Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Stop Factor

So you know that saran wrap stuff? The stuff that clings to everything it touches? I think I’m the human version of that in relationships. I know…sounds crazy and ridiculous, but I think I am, folks. I am the saran wrap of the relationship world. Interestingly enough though this is EXACTLY what I took a year off of dating to figure out. Well…kind of. If you’ll remember I actually took a year off of dating in order to become ok with being alone but I’m afraid that while I was aloning it up for a whole year I didn’t take the time to figure out where I went wrong in my previous relationships. I didn’t take the time to figure out what I brought to the table in relationships.
Hell…I spent so much time trying to love myself that I didn’t take the time to realize how different it is to have someone love me. That’s a whole different ballgame. I’m in control of me and my love, and I know how I show it to myself. I know exactly how I feel toward myself because I can read my own mind. I don’t have to prove it to myself because I KNOW. I know every thought that I have, but it’s not like that in a relationship with someone else. It’s not the same at all. 

And the strange thing is that I seem to start out pretty chill…independent, secure, sexy, fun, interesting…and then I turn into a crying, insecure, clingy, dependent mess! Why does this happen? Is it me? Is it them? Is the universe? I’m pretty sure it’s me. In fact, I KNOW it’s me. But the question is…why? Why does this happen? It’s like at first I’m nonchalant; I can take it or leave it. But once I get it…I’m like an addict. I always need more, more, more until myself and my respective partner are so tired of the constant runaround, misery, grief, and needless bickering that my partner lets go. He is always the one to let go first because a person can only take so much distrust, so much pushing until they’re sick and tired of it.

So I’m sure all of you are wondering where this has come from…well, I met someone. A very wonderful someone, who I am doing this to, who I am distrusting, pressuring, and giving such a hard time that it feels like he can’t do ANYTHING right. Now, would I put up with this? NO. Not no but hell no. So why in the world do I expect him to put up with it? I’d get tired of it too, and I think that’s where my fear comes from…it’s like I want to hurry up and get the inevitable over with. I want him to hurry up and leave me so I don’t have to wait around wondering when he’ll do it. But folks…that makes NO sense. No sense at all. And frankly the thought of him leaving me makes me want to vomit, makes me want to cry and be upset and all of the other things that people feel when they want to be with someone, when they’re afraid to lose them.

However…for some reason I’m having a hard time accepting that he doesn’t want to go anywhere, that he doesn’t actually want to leave me. And it’s like I can’t figure out why he doesn’t want to…like I have to keep doing more and more ridiculous things to prove myself right, that he does, in fact, deep down, want to leave me…he just hasn’t figured it out yet. But the thing is that he doesn’t have to figure it out…because he doesn’t want to, but the way I’ve been acting doesn’t really make anyone want to be around me. And honestly…if that’s the case why would he want to? I don’t even want to.

I think that I need some relationship 101, friends. Some serious relationship 101…and maybe a good smack in the face haha, but for real though. I’ve spent the last year becoming ok with being alone, but I don’t know if I know how to be in a healthy relationship. I don’t know if I actually know how to be with a good man. Is there an instruction manual? Or a guidebook that I could use; I really need one. Because if I don’t stop trying to put a rift between myself and this wonderful man I’m gonna push him away, and I don’t want that. I don’t want to push him away, and I don’t want to make him worry about me or us or our relationship. Hell, I do enough worrying about everything for the both of us as it is. So if anyone has any suggestions…please let me know :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Judge and The Jury

So…I’ve sort of failed at this blog thing for a while. And I would like to say that I have a fantastic reason, you know like my life is kickin’, but I can’t say that is the case. I haven’t been very busy, besides looking for a job that makes me happy, and I can’t say that I’ve truly wanted to write. Because, friends, I’ve been running, running away from my blog, my thoughts, my new found self-awareness, and frankly sort of slipping backwards. Slipping backwards into the disillusionment that was my life, and I don’t like that. I don’t like that one bit. I’ve been avoiding my blog because I feel like I have to tell the truth here, especially the truth about myself and who in their right mind ever wants to do that?  Who in their right mind wants to rip off the mask that they hold in front of their true selves? Who, in their right mind, wants to risk that rejection? Exactly. So now you know why I’ve been running away. And now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the real thoughts on my brain…
Judgment…and no I’m not talking about religion here. I’m talking about the almost instantaneous opinions that you form about the people you meet. Whether good or bad, they’re there. In fact, it’s difficult to meet someone without forming some kind of opinion about them, based on the way they look, talk, act, move, whatever…that instantaneous opinion is there. It’s almost like a reflex, at least for me anyway. Like self-preservation…yeah I know, who knew that we were in the jungle.

But it is…it is like a reflex for me. It’s like if I judge you and get you figured out first then…I win. I still have my game face on, and you still don’t know me. You still can’t get close because what I know, what I know about you is more important than anything you could ever learn about me, right? WRONG. And I’m sure that you’re asking, “since when are relationships with people about winning?” Frankly, they’re not supposed to be. They’re not supposed to be about winning at all. They’re supposed to be about mutual respect, and trust, and common interests. It’s supposed to be a win-win, not a win-lose.

And as you may remember…I took a year off of dating. It’s been almost two months since I completed that, and I still haven’t dated anyone. Interestingly enough, I still don’t feel that I’m ready; I don’t feel like I’m in the right place yet. So much for that magical year huh? Haha. But really though, I sometimes (ok, ok a lot of times) wonder how much my automatic fortress, moat, guard, marksmen, any other defense mechanism you can think of, affects my dating life. Probably a whole hell of a lot. And in all reality, would I want to date someone who would never let me in? No.

I shut people out before they can shut me out, which if you didn’t know, is completely self-defeating. And then, it all comes back to me, and I how I feel about me. It has nothing to do with the other people at all. Which honestly…sucks. Because I’m the one to blame, the one at fault, the reason for it all. It’s no fun, no fun at all. It’s like I rip away all the chances before people can get a chance to see…me. The real me. The me without all of the mumbo jumbo, without the makeup, figurative or literal, without the knowledge, without the things that I think make me somehow better, better than a real person. And that makes ZERO sense. Even as I sit here writing it, I can feel the flush in my cheeks from acknowledging the ways that I hide from the world, from exposing my vulnerability, from acknowledging that I’m an ordinary human being, who makes mistakes, who falls in love, who gets her feelings hurt, who cares for people, who feels lonely sometimes, who cries, who laughs, who does and feels all of the things that a HUMAN BEING feels. And strangely, it feels like I’m sharing some huge secret about myself with all of you, but most of all…it feels good.  

With that said I want to promise myself, in front of all of you, to STOP running away from my blog. It’s an important part of my life and my continuing journey to self-acceptance. I just have to let it help me :-)


Here’s a very fitting quote:   

"Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you’re sneaky, all the ways that you hide out, all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all of that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you’re coming to know humanness altogether. We are all up against these things. We are all in this together." –Pema Chodron

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not Physically...but Mentally?

So I just read a blog post on Ms. Single Mama…odd I know since I’m not a single mom, but her blog is really good. And in the midst of my emotional crisis of my move tomorrow, let’s not make light of 1300 miles, it’s been pretty inspirational. I’m sure you’re wondering where I found out about this blog well at the podiatrist’s office of course. I was sitting there…an uncomfortable mixture of excitement, fear, and endless tears about the move while waiting for my mom to get done, and I picked up a Woman’s Day magazine. I typically don’t read Woman’s Day, but the front of the cover was talking about letting go, and frankly that’s exactly what I needed. So I picked it up and flipped to a page and started reading and article about a woman who let go of fear. She let go of fear and left the broken marriage that she was in. And frankly that’s kind of fitting right now. No…I didn’t go off and elope or anything, but I’ve been wanting a change. Isn’t that what I’ve been striving for this whole time?  A change for the better…a change to become more of who I truly am? Yes.

However…as I’ve been at home I’ve sort of caught myself slipping back into some of my old patterns. I’m not always completely open and honest with myself here. I don’t eat well…at all. And I’ve been too worried about finding someone. That’s odd don’t you think? Given the fact that I have oh…at least another month before I should even be thinking about dating again. But I still catch myself thinking about it…sometimes even reveling in the attention that males can give me. Just because I know that I’m not dating doesn’t mean that the males around me know, you know? And as I’ve thought about this move...I’ve caught myself thinking and sometimes hoping that I’ll find the man of my dreams in Massachusetts. That I’ll be done with the no dating thing and there he’ll be ready to carry me off into the sunset on his white horse. Because frankly folks…not dating gets lonely. It’s hard to not base some of your perceptions of yourself on what other people think, especially when you have done it for so long. Like I’ve said before I’m impatient…I want to snap my fingers and be the best possible me that I can be, self-confident and assured and all. But it doesn’t work like that. Kind of like I want to snap my fingers and apparate, you know like in Harry Potter, all the way to Massachusetts so I won’t have to deal with the scary drive. But I can’t.

And interestingly enough I inspired someone…I inspired my boss to try to make herself happier. But sometimes I feel like a bit of an imposter for struggling so much with these things myself even though I preach to others about how great it is. How do you find the balance between loneliness, self-awareness, and natural human nature? It’s natural to feel a need to find the love of your life…but when does that natural need turn into an unhealthy obsession? Hell if I know. But I do know this…I need to let it go. I need to let go of my fear about this trip, and I need to stop worrying about a man coming into my life. As hard as that is, it’s what I need. And isn’t that what my whole life, not just this year, is about? What I need?       

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's So Wrong With Being A Super Ordinary Woman?

Well…it’s been about four months since I last posted on this blog, and I don’t really have a reason Mostly, I just haven’t had anything to write about. But I’ve also been busy with a trip to France and lots and LOTS of hard work, you know trying to save for my upcoming trip.

Speaking of an upcoming trip, I move across the country, about thirteen hundred miles away to be exact, in around a week and a half. Now I want to be able to declare how excited I am in the most sickening sing-songy voice that anyone has ever heard, but frankly, I feel more terrified than anything. When I think about how I’m going to get there, how much it will cost, how I don’t really know anyone, I have serious heart palpitations. I’m scared. Really freaking scared.

And I can’t help but wonder if it’s normal to be this afraid before such a big change. I’ve never lived this far from home before, and I feel like I’m twenty-two years old so I need to get over it, you know? But is that really fair to me? Is it really fair for me to just tell myself to “get over it?” Is it really fair for me to discredit my feelings that way? No.

And it’s strange because that’s my knee-jerk reaction…get over it. But I have every right to be terrified of moving halfway across the freaking country to a place that I’ve never even visited for a job that I’ve never actually done. I am not a robot who can just shut my feelings off at will. And sometimes, like now, I feel like that’s a damn shame. But if I could I wouldn’t be human.

It’s like I expect myself to be some sort of super woman with the cape, and the skintight suit, and the saving the world. But I don’t have a cape or, God forbid, a skintight suit. And frankly, I think it’s gonna take a lot more than what I can do to save the world, so why in the hell am I holding myself to that expectation? Why do I hold myself to such unyielding standard of perfection that I’m almost guaranteed to fail? And what is it with me thinking that showing emotion equals failure?

If I remember correctly I made some goals back several months ago and one of them included cutting myself some serious slack, and I don’t know if I’ve been living up to that lately. I want to live up to that. I want to be ok with being scared of something that is honestly scary. I want to stop making the things that I love out to miserable because I have such unrealistic expectations for myself. I want to write more on my blog because I’ve missed it. I’ve missed it a lot. It keeps me real, and out of my head, which honestly gets a little cramped sometimes. So wish me luck on the move because as afraid as I feel, I am excited. I just need to stop putting so much pressure on it. Here’s to depressurizing J    

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Apologies and Excuses...BE GONE!

Well I’m back to running (YAY!), and I just got back from a short run, and when I say short I mean like a half mile, but it’s better than nothing. Yet, instead of basking in the glory of being able to run again and being proud of myself for getting out there and doing it, all I can think about are the apologies that I wanted to shout to the people around me because, let me frank, there were quite a few (aka: a LOT) of people there, and there were quite a few (aka: a LOT) of apologies that I wanted to shout out.

Now…you would think that the apologies would be from the decline of my running distance due to my injury, and that the apologies would be to myself. But no, that’s not the case. I, in fact, during the whole run wanted to erupt with apologies for being overweight and…running. I wanted to apologize to my fellow lake-people (people who hang out/workout/fish/whatever at the lake) for even having the audacity to run without first getting into shape protected by the privacy of my own room and away from the public eye. I had the strongest urge to just shout out a HUGE apology for being out there running and making all other lake-people have to see my fat flopping about when, in reality, I was completely covered by a t-shirt. Frankly, it all just made me want to curl up and die out of shame, shame about something that I LOVE doing, and I hate that feeling.

But here’s the thing…there are no rules and regulations about who can and cannot run (unless you’re injured or something), so why in the blazes do I make all of these rules for myself about running? I can run just fine at the weight I’m at, and I can run a hell of a lot better than I used to be able to, so why do I continually give in to the self-consciousness that I don’t need in my life anyway? Why do I continually feel as if I’m not worthy to run? Or do a lot of things that I let my weight put a stop to?

Because it’s not my weight at all…it’s me. I’m the one with the problem, not my fellow lake-people, and I’m the one judging myself for running while still being a little overweight. I’m the one judging the little bit of fat that I have jiggling around when I run. I’m the one holding myself back, and frankly that’s a hard pill to swallow. Because I want to think that I support myself, but I can’t say that I always do, especially when it comes to things that I feel I am too “fat” to do, like swimming or running or rock climbing or numerous other things. But the honest truth is that I’m not too “fat” to do anything. That’s just some trumped up excuse that I’ve come up with over the years to protect me from making a fool out of myself because I used to be a lot heavier. But I’m not now, and it’s about time that I stop letting that phantom fat hold me back. It’s about time that I stop letting myself use being “fat” as an excuse to not do things that I want to do.  

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A "Peace" of the Puzzle

Last night I had a chill night. I kicked it in my bed and caught up on episodes of my favorite guilty pleasure…Degrassi. Now usually I watch Degrassi for just the shock factor and to find out what is happening with my favorite, basically all, of the characters. But last night, for some crazy reason, Degrassi actually related to my life. It was a little trippy to be honest.

Now when I say “related,” I don’t mean that I’ve had some crazy drama go down and that’s how it relates. I just mean that it related in the way that they felt…which was mainly angry. But here’s where it gets a little wonky…they weren’t actually angry; they were using anger to cover up hurt. I’m sure that everyone can relate to that in some form or fashion, and I know that I sure can.

And so Degrassi got me to thinking…why do people do this? Why do people use anger to cover up hurt? Honestly it mainly made me start thinking about why I do this and in what situations I do this in. And it was like I hit a HUGE brick wall, and when I say HUGE I mean GARGANTUAN. I just COULD NOT figure out why I do this…it just was. So of course I thought about it some more.

And I’ve discovered that for me being hurt is hard. It just is. And if I’m angry then, well, I can ignore the hurt, and friends, ignorance is definitely NOT the purpose of this year. Because if I remember correctly I am DONE with blissful ignorance. And sometimes “blissful ignorance” comes in the form of anger. And let’s face it; sometimes it’s just easier to be angry. Sometimes it’s just easier to ignore the hurt and rage and stew and fume about whatever hurt you. But does that fix the hurt? Or even abate the anger? No.

Sometimes I’m just hurt, and there’s not a lot that I can do about it except for make peace with it and let it go. And peace is something that I always want around in EVERY aspect of my life. It’s one of my goals for the year…to be more at peace with peace. And if I continually let this anger hang around like a raging phantom I’ll just be angry and resentful and unhappy, and frankly there’s no peace in that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Laws of Emotion

Emotions are unpredictable. Very, very unpredictable. And as I’ve said in the past I’m not so big on the unpredictable, when it comes to my personal life anyway. So I tend to think of them as some creepy, crawly, slithery creature that’s going to slither up out of nowhere and trick you into well, thinking about them. And sometimes dang it you just don’t want to. You just don’t want to deal with every past emotion that you haven’t dealt with yet that got you into this spot in the first place, you know? You just don’t want to.

And then sometimes, you don’t get that choice. That’s what happened to me today. I had a slippery emotional confrontation, with myself no less, and had to deal with a lot of things that I wasn’t sure that I was strong enough to face yet. And as I’m sure you all know, emotional confrontations, especially with yourself, are difficult to handle on the best of days, much less a rainy, dreary day like today. And honestly it freaked me the heck out, the way that the emotion and feelings just spilled out of me like a fully running faucet, or rather waterfall with a rushing current and all. And I just didn’t think that I was strong enough to face it, deal with it, or handle the backlash that all of that emotion could bring. But, as I quickly found out, I am strong enough.

And even though I didn’t know it, until it just came rushing out of me like a current, I am ready to deal with it. I am ready to face the truth, and frankly, despite the brave face I’m scared. I’m scared of what such truth and emotion can bring. But sometimes you don’t get the choice to decide what the right time to deal with it is, sometimes it just breaks like a levy in a flood, especially if you’ve held it back for a long time. And sometimes the only way to heal is to get swept away in a flood, swept away in a flood of emotion about a situation that you didn’t even know that you were ready to deal with yet.

And frankly, that’s difficult. It’s difficult to just let awful emotions and past situations rush over you, especially when they’ve been in a neat little box for such a long time. It’s kind of like an emotional sugar crash until they’ve run their course, and you’re back to being even keeled again.

But I’m done with neatly boxing my emotions and opinions about my personal life. It’s MY personal life, and there is no reason to neatly box the emotions that I feel because those boxes don’t last forever, and I’ve found that the unpleasant emotions tend to rush out a lot faster and harsher the second time around. And they’re also a LOT more difficult to put back into the box. Well…more like damn near impossible. So why even start out with a box in the first place?

My only answer to that is fear, and honestly I’m sick of being afraid. I’m sick of being afraid of the way that I feel sometimes; I’m sick of being afraid of speaking my mind about perfectly normal emotions. I’m sick of being afraid to show perfectly normal emotions.

So in stereotypical female fashion (that’s a joke peeps) I’m going to be more emotional. Not crying at the drop of a hat sort of thing, but in a healthy way because it’s not fair to me to hold everything in. It’s just NOT fair. Emotional honesty is important, and it’s high time that I start acting like it.     

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Square One...Again

Well as we know I can run again, sort of, and I’m back at square one, square one of a running schedule that is. Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning, I am going to start the Couch to 5K program again, and I’m actually really nervous about it. I’m nervous because I love running, and I remember how far I was before the injury, which is way further than I had ever been before when it came to exercise, and it’s freaky to just start back at square one all over again.

It’s scary to remember that and then start from the beginning all over again, especially with the fear that I have of reinjuring myself, that’s the really freaky thing. It’s freaky to feel every twinge in my formerly injured ankle, twinges that weren’t there before. It’s freaky to feel the normal burn from before and think that it’s my tendons tearing again. And yes, I know the difference between the two pains, but I don’t want to push it you know? I don’t want to do something crazy and then get myself splinted again. That is one square I definitely do not want to face again.

And along with the nagging reinjury what if’s in my head, I also have the “what if I can’t do it?” What if I’m just too out of shape? According to one of my good friends it takes only three days to get out of shape, and I’ve had over 3 months! Over 3 months y’all! Before now, I hadn’t had more than a two or three day break from running in quite a while, and granted torn tendons are a darn good reason to not be running, but it’s still trippy.

So yeah…back to tomorrow…I start the program once again, and I’m nervous. But on the upside I know where to run and where to not run on my campus, namely places where I have a chance of twisting any body part. And even though I’m nervous and not feeling very confident about my running these days, probably because I haven’t done a lot of it in over 3 months, there is a silver lining to this. Because when starting at the bottom, aka square one, the only place to go is up, and that’s exactly where I plan on going, or rather, forward in my running shoes as I pound the pavement one minute at a time (and yes, I meant one minute).        

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Shame Game

Shame, shame, shame. It’s a larger part of my life than I would like to admit. But while most people put certain events in a shroud of shame, I put pretty much my whole life in a shroud of shame. I’m sure you’re wondering what that means…honestly, how could someone incorporate shame into almost every aspect of their life? And frankly, I don’t know, but I do it and do it all too well.

I play the shame game all the time. I shame myself about the way that I look, the way that I eat, how much I exercise (or don’t), what I wear, how much weight I lose (or don’t), how well I do yoga (or don’t), and a huge number of other things that I just can’t think of right now. Hell, I even put some shame on this blog, and I’m not talking about good shame, like the getting it all out and in the open shame. I’m talking about the shame I feel about my writing or the shame I feel about not having all the right answers on my blog, when frankly I can’t possibly have all the answers, let alone the right answers.

Shame is also a huge part of every romantic relationship that I have ever had. Either I’m ashamed to be with them (which doesn’t happen super often), or I feel like that they’re ashamed to be with me (this one happens WAY more often). Now here’s the thing, I have my various reasons for feeling the second way, but the bigger question here is why in the heck do I stay with someone that I feel is ashamed to be with me? Why do I stay with someone who actually makes me feel as if they’re ashamed to be with me? Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?

And if that weren’t enough, you know the feeling as if they’re ashamed of me thing, I don’t talk to them about it because I don’t want to face that reality. I don’t want to face the reality that I’m selling myself out just so I won’t have to be “alone,” which in turn leads to more shame. I don’t talk to them because I’m usually in relationships that are on such thin ice that any tiny conflict could cause that oh so thin ice to cave in on me until I’m drowning. And, though I have never drowned, any sort of drowning just doesn’t sound like it would be a very good time. But the problem is, despite my attempts to avoid drowning, I do anyway, in my own denial and shame. But I do this to avoid that sinking feeling in my stomach, that sinking, sickening feeling that’s like, “newsflash, you’ve made the wrong decision again, or you’re alone again, or you’ve failed… again.” So I stick it out and shame, shame, shame and lie, lie, lie myself into oblivion. Because it’s ok if they hurt me if it doesn’t bother me or I’m too oblivious to see it.

But the thing is that it’s not ok. It’s not ok to stay with someone who hurts me or makes me cry every day. It’s not ok (or healthy by any means) to stay with someone who capitalizes on the shame that I feel about myself. Yet, I continually date people whom I feel that way with, and I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why. I mean, you would think that I would learn my lesson, wouldn’t you?

And I suppose that’s what this year is about, reflecting upon those things and essentially “learning” that lesson. Because I can’t say that I wouldn’t be in the same sort of situation right now if I were dating, and that’s what I want to overcome. I want to STOP selling myself out on males who aren’t healthy for me, and I want to be strong enough to face that they aren’t, even when it means that I don’t have a romantic backup, even when it means that I will have to be alone for a while.

And I wish that I could say that I will stop playing the shame game all together, but I can’t. It’s difficult to completely eradicate something from your life that, until just a few minutes ago, you hadn’t even realized was such a large part. I think that it will definitely have to be a work in progress. I feel that getting back into running will help me with that because I can’t do as much as I once could, and honestly there’s no shame in that. I also feel that yoga will help because there’s no shame (despite my trying to put some in there) in trying your hardest and not being able to touch your face to your knees or your ears to your knees while doing a crazy/awesome shoulder stand or whatever. Progress takes time, and honestly…there’s no shame in that.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Step, Step, Steppin' On

Ok, so remember how I’ve been injured for like the past, oh say, forever and a day? Yes, I realize that it’s really been more like four months, but it’s felt like FOREVER. A very looooong and torturous forever. And as we all know, I don’t do very well with being injured because I’m stubborn and just kind of want to do what I want to do, and I don’t take too kindly to someone, namely my doctor, telling me that I can’t. Also, I’m sure that you’ve all read my Splinted posts and heard all of my whining about not being able to run, but guess what. I CAN RUN NOW!!! No, this isn’t some crazy wishful thinking dream thing this is FOR REAL. I CAN RUN! And I’m EXCITED, if you haven’t already figured that out from the excessive amount of caps lock and exclamation points that I am using.

And no lie, I almost thought that I was never going to heal. I felt all sorts of dejected and awful about it until I pretty much had to start doing something else in order to take my mind off of it. So I threw some Zumba and yoga up in my life, and I think those have contributed to my being able to run again. They definitely contributed to cardiovascular strength and actual strength building. So that’s one good thing that has come out of my injury, being forced to try something new and finding that I love it.

But I am so excited to be able to run again, so so so excited! And I kid you not when I say that I started crying when I started running, and it wasn’t from pain y’all; it was from sheer gratitude and amazement and all sorts of other things that I’m not really sure how to put into words right now. All I know is that those were happiness tears, and they were AWESOME. Though for future reference I don’t plan on nor recommend running and crying because it makes it a little difficult to see and that can be dangerous and lead to another injury. Can you imagine how angry I would be if I reinjured myself right now? Very very very.

So I’m back to running, and I’m gonna be taking it very very slowly. Because well, as some wise person once said, “every journey starts with a single step.” Even if that step isn’t as fast or as long or as strong as it used to be, it’s still a step. And by george, I plan on taking many more steps, running steps that is, in the future :-)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Little Spring in My Step

Well I’m finally out for spring break (which seriously couldn’t come soon enough), and I’ve picked up a hobby: cooking. Now I used to dislike cooking, and by dislike I mean that I absolutely HATED it. I couldn’t stand it, mainly because dish washing was involved, but also because I just didn’t like it. I didn’t like touching raw meat or cutting up vegetables or doing anything domestic really. Those things weren’t my forte, and they definitely weren’t my cup of tea.

But in the past couple of days I’ve sort of grown to love it. And I have made SOOOOOO much delicious food (all vegetarian of course), and my family is LOVING it. And so am I honestly; I mean who doesn’t like good food that’s actually good for you. Seriously, I’m all over that.

So that’s what I’ve been doing during my break so far, and it got me to thinking about change, and how much I have. I used to eat soooo unhealthily. I’d hit up McDonalds and eat way more than I needed there, and I was a huge fan of potato chips and debbie cakes and any other sort of processed goodness that was out there like…cheese whiz. OMG I loved cheese whiz! But I don’t eat that stuff anymore, and I can’t remember the last time that I did.

However, I do remember thinking that I wouldn’t be able to survive without things like that. I remember thinking that eating chips and candy bars and cakes all the time and in HUGE amounts was the norm, and now, my norm is broccoli and carrots and peanut butter and beans and all sorts of other healthy type things. And now, I can’t even imagine going back to eating chips and cakes and candy bars, despite my past days of the temptation being too much.

Now the norm (and this is the more recent norm) is homemade peanut butter, homemade salsa, homemade strawberry granola bars, homemade rice pudding, and homemade vegetable pot pie (even the crust). And I like this norm; I like cooking so much because it makes me feel healthy AND accomplished. I like this norm because it lets me know that I have changed, and change can be a really good (and often necessary) thing. It lets me know that I have changed so much that the box of debbie cakes in the cabinet doesn’t even call out to me anymore.

And friends, that is progress, progress that I accomplished, and isn’t that what this year is about? It’s about change AND progress. And sometimes I get so caught up in the change part that I forget about the progress part; I forget to reward myself for the progress that I have made during my journey and instead beat myself up for the slip ups that I do have. So instead of beating myself up today, and hopefully every day after this one, I’m going to have a piece of homemade pot pie and say HOORAY ME!  Hooray for the awesome pot pie and HOORAY for all of the progress that I have made because every little bit of progress is important J

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving” –Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Things That Await

Sometimes things happen to us that we don’t expect, don’t get to anticipate, or don’t necessarily even want.  Sometimes things happen to us that we never dared to hope for in a million years or, on the flipside, that we never wanted to have to face in a million years.  Sometimes we receive the opportunity of a lifetime or the disaster of a lifetime, seemingly so randomly as if fate decided to just flip a coin that day. I’ve never really thought a great deal about how different events impact my life; I just take the good with the bad and go on…or try to anyway. But what if one tiny decision or one supposed disaster makes all the difference? What if one meant-to-be event leads to exactly the right things, even if it’s seen as a “disaster” right now?

As we all know, I’m on a journey to find myself and what I truly want out of life, and it’s difficult. But I don’t think that I would be here right now if it weren’t for the rough summer that I had (and probably some previous events before that). I don’t think that I would even be caring about finding myself or being true to myself if I hadn’t gone through that rough time. And I’ve been struggling with getting perspective on this past summer because, well, “disasters” don’t really seem to have a reason at the time they’re happening or even after they’ve happened. They just sort of happen and leave you to pick up the pieces, pieces that you’re obviously not prepared to pick up or even deal with yet. But they’re there waiting for you while you hate them and the event that caused them until you either let them consume you…or let them go.

 And as I said, sometimes these events make all the difference.  Sometimes these “disasters” are really opportunities in disguise, opportunities to do what you’re actually meant to be doing, to do what feels right instead of what seems right.  Sometimes these “disasters” need to happen in order to help you walk confidently or even unconfidently into the unknown that will actually make you happy in the end, the unknown that will send you on a journey like I’m on, the unknown that will change your life forever.

And I’ll be honest; it’s not always easy to accept a difficult time as an opportunity. In fact, it’s really hard. But what if it’s exactly what needed to happen in order to send you on the path to true happiness?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Naked Truth

So I made a realization while I was getting in the shower this morning…I avoid mirrors when I’m naked. In fact, it’s like a race to see how fast I can get naked and into the shower before I have to encounter the image of my naked self in the mirror above our sink. Sad, huh? And I kid you not when I say it’s like a race because I almost tripped over the side of the tub and injured myself from trying to get in there so fast this morning. Almost injured myself! (That would one hell of an injury story though…).

And you would think that this wouldn’t be any sort of surprise to me given all the other forms of self-loathing that I partake in (while clothed, mind you), but honestly, it is a surprise to me. I’m surprised that I can’t stand in front of a mirror without cringing, never mind trying to stand naked in front of a mirror without cringing. I’m surprised that I can’t stand naked in front of a mirror without homing in on all of the things that I think are “wrong” with me from my hips to my stomach to my face to my arms to my hair to my EVERYTHING. I swear the list never ends. And when standing naked in front of mirror that list just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it engulfs me like a conflagration of self-loathing, destroying any little bit of self-esteem that I may have built up, and that’s before I’ve even had breakfast! And I’ll tell you right now…that does not make for a very good day at all.

And honestly, I’m surprised that I never noticed this until now. I mean I’ve been dealing with my naked self for like 21 years now, and today is the first day that I truly realized that I have a phobia-ish-thing of mirrors, especially when I’m naked. And, frankly, I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. I want to BE NAKED and BE OK. I want to be able to face my naked self in the mirror every morning and tell myself that I am beautiful and wonderful. I want to be able to tell myself that and leave out all of the “despites.” I want to actually say something nice to myself without automatically following it with “despite the fact that (you’re fat, have almost zero hips, you have blotchy skin) or any other number of mean things that I say to myself. I just want to say something NICE and leave it at that.

So I’m going to make a goal to say something nice to myself, with NO despites, every day. Hell, I might even write them down for future reference. And I’m going to try to become chill with my naked self because honestly there is absolutely no sense in almost breaking a leg when getting into the shower just to avoid seeing myself naked. And when it comes right down to it do many of the things that I avoid doing turn out to really be that bad? No. So here’s to becoming best friends my naked self because honestly it’s LONG past due. J   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Links That Bring Us Closer

Remember that impulse purchase that I made? Well…it’s teaching me lessons already haha. Lesson number one...make sure of the size. I was shocked when I opened the package and saw how small it was in size. Trust me…there was NO WAY that it was fitting around my wrist. So, thinking that they must have made a mistake, I went back to the website to re-check the size, and found out that the mistake-maker in this situation was without a doubt yours truly (aka…me).

So…dejected, disappointed, and truly believing that I was going to have to send back the bracelet that I really wanted but kind of spent too much for on an impulse, I decided to try to make it longer. Now I tried necklace extensions and basically every extension sort of thing that I could find in my jewelry box, but it was either too long then or still too short. And let me tell you by this time I was regretting the hell out of the purchase I had made, beating up on myself for spending so much money for it, not checking the size, and really for even buying it at all. I kept asking myself why and the heck did I buy this thing? Why did I spend so much on a bracelet that I didn’t even need just to “remind” myself that soul searching is all “about the journey?” I mean, couldn’t I just remind myself of that? And then it went from that to feeling guilty about spending the money on myself in the first place and well…it just spiraled a little out of control from there.
Then I saw a broken necklace in my jewelry box that I never wear because, well, it’s broken. And as I looked more closely at it I saw that the links on it were almost identical to the links at the end of the bracelet, and I thought,” Why don’t I just put more links on the bracelet?” And, folks, that’s what I did because apparently sometimes not even things that you order online, that you rightfully expect to fit perfectly, will fit perfectly right out of the package: and neither does soul searching. Journeys and soul searching don’t fit into the perfectly square box that I want to fit them into, sometimes they work more like the links on a chain, making you piece on one link after another until you get to the place that you really need to be. So here’s to putting links on the soul searching chain J  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ghosts of Relationships Past

As we all know my four month alone-iversary is coming up (read previous post if you don’t know), and as I said it’s hard. It’s really hard. But I think the hardest part, at least these days, is the re-surfacing of all my old romantic relationships/situations. It’s a crazy mixture of what happened, what went wrong, what I could’ve changed, what I ignored, what I wanted them to be, what they weren’t, and even what I feel about them right now. And given my lack of romantic anything that could suck up all of my thinking time like some intense black hole, I have to think about, and God forbid, deal with these things, and frankly it sucks. A LOT. Because all of those feelings and wishes and hopes and dreams and hurts and disappointments and betrayals from those romantic whatevers are bubbling back up and saying: Look at ME! Don’t you wish you would’ve done this differently or that differently? And they’re making me deal with them in a way that I didn’t deal with them in the past, and honestly I’m kind of feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge up in here, and trust me that is not a fun or happy way to feel.

And believe me…I don’t want to have to deal with these things. I want to just sweep them under the rug or into a closet and deal with them in the rightful way that skeletons should be dealt with. But sometimes the “rightful” way, to me anyway, isn’t the healthiest way, because, well, the minute I’ve got some time on my hands, i.e. now, they jump up out of the closet and creep out from under the rug and haunt me again. And folks I am not a fan of being haunted. Not a fan at all. And as you can tell hauntings just don’t jive with my ideal of being chill and calm and all the other stuff that I want to be but have a hard time being. Because frankly, being haunted, in a strictly metaphorical sense, makes me the opposite of chill. Having to think about these things kind of puts me on edge and makes me irritable, and let’s be real here who honestly wants to take a microscope to every relationship that they’ve had? I sure as hell don’t, but it seems like these days that’s all I seem to think about, until I’m to the point of “enough already!”
Maybe this is why I keep getting into all of these unhealthy situations, because I haven’t had the guts to just face up to the fact that I don’t want to deal with these things. I don’t want to deal with the fact that I’ve been rejected before. I don’t want to deal with the fact that I make mistakes and pick the wrong and unhealthy people for me. I don’t want to deal with the fact that I HAVE been that girl who gets hurt, who gets lied to, who gets left, and who feels like an idiot at the end of the day. I don’t want to face that I’ve been that girl who has stayed in something just because she didn’t want to be alone. But the reality is that I have been that girl, and I can ignore it all I want to, but it still stands there staring me in the face as I try to avert my eyes. It still taunts me as I try to progress onward during my journey, and I feel as if these ghosts are truly holding me back with their plasma-y arms and vicious accusations. And maybe I don’t want to fully deal because then I would have to let go and, in turn, cut myself some slack, and I mean who am I going to beat up on if I can’t beat up on myself?  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Oh, The Postman...

So I’m coming up on my 4 month “alone-iversary,” and I’m kind of going insane. Ok, not really…but it is REALLY weird. Now, just to be clear, an “alone-iversary” involves romantic aloneness; I’m not chilling out on a deserted island or anything extreme like that, not that it wouldn’t be an interesting, and probably scary experience, but I just don’t see a deserted island in my near future.
As we all know, I’m not doing any sort of romantic anything for a year, and if it hadn’t been for a small bump in my non-romantic road I would be at month 6, but no worries, everyone has setbacks, myself included. The point of this year of no romance is to better focus on myself and who I am, of course, but also to figure out why I have such unhealthy and down-right terrible relationships. And to be honest, sifting through all of the quicksand of my romantic past is hard enough without throwing more on top of it. And as I’ve said, I’m reaching my 4 month “alone-iversary,” which is, to me, a big accomplishment. Because this is the longest amount of time that I have gone without being in some sort of romantic something. This is the longest I’ve gone without talking to or seeing someone romantically in some capacity and, frankly, it’s HARD. This romantic anything celibacy thing is WAY harder than I expected it to be, and I’m pretty surprised about that. I mean it’s just about having willpower, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too…boy, was I wrong.

It’s about so much more than willpower, and I kid you not when I say that it is for sure one of the hardest things I have ever done. Before now, the most that I had stayed out of romantic situations was for three months and the shortest time was ten days (yeah, I know), and let’s be real here, neither of those are even close to being enough time to heal or do whatever needs to be done in order to get into another romantic anything, at least for me anyway. So it’s kind of like I’m breaking an addiction, and let me tell you month almost 4 is proving to be the most contrary.

And here’s where the “going insane” part comes in. I see attractive males EVERYWHERE. You laugh, but I am not joking. It’s like they’re stalking me, trying to get me to break my year of romantic celibacy; yes, I just said attractive males are stalking me…told you that I’m going insane. No, but for real though, I am hyper-sensitive to the presence of any remotely attractive male, like if I were a superhero that would be my superpower. And I’m fairly certain that it’s due to the fact that I’m coming up on my four month “alone-iversary;” it’s kind of like the hump before it all becomes downhill, you know? And sadly, we have possibly the most attractive postman on the planet; it’s kind of ridiculous. Postal workers should not be allowed to be as attractive as he is, especially not when I’m spending the weekend at home around my 4 month “alone-iversary;” it’s just not fair.

Now I promise that I didn’t expect to become a superhero with the superpower of being able to home in on the presence of attractive males, but I also didn’t expect my confidence to take a dip or to feel lonely either. (I know, just goes to show that no matter how much you try to prepare for something you can’t anticipate everything.) I didn’t expect to discover how much romantic attention affects my life, or how much I depend on it for things, like confidence and self-image, that I should depend on myself for. I didn’t expect to discover how much I tend to put my happiness with myself in the hands of others, specifically those of the male persuasion, instead of making my own happiness. I didn’t expect to discover how much I base my self-worth on whether or not I’m romantically involved with someone. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to be romantically celibate, huh?

So, despite, my newly acquired, and hopefully short-lived, superpower, it seems that romantic celibacy is the best thing for me right now because I’m learning A LOT from it. And instead of feeling lonely, hating Valentine’s Day, and eating tons and tons of chocolate in order to fill the void caused by feeling like a romantic leper, I’m going to be ALONE and HAPPY and celebrate the heck out of my “alone-iversary,” because it truly IS an accomplishment that I’m proud of J        

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Riding the Wave

I made an impulse purchase today. It was a red, and fairly simple, bracelet with a little foot cut out of the center and the mantra “it’s all about the journey” engraved on the front. Now I don’t really make a lot of impulse purchases; I, in fact, think and think and think about purchases before I make them, and they usually get shut down before the third stage of thinking about them even rolls around. But today I bought the bracelet, even though I’ve wanted it since the summer, I bought it today.

Now as we all know, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog that is, that I am a very straight lines kind of person. I like to see everything, up close, from beginning to end and all the itty-bitty cracks in between. And the problem with soul searching and this year is that I can’t SEE that. I can’t just fast forward to the end and see the end result. And friends, that’s a difficult and incredibly frustrating thing for me. It’s difficult for me to embark on a journey and not have an itinerary. I LIKE itineraries. I LIKE to know exactly what is going to happen, and dang it soul searching just will not give into my itinerary-loving ideal.

And friends, that frustrates the heck out of me. I want to have a plan of exactly where I will end up after this journey, and frankly I don’t have one, and not having one drives me a little bit insane. I like to block everything out into the way that they will happen, and you would think that I would have learned that “blocking” things out never really ends up being the best thing, but it’s hard. It’s hard to not PLAN everything. It’s hard to not try to anticipate EVERYTHING…even when it comes to soul searching.

But the thing about soul searching is that it doesn’t come with a plan. And no matter how much I want my ducks to be in a row on this they’re going to be all over the freaking place. No matter how much I want to know the end result NOW and have a tangible strategy for my soul searching, I can’t. And it’s rough.

But honestly, all of this energy that I am expending on anticipating the “end” result (if there is one) could be spent on the journey itself. I need to stop fighting against the wave and ride with it. I need to realize that soul searching truly IS about the journey, and no matter how much I want this to be a straight line, point A to point B kind of situation, it’s not. And that’s why I bought the bracelet today instead of this past summer, because today...was the right day.

Here’s a quote that speaks to me and, well, my frustration haha:  

“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, January 27, 2012

Beautifully Broken Glass

Ever notice how beautiful a piece of broken glass is? It has smooth and sharp edges, and if you look closely enough you can see the ridges from the glass that was once attached, the ridges that tell the story of where the shard used to fit. The ridges are usually wavy but continuous, smooth but sharp, scarring but beautiful.  These ridges, to me, tell the true story of the whole and the shard, displaying the fragility of the original glass for all to see.
I think that glass does best what humans, myself included, have a difficult time doing: breaking. It’s difficult to accept fragility; it’s difficult to accept that we can be easily broken. And as difficult as fragility is to accept it’s even more difficult to admit. It’s hard to admit that we’re breakable; it’s hard to admit that we hurt and grieve and hope and feel disappointment. It’s just plain hard. And not only is it hard, but it’s scary. It’s so incredibly scary.
Because to me fragility or breakability is dangerous. To me, it’s dangerous to put everything out there. To me, it’s dangerous to breakdown in a heap of emotion or fragility because then I’m at risk for hurt, and I don’t especially enjoy being hurt. I honestly can’t say that I know anyone who does. To me, it’s dangerous to be fully fragile, and I think this to the point of being intensely apologetic whenever I do, apologetic for being fragile, and also apologetic to the person that I am being fragile with.
I think, or rather I know, that my biggest struggle is admitting that I am breakable. And despite the fact that I know I’m not alone in being breakable I still want to believe that I am invincible and unbreakable and emotionally indestructible. But I’m not. I am not invincible or unbreakable or emotionally indestructible because I Am Fragile. I. Am. Fragile. There, I said it. As scary as it is to admit, I just admitted it, right here, on my blog, for all the world to see. And I have the urge to delete it right now because I still don’t want to believe it, that I am breakable, that I am capable of breaking at all.
But I am breakable and fragile sometimes. I do have emotions; I do break; I do get hurt. And as scary as it is there is a beautiful thing about fragility. Like the ridges in a piece of broken glass, fragility shows the ridges and grooves of the real me. I have made some of my best friends through the minute amount of fragility that I show, and I know that fragility, or rather my comfortableness in being fragile with them, is a huge part of those friendships.
Now I wish that I could say that I will all of a sudden start being vulnerable and breakable around everyone, but I won’t because that’s a hard habit to break, a hard defense mechanism to outwit. And I’m trying; I’m trying so hard, but I’m just not to that point yet. I hope that within the course of this year I will at least get more comfortable with that and stop keeping all the people in my life at a distance. But for right now I’m satisfied with knowing and admitting, however grudgingly, that I am fragile and breakable, and I’m slowly working toward accepting that showing fragility is OK. Because broken glass is beautiful and so is the real, and fragile, me.        

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hanging On For Dear Life

Ever had an emotional burden? You know, something that just weighs and weighs and weighs on you until, well, who knows when. From my experience, emotional burdens and the feelings they cause are incredibly hard to shake. They hang around, beating you down, like some dreadfully vicious older brother (or sister if you prefer). They’re reminders of some of the most hurtful, scary, and just plain awful situations. I originally wanted to title this post “Ridin Solo…or Am I” because as I was walking (yes, I’ve made some peace with walking, thank goodness) last weekend, trying to figure out what to write in, what I’m going to say, is a “relief” letter, I heard the song “Ridin Solo” by Jason Derülo. Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering what a “relief” letter is. It’s a letter that you write to someone who has hurt you in some way, and then you don’t send it. You read it aloud, burn it, trash it, keep it, or any other number of things you want to do with it. And let me tell you folks, there’s something to be said for just writing a letter and getting all of that emotional angst and resentment and whatever else is bearing on your chest out. I’m not gonna lie…I thought it was a little silly and/or (mostly “and”) ridiculous at first, I mean what the heck is a letter going to do, right? But it was surprisingly “relieving” (and let me add, scary as hell) to let all of that out and then read it to someone.

But this post isn’t about that specific letter, it’s about my own battle with emotional burdens, some of which happened to end up in that letter. I wanted to title this post after a Jason Derülo song because who wants to admit that they have things that bother them that they just CANNOT let go. I, personally, want to be seen as a forgiving and non-grudge holding person, but sometimes that’s an outright lie, sometimes no matter how much you really want to let something go and truly be “ridin’ solo” you can’t. But then, as I was walking, I realized that I can’t say that I’m ever really so concerned with “ridin’ solo” as I am with “hanging on for dear life” to the hurts and injustices and whatever else bothers me. I hang on and on and on, letting these hurtful situations and memories eat away at me like a toxin, never actually approaching the source of the hurt in order to attempt to stop it.

And, friends, I’m not so sure that I truly want to stop it. I’m not so sure that I actually want to rid myself of hurtful thoughts and second-guesses. I know…it sounds kinda crazy, right? I mean if you’re bleeding you would expect a doctor to stop it, right? Well, folks apparently I wouldn’t. Now it’s not so extreme as bleeding, but I allow these hurtful situations to hurt me. And instead of dealing with the situation, stopping the “bleeding,” and going the heck on with my life, I put a tourniquet on it and leave it, ending up with metaphorical gangrene in the process. Nasty, huh?

But why do I do this? Why do I allow myself to continually hurt over the same situation? Why can’t I just get the hell over it? And believe you me, I’ve been asking myself these same questions a LOT, and I think it’s because the hurt has become a security blanket, it’s become comfortable, it’s become the norm. And let me tell you it’s like a security blanket made out of cacti. Yep, I’m hangin’ onto “cacti” for dear life, talk about painful. But, you know, even the most awful things can become the norm. Sometimes it becomes easier to hold the grudge than it is to let it go, because letting go generally means “dealing, processing, and coping” and who in their right mind wants to go through all of that pain? Not me, y’all, not me.

The thing I don’t think about much though is that by not dealing with the original pain, I allow it to have a place in my everyday life. Instead of dealing and letting it go on its miserable way, I carry it around with me, being scared to let even one ounce of it go. I wonder what I would do and even who I would be without it. I’ve allowed hurt to control my life in such a way that I’ve given it the power to make and break me. I’ve freaking allowed hurt to DETERMINE who I am. Emotional burden is a hard thing to let go, y’all. It becomes an old friend so quickly that you don’t even realize it, and then it starts to control you like it has me, and frankly that’s just NOT healthy. So, friends, I’m sick of hanging on for dear life to hurt and emotional burden; I’m ready to deal because I’m realizing now that without hurt…I would STILL be me.  

PS: Sorry for the delay between posts y’all, I’ve been insanely busy with recruitment for Alpha Xi Delta, my sorority J On the plus side now that it’s over my posts will definitely be more frequent, and we got seven new amaXIng sisters!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sometimes You're a Forest and Don't Even Know It

Everyone hopes for something. In most situations, jobs, relationships, friendships, opportunities, etc., there is some hope involved, and it’s usually a hope for the best. But what if you avoid hope in order to try to avoid disappointment? I do this, especially with my romantic relationships. As I’ve said before, this year is about finding myself, and I happen to think that the best way to do this is to stop my dating life for a year. But I think it’s important (and incredascary) to figure out why I become involved in relationships that are not healthy for me and that I am not happy in. I think it’s a number of things, but I have to agree with a very wise person that a major part of that is difficulty being vulnerable.

Vulnerability is a scary thing to me. A scary scary thing. In fact, I’m having a really rough time writing this post. My heart is beating insanely fast, and I have sweaty palms at this very moment. That’s called nervousness y’all. That’s what vulnerability does to me; it initiates my fight or flight response because it’s like a phobia I have. It’s like seeing a HUGE tarantula for someone with arachnophobia. I know that sounds a little extreme, but I am not kidding when I say that I break out in a cold sweat. Because in my experience vulnerability opens you up for hurt, and who likes to be hurt? Not ME. And I’m sure not YOU either.

So in order to avoid disappointment I avoid hope and expectation and by avoiding those I try to avoid vulnerability and hurt. Because if you don’t hope for something or make yourself vulnerable by showing that you hope for something then you don’t get disappointed or hurt, right? Wrong. Despite my wanting to avoid hope and expectations, they seem to grow up like a forest before I even realize it. So then I try to take a mental chainsaw to those hopes, those expectations that are only going to lead to doom (in my brain anyway). Yep, that’s negativity at its finest right there.

And I especially try to chainsaw the heck out of the hopes and expectations in my romantic life. I don’t want to believe that I want the same things that a lot of women want, that I want a husband and a family someday. I always claim that I’m never going to get married, and who knows I may not, but I want that family. I want to have children and know that I have a good man there to be a wonderful father and husband. I want to be with one person forever and have that happily even after. To me…it’s scary to admit those things, and I haven’t actually figured out why that is yet. It’s something that I need to work on.

But here’s the discrepancy, I want those things, but I date people who I am not comfortable enough with to admit those things. I keep them at a distance (there’s that vulnerability thing again), and I never tell them. I try to ignore my hope that maybe they’ll be prince charming, because apparently I’m a fairytalesque romantic, you know. And before I know it that forest of hope is alive and kicking   (if forests could kick), and I’ve opened myself up for hurt without even meaning to. This is the scary part of my post because most people don’t like to admit that they’re looking for something so serious. I mean, goodness, who wants that? But I do, and that’s a scary thing to admit, especially when you keep dating people who you’re not able to be vulnerable with like I do. It’s hard to keep accepting that you hope for prince charming (and yes, I realize that this “prince charming” is not going to be perfect) when frogs keep showing up, and not the good kind either. And it’s hard to accept that you hoped for someone so “bad” now to be that prince charming; I mean, really, who wants to accept that?

But as scary as hope, in my opinion, can be, it still creeps up on you, becoming a crazy huge forest before you even know it. Hope has taught me something though. It’s taught me that if I can’t share these hopes for a future and a family and happily ever after with the person I’m with then I’m not with the right person. And along the same lines, if I can’t be vulnerable with someone, even when I’m hurt, I’m not with the right person. Vulnerability is something I KNOW that I need to work on this year because, as I’ve said, this year is about personal growth, and how can anything grow if it’s shut off from the things around it all of the time? So I hope someday soon that I’ll be better able to be vulnerable with people, and essentially be better able to see the forest instead of only the trees. And, friends, that means seeing the bigger picture of vulnerability instead of seeing only the hurt that it could cause, that means opening myself up to being hurt but also at the same time opening myself up to things that could be amazing. I can always expect for things to turn out badly, but do I really want to always miss out on things that could turn out to be great?
Here's a quote about hope from my mom's favorite movie Hope Floats :-)

“Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”   

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who's the Donkey Here?

So...I'm "assuming" that you've all encountered the saying, "when you assume things you make an ass out of you and me." Well, friends, I got schooled in that this morning. Schooled like you wouldn't believe y'all. Now as we all know I am not very good about being wrong. I hate it, with a fiery passion. I look at being wrong as automatically equaling stupidity, and it has been and still is difficult for me to break out of that hemmed in sort of thinking. I don't especially like admitting that I think in any sort of way that is "hemmed in" or close-minded. I, in fact, like to think that I'm open-minded and accepting and all of those other things that people are supposed to be. But the reality of it is I'm not so open-minded as I thought I was. I'm not so above believing the stereotypes and stigmas put out by society or my small town upbringing as I thought I was. And hell I may not even be fully aware of them until they're pointed out to me. Yeah, it blew my mind too. Straight up BLEW. MY. MIND.

Now I like to think that I'm above all of these things. You know playing into stereotypes, stigmatizing people. I like to think I'm for equality. I mean...I want to be treated equally, so why wouldn't I want equality for others? And I do want equality, and I think that all of the -isms are inherently wrong. But this post isn't about equality or -isms or whatever. It's about assumptions, and just because you think these things are wrong doesn't mean that you don't play into them or even sometimes use them in order to further inequality and not even realize it. I assumed that I didn't play into these things because I "believe in equality." I assumed that I didn't perpetuate any of that discrimination business because I'm a woman and am a marginalized as well, but I'll be darn if I don't do it too. And I'll be darn if I don't use my small town upbringing as a way to handicap myself, as a way to stigmatize myself, as a way to make certain ideas and thoughts ok. Crazy, huh?

I realize that this is kind of a deep post, but I've been trying so hard show that I am open-minded that I didn't even notice how close-minded I am on certain things. I'm not close-minded about everything, but I just didn't realize how judgemental I am about certain things in society or how hard I try to fit into certain stereotypical roles. Today was definitely an eye-opener, and it taught me some things about justification. Just because you can justify something, or attempt to, does not make it right. Just because you can justify an assumption or a judgement doesn't make you any less of a jackass. So here's to being wrong :-)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fitness Truths Unveiled!

All right y'all, my favorite website, FitBottomedGirls, (check them out at does something called fitness truths. I love this idea because it makes you get real about fitness, so get ready because it's about to GET REAL, about fitness, up in here!

Now after much surious (yes, I meant to spelled it like that) thought with my "surious" face on I came up with my fitness truths. Be prepared not all of them are pretty, but who is when they're sweatin' like a beast? Not me, and it's not about being pretty anyway it's about being FIT! So without further adieu here they are!

1. I may not have a runner's body, but I sure as hell have a runner's heart (note my missing running so much, not being able to has been and still is torturous *sadface*)

2. Running isn't about just burning calories for me; it's about feeling STRONG.

3. Speaking of calories, I worry too darn much about them, and that's just not mentally healthy.

4. I want to be an athlete because honestly athletes are kind of badass.

5. I don't vary my workouts enough. I've realized this while being injured...

6. I don't like to workout with others because I'm not confident in my own abilities. They're always stronger, faster, fitter, or better than I am.

7. While I love lots of things, namely desserts, shoes, and shopping, none of them get me nearly so excited as thinking about this upcoming sprint triathlon training that I'm about to delve into.

8. I freaking love shopping for workout gear and workout accessories, especially sports bras and running shoes.

9. I want to become a yogi someday; I just have to start doing yoga regularly first.

10. I have a hard time understanding that being "fit" means being healthy, mind, body,and soul healthy. I associate it too much with being thin and neglect my mind and soul a little too much.

So there you have it, all of my nitty gritty, scary, and kind of empowering truths about fitness, or sometimes lack thereof. I encourage all of you to check out FitBottomedGirls because, well, it's my favorite website for a reason. And you all should definitely check it out around March because my post, "The Skinny on Being Skinny," is going to be run on there! How exciting is that?! And as for truths about fitness, I encourage y'all to make them; they're very empowering. I all about some self-reflection around here, and who couldn't stand to have some reflection on fitness? That's what fitness is about, doing what's healthy, and fitness truths are a GREAT way to figure out why you do what you do in order to keep doing what's healthiest for you or overcome some unhealthy business in order to be the healthiest you can be :D It was for me anyway!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Many Different Roads, Paths, and Alleyways to Happiness

I met a good friend of mine for dinner a few nights ago, and she taught me something that I hadn’t thought about before: that happiness doesn’t come in a predestined size or package and doesn’t happen along a certain road or pathway. Now you would think, my being all self-reflective and business, that I would have thought about that already, but I haven’t. I haven’t thought about happiness in a way that involves more than one road; I’ve always thought about it as a one road, probably a highway, type of deal. But what if the road isn’t one road but many roads? Or what if it isn’t a road at all? What if it’s a path or an alleyway, and it’s crazy crooked instead of straight?

This friend just had a baby, probably the most beautiful little boy that I’ve ever seen. And according to her, she is doing “everything backwards,” because she had a baby before being married to the love of her life. But, despite this backwardness, she is the happiest that I have ever seen her. She is one of the best mothers I have ever seen, and she practically glows. It’s beautiful. She shows me that sometimes the things that you haven’t actually planned for make you the happiest, and friends, I can relate to that. Despite my control-freakish tendencies, I can relate to the unexpected no matter how much I avoid it because the unexpected happens to everyone, even me. And it’s usually something that I haven’t thought about happening, hence the “unexpectedness” of it.

I treat life like a game of chess. I try to think of EVERY possible outcome of things in my life, but the problem with that is I’m wasting time. I can’t predict the future y’all, yet I’m wasting time trying to do just that. I try to out-think my own life when I can’t do that. No amount of strategy is going to help me to know what’s coming up next. And I like to claim that I don’t want to know because that would take the fun out of life, right? But that’s a lie; I do want to know because the unexpected scares me. I think that’s why I think of happiness as a highway. With highways not a lot of unexpected things happen, and if it does there is always an exit right up the road to turn off on. It’s not like pathways where if you “turn off” you could end up lost in the woods, and I ain’t trying to get lost y’all. But if I’m always planning for the unexpected thing that I couldn’t possibly expect what sorts of happiness am I missing out on? What path am I not taking just because I’m afraid to get lost?

I tend to take the comfortable highway, and it doesn’t turn out the way that I predicted that it would. I tend to get lost on the “comfortable highway.” Those darn exits get confusing, and I always miss the right exit and stick things out longer than I should. Because when I get on a highway, well a highway that I really want to be on, I forget about the exits until I’m in Timbuktu and I’m hitchhiking to get back to the start of the trip sans many of the things that I started the trip with.

I would say that I’m happier now, on the path that I haven’t travelled before, the path to finding myself; I don’t wish for happiness at 11:11 anymore like I used to. I wish for more tangible things like my ankle healing faster or being able to run within the next few weeks. How interesting is it that I wished for happiness all the time along the “comfortable” road, yet I don’t wish for happiness at all now. I wished for happiness all the time with people who I thought made me happy, but I have people in my life now who share in my happiness, instead of making it or controlling it. And I am grateful for my friend inadvertently pointing this out to me. Sometimes the road or path or alleyway to happiness is crooked or backward or doesn’t look at all the way you thought it would, but you can’t predict happiness. You just have to live it and be all carpe diem because sometimes path you never thought would make you happy makes you the happiest of all.

Here’s a song, “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine that relates to my post…mainly for the line “happiness hit her like a train on a track” because you never know when happiness will hit you J

Friday, January 6, 2012

Still Splinted :(

Well friends, I, as my post title says, am still splinted. I am stuck with this incredibly stylish piece of anklewear for at least three more weeks. It's sad news, saaaaad news. And unfortunately this means that I still can't run. I'm stuck walking. Therefore I've decided to make peace with the monotony that is walking. I don't hate walking, but it's just not the same as running.

So as of right now I plan to keep on keeping on with walking, and I think my friend and I are going to start triathlon training soon. I'm insanely excited about that. We may just have to wait on the running for a bit. Talk about broadening my exercise horizons, huh?

However in the meantime I have never had my walking surfaces so limited. I'm sure you're wondering what I mean by that...well, I am to avoid gravel, grass, rocky surfaces, uneven surfaces, surfaces with holes, surfaces with stray sticks, logs, rocks etc. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any right now. And that's with the splint. Basically I can walk on straight, flat, and even pavement and in my house. On the upside though I'm allowed to walk without the splint for a couple of hours a my house haha. So take that injury!

As for running...I can't run again until I have ABSOLUTELY NO pain. And I'm sure he didn't mean just pretending to not have pain because...well, I asked him, and he said no. So hopefully (and I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one) I'll be back to running within another three weeks to a month, if I'm super careful. So wish me luck and no klutzy moments :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Me and Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne speaks to me. I don’t know what it is about his music, and it’s mainly one song, but he speaks to me. It’s that song “How to Love,” and I feel that we can all relate. I relate anyway. And I think the part that I like the most is the bridge, where he talks about the person being “beautiful” and “far from the usual.” I don’t know I just like this song.  

And I think this song speaks to me because I’m not so sure “how to love.” As we’ve seen from previous posts, I obviously have a difficult time loving myself, and that aspect of my personality can’t be good for my relationships, romantic or otherwise. So how does someone “love?” Is loving just one of those things that people know how to do? I mean I know that I love my family and friends, but if you can love those people why is it so much more difficult to love yourself? I mean yes, you know all of your faults, but should loving yourself be hard? I don’t think it should be. It should be easier.

Now I’m pretty sure that Lil Wayne is talking about a girl who can’t find the right guy…most all of us have been there, getting crook’d and having non-forever moments, trusting in someone that isn’t so trustworthy as they first appear. But it’s hard to figure out how to love, especially when relying on the outside world to show you how or give you permission, and friends, I do that. I rely too much on outside opinions. I rely too much on the opinions of others instead of relying on my own. And that’s not ok.

That’s why Lil Wayne, and especially that song, speaks to me. I shouldn’t have to have other people teach me “how to love.” I shouldn’t have to have other people love me in order to love myself. I shouldn’t have to have other people to think I’m pretty, smart, articulate, awesome, or any other number of things in order to believe those things about myself. I shouldn’t base myself, who I am, or what I think about myself around the opinions of others. I should already know that I’m pretty, smart, beautiful, amazing or what have you before anyone says anything. It should be exactly what it is a compliment, NOT the whole package. I should realize that it’s the icing and not the whole cake, and heck I don’t even like icing on my cake anyway. So this is something to work on while I have my floor meditation sessions. Maybe I should start a mantra during my sessions…maybe I could just listen to “How to Love” by Lil Wayne and learn, on my own, how to love me. Because what does it help if someone else loves you if you don't love yourself?  
Here's the song, and if y'all have any inspirational mantra suggestions let me know :)

I'm a Walking Fiend Y'all!

Ok so I’ve been walking 3.2 miles basically every day this week and part of last week. And yes, that’s with this wonderful (that’s sarcasm there) velcroed to my ankle. I even ended up with a blister from walking so much. How Bad-A is that? Very.

Yet, despite my walking fiendishness, I miss running. I miss running sooooo badly. Not to knock walking, because it’s good exercise, but walking is just not my cup of tea. I think I need a more exciting cup of tea, the kind of tea that running provides.

Running makes me feel fierce. It makes me feel like I can take on the world, and be straight-up kick-A while doing it. Walking…not so much. Walking makes me feel lukewarm whereas running makes me feel red hot, like a force to be reckoned with.

And, friends, I miss feeling fierce, because there’s nothing like knowing  your body can run so much farther than you thought it could. There’s nothing like running a distance that you could only hope to run before, that you only dreamed of running before. It’s increda-cool and so empowering. I LOOOOOOOOOVE IT.

So yes, I’m lucky to be able to walk and grateful that I don’t have to have surgery, because I hear most people with torn tendons have to. But I miss running. And let me tell you when I get back to it I’m going to remember this time, and when I want to sleep extra or don’t want to get out in the cold I will remember this and be grateful that I CAN run.

PS: I’m going to the doctor tomorrow about this splint business, so wish me luck that I’ll be able to get back to running soon J  

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Skinny on Being Skinny

I hate weight loss commercials. Sorry for being a debbie-downer, but I despise them with every fiber of my being. Why? Because weight loss commercials perpetuate the idea that losing weight is the magical fix-all for your life. If you look good in an itty-bitty bikini then you can rule the world or something akin to it. They suck you in and make you think that you can look like that model on the screen when in reality the majority of it is airbrushing. And given the fact that it’s the beginning of a new year I’ve been seeing a TON of them, from programs to shakes to equipment to meal plans to pills; it’s ridiculous!

However, despite how much I hate weight loss commercials, I want to believe them. I want to believe that losing weight really will make all of life fall right into place and give you the perfect job, house, car, and even boyfriend along with a rockin’ bod. I want to believe that being able to fit into a size two bikini is all that’s needed in order to have the perfect life, and if I just work hard enough then I can get that too, just like that “perfect” model with the “perfect” life on television.

But I know that’s not true. And it never will be true. Because despite how hard losing weight is, it is not a fix all, and it will NOT make your life perfect. In fact, the thing that no one, and especially no one on weight loss commercials, tells you is that losing weight may very well give you a complex. Losing weight may very well make you freak out more about your body than if you had just kept the weight on in the first place.

I’ve lost over 30 pounds, from changing the way that I eat and exercising, and I’m healthier. I, in fact, started out just wanting to be “healthier.” And I am, despite my pretty recent injury. But am I happier with my body? I can’t say that I am. Despite the fact that I am down several sizes of clothing and the poundage of a small child, I am still just as hard on my body as I ever was, probably more. Now maybe this is just me being a jerk to myself, and I can’t say that I couldn’t stand to lose some more…like 40 pounds more to be exact, but aren’t you supposed to be HAPPY about losing over 30 pounds? Aren’t you supposed to be happy about losing so much even before you lose the next 40? Why am I not? I’m so busy beating myself up about not losing the other 40 yet, which would be damn near impossible in the short amount of time that I’ve had since losing the other, that I haven’t even celebrated losing what I lost before.

So friends, it appears that I need to get the hell out of my “being skinny will make me happy” mode of thinking because I think it is keeping that extra 40 pounds around. I think my fear of finding out what really happens when all of the weight is lost is holding me back. I think I’m afraid of being “skinny,” because then I will truly have to face that being “skinny” will not solve all of my problems. I will have to face that being “skinny” is not the key to happiness. And that’s scary y’all. That is increda-scary. Because if being “skinny” isn’t the key to happiness, what is?

I think for me…that would be balance. I need to find balance between my romanticized ideals and reality. I need to learn to accept what is, that being skinny will not make my life perfect; in fact, my life will most likely never be “perfect.” I need to wake the heck up and realize that my outside is not the deciding factor of who I am; I am the deciding factor of who I am, and who I want to be. I need to stop letting the idea of being “skinny” keep me from losing the weight that I want, the weight that I think is keeping me from being the healthiest that I can be.

And despite my hatred of weight loss commercials, maybe I can learn something from them. Number one, weight loss does not equal a perfect anything even though they want to people to believe that. But number two, I should celebrate my successes because you never see those skinny people on commercials acting unhappy; they’re freaking celebratin’ y’all, celebratin’ the weight they’ve lost, and I think it’s high time for me to do some celebratin’ too.