How Are You Doing? No Really.

me walking

How are you doing?

The phrase how are you doing often comes with a quick: I’m fine, thanks, how are you. There are very people we trust to go into detail when we are “not doing fine.”

How many people can you trust with a complete mind dump: I’m not doing great?

Or heck trust to say more than an “I’m fine thanks.”

To be transparent, I’ve been stewing on this post for a while. I’ve written bits and pieces of blog posts, but they haven’t come together. I can’t quite say this blog post is “much better.”

The post itself can be categorized into different parts: 

  1. It’s ok not to be doing ok.
  2. I’m not doing ok, but I’m working on it. me walking

Anyway, it wasn’t until Emma posted this tweet that I found more words to talk not doing fine.

A big issue with mental health is the untold pressure of “always being fine.” It’s not normal to “always be good.” You can seek positive outlooks on things, but it’s not normal to always be great. Especially now, with all of the worldly events happening, the election, the pandemic, and your own life. There is a lot on everyone’s plate; one could argue more than ever before.

Whether you believe so or not, these issues affect you and your well being. I know they affect me.

For those who don’t know:  I recently moved to a new area during the pandemic, also during the fire season, and my spouse is gone…a lot.  I was doing fairly well until the fires and poor air quality forced us inside. While smoke is no longer in the air, there is still the thought of will the next one be soon.

I have a lot of time on my hands to think. When you spend more time alone, you have more time to think and maybe overthink.

Life right now is…hard.

I miss the comfort and familiarity of New Jersey.  I miss the ability to text different friends and say: hey do you want to run today?

I recently had serious thoughts of wanting to get an apartment in New Jersey for the next 5 months. Not a passing thought but a long thought. Ultimately I decided, while right now is tough, I am making strides to assimilate into the Northern California community and world. I’ve made a few friends, I’ve pursued a few jobs and zoomed with a therapist, and I’m trying to make this my new home. I don’t want to lose all of that to start back up again in March.

Throughout the years of blogging, I’ve always been open and honest. I started blogging in 2010, when I was a junior in college. Never did I imagine a decade later, I would still be blogging and enjoying it.

Like anyone, I’ve had good years and harder years. Twenty year old me is very different than thirty-year old me. I’ve never pretended every year is perfect or great. We must accept the good and the bad.

So I guess what the point of this post is?

This is a combination of: No one’s life is perfect but also an update of where I’m personally at. It’s easy to snap a photo running and think, “everything is good.”

If you are not doing well, that’s ok. It’s ok to seek help. I’ve been actively looking for a therapist out here in California. I have no shame in it, and I think everyone can benefit from the therapist (whether you are “feeling good” or not).

A Few More Steps I’ve Taken For Myself:

  • Ask For Help: I’ve asked for more help in the last 2 months than ever before. Whether it’s area-wise, job-wise, life wise.
  • Seeking Professional Help: I love my family and friends dearly, but it’s not the same as a mental health professional.
  • Get Outside When I Can: Even if it’s doing work outside. With the narrow windows between fires, I have never taken the air quantity for granted more.
  • Talk to People and Stay Connected: Staying cooped up without talking to people is tough.
  • Give Myself Something to Look Forward Too: We aren’t in a marathon; there is no defined end goal. Instead, I give myself to look forward to each week, whether it’s running in a new spot, seeing a new town, going to a new diner…whatever.

It’s ok not to be ok, and it’s ok to talk about it. Not every month, year, or season of life is rainbows and butterflies. When we normalize talking about it, we realize we aren’t alone.


  1. Pandemic life for me was totally fine until August and now everything has caught up. I’ve been trying to psych myself up to finally reach out to a therapist but haven’t quite made the leap yet. Moving is hard, I struggled a lot moving to Colorado 3 years ago. There’s research that shows it can take up to 4 years for place attachment. A great book that helped me find ways to reach out more is Where you belong (I think it’s the title)

    1. Thanks for that suggestion Chirstine, I’ll be looking into it for sure. Moving is definitely hard and just making friends as an adult in general. Where did you move from?

  2. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this post, Hollie. What we post, what we share, is only a small piece of who we are. I cannot even imagine everything you have dealt with in the last few months – and everything you are still dealing with. Is there any possibility of someone coming out to visit you for a few days? Someone familiar, from ‘back home’? A therapist is wonderful and I’m glad you’re making connections, but … sometimes you just want a familiar face in the midst of all the upheaval. Oh, and one more book idea: Life is in the Transitions. Bruce Feiler. The premise is that no one’s life is linear anymore, and we all experience “lifequakes” at different times. I’m finding it very helpful for understanding the major changes throughout my life – and learning from how people in the book responded to their lifequakes. Take care… and again, thank you for being so open.

    1. I love that phrase Anne, “lifequakes” and I appreciate you reading. Right now, there isn’t anyone that can come visit but if things don’t seem to be panning out, I know I can go back East.

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