• The truth about the expectations that tell you you're behind | lauraemichael.com

    You own your timeline: The truth about the expectations that tell you you’re behind

    Hey friend, I need you to know something.   Those expectations that tell you you’re behind, that your timeline is off, that make you feel unworthy, like you’re failing? They’re completely and totally made up. That’s right. Made up by society, culture, even our families.   And if you’ve ever needed evidence that this is true, our current situation is it.   Expectations of how productive we’re “supposed” to be and what we’re “supposed” to feel during an unprecedented, never-before-experienced-by-anyone-in-this-lifetime pandemic showed up within what seemed like minutes of the stay-at-home orders. Yet, no one knows how to do this. No one has lived through this before. There is no…

  • How to break free of ruminating thoughts | lauraemichael.com

    How to break free of ruminating thoughts

    I’ve been a ruminator for as long as I can remember.   In high school, I’d lie awake at night thinking about all that could go wrong the next day. As I grew older, I realized that by ruminating on what could be, some part of me believed I could prevent it from happening. Surely, I thought, if I experienced it enough in my own mind, I could keep it from manifesting into the real world. Simultaneously, I believed that somehow those repetitive thoughts, cycling through my mind like a preview to a movie I never wanted to see, were preparing me. If this ever became reality, I would be…

  • Life on the other side of broken dreams: Embracing the unexpected and unplanned | lauraemichael.com

    Life on the other side of broken dreams: Embracing the unexpected and unplanned

    All my dreams didn’t come true in 2019.   In fact, they didn’t come true even in the last decade. I started 2010 face down on my bed, sobbing into a pillow at the stroke of midnight. I had been dumped just a few days earlier, a time when I once thought I would be getting engaged. Ten years later, I thought it would be a pretty rad story if I could post that I spent New Years Eve 2019 next to my husband, or at the very least, my boyfriend.   Well, if you saw my NYE post, you know that’s not what happened, but in a surprising twist,…

  • Letting go and moving forward when life doesn't go as planned | lauraemichael.com

    Letting go and moving forward when life doesn’t go as planned

    A few weeks ago, an improv group came to do a workshop for our team at work.   I promptly deleted the invitation when it landed in my inbox, as getting up in front of a group and making up a fictional story WITH ZERO PLAN is my worst nightmare. But the day of, I relented to the peer pressure of my co-workers (I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I was weak). Little did I know that I would leave that workshop with something I could not shake. The leader of the group was explaining that in improv, you can truly only react to what happens. You may have a…

  • How falling in love with my own story changed my view of singleness | Encouragement for Singles | Fall in Love With Your Story | Own Your Story | Single Women | Singleness Quotes

    How falling in love with my own story changed my view of singleness

    Someone asked me recently how I’ve stayed so positive and upbeat during this year of weddings.   I initially didn’t have an answer, and also felt the immediate need to tell her that I drove home from the last wedding with the same song on repeat pretending a man was proposing to me as it played in the background (I’m only mildly ashamed to share that with you). So I certainly haven’t always felt “upbeat”. I’ve still deeply desired my own marriage, but it is true that those feelings of envy or despair I used to feel, honestly haven’t come. “So why not?” I thought, and finally the answer hit…

  • Dear girl, you are not behind | Singleness | Singleness Quotes | Christian Singles | Life Advice | Young Adult Advice | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    Dear girl, you are not behind

    “I am behind”   Oh, how often I’ve thought this. Behind in my job. On my dreams. In my relationship status.   We begin to internalize this belief from a young age.   Our childhood is spent following much the same path as those around us, so much so that when the paths begin to diverge, our natural instinct is to feel that somehow, in some way, some or all of us are now behind. No longer fitting the mold. Lacking, and lagging. Recently, though, I was thinking about my friend Beverly. You may remember that a few months ago I had mentioned seeing her at church. A lovely, eighty-something…

  • Why my feelings don't tell the true story of my singleness | Singleness | Single Christian | Being Single | Advice for singleness | The real story | Feelings | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    Why my feelings alone don’t tell the true story of my singleness

    In church yesterday, the pastor said something that struck me.   Honestly, it wasn’t an earth shattering revelation, but rather one of those simple truths of the human experience. It went something like this:   “As humans, we innately believe that if something feels good, it is good. If something feels bad, it is bad.”   Oh how often has this been true in my life. How many times I’ve felt the pang of loneliness, the sting of comparison, the drop of my confidence as I felt left behind. How many times I’ve hated my singleness, and named it “bad”. On the other side, how many times I’ve felt the…

  • How our generation can change the way the world thinks about singleness | Singleness | Christian Singles | Going First | Be the First | Living Well | Dating Tips | Being Single | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    How our generation can change the way the world thinks about singleness

    I was at a work conference recently and the speaker said something that I haven’t been able to shake.   He was talking about how hesitant people are to do anything (in fact, they may even think its impossible) until they see someone else do it first. Then suddenly, once one person has done it, everyone else feels like they can do it too. That thought threw me back to the way I used to look at living life as a single girl.   Growing up, I had never seen a woman live and thrive in life without a man.   That wasn’t the story in my family, nor in…

  • "I can't do that because I'm single": Encouragement for when singleness feels limiting | Singleness Quotes | Single Woman | Live Life | Be Brave | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    “I can’t do that because I’m single”: Encouragement for when your singleness feels limiting

    A few weeks ago I posted a photo of “me and the hubs” at my family picture day on Instagram.     (he’s pretty stinking good looking, am I right?!) Well here’s my real, very senior portrait looking photo from that day. And do you know what I love most about it? I asked for it to be taken.     As I’m sure we’ve all realized, family photos can be a bit awkward as a single girl.   Everyone is lining up to take photos with their own families, husbands, boyfriends, whatever, and we’re just standing on the sidelines, probably waiting to take pictures with our parents (no offense,…

  • Eighty and Never Married: A Single Woman's Advice for the Next Generation | Singleness Quotes | Never Married | Advice for Singles | Being Single | The Single Life | Single Christian | justbeautifullyhonest.com

    Eighty and never married: A single woman’s advice for the next generation

    Many of you may not know this, but long before Beautifully Honest, I had another blog, my first blog, called The Swing Set (swingsetproject.com).   The mission of the blog was to interview elderly members of our community and inspire others with their wisdom and life stories. The first person I ever interviewed for that blog was a woman named Beverly. Beverly was never married, and although she had the opportunity several times, she said she just never found anyone she felt was the right fit. I haven’t seen Miss Beverly since I wrote her post four years ago, but today at church I recognized her instantly, sitting in the…