Archive | October, 2013

confidence earned, confidence gained.

31 Oct

i have never been a person of confidence. i’m not even quite sure i know what the word really means but, it is something i have been desperately trying to gain the last months of my life. because i know it’s something i need that’ll help me survive this thing called life. and as you know, i’ve taken quite a few knock-downs in life that have slowly chipped away at that non-existent thing called confidence. i wish i could say i grew up in a household where it was something that was taught or that was easily picked up on but, i didn’t and i think that’s had a lifelong impact on me but, like many other things, it is something i want to change. 

last weekend i went out with my girlfriends and i decided to wear an old black dress i had had for over three years. and in some ways, it made me feel good. there was nothing special about it, it’s just a black dress but, it did it’s job by making me feel good. but, i don’t think it was really the dress, for some reason, i just felt good. maybe it was being out on the town and maybe it was being with good girlfriends or maybe it was just me. but, for some reason that saturday night i felt confident in just being in my own skin and maybe it worked for me. i received several compliments that night from people i had never met before that i was beautiful or that i looked good. so, to say the least, it gave me a small confidence boost. 

a lot has changed in my life the last five months as has my physical appearance. i’ve lost more than 30 pounds and i’ve been getting more tone by hitting the gym when possible. the running i took up about three months ago has greatly helped me in this area and i am grateful that i have kept up with it. i don’t think i’ve ever felt better about myself physically in a very long time. but, that’s just one piece of it. what you look like on the outside is simply just that, the outside. what i’m interested in is working on exists on the inside and i’m hoping it’ll find its way out towards the outside.

i was watching a show the other day and a woman said that confidence goes with any outfit and i really liked that and i felt like she was right. again it doesn’t matter what you really wear or look like on the outside if what’s on the inside is nothing. or at least doesn’t do the outside justice. i cannot tell you how many times i’ve gone out and looked at other woman around me in such admiration for just oozing confidence because truth be told, it’s something you can actually see. and i’m not talking about being over-confident, stuck-up or any of that nonsense but just good ole’ fashioned confidence as if it was as easy to put on as it was that red lipstick they had on their lips. i want to be those women and i hope i’m slowly making my way towards them.

it feels good to get validation from others that take notice in your change and your motivation to trying new things but the only real validation i’m trying to care about is my own. i want to try to keep on nurturing myself and allowing myself to heal. months ago my therapist told me that this was as time about how i can be good to myself, about what it means to heal and what i can do to take care of myself. i didn’t really know the answers then and i’m not in any way saying i know now either, at least not any definitive answers. i’ve learned that to be good to myself is to listen to myself (and sometimes not listen to myself). i’ve learned that to listen to myself is to listen to my body. when it’s tired, give it a rest. when it wants to do something, let it do it without so much judgment or hesitation. and listening to myself was also about listening to and owning my truth. the truth can be a double-edge sword but it’s the thing that sets you free, it’s the thing that allows you to move forward, and hopefully, allow yourself to find yourself.

i’ve also been testing this new “confidence” by allowing myself to do things that i might not have done before. and that is to not just jump into certain kinds of relationships with people all that once. cause i’ve always been the “all in” girl and maybe i always will be but, i’m learning to taper that. i’m learning to see certain situations for what they are and not trying to give it the good ole push from myself. to just let certain things be as they are and if they develop into something else, then let that be too. sometimes i want to live so far ahead into the future that i forget its the effort we put into the now that makes the future what it is so i’m trying not to forget that little tid bit. it’ll save me later, i know this much.

sometimes, i’m my own worst enemy and i do things just in spite of myself. this much i know. and i’m trying not to do that as much anymore. i’ve been learning so much about different kinds of relationships we have whether they be with friends, significant others, family, etc. and that they aren’t always what we want them to be whether it be circumstance, time, differences, and what have you. and i’ve learned that that’s just okay. people, time, circumstances are just going to be and it’s our job to let them be as they are. but, it’s also our job to discover just what we should have, what we want to have, and what we are willing to work towards to have. 

so, to end this blog i will say that i am willing to work towards this continued want of confidence in my life and i hope it’ll allow me to grow as a person and challenge myself in all avenues of my life. as always, a work in progress.

Keep Your Peace

30 Oct

Grow stronger. I love this ❤

Positive Outlooks Blog

No point in stressing over something you can’t change. MOVE ON and GROW STRONGER. — Unknown

No Point

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life may just break you but it won’t kill you.

26 Oct

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP

i started today’s post with the quote from above and i think it says it all. life will break you and there is nothing that can prepare you for that fall. and there isn’t a way to avoid it either because just like the quote said, we are here to do all the things that are going to bring us that pain, the kind that is going to break us all in the places that we thought we were safe.

i was thinking about that today as i got out of bed. i started my day off with meditation and man, it felt awesome. my concentration during my meditation is growing and i’m able to quiet the voices and the mad thoughts i’m having and go into a trance where i hear nothing, see nothing but feel everything. and it really is changing the way that i start my day and how i live the rest of my day as well.

once i did that i got into the shower and that is where i did most of my thinking about what i wanted to talk about in this blog today. and i’m pretty sure i’ve lost a lot of the great things i was going to say too once i got out of the shower. but i knew i was going to at least say that today i started my day off strong. i felt strong. i feel strong. i didn’t feel like i was having an avalanche of feelings come tumbling down on me and pummel me to the ground when there are days that i still feel that way.

it made me think about how to start your day and how i’ve been starting mine lately. i am of course a member of facebook like the rest of the world and on my facebook i am subscribed or have “liked” a bunch of positive affirmation pages and everyday a plethora show up in my newsfeed. and many of them hit the spot for me. and of course i go and hit that like button. i’m very much about surrounding myself with positive words, sayings, inspirations, etc. but i’ve been thinking about how much do i really believe in them? at least for myself. and i know that is something i want to work on because i can “like” these things till they go out of style but, if i’m not buying into them or believing in them for myself, what good are they to me? they’re just things that take up space in my newsfeed and my life. so, i’m going to make a much more conscious effort to really think about what they mean to me and how they can apply to my life. i’ve already got the first step down by just letting them into my life, now i just need to believe they should be there.

so that got me thinking about an interview i had yesterday. i was interviewing for a coordinator/supervisor position at a community college about an hour from where i live for a head start program they have. once the interview was over or even during it, i felt highly under qualified and that every single thing that was coming out of my mouth was just one more thing keeping my unemployed. and i thought that the whole way home, while i got gas and ran into the store to grab a couple of bottles of wine. and then i continued to think that as i sipped on my wine the rest of the night.

i talked to my friends about it and they all say i’m too hard on myself as usual and that we all think about what we could have done better during interviews. that’s just how it goes. and that i need to think positively and that good things are coming my way. again, it’s easy to surround myself with good, positive things and people but how much do i really believe that they’ll pan out that way for me? because with my track record, it’s not exactly been that way.

but, as i was in the shower this morning i decided to let that go. i decided to stop critiquing myself on what i did or didn’t do during that interview and let it be for now. and if they decide to bring me in for another interview, of course i will be the first one to be overjoyed and thoroughly surprised and if not, well, then that’s another thing about life. it doesn’t always ask you what you want. and we’ve got to be okay with that and i’m learning how to do that these days.

and as always, it got me thinking about my journey, unemployment, heartbreak, transformation…all of it. it made me think about the last year of my life and how half of that time i spent pouring myself into something i really believed in, something i very much attached myself to. someone i very much attached myself to. and you know how people are always saying that when they look back on situations or relationships that they somehow always knew it would end or that it wouldn’t work out? i’m not sure how you can really have that feeling until you experience it because even now, i’m not sure if i feel that way or if or when i will.

because i feel like when you’re in something very deep and it’s flooded with the love and effort you’re putting into it, it’s very hard to see it ending any other way except the way that you think it’s going to. i think when you’re in something that deep, you’re willing and ready to take a good beating and then once that beating is over with, you’re ready to take more until one day, it’s just not an option anymore. whether at your will or theirs.

again, life never asks you what you want and it surely didn’t ask me. it didn’t ask me if i wanted to devote myself and my time to someone for so many months only to have it end a way in which i didn’t envision it to. it was as if i was finally staring at a chess board in which all the players had lined up to take the queen and it didn’t matter who or what move was going to be made, she was going to be taken because she was never protected in the first place. there’s no strategic move needed when you’re not really all that guarded to begin with and i think that’s what the quote is trying to say.

i didn’t ask to be in this place, some five months later to be sitting here and blogging about my innermost feelings about my experience thus far about the pain that life brings. but, here i am. and that’s also the point too. i’m here to tell the tale. if anything, if i believed in anything, i believe that yes life is going to break you and once you’ve healed, it’s probably going to do it again. oh that limb is just starting to heal? oh that cut is scarring up? too damn bad. we are going to break that limb and re-open that cut…just cause. but it most certainly isn’t going to kill us, it hasn’t killed me even when i was sure at times it was most certainly going to.

life is hard, cruel, harsh and makes you short of breath more times than not and sometimes you just get the shit end of the stick and that can’t really be helped. especially if you’re someone like me that also so firmly believes in love which means a varied amount of things can happen. disappointment, hurt, and rejection, among other things. but, i also believe that loving and having the ability to love is extremely powerful and it teaches us about the kind of people we are, what we are truly capable of and what we are willing to endure.

love, and the loss of love has brought me to this very place today. and today is just another day in this journey and today i feel strong. i know i won’t always have days like that but, today is just one of those days. and i’m looking forward to many more just like this.

knowing my truth.

23 Oct

i had another weekly session with my therapist today and as always, she asks me how i’m doing. i responded with an “i’m doing okay” and i actually am. it’s been a while for me to walk into her office and tell her that i’m doing okay because for a long time, i wasn’t. i couldn’t even utter those words. i think my response used to be that i didn’t know and that was honest too. but, now i am doing okay. 

today i talked to her about the fact that i’m alone and i wanted to explore this idea of being alone and what it actually means. so i’ve been alone now for five months but, it’s only been the last few weeks or month that i’ve really felt alone and that i’m just okay with it. but, sometimes when i’m deep in my thoughts and i’m thinking about a certain person, i wonder how okay i am with it? but, then i have to check in with myself which is what i told my therapist today too. i told her that that’s just me doing what i do best, think about the things that i can’t change and start to make comparisons and going back to good ole faithful, not feeling like i’m good enough and all that plethora of crap.

and i know none of that is allowing me to know my truth and the truth of the situation. so that is what i’ve been trying to do lately. when i feel myself going to those places where i start to ask unanswerable questions or start making comparisons, i tell myself to know my truth, to own my truth. and that truth has nothing to do with what has happened or what is going to happen. 

so, it’s made me think a lot about being alone now and how it’s okay but at the same time it’s not okay and that’s something i’m okay with admitting too. being alone is well, lonely. i feel like that makes sense, right? going from spending a lot of your time with someone and making certain plans to doing that on your own can be well, if you guessed lonely then you’re right on the money. yet the lonely isn’t something that is unbearable or unmanageable either, it is just where i’m at. it’s actually a place where i’ve been before and it’s a good place.

see, i’ve never been someone who has always had to be with someone. i’ve had very few serious relationships in my life and any relationship i did have, was just that, very serious. i am a very independent person and i’ve always liked that about myself for the most part. and it’s one of those things that i’m learning to get back to. getting back to the basics where i felt most like myself and where i felt the strongest. i allowed myself to get very involved this last year and get very serious about building and planning a future, mapping it all out, making the arrangements, and readying myself. but, as you might have guessed, life never asks you what you want. and it didn’t, not in this case.

so, i find myself using a lot of this time to do a whole helluva lot of reflection which is greatly needed. and of course i’m reflecting on being alone. i’ve been spending a lot of time at home just watching movies, tv shows, and hanging with the dog. i’ve been making dinners and drinking some very tasty wines. i’ve been trying to work out here and there and get out into the so-called sun (when it actually does grace us with its presence) to walk the dog. i’ve sort of been retreating into a little bit of a hermit stage but to be honest, i’m kind of enjoying it. it’s been a long time since i feel like i’ve spent any time with just myself and i used to do that all the time and so i’m trying to get back there. again, back to the basics. 

like i said before, i can’t lie that it isn’t a lonely feeling at times. i used to spend a lot of my time making dinners with someone, going out into the sun with someone, watching movies with someone and now i’m not. so, when i think of those things it makes me feel lonely. it makes me creep into those dark facets of my mind where he still exists. especially now since our lives are so different, even in the short time that has lapsed in-between when we both existed in the same time. 

it makes me wonder if being alone is a bad thing, is it? i feel like when i say those words outloud, it’s like i’m spreading some plague or that i’m allowing myself to fall into the category of some old lady spinster spending her saturday nights at home with her cat (my “cat” is actually a dog in this case) or that when people see me on the streets, they’re pitting my single status. and i’ve got to admit that i’ve even done that on occasion especially when i see all these lovey-dovey couples out there or hearing my friends talk about their significant others.

but, i bring myself back to the truth. and the truth is this…yes, i am alone. i have been alone before and who knows how long i’ll be alone. but, right now i am alone. it is lonely at times. but it is also liberating at times and freeing and peaceful too. and it’s not because i’m not catering to someone else or trying to make something work because trust me, that is what i want. i want a partner, i want to share my life with someone but, i’m okay right now with letting myself putting that kind of work into just myself. i’m not sure if i can ever say i’ve done that. sure, i’ve been alone before but, i’ve never put this kind of work into myself like i have been. and that is the best and only truth that i really need to know right now. 

so when i’m spending my saturday nights as some old lady spinster with her dog, i will probably feel the seeds of loneliness but i will also feel my truth and just keeping trying to know it and own it. 

let the light in.

23 Oct

Let The Light In

 

Found myself in the dark

On the floor spread out thin

Dark and dank

The curtains are drawn

The light doesn’t exist

Not in this place

 

The floor is cold

Hard and unmovable

I try to crush it with my fist

It doesn’t move

I collapse

The hurt keeping me down

The curtains are still drawn

Where is the light?

 

I begin to move

My body stirs

Feeling light and unlike myself

But somehow one foot moves in front of the other

I’m shaking cold and naked

The ground beneath stands still

But I’m moving

 

My eyes sting

Burning and rimmed with red

Blinking hard and confused

Because in the distance I can see it

There is a crack between what was and what will never be

 

My breath is heavy

My chest is panting

And my heart is racing

I reach up towards the sky

My hands shaking

 

Then in the quiet

I exhale

The curtains open

And there is the light

 

My eyes no longer hurt

My body is no longer shaking

And I feel the warmth of what is

And all that will be

The light is here

It exists in this one place

Video

By The Grace of God

23 Oct

This is a performance by Katy Perry performing one of her songs from her album, Prism. The song is called By The Grace of God and I find it to be so inspirational. Knowing that we all go through those dark, dark times just to come out and see the light that is that much brighter. I am so happy that she wrote a song like this that really speaks to me and so many other people 🙂

when i look back at you and me.

21 Oct

i was talking to a girlfriend earlier tonight and she herself is going through a little bit of a heartbreak that is pretty fresh and i could definitely relate to that too. i remember that all too well like it happened yesterday but it didn’t. and that makes me think about all of these months that have passed and what that “fresh” feeling once felt like. it’s something you never forget. anyone who has ever gone through an honest to god heartbreak can attest to that, right? it’s one of if not thee most real feelings you’ll ever feel in your life.

anyway, she and i were talking about the endless questions we all pose ourselves about why it happened, why didn’t it work out, what was it about me, etc. and the list goes on. it seemed all too familiar. and i felt highly unqualified to be talking to her about what exactly she should or shouldn’t be doing to help herself get through this stage because i am probably thee worst person to be talking to be this. i said it myself and i will say it again that i did everything and anything to cut off the healing to myself and it’s really only been the last couple of months when i’ve really started to allow myself to heal. but, still, i wanted to be a friend and tell her about my own process to cope.

it’s not the same for everyone and we all have to do what we have to do to get us through the pain and that is something i felt like i was qualified to tell her to do. and to not let herself get too run over by thoughts about all the things that we cannot change, and all the questions that simply don’t have answers. if i could have done that sooner, i most certainly would have. but, i understand that it’s just in our nature to do that to ourselves. shit, i mean i still do that. it’s hard not to but, it’s just too damn easy to do it to yourself and it’s not productive in anyway.

talking to her made me reflect so much about my experience and it’s a humbling thing to think about. it really is. i think about what i’ve gone through to get to this place in my life and all the truly gut-wrenching, chest-tightening, hard-to-breathe pain that i have allowed myself to feel for so many months. don’t get me wrong when i say that i don’t still have those days when it just all around sucks but, i can noticeably know the difference now between having a good day and obviously not and it’s because i’m finally allowing myself to. i’m actively allowing myself to know my truth and the truth of my experience and my situation and know just how powerful that truly is. and that’s something that also can’t be taken away.

i was talking to my oldest sister today after having not talked in a while. during the midst of my deepest pain, it was best for her and i to give each other a break because we truly saw my situation in two totally different ways and i just had to let myself deal with my own grief and pain in the way that i had to and it was best that for a time, she wasn’t a part of that. when we resumed talking today, it was great. it was better than great. it was like it always was and i know that i can count on that and more than anything, i need that in my life. things and people to count on.

she told me something that really resonated with me. she said although during our struggles we must think about our pain so that we don’t forget and that we learn from it, we have to also not let it cloud out the good. because the good is what gets us through, makes us continue to believe in all that is good. and she was right. on the other side of this struggle, even within this struggle there is so much good and that is also truth. i would not have been able to get to this place right now to even sit here and write any of this if there wasn’t some good in my life and that i still believed in that. it has been by the grace of those who love me and that i love that has allowed me to keep going, to not give up and to honor just who i am and all i’m about to be.

it has also been by the grace of belief that has gotten me through this as well. to continue to have the ability to believe that for one, i am capable of making it through my struggles and that what’s waiting for me on the other side may very well be so much better than i ever thought whatever i had before was and could be.

so, tonight, i’ve had much reflection about you and me. this is the first time i’ve addressed you directly in any of my blogs or writing and i know you’re not reading this, and that’s okay. but i will talk to you as though you are. although i know where you are in the world, i hardly know who you are anymore or who you truly ever were. and somehow, i’ve got to be okay with that. i told my friend tonight that she had to just let this person (her recent heartbreak) just be who he is at this time and that it didn’t have a reflection of who she was. and that too is something i have to accept and i think day by day, i am doing just that.

i’ve thought so many times about you and me. i still do everyday. and i think about what you’re doing, if you’re happy, how you’ve moved on, and how you live. and everyday is a battle between really hating you for all that you did, and just letting myself be with all that happened and happens. it’s a constant struggle and i think it’s supposed to be that way because if not, how would i learn? how would i know what i’m supposed to know when this is all said and done?

but, mostly i think everyday i’m inching that much closer to letting you go, letting go of all the things that i wished for you and i. and letting you be just where you are knowing that that is how it is supposed to be. and i hope that everyday brings me closer to the kind of peace i’m looking for when i look back at you and me. because one day, i’d like to look back and think that there was a small time in our lives when you and i sat across from one another in a car and we didn’t have to say anything. you just smiled at me and i couldn’t look away because i thought that there was nothing that was ever going to be better than this moment, right here, right then when i looked at you and me.

when i look back at you and me, i want to look back knowing that there was every reason for you to be in my life and every reason for you to leave the way you did so that one day, someday, i will look across at someone sitting next to me, without having to say a word, knowing without a doubt that this is where i’m supposed to be, and who i’m meant for. and that it’s okay that it’s not ever going to be you.

so, like i said earlier, tonight i let myself think about you and i’m sure i will tomorrow and the next day. but, i know one day, and one day soon, it won’t be that way. you will be just a memory of a time in my life where i came to terms with who i am and all that i am truly capable of. and i know i’m made for so many things in this life, and one of them is living without you because that’s what i’m doing and that’s what i will keep doing. and tonight, i’m okay with that.

side note: i’ve included the lyrics to a song by katy perry which has not only inspired this blog tonight but really captures much of my experience thus far. it’s beautiful song indeed.

By The Grace Of God

Katy Perry

I was 27 was surviving my return of Saturn
A long vacation didn’t sound so bad
Was full of secrets locked up tight like iron melting
Running on empty so out of gas
Thought I wasn’t enough
Found I wasn’t so tough
Layin’ on the bathroom floor
We were living on a fault line
And I felt the fault was all mine
Couldn’t take it anymoreBy the grace of God (There was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror
And decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me up
That way

I thank my sister for keeping my head above the water
When the truth was like swallowing sand
Now every morning
Oh there is no more mourning over
Can finally see myself again
I know I am enough
Possible to be loved
It was not about me
Now I have to rise above
Let the universe call the bluff
Yeah the truth’ll set you free

By the grace of God (There was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror
And decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me up
Oh, that way, that way, no
Not in the name
In the name of love
That way, that way, no
I am not giving up

By the grace of God
I picked myself back up
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror (Looked in the mirror)
Looked in the mirror (Looked in the mirror)

By the grace of God (There was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other
And I looked in the mirror
And decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me up
That way