Self Portrait #31

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I am being told that I need to cocoon. That my body is under so much stress and chaos I am walking the threshold of becoming very sick. That it’s time I wrapped myself up and really started taking care of me. This is incredibly hard. I have goals and dreams and motivation that doesn’t really allow me to settle in. I have people to take care of, and wants of my own. I have no patience and feel like if it doesn’t happen now, the nit never will. I have always had this flaw. Holding on so tight to something that I don’t see the other possibilities.  I’m so focused on this, that that walks right on by.

To admit that I’m really tired, and my body is giving out is not fun for me. To know that I don’t have a person to tuck me in and tell me to rest while he handles the ship for a little while is daunting. How do you cocoon when so much rides on your shoulders? How do you let go of things you want so much it makes your heart ache? How do you trust that good is coming, if you just relax and allow?

I have no clue. But it’s a lesson I’m going to have to learn. Because after the cocoon comes the butterfly, and I’m damn ready for my wings. To be able to float and be free and enjoy all the beautiful things and people that are in my life.

I think we all have a point in our life where we need to cocoon and really take care of ourselves. But so many are afraid because it takes work. It takes a lot to wrap yourself up and get real with yourself and fix your problems. To actually want a better life instead of playing the victim card, instead of doing nothing to change your cycle. To strip down all the layers one by one and dig deep, instead of running away. To figure out why you feel what you feel and how to heal that wound. That is how you stay a caterpillar for the rest of your life. Who wants that, when you can actually make the changes that are needed to break you out of that cocoon into the light of a new life, as a new and beautiful being. It takes courage to change your life into something beautiful, and not settle. I hope you have it. Earn your wings.

Self Portrait # 28

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The other night my dad came over. I was cleaning out my fridge while crying ugly tears, because I’m learning to let the sadness out. I asked my dad if he was disappointed with me. That I have to start over, from scratch. And he looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you. I know how I felt when your mom died and I didn’t have little kids to take care of or a battle on my hands like you do because of how hard he’s making it. Just my sadness of losing your mom. And I’m still dealing with that. You made a really hard choice, but you have so much happiness ahead of you and that’s what is important. The happiness you will find at the end of this. I’m proud of you.”

My family doesn’t really say these things to each other, you should see my sisters face when I tell her I love her, or try to hug her. So these words mean so much to me. More days then not I want to ignore and pretend my life is not upside down. I want to cry. I want to stay in bed. I want to retreat from everything and everyone. I want to wallow in my self pity of losing my beautiful house, beautiful studio, beautiful property, beautiful dream I worked so damn hard for. But instead, I remember why I’m doing this. And when the sadness comes, I look at my four kids and remind myself what I’m showing them. When my heart aches, I pick up my guitar, or play the piano, or paint, or go put my feet in the grass, or dance, or read a book or get in the bath, or talk to friends, or play with my kids, I write in my journal and try to figure out where the root of my feelings come from and how I can improve myself. I do yoga, or exercise, or eat a bag of cookies. Life is hard. It is so easy to find the negative, to feel the want to give up. To wallow and ask why and feel sad for myself. But what a waste. I have too much light to give. There is still so much happiness to feel and make and be part of. Starting over is my chance to do it my way. Less material things, more love. Less anger, more adventure. Less fighting, more peace. Less fake, more raw realness. Thank you dad, for telling me you’re proud of me. That’s all I needed to hear.

Self Portrait # 27

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Darling, believe me. You don’t need saving. You just need someone who will stand by you while you save yourself. – Ruby Dhal

These past three weeks have been extremely hard. I feel beat down and exhausted. I am angry, and I have now been pushed to the point, where fighting back is the only option. Thankfully I have a strong backing of amazing people that are behind me, encouraging me to keep moving, keep pushing, keep surviving. Today I looked in the mirror after I peeled myself off the floor from my panic attack, and said: enough. Time to save yourself and claim your life back. This is a pep talk I have had to give myself a few times, but today was different. I can feel the anger rising that I have been pushing aside. My light I carry is tinged with red flames right now, and I can accomplish a lot when I am angry. I’ve been controlled and beat down long enough. No more. I deserve better. I will no longer believe that I was not enough. I was damn more than enough.

Never stay with someone that makes you wonder how you feel about yourself. That makes you feel like you are never a priority. That tells you to turn the other cheek instead of standing up for you when you are wronged. That doesn’t show you fucking special you are to them. Don’t stay if there is no laughter, no warmth or comfort in their arms, no support. It is never worth it. You are worth so much more. As r.h. sin says, “one day you’ll mean something more and everything to someone better than whomever made you feel like nothing” and until you find that person, be that person for yourself. Love yourself hard. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. And remember, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Everything that has happened brought you to the place you are supposed to be in. All of the poor choices, the wrong turns, the crappy people had a purpose. Without the dark you can’t see the light. So, no looking back. you have your life to live. Enjoy it. Laugh and love and learn and repeat.

Self Portrait #26

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This has been part of my life for a long time. I have always ignored it, to push it aside and continue on. I had heart surgery at 26, after a cardiologist looked at my heart and said I should be dead for what it was doing.

I don’t ask for help. I don’t like people thinking I am weak. I don’t stop when it literally hurts to breathe or move. I don’t like when people try to do things for me because I’m having and off day and it shows. I don’t like burdening people with my problem. I don’t like talking about it because then I have to think about the fact that this heart might not be enough to last me this lifetime. But, I am tired. I know big changes need to be made. The first step was choosing an authentic life for me, even if it meant stopping the dream I had spent so many years building. Even if it meant a broken heart for this chapter in my life. Even if it meant starting over, creating myself from scratch. Even if it meant losing so many things that I thought were important to me.

As hard as it is for me, I’m realizing it’s ok to feel weak sometimes. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to let someone care for you. To open up and trust others with one of your biggest weaknesses is a humbling experience. I can’t do it all, although I try to.

Sometimes, I want to feel like I can lean into someone and they tell me, I’ve got you. Let me take care of you today.” Which is why I’m thankful for the tribe I’m building. If there is one thing I am learning, it is, surround yourself only with people that truly care about you. That adore you and support you and push you to be the best you. People that save space for you in their lives. Surround yourself with people that genuinely love you, and are happy for your successes, and supportive of your failures. People that you know will look at you with open arms and say “I’ve got you”. Let the others fall away. Don’t waste your precious time on them. The people that surround you are a reflection of yourself. Make sure it’s a beautiful, loving one…

Self Portrait #24

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A small list of bad habits:

  • zero impulse control
  • not willing to share my chocolate
  • eating cookies in bed
  • never untying shoes
  • pretending things are fine
  • loving all the way to the quick
  • making checklists for checklists
  • buying too many agendas, but never actually using them
  • not being aware of my surroundings
  • dancing wherever when a good song comes on
  • tunnel vision with my goals
  • giving in to my kids too easily
  • leaving laundry in the washer too long so have to rewash it
  • killing all house plants
  • being real with people
  • giving too many chances
  • emotional shopper
  • multitasking too much so nothing gets done
  • jumping to assumptions too quickly
  • never saying no to a bet/challenge
  • playing practical jokes on friends
  • eating junk food instead of veggies
  • treating my pets like they are my family
  • giving too much of myself to others
  • snorting when I laugh too hard
  • loving hanging out in bed
  • ignoring my health issues
  • not answering my phone, ever
  • throwing out things when cleaning, then having to rebuy them
  • And….I’m not changing any of them. Ever. I’m learning to embrace the good with the bad. These are the things that make me, me. And nobody else can do as good of a job as me then me. And one day, someone very lucky gets to put up with all of this

Self Portrait #23

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*This was originally written March 22

Last night I got hit with some things I was not quite ready to process. It literally put me on the ground, my heart not liking the stress very much. Thank God for three of my main people (one is a hard ass, one soft and sweet, the other very spiritual) that circled around me, and with their phone calls and texts, I was able to stand back up and breathe through my panic attack. Although my eyes are still swollen from crying.

Now it’s today.

Mom, how has it been six years? I need you more then anything. What I would give to have your arms around me, but instead I am forgetting what your touch felt like. What I would give to have you tell me that everything is going to be ok, but instead I am forgetting what your voice sounded like. I am tired. I am scared. I am sad. I am angry. I am a girl wanting her mom.

They say time heals, but when it comes to you, this dull ache still sits heavy. I was the most like you. Even though I am forgetting some things, I do remember how you looked dancing in the kitchen to Shania Twain. Sitting at the table, with your hands in your hair, laughing. How you would shove my kids full of candy and pop with the biggest smile on your face. The days spent in your gardens, and how you would stop and turn your face up to the sun and smile, dirty hands and bare feet.

This will always be the worst day for me. It is a constant reminder to what I have lost. All the things that you have missed. All the memories you are no longer part of. All the tears that your death has brought.

The only relief I get, is that you no longer hurt. But know, we hurt for you.

So, somehow I will wipe away my tears, and carry on. I will push down these feelings of anger, and sadness, and frustration, and try to become the daughter that carries your wild and free ways with me. Never again, will I be somebody I’m not, in order to keep those around me comfortable. This I promise you, mom. I will be that wild child you didn’t know what to do with, but allowed me to spread my wings anyways.

Miss you forever and a day. xo