Saturday, December 24, 2011

26.5

Just slightly over my half-birthday, by about a month, I am starting to realize some things.  Things I thought I would have learned many moons ago.  Things, about life and love and friends and choices that I thought would have just all fallen into place by now.  But they haven't.  As of late, life has been teaching me some deep rooted lessons.  Ones I know will stick with me for the rest of my days. 

I used to think I'd be done learning by the time I was an adult.  I just figured as a kid, your brain would just get filled up and filled up until it was stuffed to the brim with all sorts of awareness and knowledge and understanding, so that by the time you were an adult, there wouldn't be any more learning to be done.  I don't know if I exactly had it pinpointed (in my mind) when adult-hood would start, but surely I thought I would have it all figured out by now.  Boy, was I wrong.

At 26.5 + 1 month...I am just starting to realize the following things.  (let me point out that by realization, it doesn't mean full understanding, it just means a slight awareness.  Like, these thoughts and ideas are starting to tumble around in my mind like clothes in a dryer all mixed up, and everything is still pretty wet and hasn't quite taken on it's correct shape yet).

a.  Relationships are a shit-ton of work, and maybe all the happy marriages that I thought existed...don't really.  My sister told me yesterday that only 1% of couples are really truly happy and satisfied with their relationship/marriage.  Now, I personally believe that the number is larger than that...but who I am to say.  Regardless, the pretty marriage picture I had painted in my mind is far far from reality.  Relationships mean sacrifices, sometimes large, sometimes small.  And they require a deep commitment, trust, love and understanding that transcends through changes in self and in the world around.  It's an extraordinary masterpiece when couples thrive and grow throughout a multitude of circumstances.  When I think about how hard it is to change myself, and how hard it is to grow and learn new habits that aren't working, and the type of self-reflection and self-discipline it takes for me to grow within myself...I have to stop and think about how hard and wonderfully beautiful it is for couples to grow together and love one another through all the good and wonderful and all the terrible and sad.   Because, as with all things in life there is an ebb and flow to it.  There is never perfect harmony for all eternity. 

b.  If i want to do anything, anything at all...I better do it NOW.  Traveling to Italy, to NYC, writing a book, going to Canada, learning Spanish, working in an orphanage, teaching abroad, designing craft projects, living in my own space my own way, reading books, therapy, getting in shape, building better eating habits, learning to cook better, learning to play guitar...all these things must be done now.  While the time is my own, and I can do whatever I want whenever I so choose.  Right now is the time to do all the things I can ever imagine.  Because life will continue to be busy, and there will always be a reason to not do something, and pretty soon I will no longer be young and agile and able to do all the things my heart longs to do.  So, I must do them now.  That way, when I am old and tired and have lived a full life I can be old and happy and full of reminiscent memories of goodness.  And, I can grow as an individual by doing all the things my heart longs to do.  I must also recognize that the fact I am able to do all the desires of my heart, is a tremendous blessing itself.  Thank you, God.

c.  Regrets.  They are hard to move on from and they sometimes leave me wondering if I did the right thing.  But I have to trust.  I have to know that where I am now is exactly where I am supposed to be and that all things will work out for the goodness that should and will be.  The plan that I have in my mind and the plan that I see best working for my life may not, in fact, be the best option for me.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  I have to believe and know within my heart that God has got this all figured out for me.  I may like to think I need to know and have to know how and when and where everything will be delivered to me, but I have to know that it will come in time.  That also, regrets are a waste of the blessings and the gifts that I have today, right now, in this moment.  The blessings I have are so many I can barely even begin to wrap my mind them all.  I have a job that I love so much.  A job, that fills me with love and life and joy on a daily and constant almost instant basis.  My students are...I cannot even put it into words how much I love them all.  Each and every one of them.  I love them because they are so sweet and innocent and they, like all people, just want to feel love and support.  I hope that I am able to teach them to look inside themselves to find and believe in their own inner beauty, strength and light.  Not only do I have the best job in the whole entire world, but I have a support group of people that are loving and supportive and smart and funny and talented and caring and kind and really, just truly wonderful.  I have never had friends like this in my life, and I am so lucky and so blessed to know all of them.  Each of them are beautiful and bring so much to my life.  I have my own apartment, I have time for my hobbies and I have time to get my Master's.  I have time for happy hour chats with friends, and dinner with my mom.  I get to watch my stupid TV shows when I want, or go to Starbucks for hours if I feel like it.  I get to drive around to look at Christmas lights with my bestie, and get Post Cards from Hong Kong from another bestie.  I may have a few things in my past that I would like to change, but I have to realize that had I not made those choices back then, there is no way I would be exactly where I am right now.  Full, literally full to the brim with love.  And that, my friends, is something I cannot argue with.

d.  Delayed gratification is inevitably better.  It sucks waiting for it.  And sometimes it's really really hard to wait for anything.  (I think I have touched on this topic recently...perhaps I am repeating a lot of myself...but I think what I am trying to do is remind myself of all the things I need to remember constantly.  Sometimes, I get stuck in my own head over-thinking all these things I am trying to sort out, when the bottom line is really, just believing it will be alright, having faith that God has it under control and that I need to stop looking ahead and I need to stop looking behind, because right now is the magic of it all.)  Waiting for something, and knowing it's true value, will also be another moment of magic.  Right now, I think I know what I am waiting for, but some part of me knows and believes that God might have something else in store for me.  Something that's not in my plan.  Something that I don't even know exists.  Something that will be beyond worth the wait when it arrives.  Until then, I have more than enough to leave me feeling blissful.  

e.  Sometimes goodbye is the only thing to say.  It sucks.  It hurts.  I don't want to do it.  I wish it never had to happen again.  I wish i never had to ever tell anyone that I love and cherish goodbye.  but sometimes, life just takes a course of its own.  Paths diverge.  Roads split.  And, for two people to be the best versions of themselves, they can no longer walk hand-in-hand.  Perhaps, we may meet again, but if not, I will know that it is better this way (or I will continue to tell myself it's better this way, until i believe that).

goodbye, my love.  I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for.  And from the words of one of my favorite songs to belt out in the car:

"I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of.
And I wish to you, joy and happiness.
But above all this, I wish you love."


Folks, life 'aint a June afternoon.  With sunbeating on your back and a cool iced tea in hand, with a magazine and suntan oil out.  It's not that breezy and simple.  Well, I guess it's not that breezy, but it's simple.  Things happen, and plans get interupted, and it doesn't always work out like we want it to.  But, it is simple.  Find what makes you happy.  Do that, as often as you can.  Love the people you have.  Enjoy as many wonderful memories as you can.  Tell people you love them and cherish them as often as you can.  Complain less.  Be grateful more.  Count your blessings.  And life is sure to work out as the way it should be.  This is what I believe anyway.

2012, it's a new year....and I am approaching it with a new mantra:
Believe and give thanksgiving for all my many blessings.  
Believe it's under God's control.  
Know that every moment is truly, exactly as it should be.  
Be patient.  Be patient.  Be patient.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Must Always Know

"You must always know, how long to stay and when to go."

There is a beauty in just letting go.  It's sad and it's hard, but it is something that must happen from time to time.  Often times we are forced to say goodbye against our own will, other times we have to say goodbye because it is the right thing to do.  All my life I have been saying goodbye to people.  

Some I have happily said goodbye to and wished them well.
Others, I have so longingly looked back at, hoping they'd turn around and come home.
Sometimes I have said goodbye in an instant.
While there have been times where goodbyes have been said what seems like 300 times.  
I have come back searching for others, and others names have escaped me.
Often times, I have cried many tears over the ones that were taken from me, and I have cried many more tears when I have had to say goodbye not when I wanted to, but when I had to.

Recently, I have had to say two very difficult goodbyes and two very different types of goodbyes.

One of those goodbyes was in its right time.  It was God's time to call his sweet child home.  I know that this person is finally at peace.   The sadness it brings to those the loss affected will be felt for many years to come, but I know how happy this person is now.  I can feel them smiling deep in my heart, and I know that heaven exists and that's where she is.  I know and believe without any doubt that she is dancing to "Impossible Dream" and laughing about all the good times.  I know she is finally hugging her dear son who left us too soon, her daughter whose light still shines.  I can  imagine her smile as she sees the husbands she lost, and her eldest son.   She is in a love filled place that will fill her soul and her blue eyes with eternal peace.  I love her dearly, and she will live in me forever.

The second goodbye hasn't even been finalized yet, but I can hear it creeping up.  The deafening sound of it is reverberating in my ears.  This is it.  Years and years of loose ends and possibilities and maybes.  I can hear it cracking in the dryness of the winter and the rawness of the pain seeping out of my blood.  I know that this goodbye is one that breaks apart the millions of possibilities the "hello" presented many years ago on a cold January night in Colorado.   This goodbye that is lingering in the near future is something that I do not want.  I want the potential and the easy silence this person brings to my daily living, but the goodbye is what is coming.  It's all there is to do.  Really.  I have been falling down this rabbit hole of a goodbye for many months now.  Grasping for air and wondering if he will ever come pull me out.  I have known that he is standing on the ground above me laughing and living and moving forward, while I just wait for him to come back to me.  So, I yelled "GOODBYE!"  and I am just waiting for him to come back and say bye.  I don't know for certain if that will be the response I get, but I sense it's what's to come.

I'm not sure if the actual goodbye is the hardest part, or if it's the waiting that's crushing, or it's the aftermath of it all.  For me, it's all of it.

I'm just in search of all things beautiful.  People say that goodbyes have a sort of beauty to them because they are the closure to an old time and the start of a new time.  For me, they are too sad for me.  

I'm not overwhelmed with sadness right now, but I am in a reflective state of mind.  Looking at the two contrasting goodbyes.  One is peaceful, because there are no regrets.  This woman lived her life all the years she could have.  She took every breath and every chance and loved everyone and took it all in and did all the things she wanted to do.  The second goodbye is the opposite.  It's a goodbye filled with wonder and what ifs.  It is a goodbye that no one knows what could have been had it not had to happen.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just a Few Words


"I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt.So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
-Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"I Was Here"

I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, and something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won't forget

I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here

I want to say I lived each day, until I die
And know that I meant something in, somebody's life
The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave
That I made a difference, and this world will see

I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be

I will leave my mark so everyone will know

I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone to hapiness
Left this world a little better just because

I was here

(thanks Beyonce for reminding me)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLLzkLO8Sh4

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pretending

Some days I smile just to smile.  I pretend that I have it all together.  I put on a good show, those around me really have no idea how broken apart I am inside.  I wear a smile on my face, and I keep a positive attitude, and I do everything I can to make sure that those around me and that the jobs I am assigned to do are complete. 

I am certain sometimes that it's the only way I have gotten through life thus far.  Holding it all together as best I can while others are around, and then crying on the drive home.  I know sometimes that we are supposed to talk to other people about things and it's supposed to make us feel better.  But, lately, for me...it's just been better to do what I need to do throughout the day and sometimes at night.  Then go home and let it all fall apart. 

I most of the time feel like  no one understands.  So, I may have someone to talk to or bounce ideas off of and just let me spill out my thoughts...but I seem to end up feeling more alone than I did before I even mentioned anything.

As I have said numerous times.  I have a  great life, and I do not think otherwise.  I know have been blessed time and time again.  I know that I have gifts and talents straight from the Lord.  And I am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for the parents I have, and the friends I have met along the way.  I am thankful for the hard times I have had to go through and the pain I have had to overcome to turn me into the person that I am.  Perhaps this gratitude and thankfulness is what makes me able to continue to smile even in times of turmoil.

It doesn't change the fact that sometimes I just cry.  I cry because I am lonely, and I am sad because I cannot be with who I want to be with.  I cry because I feel I cannot do enough to help my students.  I cry because of the situation my students are in.  I cry because I have too much work to do and not enough time to do it in.  I cry because there are children everywhere that are hungry.  I cry because I want to do so many different things, like get my M.S.W. or M.F.T. and my Masters Degree in Special Education and I want to be a counselor and a teacher and a Program Specialist and a Director and a Leader and an advocate and an attorney and I want to volunteer in Mexico at an orphanage and I want to learn to speak Spanish and Italian and French and Sign Language.  And I cry because I fear I will never have enough time to do it all.  And then I cry even more because I feel I am going to do it all alone, and never have someone to come home to and talk to about it.  I believe all these things are rational and logical reasons to cry every so often.  But, what makes me cry even more is that at one point in my life, I had someone who supported me and loved me and cared for me deeply and who would have helped me in any way possible accomplish and reach all of my goals and dreams and would have been cheering me on at the finish line, and would have picked me back up every time that I fell down...  And I lost that person.  And I miss that person.  And I long to be with that person every single day that passes by.

This is the first time in my life I have ever regretted something, and the regret is weighing down on me.  Covering me up.  Putting a darkness over me that I have not experienced in this capacity before.  I know that like all storms, this too shall pass.  It's just a matter of when, and a matter of me making it through this, and a matter of me just letting the time go by.  It's hard.  Some days more than others.  Today is one of the harder days, so I cried.


This picture perfectly describes where I feel I am at.  I am just walking down the road by myself, and I have to get all the way over those mountains to reach the next path.  Maybe there will be someone waiting on the other side, maybe there won't be.  I know I will have the strength and the food and water to survive, but I have no idea what's on the other side, and I have no idea how long I will have to be on this journey alone.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Being Reminded

Today I was reminded of a few things from a good friend of mine.

I was reminded that I am worth goodness and great things.
I was reminded that I need to believe in the unknown possibilities.
I was reminded that I have to let go.
I have to be open.
I need to be willing to try new things.
I need to change my closed perspective on certain "beliefs."
I am a constant growing and changing human being and I need to understand that so is everyone else.
Things happen as they are meant to.
My grasp is too firm.
Life will be as it is and I just take it as it comes.

I sometimes forget that I am meant to be exactly where I am.  I sometiems lose sight that things will be as they are meant to be, whether they are as I planned them or not.  Life has a way of working itself out.  God has a bigger plan for me than I could imagine.  Life is not perfect. 

Today I vow to open my heart even though it might hurt.  Today I will try harder at being free to new experiences.  Today I will promise to myself, and my friends and those that have supported me to try to really just stop being so uptight on the inside.  Just really love each moment as it happens, and stop trying to change the past and predict the future.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting Back

For the longest time I thought I wanted to get ahead.  I was rushing for the next "big thing" that was coming.  I was looking for adventure.  I was seeking new things, new experiences and new ways to do something old.  I always wanted to be somewhere different, know different people, be in a time somewhere in the future.  The future always seemed bright and better than the today I was living in.  I was rushing through the daily things just so that I could get ahead.

I still sort of do that now.  I live for what's ahead.  I'm trying to be better about it.  Just breathing in the day to day things that come and go, ever so quietly.  Because I realize that pretty soon the future I thought I was waiting for is today, and I don't even know how I got here.  I was so busy rushing through it that I couldn't enjoy it.

The weird thing for me though, is that even though I am still waiting for something that is unknown and most definitely in the future...I am trapped in the thoughts in my mind that getting back, moving backwards would make things better.  I keep looking behind me at all I lost, all I left behind, all the mistakes I made, all the poor choices that have left me half empty and wholly broken. 

It's unlike me to look back.  I have never really been one to do so.  But something about the recent, and not so recent past has been haunting me.  I do not recognize who I am anymore.  I do not know where to plant my feet.  I do not know what is true and what is fabricated in my mind.  I am unsteady and unsure and I am looking back and holding on to memories and people and little moments in the day to day life that I let pass me by so fast.  When I was living in the time "back then" I didn't think about what I had.  I thought I had it bad, and awful, so I was just doing everything I could to get out of it. 

Looking back...I wish I could just go back.  I know it's impossible.  So, I am just trying to take it day-by-day and realize that this right now, right here, in the middle of a Barnes and Noble on a Friday night, alone...it's my life.  It's okay.  Beacuse some things are beautiful about it.  There are other people around me on their laptops, and I can smell the coffee brewing at Starbucks and people are reading and holding hands and sitting alone and dressed crazy.  And it's just life.  Happening right here.  Right around me. 

As much as I want to be back to where I was, and as broken as my heart is, I am just trying to love the now.  Love the people I am with.  Love the ones who I can share my life with.  There are several people I don't get to see, and lost friends, and missing friends, and all sorts of things that have happened but I am not alone.  Just this morning I saw two old friends from high school in the Starbucks, and I was reminded how nice it is to see old familiar faces.  And today at school, I was reminded that kids just want to have fun and laugh and play jokes and dress up in costumes and have fun. I realize that it's a blessing to be around them all day because they breathe life into this world.  These children who I work with every day are the future, and in some way, I am helping shape the future.  That is amazing.

The heaviness of my heart is less when I am at school, around my students.  So, I have to be thankful for that.  It is in the later hours of the night, when I realize that I don't get to hold hands or kiss or feel loved by someone, that I get sad.  I do wish I had someone here next to me reading his book or holding my hand or sipping hot cocoa with me.  I just have to know that might just have to be a part of my future, and not a part of my now.  It's hard because I had it, and I know how wonderful it was, and I was stupid and I did selfish and reckless things.  I guess, next time it comes around, if it ever does again, I will know the true value of it.  And, hopefully then I won't be thinking about getting it back, or going back, or wanting it back.  I will know that what I have is a gift and I will cherish it.

I just hope I don't have to wait too long...I get impatient about these sorts of things.

What I also hope, is that I am not the only one who feels this way.







Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Spaces

Right now I am just trying to figure out what to do with all the empty spaces.  There seems to be all this air in my body, mind and heart.  The space is being filled with mostly regret.  Some smiles.  Mishaps.  and then more regret.  I wish I could say I was happy all the time.  For the most part I am.  I am blessed and busy and full.  But right now... the emptiness is ever present. 

True Words in Song





Monday, October 24, 2011

Turning Leaves


Okay, so my friend took this picture, and I can't take credit for it.  In some ways it makes me want to get an iPhone, just so I can take cool instagram photos, or whatever you call this thing.

Anyway, yesterday I spent three hours at a pumpkin patch with three wonderful ladies.  We had great talks on the way to the patch, and some laughs at the patch.  Overall, it was a good good day.  The kind that makes me so happy that it's fall and it rememinded me how much I just LOVE LOVE October.  I still think it is my favorite month.  Although, I didn't enjoy it this year as much as I normally do, the day at the patch helped bring me back to its wonders.

As I was looking back at the photos from the day (about 250ish), I was reminded of where I was this time last year.  I thought about how much had changed, and how my life had really been filled in just a year.  I realized all the new people that I talk to, trust, love, and cherish now this year that I didn't have in my life last October.  At least, they weren't in my life the way they are now.  I thought about all the new friends I made, all the fun stuff I had done in the last year. 

In just a year, I consider my core group of friends a totally different set of people than I did this time last year.  I realized that people come and go and seasons change and people change and needs change.  So, the people that are in my life now, are the people that are meant to be with me in this season and vice versa.  They are teachers and counselors and scrapbookers and old friends and new friends.  Everyone mingles well and gets along and we are always laughing and life is good.  I dance and I sing loud in the car and I play when I want to play and I rest when I need to rest.  I say yes when I want to, and I say no when I want to.  I plan ahead for fun activities, and I do spur of the moment activities.  I am applying to a Master's program.  I am content in my job.  I am seeking ways to be closer to God.  I am venturing out into the unknown and inside me I have a peace.  A peace that comes when life is good and full and blessed. 

The leaves are reminding me that things change.  They are always changing.  Nothing stays the same.  Things must transform, die, and be regrown.  It is part of life, part of nature, part of all of us.  Every single year things change.  Every few months things change.  The turning of the leaves this year signifies more to me than it ever has before, because for me, it's time to let the old die off.   It's a time for me to rebuild and regrow.  I need to keep my roots in the ground but I need to replenish.

And I am constantly reminded of one of my favorite bible verses:

There is a time for every event under heaven ~
A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclisiasties 3: 1-9

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Inspiration

I know there have been lots of things that have been difficult for me to process through, or deal with, or to let go of.  But, regardless of what's been going on I have been constantly seeking inpiration.  Through quotes, or books, or pictures or anything that will shed some light into my thinking and my daily living.  I thought I would share some of my inspiration.










"Work your hardest. Think your smartest. Dream your biggest. Be your greatest. Love you fullest. Smile your brightest."

Years ago a John Hopkin's professor gave a group of graduate students this assignment: Go to the slums. Take 200 boys, between the ages of 12 and 16, and investigate their background and environment. Then predict their chances for the future.   The students, after consulting social statistics, talking to the boys, and compiling much data, concluded that 90 percent of the boys would spend some time in jail.

Twenty-five years later another group of graducate students was given the job of testing the prediction. They went back to the same area. Some of the boys - by then men - were still there, a few had died, some had moved away, but they got in touch with 180 of the original 200. They found that only four of the group had ever been sent to jail.

Why was it that these men, who had lived in a breeding place of crime, had such a surprisingly good record? The researchers were continually told: "Well, there was a teacher..."

They pressed further, and found that in 75 percent of the cases it was the same woman. The researchers went to this teacher, now living in a home for retired teachers. How had she exerted this remarkable influence over that group of children? Could she give them any reason why these boys should have remembered her?

"No," she said, "no I really couldn't." And then, thinking back over the years, she said musingly, more to herself than to her questioners: "I loved those boys...."
Bits & Pieces - June 1995
Economics Press




Saturday, October 8, 2011

On Happiness

Lately, I have realized how dismal and unhappy my posts have been. Mostly, because my life has appeared to be dismal and unhappy. I keep seeing the bad, keep feeling the ripple affects of the negative energy abounding in my day to day living. It seems tears well up in my eyes at anything even slightly heart wrenching. Sometimes I cry at things that are happy, because I don't know how to handle it. But, what I have come to learn in the very hard and trying last few months are a few things I didn't quite understand before. I am hoping my insights stick with me and i can manage to pull my myself out of what seems to have been some dark times.

1. I have some really good friends. And, I have some really crappy ones. The good ones love and adore me for the creation and individual that I am. They know that I can be stubborn, make poor choices, and be kind of a pain in the bum. But, they also know that I will do anything for them, will always be honest, and help them in any way possible, whenever possible. With the crappy friends, I just realize and see that there is no reason for me to keep them around. An acquaintance or "friend" is not worth it to me. I'm busy, and i have limited time these days. To spend my time and energy on and for people who wouldn't do the same for me is silly. I need to give my time and love to those who would do the same for me. And the people I have in my life that are my real friends are great. It reminds me of a quote: "as you get older you start to realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will."

2. My happiness does not depend on anyone else. I have been blessed and given many gifts, and to deny them and want something more or different would be a denial of the wonderful things I have been given. I need to take the time daily to appreciate what I have, and stop thinking or wanting what I don't have.

3. Life just isn't easy. Not for me. Not for you. Not for anyone. People all over the world experience tremendous amounts of pain and loss and suffering all throughout their life. What makes life worth it are the moments when our hearts are full of love and joy. I can be happy knowing that I have had many of these moments, the ones where I look around in awe at the people I love and the laughter I get to share and the memories I have been able to create. Each person and moment in my life is a gift. I didn't earn it, nor do I particularly deserve it, but I was given it. And, as hard as life may be the joyful moments are still there and those moments are what make it all worth it.

4. Perfection is an illusion. I have always strived to make everything perfect. My job, my life, my house, my school work, my everything, my this, my that. It had to be perfect and nothing could be out of order. Often times it has to be so perfect I'm compulsive about it. I can't stop until it's done, and I can't leave the room until the mess is clean, or I can't leave work until all tasks are checked off. In my relationships, I try to make him be perfect. I want him to like the exact same kind of music and want Mexican food for dinner the exact nights I want Mexican. And I want him to buy my flowers on the days I'm feeling sad without me having to tell him I'm sad. Crazzzy, right? I know. I know. So, I'm starting to stop trying to make everything perfect in my life. Basically, stop trying to control every tiny aspect. I am learning to let it go. It's a slow process for me. And, its a hard process. I know I have to wake up every single day and remind myself that nothing can be perfect. There will always be something missing, or wrong, or forgotten. All i can do is the best i know how, and that sometimes the best i can do is to surrender whatever i am trying to perfect. Let it just be what it is and stop trying to fit it into my mold or my ideaolgies.

5. NOTHING WORTH HAVING IS EASY!!! I mean, seriously! How did I not know this? Real important, valuable things in this life require hard work, dedication, commitment, love, sacrifice, flexibility, and most importantly, patience! My God, do they require patience. This lesson in-it-of-itself is probably the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. I will be honest, my whole life things came easy. If I wanted a job, I got the job. If I wanted the boy, I got the boy. If I needed money or help, I got it. I never really had to wait long for it either. Things just sort of flowed easily to me. I can't tell you how, I just know they did. Up until this year...when, how do you say..."shit got real,". The job I wanted didn't work out this year. For a variety of reasons, it just didn't. So now I'm stuck working in a place that sucks the joy from me, rather than filing me up. The boy I want, and the relationship I long to be in, has been damaged, by my own selfish doing. So, I long and I hope for a relationship that I know may never come again. Lastly, I just want to be done with school. I feel like I am tied down, which I am. I can't go anywhere until I finish this teaching program. It's going to take another two years...which requires me to have the patience and commitment to follow through on what I started. Which I am not good at when that requires patience. I can follow through on short-term items, but have a much more difficult time on tasks that require long term commitments. All in all, there's a lot going through my head and even more so, a lot weighing on my heart. I'm doing the best I can to put a smile on my face and be happy, but it is very difficult. But at least I'm trying.

I still cry almost every day, and my heart has a constant empty and unhappy feeling to it...but at least I haven't given up yet. If I could afford it, I would have probably run away by now. That's what I do. I run. I run away from things that are hard, and difficult and require change on my part. I am realizing now though, that I cant keep running, i have to face myself and my demons and my fears and all my heartache. It will never go away until I figure this out. I'm taking it one step at a time. One-tiny-baby step-at-a-time....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Music is the Sound of My Soul

Chris Daughtry's "Crawling Back to You":

Lessons learned and bridges burned to the ground
and it's to late now to put out the fire tables turn
and I'm the ones who's burning now
well I'm doing all right till I close my eyes
and then I see your face and it's no surprise..

And just like that I'm crawling back to you
just like you said I would yeah..
swallow my pride I'm crawling back to you
I'm out of my head can't wait any longer
I'm down on my knee's I thought I was stronger
just like that just like you said I would do
I'm crawling back to you

Time can heal, but the scars only hide the way you feel
and it's hard to forget how I left you hanging
holding by a thread,when everything is said
I regret it Yeah I was doin all right then I see your face and
it's hard to fake it.

And just like that I'm crawling back to you
just like you said I would yeah..
swallow my pride I'm crawling back to you
I'm out of my head can't wait any longer
I'm down on my knee's I thought I was stronger
just like that just like you said I would do
I'm crawling back to you


If I could find away I would to give everything I know
I would take it all back If only I knew that I could.
lessons learned and bridges burned to the ground
and it's to late now to put out the fire.






Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seriously? SERRRIOUSLY? Seriouslyyyyyyyyyyy?

"You have got to be kidding me." Literally, the words out of my mouth when I reached the end of my rope, I had run into the the last thing I honestly couldn't take. The friend I trusted and relyed on and looked up to as a mentor and role model, was full of shit. Seriously. (side note: everything in my life has gone to shit, including my computer so this is being typed from a borrowed Ipad. I will do my best to check for auto-corrects that are inevitably terribly off and incorrect, but if something is wrong I do take the time right now to blame Apple)

Anyway, as I was saying. My life is seriously a friggin' HOT MESS. I don't even know where to begin. As much as I have tried not to be Debbie downer in my day to day living, I have finally reached a point where I realize I just should not talk to other humans because whatever I say will be negative, involve a slew of terrible profanity, and will make me teary eyed. I honestly thought that I was done being bashed around for a while, then Thursday came, and then Friday came, and then Saturday. Three days of straight slaps across the face. 1. an ex, who I missed and loved dearly, who chose to ignore me for months and days and weeks decides that it's finally time for him to tell me he misses me and needs to see me and he can't stop thinking about me...yet, he has a girlfriend of 5 months. Well, he says all these things to me and then ignores me when I text him the next day. Then he promises to call, and fell through on that. Foolish me. SLAP 1. Slep 2 occurred Friday, at an unexpected meeting. I found out this guy that I was really starting to kinda fall for, and who has been in contact with me daily...apparently has someone he has been dating. AND, in case it wasn't bad enough, it just so happens that I work with her. The 3rd and final slap of my hat-trick occurred Saturday when a friend, or someone I thought was a friend, decided it be best to put me on total blast. And not just in front of other friend, but colleagues, peers, and an academic advisor. At which point, when I was made to feel like the biggest fool since Britney shaving her head, I lost my cool. I couldn't take it anymore. I has been thrown about for months. Emotions on high, people treating me like total garbage, and life just throwing every curveball and shitty thing possible my way. I left the room of people that were all staring at me as though I were the worst person in the world, and I got in my car and I drove. I drove in circles.  I drove no where.  I drove fast and wreckless and with the music so loud I couldn't hear my own thoughts.   

I contemplated driving to Chicago. Just not stopping until I got there. Then., I realized I had $60 in my bank account and that'd barely be enough gas to get me to the California border. Then, I thought about driving to a good friends house, and I realized there wer no good friends house to drive to. My two best friends are across the country in Hong Kong, and Africa. And, all my exs, who I used to call in times like these, are either married, engaged, dating/living with girlfriends or wives, therefore are unable to assist me in my melt down. This realization made me cry harder and deeper then I can ever remember crying. I wept and wept and wept, which seems to be a trend of mine these days.

So seriously, seriously seriously.... Life sucks right now. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to wake up. It hurts to try to smile and act like it's all ok. I'm lost. Lost in the dense fog of reality. I'm stuck and I don't know how to get out. I feel like the guy from the movie 126 Hours. Pretty soon I am going to have to cut off my own arm, if I want any chance at surviving. Seriously.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Longing

The thing with missing someone or something, mostly someone, is that their absence cannot be filled by anything other than them. It's a terrible feeling really. No amount of cupcakes or laughs with other friends or Vente Iced Black Teas from Starbucks can fill the void caused by this someone being taken away. The reality of their absence is emptiness. An empty empty place in the chest cavity. It's sometimes overwhelming and terribly sad and it rips the heart right out from behind the rib cage and exposes it to stinging fresh air and the lungs are gripping breaths and the stomach flips and cries anxiety.


My whole body aches at the loss. Tears fall from my eyes at great lengths. I weep deep heavy and hard cries. Sadness is in my hands, and it is seeping in and out of my pours.  My whole body reacts to the desperateness. I can often drown myself in the gloom. For me, it feel likes there is a box of bricks sitting on my chest and I can't take a deep enough breath. And a sense of not being able to take another breath comes over me. Then I realize that the only thing that can take the fear of it all being over away from me, is the smile on that person's face.


My reality is that sometimes I remember beautiful moments with this person and I realize how lucky I was at the time to have them. But the thing that hurts is that I never said anything. I never said thank you, I never looked the person in the eye and told them I loved them. I never realized that the moments would be taken from me. As cliche as it is to say, I never cherished the time for what it was when I had it. Now I regret not telling the person that I was blessed to know them. Not breathing in every moment of life that this person gave to me. Daily, sometimes even hourly, I remember the belly laughs, and jokes, the tears, the truth, the honesty, but more importantly I remember the rawness of our bond. It was there regardless of whatever else was going on, or who was around, there was simply a bond. A person-to-person, you-get-me, you-accept-me, you-breathe-life-into-me, kind of bond.

I feel like I wasted the short amount of time I was given. I feel angry that the time was stolen from me. I'm confused why it ended the way it did. I feel unsure of what my next step should be. I feel crushed and unwhole and lost and confused.


This person will probably never know the full extend of how wonderful their existence was in my life. I'm not sure if I ever will fully understand it either. All I know is that now that they are gone, a constant undertone of anguish and hopelessness has seeped into my daily living.

"i can't take back what i've done, but if I could, i damn sure would."


wherever you are. i love you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When It Rains It Pours

It was a saying I heard back in college when a dear friend of mine had his life turned upside down.  It was the summertime and his live-in girlfriend cheated on him and left him for another guy, he crashed his car and got a DUI, was arrested for some other sort of public indecency, and got fired from his job.  That same time my friend introduced me to Coldplay and I listened to the X&Y CD everyday.  Nearly every song on that able was meant for people who were going through hard times.  At the very time it was raining in my friends life, it was pouring in mine as well.  My best friend had slept with my boyfriend of 4 years, and he left me.  My father was hospitalized, and then shortly thereafter got an infection that could have been fatal, and I had gotten fired from my job.  It was a terrible terrible time and there was rain day in and day out.  I remember that time vividly because it was without a doubt the darkest time in my life.  Some of the lyrics from the Coldplay CD still reverberate in my ears now:

“Every step that you take could be your biggest mistake. 
It could bend, or it could break, That's the risk that you take.” –What If

“And the hardest part was letting go not taking part
Everything I know is wrong
Everything I do just comes undone
And everything is torn apart.”   -The Hardest Part

“I don't know which way I'm going
I don't know which way I've come
Hold my head... inside your hands
I need someone... who understands
I need someone... someone who hears.” –’Til Kingdom comes

“Is there anybody out there who
Is lost and hurt and lonely too?
Are you bleeding all your colors into one
And if you come undone
As if you've been run through
Some catapult it fired you
You
wonder if your chance will ever come
Or if you're stuck in square one.” –Square One

The lyrics from that album transcended into the depths of me and spoke to me in a way that music never had before.  I think my friend being in just as dark of a place and giving me music to express the pain was a blessing.  Albeit I listened to that CD at full volume daily, it was the words of my friend that truly stuck with me.  WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS.  Albeit, he did not come up with the phrase on his own, I had never heard it before he said it, so in some ways he coined the term in my mental dictionary. 

At this season of my life, the phrase seems to, once again, be appropriate.  Sadly.  It seems that everything that could go wrong or be wrong or suck or hurt is going wrong or sucking or hurting or causing me pain.  Just when I think I get a moment to catch my breath and break away from the storm, another round comes pouring down.  Some nights this summer I have been in my bed wondering how all this happened.  Just a few months ago I was filled with overwhelming joy and completion and happiness and I was in the best place of my life.  Now, I am sitting longing for what was, wishing for what isn’t, and cursing what is.  I don’t know when the attitude shifted or when things became dark in my life, but I have a good guess.

I think the my outlook on my world starting on a downward rolling pattern when I realized that the world was cruel and unjust on May 5th.  For the sake of security, I can’t go into explicit details.   But, I will say that someone who needed me more than I needed them was taken from me.  People don’t understand that some people (i.e. me) have pure intentions.  I was put in a situation where I had to ignore the fact that I cared about someone and that I was helping them.  I had to move forward as though I knew nothing, and ignore the fact that I got really close to this person over the last several months.  I truly believe that in this life we are meant to see one another through.  It is our job, and my sole conviction, to help people in any way possible to make this journey of life easier for them.  I try to be a good friend, a good listener, someone who cares, and someone who gives everything.  I do not hold back when it comes to people who are important to me.  When I care about someone, I do everything I can to make them feel loved and special and understood.  I also, do everything I can to know and learn every part of that person, good and bad and accept them for what they are.  I’m by no means perfect, and sometimes I do a bad job of it.  But, when I invest myself into someone, I really give it all.  And, when I spend months getting to know someone and learning how to make life easier for them, and supporting them through the ups and downs that come and go, and then they are taken from me for no reason…I am reminded.  Life is cruel.  More importantly, things happen for no reason at all.  Bad things.  Bad things to good people.  And more bad things happen to people who have had bad things happen to them their whole lives.  When it rains, it pours.

I could go into all the details of why I think it’s raining in my life.  But, that’s not my point right now.  My point is, how long must I put up with the storm before a little sunshine comes my way?  I’m trying  my darndest to change my attitude and outlook on life.  It still seems that at the end of every day, all I want to do is cry and sleep it all away.  When will it stop?  When will it just go away and things go back to being normal?  I also have this terrible yearning in me for a relationship and I think that when I get a boyfriend everything will just make sense again.  Which, logically is an illogical mindset to have.  I just need something to get my mind off everything because I feel like I am on the brink of a mental breakdown.  Legitimately going insane. 

I understand that when it rains it pours, I learned that many summers ago in my youth and I am reliving in the same type of season now.  But, I just wish someone would come alongside me and offer me an umbrella. 

umbrella

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy?

As a teacher, most of my time is spent wishing for a moment to catch my breath.  I am running around constantly for meetings, disciplinary actions, returning parent phone calls, attending staff meetings, reading for book clubs, going to professional development or trainings, chasing a student who stole a starburst off my desk, asking kids how their day is going, checking in with those who answered in a negative way, modifying math tests for students with learning disabilities, emailing teachers on student progress, helping kids with homework, helping kids with classwork, helping kids tie their shoes*, having conferences with the principal, having conferences with the vice principal, talking to the front office staff because without them I would be totally lost, visiting with my mentor teacher about protocol and advice, and the list can go on and on and on.  I mean my duties are boundless.  I love every minute of it and would have it no other way, but when I do find myself in between activities, I am wishing for just a chance to take a quick nap, or rest my body for a minute.  Now that it is summer and the time has come for me to rest, my life has become, how do you say?….BORING!

Oh my gosh, I looonnnnng for hectic days.  I wish I had students who had troubles coming to me every minute so that I had to solve a crisis.  These days, I get up and go to Starbucks and strike up a conversation with the Half-n-Half because no one else is around.  I spend my afternoons trying to take a nap but can’t fall asleep because the previous evenings 12-hour slumber was more than enough sleep for 3 days.  Most people would think they might envy me if our situations were reversed, but let me tell you something.  Having nothing to do is like having nothing to do.  And then I end up getting so bored that I don’t know what to do and my motivation is down, and then I get bored that I’m bored and it’s a  never ending spiral of boredom.  People tell me to get a hobby.  Well, people, my hobbies are reading books and scrapbooking.  Currently I am reading 4 different books at the same time.  YES.  F-O-U-R.  Because one is just boring.  I also have been scrapbooking a little bit, but at the end of the day when it’s beautiful outside, scrapbooking sounds like a terrible idea.  I want to be in the sun and soaking up some vitamin D.  I want to be getting supppper tan.   But, I have found that there are only so many hours that can be spent by the pool alone.  Yo0u know, people have jobs.  They can’t just be lounging around at the pool with me all day.  Albeit, I have tried to convince many of them to play hooky. 

So, as a result of my boredom and the other hectic things going on in my life…I have become a recluse.  I hate people.  I do.  And then, I end up fighting any invitation to converse with the human race.  My patience level has completely sunk below sea level, and my tolerance for stupidity is at an all time low.  (Mind you I am a middle school teacher).   So, I have mostly shut off all of my friends.  For their own choices really, they bailed on me and I figured that people who bail on me aren’t worth my time.  I have stopped calling or texting people back, the ones that actually take the time to say something to me.   The only two people I talk to are my mom and dad.  Yup, I’m a 26-year-old grown woman who only talks to her mother and father.  Pathetic really.  But the thought of anything else sounds hard, and demanding and time consuming and like it’s going to end up letting me down.  

So, I can’t wait until August 25th because then I can bury myself in my job and my students and forget that life is happening all around me.  I can consume myself with my job, my students and their needs, and not worry about anything that’s going on with me.  They need me more than I do, so it’ll end up working out okay.  It did last year.  I survived, and the joy that I had from working with those students is something I will never forget.  I believe in the beauty of their dreams and know that given the right push, that they will be successful and talented and upstanding citizens.   

I still have a month of this “easy living” and I am just trying to think how I am going to make it through.  I am already devising my plan for next summer.  I think I might end up going to some Spanish speaking country and work in an orphanage and loving on those kids for the summer months.  Rather than sitting around wasting my time and talents and God given gifts on drinking iced tea, shopping and lounging at the pool.

--------

*Okay, so I teach middle-school students so the shoe tying thing doesn’t happen, but for the sake of the argument I needed to throw it in there.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What’s With Them?

Okay, so at first I was excited to be involved in this new romantic thing I have going on.  I thought it was exciting and new and fun and fresh…and now my mind has gotten the best of me.  I am over thinking things.  I am worried.  I am anxious like crazy about it.  My mind is in non-stop thinking mode. 

Should I text him?  Should I not text him?  Should I ask him to hang out?  Is he like every other guy, with one motive?  He texts me every day, almost like clockwork, that means the likes me, right?  He told me today he’s been missing me all week, that means he likes me, right?  Am I getting ahead of myself by thinking about what will happen with us in 6 months?  Would I scare him if I asked him what he really wanted?…

It’s stupid what I really want.  Or mostly, it seems minor and simple to me what I want.  I just haven’t the “balls” to ask him if he wants it to.  You ready.  It’s big.  i guess?  I don’t think I ever thought twice about it before, but not knowing if he wants the same thing makes me nervous.  All I really want is for him to spend the night. I love sleepovers.  They are my favorite.  I sleep better and I just feel safe.  I just want a snuggle buddy.  Someone next to me so I don’t feel so alone through all this crap.  I just want to know that someone is on my side.  I just want to wake up and smile because there is a hottie next to me.  This new guy is SUPER cute.  I mean…so cute I get tongue tied.  I don’t mean to get cheesy, corny and teenagee on you, but it’s true.  I haven’t been with someone this cute…in years.  If ever.  I am worried I am not cute enough for him, I am so worried I am too fat or too cottage cheesy or too old or too different than him for him to actually like me.  It’s really crazy how many of my insecurities are creeping up and screaming at me.

Being with him/meeting him has made me totally re-evaluate what I actually want right now.  I can’t say I’m emotionally available for a this big serious commitment, which is what I thought I wanted.  But maybe, for now, I just want someone hot and fun and easy going.  Someone who is not going to make things a big deal and who is just going to go with the flow.  I thought I was over that phase in my life, I thought I outgrew it and that I was over it…but perhaps it’s what I need right now.  Just someone who will make me smile and feel good (when my insecurities aren’t at the forefront of my mind).    Not that any of those are his fault.  He tells me all the time how hot I am and how much he likes me daily.  I should trust that and not worry about what my own brain thinks.  I just don’t know what I want.  Really, I don’t know what he wants.  And it’s too early to ask.

It’s driving me mad.  Literally.  I hate it… I’m much better with comfortable things.  This should be exciting, right?  I should be pumped that I have a new romantic love interest.  I just hate not knowing when it will end, or when it will even start.  I get all in a twist not knowing what to say or what to do or what to expect.  Are we going to hang out?  What should we do?  Does he like hanging out with me?  Does he want to do something fun?  Does he want to do something mellow?  Will he want to hang out the nights/times that I have plans?  Should I ask him to hang out?  Should I wait for him to ask me?  Why is there even a game element to this whole thing at all anyways…BahHumBug!

This song is the only thing calming me down right now.  Javier Colon’s rendition of Coldplay’s song “Fix You.”

Javier Colon - Fix You

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tight Chest Pain

It’s a little thing called anxiety.  I used to believe it was just a myth.  That anything you wanted to make go away that had to do with your body, you could.  I believed that anxiety was all a part of the mind and that nothing would be greater than your own ability to think away the anxiety.  I used to believe that people were making this stuff up.  NO WAY!  It can’t be that bad.  Then…one night, i began to realize, on a real level, what anxiety really was.  I’m not exactly sure what gave me anxiety that first night but I remember the feeling.  I thought my heart was going to literally explode.  It felt like it was about ready to burst inside my chest cavity.  I felt like I was about to throw up, and like my stomach was full of acid.  I had a slow murmur in the back of my head and it seemed as though I would literally stop breathing at any moment.  Pretty scary feeling.  It’s been coming and going through the years, some days worse than others, never unmanageable.   Just uncomfortable, and semi-scary.

Currently I have had the annoying tight chest pain/my heart is going to explode feeling for the past few days.  There are a variety of events that have made me fall into this numbing anxiety level.  Mostly, it’s the uncertainty that is surrounding me.  I’m overly concerned for more than one person that I love dearly.  Each person has a different reason for me to be worried, all of which very valid.  One of them I miss more than ever and haven’t heard from in a long time.  I’m worried if they are okay, I’m worried what’s been going on, and I’m worried if they know that they are loved.  Another person that is probably the closest person to me in my life, is at a crux in his health.  I have no control or any say in the situation, so I am forced to sit back and watch and do nothing.  If you know me at all, you will know that this is a very hard for me.  Nearly impossible.  The other person that I am very concerned about is probably just as close to me as the last one that I mentioned.   I am worried for this person because I am not sure what is going on.  Again, it’s hard for me to sit back and let things be as they are and have no say in how that is.  There is also another situation in my life that is causing me some anxiety: a new relationship.  Now, well it’s all very exciting and fun and great, it still sends my nerves through a huge shock wave.  does he really like me?  does he really mean what he said?  does he miss me when he’s not with me?  does he think the things that I do?  How can i be thinking about a boy when all these other big things are going on in my life?  Am I a terrible person for wanting something good when the people I love are in pain?  What if this guy doesn’t like me?  Right now, he seems to be the only thing to distract me, then what if he goes away? 

Mostly, this tight chest pain is filling up my life and it’s causing me to sleep terribly.  It’s causing my mind to feel like it is constantly in flight or fight mode.  Always alert, overly active, and filled with constant thoughts.  I can’t get a moment of peace.  I try to put on my headphones and drown out my own voice (usually what helps me) but even that is not working.   I’m not sure what to do.  I can take deep breaths.  I can keep trying to drown out my own thoughts with loud noises.  I can try to take a walk or work out.  I don’t know.  All I know is that my heart feels like it is going to detonate right beneath my rib cage.

I think I know the cure, or a way to slightly numb the pain, but that wont happen for at least another two days…until then…wish me luck.

 

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamp
of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish
and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.
The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”
(-ayn rand-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sure Thing

Can't get this song out of my head, and I can't take it off repeat on my ipod.

MIGUEL "SURE THING":
Love You Like a Brother
Treat you like a friend
Respect you like a lover
You could bet that
Never gotta sweat that

If you be the cash. I'll be the rubberband
You be the match, Imma be your fuse
Boom!
Painter baby you could be the muse
I'm the reporter baby you could be the news
Cause your the cigarette and I'm the smoker
We raise a bet...Cause you're tha joker
Truth tho...
You are the chalk and I could be the blackboard
And you can be the talk and I could be the walk
Even when the sky comes falling
Even when the sun don't shine
I got faith in you and I
So put your pretty little hand in mine
Even when we're down to the wire babe
Even when it's do or die
We can do it baby simple and plain
Cause This Love Is a Sure Thing

You could be the lover I'll be the fighter babe
If I'm the blunt you could be the lighter babe
Fire it up!
Writer babe you could be the quote
If I'm the lyric baby you could be the note
Record that!
Saint, I'm a sinner, prize, I'm a winner
And it's you
What can I do to deserve that
Paper baby I'll be the pen
Say that I'm the one cause you are ten
real and not pretend!

Even when the sky comes fallin
Even when the sun don't shine
I got faith in you and I
So put your pretty lil hand in mine
Even when were down to the wire babe
Even when it's do or die

Just the Way You Are

“First rule, never let em change you
Rule two, do you to the fullest
And never be ashamed to
Your just good at what they can't do
And they hate that, they wanna paint you
In they color, put you on another
But what they don't accept, and what they don't see
The best thing is what you already be.”
Lupe Fiasco (Just the Way You Are, Intro)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sometimes Things Change

I guess sometimes it does all change.  Maybe not when you expect it to, or in the way you expect it to, but it changes.  You are reminded of why the sun shines again and what it’s like to feel light and free and happy.  You are reminded of the good times and reminded that there are good people and good things still in store for you.  Sometimes, you think you know exactly what you want and exactly what will make you happy, and then you don’t get it.  And, you think: man, this is it.  this isn’t going to work for me.  I’m going to be depressed and sad and things aren’t going to work out and life is going to be not as a planned and things are going to be shitty for a while and somehow I am going to have to find hope in a world where I don’t necessarily want to be.

But then something happens.

Something unexpected happens.

And all the things that you thought you knew you wanted still exist, somewhere.  But, the new thing distracts you from what you are missing and reminds you of what it’s like to be happy and excited. 

That’s what happened to me.  It doesn’t always happen.  And mostly, it happens when you are not expecting it (which I wasn’t).   I am not sure how long to expect to feel this new feeling or feel this way, but for now I am just going to enjoy the excitement and joy that it brings me. 

I’m grateful for the distraction.  And who knows what it might turn into.  I’m just happy I get to feel this way, even if only for a little while.  It’s a welcome change and makes me happy in my heart.  I haven’t felt this free in years.  It’s such a blessing. 

 

moment

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lost Dreams

What do you do when your dreams don’t come true?  What are you supposed to feel when everything you imagined your life to be slips right out of your finger tips on a cold June afternoon?  What direction and new goals are supposed to be set when you think you had it figured out but it doesn’t work out right?  What do you do when the sadness and tears and lost dreams overwhelm your heart?

To answer any of those questions right now is impossible for me.  I just think about those questions and I keep asking more questions.  What if I would have tried harder?  What if I would have pursued the dream the minute I knew it was a possibility?  What if I hadn’t waited?  What if I am never meant to live out that part of my life?  What if the timing is wrong?  When will the time be right?  What was I thinking?  This is why I don’t get my hopes up, why’d I let myself do it again?  Did my initial fear crush the possibility of a dream come true?  What if my internal navigation is off?  Am I hoping for something I will never obtain?…

It’s the worst feeling in the world, realizing that something you thought was meant to be and something you wanted so bad, doesn’t work out.  I had to grab my chest today because I felt like my heart and lungs were going to push themselves out of my rib cage.  I sobbed and sobbed at the words I was reading.  “Unfortunately”  “At this point it is unlikely”  “since you don’t have a credential nor teaching experience in this field our preference would be to hire someone with both.”   My heart stopped.  My dream of teaching at the high school was abruptly put to a stop.

I LOVE THOSE KIDS!  I know them, I know what works for them, I know what helps them.  I  know how to talk to them to calm them down.  I’ve witnessed most of them cry in front of me about life or hardships or homework or boyfriend troubles or family troubles.  I’ve had lengthy conversations with their parents, several meetings with their teachers, pulled them from class for a variety of reasons (both school related and not), and I care about them.  I check up with them, I remember what they say to me, I care about how they are feeling.  Credential or not, teaching experience or not, my heart for those students is bigger than anyone could ever realize.   That is something you can’t teach me in school, that is not a class that people can take.  My heart and mind is in it for the benefit of the students.  I care about how they do in school, I want them to be successful young people, and I check to make sure they are staying on the right track.  There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to help support them and assist them in life, in school and in anything else there might be.  

I wanted more than anything to follow my 8th grade students to the high school and be there to support them and help them navigate the unsteady waters of the high school.  My heart longed to be the place where they came when they had good news to share, or needed a place to escape from it all.  I imagined them seeing my face in the hall and being excited and coming to my class at lunch to eat with me, or me watching them get dressed up for their first homecoming.  I imagined going to all the football games and dressing up in the team colors every Friday.  I imagined dancing at the rally’s and staying after school to help the students with their homework.  I imagined the meetings I’d have with the parents when things weren’t going right, and sharing the triumphs when the students were successful. 

I spent the last year building a relationship with those kids, something that takes time and effort and determination.  I cared.  More than most would probably think is smart, but I cared.  And, I still care.  I’m worried about them.  I don’t want 40+% of them to drop out of high school and not graduate.  I don’t want them to feel like a little fish in a big pond.  I want them to feel good about themselves, be successful and walk that graduation stage.  They are my students and the kids that I care about a ton.  I don’t want them to be handed over to someone who doesn’t know them or understand them or care about them.  I want them to know that there is someone rooting for them at all times, good or bad.  I want them to know that life may be hard but there is always someone in their corner, even if they feel all alone. 

I know it is my dream of teaching at the high school that isn’t coming true, but I am also worried that many of my students’ dreams will be lost in the next four years too.  I just hope they know that they can always come back and I will help them no matter what.  Right now, an occasional visit doesn’t feel like enough.    I want to be there, at the high school, with them.  I want to be there rooting them on.  I want to be there teaching them so much more and helping them be well educated and upstanding young people.  I want them to know that they are the future and hope for this world and they have to be bigger and better and stronger than they even think they can be.  I want them to know that they are special, and smart, and talented and that they have something to offer to the world.  I want them to know that they have gifts and big hearts and funny quirks and that they are wonderfully unique. 

I will miss you 8th grade class of 2011.  You were my first set of students and you will forever hold a special place in my heart.  Remember to be smart at all times, never settle for less and strive to be better.

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think wise,
risking more than others think safe,
dreaming more than others think practical,
and expecting more than others think possible.”

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Unsent Letter

Dear You,

First, let me start by saying that I miss you.  In an indescribable and unimaginable way.  It’s something that has hit me and has caused me to stop and take a deep breath or hold back a welled up tear.  You were and continue to be a blessing and a light in my life.  For someone who feels you offer nothing to this world, you offer me a reason and a purpose on a daily basis.  Even when you are sad or feeling down, to me, you exude joy and life. 

You have reminded me that life is about acceptance and trust.  You showed me that we must accept each individual human being as they are.  Broken, cracked, imperfections, faults and all.  Each individual is all they can be, they can be no more.  It is out job, as fellow humans, to take everyone for what they are worth and meet them where they are at.  It is not our jobs to change them or fix them or unbreak the broken parts.  It’s our job to love them.  Period.  It’s all about loving unconditionally and without intentions or notions of change.  You taught me that.  That’s pretty phenomenal.  Before you, I thought that everyone could just work on being better and everything would fix itself.  And while, part of that remains true, I was ignorant to a bigger part of the picture.  Sometimes, people carry around pain and hurt that were put on them.  Sometimes life hands certain people terrible situations that break and tear apart the soul.  Sometimes life is unbearably hard and continually cruel, and no matter how hard you work or how hard you try…those things don’t go away.  It’s hard to see the sunshine when you are buried in the ground.   Sometimes I look at you and wonder how you are even standing before me.  How do you even get out of bed in the morning and smile?  I know I probably couldn’t if I had to be in your shoes.  But your strength is astonishing and awe inspiring. 

Not only have you taught me about unconditional love, but you have showed me that so many talents go unnoticed because they are overshadowed by faults.  You are talented beyond belief.  The things I’ve seen you do and come up with and create and generate are marvelous.  You have abilities that are locked inside of you because of a few reasons.  1.  Your fear of them being rejected.  2.  Flaws overshadowing your talents.  3.  Life doesn’t allow you the freedom or space to explore those talents.  You have reminded me that we must all be allowed the space to explore curiosities and be reminded that mistakes are part of the process, talents are to be nourished and flaws are not the depths of a persons whole being.  We, as people, generally tend to look at the things wrong with each person, rather than the talents they have.  Rather than the abilities that person possess, we focus on what the person lacks.   I’ve noticed that many people look at you and see what you lack, I look at you and I see what you possess and I hope that someday you can see all the wonderful things you are capable of, and not focus on the things you cannot do.  You are blessed.  Use those blessings.  Your life will be rich and full and happy. 

Also, you have showed me that you are keenly aware of people.  That’s one of your many talents, but it’s also something I wanted to highlight.  Your ability to notice people around you and the things they do or say or feel is amazing.  You are able to pick up on things that most people themselves cannot pick up on.  You notice minor details, or emotions, or idiosyncrasies that often times are uncharted.  I have heard you say some things, and I’ll look at you and be floored by your perceptions.  USE THAT SKILL!  It’s something you cannot be taught, it is something you will never learn how to use through a book, and it is something that you inherently know and you have that gift.  I hope that you use it to understand, help and learn people.  I also hope that you use it to be a better you.  Start to notice your own thoughts, actions or feelings and do something to make them better and to get them to be in a better place.  Regardless of your circumstances.  

Most of all, I just want you to know that you are special.  You are gifted and talented and a blessing to this world.  You are funny and smart and perceptive and strong.  Believe in those things.  Believe in yourself.  And know, that no matter how far away or how long it’s been since I have seen you, or what happens…I will always care and love you.  I will always feel you are a blessing and a joy to the world.  I will always know that there is more to you than you let people see and I will always know that you are a kind and sensitive soul no matter what persona you show everyone.  I hope only joy and love and peace and happiness in your life.  I really do just want the best for you and I want you to know that I care.

Always,
“Patty”