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.