Tuesday, March 24, 2015

From Night to Day

No news is good news, right?  I mean, I haven't been blogging daily like I'm used to, and I genuinely believe it's because for the first time in SOOOOOO long, I am happy, content, and feel like a completely different person.  My blog is my outlet to share my thoughts and feelings, and that basically meant a place to let out stress, sadness, or that melancholy place I was trapped in.  But, now, things are so different.  I feel different.

The sad part is, I have so much to write about, so much to share, but I have been doing that in my other place... my secret place... because, well, some things have to be left unsaid.  But, what I can say is that the feeling of happiness I have right now can only be described as pure bliss.  It's like all of my dreams are coming true over night, and I'm not the same person I was a week ago.

For the first time since moving in to my house, I feel at home.  I feel comfortable and happy.  There are so many changes that have taken place in the matter of a few days, it's unbelievable.  Like I blogged about last time, the kids are totally different and I can feel the love radiating from the house.  I'm in a whirlwind of emotions right now, but definitely not the emotions I thought I'd be dealing with.  They are all extremely wonderful, happy emotions.

I'm currently sitting in a state of mind I've been dreaming about for a long time.  That place where the sun always shines.  The place where there is no sadness, no loneliness, and no upset.  I've dreamed about this for many, many years, and thought that this place only existed in my dreams.  But, it's real.  It exists.  I have been living it every day for the past five days.  And, I'm sure I'm caught up in a little slice of heaven.  I don't know how long the feelings will last, but each and every day they get stronger, better, and I feel like my world has gone from night to day.  The emptiness is gone, the sadness is gone, and the worry is gone.

I know that not every day will be like this, but I also know that my future has a chance of being what I always wanted it to be.  I have a chance to make this the best time of my life.  I have the one thing that has been missing for so long, and now that I have it I never, EVER want to let it go.  I am complete, we are complete.  The kids and I have filled the hole that had been getting bigger by the second.

My house is no longer a house, it is our home.  We are a family.  There is love and happiness filling every inch.  And this is just the beginning.  I know in my heart that it's only going to keep getting better.  Life is changing, we are changing, and all for the better.  For so long, I thought I was destined to be the person that helped everyone else while I sat in the corner screaming for my own help.  But, now I've finally gotten the one and only thing I've ever really wanted but could never have.

I don't know how often I'll be blogging, cause honestly it's really hard for me to write when I'm not experiencing some kind of pain.  My writing was always fueled by some form of stress, and right now there isn't any.  Which I don't think I've been able to say for...well... ever, really.  Who doesn't have some kind of stress?  And of course there's always some form of stress that's lurking around every corner, but I feel like I can pretty much take on the world at the moment.

So, that's pretty much all I've got to say right now.

Life is good... no it's great.  And I'm looking forward to many, many more happy days ahead.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adjusting to Change

Well, I've been gone the past few days because there's been a lot going on in my world.  The biggest thing is the fact that S has completely moved out.  He'd been staying here until he found somewhere else to live, and now he has and he's gone.  I hate to write about the personal details of our break-up, but I will say I'm glad that I can now move on and leave it behind.  I really wanted us to permanently end things on a good note, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case.  We've agreed to stay amicable for Jelly's sake, because that's important, but I don't see us remaining friends or anything like that.  Which is understandable, I suppose.

I hate to say it, but since he's been gone, my house has been a completely different place.  The kids are coming out of their rooms, laughing, joking around, and for the first time since we moved in, our house feels like a home.  There's no awkward atmosphere or tiptoeing around as to not to upset anyone.  And that's one of the biggest reasons I was ready to call it quits in the first place:  My kids deserve to be happy.  They should feel comfortable in their home, they should feel like they can sit and watch TV with me and talk to me at the same time without feeling uncomfortable.  That didn't happen before.  They kept themselves hidden away because they could sense something wasn't right, and it was easier for them to try and avoid it than pretend like nothing was going on.

Friday night was probably, hands down, one of the best nights we've ever had in our home.  It was Butter's birthday and I wanted it to be a good night for him.  We grilled some burgers on the grill, the kids played outside, and we just hung out and had a good time.  We all settled in the living room after dinner to watch a movie together, and we all ended up falling asleep but it was a good time.  I felt like I was finally at home, and I know the kids felt the same way.

Yesterday, we spent most of the day lazing around the house.  Then, we all decided to go out for a while.  We went to an arcade place to play some video games.  The kids had a blast, and so did I.  It felt so good to go out and do something, together, as a family.  We grabbed some dinner at CiCi's, after, and then came home back to more lazing around and relaxing.

I know that life is going to be a lot different now.  There's going to be some financial struggles and stuff, but I also know that despite any struggles I may endure, the happiness that we can all feel will be worth it.  I know I'm not alone, and I have a great support network behind me cheering me on and rooting for me.  I can do this.  I deserve to be happy.  My kids deserve to be happy.  And there's no price I can put on our happiness.  I'd much rather be struggling a little and happy than unhappy with some extra money to spend.  And it's not like I won't be able to keep a roof over our head or food in our bellies.  All it means is that we won't have as much money to do all the things we used to do, and the kids are totally fine with that.  I'm totally fine with that.

Right now I feel ready to put the past behind me and start a new chapter of my life.  It's not an ending, but a beginning.  I have no idea what's in store for me or where my path may lead, but I feel like I'm on the right road.  Good things are happening.  I just have to take things one day at a time, stay positive, and remain focused on my future.

I know that there will be good days and there will be not so good days, but I truly believe the good will far outweigh the bad.  It's all about how I think, how I react, and how I deal with each situation as they come.  When I first bought this house, I had a vision of what I wanted our lives to be like.  And, that vision is finally coming to light.  This house can now be our home, we can now be a family.  That's not a dig at S, but a reflection on our relationship.  I thought a new house would fix our problems and make things better.  That was a stupid assumption.  But, now things are starting to fall in to place, and be like I wanted it to be.  I can't even describe the feelings I have in seeing my kids so happy.  Not happy that he's gone, but happy that the dark cloud looming over this house is gone.  They're not stupid, they know when something's not right.  They've sensed the atmosphere and lack of love that had been living in this house for far too long.  That wasn't S's fault, that was my fault.  For allowing it to continue as long as it did.

My kids have had a good life, but they've also had their share of unhappiness.  I've done everything in my power to shield them from my troubles, but kids know.  They always know when something isn't right.  But, Friday and yesterday, when I saw their smiles, heard their laughs, and looked in to their eyes, I saw comfort and relief.  I haven't been the only one suffering, despite how much I thought I was trying to keep that away from them.

I only have a couple of years left with Peanut and Butter, and I want them to be the best years of their lives.  I know that this is a rough transition for Jelly, and I know it will take some getting used to.  But, she will still have both of her parents.  That will never change.  She understands that just because we aren't together doesn't mean she has to be without either one of us.  We are both still there for her, love her, and plan to make sure that she is well taken care of during this transition time, and she'll understand soon enough why we did what we did.

My kids are the most important people in my life, and I will always do everything in my power to ensure their happiness.   I truly believe that happiness is in store for them.  We are going to be together.  We are going to be happy.  My kids have craved that for so long, and now they are going to truly understand what family is all about.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We Are Family!


I managed to get some sleep last night, after a horrible headache hit me about 8 last night.  I'm sure the headache came from only getting about an hour's sleep the night before, and it was my body's way of saying CLOSE YOUR EYES AND SLEEP, WOMAN!  So, I did.  And I slept really well.  No bad dreams, no waking up for no reason, just sleep.  And this morning, I feel much better.

I did have one dream that was actually pretty good.  I dreamt about having a family get-together at my house.  Everyone was hanging out by the pool.  All of the kids were playing, the adults were talking, and I remember looking in to the pool seeing my children in the pool enjoying a game of something with some of the guys, and they looked so happy.  It was one of those dreams that gave me the warm and fuzzy feelings.  One thing that I do remember about the dream is the fact that all the people at our family get-together weren't my blood family, but they are most definitely my family.

Here lately, I have been building strong relationships with Peanut's dad's family.  They were the people in my dream, enjoying the family get-together.  They have become a very important part of my life.  Daily, I talk to his aunt either through text or phone call.  We have become very good friends, and we have such a great relationship.  We can talk about anything and everything and find some humor in it.  We laugh and joke around together, and it's almost like having an older sister.  His mom calls me a couple of times a week, just to check in and see how I'm doing.  Just like a mom, really.  She asks about the kids, how school is going, how work is going, and we talk about what's going on in her neck of the woods.  Her phone calls can be quick 5 minute conversations, but it means so much to me that she takes time to call. His grandparents are just two of the sweetest people I know, and they have told me many times that I am now their granddaughter.  I love going to see them, and I love how comfortable they make me feel. I absolutely adore them.  His brother and sister-in-law open up their home to me when we visit and have always been so nice to me. His dad and step-mom are the same way.  And I could keep going on and on with this.

With everything that I've been going through lately, it's been so nice to know that I have a strong family support system behind me, and it's even more special being that they have absolutely NO obligation to me.  Sure, they are Peanut's blood family, but that doesn't require them to treat me the way they do.  OK, I am the mother of their family member, but just being nice would perfectly suffice.  But they have gone above and beyond to make me feel like I'm also a part of the family... and I don't think they realize how important that's been for me.  

Not having a relationship with my parents during all of this turmoil definitely took it's toll on me in the beginning.  When S and I first broke up, I felt so alone.  Who could I turn to?  Who could I talk to?  But, I didn't have to worry about that for long.  I was absolutely flooded with support and comfort during my time of need by people that didn't have to do what they've done for me, yet they did.  Willingly.  Openly.  No strings, no rhyme or reason except for the fact that it speaks volumes to what amazing people they are.  

I know how important it is to have a good relationship with an ex's family.  I mean, it's good to keep an open relationship with family so that the kids don't suffer.  But, every single person in that family knows me well enough to know that it wouldn't matter how they treated me, I'd never stop Peanut from having anything to do with them.  Yet, even knowing that, they still treat me as if I'm part of the family anyway.  

The dream I had last night definitely opened up my eyes to some of the blessings I have.  I know that I never have to feel alone.  It has nothing to do with having people to talk to about my problems, it's not like that.  Our relationship isn't like that.  It's not about having people to lean on in my time of need, it's about having people that take away the need to have someone to lean on.  I don't talk to them about the bad situations that are going on in my life, I don't spill my problems on to their shoulders, and that's because they make the bad seem a whole lot less.  Just talking about my day, how the kids are doing, and hearing about how life is going for them is enough.  More than enough, really.  They take my mind off of some of the scary stuff I'm facing.  They are my support system without even knowing how much support they're giving me.

What I do know is family doesn't have to be about blood.  It's about the bonds and ties you make with people that care for you, and that you care for.  It's seeing how you're treated not during the good times of your life, but during the harder times.  And I know that I feel the way I do, as good as I do right now, because of all of these amazing people that have helped me so much without knowing it.  They have no idea how much their love has touched me, how important they are to me, and how important they have been in keeping me focused and whole.  

Sometimes we don't realize what we have staring us right in the face.  We don't understand the blessings we have in life.  We often focus on the bad, the negative, and the hard and overlook the good, the positive, and the supportive.  

I'm not sure if any of them read this, but if so, I want to say THANK YOU!  You have absolutely no idea the impact you've made on my life.  You probably have no idea how your simple gestures have helped me overcome some of the battles I'm facing.  You probably have no idea how important you've been to me.  And, it really means the world to me.

OK, sappy stuff over with... now time to get ready for work.

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Live to Fight Another Day

I'm up a little late this morning and having some trouble getting awake because I had a REALLY hard time falling asleep last night.  Well, scratch that, I didn't fall asleep last night at all.  I feel asleep sometime this morning, and it's was pretty darned close to the time I usually get up.  So, I already know it's going to be a long day.

It was, once again, another night full of tossing and turning because I couldn't shut off my brain and every time I closed my eyes, visions popped in to my head that I didn't want to see.  I'd just start to doze off, and BAM!  Bad dream.  I'd lay there for a while, and thoughts would zap at me keeping my eyes barricaded from closing.

This always happens to me when things are going really well.  

And see, you thought I was going to say something bad has happened or I'm feeling sad about something, huh?  Nope.  I'm feeling very happy, actually, and that's usually what brings on the thoughts and bad dreams, like my head is trying to tell me to remain cautious and not get too wrapped up in a few good days.  It's my defense mechanism.  It's not that I don't think I should be happy, or that I have to prepare for it not to last long, but my brain has this negative security system built in that I just can't seem to shut off.  The batteries are running out, and I don't have near as many problems as I used to with sleeping, but I'm ready for the whole system to die completely!!  

Last night was a really good night, up until the whole trying to go to sleep thing.  I was told some things that really gave me a big boost of motivation, and some stuff that eased my mind and told me that things really could work out OK.  I was told that one situation in particular that I have been dealing with was over, and that I didn't have to worry about it anymore.  That made me feel really good.  I've been waiting to hear those words, but didn't know if I'd ever hear them.  Of course, it's also one of those situations where I have to stay cautiously optimistic.  Situations have a bad habit of returning, even when you think they're over with.  Some situations don't know when to give up and walk away.  They don't know when to leave well enough alone and understand that it would be a whole lot easier if they just stayed away and not have to make me deal with them anymore.

But some situations never learn.  Thankfully, I know I'm strong enough to deal with them.  

I know that I am very underestimated by some people.  Heck, for a while, I underestimated myself.  I was full of doubt, worry, and fear.  I didn't know if I was cut out to tackle some of the battles that have come my way, but I'm still here, still standing.  I live to fight another day.  Nobody is going to tear me down, nobody is going to make me back away, and nobody is going to make me give up on my happiness.  It's going to be a fight to the death, I know, but the battles are getting a lot easier.  

What helps is the encouragement that I'm receiving for "hanging in there".  The fact that even though I get mad, upset, and frustrated sometimes, doesn't mean that I'm not able to handle stuff, it just means that I still care.  Once those feelings disappear, it's game over.  Because without the feelings, it means I don't care anymore.  I'm trying to get better about picking my battles more carefully.  Sometimes I overreact, get bent out of shape about the smallest little thing, but it's because I'm dealing with a lot.  Even though I'm feeling a lot happier, and feeling a lot more optimistic about my future, I still have little moments of weakness where I get a little deflated and tired.  I'm allowed to have mini-meltdowns every once in a while, though, I'm just happy they are a lot less frequent than they were a month ago.  I'm making progress.  I won't be perfect overnight, and that's something I just need to understand.

I am so ready and willing to stand strong and take on whatever is thrown my way.  I also know that I'm not alone in my battle.  I have the best person in my corner, keeping me grounded and giving me advice on how to fight.  And no one has better advice for fighting than the person in my corner.  I get to be that same person in reverse, and together we make one heck of a team.  Nobody can get between us, nobody can stop us.  I truly believe that.

Right now, though, I just need to wake myself up and focus on today.  I have to be very careful on days like this because I get a little overly sensitive.  It's going to be A-OK though, I know it. Gotta stay strong, gotta keep going... MUST. HAVE. COFFEE!!  

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Quality versus Quantity


It's Monday, and if it hadn't of been for all the snow we got, I'd be off work today.  But, I'm not because we have to make up all the snow days.  I did get to be off Friday, though, so I can't complain too much.  I had a great three day weekend, though, and got to spend it with the people I love.  

Friday I got to go with a friend and see some family, and I love spending time with them.  They may not be blood family, but they're family in my eyes.  They have always treated me like I'm part of the family, and I am a strong believer in the fact that you can never have too much family.  And right now, I need all the support I can get from people that care about me.  We spent most of the day chatting, and it was a good time.  Friday night, I spent the night with my friend and we sat up all night watching movies and talking.  It was such a great night, and it felt so great to just relax and have a good time.  My friend and I have both being going through some stuff, so it was nice to be there for each other.  For one night, we got to forget all of our troubles and act like a couple of teenagers at a slumber party.  

Saturday, my friend came home with me, and we spent the day at home with Peanut and Jelly.  Butter was at my parent's house for the weekend, so I missed him, but it was nice to spend some time with the girls.  I watched the girls and my friend play some video games, and we sat and watched a couple of movies.  It was so nice to kick back, snuggle up on the couch, and enjoy the time together.  When we're at home, Peanut hardly ever comes out of her room, so it was really nice for her to be out in the living room with us and enjoying some family time.  Family time is important to her, but with everything that's been going on, she's had a hard time feeling that.  This weekend, I felt like she felt comfortable for the first time in a while, and that made me very happy.  I know it had everything to do with who was here and who wasn't here.  She's felt the tension that's been at the house, and she doesn't like it.  But, Saturday, that tension was gone and she felt comfortable in her home.  She even fell asleep in the living room, which is something she hasn't done since we first moved in.  

Sunday, we relaxed at home for a while.  The weather was beautiful, so I spent a good majority of the morning and early afternoon sitting outside while Jelly skated or rode her bike in the yard.  Around 3PM, I took my friend home and then came home and was back outside for a while.  Peanut even came outside and played in the yard.  Again, something she hasn't done in a long time.  We stayed outside until it was time to eat dinner, and then we settled in for the night watching some TV.

This whole weekend made me really realize how important it is to spend time with the people that we love.  In the digital age where everything is about text messages and social media, I realized that I'll take physical interaction over digital interaction anytime.  I might not get a text message back from my friend for a while during the week, but when I think about the time we get to spend together I can't really complain.  We're always there for each other when we need each other, and that's what's important.  Knowing that means a lot more to me than whether or not I get a text message.  

The same can be said for phone calls.  I used to hate talking on the phone after text messages became popular.  But, here lately, it's been really nice to get a phone call from friends or family when they want to talk.  It's really nice when I get a phone call just to see how I'm doing or how my day is going.  It's nice to hear someone's voice rather than read what they have to say on a screen.  Text messages are nice, when I'm at work or in a situation where I can't talk, but I've decided I'll take quality interaction versus quantity interaction any day.  A day with someone I care about trumps receiving any amount of digital messages.  

This really goes hand in hand with the whole actions versus words situation.  I know I've been that person that got a little bent out of shape when I send a text message and don't receive an answer back for a while.  But, then when I think about the fact that a friend is willing to drop their plans to spend some time with me so we can hang out, that's a big deal.  That's an action that means a lot to me.  I hadn't made plans to spend the weekend hanging out with my friend, but we were both willing to drop whatever we had going on to be there for each other.  And it was fun.  I needed it.  We both needed it.  During the week, it's hard to do much because I'm working, so it's always nice to know that when I do get some free time, I can spend it with people I care about and that care for me.  

I feel pretty good this morning, and I know it's because I had a restful, fun weekend.  Things are starting to feel a little easier.  Even though I know there's dark days still in store for me, it's nice to have some sunshine in the midst of it all.  And the people that are there to bring that sunshine speaks volumes.  

And right now, it's time for me to get ready for work and begin my week.

Have a great day, everyone!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Questions Without Answers

Well, I just have to start out by saying that I've had a really good weekend.  I've been in a good mood since Friday morning, and I have really been doing what I said I would do in terms of paying attention to actions versus listening to words.  It has helped me a lot in staying calm, not stressing, and allowed me to enjoy myself and have a great time.

Sometimes, just spending time "chilling" is a great way to take a step back and analyze a bigger picture.  Everyone that knows me knows I'm a MAJOR over-thinker.  I over-analyze everything.  I dissect, tear apart, and try and break down everything that happens to me in order to learn from it or to try and figure out what it all means.

What ends up happening when I do stuff like that is coming up with questions.  Question after question after question.  The whats, whys, how comes, and what ifs pop in to my head like popcorn in a microwave.

What does this mean?
Why is this happening?
How come this is happening to me?
How come that never happens to me?
What if I'm taking this all wrong?

Constantly.  Over and over and over again.  And the worst part is, those are the questions that very seldom come with a clear or quick answer.

Trying to figure out what something means often ends with assumption.  I assume the worst or I assume the best, and more often than not, my assumptions are wrong.  I have made the mistake WAY too many times assuming what stuff means.  This goes back to the whole words versus actions thing.  I start to assume that I'm figuring out what stuff means, by something that's been said to me.  I start to act on my assumptions, and then I'm hit with a dose of reality because the actions that happen after don't match what I'm told.  That works in both good and bad ways.  I'm told words that hurt, brutal honesty actually, but the actions that follow after come with the most weird, satisfying, beautifully heartfelt actions.  I'm being given information that I don't really want to hear, but is necessary for me to have in order to understand the trust that's being put in to me.  I have to be able to take the good news with the bad news, I suppose.  Then I'm sitting there scratching my head right back at square one asking "What does this mean?"  I can't complain about being given ALL of the information.  But, I often wonder why I have to have it.  Is it better to have all the information, even the worst and most painful information, or is it better to be kept in the dark?

Trying to figure out why something is happening often ends up with me thinking I'm being punished for something or I'm being rewarded.  The whole karma thing.  I don't necessarily believe that there is bad karma, more along the lines of what goes around comes around.  When you put good out in to the world, it comes back to you.  When things don't go right, it's karma's way of saying that I messed up somehow and I need to figure out how to fix it.  Sometimes, things happen because I need to learn from them, figure out the root cause (what does this mean?), and that ends up leading to even more questions.  Trying to walk away from something that takes me right back to where I started is one of those situations.  That's why I picked the picture for today.  I have told myself so many times that something has happened to make me walk away, and then what I'm trying to walk away from ends up right back in front of me.  There's solid reasons for that, I truly believe it, and it's not because I'm not allowing myself to walk away... it's because when I'm walking away, what I'm walking away from always makes the journey back to me.  No matter how many different directions I try, no matter how far away I get, that one thing I'm moving away from chases after me.  I've walked away from many things in my life with no problems.  But, when something I'm trying to walk away from doesn't allow me to, I think that's something I need to pay attention to.

Asking myself how come something does or doesn't happen to me is rooted from always wondering what something means and why it's happening.  When I'm feeling sad, angry, and hurt, I always ask myself why it's happening to me.  What did I do to deserve it?  What happened that allowed me to get to that point?  But, there are also good situations where this question comes in to play.  Sometimes I question why something is or isn't happening to me because there's a bigger picture I'm not paying attention to.  Is there something I'm missing?  Is this happening to me because there's a lesson to be learned?  Is this happening to me, because I am the person that can handle it?  Is this happening to me or not happening to me because I am being tested on my strength and ability to stick with something to the end?

And the worst question I ask myself WAY too often... Am I taking this all wrong?  Am I chasing a dream that may never come true?  Am I reading in to something that isn't there?  Am I missing the obvious signs and clues that tell me what the bigger picture has in store?  Am I jumping to conclusions, or opening myself up to the potential that a situation has because I'm questioning it too much?

So many questions, and never any answers... just more questions.

The biggest question that remains?  What's next?

In times of uncertainty and doubt, I think everyone asks themselves this question.  What's next?  I know I am constantly asking myself this question.  I try and tell myself to just see what happens, sit back and allow situations to play out, and to just go with the flow.  But, I know myself well enough to know that no matter how hard I try, the questions will always be there.  Nothing is certain.  Situations change.  Feelings change.  Life is constantly changing.

A friend shared a story with me just the other day that I could really relate to.  She shared how her situation had been very similar to mine several years ago.  When she was sitting in a world of uncertainty, she was constantly trying to figure out the next steps.  She asked herself the same questions.  She found a friend that she was always there for, and did everything she could to try and prove her feelings for him.  But, for a long time, she questioned if she was adding to her world of uncertainty by being that way.  And then, one day out of the blue, everything changed.  He realized everything she'd done, how she'd always stuck by him, and that her heart was dedicated to him.  They've been together for 18 years now.

Her point in sharing her story was to let me know that I can't give up.  There is happiness out there for me, and it's going to come along at the most unexpected time.  That I have to stop trying so hard, be more willing to just allow things to play out, and get rid of the assumptions.  Assuming makes life worse, not better.  The more I try and force something to happen, the more likely it will disappear.  No matter how hard I try, I can't carve out my future.  I can't predict, plan, or prepare for what the future holds.  I have options, I have choices, and I'm able to make the decisions as situations arise, but I can never force something to happen just because I want it.  It will either happen or it won't.

One thing I do know is that the questions will never go away.  They'll always be there.  But, I can decide whether or not I'm content with not having the answers.  Is it OK to just have the questions and not to worry about the answers?  They'll come eventually, right?

All I can really do is keep my eyes open.  Pay attention.  Take one day at a time.  Don't jump to conclusions and avoid assumptions like the plague.  If I want answers, all I have to do is allow them to come to me.  I have to stop trying to force an answer to appear when it's not ready to show itself.  

Easier said than done, I know.

But, I truly do believe that good things are in store for me.  I just have to keep my eyes open, and not be clouded by the questions.  The answers are out there, somewhere, and when the time is right, I'll know what I need to know.

Until then, I just have to keep on keeping on.  It's all I can do, really.

Today is a beautiful day, and I need to get around and enjoy it.

Have an awesome day, everyone!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Actions Speak WAY Louder than Words!

Well, I've been up since 4:30 this morning, which isn't unusual for me at all.  Except for the fact that today, I don't have to work and yet I still had to be up that early.  That's the life of a parent that has a child in debate.  Even on my day off, I don't really get a day off.  HA!

This morning I had to take Peanut to another debate contest.  On my way home, I blasted my music and had one of my destress sing-a-long times.  I feel like I'm almost stuck in a de ja vu moment, because this is where I was almost a week ago, doing the exact same thing.  I remember feeling really good that day and told myself that it was going to be a great day.

Unfortunately, I jinxed myself and what started out as a really good day just got worse and worse by the minute.  I was able to spend some time with some family and one of my best friends, which was great, but I also had to deal with some drama that I did NOT want to have to deal with.

Today,  I'm cautiously optimistic.  I am, once again, going out with a friend, but I'm hoping and praying that today is WAY better than last Saturday ended up being.  I'm hoping that I'm kind of getting a do-over, and that today will end up being the fantastic day I wanted to have last weekend.

On a somewhat different note, I am very proud of the way I took care of some of my business yesterday.  I stood strong all day long, ignoring certain people and telling myself that I just need to move on and not let it get to me.  I don't need anymore drama, I don't need any one in my life that's going to bring me down, and I certainly have no intentions of continuing to be the person who can be treated like crap one day, and the next day just pretend that nothing ever happened.  

I'm so sick and tired of my feelings not being important.  If I make someone unhappy or hurt them, even intentionally, I do what I can to fix that problem.  But, I also expect that gesture to be returned to me when someone hurts me.  If they don't have the decency to accept my feelings, understand that I'm hurt, and apologize for it, then I just don't have time for that.  

Last night, I actually did receive an apology.  I was pretty shocked, and I was pretty happy about it.  At least from the gesture.  However, I also know to be very cautious, and not read too much in to it.  Sometimes I can be a sucker to forgive too quickly, and I have to be very cautious about that from now on.  I truly believe that people deserve to be forgiven if they accept responsibility for their actions and mean to make amends, but an open apology followed by the exact same behaviors don't show me a reason to forgive. 

One thing I'm definitely starting to learn is that words have very little meaning and that actions are everything.  You can truly understand a person's motive by the way they act, not by what they say, and I really need to pay more attention to actions rather than words.  

I often feel like some people use words as a defense mechanism to cover up how they truly feel.  And that can work in two different ways, both of which I've been seeing more often here recently.  There are people that will say things that are hurtful, but their actions towards you are loving and caring.  And there are people that say the right things, but their actions are cold and hateful.

Both situations are very confusing and extremely frustrating, but it's learning how to pay attention to the underlying issue at hand, and being able to understand the root of what's going on.

For example, a person can tell you things that upset you, make you angry, and hurt you whenever you're not around.  The words sting and send a bolt of hurt to your heart.  Yet, when you see them, they treat you totally different, they stare at you with love in their eyes, and they find it impossible to do anything but make you smile by their actions of genuine concern and care.

Then there are those people that tell you nonstop how important you are, are always able to say exactly the right things to put a smile on your face, and then the minute you're around them, they act like you're nothing, almost invisible, and make you feel like mud on the bottom of their shoe.

If someone says something mean to me, it's not always because they are mad at me or have those feelings toward me, maybe they're just having a bad day.  On the same note, just because someone says something nice to me doesn't mean that they really like or care for me, maybe they're just being polite.

However, with those same scenarios, a lot can be understood when the person that says something hurtful to me.  But when that same person loves spending time with me, and makes me feel loved and appreciated without ever saying a word, those actions speak volumes.  The person that always says something nice to my face, but is distant or cold when I'm around also emits a mighty sound with their actions.

Each day, I'm learning to be more in tune to the actions of others rather than their words.  A person can promise you the world with their words, but their actions promise you heartache.  A person can cut you to the core with their words, but their actions can put you on cloud nine. 

Weird, huh?

The more I am learning to understand about all of this, the more I find myself accepting and growing with my expectations.  I'm building a new shell that doesn't allow so many hurtful words to penetrate me.  I'm also building that shell to not allow so many open promises in, either.  I've become more in-tune with how people treat me, rather than what they say about or to me.

I always thought I wasn't a naive person, but how quickly I've realized that I've been WAY too naive for WAY too long.  I have always thought it better to trust someone until they give you a reason not to.  I still believe that, but I also know that I've been very naive with how much trust I give someone.  People deserve second chances, sometimes even third or fourth chances, but eventually you just have to say enough is enough and realize that nothing is going to change.  Rather than allow people to tell me how they feel, it is required that they show me.  Their actions have to back up their words.. Period!

So, as I go about my day I'm going to remain open to whatever happens.  No high expectations, no fear either.  My day will play out the way it will play out.  But, my actions for whatever happens today will be what's important.  I can sit here and say that everything is going to be great, but unless I actually make that happen... it's just words.

I have to start doing rather than saying.  And I'm ready to do so much.

Have a great Friday, everyone!!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Waiting for my Friend, Karma


I have heard the saying, many times, "Bad things happen to good people".  This is true.  I've seen so many good people, myself included, that have endured some pretty crappy situations and things happen to them.  And it seems as all the people that treat others badly, care about nobody but themselves, and skate through life on the coat pockets of others, get away with everything without anything ever happening to them.

But, I also know that with the bad stuff I deal with, I'm rewarded with a lot of good.  People that care for me, great kids, an amazing job, all the luxuries of life that I get to enjoy have come to me because I've continued to lead a good life, work hard, and never give up.  And that, I truly believe, is an act of karma.  

Now, this isn't a debate over religion or beliefs.  Some people believe in karma, others don't.  I just believe that what goes around comes around, and eventually those people that deserve it will be rewarded and those that don't will get what's coming to them.  Even though it seems like the most awful people you know tend to basically get away with murder, I have found that eventually their actions catch up to them and something happens to them that's just not great.  

I think I'm a good person.  I have done many good things with my life, I am kind, I am giving, and I am helpful.  I have also done many things I'm not proud of.  Either way, I've paid the price for my actions.  One thing I try not to do, though, is be mean, hateful, and revengeful because there's no point in being those things.  I am the kind of person that allows karma to deal with the people that have those qualities.

Recently, I heard about a wife that was cheating on her husband.  People that I know.  He caught them together, and it destroyed the marriage. Now the cheating wife and the person she cheated with are together.  Of course, she makes herself out to look like a victim.  But that's neither here nor there.  Only a week before they were busted, I witnessed the married couple kissing, hugging, and they looked pretty happy together.  But, I'm not going to judge what their family dynamic was like, it's not my place to judge.  

But, what I do get to see is karma at work.  

While she's in love with her new beau, and he's declared his love for her, I have gotten to see what that "love" is really about.  They are in love, yet he calls upon other women to spend time with.  And, by spend time with, I really mean.... well, you know.  I'm not going to go into graphic detail, but you get the point. He plays other women in to believing that they are special and important, and then turns around and tells her the same thing.  I have heard some of the things he says about her.  I've heard about some of the things he's said about the other women he calls upon.  They both think life is a bed of roses, and I guess they're OK with living their lives like that.  

But, one thing I don't understand is how people can believe that if they start a relationship with a cheater, that person that cheated will be faithful to them.  Even when it's completely obvious he or she is messing around with other people, they turn a blind eye because it's "different with them".  

Yeah.. OK.. LOL

And watching these events unfold has made me realize how glad I am that I ended my relationship when I did and for the reasons that I did.  My relationship had been bad for a long time.  I was unhappy, I wasn't in love anymore, and I probably should have ended it a very long time ago.  But, I figured it better to cut it off when I did, move on, and let us both go our separate ways in the pursuit of happiness.  

And while on my pursuit of happiness, karma has been at work.  I have been chasing someone that has enjoyed the chase and reaped the benefits.  He has told me how important I am, how much he cares for me, and how much he's appreciated everything I've done for him.  Yet, he's also hurt me, has allowed me to be in pain, and has shown me that he's not really that in to me.  He's enjoying our "friendship", but only when it's convenient for him.  Watching the situation play out with the cheater and that whole ordeal has made me realize that I am done chasing.  I'm being treated the same way that the cheater is being treated, yet I'm not too blind to see it anymore.

Why on earth should I be doing any form of chasing?  

If a man truly wants to be with me, he will show me.  He will treat me right, he'll show me how much he cares.  He would never allow me to go through the pain I've been through, and he'll make every effort to show me how much he cares for me.  There won't be excuses, there won't be mind games, there won't be the feeling of only being good enough when it's convenient for him.  

And the past week or so, I've had a couple of prospects in that department.  Men who have expressed their desire to get to know me better and show me what a good, loving relationship is supposed to be about.  

I think it's karma's way of telling me that I deserve to be happy and rewarded for the efforts I've made, and to be rewarded with what I've been looking for all along... just in the wrong place.  

I still say that I'm not ready for another relationship.  Not yet.  But, I also know that love isn't something that's planned or timed.  When it happens, it happens.  So, instead of saying I'm not ready for a relationship, I'm going to say that I'm going to stop chasing.  If someone wants to be with me, then it's time I allow myself to be chased for a while.  

As the cheater will soon find out, love doesn't come from betrayal.  You can sit and pretend that life is all peachy, stay blind to what's really going on, and skate through a relationship thinking that it's all going to be different.  You can hurt people, make fun of them, and taunt them with your behaviors, but, eventually, karma will have a few things to say about it.  

I will not allow myself to be treated the same way she's being treated.  I'm better than that.  I deserve better than that.  

I am a smart, successful, educated woman.  I have a solid foundation, a great career, and an amazing support system.  Why on earth I thought I wasn't worthy of better is beyond me.. but I am.  I have a lot of love to give.  I will treat the man I end up with like a king, if and only if he treats me like a queen.  I have no time for games, no time for cheaters, and no time for taking anything but the best.  

I'm going to sit back, and allow karma to work.  It may take a month, a year, or heck..even several years to find "the one", but I'm willing to wait.  I will not settle.  I will not be played or a part of vicious games.  My heart deserves to be treated right, and it's high time I allowed those that want the chance to prove they are able to do that to show me what they got.

What goes around definitely comes around... and I just need to sit back and wait for mine to come around.  


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Royal Treatment


I'm pretty sure every girl grows up with the vision of a fairy tale life in their head.  They watch enough Disney movies to picture their prince charming riding in to save them from the clutches of the evil queen, and then riding off in to the sunset to live happily ever after.

I know I had that fantasy, once upon a time.

And while I've never witnessed a single Prince Charming ride in on a valiant steed, I've had my share of Charming prospects who have rescued me from the clutches of evil, or should I say the clutches of loneliness.  They've helped me battle some demons, and they've helped me find some happiness, but then eventually something happens that makes the Charming prospect disappear.  

What I realized last night, though, is that I am no damsel in distress.  I'm not a helpless princess that needs rescuing.  I'm not interested in Prince Charming, because I've had my sights on a bigger picture.  This girl doesn't want to be a princess, she's ready to be a QUEEN.

Yesterday had been a very tough day for me, and usually I deal with those types of days on my own. But, when I called out for help, I was swooped up and shown that I'm not driving a one-way street.  My problems matter, and it was time someone was there for me just as much as I am for them.  I was able to laugh like I haven't laughed in a while.  I got to act silly, goof around, have a great time, and leave my problems in the wind.  I truly felt like I was being treated like a queen, and I probably can't do any justice with my words to explain what that felt like.

In my opinion, a queen is a position of power.  They stand by their king's side with loyalty.  They will do everything in their power to be there and support their king, no matter what.  And a true king will treat his queen as his partner, the person he confides in, and the person he entrusts with true honesty.  Even if that honesty is upsetting or painfully brutal.  He doesn't hide things from her, because she's not stupid.  She would much rather be informed than to be kept in the dark, and a true king will understand that and respect that.  Sometimes it's better to be hurt once with the truth than hurt doubly with a lie.  He will also care about her thoughts, her feelings, and be there for her just as much as she is there for him.  

That's what I'm looking for!

I have questioned many things the past couple of months.  I've questioned who I am, I've questioned my purpose, and I've questioned my ability to stay strong.  But, I continued to keep my head above water, and I managed to make it out with only a few battle scars that have made me much stronger.  I am far from finished with my quest to happiness, but last night rebuilt the dangling thread of hope.  It is no longer a tiny string, but has multiplied in to a rope.  I can now hold on, and it can now support me.  

I am quite certain that I still have many battles to fight.  The war is far from over.  But last night, I was able to claim a solid victory that has given me a new outlook on my plans moving forward.  And I was given the reinforcement of hearing that I deserve to be a queen.  I deserve to be treated like one, I deserve to act like one, and I deserve a king.  I don't need any Prince Charming, I need no knight in shining armor... I don't need to be rescued.  

I am strong.  I am powerful.  I am loyal.  

My potential deserves to be realized.  My worth deserves to be understood.  My ability to handle the toughest of situations has to be accepted.  

Life isn't about living a fairy tale that's been written a thousand times.  It's about writing your own story.  There's going to be twists and turns on every page.  There's going to be happiness, sadness, heart break and true love.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, but each page has yet to be written.  I have some power how my story unfolds, and I believe that now.  I don't have to sit back and wait for my story to be read to me.  It's time I became the author and started writing my own story.

And I'm excited and ready to write the next chapter.

Have an awesome day, everyone!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Underestimating My Strength


Well, I was right yesterday.  Going back to work was exactly what I needed to dust myself off and refocus my emotional energy on stuff that really matters:  My kiddos.  There's something about those seventeen cute little faces that can make the deepest frown turn upside down, and help me understand some of my priorities.

I am so proud of myself and the way I took care of business yesterday. For the first time, I finally stood my ground, stood up for myself, and refused to be brought down.  I don't have time to care what people think of me, but I also won't stand by and be judged for something I didn't do.  Not going to happen.  

People talk to me.  I am OK with that.  I feel like I can be a supportive ear to someone if they need me to be.  I listen because I care, and sometimes it can be the most help if all I do for them is listen. I don't always have to offer advice or give my two cents on a situation.  Sometimes just letting someone vent can help them understand some stuff that's going on with them.  I am to some what my blog is for me.  Just a place to let things out of my system.  But one thing I would NEVER do is take information shared with me and use it against someone.  That's just not right.  How can anyone trust a person that does something like that?  They can't.  Which is why I refuse to be one of those people.  If something is told to me in confidence, I would never use that information for my own gain.  That's just not right.

I am guilty of carrying around burdens that aren't my own.  That I do know.  I absorb problems that belong to others, and that's a strength as well as a weakness.  And there are times where I need someone to listen to me, let me vent out what's going on in my head, and trust that someone will keep that information to themselves.  However, my trust meter is damaged, and there are very few people I feel comfortable calling upon in those situations.  That's mainly because I am a very hard person to figure out, and I often feel like if I talk to someone they won't understand me.  My actions and feelings are puzzling, and that's an understatement I suppose.  I keep so much bottled up inside of me, that I'm shocked I haven't exploded from the inside out.  Which, again, is why I blog.  My cryptic, often annoying, extremely frustrating blog is my way of releasing some of my frustrations without having to spell out exactly what's going on.  I know.  I understand.  And that's what helps keep me and my emotions at a manageable level.

I am a very patient person.  In fact, I think that's probably one of my very best qualities.  I think any good teacher has to have a very large amount of patience.  Does that mean I never lose my patience? Well, no.  Of course I do.  It just takes a lot longer for that to happen with me than a lot of others I know.  But, when I am handed a challenge, it's almost impossible for me to just walk away and give up.  I may get frustrated, I may feel like giving up, and I may need to take a break for a while, but very seldom do I admit defeat and throw in the towel.  Patience is engrained in my DNA and I'm very proud of that.  And that's one of the things I don't think people quite understand about me.  How I tolerate so much, why I don't just give up, and why I can't realize when enough is enough.  No matter how many times I say I'm done, the people that know me best understand that making a statement like "I'm done" is only directed at that day.  I may be done with dealing with a situation on that day, but it doesn't mean I'm giving up completely.  It just means I need to reorganize my thoughts, gain back some strength, and come up with a new strategy.  If I gave up on everything that seemed to be a losing battle, I would never have accomplished so much in my life. The hardest battles have the biggest rewards, and/or the best lessons.  

I tell my students that almost daily.  Just because something seems impossible, doesn't mean that it is.  But, with some hard work, patience, and persistence, anything can eventually be accomplished.  It may not always work out the way we think it will, but there's always something that can be learned by a tough, almost impossible, situation.

Have I made decisions I'm not proud of?  Sure.  Have I allowed myself to be treated badly?  Sure.  Have I kept my eyes shut so that I don't have to see what's right in my face?  Sure.  But each one of those things have continued to build and ignite the strength inside me until I got to the point to understand who I am, what I'm about, and how to manage some of the challenges thrown my way.  

One thing I do need to point out is that everything I have done and am doing have been my own decisions.  They haven't always been the best decisions, but they are my own.  I continue to help because I know that I'm needed.  Like I said yesterday, when someone is pushing you away, it's usually the time they need you the most.  But, one thing I have discovered is that it's OK to push back. To stand my ground, to defend myself, and to make it perfectly clear that I'm not a punching bag.  You punch me, I'll punch back.  I was sadly mistaken in to thinking that I should be a punching bag for someone.  Letting them throw all their punches at me and absorbing them.  That's NOT how I roll.  And I'm glad that I've finally woken up to that fact.  You want to duke out your problems?  Great.  But, expect me to throw some hits in right back.  If I stand still and allow myself to be beaten down, that's not helping.  In order for someone to really bounce back from their problems, they have to understand that there's a fight involved.  Nobody can finally overcome their obstacles if someone takes all the obstacles out of the equation.  I used to think that way, but then I realized that nobody took my obstacles out my way.  I didn't gain my strength, my accomplishments, and myself by walking an easy life.  Life is hard!! It's supposed to be.  But it's also how the strong emerge and conquer.  

It's how I find my strength and ability to conquer my own obstacles.

I know that the next few months, heck possibly the next few years are going to be really tough on me.  Making the transition to being a single mom isn't easy.  Am I scared?  A little.  Do I worry?  Yes.  But, do I think what I'm about to embark on will be impossible?  Of course not!! And everything I've been through these past couple of months have helped me see that.  

I think people often underestimate me.  They think I'm weak.  They think I'm naive.  They think I'm powerless over certain situations.  They think wrong!

I know exactly what I'm doing.  I know exactly who I am.  I wasn't born yesterday.  I'm fully aware of my surroundings.  I know that it doesn't always appear that way, but trust me... I know what I'm doing.  

And do it, I will!!

Monday, March 09, 2015

From a Distance


Today has to be one of the first Mondays in a very long time that I'm glad the weekend is over.  I've had just about enough of this weekend, that's for sure, and I'm ready to get back to work and keep myself busy.

I apparently jinxed myself BIG time on Saturday when I wrote that blog post about feeling so good and guaranteeing myself a great day, because soon after that was written everything started to go downhill from there.  And this morning, I feel like a truck has had a grand old time running me over, backing up over me, and then running over me again over and over and over.  Not physically, but emotionally.  It  has been a tough one, that's for sure.

What I have learned from this weekend, however, is that I just have to let stuff go.  I can't dwell too much.  And I certainly can't help everyone.  That's the most important lesson, by far, that I have to take away from all of this.  A person can only help someone else that understands and wants to be helped.  Trying to help a person that doesn't want help is like playing tennis with a sponge.  You can keep hitting the ball to them, but nothing comes back.  The sponge will stand there and absorb the hits, but then the ball just bounces off of them like nothing happened at all.  And you're just standing on the tennis court, looking like a complete idiot, waiting and hoping for a sponge to return the ball.  It's just not going to happen.  

But thankfully, I've gotten to the point where I can say enough is enough.  There's nothing more I can do but step back and let situations play out the way they play out with me being taken out of the equation.  I still care, but I care enough to walk away.  I still want to help, but only when that help can be appreciated and respected.  I still mean to keep my promise, but only when that promise needs to be kept.  I'm not going to keep trying to prove myself, I have nothing else to prove.  My actions have spoken a thousand times louder than any words ever could, but if those actions aren't heard, they don't do any good.  

I understand that sometimes a person's biggest cry for help is pushing someone away.  Especially someone they really care for.  Whether it be that the person is testing the limits of the other person, they care about the other person's feelings and are pushing them away to protect them, or because they simply don't know how to treat someone that cares so much.  It's probably the worst time for me to walk away, but I also know that I'm not going to wander far.  Just walk away enough to keep myself distanced from the torture that I'm having to go through, and keeping myself firmly planted on the sidelines waiting.  Waiting for what?  I don't know.  Maybe nothing at all.  But, what I do know is I'm done playing the game.  I'm done being beaten up by the other players.  I'm done trying to reach a goal that's so heavily defended it's just impossible to reach.  I'm going to sit on the bench for a while, watch the game unfold, and just wait until I'm needed or until someone else understands my potential and scoops me up for their team.

I've gotten to a point where I've become numb with my emotions, and I don't like that.  It's almost as if nothing surprises me anymore.  I hear bad news and I just shrug it off.  I get lied to, and I almost expect it.  I hear the same old story over and over again, and I laugh because I've heard it so many times before.  The anger is gone.  The sadness is gone.  The expectations are gone.  Well, that's not completely true.  I did cry Saturday night, out of anger.  But I was angry because I had let myself get to the point where I am willing to put up with so much and it no longer phased me.  That angered me A LOT.  I shouldn't have to be numb to my emotions.  I shouldn't have let myself get to that point.  I know it was all a defense mechanism to protect me.  It's better to just ignore what I wanted to feel than deal with my feelings.  That's not healthy.  That's not right.  And that was when I realized that there's nothing else I can do.  Enough is enough.

I have been told by so many people how much the person I'm trying to help needs me.  I've been told how great a person I am for doing what I've done, putting up with what I've put up with, and not backing down.  I've been told that this person is very lucky to have me in their life.  And it feels good to hear those things.  Unfortunately, they aren't coming from the one person I need to hear them from.  Let me rephrase that.  I have heard the words from that one person, but the actions that follow make me question their authenticity.  And, again, actions speak much louder than words.  

Clinging to hope is not necessarily a bad thing, but when that thread of hope has gotten so thin, it's time to make the decision to let go and leave the tiny thread there than to hold on and let it snap completely.  The thin thread will continue to dangle over my head, but I'm no longer going to hold on to it.  Over time, the thread will either start to get bigger or it'll fly away in the wind.  And, I can actually say with confidence that I'm OK with either one of those scenarios.  Because I know that even if that thread does disappear, it's not the only thread of hope out there.  I just may need to start looking for a thread that has more rope-like qualities to hang on to.  One that has someone on the other end helping me up rather than letting me slip further and further away.

I can only be pushed so far before I decide to start walking in the direction I'm being pushed toward.  And today is the day I start walking.  I have value.  I have worth.  But, if someone isn't able to see those things in me, then it's their loss.  Not mine.  

So, it's time for me to take my seat on the bench, take some time to breath, and wait and see what's in store for me.  I'm ready to play a good game, I'm strong and able to give it all I got, but I'm no longer going to exhaust myself trying to prove how good I am.  Someone will eventually take notice, and when they do, I'll be ready.  

I'm not going to fight anymore.  I'm not going to chase anymore.  I'm not going to invest my time in to someone or something that has no investment in me.  It's time to start looking in to some new investments, I think.  

So, opportunity, please feel free to start knocking on my door... I'm finally ready to answer.

Have a great Monday, everyone!


Saturday, March 07, 2015

Sometimes You Just Gotta Sing

I had to be up at 5:15 this morning so that I could take Peanut to school for a debate competition.  During the drive there, she read me her debate speech and discussed all things debate with me.  I love hearing her talk about something she's so passionate about, but at 6AM it can be a little overwhelming.  My head was swirling at 100MPH after I dropped her off, so I was in much need of some music to help clear my mind.

I have a playlist on my phone, and it never ceases to amaze me how songs play in the perfect order.  What I mean by that is I hit the Shuffle button and it's as though my phone is reading my mind and plays the songs that I love to hear.  I was in the mood for the types of songs that I could belt out at the top of my lungs, had a good beat, and would help wake me up.  I got exactly that.  

Music is a very powerful therapy for me.  I have specific songs for specific purposes.  There are songs that can make me laugh out loud, songs that make me burst in to tears, and songs that make me start belting out the words as loud as I can.  I was in for some singing this morning, and that's exactly what I got.

Now, I can sing.  When I'm not scared to death or in front of anyone, I can carry a tune pretty darn well.  But that's not what I wanted to do this morning.  I wanted to BELT without worrying about being in tune, trying to match a pitch, or reaching for the perfect notes.  There was no one else in the car, so I let my lungs fill with air and screamed each lyric.  Hard, powerful lyrics that cleanse my soul and recharge my batteries.  I'm sure that any cars passing me by could have possibly thought there was something wrong with me, because I was dancing just as much as I was singing.

And now I feel so good.  Like really good.  Charged, motivated, empowered.  

It's amazing how a few songs selected by my very SmartPhone can have such an affect on me.  It's like I can take this day by the horns, and ride it out to its fullest potential.  No matter where I go or what I do today, it's going to be a good day.  

With each hour that passes by, I can feel the strength ignite in me.  This morning I got a much needed double dose.  There are lots of things that can motivate me and lift my spirits.  And it's almost weird how they are always delivered to me at the exact right moments.

Take yesterday, for example.  I'm standing out on the street performing my crosswalk duty and my mind was wandering off.  I was thinking about someone and not sure how I was feeling about it.  Then, bam, out of nowhere my phone goes off.  It's a text message from that person.  A text message that brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.  I was being thought of at that exact same moment. Coincidence?  Maybe.  Cosmically weird?  Very.

And that happened several times throughout the day.  The minute my mind would start to wander.. there was a text message.  Not conversation type messages, just little messages here and there asking about my day, little pieces of random information, all from the same person at the exact time I needed to hear from them.

It actually happened all day long, and well in to the middle of the night, actually.  A couple of hours would go by and then my phone would give off that text message melody.  Each time I checked my phone, I was pleasantly surprised by the messages as they came.  

It's a very powerful sentiment to know that you're being thought about.  Maybe I'm just a fleeting moment, but I'll take it.  It's amazing how a quick few seconds of pushing some words in to a phone can speak in such great volumes.  

Today, I'm going to go see some friends.  I'm excited to see them as it has been a couple of weeks since I last saw them.  I always love spending time with them, and they make me feel like part of the family.  That's exactly what I need today.  It's going to be a beautiful day, and not one where I'm willing to sit in the house and do nothing.  I'm gonna get out there and have some fun.

Which means I better get myself around so I don't waste another minute of enjoying today.

Have an awesome Saturday, everyone!


Friday, March 06, 2015

Let's Talk About Self Esteem... Or Lack Thereof


Self Esteem: Noun.  Confidence in one's own worth or abilities.  

For many years, I had a problem with self-esteem.  I worried about the way I looked, compared myself to others, and thought that I needed to change myself in order to fit the ideals of others.  I have often told myself that I'm not good enough, pretty enough, or strong enough to do certain things or travel in certain directions.  I was my own worst enemy.  I would talk myself down, back away, and give up extremely quickly because I just didn't think I was able to compete with the world outside of me.

But what I realized is, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of me.  Or should I say, how others think of me shouldn't affect who I am.  I do care what people think of me, that I'll never change I guess, but it's having the strength to accept their opinions and not letting it get me down.  That's the part I've been working hard on for many years.  And I also realized that backing down got me nowhere.  If  I didn't work hard, fight, and stay strong, I'd never have accomplished anything.

Recently, my self-esteem has been called in to question.  Some people think that I must be dealing with some serious self-esteem issues to go through what I've been going through, and putting up with what I've been putting up with.  So, I thought it would be a good time to respond to some of those thoughts and worries right here, right now.

The definition of self-esteem is to have confidence in one's own worth and abilities.  I believe I am worth something.  Actually, I believe I'm worth quite a bit.  My actions speak volumes to the kind of person that I am.  I believe that to truly value my own worth, I must stand my ground, speak my mind, and accept who I am both good and bad.  I am not perfect.  I have flaws.  I accept that.  I do things I'm not proud of, sometimes, but who doesn't?  

I am very confident in my abilities.  When I set my mind to something, I don't give up.  I fight for what I believe in.  I have had many chances to quit, give up, and crumble, but I don't.  I come back swinging every time, no matter how hard the situation may be.  I am motivated when someone tells me I can't do something, and it fuels me when I'm told that I'm in over my head.  My confidence in my abilities stems from the fact that I've had many challenges in my life, and how I handled those challenges made me who I am.  I don't blame others for my downfalls.  When I fail, it's because I did something wrong.  I don't look for the nearest scapegoat to pin it on.  And accepting my failures as well as my successes is a strong part of being confident in my abilities.  Because when I do fail, I look at how I can move on, fix the problem, and succeed the next time.

I am a very strong willed person who doesn't give up.  Period.  

That has nothing to do with my self-esteem.  The way I allow myself to be treated and the stuff I go through doesn't speak anything about my self-esteem, but to the self-esteem of those that treat me that way.  I don't do what I do because I hate myself or don't think I'm worthy of better.  I do what I do because there are some people out there that don't understand their own worth, and need someone in their corner helping them believe that they are better than they think.  That they deserve better than they think.  That they can be happy, no matter how much they don't think they should be.

Over the course of the past month, I have put up with stuff that would make anyone crumble in to a million pieces or turn away without a second thought of looking back.  And, I have felt those things.  I've crumbled, I've been torn down, I've considered almost on a daily basis to just walk away and never look back.  But, each time I get one of those feelings, I remember that I am strong enough to handle it.  That it's not me that I'm doing it for.  If I give up, then I'm just like the rest that have turned their backs and walked away.  

Do I deserve to be treated the way I have been?  No, I don't.  I have gone above and beyond to prove that I'm not going anywhere and that I'm in it for the long haul, but sometimes the walls are so thick around a person that they will give out beating after beating to keep people from getting in.

The situations that have arose in the past week have tested me almost to my breaking point.  I've never been so ready to walk away, give up, and just throw in the towel.  The tests have been harsh, cruel almost.  But, the tests are intensifying because I have stood strong through all the others.  But what has helped me stay strong is the fact that I've been told what I needed to hear.  Nobody else has ever or will ever be me.  Nobody will ever take my place, no matter what they believe.  Nobody else will ever understand as well, care as much, or give as much hope as I give.

No matter how much I am pushed away, I always come back.  Always.  

Not because I have self-esteem issues and don't know when to let go, but because I am loyal and committed to being there.  

I have had my moments of weakness, don't get me wrong.  But, each time I walk away, I'm always pulled back.  And that means something.  I've been pushed to my limits, but still find the strength to return.  I have began to lose hope, and then told how much I mean and how important that I am which refills the hope meter.  

Like I said yesterday, I'm not competing for anything.  I'm not trying to prove my worth at the sake of my self-esteem or trying to be there when I'm not wanted.  If I wasn't wanted, I would have been gone a long time ago.  I have tried to walk away, I have tried to give up, but I'm not the one to stop that from happening.  I am the one that has been called back each time.  Because I know how much I'm needed, and I'm not about to turn my back on that.  

So, there you go.  I am not worried about my self-esteem.  I know what I've gotten myself in to, and I'm prepared to stick with it.  Not for me.  This isn't about me.  But, when someone I truly care about needs me, I'm going to be there.  People will come, people will go... but I am the constant.  

Have a great day, everyone!


Thursday, March 05, 2015

Tug O' War

It's another snow day for me, today.  The sun is shining, this morning, and the birds are chirping.  As crazy as it probably sounds, I'm sitting out on my patio with my coffee and iPad listening to the sounds and taking in the crisp beauty of the sun reflecting off of the snow.  Yeah, it's cold, but it's also breathtakingly beautiful.

It's moments like these that don't happen very often.  Like time has stopped, and there's nothing to do but breath in deeply all the good and exhale all the worries and the bad.  No matter what the day brings, nothing can replace this moment.  This reflection time. The time I can release and replenish everything inside of me so that I can take on whatever I need to take on.

Yesterday, I spent the day in a game of tug of war.  One side of me was being pulled by my brain, and the other being pulled by my heart.  And each side was pulling for dear life, trying to win, trying to claim victory.  But, instead, I stood in a deadlock feeling like my limbs would be torn completely in two.  

My brain kept taunting my heart, telling it to let go, free myself, understand what the brain knows and what the heart doesn't see.  My heart was taunting right back trying to explain to the brain that the heart is where the power lies, where the real decisions are made, and that it will come out victorious in the end.  All the while, I could feel myself being flopped back from one side to the next, wondering what on earth was going on, and which side would eventually pull me to their side.

Neither did.

I still sit here, completely divided, yet the pulling has finally stopped.  

Matters of the mind and matters of the heart are both very powerful forces.  When they work together, there is a power within that drives me to succeed and overcome the hardest of obstacles.  But, when they are on opposing sides, I end up in a daze, a state of confusion, and I feel like I've been on a Tilt a Whirl that lasted for hours.  

Don't worry, this isn't me going back in to one of those sad, depressive states.  I'm far past that.  This is more about making the right decisions for the future.  Understanding what's best for me and my kids.  Deciding which road to take as I continue moving forward.  To I bring baggage along with me or do I leave it behind?

I have committed myself to take on a challenge that is probably the biggest challenge of my life.  To do something that many people have told me is impossible to do.  And this is the battle being fought out by my head and my heart.  

My head sides with those that have told me my task is impossible.  It won't be conquered.  I just won't win.  It's better to walk away.  My brain says that I'm a door mat being walked all over, used, and betrayed.  My brain has laid out good evidence.  The information I've received this week should be enough to make me not just walk away, but run away as fast as I can.  My brain says I'm blind to the obvious, and that I'm leading myself down a path that will eventually lead to a dead end.

My heart is siding with those that have told me I have the power to accomplish this almost impossible task.  That I am the one person that can actually see it through and do what nobody else has ever been able to do before.  My heart says I am not a door mat, but a refuge.  The safe place.  My tasks and tests are all apart of the challenge, and that as long as I follow my heart, I will come out victorious. My heart counter attacks my brain's evidence by replaying moments and conversations in my head.  It points out that no matter how many times I've been knocked down, the same hand was there to pick me up.  That the cryptic clues I've been fed this week are apart of the hope that fills my heart and has empowered me to keep on moving.  And my heart says I'm not headed for a dead end.  Is the road forward a rocky path?  Yes.  But, it eventually leads somewhere.

Monday night, I received some news that hurt.  Not gonna lie.  It hurt bad.  But, the information I got after made the sting go away a little.  I was being given the information not to hurt me, but to prepare me.  To empower me, really.  To know what I was up against, what was going on, and so that I could understand some of the worries I was having.  That's the stuff my brain is using to tell me to run.  That's the information my brain needed to use against me and confuse me.

But, the information I got after the bad stuff is what my heart was holding on to.  Because after the bad was given, it was followed up with the good. I am one of the very few people that matter.  There are others being made to believe that they matter, but they don't.  They are just distractions.  They are just there to help pass the time.  I was being given the truth because it was important for me to have all of the information.  And the truth is only important to me, because I got the real motives behind it, I got the real story, and I got to understand why I was being told what I really didn't want to hear.  

I matter.

How I feel is important.  How I take the information is important.  How I move forward with the information is important.  How I react and understand is important.

With this information, I was made to feel like I was the final destination on a long, hard road.  There are stops that will be made along the way, the distractions, but I am the one that will be where it all ends.  I am not competing with the distractions, but just have to accept and understand their purpose.  And, in a weird way, I do.   

I just have to make the decision to stick with it, or walk away.  I'm either in it for the long haul, or I'm not.  

I have never been one to walk away from a challenge.  I have never been a quitter.  And being given the information I got has left me a little torn, but also more motivated.

Can I do what some say to be impossible?  

I guess we shall see.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!