Author: Carley

When Love Is Losing

A note before I dive in: As a writer (and a white person) with a creative outlet and some semblance of an audience, I will never be someone who sits on the sidelines. This blog is a place where all races, religions, sexualities, and genders are welcome and respected. This is a place where I will support and fight for these same groups, and their rights, continuously. If that bothers you, you know where the X is. Feel free to click it. If you align  yourself with racism, I don’t want your page views, or your political ones.  There are certain moments in history you hope will never be repeated, moments you hope you never live to see or experience. Reality shattering, soul shifting, mind rocking, heartbreaking moments you prayed would never come. Watching white supremacists march down the streets with conviction in their eyes, hatred in their hearts, and fire in their hands is one of those moments. The Vice documentary left me in a sloppy mess at my desk. Each time I watched …

Show Me Your Scars

I’ve always loved discovering other people’s scars, secretly tucked beneath collars and cuffs. I love fingers delicately dancing over calloused strips of discolored skin. A chin gash. A drunk mistake. A skinned knee. A tree climb break. Nobody makes it through life unscathed. But have you ever noticed we’ll brag about hitting every branch on the way down before we’ve confronted why we climbed that damn tree to begin with? What were we trying to find up there? Or what were we leaving behind down below? Our physical scars are merely poof that we survived something greater than the initial fall, and that kind of self-awareness is some scary shit. Instead, we defend our leftover battle wounds and put our healed up bodies on display like battered trophies. We rarely discuss our emotional scars, giving little credit to the intelligence it takes to overcome internal trauma. We convince ourselves and others that our visible scars make us braver, stronger, and in the same breath, deny that the area is still a little tender, and that …

Get Money.

Being creative is cool. You know what else is cool? Getting paid. That’s right, I said it. Money. The stuff that puts gas in my car and keeps my electricity on. The stuff I shell out to Navient every month because I’ve been out of college for seven years and my student loans are still very real. Being serious about your work means being realistic about what your work is worth. What YOU are worth. It means believing it, and not being ashamed to say it out loud without feeling like an asshole. Your job isn’t to protect your clients’ feelings. Your job is to do your job, do it well, and get paid for it. This blog post isn’t about getting paid for stuff. It’s actually about not getting paid for stuff. But before I dive in, let me say this: Get money. Because whether you’re dealing with contracts, lawyers, agencies, brands, or one off clients, money conversations can be awkward, tricky, and confusing. Mike Monteiro’s Creative Mornings talk, Fuck You, Pay Me,  is …

Self-Care Saturday

Between agency work, a freelance gig, a few speaking opportunities, a few writing opportunities, a give my opinion on random stuff opportunity, a conference, side projects (like this blog!) and breathing in between, it’s safe to say my plate has been pretty full lately. Exciting full! Making shit happen full. I was riding the wave of possibility and saying yes to everything, when I hit a massive wall last night. I left the office, came home, and worked for one more hour to finish a satisfying week. Almost as if my eyes knew I could finally rest, I closed my computer at 7:30 p.m. and exhaustion took over. I was beyond fatigued. Within an hour, I was in physical pain. My eyes were red, my thoughts were fuzzy, my muscles felt tense, and I was having trouble forming full sentences. Heard, understood, and acknowledged. I need TO CHILL. I went to sleep without technology, and vowed to wake up on Saturday prepared to spend the entire day taking care of myself. Self care is this thing …

The Ones Who Love First

There are two kinds of lovers in this world. The ones who wait to be loved, and the ones who dare to love first. The key to winning, the ones who wait will tell you, is to show just enough enthusiasm to appear intrigued without looking eager. Feign just enough interest to appear engaged, without seeming desperate. Allow just enough transparency to appear relatable, without feeling exposed. Love is simply about appearing. Appearing intelligent. Appearing witty. Appearing worthy. Appearing available. Appearing out of thin air. And the trick, they say, to keeping the other person interested, is to make damn well sure they know you’re capable of disappearing at any time. Love is a game of power, and you lose when you love first. To the ones who dare to love first, For some you will be too much. Too much grit. Too much force. Too much impact. Too much pressure. The devastation you are capable of will cause others to seek shelter. You are a glorious storm, seismic and ferocious. A cataclysmic tidal wave. …

What should I wear? Whatever I want.

This holiday season I bopped merrily and brightly into a party wearing a long red dress. The mood was loud and light as friends and family snacked and sipped their drinks. Coat still on and presents still in hand, I exchanged Merry Christmases and one arm hugged each person sitting around the kitchen island. A man whom I hadn’t seen in months stood to greet me. He embraced me warmly, the way old friends do. This was immediately followed by a comment on my outfit. “You need to put a slip on.” For context, my dress was not see-through. For clarity, this justification is not necessary. My face turned red. I’ve been known to have a sharp tongue with a lightning fast response time. A SLIP? Oh. You mean the garment invented in the 1940s to make sure women covered their legs appropriately? I’ll get right on that. So in these situations, I try to find a moment of pause to assess the intention before reacting. I wasn’t willing to chalk this up to whether …

And For My Next Trick, I’ll Reassemble.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year, it’s that in most situations, you’ll stumble upon your biggest breakthroughs just beyond what you think you can stand. Endurance is a magnificent thing. If we choose to actively pursue it, our capacity to bounce back stronger after emotional trauma is a nod to how remarkable the human spirit is. I think we assume we can’t do something simply because it looks scary, because it hurts, or because it seems difficult. To gain access to that type of endurance, you have to surrender to the growth it lends itself to. That type of growth takes hard work and heart work, and there are no shortcuts. Which leads me to the piece you’re now reading. Publishing this is well-beyond the edge of my comfort zone. I’m taking a big mothertruckin’ step here. I’ve avoided for this piece for an entire week. I could sit here and say I don’t know why, but I do. Because, hello! It’s scary. It hurts. It’s difficult. It doesn’t mean I …