Samara O'Shea

Newspaper Announcement

June 15th, 2018

I did an old-fashioned thing: Got married! Kidding. The old-fashioned part was submitting a wedding announcement to the local paper. Who does that anymore?! Meeeeeee =).

Newspaper text at the bottom of this post.

We had a small wedding (some might call it a microwedding) with only 14 guests. This was easy and difficult. The easy part is relieving yourself of the stress that comes with planning a large wedding. The difficult part is not sharing the day with extended family and friends. This week I have been mailing wedding announcements to my nearest and dearest. It’s been ages since I took on a mailing project of this size!

Newspaper text:

Samara O’Shea and Derek Nash were married May 5 at St. Mary’s, Hamilton Village located on the University of Pennsylvania campus. This is the same church where the bride’s parents married in April 1979. The Rev. Mariclair Partee Carlsen performed the ceremony. The Episcopal service was complemented by sounds of the Celtic harp played by Martha Clancy. Following the service, 14 guests celebrated at The Wayne Hotel. The day’s events were captured by Andrea Krout Photography.

Ms. O’Shea, 38, is a licensed social worker currently employed with Central Behavioral Health in Norristown. She is a mobile therapist helping clients diagnosed with serious mental illness manage chronic physical illness. She graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and received a master’s degree in social work from Temple University.

The bride is the daughter of Dennis and Carol O’Shea of Newtown Square, PA. The bride’s father has worked at Widener University for 39 years, currently serving as grounds supervisor. The bride’s mother is a retired teacher from Gloucester County Institute of Technology.

Mr. Nash, 34, is a senior software engineer at Envestnet, a wealth management firm, in Berwyn, PA, where he focuses on java development. The groom graduated with a dual degree in mathematics and computer science from Drexel University, where he also played on the ice hockey team.

The groom is the son of Barbara Nash of Pine Grove, PA, and the late Gregory Nash. The groom’s mother is a retired teacher from Spring-Ford Area School District. His father was the maintenance supervisor at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Nash’s 5-year-old son from a previous marriage, Dominic, served as ring bearer.

The couple met in November 2013 through the dating site Coffee Meets Bagel.

Addendum For Those Who Read Loves Me…Not: We were in the final stages of editing the book in late fall 2013 when I met Derek. I hadn’t dated anyone for little over 2 years. The guy in the book with the pseudonym Frank was the last person I had gone out with. I felt writing the book was what I needed to do before I could indulge a quality relationship. As it turned out, the Universe agreed. The past was where it belonged: On paper. Derek was my date to the book launch in January 2014 and the rest, as they say, is history. Maybe I’ve got a book about maintaining requited love in me …

“Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence. Only in this ‘central experience’ is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love. Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even when there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves. There is only one proof for the presence of love: the depth of the relationship, and the aliveness and strength in each person concerned; this is the fruit by which love is recognized.”

~ Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

The Surprisingly Simple Self-Esteem Booster

April 15th, 2018

After reading The 5 Love Languages earlier this year, I took the Discover Your Love Language quiz. As a result, I receive emails from the website. I kept meaning to unsubscribe from said emails until I saw this one about apologizing. It’s spot on! Our 45th President could use this advice. Sharpen those apology letter pencils!

“Did you know that low self-esteem can make it difficult to apologize? When we aren’t confident in who we are, an apology seems like a sign of weakness. But the truth is, people with high self-esteem more readily apologize, and apologizing can actually enhance your self-esteem. People generally respect a person more who is willing to take responsibility for his/her own failures. As people begin to respect and admire you more and more, then you start to feel better about yourself.

On the other hand, those who try to hide or excuse wrong behavior will almost always lose the respect and affirmation of others. A sincere apology is always a sign of maturity, not a sign of weakness. Apology opens the door to forgiveness. And forgiveness means that we can continue to grow in our relationship. It’s never too late to learn to apologize.”

The Good Life

March 30th, 2018

“I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.”

~ Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy

The Language of Love

February 15th, 2018

I post this out of love for all the men and women who find themselves in toxic relationships:

“A doormat is an inanimate object. You can wipe your feet on it, step on it, kick it around, or whatever you like. It has no will of its own. It can be your servant but not your lover. When we treat our spouses as objects, we preclude the possibility of love. Manipulation by guilt (“If you were a good spouse, you would do this for me”) is not the language of love. Coercion by fear (“You will do this or you will be sorry”) is alien to love. No person should ever be a doormat. We may allow ourselves to be used, but we are in fact creatures of emotion, thoughts, and desires. And we have the ability to make decisions and take action. Allowing oneself to be used or manipulated by another is not an act of love. It is, in fact, an act of treason. You are allowing him or her to develop inhumane habits. Love says, “I love you too much to let you treat me this way. It is not good for you or me.”

~ Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages

The Importance of Making Mistakes

January 4th, 2018

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

~ Neil Gaiman

The Results are In…

November 10th, 2017

…and I did not win. I am disappointed but not defeated. I received 1,594 votes and my opponent received 1,684 votes. I lost by only 90 votes! I’m glad to have come so close. In good news: The 3 commissioner candidates I was running with won. The township I live in has its first democratic majority (4 out of 5 commissioners) in the township’s history. Thank you President Trump =).

I am grateful for this experience. Going door to door. Making phone calls. Meetings in church basements. Hashtag democracy! Proud to be one of the many women who stepped up to the plate. I might even run again for something someday. For now, I’m going to rest well into the New Year.

Wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving and stress-free holiday season to all!

Madam Tax Collector

August 12th, 2017

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying summer.

I’ve gathered you all here to tell you that I am running for local office. More specifically, I am running for Tax Collector (TC) of West Norriton Township, PA. Allow me to explain…

Why: I was disheartened by the results of the 2016 presidential election and felt called to be more involved in my community. I asked a friend who is involved in local politics for advice. He recommended I run for TC. When I met with officials from the county, I was told: “If you can balance a check book, you can be the TC.” No complex accounting skills needed. I asked, “What good can the TC do?” I was told the TC can help people who are delinquent on their taxes find resources with which to pay and advocate on their behalf with the county. I thought: I have a master’s degree in social work, I can do that!

TC is not a full time job. It’s similar to running a small business on the side (I’m told). TC is a paid position. TC receives a commission on the taxes s/he collects.

When: The election will be held November 7th. There’s a good chance your township/county/city is having an election that same day. Look into your local candidates and vote! I am running against the Republican incumbent who has held the position for 8 years. The TC term is 4 years and there is no limit to how many times you can run.

How: Now here’s the part where I ask for money. I am a politician after all =). Any amount is greatly appreciated!! You can click here to donate through Act Blue.

Fine Print: I emailed this message to my friends and some asked if they could donate to me individually and not to the West Norrition Democrats. You’ll notice on the Act Blue page that any donation would also go to the three candidates for township Commissioner. I looked into it and the answer is, unfortunately, no. In order for me to accept individual donations I would have to set up my own PAC. I told one friend this and he said, “This is why the socialist democrats never win anything!” And then he donated ;).

Finally: I am proud to be among the many women inspired to run locally in 2017!