Saturday, January 24, 2015

Memories

It's January.  Always in the winter I feel a little more blue than usual.  I actually self-diagnosed myself with seasonal affective disorder, appropriately labeled SAD.  I mean what do you expect?  It's cold.  It snows.  It's gray.  IT'S COLD.  What's there to like?  But I also feel down around this time due to the memories.  It was in November nearly 20 years ago that my mom was diagnosed with MS.  And it was that January when my dad was first diagnosed with Cancer.  My dad ended up passing away a few years later in February.  So yeah, I have some memories.

My mom and I had the pleasure of catching up with a friend from high school and her mom a few weeks ago.  I was a little apprehensive at first.  Not because there was any bad blood, but because it had been so long.  I was no longer that girl I used to be. But it turned out to be an amazing experience.  One that I was sad hadn't happened sooner.  It was nice to be able to share memories with people that I grew up with.  It is so interesting thinking of the person who you went to girl scout camp with now being a beautiful young woman with husband and a baby.

It was during our lunch together I was reminded of a few memories of my dad.  The one that I rarely think about is the day he died.  Before he died he had been admitted to the hospital.  His condition worsened relatively quickly.  I was in high school at the time.  By that time my mom had stopped driving.  I would take my mom to the hospital before I went to school and pick her up after.  On that day we had a call very early telling her to come in.  I didn't really think that it was odd at the time.  I went to my first class.  And then when I approached my second class I could see my guidance counselor waiting for me.  I knew what was about to happen.  I knew the news she was about to share.  I tried to prepare.  I tried to tell myself not to cry.  But I did and loud.  I cried very loudly through the length of the school.  I was so loud in fact that some people thought I was laughing.

That was all nearly 17 years ago.  The memories of my life then are fading.  The images of my dad are becoming blurry.  But missing him never changes.  I long to have his level-headed advice.  I wish he could have walked me across the stage.  I can only imagine crying to him about a break up.  Or having him walk me down the aisle when (if ever) I get married.  I wish that he could be here so we both could take care of mom.  Even though I get sad about what I will not get to experience with my dad  I will always have the memories.  And even sad memories are better then no memories.  So as my dad's death anniversary approaches I will keep thinking about him.  And I will keep hoping that I have turned out to be the type of daughter to properly honor his memory.

A Lesson Learned

A few years ago Alicia Keys had a song called "A Lesson Learned."  In the song she describes going through a break up and being hurt.  Even standing out in the rain.  But in the end she sang that it was a lesson learned.  Well right now I am having my own lesson learned.

I have been dating this guy for the past six months on and off.  The off points have always surrounded him disappearing for days at a time with vague explanations.  Almost always it was work related.  I was always able to get over it and go right back.  I knew his excuses were never good.  I knew that no matter how busy someone gets that they can always spend a minute to text a response that they are not dead or that they are busy and will hit them back later.  But I accepted that his profession required a crazy work schedule and that he was taking the steps to professionally to have more of a normal life.  I held on thinking that it would work out when in the end I kind of always felt like I was going to be hurt again.

So last night I had a dark moment.  You see I have trained myself well not to let the dark side of Di come out.  Because I know I am capable of hurting feelings and ruining friendships.  But in my quest to become more Christ-like I try to put that all on the back burner.  In the end I attempt to behave in the way that I want to be treated.  Yeah last night that was all out of the window.  A week of basically no communication turned into anger.  My anger therefore turned into me using a plethora of obscenities.  By the time I had the opportunity to have that adult conversation I wanted to have about the status of our friendship/relationship anything adult had been long gone.  I ended the evening feeling sad, embarrassed, and even confused.  The next day I feel basically the same way.  If anything I feel mad at myself for losing my composure.  However, I stand by my point that he could have contacted me no matter how busy he was.

It almost felt like if I loved him enough for the both of us that it would work out.  I mean don't get me wrong. I still love this guy.  I don't think he is a bad guy.  I don't even feel like he was intentionally trying to hurt me.  I just think that in the end he was the most important person in his life and that I should have been the most important person in mine (well besides my mom).  He said he didn't have the time for a relationship which I realized way before the cursing, I just wasn't ready to let go.  Shoot if we are really being honest I am still not ready.

So every time that I have a break up (and I say breakup loosely as we were never officially together, but that is another post) I like to have a reflection on the relationship.  So here are my own lessons learned:

1.  Don't be afraid to ask the questions.  Especially if you are afraid to ask because it could end the relationship.

2.  Stick to your principles.  You know what is right and wrong.  You can rationalize all you want but deep down inside you know when something isn't right.

3.  Don't share everything with your friends.  After the first couple of breaks I decided to keep some things to myself.  I enjoyed this because it allowed me to figure things out on my own and make my own decisions, whether they were good ones is another story.

4.  Don't be afraid to be alone.  Because sometimes being in a relationship can be much more lonely that being alone.

5.  Don't compare yourself to others.  Just because another person has a house and is married with kids doesn't mean that is what is for you.  And it doesn't mean that you are a bad person because you don't have what someone else does.  Everyone has their own paths.

6.  Working out helps deal with anger.  I should have probably went back to the gym last night before sending a screaming voice mail.  Revenge is a dish best served a couple of sizes smaller.

7.  Don't beat yourself up for mistakes.  To be honest still working on this one.

8.  On to the next.  There is always someone else out there.

9.  Know your deal breakers.  I guess it has taken me a few relationships to realize that lack of communication is mine.

10.  Know your worth.  As the once great Lauryn Hill once said, "Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem."  #truth


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Patience is a Virtue

They say patience is a virtue.  If so it's one that I certainly don't have.  My mind is always go go go and on to the next thing.  I fully admit that patience is something that I am lacking.  But admitting is only the first step right?

This year I thought about making some attainable new year's goals.  On new year's eve I shared a few of them with some friends and they were surprised by the specificity.  But the truth is I have specific things I want to work on because I actually want to make some real changes.  I think too often with new year's resolutions is that they are too broad and too lofty and therefore easy to not take seriously.  But for me this year, 2015 is really about making some significant changes.

For me, I have decided to add increased patience on my my goals for the year.  You see my patience issues are far reaching.  I have little patience for ignorance, even though I am working on becoming more empathetic.  I have increased in patience in dealing with my mom, but I have a lot of work to do. Sometimes, I just get impatient waiting for the someone to send a text message when I see those three dots in the chat. And finally, I lack patience in myself, and in my journey.  I want to be in the next chapter because this chapter as seemed a tad bit long.

Patience is something that I have thought about for years.  Maybe even on and off I have prayed about it. But today, I decided that I am going to really work on it.  The last few days I have had some serious issues with my patience.  And instead of ranting and raving like I might have done in the past I have been doing a lot of praying.

At the end of 2014 I heard several messages on fear and trusting God.  Essentially what I gathered is that we fear because we are not trusting God enough.  I would gather that my impatience is also stemming from a place of fear.  Because in many instances I am inpatient because I expect the worst.  Therefore, if I suspect that the worst is coming than I would rather approach it like ripping off a band aid instead of slowing taking the band aid off.  My catastrophic way of viewing the world is a big problem in my life.  It not only contributes to my lack of patience but it also causes me to jump to broad conclusions based on little information.  My worst case scenario anticipation causes me a lot of undue stress and heartache.  And it is a problem that for the most part I hide very well on the outside.  But on the inside, in my thoughts, I am a crazy woman whose deepest fears play on a loop in my head.

So this whole patience is definitely going to be a challenge.  But it is something that I think is not only necessary for my health but also allow me to be one step closer to becoming the person who I want to be.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beauty In My Brokenness

There is beauty in my brokenness.  At least that is what they said at church.  I sure hope that is true because lately I have felt very broken.  I know I haven't been writing like I used to and for that I apologize.  The truth is, I didn't want to have a blog that highlighted the fact that I feel stuck and unsatisfied post after post.   I told a friend the other day that my shine is dim.  I think that probably sums up my mentality at the moment.

I am not sure why I feel like this.  Well correction, I know exactly why I feel like this.  The question is why is different than any other time.  I still am looking for jobs, I am still taking care of my mom, and I am still hoping to find love.  Nothing has really changed in my life.  In fact things might be a little more stable than usual, yet I have this empty feeling.  I have these dark thoughts invading my brain telling me that I am not living up to my potential, that I am not trying hard enough, I am not doing my best, that I am tired of caring about others, and that I am just one big disappointment.  And while some of you may think I am being hard on myself, maybe I am to some extent, but in reality I do think I could be doing more.  But I think I am getting dangerously close to that point of wondering if maybe just maybe this is life.  That perhaps the happiness and the struggle free life that is on tv and in the movies and apparently on Facebook and Instagram may never be my own reality.  Maybe this isn't just a really long dry season but instead it is what my life is supposed to be and always will be?

The sermons at church the past few weeks have reminded me that being a follower of Christ does not guarantee that we will have an easy life.  In fact, being a Christian means that we will go through pain and suffering, but it is through that time that we are becoming stronger and preparing for the future.  I am not opposed to having storms in my life.  I have been through many and I am glad that I did.  I know my strength and my potential.  But this season, this storm,  just seems to be never ending.  That motivation and positivity that I have always tried to keep close is fleeting.  Right now I am feeling more lost than ever.

This weekend I decided to devote on working on me.  Well I have done a lot of reflecting.  I have shed some tears.  I have had some me time.  I have talked to some friends.  And I have done a lot of thinking.  And you know what I realized, only I can pull myself out of this funk.  Only I can be the source of my motivation.  Only I can choose happiness.  Oh and happiness is definitely a choice my friends.

We are getting close to the end of the year.  And I do not want to put off anything with the idea of starting fresh or with a clean slate.  I want to go strong into 2015 with momentum for change in my life.  No longer am I going to cover up my darkness.  Today, I am going to use the beauty of my brokenness to find joy, to be happy, and to love just as I am supposed to.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Becoming a Better Me

Suddenly when I stopped stressing over a guy who never called me back, I had a lot of free time.  No I will be honest, some of that free time was still spent stressing over that guy that never called.  But with the remaining time I had after the stress, which still was a lot, I decided to focus on me.  Sure my job search may be lacking, I feel stuck in my family's house forever, and might never find a husband and turn into the neighborhood cat lady, but there is one thing over which I did have control, me!  Thus in the beginning of September I decided to get serious about my weight loss and fitness goals.

I know my weight loss journey is something I have written about several times over the years.  I have tried various diets and even tracking through  My Fitness Pal but I was never truly consistent.  Back in May I started Weight Watchers.  Despite paying my monthly fees three months passed by with very little loss.  As one member from my meeting would say, I was donating money to Weight Watchers.  But something stuck with me.  I guess I felt like the fall was a fresh start.  Ever since that I haven't looked back.

So what is different?  I have been going to the gym consistently.  My goal is to go everyday and at least do something.  Life happens, and LA Fitness has the worst weekend hours ever in life, so I don't always make it everyday, however I am coming quite close.  I have also started morning workouts.  Working out in the morning has basically changed my life.  Sure I set my alarm for a ridiculously early time and hit the snooze button four or five times.  But when I finally get there and get on the machine I feel great.  I think to myself it is 7:30 am and I have already accomplished something.  Not to mention the abundance of energy that I know have throughout the day.  Unfortunately, I have nowhere to place this new found energy, but I am working on it.  And what helps is that one of my BFFs is right there with me every morning.  We made a pact to not tell the other person when we aren't going to make it.  That way we always push ourselves to go because we assume that the other person will be there.

I am making smarter decisions with my eating.  I have been bringing in my breakfast and lunch more.  This helps me also save money which is a double bonus. Also I have even done some cooking over the past few weeks which I don't usually have the opportunity to do often.  I know that Weight Watchers is a lifestyle change and not a diet.  I no longer beat myself up if I have a "bad" meal or a "bad" day.  I refuse to be discourage when the scale is not a big loss, because I know as it is often said that this journey is a marathon and not a sprint.

But there is a bigger difference.  After much planning, scheming, and nudging I convinced my best friends to get back on board and re-join Weight Watchers.  It is while the three of us were on it together that we were the most successful.  We have all tried on our own for years and it just hasn't worked.  And now there is nothing more exciting to me than being able to share our successes and bad days together knowing that we are all on this quest together.

Each day I feel smaller and I feel stronger.  At 6:30 am I am on a machine dripping with sweat I am imagining myself on the beach next summer.  Each time I am craving fried chicken or a piece of pizza I think about the old me, that me from 7 years ago, and I think to myself that I refuse to go back there again.  When I see my mom and everything she is going through I know that I have to become a better me so that I will continue to be able to take care of her as she grows weaker.  So that is it.  I am becoming a better me and I couldn't be happier!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tinder Lovin'

Despite the fact that I had sworn off online dating, I decided to give Tinder a chance.  I thought what is the harm?  I needed to really start getting over the last guy I dated.  Plus, when it comes to online dating I know that there will always good stories that I can share with my readers.  So think of this Tinder experiment as my gift to you ;)

I must confess this is my third attempt at Tinder.  The other two times I joined via boredom and then I left and deleted the app via boredom 10 minutes later lol.  But this time I decided I would really give it a chance.
Anyway, I REALLY started Tinder a few days ago.  A few of my friends have had moderate success from it and I hear about it all the time.  Tinder is a dating app that I think it is connected some how through Facebook (yet doesn't share your information).  They will pull up people in your area and I think through you Facebook friends.  You will see a few pictures of the people who come up and you swipe left if you don't like them, swipe right if you do.  Then if you are both pick each other the app will let you know.  If you are a match you are able to start chatting via the app.

Now Tinder is not all roses.  In fact for a long time Tinder was known as merely a hook up app.  But I think that reputation is starting to change.  But I have still heard of a few people who didn't get the memo.  Case in point (my comments are in blue).



So I ended up deleted Rick after that.  Kind of obnoxious, but not enough to deter me from my mission.  And boy I found this jack pot yesterday!  So on Friday I started chatting with this man named Sean.  Sean is 27 lives about 40 minutes from me, works on the power lines during the day, and at night is a bouncer.  He looks kind of like a nerdy football player because he wears glasses.  The conversation seemed to be decent enough to me and we ended up exchanging numbers.

The next day there were texts here and there.  Until he started texting me from a different phone.  I am typing in the blue and green.  And pardon my typos I am a terrible texter.  Please read below (I have cropped out the phone number for privacy reasons):








Yeah that happened! Just to let you know, I really did tell him to give her back her keys.  He asked what I was talking about.  And then I sent him these screen shots.  His only reaction was WOW.  And I haven't heard from either of them since.  Why does stuff like this only happen to me? 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Too Blessed to Be Stressed?

Too blessed to be stressed.  Who came up with that phrase? If you Google this phrase you will find a lot of motivational pictures and even more bible verses to read, a catering company, and even a tv show.  Regardless of the number of Google hits this search has I don't agree.  If anything I am stressed because I am blessed.  HMPF!

Everyday I feel like I am playing the shell game with some part of my life.  Rarely do I think everything is great.  Usually it is most things are good and something is really bad.  Or maybe most things are kind of terrible and there might be one great thing.  But I am not sure if I can ever say that everything is great.  I am not even sure if I can say that everything is good.  Despite feeling blessed and despite feeling grateful for what I do have, I'm stressed.

So why are my blessings stressing me out?  Well remember that line from one of the billion Spiderman movies.  I am talking about the first one with Toby McGuire.  Well Peter's uncle tells him that famous line "With great power comes great responsibility."  (Side note, while I was doing the research of this quote I found out Voltaire actually said this line first.  You should read about him if you ever have the chance.)  Anyway, I feel like when you are blessed you have more responsibility and responsibility obviously goes hand in hand with stress right? I am stressed because I am blessed.

Ever since I can remember I had this thought, this strong conviction in my heart that I was destined to change the world.  Even as a child I felt like I had to hold myself to a high standard in order to step into my roll as greatness.  It was a feeling of burden.  I often felt as if I carried the weight of the world on my own rounded shoulders.  And with this burden I often, and still do feel guilty and disappointed and never satisfied.  Why?  Because I feel like I am never truly living up to my potential.   In my mind if I let myself down, I am letting the world down and therefore I am letting God down.  Tough way to view the world huh?  I am blessed with talents and abilities but I am stressed because I am not utilizing enough to effect change in the world.

I go back and forth from meeting to meeting.  I have multiple conference calls a week.  I am trying to volunteer once a month.  I am beginning to get involved more in church.  But I often find myself wondering if I am really making a difference.  I am stressed because I feel like I am wasting my blessings.  I am not blessing others enough.

While this view has continued into my adulthood it has also morphed with my increased adult responsibilities.  In church they always tout honoring your mother and father.  And when people see my mom and I together at times people will stop to tell me that I will receiving my blessings in heaven for the way that I take care of her.  But at the end of the day I never feel that I do enough.  I never have enough money.  I never have enough time.  I never have enough patience.  I am blessed to have my this amazing mother in my life but I feel stressed that I am letting her down.

So I already know what some of you are thinking.  My faith is not strong if I am stressed.  Or maybe you are thinking God has it all under control so you don't need to stress.  Let me be honest.  I don't think I am in this upper realm of understanding with my relationship with God.  Now I am not saying that I lack faith, what I am saying is I am tired.  I feel like I am constantly bracing myself for the next impact.

All I really want to do is blessed others as I have been blessed myself, stress-free.  Is it even possible?