Codi Ann Thomsen
Codi Ann Thomsen is a craftswoman, story-teller and the founder of West Heritage.
What makes you happy?

Fresh, hot coffee made at home. Places that feel just as I imagined them to be. Folks with a good sense of humor, folks who I find comforting. People who let you in naturally.

Good, long heart-to-hearts at the kitchen table. Long phone conversations. My boyfriend’s hugs. Making new friends, growing closer to old ones. When someone you’ve known of/about for a while finally reaches out to get to know you better.

Rare points in time where I feel free from depression, loneliness and worry; where I can laugh or breathe without weight. A good days work. Feeling organized, accomplished and on track.

Receiving handwritten letters and stacking a pile written to head out the door. Long drives where the trees sort of overlap the road. Corny, sappy affection. Making mixed CD’s for friends, genuine affirmations, sending care-packages, long ‘thank you for existing/being here/my friend’ text messages, good morning notes left on the kitchen counter.

Flower markets; the potted plants throughout our home. Clean, color-coordinated laundry. A good breakfast.

Among every other little thing / feeling / place / person I adore.

from time to time I get hate messages from anonymous people. Some of it is personal and i'm not sure how they would know of certain things, but it irks me really bad. I get tempted to cuss them out or get them with a comeback, but i feel that it will do nothing but add more fire to the flame and the hate messages will continue on endlessly. I'm just so frustrated. How would you deal with it?
by Anonymous

Ah, this makes me really, really sad. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re receiving hateful messages, or messages that make you feel like your privacy has been invaded. Please try not to take anything these people say to heart.

I’m glad to hear that you know better, despite it. The truth is that we only have control over ourselves. Luckily, that means we have control over how much we let this affect us. God forbid you receive more hateful messages, take a deep breath, delete it and remind yourself that they are wrong. If you need to, go to a friend who can remind you that they are wrong. If you need to as well, turn off anonymous messaging for a while and let yourself recover. If you do respond, just send love and carry on. A simple, “I’m sorry you feel this way. I’d really appreciate if you didn’t send these messages anymore,” will hopefully stir some compassion. This has been the only way that I’ve dealt with meaner folks here on the Internet, and I’m very pleased to say that the people coming by here send mostly love.

Also, please just know that I’m here for you if ever you need someone to talk to. Again, I’m sorry. Please know that there are good folks here, too.

Who was your first pen pal?

A wonderful woman, Brianne, who lived a handful of hours north of me in Michigan.

I really, really appreciate your advice about the boy. I'm afraid I'm just getting carried away by his attention to me. I've just started my freshman year of college and I know very few people here. I certainly like to be around him but still I wonder if I'm attracted to him more as a friend but I know his intentions are more than that. I don't know how to talk to him about what sort of relationship we're building because he hasn't actually asked me out or anything.
by Anonymous

Ah! Then yeah! Okay.

My honest to god opinion is that you shouldn’t pursue forward in a relationship with someone until you can openly discuss any topic, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it may be. Until you’ve had your fair share of heart-to-hearts, can discuss these kinds of things. Someone’s ability to problem solve and communicate with you about things are huge, and I also personally believe that a partner should work as your best friend as well. Like, it’s good to have these conversations before he actually asks you to be his lady.

Like I said, if he’s really interested in you, he’ll be open to talking about it - even if you have to explain that you want to take it slow or become good friends before ya’ll jump into something. If he’s a good guy, he’s going to be understanding.

I hope all of this works out and I hope that you are enjoying your first year of college so far!

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