WORDS EITHER. <3

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  2. I have the same problem with knowing I'm going to school in the fall but not knowing what on earth I'll be doing there. Crazy. I'm really glad your able to be your own unique person! We need more people like that. Thanks for posting this Abbiee!

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    1. YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID <3

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  3. Oh my goodness. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. SAMI! THIS IS INCREDIBLE!! You honestly put everything that I've felt lately into words 31947194739x more eloquent then I ever could. I'm basically just speechless right now. This is perfect. <3

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    1. RIGHT I'M SO SPEECHLESS TOO OMG

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  4. THIS IS SO AMAZING. This is really inspirational, to be honest. Like I think I'm going to bookmark this and come back and read it whenever I need inspiration. Wow. This is so perfect and PERFECT. I love what you said about being who YOU are and not who others think you should be. Such gems of truth <3 LOVE THIS.

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    1. RIGHT??? LIKE I NEED TO READ THIS EVERYDAY I THINK

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  5. YOU DON'T LIKE MANGO? WHO ARE YOU? Well, more for others, I guess. Btw, you're cool.

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    1. SHE'S COOL YES SHE'S AWESOME OMW

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  6. LOTS OF LOVE AND WAFFLES TO YOU GIRL!! youre inspiring and wonderful. X)

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    1. SAMI SERIOUSLY DESERVES ALL THE WAFFLES <3

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  7. THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL!! <3 One of my favorite interviews so far. :)

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  8. Sami, you're inspiring! This was a huge encouragement to me to just keep doing what I know God wants me to do, even if not everyone gets it. And your story of God directing your plans for the future was encouraging as well - He's done a similar thing for me, and it's totally amazing. Basically, thank you, and keep it up! :)

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    1. EXACTLY, JESSICA. <3 u said it

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  9. Out of all the interviews so far, this one has to be my favorite. Sami, your words are amazing! I feel like I read my own writing to myself and that's what I like to read. That's how you know you relate to your reader. AHDISMALCOKEMD NEVER STOP WRITING AND LOVING AND BEING YOU. <3

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    1. ASDFGHJKL EXACTLY WHAT JACY SAID BECAUSE THOSE ARE MY THOUGHTS TOO BUT I CAN'T EVEN RIGHT NOW

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  10. Oh yeah, that's my bestie right there ^^^^^^ You're amazing Sam, and waffles + ice cream for you :) I'm so excited to see what the Lord has for you in this next season.

    And you're awesome, and you're writing is just… wow. keep it up Sam :)

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kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.