The idea of 'Feature Friday' came up while we were having family dinner and started discussing all of the people in my life that have had a positive impact on me and have in one way or another, "filled my cup."
It was the people who have started a side hustle or passion project, the people that have been so open and transparent with sharing important parts of their lives with me, the people that have started their own full-time business or simply; or the people that just make me laugh and bring joy no matter the occasion.
It is about people, no matter the topic. Everyone has a story to tell or something to share – no matter how big or small.
The people chosen for this section have been given absolute free rein to write about what they want and how they want. So without further ado, here is my first Feature Friday.
FEATURE FRIDAY: TAYLOR – the (OLDER, WISER and more LOW-KEY) sister:
For those of you that don’t know me – my name is Taylor. I am most commonly referred to as Niki’s better half, her soul sister and fortunately for her, her older sister. I have been alongside Niki for her entire life and have had the privilege of watching her grow into the person she is today. She is often on the louder side, can swear like a sailor, has an unbelievably good golf swing and has to be one of the funniest people I know. She also has an authenticity and kindness to her that, if you know her, you probably have witnessed yourself. I have been so proud of her finally going for it with The Cocktail Caddy and now Fill Your Cup. I am excited that she will be sharing everything from lifestyle inspo to juicy dating stories to featuring people with a story no matter the content. If you are here and reading this, thank you for supporting one of the most important people in my life - I truly appreciate it and appreciate you.
I don’t necessarily consider myself a creative, free write type of person (thanks business school) but after thinking about it…. here’s what I have to say about filling my cup.
JUST DO YOU
The first time I heard this was from my Nana. It was probably close to 10 years ago and she had just witnessed Niki fluttering her very long eyelashes at the window cleaners at my parents’ house and from what I can remember, called her trouble. She then came to me and said “Okay Tay, now let’s see your flirting” – me being me, I probably went into a full on panic attack, told her no but then did some awkward gesture to show her that I too, was capable of flirting. She laughed and then kindly advised me to never do that again. How could my YOUNGER sister be better at this than me? Being 17, I surely had successful flirted before – I remember texting boys in high school and adding a winky face at the end of, in hindsight, a very dull text.
To give some background to the story, by definition my Nana was a lady. She was always well put together, polite and kind. And she knew how to flirt. She literally saw my Grandpa on a street corner while driving by one day and knowingly said, “That will be my husband” – and it was. You betcha that after hearing this story, my sister and I were eyeing up every semi-decent looking man on any street corner. Unfortunately, this moment hasn’t happened to either of us (yet) but girls can dream. So not only did my Nana have her love at first sight moment BUT she was also proposed to, by TWO men, on the same day. Yes, you read that right – TWO. And here I am, approaching the tender age of 27 and still can’t seem to get a text back? Oh how times have changed.
Fast forward to 2014 when my Nana was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer that metastasized to many other parts of her body. Her time in hospice was short – but gave us the gift of spending some very special moments together. There was one day in particular that I remember so fondly – it was a sunny, hot July afternoon and we were indulging in some very lighthearted conversation. It was a gift to be able to be in the present moment and only think about the here and now, especially with everything going on. Since Nana had raised three girls herself, the topic of dating naturally came up and she shared her hopes of us finding the love she once did. If you’ve been following along with this blog – you know some of the struggles and dating disasters my sister has experienced and you can bet that I have a few of my own.
So as we were laughing at dating in this day and age, my inability to flirt came up again. Nana had asked me to show her how to bat my lashes, just as I had attempted a few years earlier. Unfortunately for everyone who had been at the receiving end of those eyelashes or those that have witnessed me attempting to do this to someone else – please, know I am sorry. I tried my best LOL. My level of flirting is really indescribable … like am I flirting with you or having a stroke? You decide.
We had made this our ongoing joke from that point forward. The reason I wanted to share this particular story is because of what my Nana had said to me after the jokes subsided. In her most genuine, authentic and reflective moments – she looked at me straight in the eye and said, “just do you.”
It was because of this conversation that I feel more confident in who I am as a person and trust that things will all work the way they are supposed to. So often it is easy to compare ourselves to others – people in our families, our friends, people we work with and even strangers on the internet. It’s easy to forget that everyone has their own insecurities and generally, only share their highlight reel - myself included. We can easily forget that each person comes with a story and has their own set of life experiences that make them the way they are.
Although COVID has majorly sucked, it allowed me to do some major introspective work that I probably wouldn’t have done if we had not been given this time to reaaaallllyyy slow down and sit with ourselves. Although I am generally happy with who I am, there are always passing moments of self-doubt and internal criticism.
But as my Nana said, just do you.
So in the spirit of just doing me - I am sharing with you all a little of who I am at my core: I love my family and friends. I read a lot. Laugh at my own jokes. Try to build 1000 piece puzzles and enjoy taking naps. I like to be active and spend time with people that matter to me. I am a bad driver and will turn my music down to see better while driving. I work hard but enjoy lazy Sunday mornings (and sometimes afternoons). I think Sunday mimosa’s are a must and have probably drank Italy out of their prosecco. I hate being vulnerable or showing “too” much interest. I keep my heart close and hold others to a high standard. I love being outside and breaking a sweat. I love sunsets but am trying to love sunrises a little more (but my bed tends to hold me hostage). I love busting a move during a kitchen dance party and listening to new tunes and podcasts. I am quiet and introverted but will often talk your ear off when I am comfortable with you. I really enjoy life and am so excited for life to return to normalcy and some semblance of routine.
Even as I write this, the negative thoughts creep in but “you can be the juiciest peach in the world and there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” The comparison comes out while reading this blog back. I wanted to add more comedy and funny jokes but at the end of the day, I have to be okay with doing me, like who I am and what I am becoming in my most authentic form.
No, I haven’t met the person of my dreams yet. But feel in my truest of souls that what is meant for you, will not pass you by. It will come, when the timing is right. When you are doing you to your fullest capability and capacity - whether that is in love, life, business or a conglomeration of all of the above. I believe that we will all find our path when we are supposed but until then keep doing you. I am cheering you on and rooting for you – let’s make this our best year yet.
Cheers-ing you with a freshly popped bottle of bubbles (preferably La Marca),