How wonderful it is when you put yourself out there and ask for help and find you receive an enormous amount more support than anticipated. When you realize that sometimes saying “I can’t do this on my own” is the bravest thing one can do.
How frustrating it is when you find yourself feeling ugly emotions like jealousy and anger, emotions that you try to live without. How hypocritical it is to want to devote your life to helping others, but sometimes just want it to be fucking about you.
How sad it is when the people closest to you disappoint you in ways you didn’t think they were capable of. When walls so carefully pieced together and built up get torn down in the wake of a great love, leaving you willingly, blissfully vulnerable and all the more shocked at the indescribable pain when they burn you.
How disheartening it is when you are so close to reaching a goal only to realize that it is only step one of your dream and you don’t feel like you have the money, resources or strength to move onto step two, three and four.
How funny that an email from a stranger can make you feel a little less alone and a lot more understood.
How easy it is to think you know better, to make judgments and assumptions. Easy to forget the way you behaved when you were in that boat, easy to say for certain how you would act presented with a particular circumstance. How easy it is to forget how much it stings when you are the one who’s judged.
How important it is to remember each person has a unique story and struggle, and that at times decision making is effected by circumstances and their environment, that you’ve never walked a mile in their shoes or been dealt the hand they are playing.
How refreshing it is to spend an evening around a dinner table where political banter includes just as much laughter as it does yelling. Where differences and opinions make the wine and warm dinner that much more flavorful; where regardless of whether or not you think someone’s viewpoints make them an imbecile, you still could not love them more.
How incomparable it is to be in love with a person who is not afraid to call you out on your shit, tell you he doesn’t agree with you and here’s why, a person who challenges you. A person who does not complete you, but rather compliments you. A person who reminds you exactly who you are and what you are capable of when you think you’ve lost your way.
How scary it is to think you are making this person too much of your whole world, that you’re invested so deeply that should it fall apart, your heart would be shattered, your soul damaged. How much does it speak to your relationship that the risk is insignificant to you.
How misunderstood do you feel when the people you love don’t love each other.
How helpless does it make you feel when someone you love is in agony and you can’t find the words to say or thing to do to make it better.
How liberating it is to have things that are only yours, to be able to own your choices regarding money, beliefs, sex. How lucky it is to have a home, a safe haven, with heat and food. How fortunate it is to have a car, how blessed to be able to vote.
How ironic it is that an individual can simultaneously be a hero to one person and considered someone of low moral standing to another.
How confusing it is to feel so many of these things at once.
Prompt: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you like shit
There’s this fucking bitch I know who likes to come around from time to time and ruin my day. She verbally abuses me, tells me how incapable I am, makes me doubt everything I’ve worked and am working for. She makes me feel as though if someone or something wants me, it’s not worth having. Nothing prestigious or valuable should ever be trusted in my hands.
She is not my mother, my friend or my co-worker. She is yours truly. I am my own worst critic, my harshest scrutinizer. I have driven myself to eating disorders and anxiety attacks, given up on things I would have succeeded in had I stuck it out. My self doubt, this ugly, ugly side of me, has made me scared to proceed with things I want in my life for fear of failure. For far too long in my life, I would listen to her, let her shape me, stunt me. Not any more.
She’s a bitch, but I don’t think she’s going anywhere. I have learned, and am continually learning, how to deal with her and use her as an asset instead of a source of fear. I’m not sure my self doubt will ever make a smooth transition to confidence and complete feelings of self worth, but I am learning to use my doubt as a challenger. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing more fucking annoying than someone telling you that you can’t do something. I am learning to channel my doubt and turn it into motivation, to dare me to defy myself. The more I rebel against her, the less control she has, the more I accept that she ain’t leaving, the less I will pay attention to her.
She does give me hell, she does treat me like shit. But the big fuck you I get to give her when I prove her wrong is worth all of her bullshit and more.
Topic: Quality of life
Prompt: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Last night my brother was randomly in my hometown to stop by property he owns and so he texted me to see what I was up to. Earlier that day me and my sister made plans to have a glass (or 4) of wine when she got off work, so I told Jay to come on over.
The wine…and scotch…and homemade cinnamon pear liquor was flowing freely. As always, the conversation was perfect mixture of jokes, politics, mockery and feelings (I’m usually the one to bring up the feelings). A beautiful thing about my family is that I am able and willing to bring up ANY topic. Some newcomers find it shocking that you can bring absolutely anything to the table, some find it refreshing and embrace it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is because of this dynamic that my family members are often my best teachers—they gladly play devil’s advocate, challenge, question and encourage me. Disagreement is welcomed. We are real with each other, we let ourselves be, at times, painfully raw with one another and because of this I know they love me for who I actually am (even if they often want to punch me in the face).
Several times throughout the night I was curled over in laughter, and a few times I was close to near tears in a fantastic way. I was in the company of my incredible boyfriend and two people who have known me since birth, in sweats, parked on my doesn’t-even-make-sense-how-comfy-this-is couch and I thought, THIS IS LIFE. As much as I love traveling and day trip adventures, going out and DOING, this everyday simplicity is what makes my life.
For the majority of people, the lucky ones, family is what makes your life worth it. Family is not just biological, family is your partners, your friends, sometimes the people you see from 9-5. My family is my biologicals, my step family, my foster/adopted brothers, my friends, MC and MC’s family (I am BEYOND blessed in that category).
They are who will be there when I reach my goals and who I call when I feel the finish line is so far off I will never make it. They are the ones who teach me to accept and value people and things for what they are, and show me the steps to change the things I simply can’t find acceptable. They call me out on my bullshit and are my best cheerleaders when I succeed.
They are my motivation, my purpose.
So as unoriginal as my answer is, my family makes my life worth living.
SideNote: There are some very wonderful mention worthy little things that are making my life especially worth living this week. Great big shout-outs to Merry Mint Peppermint/Spearmint tea, the heater in my bathroom, the vegan coconut soap I picked up at the Big E, my turquoise jewelery, aforementioned homemade pear liquor, Kevin from the cubicle to my right playing his guitar all lunch break, eggplant parm leftovers, THE WEATHER and my rapidly approaching theme-party, walkathon, school and yoga filled weekend.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” Catherine Ponder
Topic: Forgiveness Part 2
Prompt: Something You Have to Forgive Someone For
My mom took this workshop on anger, healing and the power of forgiveness. No, I am not kidding, and I actually wished I was able to take it with her. To be able to openly share ideas, experiences, struggles and fears with active listeners chewing over the same thoughts makes me pee my pants excited. Over wine and sushi one night, ma dukes rehashed the details of the course and how invaluable it was to her because of the lessons and messages she came away with. One analogy she shared sticks out more prominently to me than the others: “Holding on to hurt and anger towards someone is like drinking poison every day, and expecting the other person to get sick.” The focus of your anger has likely moved on, dealt with whatever action hurt you so badly and come to peace with it. Maybe they’ve had the strength to apologize, maybe the two of you will likely never speak again and they’ve used their mistake as a lesson, a model for right versus wrong in the future. Regardless, the only person you are hurting when you harbor all that negativity is yourself.
What makes it easier for some people to forgive than others? Is it an open heart, a positive attitude, self-reflection, a decision? Or is it the circumstances attached to the forgiveness? Does a betrayal hold more weight than another type of let down? Does the motive make a difference? I believe that these factors and so many others can make it difficult or easy to forgive, but ultimately, forgiveness is a choice.
Forgiveness is an act of love, willingness to put aside differences, to acknowledge although actions speak louder than words, single actions do not always define who a person is and genuine apologies from the heart can carry as much weight as words that have hurt you.
I’ve been searching the archives in my brain, digging out old hurts and wounds that have been sewn up by friends and MC and Oreos. I’ve been contemplating and analyzing, mulling over my definitions of forgiveness and the healing process and why humans all handle things so damn differently. And what do I have to show for it? I gotta say, other than some petty shit I need to tackle, my “Need to Forgive” folder is pretty sparse. I don’t blame my parents for my fuck ups or issues, I’m friends with my ex-boyfriends, I find it refreshing and necessary to make peace. I can forgive, it’s the forgetting part that I need to step up my game with.
I cannot tell you my personal story. I know, I know, this project is supposed to be about telling the truth, putting it all out there, but this isn’t just my laundry to air out, only my truth to tell. Sharing the story would do no more than stir up negativity and hurt, effects I don’t wish to come out of my writing. Let’s just say it happened a long time ago and it was dealt with and put to bed. Supposedly.
I’ve forgiven, but I can’t seem to forget. The “what ifs”, the humiliation creep back in every so often and I ponder whether or not it can or will happen again. I am holding myself back, not letting the water truly flow under the bridge, by remembering. I’m not suggesting going all Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or attempting to repress shit, but it isn’t necessary to go back to this series of events or to continue to let them shape my ideas. My personal growth is being stunted because even though I’ve forgiven, I’ve yet to put it out of my mind.
New personal goal: Learn from situations that caused me pain, allow myself a cycle of hurt and healing and then move on, fully. Treat others who have wronged me with the compassion that the people I’ve have wronged have shown me. Come to terms and make peace with others and myself.
Prompt: Write Something You Love About Yourself.
Contrary to what Day 1 might have hinted at, I am not utterly full of hate; I do love many, many things. Hence, the first something I love about myself would be that I have the ability to love and appreciate countless things, material and otherwise. I love going out to breakfast and books, smiles from strangers (or someone I fancy), my green living room walls and 3 hour long conversations. I love autumn, UCONN tailgates, NAILS(!!)*, pumpkin everything and sweatshirt season. I love that I cherish all the little blessings in my life.
I love that I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I am delighted, down in the dumps, irritated or excited, I assure you, you will be able to tell. I can’t hold in how I feel, and even when I try, it comes out anyways. I’m sure it annoys the shit out of other people, but I love it. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I love that I am willing to try any food, regardless of how nasty and unappealing it may seem beforehand.
I love that I say “I love you”, freely, often, deliberately. I also love that I am a cuddler. **
I love that I have an open mind. I love that I chose to believe in the inherent good in people.
I love that I have passion and am pursuing it through the means of a career.
I love that this was easier than I thought.
What do you love about yourself?
* Or STUMP as some people call it
**I appreciate both spoons equally
“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” -Elvis Presley
I came across a brilliant writing project on Hope’s blog today, and it was just too delicious not to copy. Thanks dahhling : ) The rules are to tell the truth for 30 days, each day about a different topic. The full list can be found here.
Feel free to contribute, enrich the project. I want to hear your thoughts, how you feel on the subject matter, either pertaining to my life or your own. I would feel blessed to hear your story.
I’ll go in the given order, I think that’s important. I feel that some days will be a lot harder to write than others, therefore I don’t want to pick and choose–that would be cheating. I might not write every day, and I might throw in a post or two in between days, but I’ll pick up right where I started, promise.
So…without further ado…
Hate: a special kind of love given to people who suck. *
Prompt: Write Something You Hate About Yourself
I hate the irony of “hate” being the topic for the first day. I hate that I have been focusing on all the things I hate about myself for months, years now. I hate that I’ll probably have to cut myself off from typing the full list of everything I hate about me, that tomorrow’s “What do you love about yourself?” will be a great deal more difficult to write. I hate that it’s so hard for me to recognize a talent, so easy to spot a flaw. I hate that I am terrible with money. I hate pretty much every single part of my body, from my ears to my thighs to my voice. I obviously hate my anxiety. I hate that I have a problem saying no. I hate that I don’t speak my mind at times for fear of hurting someone else, instead accepting the hurt myself. I hate that I am overly sensitive. I hate that I make the time to volunteer, to sleep in, to get drunk, but don’t make the time to visit my grandma because it makes me sad and uncomfortable. I hate that I get jealous. I hate that I never fold/put away all my laundry. I hate that I slouch. I hate that I talk with my mouth full. I hate how awkward I get first entering a new situation or meeting new people, how ill at ease I am in my own skin. I hate that this is continuing to hold me back.
Vent it if you got it. Anything you hate about yourself?
Six months ago, if you asked me anything about a blog or the blog world, I would have stared at you blankly as if you had just spoken French. Even though I started following a few blogs and visiting tons of others back in May, I’m still pretty much flying blind here with the whole actual designing/writing/commenting thing. I was introduced to blogs when a friend moved down to St. Maarten for medical school, and his girlfriend decided to document their adventures down there. I thought the idea was fantastic and I found myself looking forward to her stories and posts. It seemed like such a fabulous way to live vicariously through other people. So I read her blog and found some others and those led me to some others, and before I knew it, I was looking forward to new posts more than my weekly TV shows (except you, True Blood, you’re still my #1!).
I honestly never even considered starting my own little blogspace. I like to write, but I’m not exceptionally good at it by any means. I was perfectly content just reading other people’s blogs and enjoyed agreeing with, praying for and just plain hating some of the things that people said. I find they help me immensely at times, especially when I don’t know how to put the way I am feeling into words. Reading other people’s views and opinions is fascinating and helps me really identify how I truly feel on issues. Essentially, other people help me know myself better.
But after one particularly long, kind of shitty and super eventful day, I found myself wanting to blog. Wanting to say my piece and put it out there. Use writing as a therapeutic tool and not just something reserved for research papers. This one day was packed with announcements of pregnancies, fights with my best friend, finding out a girl whose been like a sister to me for 12 years is moving 3,000 miles away, work meetings and school payment plans, feelings of failure and a ten minute phone call with my love, MC, that made me remember it was all going to be ok. I felt myself yearning for a better way to process my thoughts. I wanted to express how sad, let down, excited, motivated, tired, anxious, blessed I felt. So, I chose action over contemplation and here we are.
Hello Internet : )