10 Things I’m Afraid To Tell You
Welp, I’m hopping on the bandwagon and admitting 10 things I’m afraid to tell you. It’s the most real, raw, and vulnerable I’ve ever been on Coffee with Kristi and I’m worried as I hit “post,” but I’m here for it and I’m ready to let you guys in on deeper parts of my life so we can get to know each other better.
So, let’s dive in!
1. I think everyone thinks I’m more organized than I am. I don’t really know where the whole productivity part of my brand really took off--I guess when I started my project-based virtual assistant service for creative entrepreneurs last July. Sure, I run 5 businesses so I definitely have a schedule and I don’t live like a slob, but truly, I’m not as organized as I think you think.
Even as I type this blog post, my desk is pretty freaking cluttered. Early today a package of clothes arrived that I bought online and there are like 4 boxes scattered all over the floor around my desk. There are dirty dishes in the sink I haven’t cleaned up after dinner… I’ll get all of this taken care of before I go to bed, but I’m trying to make a point.
I love to talk about organization and productivity in business because I think it’s something a lot of people struggle with, but I also think it makes people think I live in this perfectly neat house where the bed is always made and the floors are swept every day… Neither of those things are true. Right now my desk drawers are so unorganized I couldn’t tell you where anything was in them… And ohmygosh I can literally feel some of you being shocked right now!
2. When something really awesome happens and everyone expects me to be over the moon excited, I downplay it. I’m not as happy as everyone wants me to be and then I struggle with that because I know I’m probably disappointing someone.
I can think of tons of times this has happened--most recently when I purchased a new car last week. It was my first “big girl” purchase, I took out a huge loan, it’s the nicest car I’ve driven, a 2017 Honda HRV with only 25,000 miles on it. Addison was all smiley and kept saying how happy he is for me, my parents were over the moon when I showed it to them on FaceTime, everyone kept saying “Congratulations! That’s amazing! Good for you!” and I was INCREDIBLY awkward. Can anyone relate?
If you can relate, please let me know because I’m honestly so nervous to admit this. It happened when I graduated both high school and college, after my senior violin recital in music school, every time I make a big sale… The list goes on and on. I know it must be a psychological thing--like maybe my brain is protecting me from the excitement because it could be taken away, or deep down I feel like it’s rude to “brag” and celebrating big milestones is a form of that.
I worry about this tendency of mine a lot actually, because I know that in the next few years I’m going to have big things to celebrate and I need to be able to be happy about them without downplaying them or feeling guilty. Addison and I will probably get engaged in the next year, and married a year after that. Who knows, maybe we’ll have a kid or two or three. I don’t want to be that person who is not elated on their wedding day, you know? If I think it’s rude to brag, it’s also pretty freaking rude not to be excited about something when people traveled a long way to see you.
Well, I guess that’s all I have to say about that one. I’m really nervous to admit it, so please let me know if you can relate. Instagram DM’s are where I have most conversations like this, but you can also comment on my most recent Instagram post @coffeewithkristi, too.
3. I’m pretty self-conscious about the fact that I make more money than Addison, even though I come off pretty confident about it. I care more than he does because he’s great and although he grew up in a household where his dad worked and mom didn’t, he doesn’t have the old-fashioned mentality that women CAN’T work. His parents are great for instilling that in him.
Obviously I have the same mentality--I clearly CAN work and I do, very hard. But I’m also very aware that the sense of security a lot of women feel when they have a husband with a steady paycheck and benefits [what a concept!]… Well, let’s just say that would be nice.
It’s weird, though, because at the same time I have thought many times about how I like to hustle so hard because I don’t WANT Addison to get a 9-5 for me. I love that because I work as hard as I do, he is able to pursue music and make his money freelancing, and he doesn’t feel pressured to get a “real job” and have benefits for us and all that crap. At least not yet.
But still… It can be hard. I don’t like to admit it but it’s definitely something we’ve had many discussions about. And we ultimately decide every time that for now, it’s okay to keep going the way we are, and we’ll keep re-evaluating every few months. So, there you have it!
4. I’d consider selling Got Strings. This one is embarrassing to admit, not because I’m unsure or something, but honestly I’m embarrassed at the fact that I’m so unemotional about it.
I think a lot of times when people start businesses, the business is their BABY. They love it, feed it, nurture it, care for it, tell everyone about it. Me? Not so much.
I have enjoyed owning Got Strings and I’m so proud of what me and the team have built… But do I imagine myself growing it to even bigger heights and owning it til the day I die? That’s a full body NO, my friend.
I don’t know how to sell a business (I’ve obviously never done it before) but honestly it is way more appealing to me than closing the doors forever. This is simply because I KNOW Got Strings is a great idea. I know our reputation speaks for itself at this point, and if I sold it it would run without me. I know it could be expanded to colleges all over the country and be the McDonalds of string ensembles, if the proper person took it over.
The truth is, if a qualified person came to me and made me an offer of $20,000, say, for the business plan, clients, musicians, etc. I would probably take that offer. Even if they then took that business and grew it to a million dollar company, I’d never regret it because I can tell you right now: I won’t do it.
I am perfectly content with Got Strings doing around 50 weddings per year in Virginia, even though we could expand all over the nation. I’d love to see it grow beyond the VA state lines but I won’t be the one to do that. So that being said, if anyone wants to get into the music business, talk to me! ;)
5. Addison and I are thinking about getting matching tattoos. I know, that’s weird and random but I’m legit afraid to tell you this because people are going to juuuuudge. And I can’t blame you! You’re probably like, Oh my gosh, you never know what could happen… If they break up they’ll regret it… Yadda yadda. And I totally agree with you.
The truth is, we will regret it if we break up. I mean, of course we will. We’ll be like, Oh man, maybe I shouldn’t have done that. But you know what? We want to do it anyway. It feels good now, so why not do it? Right now, we are utterly in love and we plan on being together forever. Do I know we could break up? Of-freaking-course! I’m a very practical person and know that when people “put a ring on it” they never imagine that THEY’D be the ones getting a divorce. But again, I say, we want to do it anyway.
So now that you’ve gotten over your initial shock, I’d like to tell you that we don’t want to get our initials tattoo’d on each other’s arm or linking hearts or whatever other silly things you’re imagining. For your information, we’re thinking of getting the “FF” from the cover of the Foo Fighters album There Is Nothing Left To Lose, because it’s both of our favorite Foo album with our favorite song Aurora which has lots of memories attached to it. Plus, our mutual love of the Foo Fighters is basically the reason we’re together, because Addison fell in love with me my freshman year of college when, “Dave Grohl is my spirit animal,” casually rolled off my tongue.
So there you have it. I’ll probably get messages about how this is a bad idea, tattoos are permanent, etc. but I hope you know I say this lovingly: I don’t care.
6. I wish I was more fashionable. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard me joke about this before but I’m seriously the most unfashionable person ever. It’s embarrassing! I wear the same clothes I’ve worn since high school, I always forget to accessorize, and if the shoes aren’t comfy it better be a preeeeetty fancy event to get me to wear them.
My friend Katherine came over one day and she looked in my closet and was like, “You have great stuff here!” She then went through, picking up different articles I’ve owned for years, styling them with bottoms I’ve also had for years but never paired together, matching them up with shoes and scarves and earrings I didn’t even know I had. By the time she was done, I was so excited about my “new” wardrobe and it was also in that instant that I realized how unfashionable I am.
One of my life goals, I’m serious, is to hire a stylist twice a year to go shopping with me and tell me what to buy within my budget. Like, I tell people this all the time: I want someone to shop with me and tell me what to wear, because I clearly don’t know.
Every time I have a branding photoshoot, modeling gig, or big event I’m always STRESSED about what to wear. So much that it takes the fun out of the event! Last month Addison and I were getting some pictures done for my blog and Instagram content, and I kid you not I wore a dress I bought junior year of high school. I’m 23. So embarrassing.
7. In real life, I curse a LOT. Okay, this one is probably weird for some of you, especially those of you who only see me on Instagram and the podcast. But I really do curse a lot.
When you hang out with me in real life, the F word is peppered throughout most of my sentences and I really am not embarrassed about it… Unless it’s online or on the podcast.
I’ve had fantasies about going all Gary Vee on you guys, showing my real personality and letting myself curse on this show. I love watching Rachel Bell on her Instagram stories just own her potty mouth and curse like a truck driver. I am empowered to see my VA client Meredith do so even in messages with her clients, with the statement “Why wouldn’t I be myself to these people? They’re paying me because they want ME.”
Gosh, even admitting that to you here is so hard because I’m basically telling you I’m not my whole self on the podcast. And that’s hard, ESPECIALLY on an episode like this where I’m being SO freaking vulnerable…
But it’s true. If I’m being honest with you, I show you guys 99% of me, I really do… But I don’t show you how I’d talk to you if we ACTUALLY got coffee together. I can hold it back while having virtual coffee, but when having real coffee I’d probably shock you with my mouth. That’s just how it is.
On that note, I’d love to hear what you think about this… The cursing part of this episode. Reach out to me on Instagram and let me know what you think… Should I curse on the show? Should I keep it PG? I want to hear from you because honestly, I can be swayed to change!
8. I’m not religious. I used to be religious, in fact I went to Catholic school from kindergarten to 8th grade (Ayyy Catholics, *peace be with you, and with your spirit, ding ding ding!*). I don’t hate on that education, in fact I’m grateful for most of what it taught me, but I NEVER felt a relationship with God. One of my friends talks about God like he’s a friend of hers she talks on the phone with daily… Yea, that was never me.
I don’t know if that’s because the Catholicism in me and if I grew up Baptist or something I’d pray in a more conversational way rather than memorized chants like, “O my God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart, in choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you….”
In college I was surrounded by religious people and although I was happy for them, that they were comforted by the thought of a man in the sky looking out for them, everlasting life, all that (and I truly say that lovingly and non-judgementally), as I got older it just isn’t for me.
I feel like religion really is just comforting. Some people will argue with me that they know God exists but I’m the most logical, pragmatic thinker you’ll meet and the truth is friend, you don’t KNOW. You have Faith, I’ll give you that, but none of us knows why we’re here definitively, so therefore in my mind religion is a comfort. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Everyone has their thing that comforts them when they’re down--for some, it’s God. For me, it’s friendship, love, meditation, optimism, yoga, joy, journaling, etc.
So, yea. Not religious, not really woo-woo and into manifestation either… At this point in my life I’m just running on the hamster wheel and I don’t really care who created the Universe. I’m just doin’ my thang, ya know?
9. Creativity is hard… I’m a left-brained gal, through and through. This is a pretty recent revelation and it’s still kind of embarrassing to admit. One of the most eye-opening conversations I’ve EVER had was with Addison’s brother Mason. We were having dinner just the two of us--that’s happened a handful of times, for various reasons--enjoying Pho at a local Vietnemese restaurant in our college town. It was a few years ago, and I was opening up to him about how I was so surprised at myself for loving the intricacies of business. I was shocking myself at how “into” the numbers, the strategy, the funnels, all of it…
And he was looking at me with this really puzzled expression. He asked, “Why is that surprising to you?” And I said, “Well, I’m a creative. I’m a musician. I’m not supposed to like that stuff.” He thought for a minute and finally said, “You’re not a creative.” I was like, “Of course I am! I’ve been playing the violin my whole life. How could I not be?” And he very calmly responded, “You’re a left-brain thinker with a gift for the violin.”
Dude, I know this is probably not a big deal to you but my mind was freaking blown. I had lived my whole life thinking I was an “artist” but at the same time, making purely logical decisions, struggling with being creative when I had to be, all of it. Since this conversation with Mason, I have looked at my life in such a different way and I have stopped beating myself up when I can’t be creative. For me, creativity is just something that sparks, it’s an escape when I’m all alone… It’s not, like, my entire life.
I’ve learned over the years that I’m a businesswoman first, an artist second… And I was afraid to tell you that. I know it’s just who I am, and I have really come to appreciate my left-brain tendencies to run businesses, stay organized, and focus on one project at a time. But I was afraid to tell you guys because I know most of my audience is the free-flowing artist type, and I thought you’d judge me. Maybe you are, I don’t know. I hope you’re not judging me on any of these points and you’re just refleciting on them with an open heart, because I know I’d do the same for you.
10. Today, literally today as I’m recording this, I went back on anxiety medication. Way back in episode 10 I opened up to you all about my anxiety story, stemming back to a failed high school relationship and moving states away for college. So you can go back and listen to that to get the full story.
When I was really experiencing a lot of anxiety my first year of college (which was manifesting physically, by the way), I went on 5mg of Lexapro to cope with the symptoms and I legitimately felt freakin’ GREAT when I was on it. It was a super low dose that just took the edge off you know? But the thing is, after being on Lexapro for like 8 or 9 months I thought I was cured, I felt like I didn’t need it anymore, and I weaned myself off.
Now, fast forward a few years and I’ve been handling my anxiety alone, unmedicated. I avoid my triggers the best I can, I do a lot of breathing exercises and grounding techniques when I’m feeling anxious, I do yoga in the morning to calm my mind, etc. But recently it’s gotten pretty bad, quite honestly.
I have a habit of logically convincing myself I’m not anxious. I mentioned before that I’m a super pragmatic person… I really mean that. I’m also a 3 on the Enneagram test and that basically means I take whatever feeling I’m having and I go, “that’s inconvenient” and I put it in a box over there and ignore it. I don’t want to feel the anxiety, so I look around and say, “Look, I’m fine, there’s no reason to be anxious so I’m just NOT going to be.”
The issue with THAT is that I am basically ignoring the anxiety but not really getting to the root of why I have it, but the anxiety HAS to manifest somewhere. So it does, in the form of nausea and nervous ticks. So… I saw a doctor, and she told me I don’t have to go at this alone anymore, and she put me back on 5mg of Lexapro today to take the edge off.
I’m nervous to admit this because in episode 10 I confidently told you I don’t want to take medicine for my anxiety, that I wanted to try every homeopathic way of relieving it on my own, but friend I tried SO many things. I take CBD oil, do yoga, have every meditation app you can think of, breathing exercises, RTT or Rapid Transformational Therapy…
They help a little, but none of them really got me the results I wanted. And you guys, I was just tired of it. I’m tired of trying another fad and being told it will work and then being let down when it doesn’t. I’m tired of not wanting to go out because I’m nauseous, not from any sort of physical ailment but a mental one. I’m tired of watching videos of myself and being frustrated with how tense I look or the fast-blinking shit I do when I’m unconsciously nervous. I’m ready to take control of it all… and going back on anti-anxiety medication might do that for me. So, that’s number 10!
So friends, I hope that today I’m giving you permission to be vulnerable with the people you trust. I know that sounds a little weird as I write this to thousands of people on the internet... Although I have to admit, I feel super comfortable with the community we’ve built here in this corner of the internet.
Thank you for reading this post and for being apart of this community and tell me… What was most surprising to you? Catch ya in the comments. ;)