Hi! I’m Crystal and I’m so happy you’re here! I’ve been building up to putting That Old Kitchen Table out there all my life (I just didn’t know it) and I’m thrilled that you’re joining me. This is a space that’s meant to help you find ways to nourish your mind, body, and soul. That’s what an old kitchen table does, right? It’s never only about the food. 🙂 While you’re here, feel free to leave comments for me and engage in conversation with other ladies here. Share your stories, inspire each other, and hopefully, everyone will walk away feeling loved and supported.
I’m a Georgia girl through and through, raised in a small town before growing up, going to college in Valdosta for a psychology degree, and moving to just outside of Atlanta after that. I keep saying I’ll escape the traffic and crowds by finding a little cottage with a view of the ocean in a quiet beach town but for now, here I am! I get to avoid the crowds and traffic about 90 percent of the time anyway.
Freelance writing (for about 15 years now) has allowed me to have a down-the-stairs commute to work. My version of swinging through the drive-thru on my way to work is stopping off in the kitchen for a giant mug of hot coffee (my secret goal is to turn a part of the kitchen into a café and it’s getting there!). I do copywriting, ghostwriting, and write articles for magazines and websites.
Random Facts About Me
If you saw my Liebster Award nomination post you may already know some of these, but here we go:
- I’m a shy and oh-so-quiet introvert at first (working on the shy/quiet part, but the introvert part’s not going anywhere). I think people see me as cold and unapproachable (thanks, RBF) but I’m really the total opposite. I am also one of the most ridiculous, goofiest people ever once you get to know me. I love changing up the lyrics to songs on the fly and whipping out dance moves no one outside of my kitchen should ever see. The middle ground is a dry, sarcastic (not mean) sense of humor that will have you wondering if I really meant what I just said.
- NERD ALERT!!! I’m interested in pretty much everything. Or at least I am until I’m not. My completely unreachable goal in life is to know all the things. Lol So I read. A lot. Something will grab my attention and I’ll follow it down a rabbit hole, needing to know everything about it until I’m completely exhausted. This can take days, weeks, months, or even years, depending on what it is and when I feel like I know enough to continue with normal life. Then I’ll move on to something new. The only things that have survived that over the course of my life are writing and social sciences. I like talking about and experimenting with makeup and skincare, too, but not all the time like I used to. I’m more in the “find something you love and stick with it until change is necessary” mode with those now. I’m attempting to be a minimalist with everything but books. They get a special pass.
- My dad bought me my first (electric) typewriter with the last bit of his paycheck when I was 10 and I won a statewide writing contest. I haven’t really stopped writing–fiction, essays, web copy, poetry, etc, since. I wrote my own “books” at age four or five. I just love words. They can paint pictures, encourage, connect, and so much more.
- I have two first drafts of novels sitting around. I’m going to revise them and publish them one way or another, but they still need a lot of work.
- DIYs make me happy.
- I love summer but dislike being in or on the water. I will sit by the ocean all day and night but don’t ask me to get in a pool or jump in the lake.
- Summer nights are my favorite. And I love humidity. My hair doesn’t, but I do.
- I’m a total hopeless romantic with one foot still firmly planted in reality and logic at all times. Okay, most times.
- My guilty pleasure is watching The Bachelor/ette, but it’s getting a little boring lately. I also love spoilers.
- Other shows I love and haven’t missed an episode of: Grey’s Anatomy and This Is Us. Then there’s the whole Chicago Fire/Med/PD series. Love them, too.
- I’m working on my personal training, group fitness instructor, and nutrition coach certifications.
- I worked in sales management for a few years and mostly loved it, but I never would’ve chosen it had I not been desperate when I ran across the job ad. Playing matchmaker between customers and products felt amazing because I felt like I was really connecting with people and helping them. I thought I was just naturally good at sales in general after trying it for a few weeks, but that turned out to be kind of wrong. A couple of years later, the company started shaking things up at the main office and I made a switch to a different company out of fear. It all went downhill from there and I moved around some more. I learned two things during my sales stint:
1. I can’t (or won’t because it makes me feel gross) sell products I don’t wholeheartedly believe in.
2. The general vibe of a company I work with influences my performance way more than I would like to admit.
- I’m an INFJ. Textbook case, down to the walking contradiction part. Lol I like to think I’m good at seeing all the sides to a situation.
Growing up and Family Life
I was a nerdy kid with a tomboy side. I could spend days working through stacks of books I’d checked out from the library but I also loved to play in the woods behind my neighbor’s house. I played Mario Bros. 3 to death for a couple of years and that was about as far as I got into video games. I could spend hours drawing, designing (but never sewing) clothes, and making jewelry. I was born to create. I don’t care if it’s writing, makeup looks, bad poetry, a handbag out of a wooden box, or something with beads.
When I was 13 or 14, I used to sit up late at night during the summer and chat in random chat rooms back when they were first getting started. Somehow, I always ended up talking to people who just needed someone to listen and encourage them. That kind of thing even carried over into my time in sales. When things were slow, random people would come up and just start pouring out their life’s troubles to me. I felt like I was running Lucy van Pelt’s advice booth sometimes (but I was nicer! Lol).
I got married when I was 21 and we’re still together 14 years later. We met online when we were on opposite sides of the world (he was temporarily away and homesick; I was fresh out of a relationship and looking for friends, not another boyfriend). His apartment in my town was actually on the same street as mine, but the road changed names about five times between our homes. We wrote pages and pages of emails every day and eventually printed most of them out. The time difference meant I skipped some early morning classes because I was up until 4:00 AM a lot of nights, typing away. Oops. My grades didn’t suffer too much, at least. 😉
He and I are total opposites in just about every way possible, but somehow it works. Mostly because of his patience. Ha! I asked him if he ever feels like Ricky Ricardo and all he could do was laugh. No comment, I guess. Hmm.
We adopted a skinny, good-natured dog who’d been seized by the sheriff (neglect) shortly after we got married, and I think he’s going to live forever. He’s currently 15 and people tend to think he’s 7, max, when they meet him. That’s okay by us. He’s pretty much ruined us for other dogs because he was so easy to train, obedient from day one, and seems to intuitively know what we want him to do at this point.
We also have a daughter who’s wise beyond her years and so sweet. She amazes me every single day with her big heart, intelligence, and wittiness. I don’t tend to show pictures of her on the blog or in public social media accounts just out of respect for her, but she’s awesome. She’s my Mini Me but so much cooler than I can ever hope to be.
Why I Blog
I’ve dealt with anxiety, depression, self-doubt, self-loathing, feeling helpless/hopeless/worthless, loneliness, and so on and so on, for a lot of the years I’ve been on this earth. I’ve done a lot of reading, self-exploration, journaling, spiritual work, stepping out of my comfort zone, and experimentation with lifestyle tweaks (diet, productivity habits, etc) in order to heal and really feel alive again.
I wanted to reconnect with the world in a meaningful way and live a fulfilling life, but what seemed so easy for others was difficult for me. I know there are other women out there feeling lost, afraid, confused, or any number of the things I felt for so long, who are yearning to live a life they’re excited to wake up to every day. I want to share what I’ve learned over the years so you can get to (or back to) living a life you love and accomplishing all your goals.
I cover a lot of subjects on this blog, but they’re all tied to feeling better and nourishing your mind, body, and soul. I’ll talk about mindset, faith, exercise, nutrition, fitness, wellness, self-care, beauty, fashion, productivity, organization, and even cleaning (though goodness knows I could use some tips for not feeling overwhelmed where cleaning is concerned!). When you’re working to feel better, sometimes it’s best to work from the inside out. Other times, paying a little more attention to the outside may make you feel better on the inside. And sometimes feeling energized and capable just boils down to how your environment looks. What’s that saying about how a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind?
Anyway, I hope you find what you’re looking for here. I hope to see you in the comments section! Feel free to email me at thatoldkitchentable at gmail dot com, too.
Where to Go from Here
If you’re a first-time visitor, check out these posts: