Progress Made

It’s a funny place I find myself in, sitting comfortably in my mid-thirties, rid of all the angst of my late teens to mid-twenties. I still recall the emotional turmoil I was in, the loneliness, the anger- so much anger! Despite the ability to recall it all, in vivid detail, it also feels like a lifetime ago. The suffering definitely helped to shape who I am, but that person, that version of myself seems foreign to me now.

I remember… staying up all night, watching tv and chatting over AIM with 5 people at once and writing two pieces at a time. I remember all the pent up rage over my (perceived) inability to live a normal life. I remember the feelings of isolation, desperation, and loneliness that overwhelmed me. I remember having my first full blown panic attack one night around 1am, while watching Vanilla Sky, wondering if I should wake my parents to take me to the hospital or let them sleep and maybe find me dead on the couch in the morning. I let them sleep and hoped and prayed I wasn’t having a heart attack and dying like I thought I was, like I felt I was.

I remember… writing dark and twisted poetry about the fury, the sorrow, and romanticizing suicide. I never truly considered it but it felt like such a tempting escape from the misery I was in.

I think back to all the crazy that I attracted to my life during that time. The drama filled people who seemed to find me like I was a magnet and truth be told, I probably was. It seemed like one friend after another was in crisis. My friendship circle consisted of self-harmers, pill poppers, and the like. It was also filled with people who had been dealt some really shitty hands in life but year after year they continued to be the victim rather than become the heroine of their own life. I remember one often repeating, “I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve all of this.”

I remember… finding solace in the darkness of depression, the depression that anxiety drove me into. Misery does love company and I found my tribe. I remember feeling so liberated being able to share the chaos and storms that were swirling within me. I was no longer alone in my looney tribe of misfits. We were all wounded in our own ways and suffering but we had each other and that made it less lonely.

I remember… the clouds starting to lift in my life. The poetry dried up and I feared I was losing my creativity. I remember that the down moments came less frequently, the mood swings not as severe. I remember feeling at odds with myself because I didn’t recognize myself anymore without turmoil. Sometimes, even now, a little part of me misses it. For the creativity that is. There is something about angst and writing that go hand in hand, at least in my twisted mind.

Yet, I wouldn’t go back to it. I like being in a happy place now. That’s not to say my life is perfect but I am more appreciative now. I understand my anxiety better and have a better handle on it. I’m thankful for my struggles because there are somethings one cannot fully understand without experiencing them, mental health issues being one of them. Yes, I remember my battle and I’m grateful for it but I am so content to be exactly where I am right now. 100_0291_2.jpg

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Write!

I have come to realize that in comparison to others, my life is blessedly boring. Lately, minus some issues with learning to control/manage my GERD and IBS, I’ve been well. There were some flare-ups as dosages where changed and then ultimately changed back. The set backs did bring about minor bouts of depression. It is very frustrating and defeating to not feel well. Missing work, being home in bed, it takes its toll. However, over all my mental health has been on a pretty even keel.

I’ve not been dating so there is no drama in that area of my life. School has kept me busy but it’s a good busy that has led to many rewarding moments. All of this smooth sailing has not been conducive to my writing though.

Writing is often a way to purge the negative emotions, to channel the hurt or the rage. If everything is good- what does a writer then write about? Such is the conundrum. Now that I have an eight week break that gives me some time to refocus and make plans. One of my very dear friends is also a writer and she suggested we get together to encourage each other in our endeavors. It was a very productive meeting over mimosas. I have committed (to myself) to work more often on my blog and to also finish one of my fiction pieces that I started twelve years ago. For her, the primary focus will be getting her website up and running. Then she will tackle a couple of amazing fiction stories that are percolating in her brain.

I think the strategy session/writing date went exceptionally well. Time will tell if I stick with this or not. Be on the lookout for more writing!IMG_0001

Coming Together/Falling Apart

It has been a very long time since I have sat down to write. For one thing I was pretty busy, between a trip to Vegas, evidently going on a dating spree, and a few other miscellaneous stuffs I have been MIA. There have been words, raw emotions, and stories inside of me that have wanted to come out but I needed time to process. Here goes…

A few months ago now, I started seeing someone. He was kind of amazing (still is) but we are no longer seeing each other. It was one of those out of nowhere things that happened, which is always the best kind, and then out of nowhere it kind of fell apart. 

I was really, truly, hurt. I didn’t realize in our brief time he had gotten in so deep. We still talk now, as friends, and I am grateful for the experience we had. While it sucked to see it fall apart, the situation made me realize that I am not broken. I can care for a man and actually let someone in, and when I do, I actually want to see that person more than once a week. (Yes I am very twisted and a commitment phobe). 

Usually for me, dating feels like work- at least to some degree. Even if I am kind of excited about the guy I have to force myself to make plans because I am a homebody. I prefer my quiet time. Well this guy came along and I found myself wanting to see him. It wasn’t an intrusion or an inconvenience. So all in all, it was a good thing, a reminder to me of what is possible. Granted, had I written about it a month ago I would be singing a different tune, which is why I waited. I had to grieve and be hurt and accept and then I could finally see what good had come forth from it all. 

After that situation, I seem to have fallen into a dating spree. Three dates over the past three weekends, none of which shall lead anywhere. Part of me feels like giving up on dating, or at least taking a break. However, I do have a weakness for attractive men so I know myself enough to know the next attractive male that comes along, I’ll make plans to see. 

On another note, I have been doing a little better at that whole domestic thing. In the evenings I have taken the time to go outside and pull weeds, spray weeds (I HATE chemicals but I have yet to find a good solution to them), cut lawn, clean inside the house, etc. It’s a good feeling when I take on a project and finish it, seeing the results of my work. 

I’ve also been playing with a software that would help me to create an ebook and publish it. So before the end of this year I think I will finally publish my morbid poetry online. All in all, things are coming together even if some days I am falling apart.

Passion Reignited

Lately I am finding my passion for writing, life, knowledge, and learning reignited. Not just reignited. On fire. I’ve been doing a lot of reading; blogs, articles from Twitter and Facebook, etc. I’ve been finding inspiration in many unexpected places. I’m feeling more connected to myself than I have in a long time.

One such source was an article a friend posted on Facebook about the habits of creative people. The article can be found here for anyone that is interested in it. Many of the habits or characteristics the article mentioned felt familiar to me. One in particular was about knowing when you are most creative.

My writing has always been most prolific in the middle of the night. Say after 11pm and before the rest of the world is awake. I used to chalk it up to the fact that I lived at home during that time. We had a very busy household and the middle of night was the only time I was alone and the world was quiet. It was a very magical time for me. I would sometimes work on two different fiction pieces at a time, while I had a tv show or movie on, read message boards online and chatted over IM with as many as five or six people at a time.

Eventually, I quit being an insomniac and started to keep a more normal schedule. My writing somewhat dried up after that. To this day I still find myself missing those times when i was writing so much. It came to me so naturally, it was like I wasn’t even aware of where it was coming from, the words simply flowed, uninhibited.

After reading that article I’ve been excited to see if I can find that magic place in the early morning hours. Granted, now I have my own home with my sister and my three dogs. It is not nearly as chaotic as a small, three bedroom home with three dogs, one cat, six people all living in it. Still, I don’t find myself writing nearly as often as I would like. When I do write there is a little bit of a struggle that often accompanies it. Despite that fact, writing is still soothing and enjoyable to me.

While I have promised myself several times over that I will start getting up at six in the morning to write… It has yet to occur. I am not too upset with myself over it though since I have been sick. Once I am healthy though, the experiment must begin.

As for this exact moment in time, the ideas have been churning and the excitement to write was overwhelming so I am back in the magic hour at nearly three in the morning. Part of me is dreading tomorrow since I am still awake right now but it will all work out.

In the meantime, a list of the things that have my mind working in over drive:

  • healthier living/essential oils/oil pulling
  • a fascinating book and blog I’ve found about open marriages. (Mom, if you’re reading. Don’t panic, it fascinates me but I don’t see it as being for me).
  • what my future holds, assuming I take full control of my life and will my dreams into reality
  • the beauty of acceptance and loving oneself
  • religion/faith/spirituality/Christianity
  • how I can be the best version of myself

Need

Here I sit with a blank page before me, words and thoughts tumbling through my mind, and the incessant barking of my pups in the background. I need to write. I need to share. I need to let the darker parts of me out to play.

Lately I have not written. Not on my blog, not in my journal, not anywhere save for a few emails to a dear friend. There is a price that writers pay when they do not write. It’s called unhappiness. There is this whole part of a person that can be left utterly unfulfilled simply from the lack of creating. That is where I am now.

Don’t get me wrong, in an over all picture, I am not unhappy right now. Just the creative part of me that is dying from lack of care. It is time to fix that. There is a saying, I think, that a soul is a garden that must be tended to daily. Or perhaps they were referring to happiness? I don’t recall now. All I know that we must take constant care of ourselves and those we love to get anywhere in life.

Want to know why my dogs are barking? Because they are bored. Because they have too much energy. Because I haven’t challenged their brains or tired them in anyway. So what is the easiest way to amuse themselves and release that energy? Barking at everything that moves.

What we ignore will always find a way out… Even if that way is not pretty. It usually isn’t pretty when the things we try to sweep under the rug start to come out sideways. That is why the best way to handle life is head on. I’m trying to live life that way.

The older I get the more confident I am in myself and the need to communicate. I will reach out and seek answers when feeling unsure of a situation or insecure. The truth may hurt but it also sets you free. Life is far too short to live in doubt or spend hours agonizing over what we suspect may be the truth. Rip the band off and know for sure. At least this way you can move forward.

For some time now I have been grieving the sudden and inexplicable loss of a valued friendship. T and I had been friends for 10 years and suddenly, one day we weren’t. I could try to explain it but the honest to God’s truth is that I do not know why our friendship ended. The only glimpse of an answer I’ve received was that there were wounds in our past that had been glazed over. Wounds I didn’t know existed. At this point, we haven’t spoke in nine months. I miss my friend. I have analyzed it, the struggle shows up in my dreams, I’ve wanted to write a passive aggressive blog entry about it, etc. In the end though, I still have no more answers now than I did nine months ago. The only explanation I can give myself is that our friendship ran its course, which is not something I ever expected to happen. While I could be catty or passive aggressive (even though she’d never see it), would demean the friendship we had. So… instead, I still mourn the loss though every day is easier. Time lessens the pain.

I’m realizing how non-sensical this whole entry is but while it may be jumping from one thought to the next it is healing too.Sometimes a person just needs to open up a bit and let the ideas flow. Acknowledging their presence can be a comfort in and of itself. So to anyone who may have read this entry, thank you. I needed this.

Changed

People change. I’ve changed. I’m no longer the same person I was in high school, or college, or the years following. I am still ME but as life throws us curveballs, different experiences, and friendships that lead us down different paths, we change. So… I’ve changed. 

When I was younger I had this fire in me and a desperate need to prove myself. To some degree, I still do, but its been tempered with age. I am a talker but I’ve been trying to hone my listening skills. Let’s be honest, I know me and what goes on in my head, what is of greater interest is what I don’t know, which is others, and that requires listening. I still have a fire and a drive but it’s not as reckless now. I try to consider the things I say and how it will affect others. I used to go for the shock factor and now, I am toning it down.

I have always looked younger than my age, and God willing, I always will. Good genes in my family. When  I was in my late teens and early twenties I hated it though. I felt like I was being treated with kid gloves because I looked young and sounded young. So I cursed. Profusely. The “f-word,” is still a standby. I tend to have a dirty sense of humor and a flirty personality so I used those to my advantage as well. 

I didn’t want to be treated as a kid so I tried very hard to prove I wasn’t. What did it get me? I was finally treated as an adult woman in the sense that the pervs in the restaurant industry wouldn’t hold back their lewd comments around me. I think being handled with kid gloves would have been better rather than hear their thoughts on fidelity and women as merely sexual objects.

In retrospect, while some of the guys were actually dogs, most of it was locker-room talk. The objectifying of women and the notion that if a wife doesn’t put out for her husband, then rest assured he was going to get it from some where. Or maybe they really did feel that way about relationships. I was never involved with any them so I couldn’t say for sure. All I know is that it damaged my opinion of men for years.

For a long time I’ve fancied myself a bit of a nomad at heart, deeming myself quirky and flighty, unreliable. Traits that I thought were charming and fit the lifestyle of a writer, an artist, a poet. I based it on the fact I could never seem to find my niche, I’m never satisfied. I’m always looking for the next job, next adventure, next infatuation. While I know that I will always look to what is next I’ve changed in the sense I’m making sure to enjoy the present. I’m still a nomad at heart and definitely quirky but I’m content. I like the life I’ve carved out. 

I’ve pondered countless career choices over the years. I have many varied interests but when it comes down to it, when I consider going to college to be a teacher or a lawyer or law enforcement or vet tech or dog trainer, I realize I don’t want to do any of those things. I am passionate about and intrigued by all  of those ideas but the reality is: none of those careers would hold my interest forever. I need to write. 

Writing is my calling even if I never get published. Perhaps the only thing I will write is this blog, my journal, and emails to friends. Short stories or poems that I save on my computer and rarely share with others. That’s ok. The act of writing is personal to the writer and it brings me joy. If I do go back to college it would be as an English major. I could see myself being a lawyer, or a teacher, or going into law enforcement, or dog training but with all those careers, I see myself burning out. With writing, I can be all of those things if I choose to. Knowing that my drive for all those scattered interests doesn’t mean I am meant to be any of those things leaves me calmer, more peaceful.

I’m more aware of what works for me and what doesn’t. I’m more vocal about my needs and my weaknesses. I think I’ve grown more caring over the years. I’ve tamed the inner bitch that seethed with rage, always looking for a victim. I’ve shared some of the deepest, darkest parts of my inner being and found that despite the ugliness inside of me, the people I love are still here. 

When I was younger I was so scared of losing the fire inside of me. I was even scared of losing the rage because I equated the rage with passion. I didn’t want to grow complacent. As I’ve matured I realized that that rage was passion but it was destructive. It built up walls around my heart and closed so many people out. I was ruthless, eviscerating others in my head for their flaws because I was unhappy with myself. While the diatribe lived mostly in my head, it seeped out sideways to wound the people around me. The nomadic urges and insane pressure I had put on myself to figure out what I was meant to be drove me insane. 

I am a calmer version of myself nowadays. When something strikes my fancy, I’m still all in. Totally obsessed with an idea or notion until I move onto the next. I don’t have the same need to shove it down everyone else’s throats though. I can share ideas without the need to get people to come along with me for the ride. I still have a million interests but I’m figuring out what those interests mean to me and how to integrate them into my life without attempting to become all of them. Lastly, if I start to notice flaws in others, I stop and ask myself why it bothers me. Usually it has to do with something in myself that I need to work on. Yes, I’ve changed and it’s been for the better. 

I am

Once upon a time I had this idea of writing about the journey of becoming who I am meant to be.  Today, it has occurred to me that I AM who I am meant to be.  The journey is simply a chance to explore all the of facets that contribute to me and my make up. An opportunity to test out what works and what doesn’t. An adventure to create the memories that will sustain me when I am old, God help me if I live that long.

Which leads me to the question: why blog? That is something I have asked myself more than once.  I’m not that interesting really. Maybe blogs are just a little spot in the cyber universe where people can rave about their pseudo interesting lives. Maybe it is a chance to document that I am here. A place to be a writer even if I never finish a novel or publish a book. Here I am, look at me, I’m a writer. Whatever this blog is, it is mine.  A chance to celebrate my successes and learn from my failures.

Starting now I am going to make more of an effort to blog if for no other reason then to see my own progress.  To know I am doing something. Maybe something I write will help someone else.  That is what has always appealed to me about writing.  The idea that I can create something that will touch another human being on such a level as to become a part of them.  To stir something so deeply that that emotion will always stay with them.

So, here I am and I am me.