guest post: jaime from la vie...j'aime

Hi friends! Today I am so excited to share a post from Jaime at La Vi... J'aime. She wrote this for me to post while I was in Africa, but I somehow failed to press publish while I was gone. I am so excited for you to read about a time she trusted her gut!

I was excited when Whitney asked me to guest post for her while on her African trip but was slightly intimidated by the subject: tell us about a time you listened to your gut...whether it be taking a risk or sticking with something. 

I can’t really count many situations where I’ve been at a crossroads with Road A and Road B before me. A few major decisions, like choosing my college, came pretty easily. I applied early decision, and off I went to Syracuse University. I knew I’d move back home after to pursue a career and build my life in Boston, near where I grew up. 

Then I remembered a time when I was sixteen and going with friends on a teen tour abroad in Europe. I signed up with three friends and was placed on a trip with one of them that left in late June. My other friend, called me asking to switch trip dates and go with her. This trip left the first week in July. I decided on that phone call to change trips and leave in July, with a girl I actually wasn't as good of friends with but felt it was right to change. 

At the time, my grandma was sick and her health was declining very quickly. She was diagnosed in the spring and passed away in early July, July 3rd. My teen tour that I changed to left on July 5th, the evening of her funeral. I guess that feeling to change my trip months before had meaning, as I was able to attend her funeral. If I hadn’t changed, I would’ve already been on the trip when she passed away.

 It’s something I always remember when I think about listening to myself and having a belief in fate, that things work out for a reason whether you know it then or not.

trusting your gut: kate hampton

Hello Sometimes Always Never readers! I’m so excited to be guest posting for Whitney while she’s in Africa changing the world. I blog over at What Kate Likes about a lot of fashion-related things and occasionally things that are a bit deeper and more personal. I’m excited to have the chance to get into a meatier topic than I normally do, without it seeming random or out of place.

When Whitney approached me about guest blogging for her, she told me that she wanted everyone to write about listening to their gut. To be honest, I really had to think about the topic and do some serious introspection before agreeing.

I am a planner, an obsessive, a person who doesn't even go to the grocery store without a defined list of what exactly I’m going to buy. I don’t take risks or jump into something feet-first unless I've considered all options/consequences/benefits/rewards. I’m the type of person who peels off band-aids bit by bit, even though ripping the whole thing off is much easier and less painful. Making decisions based solely on what I feel in my gut or heart is right is something I seriously struggle with. Maybe it’s the fact that I have a hard time giving up control, maybe it’s the fact that I don’t like taking risks without knowing exactly what will happen.

However, lately I've been thinking more and more about past decisions I've made and how, even when I carefully weighed the pros and cons, things didn't turn out quite like I’d imagined or thought they would. I feel like over-thinking every decision is using up so much energy and brainpower. I’m so in awe of Whitney and her ability to just instinctively say “yes” to this trip to Africa and not get bogged down in the details.

So I’m going to make a conscious effort to listen to myself when I need to make a decision. I know I’ll still probably over-think, but I’m going to do my best to listen to what my heart and instincts are telling me and just go for it. I’m slightly nervous about how much of a change this will be for me, but I think that it’s definitely something I need to do! I’m really going to take Tina Fey’s advice to heart and say “yes” first (or no or whatever it is that my instincts are telling me is right) and then figure all the details out afterwards. Nothing needs to be fully thought-through in order to be amazing or to at least have the possibility to be amazing, which is something I definitely need to remember all the time.


Read more of Kate's posts on her blog, What Kate Likes

trusting your gut: keith wynn

Listening to your gut. What does that phrase mean to you? We hear that phrase a lot but I wonder if we truly ponder its meaning. Listening to our gut, or our intuition, is a “learned skill” in my opinion. I say this because it goes against a lot of what we’re taught in life. We are taught to apply reason and rationality to all decisions so as to make the best informed choice. In other words, use your head, not your gut. But what about those times when our gut is telling is something completely different than what our head is telling us?

I was faced with this internal conflict once. It was a few years ago and I was at a crossroads in my life. I felt I needed a change. A big change. I had spent my entire life in my hometown and I didn’t feel I was going anywhere. It felt like I was reliving the same day over and over. Have you ever felt that way? So I decided to just move. Seriously, just completely pack up and move to an entirely new city and start over.

Most of my family and friends were against this idea. They were saying it was impractical and something that only worked in “the movies”. But my gut was telling me that this was the right decision. My heart was telling me that this was what I needed to do.

It ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I have a career I love, wonderful friends here, and I LOVE the town I moved to. It’s truly home to me now and I know that this is where I belong. I listened to my gut, and it changed my life :)


Read more of Keith's posts on his blog, Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer

trusting your gut: lauren leighton

The definition of gut. Answer numero uno is an obvious one: the stomach or belly. 

Number two (and the informal definition according to the world wide web) is personal courage and determination; toughness of character. 

What is a perfect marriage of the two? The action of following your gut. Combining that uncomfortable, yet valid, feeling your tummy tells you is scary, but right with those innate brain waves encouraging you to act accordingly. As I make tough decisions in my 20-something stage of life, my mother always asks, "What does your gut tell you?" I love and hate that question because it usually (more like mostly) reveals the answer. 

One specific time where I turned to my mother for advice was when I found myself extremely unhappy in New York City. I know. Most of you are probably reading this and thinking, "Unhappy in New York? Isn't that supposed to be like one of the coolest places to live and work?" Well yes, yes it is a cool place to live, just not for this girl. I found it to be the loneliest place on earth. Even though there are 8.337 million people in Manhattan, I constantly craved human interaction, big hugs, a warm touch. I had a super sweet gig at Oprah Magazine assisting the publisher (still miss her a lot), but that island just wasn't for me. 

I knew I had to make a change. I loved my job, but it wasn't enough to keep me locked up in a concrete cage, constantly confined by brick walls and stilettos. I had to make a change, therefore I followed my gut (thanks mom!) and packed up my 500 square foot studio apartment, one sweet pug and essentially two years of city life to move to Denver, Colorado. 

Why Denver you ask? I have always loved this place and it is where my brother, his wife and two babies live. There is nothing sweeter than family in my mind (and waking up to dry, crisp air and the Rocky Mountains as life's screensaver). Was I scared to pick up my life and move across the country? Absolutely. Did that stop me? No. I knew there was no way I could possibly be unhappier than I was, so why not just follow my gut to happiness?

I love it here in Colorado. I have made some incredible friends and can't believe I lived in such a personal slump for a full two years, but at the same time I am eternally grateful for those two years because they taught me a lot about myself. I will always have my New York to thank for helping me grow up (pretty fast!).


Read more of Lauren's posts on her blog, Borrowed Light