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Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

And killing shame along the way

Throughout my struggles with mental health challenges, I’ve found solace in the words of others who have dared to share their vulnerabilities. People who have been through something similar to my own experience or worse.

I’m drawn to the authors who are honest and raw in their writing and sharing. Perhaps my need to seek them out is a result of being someone who carries so much shame from her own experiences in life. Seeing others standing courageously in their truth is inspiring. Brenè Brown, the hero of vulnerability, says:

Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.

So what better way to kill the shame than by baring my soul and sharing the things that make me feel small? …


A short tale of the far-reaching cultural influence of Texas

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Photo by Arnaud de Rosnay/Conde Nast via Getty Images

As a young Texan who moved to Norway, I faced a lot of challenges; learning a new language, acclimating to a new culture and four-season climate, trying to fit in with my new blonde-haired blue-eyed peers, and also trying not to roll my eyes every time someone asked if I used to ride my horse to school back home in the wild west. To which I would reply “Do you ski to school?” and was disappointed when sometimes the answer was yes.

But, the thing that took the most getting used to was witnessing my beloved homeland become synonymous with adjectives like wild, chaos, and crazy. …


Finding Magic and Hope In Every Day Coincidences

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Photo by: Tabatha Fireman contributor to Getty Images

Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

My pulse drowned out the busy Saturday afternoon street around me. All I could hear were the sounds of my own chest: shallow breaths and thunderous heartbeats.

I dabbed my forehead and took a quick look around at the people bustling around me to see if anyone had noticed the sweat streaming down my face or the tears welling up in my eyes. With a sense of relief that my panic had gone seemingly unnoticed, I edged to the side of the sidewalk and leaned against a building two blocks away from my apartment.

Anxiety stormed inside as thoughts of my current situation swirled around. Things were looking bleak, and I couldn’t see how it would work out. Taking it minute by minute was the only way I could survive. …


And these four letters are ones I've been waiting for my whole life.

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Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash

I realized something was amiss after returning home from a drive one day five years ago. Still shaking and with my heart pounding in my chest as I walked through my front door, I couldn't stop thinking about what had just happened.

Although I'm usually a careful driver, I was lost in my own mind, and I took a wrong turn at a stoplight into oncoming traffic. I didn't even realize what had happened until I heard the swarm of honks from angry drivers around me.

It scared me. I had managed to escape unscathed from the situation, but the thought that I could've hurt others or myself shook me to my core. I blamed it on having an off day, but I knew something else was at play deep down because even though this was the first time it had happened while driving, I was no stranger to getting lost in my own daydreams and not paying enough attention. …


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Photo by Timur Romanov on Unsplash

Lessons learned after a best friend breakup

My best friend dumped me without warning and without explanation, a month after a heartbreaking split with my ex-boyfriend. Two of the most important people in my life were gone in the span of a few weeks.

To say I was crushed is an understatement.

Just days before she dropped off the face of the Earth, we met for a walk through a nearby park and grabbed brunch at a corner café on what was probably the grayest and rainiest June days in recent memory.

Things were like they always were. We gabbed. We gossiped. …


And it might just be the best gift I’ve ever received.

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Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

I can only describe it as a painful hot poke of a pain coming from the inside of my bra.

“Ow!”

I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror with my mom doing my makeup. We were on day three of our spa getaway for my approaching 31st birthday, and it was time to get ready to go and leave behind the steam rooms, mineral pools, and the large comfy robes that we had been living in.

I put down my mascara wand and dug into my bra to see what could possibly be causing that prickly itchy sensation.

I thought back to the croissant I had just eaten for breakfast. …


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Photo credit: Artem Mizyuk on Pexels

Words of advice for two sides of the same coin

The other night, I woke up in a cold sweat, heart hammering in my chest. I checked my phone and saw it was 3 AM. I groaned and turned over, knowing there wasn’t going to be any sleep left for me that night.

“He” had made a dramatic return to my dreams, reminding me of the tumultuous parting we had.

Even two years later, his ghost has the power to rob me of rest when it shows up both unannounced and unwelcomed.

It seems that my subconscious is still affected by the trauma of the way he left. No matter how moved on I’ve been, no matter how much my heart has healed, when his haunting comes for me at night, I can’t help but feel powerless and small. …


Attention Startup CEOs:

And how you can address each of them.

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Photo credit: fauxels on Pexels

Work culture is something that can either make or break our overall satisfaction in life. It dictates behavior, attitudes, values, communication, decision making, and social interactions within your company.

Whether it’s positive, toxic, or somewhere in between, it has the power to affect your business’ bottom line.

Startup culture is especially susceptible to toxicity because of the high-pressure nature of the environment. Products and services are being rushed to market, cash is tight, and you’re always chasing after that next investment. …


And what other countries can learn from its example

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Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash

I’ve been an American expat in Norway for over eighteen years. And, I have to say, never have I been more relieved to be stuck in my adopted country.

It seems that back home, a select group of individuals has grossly misinterpreted the promises of the American Dream and what it means to possess personal liberties.

You know who I’m referring to; the people in the viral videos you see screaming at and spitting on store clerks when asked to put on a mask. …


I only wish I had realized that sooner

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Photo by Charlie Foster on Unsplash

I never want to hear the phrase “I don’t know” from a man ever again for the rest of my days.

Dramatic? Possibly. But if you had been through what I willingly put myself through for two and a half years, you’d understand why.

My ex, for the most part, was a fantastic partner. He was loving, kind, goofy, and caring. I never felt more seen as a person than when I was with him.

But, he was also emotionally constipated, and his indecisive tendencies left me with whiplash at best, and heartbreak at worse.

Over the course of a day, he could go from smiling and saying, “I love you” to tears and claiming, “I don’t know what I want”. He would hit an emotional wall and shut down, leaving me begging him for an answer as to what he meant. …

About

Kelsey L.O.

Texan expat in Norway since '02. Writing from my own experiences in life to help others. IG: kelseylowriting

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