Friday, June 28, 2013

Gapers block

I hate when you're driving down the road and suddenly RED lights - nothing but red lights in front of you for miles. You continue to sit still - sitting and wondering when will this be over - when will you finally be free of this entrapment. Then you get there, You know what I'm talking about, the front of the line where everyone else is slowly driving past that person on the side of the road. Whether it's a car accident or someone has just been pulled over by a police officer - sometimes it might even be just a broken down vehicle. Then suddenly you're free! You can't help it but your foot presses down on the gas pedal and you break free of all the other cars. Free at last you scream inside! 

But that gapers block has set you back ...  Now you have to make up that time. What will you do? Will you break the law? Will you speed? Will you take a shortcut?

Think about your life - think about how often we do this in our lives. How often do we find ourselves slowing down to focus on others? How often do we stray from our own paths spending time on things we shouldn't be? Then when we finally realize that what we've been focusing on is so trivial we attempt to speed up and find this freedom from this trivial item or experience and then we find ourselves in even more trouble than we were before.

Sometimes the gapers block is in our own life. Sometimes we're so busy looking in on ourselves that we can't even see what's going on around us. Some people think that  just means they are focused, but most people see that as being selfish. 

How do we get better at being more focused on others instead of ourselves but not so focused on others that we never focus on ourselves? Balance. Life is always about balance. You have to think about balancing work life with Home life, Friendship with romance, Discipline and love, And many others. 

Most days I long for balance. I have school, work, family, friends, love, future, health, etc all to worry about. So instead of rushing and speeding along through life let's just take a break - a breather - and think about it. We don't need a gapers block. We do need balance. We don't need that stop and go and constant traffic and struggle in our lives. 

Lets focus on breaking free of that safely. Not in a peddle to the metal kind of eat like we are all accustomed to, but in a slow, concise, secure manner. 

Just see how long you can go without forming a gapers block in your life or forming the gapers block in someone else's.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The battle within

There is a battle going on within all of us. For some it may be mental, emotional, physical, or a combination of those. For me right now my struggles are physical and emotional. The physical is mostly causing the emotional battle and that will make sense the more I explain, but it's really a battle that I am loosing at this point. I know I have been silent for a few days and it is really because I have been struggling over what to write or how to write it. I know that this is a place of brutal honesty and so I am going to keep it that way. My vulnerability is going to be taken up a notch here and I am going to be exposing myself even further. This is my battle and I have decided to share it.

Around March/April I started feeling sick on and off. I wasn't sure if it was the flu or what was wrong, but I figured I was just catching what everyone else had and I would get over it. There were a few time I felt like I had kicked it and I would feel better, then I would feel worse over night again. Eventually, I gave in and went to the doctor, which if you know me you know this is a big deal to me. I really do not like the doctor, nor do I like consuming medications that are basically approved toxins by the FDA for the pharmacies and doctors to pump into our bodies to "heal" us... (but that's a conversation for another day). The doctors thought I had strep, they thought I have a bacterial infection, they tested... I didn't have strep - they sent me home. A week later I was still sick - called up the dr and they gave me the Z-pack. That didn't work either. Long story short I ended up in the hospital May 10-14. You can read all about everything in a few posts In Sickness and in health; Baby Steps; and Accomplishments.

Now here we are June 26... a month and a half later and I am still battling physically symptoms of these infections as well as new developments.

1. I have recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an auto immune deficiency disorder that attacks the joints. It's different from older age arthritis that hits you when your joints are wearing out due to wear and tear and older age. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing pain, swelling, and eventual bone erosion and joint deformity. My immune system mistakenly attacks my own body tissues and joints due to the auto immune disorder. This also causes me to feel tired and weak at times.
2. My migraines have reactivated. Except this time they are different than they were before and they present differently with different symptoms and different side effects. All of this is new for me and I don't know what to expect. It's a little scary. I am on new medications for this and am currently being treated. This treatment seems to be working thus far - so we will see.
3. I have most recently presented with some neurological symptoms that really scare me the most. I am struggling cognitively and neurologically. In the past week I have presented with symptoms that have really come out of nowhere and do not fit in with the rest of the puzzle at all...
       A. There are scissors sitting in across the desk and I try to ask a coworker to pass me the scissors, but I cannot place the word for scissors. I see them and know I should know that word, but I don't know what the object is.
       B. I am in the middle of a sentence and drop off, or randomly begin to stutter and cannot complete the sentence. I am forced to completely stop the sentence and restart.
       C. If I am in the middle of a conversation, I will be staring at someone and they will be speaking to me. I am aware they are speaking to me, but I am not comprehending anything that they are saying. I have to interrupt them and ask them to start over and repeat themselves.
       D. I am normally a puzzle person and can demolish them in matters of minutes. I normally writes schedules for work in no time. A task that would normally take me less than an hour took me five hours the other day. This is concerning.
       E. My taste buds are changing - this is really weird... I really have no idea what this is related to at all!
4. The doctors are running all sorts of medical tests to find answers, and we have gotten a lot of negative results back, which are good, but that just leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

SO - The battle physically within is really taking a toll. Not only is it taking a toll physically and trying on my body. I am tired, weak, physically empty, but I am also getting there emotionally as well. I have been holding up pretty well this entire time. Just trying to take all of this in at stride as we go, but it is all getting a little overwhelming and there is just so much happening that I don't know where to go from here or what to do now.

Emotionally I feel overwhelmed. I feel weak. I feel tired. I feel scared. I feel beat down. I feel empty.

I know that is a lot for one person to express, but I don't know how else to describe what it is I am feeling at this time. I just feel like I have been battling for so long and I thought there would be an end to this battle. Some sort of victory or resolution, but there just seems to be another battle brewing over the hill every time I think I am finally almost done...

Yesterday as I was walking out to my car I spilled my entire bottle of water in my purse and on my - in an attempt to prevent this I ended up spilling my oatmeal on myself as well. I had to go back inside my apartment and change. Then i had to dump all the stuff out of my purse in my car floor and try to get it to dry before I got to work. When I got to work and was getting out of the car, I caught my toes on the door side cup holder and jammed them while the guy in his car next to me laughed. Then I went on a break to DQ to get ice cream and the guy didn't give me a lid for my blizzard (i should have known better) and the blizzard spilled all in the cup holder center console. Then when I was trying to walk back in the building it was like a random wind tunnel forced the doors closed because I was tugging and tugging on the doors to open and it took all my brute strength to open the front doors to the building. And that was just yesterdays mishaps...

So here I sit on my couch in pain ... giving myself a pep talk mentally for my next move. I know that I have to get to bed soon because I have a lot day ahead of me tomorrow. I know that I have to work all day and it's going to be trying on me physically and mentally. I know that I will be hurting at the end of the day and I am trying to prepare myself for all of that now.

It's really difficult to think that I am a very young 27... and I am talking about preparing myself for a long workday full of pain because my body doesn't function the way that it should and the doctors don't really know why. Really all of the questions and lack of answers is adding to my battle. I shouldn't need a pep talk to get off the couch, out of bed, off to work, or to walk up and down the stairs. These things should just happen, they shouldn't be difficult for me. But then I just have to remind myself that is the "old self" talking and this is the "new self". This is what life is like now and these are the battles I must face. Some day this might be better, someday there might be answers, there may be treatment plans or whatnot, but today there is not and it is just this way.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tied to the past

There is something for everyone that ties us to a moment (or more than one for that matter) in our past. What ties you to your past? What keeps you from moving forward? What keeps you from moving on?


I wonder sometimes if I am still tied to my past. I know there are moments in my past that I am tied to - moments that are pivotal in my life that I will never forget. But the question I must ask myself: are these moments keeping me from moving forward and moving on? Are these moments keeping me from healing? 

It takes time, counseling and healing, and I know that I have healed wounds, but there are scars left behind and healing really is a never ending battle. 

I know that when I was raised as a child, I grew up learning all the right values and morals. I knew that I was a good kid. I knew right from wrong. How to make a decision on my own. I knew how a man should treat a woman. I knew what were the right things to say and do when the time came. But, when you really get put into a situation, or pushed into a corner, you never really know how that situation is going to look. Nobody can imagine how any situation is going to look because nobody can see the future, all we can do is hope that the lessons that have learned and the morals that have instilled will be enough. 

Now, when life happens, and the right decisions aren't made and we choose the wrong path ... what happens then. Because all our life we have been told: don't do this, don't do that, you need to do what's right, don't do what we did, you know what's right and wrong... we are given mixed messages and we aren't told what to actually do. We aren't given direction. We aren't told what to do when something goes wrong or when we make that wrong decision. There is nobody to talk to and there is nobody to share with when you feel like you have done something wrong or screwed up. 

This is where the problem begins to spiral ... no matter how you were raised, no matter the values you had instilled in you, no matter the situation you are in or were in... at this point you feel devalued, demoralized, and you feel there is no way to come back from this. You cannot be the person you were before. You cannot come back from what you have done. 

So ... you are tied to your past and move forward continuing down that same dark path - spiraling down - further and further. What does it matter what else you do wrong? What does it matter what other things you do? What does it matter how much more you hurt yourself? You are already damaged goods. You are already hurt and you are not good for anyone else anymore.... you are not even good for yourself.

Now... how do you come back from that? How do you even recover? How do you heal?

At what point do you feel valuable again? At what point can you say you have healed? When are you whole? When do you feel free from the darkness? Free from the past and no longer tied down?

So many questions and very few answers. I know this feeling very well. So often in my life I have asked questions and very infrequently have I received the answers to those questions. It is a never ending battle I feel and I know that some day all will make sense. It may be the day when I am in heaven standing and starring down at all of this and seeing how it all weaves together - but it may be sooner. I don't know. All I know is that there is a plan for me and I have to continue on that path. I know that I am tethered to my past, but I am in the process of breaking free from the ties that bind me to my past.

For me - counseling was a large part of laying the foundations for coping skills. Writing has always been a huge mechanism for me as far as healing goes as well. Sharing my story has been the hardest, but the most rewarding and I have also found the most healing. I feel that when I have been able to help someone else I have been able to help myself. Over the last year or so especially, I have seen a significant change in myself. We are talking about a progressive change over the last 12-18 months when one of my most pivotal moments happened 10 years ago.

Healing takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day and scars never go away. This is something that you have to know and live with. Your past will always be there no matter what. There is a difference between it existing and it consuming you. Break free from that that binds you to your past and work toward healing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Living the life

The diamonds and pearls 
Cling to my skin 
Like the artwork and paint
Plaster the walls
Oh the facade 

Let's not start with the help
The pool boy 
Just there to look pretty
The maid
Just there to keep it not dirty
The trainer
He is surely there to keep me
Oh the facade

What is this life that everyone yearns for
What is this life everyone longs to live
Is it one of endless pleasure
One of no worries or pain 
Do they not realize money cannot buy love
Money isn't everything 

Is this not enough for some? 
The facade must continue
Faces painted on like masks every day
We must pretend we are happy 
We must pretend we are free
We must sink our sorrows into out money
Then we will be free

What a sad life to live 
No wonder so many don't survive 
I would rather be poor 
I would rather truly be free

Can I give up the diamond
Give up the pearls
Donate the artwork
In plaster the walls 

I don't want the pool boy
The maids or the trainer
I don't want this sorrow filled life
I want freedom and I don't care about being lamer

I want freedom and riches that others cannot describe 
I want love and life lived
I want memories not tarnished
I don't want unnecessary worries or fears 

This life I want is freedom and love 
What life do you long for? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Future ..


What do you think of when you think of the future? Is it pleasant? Scary? Horrifying? Exciting? Nerve-wracking? Fun? Enjoyable? What are the descriptive words that you can use to fill in those blanks?

For some people that can be all of the above? It just depends on which area of life you begin to talk about? Even for some they may feel all of those emotions in one area of life.

Kids for example: We can all be extremely excited and overjoyed for our children. Nervous too see how quickly they grow and how they will enter that scary world. So much fun to participate in life with them and enjoy all the fun aspects of growing up, but horrified to find out how they will defy us and deceive us.

Careers: One day you may be on top of the world, with a company for many years, but the next day you come in to your job and there is a mass meeting followed by a mass lay off. Not even a one-on-one with the boss or an explanation or warning. What a let down, you feel so robbed. The words aren't even there, just the overflowing emotions you don't even know what to do with. Now you have to go home and tell your husband or wife that you no longer have that stability that you once had and you have to start at square one and you are already in the second half or third quarter of your life - where do you go from here?

Family: This is ever changing, ever developing. You are born into a biological family that you do not choose, but are woven together with for eternity. Then throughout life you add to your family by weaving on new members. Some are friends so near and dear to your heart that you could not live without them. Others are new family members gained by others getting married or having children. Then there is that special moment in your life when you get to marry or have children and grow your own family. There is the additional family you gain by adding the in-laws and extended family as well. Ever changing, ever growing.

Finances: Planning, saving, spending, debt to credit ratio, retirement, etc. All of these terms we hear so often and we all know that if we don't save we won't ever be able to retire but we spend, spend, spend and live for the now instead of saving for our futures. Why? We end up working ourselves to death and forcing our bodies into retirement literally because we cannot function anymore, yet we cannot afford to live on our own either. Then we are forced to place our woes and livelihood on our children and they have to take care of us and suffer financially because they cannot afford to provide for their families and parents as well. Vicious cycle.

So what do our futures look like? Are they exciting? Are they planned? Are they liberating? Are they scary? Are they reckless? Are they terrifying? Are they nerve-wracking or exciting?

I know that we can never know what the future holds - but we can plan for what we think we are being called to do and we can prepare for that. So what does your future hold? What are you planning for?

Are you planning? Why aren't you planning? How can you start planning? Let's start planning!

Next month I am going to start planning for my future. This is going to be tough for me but it's going to be a challenge. One thing I have to do for my future is save for when I student teach. I won't be able to work for 5 months or at least work full time and that is a scary concept because that means I need to save around $8000 in order to take the time off work and life the same way I live now. Can you believe that?! That's insane!!! Which means, between now and then I have a lot of saving to do, a lot of self control to contain me, and a lot of non spending to do.... o boy. For those of you who know me this will be a huge challenge.

So .... for those of you who are up for the challenge - I challenge you to start planning for your future. Whatever you think that future is supposed to hold or look like and whatever you think that challenge is.

chal·lenge  (chlnj)
n.

A test of one's abilities

That means... Do not pick something that will be easy for you or that will not challenge you or test your ability. Be aggressive and make is something that will be a risk or a sacrifice. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

what matters?

I saw the new apple commercial and it was slightly inspirational. I just wonder ... what matters to you? what inspires you?

This is it - This is what matters - the experience - how it makes you feel - will it make life better? does it deserve to exist? spend a lot of time on a few great things. enhance life. rarely look at it, but always feel it. make it your signature. make it mean everything.

Do  we do this? Do we commemorate the moments that we need to preserve? Do we focus on the things that inspire us? Do we spend time on what is important to us? We should! If we are not? Then, what are we doing instead?

There are so many things that matter to me but I know that I do not have time for them all. I do not have the energy to spend commemorating every moment that matters. I do not have the time to focus on everything that inspires me. I do not have the desire to follow through on everything that is important to me. I know this is not the right answer, but I also know that I have to decide what is on the top of the list and what is on the bottom.

When I am inspired in the kitchen I love technology and how it helps me in the baking and cooking process. Because I don't know how many time I have been saved when I was missing an ingredient and had to figure out how to substitute. Awesome... I love google! lol.

Also - when I have a thought or an idea I have to write it down... if I don't I loose it. This is were I dislike technology sometimes, because if you do not save it right then you loose the whole thing and you can never write the same thing twice.

I have all these awesome teaching ideas that come into my head all the time just randomly, but teaching is so far away... that is ... if I teach. I know that I will complete my degree so that I have finished, but I wonder if I will actually teach when all is said and done. I know that I make more money now than I will as a teacher and that is so disheartening, but it is the truth. But I am passionate about education in general. I have decided that as long as I can be in some sort of educational field in general then I would be satisfied, even if that was in my current field. We will have to see how all that works out I guess. Student teaching will come between now and then and that is an entire semester of not working.... eek! Lets see how that all pans out!

But then we come back to what matters.... what matters to me is just this.... writing. I think about a life full of writing every day - all day. Nothing else. Just sitting in a cafe, on a beach, at a pool, near a window, in a house, watching snow fall, or whatever a normal person would be doing... just doing all of that and writing. If I could write every day and make enough money to survive and pay my bills, then I would do nothing else. Can you even imagine that?

Imagine the one thing that you would love to do every day all day long... now imagine if you could make money doing that and actually do that for a living. Something you love and are fully passionate about. Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone could do what they actually loved doing?

I know... I know.. then the jobs that needed to get done wouldn't get done. Nobody would collect the garbage, mow the lawns, unclog the sewers, etc... but.... I'm sure those jobs make lots of money! lol....

I don't know - Just think about what matters to you.


This is it - This is what matters - the experience - how it makes you feel - will it make life better? does it deserve to exist? spend a lot of time on a few great things. enhance life. rarely look at it, but always feel it. make it your signature. make it mean everything.

This is what matters!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Man

My man in my life has always loved me an been dependable. He's always been a part of my life and I'm blessed to say he is still around. He the man in my life that I have leaned on since the beginning - he taught me to dance, to ride a bike, to make a home made pizza - he had the patience of a million men wrapped in one. This man is my dad - and I celebrate him every day but we get to really celebrate him even more on Father's Day! 

My dad has been through so much throughout his life and it has only made him such a stronger and wiser man. I appreciate all the wisdom and love he spreads onto me. There are many things my dad has taught me but some of the most important are:

1. My heart is the wellspring of my soul
2. I am beautiful
3. Never let anyone steal my joy
4. God is the most important man I will ever need in my life
5. Family will always be there no matter what. Even when you don't want to - you do - because that's what family is for
6. I will always be loved
7. Prayer is powerful

There is a precious memory I have with my dad - daddy daughter dance - Whitney Houston's I will always love you. When I was a little girl we would go to these dances and we would dance the night away but no matter where we were and no matter what we were doing when this song came on we always went to the dance floor. I would dance on his shoe and he would twirl me around. 

On my wedding day for the daddy daughter dance I played that song or him. We danced around and he twirled me around. This was an even more precious moment. 

 
This moment he was celebrating me but Father's Day I get to celebrate him. 

I love him for who he is and all that he has given me and bestowed upon me!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Take a STAND

STAND for what you believe in... whatever that may be because it means something to you and that should mean something. Standing for what you believe also speaks to your character, who you are as a person, your personality, loyalty, trustworthiness, etc. Standing up for what you believe in also shares a piece of you with those around you. You are able to share what you believe with the people near and dear to you without having to preach anything onto them or make them necessarily feel directly defensive.

Today I was told a story of a man who took a stand - one that was diplomatic, defensive, supportive, and filled with passion. He literally stood to his feet to place a hand of comfort on a family friend in order to tell her something she needed to hear dearly. Something she needed to hear from someone other than her friend, family, or support system. To tell her she had done nothing wrong. To tell her exactly what she needed in that moment to keep her going in order for her to heal.

There are moments in our lives when we need to take a stand. Sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorically, but generally they always involve us and others. Most of the time we all chicken out because we are too fearful of what other think of us, or how they will judge us if we take that stand. We need to stop being so worrisome of others judgmental minds and be more worrisome of our conscious minds when we know the guilt will creep in later on if we do not act in the now.

There are many moments in my life that I can look back on that I know I should have taken a stand. I should have made a statement regarding what I believed, spoken truth into someone's life, spread the word, or shared my story.... but instead I stayed quiet.

SILENCE IS FEAR

FEAR IS SATAN WINNING

Why do we allow this? Fear cannot rule our lives? Fear cannot rule our hearts? We must not allow fear to play a role in the decisions we make. The other day I was on the highway driving toward the city of Chicago and I saw a billboard that read:

EVERY DAY DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU.

Huh... I thought. This was brilliant because it is perfect. We all need this challenge. Not to do something that is risky or that will risk our life, but that is scary to us or challenging. Something that we allow fear to rule in our life currently, but we need to overcome.

So, my challenge to you is...

Don't let FEAR control you.
Take a STAND.
Do  something that SCARES you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The way the cookie crumbles....

Sadness overwhelms my heart spilling into my soul tonight. I cannot even begin to explain this depth of emotions I am faced with. A dear friend of mine tonight is faced with a devastating experience that brings memories surfacing that I have done well keeping buried below. Tonight the tipping point has been reach and my heart overflows. She will give birth to her baby, but she isn't far enough along to get a birth certificate from the hospital. Even though she can name her baby, hold her baby, and make all these other decisions for and about her baby... the hospital does not rule the baby far enough along to give an official birth certificate.

I am broken hearted.

Though I have faced similar situations, I have never had to face labor to hold a still child that I can look down on and know I will never be able to look upon again. It is moments like this that I feel there was a reason my miscarriages happened so early on that I was not faced with that type of devastation or decision making on my own.

My first time I was young - all I remember was sickness, pain, and red.... lots and lots of red.... I had thought this would be a good thing. Something or someone who would save me from the devastation I was already facing, but then I realized that this baby would only bring me more devastation because (s)he would only be a memory. I never got to hold my baby, wonder what life would be like, plan baby showers, names, futures... but I also didn't have anyone to help me do all of this and I would have been alone.

Another time I thought it was a mistake. I didn't even realize I had been pregnant but again there were the same symptoms - sickness, pain, and red... lots of red... It was all confirmed at the hospital yet again... except this time I had a phone call to make. It was Christmas time and I didn't have any desire to even have these emotions or be forced to make this call. But ... I did. At first he didn't know what to say, but then he thought about the idea of being a dad. We talked about what life would have looked like if we'd had a child together, gotten married, lived together etc. It was a good, but sad conversation. I know that after it sunk in he was devastated too. The weekend after I was at his place just hanging out and all of a sudden there was the sound of a baby crying that came onto the tv.... I couldn't handle it. I started bawling. All I could think about was that I would never hear my baby cry. I would never be able to comfort my baby. He just held me and was my shoulder to cry on. He comforted me and stayed with me through this tough time. We bonded over this experience more than any bond I have formed with any other man .... ever.

It was not too long after this that I discovered from the doctors that I was not able to have children. Basically, the more miscarriages a person has, the less likely it is for them to actually go full term. Also, I have an auto immune deficiency disorder that causes my body to treat a baby as an enemy and will continually cause a miscarriage. If that isn't enough, there is a blood clotting issue that affects a growing child, myself, and child birth. If I did miraculously carry a child full term, it would be extremely high risk and it would be likely that either myself or the baby would die during childbirth.

How can you possibly hear this news as such a young woman when all your life to this point you have thought of nothing but being a mother and raising your children. Now I will never have this chance. I will never get that opportunity to grow life inside of me, feel my baby kick, go through the pains of childbirth, have that joyful experience of hearing my baby's first cry, holding my child against myself .... An experience that many people take for granted, but those who will never get it understand the value.

But, this is just the way the cookie crumbles. People can tell you all day long that things happen for a reason and I can only hope to agree. I have to believe there is a reason why my babies did not live and why my friend's baby did not live. I have to just pray because sometimes there is nothing else to do.... There is nothing else that can get you through. The more often bad things happen, the more often I realize we are not in control ... of anything... not even the way the cookie is crumbling. We can try to catch it, try to clean it up, try to keep it off the floor, but we cannot control it and we cannot keep it from happening.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Awkward

I bet none of us can fit all the awkward moments we have faced in our lives on 1 or even 2 hands.... lol. I laugh because now that I look back on most of mine, they were trivial and need not be awkward at all, but I was just embarrassed half the time that people saw me. It was as if there were times when I had a hole through my center and everyone could see right through me. As if my father as a glass maker and I was made of glass. Can you imagine the feeling? That moment when you look at their faces, their eyes catching yours, and you realize their jaws are dropping and they are bursting into laughter ... at you?!

In high school there was a time when an upper class-man decided to play a trick on me. He thought it would be funny to de-pants me in the middle of the senior hallway when everyone was heading to lunch. I didn't realize what was happening until it was too late. He came up behind me - I obviously didn't see it happening. Fortunately that day it was as if I had been warned in advance, because for reasons unknown to me, that morning I had put on an extra layer... I was wearing sweats because I wasn't feeling the best, and I had thrown on a pair of shorts underneath for extra measure. (I always hated it when the girls wearing sweats leaned forward in their desks and I could see more than I wanted to.) So I was the one who wore three layers when I decided on sweats. Still, it was humiliating. I stood there in the middle of the hallway, mortified. My sweats around my ankles, teachers running toward me and the culprit running in the other direction. I still do not know who it was, other than the counselor telling me "that upper class man will get the justice he deserves"... All I know is that feeling.... even more humiliating was being frozen still and having a teacher pull my pants back up for me because I could not move. 

Always in high school I was the girl that clung to the walls, trying to stay out of everyone's way and just make it to my next class on time. I didn't care if I was in the classroom early and didn't have someone to hang outside the door with until the bell rang. I just wanted to be free of the possibility of that happening again. I started wearing overalls to school - a lot! I didn't even want there to be an instance where I left myself vulnerable like prey for the hawks. I was always watching my back and always making sure I didn't leave myself out in the open for that type of a situation again. 

Obviously we all know that we can never prevent the actions of another because that is completely unpredictable - and most of the time unfathomable. But, we can learn from our past and move forward. The one thing I did not learn from that experience at the time was that nobody would remember it a week later. That is the thing about high school or even childhood. I bet that nobody that knows me even knows about that experience or even remembers it, but I will never forget it. Those moments have been imbedded in my memory forever. 

We have all faced awkward moments, most of us have them weekly if not daily :) The most important thing to keep in mind is that often those moments are only awkward for us, or we are the only one that clings to them. Everyone else has moved on or is still wondering if you saw the spinach in their teeth yesterday when they smiled, or smelt the onion on their breath after lunch, or noticed they had ripped their pants.... (that happened to a frame rep in our office once - I bet that was an awkward moment for him when we told him that we could see his underwear... eek! but we didn't want him to go to another account before he changed his pants...)

I know that I am 27 and there are people who read this who are younger and some older, but we all can relate. This is something that I know we all face and THIS is what my next book is going to be about... I have decided that I am going to attempt to compile all the best awkward moments together in one book. It's the one that will make you cry, gasp, and laugh! Everyone can read and say... I've been there... or ... oh boy - I'm glad this never happened to me... or ... wow! I never knew anyone else had been through that.... or... gosh! that was so silly/stupid/hilarious! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sacrifice

What does it mean to sacrifice? To surrender or offer something? When you talk about sacrificing something for someone else then often that is referred to as a self sacrifice ...


self-sac·ri·fice (slfskr-fs)
n.Sacrifice of one's personal interests or well-being for the sake of others or for a cause.

Basically this is the act of putting another's needs or wants before your own - offering or surrendering something to someone that takes great effort to loose. It's taking compromise to a new level. There is no even ground- one person gains and another person looses. The person that gains doesn't always view it as gain, it's merely less loss than the other party involved. 

How do you measure sacrifice? Or loss? How do you decide who sacrifices more? Who suffers a greater loss? Is there a formula? Is there a good way? A tactful way? Some way where both parties won't end up bitter and full of regret? I wonder?!

Because when I think of the word sacrifice - I think of a selfless love - a love that is so self-less that that person doesn't even realize what they have less of because they are not looking at themselves, but rather the gain of their loved ones. 

Then I wonder... Is anyone capable of such selfless love? Such love for another that they would not consider their own loss, their own risk, their own sacrifice? 

One who is unwilling to sacrifice so greatly does not make them a selfish person, it merely makes them a human being. Someone who is satisfied by the sustainability of what is- someone who has given everything and now just wants some time to receive and just be, someone who is longing for the one who will sacrifice for her the way she has sacrificed for him. 

Sacrifice often happens in relationships - actually - it often is a topic broached, but rarely one that selflessly happens - because as I stated before, we all know how difficult this is. I wonder how the one who created everything, who had the power to bring life with words - how he sacrificed so greatly and how we cannot sacrifice so little? 

Expectations & Disappointment

I'm trying to sleep and my mind just won't shut off - so I'm blogging from my phone in bed.... I know - I just can't ever turn my mind off until I write it down and getting up for pen and paper right now just wouldn't suffice.

We all have expectations - whether it is of ourselves: our lives, our futures, our careers or of other people: our family, friends, loved ones, coworkers, etc.

We all get sad, let down, displeased, frustrated or dissapointed even. And then the realization sets in that either we should have known the Dissapointment was coming all along and were blinding ourselves to it or we now know that our expectations were set too high.

Is it too much to expect things of people? Should we not wish for the best and hope that we and others can live up to the expectations we and others set for us? I have always been that person that strived to live up to expectations, not necessarily a people pleasure because my expectations for myself were generally higher than the ones others set for me.

I wonder sometimes if I set too high of expectations for others because of the expectations I set for myself - am I asking or expecting too much? Am I wanting something that others cannot pro IDE- something that is not possoble for then to give?

Sometimes life is stressful and worrisome because I expect so much from myself that I know I put a lot of pressure on me - I wonder the level of pressure I put on others.

People have always told me I have a strong personality - I wonder if that is a compliment or their way of saying I come off to strong and need to time it down? I always wonder if that is a coping mechanism or if that strong personality is a gift that will someday get me somewhere.

This song from the movie Sister Act 2 just came into my mind - where they sing - if you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you've gotta wake up and pay attention....

I feel like sometimes in life if we are not awake and paying attention - we will miss out on being that person we are meant to be, being with the person we are meant to be with, going where we are meant to go, missing out on discovering all the adventures and journeys that have been laid out before us....

We all have expectations and we all face disappointments - but eventually we have to take the blinders off and decide whether this disappointment is something we knew and should have seen coming - or whether our expectations are unrealistic and we need to re-evaluate. Either way changes and likely sacrifices have to happen and change is not easy - we all know this - and neither are sacrifices!

But the question is... Is it worth it?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Purge

To purge: to make free of something unwanted; to get rid of

Sometimes in our lives there are things that we need to purge. Somedays those are material objects and other days those are emotions, memories, people, etc.

I need to purge:






I have so many things I need to rid myself of. I have books, dvds, mark kay product, cds, a wedding dress, a wedding band, etc. Stuff I haven't used in over a year. It is that stuff that you cannot let go, or the things you cannot get rid of, those are the ones that stick with you for the longest time. 

Sometimes the stuff that sticks with you the longest are the things that you have the most good memories attached to... other times they are the things you want to get rid of the most!I struggle with purging... I am really good at getting rid of things in my apartment, all the material things that I don't use within a year, often I just purge them - I free myself of them either by donating or selling. But the things that you cannot get rid of are the memories, the experiences, etc... 

When I think of purging my life, I think of purging myself of those memories and experiences, but then I know that my past has shaped me into the person I am today. I had an interesting conversation today with a coworker - we talked about the past - including accidents, troubles, trials, etc. I am always reminded that I have a story to tell and there is a reason why I have been through the war... I have survived and made it through to the other side. I know there are others out there that are able to relate and there is something about it that makes it easier for me to expose myself and share that story I have tried so hard for so long to purge. 

My past is worth more, my experiences are more valuable, they have made me who I am - 

I am more valuable... 

So, I will not purge my past... I will only keep posting it... because I know some day this is all going to make sense. All the reasons why I experienced all those things will come to light and the puzzle pieces will all fit together so seamlessly. That day I look forward to.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Healing

There are always good days and bad days... sometimes there are more bad in a row than good, but the key is to remember the good and know that they will come again.

Healing is a long road - a never ending journey that we are all on at some point in our life. Whether it be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc... we all know that healing is essential to living a full life. So many around us are broken, in pieces and many are falling apart before our eyes and we do not even realize it. The process of healing is a rigorous one, but I believe you must first admit there is something to heal. You have to know what it is you are treating before you can address the wound. Second, give yourself props! You have faced the demon inside of you and you are willing to work through it. Remind yourself you are strong enough! You are a survivor! Third, find someone you can trust that you are able to talk to openly without a filter. Someone you do not fear judgement from or who you will not be ashamed of telling anything to. Next, it is always good to remind yourself you are not alone in this fight for healing yourself. Find a support group, or a recovery group, and meet other people who can support you who have faced similar situations.

Rome was not built in a day - healing will not happen over night. You must know this is a long journey and it will not be easy. Healing can be such a roller coaster of emotions - good days and bad days. This will last forever. There are days when I am up and days when I am down. Sometimes there are seconds that something triggers me and I am sent right back to that very moment. I would say that I have faced my situation, I have healed, but I will always be healing. I will always be piecing myself back together and that is just another part of the growth and healing process.

Sharing my story has been a large part of that healing. I am looking forward to sharing more of my story. I am starting book 2. But I really need ideas on how to promote book 1. I have finished it and have self published. I know that it's on Kindle - which has an app that can be downloaded onto any smart phone device, ipad, laptop/desktop computer, etc. Now I just have to figure out how to get people to buy it and read it!

http://www.amazon.com/Exposed-Memoir-Lost-Days-ebook/dp/B00D4JZ7FM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370407679&sr=1-1&keywords=Exposed%3A+a+memoir+of+lost+days

So - If you enjoy reading what I have to say then read that too.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bottom of the bottle empathy

Last night I met some new people. It was fun, interesting and I had a few bonding experiences. We went to a local bar/club and had the opportunity to get to know each other. After everyone had reached the bottom of many bottles and many hours had passed, the night finally ended around 2am.

I faced the get to know you questions, the exposure to the craziness, the bonding and getting personal, lots of girl talk, and I survived it all.... it was good and I had fun with it all. We talked about how I came to be there, about my job now, my future career, about my book and what it was about, etc. The most memorable part of the night was the car ride with V squared. At one point one of the women turned around and shared with me that she had faced something similar to what I had been through in high school. We had an awesome conversation about it and I was able to shed some light for her as well as share some advice as far as healing and moving forward.

This was the first time I really had the opportunity to talk about my book and really reach out to someone who has been through a similar situation. The first time I was able to give advice or share experiential wisdom. I know I do not know everything and every situation is not the same, but I really did feel like I made a connection there and it makes a difference.

My entire passion for writing is sharing my experiences. I know that when I was going through all of them I felt so alone. There wasn't anyone out there who knew what I was going through, who would talk about it, or share their story with me in order to empathize. I know I cannot reach everyone, but the ones I do reach, I want them to know that they are not alone.

I know that when people drink they become more emotional and their filters disappear. I may not have learned what I learned or had the opportunity to share my experience or understanding if the bottom of the bottle hadn't been reached a few times. Would she have shared? Trusted me with her experience? Been able to speak about it out loud?

Then I start to wonder.... I know that when I was there in that moment years ago it took a lot for me to share or even talk about anything... I never spoke about most of the experiences I faced because I felt so alone and I didn't know there were others out there who shared the same thoughts, emotions, experiences, etc. I know there were many times I reached the bottom of a bottom or many bottles before I would open up and share anything with anyone. This breaks my heart, but it is the truth. I know that I have personally struggled with this and there are others who struggle as well.

My goal is to open honest dialogue about the experiences we face. I want people to talk about it. I want women and men to know they are not alone, there is a safe place to have a conversation and people will not judge you about what you have been through. The other thing I want survivors to know is that it is not their fault. There is no reason anyone should ever force you to do something you do not want to do in anyway. No means no, and if you are too inebriated to say no, then that means no as well. Any situation where someone is taking advantage of another is a bad situation and should not be happening.

Speak! I know that I did not back then and a part of me regrets it because although it would have been a tough road and trying to endure all of that, the man that caused me all that pain and suffering for years, the man that will be in my memories and nightmares forever, the man that took so much from me would have faced the law and been forced to suffer the consequences of his actions. I know that in my situation he ran off, moved away and I was not present to see what happened after he left, but I know there is one thing that I have always clung to throughout my life... that is that God will take care of it...

Romans 12:19 (The Message) Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Publishing Small or Large

So I know I have been talking a lot about the options there are for publishing and what I would do moving forward. I have done a significant amount of research and have been really reviewing my options.

Basically everyone says to not pay anyone if you don't have to. It's the beginning and costs will come in the future, but the beginning is for getting the work and my name out there - I have to gain a following of readers and people who enjoy reading what I have to say and want more of it.

Small publishing firms are the ones that I really need to focus on and networking. I know it will take time and energy. Doing this on my own will take a lot of effort, but if all my readers share my work then it will really have the greatest effect, because then my work will go further than I could bring it on my own.

Also - The major publishers are really only there for established authors and it will take a while to get there. I have a few more books under my belt to write.

I decided to self publish. Amazon and Kindle are the place where you can find it. I am going to try that first, and while I am working on that, I will try marketing my work to other people as well as start working on the next story.

http://www.amazon.com/Exposed-Memoir-Lost-Days-ebook/dp/B00D4JZ7FM/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370190703&sr=1-2&keywords=exposed%3A+a+memoir

I am super excited about this. I think that this is the start to something really good. I cannot wait to see what will come of this and how this will turn into something new. Also ... .Just wait for the next book.... I have so many ideas and different books to write. Let's see what comes out next!