Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's dusty in here: clean up the past

Spring cleaning from the inside out has been the recent focus in my life. Dusting things off doesn't just pertain to items on your shelves. It has to do with clearing the cobwebs within that clog your head, heart, and soul from connecting.

I recently started a mini investigation, if you will, on how to clean up those cobwebs. This investigation started with some reading. There was a plethora of information out there on how to downsize and declutter my home and in turn, my life. I was trying to figure out how to prioritize what items I want to keep around me. When are memories OK to stay as just memories rather than a collection of items in a box. The next important step in this investigation was getting insight from a few friends. I asked them how they prioritize in their lives and what they found works, or doesn't, for them. Of course, everyone is different and has their own unique way of saving and letting go. Taking bits and pieces from all sources eventually led me to tackle my clean-up.

What was it that I was sorting through exactly?

It really started when my parents had brought over some boxes from storage a few months prior. The boxes sat in my dining area for far too long taunting me day in and day out. I felt overwhelmed. Years of memories that were made up of photo albums, boxes of notes, cards, picture frames, college books, and miscellaneous tokens from people or random items that at some point were deemed keepsakes. Every time I would start to fumble through a box an emotional rush would come over me and I found it more difficult than I had originally thought. I needed to get unstuck and that is when I realized the investigation was necessary.

The quest became: How can I detach myself from stuff that defined the past, yet simplify my today in order to let in tomorrow?

I decided to pour some wine one night and go to town; one memory at a time. Some items caused floodgates of feelings to rise to the surface. There were a few tears, and some warm fuzzy smiles...not just from the wine. I would let myself feel whatever it was I needed to feel and then put the item in one of three places, Pile 1: I am pretty sure I want to keep this, Pile 2: Donate, and Pile 3: Garbage bag.

A few glasses and many hours later, I had made real progress. I realized that by letting go of some things, I was feeling lighter. It was a difficult process. Even though there are expert takes out there on just how to do this, everyone has to go through it in their own time and way. However, the next day I was excited to donate the items from my past that were hopefully going to make someone else happy memories.

I don't have the answers to how best declutter your life. It is an on-going practice. Literally, I still have many more boxes at my parents to go through. What I do know is that as I let myself say goodbye to the 'stuff' I was able to feel stronger because I allowed my head to remember, my heart to heal, and my soul to breathe.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Finding My Breath

Recently I was not feeling in the mood to write much - so I didn't.

Has anyone ever just really felt that life was happening and as much as you wanted to share about it; you just couldn't? You literally were in the heart of the storm and you were not able to see it with a clear eye and to write about it without losing your mind?

I will say that I went through some heartache as of late and it is hard to even breathe when you are in the middle of it and you feel as though nobody understands. It is hard to talk about it some days without the ache in your chest making its way up to your throat and lodging there into a lump. So, you wake up everyday with a new attitude and try to be happy and be the best you can but the ache is there; it is there gnawing at you. Then you walk around and you wonder if the ache is visible to others and you are not sure so you act a little guarded maybe....?

What I realized with my recent heartache is that it was one of the first times that I think I showed some real vulnerability. It was something that I don't think people were really used to seeing from me in some aspects. When I was having issues in my marriage, and going through the divorce, I held it together pretty well for so long and people were shocked by the ending of that relationship. They never saw me really hurting through that time in my life when I was struggling in the marriage that is. However, with my recent breakup, I showed my vulnerability more and shared with friends more - leaned on them more.

It was a bit of new thing for me actually to be in a place of really needing advice and friendly ears. I was so lost and hurt and was not always able to hide it like I had in the past. By no means do I think it should be a bad thing, but I feel that since it was a bit out of character for me that it made people a little confused and not sure how to help.

Through the past few months I gained a whole new understanding for situations that people go through or have in their lives that I had not experienced. I am still in a sort of recovery mode. I have had some great support and am learning how to be strong and weak at the same time.

The down times in life are where you learn the most about yourself and the most about those in your life..... Who you are and who you want around you.

Thank you to the special people that have allowed me to go through this experience and who were beyond supportive. You are my angels.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cooking For One

Well, I did it! I moved and am living on my own. This may not be the most earth shattering news to some people but I am a 32 year old woman who has never lived on her own. Not talking about when the roommates or significant other were not home either; meaning I pay the rent, the entire rent check. Gulp. I do and all the bills....which are not as fun as I thought they were the first month.

Believe me, I am aware that there are other women out there that have not lived on their own either but you must know for me, this was always something that I felt I had wanted to do. Not sure why exactly. Maybe it was a longing to really learn who I am or part of the independent, stubborn side of me that wanted to know I could take of me, myself, and I. Of course I still needed my dad to help me put together some furniture and hang my curtain rod. That is just a reminder to me of how lucky I am to have him for such handy assistance.

Every item in this place is just as I want it. It is a representation or extension of who I am, in a way. I feel so at home here. It was a shock to find this place when I did actually. I had told myself to wait and save a few more months but I kept looking to see what was out there; daydreaming a bit. So randomly I found this place and went to check it out and I just knew when I saw it. I am weird like that, I tend to know when I want something, the big things at least, I just know in my gut.

Making the move was nerve-racking and exciting of course. It was bitter sweet leaving my parents too. They were beyond supportive and flexible and were the best movers ever! There were so many amazing people supporting me on this journey and they all know who they are. It blows my mind how lucky and blessed I am with the wonderful, caring friends and family I have.

With all that said, what is the real deal?

The read deal is that it is also a little scary doing this on my own too. I mean it is all on me to make the rent, pay all the bills, do the cleaning, cooking and some minor repairs. Plus the spider killing....eek! But then again, it is a little fun that it is all on me. I cook when and what I want. I have my own water filling process (hugs mom), and if I make the mess, I clean the mess. I was more worried that I, a very social person, would be way too lonely and lose my mind or something with nobody to chatter with when I came through the door. Yet, as many promised me, I am fine. In fact, I am not too much crazier than before I moved here.

So, with all the fun, worries, and independence that a rent check can buy, the getting used to cooking for one is the most challenging I must admit. Not in a sad way, like poor me I am alone crap, but meaning that it just takes a bit more planning. I am not a fan of wasting the food or the money on food either. With that, I will say I am a huge fan of Tupperware. Ha! Cooking for one and dishing up the remainders, with love, for my lunch; pudding snack packs too.

Thanks again to all who’ve been by and smiled for me in this new adventure.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Vacancy

Hyped up Holiday? Yes. Of course it is. However, this is the first one I have had without a date in any way, shape, or form since before I could drive a car. I never really cared one way or the other about the Valentine's holiday yet sitting here with all the commercials about love and romance have me feeling ....bad; not only that but a bit on the lonely side as well in all honesty.

Evil commercialism.

Even if I didn't want to feel bad about my current relationship status, the in your face advertising is hard to ignore. The explosion of red and white colored hearts around every turn is a reminder of the fact that I don't actually have a Valentine.

This is by no means a pity party on my part. Just a realization of where I am currently in my life. Of course, I know I am not alone, thanks to my wonderful friends and family, but not having that person to cuddle with is what makes it so difficult.

I do remember most of my past Valentine's and how they were spent as attempts to make the holiday an excuse to be silly with gifts, dates, or the chance to try a new restaurant. It is always nice to have that someone in your life to share such things. Breakfast for dinner with a girlfriend is still one of my top Valentine's memories; because it is just about the moments.

My belief is that this holiday is just that.... a moment in your life to stop and remind yourself of those you care about. Friends, Family, and loved ones are all special and this day is a time to say Remember. Not just for the day but an actual time out in our lives, early in the year, so that we don't get too caught up in our failing resolutions and busy spring plans to forget to keep showing love. It is such an important aspect and we tend to take things out on those we care about most all too often. Maybe it is that we assume they know how we feel about them so we forget the words and how valuable they can be.

Love. Hard for some to say.
Love. Hard for some to show.
Then use Valentine's Day as an inspiration to find love for yourself and those around you.

Every moment matters.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Seeing Double

I am a two-timer! I have been seeing two therapists! How "crazy" must I be you wonder? Come on now. That is not nice. I am "normal" amounts of cRaZy...promise.

Many people think that therapy is a crock and I am by no means saying that they actually work or whatever. However, for me, I have found it helpful in my life from time to time to ramble off my thoughts and dramatics to a stranger. A neutral sounding board if you will.

Now seeing two is not something I have done often or recommend for that matter. In fact, the overlap of them has been for only 7 months. I started to see Therapist 1 (which I will refer to as T1) before Ex and I even separated. I think she is very tough love and has an interesting approach. She says things that I don't always like and gives me homework.

I stopped going to T1 for a while last spring or summer because I didn't think I needed to go. This is also the beauty of therapy; going only when you want or need. I started to feel that she was also far away (distance wise) and not sure if I was digging her approach at that point in my life. As I mentioned these concerns to a friend, she suggested a therapist she used through a few months of her own divorce. Figured I would give the other a whirl.

Started going to Therapist 2 (which I will refer to as T2) over the summer for a bit. She has a more soft approach and sometimes seems more wishy-washy but she is very understanding of the place I am at now in my life. However, from time to time I found myself going back to T1 to get her thoughts. I know this is SO odd but when you go through major life changes you do what you think you need to - right?

People have asked if the sessions help and if I like one over the other. My answer is that they have helped me and I believe some of my friends may have benefited from my learning's as well (you know who you are - ha). If I feel that I need to get some things talked about to neutral parties then I make time for a session with whomever my gut tells me to actually. Lately, I have been back to T1 and doing the homework too.

It has been good and got me through more issues and I know I am growing and learning. I am because I want to for myself though, not because of any magic they bring or don't. Believe it or not, having this person call me out on my crap is good too. T1 is really challenging me lately and I enjoy that. But maybe in two months I will need a softer ear and call up T2. I like options - ha!

I am convinced, however, that there is not one that is better than the other but just what you prefer and need in your life at that time ....kinda like men!

Taking care of me one session at a time.
And double that: Taking care of me one session at a time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

One Month Into This

2010. You. Are. Not. My. Friend.
Well so far anyway.

The start to my year has been rough. I mean I realize that there are worse things happening to others, but for me, in my world right now, I have been having an emotionally draining time of things.

Breakups Suck.
Fighting with friends sucks.
Having issues with family members sucks.
Having a career dilemma sucks.
Trying to save money sucks.
Owing in taxes sucks.
Not having my own place yet sucks.
Unexpected car expenses sucks.

I am sure you are getting the overall gist of how my month has been.

However, the most difficult for me, at the moment, is the breakup. The one person that has made things feel right and made me laugh is no longer. Poof! Gone! I cared about this person and him me; so it hurts. My heart is confused and aching.

I have told myself over and over and over that things will get better. They have to right? And I tell myself that all things happen for a reason. And again, I am in a position to tell myself that time is going to be what heals. ARGH! I am a little tired of the "time" thing and the hoping "good" happens thing.

I want happiness. I want love.

Hate hurting. It is not a fun thing to go through. However, I am aware that life has decided to make me take some time to reflect on me, myself, and I.
Yippee! (Sarcasm is happening here - yes)

Every day brings new moments of strength, clarity, confidence, sadness, weakness, and anger. I believe it is all normal but I tell you, it doesn't feel normal.

So there is a quick tid bit of what has been going on in my little world. My life is as always, simply complex!

Deep Breath......

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today and Someday (Poem)

I was digging in my closet for something and came across some old notebooks of poems I had written. This one is from 1995 and it just struck a cord with me this evening.
It made me realize how every moment of my todays are valued by my somedays.
Sharing ~

Someday
I will stand still
for I will reflect
on my life
I will be calm
as I take a hard
look at myself
I will stand silent
so that I can hear
my heart

Today
I will keep moving
for I will reach
all my goals
I will be positive
as I work hard
to succeed
I will never give up
so I can be proud
that I'm the best
that I can be

Today and Someday