Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy--I Think

I gave up on some of my dreams.  Maybe that's not the right way to phrase it  I altered some of my dreams.

I was going to be a wife and mother.  I wasn't sure what kind of wife I might be, but I was going to be an amazing mother.  But it wasn't in the cards.  That man who was to be my husband never materialized.  Or he never met my standards.  Without him, the whole mother thing was off the table. Oh, there are many amazing women out there who tackle motherhood alone.  And they do an incredible job.  But that's not me.  I could be an unbelievable mother, but not by myself.  Not with the career I have and the way I chose to make it happen.

But other dreams are alive and well.  I may have even reached a point where I have obtained most of my dreams.  So much that other dreams are beginning to stir within me.  Dreams that have the possibility of coming true.

It's safe to say that I have reached the point of happiness with my life.  And I am thankful for that. But I am also thankful not settling.  

Yes, I am happy.  But I also believe there is more happiness yet to achieve.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I'm Still Here

Please don't give up on me.  I'm still here.

I get to hide during the school year.  I am a teacher.  So many kids to love.  So much to be done.  I can hide safely within the walls of my job.  No one notices.

School lets out for the summer.  A time to relax suddenly becomes a time of anxiety.  Ridiculous, I know, but the mini panic attacks don't lie.  That fear/feeling of time slipping away before I even have a chance to do anything. Ironically, the only things that makes me feel better is sleeping.  Talk about time slipping away....

I shut down.  I don't mean to, but I do.  If I can just sleep for awhile.  If I can just ignore the world for awhile.  If I can just do what feels right for awhile.  Maybe if I can do all of this, the panic will go away.  The anxiety will lessen.  I'll be a nicer person. 

But it never works that way.  Instead, the guilt builds.  I need to sleep, but I shouldn't waste the time I have.  I need time to myself, but I can't stand to be alone.  And the panic and anxiety builds. 

I'm trying.  I'm really trying.  I'm trying to find myself in this mess.  I'm taking my meds.  I'm trying to balance my need to rest with my need to be productive.  I'm trying to see myself as worthy.  I'm trying to be enough for myself.  I'm trying to be me.

For anyone out there, please hear my plea. I'm here.  Mixed in with the panic, anxiety, and insecurity, I'm here.  I'm trying to swim to the surface.  I'm here.  Please don't give up on me.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Gift of Words

I grew up with the written word.  So many summer days were spent in blanket forts consumed by library books.  I kept journals and diaries where I poured out all my hopes and wishes.  Words were everywhere, but the written words were the ones that caught my attention.

For me, the written word has so much power.  The scribbles on paper reveal what is often difficult for me to say out loud. The thoughts I'm not brave enough to share. 

The words written by others can have the same power.  I can't tell you how many times quotes from books appear and help me see things in a whole new light.

I thought I was one of the chosen one.  One of those few people who could see and truly appreciate the power words have in our lives.  It turns out some of the people I care about the most see it too.

My niece graduated from high school.  I gave her the purchased card, but then I wrote my own.  The one that I gave to her without reading.  She got what was from my heart.  No one should ever edit what comes from the heart.

Her little sister wrote an incredible letter to her big sister, but she is braver than most.  She turned that letter into a speech.  She stood before everyone.  Through her tears, my little 11 year old said everything she felt.  At the end, Big Sis hugged her for so long.  Little Sis handed the letter over.  The best graduation gift anyone could receive.

But Big Sis had a surprise of her own.  The graduate had written letters to the people in her life.  Oh that letter!  It's a moment of awe when you see yourself through someone else's eyes--especially someone who you love more than words can say.

So many words.  We share so many words each and every day.  Written, spoken--it doesn't matter.  They all have tremendous power.  I was reminded of how much joy and happiness they can bring to those around us.  And while the opposite can also be true, I choose to use their power for good. 

Yes, words are a gift.  May I always use my gift wisely.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Step....

Every year, I go to a clothing exchange.  Women bring in all kinds of clothing.  All items are sold for a dollar each.  All the money goes to charity.  I love this event.

But this year was different.  This year, I donated so much more than I took away.  This year, I was honest with myself.

I have continued to gain weight.  Yes, it's my fault.  While I have a syndrome that makes weight an issue for me, I can't honestly say I did everything I was supposed to do.  When I was good, I was very good.  But when I was bad....

I could go on and on about excuses and emotional eating.  I could even go on about what I did right.  But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about the step I took today.

I gave away over 100 items of clothing.  100 items.  How embarrassing is that?  Who has 100 items to give away. 

I do.  I did.  I had 100 items of clothing to donate.  100 items of clothing I hoped to be able to wear one day.  I gave it all away.

There may be a day.  Oh I hope there is a day.  A day when that clothing will fit me.  But it doesn't now.  I hung in my closet day after day after day taunting me.  Reminding me of where I used to be.

I haven't given up.  That is still a hope--a goal.  But I didn't want to look at it anymore. 

I got rid of clothes that don't look right. Clothes that don't fit.  So many clothes that were dark and black.  Clothes that represented some future acceptance of myself.

Now I have a different closet.  I have clothes that actually have bright colors.  I have clothes that make me feel comfortable.  I have clothes that actual fit. 

And I have open space.  I have space for whoever I am.

I don't have an ideal body.  I'm overweight with curves and bumps where they shouldn't be.  But it's also my body.  It is still healthy.  It still gets me through the day everyday.  That reason alone should be a reason to appreciate my body.  I'm trying, but I'm not there. 

But today, I let go.  I didn't let go of who I hope to be one day.  I'm still working towards that.  Today I let go of the expectations and started working towards self acceptance.

I'm trying to like myself as I am today.  I'm trying to find those things that I love and respect about myself.  And that is enough--for now.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Do You Know What It's Like?

Do you know what it's like?

Life isn't like it was when we were kids.  You move about blissfully in life not realizing the trail you burn behind you.

We see it.  You don't realize it, but we see it.

We see all the times you are 15-20 minutes away from us as you spend time with the other child.  Too busy to see our accomplishments.  Too busy to recognize your grandchildren's birthdays.  Too busy to wish your eldest a safe trip as she leaves the country for the first time.  Just too busy for us.  You think it goes unnoticed.  It doesn't.

We get birthday wishes and Christmas greetings.  She gets everything. 

We were blessed.  We are blessed.  We have a woman we get to call mom who would give her life for us.  We have a man who would do the same.  Would you give your life for us?  Our mother and the man we call dad have done so much for us in so many ways.  Most importantly, they have been there for us emotionally.  So we are covered.  But where were you? 

The other child is getting married.  We found out through Facebook.  Is that your idea of family?  A Facebook post? 

You have been in the area.  You have been 15 minutes away for several weeks.  You couldn't wish your grandson a happy 16th birthday?  You couldn't wish your eldest granddaughter a happy 18th birthday?  Your youngest is hitting double digits.  Will that go unnoticed too?

We had a chance to be a family.  The divorce happened.  It was incredibly tough for all of us.  My mother chose family.  We were connected to family that was around.  Never was said a negative word about you.  And you chose to detach.  I actually had to schedule my high school graduation to be with you and my mom at separate times.  You couldn't even give me that day.

We spent more time with your "new" family on the weekends we spent with you.  We were merely accessories.  We tagged along where you wanted us to go. 

And when you moved away, you chose to spend your time back in the area with the new family, not your own kids.

The cycle continues.  Two kids, all grown up, are on the outside looking in on the family we could have been a part of so long ago.  Two kids still trying to figure out why we aren't enough for you.  Even worse, how can this person continue to do this to your grandchildren???

So those two kids sit on the sidelines watching your excitement for the upcoming wedding. While we are happy for the situation, the hurt is real.  You didn't come to help as we moved into new homes.  You didn't show up just to spend a weekend with us.  We didn't have you helping us through those college years.  You weren't there when the grandchildren were born. So many family events.  So many moments you will never get back.  So many moments we can't get back.
Yes.  It is jealousy.  Why shouldn't it be?  She gets the father we were supposed to have.  The one we didn't get.  The other person who was supposed to love us no matter what. 

We get birthday wishes and Christmas greetings.  She gets everything.  She get a father.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I found this quote on Pinterest:

I am strong because I've been weak.
I am fearless because I've been afraid.
I am wise because I've been foolish.

Three little sentences that lead me to want more.  Why?  Because I have been weak.  I have been afraid.  I have been foolish.

I have been so many things.  And now I am so many other things.

I know the words strong and fearless and wise are listed in this quote.  They are there.  They are there to make me feel better. 

I am strong.  I am (almost) fearless.  I am wise.  And I am so much more. 

It's all about the phrasing.  I'm not some kind of English or psychology major.  It just seems to me that your strongest points should be what you leave your audiences with.  Your thoughts of what could be, the thoughts you wish to convey should be what your reader is left with.

What if we looked at the quote like this:

Because I was weak, I am now strong.
Because I was afraid, I am (almost) fearless.
Because I was foolish, I am wise.

The list could continue:

Because I was unaware, I am awake.
Because I was unsure, I am confident.
Because I was dependent, I am self-sufficient.
Because I was unhappy, I am happy.
Because I wasn't me for so many years, I am finally me.

Semantics.  To most it is semantics.  I'm saying the same thing as the original.  But to me, it's a huge difference.

The original sentences.  They end with the thoughts of the past.  Of who I used to be.

My sentences.  They recognize the past, but end with who I am today.  They show my progress.

Simple phrasing.  Simply switching the order of words we put on the page. 

It's your choice.  Do you want to remind your audience of their past?  Or do you want to remind your audience of where they are now?  It's possible that both approaches will help your audience.  But one approach ends with the past.  The other approach shows a beginning of what could be.  Never under estimate the power of your "final" words.

The choice is yours.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I've always had dreams at night.  Vivid dreams.  Dreams that I remember and try to replay in the morning.  Dreams that import portions of dreams I've had before.  Dreams that I've acted out in my sleep.  Dreams where my conscious and subconscious mind are both present.

And I've always believed in dreams.  I've believed in the need for dreams.  I am convinced that my subconscious mind is creating all of these vivid images to work through what I need my brain to release just so I can survive the next day. 

But I've started having death dreams.  It's scary when you watch yourself being submerged into a fiery inferno of a car crash.  It's scarier still when you see death in your dreams three nights in a row.  My conscious mind surfaced in everyone of those dreams and told me it wasn't real.  It eased the fear, but I was still there.

So curiosity (fear?) got the best of me.  I looked up what these dreams could mean.  So many options and choices, but I think I found my reasons--a desire to escape from day to day life and the feeling of taking care the needs of others and neglecting the needs of myself.

I know both of these are true.  I love my life.  I love my job.  But it's a (self imposed) challenging time.  It's challenging because I can't settle.  I have to keep reaching to do better, be better.  What else can you do when you work with kids?  It's not like you can have a bad day and just do the minimum to get by.  During this time of year, I have over 100 kids who are depending on me every day.  How do you say "No, not today."

The truth is you don't.  You push through.  You do more.  You try to be more.  You plan the week in advance, but you go through it one moment at a time adjusting those plans as you go.  Because someone is going to need a hug.  Someone is going to need a smile.  Someone is going to need extra support.  Someone is going to need something from you.  And you have to be there in that moment.

So I'm willing to release it all in my dreams.  I'm willing to let my brain go on overdrive and do whatever it needs to do at night to allow me to be there for those that need me.

And in a few weeks, when things have settled down a bit, my dreams and I will both relax a bit...I hope.